We kicked off Bike Week with a press conference in Grand Park on Monday morning (our Flickr pics from the event, and Daily News photos). Pam O’Connor, Mayor of Santa Monica and Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, challenged Angelenos to “make L.A. a world class city for cycling.” O’Connor also introduced two new Metro initiatives: a two-year/20-ride partnership with C.I.C.L.E. and a partnership with LACBC and BikeSGV to provide bicycle safety classes this summer.
Several community leaders spoke at the Bike Week press conference, including Los Angeles Councilmember Ed Reyes, Metrolink Director of Public Affairs Jeff Lustgarten, President and CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital Andy Leeka, South Pasadena Councilmember Michael Cacciotti, Culver City Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, C.I.C.L.E. Executive Director Dan Dabek, LACBC Education Director Colin Bogart, and Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera. Our favorite quotes included the following:
- “Bicycles are the common thread that connects us—to buses, to trains, and to this great city.” – Los Angeles Councilmember Ed Reyes
- “We’re proud of the growth of cycling in Southern California, and we’re doing everything we can to support it.” — Metrolink Director of Public Affairs Jeff Lustgarten
- “I love it when gas prices go up…It’s great for Mother Earth, it’s great for fitness, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.” — President and CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital Andy Leeka
- Challenging all elected officials to pledge to ride their bikes this week, South Pasadena Councilmember Michael Cacciotti said simply, “Ditch your car and get on your bike.”
- “Commuting can be the best part of your day—if you’re on a bike.” — Culver City Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells
- “You’ll see more and more improvements every year and more and more bicyclists… This is not a blip, this is a movement.” – Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor
Yesterday, Good Samaritan Hospital honored Councilmember Bill Rosendahl with their annual Golden Spokes Award, in recognition of his tireless bicycle advocacy. The Councilmember is retiring from public service due to some health issues. Council District 11 staffer Paul Backstrom accepted the award on his behalf. Check out our pics from the event on our Flickr page. You’ll find lots of folks enjoying the refreshments and company provided by Good Samaritan Hospital. Its probably my favorite Bike Week event year in and year out.
The full list of Metro-sponsored Bike Week events, including a guide to today’s “Guided Rides” events, and a map of the pit stops for tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, are on Metro’s bike website. Among others, Metro, LADOT, Metrolink, and Culver CityBus will be offering free transit service to bicyclists on Bike to Work Day. Let us know what you’ll be doing to celebrate Bike Week in the comments section.