“Bicycling has a way of bringing more vibrancy to a city,” says Beryl Forman, marketing manager for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association. “When you see a bunch of bikes in front of a business, it’s attractive, and it draws people in.”
Forman organized the first Bike the Boulevard event last November in collaboration with Live Wire owner Sam Chammas. The ride was intended to spotlight both new and established businesses along El Cajon Boulevard with food/beer specials, craft workshops, and live music. Despite a formidable rain, Forman estimates that about 20 participants joined at locations along the way, including the five or six tenacious riders (Forman calls them “the pioneers of Bike the Boulevard”) who braved the three-mile stretch from Live Wire to Til-Two.
She expects about a hundred participants to show for this Saturday’s Bike the Boulevard, where riders will receive a playing card at each stop to vie for a prize with the best poker hand upon arrival at Til-Two. The event starts at noon with happy-hour specials and balloon bike ornaments at Live Wire and dollar slices at Pizzeria Luigi.
“We’re becoming more culturally oriented with local businesses by putting on events like this and showcasing the Little Saigon district,” Forman says, who scheduled a stop at the Pho King restaurant to celebrate the burgeoning Vietnamese district between Highland and Euclid where, within a five-block radius of El Cajon Boulevard, 70 percent of the businesses are Vietnamese.