An aimless weekend wandering through the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes

I wasn’t really planning to write anything tonight; somehow, getting a little sleep seemed like a much more inviting option.

But sometimes, there’s just too much going on in the world of bikes to let it slide.

So grab a seat and strap yourself down.

This is going to be a bumpy ride.

………

With just two stages left, rising American rider Tejay Van Garderen has surged into the lead of the Amgen Tour of California.

Meanwhile, merchants in Avila Beach, host city of Thursday’s finish, reported mixed results from the tour’s presence. But at least one grammatically challenged local business didn’t seem happy at all.

Joe%20Mamma%20coffee%20house%20hates%20Amgen[1]

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the forward.

………

A Valley bicyclist reports he had an exciting ride home from work recently.*

I caught a car thief in the act. I left work around 9 tonight and headed home on my bike. 2 blocks from work I see a suspicious guy hanging around the passenger door of a parked Toyota. I pass him and pull around the corner, stopping to observe. I see him attempting to slim Jim the door open so I dial 911. I got a quick connection and started to do scribe what I was seeing. After a minute, the perp gets the passenger door open, unlocks the driver’s door then hops in. It takes him another minute to get the car started and to take off. The operator asked me to describe which way the car was going, so I figured I would see how long I could follow and give a running dialog using my wireless headset. I guess I was pumped up as I had no trouble maintaining the 30 MPH needed to keep up with the car as it weaves its way through the residential neighborhood. That’s quick for me, I normally do 20. I continued to provide a running dialog of my position. The LAPD was really on it, because they had a helicopter and three patrol cars pull the thief over in a half mile. My phone log shows the call duration was only 5 minutes.

After I hung up, I turned and headed for home. This part is really interesting. After I got over a mile away from the scene of the arrest, the police helicopter tracked me down and had me stop. I wonder if the GPS in my phone gave my location. A patrol car pulled up shortly after, the two officers got out and asked me for a witness statement. After I gave a full description of everything that transpired, the officer taking the statement asked me one last question. Mind you, I’m riding one of my nice road bikes and I’m fully kitted up. “What kind of car was I driving when I was following the stolen car?”

*Given the circumstances, I’m withholding his name to protect his privacy.

………

Santa Monica gets a boost in Bike Friendly rankings, rising from Bronze to Silver. And is rated as the nation’s 5th most bikable community, though some would question the value of that.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles consistently gets left off everyone’s lists of bikable communities. And now we can’t even manage a single bikable neighborhood, either.

………

Turns out all an artist has to do to get a private showing in New York is get run over by a truck. Then again, dying has always been a good career move in the art world.

………

Pasadena bicyclists observe Wednesday’s Ride of Silence; thanks to hard-working organizer Thomas Cassidy for making sure our local fallen riders aren’t forgotten.

My goal is to one day have a Ride of Silence straight down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to Downtown.

Let’s see the media try to ignore that.

………

An exclusive Bay Area town considers banning out-of-town bicyclists from their affluent community. They may be able to legally do that since their roadways are private, rather than public, property.

Just don’t give Beverly Hills any ideas.

………

Winners are announced for the recent Feel My Legs, I’m A Racer hill climb competition.

………

Several openings on the job front for those of us who want to work in bike advocacy when we grew up.

First up, Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club — the nation’s largest local bike advocacy organization — is looking for a Policy and Government Affairs Manager. Transportation for America wants a Field Director for their DC office. L.A. expat Amanda Lipsey sends word that the Adventure Cycling Association is looking for a Web Developer ­– Systems Analyst to work in Missoula MT.

Closer to home, Bike Bakersfield is in need of an Executive Director; affinity for fog, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard highly recommended.

And yes, I have walked the streets of Bakersfield.

………

An article in Shape magazine offers 30 reasons bikes are better than boyfriends, including:

  • # 17. Bicycles aren’t afraid of a lifelong commitment; and
  • # 22. Bicycles that go flat are easy to pump up again.

………

Verizon celebrates creativity while supporting local community causes through their FiOS SoCal Experience, as well as offering you a chance to win a bike.

As a salute to the Southern California way of life, Verizon created the Conquer your Creativity Sweepstakes. Participants can win a locally crafted Villy Custom beach cruiser valued at over $700. The beach cruiser would be virtually designed by those participating through a unique computer-based design template that allows users to integrate colors, personal photos and text into their designs.

The FiOS SoCal Experience is actively supporting local community causes such as the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica, Habitat for Humanity Ventura and the SurfRider Foundation’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter. You can get involved by influencing local change at www.FiOSSoCal.com.

You can also find them at the Huntington Beach Duck-A-Thon this weekend, where you can enter to win the beach cruiser or other prizes.

………

NPR says biking to work is good for you until you hit a pothole.

………

Bike Week wraps up in the L.A. area with the region’s first Bike Local Weekend. Just bring proof of ridership — such as a helmet or maybe a bike — into a long list of local businesses and attractions for special bike-only discounts.

Meanwhile, someone who writes a lot like me questions just what Bike to Work day is all about on LA Streetsblog.

………

Finally, an Alaskan newspaper says sure, go ahead and celebrate Bike to Work Day, but you’ll probably get killed.

And they quote a cop recommending that you make eye contact with drivers who may pose a risk — and if they don’t see you, pick up a stick and beat on their hood until they do.

No, really.

Evidently, drivers are a lot more forgiving up there in the Great White North.

3 comments

  1. Joe B says:

    I can’t think of a faster way to torpedo a business (a coffee shop, no less) than to post that flyer. I’m not a racer (leg-feeling optional) but if I saw that sign in my local caffienery, I’d drink my coffee elsewhere.

    • bikinginla says:

      You and me both. I’m half tempted to drive up to Avila Beach just so I can buy coffee somewhere else.

  2. taffy says:

    Oh, potholes! I want to bike on the road on my commute home from work, but one segment of my commute is Centinela between Sepulveda and Mesmer. There are potholes on that road that are as big as my tire, and shockingly deep. Lots of weaving required to get around them. Add in the drivers doing 55mph who don’t want to give a cyclist one foot, let alone three, and riding on the sidewalk feels like a safer bet.

    While we’re on potholes, what about the big potholes in the bike lane on Sepulveda between Centinela and the airport? Yikes! Between evading potholes and evading drivers I feel like I’m ready to enter an obstacle race!

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