By Jennifer Eden
May is National Bike Month, with Santa Monica set to speed into high gear and take part in all of the action. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast, Bike Month in Santa Monica is aimed at encouraging pedal power as a clean, green alternative to gas when getting around.
“Bike Month is a time to get reenergized about biking,” Constance Farrell, public information officer with the City of Santa Monica told The Mirror. “It’s that time of year when the weather is warming up and people are pulling their bikes out while spring cleaning.”
A host of fun events are in the works including Bike It! Walk It! Week starting May 8, Bike Local Week starting May 14 and a fun Family Bike Festival + Swap, May 21.
“We have such a strong biking community already, but we want to bring more people of all ages along for the ride,” Farrell added.
Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling – and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
“Although we have come a long way [in Santa Monica] with the installation of separated bike facilities more is still needed before some will feel comfortable riding or letting their children ride bikes,” explained Cynthia Rose, director of Santa Monica Spoke.
“Biking is a fun and healthily way to get around Santa Monica with two-thirds of its residents saying they ride at least a few times a week! And that number is growing,” Rose said.
The commitment by the City to making Santa Monica more bikeable is showing, according to Rose, with over 108 miles of bike lanes and infrastructure achieving high environmental sustainability (reducing co2) and safety goals.
“Santa Monica has a higher rate of cycling and bike commuters than L.A. as a whole,” Rose added. “When you build it – they will come! This month we celebrate what we are building to make our city a more sustainable, healthy and active place to live and play!”
Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride, according to The League of American Bicyclists.
For more information on what’s happening in Santa Monica and how you can get involved, head to smspoke.org/bike-month. In summary: May 9: Bike Month Proclamation at City Council, May 8-12: Bike It! Walk It! Bus It! Week with SMMUSD, May 14-21: Bike Local Week, May 18: Bike to Work Day, May 21: Santa Monica Family Bike Festival + Swap.