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MTA's Bike Week L.A. aims to encourage commuters to bicycle more and drive less

May 17, 2010 |  8:41 am

Cyclists across the city can expect blessings, free rides and prizes this week as Bike Week L.A. gets underway. 

The weeklong event hosted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority aims to encourage commuters to bike more and drive less. The kickoff is scheduled Monday morning at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters with Police Chief Charlie Beck and other officials.

On Tuesday morning, event organizers will host a "blessing of the bicycles" event at Good Samaritan Hospital, which will include free bike checks and breakfast.

A group ride Wednesday will start at Olvera Street and continue through downtown Los Angeles.

On Thursday, all cyclists with helmets can ride for free on Metro buses and light-rail trains. Dozens of bike pit stops will be set up across the county with refreshments, gifts and opportunities to win prizes.

Friday has been designated Bike to School Day.

Along with easing congestion on county roads, organizers hope the event will boost cyclist ridership on public transit. The agency has invested almost $200 million on bike facilities and cycling programs, officials said.

-- Robert Faturechi