Tag Archive for Aurelio Jose Barrera

Morning Links: Lowrider bikes on Whittier Blvd, Rapley memorial bike, and banning bikes in Palos Verdes

Lowriders have always brought a smile to my face.

Especially when they’re not cars.

Photographer and blogger Aurelio Jose Barrera recently did a photo essay on the rebirth of an Eastside tradition as the lowriders return to Whittier Blvd.

But he also captured a family riding their grownup and child-sized lowrider bicycles to take in, and be a part of, the scene unfolding on the street.

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

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Apparently, the memorial for fallen cyclist James Rapley on Temescal Canyon Park is getting noticed.

The editor of the Palisades news writes about the white, bicycle-shaped bike rack that was placed in the park earlier this year. It was designed to look like a ghost bike, in addition to serving as a functional bike rack, as a reminder to everyone to bike and drive safely.

And sober, unlike the stoned driver who took his life.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been on a roll lately as he works to stay on top of the rapidly changing developments affecting bicyclists in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This time, he reports on a group of over-privileged homeowners attempting, illegally, to ban bicycles from their street.

Under California law, bicycles are allowed to use any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of most limited access highways.

So they’re more than welcome to ban bikes.

They just have to ban their own cars and SUVs, as well.

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As soon as you drive a stake through the heart of one bike-hating Facebook group, another one pops up.

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Reuters says Chris Froome’s third victory seals his status as one of the greats of the Tour de France, while he’s finally getting some respect from the crowds. Meanwhile, a British writer says the only way to save the Tour is to get fans to back off.

A Hollywood website offers five things to know about the repeat winner, while the Guardian says Froome is a role model for clean cycling in a sport that needed one.

Then again, doping wasn’t always frowned on; some people still don’t think it’s that big a deal.

An English cycling club founded by suffragettes celebrates one of their own, as 23-year old Adam Yates claims the white jersey as the Tour’s best young rider.

Rivals riders consider points winner Peter Sagan one of the best cyclists in the peloton.

And a writer for women’s magazine Marie Claire says it’s time for women to compete equally with men at the Tour, either in a parallel race on the same routes, or allowing them to actually compete in the race.

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Local

Evidently, they feel our pain. CiclaValley captures a pair of motorcycle cops who finally give up on getting a traffic light to change for them, and blow the light.

CicLAvia is hosting a $100 Play Day in LA fundraiser on September 17th.

Stephen Corwin offers nine things game-changing things you won’t understand about the new Metro Bike bikeshare until you try it.

A 20-year old UCLA student from Chico is riding nearly 4,000 miles across the US with the Bike and Build program.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to a free block party on South Beverly Drive this Saturday. In other words, taking the city’s virtually non-existent bike lanes to get to the virtually non-existent bike parking.

 

State

A San Diego website says the San Diego Bicycle Coalition will host a discussion of the Coastal Rail Trail at a Bikes on Tap bike-in happy hour. But fails to mention when and where it will take place.

Brilliant idea, as the owner of several San Francisco ice cream bikes collects donations to pay for ice cream for kids who can’t afford it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Someone vandalized Portland’s new bikeshare bikes as soon as they hit the ground, possibly because they were seen as a symbol of gentrification.

A Colorado cyclist continues to ride up to 50 miles a day, seven days a week, despite being in his 26th round of chemo for stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs.

Iowa’s annual RAGBRAI ride started Sunday with a Mile of Silence in honor of bicyclists injured or killed in the state; sadly, they added one more name to that list before the memorial ride even got started.

An Op-Ed in an Iowa paper says it’s time to build protected bike lanes in the state.

Pittsburgh appears to be bucking the safety in numbers trend, as bicycling collisions increase along with ridership.

An analyst for right-wing think tank says bike lanes in Raleigh NC are social engineering at expense of those poor drivers, and accuses elected leaders of arrogance for thinking they know better than the people they’re elected to represent. Which, of course, is exactly why they were elected in the first place. Meanwhile, a local rider refutes her arguments; thanks to DOORZONE for the link.

 

International

Canada Bikes is hiring a new executive director. Just in case you plan to leave the country if the wrong candidate wins this fall’s election.

Support has been pouring in for a Canadian Paralympic cyclist after both of her bikes were stolen.

