Tag Archive for Griffith Park

Weekend Links: Bicyclist voices heard in Griffith Park flap, but not in San Diego; Seattle driver doesn’t give a f***

They got the message, anyway.

The LA Weekly covers Thursday night’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which discussed the controversy over the ill-advised test project to turn Mount Hollywood Drive, which had previously been closed off to cars, into parking for tourists visiting the Hollywood Sign.

The predictable outcome was a promise to look into the matter, though it’s clear board members got the message from hikers, equestrians and bike riders that another solution has to be found. What, if anything, they’ll do about it after the project’s planned April 12th closing remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, an online petition asks the city to keep cars and trams off the road, but KTLA-5 says pity the poor tourists who just want to get a close-up view of the sign.

And CiclaValley offers video evidence of what all the fuss is about.

………

Bike SD offers a report on Wednesday’s meeting to discuss planned bike lanes in the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where the Urban Planners group voted unanimously to protect parking spaces instead of human lives; the OB Rag says passionate pleas for safer streets fell on deaf ears.

Even though a new study shows complete streets not only result in improved safety for everyone, but also lead to increased sales, higher employment rates and greater property values.

But sure, keep fighting for those parking spaces while you chase potential new customers away.

………

If, like me, you had to miss Thursday’s discussion between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and our own LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds, you can watch it again for the first time. Thanks to Dennis Hindman for the link.

………

Clearly, not all cyclists oppose the proposed law that would require all California cyclists to wear bike helmets, as well as reflective gear after dark. Even if Bike Snob calls anyone who supports a helmet law a traitor and a heretic.

A new temporary clear spray paint from Volvo could solve the reflective problem. Maybe if you just spray your head it will look like you have a helmet on, at least after dark.

……..

The Bike League is calling on you to contact your Senator to help preserve federal funding for biking and walking.

Meanwhile, over 120 organizations joined together to call for increased funding for active transportation in California.

………

A Seattle driver tells a bike rider she literally doesn’t give a fuck about anything he has to say after she parks in a supposedly parking-protected bike lane. And right next to a sign saying she can’t do it, no less.

Although, I think she meant figuratively, not literally, unless she was actually declining a free sexual encounter.

A writer for c|net asks if the rider, while right, might have been a tad sanctimonious.

See what you think.

………

More transportation clickbait, as Thrillist ranks the 10 best cities to get around without a car.

LA checks in at a surprising number nine, despite ranking lowest among the top 10 for bikeability, and second from the bottom for walkability.

………

Local

A Los Angeles woman makes chandeliers out of used bike parts; her work can be seen at Sunset Plaza, as well as Neil Patrick Harris’ New York home, if he lets you in.

Big improvements are coming to North Broadway in DTLA.

A new Glendale greenway will connect three parks in the city via bike lanes and sharrows.

Join Metro, From Lot to Spot and CICLE on Saturday for the Hot SPOTS bike tour of formerly blighted lots that have been converted to urban green spaces.

 

State

A La Mesa cyclist was critically injured in a horrific wreck when he was hit by an armored car, which proceeded to run over him with both sets of tires.

A trio of Palm Springs thieves are arrested after apparently trading a possibly stolen bike for the SUV they’re accused of taking.

San Bernardino students get bikes for perfect attendance. If they’d done that when I was a kid, I might not have faked a fever so often.

A 32-year old bike rider becomes the year’s first, and hopefully last, traffic fatality in Salinas.

A Silicon Valley bicycling movement is powered by wine, women and chocolate. None of which my wife will let me have these days.

San Francisco police are once again accused of conducting a crappy investigation and unfairly blaming the victim of a bicycling fatality.

 

National

A new documentary examines the conflict between bikes and cars — or more precisely, the overdependence on the latter — including LA voices like Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Don Koeppel, founder of the Big Parade.

Smart move. To reduce costs and build better relations with the community, Albuquerque police plan to take officers off their inexpensive bikes and put them in expensive patrol cars, where they will be isolated from the public.

The Dallas Observer says a new bill to ban texting while driving will only give cops an excuse to pull drivers over; evidently, they expect people to stop texting behind the wheel on the honor system, which has clearly worked well so far.

A former Mad City mayor calls for a Wisconsin bike highway system.

A Pittsburgh bridge gets a road diet and bike lanes, even if a local carpenter calls them useless.

Showing a rare skill for making a bad situation worse, a Tampa Bay man faces a burglary charge for attempting to get his impounded bike back.

 

International

Welsh police needs at least four cops and a helicopter to arrest a wine drinking bike rider.

A new 700 space bike parking structure gives a whole new meaning to Stockholm syndrome; thanks to joninsocal for the heads-up.

A new documentary looks at Italian Jews who survived WWII and the goys gentiles who helped them, focusing on legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, who should be on a fast track to sainthood already.

A West Australia driver gets five years for killing a cyclist in a wreck he was too drunk to remember.

