City of West Hollywood Approves Citywide Public Bikeshare Program

City of West Hollywood Approves Citywide Public Bikeshare Program

 New Service will Deploy 150 ‘Smart Bikes’ in 20 Self-Service Stations in West Hollywood

 Program is Anticipated to Launch in Spring 2016

 WEST HOLLYWOOD, August 19, 2015 – The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Monday, August 17, 2015, approved the creation and implementation of a citywide public bikeshare program. West Hollywood’s new bikeshare, which is expected to launch in Spring 2016, will be operated by CycleHop, which plans and runs bikeshare programs throughout North America. CycleHop will also be launching compatible bikeshare programs in Santa Monica, in Beverly Hills, at UCLA, and in Long Beach in 2016.

“Bringing Bike Share to West Hollywood means more residents and visitors will have a transportation option that’s also great for a healthy lifestyle,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “The more bikers we have, the safer biking will become, which will eventually transform our
car-centric culture.”

West Hollywood’s bikeshare program will feature 150 Social Bicycles (“smart bikes”), which utilize wireless technology to allow riders to use a smartphone app to reserve bikes, pay for membership, and track and share ride data with friends in online social networks. The bicycles will feature light-emitting diode (LED) headlights and taillights, and cargo baskets. To tackle steep climbs to Sunset Strip, the smart bikes will feature eight gears. Twenty self-service stations will be constructed throughout the City, and the City will seek to locate a limited number of additional stations at key destinations outside City limits. The City will soon be launching a suggest-a-station website to solicit community input on desired bikeshare station locations citywide.

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‘It’s Like Riding a Bike’ Means Nothing to These Adults Trying to Learn – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Santa Monica, Calif., has a thriving cycling culture, with an extensive network of bike lanes. A commuter bike-loan program facilitates cycling to work. The city plans to unveil a bike-share program in November. But even here, plenty of people have no clue how to ride.

RPA, a Santa Monica-based advertising agency, learned that after it launched a program among its staff that included a charitable incentive for cycling. “We realized some of our young associates weren’t participating because they don’t know how to bike,” said RPA’s Annie Elliott.

So the agency hired Ron Durgin, co-founder of Sustainable Streets, a nonprofit that offers cycling classes, to teach the few employees brave enough to admit their deficiency.

As dozens of cyclists whizzed by on a shorefront bike path, Mr. Durgin rolled out basic bikes with hand brakes and no gears for the apprentices. The biggest challenge is overcoming the fear of falling, he said. “Adults have all these psychological barriers that kids don’t have.”




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New and Improved Bicycle Friendly Business Application!

With Aika Trading and Cyclepathic Fitness recently joining the ranks of Santa Monica most bicycle friendly businesses (see updated 2015 Santa Monica Bicycle Friendly Yearbook here), it’s time to let the business community know that the application has been updated and it is more efficient than ever!

The new format for the application includes multiple choice questions that allow for a faster and easier completion time (pilot testing reported average completion in 45 minutes). The new application also allows for quicker turn-around time on the designation and feedback reports. There is still plenty of opportunity for businesses to boast of their unique bicycle friendly efforts. There are now 4 deadlines per year, with the next one on July 15, 2015.

“Since the Bicycle Friendly Business program originally launched in 2008, nearly 1,300 businesses have applied, and over 960 businesses have been awarded the BFB designation.  Like the other Bicycle Friendly America programs, BFB applications have been on the rise in recent years, and we don’t expend this trend to change any time soon.  Here at the League, we have been thrilled to see growing enthusiasm for bicycling from among the private sector, and so we’re working hard to accommodate continued growth in demand for the BFB program.” – League of American Bicyclists

To support the continued growth of the Bicycle Friendly Business program, there is now an application fee, based on the number of employees at the location applying (only one location is allowed per application).  See the table below for pricing, including the discount through July 15!

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Useful Links:

BFB Applicatiion Preview

Attributes of BFB

BFB Overview Spring 2015

Full List of nationwide BFBs

Q&A with SMBC’s New General Manager!

