Get Out of Your Cars, LA – It’s Bike to Work Week!

How many minutes each day to you spend in your car? At the gym? Outside getting fresh air? Wishing you had a few hundred more dollars in the bank?

The author's daily commute

It’s Bike to Work Week in LA, part of May’s Bike to Work Month nationwide. While LA is not known for its bike friendliness (though that’s about to change), there is a surprising amount of support and resources available to LA bike commuters. Here on the Westside we have the added advantages of ocean routes, extensive bike lanes and smaller bus systems. If there was ever a time to give it a shot – even if only once, even just to try it out – this week is it. Hit the road and you’ll find everything from pit stops offering giveaways and bike commuting tips and tricks, to happy hours for bikers (note: biking under the influence is dangerous – and illegal!). These special events are here to show you one thing – that biking to work is easy, safe, and will accomplish all of the items on the commute, gym, air, money list in a fraction of the time.

Some of the highlights of Bike to Work Day tomorrow, Thursday May 19th, in Venice and Santa Monica are:

Ride the bus free with your bike: Too far to bike the whole thing? Did you know you can use Google Maps to find both bike and bus routes? Give it a try on Thursday by riding free when you bring your bike along – you might be surprised how nice it is to catch up on Facebook, clean out your email or read a book on your way to work. [Big Blue Bus]

Pit stop at Santa Monica REI: - Stop by REI Santa Monica to join us in celebrating our love of bike commuting! We’ll be on the steps all morning with snack, prizes and a tech to help keep your bike in tune! Check out Metro LA’s webpage to register for your chance to win an REI Novara and learn about the bike Buddy program and how you can ride Metro for Free! Celebrate Bike Week LA. Be part of the solution and take part in Metro’s 17th Annual Bike Week LA. [Metro/REI]

Pourtal happy hour:  – Celebrate Bike to Work Day with us at Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar. Pourtal will be donating 15% of all tasting sales to LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke all night with Happy Hour food and wine specials offered 4 to 7pm and free bike valet. Plus there will be a chance to win some other cool prizes, including free wine! [Santa Monica Spoke]

There’s already a list of reasons as long as the bike path that should convince you biking to work is better than driving. The environment, the saved costs, the health advantages – but how about the fact that biking to work in LA is actually faster than driving on commutes of 2 – 7 miles?


 

More great facts about biking to work, courtesy of Bike Beats Car and Larissa Klitzke:

Photo Courtesy of Bike Beats Car

  • Tired of wasting your life away waiting in LA traffic?
    • LA has the highest commuter stress in the nation: Most peak commuters suffer through 72 hours of stalled traffic each year, on top of their regular commutes.
  • See how it feels to skip the lines…
    • Biking is usually faster than driving for urban commutes of 2 to 7 miles.
    • At an average of 10 mph, biking 5 miles will take you only 25 minutes.
  • Propel your health…
    • At 500 calories an hour, new bicycle commuters can expect to lose 15-20 pounds during their first year of bicycle commuting.
  • Stop paying for gas…
    • The average American pays $8,776 to drive 15,000 miles each year…
    • About $1,851 of that annual cost is drained at the pump: Average fuel costs increased since last year to 12.34 cents a mile for sedans.
  • Your wallet will thank you for it!
    • Ask your employer about the Bicycle Commuter Act to be reimbursed up to $20 a month for your biking expenses!
  • Save the air.
    • LA transportation accounts for nearly half of its annual carbon emissions, a massive 24.8 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year.
    • Bike commuting saves 3.6 pounds of pollutants per mile.
  • Pedal your way up in your career.
    • Studies show that biking can improve your work performance and reduce both actual and perceived stress at work.
  • Be fearless.
    • You’re almost twice as likely to die from an hour in a car as an hour on bike. Just wear a helmet, use lights at night, and follow the rules of the road. You’ll be just fine!
  • Be different…
    • Although fewer than 2% of Americans are regular bike commuters, our numbers have been steadily rising in recent years. So join the revolution TODAY to prove that you can be better than all those LA gas guzzlers!

Did you know that 40% of all urban travel in the US happens within 2 miles of where people live? 90% of that travel is by car! Take the Clif 2-Mile Challenge – CLIF BAR is out to inspire our friends to avoid 100,000 car trips – and will award $100,000 in grants along the way! All you have to do to participate is register, pick your team and start pedaling your bike to earn points and move the goodness forward.

 

 

About the author

Laura is a lover of all things Westside. As a bike commuter, she is naturally limited to finding everything you need west of Lincoln - and is perfectly happy with that. Laura can almost always be found somewhere between the Farmer's Market and Hinano/Whaler/Baja/Waterfront on any given Sunday.

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