Thailand will build bike lanes leading to two international airports, while a 14 mile bike path circling another airport will get toilets, lights and security cameras provided by a local bank. We have a lot of banks in LA, right?

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur promises to build more bikeways if enough buildings turn their lights out for Earth Hour. So if they don’t, bike riders get screwed?

 

Finally…

A new women’s jersey is designed to carry your choice of concealed weapon while you ride. If you’re carrying three kilos of coke and heroin in the trunk of your car, don’t obscure the license plate with your bike rack.

And an Illinois town asks bike riders to please stop pooping on the bike path.

 

Morning Links: Justice for San Diego thrill kill victim, Griffith Park feeder ride, and CD4’s Ryu finally responds

Sometimes there’s justice after all.

Even if it takes awhile.

When a bike rider gets shot, it’s almost always gang involved in some way. The 2011 death of San Diego cyclist Jordan Hickey was the exception.

The developmentally disabled man was just minutes from his home while riding back after visiting his girlfriend when he was gunned down for no reason.

Or more precisely, just for the hell of it.

Two men were allegedly driving around just looking for someone to kill when they spotted Hickey on his bike, and one leaned out of the car window to fire the fatal blast from a shotgun.

On Wednesday, the driver, Juan Ignacio Gomez, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder; he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Humberto Emanuel Galvez, the accused shooter, faces a possible death sentence when he goes on trial in May.

Which is exactly what he’s accused of sentencing Hickey to, without a trial.

………

A feeder rider to tonight’s Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting will roll out from Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake to protest plans to open Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars to placate Beechwood Canyon homeowners, who are tired of being overrun by tourists looking for the Hollywood Sign.

………

While I wasn’t looking, CD4 city council candidate David Ryu finally responded to the LACBC’s candidate survey; turns out like most bike riders, his remains in the garage most of the time. Carolyn Ramsay, his opponent to replace Tom LaBonge in the May 19th runoff, submitted her response back in February.

………

Local

LADOT offers up a Pico Blvd bike love story with a happy ending.

Hollywood’s Amoeba Records is holding a charity auction hosted by comedian Kurt Braunohler on April 4th; proceeds will benefit the kids ride and activities at the LACBC’s River Ride in June.

Expect rolling closures on PCH in western Malibu for the next two days as work continues on the highway’s Bike Route Improvements project.

A Burbank writer looks back on Sunday’s Valley CicLAvia and asks what effect a similar event would have on the city.

Ride for a great cause, as the Bear Claw Classic rolls this Saturday in Westlake Village to raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery.

 

State

Clear registration stickers from California’s Anti-Theft Dots could help recover your bike if it’s stolen.

Once again, the CHP rules harm, but no foul, as a driver escapes responsibility for taking his eyes off the road and seriously injuring a cyclist when his vehicle drifted to the right. Evidently, drivers are no longer required to pay attention and maintain control of their cars and trucks in California.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider becomes the latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run.

A San Jose writer provides a first-person account of simple solo fall with a not so simple result — multiple broken bones, collapsed lung and nearly a half million dollars in medical bills.

San Francisco supervisors want more bike education classes in their districts.

 

National

AAA Distracted DrivingDashcam video in a new PSA shows texting teen drivers swerving off the road; as the BAC’s David Wolfberg asks, how much of teens’ distracted driving behaviors did they learn from watching their parents?

Denver prosecutors throw the book at a driver who nearly killed a bike cop while having a seizure; he faces up to 32 years in jail for crashing into the officer after hiding his medical condition when applying for driver’s license.

A Houston website says it’s open season on bike riders in the Texas city following a horrific hit-and-run that left a cyclist critically injured.

Good news from North Dakota, as bike collisions are down 50% in Rapid City.

A 70-year old man who collapsed on the street can credit his life to the quick actions of a couple of Chicago bike cops.

Whether a protected bike lane on a busy Boston street is a good thing or a bad thing depends on who’s telling the tale. Meanwhile, a Boston city councilor bemoans the loss of revenue from the 73 parking spaces that will be removed to make room for the cycle track, evidently valuing money over the lives of people on bikes.

Baltimore plans to add up to 100 miles of bike lanes over the next 15 years; the question, as always, is whether the plan will be funded.

A Florida driver faces up to 30 years in prison for the death of a bike rider; he was reportedly doing at least 102 mph at the time of the impact.

 

International

The UK’s Cycling Weekly reminds us all why we got on a bike to begin with; however, they forgot to mention the most important reason. It’s fun.

Formerly anti-bike Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson rides off on one after being fired by the BBC for punching a producer; he faces possible criminal charges, as well.

Caught on video: A first person view from the hero cyclist who chased down three British bike thieves.

Dubai develops a specialized six-wheel ambulance — including bike rack on the front — to rescue cyclists injured while riding in the desert.

An Indian official sets out on a “bicycle march” to end injustice, lawlessness and corruption in the country. Although he disappointed his mother, who wanted him to get married first.

