Tag Archive for LACBC

Possible justice for Andy Garcia, Frye flips out after getting flipped off, and a big bike drag in HP

Looks like there may be justice for fallen cyclist Andy Garcia.

And the riding companions who were injured with him.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports that 21-year old Wendy Villegas was arraigned last week for the hit-and-run collision that left Garcia sprawled in the roadway, where he was hit and killed by a second vehicle.

Fortunately, the judge seems to be taking the case very seriously.

Not only is Villegas facing a sentence of between 5 – 7 and 10 – 15 years, but the unnamed judge wanted nothing to do with her lawyer’s complaints that an ankle monitor would cramp his client’s lifestyle.

Not to mention her choice of fashionable footwear.

According to them, the judge told Villegas she will wear the device because she is a danger to society. As such, she is no longer able to drive a vehicle, must obey a curfew, and is obligated to appear in court by 4 p.m. today (Oct. 11) to both pay for the monitor and have it placed around her ankle. Should she choose not to do so, the judge advised, a warrant would be issued for her arrest, she would be placed in custody, and her bail would be revoked.

Villegas was still drunk when she was taken into custody hours after dragging Garcia’s bike several hundred feet beneath her car.

Meanwhile, Sulaiman reports the survivors have been deeply affected by the collision. Mario Lopez suffered fractures to his back and leg, and now requires a walker and back brace to get around, painfully.

And Ule Melgar, the other rider hit by Villegas’ car, suffered severe road rash and leg pain; fortunately for him, his backpack broke his fall.

The other riders in the group have to live with watching their friend killed before their eyes.

As do the occupants of the car that took his life after Villegas left him sprawled in the road.

A memorial carwash will be held this Saturday in Garcia’s memory, and to raise funds for his family.

………

Ever think there might be a reason why a cyclist might flip off a friendly driver just trying to give a helpful honk?

Evidently, a thought like that has never passed through the head of Chicago Sun Times, Men’s Health and ESPN.com columnist Andy Frye.

In what he (mis)labels as satire, Frye reports a recent incident in which he drove up behind a bike rider who apparently didn’t know he was there. So he “tooted” his horn lightly.

Guess I should have known better. Not that I expected a waive from the cyclist, nor did I expect him to stop and say thank you, but I didn’t expect him to give me the one-finger salute in a long, protracted, five-second long flip-off accompanied by a scornful face.

Suddenly I was the bad guy, and apparently an archetype that embodied everything that is wrong with society, at least in the eyes of this self-proclaimed roadhog radical. I had become “The Man” and perhaps a symbol of an oppressive oil-oligarchy, hellbent on usurping all that is good by bumping this free-spirited city cyclist off the road.

I never knew a single digit could convey so much deep meaning.

And “The Man?” Seriously?

What, is it 1968 all over again?

Meanwhile, I’ve scoured my car horn, but can’t find the light toot setting, let alone the friendly warning button. Call me crazy, but I always thought car horns make the same sound regardless of your intent in honking.

So how, exactly, was the rider supposed to gauge the supposed purpose behind Frye’s honk? Especially when even the most well-intentioned honk sounds loud and angry to anyone not encased in couple tons of relatively soundproofed glass and steel.

Chances are, the rider already knew Frye’s car was there; loud, hulking vehicles are kind of hard to hide, even without looking. And if not, all he managed to do was scare the crap out of the poor guy by hitting his horn behind an unsuspecting rider.

Under the same circumstances, I probably would have flipped him off too. And I guarantee I would have known he was there long before his misguided finger hit the horn.

And he’d know I was there long after.

So for anyone else as clueless as the self-proclaimed bike-riding Frye, never, ever honk at a cyclist. It will almost never be taken well, regardless of what’s hidden in your heart of hearts.

And as Bike Snob so succinctly pointed out, that old cliché of “I own — or ride — a bike too…” is the moral equivalent of “Some of my best friends are (insert ethnicity here)…”

………

This coming Saturday should be a major drag in Huntington Park.

