I like SM and I cannot lie…

I want to go to there! Credit: http://www.bikesm.com

Readers may note my tendency to post news from afar (specifically, Europe) in this section and I cannot fault you for thinking I may have some sort of preference for that continent, but the truth is I LOVE Santa Monica (that title is a cheap ploy to get you to read this post, I agree…).  This city is easily one of my favorites in the whole entire world and most certainly one of the most beautiful (with the most agreeable weather).  Every time I drive down the California Incline to PCH on a sunny day (alas, my bike skills are not advanced enough for this trip yet), I have to pinch myself that I am a resident here.  Thus, in this spirit, I shall offer some local love on a very exciting development in my backyard: the Community Bike Center!

The deets, courtesy of surfsantamonica.com:

Downtown Santa Monica will get over 350 new bike parking spaces by the end of the summer, and quite a bit more, [Santa Monica’s Transportation Demand Manager Annette] Colfax said.

The new center, split between Parking Structures 7 and 8 at Santa Monica Place, will offer more than just parking spaces for bike, she said.

It will “increase ease and use of bicycling in Santa Monica, with outreach, education and secure bike parking,” said Colfax.

Attended parking, a self-service repair area, showers and lockers will be available at the corner of Second Street and Colorado Avenue. Access to parking, showers and lockers will be members-only.

A strip running along Second Street will have approximately 90 parking spaces available to non-members.

And bicyclists will be able to find “secure, access-controlled” parking and lockers at Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue. While this part of the center won’t have an attendant, access will require a membership pass.

Colfax emphasized that education and information would be an important part of the new center.

Bike and Park, LLC, which will run the facility under a city contract, will partner with the non-profit Sustainable Streets to offer regular classes on bike safety and repair, she said.

The classes will most likely cost a nominal fee with possible discounts for members, Colfax said.

The city hasn’t determined the price for membership yet, but Colfax said it may cost around $25 a month, with discounts for annual passes.

She also mentioned an informal bike-share program for Downtown employees, which would tentatively cost around $35 for 6 months.

“We want this to be a community hub for bicycling,” said Colfax.

Look, Ma, this is what I do when I'm not auditioning for Transformers 4!! Credit: http://entertainment.wikia.com/wiki/File:Baywatch.jpg

Next time you have visitors/relatives in town and you want to show them that you do indeed live the Baywatch life, rent bikes from one of many Perry’s Cafe locations along the beach or take an electric bike tour of Santa Monica with Pedal…or Not.  Biking beats the hell out of looking for parking on of those stupid beach lots or announcing your tourist status to the world on one of those open-top double-decker sightseeing buses.  (And, no, this is not a paid announcement.)

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