A Bangkok writer calls for his countrymen to stop using the term accident to refer to crashes, saying most, if not all, are preventable. You’re preaching to the choir, dude.

 

Finally…

After riding 5,000 from Los Angeles to Miami, then up to Charleston, a cyclist gets a ticket for unlawful passing — just one hundred yards from his final destination. That silly looking German adult balance bike is now a real thing, for no apparent reason.

And how many times has this happened to you?

Morning Links: Carfree Griffith Park could be sacrificed for well-healed homeowners; LA beats New York

It’s your park.

But that could change, as Streetsblog explains more about the plan to open Griffith Park’s previously car-free, and carefree, Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars.

In fact, the street has already been partially opened in an experiment to provide additional parking near the Griffith Observatory.

As many surmised, it appears to be a plan to divert tourists wanting a close-up view of the Hollywood sign from the pricy Beechwood Canyon neighborhood, in effect trading their privacy for the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

Although I wonder how many of those homeowners knew the sign was there when they moved there.

While I understand the problems caused by the sudden influx of internet-driven tourists, it’s kind of like Parisians in the last century demanding the streets be closed because they had no idea passenger jets would bring so many tourists to see the Eiffel Tower.

We need to find a solution that works for everyone, not just the those wanting to protect their streets; shuttle buses along a mutually acceptable route is just one possibility.

The park is one of the few places in this city that belongs to people, not cars.

CiclaVally asks you to invest 45 seconds to send an email to help keep it that way.

………

The BetterDoctor website ranks the most bike-friendly cities, with four of the top 10 — Portland, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco — on the Left Coast.

Needless to say, LA checks in at a relatively modest number 23. Yet somehow, we’re still two notches above New York, Bicycle magazine’s number one city for bike friendliness.

Which suggests that these sort of clickbait lists should be taken with a grain — or maybe a 10-pound bag — of salt.

………

Local

Just five years ago, LA cyclists had to fight to preserve bike lanes that were promised for Reseda Blvd. Now the street is scheduled to get the city’s first parking-protected bike lane as part of the Great Streets program.

Speaking of parking-protected bike lanes, I haven’t given up the fight to put one on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon, where Australian tourist James Rapley was killed by an allegedly intoxicated and possibly distracted driver just before Christmas 2013. There may not have been enough cars there to save his life on that Sunday morning, but it might keep it from happening again.

New County Supervisor Hilda Solis tells Downtown News she supports bikeshare and its automotive equivalent, suggesting there may not even be a need for private cars in DTLA.

 

State

A new Oso Creek trail gets unanimous approval; the three-quarter-mile pathway will have a 12-foot asphalt bike path along with a 10-foot wide decomposed granite horse and pedestrian trail. Which means pedestrians will choose to use the paved path, of course.

The battle for bike lanes in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood sound a lot like the fight for bike lanes on Westwood Blvd — intense opposition that ignores the benefits and insists the lanes go somewhere else, but fails to come up with any viable alternatives. No bias in the San Diego media, either, as a local TV station says the plan would take streets away from drivers and give them to bicyclists.

San Francisco gets three more visible bike counters, bringing their total to four visible bike counters and 24 hidden counters buried in the pavement along popular riding routes. That compares favorably to LA, which has exactly zero that I’m aware of.

 

National

AAA says drivers continue to take needless risks even though crashes affect one out of three motorists. And too often, it’s the people who aren’t encased in two tons of glass and steel that pay the price.

Why the bike bell everyone remembers is nearing extinction on American streets.

The OC Register says riding the Oregon coast is a slice of heaven, except for 11 miles of hell.

A Portland station looks at bike chop shops in homeless camps, where stolen bikes are dismantled and sold for parts.

Washington moves forward with a proposed dead red law, which would allow cyclists to ride through red lights that don’t change for them.

Chicago alderman candidates raise the question of licensing cyclists, which refuses to die no matter how many times it’s refuted.

An Ithaca NY bike cop says officers on bikes are less threatening, stealthier and can go where cars can’t.

 

International

City Lab says Woonerfs are wonderful, citing six places where everyone successfully shares the streets without traffic controls.

Saskatoon approves a long debated protected bike lane through downtown, including funds to clear winter snow from the lane.

A road raging Brit driver punches a cyclist, knocking him into the path of an oncoming car; needless to say, the jerk didn’t stick around to take responsibility for his actions.

The leader of Britain’s Near Miss Project, which collects anecdotal accounts of close calls and road rage incidents involving bike riders, says the country’s roads call for constant vigilance.

Stockholm improves safety and livability by virtually eliminating motor vehicle traffic through certain neighborhoods. Here in the US, we take the opposite approach, virtually eliminating safety and livability by routing countless cars and trucks through ours.

Evidently, life is cheap in Hong Kong, where a cargo van driver gets off with a $5,400 fine for killing a British bike rider last year.

 

Finally…

Would you use an edible water bottle made from an algae-based gel? No, really, you first. An Arlington VA bikeshare bike rider is doored by an Uber passenger when the car stops next to a bike lane, which is only news because it involves Uber, unlike the countless other bike riders who get doored every day.

