By Natalie MAIER
More than 100 bicycle riders participated in the First Annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride at Verdugo Park, organized by the Rotary Club of Glendale and Walk Bike Glendale on May 19. The event featured three activities, including a relaxing seven mile bike ride through Verdugo and Fremont parks, bicycle safety training that was offered for children, and the “gear grinder,” a grueling 33-mile ride for experienced riders through Verdugo Park and Deukmejian Wilderness Park, a mountainous terrain with elevation up to 2,600 feet. Teams taking part included the Poodle Riders, Team Ascencia, Team SVHS, Braces by Bergh, Woodlanders and Team.
Over $15,000 was raised with the proceeds going to help low income/homeless adults and children through the non-profit organizations of Ascencia, Glendale Salvation Army and Glendale Healthy Kids.
Rotary Board member Elizabeth Manasserian considered the fitness ride to be a “definite” success and said that the club plans on organizing it again next year.
“A lot of energy [was at the fitness ride], a lot of goodness,” Manasserian said. “Everyone was having fun.”
Food vendors included Deano’s Deli and Hungry Nomad.
Sponsors of the Jewel City Ride included Glendale Adventist Hospital; Bache Capital Management; the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce; Arroyo Insurance Services; Braces by Bergh; Cal Devnich, DDS; Park Place Properties, Inc.; Sadd, Velazquez, Higashi, Shammaa; and media sponsor ABC7. Individual sponsors included Larry Tison, Gerry Tomsic and Ty Veden.
Rotary president-elect Natalie Komuro was pleased with the number of participants.
“As our first [bike] event, we were really pleased how well [it] came off and we were able to raise so much money,” Komuro said. “We were able to create what we hope will be a growing and thriving annual event.”
The Glendale Noon Rotary Club was founded in 1922 and has since served the local community by fighting to end poverty and hunger while promoting peace and health. Rotary International and has over 1.25 million members in over 34,000 clubs worldwide who are dedicated to. Rotary Club of Glendale meets every Thursday at noon. For more information, visit http://www.glendalerotarynoon.org/.
Walk Bike Glendale is a regional chapter of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and meets monthly. For more information, visit http://walkbikeglendale.wordpress.com/.