Two British brothers save their overweight, diabetic father’s life through bicycling.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider uses his helmet cam to catch a man playing Pokémon GO as he drove his BMW.

Police in one English town ban bike riders from the central city due to incidents of an “anti-social manner” from a few cyclists, which pose a danger to pedestrians. By that standard, all drivers would be banned from every road, everywhere.

 

Finally…

Wearing a hoodie when you ride is okay, but put some pants on, too. The approved used for bike locks does not include attacking taxis for no apparent reason.

And if you’re going to ride with a loaded rifle on your back, make sure you’re legally allowed to own one.

Although that’s one way to make sure drivers give you some space.

 

Weekend Links: 3 years for vehicular assault, LA’s Mobility Plan passes PlanComm, and CicLAvia Pasadena

Three years hardly seems long enough.

But it will have to do.

According to the Daily Breeze, William Thomas Kelly reached a plea deal that will keep him behind bars for the next three years for his drunken road rage rampage through the Palos Verdes area, in which he deliberately used his car to assault a cyclist and smash into parked cars.

Kelly reportedly hit one car, then backed up to hit it again and drove on to sideswipe a parked car. He then hit the pedal of a bicyclist; when the rider yelled at him, he backed up and used his car to knock the rider and his bike into the bushes, then drove back and forth over his bike. He was later found passed out with a BAC of at least 0.11 after crashing into a gated fence.

Hopefully, the plea will include a condition that he never drive again.

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The LA Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve the city’s mobility plan, including a slightly scaled back version of the 2010 bike plan and a commitment to Vision Zero.

Streetsblog reports the planned Westwood Blvd bike lane survived an attack by a representative of Councilmember Paul Koretz, while Commissioner Richard Katz questioned whether bike facilities belong on the street at all.

Katz said he supported expanding the bicycle network, but “we will never be Boulder or Davis.”

Not with thinking like that, anyway.

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CicLAvia offers a list of activities along Sunday’s Pasadena route, while KNBC-4, KCET and the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to it. Note to Star-News: Unless the director of Walden School is selling something as he rides to work, the word you want is pedals, not peddles.

Feeder rides — and a walk — are available from throughout the area. The Militant Angeleno provides his must-read guide to the Rose City route; seriously, never go to any CicLAvia without reading the Militant’s detailed and insightful guides first. Time Out gives their thoughts on Sunday’s event, while CiclaValley provides a handful of tips and a handy checklist of everything you need to bring.

And yes, bikes are optional; this should be the most walkable CicLAvia yet.

In honor of CicLAvia, KPCC will broadcast a one-hour show all about bikes at 10 am today and again on Sunday; you can listen live online.

And the San Gabriel Tribune says every weekend should be like CicLAvia in every downtown in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas. Or maybe just everywhere.

I’m not going to be able to make this one, so let us all know how it goes.

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I’m hearing nothing but good things about the new green separated bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which includes some of the area’s first bicycle traffic signals.

But the smartest thing they did was put sharrows on the roadway next to it for riders who want to go faster or avoid the bikeway crowds on busy weekends.

Both Ted Faber and Jim Lyle sent photos.

Photo by Ted Faber

Photo by Ted Faber; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

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LGBT site Frontiers Media looks at the bike scene in the City of Angeles, with brief overview of bicycling in the city.

They go on to list five places every LA bike enthusiast should know, along with seven gadgets and gizmos for geared-up Angelenos. Although I wouldn’t call a $3,750 Cervelo a gadget. And I sure as hell wouldn’t call it a mountain bike.

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The latest bike racing rumors involve mini-motors in the pro pelaton, as Ryder Hesjedal takes offense at having his bike checked to make sure he’s not motor doping.

Former Giro champ Damiano Cunego is out of this years race with a broken collarbone, while Contador continues to hold the leader’s jersey. And no, he didn’t have a motor in his bike, either, but he did command some respect on Thursday.

Meanwhile, former pro and ’97 TdF winner Jan Ulrich faces up to three years in prison for a DUI collision that injured two people.

Closer to home, next year’s US pro cycling championship will move from Chattanooga to Winston-Salem NC.

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New bicycle maker Brilliant will ship you a steel frame bike for $300, as long as you’re willing to assemble it yourself. And don’t expect your LBS to fix it for you if you screw it up.

Then again, it might be easier to just print your next ti bike, or at least the handlebars.

Or maybe you’d prefer a steam powered bike.

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Local

Streetsblog gives us part two of their interview with retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

The LACBC interviews super bike volunteer Wayne “Ridetime” Howard, while Bicycling profiles Coolass Mike Bowers and his efforts to put 1,000 bikes in the hands of foster kids.

Malibu city council committees approve the 850-page PCH Safety Study, which calls for 130 safety improvements along the dangerous coast highway, including bike lanes where they don’t conflict with street parking. God forbid a parking space should be sacrificed in the name of safety.

The LA Weekly profiles an Oakland-based theater company that’s traveling across the country by bike; they’ll perform at the Santa Monica Pier on the 1st, before moving on the San Diego and eventually making their way to New York.

A new proposal to replace the much-hated plans to complete the 710 Freeway includes light rail and a multi-lane boulevard complete with busways and a separated bike path.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo neighborhood greenway officially opens today.

Long Beach is officially opening the new pedestrian walkway on the beach today, which promises to improve safety on the beachfront bike path by separating bikes from people on foot. Something Santa Monica desperately needs to do.

Your last chance to weigh in on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge could come this Wednesday before the Public Works Committee; the full city council often doesn’t allow public comments before taking a vote, especially if someone is likely to disagree with their pre-determined decisions.

 

State

A Tustin man is under arrest for breaking the window of a bike shop and stealing an adult-sized tricycle; he was in the process of stealing another bike a mile away when caught.

San Diego held their rain-delayed Bike to Work Day Friday.

San Diego’s North County is sprouting new sharrows; the story reports that sharrows on the Coast Highway in Solano Beach dropped average speeds by 10 mph without increasing congestion. Nice that they’re using us for rolling speed bumps, though.

A Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan will set off from San Diego Monday for a 65-day ride across the US on a hand-cranked ‘bent.

A legal opinion concludes that the planned 50-mile multi-use path through the Coachella Valley qualifies for tax funds as a roadway because electric golf carts will be allowed to use it.

A gang member is under arrest for stabbing a bike riding Redlands art student in the face.

San Francisco’s bike share system is expanding from 700 to 7,000 bikes throughout the Bay Area.

As if the internet isn’t killing enough of their business, now Bay Area bike messengers are being targeted by bike thieves.

The new Marin bicycling museum opens to the public on Saturday, June 6th, with nearly 200 years of bike history, including the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame; a local group celebrates by calling for a crackdown on Marin off-road riders.

Modesto is working to convert itself to model bike-friendly city for everyone on two wheels.

 

National

A new infographic from People for Bikes shows many of the assumptions about women and bicycling are wrong, while Bicycling suggests 10 ways bike shops can be more welcoming to women. But the biggest barrier to greater diversity on bikes may be access to safer infrastructure.

Four cities are racing to build the first working protected intersection in the US. And no, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Portland parents launch a national PAC to force apologists for traffic violence out of office. About damn time.

A local motorcycle club plans to throw volleyballs at speeding Spokane sheriff’s deputies to protest the death of a 15-year old bicycle rider, after investigators conclude their patrol car didn’t hit the teen’s bike. Note to Spokane County Sheriff’s Department: It’s not unusual for bike riders to go over the handlebars in a panic stop without anyone actually hitting them; that doesn’t mean the driver who forced the panic stop isn’t responsible.

Proof bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Colorado state police are looking for a bicyclist who caused a motorcycle rider to wipeout near my hometown; a witness reports the rider veered in front of the motorbike and slowed down, causing the victim to lose control and be thrown from his bike, then just turned around and rode away without stopping to help. Jerk.

To no one’s surprise, the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist has officially been linked to the random shooting of a driver on the nearby I-25.

Albuquerque becomes the latest city to get bike share before LA; officials hope the program will help revitalize the downtown area.

A Texas bike rider discovers a casket, presumably with the body still inside, along a bike path after the recent floods.

Michigan traffic engineers take road diet to the extreme, proposing a street with a single lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions, and bike lanes on either side; drivers are supposed to safely merge into the bike lanes when they meet a car coming in the opposite direction. Anyone want to guess how that will work in real life?

