Community: Jewel City bicycle event slated for Sunday

Recreational cyclist Stephen Bache has taken his love of riding and created a fundraiser for his service group Rotary Club of Glendale.

Such an advocate of two-wheel transportation, Bache took his four children on a cross-country bike ride over the summer of 2012. Last year, Rotary President Natalie Komuro shared Bache’s vision, and the Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride was born.

“We want to promote fitness among the youth in Glendale and this is a fun way to do that,” Bache said.

The second annual ride is on Sunday and it starts and finishes at Verdugo Park in Glendale.


An advanced 45-mile ride — the Gear Grinder — for those who like to sprint and climb, begins at 7 a.m. followed by the 25-mile Fun & Fitness Ride at 9 a.m., and then the 7-mile Ride and Glide family ride kicks off at 10:30 a.m.

Everyone can participate in the free Bicycle Skills and Safety Course from 8 a.m. to noon. Helmets are required for all rides. Register at (2014 Jewel City Ride under Cycling).

Bache, vice president of sponsoring organization for Glendale Rotary Club, is event chair. His company, Bache Capital Management, is co-sponsoring the event with Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Walk Bike Glendale.

Walk Bike Glendale promotes biking activities in Glendale, Bache said. It is affiliated with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition whose volunteers are dedicated to encouraging people to ride bicycles to work and getting communities to install more bike lanes. Walk Bike Glendale volunteers mark the route the day before the ride and provide marshals along the route and conduct the safety course at Verdugo Park the day of the ride.


Joining in organizing the event are Sunrise Rotary clubs in Glendale and Burbank.

This year’s proceeds benefit Glendale Youth Alliance, Homenetmen and the Glendale YMCA.

“We want to give to nonprofits that have a great impact on children,” said Sharon Townsend, a member of the Glendale Sunrise Rotary.

Townsend participated as a volunteer last year and encouraged her club to get involved this year.

Last year, the Rotary Club raised $5,000 for each of the three charities — Ascencia, Glendale Healthy Kids and YWCA of Glendale. There were 130 total riders who participated last year.

The bike event collates well with May being National Bike Month, an observance created by the League of American Bicyclists, Townsend said. A highlight of the month is Bike to Work Week, May 12-16, and Bike to Work Day in Glendale is on Thursday, May 15.

Bache is riding in Sunday’s 45-mile Gear Grinder event, and is the only member of his club signed up for that ride. Other members are riding in the 25-mile Fun & Fitness Ride.

Bache has been training by cycling 30 miles most Sunday mornings and has done the whole route a couple times with one of the volunteers who is planning the route.


“I enjoy riding down Chevy Chase Canyon,” he said.

“‘Down’ is the operative word,” Townsend quipped.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at