Tag Archive for Flying Pigeon

Morning Links: Two favorite LA bike shops on the block, and Jesse Creed tackles Complete Street failures in CD5

Here’s your chance to get into the bike business.

Because two of LA’s favorite bike shops are now for sale, allowing buyers to step into already existing and successful businesses.

NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA is on the block thanks to owner Josef Bray-Ali’s bid to unseat LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st council district.

Meanwhile, Orange 20 owner TJ Flexer is looking for someone to take over Orange 20 Bikes, the iconic shop anchoring East Hollywood’s Hel-Mel district, as he moves on to other opportunities.

It would be a shame to lose either of these shops. Let’s hope someone steps up to save them.

………

Speaking of city council candidates, Jesse Creed has written a must-read Op-Ed in the LA Daily News calling for Complete Streets.

Creed, who’s taking on incumbent Paul Koretz in CD5, criticizes Koretz’ failure to ensure safe streets, sidewalks and bikeways following construction of the Expo Line.

Never mind Koretz’ ongoing efforts to keep Westwood Blvd dangerous by single-handedly blocking the bike lanes that would have calmed traffic and improved safety for everyone.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Rams fan donates eight bicycles to the CHiPs for Kids toy drive in honor of Luis Sanchez, the five-year old boy killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into his home as he was writing a letter to Santa asking for a bike.

A Victorville non-profit is giving 170 bicycles to kids who show a need and perform well in school.

The Fresno Hell’s Angels — yes, those Hell’s Angels — buy and assemble 800 bicycles for local kids.

A Boise, Idaho organization is calling for bicycle donations, as they’re currently 100 bikes short of their goal of giving 415 bicycles to kids who’ve never had one before.

A Texas company builds 100 bikes to give to children of first responders; last year they gave bikes to children of local soldiers.

An Oklahoma car dealer helps collect over 350 bicycles for distribution to children who need them.

An Iowa car dealer is collecting 400 bicycles to donate to children in a four county area.

Terre Haute, Indiana’s Bikes for Tykes program is giving over 400 bicycles to area kids.

Volunteers in Manitoba, Canada work 24 hours straight to build 334 bikes to give to kids.

Great idea from a British town, as bikes refurbished by homeless residents go on sale to local studentsI’d love to see a program like that here in Los Angeles.

And two LA cops play Santa Claus after a bike rider spots a duffel bag full of packages that had apparently been lost or stolen.

………

Spanish pro Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez calls it a career after 17 years and 14 Grand Tour stage victories.

Sad news from France, as a rising young cyclist died in a fall while hiking.

Ella Cycling Tips takes a deep dive into the story of transgendered bike racer Jillian Bearden.

………

Local

Metro is lowering its walkup price for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare to just one dollar for the first half hour from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

CiclaValley says a new traffic light on Riverside Drive is a recipe for disaster, with the light almost invisible as it’s hidden behind trees.

Kanye is one of us, as he rides his BMX on the streets of Los Angeles in a full-face helmet. So actually, it might have been anyone in there.

Bike SGV is selling refurbished bike for the holidays through 12-23, with most under $100.

A Santa Clarita radio station looks at Sunday’s Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge.

 

State

Caught on video: A La Mesa man is lucky to have his bike after security footage show a man pulling bolt cutters from under a blanket and cutting the lock on his mountain bike; evidently, the thief was frightened away before he could take it.

San Diego police release photos of a suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that injured a bike rider in Linda Vista; police blame the victim for running a stop sign.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs moves next door in 2018.

A 33-year old driver was allegedly stoned when she fled the scene after running down a woman riding her bicycle in a marked Moorpark bike lane; she faces charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run, while her 62-year old victim was hospitalized with major injuries.

A Berkeley website recounts the miraculous recovery of a new mother run down by a stoned driver as she biked home from work last February; she recently ran a 5k, just 10 months after a wreck no one expected her to survive.