Nice story from Ohio, as a 5th Grader saved the rewards he got in school for good behavior to buy his younger brother a bike — even though he didn’t have one himself. When teachers and administrators found out, they took up a collection to buy him one, too.

A Notre Dame dean and physics professor has ridden across the country every summer for the last five years to raise funds for rare disorders.

While the rest of New York’s media was focused on a bike riding neurological researcher killed by a hit-and-run driver who was fleeing the police, the Post saved its front page for a scofflaw cyclist out for a ride with his son.

Virginia’s Bicycle Bandit faces up to 100 years in prison for robbing a series of banks before pedaling — not peddling — to make his getaway.

A Baton Rouge driver turns himself in five days after he fatally stuck a bike rider. Which presumably would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

 

International

Bike Score ranks the least bike friendly cities in Canada.

A new Canadian study show wide traffic lanes make for more dangerous streets.

Five years after Vancouver merchants fought separated bike lanes, they’d now fight if anyone tried to remove them, according to the leader of a local business association.

A cyclist from the UK will attempt to break the seven day record by riding over 1,800 miles in a single week.

Yes, the UK’s new 20 mph speed limits can reduce injury collisions, but only if drivers actually observe them; a study shows the lower limit reduced speeds by just 1 mph in one city.

The acting leader of the British Labour party calls for a ban on large trucks during peak traffic hours to protect bike riders. Meanwhile, rear- and side-facing cameras on those same trucks could save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, if they’d actually use them.

Somewhere between 50 to 100 bystanders teamed together to lift a double decker bus — yes, a bus — off a critically injured Brit unicycle rider.

Scottish lawyers warn about the danger to cyclists crossing Edinburgh’s tram tracks; one firm alone claims to represent nearly 100 such cases.

An Irish Paralympic cyclist is raising funds for a new leg in hopes of making the podium in Rio next year.

A New Zealand cyclist is attempting to circumnavigate the country in just three months, riding over 6,000 miles to raise funds for an ambulance company.

Sydney, Australia officials go the wrong way, making the city more dangerous for cyclists by reneging on a promise to replace a bike lane scheduled for removal.

A Bangkok bike commuter says he’s tired of weak support for bicycling, as well as suggestions that bike riders belong on an off-road recreational path instead of commuting.

 

Finally…

Actor Matthew Modine got his start with a bike left behind when someone smashed his grownup lemonade stand. The battle between cars and bikes has been going on a long time; the first recorded collision between two vehicles was between a bike and a car back in 1896.

And be sure to look up every now and then when you ride.

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One last note.

Recently, I mentioned a moving piece from Zócalo Public Square in which Aurelio Jose Berrera wrote of getting up early a few days a week to ride out in search of homeless people huddled in the doorways and alleys of our city, his bike loaded down with donated food to hand out to those in need.

His story reminded me of a saint whose heart was similarly filled with compassion for a homeless stranger.

So I was surprised to open my laptop the other day, and discover an email from Berrera thanking me. According to his message, what I wrote, along with a handful of other stories about his efforts, helped inspire Petaluma-based Yuba Bicycles to donate a Mundo cargo bike to make his volunteer work a little easier.

According to a Yuba press release he attached, 

“Jose is an honorable, kind and humble man whose generous spirit and desire to help others is an example for all of us,” says Benjamin Sarrazin, founder and owner of Yuba Bicycles. “Yuba is proud to help Jose by providing a cargo bike that will hopefully enable him to more easily carry out his mission. He is truly a hero.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But there’s more than one hero here.

Yuba deserves a round of thanks for caring enough to give a bike to help those so many of us don’t even seem to see. As does everyone who contributes to help Berrera help them.

I’m not sure how big a role I really played in helping him get the new bike.

But his email made my week.

 

Morning Links: Feeding the homeless by bike, a damaged OC Ghost Bike, and the LA Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride

You can learn a lot on a bike.

It was on a ride through tiny town of St. Martinville, Louisiana, on the edge of the massive Atchafalaya swamp, that I stumbled up a beautiful little church, one of the first built in the state.

And first learned the story of St. Martin de Tours who, as an officer in the Roman army, used his sword to cut his own cloak in two so he could give half to a tattered beggar.

That image has stuck with me ever since, gnawing on the back of my mind as I wonder whether I do enough for others in need.

