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Gear up for the Drive Less Challenge: Get out of your car, off your cell phone, & on your bike!

Did you know that drunk drivers are more attentive than car-driving cell phone users? Cell phone use in the car is one of the hazards faced by bicyclists in town, according to representatives of the Los Altos Police Department. This and other bicycle safety facts were presented by a fun group of police officers, including Sargents Matthew Hartley and Paul Arguelles and Officer Eric Brooks at the GreenTown’s Bike and Bike Safety Expo on March 29, 2011.

Expo-goers had a chance to ride the Google Trike — used to map pathways for Google Maps StreetViews. They checked out a folding bike and witnessed the impressive acceleration of a “belt” bike from Chain Reaction; they got to ride a 3-wheeler and check out a pretty cruiser and tandem from Bicycle Outfitters, and had a chance to see Mike’s Bikes’ electric bicycle.

Participants also learned from Dave Prion of Bicycle Outfitters about safety vests, lights, racks, and bags that make getting around town by bike both easier and safer. Karen “KJ” Janowski of GreenTown Los Altos wrapped up the evening with a call to join the Drive Less Challenge.

Tablers at the Bike and Bike Safety Expo included the above-mentioned bike shops as well as the Los Altos Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and Safe Moves, a bike safety education organization.

Several participants walked away with $20 gift certificates or a rear bike light from Mike’s Bikes, two won lovely GreenTown t-shirts, and one especially lucky participant, Mike Gospe, won a bicycle and helmet from Safe Moves. The Expo rendered all participants just a little more prepared for the Drive Less Challenge!

Beginning on Earth Day (April 22) and running for two weeks, the Drive Less Challenge is a fun social competition to encourage alternatives to driving solo.  Participants can sign up online and participate as individuals or in groups.  You keep track of how you get from place to place, taking opportunities to walk, bicycle, take public transit, or carpool instead of driving alone. Riding your bike or walking to run errands, buy groceries or dining out is great for your health, fun and good for local businesses. Compete for prizes in several categories or just for bragging rights! Are you ready? If not, visit your local bike shop, plan your bus route, arrange carpooling, and sign up at www.drivelesschallenge.com.

For more information on the Bike and Bike Safety Expo, see the article and video produced by Los Altos Patch.

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P.O. Box 539, Los Altos, CA. 94023-0539