Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica's Seniors Ride Again
By Jason Islas
October 3, 2012 -- Santa Monica's seniors turned out in force Tuesday morning for the first-ever senior bike ride, co-sponsored by the Bike Center and the Commission for the Senior Community.
Over 20 seniors -- some of whom hadn't ridden bikes in decades -- gathered outside Downtown Santa Monica's Bike Center at 10 a.m. for the four-mile guided bike ride from the center at 2nd Street and Colorado Avenue to the Annenberg Community Beach House.
“It's a good start,” said Bike Center General Manager Ron Durgin, who led the group Tuesday. “I was impressed with the number of people who came.”
About half of those who came, Durgin said, didn't have their own bikes, but because the Center has a fleet of rental bikes of various sizes, they were able to borrow bikes free of charge -- along with helmets -- from the the two-hour excursion.
Tuesday's ride was also a chance to teach participants about bike safety.
“Before we all took off, we had a chance to go over the rules of the road,” said Stacy Rowe, a senior program analyst with Human Services.
“For some of the folks, it's been a while since they've ridden a bike,” she said.
Durgin said that some of them learned to ride bikes long before bike safety education was a concern.
The safety portion was pretty simple, Durgin said. He went over the basics: don't ride on the sidewalk, watch for car doors, stay within the bike lanes.
He added that it was a good opportunity to introduce the group to some of the newer features for bikers in Santa Monica, like the signal activators throughout the City: little icons of bicyclists painted on the street at stop lights that trigger a signal change when bicyclists wait on them.
The ride -- which went from the Bike Center, down Main Street and joined the beach bike path at Ocean Park Boulevard -- was “about getting people together with similar interests,” Durgin said.
And it was a good chance for people who might not have ridden bikes in a while to warm back up to it, he said.
Once the group arrived at the Annenberg Beach House, they were given a tour of the Marian Davies House as well as the exhibit currently on display at the gallery, Julia Morgan 2012: Contemporary Women Architects.
The senior ride -- which began as an idea when Durgin approached a receptive Senior Commission in April -- will likely happen every two months, Rowe said, with each ride having a different destination in the city.
“The Commission wants to get seniors out on their bikes,” said Rowe. “As we go forward, some of our destinations will take us on the streets.”
Durgin hopes that the event will grow.
“I'd love to see 50 people on the ride,” he said. “We can handle it; we've got plenty of bikes.”
The next ride will be in early December. For more information, call Diane Cancino at 310-458-8701 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Santa Monica Bike Center, visit http://bikeandpark.com/city/santa-monica
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