We're back at it again for Healthy Active Places

It's been two years since Ride America for Safe Routes bicycled across the country to promote safer streets for bicyclists and to enable children to get a little much-needed activity on the route to school. That trip was life-changing for the whole RASR Team, leading me to land a job that I love on the last day of our trip. That job brought me here to Sacramento to work for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, advocating for more funding and better policies to support walking and bicycling for transportation in California.

Now we're reuniting several members of the RASR team for a sequel - the Healthy Active Places Tour: Central Valley 2014! This time, we're focusing on bigger and better advocacy over a shorter trip. Just as we did last time, we've chosen our route not for scenic vistas or challenging riding conditions but to target our advocacy to an area with really big needs: California's Central Valley

Kicking off in Sacramento on September 28, the Healthy Active Places (HAP) Team of seven women will ride over 300 miles in one week, crisscrossing the Central Valley to finish in Fresno on October 4.  Along the tour we will connect with communities through school events and invigorate local efforts to encourage walking and bicycling, in addition to spotlighting the challenges facing residents in this region. High rates of poverty, terrible air quality, lack of access to healthy food (despite producing 25% of the food Americans eat), and poor infrastructure - especially to support safe physical activity - result in alarming rates of obesity, asthma, and related health disparities among children and families in this region. 

The connections we make with community-based organizations and leaders on the ground will help to strengthen the capacity of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's network to advocate for the specific needs of Central Valley communities back in the State Capitol. We have school events in the works for each stop along the way, and hope to make a quick detour over the High Sierras into Yosemite Valley mid-trip as a riding bonus (lest anyone worry that we won't ride enough hard miles!).

Two things you can do to support the HAP Tour:
  1. Donate to support healthy active places - The HAP Tour is co-organized through volunteer time and very limited resources by Ride America for Safe Routes and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.  We need your help to make this event successful and effective!  Our goal is to raise $6,000 in the next six weeks, and a contribution of any size will help us reach that goal.  Funds raised will support the HAP Tour and benefit the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's work nationwide.
  2. Follow the HAP Tour and help spread the word! - Follow us on healthyactiveplaces.org.  We'll be posting lots of updates as we finalize events and confirm our route. Like us on Facebook and share our project with anyone you know that may be interested!

Thank you for supporting a future where all communities can be healthy, active places!