I arrived around 10am at the Ocean View High cycling club, run by J. As it had been raining, that day’s planned school holiday cycling programme was cancelled and J and I spoke at the club, before going on a brief bike tour of the neighbourhood and having coffee and talking at Imhoff’s Farm.
Although J runs a bike shop, it is on the grounds of the High School, and lacks a working separate entrance. J has begun to make improvements to the standard shipping container that houses the BEC, but the school insists that he complete a fence around it before he can use a separate gate, built by him with support from BEN (to prevent anyone entering school grounds without permission).
J discussed the challenges existing in the community, especially substance abuse and related gang activity, and explained how cycling – particularly BMXing, conducted on a BMX track – could provide wholesome and compelling alternatives, drawing on his own experience of the meaning sport gave him while growing up in the community.
J confirmed that utility cycling in the area is mainly to and from the station, but that shopping centres and industrial buildings are also major destination clusters.