Metro promotes Bike Week L.A.

Bike to Work Day is May 19 — and Metro is offering free rides to cyclists. Here’s the news release from Metro detailing other cycling activities for the week:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is promoting “Bike Week LA” May 16-20 by supporting a host of activities intended to get more Angelenos to ride their bikes to work, school and other destinations throughout LA County to reduce traffic and air pollution and save energy. Bring Bike or Helmet on Metro for Free Ride May 19.

Metro will be offering a chance to win several prizes such as a commuter cycling package from REI valued at $2,000 that includes a bike and more prizes to those who pledge to bike to work on Bike to Work Day Thursday, May 19. Go online at http://www.metro.net/bikeweek or call (213) 922-2811 or stop by one of the pit stop locations that day where cyclists can get refreshments, free giveaways and information.

Today, only one percent of trips in the county are made by bicyclists.  Metro plans to boost that percentage, and has invested close to $200 million in bike facilities and programs. Besides direct investment in bike related projects, the expanding network of Metro buses and rail service enables more cyclists to combine bicycling with public transit and extend their trips.

Metro buses are equipped with bike racks, and bikes also can be carried on Metro trains. On Bike to Work Day Thursday, May 19, Metro will offer free rides to bicyclists on Metro buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County. Moreover, Big Blue Bus, Culver CityBus, Glendale Beeline, LADOT, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Santa Clarita Transit and Torrance Trance also will offer free rides to bicyclists who use transit for part of their commute. Patrons just need to board with a bicycle and/or bike helmet.

Cyclists also can bring their bikes on Metro trains and ride free. Metro has recently removed its peak-hour restrictions for bikes on rail, which means bicyclists can board the Metro Rail system any time of day.

On Bike to Work Day, Metro is co-hosting more than 40 bike pit stops with local organizations, inviting bicyclists to stop by for refreshments and free giveaways from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. For exact locations, go to http://www.metro.net/bikeweek.

Metro has started a new program called Bike Buddies that pairs experienced cyclists with those who want to learn how to bike to work.  New bicyclists can learn techniques and tips for safe commuting, and travel with a Bike Buddy on Bike to Work Day. Those interested in pairing with a Bike Buddy should also visit http://www.metro.net/bikeweek for details.

Metro is also hosting the first annual Human Powered Commuting Awards to celebrate those who ride their bikes to work every day.  The public can pick a category online and nominate themselves, their friends or co-workers.

Free bike maps detailing more than 1,200 miles of bike paths, bikeways and bike lanes in Los Angeles County are available to plan bicycle trips. The map can be downloaded online at http://www.metro.net/bikeweek. Free copies are available at any Metro Customer Center or call (213) 922-2811 and request a copy.

Metro regularly conducts a Bicycle Roundtable series that engages the bicycle community to address pertinent issues needed to make the Metro system more bike-friendly.

Those initiatives will be highlighted during Bike Week LA.  During kickoff ceremonies Monday, May 16 at the North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station at 8:30 a.m., Metro, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) C.I.C.L.E. will announce specific initiatives that promote bicycling during Bike Week LA and year-round.

Metro, with the participation of LADOT, C.I.C.L.E. and LACBC, will host a “Bike to Work Downtown LA Ride” Wednesday, May 18, to demonstrate how to access some of the most prominent downtown area work sites, Metro Rail stations, civic and entertainment centers by bicycle. Riders will congregate at in front of Union Station on Alameda Street starting at 8 a.m. and will depart at 8:30 a.m. for a ride through downtown.

Metro also is supporting other events including the annual interfaith Blessing of the Bicycles at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 17. For more information, visit http://www.goodsam.org.

To round out Bike Week LA, Metro also supports “Bike to School Day” Friday, May 20.  Students are encouraged to bicycle safely to school throughout LA County to help reduce auto trips and congestion within school zones.

Bike Week LA is sponsored by Metro and other partners and sponsors including the City of Los Angeles, LACBC, LADOT Bike Program, Better World Club, California Bicycle Coalition, C.I.C.L.E, Clean Bottle, Clif Bar, Dahon, Good Samaritan Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Macy’s, Peter Lamas, Planet Bike, Raytheon, REI and Swrve, Inc.

Bike to Work Day bicycle pit stop hosts include the City of Los Angeles, LACBC, City of West Hollywood, UCLA Transportation, City of Santa Monica, REI Santa Monica, City of Pasadena, Western Asset Management Company, REI Arcadia, Polytechnic School, Glendale TMA, Cal State LA, City of Claremont, The Aerospace Corporation and Raytheon, City of Long Beach, REI Northridge, City of Santa Clarita and Newhall Bicycle Company, Bicycle Mart, Cal State Long Beach, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, LA County Sheriff’s Department, Clif Bar, OneWest Bank FSB,  Pasadena Towers-Jones Lang La Salle, Torrance Transit, West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition, Modern Parking Inc. and Ampco System Parking, Tavern on Brand, Culver City Bicycle Coalition, South Bay Bicycle Coalition, Friends of Chandler Bikeway, Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Burbank, Sustainable Streets, the FRS Company, Water Garden, Caltech, Glendale Cyclery, Metropolitan Water District, City of Glendale, Howard Hughes Center and FRS Healthy Energy.