The South Coast’s CycleMAYnia rolled into action Thursday with a bike fashion show, a bike prom that sent 268 dapper individuals riding through downtown Santa Barbara, and an after-party to cap off the night.
CylceMAYnia evolved from a single-day event to companies empowering communities in Santa Barbara County to organize an entire month of biking-related events, according to Traffic Solutions creative director Daniel Girard.
“We employed the community through a small grant to organize the month’s events throughout Santa Barbara County,” he said. “This year it has really taken off.”
The Bici Bonita bike fashion show was co-founded by Christa Clark Jones and Courtney Deitz. It highlighted the latest trends in bicycles, clothing, accessories and gear with an intent to link the local fashion and bike community, Clark Jones said.
“Biking is not just about spandex,” she said. “We’re trying to show that biking to any occasion can be done fashionably; it’s fun and sexy. We want to brand Santa Barbara as bike-friendly by increasing its bike infrastructure.”
After the fashion show, nearly 300 riders flooded the streets of Santa Barbara as onlookers and motorists joined the shouts of those who cruised downtown. Suits, ornate dresses, tuxedos, top hats and 10-foot high bikes embodied the SB Bike Moves: Bike Prom. Riders did a loop around Stearns Wharf, where they danced before returning to Casa de la Guerra to finish the night.
“Bike Moves is 3 years old, and we never have any problems or complaints because we regulate, we get on people when they run red lights and don’t obey the law,” Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition executive director Ed France said. “People stop their cars and cheer with us because they think it’s cool.”
The event is trying to spread a “share-the-road” mentality.
“We’re trying to bring the element of Copenhagen’s cycle chic to Santa Barbara,” Clark Jones said. “We’re trying to make it a world-class bike destination.”
But France said he understands that more bikes on the road often mean more motorist frustration.
“With an increasing amount of bicyclists, drivers perceive more conflict, but that isn’t the case,” he said. “We’re teaching classes and informing riders about obeying the rules of the road.”
The biking community has seemingly tripled in Santa Barbara, according to France, and the event has grown dramatically, evidenced by the organization and community input.
“It’s a testament to how much the bike community has grown in Santa Barbara,” he said.
He said it’s due not only to the rising gas prices but awareness about the cost effectiveness of biking versus driving.
“People realize it costs on average $5,700 to operate a car versus $157 to operate a bike yearly,” he said. “There’s a consciousness happening; it’s a bike boom.”
Click here for a complete list of this month’s upcoming CycleMAYnia events.