And writer and cultural critic Fran Leibowitz says seeing men in shorts is disgusting, questions why people need special costumes to ride bikes, and asks why you need a helmet if you’re not an astronaut.

I’m may not be an astronaut, but I have been a space cadet at times.

……..

Thanks to Tai Wan Kim for a generous contribution to help support this site

(Late) Morning Links: Griffith Park road under attack, more on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and stupid Scot cop tricks

LA doesn’t have many carfree places where people can walk and ride carefree.

And right now, one of the most popular ones is under attack.

I’ll let CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew explain.

I’m not going to mix words. Griffith Park is the greatest urban open space in the country.

Bar none.

While the park is filled with many attractions that would take days to frequent, the star is its natural beauty.

Many homes are blanketed across the Santa Monica Mountains, but Angelenos have been eternally blessed to be gifted this land that largely preserves its original character.

In what seems to be a move to placate those living below the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Park Advisory Board is considering opening up Mount Hollywood Drive to vehicular traffic. I don’t have specifics, but cars would be allowed to travel and park close to the peak of the road.

While we already have examples of these traffic problems across the park, this move would pave the way for trams taking tourists up to the Hollywood sign, impacting yet another prized local resource.

Speaking as a cyclist, Griffith Park has the only paved accessway that climbs the hills of Los Angeles without the threat of vehicular traffic. The road is used by cyclists of every age, skill level and bike style.

To the many hikers and horse riders that also utilize the same paths, we share the same plight.

Not only does the addition of cars ruin this stretch for those that frequent it, but it would also add congestion to both stretches of Vermont and Western Canyon.

Please come to the Griffith Park Advisory Board Meeting this Thursday at 6:30pm at the Ranger Station on Crystal Springs & Fire Rd to show your support to preserve the nature of the park.

Griffith Park is our park. It should never be anything other than that.

There are very few places in this city that have been given over to people, rather than cars. Griffith Park needs to remain one of them.

The Sierra Club agrees.

……..

Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein makes the point I’ve been trying to drive home — CicLAvia is good for business.

I was particularly impressed by the car dealer who handed out lip balm to passing riders, as well as the pet store employees who called out to ask people going by if they owned a dog or cat, then gave out pet-specific shopping bags to anyone who said yes.

Just two examples of smart marketing that will undoubtedly result in more sales later. Which beats the hell out of complaining about any possible negative impact on sales for a single day.

I was also impressed by an 80-something grandfather I met who rode to Studio City from Sylmar to meet his grandson to bike the full CicLAvia route, and planned to ride back home afterwards. Then again, he said he barely drives anymore, preferring to take his bike everywhere — despite, or perhaps because of, a hip and knee replacement.

I want to be like him when I grow up.

CiclaValley explains what CicLAvia means to the Valley, and provides great photos of the day, as does Curbed LA and LA Magazine. Streeetsblog offers an open CicLAvia thread, allowing anyone to voice their mostly positive opinions on the day.

LA’s wildly popular open streets event even makes an appearance in fictional Springfield.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia visitors give a thumbs up to a temporary parking-protected bike lane demonstration; unfortunately, it had been taken down by the time I got there. And Boyonabike paraphrases Che in saying we need “one, two, many CicLAvias” to overthrow the tyranny of the automobile.

Note to press: ‪CicLAvia is not a bike festival, it is a human festival, open to all regardless of travel mode, as long as they leave their motors behind.

……..

Somehow, Scotland cops manage to get it unbelievably wrong, as cyclist picks up a cup a littering driver had tossed out, and tosses it back into the man’s car.

The driver responded by getting out of his car and demanding to know if the rider wanted to fight.

So instead of citing the driver for littering or threatening the bicyclist, police naturally threaten to file assault charges against the cyclist for instigating the incident.

I’ve often wanted to do the same thing to jerks besmirching our planet.

Then again, I may, in my younger days, have politely attempted returned a lit cigarette or two to those who tossed one out of an open car window, inquiring if the driver had lost it.

The response was usually an embarrassed apology. Though on occasion, the reaction may have been an offer to break my face, which I invariably declined.

These days, it’s just not worth the aggravation.

But I’m glad someone, somewhere, picked where I may have left off.

Let’s just hope the local Scottish authorities manage to get their heads out of their collective posteriors and do the right thing.

……..

Local

A writer for calls for banning right turns on red rights in the City of LA to protect pedestrians and bike riders.

Peloton takes the day off for a casual 27-mile, five stop ride through the LA area.

Bike SGV holds their monthly meeting tonight.

New bike lanes make their appearance on Mission Street in South Pasadena.

A Lennox bike rider was killed when he was shot repeatedly by a man who exited a car to fire before getting back in and being driven away.

An El Segundo surfer encourages wave riders to bike to the breaks instead of driving.

 

State

An Orange County mountain biker was airlifted to safety after suffering serious facial injuries while riding in Crystal Cove Park.

