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Bike to Work Kicks Off; Downtown Activities Scheduled All Week

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, May 11, 2009, at 10:00AM
Bike to Work Week Kickoff Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Bart Simpson joins LA County Bicycle Coalition director Jennifer Klausner, LADOT chief Rita Robinson, Councilman Ed Reyes, Councilman Jose Huizar, Councilman Tom LaBonge and Metro CEO Art Leahy at a kickoff for Bike to Work Week.

Bart Simpson may be synonymous with a skateboard, but on Monday the FOX character took public transit to help Metro and city officials kick off Bike to Work week at Olvera Street.

The week brings a number of two-wheeled activities to Downtown, including Tuesday's Blessing of the Bicycles and a Wednesday pre-work ride.

Councilman Jose Huizar MC'ed the morning press conference, sporting bright white sneakers along with his suit. Huizar rode his bike from Boyle Heights to the event, and afterward continued his ride to City Hall. He spoke of the health and environmental benefits of commuting by bicycle, and told how vehicles need to understand that bicycles have the same right to the road that they do.

Also speaking were Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Ed Reyes, Metro CEO Art Leahy, LADOT chief Rita Robinson, Good Samaritan Hospital CEO Andrew Leeka, LA County Bicycle Coalition director Jennifer Klausner, and a random German tourist who LaBonge grabbed out of a tour group.

There is a full slate of Bike to Work Week activities scheduled for Downtown.

Tuesday morning at 8am, Good Samaritan Hospital will hold its 6th Annual Blessing of the Bicycles at 8am. Religious leaders from a variety of faiths will be on hand for the occasion, which will feature a lap around the hospital in honor of those injured or killed in bicycle accidents. The event takes from outside the hospital entrance at 616 S. Witmer, just a few blocks west of the 110 freeway.

On Wednesday morning, Metro invites cyclists to take a 25-minute ride around Downtown. After meeting up at the Civic Center Red Line station (1st & Hill), riders will travel south on Hill, west on 5th, south on Flower, east on 12th and north on Main, ending with a rally on the South Lawn of City Hall. The ride meets at 8am and departs at 8:30.

Thursday is officially Bike to Work Day, when cyclists are given a free ride on Metro trains and buses. "Pit stops" around the county will offer refreshments and giveaways from 6 - 9am. Downtown pit stops are at 634 S. Spring, City Hall, the Ronald Reagan Building (300 S. Spring) and Union Station.

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