The culmination of Bike Week has got to be Bike to Work Day – that one day of the year when every commuter is encouraged to leave the car at home and use a little pedal power to get to the ol’ 9 to 5.
Some, like local bicycle activist Stephen Box, feel that the celebration is little more than a feel-good photo op for local leaders (read his recent blog post that does a great job showing how integral bikes have been in shaping our streets) – and certainly there’s some truth to that if you look at the current state of our streets for cyclists, especially when it comes to safety. On the other hand, raising awareness and increasing exposure can only help, and I think that’s what Bike to Work Day does best. It’s a bit of a spectacle and gets people talking around the water cooler.
The fact is, right now only 1% of trips in L.A. County are made by bicycle, but Metro hopes to change that and has invested almost $200 million in bike facilities and programs including: bike maps, education and safety programs, bicycle parking facilities, racks on buses, and bike lanes and paths. As we noted earlier this week, this summer Metro will be lifting rush hour restrictions on bikes on Metro Rail and will be creating special areas on trains where bicyclists can be safely accommodated. In other words, Metro’s working to make biking to work something Angelenos are going to want to do more than once a year.
For those planning on participating in Bike to Work Day tomorrow, it pays to register online. Not only does it make you eligible for some awesome prizes (including a Utah vacation valued at $1,500), but a big turnout makes it easier to get bicycle infrastructure and safety projects moving. There’s power in numbers, people.
Worried about getting stranded out there tomorrow? Fear not, there’s going to be over 60 pit stops set up across the county providing cyclists with refreshments, info and free giveaways. Here’s a map of the locations, and don’t forget that Google now provides bike directions in addition to transit and driving directions:
View Pit Stop Locations in a larger map
And if you need to hop on transit for part of your commute, rides are free for bicyclists on Metro buses and trains tomorrow. The following municipal transit agencies will also be offering free riders to bike commuters:
- Beach Cities Transit
- Commerce Municipal Bus Lines*
- Culver CityBus
- Gardena Municipal Bus Lines*
- Glendale Beeline
- LADOT Commuter Express & DASH
- Norwalk Transit
- Pasadena ARTS Bus
- Torrance Transit
*Bike racks not available on these buses.
Visit Metro.net for more information and resources for Bike to Work Day.