Archive for Bike Cam Video

Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.

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A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.

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The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.

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Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

Morning links: LA cyclist is shocking collateral damage, fatal San Diego bike-by, NC writer gets it so wrong

The LACBC is hosting a workshop to empower local bike advocates this Thursday. Be there if you want to make a difference in your own neighborhood.

A Buena Park cyclist is collateral damage as a driver knocks over a fire hydrant, then knocks down a power line, which falls in the water and shocks the passing rider. Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to have been seriously injured.

The Times interviews a Dutch cyclist who’s riding 17,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina to raise funds for education and children’s programs. And destroys the myth that the Dutch don’t wear helmets, at least over here.

Huntington Park is seeking grants for a CicLAvia-style open streets event, as well as a second annual Gran Prix in conjunction with the LACBC and Wolfpack Hustle.

Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys, as a San Diego cyclist kills an SUV driver in a ride-by shooting; thanks to Sam Ollinger for the heads-up.

I Bike Kern offers a great overview of California bike laws; I think I need to add this link to the Resources page.

Fresno police auditor wisely tells the department to reconsider the way they pursue suspects on bicycles. Using a police vehicle to run down a rider should always be considered deadly use of force.

A Pittsburgh CA cyclist is in grave condition after being hit head-on while riding salmon. Don’t do that. Just don’t.

Elly Blue offers advice on how to be a bike angel to new riders in your town.

Yet another experienced cyclist has been killed by yet another elderly driver, this time in Omaha.

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as Grand Rapids MI suffers a 50% jump in fleeing drivers. I have some distant relatives out that way; I hope they have enough sense to stick around after a collision. Or better yet, just don’t hit anyone.

Remember that New York Times writer who blogged about his cross-country ride a few years back? It’s a book now.

That obnoxious fight over proposed bike lanes in Alexandria VA has finally ended with a unanimous council vote in favor of bike lanes over parking spaces.

A North Carolina letter writer gets it so wrong I don’t even know where to start. Like bike riders have the same rights as motorists, but should give way when an impatient driver honks and attempts to pass dangerously on a curve? I’d probably bail, but only to save my life, not to be polite.

This is what happens when Chilean velodrome officials neglect to remove a starting gate.

A Brit bike rider refuses to put her back into it, while another gives up bike commuting — and stops his or her son, too.

The right bike can make all the difference in your commute, though.

A British bishop takes to his bike and gives up his car for Lent. I’ve given up abject poverty for Lent, but my bank account doesn’t seem to have noticed yet.

An Aussie cyclist is run down from behind — despite taking the lane — by a driver who surely should have seen him in a collision caught on camera. Warning: you need a strong stomach to watch this one, even though the story says he seemed okay.

That driver must feel like small potatoes, as one of his countrymen manages to take out six cyclists in a single blow. The good news is, one of the six didn’t need medical attention, one has been released after treatment and the other four are in stable condition. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

Finally, this happened on my ride through Santa Monica on Friday. And you might want to turn down the sound if impressionable ears are around.

To be fair, the removal of bike lane markings in preparation for new green bike lanes on Main Street may have contributed to the driver’s jerkishness confusion.

Seriously, don’t be a two-wheeled Jerry Browning jerk, and your Morning Links

It’s bad enough when drivers pass far to close.

It’s another thing entirely when the danger comes from being buzzed by other bike riders who really should know better. Especially when there’s no damn reason for it.

In the first case captured in the above video, a rider blew by with no warning whatsoever, apparently  because he couldn’t be bothered to squeeze his brakes long enough to announce his presence and make a safe pass. Had I moved more than a few inches off my line — which would have happened as soon as I thought it was safe to pass the rider ahead — we would have collided.

And probably ended up beneath the cars to our left.

The second rider evidently felt the need to risk my safety by remaining firmly inside the frequently ignored solid yellow no-passing line, brushing by as close as humanly possible without making actual physical contact.

If I had even turned my head to look behind me, she would have hit me. She must have recognized my obvious skill and was confident in my ability to hold my line.

