It’s Bike Month! Focus: Los Angeles and Long Beach

Photo of CicLAvia by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
Photo of CicLAvia by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
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One could argue that every month oughta be Bike Month in Los Angeles and Long Beach, or could be if its bike infrastructure kept up better with the weather. With CicLAvia and other open streets events taking place on a regular basis all year long, it might be silly to pin down one month to be Bike Month – but it’s worth celebrating this beautiful machine anyway.

Officially, Bike Week is May 15 through 19, and Bike Day is Thursday, May 18. There are a lot of supportive and celebratory events planned.

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Bike Day for all riders. That can double the length of any bike ride one feels ready to make. All Metro buses have room for 2-3 bikes on their front-loading racks. If you’ve never loaded your bike on a bus rack, or maybe if you have and are nervous about it, check out this video ahead of time to see how easy it is.

Metro also reminds riders that it provides bike lockers and bike hubs, where you can lock up your bikes safely while you ride transit, in case you don’t want to bring it with you all the way.

But it’s Metrolink that is really offering the big deal. Any rider who brings a bike onboard – and there’s a bike car on every train – will ride fare-free during all of Bike Week, from May 15-19.

Metro Bike Share will also celebrate Bike Day and the day after with pop-up events around town to offer bike commuters snacks, coffee, and fun bike stuff from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. These will pop up at the North Hollywood B Line (Red) Station on May 18 and Downtown Santa Monica E Line (Expo) Station on May 19. But there are multiple “pit stops” planned on these days; check the calendar for a full listing.

Metro Bike Share is also offering a steep discount on its thirty-day pass during Bike Month (one measly dollar gets you endless thirty-minute bike rides throughout May). You need to sign up online or use the Metro Bike Share mobile app and you do need access to a debit or credit card. For the thirty-day pass, use promo code BIKEMONTH23.

Bike-share is also free for everyone on May 18 (limited to 30-minute rides). On that day, use a debit or credit card at any kiosk and enter the promo code 051823. The code can be redeemed multiple times for as many 30-minute rides you want, all day. Rides longer than thirty minutes will be charged $1.75 per half hour thereafter, so be sure to return the bike to a kiosk within that first half hour. Metro is also waiving its extra fee for electric bikes that day.

Metro and BikeLA (formerly the L.A. County Bike Coalition) are hosting free bike classes lead by League of American Bicyclists-Certified Instructors (LCIs) during May, including instruction (in English or Spanish) on fixing a flat tire and what you need to know to commute by bike. Information on classes here.

What would Bike Month be without a competition and chances to win stuff? Riders who log their miles and trips on Ridematch are eligible for a number of cool prizes. Sponsors Around the Cycle, Electric Bike Company, and Unchained Bicycle Garage are offering the prizes, which include helmets, bicycle locks, and gift cards.

Other Bike Month events include a “CicLAmini” in Watts on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The “minis” are less bike-y than regular CicLAvias – compact, neighborhood-oriented routes mostly for walking, but appropriate for slow riders, including beginners and kids. “Expect things like self-guided walking tours, scavenger hunts, street games, local business engagements, and art and cultural activities for all ages,” says the calendar listing.

On the morning of May 27, Metro Bike Share and Metro Art will host a community ride. It will begin at Union Station and highlight the newly installed Metro Art exhibition, “Journeys,” as well as community art along the route. “Participants will be taken on a multimodal journey ending at Exposition Park and be witness to many sites of public artwork along the way.” Register ahead of time to ensure a space.

Long Beach will not be left behind in Bike Month.

On May 6 – Saturday – the city of Long Beach will hold events to encourage people to donate unused bikes for refurbishing and donation by Pedal Movement. That will take place at six different locations in the LB.

May 20 will also see Long Beach hosting another of its popular open streets events: “Beach Streets Downtown.” The free family-friendly car-free festival will open Broadway and other streets (see map) where people can walk, bike, skate, and socialize. There will be music, food, and games for the kids.

And on May 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the city of Long Beach will host a thirty-mile community bike ride along the Marina Green. The event is free, and “suitable for beginning to intermediate bike riders who are comfortable riding on bike paths and on streets.” Preregistration at the above link is required.

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