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Tour de Watts: Join us for an event to celebrate the launch of Streetsblog in South L.A.

11:24 AM PST on March 7, 2012

Cyclists touring Watts with the East Side Riders

Join us from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Watts to celebrate the launch of Streetsblog in South L.A.!

Please join us on March 17th for a tour of neighborhoods in Watts and Florence-Firestone with the East Side Riders in celebration of our South L.A. launch and their 3rd anniversary of serving the community.

The day begins at 10 a.m. the WLCAC, located at 109th and Central Ave. in Watts. Prior to the ride, we will be checking bikes and explaining how riders can send photos to use USC's ParTour, tool to contribute to the creation of a crowd-sourced map of South L.A.

We will ride out at 11 a.m., led by members of the East Side Riders (ESR), and wind our way through several neighborhoods. We hope to give people not familiar with the area a good understanding of a new place while upholding some of the goals of the ESR, which include encouraging the people of the communities we ride through to join together and take back their streets. The ride will be approximately 10 miles or so, and be slow-paced, to accommodate families.

Snacks donated by CLIF Kids.

Upon return to the WLCAC around 1 p.m., riders will be encouraged to participate in a fun bike planning workshop run by James Rojas. There will also be opportunities for kids to have their helmets painted and to decorate their T-shirts (more information about the availability of ride T-shirts will be posted later). Light snacks will be provided.

The East Side Riders, with occasional help from me, have been doing outreach in the community to let kids and their families know about the opportunity to participate in a safe ride. We're hearing a lot of the same stories I heard when I interviewed some kids on Hooper St.: that kids are not comfortable riding around their neighborhood unless they are "rolling deep" (in sufficient numbers to discourage potential bike jackers). Some have even asked about whether or not we could ensure that they wouldn't get their fixies jacked while they were riding with us. We sincerely hope to show them and others in the community that the streets can be safe for recreation. We hope that you will join us in sending this message!

Although we will have some snacks available, please be sure to bring water and any other nourishment to supplement that. If you should have a helmet you no longer use or would like to donate a new one to a child from the area, you are more than welcome to do so. We will have 9 helmets kindly provided by the LACBC, but can always use more--many in the area do not have helmets and would love to have one.

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