BIKEable Communities and Molina Health Care hosted the 1st Long Beach Bike Round table last week where attendees got to hear from a variety of people who are helping to make Long Beach one of the most bike friendly cities in the US. As I think that you will see from the notes below what people in Long Beach are doing is truly impressive.
Looking forward be sure to mark Wednesday March 4 on your calendar for the next Long Beach bike round table where we will have at least two speakers including the new executive director of the LACBC, Tamika Butler. We will also have updates on how you can be involved in the Beach Streets and Bike Fest events.
As we talked about at the meeting it takes much more than just efforts within City Hall to make a Great Bike Friendly City. It truly does take the work of a dedicated community. And from what was so evident last Wednesday…we do have that dedicated community.
Below are some of the events that stood out for me.
Over the next few days I’ll add a few more highlights to the list including the soon to come Long Beach Bike Share (hopefully), some very cool new bike storage options offered through Bikestation, what is happening with Bike Education in Long Beach via Kellie Morris and her colleagues in North Long Beach and the Bicycle Worlds Fair coming in 2017 courtesy of Charlie Gandy and the California Bicycle Coalition.
Once again…save the date….Wednesday March 4, 6:30 pm…Molina Center (6th and Pine)
- The upcoming Beach Streets event (Long Beach’s version of Ciclovia): According to Nate Baird (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Beach Streets event just about has the final approval from the funding agency (Metro) and is scheduled for north Long Beach in June. In the next few weeks Nate will be inviting people to submit proposals for events associated with Beach Streets. If you have something you feel would fit into the Beach Streets event, please send Nate an e-mail outlining your ideas.
- Tour of Long Beach: One of the premiere bicycle fundraising events on the West Coast, the Tour of Long Beach is scheduled for Saturday May 9. The tour offers something for everyone ranging from a 5 mile family ride, a picturesque 30-mile course, a 62 mile ride through Long Beach to Huntington Beach and 100-mile Cruz Grand Fondo. Last year this ride raised over $100,000 for Millers Children’s Hospital in Long Beach. For more on the event see http://www.touroflongbeach.com/. Blair Cohn is a key contact for the Tour of Long Beach.
- Bike Fest: Bike Fest is scheduled for Saturday May 30th in the East Village of Downtown Long Beach. Again this year the event will feature everything from vintage bikes, bike fashion, short course bike races, live music and a beer garden. For more details follow this link. Gina Dartt and Brian Addison at the DLBA are the key contacts for Bike Fest.
- El Dorado Bike Racing: The El Dorado Park race series, which is sponsored by BIKEable Communities, is one of the longest running race midweek race series in the nation. If you want to try bike racing…this is a great place to start. You do need a race license, which can be purchased through USA Cycling or at El Dorado Park before each race. Early in the year racing starts at 5:30 and moves to 6:00 as the days get longer.There is also at Time Trail series (10 miles long) that is great for Triathletes who want to get some race experience on their Tri bike. To find out more about the series go to the El Dorado Park Training Race FaceBook page. Racing starts on Tuesday March 10 and extends thought the last Tuesday of August. Allan Crawford and Evan Kelly are key contacts for the El Dorado Race Series.
- Beach Babe Classic: The Beach Babe Classic is one of four events in California Girl Series, which is aimed at getting more women to participate in bicycling. The event, which starts near the Aquarium of the Pacific in downtown Long Beach, offers 15 and 36 mile out and back courses from Long Beach to Seal Beach and Huntington Beach and back. The date is Saturday June 14. Janae Nobel runs the event and is the key contact.
- LA River Ride: The LA County Bike Coalitions River River Ride, which attracts over 2,000 riders has two starting points. One in at the Autry Center in Griffith Park and the other at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. This is a great opportunity to ride from Long Beach along the LA river to downtown LA and beyond. The LACBC is always looking for volunteers for the event. If you are interested in riding and/or volunteering see the LACBC River Ride website. April Economides is a past LACBC board member and Caryn Howard is a current Board Member. Both are Long Beach residents and can give you more information on the ride and the LACBC.
- Kidical Mass: Kidical Mass runs the 3rd Sunday of every month in Bixby Knolls is one of the most successful Kidical Mass events in the country. It routinely attracts over 100 participants each month for few mile ride through the beautiful neighborhoods in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. The event is designed to bring out kids and parents for a fun event that shows the benefits and joys of bicycling. Krista Leaders and Blair Cohn from the Bixby Knolls Business Association.
- Operation Firefly: From my perspective this is one of the coolest events going. This LACBC organized event gives away bike lights at selected locations throughout the county. And this year that includes 10 locations in Long Beach (one in each of the council districts and one on the Beach Bike Path). One a selected night a group of volunteers sets up from 5:00-7:00 pm, flagging down bicyclists who don’t have lights. They get them to fill out a survey and then give them a front and rear light. As we are all aware, riding at night without lights is dangerous. And far to many people throughout Long Beach do it on a regular basis. For each of the events the LACBC needs 6 volunteers. To find out more about the event and how to volunteer go to the operation firefly webpage
- Bike Valet: Two Long Beach residents who are prominent in both bike related advocacy and activities are Evan Kelly and Graham Baden. Both of these entrepreneurs offer bike valet services throughout the City. Check out the Pedal Movement website or contact Evan Kelly to find out more about setting up valet services for your events.