As of May 1st long time employee, Andrea Aponte, officially became Bike Center General Manager. Ron Durgin remains a Managing Partner and is now overseeing implementation of Santa Monica’s new Bike Share. Andrea has been with us since opening day in November of 2011, working her way from Rental Assistant at the front desk to Assistant Manager and now General Manager. She’s also a certified League Cycling Instructor (teaching Adult Learn to Ride classes and Confident City Cycling classes).

1.How did you first become interested in cycling?

When I moved up to Los Angeles and began attending USC in 2004 I got back to riding a bike. I still owned a car at the time and it soon broke down on me. It was beyond repair so I decided to donate it and became inspired to practice what I preached in regards to my passion for the environment. I did not buy another car and instead started commuting by bicycle to campus and to my tutoring job in South LA. The more I rode, the more my interest grew. I started to educate myself and adopted a cycling lifestyle.

  1. What’s the story on your sweet pink road bike?

I’m not too much of a girly-girl, but my coral-colored Centurion Ironman bike is definitely the prettiest thing I own! The bike is about as old as I am, built around 1985. It totally compliments my love for all things vintage. It was a gift from my father-in-law, who’s also a cyclist. Despite its steel frame, I’ve now done two Centuries on it. One of its more interesting features is the small 24” front wheel.

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2015 Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards Bike Sponsorship

At this years 20th annual Sustainable Quality Awards, the Santa Monica Bike Center encouraged attendees to travel the emission free way to the most notable sustainable business event in Southern California. The Bike Center sponsored the ticket prices for the first 35 registrants that arrived by bike. This year’s initiative brought attention to the importance of bicycling as a direct way to reduce auto trips, meet GHG emission reduction commitments, and promote active living.

This sponsorship was a huge success, and over 30 people rode their bike to the event! This success reflects a dramatic increase in attendees who bicycled to the event. In 2014, only two people arrived to the Sustainable Quality Awards by bicycle.


In 2010 the City of Santa Monica adopted its Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) as part of Santa Monica’s General Plan. One of the important goals stated in the plan is, “to achieve numbers like those in Davis, California, where bicycling trips represent up to 14 percent of work trips, and Copenhagen, Denmark, where the number rises to over 35 percent (Santa Monica LUCE, 4.0-34).” The Sustainable Quality Award event attracts 250 attendees. Applying the City’s 14% goal to the number of attendees, at least 35 people should arrive by bike.

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SMPD Joins Forces with Bike Center to Promote “Smart Cycling” in Santa Monica — SANTA MONICA NEXT

Smart Cycling from SMDP

When we published our Bicycle Action Plan update a couple weeks ago, we wanted to highlight all the work that has been done in the last three years since the plan had been approved to encourage more bike riding in Santa Monica.

While the BAP has plenty of bike lanes, sharerows, and other infrastructure improvements outlined in its 300 pages, it also includes a robust plan for education, which the BAP champions as an important component for improving safety for all road users, whether they are on foot, on a bike, or in a car.

That’s why the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division and Community Affairs teamed up with the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Bike Center, and Perry’s Cafe to create a comprehensive and illustrated guide to “Smart Cycling in Santa Monica.”

The guide, a four page color brochure, explains with clear graphics what the rights and responsibilities are for people riding bikes in the city.

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National Bike Challenge 2014 Results

Santa Monica Bike Center

National Bike Challenge 2014 Results

In its third year, the League of American Bicyclists hosted the annual National Bike Challenge uniting over 47,000 bicyclists nationwide to compete for awards based on team, community, workplace, and individual performance. The Challenge motivates riders of all levels and experience to log bicycling miles for both transportation and sport.

Melissa Koepke, an employee of the Santa Monica Bike Center, states, “After seeing so many others commute by bike, it has made me appreciate my small commute that much more!”

