LimeBike offering free rides to Lake Tahoe Summit today at Valhalla |

LimeBike offering free rides to Lake Tahoe Summit today at Valhalla

Special to the Tribune
Two hundred LimeBikes will be available on Lake Tahoe's South Shore starting on Saturday, July 15.
Courtesy / Chris McNamara

The League to Save Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Regional Planning agency encourage community members to travel by bicycle to the 2017 Lake Tahoe Summit, which will be hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein today at Valhalla Tahoe.

“Riding a bicycle to the 2017 Lake Tahoe Summit is a great way to embrace one of the most enjoyable ways we can protect Lake Tahoe,” said Darcie Goodman Collins,  executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “Every trip that a resident or visitor takes by bike instead of by car reduces pollution that harms the Lake’s clarity.”

The League, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other private and public stakeholders have made solutions to Tahoe’s transportation problems a top priority, and the collaborative efforts are already paying off, as can be seen from the region’s transportation plans and new pilot programs.

Highlighting one such pilot program, LimeBike will be offering free bike rentals for summit attendees who ride to and from the South Tahoe “Y.” LimeBike recently collaborated with the League to bring bike share service to South Lake Tahoe as pilot program to curb pollution by reducing car trips.

Summit attendees can park and switch to a LimeBike at either of two locations: the BevMo! shopping center at the intersection of U.S. 50 and California Route 89 or the Summit’s designated overflow parking area at the Taylor Creek Sno-Park on Cathedral Road.

“Tahoe communities have made huge progress improving the region’s network of bicycle and pedestrian trails, and more than 20 miles of new trails are scheduled for construction over the next four years,” said Joanne Marchetta, executive director of TRPA. “What better way to help Lake Tahoe’s environment than with a pleasant bike ride at the lake.”

The Lake Tahoe Summit is an annual gathering of federal, state, and local leaders dedicated to the goal of restoring and sustaining Lake Tahoe. This year’s Summit location, Valhalla Tahoe, is easily reached by bike from South Lake Tahoe via separated bicycle paths and signed bicycle routes.

Although parking for automobiles is limited at Valhalla, attendees arriving by bicycle will have ample bike parking opportunities, thanks to the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, who will be providing free bicycle valet parking.

Soon after the South Lake Tahoe bike share pilot program’s mid-July launch, ridership led the nation for all cities on the LimeBike platform for multiple days, as measured in rides per bike. After only three weeks in operation, residents and visitors had already ridden 2,667 miles, roughly equivalent to the length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, which passes just west of the lake.

Data from the GPS-tracked LimeBikes shows a median ride time of 17 minutes and an average ride distance of under a half mile, welcome indicators that most users are likely using the bikes for transportation, not recreation, meaning that they are replacing car trips.

Tahoe is home to only 55,000 residents, but welcomes over 20 million annual visitors, mostly by car, which takes a toll on the lake’s water quality and clogs local roads.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe, also known by the slogan “Keep Tahoe Blue,” is Tahoe’s oldest and largest nonprofit environmental advocacy organization. The League is dedicated to community engagement and education, and collaborating to find solutions to Tahoe’s environmental challenges. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment.

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