Archive for March 31, 2012

A long list of events, from a bike-friendlier Malibu to a new September date for this year’s Tour de Taste

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The final day for the going out of business sale at Culver City’s female-focused Sports for Eve is Saturday, March 31st. Stop by their store at 3849 Main Street for great closeout deals on biking, running and athletic gear and apparel. And don’t feel left out, guys; they have a lot of unisex bike gear and accessories, too.

Malibu takes the next step in their surprising turnaround to becoming bike friendly with a pair of meetings to discuss design work to improve the existing bike route west of the city limit on PCH. The meetings are scheduled for 10 am to noon on Saturday, March 31st, and 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, April 4th at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road.

Saturday, March 31st, the Eastside Bike Club joins with the Salesian Boys & Girls Club to host a fun, family friendly bike ride to explore community gardens in Boyle Heights and El Sereno as part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s Day of Service. The ride meets at 8 am at Salesian Family Youth Center, 2228 East 4th Street.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride rolls on April 1st, hosted by Bici Libre Program Coordinator Brenda Yancor. The ride starts at Bici Libre, 1205 W. 6th Street, and rides 17 miles (34 miles roundtrip) to a little fun in the sun at Dockweiler State Beach, retuning in the late afternoon or early evening.

Bike Long Beach will celebrate April Fool’s Day with a Bike for Art Scavenger Hunt and after party on Sunday, April 1st from 9 am to 4 pm at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave in Long Beach.

The City of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 3rd in the Community Room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue; this month’s meeting will feature a discussion on the implementation of the 2010 Bike Plan with guest speaker Councilmember Bill Rosendahl.

The 2012 SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) Regional Conference will take place April 4th through 5th at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown L.A., with the theme of “Towards a Sustainable Future in Transportation.”

The LACBC is holding a press conference to unveil their new Spanish Language PSA in conjunction with Bici Libre on Thursday, April 5th. The event will take place at 10 am at MacArthur Park, most likely near the southeast corner at 7th and Alvarado.

Celebrate Earth Day a little early as C.I.C.L.E. presents the third annual Lorax Ride on Saturday, April 14th as part of Pasadena’s Earth & Arts Festival. The free ride assembles at 11 am at Pasadena Memorial Park, East Holly Street and North Raymond Avenue, with an 11:30 am departure.

The 10th Annual Laurel Foundation’s Ride for AIDS will take place with a two-day century ride from San Diego to Santa Monica on April 14th and 15th, and a one day ride from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach and back on April 15th.

If you enjoyed the last CicLAvia, you’ll love the next one on Tax Day, April 15th from 10 am to 3 pm; the route will follow the same expanded course as last October’s. You can still support this year’s CicLAvia by contributing on Kickstarter. While you’re there, stop by Orange 20 Bikes at the west end of the route, at the intersection of Heliotrope and Melrose, for a book signing with Eben Weiss, aka BikeSnobNYC, starting at 10:30 am. And be sure to visit Chinatown’s first annual Springfest from noon to 8 pm, making it the perfect spot for your CicLAvia afterparty.

Update: The first meeting of the newly formed LACBC Civics Committee scheduled Wednesday, April 18th at the Downtown Pitfire Pizza has been postponed yet again, date to be determined. The committee will serve to give the LACBC a voice in the local political process to help ensure the election of bike-friendly candidates; Efren Moreno Jr and yours truly will serve as Co-Chairs.

The University of Southern California presents an update to their draft campus bike plan at 1p on Thursday, April 19th at Tommy’s Place in the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway.

Shifting Gears Cycling sponsors the 17th (or possibly 16th) Annual Santa Barbara Double Century on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th. The two-day supported ride will travel 100 miles from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, returning the next day.

Here’s your chance to ride with the USC Cycling Team on Sunday, April 29th, with your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. Suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

It might be worth the long drive to Davis CA for the first ever Legends Gran Fondo sponsored by the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame on May 6th, featuring America’s first Tour de France winner Greg LeMond — the man whose name is on my bike —  as well as former World Champion Ruthie Mathes, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, and other members of the Hall of Fame.

May is Bike Month. The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th, with National Bike to Work Week taking place on May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th.

Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place on Tuesday, May 15th from 8 am to 9:30 am in front of the hospital at 1225 Wilshire Blvd. Expect a great breakfast and bike swag, with non-sectarian bike blessings from virtually every faith found in L.A.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County; save $10 if you register by May 15th.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park

Back to the news — paint testing on 7th, bicycling pays, even the Daily News supports smart planning

My film-school visiting nephew and his family are now safely ensconced back in Denver, so it’s time to catch up on what’s been happening around the world of bicycling.

