Bike to Work Day – Pit Stops in Santa Monica

May 15, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Yesterday was Bike to Work Day.

Unfortunately, most people don’t ride their bikes to work. For the most part, it’s done on an infrequent basis—if at all.

Travelin’ Local, as well as many advocates for bicycling, alternative energy, transportation, community activists, and national bicycling organizations hope to change that.

If you biked to work yesterday, and were able to stop at many of the pit stops provided by local business’ and governments, good conversations about bikes were in abundance, goodie bags were to be had, the patrons provided a lot of important information and hosted free refreshments as well.

The first stop for my pit stop tour was at Helen’s Cycles.

Here is Mike whom I met and enjoyed our bicycling friendly conversation. He said that by 7:30 am, 25 people had already stopped by to chat.

Helen's Cycles

The pit stop hours were from 6:00am to 9am.

As you can see in the photo, Helen’s Cycles had a nice little spread for any lucky biker who stopped by.

With a location right on Broadway’s bike lane, it’s a popular spot. I received a $5.00 off coupon for Helen’s Cycles, so I’ll definitely be coming back to make a purchase.

Hey I like to shop! Especially for free……:)

My next pit stop was at the REI store in Santa Monica.

REI Pit Stop

They had a grab bag full of goodies which they were providing to bicycle riders. We talked briefly about riders having to be very cautious of parked cars on Broadway.

If you ride bikes on the street, here’s an issue that some riders and car drivers don’t consider, but should:

A bike lane is a traffic lane on a road. Would you stand in the middle of the road and have a conversation? How about opening a car door with traffic coming?

Obviously you wouldn’t. So please be considerate of the bicyclists using the lane. Look before you open your car door.

My final pit stop of the day was at Santa Monica City Hall.

Santa Monica City Hall

Santa Monica is a forward thinking city. In fact, it was recently awarded the Bronze by the League of American Bicyclists.

Santa Monica is active in trying to encourage more bike riders. They recently added more bike racks to several areas close to the Third Street Promenade, and have more planned. However, there’s much more education, advocacy, and work yet to be done:

There are 130 miles of arterial streets in Santa Monica. Bike lanes are designated on 13 total miles of roadway. Of these, 3.78 miles of designated bike lanes are on arterial streets. That means less than 3% of Santa Monica’s arterial streets have bike lanes, a figure which falls short of the city’s 35% target for 2010.  In addition to designated bike lanes, there is one bike path that is 3.11 miles long and 20 bike routes covering 18.78 miles.

On the plus side, the Bike Valet Service at Pier Saturday Night Concert Series and Sunday Farmers’ Market and other city events parked over 16,000 bikes in 2007, getting cars off the road and improving convenience of biking around town.  Source: City of Santa Monica.

With events like Bike to Work Day, cities become more eco-friendly, bike issues advance to the forefront of people’s thinking, and they become more aware to the general public. Who knows, while enjoying the fresh air and getting your heart pumping, using your “pedal power” when Travelin’ Local where you live, helps you to smell the roses as you exercise and save the planet.

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9 Responses to “Bike to Work Day – Pit Stops in Santa Monica”

  1. Diane C. says:

    I noticed more bike riders than usual on my morning walk yesterday. I hope they enjoyed their rides to work and will become regular bike riders. Looks like you had a great time on your pit stop tour.

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Skywatch Friday – Sonoran Desert Skies

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  2. David says:

    Indeed. In fact, I just read that they’re having a National Bike Race in London, of all places, soon.

    And that that major International Metropolitan city is now considered “Bike Friendly.”

    I agree with you, it’s high time that Los Angeles woke up and smelled the roses–being bike friendly will only help your city, your economy, your quality of life, your contribution to the environment, your traffic, and add to the general ambiance of your locale.

    WAKE UP LA!

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  3. Uh…thanks, BMW dude « BikingInLA says:

    [...] a judge who knows the law. Gary and Will both feel a little let down by Bike to Work Day; Lisa has better luck in Santa Monica, while Nate takes a bike bus to work and Damien offers an overview of the week. Santa Monica founds [...]

  4. Patricia says:

    wow the sun came out and we are seeing lots of biking commuters _YES!
    I just saw The Soloist and there were some of your good pictures in the scenes…and I knew where they were shot from your explorations.
    Neat!

    Patricia’s last blog post..Spring Is Sexy

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  5. Davina says:

    Hi Lisa. I live in Vancouver on a bike route and see many cyclists pass by my apartment. I used to bike to work when I worked downtown. It was satisfying to arrive at work on my own steam. Even better was the ride home… slower, more relaxed… detour by the beach.

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  6. LisaNewton says:

    @ Diane C. I hope so too. More bikes is a good thing…………..:)

    @ David LA is working on it, but not fast enough for me. There is so much to be done, and surprisingly, many of the improvements could be done for not much money. I mean how much does it cost to add some paint to the road to create sharrows.

    @ Patricia I haven’t see The Soloist yet, but I’m happy you recognized a few of the scenes…………:)

    @ Davina From what I hear, Vancouver is a good city for bikes. In fact, I pretty sure Washington is the top rated state for bike friendliness.

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  7. Kevin says:

    What a great concept. When you think about it, the idea of bicycle stops could almost be made into a fundraising business of some sort.

    I spent quite a few years cycling to work when I lived in the city and it was a very enjoyable and healthy way to travel. The place I worked even provided showers for us so we could smell good!

    Kevin’s last blog post..Nivernais and Loire Valley Skies

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  8. LisaNewton says:

    @ Kevin I wish more businesses provided showers. That’s pretty forward thinking. I know sweat prevents some people from riding to work………:)

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  9. dc says:

    *drool* REI Store! Actually, it’s probably good that there isn’t one within 200 miles… I would have no money left at all.

    Nice info on ride-to-work day. We actually had snow for ours. :)

    dc’s last blog post..Lift Bridge Time-Lapse (Part 2: Fun with Photo Slicing)

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