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
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.
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.