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CycleMAYnia Picks up Speed, EZBike Challenge Winners Announced

June 14, 2022

15 in-person events and a countywide bicycle challenge exceeded expectations during the 13th annual celebration of national bike month.

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Nikolaus of Las Cumbres Observatory in Goleta knows that biking helps make him feel strong, clears his head, and elevates his mood. Nikolaus is one of the 600 participants in the EZBike Challenge and winner of an electric bicycle announced this month. To have qualified for that chance to win one of three electric bicycle or weekly prizes all-month long, the public was encouraged to ride any bike for eight days in May during national bike month and log their trips on smartride.org.

Over 600 people participated in the first-ever EZBike Challenge, exceeding expectations. Participants made over 10,000 bike trips covering more than 45,000 miles; and notably, burned calories equivalent to 9,080 street tacos. The competition helped to inspire new options for commuters to travel and make a life-style change that improves air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

“We are all looking for new ways to save money on gas these days,” said Kent Epperson, director of SBCAG’s Traffic Solutions division. “All month-long we asked the public to rise to the EZBike challenge and they did. Participation exceeded our expectations as we saw more people discover efficient and convenient ways to travel around town on a bike.”

The three EZBike Challenge winners announced earlier this month:

  1. The Electra Townie Go! 7D winner – Jessica, City of Santa Barbara. “I started biking around this year after taking a confident cycling class from the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE+COAST). Our city cycling guru, Sam, really helped me get over my fears, and I love it! Having State Street closed to cars definitely helped me get my skill level up,” Jessica said.
  2. The Story Bikes Commuter winner – Nikolaus, Las Cumbres Observatory in Goleta. “Biking makes me feel young and strong. Riding around Goleta/SB on my bike (especially in the early mornings) helps clear my head and elevate my mood,” Nikolaus said.
  3. The iZip Sumo winner – Chelsey, City of Santa Barbara. “I love biking because it’s an efficient, convenient, and low impact option for getting around Santa Barbara,” said Chelsey.

In addition to the first-ever EZBike challenge, 15 other in-person events to place during the national bike month celebration.

Employers, adults, families, and kids joined in on the joy of biking through a variety of events and activities including electric bicycle showcases and demos, education on safe riding and bike maintenance, nature rides, a Chicano culture and history ride, and Mayor’s ride.

For community members who were not able to ride a bike, CycleMAYnia partnered with Cycling Without Age to offer accessible, piloted trishaw rides.

“Just going for a ride gives us a chance to share a wave and smile with others in the community,” remarked John Boettner, founder of Santa Barbara Cycling without Age. “Even on a short ride, we all wave and smile more times than we have smiled or waved in days, weeks, or even months. Imagine if we all bicycled once a week or once a month, what a joyful difference that would make in our neighborhoods and our community.”

Founded in 2009, CycleMAYnia is a public/private collaboration using community resources and South Coast Measure A Bicycle and Pedestrian funds to organize activities for the community. CycleMAYnia 2022 partners include: Cycling Without Age, SBBIKE+COAST, Community Environmental Council, Chicano Culture de Santa Barbara, Wilderness Youth Project, BCycle, Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District, County of Santa Barbara, and the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.

“We’re excited to keep the bike month momentum going,” said Epperson. “This is an opportunity for employers and commuters alike, who want improve their quality of life as well as save money! If you’re interested in exploring commuter programs, give us a call at (805) 963-SAVE.”

Information about CycleMAYnia is available by visiting CycleMAYnia.org. Those interested in driving less, using sustainable transportation and saving money can call SBCAG Traffic Solutions at (805) 963-SAVE or visit TrafficSolutions.org.

About Traffic Solutions

Traffic Solutions is a division of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and serves as the countywide rideshare organization with a mission to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by encouraging people to drive less and use sustainable transportation.

History of CycleMaynia

Founded in 2009, CycleMAYnia began as a community brainstorming meeting aimed at jump starting a vibrant bike culture here in Santa Barbara County. Inspired by events and programs in other towns such as San Luis Obispo and Portland, Oregon, the hope was that by engaging the cycling community directly and bringing them into the fold as collaborators, a dynamic calendar of events could be created and co-managed that celebrates National Bike Month in May. Expanding the reach of cycling to a greater number of riders and connecting to a more diverse demographic brings the joy and benefits of biking to as many people as possible in the greater Santa Barbara area. Since 2010 our Bike Month on the South Coast has been filled with activities organized by local businesses, organizations, and community members with coordination and support from Traffic Solutions.

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