Right.

So let’s get this straight.

What passes in the peloton doesn’t play on the street. Or the bike path, for that matter, which tends to be over populated with the least skilled riders and pedestrians,.

If you’re going pass another human being — on a bike or otherwise — give them at least an arms-length passing distance, if not the full three feet you’d expect from a motorist.

If for any reason you can’t give sufficient passing distance or if there’s any danger of conflict, call if out before you pass. A simple “On your left” can avoid most problems, and is often, though not always, greeted with a thank you and a move to the right.

Which is exactly what I would have done if the woman on the bike path had just announced her damn presence.

And if the guy on the street had yelled it out before blowing by, at least I would have known not to move left, which I was about to do.

While I’m no fan of bike bells, even that helps by offering a friendly announcement that you’re there, if not where you’re going.

And lets everyone know an angel just got it’s wings.

Always pass on the left whenever possible, and never undercut a rider by passing in the door zone he or she is carefully avoiding. If a car door happens to swing open, it could knock you into them, and you could both end up under passing traffic.

Or better yet, just treat other riders the same way you want drivers to treat you. And simply don’t pass until it’s safe to do so.

Better to lose a few seconds off your Strava time than spend a few hours in the ER.

Or force someone else to.

Update: In the comments below, Chuck questioned whether the first rider was really as close as he seemed, noting he passed the rider in front of me at over an arms length.

While he goes by far too fast in the video to tell just how close he is, this still should give a better idea. Clearly, not as close as the near-shoulder brushing rider on the bike path, but still too close for safety, let alone comfort.

Especially at that speed.

Way too close for comfort.

Way too close for comfort.

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Nice.

Some walking — or in this case, rolling — human scum used sleeping homeless people as props for BMX stunts in Downtown’s Skid Row.

I don’t care how much of a self-absorbed jackass you may be, show some respect for other human beings. Especially those less fortunate than you.

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Abbott Kinney gets a pair of surprise bike corrals; LADOT Bike Blog offers full details on the design and construction, while Streetsblog says the city is taking applications for more. I expect rioting from parking-challenged Venice motorists over the loss of two spaces.

Even so, Flying Pigeon suffers from infrastructure envy.

Meanwhile, the needlessly embattled MyFigueroa project is gaining key support from neighborhood councils, and is due back before the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee any day. Hopefully, we’ll get some advance notice of the hearing so supporters can actually show up.

At least one candidate for Glendale city council supports bicycling.

Bike Long Beach invites you to join them for a low-speed Sunday morning bike ride to remember city leader and bike advocate Mark Bixby, killed in a plane crash three years ago Sunday. A more permanent memorial to Bixby is the city he helped transform, where a downtown cycle track has boosted bicycling 33% while reducing bike-involved collisions 80%.

Outgoing County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky looks at Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable; has it really been four years since so many cyclists showed up for the first one?

If you need inspiration, you’ll find it here, as the Orange County Register talks to a recumbent-riding Wounded Warrior who’s not letting cancer kick her ass. Thanks to the Register for sharing this one.

Riverside’s long-debated Brockton Ave road diet and bike lanes finally gets a final approval.

Five-foot wide bike lanes are coming to Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, while green bike lanes are coming to a deadly intersection in Goleta.

More evidence that Caltrans is hopelessly locked in the auto-centric past as they propose widening Highway 1 to six lanes in Pacifica to possibly save 5 minutes drive time 20 years from now. But at least they did include bike-friendly 10-foot wide shoulders in the plan.

Does San Francisco’s MTA spend more on Post Its than bike projects?

More on the unanimous committee approval of AB 1532, which would suspend licenses and create minimum sentences for any hit-and-run.

Two Utah bike commuters were killed by a driver who apparently didn’t see them. No one will ever be safe on our roads until that’s an admission of guilt instead of a Get Out of Jail Free card.

An off-duty Chicago cop who drove away after hitting a cyclist gets one whole year probation and 30 days community service.

New York firefighters will ride 18-days from Ground Zero to the Navy Seal Museum in Florida, towing an I-beam from the World Trade Center.

