A lot of news items have crossed my desk this week, with a number of bike rides and other assorted groups and activities for the cycling set.
Looks like it’s going to be a very busy weekend.
First up, I want to remind you about this Sunday’s easy, family-friendly El Niño (para las niñas) Toy Ride, sponsored by LA Greensters to benefit the children of St. Anne’s. The ride kicks off at 1 pm Sunday, December 6th, from the Red Line Metro Station at Santa Monica and Vermont; just bring a new, unwrapped toy to be delivered to St. Anne’s in time for their annual Christmas party. With your help, no child will go home empty handed.
Tonight is the first night of DWP’s Holiday Lights Festival, the annual event in which only people in cars are usually allowed to inch along a Griffith Park street staring at the light displays, even though state law requires that every street be open to cyclists. However, this year, the opening night — tonight — is a bicycle-only Bike Night, and the festival will be vehicle-free and pedestrian-only from the 4th to the 17th before they kick people out and let cars in.
Next up is the dedication of the new ornamental bike path gateways on the Ballona Creek Bikeway at 10 am Friday, December 4th, sponsored by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The event takes place at the Inglewood Boulevard Bridge over Ballona Creek, and includes a community tree planting and 1.5 mile bike tour of the new gates. RSVPs are recommended but not required; call 323/221-8900. (Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.)
While you’re in the area, you might want to join up with the award-winning Santee Education Complex Debate Team, which is riding down Venice Blvd to Venice High School to deliver trees for planting. The event kicks off at 11 am Friday at Santee High; if you hurry, you’ll have just enough time to get there after the Ballona gate dedication, or you can meet up with them as they ride along Venice. Read more at Illuminate LA and Westside Bikeside.
Later Friday, it’s time to party with the good folks at West L.A.’s Bikerowave bike co-op as they celebrate the inaugural Pedal With Me group ride, sponsored by the United Steps, a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking unique solutions for homelessness. The party starts at 8 pm at the Bikerowave on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, promising good music, volunteers, bike repair tools and live art. Not to mention a great time.
On Saturday, you have your choice of two group rides. First up is the the Pedal With Me event to address homelessness in Los Angeles, with two rides departing from the Bikerowave beginning at 9 am and 11 am. More details and volunteer opportunities are available on the Bikerowave website.
Also on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Altadena Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Athletic Association present the 2009 Tour of Altadena Bike Ride from 9 am to 1 pm this Saturday, December 5th. The ride kicks off at 9 am at Bronco Pavillion in Loma Alta Park, with a 10 mile Family Fun Ride or a 12.5 mile Hill Challenge. There is a $10 entry fee, and a $6 barbeque at 11 am; all proceeds benefit the L.A. County Sheriff’s Annual Charitable Giving Campaign.
On Sunday, December 6th, Bikerowave celebrates the holidays with its first ever swap meet, promising good deals on bikes and parts. Coffee, donuts and fruit will be provided; add a little pasta — or maybe beer — and you’ve got the four basic food groups of cyclists. One of the city’s best farmer’s markets will be right across the street, as well. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have items you’d like to sell.
And mark your calendar for next Wednesday, when the City Councils Transportation Committee will hold a bicycle-only session beginning at 2 pm at Downtown’s City Hall. Topics will include a report from LAPD on bicycle incidents, the Sharrows pilot project and a proposed anti-harassment ordinance.
Last but not least, not an event but a new cycling group. Thanks again to Joe Linton for letting me know about the newly formed South Bay Bicycle Coalition, which held its first meeting at the Manhattan Beach REI on November 17th with 30 cyclists in attendance. The group was born out of a Manhattan Beach group dedicated to safer cycling; if you’re down in the South Bay, check ‘em out.
In case you missed it, C.I.C.L.E.’s Joe Linton (yes, the same Joe Linton) was featured on KPCC’s Air Talk program yesterday talking about L.A.’s planned CicLAvia — definitely worth clicking the link to stream the segment or download the podcast. Streetsblog says the LAPD is looking into last weekend’s Critical Mess. Flying Pigeon notes that local cycling craftsmen Greg Townsend and Mr. Jalopy are featured in the current LA Magazine. Bike San Diego interviews local cycling visionary Sky Boyer. Our Missouri cycling reporter is anything but Surly about his new commuter bike. Biking in Heels discusses the important winter-time topic of proper lighting. A great dooring animated video courtesy of Urban Velo. Witch on a Bicycle lets Philadelphia’s knee-jerk leaders have it with both barrels. A debate sponsored by the UK’s Spectator magazine concludes that cyclists are not a menace. Finally, also from the UK — and the Department of Duh — comes a study showing roads should be made safer for cyclists. Anyone who didn’t know that, please raise your hand.