We were waiting for the end of the word, waiting for the end of the world. — Elvis Costello
It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya? It pours, man it pours. — Albert Hammond
According to some, the world will be coming to an end in a few years when the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012. Although I recently heard a scientist discussing the subject who said that when his calendar runs out, he just puts up a new one.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s rain, for crying out loud.
But seriously, it’s right up there with all the other warning signs of a near-biblical apocalypse: War, famine, pestilence, earthquakes and rain in Los Angeles.
And not just rain, but heavy rain. And hail. And waterspouts.
Or as they called it when I lived in Louisiana, Thursday.
Then there’s another sign that the world as we know it may be coming to an end. Not only did Hizzoner recently say the city has to do more to support cycling, but there may be a chance — a slight chance — that we might actually see Mayor Villaraigoso on a bike.
Strange days, indeed.
So just to be safe, I’ve been holed up in my office all week, working on plans to convert my old bike into the world’s first pedal-powered ark.
Which means now I have to find two of all the local species. Like lawyers, hipsters, artists, gangbangers, actors, agents and Brit ex-pats, et al. Though I may have to build a bigger ark just to fit the massive egos on board.
And cyclists, of course.
And that means pairs of roadies and beach cruisers, commuters, recreational riders, fixie fanatics, hipsters, off-roaders, family cyclists, racers, fast riders, slow riders, Lance Armstrong wannabees, Ridazz, bike activists, LACBCists, eco riders, Critical Massers, license-less immigrants and mandatory-helmet-wearing kids.
Just to name a few.
I gotta sit down.
CD5 Council Member Paul Koretz continues his support of cyclists with an effective letter requesting a better bike plan for his district — definitely worth reading. Cyclists and the LAPD begin the long process of building a better relationship, but it appears to be off to a good start. Enci Box continues her examination of L.A. bikeway systems, noting the failure of the city’s Class III Bike Routes. LACBC presents the Spanish language version of their new Bike Parking Community Resource Guide, available as a free download. Steal a bike, lose your pants. Bob Mionske writes that cyclists continue to pay the price for cell drunk drivers. Mandatory helmet laws for children reduce fatalities, but also discourage riding. Even the Boy Scouts say take the whole lane. Urbana, IL boldly removes parking to add bike lanes. Getting Portland’s mounted police off the saddle and onto bikes would save over $500,000. The drunken asshole driver who killed a cyclist in Miami had over 40 traffic violations in 12 years, but was still on the road. DC area cyclists win one and lose one, as a hit-and-run is investigated as an assault, while riders are stopped by police for being annoying. The Guardian says mudguards are a must, even on your fixie. In L.A., we haven’t even got sharrows yet; in Copenhagen, they get footrests. The UK’s Olympic cycling team gets a Formula One boost from McLaren. Police order British children to wear high visibility clothing at night, or get off their bikes. Finally, over 70 cyclists rode the valley’s Chandler Bikeway last weekend in honor of Drake Holland, a 17-year old Burbank cyclist who died in a fall while walking with friends.