A 23-year old Stockton driver is under arrest for allegedly fleeing the scene following a crash that killed a bike rider, as well as two passengers in his car.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a cowardly hit-and-run driver left a bike rider to die in the street following an early morning collision.

 

National

Bicycling says there’s never been a better time to be a bicycle entrepreneur.

Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for a new heads-up display for cyclists made by a company that specializes in displays for fighter pilots. Saying “zoom, zoom!” when you ride is purely optional.

A Seattle bike co-op is helping to reduce the recidivism rate for juvenile offenders by teaching kids how to fix a bicycle.

A Washington cyclist thanks drivers for the courtesy, but urges them not to wave him through intersections when they have the right-of-way.

An Albuquerque NM cop received a hero’s award from the mayor for digging into his own pocket to buy a bike for a 12-year old boy after his was stolen on his birthday.

An ex-cop in South Dakota has seen positive results for his Parkinson’s Disease from using medical marijuana, allowing him to attempt a 300-mile bike ride across the state.

Mason City IA is trying to buy an elevated rail line through the city to create a five-mile High Line bikeway.

A Wisconsin woman faces charges after drunkenly driving her car on a bike path and getting stuck on a bike bridge. Although that can happen here in the City of Angels, as well.

Ohio could be the next state to adopt a three-foot passing law, after the legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk.

A writer for the New Yorker offers a tongue-in-cheek list of all the reasons he’ll never ride a bike in the city.

An Op-Ed in the New York Times says forget Times Square, it’s time to banish cars from all of Broadway.

A Georgia driver was under the influence of six different drugs and reaching for her cellphone when she crossed the center line and struck three cyclists, killing one.

 

International

Bloomberg says looking good is easier than ever, as the competition is beginning to catch up to Rapha.

The New York Times looks at Costa Rica’s La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, calling it the world’s toughest mountain bike. And which may or may not involve crocodiles.

Madonna’s son is one of us, as he starts a job as a London bicycle delivery rider.

A British couple adopt a dog that adopted them as they rode their bikes back to their hotel in Greece.

Cyclists in the UK face the same problem riders do in this country — drivers who think they know the laws regarding bicycling, but don’t.

Cycling Tips stumbles on a Frenchman with a remarkable bicycle collection at this year’s Tour de France.

One more reason to hate Adolph Hitler — the biggest bike theft in Danish history. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

No bias here. Australian police are looking for a road raging cyclist who allegedly punched a car passenger in the face for no apparent reason. As we’ve said before, there’s never any excuse for violence; however, the story doesn’t make the slightest mention of what led up to the incident.

 

Finally…

Once again, a bike gets the blame for causing a crash — except this time, no one was on it. Always a good idea to toss your bottle of cheap booze before the police get there

And you’ve got to do something when it snows in Portland.

………

 

Morning Links: Another reason to ride, as traffic congestion costs LA drivers; Flying Pigeon calls out Tom LaBonge

As if you needed another incentive to ride a bike.

The LA Weekly says the city’s traffic congestion costs motorists $5,700 a year, compared to an average of just $1,700 nationwide. And that’s in addition to the estimated $2,458 LA drivers lose due to bad roads.

On the other hand, traffic congestion doesn’t cost bike riders a dime. Although those bad roads can bust wheels and frames.

And bones.

……..

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg says as if anti-Fig4All City Councilmember Gil Cedillo isn’t bad enough, CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge manages to insert himself into bike photo ops while blocking much needed bike safety projects.

Tom LaBonge intrudes his bulky self into every bike-related photo op anywhere in or near his district, often wearing his signature red sweater to catch the eye (and the cameras). But he has stopped the Fourth Street Neighborhood Greenway, is trying hard to stop the Lankershim Boulevard road diet, and stands stubbornly against a community-friendly Glendale/Hyperion bridge rebuild.