Needless to say, he fell in love with Los Angeles, describing our fair city as “more than awesome.” And when he asked what he liked best, responded “all of it.”

So thanks for putting on your best face for a few days, L.A.

Now feel free to resume your normal activities.

……..

Paint testing is scheduled for this weekend for the much and unfairly maligned and badly worn green bike lanes on Downtown’s Spring Street; anyone notice that it may rain Saturday night?

Meanwhile, an Austin study shows twice as many drivers yield to cyclists on green lanes than before they were painted.

……..

Bike San Diego offers a recap of day one of last week’s National Bike Summit; the LACBC offers more succinct thoughts.

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In one of the most interesting reports in recent memory, Copenhagen reveals that cycling results in the equivalent of a net economic benefit of 42¢ per mile bicycled, and a loss of 20¢ per mile of car use. Which means that the US could save $17 billion a year if we could reach Copenhagen-like cycling levels.

To put that in perspective, that’s 34 times — make that 26 times — the amount of this weekend’s Mega Millions jackpot. Or over eight times what the Dodgers just sold for.

……..

L.A.’s Daily News, which hasn’t always been a friend of bikes, calls for smart planning that includes transit, walking and bicycling. Stephen Box asks why Los Angeles isn’t committed to making its streets safer for our kids, which is a damn good question; meanwhile, bike advocates Joe Linton and Josef Bray-Ali inspire a student to ask for bike lanes in front of his school. Damien Newton says don’t forget plans to remake the South Fig corridor. Bike lanes continue to grow in NoHo. Rick Risemberg revisits L.A.’s first real public plaza, apparently before a hit-and-run diver plowed into it. A look at last weekend’s annual Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb stage race. Possible sharrows on Santa Monica’s 20th and Cloverfield streets, and a potential makeover for dangerous Class III bike route Lincoln Blvd, which could get a new/old name. SaMo gets what may be the area’s first Dutch-style environment-friendly complete street. Glendale approves a $5 million bike plan, but skips the back-in parking.

The CHP will target zombie — aka distracted — drivers (pdf) in the month of April; too bad distracted driving is barely enforced the other 11 months of the year. Frank Peters searches for bike racks at upscale Fashion Island, and notices a lack of them at local banks. An OC plan calls for more than 100 miles of bikeways in the North County area. A jealous Blythe woman attacks her bike-riding romantic rival with her car. San Diego’s bike-friendly moderate conservative Republican mayoral candidate no longer is — a Republican, that is. Hats off to San Diego’s City Beat, which told angry drivers to slap themselves hard. Shamefully, a dead cyclist in Kern County merits exactly 65 words from the local paper. Once again, an allegedly red light running San Francisco cyclist hits a person in a crosswalk, resulting in life-threatening injuries to the pedestrian; thankfully, it looks like the victim will pull through.

VeloNews calls on racers to work for bike advocacy. Four women are biking cross country for Safe Routes to Schools. Arizona authorities are trying to identify a cyclist who was seriously injured in a collision; this is why you always, always, always carry some form of ID with you when you ride. Portland moves to cargo bikes for disaster response, they’ll be damn glad they did when the zombie apocalypse hits, if it hasn’t already (see above). A Boulder CO cyclist  is threatened with a machete by a car passenger; the clueless driver claims he didn’t see or hear a thing. Right. If you’re going to ride through Yellowstone this time of year, watch out for bears, wolves, bison and elk. Shades of the Soviet gulags, as a Tulsa cop threatens a cyclist with a mental health evaluation for riding in the middle of an nonstandard lane; sounds like he could use one himself — after his badge is removed. An Indiana town says they don’t want bike tourists riding through their town — or evidently, our money. A Stamford CT paper just doesn’t get it, as they call for reducing traffic congestion before building a bike path that might actually help do it. NYPD may be forced — yes, forced — to investigate serious bike collisions. The New York Times offers a moving look at ghost bikes from the perspective of the victim’s family. Despite fears that bike lanes would kill business, New York’s Columbus Avenue doesn’t seem to be doing to bad. Starting Monday, PA cyclists get a four-foot passing margin; our governor doesn’t think we even deserve three.

