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National Bike Advocate Mia Birk Speaks In Long Beach

December 20 – Mia Birk, considered by many as the leading bicycle planner and advocate in the U.S., made a special stop in Long Beach on December 15 to share her personal and professional story about helping make Portland, Oregon, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation. She is pictured here, center, with some of the attendees of the event, which took place at Open bookstore, located at 2226 E. 4th St. in Retro Row, one of the city’s four bike-friendly business districts. Birk is the author of “Joyride” and signed books following her talk. Speaking to a standing room-only crowd of bicycle advocates from around Southern California, she encouraged the crowd to prioritize the creation of new bicycle routes around schools to ensure safe routes for children, teens and parents. She underscored the personal transformation the bicycle can have in fighting obesity, which is what led her to start riding, as well as the significant economic benefits bicycle infrastructure brings business districts and cities, explaining that Portland built 300 miles of bike routes for the cost of one mile of freeway and that bike-friendly cites attract new bike shops and new jobs. The event was sponsored by Green Octopus Consulting, Bikeable Communities, Women on Bikes SoCal, Bikestation, Jax Bicycles, Long Beach Pedaler Society and Open bookstore. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville){addthis off}