Expectations were for about 100 to 200 bicycles to take advantage of the new service each day. But within just a few hours of the valet lot opening on Saturday morning, the lot was filled to near capacity with between 600 to 700 bicycles checked in, parked and watched over until their owners returned to claim them.
No bikes were reported either lost or damaged. The reviews from those who used the service were nothing short of raves. I know because I was part of the volunteer team from the South Bay Bicycle Coalition (SBBC) who valet parked and retrieved bikes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
If Hermosa Beach is ever truly going to become a carbon-neutral city it’s going to have to make some very big and very healthy changes, including cutting out the use of unsustainable fossil fuel-based plastic products.
Or they find their way into the ocean, adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which now covers hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean, turning the sea into the world’s biggest garbage dump and killing birds, fish and sea mammals in the process. There are giant plastic garbage patches in four other oceans too.
The smartest scientists on the face of the planet, the ones studying climate change and global warming, are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more. They’re really pissed because some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth have been successfully keeping us from taking the steps we needed to take if we were going to save our children from a future existence we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies.
Despite two unexpected days of May showers, the Bike to Work Week Challenge here in the South Bay had no shortage of participants from the cities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo and Torrance. South Bay businesses Aerospace Corp., Zislis Group, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and DirecTV all took the challenge as well.
The exact number of participants and challenge winners wasn’t tabulated yet by our deadline, but Bike to Work Week’s success was evident at the VIP Reception honoring the event’s co-chairs at Shade hotel in Manhattan Beach.
One of those co-chairs, Redondo Beach City Councilman Steven Diels, traveled to the hotel on his tandem bike, arriving with his wife and young son on his zero emission ride. Diels is also a member of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition.
Brad Bartz is big on Hermosa Beach. He’s betting that the city’s efforts to become carbon neutral will make it the “green beacon” that brings in a new generation of green businesses just like his, ABC Solar.
Bartz is placing his bet by leasing the location that formerly housed the International News Stand at 344 Pacific Coast Highway. It’s on a stretch of PCH that is surrounded by buildings with “For Lease” signs everywhere you turn, but when Bartz looks around all he sees is opportunity…. and “naked roofs.”
Despite the South Bay’s reputation as being a laid-back area, those of us who live here know that getting to and from work each day can be stressful.
There is nothing melodious about the cutthroat, “I’m already late and you’re in my way” attitude of the road warriors as they head to and from the office. And they’re typically still on the job while they’re in the car thanks to the smart phones that keep us tethered to work no matter where we are.
But what if we could radically change that whole scenario? What if drivers could instead ride their bicycles to work?
If you live in Hermosa Beach, you are the envy of people all over this planet. It’s easy to get jaded and take it for granted if you’re a local, or to lose sight of 99 percent of the world’s population who would gladly swap places with you if given the chance. The beach, the ocean, the weather, the fresh coastal air blowing in, the Hermosa Beach culture and lifestyle–they all combine to build an image of a SoCal paradise. If it really is all about “location, location, location,” then Hermosa Beach has got it made.
I’m a Sputnik baby–born in 1957, just a couple of weeks before that first satellite launched the Space Age. For the past 52 years I’ve had my sights fixed on the horizon and what comes next. It’s no wonder my favorite land in Disneyland has always been Tomorrowland.
But if you’d like a trip to a real Tomorrowland without ever leaving Hermosa Beach, then this Saturday, May 8, is your star date. That’s the day the South Bay’s Environmental Priority Network is sponsoring its free, 5th annual Solar Homes Tour, and three of its “E Ticket” attractions are all within walking distance of each other in Hermosa.