And now, Sixth Street in the Miracle Mile, a narrow four-lane that impatient scofflaws use as a fast alternative to Wilshire one block away, sometimes hitting speeds of 60 and 70 miles per hour…

Sixth Street was slated to receive a road diet, but—yes, you guessed right!—Tom LaBonge chose to “defer” it. His rationale? Road work on Wilshire might send more traffic onto Sixth. But his presumptions have led him into error: road diets, while they restrain top speeds, often smooth out traffic flow and result in quicker, if calmer, A to B transits of a street.

Something is seriously wrong when a single councilmember can derail already-approved road treatments designed by people actually qualified and paid to make those decisions.

If Mayor Garcetti really wants to do something about our dysfunctional city government, this would be a damn good place to start.

……..

In pro cycling news, the Astana cycling team risks losing its license for the pro tour after yet another rider is caught doping. Good thing the sport has cleaned itself up.

Meanwhile, VeloNews attempts to fit injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney for next year’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France, even though he’s still working on his comeback and has never ridden — let alone won — a single stage of the Tour.

Give the man a little time, already.

……..

Local

Metro moves forward with a mealy-mouthed, weak-ass Complete Streets policy.

Flying Pigeon hosts another of their popular Get Sum Dim Sum rides on Sunday.

The 2nd annual Long Beach AIDS Ride rolls on November 15th with rides of 40 and 70 miles, along with an eight mile family ride.

 

State

BikeSD reports bike and livability advocates in the Hillcrest neighborhood are subject to death threats.

San Francisco’s police investigate a series of attacks on bike riders in the city’s Panhandle.

 

National

A new government study confirms Millennials are driving less and biking and walking more.

A Kickstarter project promises jeans cut to accommodate the massive thighs of serious cyclists, which won’t always fit in regular jeans. A problem I once had, and sincerely hope I will again someday.

Grist gushes over the beautiful bike freeways in Minneapolis.

Three years ago, the NYPD recommended a mandatory helmet law for cyclists, but can’t be bothered to enforce traffic laws to protect them.

Nice. Atlanta’s working on a citywide network of protected bike lanes.

 

International

A Calgary writer explains why he rides in the road when there’s a bike path nearby.

Seriously? An Edmonton city councilor wants to discourage bike commuting by requiring licenses for anyone who rides to work.

The Guardian says bicycling is good for everyone; mass cycling could save the National Health Service £17 billion — the equivalent of $27 billion — over 20 years, and prevent 500 road deaths a year.

Britain’s Department for Transport calls for doubling cycling by 2025, but lacks the funding to do it.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen discusses how cities around the world are adapting to bike riders.

A group of cycling physicians call for more to be done to improve bike safety in Perth, but the equivalent of a three-foot law fails in West Australia.

 

Finally…

A Scot cyclist goes for an unplanned swim after swerving to avoid a dog. You thought LA potholes were bad — a New Zealand cyclist rides into a sinkhole and can’t get out; his dog stayed with him until help finally arrived.

And a road raging Kiwi cyclist goes off on the driver who rear–ended him following a roadside dispute; something tells me there are no innocent victims in this one.

 

Pigskins and Pedals (Super Bowl) Sunday Funday Ride, a Brewery Ride and free Mountain Bike clinic

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

new support group is forming for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group will meet Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email [email protected].

Flying Pigeon will host their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, February 2nd, starting at 3404 N. Figueroa St and rolling three miles to the nearby Eagle Rock Brewery. The ride assembles starting at 6 pm, rolling at 6:30 and returning around 8:45 pm.

Develop your mountain biking skills on the first Saturday of every month as CORBA offers a free Introduction to Mountain Biking Skills Clinic at Malibu State Park. This month’s session takes place today, February 2nd, from 9 am to 1 pm.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride rolls this Sunday, February 3rd with the aptly named Pigskins and Pedals: A Sunday Funday Tour of L.A.’s Historic Football sites. Meet at the world famous peristyle entrance to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3939 S. Figueroa Street, at 9:30 am, rolling at 10 am for a tour of the city’s pervious — and possibly forthcoming — Super Bowl sites. The ride is free for LACBC members and a guest; discount memberships are available at the start of the ride.

