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Bike Week LA Encourages Angelenos to Rethink Cars and Commutes

Biking Can Be a Cost-Efficient, Healthful Transportation Option for Work, Errands and Play in LA County

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/10/11 -- The LA County Department of Public Health's RENEW initiative is encouraging Angelenos to trade their cars for bicycles for the annual Bike Week Los Angeles, May 16-20. While the car has been king for a long time in LA County, biking is becoming easier, safer and more convenient. During Bike Week LA, cities, employers, health agencies, advocacy groups and bike shops will educate and provide information to residents about bike routes, safety and bicycling as an everyday means of transportation.

Highlights of Bike Week LA include Countywide Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 19, with pit-stops, route rallies and prizes; and Bike to School Day on Friday, May 20. More than 4,500 Angelenos pledged to ride their bikes on Bike to Work Day in 2010 and even more are expected to celebrate the two-wheeled commute this year. For more information, visit Metro's Bike to Work Day webpage.

Bike Week LA's goal is to inspire participants to consider cycling as a viable commuting option that can reduce transportation costs and improve health. With 60 percent of commutes in LA County less than five miles in distance and Metro's recent announcement of all-hours access for bikes on its trains, biking can be a convenient way to travel for many Angelenos. A list of biking events and activities during the month of May is available on ChooseHealthLA.com.

To help more people get on bikes, RENEW LA County is working with the Countywide Cycling Collaborative's "Bike Wrangler" to collect abandoned and donated used bikes and provide them to residents who need them most for a primary means of transportation. And across the county, bike co-ops are offering hands-on lessons in bike repair and opportunities to build-your-own bike and organizations like C.I.C.L.E. are helping more people use bikes for transportation.

Bike-friendly communities are growing throughout the county. The recently passed Los Angeles Bicycle Plan and the upcoming County of Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan -- which will add nearly 700 miles of new bikeways throughout the county -- are making the streets friendlier for bicyclists of all skill levels. In the beach cities and beyond, the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan will help connect seven cities in the region, while Long Beach is transforming neighborhoods into Bike-Friendly Business Districts to encourage business owners and customers to choose bikes, not cars, for short trips.

For more information on safe and accessible biking in LA County, connect with Choose Health LA online, which represents all of the public health efforts of RENEW LA County. Visit Choose Health LA on Twitter @ChooseHealthLA, on Facebook and at ChooseHealthLA.com.

About RENEW LA County
The LA County Department of Public Health's RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness) initiative seeks to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and reduce obesity in LA County. RENEW LA County is made possible by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.

About LA County Department of Public Health
The LA County Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health, please visit publichealth.lacounty.gov or the YouTube channel at youtube.com/lapublichealth or follow Public Health on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.

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