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September 20, 2016 > Fun on two wheels at I Bike Union City

Fun on two wheels at I Bike Union City

By Robbie Finley

Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage growing up. However, biking is much more than an aerobic method of mobility Ð its a full-on art form for many people. Union City will once again celebrate the local bicycling culture with its 2nd annual I Bike Union City event on Saturday, September 24 at Kennedy Community Park.

A lot of bike clubs are coming out. Theres a ton of bikes out there that people want to showcase, said Maynard Estrellado, Union Citys Community and Recreation program coordinator. Indeed, the event coordinators anticipate close to 200 bicycles will show up this year. While the focus of the day might be on the sprawling showcase of bicycles, there will also be food and live entertainment for attendees to enjoy. Popular food truck Roll Revolution will be on hand with its unique brand of Asian Fusion cuisine, while four local artists rock the audience and get people dancing. An exciting martial arts demonstration by Dragons Den MMA is scheduled, along with a performance by El Ballet Folklórico de James Logan High School. We have a mix of music and community performance, Estrellado explained. I Bike plans to encompass a lot of cultures in its schedule of events.

Numerous types of bicycles will be cruising by this yearÕs event, from lowriders to choppers and many other kinds of specialized, custom bicycles. Get your bike into the showcase and contest for $5, where judges and attendees will assess each bicycle and vote for the best bikes in the East Bay. Bay Bombs, a car club that also dabbles in bicycles, has taken an active role in promoting the event and are even raffling off a bike this year, alongside gift baskets and other goodies.

Curious to learn about bike repair or need a repair yourself? Onsite vendors will be available to assist and educate attendees. This happens to be a main function of Union Citys Teen Workshop, located on Mission Boulevard. There, teens learn the ins and outs of bicycle repair and refurbishment. We focus on kids building their own bikes (at the UC Teen Workshop), Estrellado said. This fundraiser will help keep these going, he added.

Union Citys Community and Recreation Services department is heading up the planning of the event in conjunction with Union City Youth and Family Services (UCYFS) and Teen Workshop programs to fundraise and raise awareness of the awesome things they are doing in the community. Estrellado explained that UCYFS assists children who fell through the cracks by using outreach initiatives such as a boxing program and counseling services, among other programs.

We want to reach out more to the community. We want to let the city know we have this going on, Estrellado said of the event. Last year, I Bike had 150 to 200 bikes on display, which was a resounding success for Estrellado and the team that brought it together. The Community and Recreations program had known for a while that they wanted to put together an event, but couldnt quite nail down a theme right away. ÒWe were kicking this idea around for four to five years, and then last year we were able to pull it off, he said, adding, (Custom biking) is kind of an underground community right now. ThereÕs a lot of clubs out there in the Bay. Estrellado visited a number of other bike shows throughout the greater Bay Area and took inspiration from them when designing Union Citys event.

Last year, Estrellado estimates that they had over 200 attendees, a feat they hope to surpass this year. Im hoping its gonna be bigger this year, he said, continuing, Its good for the community and good for the kids. Were providing a platform for people to showcase their art, and these bikes really are art.

Funds raised by the event fuel Union CityÕs outreach programs so they can continue to provide fun and safe activities for local teens.

As long as those bike wheels keep spinning toward Kennedy Park each year, so will the event. We take it year by year. If the community still wants it to happen, it will. Hopefully it wont go away anytime soon, Estrellado said.

The event is free for all to attend, including pets! There is a $5 fee to enter bikes into the contest. Showcasing your bike without judging is free of charge. Entrees into the showcase are made on the day of the event and may arrive as early as 7:30 a.m., but must be registered for display by 1 p.m. Awards will be handed out later in the day.

I Bike Union City
Saturday, Sep 9
9 a.m. Ð 3 p.m.
Kennedy Community Park
1333 Decoto Rd, Union City
(510) 675-5805
Free admission
Bicycle contest: $5 entry

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