Pedal-Powered Revelry with Santa Cruz Bike Party

Bicycle enthusiasts gathered at the Bike Church before departing on the Santa Cruz Bike Party, a mellow social ride accented with amplified music.

On Friday, April 26, bicycle enthusiasts gathered at the Bike Church before departing on the Santa Cruz Bike Party, a mellow social ride accented with amplified music. Organizers say the event is “designed to build community, not to clash with car drivers, police, or residents.”

Riders had a great time traversing through Seabright, the Harbor, Pleasure Point, Capitola Village, Live Oak, and downtown Santa Cruz. There were approximately 25 cyclists, including one person on a customized tall bike, and another being pulled on a longboard. Some people branched off early while others joined the party mid-route.

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Westside Citrus Harvest with Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project

Ron, a Westside homeowner, said that this year’s crop of oranges was the most tasty and abundant in the tree’s lifetime.

On Sunday, April 21, 2013, with spring in the air and trees full of fruit, the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project, a grassroots organization that seeks out residents willing to share their surplus fruit, harvested at approximately ten residences on the Westside of Santa Cruz. The group of over a dozen, which included both first-time pickers as well as seasoned veterans, gathered at the entrance to Neary Lagoon on California St. before splitting into teams.

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Four Twenty 2013 in Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz

The counterculture cannabis celebration brought people of diverse backgrounds together for an afternoon under the hot sun.

On Saturday, April 20, 2013, thousands of people participated in the annual 420 pilgrimage to Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz. Once again, the counterculture cannabis celebration brought people of diverse backgrounds together for an afternoon under the hot sun.

This year there appeared to be more spectators and fewer spectacles. Similar to 420 in 2012, many people stayed under the forest canopy bordering the meadow due to the high temperature. In addition to smoking cannabis and socializing, people were face painting, relaxing in a hammock strung up in the redwoods, listening to live and recorded music, juggling, hula hooping, and taking pictures with friends.

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Aptos Post Office Jumps and Bicycle Valet at Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival

The world renowned Aptos Post Office Jumps, site of the Pro Jump Jam, and valet bicycle parking with People Power of Santa Cruz County.

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, I volunteered as a bicycle valet for People Power at the 4th Annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival in Aptos Village, California.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) and FOX, presenters of the festival, describe it as “a celebration of the world class mountain bike facilities, riders, and industry of Santa Cruz County, and it continues to grow year after year with the generous support of its sponsors, volunteers, and community. The event’s success testifies to the depth of the mountain bike culture in Santa Cruz County.”

My time at the event was short, however I took the following photos of youth riding at the world renowned Aptos Post Office Jumps, site of the Pro Jump Jam, as well as the valet bicycle parking provided by People Power of Santa Cruz County.

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Prisoner Solidarity Rally and March to Santa Cruz County Jail

Sin Barras demands, “Real healthcare, eliminate pretrial detention, and create drug treatment centers and welfare programs outside of Santa Cruz County Jail.

Sin Barras, a community-based group that works to build coalitions to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, held a rally and march on Saturday, April 6, 2013, starting at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz. Sin Barras demands that, “Santa Cruz County officials provide real healthcare within the county jail, eliminate pretrial detention, and reallocate jail funding to create drug treatment centers and welfare programs outside of Santa Cruz County Jail.”

Since August 2012, at least four people have died inside the Santa Cruz County Jail from lack of medical care: Christy Sanders, Rick Prichard, Brant Monnet, and Bradley Gordon Dreher. In July 2012, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors voted to outsource county jail medical care to Monterey-based California Forensic Medical Group. CFMG provides services for 25 California counties and has an extensive history of lawsuits against them related to inadequate care, inmate abuse, and neglect.

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