The UCLA Bike Coalition and the LA County Bicycle Coalition invite you to join in the West Area Community Ride – Ride Westwood! on Saturday, February 9th at 10 am for a fun community ride to showcase existing and future bike facilities in the Westwood area. Did I mention a light breakfast and lunch will be provided?

Caltech Bike Lab is hosting a pair of free bike repair classes on Saturday, February 9th at their location on East California Blvd in Pasadena; evidently, the actual street address is a closely guarded secret. Basic Bike Maintenance and Repair will be discussed from 11 am to 1 pm, with Advanced Repair: Bearing Assemblies (aka How to Make Your Wheels Go Faster!) from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Also on the Saturday the 9th, the East Side Riders Bike Club is combining their Ride 4 Love with a ride for social justice in honor of hit-and-run victim Benjamin Torres. The ride kicks off at 12:30 pm at W.L.C.A.C., 10950 South Central Ave, riding to the site where Torres was killed in Gardena, before riding on to Gardena City Hall and back to the starting point. Highly recommended for a great cause.

On Sunday, February 10th, the LACBC invites you to join in on the Ride Figueroa to explore and promote planned bike lanes on Figueroa and Colorado in North East L.A. The ride meets at 10:30 am, rolling at 11 am, at Greayer’s Oak Part at Figueroa and Marmion Way; followed by a candidate forum for Council District 1 to replace bike-friendly Councilmember Ed Reyes at 1 pm at Herrick Memorial Chapel Lower Herrick Room at Occidental College.

L.A. Planning and LADOT kick off a series of public hearing on implementing streets in the new bike plan with the Northeast LA Bike Lanes Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 13th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, California Building, 11214 W. Exposition Blvd.

In an apparent attempt to increase divorce rates among cyclists, or possibly assuming that bike riders can’t get dates, L.A. Planning and LADOT will host the Central Area Bike Lanes Public Hearing on Thursday, February 14th — aka Valentines Day — from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Caltrans District 7 Building, Room 01.040, 100 S. Main Street Downtown.

Flying Pigeon isn’t the only group hosting brewery rides these days, as Brewcyclers provides a beer doubleheader with a ride to Brew-Ligion Brewhouse and Aftershock Brewing Co on Sunday, February 17th. The 30 mile loop kicks off at Brew-Ligion, 39809 Avenida Acacias in Murrieta at 8:30 am, rolling at 9 am.

Also on Sunday, February 17th, the Eastside Bike Club rides to Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia, recently purchased by Eastside bike advocate Carlos Morales. The slow, family friendly ride meets at the new parklet at 4910 Huntington Drive N, rolling at 10:30 am.

If you’re as tired of cyclists and pedestrians being left to bleed in the streets as I am, mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 19th when the LAPD reports back to the Police Commission on hit-and-run stats requested by the city council; the meetings usually take place at 9:30 am at the new, officially unnamed police headquarters across from City Hall at 1st and Main.

Stand up for bike lanes on the Westside as L.A. Planning and LADOT host the West Area Bike Lanes Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 19th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Medina Parking Enforcement Office, 11214 W. Exposition Blvd at Sepulveda Blvd.

The Orange County Bike Film Festival screens from Wednesday, February 20th through Monday, March 11th; times and locations vary.

The series of bike lane public hearings wraps up on Thursday, February 21st as L.A. Planning and LADOT host the Valley Area Bike Lanes Public Hearing from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the North Hollywood Regional Branch Library, 5211 Tujunga Ave in North Hollywood.

C.I.C.L.E. hosts the family-friendly Wild, Wild West Ride through Chatsworth on Saturday, February 23rd, in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch Englander. The easy, eight-mile ride meets at the Chatsworth Depot Metrolink Station at 10 am, returning at 1:30 pm.

