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June 2011
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Much to Celebrate!

Long Beach has won another prestigious “active” living honor – not a medal, or a certificate, but the honor of hosting the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in September 2012. Kudos to Charlie Gandy, all of the Bike Long Beach team, and our own Convention and Visitors Bureau for their tireless efforts to make this happen.

The newly revamped Transit Mall downtown, showcasing the new Bikestation and a Hybrid Bus by Allan Crawford

This beautiful image of the newly revamped Long Beach Transit Mall, and the brand new Bikestation facility at First and the Promenade in downtown Long Beach was taken by our own Allan Crawford very recently. We’re thrilled it’s one of the official images that will be used to promote next year’s conference.

This is a great opportunity to showcase the broad variety of active living facilities Long Beach has blooming around our city, from new bicycle infrastructure, to new urban parks, new public art, old buildings being revitalized for new purposes and more. I am not for a moment forgetting the challenges our city (and so many like us) face right now; it’s important to stop, give credit where it’s due and celebrate when the opportunities present themselves.

At the end of the month I have the privilege of speaking at the Dwell on Design Conference June 26th on a panel called, “Are Two Wheels Better Than Four?” Am I ready to give up car trips? No. I would be heart broken if I thought I’d never again have the ability to jump in a car and take off to San Luis Obispo or some other beautiful local for a long weekend. But I’ve now lived car free for over four years here in Long Beach and I miss owning a car far far less than I ever thought. One big reason is that I live in a city with good public transportation and, of course, the second reason is my rediscovery of riding a bike. I have been riding a bike again now for two years. Between public transportation and my bike, or the combination of the two, I can get just about anywhere I want to go in Long Beach. If I want to go even farther I can jump on the train;  hello Hollywood or Pasadena!

Do I get there as fast as I would by car? No. I simply have to plan my time better and what I’ve gained makes it all worthwhile. When on the bus I gain reading time. When walking to the bus or taking my bike,  I’ve gained regular exercise and the opportunity to get to know my city better. Working from home means I spend hours by myself, so I enjoy the time when I get out for errands and appointments. I get to see gardens full of flowers as we move towards the summer solstice and I simply would never have time to notice if I were always in a car.

 

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