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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June 6, 2014 – Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica Bike Center

RE: Bike Friendly Business Program Update
The Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Program, through the League of American Bicyclists, recognizes employers for their efforts to encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for employees, customers, and community members who ride bicycles. It aims to unify and recognize local cycling advocates who already exist in the business community, supplementing their efforts as bike friendly employers and informing the community of their forward thinking actions. These efforts are quantified through four areas: education, engineering, encouragement, and evaluation/planning.

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League of American Bicyclists News

Santa Monica Partnership Boosts Biking

This post comes to us from Abbey Beal, the Outreach Coordinator at Bike and Park, LLC, which is the operator of the Santa Monica Bike Center. The Bike Center became a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business this round, and it also worked alongside the City of Santa Monica to encourage and assist four business in the area to apply and receive designations.

Read more about the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Business awardees here.

The Santa Monica Bike Center has pioneered a commuter cycling movement in Santa Monica, Calilf., and has become a hub of various bicycling activities and advocacy efforts. The facility is owned by the City of Santa Monica and operated by Bike and Park Santa Monica LLC, demonstrating an effective public/private partnership. Together, we have created a first class commuter cycling facility geared towards increasing bike trips into downtown Santa Monica. Since our inception, the City of Santa Monica has seen a 67% increase in bike count data and the citywide bicycling mode share has increased to 5%. 

Our partnership with the City of Santa Monica demonstrates how public and private sectors can successfully work together to create a thriving bike culture. An essential part of our Bicycle Friendly Business strategy has been developing collaborative relationships with local municipalities. A primary benefit of this collaboration has been the ability to combine resources and strengthen the overall cycling fabric of Santa Monica.

Our initial efforts to reach Platinum were inspired by the City of Santa Monica’s Bronze level Bike Friendly Community designation. In response to this inspiration, we applied and received a Silver level Bike Friendly Business designation in January 2012. The application process and feedback received helped us understand our strengths and weaknesses and where we needed to focus attention to improve.

In the two years since we first applied, we have continually seen the value in the Bike Friendly America program. We now actively promote the program and use it as a tool to get more businesses to realize the value of bike friendliness in an effort to advance Santa Monica’s cycling culture. To leverage the full potential of the program locally, we initiated the application for Santa Monica College to become Bike Friendly University certified!

The Bike Friendly America program has widespread application in any community, and we are continually searching for unique ways to engage our local businesses with the program. Each business has distinct opportunities to incorporate bicycling into their overall business model, and we see our role as being facilitators for understanding and utilizing those opportunities. Being in the bicycle industry, bike friendliness is in our DNA, and sharing that knowledge and expertise with local businesses helps ensure bicyclists are better accommodated communitywide.

Our newly achieved Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business designation is truly an honor, and we will continue to strive for bike friendly stardom. It is through consciously considering the needs of both our employees and customers that we are able to fully accommodate all types of cyclists.

We would also like to congratulate the City of Santa Monica, Crossroads School of the Arts and Sciences, Areal Restaurant, and Co-opportunity Natural Foods for their Bike Friendly Business designations! We’re up to six BFBs in Santa Monica! We applaud all of the recipients across the country, and thank the League for creating such a valuable program for the cycling community. We feel tremendous momentum for this program locally and nationally in the coming years! Consider us a resource if you have any questions regarding getting started on your bike friendly journey!

Learn more about the Santa Monica Bike Center here, and read up on how your business can become a Bicycle Friendly Business here.



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