California State University, Long Beach
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Campus To Hold Three Days Of Biking Events In Month Of May

Published: May 16, 2011

CSULB will be a wheeler’s paradise in May when Parking Administration’s Rideshare Sustainable Transportation Program sponsors three days of biking events.

On Wednesday, May 18, and Saturday, May 21, the CSULB community will have a chance to learn how to ride their bikes on city streets by attending Traffic Skills 101 parts one and two. The May 18 event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Pyramid Annex and the May 21 event from 9 a.m. in Lot 20.

Thursday, May 19, is Bike to Work Day at CSULB and the campus will host a Pit Stop for cyclists from 6 to 9 a.m. at Facilities Management on Palo Verde between Atherton and State University Drive. The Pit Stop is a free service for all cyclists who bike to work/school that day. No registration is necessary.

“We’ll be offering refreshments and cycling related give-away items, including new T-shirts,” said Parking Administration’s Elissa Thomas.” From 7 to 9 a.m., Jax Bikes mechanics will provide free 12-point safety inspections to make sure everything is fine between the spokes: brake checks, tire straightening, chain tension, lubrication, smooth gear shifting and other essentials for a safe ride.”

Thomas encourages the university to turn out for both parts of Traffic Skills 101. “Most of us were taught to ride a bike by a parent when we were very small and our bike education ended at that time,” she said. “In fact, we were simply taught how to ride without falling down too often, but few of us were ever taught how to drive our bicycle in traffic. Traffic Skills 101 fills that gap. It is driver’s ed for cyclists.

The class is taught in two sessions, one interactive in-class informational session and one on-road session with a personal trainer. This class is free for students, faculty and staff and their families, and was recommended by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster in his ‘Five Things in Long Beach You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Week’ e-letter of April 18.

Instructors are volunteers from Long Beach Cyclists. “They are all league certified instructors from the League of American Bicyclists, which recently awarded CSULB a Gold designation as a Bicycle Friendly Business and a Silver Designation as a Bicycle Friendly University,” said Thomas.

Registration can be completed through the campus rideshare website.

The May events continue a campus biking tradition “This will be the third year that the Rideshare Sustainable Transportation Program is sponsoring these events,” said Thomas. “This year, we expect the events to become more popular as gas prices continue to rise and people turn to both cycling and transit as inexpensive and sustainable alternatives to driving a car.”

These events are part of a continuum of bicycling programs and services offered by CSULB Rideshare. “Each month during fall and spring semesters, Jax Bikes comes to campus to do the free bike safety checks and Long Beach Cyclists comes to campus to conduct Traffic Skills 101,” said Thomas. “We are looking to expand these services by adding Bike Maintenance Clinics, taught by Jax, and reducing bike theft by offering secured indoor bike parking provided by Bikestation.”

“The mission of the program is to reduce emissions by offering safe, accessible and environmentally responsible commuting options to students, faculty and staff,” explained Thomas. “This goal is in keeping with local, state and federal clean air policies which strive to prevent human and environmental illness and reduce single operator vehicle congestion.”

Thomas encourages the campus to get off the fence and onto their bikes. “There’s never been a better time to ride,” she said. “I can personally say that for short commutes, such as my own two-mile trip, you can get from home to campus in the same amount of time it takes do make the same trip by car. The city of Long Beach has nearly doubled the bike facilities around here from 100 miles to 170 miles of bike lanes, and the campus has approved a plan to expand the number of bike lanes on the campus itself. The best part of cycling is arriving at your destination energized and feeling positive, which is a great alternative to struggling with car traffic and parking congestion.”

–Richard Manly