Tag Archive for Culver City

Hollywood’s anti-bike green lane myth rises again; Culver City Chamber pres comes out against bikes

Just in time for April Fools Day, the myth of the Hollywood-destroying green bike lanes rears its ugly head once again.

A brief biased story appeared on the website of the L.A. Times over the weekend, quoting a representative of the Teamsters union decrying the buffered lanes designed to keep cyclists safe as they ride south through Downtown.

The man, who represents unionized Hollywood location scouts, claimed the particular shade of green used for the bike path made it impossible to use Spring Street as a location to represent any other city in America, or any time in the past, as it was somehow impossible to cover-up, shoot around or remove in post production.

Evidently, according to him, that particular shade can’t be removed in post, even though green screens are exactly what are used for special effects. And even though others who work in Hollywood have said it shouldn’t be a problem.

Yet somehow, a multi-billion dollar industry that for over a century has created creatures, cities and worlds that don’t even exist is apparently stymied in their ability to cover up a little green paint.

Or maybe they somehow can’t squeeze the relative pittance it would cost into their bloated multi-million dollar budgets without adversely affecting the producer’s cut or maybe the lunch budget.

Then there’s the location scout quoted in the article, who, despite being described as a veteran scout, has absolutely no idea that green bike lanes exist in any other city in the country.

Evidently, she’s never been to Santa Monica. Or Long Beach.

Not to mention, as a commenter to the story pointed out, Portland, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Boulder, DC, Arlington, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

You’d think a decent location scout might know about something that appears in such a broad spectrum of the country, with even more on the way.

So let me offer a low tech, low cost and multi-use solution.

The city’s film authority, FilmLA, should have a mat made to match the color and texture of the surrounding pavement, and rent it out to film crews ridiculously apoplectic over the presence of green on the street.

Sort of like film crews have done for decades to cover up train tracks, as well as countless other street markings.

Or use any one of the multitude of techniques Hollywood has used for decades to hide things they don’t want you to see in the final footage. Or just accept that these are rapidly becoming common markings that shouldn’t shock or offend anyone living in Iowa, or in this century, for that matter.

Then again, as the head of FilmLA pointed out last year, the last time this myth circulated, the real objection was never that the lanes interfered with filming.

It was that they interfered with parking.

Film crews have long been used to free parking along L.A. Streets. And didn’t want to have to pay to park their production trucks, or go through the relatively easy process of getting a permit allowing them to block the bike lane.

And cyclists don’t want those trucks blocking the few feet of street dedicated to keeping us safe, and forcing us into traffic lanes with drivers unwilling to safely share them.

In other words, exactly what happens pretty much every day. And every night.

And yet, still hasn’t stopped a boom in ridership.

It’s bad enough that a few misguided Hollywood types want to park in our bike lanes, and can’t manage to find a solution to the federally mandated shade of green.

It’s worse that the writer for the Times didn’t bother to talk with anyone who might have presented another side of the story.

And evidently, didn’t have access Google, Bing or any other search site that might have allowed him to fact check the crap they were feeding him.


Speaking of bike lanes, Flying Pigeon calls on cyclists to help save planned Northeast L.A. bike lanes from kneejerk anti-bike NIMBYist opposition with two vital Neighborhood Council meetings this week, one today and another on Thursday.

In possibly the most asinine story in the history of the bike lane debate, here or anywhere else, an Eagle Rock pot shop advocate comes out against the proposed bike lanes on Colorado Blvd because, wait for it, his arch rival pot shop opponent is for them.

Seriously, I’ve checked the date on the story several times hoping this was an April Fool joke, rather than just a massive waste of cyberspace and credibility.

And as long as we’re citing Flying Pigeon as the source for news on important meetings, the quarterly Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting takes place from 2 pm to 5 pm this afternoon at City Hall East, 200 Main Street; the link also has instructions how to participate online.


Evidently, at least some members of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce would be just as happy if bikes didn’t sully their streets.

Despite the local Chamber signing on as a supporter of CicLAvia, its president has joined with the usual bike haters in coming out against Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane campaign.

Stephen J. Rose, president of the chamber, offered his own thoughts in a letter published on the Culver City Patch website.

Here are a few points I would like to ask about bicyclist’s responsibility:

  • Insurance in case of an accident. Is my uninsured motorist insurance going to be raised because of bicyclists’ rights?
  • Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Are all bicyclists?
  • Why can a bicyclist ride in the street and then on the sidewalk and then back on to pedestrian walkways?
  • Bicyclists should not only have lights on the front and rear of their bikes, but lights that can be seen from a legal distance.
  • Should bicyclists be allowed to straddle the white line and then stop in front of vehicles at a red light?
  • Why do bicyclists not stop at stop signs, as vehicles legally must do?
  • How do we tax bicyclists for maintenance of the right of way, as motor vehicle owners have to do?

Just a few thoughts as the rights of bicyclists may become more important than motorists.

I’m not going to bother correcting the errors in his comments. Particularly since there’s little else there.

Others have already taken him to task in the comments to the story. And Just Another Cyclist has done a great job of dissecting the letter, slicing and dicing the fallacies until there’s nothing left but the signature.

And even that comes into question, because, despite the disclaimer that those are Rose’s own comments and don’t reflect the attitudes of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, he does exactly that by identifying himself as its president.

Personally, I always thought that the purpose of any Chamber of Commerce was to promote business interests in the city.

But all Rose has done with his misguided letter is suggest that maybe we should take our business somewhere else.

Update: In my rush to get this online last night, I inadvertently left out the link to the original letter on the Patch website; thanks to Margaret for the correction.


