As a business owner and bicycle advocate, Josef Bray-Ali of admits that he focuses a lot of his energy on "complaining to city hall."
However, last week he took the opportunity to speak to a group of local students who could become Northeast L.A.'s next generation of bike lovers.
Joe Linton, CicLAvia’s first paid employee and a long time bike and river advocate, and I stopped by Florence Nightingale Middle School at the end of a week of bike-themed events to give a brief talk about bike safety (“Control the lane!”), a clinic on patching a tube, and some general information about getting engaged in implementing the bike plan in their community.
It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, and hopefully will help these young adults ride safer and be better prepared and informed. Though our little talk and demo only captured 20 or so kids’ attention, there were almost 100 milling around the bike racks to see and be seen.
Bray-Ali kick-started the initiative in September in an effort to bridge the gap between local riders and city staff members charged with implementing Los Angeles' recently approved .
He said meeting with the students at Nightingale was a good way to kick-start the recently dormant initiative.
"I was hoping to get back into the Figueroa For All initiative, so I connected with teachers at . We just wanted to let them know that if you want to get engaged with bike issues, there are ways to do that," Bray Ali said. "There were about 100 kids walking around after school and we probably connected with about 20 of them.
While most of the conversation was general, Bray-Ali said, he and Linton did talk with students about the possibility of asking the city to install a new bike lane along Cypress Avenue, which would connect to North Figueroa Street.
"Hopefully we could do more with that crew of kids to push through a bike lane on Cypress," Bray-Ali said.
Bray-Ali said he's hoping to talk to more students, and asked any local teachers who interested in having talk at their school to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org