Holiday bike ride raises bike awareness in the Bronx

This past weekend, Bronx Bikes along with various sponsors hit the streets on their two wheelers to promote safe cycling in the Bronx and spread holiday cheer.

The ‘Santa Rampage’ began this holiday season with it’s fifth year run, according to Cristopher Chavez, founder and organizer of Bronx Bikes.

“The Santa Rampage ride started somewhere in Wyoming, but we adopted the idea, and have been doing it for five years now,” Chavez said.

Chavez and his counterparts at Bronx Bikes have a mission for the Bronx. They want to increase the number of cyclists in the borough and promote a better bicycle-friendly infrastructure.

Chavez explained the Santa Rampage is just a fun way to get people out and on their bicycles while getting into the holiday spirit. Riders dress as Santa or other holiday favorites and decorate their bikes with holiday lights and décor.

“It’s a free ride for anyone who has a bike and wants to ride,” Chavez said.

His organization tries to find new sponsors and a different route to ride every year to keep it interesting, he added.

“It was a 4.5 mile ride that went through the entire Grand Concourse from East Mosholu Pkwy South to 112 E. 157th Street,” Chavez said. “We passed through Kingsbridge Road, Fordham Road Burnside, Mt. Eden, East 167th Street, East 161 Street, and finally our endpoint 157th.”

Fifteen riders attended Saturday’s ride, Chavez said..

The other organizers of the ride: Guadalupe Benitez and Karen Rojas wanted to thank this year’s sponsors: Urban Health Plan (Livable Hunts Point), Shape Up NYC, Hazlo Tech and Bronx Cycles.

He added Bronx Bikes won’t have another event until the summer, but he encouraged anyone who wants to volunteer, become a coordinator or be involved in the organization, to visit the website, www.bronxbikes.org for contact information.

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