Bike Friendly Fridays: Bike to Work Week

For one week a year, transportation agencies around the country and around L.A. County put their best face forward to the cycling community by programming a series of bike-friendly events intended to encourage and support better cycling.  The majority of the events, with the notable exception of Bike Writer’s Collective Bike Not to Work Day, were programmed by either the team of Metro and the LADOT or CICLE and the City of Pasadena.

Of course, I’d rather have the City of Los Angeles produce a Bike Master Plan than plan a week of bike events, but what can you do?

In addition to the series of events that mark Bike Week, Metro wants bike commuters, either regulars or those just trying it out for for one day, to register on their website to let them know and qualify for prizes such as free trips and bikes.  For a full list of events, summaries and my Bike Week schedule and opinions read on after the jump:

While I have listed summaries of the events below, for full event listings check out the websites for Metro’s Bike to Work Week and Bike Week Pasadena.

 

Monday:

Bike Week kicks off with a press event at Olvera Station at 8:30 A.M. featuring characters from the Simpsons and elected officials.  This has always seemed like a silly way to start Bike Week in Los Angeles, a little too whimsical for a city that has the cycling history that Los Angeles does.  That evening in Pasadena, CICLE will be screening the documentary "Contested Streets," which covers the early days of the street revolution in New York City.   The event begins at 6:00 P.M. with Contested Streets beginning at 7:00.  If you get there five minutes before 7:00 you’ll get to see a fantastic and scintillating intro to the film by yours truly.

5_8_09_blessing.jpgA multi-faith blessing of bikes at last year’s Blessing of the Bicycles. Photo: Miss Patricia/Flickr

Tuesday:

One of the highlights of Bike Week every year is "the Blessing of the Bicycles" at Good Samaritan Hospital.  The event begins at 8:00 A.M. and features free food, a social atmosphere and, yes, a mass blessings of bicycles.  Last year I skipped the Blessing but I’m told it draws well over fifty cyclists.  This year organizers hope to bring over 150 cyclists to the event.

That evening in Pasadena, CICLE promotes how you can lose 3,000 pounds in a day by getting rid of your car.

Wednesday:

On Wednesday things start to really get moving.  At 8:00 A.M., Bike to Work Week kicks into gear with a tour of the Downtown presumably to help new riders get over any fear they have of biking in a more urban setting.

Meanwhile in Pasadena, it’s Ladies’ Night.

5_8_09_bike_not_to_work.jpgLast year’s Bike Not-to Work Day Presented the Cyclists Bill of Rights at City Hall

Thursday…

…is Bike to Work Day in L.A. County.  Working with groups from around the county who will set up bike stations and "pit stops," Metro hopes to put its most bike friendly foot forward.  They are also offering free transit rides for riders with bikes excepting certain rush hour trains where bikes are still banned.  For a complete list of the bike stations, go here.

Thursday is also "Bike Not to Work Day," the now-annual advocacy ride sponsored by the Bike Writers Collective.  This year’s ride, "Expo Exposure" will ride the bike route that cyclists should have gotten from the completed Expo Bike Path instead of the completely segregated bike trail that might not even be built.  At the end of the ride, cyclists will end up at the LANI conference at USC for some lunch and their afternoon program.  For more on this year’s ride, click here.

Friday

Is Walk or Bike to School Day in Los Angeles County.  A series of schools around L.A. County will undertake programs to encourage non-motorized transportation as a way to get to school.  Some details are still pending, but between now and next Friday I’ll get more details and maybe join one of the school rides.

Meanwhile, back in Pasadena the city is promoting cycling to young people by a special event at the Rose Bowl loop in the evening.  Last summer I had the pleasure of biking through Car-Free Rose Bowl in September, and the loop is a great place to get some excercise and expose people to cycling on roads.

Saturday

While Bike Week is closed in the weekend, there is still one more day of city-sponsored bike activities in Pasadena.  In this instance I’ll let CICLE speak for itself in explaining the East-West Bike Train and other closing activities:

All Aboard the East-West Express Bike Train. Hop on board at a bike station near you.
Join us for a progressive, relaxed and scenic bicycle journey across
Pasadena. Disembark at our fun-filled final destination–the Pedal
Party at a surprise indoor venue at One Colorado. It’s the last day of our Bike Week Journey and it’s time to celebrate! Mingle with friends over a cold New Belgium Brewing Co. ale or an Izze Soda. Fill your bellies with scrumptious treats, courtesy of One World Vegetarian Cuisine,
check out the latest goods from local bike artisans and get a chance to
win fabulous raffle prizes. What a way to end an incredible week. This is a fund-raising party for C.I.C.L.E. So come out and show us that you love us. Exhibitors include C.I.C.L.E., Red Riding Hood Productions, Sheila Moon, Swrve, Team C.I.C.L.E., Totally Tubular Designs, Townsend Cycles, Yanco Pads.

The East-West Express Ride
meets at Memorial Park at 3:30 PM and features multiple pick-up points
along the route. Departs Memorial Park at 4:00 PM sharp. Other stops
include: Victory Park 4:35 PM, McDonald Park 5:00 PM, La Pintoresca
Park 5:15 PM, Armada Overlook 5:45 PM, final destination–One Colorado.
>> See the East-West Express bike train map with all stops and times.

The Closing Pedal Party takes place at a surprise indoor venue in the One Colorado
courtyard between 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM. The One Colorado is bounded by
Fair Oaks, Colorado Blvd., DeLacey and Union St. in Old Pasadena. This is a fund-raising party for C.I.C.L.E. Free bike valet.

  • Well, I’d rather see the city produce a master plan (which I am worried about the delays on) AND a week of bike events… we’re a city of 4 million people – we have room for both!

    Also – the Blessing of the Bikes is a great event!!!! Every year there’s plenty of good food, good people, good schwag… and you get clerics reciting religious verses about us – Ezekiel’s surreal passage about a “wheel within a wheel” – it’s a fun event. Go!

  • TC

    I think bike to work days are great, bike week even better, NYC’s bike month is uber awesome!

    http://bikemonthnyc.org/

    Hopefully we (as North Americans) will catch up to some of the European cities in being bike “every”day.

    TC
    http://abiobikes.com

  • M

    I’d really love to participate in events, but it’s funny that Metro’s no-bikes-on-the-trains-at-certain-hours is exactly the reason I can’t manipulate my schedule to fit some in. It results in me needing to leave the house at 5:30am or else I’m way too late for work. Kinda funny how that works.

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