Santa Monica Encourages Bike Use with New Tours and Lots of Rental Bikes
On the heels of a city-wide bicycle movement, the Santa Monica Bike Center is introducing a variety of urban bicycle tours to help lead the charge. Located two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Bike Center offers repair services, bike education classes, full day bicycle rentals, and comes equipped with a 24 hour secure-access bicycle station with showers and lockers for its more than 200 members, making it the largest facility of its kind in the nation. The new bike tours feature Santa Monica’s charming beach town surroundings and landmarks, and allow locals and visitors to discover Santa Monica from the unique perspective of a bicycle.
“Encouraging more people to bicycle is a key element of the strategy, set forth in our 2011 Bike Action Plan. Santa Monica’s 20-year plan calls for walking, biking and transit to replace new car trips at a rate of at least 1 for 1 by 2030. ” Said Lucy Dyke, the City of Santa Monica’s Transportation Planning Manager. “Partnerships, programs and encouragement are essential to our success. The Santa Monica Bike Center is an excellent example.”
The new tour program showcases the Bike Center’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by offering exposure to the City’s unforgettable sights and attractions without the use of fossil fuels. Participating in a bike tour not only reduces one’s environmental footprint for the day, but also provides locals and visitors with an appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the “car-free” lifestyle via actual hands-on experience. More butts on bikes means less cars, less congestion, less noise and air pollution, and more smiling faces.
The Santa Monica Bike Center offers a variety of tours, each with a unique route and theme. In addition to seeing world famous sites like the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and Venice Beach, tour participants will also experience some of West LA’s favorite hidden gems. The Urban Farm Tour explores local Westside farms and gardens; the Street Art Tour will give patrons an appreciation for West Coast legal graffiti; the Sweet Spots Dessert Tour will make even the most health-conscious person feel good about indulging; and the Walking Food Tour highlights some of the best grub on LA’s urban coast.
“The Santa Monica Bike Center is on the forefront of pioneering a commuter cycling culture in Santa Monica and has spurred an international appreciation for the community and its varied and accessible bicycle infrastructure,” says Abbey Beal, Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for the Santa Monica Bike Center. Indeed, the tours have already been prominently featured on Brazil’s popular lifestyle and culture television talk show Estudio I; in the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand’s highest circulated newspaper; and a popular travel blog in the UK called Travelbag.
The tours are a great opportunity to demonstrate that cities are not just for cars. Using sustainable transportation, the Bike Center is helping to expose residents and visitors to a different side of Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles.