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Long Beach residents can check their bikes at the downtown Bikestation, where they can get free air for their tires and on-site repair service. A Santa Barbara self-service bike center opening May 1 will feature hot showers and a locker room for changing from sweaty nylon-spandex jerseys to suits, ties and heels.
Valet bike parking would seem a quintessentially Californian response to clogged freeways and overflowing parking lots. By encouraging more cyclists, cities are promoting environmental consciousness and outdoor cardio workouts.
Most important, for some cyclists, is knowing that someone is watching over their bike.
"You can have all the bike lanes you want, but when you get to your location, you need a place to park," said Russ Roca, 29, of Long Beach.
Roca, a freelance photographer, travels exclusively on a bike retooled to carry 200 pounds of camera equipment. He is a regular at the local Bikestation, which, he says, has become a social spot for area cyclists.