LACBC will host the city’s first Bike Prom from 8 pm to midnight on Saturday, February 23rd, at the American Legion Hall Post 206, 227 N. Ave 55 in Los Angeles. Similar events have been very popular in other cities, so this could be the bike social event of the year — get your tickets early.

Also on Saturday the 23rd, the annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride will offer a 20-mile route along the LA River for families and casual riders, and a more challenging 30-mile on city streets for more advanced riders. The LACBC will provide a free bike valet.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. This month’s meeting will take place at Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd on Tuesday, February 26th; this will be the last meeting before the March elections. You don’t have to be an LACBC member to participate; email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the discussion list.

Registration is open for the 2013 UCLA Complete Streets Conference on Thursday, February 28th at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 120 South Los Angeles Street Downtown.

This should be a major party, as the infamous semi-official Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race takes place on St. Paddy’s Day, Sunday, March 17th, starting at 3:30 am at Tang’s Donuts, 4341 West Sunset Boulevard. Be sure to wear green — or better yet, ride a kelly green bike festooned with shamrocks and leprechauns.

Make your plans for the Malibu 7-Canyon Ride on Saturday, March 23rd with rides of 100 miles, 100 kilometers and 50 miles. The fully supported ride will begin at Zuma Beach, and pass through Latigo, Encinal, Decker, Mulholland, Little Sycamore, Yerba Buena and Deer Creek Canyons, with over 9,000 feet of climbing on the century ride.

Caltech Bike Lab teams with C.I.C.L.E. to offer a series of free defensive cycling classes; the next ones take place on Sunday, April 7th and Saturday, June 8th at Caltech Y, 505 S. Wilson Ave in Pasadena. RSVP to [email protected] with the date you want to attend.

The Classic Gran Fondo San Diego rolls on Sunday, April 14th, starting and ending in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood. If you go, make sure your taxes are done first, since they’re due the next day.

The next CicLAvia rolls out on Sunday, April 21st from 10 am to 3 pm, following a new route from Downtown to Venice Beach — or as Yo! Venice! puts it, from Dogtown to Downtown — along Venice Blvd. Future events will follow Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to Fairfax on Sunday, June 23rd, before returning to an extended Downtown route on Sunday, October 6th.

Registration has opened for this year’s LA River Ride, to be held Sunday, June 9th, starting and ending in Griffith Park. If you haven’t done the River Ride, I highly recommend it; if you have, then what are you waiting for?

Giving credit for L.A.’s anti-harassment ordinance, the backlash begins & fighting blocked bike lanes

Catching up from last week, it seems the successful passage of L.A.’s anti-harassment ordinance is making waves, though not necessarily the way we might have hoped.

Despite a number of council and committee hearings as it glacially made its way through the development process leading up to unanimous approval by the city council, many motorists seemed to be blindsided by the new ordinance.

Which is what tends to happen when you don’t pay any attention to your own government.

One thing that seems to have been forgotten in the cycling community’s celebration over the passage of the anti-harassment ordinance is the role the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition played in seeing this law through from the very beginning.

It’s true that Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and his aide Paul Backstrom deserve the lion’s share of credit, along with Judith Reel — who had the stroke of genius to make this a civil, rather than criminal, law — and LADOT’s Michele Mowery. No one can understate the important roll attorneys Ross Hirsch and Daniel Jimenez played in vetting the wording, or the vital support of Bicycle Advisory Committee President Jay Slater and other members of the BAC in getting it passed.

And let’s not forget the work of LADOT Bike Blog’s Chris Kidd in explaining and carrying the torch for this bill.

But I remember committee meetings where the only cyclists present were myself and representatives from the LACBC.

I don’t mention this because I’m on the board of the coalition.

But because it was the hard work of Aurisha Smolarsky, Dorothy Le, Jen Klausner and Allison Mannos in fighting for this bill that convinced me to join the LACBC and become a board member in the first place. As well as Alexis Lantz, who later took over for Aurisha in fighting behind the scenes to make this law as strong as it could be and help ensure its passage.