That’s why I was struck by this first person report from the Eastside’s Aurelio Jose Barrera, who gets up early a few times a week, loads up his bike with donated food, and rides out to feed those in need while the city is still sleeping.

I don’t know if that makes him a saint.

But in my book, it makes him a hero.

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I received the following report from an Orange County rider this morning, and thought it was worth sharing.

On Friday night, going southbound on Bolsa Chica, I noticed a length of purple ribbon lying in the gutter. I thought: Is that the purple ribbon from Michael Bastien’s memorial? And on approach, I noticed that the bike was kind of awry. It also looked unchained, but without time to check it out, I was left wondering all weekend. On Sunday morning I investigated, and sure enough… the purple ribbon wrapped around the power pole was drooping and the purple flowers were atilt. I tied a bow as best I could and started tidying up. The flowers in the hollow saddle had been flung to the ground, so I replaced them. The reflector had fallen from its conspicuous perch next to the cross nailed into the pole, and I couldn’t affix it so I just angled it between a spoke & the seat stay so it would catch headlights.

And then I just kind of stared. Because the busted lock and chain are just lying on the sidewalk. Dunno how long they’ve been there, or whether there’d been a theft attempt or what, but the ghost bike’s been unlocked & unmolested for at least the past three days.

Meanwhile, still no action by the DA against Bastien’s killer.

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HR-Los-Angeles_15-PosterBy now, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of Ride 2 Recovery, a program that uses bikes to help wounded vets recover and make it all the way back after their service overseas, physically and emotionally.

On March 28th, you’ll have a chance to help out while enjoying some of the most scenic and challenging roads in Southern California when the first ever 103-mile Bear Claw Classic — aka Seven Canyon Climb — rolls through the Santa Monica Mountains.

There will also be a 55-mile route, and a much easier 25-mile Honor Ride Los Angeles, or Cub Route, through Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks.

Sounds like a good ride for a great cause.

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Local

CiclaValley reports there will be two CicLAvia meetings in the San Fernando Valley tomorrow; motivated riders could make both.

Getting around the Hollywood and Highland area will be a challenge for the next week as they gear up for Sunday’s Oscar celebration — even blocking LA’s one and only Bike Friendly Street.

Speaking of which, will any of the many bike riding celebrities have the courage to ditch their limos and #biketheOscars? With all the street closures, they could have their own mini-CicLAvia.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is hospitalized after he was hit while allegedly running a red light; as always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw him go through it.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero group maps out where you’re most likely to be hit by a car while walking or riding.

Petaluma cyclists are split over the proposed law that would require all bike riders to wear a helmet; so are Sacramento area riders.

 

National

Next City looks at what the last four presidents have done for bicycling, while the Atlantic points out Washington’s birthday used to be celebrated by bike. And Streetsblog offers photographic proof that most of the recent presidents rode, too.

Lance is ordered to repay $10 million of the $12 million he received from a promotions company.

Residents of a low-income Baton Rouge neighborhood will finally get sidewalks along a dangerous street, with a multi-use bikeway on one side. And yes, that street was pretty hair-raising when I lived down there a few decades back.

The hit-and-run epidemic has hit Florida, doubling the number of incidents in Pensacola over the last three years.

Nice. After a 12-year old Florida girl’s bike is badly damaged in a collision, sheriff’s deputies not only ticket the driver, one arranges to get the girl a new bike from Walmart.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. A Brit teenager gets a year in jail for injuring a bike rider by throwing a bottle at him from a moving car. Note to US police: he only pled guilty after his DNA was found on the bottle, proving it is possible to actually investigate assaults against cyclists like you would any other hate crime.

Alberto Contador plans to hang it up after the 2016 season; interesting that so many journalists conveniently forget he was stripped of one of his titles, just like Lloyd and Lance.

In LA, you’re lucky if you can even find a bike rack; in Japan, cyclists get fully automated underground bike storage systems.

 

Finally…

Evidently, DC bike lanes are even a hit with street walkers. A London flashmob cheers on bike commuters as if they were in the Tour de France; not the first time we’ve seen something like that.

And a new kind of steel promises stronger, lighter bike frames, replacing titanium for high-end bikes at a fraction of the cost.

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On a personal note, many thanks to C.S. Meszler. Your note made my day.

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