London’s Guardian looks at how cities fail their cyclists. Trek introduces a new bike for rough roads, geared to the European spring classics. A Russian track cyclist is seriously injured in an Australian hit-and-run, knocking him out of next week’s world track championship. Pay a small fine, get back to racing — despite a doping charge. Bicycling is the future in India, as the country deals with a mobility crisis; no wonder it’s a popular symbol for political parties. An Aussie cyclist is charged with headbutting an off-duty cop, while another is assaulted with a battery, then punched for taking the lane. An Australian state government backs stickers warning drivers about dooring.

Finally, a UK writer says maybe drivers don’t really want a fair deal. A Colorado cyclist was the victim of a fisherman, not a booby trap. And Bikeyface notices just a slight difference riding in a spring dress; almost makes me wish I could wear one.

I’ve got the legs for it, anyway.

Even if I’m not a racer.

Forget what I said — San Diego salmon cyclist wasn’t, killer driver who supposedly stopped actually didn’t

First he was wrong.

Then he was right.

Sort of like me in trying to cover this story.

Either way, San Diego cyclist David Ortiz is still dead, victim of the three cars that took his life a week ago today.

In one of the most amazing turnarounds of a collision narrative that I’ve ever seen, the 29-year old Ortiz was originally blamed for riding against traffic when he was hit by a Ford Expedition, followed in quick succession by two other vehicles. He was pronounced dead at the scene, his body trapped beneath the final car that hit him.

Now it turns out that the driver of that Expedition fled the scene — something that was not only completely left out of the initial reports, but actually contradicted by statements from police.

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted a police spokesman as saying the first driver stopped at the scene, and clearly implied that she may not have been at fault.

It appears that he was first hit by a black Ford Expedition whose driver had the rising sun in her eyes as she drove up a slight incline on east Balboa, police Sgt. Jim Reschke said.

“The gal in the SUV – she never saw him,” Reschke said. “She felt the collision and pulled over.”

Yet it now turns out that she didn’t stop. Or if she did, she evidently left without providing her identification, as NBC San Diego reports that the driver fled the scene.

According to Bike San Diego, San Diego police officials have also issued a retraction to their earlier statements that Ortiz had been riding against traffic. Comments on the initial report here indicate that Ortiz was actually riding eastbound — with traffic — on his way to work when he was killed, rather than westbound as police had said.

The NBC report also indicates that his body came to stop in the area where he should have been riding, although they note that doesn’t necessarily mean that was where he was when the SUV initially hit him.

And as it turned out, despite initial reports, he was wearing a helmet after all. Not that it would have made a damn bit of difference under the circumstances.

In other words, aside from the actual location of the collision and the number of vehicles involved, virtually every important detail in the initial reports from the SDPD was wrong.

Yet they seem to have been tripping all over themselves to blame the victim, from incorrectly claiming he was riding in the wrong direction to offering statements — that originated God only knows where — to exonerate a killer hit-and-run driver.

Not that they haven’t done that before.

Un-effing-believable.

The San Diego police have a lot of explaining to do on this one.

A campus full of steal-able bikes at USC may be a sign of bigger problems

Just a small fraction of the bikes I saw on campus.

Yesterday, I found myself on the University of Southern California campus for the first time.

While crosstown rival UCLA has earned honors as a bronze-level Bike-Friendly University  (pdf) — which may have something to do with their dramatic decrease in vehicular traffic — USC has struggled with the issue of bikes on campus.

But don’t call it a problem, please.

Cars on and around campus are a problem. Getting students onto campus from outlying areas is a problem.

Bikes are a big part of the solution, by allowing students to leave their cars at home and still have the independent mobility they need to get to class on time. As well as to their jobs and other sites throughout the city.

In fact, a full 80% of USC students consider themselves cyclists. Which has reportedly led to the usual, seemingly inevitable conflicts as riders and pedestrians vie for space on a campus that has long considered bikes an afterthought.

If they thought about them at all, that is.

The good news is, the university is working on a bike plan as we speak, with the next workshop scheduled for April 19th. The bad news, I’m told the plan calls for building bike garages on the four corners of the university, followed by banning bikes from the campus itself.

So if you’re running late for class, you’d better plan on running.

Now there’s an intelligent solution for you.

Instead of designing well thought-out bikeways into the fabric of the campus, they may banish bikes while continuing to invite cars into a massive parking garage in the heart of the university. How about building parking garages on the edges of campus, and letting drivers walk for a change?

Of course, this is all third-hand information, at best. Maybe we should plan on attending that workshop on the 19th and find out for ourselves what’s really going there.

In the meantime, a simple walk around campus showed an abundance of bikes everywhere. As well as a decided lack of bike racks.

And many of those were the old-fashioned, minimally secure and often damaging wheel-bender type — all of which were completely full.

As a result, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes lying unsecured on sidewalks or leaning up against buildings and trees.

Many of those were unlocked; most that weren’t just had a U-lock attached to the front wheel, making them easy to pick up and walk off with. Even those that were locked to a rack were usually secured by the front wheel only.

Had I wanted to steal a bike — or a hundred bikes — I could have had my pick.

And then our guide mentioned in passing that bike theft was the biggest crime problem at USC.

Funny, I could have told her that.

While UCLA is far from perfect, they’ve made a point of building secure bike parking throughout the university, from secure U-racks and bike corrals to reservable bike lockers – something USC could accomplish before the end of this semester if they really wanted to do something about the theft problem.

While the lack of secure parking is a real problem, the students themselves need to learn to lock their bikes securely.

Your lock should at least secure your rear wheel and the rear triangle of the frame; ideally, it should secure the front wheel, as well. Especially if you have quick release wheels.

My approach is to remove my front wheel and secure it, as well as the rear wheel and frame to the rack with a sturdy U-lock.

Then again, it’s not just cyclists who seem to have issue with parking.

………

It looks like I may have been taken in.

On Monday, I published a guest post by a writer named Brooke Kerwin.

Now Kevin Jones of the SafetyAtWorkBlog reports that he has been approached by Kerwin, as well. And that she may not be who she seems — if she exists at all.

Rather, he suspects that it may be an attempt to promote a site about distracted driving run by a Florida lawyer. And notes that virtually every article she writes links back to that same site.

It has all the hallmarks of a particularly devious SEO marketing campaign. And I apparently fell for it, along with a number of other people.

I won’t include a link to that site here, because I don’t believe in rewarding such illicit attempts to use this site to market a product or website. But you can find it yourself at distracted driving help dot com.

I’ll leave the post up, since it has some useful information.

But I’ve removed the links she included, two of which just linked back to my site, anyway.

Distracted Driving: Playing a Risk for Drivers and Cyclists

I’ve been otherwise occupied by out-of-town guests this past weekend.

Not to mention dealing with a 17+ hour internet outage, which is why you didn’t see a post this morning, and I haven’t gotten around to answering my email yet.

Thanks, Verizon. 

Fortunately, Brooke Kerwin has stepped into the breach, offering her thoughts on one of my favorite topics, the ever-increasing risk posed by distracted driving.

And distracted cycling.

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There’s no question that automobiles and drivers play a large risk to cyclists every day. In the last few years, technology has certainly had an effect on society, in both a positive and negative light. When it comes to transportation, technology had served as a major distraction to both drivers and cyclists everywhere.

In 2012, smart phones and other tech devices serve as a risk for those using them on their bikes, as well as a risk from people who are driving distracted. The issue of distracted driving is one that is at the forefront for a number of different bicycling advocacy groups right now. While the risk to other drivers is often spotlighted, the risk that is presented to cyclists is often overlooked.

Personally, I can say that I’m guilty of certain times becoming distracted both on a bicycle and operating an automobile. With the increase in accidents, deaths and general injuries related to distracted driving in the past few years, I’ve tried to be more cautious in both forms of transportation. There’s no doubt that this has been the general consensus, yet there’s still plenty of awareness to be had and people to reach.

Legislation is a good step forward in getting awareness of the ground and though the ultimate goal should be a nationwide restriction, it’s likely to continue to stay in the hands of individual states for the near future.

Just as many things that go back and forth between the driving and biking communities, one issue has developed in the form of whether or not texting laws should include cyclists. As someone who both drives and rides a bike, I believe it should. Texting and distracted driving have certainly played a role in a number of different injuries and accidents involving cyclists, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look to protect cyclists as well.

Already in some large cities such as Philadelphia, legislation has crossed over to include a texting ban while operating a vehicle or a bicycle. The next great move is likely to be here in California, which is a good thing because being one of the larger states in the union, what is done here is likely to be looked at closely by other states.

It’s my general thought that distracted driving and biking can only begin to come down with a combination of things coming together in the future.  It won’t just be limited to increasing legislation and influence from larger states and cities. There will also need to be continuing work to communicate the dangers that distractions and texting can cause to both drivers and cyclists.

……..

The California legislature passed a bill last year to increase penalties for distracted drivers, while banning handheld cell phone use by cyclists, which is currently legal — despite what some websites might say.

Unfortunately, the law was vetoed by Governor Brown, who said he thinks the currently penalty is strict enough to stop most drivers from using handheld phones.

Clearly, he doesn’t get out enough.

I’ve counted ratios ranging anywhere from one in 10 to one in four drivers blissfully ignoring the ban at various times — including uniformed police officers on patrol. And nearly been hit by cyclists using theirs, as well.

Meanwhile, Chicago recently banned cyclists from texting or speaking on a handheld device while riding.

And the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that cell phone use be banned entirely for all drivers, handheld or otherwise.

Thanks to Brooke Kerwin for the contribution.

BOLO Alert — Two bikes stolen from Culver City

I’ve been forwarded news this morning that two bikes were stolen from a Culver City woman yesterday. So be on the lookout when you’re on the street — or especially on Craiglist, eBay or other reseller marketplaces.

If you see them, contact the Culver City police at 310/837-1221, or your own local police department. Then email the owner ay virginia dot solomon at gmail dot com.

; you can find my email address on the About page.

Thanks to Eric Bruins for the heads-up; as he notes, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves.

Ritte Bosberg -
White, external routing, size small
FSA alloy compact K Wing bar
Ritchey WCS stem
Specialized 155 ruby Saddle
FSA Gossamer alloy PC7 SRM
Ultegra pedals
Ritchey WCS maybe 57mm (?) rims with Vredestein tubulars.
Black Fizik bar tape
Swobo Sanchez -
Silver, size 50
Blue Oury grips
some random low rise MTB bar
Ritchey Pro stem
Specialized Toupe saddle
105 front wheel
hand built salsa delgado rim laced to a surly flip flop hub rear wheel
old dura ace cranks
toe clip pedals
black rack, probably planet bike…

SaMo bike corral opening, Eastside taco night, Malibu planning meeting and a postponed USC ride

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

Culver City’s Sports for Eve female-focused athletics shop is holding a going out of business sale now through March 31st. Stop by their store at 3849 Main Street for great closeout deals on biking, running and athletic gear and apparel. And don’t feel left out, guys; they have a lot of unisex bike gear and accessories, too.

Saturday, March 24th marks the “unofficial” grand opening of Santa Monica’s first on-street bike corral at 2439 Main Street, events take place from 11 am to noon, with free coffee, muffins, balloons and more. Santa Monica Spoke will lead a group ride from the Bike Center at 2nd and Colorado at 10:30 am sharp.

The Eastside Bike Club invites you to join them for Taco Night to raise funds for Tour de Cure to call attention to diabetes in the East L.A. community. Get three tacos, rice and beans and a beverage for just $10. It takes place from 5 pm to 10 pm at Stan’s Monrovia Bike Shop, 880 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.

The 28th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic will take place on March 22nd through 25th in Redlands, offering one of the state’s most intense cycling competitions, as well as a joyful celebration of bicycling for cyclists of all ages.

The 7th Annual Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer one-day bike stage race rolls on Sunday, March 25th; participants will tackle the 10 toughest hills in Los Angeles in a single day. Meet at the new pedestrian plaza at the intersection of Sunset and Griffith Park Blvds at 7:45 am, and rolling out at 8:30 sharp.

Update: This Sunday’s ride with the USC Cycling Team has been rescheduled due to predicted rain; the new date is Sunday, April 29th. Your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty, all starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. Suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

Update: The first meeting of the newly formed LACBC Civics Committee has been postponed until Wednesday, April 18th at the Downtown Pitfire Pizza, at 2nd and Main across from the new police headquarters. The committee will serve to give the LACBC a voice in the local political process to help ensure the election of bike-friendly candidates; Efren Moreno Jr and yours truly will serve as Co-Chairs.

Streetsblog LA hosts another fundraiser at the Library Ale House on Tuesday, March 27th, 2911 Main Street in Santa Monica. Streetsblog events are always fun and the money goes to keeping us all informed about local transportation issues; great food and beer just makes it that much better.

Also on Tuesday, March 27th, the Glendale City Council will review the city’s new Draft Bicycle Transportation Plan starting at 3 pm at Glendale City Hall, 613 East Broadway. Opposition to the plan is expected, so cyclists are urged to attend to voice your support.

If you’re looking for a serious challenge, consider the CORPScamp Death Valley, five days of biking in Death Valley National Park featuring 300 miles or more of riding, including the Hell’s Gate Hundred, March 27th through 31st.

Help plan for future expansion of CicLAvia into the San Fernando Valley from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Thursday, March 29th at the San Fernando Regional Pool Facility, 208 Park Ave in San Fernando.

