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Santa Monica Goes Bike Crazy in May

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

May 3, 2013 -- As part of National Bike Month, Santa Monica is challenging workers and residents to ditch their cars, including City staff, who are competing with Bike Center members and employees to see who can ride their bikes more.

The challenge, which began on May 1, is part of a national bike challenge that runs until the end of September and encourages participants to commute by bike to score points for their team.

“Join Santa Monica Bike Center and let's beat City of Santa Monica with the most miles pedaled this summer,” the Facebook page for the event reads. “Winner gets a party.”

As of Thursday, the Bike Center's 19-member team -- made up of employees and some of its more than 200 members -- has managed to hit second place on a list of 65 California teams by logging in 530 miles, according to a website that allows participants to report their daily commutes.

The City of Santa Monica, however, has a team of two and has managed only 10 miles since the challenge started.

“Maybe they didn't get our email,” said Bike Center General Manager Ron Durgin. A call by The Lookout to the City's transportation division went unanswered.

Currently, the Bike Center's team is second only to the “Sierra Nevada Cyclepaths,” a team that represents the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, a Chico-based microbrewery.

Durgin, who is also captain of the Bike Center's team, mused about asking the “Cyclepaths” to “kick down” a keg of beer should they lose to the Bike Center.

For more information visit

As part of Bike Month, Santa Monica is getting ready for another “Bike it! Walk it!” Week from May 7 to May 10.

As part of the week-long events, students from all of Santa Monica and Malibu's schools will be encouraged to get to school without cars.

Last Fall, “approximately 30 percent of District students at 14 different schools participated,” officials said, “saving approximately 12,000 car trips.”

Throughout the week, different schools will designate a day for their students to either walk, ride bikes or take buses to school.

The week also marks the end of a Car-Free Contest for four of those schools -- John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary School and Will Rogers Learning Community.

The Car-Free contest was “a friendly competition geared to making walking and biking to school a healthy habit,” officials said. In March, one Will Rogers first-grader biked a total of 19 miles for the contest.

The four schools continued to log their students' car-free efforts and will announce more awards during the week.

For more information about Bike It! Walk It! Week visit

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