A teenage girl suffers minor injuries when she’s the victim of a hit-and-run driver while rider her bike in Stanton. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the link.

Someone is apparently sabotaging signs calling for a community meeting in opposition to planned pedestrian and bike improvements in San Diego’s Hillcrest; things like that only convince people we’re exactly who they think we are.

Despite a threatened $50 impound fee, San Diego State students continue to lock their bikes to railings instead of the school’s bike racks; which suggests that the bike racks are either inadequate or in the wrong damn place.

A San Diego bicyclist offers a classic retort to the standard complaint about unemployed cyclists on five-figure bikes ruining everything for people who have to get to work.

A project to widen the 101 Freeway from Ventura to Carpenteria, which includes a bike path on the ocean side of the highway, finishes ahead of schedule. Let’s hope it’s more successful than the effort to widen the 405 through the Sepulveda pass, which didn’t even include bike lanes despite the more than $1 billion cost.

A Lompoc bike rider suffers life-threatening injuries, despite wearing a helmet, when a mechanical failure caused him to go over his handlebars. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Scofflaw bike riding children somehow take to a San Francisco freeway, apparently by mistake, in a case reminiscent of LA’s Crimanimalz, who did it entirely on purpose.

San Francisco police refuse to explain why they blamed the victim in a bicycling collision, even though a witness saw the driver blew through the red light.

 

National

Just one day left to get in on an interesting Kickstarter campaign for a new and improved kind of air pump head that promises to be easier to connect and disconnect to your tires; for $180, you can get a new bike light that’s as bright as a car headlight.

Grist says the most ecologically sound material for your bike frame is anything as long as you actually ride it.

Yuma AZ cyclists want more bike lanes in unincorporated areas of the county.

That wasn’t a gunshot that prompted a lockdown of the St. Cloud MN sheriff’s office, it was a bike tire blowout.

A Connecticut man gets eight years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist, proving to California authorities that it is possible to take the crime seriously.

New York’s Daily News makes a truly bizarre argument in favor of drivers being able to kill without legal consequences.

 

International

Five thousand cyclists rode through Lima on Sunday to promote bicycling as a way to travel between Peru and Columbia, and bring the two nations closer together.

Bike officials take the doping hunt to the next level, unsuccessfully searching 36 bikes used in the Milan-San Remo race for hidden motors; next they’ll be inspecting the riders for cyborg implants.

That’s more like it. North Vancouver agrees to widen an existing causeway to make room for bike lanes and better pedestrian access. They could give lessons to Alaska’s DOT, which robbed Anchorage cyclists of $1.3 million intended for bikeways in the city.

In the latest episode of a near-universal argument, Edmonton business owners question the removal of parking to make room for bike lanes, despite studies showing it’s good for business.

A London man is punched and pushed off his bike in an attempted bike jacking; he got it back when the thieves abandoned the bike after other riders gave chase.

A Yorkshire writer asks if cycling to work is really worth the risk, despite having apparently survived his commute.

 

Finally…

Anti-bike Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was spotted riding one himself as he awaits discipline for punching a producer on the popular BBC show; maybe if he rode one more often he wouldn’t be so angry. A Brit bike thief with 41 previous convictions explains the presence of shoe prints matching his by saying he loaned his loafers to someone else that day.

And a Euro triathlete site offers advice on how to turn yourself into a cyclist. Actually, to be a cyclist, you just have to get on your bike; to stop being one, simply get off.

……..

Allow me a brief personal note.

When I returned home from Sunday’s CicLAvia, I received word that a woman I knew had died after a long and devastating battle with dementia.

The first time I met her, long before her disease took its toll, I observed a small, frail woman with a heavy accent and a number tattooed on her arm.

In an attempt to make casual conversation, I asked how she came to this country.

Instead of the brief answer I expected, I got a fascinating, hours-long recitation of a journey that began as a child in Hitler’s death camps, followed by a voyage to what was then British Palestine as part of the flotilla that included the Exodus. As a young woman, she carried — and used — a rifle in the fight for Israeli independence, knew the legendary Gold Meir on a first name basis, and founded a successful kibbutz before migrating to the US to raise a family.

The world is a poorer place today.

As this older generation slips away, we lose a measure of greatness our world may never see again. Or at least, let’s hope we never again see a time that demands such greatness.

My heart and prayers go out to her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and all those who loved her.

Win a $25 Performance gift card, celebrate To Live and Ride in LA, and watch your ass on Angeles Crest

For once, it could actually pay to read this blog.

Starting today, the singularly named Performance Bike is holding what they describe as the biggest sale in their 29-year history. And to celebrate — and yes, get a little publicity — they’ve offered me a $25 gift card to give away to one of my readers.

According to their press release, everything in their stores will be on sale, as well as everything on their website, with doorbuster specials offering up to 70% off. The sale runs through Sunday, June 26th; and takes place in all of their local L.A.-area stores, including, presumably, the new Long Beach store.