Without their hard work, this law might not exist today. And it certainly wouldn’t be as strong as it turned out to be.

……..

Road.cc looks at L.A.’s bicycle anti-harassment ordinance, while KPCC says L.A. cyclists get the toughest protections in the U.S.; personally, I might question that since this is a civil, rather than criminal, law. The C-Blog offers a well-written and thoughtful response to KABC radio in defense of the ordinance. Writing for Orange 20, Rick Risemberg says common decency now has some teeth, while a conservative writer calls it a terrible law that will lead to legal motorist shakedowns. And our neighbors to the south don’t seem too interested in following our lead.

The L.A. Times calls it a smart law; unfortunately, some of their readers don’t get it, despite intercession by Sgt. Krumer to explain what the law does and doesn’t do.

Sgt. David Krumer at 12:34 AM July 22, 2011

Hello motorist,

It appears that some folks are not exactly sure what harassment means within the context of the ordinance.  You can still yell at a cyclist who engages in bad behavior.  You can not however threaten a cyclist with physical harm or make comments like “I am going to run you over.”  You also can not engage in conduct that is likely to put a cyclist in harms way such as:

1) Revving your engine multiple times as it is an implied threat that they may get run over if they don’t move out of the way.

2) Tailgating a cyclist

3) Passing a cyclist at too high a speed or to close a distance so as to scare or intimidate them off the road.

4) Riding up at a high rate of speed and honking at a cyclist (this has caused cyclists to get scared and fall of their bikes).

Hope this sheds light on what “harassment” means.  In short it is an ordinance that prohibits threats (explicit and implied) as well as behavior likely to cause injury.

Meanwhile, one reader suggests, in what we can only hope is a failed attempt at humor, that drivers should eliminate anyone who might be able to testify against them:

edwardskizer at 3:50 PM July 23, 2011

Drivers frustrated by this law have to remember just one rule: leave no witnesses.

Yes, very funny indeed. And that Dr. Thompson thing in Mandeville Canyon was a real knee-slapper, too.

Or if you want to waste an hour of your life and churn your stomach after realizing the sort of people we have to share the streets with, read the comments to this Times story.

Then again, L.A. isn’t the only place that needs a law like this.

……..

After years of effort from countless cyclists — myself included — Flying Pigeon finally tracks down the people who are responsible for doing something about blocked bike lanes, including all those damn trash cans.

And AAA responds to Will Campbell’s complaint about opposing California’s proposed three-foot passing law; not surprisingly, they don’t apologize or change their minds.

Which makes me think it may be time for cyclists to consider an auto club that doesn’t support a driver’s right to pass dangerously close.

……..

Congratulations to Cadel Evans for an unexpected victory in the Tour de France, and the first ever victory for the land down under, as his countrymen rejoice but don’t get a day off. He now tops the UCI rankings, as well.

The Schleck brothers finish second and third, while Mark Cavendish takes the points prize, noting that it didn’t come easy. Andy Schleck, or possibly his brother Frank, appeared to have the race won until they cracked and Cadel crashed through to victory.

Michael from Claremont Cyclist offers some great final thoughts. The Wall Street Journal looks at the Jackie Robinson of cycling. Thomas Voeckler fought the good fight to hold the yellow jersey longer than anyone thought he could.

Unfortunately, the North American contingent didn’t exactly impress.

……..

Will offers suggestions to improve that scary tunnel at the top of Sepulveda Blvd. A local cyclist had his bike confiscated after riding on the 405 during Carmegeddon, and asks you to buy a t-shirt to help get it back. With little luck and effort, Bicycle Priority Zones could soon spread across the county. Better Bike complains about politicians low-balling bikes at the last Westside COG meeting. The Times looks at the tweet that lead to a $7000 donation to the LACBC; in a final note to the story, the guy who sold his own car to make that donation had his bike stolen over the weekend. Working to make Beverly Hills more bike friendly; who knew they actually have bike racks? Gary Kavanagh writes about the lessons learned from the recent Carmageddon. Local Linus bikes are featured in a new fashion video. Six SoCal firefighters ride cross-country to honor 9/11 victims.

Long Beach starts a new bike safety campaign to remind cyclists to stay off the sidewalk. Complaints that cyclists don’t stop for a Newport Beach stop sign lead to the observation that hardly anyone does. Joe Linton rides the bike path along San Diego County’s San Luis Rey River. A Redding writer says he doesn’t see how a 3-foor passing law could make a lick of difference. The fight over San Francisco bike lanes moves to crosstown streets.

Levis unveils their new Commuter Jeans, complete with a U-lock loop. Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club wants more women riders on the road. After winning a new Trek Madone, Springfield Cyclist puts his old bike up for sale, and will donate the sale price — plus an additional $100 — to support victims of the devastating Joplin tornado earlier this year. A pair of blind riders take on RAGBRAI. Advice on how to deal with riding to work on a hot day. New York drivers turn a sidewalk and bike path into a DIY shortcut. The bike wars go on in Virginia Beach VA, where cyclists were recently treated to tacks on a popular riding route. The Tallahassee Democrat says cyclists have rights on the road, too.

Mexico considers investing the equivalent of $120 million in bikes and infrastructure. Do wobbly cyclists calm traffic? A UK man and woman are sentenced for severely beating a cyclist for no apparent reason. The 10 worst gyratories in London; and yes, I had to look it up myself. Fifty-four percent of English children want to ride their bikes more. A driver says he’d rather kill a cyclist and possibly himself than hit a family in a car; good response from bike writer Carlton Reid. Great bike illustrations from a Dublin artist. Town Mouse visits France and falls in love with a local bike. An Aussie cyclist is critically injured in a collision with possible U.S. Navy personnel.

Finally, while the UK is taking posties off their Pashleys, the USPS is putting bikes on their stamps. And a Florida judge ignores the law to blame the victim of a road rage assault for riding too far from the curb; let’s hope L.A. jurists are more enlightened when the first cases under the new anti-harassment ordinance come to court.

Come back later tonight when I’ll post a harrowing first-person account of the collision that left cyclist Adam Rybicki fighting for his life, and a call for justice from the riders who barely avoided serious injury along with him

The 1st Annual BikingInLA Holiday Spectacular!

FADE IN:

MARVIN BRAUDE BIKE PATH — NIGHT

Palm trees along the bike path are swathed in twinkling lights, as the Santa Monica pier sparkles in the background. There’s a magical feeling in the air, as holiday music floats gently on the breeze.

It’s Christmas Eve.

A lone cyclist pedals up the path. Since he usually rides during the day, there are no lights or reflectors on his bike. So taking his cue from this guy, he has wrapped his bike in low-wattage LED Christmas lights. And in honor of his wife’s side of the family, he has cleverly attached a menorah to his handlebars as a headlight.

Unfortunately, the candles keep blowing out.

He hadn’t thought of that.

SFX: SLEIGH BELLS

Pausing to relight the candles, he briefly scans the sky…nothing.

SFX: SLEIGH BELLS SOUNDING CLOSER

Up ahead in the distance, a very large man appears, slowly passing through the glow of each streetlight as he drawsnearer, struggling to pedal his overloaded bike down the trail. He is dressed in a red suit and cap trimmed in white, politically incorrect fur, with a large messenger bag full of gifts slung over his shoulder.

He is sweating profusely, and anything but jolly.

BIKINGINLA

Santa? Mr. Claus?

SANTA CLAUS

Yo.

BIKINGINLA

The Santa Clause? Kris Kringle? Père Noël? Father Christmas?

SANTA CLAUS

Look, I’m on a schedule here…

BIKINGINLA

Oh. Sorry.

SANTA CLAUS

Name?

BIKINGINLA

BikingInLa.

The fat man pulls a pair of lengthy lists out of his pocket, scanning quickly until he spots the right name. Brow furrowing, he narrows his eyes as he considers the other cyclist.