Malibu takes the next step in their surprising turnaround to becoming bike friendly with a pair of meetings to discuss design work to improve the existing bike route west of the city limit on PCH. The meetings are scheduled for 10 am to noon on Saturday, March 31st, and 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, April 4th at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road.

Saturday, March 31st, the Eastside Bike Club joins with the Salesian Boys & Girls Club to host a fun, family friendly bike ride to explore community gardens in Boyle Heights and El Sereno as part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s Day of Service. The ride meets at 8 am at Salesian Family Youth Center, 2228 East 4th Street.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride rolls on April 1st, hosted by Bici Libre Program Coordinator Brenda Yancor. The ride starts at Bici Libre, 1205 W. 6th Street, and rides 17 miles (34 miles roundtrip) to a little fun in the sun at Dockweiler State Beach, retuning in the late afternoon or early evening.

Bike Long Beach will celebrate April Fool’s Day with a Bike for Art Scavenger Hunt and after party on Sunday, April 1st from 9 am to 4 pm at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave in Long Beach.

The 2012 SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) Regional Conference will take place April 4th through 5th at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown L.A., with the theme of “Towards a Sustainable Future in Transportation.”

The 10th Annual Laurel Foundation’s Ride for AIDS will take place with a two-day century ride from San Diego to Santa Monica on April 14th and 15th, and a one day ride from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach and back on April 15th.

If you enjoyed the last CicLAvia, you’ll love the next one on Tax Day, April 15th from 10 am to 3 pm; the route will follow the same expanded course as last October’s. You can still support this year’s CicLAvia by contributing on Kickstarter.

While you’re enjoying CicLAvia, stop by Orange 20 Bikes at the west end of the route, at the intersection of Heliotrope and Melrose, for a book signing with Eben Weiss, aka BikeSnobNYC, starting at 10:30 am.

Shifting Gears Cycling sponsors the 17th (or possibly 16th) Annual Santa Barbara Double Century on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th. The two-day supported ride will travel 100 miles from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, returning the next day.

It might be worth the long drive to Davis CA for the first ever Legends Gran Fondo sponsored by the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame on May 6th, featuring America’s first Tour de France winner Greg LeMond — the man whose name is on my bike —  as well as former World Champion Ruthie Mathes, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, and other members of the Hall of Fame.

May is Bike Month. The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th, with National Bike to Work Week taking place on May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th.

Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place on Tuesday, May 15th from 8 am to 9:30 am in front of the hospital at 1225 Wilshire Blvd. Expect a great breakfast and bike swag, with non-sectarian bike blessings from virtually every faith found in L.A.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County; save $10 if you register by May 15th.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

A little this, a little that — thank you LADOT, a SaMo bike corral and a new oldest living cyclist

As you may be aware, one of my pet peeves is people who park in bike lanes.

As in, they really piss me off.

And yes, peeves make lousy pets.

So I was far from happy as I was riding on San Vicente Blvd the other day, and spotted this Mercedes parked so badly the rear of the car was sticking out into the bike lane.

I signaled the cars coming up from behind that I was moving to my left — most of whom seemed to be blissfully ignoring the speed limit as well as my presence. And had to wait until a half dozen or so cars passed before I could safely move around this its jutting ass.

So imagine my delight as I rounded the front of the car and saw a parking ticket tucked under the wiper.

Of course, chances are, the ticket was for violating the daytime no parking restrictions, rather than illegally blocking the bike lane.

But either way, it felt damn good to see.

So thank you to LADOT — or maybe LAPD — for writing it.

……..

Later that same day, I found myself riding up Main Street in Santa Monica the other day on my way back from the Marina. And noticed that a new bike corral had sprouted alongside the northbound bike lane.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I received an email inviting me — and yes, you too — to the Grand Unofficial Opening of the city’s first on-street bike corral.

Join in on Saturday morning at the bike corrals between 11 and 12 for coffee, muffins, balloons, music, ribbon cutting, speeches, politicians, drum rolls, bike type activities, media coverage, lights, cameras. And more. Much more!  It’s a party!  Be there.

Spoke, a sponsor of the Opening and Santa Monica’s Bike organization have organized a group bike ride from the Bike Center at 10.30 to arrive in time for the opening.

Santa Monica Bike Corrals
Grand Unofficial Opening
Saturday 11 am
2439 Main StreetOutside Peets at the Edgemar Center
(on the Main Street bike lanes)

……..