Very cool bike murals from Buenos Aires. I wonder if I could fit an entire wall in my carry on? Then again, I have not idea how I’d get to Argentina to begin with.

An Ontario Canada triathlete gets $75,000 restitution for taking a beating from a road raging driver, yet, as usual, no jail time for his attacker.

Lots of people swear at cyclists, but this guy may have been going for the record as a road raging Brit driver is caught on video swearing at a cyclist 25 times in just 35 seconds.

Finally, stealing a bike is nothing unusual. Stealing a penny-farthing for a drunken Christmas Day ride home, on the other hand, is.

Morning links: More ghost bikes needed, watch out for drowsy drivers and a call for historical women on bikes

This was not a good weekend for SoCal cyclists, with four riders losing their lives in three separate collisions.

If you don’t want the details — and trust me, I understand if you don’t — stop reading at the end of this post. The only thing you’ll miss from over the weekend is the weekly listing of events, which you can find on the Events page above.

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On a related note, the unusually and unacceptably high rate of bicycling fatalities in Los Angeles County this year has depleted the stock of bikes available for ghost bikes.

If, like me, you support the ghost bike movement to remember fallen cyclists, and unlike me, you have an unneeded bike that can be turned into a moving memorial and a warning for all to ride and drive safely, email Danny Gamboa at danny@zkofilms.com to arrange a donation.

And if you question just how moving a two-wheeled memorial can be, you’ll find the answer here.

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The first workday after clocks are turned forward or back reportedly show a big jump in traffic collisions, as sleepy drivers struggle to adjust their internal clocks to the new reality.

So take fair warning, and ride extra defensively today.

It couldn’t hurt, right?

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A good friend of mine will be leading a Women’s History Ride on Saturday, March 22nd starting at the Angeles-Rosedale Cemetery, start time TBD.

There’s no shortage of notable LA women on bikes in the modern era, or during the first bike boom of the early last century. However, she’s having trouble finding information on women’s cycling from the ‘50s through the ‘90s; she notes even the 1932 LA Olympics didn’t have a single woman cyclist.

If you have any knowledge of female riders from the last half of the last century, whether in the news or tales passed down through your family — or maybe even experienced first hand — leave a comment below or email the address on the About page and I’ll pass it along.

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The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy will help fund the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail in South Pasadena; thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up..

LA bike lanes will soon be crossing the York Street bridge to connect with lanes in South Pasadena.

Glendale approves $138,000 in bicycling improvements.

A born again Wilmington rider — in the bike, not the religious sense — recalls a childhood on two wheels. And a 1900-mile Buffalo Soldier ride from 117 years ago.

Cycling in the South Bay offers a list of 10 ways to upgrade your ride. And unlike virtually every similar list I’ve ever read, this one really does make sense. All of it. For virtually every rider. So read it, already.

Not sure if this one refers to a bicycle or a motorcycle. Either way, don’t hit cars with your helmet. Just don’t.

A Bakersfield woman holds signs telling motorists to slow down after witnessing the death of an 11-year old bike rider.

A Contra Costa writer tells drivers how to make a right turn when there’s a bike around. Hint: It doesn’t involve cutting the rider off, then wondering why you got the finger.

Speaking of just don’t, a Colorado driver used coke for two days before killing a cyclist last September while on her way to court for a previous DUI arrest.

A Connecticut cop is suing the state over allegations he covered up for his drunken son in the death of a 15-year old bike rider. And blaming the victim, saying the boy appeared drunk and drifted into traffic lanes before he was killed. Schmuck.

Turns out 20 year later, a Boston writer was just two degrees of separation from the fallen rider who motivated him to always wear a helmet.

The New York Times looks at the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a unique eight-mile bike and pedestrian trail helping to revitalize the city.

A Florida driver gets a well-deserved 13 years for the drag racing death of a cyclist. Compare that to a case closer to home, in which the driver who killed pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado while allegedly racing another car got a whopping 90 days from the San Bernardino County courts. Clearly, life is cheap in the Inland Empire — especially if you get about on two wheels.