An Echo Park fixie rider collides with a pedestrian, sending both to the hospital with apparent serious injuries; the cyclist’s riding partner said they’d both been drinking before the crash. Better Bike says change may be in the air for cyclists in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, where the bike lane ends. Santa Clarita cyclists ride to raise funds for the Child and Family Center. Our coastal neighbor to the south will host a day long Green Prix of Long Beach on April 20th, including free bike valet, raffle and group ride. Carlsbad is widening bike lanes to give riders more room. A San Diego School Board Member calls for transforming one of the city’s most dangerous boulevards into a world class greenway, including cycletracks. San Diego becomes the latest California city to remove a bike licensing requirement, at a cost of a whole $260 dollars from city coffers. A bike riding child was injured in a Ventura collision last week; thanks to Steve Herbert for the link. Cyclelicious offers a roundup of biking April Fools jokes.

Bob Mionske provides additional advice on how and when to fight a ticket. Bike Snob says Portland kinda makes him want to puke. Vancouver WA cyclists fight to keep bike lanes from being replaced with sharrows. A Boise bicyclist survives a Dr. Thompson-style brake check. What it’s like to own and ride a bakfiets, which is pronounced like what I have to wipe off after walking the Corgi on rainy days — back feets. This is why you always ride with ID, as Erie police try to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision with a car. The not-exactly bike friendly NYPD sticks a popular bike nonprofit bike ride with a $1 million bill to provide security. A Georgia bicyclist is apparently killed by an Escalade-driving hit-and-run motorist leaving a showing of The Croods with two small children. Baton Rouge police will hold an online auction of abandoned and seized bikes this month, but you have to pick up your bike in person.

Vancouver drivers are up in arms over a whopping $3000 spent to provide bike repair stations for commuter cyclists. Totonto cyclist doesn’t make it through a crosswalk before a right-turning semi; needless to say, authorities blame the victim. A former Brit champion cyclist still rides his tricycle at age 100. Shortly after an Irish man returns from an extended visit to the U.S., he’s killed riding to the local pub on Easter Sunday. Fabian Cancellara, aka Spartacus, breaks the competition one by one to win the Tour of Flanders. Meanwhile, second place finisher Peter Sagan is roundly criticized for grabbing the ass of a podium girl; he’s really, really sorry, but the better question is, why do we still have podium girls to begin with? Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up. A Swedish study shows elderly riders should use step through frames — not women’s bikes, thank you — to avoid injuries. Kind of sad that this is a big step forward, as Saudi women finally get the right to ride a bike, but only in restricted areas; thanks to Rex Reese for the tip.

Finally, if you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle, wouldn’t you want something a little faster than a beach cruiser?

And one last thought.

The oft-expressed idea that there’s a war on cars makes as much sense as mice declaring a war on elephants. The elephants might be afraid, but it’s the mice who are in danger.

Update: Bike rider killed in Indio police shooting; Redondo Beach rider seriously hurt in left cross collision

There’s been another fatal shooting of a bike rider, this time in Indio.

And this time, it definitely wasn’t gang related.

Because the police did it.

According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, 23-year old Alejandro Renden was riding in the 82400 block of Miles Avenue in Indio around 11:30 Thursday night when a police officer attempted to stop him.

Renden attempted to flee by riding between two buildings, then got into an altercation with the same officer when he returned to Miles Ave. Somehow, the altercation escalated into an officer-involved shooting; there’s no explanation why the officer fired his gun, or any suggestion that Renden was armed.

And without that, there’s no way to judge whether the shooting was justified, though his family says he wasn’t the type to resist.

Renden was transported to a local hospital, where he died about an hour after the shooting.

He is the second SoCal bike rider to be killed as a result of gunfire this year, and the second this week.


A Redondo Beach bike rider was severely injured in a left cross collision on Friday.

The rider, who was not publicly identified, was travelling north on Catalina Avenue at 7:55 am when he broadsided a car turning left from southbound Catalina onto eastbound Carnelian Street.

According to the Easy Reader, the 40-something male rider suffered numerous broken bones and a severe head injury, despite wearing a helmet. The victim was reportedly riding at a high rate of speed, and hit the car with enough force to shatter his racing bike into multiple pieces.

As a police spokesperson noted, a helmet offers protection at slower speeds, but is of little use in a high speed collision. However, assuming he does survive, it may be thanks to whatever protection his helmet did provide under the circumstances.

It sounds like prayers, or whatever good thoughts you’re comfortable with, may be in order.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: Jim Lyle forwards what looks like good news on the condition of victim. He’s now in stable condition, and thankfully appears to have avoided any significant brain injury. 

His body is another matter, however. Lyle reports the man — whose name I’m withholding unless I receive permission from the victim or his family or it appears in the press — suffered six to nine broken ribs, a broken femur, broken tibia, breaks to both wrists and hands, broken collar bone, broken clavicle, a gash to his cheek and significant road rash to his left ear.

I’m told the damage to his wrists and hands is the most serious problem, with the potential to be life changing. He’s already had several surgeries to his femur and wrists, and faces more in the morning.

I hope you’ll join me in offering prayers and best wishes for a fast and full recovery.


The USC cycling team hosts its first ever crit in Culver City this Sunday, along with a bike expo, children’s bike rodeo and gourmet lunch trucks from 7 am to 12:30 pm. The course will run along a route formed by Steller Drive, Warner Drive, Hayden Ave and Eastham Drive, with easy access from the Expo Line and Ballona Creek bike path.


SSJersey_Together-300x300The LACBC offers a stylish new kit for the spandex crowd. Having gotten my hands on last year’s edition, these come highly recommended; it’s one of the few jerseys I actually look good in.

And the bright black color is surprisingly visible during daylight hours, while the white back and colored inserts should stand out in low light situations.

The kit includes everything from men’s and women’s shorts to socks, jacket and arm and leg warmers, all priced to be as affordable as possible. But don’t wait, orders are due by March 1st.


LA County Supervisors adopt a new ordinance promoting bicycling, walking, exercise and access to healthy foods to promote a healthier county. An LADOT report suggests uncalming city streets; more on that next week. LAist looks at next weekend’s Bike Prom. Westwood bike lanes get a mixed response from the Westside Neighborhood Council. Better Bike endorses John Mirisch for Beverly Hills City Council. A Santa Monica letter writer complains about those damn raging cyclists, criticizing riders who use the sidewalks and the ones who don’t with equal venom; thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the link. SaMo High is getting a new state-of-the art building — and a 125 space bike parking lot. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a session on Weight Training for Cyclists this Wednesday. New dad Steve Martin takes to his bike to get in shape; someone needs to work on his knock-kneed, hunched-over riding form, though.

A San Diego rider on a motorized bike suffers a serious head injury after falling as a result of a sudden stop. San Diego County considers a two-mile bike and pedestrian tube suspended from the Coronado Bay Bridge, where bikes are banned. San Diego’s Union-Tribune offers a photographic look at the Ramona High School mountain bike team. A Simi Valley cyclist with cerebral palsy gets a new bike from his friends at Ride 2 Recovery. A San Francisco writer asks what’s more practical, a ban on bikes or a ban on dangerous streets? BART considers letting bikes on their trains all day, every day.

Atlantic Cites says cars and robust cities are fundamentally incompatible. A 69-year old Provo, Utah cyclist is killed in a horrible collision as he’s hit from behind at a train crossing and pushed into the path of an oncoming train. The state also considers a vulnerable users law. Winter bike commuting can be challenging in the 49th state. Austin TX offers a new bike map with genuine road information to guide users. New Orleans begins testing a new bike share program. Hartford CT legislators want to ban riding two abreast, while Toronto moves to remove their requirement to ride single file. Boston cyclists demand justice after a grand jury fails to indict a hit-and-run truck driver who killed a cyclist. Work begins on restoring a Brooklyn bike path destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Merchants in New York’s Crown Heights neighborhood are up in arms because a bike corral is attracting the mustachioed fixie-riding menace. An Annapolis man plans to bike to all 30 major league baseball stadiums. President Obama’s “Fix it First” approach could be good for cyclists. A Virginia writer says the state’s failed attempt to ban dooring is an ignorant vote on a good bicycling bill.

An unnamed cyclist comes to the rescue after Victoria BC police are unable to capture a fleeing driver. London’s Guardian says cities need to be less about cars and more about people to fight climate change; same goes for livability. A new device offers a better way to get traffic lights to respond to bikes. Russia’s Katusha cycling team wins its appeal after being banished from pro cycling’s top tier. After she’s hit by a car, a New Zealand mayor wants the driver who hit her to pay for a new bike and helmet. New Zealand cyclists reject a call to make hi-viz clothing mandatory for all riders.

Finally, just because you’re drunk doesn’t mean you aren’t good to drive, right? Meanwhile, the UK offers a devastating four minute video to drive home the dangers of texting; I wish someone had the courage to do something like that over here. Thanks to Dave H for the tip.

Let me add a special thanks to Nick at the Westwood Helen’s for going above and beyond by dropping what he was doing to fix my brakes on Friday. Not only did he save my opportunity to ride on a perfect day, but he may have saved my ass from  particularly nasty right hook.

Update — 20-year old cyclist killed in Buena Park; cyclist injured in Culver City

More bad news from Orange County.

According to the Orange County Register, a 20-year old man was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike at the intersection of Knott and La Palma Avenues in Buena Park around 6 pm Monday. The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The driver was taken to West Anaheim Medical Center with undisclosed minor injuries. He was not identified other than as a man in his 40s; no description was given of the vehicle involved, or how the collision occurred.

The Register reports that alcohol was not believed to have been a factor, and police are investigating who had the right-of-way.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Buena Park Police traffic bureau at 714/562-3940.

This is the 67th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County, just one behind the total for all of last year. It’s also the second bicycling death in Buena Park this year.

My deepest condolences and prayers for the victim and his family.

Update: A post on SoCal Trail Riders identifies the victim as Jeremy Kidder, a former employee of Buena Park Bicycles, and a sometimes employee of Fullerton Bicycles.

Update 2: The Orange County Register confirms the victim was 20-year old Jeremy Kidder of Buena Park. The paper reports he was hit by a Chevy SUV while crossing near the crosswalk; no word on what direction he was going or how the collision occurred. Police say there are conflicting witness accounts. 


Culver City Patch reports that a cyclist was hit by a car at the corner of Washington Place and Sawtelle Blvd in Culver City around 4:45 pm Monday.

According to police, witnesses said the cyclist, who was not publicly identified, ran the red light; he was taken to UCLA Medical Center.

No other information is available at this time.

Update: Cyclist killed Saturday on 405 on-ramp, another critically injured in Hollywood Hills hit-and-run

It’s been a horrible few days for California cyclists.

In the latest bad news, a man was killed while walking a bicycle on the transition between the westbound Marina (90) Freeway and the northbound 405.

According to the Culver City Patch, police in Culver City began receiving reports of a man pushing a bike along the freeway sometime around 10 pm Saturday. CHP officers responded to news of the collision at 10:03; the rider, who has not yet been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The report does not say if the driver remained at the collision site.

Just to be clear, cyclists are not allowed on most freeways in Southern California, whether riding or walking their bikes. There would appear to be no legitimate reason why he should have been on the transition ramp.

This is the 29th cycling-related fatality in Southern California this year, and the 9th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 9th fatality in the seven county SoCal region in the very bloody, tragic month of June.

Update: Patch reports that the victim has been identified as 51-year old Los Angeles resident Joe William McKinney.

According to the report, a 43-year old woman was driving at 25 mph in the #2 lane when McKinney stepped in front of her Volvo for unknown reasons — which would make her one of the few drivers who travel that transition at anything even closely resembling the speed limit.

She clearly stayed at the scene. And there’s no explanation as yet why McKinney was walking his bike onto the 405.


In more bad news, Hollywood Patch reports that a cyclist suffered severe head trauma in a Hollywood Hills hit-and-run late Friday afternoon.

The 55-year old cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on the 2700 block of Outpost Drive, just south of Mulholland and a few blocks from Runyon Canyon Park, around 4 pm when he was hit by a vehicle described only as an orange Jeep Cherokee.

Police are looking for security camera footage that may have captured the collision. Other news stories say the rider remains in critical condition with major injuries.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division at 213/473-0234 or 877/527-3247.


A 42-year old La Mesa cyclist was killed Saturday in the Fresno-area Climb to Kaiser; a 155 mile ride rated at one of the most challenging in the U.S.

Nicola Grossi was riding a steep descent when he lost control of his bike rounding a curve, flew off an embankment and hit a tree roughly 10 feet off the road. Two passing cyclists performed CPR for about 20 minutes before paramedics arrived.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that he was a relatively recent convert to cycling, losing over 100 pounds in the last two years as he biked to work and took long highway rides.

Grossi leaves behind a wife, daughter and three step-children. San Diego’s KGTV-10 quotes his wife saying what could be said for almost an of us.

“Right now, all I can do is hold onto the fact that he died doing what he loves,” said Grossi’s wife, Jennifer Silverman-Grossi. “I mean, there is nothing in this world that he loved more than being on that bike.”

This is the second fatality in the ride’s 36-year history; a British rider was hit and killed by a pickup while riding on the wrong side of the same road in 2003.


Finally, a rising New Zealand professional cyclist received a rude welcome to American on Friday, when he was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Pure Black Racing rider Michael Torckler was training by himself in California following Canada’s Tour de Beauce when the 26-year old rider was run down by a hit-and-run driver in the Alexander Valley near Santa Rosa.

Torckler was riding downhill at a high rate of speed when he was hit head-on by accused drunk driver Arthur Ben Yun of Rohnert Park.

Yun, who was turned in by a passenger in the allegedly stolen car he was driving, is charged with driving under the influence, hit-and-run, auto theft and driving on a suspended license. He reportedly has an extensive, but undisclosed, criminal history.

Despite suffering 20 facial bone fractures, Torckler has been upgraded to fair condition; his doctors say his face took the brunt of the impact, sparing his brain from damage. His family has flown in from New Zealand to be with him.

Thanks to the Trickster for the heads-up.


My prayers for Torckler, Grossi, and the unidentified riders.

And let’s be careful out there; the period around the 4th of July is usually one of the most dangerous times for bicyclists throughout Southern California.

Culver City’s bike friendly honorable mention, tonight’s Ride of Silence, & Blessing of the Bicycles

Yesterday we received the surprising news that Culver City was awarded an honorable mention as a bike-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists.

Something that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago.

Much of the credit goes to the members of the LACBC affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition, who’ve worked with city leaders to make it safer and more inviting to those of us on two wheels.

So while I don’t normally reprint press releases, we’ll let them take a bow this one time.

Culver City Bicycle Coalition Applauds Bicycle Friendly Community Honorable Mention Recognition

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition (CCBC) is proud to announce that Culver City has been recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community with an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists. The award is a product of the hard work of City staff, community members, and, of course, Culver City’s elected officials.  Since its adoption in 2010, the Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) has led to concrete improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the City, with more on the way.

Being recognized by the League is no small tasks. Many cities apply each year, but without a formal bike-friendly foundation and plan going forwardI, many are rejected. Culver City was recognized for many improvements, including new bike routes and lanes, improved bike parking, successful Safe Routes to School programs, the addition of Shared Lane Markings (a.k.a. sharrows), effective education and outreach program and a supportive community.

“Culver City has always had many great places to walk and bike. In fact we are already considered one of the top cities for walking in the country. The BPMP is about connecting these places together into a network that allows people to feel safe and comfortable getting around on two wheels, or with no wheels. Today the League of American Bicyclists recognized Culver City for those efforts,” CCBC co-founder Jim Shanman said.

In addition to recognizing communities for their achievements, the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program is a valuable resource that offers guidance to local governments looking to become even more bike-friendly.  As communities improve, they can be recognized with Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community status.  The League has identified specific policies and programs that will keep our local community moving in the right direction.  This Honorable Mention recognizes that Culver City is on the path to reach these higher levels.  CCBC looks forward to working with the City to take these next steps.

“We are genuinely appreciative of City staff who guided development of the Master Plan and are now working diligently on its implementation.  This award is primarily a recognition of their leadership,” Shanman continued.  CCBC thanks the League for recognizing the City’s many accomplishments in the past two years.

And don’t forget that Culver City is looking for volunteers for their annual bike count this Saturday and next Wednesday.


Don’t forget tonight’s Ride of Silence in memory of riders killed in traffic.

The nearest ride for those of us in the L.A. area will be the Pasadena Ride of Silence, an easy 12 mile, moderately paced ride starting at 7 pm at the Rose Bowl. The nationally featured ride takes place in Oxnard in memory of 6-year old Anthony Martinez. Other rides will take place in Rancho Cucamonga, as well as other cities throughout California. (Note: in an earlier draft, I mistakenly located the Rancho Cucamonga ride in Claremont.)

I’m committed to attend the LACBC board meeting tonight. But my heart will be with all those who ride tonight, and everyone they’re riding for.

Wherever you are, I hope you’ll take part.

Both to remember those we’ve lost, and send a message calling for safer streets for cyclists.

And for everyone.

Update: If you really want to understand what the Ride of Silence is all about, read this from Chris Phelan, founder of the Ride. But fair warning, you can expect to have a tear in your eye before you’re finished.


If you read this early enough, you can still celebrate Bike Week by riding the new Expo Line bikeway.


The fine for using a hand-help cell phone could go up a whole $10 to a whopping $30; yeah, that will certainly act as a deterrent. How about making the penalty the same as DUI, since studies show hand-held cell use is the equivalent of drunk driving?

The proposed law would also ban texting and hand-held cell use while biking, with a $20 fine.


Peter Sagan makes it three in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, while Heinrich Haussler finishes second — also for the third time. Tommy Duggan has been spending more than his share of time leading the peloton in the Tour of California. And the race is even making news in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez takes the Giro d’Italia’s pink leader’s jersey on the streets of Assisi.


Clif Bar invites you to celebrate their 20th anniversary by sharing your life-changing moment; five winners will have $5,000 donated to the non-profit of their choice, while all contestants will be entered in a drawing for a month’s supply of Clif Bars.


Alex Baum gets a well-deserved Golden Spike award for a lifetime of bike advocacy; photo courtesy of George Wolfberg.

LADOT Bike Blog offers a look at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, which honored L.A.’s original bike advocate Alex Baum with a very well-deserved Golden Spoke Award. One of my favorite writers for the Times offers her take, as well. More much-needed bike lanes sprout in long-neglected South L.A. Examined Spoke says sharrows schmarrows, and points out L.A. seems to pay more attention to shrubbery than bikeways. LAPD Central offers tips on how to protect your bike; instead of just saying “Learn how to lock your bike,” though, maybe they could explain how to do that. If you’re a member of the LACBC, you’re automatically entered in the Coalition’s May member appreciation raffle. Santa Clara County proposes spending $2 million to complete a key bikeway.

Electric and hybrid cars are 66% more likely to collide with cyclists than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The League of American Bicyclists says a quarter of all bike collisions are hit-from-behind wrecks, a far higher percentage than we’ve been told in the past. Hammacher Schlemmer promises to address that with a real-time rearview camera for bikes; I’d much rather have a three-foot passing law. People for Bikes invites you to meet their Western U.S. crew. Even Sitka AK earns a bronze level bike-friendly city nod; maybe someday, L.A., maybe someday.

Bike unfriendly Toronto claims yet another victim, as the mayor continues to rip out bike lanes. The UK seriously considers lowering speed limits to 20 mph in residential areas; something we should consider ever though current limits are universally ignored. Instead of bitching that cyclists don’t pay our own way, maybe it’s time drivers had to pay the full cost for the roads they use.

Finally, worse than the claim that over half of all cyclists run red lights is an unscientific survey showing nearly half of all cyclists have upset a kitten, the heartless bastards. Even though some of us claim to do it so they don’t get killed.

Jump red lights, that is.

Not upset kittens.

Bakersfield bike racer dies in Sunday stage race crash; Culver City gets an honorable mention

Bad news from Bakersfield, as top local bike racer Suzanne Rivera was killed in a Mariposa County stage race on Sunday.

Apparently, she rear-ended a support van that had stopped on the shoulder during a steep downhill. Rivera will be honored on Wednesday’s Bakersfield Ride of Silence.


The League of American Bicyclists releases their latest list of new bike-friendly cities; congratulations to Culver City for getting an honorable mention.

And nice work to the hard work put in by LACBC-affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition to help make it possible. Thanks to CCBC member Steve Herbert for the heads-up.


Peter Sagan keeps the leader’s jersey in the Amgen Tour of California, despite a spill and a flat; Cyclelicious captures his shadow crossing the finish line. Maybe Levi Leipheimer is just playing possum. And Sunday’s final stage finish at L.A. Live may lead to Sportsageddon as the Kings, Dodgers, Clippers and the ToC collide in DTLA.

Can we just call a time out on all the blank-ageddons for awhile?


There are plenty of people who live car free in L.A. every day, so why plan a day around it? LADOT is hiring a Pedestrian Coordinator as well as an Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator. The 10 busiest bike intersections in L.A.; I ride four of them on a regular basis. Better Bike recaps the meeting that lead Beverly Hill’s Traffic & Parking Commission to reject two of the city’s five proposed underwhelming bike pilot projects. As if Bike to Work Day wasn’t enough, you can join in on Bike from Work happy hours, as well. A 50-something cyclist is injured after getting rear-ended by a car in Pasadena. A recap of last weekend’s Montrose Historical Bike Ride. New bike racks in Redondo Beach thanks to the Chamber of Commerce.

The California Department of Transportation offers advice on bike safety for Bike Week. San Diego endorses Scott Peters for Congress. A four-year old Palm Desert boy is hit by a red light running schmuck truck driver while crossing the street in the crosswalk with his mom. Santa Maria police question whether a cyclist was really hit by a car, as he claims. How cars should turn right when bikes are around.

The Sierra Club, which hasn’t always support cycling, seems to be coming around. AAA endorses a more bike-friendly America; does that mean they’ll stop fighting bike safety measures in California? Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at drunk biking laws. Walk Score rates the most bikeable cities; maybe L.A. can get a bike score of its own soon. Maybe they need an L.A.-style anti-harassment ordinance in my old hometown. Then again, maybe bike education would make for safer cycling and driving. Turns out riding a bike is the fastest way to get around Boston. New York uses liquor licenses to fight back again scofflaw bike delivery people.

Turns out that bike-unfriendly Toronto is even less bikeable than Saskatoon. A British motoring organization claims over half of all cyclists run red lights; turns out it ain’t necessarily so once you get the facts. An Aussie city considers a proposal to waive the country’s mandatory helmet law for riders on separated bikeways.

Finally, Alabama film maker Katie Rogers talks about her in-process film about going carless in L.A., which just got funded on Kickstarter today. And if this car runs you over, at least you’ll know why.

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…

Dahab arraigned, CA cops under no obligation to investigate or report, and Santa left a bunch of links

Catching up on lots of bike and semi-bike related stuff left over from the pre- and post holiday madness.


Cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels attended the arraignment hearing for Christine Dahab, the driver accused in the allegedly drunken/distracted collision that injured 11 or more riders in Culver City last June.

At the arraignment, Dahab’s attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf and set a date of January 13, 2012 for a preliminary setting at 8:30am in Dept. 142.

When the issue of setting bail came up the defense attorney suggested the bail NOT be set at the scheduled guideline amount of over 300k and that the court use its discretion in setting bail at an amount between 50-60k, which would be fair considering a number of factors that he says showed that Dahab was not a danger to society nor a flight risk, such as: she has a 7 yr old daughter to care for, she has lived and worked on the Westside of LA her whole life, currently works as a server at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey, the fact that the collision was the result of carelessness and not purposeful intent to harm, she has no prior convictions whatsoever, only had a .07 BAC, police reports indicate that perhaps cyclists were also at fault for being in the roadway and standing under a streetlight that was out.

After a sidebar with the Judge and attorneys, the prosecutor objected citing the numerous serious injuries, the fact that the .07 was recorded hours after the incident occurred and most likely was above the legal limit at the time.  The DA also noted that there were open containers of alcohol in the vehicle as well as empty prescription bottles for medical marijuana and even an empty Yoshinoya cup that also had traces of alcohol in it.  He insisted that the bail be set at the suggested scheduled amount per the guidelines.

Ultimately the judge agreed that bail needed to be set, but not at the amount suggested by defense counsel. So she set it at 100,000. Dahab was taken into custody at the end of the hearing. She had a group of five or six people there with her including what appeared to be a mother and a boyfriend.

Christine Dahab was released after posting a bond on her 100k bail sometime in the early afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s inmate locator page.

Wheels suggests it could take some time for Dahab’s attorney to dig through all the various — and possibly conflicting — reports from the LAPD and CCPD in this case.

So I wouldn’t count on an early resolution.


Meanwhile, Century City bankruptcy attorney and cyclist Stanley E. Goldich sends word that a California court has ruled that police officers are under no obligation to gather information or file a report on a collision — even if they promise the victim they will.

A California Court of appeal ruling relating to a collision between a car and motorcycle on Encinal where the police officer covered up and destroyed the information on the driver of the car who hit the motorcyclist.  The Court held there was no liability because (1) there was no duty to file a report – the CHP Accident Manual requiring filing of a report did not have the force of law, (2) the fact that policeman promised to get the information on the driver and the injured motorcyclist relied on this did not create a special relationship and (3) there was no tort claim for spoliation of evidence because of the immunity of the government.

As Goldich points out, it’s worth knowing that you can’t always rely on the police to get the necessary information following a collision, even if there’s a serious injury.

Actually, it’s kind of scary.

He adds that he stopped at the scene of a recent collision on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica in which a rider in the bike lane was right-hooked by a driver attempting to pull into a parking space.

Since the rider was not seriously injured, the police told Goldich they wouldn’t be filing a report — leaving the cyclist on his own to gather information. And a little too late, since the only witness had already left the scene, and the driver was refusing to admit anything.

Fortunately, the victim had a working GPS which should provide evidence of how the collision occurred. But it’s just another example of how you can’t always count on the police to provide the information you need following a collision.

And it’s up to you to get the driver’s license and insurance information, as well as contact information for any witnesses — even if you’re still confused or in pain following the impact.


A couple of interesting looks at becoming a bike commuter, as L.A. expat Amanda Lipsey relates her journey to a car-free lifestyle and Development Director for Adventure Cycling. And a DC writer says it takes a village.


Writing for the Wall Street Journal, sportswriter Jason Gay says everyone should get lit this New Years. At least when it comes to biking.

Don’t let anyone tell you that lights aren’t cool. Here’s what’s not cool: ambulance rides.

This easy resolution may save your life, without you even realizing it.

I’ve kind of avoided the Journal since Rupert took over. But as long as Mr. Gay sticks around, I may want to take another look.


Great feature in the new Los Angeles Magazine on UCLA professor and parking rock star Donald Shoup and the high toll automobile parking takes on cities — especially right here in Los Angeles, with more parking per acre Downtown than any other city on earth.


L.A. bike advocate and recent candidate for city council Stephen Box celebrates the holidays as a proud new papa. Cyclists aren’t always the good guys, as a bike rider shoots and kills a man in South L.A. Richard Risemberg criticizes the same crumbling Imperial Highway bike lanes I wrote about last March. A Santa Monica columnist criticizes “arrogant creeps” and “clowns” on “multi-speed bikes” after a bad experience with a jerk on the beachfront bike path. Warner Center envisions new bike and walking paths to connect with the L.A. River. Canoga Park gets more bike racks. Claremont forms a new community bike group, with an inaugural ride Sunday, January 8th; link courtesy of the Claremont Cyclist. Claremont’s Safe Routes to School program will be sponsoring a League of American Bicyclists-approved bike safety training program for adult riders at the end of next month.

An Orange County cyclist was critically injured in a Santa Ana collision Christmas evening. A 12-year old San Diego boy suffers a broken leg when his bike is struck by a hit-and-run driver. San Diego’s Brown Girl in the Lane strikes a chord with readers around the world as she takes Vehicular Cyclists to task, and more than once. Cyclocross comes to Cal State San Marcos next month. Cyclelicious looks at the conflicts between cyclists and the Santa Cruz Sierra Club. San Jose firemen fix up a tricycle to give to a disabled friend.

Bob Mionske takes Californian Governor Jerry Brown to task for endangering cyclists by joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only state leaders to veto the three-foot passing law. Apparently, American youth have fallen out of love with the automobile. Bicycling (upper case) offers 101 things they love about bicycling (lower case). Bicycling’s Neil Bedzek says maybe it’s time to hang up his headphones for good. How to straighten steel bike forks. A Minnesota cyclist gets left hooked, then ticketed for improper crossing of a roadway. A New York Councilmember promises a continued crackdown on cyclists next year. Next on your reading table, a new collection of short fiction centered around bikes.

A secret Canadian base trained bicycling spies in WWII. The BBC names reigning world champ Mark Cavendish as their sports personality of the year. Fascinating views of an empty London on Christmas morning. London fails — by a wide margin — to meet their target goals for reducing bike fatalities and serious injuries by half over 1990’s levels. UK stats suggest bike fatalities increase during economic downturns; SoCal figures for this year certainly support that thesis. A new Aussie study suggests Sydney cycling rates could double if mandatory helmet laws were repealed. A Chinese ebike rider survives a direct hit by a speeding truck in a graphic video.

Finally, great advice on what to do if you’re the victim of a collision.

When the police ask if you’re injured, the correct answer is always yes; as the article notes, injuries that aren’t apparent at the scene often show up later. The right response could protect both your health and your legal rights.

The weather promises to be great here in L.A. the next few days; get out on your bike and enjoy it.

Catching up on the latest bike news — fighting for an Expo Bike Center, and a new Dutch bike site

After a linkless beginning to the week, here’s your chance to catch up before I batten down the hatches on a very blustery day.


The Expo Line Authority has made a very misguided decision to delete a planned bike center from the new Culver City Expo station, saving a relative few pennies now while creating untold costs down the line.

The whole point of the Expo line is to provide an alternative to driving. Yet omitting the bike station will only encourage more people to drive — whether to the station or their destination — while discouraging people from biking to the train. And it will undoubtedly cost a lot less to build it now as part of the station than to add it on later.

The Santa Monica Spoke says it’s time to hold them to their earlier promises, whether in person at Thursday’s Expo Line board meeting or by emailing key officials. And Better Bike’s Mark Elliot shares his letter (pdf), and dissects Expo’s last mile problem.


I got a press release yesterday from And Dutch, a UK-based website now intent on bringing authentic Dutch bikes and gear to the US and Canada through their new North American site.

With exclusive & award winning gents, ladies and children designs, www.anddutch.com, offers amongst its large product range —

  • Original Dutch Town bicycles for gents, ladies and children by BURGERS (The Netherlands oldest and first bicycle brand since 1868!)
  • Unique chainless & folding bikes by Dutch BEIXO
  • Colourful children’s balance bikes by KIDDIMOTO
  • Fixed / Free wheel bikes by FOFFA (+ free launch gift: front & rear KNOG lights worth $40)
  • Beautiful bicycle helmet designs by SAWAKO and HARDNUTZ
  • Saddles by world oldest independent Dutch saddle maker LEPPER
  • Stunning bags and panniers by Dutch NEW LOOXS
  • More (exclusive Dutch) brands to follow soon!

And also supplies other award winning brands by —

  • Dutch BASIL – with a  large array (over 70 different products!) of beautiful & high quality accessories
  • Elegant and renowned English saddle maker BROOKS
  • Must have  AXA locks
  • …and many more!

This could be a good resource for those hard to find Ditch bikes and accessories. However, you can already find some of those items right here in L.A.

Personally, I’d start your search at Flying Pigeon LA, where you’ll find a wide selection of Dutch bikes, some of which have even been road tested uphill.

If anyone knows of another local bike shop in the SoCal area that’s a good source for Dutch bikes and accessories, let me know.


A great read from a Chicago cyclist refuting the absurd concept that supporting bikes means a war on cars. Definitely word reading.


The county Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to request a more progressive bike plan; maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to like these guys. The Times’ Hector Tobar takes a ride down Downtown’s new green bike lanes on Spring Street. Those quickly faded green lanes will soon be repainted; the damage occurred because the paint didn’t have time to set before the recent rains. Streetsblog names L.A. Planning intern Rye Baerg Government Worker of the Year. An overnight biking trip to Leo Carrillo State Beach. L.A. cyclist Alex de Cordoba writes for HuffPo on why more driver’s license checkpoints are needed. Two roundabout projects are moving forward on 4th Street. Practical bikes call for more practical racks; I’m just happy to find any usable rack when I get to my destination. Flying Pigeon’s next brewery ride takes place this Saturday. As if cars aren’t enough to worry about, a Burbank mountain biker encounters a black bear. Long Beach gets a new bike shop. Outside magazine names local bike scribe Patrick Brady’s Red Kite Prayer as the best of the nation’s top 10 biking blogs; can’t argue with that choice.

A memorial will be held Thursday for Anthony Martinez, the 6-year old Oxnard bike rider killed on Thanksgiving Day; nice to see a ghost bike has been installed in his honor and heartbreaking that it was necessary. A 10-year old San Diego bike rider is injured in a left cross, while another cyclist is seriously injured after getting Jerry Browned when a car tries to pass at far less than three feet. San Diego’s People’s Photographer takes a look at a bike commuting family. Take a short drive — or long ride — south to meet and ride with Mia Birk, president of Alta Planning + Design and former Portland Bicycle Program Manager. Or you can just wait until the 15th and meet her in Long Beach. A left cross is caught on camera; fortunately, the rider wasn’t seriously hurt. A San Francisco bus driver could face charges in the death of a cyclist last August. A Santa Rosa cyclist is killed after being hit by two cars. Palo Alto could get a bike bridge over Hwy 101. A bike novel by a Mill Valley writer is headed for the big screen. This is nothing to be thankful for, as California saw 27 traffic fatalities and 1475 arrests for DUI over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Biking could be beneficial to your brain. Congress may be trying to kill TIGER funding for bikes and pedestrians; can someone please tell me when and why the GOP became anti-anything but cars? New Federal regulations require consideration of cyclists when rumble strips are installed on highways. Bicycling explains how to quiet a noisy bike. A Tucson Trader Joe’s listens to complaints and installs better bike parking. Nevada is working on statewide bike plan; now there’s a concept worth exporting from the Silver State. A Salt Lake City columnist says it’s bad enough when vehicle to vehicle collisions occur, and worse when one party is totally vulnerable; amen to that. Fifty-six percent of cyclists run red lights in a new Portland State study. A Seattle driver is under arrest after running down a cyclist who refused to buy him a beer. My hometown is partnering with Colorado State University to study the economic impacts of cycling; that’s one study I’ll look forward to reading. Can a city that bans ebikes from paved trails be considered bike friendly? The city of Detroit offers great biking; some of the suburbs not so much. NYPD prepares for their latest crackdown on bicyclists, this time on the killer bikers of Prospect Park, while transportation advocates more rationally demand the city crack down on dangerous drivers. Maybe the solution is haiku traffic safety signs. Performance Bicycle has joined Bikes Belong. The right bra makes all the difference for winter riding. A long list of don’ts for women wheelers. Using your bike wheel to create animation, or using animation to explain cycling.

Canadian cyclists need more protection, and think side guards on trucks could help. Yet the country has a serious disconnect when it comes to biking, as 73% think cyclists deserve more respect from motorists, while four out of five Canadians think they won’t get it until they respect the rules of the road. British onlookers rush to the rescue when a cyclist is trapped beneath the car that hit him. The UK’s Department for Transport says slowing motorists is the best way to increase safety for cycling, yet London cyclists oddly object to being used as human speed bumps. Four people are under arrest for a hit-and-run collision that left a Brit bike cop injured. Call him Mark Cavendish, MBE. Bike journalist Carlton Reid discusses his upcoming book, Roads Were Not Built for Cars. Don’t criticize anyone until you’ve cycled in their shoes. Bicycling is vilified in Australia, despite being a nation of bike riders, but it’s getting big in Bangalore.

Finally, I haven’t always agreed with the OC Register’s David Whiting, but his latest column is dead on, noting that recent cycling deaths point out the importance of truly sharing the road. And a Santa Monica cyclist is behind bars after running two red lights with an outstanding warrant for DUI — and someone else’s wallet.

Seriously, if you’re wanted by the authorities and carrying stolen property, stop for red lights already.

BOLO Alert: Two bikes stolen from Culver City bike valet (updated)

Just received word that the euphoria of Wolfpack Hustle’s win over Jet Blue has been marred by a couple of jerks who stole two bikes from the bike valet at Culver City’s Eat Real festival on Saturday.

Jim Shanman of the Culver City Bicycle Coalition offers the details:

Sadly, 2 bikes were stolen by 2 punks late in the day. Both of the bikes are pictured below. The other is a really nice Kestrel road bike. A reward has been offered for either one of the 2 bikes if returned or for information leading to their return. I’d like to get the word out and maybe shame the punks who took them. Definitely a buzz kill to an otherwise great day.

The CCPD police report number is 11-26009, although this will be turned over to the LAPD if it hasn’t already

One of two bikes stolen from Culver City Eat Real Festival on Saturday

This is the other bike that was stolen

Shame the punks?

I’ll go one better. Anyone who would steal a bike is the lowest form of slime in the biking world. And anyone who’d steal from a bike valet jeopardizes one of the few conveniences L.A. cyclists enjoy, and puts to risk a system that encourages Angelenos to enjoy the city while leaving their cars at home.

You may think you got away with a bike or two tonight. But your selfish and destructive actions harm the entire L.A. cycling community on what should be one of our happiest days.

If you’re reading this, contact me and I’ll arrange for you to return the bikes to their rightful owners, no questions asked.

If not, you’re going to have an entire city of pissed off cyclists watching for you, and a couple of hot bikes you won’t be able to ride or sell.

Give it up. And get a life.

Update: Photo of second bike added Sunday evening.

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