Looks like West Hollywood bike touring and rental company Bikes and Hikes LA is going to have a reality show on Bravo. And they need to find a cyclist who ended up on film in Hancock Park.

If that’s you, or you know who it is, let them know.

They want to make you a star.

……..

This has been a busy week for emails. So if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, be patient.

One that disappointed me, though, was the news that Culver City women’s sports apparel and equipment retailer Sports for Eve is going out of business at the end of the month.

I’ve long thought it was a great idea to have a sporting goods store just for women. And the store always felt comfortable and inviting, with a great selection and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Even if I wasn’t exactly the target market.

So I’m very sad to see it go.

On the other hand, you now have an opportunity to get a great deal on top quality cycling, running, yoga and workout gear. And as they reminded me, bike bags, lights and other bike accessories are unisex, so guys can take advantage of the clearance sale as well; I already got a great deal on a chain cleaner.

You’ll find them 3849 Main Street in Culver City.

But hurry, because they’re closing the doors — permanently — at the end of this month.

……..

Another email I received on Thursday offers a new way to carry a companion on your bike.

Half the Wheels, Twice the Fun: Companion Bike Seats creates the first ever rear mounted bike seat.  Featured at SXSW, the Companion Team was in full force giving FREE rides to popular hotspots. The simple yet strong design can safely carry an adult, while comfortably enjoying the ride on a padded seat and foot rests.  The optional locking stashbox has many uses not to mention perfectly holds a 6-pack with ice.  The Companion is available now on Kickstarter for a reduced pre-order price, http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm.

Companion Bike Seats was created by two best friends who share a deep love and appreciation for biking.  Always having friends over but never having enough bikes, they wanted to share the joy and benefits of riding with everyone.  The solution was to create the world’s first commercial rear mounted bike seat that allows one bike to safely and comfortably carry two people.  Companion believes that biking is not only beneficial but also a ton of FUN!  Biking is more than a mode of transportation… it’s a lifestyle and now you can share that lifestyle with a Companion.

Through Kickstarter, Companion hopes to raise the necessary funds to begin manufacturing.  In appreciation for helping to reach the goal, Kickstarter backers enjoy reduced rates: Companion $85 (Retail $100), Companion with “Stashbox” $115 (Retail $150).  Thanks for helping to make this product a reality!

Kickstarter – http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm
@CompanionSeats
https://www.facebook.com/CompanionBikeSeat
http://www.thebikeseat.com/

Think I could get them to send me a prototype in time to take the Corgi to CicLAvia next month?

……..

Maybe the courts are finally starting to take traffic crimes against cyclists seriously, as an Illinois woman is sentenced to 10 years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist. And a Florida man gets 15 years for a similar crime.

When even Florida, the most dangerous state in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians, treats killing a bike rider treats like the crime it is, things are really starting to change.

On the other hand, maybe not so much, as a 72-year old Sonoma County woman is arrested for DUI for the sixth time in just nine years; thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have killed anyone.

Yet.

……..

Surprisingly enough, it looks like Long Beach’s Octavio Orduño isn’t the oldest living cyclist after all — or even the oldest in Southern California. Victorville’s 108-year old Charlie Barcio has him beat by four years.

And yes, I want to be like them when I grow up.

……..

Great quote from Chicago bike and transportation blogger Steve Vance, who Tweeted that Volvo making kid’s bike helmets is like Smith & Wesson making bulletproof kid’s vests.

……..

A 63-year old Brooklyn cyclist is critically injured in a horrific collision, as an 80-year old driver first hit a school bus, then crashed into the rider and a parked SUV trying to flee the scene.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was tell my father-in-law he was never going to drive again; after a lifetime of mobility and self-sufficiency, losing the privilege to drive meant a major change in lifestyle and self image.

But as this story shows, there comes a time for most drivers when someone needs to take the keys away. For their good, and the safety of everyone around them.

……..

Former multi-sport star athlete Bo Jackson will team with Lance Armstrong to ride across Alabama to raise funds for last year’s devastating series of tornadoes. If you can’t ride, you can still donate.

……..

Bike journalist Carlton Reid examines the document that lead to paved roads in the United States. And no, it didn’t come from motorists.

……..

It’s a return to form for Will Campbell, who gained fame for devastatingly entertaining reports from his experiences as a bike commuter, until he started working from home.

Now he’s commuting again, this time as a volunteer with the local branch of the SPCA; one thing that’s long been clear about Will is that he has a humongous heart and has seldom, if ever, met an animal he didn’t like.

