Bike culture in Santa Monica is booming. There is a new downtown bike center which offers bicycle parking spaces, showers and lockers for regular commuters; our streets have newly installed shared lane markings, also known as “sharrows” and programs abound to educate about bicycle safety. This is all part of a Santa Monica Bike Action Plan by the City of Santa Monica to make it a community priority to encourage residents, employees and visitors to make bicycling their transportation of choice.
As an off shoot of the Bike Santa Monica plan, the Commission for the Senior Community teamed up with the Santa Monica Bike Center to host a social bike ride on Tuesday, October 2. I helped coordinate the event. A group of 20 riders joined Bike Center General Manager Ron Durgin on a leisurely ride from the Bike Center at 2nd and Colorado to the Annenberg Community Beach House via Main Street with brief stop and introduction to the City of Santa Monica Bicycle Campus adjacent to the beach bike path and Ocean Park Blvd. The Bike Center provided complimentary bikes and helmets to people who did not have their own. Afterwards participant Lee Hildabrandt told me it was fun and enjoyable. “It really was a nice experience and I decided that bike riding can really be a lot of fun. I am in my 70s and I am going to get a bike!” She said excitedly.
Highlight of the ride was a Docent-led tour of the Annenberg Community Beach House property and Marion Davies House. Biking has come a long way since she and William Randolph Hearst threw lavish theme parties at the Santa Monica beachfront estate 80 years ago.
Here are some things to remember the next time you head out- always wear your helmet, don’t ride on the sidewalk, follow the “sharrows” for these will help direct you where to ride so as not to be struck by an unexpected opening of a parked car door, and at stop lights, please wait at the designated bike area, when available to change the signal.
Plans are in the works for future rides. Anyone interested can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org