If you’re tired of dealing with traffic day in and day out, why not try riding your bike? The Bike to Bikestation event hosted by CycleMAYnia promoted biking as a convenient and economical way to commute.
Located on Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara, the Bikestation is a secure, 24-hour storage facility with a number of resources for its members including showers, bathrooms, storage lockers, and a workstation for repairing bikes. The station encourages people to use their bicycles by eliminating the fear of bike theft and the inconvenience of parking. It even has a vending machine with small bike gear such as patch repair kits, and small toiletry items. “It’s like having a mini-hotel downtown,” said Barbara Davies, a Bike to Bikestation volunteer.
CycleMAYnia is a collaboration between the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and Traffic Solutions, geared toward finding alternative forms of transportation, reducing traffic, and creating a safe community for bikers. As Davies put it, Santa Barbara is creating a bike-able, walk-able, livable community. Das Williams, Democratic candidate for State Assembly, gave his support at the event, riding his own electric tricycle to the station. “Appreciate bicycle commuters, they make life easier for you,” Williams said, addressing motorists about sharing the road.
In celebration of Bike Month, the Bikestation is offering to waive the standard $20 a month membership fee for anyone who signs up now. There are a number of different plans based on individual need, such as the $30 for 30-days plan, which allows the member to use the station on any day (they don’t have to be consecutive days) for up to 30 days. Employers are also encouraged to jump on the bandwagon; registering employees with the Bikestation confers tax refunds for businesses: Under the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2008, employers can claim an IRS deduction of up to $20 a month by providing bike parking for their employees. Williams called this idealistic and economical.
CycleMAYnia will be hosting other bicycle-related events for the rest of the month, including a Bike from Work day on May 18, when bicyclists will meet at the downtown Farmers Market for musical performances; a BMX show; and a demonstration of how to put your bike on an MTD bus. A bicycle film festival and Bachelors on Bikes auction are also events to look for in the future. Listings of other events are posted on the CycleMAYnia Web page.