Bike riders face a 10 times higher risk in South Carolina — and throughout the unforgiving roads of the Southern US — than in Oregon.

A BBC survey says 90% of drivers report having trouble spotting cyclists.

If you’re dealing ketamine and ecstasy, don’t sample your own products before riding your bike.

A government minister promises a cycling revolution in Northern Ireland; let’s hope it goes better than the non-cycling one in the Ukraine.

Lovely Bicycle recalls a story of the bike as an escape tool; far too many women and girls can sing a variation on the same tune. I promised myself as a young man I’d never be that guy; that’s one promise I think — and hope — I’ve kept.

Aussie riders celebrate a very colorful World Naked Bike Ride.

Finally, it turns out it’s illegal to play catch in Los Angeles. And cyclist Wes High captures an extremely close call as a driver attempt to make a left turn around a bus — without a clue what’s hidden behind it.

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A special thanks to Elizabeth Trautmann, Will Campbell, Bryan Beretta and Margaret Wehbi for your generous donations to support this site over the weekend. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am.

Today’s post, in which I frighten a distracted driver, and serve up some hearty breakfast links

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any helmet cam video.

Not because LA drivers have miraculously improved. But because I simply haven’t had time to edit the videos and get them online.

And because I’m still trying to figure out if Apple’s “new and improved” iMovie hates me. Or maybe everyone. Or is just the worst software upgrade in human history.

No wonder it was free.

However, I wanted to share this one of a texting, intersection blocking driver who didn’t have a clue I was there

This bike cam thing seems to be catching on.

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The El Segundo Police Department has recovered 14 high-end bikes and frames and they’re looking for the owners. Click here to download a pdf with photos of the bikes; if you recognize yours, call Property Crime Detective Ryan Danowitz at 310/524-2258, case #14-0497.

Then again, someone on Craigslist really wants to meet the person who stole his.

No, really.

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Now let’s get on to your shortened list of morning links.

LADOT has developed new spoke cards, including the Anatomy of a Safe Bike and another listing state and local bike laws. They also have new #bikeLA stickers, which I’m sure will be appreciated by everyone who has already been using the hashtag for years.

LAX wants to know how often you ride your bike to the airport, and why you do. Or don’t.

Prepare to say “Awwww” as actor Liev Schreiber bikes with his boys to the Brentwood farmer’s market.

Would a CicLAvia by another other name smell as sweet if they held it in Pasadena?

Long Beachize explains how Long Beach city hall got its bike sculpture.

A Newport Beach reporter looks at the challenges of staying alive on a bicycle in the upscale city by the sea. In three parts, no less. Thanks to David Huntsman for the links.

The state legislature will consider a vulnerable user law this session. Although I’d think causing great bodily injury by running down a cyclist or pedestrian should be worth more than a $1000 and no jail time. Thanks to Christopher Kidd for the heads-up.

Urban Velo explains how to take advantage of the Federal Bike Commuter Benefit. I’d commute by bike but I work at home and my wife won’t let me ride in our apartment.

How Portland’s Sarah Mirk got her stolen bike back. More impressive is that the guy who recovered it said the promised $100 reward seemed a tad excessive.

A new family-friendly bike movie is now available on demand.

If you’re wanted by police and carrying meth and burglary tools, don’t ride your bike through a red light in front of a police car. And especially don’t crash your bike in front of the police station attempting to flee.

Finally, tragic news as the Fort Lauderdale bike rider who was dumped behind a dumpster by a drunken hit-and-run driver has died of an infection two months after the collision. If the SOB who left him there to die ever sees the light of day again, it will be a massive miscarriage of justice.

Thanks to Eddie Haardt for the generous donation. Very appreciated!

Dramatic dooring video, and a hit-and-run survivor is haunted by ghost bikes

LA rider weshigh offers video of a near dooring on Fountain, dramatically capturing one of the closest close calls I’ve seen.

And showing just how fast it can happen.

