East Side Riders was founded in 2008 with a goal of preventing kids from joining gangs by introducing them to a variety of recreational activities, with their main focus being biking. They provide bike riding safety classes as well as educate the community about healthy eating habits and importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
It only started with 5 bike riders. They rode around the community feeding the homeless around Compton and Watts until they were out of food and water. Now, East Sider Riders is a sizable community organization that does more than ride bikes around town. They encourage families to come out and learn about their community while servicing it. MLK day is a day of community service. In February, they do a ride for love. In March, they commemorate the memory of Cesar Chavez by cleaning up the community. In the summer time, they commit 8 weeks to fixing kids’ bikes for free.
“My personal goal is to get kids involved in cycling in the urban community. We are trying to improve the quality of life and improve the mindset of folks and let them know people can come here and ride bikes safely,” said the President of ESR, John Jones III.
Jones’ passion for the club has him committing not only his time but also his money. “This bike clubs runs off basically no money. The way I’m able to keep this bike club running is a little bit of the dues we get from club members but off of my paychecks. So, after I pay my bills, whatever I have left over, I’m pushing it to the bike club.”
You can find out more about East Side Riders here.