Santa Barbara is a 42 square-mile city of green-cloaked mountains, pristine wine country, warm, sandy beaches, and a whole lot of bikes.
According to the Santa Barbara Bike Index there are over 70,000 registered bicycles in the city, and citizens have recorded more than 3,300 cycling routes and 10 do-it-yourself bike rides. The city also has more than 20 bicycle shops, and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) alone has 10 miles of bike paths and an astounding 10,000 bicycle parking spaces—and somehow, many people still think that Santa Barbarans are mainly surfers!
As its citizens have saved over 47,000 miles of auto trips, 1,000 pounds of toxic air pollution, and 42,000 pounds of Greenhouse Gas emissions by switching to bikes, it’s no wonder that Santa Barbara has been selected as one of the 13 cities across the country to be a flagship community for the national Life is a Cycle event.
As an obvious national leader in active transportation, Santa Barbara celebrates National Bike Month by welcoming cycle enthusiasts and beginners to gather in part of the nation-wide event on Sunday, May 14, at Leadbetter Beach.
This nine-mile cycle begins at 9:30 a.m., but it does not have to stop here. Life is a Cycle encourages the community to extend their journey to limited automobile use on a daily basis, and Santa Barbara has already begun taking action.
Other than the establishment of countless bicycle groups in the county, Santa Barbara has proposed a Bicycle Master Plan to improve bike transportation, promote safety on the streets and reduce speeds in residential neighborhoods. A few streets, such as Cacique Street, are currently under the transformation to becoming Bike Boulevards, and additional streets are being considered as future bike boulevards as well.
As the number of bicyclists increase, Santa Barbara remains a leader in efforts to preserve the environment, reduce traffic congestion, and limit the building of costly parking structures. Grab life by the handles and join the thousands throughout the country who are cycling this Mother’s Day in efforts to inspire and educate the community on the benefits of cycling for transportation.