National Bike Month Activities Rolling Along in Beverly Hills

Every weekday, Beverly Hills resident Jared Gonzales rides his bike down Gregory Way, crossing Robertson Boulevard and turning left on Doheny Drive until he reaches Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, where he teaches middle school math. 

While he will be simply following his normal routine on National Bike Day May 16—part of National Bike Month—he expects to feel an added sense of pride.  

“I’m super psyched about this month,” Gonzales said. 

National Bike Month dates to the 1950s, but in the last five years Beverly Hills has ramped up its programming to promote bicycling as a fun, sustainable and healthy mode of transportation, Transportation Planner Jessie Holzer Carpenter told the Courier. 

This year, the month-long celebration began with the family-friendly “May the 4th Be With You!” Family Bike Ride (held, as you might guess, on May 4), where about 20 bikers got free tune-ups courtesy of Culver City nonprofit Walk n’ Rollers before heading for a “galaxy themed” ride around the southwest area.  

“We had support from our Beverly Hills Police Department to help get riders across busy intersections safely, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from residents who participated in the ride,” Holzer Carpenter added.  

The city encouraged students to ditch the car commute for National Bike and Walk to School Day on May 8, and will host a pitstop at Beverly Gardens Park for those participating in National Bike to Work Day on May 16, she said.  

During the May 19 Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market, Walk n’ Rollers returns for free tune-ups and a used bicycle collection. All cycles and spare parts collected will be souped up and donated to less fortunate community members, Holzer Carpenter said.

Until the end of May, bicyclists can also win prizes by downloading the “Love to Ride” app and tracking their rides and providing feedback as part of the “Make Every Ride Count” challenge.  

“We’ve been expanding our programming over the last couple of years, and I think this year we’ve had the most robust programming so far,” Holzer Carpenter said.  

Gonzales was also pleased by the city’s offerings this month, but he thought there was still some room to improve going forward, especially concerning education. 

Getting stuck behind a bicyclist is a common frustration for drivers, even if the cyclist is riding on a street without bike lanes and therefore has the right of way, Gonzales said. But bikers can employ what he called “a courtesy roll,” a technique where they get closer to the curb and let drivers pass by them, to help move things along.  

“If maybe there were some kind of educational effort around [that] … I think it would make it a lot more enticing for commuters to share the road with cyclists,” Gonzales said. 

Whether or not driving lanes should be designated for bicycles is another common source of tension between cyclists and motorists, Gonzales also suggested that National Bike Month could include opportunities for drivers and riders to gather and try to find some common ground. 

“We can kind of figure out together … some possible solutions or improvements to the existing and future developments of our cycling-friendly city,” Gonzales said. 

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