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In a haunting piece, a bike rider is troubled by ghost bikes, especially since one now honors her mentor. And she came too close to earning one herself.

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Santa Monica Spoke reports that Safe Routes to School plans for Santa Monica High were unanimously approved at Tuesday’s city council session, along with modified plans for the city’s first Neighborhood Greenway.

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Crenshaw’s own national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati puts his own victories in context. Cyclists are urged to attend Thursday’s meeting of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council to support a bike-friendly Hyperion bridge. A 73-year old Aptos cyclist is killed a collision. A Sacramento cop tackles a bike thief on camera. A Menlo Park bridge could be named after a long-time local bike advocate. Great idea, as Bay Area lovers can have their V-Day flowers delivered by bike, if not winged, messenger. Hats off to this Ceres CA top cop and acting city manager who won’t give up on a 2003 hit-and-run case that killed an underprivileged bike rider.

Is it wrong to steal a stolen bike if you plan to give it back? Hit-and-run driver admits guilt to police after killing a cyclist near my hometown. A UT cyclist suggests living a life in which we all get flipped off less; I can go for that. Off-duty Chicago cop blows a stop sign and runs down a cyclist before bravely running away, then gets off on the more serious charges. A Long Island driver gets a whopping six months for crossing onto the wrong side of the road and killing a cyclist while high on legally acquired methadone. Interesting piece, as an Alexandria rider says bicycling upends the social order on our streets. An accused Baton Rouge drunk driver was nearly four times the legal limit when he killed on cyclist and critically injured another, so naturally, the defense attorney blames the victims for having marijuana in their systems. Schmuck. Someone is attacking cyclists on a St. Petersburg bike trail. Ditto.

Mostly middle-aged white men bike to work in the Calgary winter. Don’t buy your next TI bike, print it. A Manchester UK cyclist is killed by a cement mixer in front of badly shaken witnesses; I can attest from personal experience that’s something you never forget. Tough town, as a Manchester cyclist is attacked by four teens for the crime of being a redhead. After surviving 20 brain surgeries, an Oxford student suffers a setback when she’s hit by a cyclist who ran a red light. A Glasgow shopping district will transform into a racing circuit for the Commonwealth Games. Syrian college students take to their bikes in the midst of the country’s civil war. A speeding Aussie driver steals a bicycle in a failed attempt to escape a police chase. Aussie have as much risk of being attacked by a great white shark as being injured while riding.

Finally, just a tad touch of sarcasm from the university paper in my hometown when a skateboarder is ticketed for riding in a bike lane.

Last night’s ride, in which I flip off an impatient driver

In retrospect, I should have been further out into the lane.

Instead, I tried to be polite and let cars move up next to me, not anticipating that one incredibly impatient driver would deliberately right hook me.

She couldn’t wait two seconds — literally — for the light to change. And it was worth it to her to risk the life of a total stranger because I didn’t get the hell out of her way.

I don’t recommend flipping off anyone.

But this one earned it.

If I’d gone when the light turned green, I’d be in the hospital right now.

Or worse.

Just another right hook — from the left lane

After awhile, you get to know the streets you ride.

Like this intersection on eastbound Ohio Ave, one block west of Sepulveda. I’ve learned to slow down there in anticipation of right hooks, as drivers stuck in traffic make a sudden decision to turn right without checking the bike lane first.

But I’ve never been right hooked from the left lane before.

Another day, another successful CicLAvia

You know it's CicLAvia when the bike sculptures come out.

You know it’s CicLAvia when the bike sculptures come out.

Maybe it was the extended hours, from 9 am to 4 pm, instead of 10 to 3.

Or maybe it was the scorching sun that made it too hot to get too worked up, and may have kept some people home for the day.

Either way, several people I talked with said this seemed to be the most relaxed CicLAvia so far.

The eighth version returned to its semi-traditional Downtown roots, and routes. Even though Downtown itself had changed, with the addition of Grand Park and the subtraction of the green bike lanes on Spring Street.

Or when the bikes parked in front of a pub take up a full block.