And while you’re at it, you might want to like them on Facebook, for those of you who, unlike me, actually like Facebook.

Now, about that contest to win a free gift card.

Here are the rules:

I’m planning to go out for a bike ride on Wednesday. All you have to do is guess how far I’m going to ride; closest guess to my actual final mileage wins the $25 gift card from Performance Bike.

Simple, right?

Of course, the catch is, even I don’t know how far I’m going to ride.

To give you a clue, I’ll be riding from my home in Westwood to the coast, then along the beach and back. I live almost exactly 7.5 miles from PCH, so that’s a minimum of 15 miles right there. And exactly where and how far I go after that will depend entirely on my mood, the weather and how far my legs will carry me.

Just leave your best guess in the comments here; I’ll contact the winner by email, so be sure to use a valid email address. And to give everyone a fair chance, wherever you are and whenever you read this, we’ll make the deadline to enter a full 24 hours from the time I post this.

Which means the cut-off is Wednesday night at 11:58 pm PDT.

The gift card will be mailed to the winner directly from their agency, and should be valid on the Performance website, so you don’t need to live in Southern California to enter.

May the best guess win.

Note to other bike shops: I’m a firm believer in supporting local bike shops; the reason I’m promoting the Performance sale is because they asked. Just a hint.

And for the sake of full disclosure, they’re sending me a gift card for the same amount as well. And no, you can’t have it.

……..

The new, long-awaited movie about the L.A. fixie scene has just been released on DVD and iTunes. To Live & Ride in L.A. explores one of the world’s most vibrant cycling scenes taking place right now on the streets, alleys and velodromes of our fair city.

You can celebrate both the film and biking at the official release party this Saturday, June 26th, at Royal/T, 8910 Washington Blvd in L.A. The party runs from 6:30 pm to midnight, and is open to the public.

……..

Michael Byerts forwards an email from a member of the LA Tri Club warning about a dangerous driver on Angeles Crest Highway — which has already seen three traffic fatalities since the highway was reopened less than three weeks ago.

On Angeles Crest today, a silver Nissan XTERRA (ED: plate number deleted) slowed down to yell angrily at three pairs of cyclists and swerved into the shoulder cutting off two pairs (I was in one of the pairs). All three pairs were riding separately, didn’t know each other, and were at different sections of the highway between Foothill and Newcombs. Long story short, the car was reported, and the driver was stopped and arrested.

However, given that the driver seemed to show very little remorse when talking with the other pair of cyclists up at Newcombs Ranch and didn’t seem all that well balanced, we are a little worried that he will continue his dangerous driving into cyclists. All three pairs of cyclists were riding up, so going slowly. If he does the same thing to cyclists riding down, it could be much worse.

So, please be careful if you see a silver Nissan XTERRA while riding on ACH, particularly if the driver slows down or yells at you. The car had a bike rack on it today, too. If you experience anything similar (or have already since crest has opened), please notify the California Highway Patrol to build a case on this guy.

Please forward to friends/groups that ride on Angeles Crest.

I’m withholding the author’s name to protect his/her privacy.

……..

Finally, you may recall that L.A. cyclist Patrick Pascal offered his observations on the multitude of problems facing cyclists in Griffith Park in a guest post last December.

Now he offers an update indicating that at least one of the problems has been resolved.

I am happy to report that, a mere six months after the above left picture appeared on your blog (in my review of Griffith Park’s bike amenities), this stretch of pavement (pictured on the right has been restored. I have no illusions that my post was anything but a coincidence as we all know how fastidious the city is about maintaining infrastructure. Bravo to the Park Department for not letting the entire roadway wash away before making repairs.

BTW, this is one of LA’s best sunset rides with panoramas from the San Gabriel mountains to the islands and into the valley from the top.

Before.

After. Though from what I can see, the other side still doesn't look so good.

The problems with Griffith Park from a cyclist’s perspective — and how to fix them

One of the big problems cyclists — as well as other L.A. residents and visitors — face around here is that the things that should be our greatest assets are often virtually unusable due to a lack of planning and/or maintenance.

From a pedestrian-choked beachfront bike path to a proposed bike boulevard rutted with potholes and misplaced bike routes that thrust unknowing riders onto streets most cyclists choose to ignore, too many areas in this city fall far short of what they could be. And should be. Yet in most cases, it would only take a little effort and minimal investment to correct the problems.

Today, Patrick Pascal, cyclist, Downtown professional and fellow founding member of the League of Bicycling Voters LA — and yes, the LBVLA is still alive and preparing to play a role in next year’s council elections — joins Ross, Zeke, Damien and Eric in stepping into my shoes for a day with a guest post on riding in Griffith Park, and how it can be improved to benefit everyone.

.………

Griffith Park from a Cyclist’s Perspective

Griffith Park, despite increasing urban encroachment, remains a remarkable oasis of tranquility within central Los Angeles.  To preserve the already low level of park space within the City, citizens must be vigilant in protecting existing places like Griffith Park.  Minor improvements and changes to Park policies and infrastructure can both ensure and increase this tranquility for many more years.

