On Saturday December 2, 2017, BikeSGV will host its annual party - 'Noche de las Luminarias' - to celebrate the progress towards a more pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly SGV. This profile is one of a series of posts highlighting some of the people at the forefront of this movement. Tickets and event information can be found here.
Danielle Zamora first learned about BikeSGV at an outreach booth. She later attended a bicycle safety class taught by BikeSGV instructors Amy Wong, Andrew Yip, and David Diaz, where she learned how to bike safely and predictably on the street. She then started joining BikeSGV's monthly Bike Train and Women-on-Wheels community rides where she gained more riding confidence. She learned how to fix a flat tire and other basic bike mechanics from Bicycle Education Center Director Jose Jiminez.
In 2016 Danielle began volunteering with the BikeSGV team. As an official BikeSGV intern for the San Gabriel Valley Active Transportation Data Collection project, Danielle collected 204 hours surveying members of the public about walking and bicycling conditions; assisting with manual pedestrian and bicycle counts across the valley; and auditing the region’s inventory of bicycle racks. She also donated time to BikeSGV as a ride marshall and coordinator for the Women-on-Wheels program. Danielle even coordinated some of her Masters’ studies in Community Psychology with BikeSGV projects, integrating fieldwork and research on the unique challenges and motivations for cycling perceived by women bicyclists in the SGV.
Danielle is passionate about empowering girls and women to bike and reap the environmental, financial, and health benefits that bicycling brings. She describes, in her own words, why she dedicates so much of herself to BikeSGV’s mission, saying, “I knew that biking was something I enjoyed doing but wasn’t comfortable riding anywhere other than my neighborhood and separated bike paths. Biking as a form of transportation seemed unattainable to me. I liked to imagine myself as one day being the kind of person who would commute by bike to reduce my carbon footprint, save some money, and stay active, healthy, and happy. However, I didn’t know how to make that happen.”
Over the course of the past 18 months Danielle has transitioned from being completely unskilled and afraid of riding a bicycle anywhere to leading community group rides and teaching classes about bicycle safety as a nationally-certified bicycle safety instructor (LCI). She now commutes by bike when and where she can. In October 2017, she joined BikeSGV as a full-time Outreach Coordinator, a position that will see her lead BikeSGV’s support for the region’s first Bicycle Friendly Business Districts and the development of the 5-City San Gabriel Valley Active Transportation Plan in 2018.
Danielle is a resident of the North Whittier/Avocado Heights area, a graduate of the University of La Verne (Double major in Studio Art and Psychology) and Marymount California University (Master’s in Community Psychology). Along with biking, Danielle enjoys hiking, writing song lyrics, and singing with her band Sherry Valence. She also is a member of BikeSGV’s first Climate Ride team. If you donate to her fundraising effort here, she’ll even bake you some fresh chocolate chip cookies, vegan option available!