The other thing is that he doesn’t put up with a lot of crap from the idiots he meets on the road. Like the distracted driver who flipped him off, and a honey badger of a red light running bicyclist.

Welcome back, Will.

……..

Finally, local San Gabriel Valley councilmembers seem to feel justified in standing in the way of bike projects because they say nobody bikes there.

So if you ride anywhere in SGV, send a photo of you on your bike, or other riders on theirs, along with the location of the photo, to LACBC affiliate chapter BikeSGV — aka @bikeSGV on Twitter.

Let’s prove ‘em wrong.

……..

Update: Erik Griswold reminds me of a story I had meant to include today, as an Irish driver will miss out on the first five years of his soon-to-be-born child’s life, after being convicted of running down — the deliberately running over — a cyclist in a jealous rage.

……..

The good news is, my sister and her family are coming to L.A. for a visit over the next several days. The bad news is, that may mean my posting on here could be a little sparse until after midweek. So let me apologize in advance if I’m not able to keep up. Then again, this could be a good time to send in a guest post if you’ve got anything you want to say on the subject of bikes or bicycling. Or even Corgis, for that matter.

Just a hint.

Breaking news — police make arrests in murder of San Diego cyclist Jordan Hickey

Finally, a little good news from our neighbor to the south.

Just over eleven months ago, 21-year old Jordan Hickey was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Lincoln Acres neighborhood of National City, southeast of downtown San Diego.

The developmentally disabled man was returning home from visiting his girlfriend, and just blocks from his home when he was gunned down.

For nearly a year, police had no suspects or any motive for the shooting.

That changed last month, when Hickey’s mother and long-time girlfriend appealed for anyone with information to step forward.

Following leads developed as a result of that appeal, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore today announced the arrest of 21-year old Juan Ignacio Gomez and 19-year old Humberto Emanuel Galvez. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, while both men are associated with a gang, they did not appear to know their victim and the case does not appear to be gang related.

The paper also notes that it did not look like Hickey was robbed; no motive was given for the shooting.

Of the nine fatal shootings of Southern California cyclists last year, this is the only one that occurred outside of Los Angeles County, and only the second which did not appear to be a result of gang violence.

Update — salmon San Diego cyclist killed after being hit by multiple vehicles

You knew it couldn’t last.

After going the first three weeks of March without a single SoCal cycling fatality, San Diego’s KFMB-8 reports that a bicyclist has been killed this morning.

The rider, identified only as a white male, was traveling against traffic on eastbound Balboa Avenue at the I-805 onramp shortly after 7 am when he was hit by a Ford Expedition, followed by two other vehicles.

While facing traffic may seem safer to some people, it dramatically reduces reaction times while increasing the force of impact in any collision. Despite the presence of either a bike lane or painted shoulder on Balboa, drivers would have had no way of anticipating a cyclist riding the wrong way on the roadway, with virtually no time to react before hitting the rider.

This is the 10th cycling fatality in Southern California this year and the 2nd in San Diego, following a disastrous year in which 12 riders were killed in San Diego County in 2011 — nearly twice the county’s six-year average of 6.8 cycling deaths per year.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the first driver to hit the victim said she had the sun in her eyes as she entered the roadway, and never saw the rider; she pulled over after feeling the impact. The paper also notes that the victim was killed on impact and wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Note to Union-Tribune — bike helmets are designed to offer protection at impact speeds up to just 12.5 mph; at speeds significantly above that, it doesn’t really matter whether the rider is wearing a helmet or a propeller beanie. Not to mention the rider was hit three separate times, by three separate vehicles; if you can find a helmet that would make a damn bit of difference under those circumstances, let us all know so we can buy one.

Update 2: The Union-Tribune identifies the victim as 29-year old David Ortiz of Pacific Beach; thanks to billsd for the link.

Comments below suggest that the police got it wrong, pointing out that Ortiz would have been riding east from Pacific Beach to his work, rather than the other way around — which means he would have been on the right side of the road riding with traffic. 

And that would make it a completely different matter; instead of the rider being at fault, the first driver who hit him should bear responsibility for breaking the basic speed law by driving too fast for conditions; if she couldn’t see, she should have slowed down until she could.

Update 3: Bike San Diego offers a good follow-up on this case, agreeing with the commenters that Ortiz had been riding with traffic, rather than against it. And suggesting that this may be yet another case of San Diego police jumping to a false conclusion.

My prayers and sympathy for David Ortiz and his family and loved ones.

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