Like many aspects of Los Angeles’ management, Griffith Park demonstrates a disconnect between purpose and policy.  Most can generally agree that the purpose of the Park is to provide a welcoming and bucolic setting where Angelinos can safely enjoy a variety of physical, recreational and social activities.  Below, specific policies that are contrary to the purpose of the park which demonstrate this disconnect between purpose and policy are identified along with potential remedies.

Is it a Park or a Thoroughfare?

Park roads should only be used by and designed to accommodate Park patrons.  Speed limits are presently so high that they encourage commuters to bypass the (5) Freeway during traffic periods, which undermines the safety, atmosphere and the infrastructure of the Park.  The speed limit inside Griffith Park should be at a speed that considers the many (non-auto) recreational users who are present.  A strictly-enforced limit of 20 miles/hour would keep nearly all Park attractions within 5 minutes of an entry point, while making the Park safer, quieter, less-crowded and cleaner.  There is simply no park-centric reason for a higher speed limit.

Park Access by Bicycle

By encouraging patrons to come by bicycle, Griffith Park could accommodate more visitors with a lower impact.   An entire family should be able to safely ride their bicycles to Griffith Park from most parts of the city, however, at present, it isn’t even safe from adjoining Los Feliz or Atwater.  A family should be able to safely use the Griffith Park Blvd Bike Lane to reach the Park and a family should be able to safely use the Los Angeles River Bike Path to reach the Park, but neither of these routes safely accesses the Park.  They both again demonstrate the basically deficient policies that do not consider actual purpose—the paths themselves don’t really go anywhere.

Take the Griffith Park Blvd Bike Lane.  After coming north from Sunset Blvd for over two miles (don’t get me started on the condition of the roadbed), the bike lane abruptly ends just 50 yards short of Los Feliz Blvd.  Putting a bike lane where there is a need and plenty of room is appreciated, but easy.  Abandoning a rider, just when a lane is most needed, gives the rider little opportunity to react and adapt before the busy intersection.  The bike Lane should be merged into the middle traffic lane to cross Los Feliz Blvd and on to the northern terminus of Griffith Park Blvd.

Right-of-way link between Griffith Park Blvd & Park

At the end of Griffith Park Blvd. the roadbed of the original street (which once continued under what is now the (5) Freeway) remains, extending to Griffith Park Drive within the Park (see above).  This abandoned right-of-way has been used by pedestrians and bicycles for decades.  It would take little effort to install a safe, sanctioned access way for these few yards.  Making these two minor improvements would, for the first time, link the core of Los Angeles with a safe bike route all the way to its most important park.

Recently the city dedicated the southern portion of the Los Angeles River Bike Path which will now make it easier for bicyclists from southern Atwater, Highland Park and beyond to come to Griffith Park.  Many other residents along the path can easily avail themselves to this option to reach the Park.  Remarkably, despite passing within 50 yards from the Park for about four miles, not one of the four possible entry points can be considered reliably safe.  From north to south the following conditions face riders:

  • Riverside Drive at the north terminus of Bike Path.  From the end of the River Bike Path to the bike lane within the Park the distance is less than 75 yards.  However this ride entails a left turn across a shoulder-less, 4-lane, high-speed roadway and across busy on and off-ramps to the 134 Freeway, two stop signs and another left turn at a busy intersection—all within 75 yards.  This entrance is particularly unsafe during traffic hours.

    Riverside Drive meets the Park (LA River Bike Path terminates in the distance near power pylon)

  • Zoo Drive. This is probably this safest route on which to enter the park.  A few signs and markings could make it the preferred entry for safety minded bicyclists.  The entry/exit gate is narrow, with a small sign so riders must pay close attention.  Zoo Drive has single, wide lanes with ample room for both auto and bicycle traffic.  There are still two on-ramps for the (5) Freeway with which to contend, but they are not as busy as the others and cars tend to travel at lower speeds.  The bridge over the freeway may provide the biggest hill to climb of the whole ride.  If the DOT and Park Dept were more serious about safety, they would make this the preferred, designated and marked route between the park and the bike path.  It is not the most convenient entry point, but it is the best one for those considering safety alone.

    Looking east on Los Feliz Blvd from Park (LA River Bike Path 400 yards away)

  • Los Feliz Blvd. This is the most dangerous route between the Bike Path and the Park.  Both exits from the Path are hard upon either a freeway on or off-ramp.  My experience suggests that the closer a driver is to a freeway, the more (s)he drives as if already on the freeway and Los Feliz Blvd. is a good example of the behavior.  After negotiating across those ramps, each side of the road has two more ramps which propel traffic onto busy Los Feliz blvd at a dangerous speed.  Los Feliz Blvd itself is another shoulder-less road with six lanes of speeding cars that do not afford safe bicycling.
  • Lastly, is the bicycle/pedestrian bridge, over the (5) Freeway from the River Bike Path, and into the Park near the tennis courts and soccer field south of Los Feliz Blvd.  At the park side landing of the bridge walkers and pedestrians are met with 75 yards of a fenced off, dirt path before reaching any paving.  In the summer the path is dry and dusty, but in the winter it is often muddy and sometimes impassible.