SANTA CLAUS

You’re the wise guy who asked me for a dreidel back in ’87?

BIKINGINLA

Well, I…

SANTA CLAUS

Had to retool the entire production line for one lousy toy. Cost me countless elf-hours in lost productivity.

BIKINGINLA

Sorry.

SANTA CLAUS

Next time, take it up with my brother-in-law.

BIKINGINLA

Your…?

SANTA CLAUS

Hanukkah Harry. Mixed marriage, you know?

BIKINGINLA

Yeah, I know what that’s like. So, um…where’s the reindeer and stuff?

 

SANTA CLAUS

It’s this damned economy. Bank cut off my line of credit, so I had to make some cuts. Something about a flawed business model.

BIKINGINLA

Yeah, I hear that a lot these days.

SANTA CLAUS

Sure, I lose money on every toy, but I make it up in volume. And once I get the new Cyber Santa 2.0 online…

Anyway, I had to outsource production to China and let the elves go. And fuel costs got totally out of hand — I mean, have you priced reindeer kibble theses days? So I traded the sled for a new bike, and turned the reindeer over to an animal rescue. Except for Blitzen.

BIKINGINLA

Blitzen?

SANTA CLAUSE

After the layoffs, some of the elves went on a hunger strike. Man, you do not mess with a hungry elf.

BIKINGINLA pauses, visibly struggling to get that image out of his head.

BIKINGINLA

Wasn’t there anywhere you could turn? If they can bailout GM…

SANTA CLAUS

Yeah, right. Billions for the banks. And not a penny for the little guy.

BIKINGINLA

Or the fat guy.

SANTA CLAUS

(GLARING) That’s going on my list.

BIKINGINLA

(CHANGING SUBJECT) Uh, cool bike.

SANTA CLAUS

Yeah, got it in China. Call it a Flying Pigeon.

Doesn’t, though.

BIKINGINLA

Bummer, dude.

SANTA CLAUS

Think I’d know better than to fall for clever marketing at my age. Should have gone for something faster, or least designed to haul a little cargo. I got a lot of miles to cover tonight.

BIKINGINLA

Speaking of which, don’t you have something in that bag for me?

SANTA CLAUS

Don’t push your luck, kid. You barely made the good list as it was. One more single digit salute to a passing driver, and you’ll be lucky to find a lump of coal in your stocking. And we’re not talking clean coal technology, either.

Besides, you already got your present. Just be careful what you wish for.

BIKINGINLA

What’s that supposed to mean?

SANTA CLAUS

Passing the Cyclist’s Bill of Rights was the easy part. But it’s another thing entirely to turn all those pretty words into paint on the street, or change attitude of law enforcement.

I’m afraid your work is just starting, my friend.

BIKINGINLA

Okay, but what about that other stuff I asked for? You know, like peace on Earth, and all that stuff?

SANTA CLAUS

Hmmmph! Little over my pay grade, isn’t it? Besides, you don’t want peace on Earth.

BIKINGINLA

But…

SANTA CLAUSE

You just want other people to stop fighting. If you really wanted peace, you’d keep those damn gestures to yourself. And try turning the other cheek the next time some jerk cuts you off.

 BIKINGINLA

(EMBARASSED) Yeah.

SANTA CLAUSE

So stop being such a self-righteous cycle jerk, already. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a few billion deliveries to make.

Santa slings his bag back over his shoulder, and slowly starts pedaling down the path, muttering under his breath. He pauses briefly, turning back to gesture towards his own eyes with two fingers before pointing at BIKINGINLA, as if to say “I’m watching you.”

He resumes riding, pedaling faster and faster until at last, his Flying Pigeon rises up from the pavement and soars through the sky. As he disappears into the stars, we hear him shout a final farewell.

SANTA CLAUSE

Oh, and happy Christmas to all and all that. And to all, a great ride!

FADE TO BLACK

Best wishes to all for a joyous holiday season, and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!

%d bloggers like this: