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Planning Your Route for the Streetsblog CA Walk- or Bike-a-Thon

Pre-Covid-19, my son was already social distancing when he ran. However, I have no idea where he got the idea for that sweater. – DN

Last week, we announced our first ever virtual walk/bike-a-thon to raise money for Streetsblog California and the California Association of Foodbanks. So far, we've raised almost $700 for our cause which is a great start - especially considering all of the many issues in our world and all of the places that need help. If a walk-a-thon isn't for you, but you want to support our spring fundraiser, click here and make a donation on our website, or here to make a donation through our Facebook fundraiser.

For anyone who's planning to #Walk4Streetblog or #Bike4Streetsblog and isn't used to tracking miles, but is interested in having a full "walk-a-thon" or "bike-a-thon" experience, we wanted to take a second to share one way you can plan a route around your neighborhood that tracks miles before you hit the streets.

When I was first training my kids to run 5k races, we used google maps to design routes around our neighborhood together and send them to my phone. Here's how you can do that if you have a google account :

1. Login to Google and head over to Google Maps
2. Search for point A and find directions to point B.
3. You may get a few route choices, each of which will include the mileage. You can customize the route: hover your mouse over the route starting at the point where you want to diverge from the fastest route. A dot will appear with the text "Drag to change route." Drag that dot to your first chosen landmark.
4. Repeat for as many landmarks as you want until you have a custom #Walk4Streetsblog or #Bike4Streetsblog route. Every time you add a landmark, the mileage will update. If you have an ambitious mileage goal you want to reach, and you plan on doing this all in your own neighborhood, you could create a route full of zigs and zags.
5. On the left side of the screen you'll see a link that says "Send directions to your phone." Click that, and you might see a few options for how to send the route, such as email, text, or a specific phone that you have signed into Google services. Select your method, and you should soon receive a link that will open your custom route in the Google Maps mobile app.
6. If your phone has wifi or data signal at this point, you should be able to open the custom route.

For landmarks, we use the local public school, church, park, and our friend Malcolm's house. Hopefully, you have some landmarks in your neighborhood that are dear to you and your walk/bike partners.

There’s lots of ways you can make donations to help us in our fundraising drive. You can click here and encourage friends, family, and loved ones to join you in donating. You can also create a Facebook fundraiser. Last, you can go old-school and use this form to recruit donations from friends and family and then either send the donations to Streetsblog in the mail or make an online donation.

Check out what's already been posted, and tag #Walk4Streetsblog or #BikeforStreetsblog with pictures, suggestions, tips, and encouragement, leave links here in the comments, and/or tweet @streetsblogcal. We want this experience to be fun for everyone, so please share as much as you can and we’ll post updates throughout the month of May - which is still Bike Month, even though in a very curtailed way.

We’ll have more details soon, but your virtual walk/bike ride must be completed some time between now and the end of May. We’re counting donations that have come through our regular portals as of May 1 (so if you already make a monthly donation, that will be counted towards your total). If a friend, colleague, or loved one is making a donation to support your walking or biking, make sure they include your name in the notes!

Anyone familiar with walk-a-thons or bike-a-thons know that they often have sponsors and long thank-you lists. Given the state of the world, we didn't plan a corporate campaign for this event but did want to spotlight some of our returning regular advertisers. If you know someone who would be a good fit to advertise on Streetsblog California or would like to do so yourself, email me at

This week, we would like to thank the only annual advertiser on Streetsblog California, GJEL Accident Attorneys.

In addition to being the sole advertiser on Streetsblog California, Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis & Larsen accident attorneys have been advertising at Streetsblog San Francisco for so long, it predates our management of that website.

Their profile at lists the following among their accomplishments:

    • Over 99% success rate.
    • Over $850 million recovered for our clients from insurance companies and corporate defendants.
    • Ranked among the top law firms nationwide by our peers.
    • Respected and seen as a formidable opponent by insurance companies.
    • Known for helping our clients with their medical, vehicle repair and replacement, rental car and other bills from day one.
    • Our attorneys attended Stanford, the University of California, the University of Chicago, and other major universities.
    • Experts in accident reconstruction.
    • An authority for other firms and lawyers - noted for the speed and skill with which we resolve our clients’ cases.
    • Free consultations whenever and wherever is most convenient for our clients.
    • Paid only upon the successful resolution of our clients’ cases - no up-front fees.

We want to thank GJEL and all the advertisers, donors and grantmakers that have made it possible for us to continue Streetsblog's essential reporting in these uncertain times. And if you're joining our drive this month, don't forget to tag your media #Walk4Streetsblg and #Bike4Streetsblog!

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