Use of Existing Assets

Except in front of the Greek Theatre and around the Zoo, all roadways within Griffith Park are single lane.  However, the north-south route across the Park along the (5) Freeway from Los Feliz Blvd to the golf courses is comprised of a two-lane, one-way, northbound Crystal Springs Drive and a two-lane, one-way, southbound Griffith Park Drive.   The present configuration allots a total of 44’ of width for cars, and 18’ to be shared by walkers, runners, horses and bicyclists.  The purpose of Griffith Park is not to serve as an alternate route for harried commuters, but this two-lane, one-way design encourages commuters to speed through Griffith Park as an alternate to a busy freeway.

For the past year Crystal Springs Drive has been closed for major water-works and all traffic has been diverted onto just Griffith Park Drive which now handles all auto and bicycle traffic.  Despite this 50% reduction in automobile capacity and narrowing of bicycle lanes, traffic has not been heavy or slowed.  Before reopening Crystal Springs Drive to traffic configured as before, consider restoring it as a two-way, single-lane roadway without a bike lane; make the dirt trail along Crystal Springs Drive’s east side a “horses only” trail (no pedestrians) and; close Griffith Park Drive, north of Los Feliz Blvd, to automobiles altogether.  Split the newly-closed, segregated roadbed into dedicated bike, running and walking paths with benches, water and picnic amenities.  Only the entrance to the Tregnan Golf Academy would need anything but cosmetic alterations.  These small, inexpensive changes would greatly add to the easily accessible areas that can be used by recreational Park patrons and further reduce the city’s footprint in the Park.

Mt Hollywood Drive north of Observatory

Mt Hollywood Drive north of Observatory

For a number of years Mount Hollywood Drive, which runs from behind the Observatory (just north of the tunnel) over the top of Mount Hollywood and down into the San Fernando Valley, has been closed to cars.  It is one of the few hill-routes bicyclists can ride without concern for cars.  Recently, the condition of the roadbed has become a bigger concern than any auto traffic could pose.   Present conditions are such that patching and other cosmetics now could extend the useful life of the surface, but if this roadway continues to be neglected, it will soon be impassible and expensive to restore.  If the Park is here to provide a welcoming and bucolic setting where Angelinos can safely enjoy a variety of physical and recreational activities, it should be policy to invest the small sum needed to maintain this route.

The four broad improvements listed above could all be realized at very little cost and with great benefit to all Park users—not just cyclists.  They offer a low bar by which to judge the City’s commitment to providing constituent friendly amenities.  While many of these efforts may appear bicycle-centric, they will improve the quality and experience of the park for all users.  More patrons choosing bikes on which to visit the Park means more available parking, less traffic, less pollution, less noise, and a better utilized park for all.  They do not threaten non-bike-riding park users, instead, bicycle riders represent elemental and environmental changes that all users can enjoy and embrace.

.………

A cyclist was rescued from the rain-swollen L.A. River after slipping off the bike path and falling into the water. Bicycle fixation interviews LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery about the planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard, among other issues. Hearings are coming up next month for the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan. Do your part to help stop bike thieves in Venice. The Valley News profiles Peter Zupan, the Lake Elsinore native killed while riding his bike to collect recyclables last September. Phil Wood, founder of Ten Speed Press died over the weekend; his first title was Anybody’s Bike Book, the bible for all home bike mechanics in the ‘70s and ‘80s — I still have my copy on my bookshelf.

As if ex-former Tour de France champ Floyd Landis didn’t have enough credibility problems, now comes word he wore a wire in a meeting with Michael Ball, owner of the Rock Racing pro team. The Lovely Bicycle looks at the safety frame, resulting in a truly lovely bike. Arizona’s great Tucson Velo website asks if our roads are really a matter of us vs. them. An 18-year old Hawaiian cyclist is killed in a hit-and-run, while riding at the head of a group of 35 riders. A masked man yells a racial slur at a Seattle-area cyclist before chasing down and punching him, while a cyclist gets egged in Denton, Texas (home to the world’s best nuevo polka band.) Sometimes riding is a melancholy experience, even if you don’t get egged or punched. Now this is more like it, as a driver gets 36 years for killing a cyclist; then again, he did use a gun instead of a car. The founder of Design Within Reach is recreating his life as the head of Public Bikes. How to encourage the great mass of potential cyclists.

After barely surviving a collision with a drunk driver, a recuperating cyclist faces discharge from the Navy. Motorists come to the rescue of a severely injured cyclist in Australia. Converting car parking to bike parking.

Finally, if bikes get their own lane, why not build one for everyone — except drivers.

%d bloggers like this: