Family Fun Spotlight

Brentwood Bikes and Brews

Rides Benefiting the Youth

Jason Gonzales and Gustavo Trejo never thought that a half-joke idea amongst friends would ever blossom into the phenomenon it has truly become. While out to dinner one evening in 2015, the friends and their wives were commenting on the beautiful weather and that they regretted not riding their bikes. “For whatever reason, the idea ran that night, and it was a sort of ‘ah-ha!’ moment,” said Jason. “So, we decided to get our group of friends together to ride our bikes from one person’s house to another, enjoying some drinks along with the ride.” The idea originated with just a core group of friends, but by the end of 2015, Jason thought they were on to something. “We had so much fun just the 15 of us, so we figured, why not expand?”
 
In 2016 Brentwood Bikes and Brews was born. The organized bike rides were turned into public ticketed events that traveled through the city of Brentwood and visited various local establishments throughout, with the proceeds going toward purchasing bikes for kids in need at Christmas. In their first year, the events averaged about 20 riders and raised $551. “We thought that was great for our first time,” said Jason. “We were able to donate 14 bikes that year, which we saw as a huge success.” Jason, Gustavo and the rest of the Brentwood Bikes and Brews team didn’t want to be the ones handing out the bikes, wishing to remain anonymous. So, they originally donated to Newberry’s B.L.O.C.K. Foundation to hand out the bikes and have since partnered with Brentwood PAL and started working with the Brentwood Union School District. “The superintendent sends out an email asking for a list of students, and the teachers reply with their best candidates,” said Jason. “Teachers know best. We even have a number of teachers who go on the rides, so that’s how the connection evolved.”
 
 
With the initial year reaching a high of 33 riders for the most popular ride, Brentwood Bikes and Brews’ numbers have skyrocketed, with 2022’s most attended event hosting 140 people. “We were able to donate 47 bikes,” said Jason. “Cost has gone way up obviously. We build all of the bikes and then deliver them to the schools. The teachers and principals deliver them to the students. Just knowing that the kids are getting the bikes makes you feel good; we don’t want to take the credit. We have fun, raise money, and give back. A new bike is the ultimate Christmas present.”
 
Brentwood Bikes and Brews events have gotten to the point where they prefer to partner with locally owned businesses for their stops, allowing the establishments to dictate how many riders can attend based on available space. Local businesses have also started taking notice of the group and offering to donate gift cards and items for their popular raffle baskets. “When someone purchases a $40 ticket for one of our rides, that includes your drink at each stop and two raffle tickets, one for the general raffle and one for the grand raffle,” said Jason. Riders are also able to continuously purchase raffle tickets throughout the ride, which proves to raise the majority of the funds used to buy bikes. “We do multiple giveaways during the ride so that a variety of people have a chance to walk away with something.”
 
 
Those who are interested in participating in a bike ride have three chances: Spring, Summer, and Fall. They need to be 21 and over due to the businesses that are visited during the event and also need to be fast-acting. “Our most popular ride, the summer night ride, sold out in ten minutes last year,” said Jason. Attendees add lights to their bikes, and they’re all turned on as riders roll into downtown at sunset. “It’s so cool.” The rides range in distance with the longest route stretching from Lone Tree Way to downtown Brentwood, about three miles due to the trails. “We try to stay on the trails as much as possible,” said Jason. “A lot of it is round about, but that’s half the fun.”
 
Jason and Gustavo love giving back to their local community. Since they started, Brentwood Bikes and Brews has donated 175 bikes back to the Brentwood community. “We both figured more could be done to help the community that we live in,” said Gustavo. “Brentwood is very outgoing, and it’s just a good time riding around the city and being outside. We hope to maybe even involve kids in the future.”
 
IG: brentwoodbikesandbrews

 

by Michelle Lassle
photos by Provided 

 

 

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Brentwood is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nine-county Bay Area and offers a strategic location that connects: the SF Bay Area, Central Valley, Tri-Valley, and Sacramento Delta.

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