May is National Bike Month. Long Beach, which has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s most bike friendly cities, will commemorate the 66-year-old event by playing host to a full calendar of bike-related events covering all the essentials, such as bike safety, self-guided touring, group rides, and bike rentals. All of this will take place in a city that lends itself naturally to cycling.

“Downtown is super bike friendly,” said DLBA Placemaking Manager Stephanie Gonzalez. “The bike lanes leading into, out of, and through Downtown make it easy to travel between neighborhoods quickly and without needing to worry about finding parking. You can easily hang out in the East Village, ride over to Pine Avenue and the Promenade and then head down to Shoreline Village to take the beach bike path along the ocean.”

According to Gonzalez, Downtown offers many biking benefits for businesses as well as riders. “For example, new businesses can request to have a bike rack installed in front of their business if there’s not one installed already,” she said.

Gonzalez noted that DLBA offers a handy bike map for riders that displays some popular routes in Downtown.

Renting a bike in Downtown is very easy. “If you’re in need of a bike, stop by the GoActiveLB Hub at 223 East First Street in Downtown for bicycle service, sales, and rentals,” said Aaron Rickel Jones, Vice President of Marketing for Pedal Movement, the company that operates the Hub as well as the citywide Bikeshare rental service, and is a key player in the local bike movement in general.

“Bikes are no doubt the best way to get around Downtown Long Beach, especially this time of year,” added Jones’ business partner John Tully. “Downtown Long Beach has so much to explore, and so many businesses are bike friendly. We’re trying to help create an environment for people to explore the amazing restaurants, murals, artwork, and culture of Long Beach via bicycle.”

For those who have their own bike but want to make sure it’s in good working order, the GoActiveLB Hub will be offering a free bike check-up on Saturday, May 21 from 10am to 2pm.

During Bike Month, two group rides will take place Downtown: the Family Friendly Downtown – Bixby Park Community Bike Ride on Sunday, May 22, and the 30-Mile Long Beach Community Bike Ride on Sunday, May 29. The first ride begins at 2pm at Bixby Park, Ocean Boulevard and Cherry Avenue, and ventures to Downtown and back in a 5.6 mile loop. The second ride offers the challenge of longer mileage and the chance to see the many neighborhoods of Long Beach up close and personal. Riders will meet at 9am, Marina Green Park. Both rides are FREE.

Whether you’re riding your own bike Downtown or renting when you get here, it’s very easy to just wing it, cruising the bike path or pedaling over the Queensway Bridge in the protected bike lane to get some spectacular panoramic views. Secure bike racks are plentiful throughout Downtown. Make Downtown Long Beach the centerpiece of your National Bike Month plans, and discover for yourself why Long Beach is at the forefront of the urban cycling movement.