Or when the bikes parked in front of a pub take up a full block.

Everyone appeared to be in good spirits and ambulances seemed to be few and far between.

Although I took the afternoon shift, arriving at MacArthur Park a little after noon, so I missed anything that might have transpired prior to that.

For once, the semi-official 150,000 estimate seemed reasonably accurate; the streets I rode were nowhere near as crowded as they had been on previous events, making it more pleasant and safer for everyone involved.

On the other hand, it was heartbreaking to see the Spring Street green lane in its present state.

It was heartbreaking to see the Spring Street green lane in its present state.

Some credit for that may go to Metrolink, which evidently failed to adequately plan for a major event scheduled months in advance.

And I saw far more walkers and skaters, and less spandex, than on any previous CicLAvia. Which is a good thing, suggesting it’s moving beyond the hardcore riding crowd.

If I were to offer any constructive criticism, it would be that it’s time to stop routing riders through industrial areas with blocks of closed businesses. The South LA leg saw a fraction of the riders along the other routes, at least while I was there.

Which is not to say CicLAvia shouldn’t visit South LA. But can’t we find a more interesting way to get there, like the previous route down Figueroa?

Especially on hot days, effort has to be made to make inexpensive refreshments more easily available. I spent much of my parched ride looking for a convenient cold drink without having to stop and lock up my bike; one of the highlights was finally finding an ice cold horchata in Mariachi Plaza.

SAMSUNG

Bikes can dance, too.

And thanks to the Coke plant on Central, which placed a bucket of iced soda in the middle of the street so riders could help themselves.

Word is that next year could see four events, including another CicLAvia to the Sea — by far, the most popular event so far, at least in terms of attendance if not complaints — and a return to Wilshire Blvd, with a first foray into the Valley in December.

CicLAvia is maturing into a regular event.

In doing so, it’s losing that unique sense of wonder the first few events enjoyed, as we were all in awe the opportunity to experience an LA free from motor vehicles, and discover what the streets could be.

The view west from Mariachi Plaza.

The view west from Mariachi Plaza.

And far from what anyone could have predicted when is founders first brought the idea to the LACBC for help in getting started.

Instead, it’s becoming part of the fabric of our city. While still a revelation to those experiencing it for the first time.

But sadly, it’s only a respite, and only for a few hours.

At four pm, the barricades come down.

And the streets once again became unfriendly territory for anyone on less than four wheels.

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A few video images from Sunday’s CicLAvia.

This is what your Spring Street green bike lane will eventually look like, even though the city broke its promise to finish it in time for CicLAvia.

Maybe it’s just me. But I loved watching this kid on his bike.

And finally, this was may favorite part of this year’s CicLAvia, as DanceLAvia took to the streets between traffic cycles with a bike-powered soundtrack.

Just another ride on the Westside, and the Department of DIY finds a way on the LA River

Please forgive yesterday’s radio silence.

I try to post something every day, or weekday, anyway; even bike bloggers need a little time off. But sometimes the demands of daily life get in the way.

And sometimes, I just need to get in a good ride on a perfect fall LA day. Good ride being a relative term, if Westside drivers have any say in the matter.

Then there’s the problem of the day’s designated Preventer of Productivity climbing up unbidden for an extended round of petting, ear scratching and belly rubs, forming an impermeable barrier between my laptop and lap.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to edit video one handed.

Sienna on lap

Then there’s another project that’s been occupying most of my time lately, which I hope to share with you in the coming weeks as progress allows.

Stay tuned.

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Meanwhile, Patrick Pascal sends word that the Department of DIY has been hard at work on wayfinding signage on the LA River bike path near the southern end of the Frogtown section, which he describes as “both professional and also informative, useful and long overdue.”

Word is that the city is working on a half million dollar wayfinding system of their own, which will cover bikeways across the city.

But whether they can do a better job than the person or persons who took it upon themselves to craft these particularly well-done on-path street signs remains to be seen.

la river path denbyA well-deserved tip of the hat, whoever you are.

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