In the workplace category, Santa Monica Bike Center employees pedaled over 17,000 miles to a first place finish in the Bike Shop/Bike Industry sub-category. Likewise, City of Santa Monica employees finished 26th out of 276 in their workplace category. Koepke adds, “I never added up the miles I would ride in a week until the bike challenge. It definitely makes me feel good to see the amount of miles I’ve ridden since the start of the challenge. It pushes me to want to do even more miles!”

The City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Bike Center and local advocates also joined forces to formulate a community-wide team called ‘Bike Santa Monica.’ City Manager, Rod Gould an avid rider for the team states, “In 2011 City Council made a significant community investment via the bicycle action plan.” Francie Stefan, another team rider and Transportation and Strategic Planning Manager for the City of Santa Monica, notes, “Santa Monica has seen an increase in bicycling by over 50% in only two years.”

Together team Bike Santa Monica placed 14th out of 1100 teams nationwide. “Nearly three years later, our success in the National Bike Challenge demonstrates the positive impact bicycling has in Santa Monica. To pedal 97,000 miles in five months is an outstanding accomplishment,” adds Rod Gould.

For a complete list of award winners and team results see the League of American Bicyclists news page. Each year the challenge improves and gets more competitive with more participants! We look forward to the 2015 Challenge! Pedal on and ride safe!


How the National Bike Challenge Positively Impacts Cyclists in Santa Monica

The National Bike Challenge has swept through the Santa Monica cycling culture and empowered avid and new riders alike. Team Bike Santa Monica, a community-inspired team aimed at encouraging all skill-level riders, young and old, to keep track of their miles ridden each day and log them for the team. This camaraderie has given traction to several excellent cycling events, happy hours, socials, and rides that have benefited and improved the overall cycling fabric and community in Santa Monica.

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Team Bike and Park Santa Monica rides in the 2014 BikeMS Coastal Challenge!

Several of the Santa Monica Bike Center employees are riding together to bring us closer to a world free of Multiple Sclerosis. The awareness created through this amazing ride not only raises money for MS research, but also creates invaluable camaraderie among its participants. On October 11th, we will pedal north from the Santa Monica Civic Center to Ventura for the night, and then to Santa Barbara on an incredible 2-day ride up the California Coast.

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Santa Monica featured on

Soaking up the sunshine in Santa Monica

by Louise Evans on 30 June 2014, 11:06AM

It’s not often you’re actively encouraged to eat sweet treats in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. In fact, this beach city on the West Coast is renowned for its all-round healthy-living lifestyle. From eating to exercising, Soulcycle (a spinning class in a club environment), IOBELLA (exercising in temperature-controlled pods), M7 fitness (a private pilates centre) and beach yoga are popular and sought-after fitness trends here. The laid-back outdoor healthy lifestyle is the norm. The famed local farmers market (with street stalls on Arizona and Second Street every Wednesday and Saturday) is the bread and butter of the Santa Monica scene, with most of the restaurants chefs sourcing their food fresh as well as many if the avid locals. The farm-to-fork movement isn’t just a mantra here; it’s a way of life.


So how did I end up scoffing my way through fresh peppermint and chocolate ice cream (organic and freshly made that morning albeit), rich homemade, delectable dark chocolate bites, miniature Mexican cookies, caramel brownies and a fat wedge of organic, gluten-free, carrot cake slathered in butter cream in the space of three hours, one morning?


Because I was on the Sweets Tour, which is a new concept from The Santa Monica Bike Centre (based on Second Street). The idea is a great way to see the sights of Santa Monica, combined with visits to hand-picked, local tasty treat hotspots. In sunny Santa Monica bikes are a handy way to get around, although 80% of visitors are happy enough on foot (not a bad percentage considering we’re in car-crazy LA). But this beautiful beach city breaks any pre-conceptions of LA you might have had. Exploring by bike is a great way to see the sights, and the sweet treat tour took us through Santa Monica and nearby neighbourhoods, including Brentwood, which many celebs call home, including Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

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