The city is teaming with the LACBC and Wolfpack Hustle to host a bike drag race compete with full support, including barricades, medical emergency response teams and police services. Registration is just $10 — and free for HP residents.

In addition, participants and spectators are invited to give your input on the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan at the LACBC booth.

………

More on Mayor Garcetti’s plan for Great Streets, which doesn’t exactly jibe with proposed plans for a deadly virtual freeway on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex. The Times says men downplay the risks of texting and driving; oddly, I see more women texting behind the wheel, myself. Rick Risemberg reports riding in Portland is sort of like having CicLAvia every day. UCLA makes progress on their 2006 bike plan; I’d be happy if the red light on westbound Charles E. Young at the entrance off Sunset Blvd would just recognize my bike. The artist behind those incredible gates on the LA River. Governor Brown vetoes a poison pill bill that would have effectively halted a surface route for the long-planned extension of the 710 Freeway, but signs Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s bill extending the statute of limitations in hit-and-run cases. Celebrate the newly bike-friendly Colorado Blvd on Saturday the 26th. A little 80-year old lady from Pasadena hits a salmon cyclist head on in broad daylight. Bike thefts spike in Torrance. Long Beach is scheduled to hold their bike count this week.

Bike Newport Beach introduces a bootleg bike master plan. After losing both his legs in Afghanistan, a San Diego vet rides 160 miles for charity. Thousand Oaks is striping roadways to reduce collision — not accident — rates, thank you. A Lake County CA cyclist is killed in a head-on collision with a sheriff’s deputy speeding in response to a reported home invasion. The musician behind last year’s viral hit Bike Path Love is arrested for DUI after colliding with a pedestrian. San Francisco firefighters are worried bike lanes and traffic calming are narrowing the city’s streets too much.

Elly Blue calls for putting a kickstand and other crap — her word, not mine — on your bike. Your helmet could text for help the next time you wipe out. Tacoma WA is ordered to pay nearly a quarter million dollars to a cyclist who did a face plant after getting a wheel caught in a crack in a bike lane. An Arizona writer says life is cheap in Tucson, at least when it comes to cyclists and pedestrians; evidently, it’s not just Tucson, as an El Mirage driver drags a rider 108 feet down the street before fleeing. A string of bad decisions is blamed for Boise bike and pedestrian collisions; then again, isn’t that the primary cause of virtually every collision? A Texas cyclist discovers the downside of riding into a closed national wildlife refuge during the government shutdown. Indianapolis residents want a butt ugly bike sculpture removed; it’s supposed to look like Kurt Vonnegut but instead looks like a tangled jumble on a pole. A New Hampshire woman administered fentanyl to calm down a young driver hours before she plowed into a group ride, killing two cyclists; I was given fentanyl for outpatient surgery a few years back, and was completely and totally unable to get out of bed for the next three days, let alone drive. A year after a liver transplant saved his life, a Boston area cyclist loses it to a hit-and-run driver. The Wall Street Journal questions the risks of unsanctioned bike races as they rise in popularity. NYC bike advocates predict even more bike lanes in the city. A New York rider ends up with nerve damage after being cuffed by police for running a red light. Don’t ride onto a Pittsburgh parade route, even if you’re in the bike lane. Sometimes you have to — politely — explain the law to the cops, like this rider did.

Hermes introduces an $11,000 handmade carbon fiber bike for casual cyclists with more dollars than sense. Will robocars be good for bike riders? British bike rider is escorted off the equivalent of the 5 Freeway, in the rain, no less. Brit track cyclist tracks down his stolen bike on Facebook. The women’s Tour of Britain receives equal standing with the men’s race, while UK’s Olympic champion women’s pursuit team calls for a women’s Tour de France. A USC professor — no, not that USC, the Australian one — determines cyclist safety is degraded because roads weren’t designed for cyclists’ needs; well, duh. Ride South Africa’s wine routes on your next vacation. An 81-year old Aussie man rides 30 miles a day; I want to be like him when I grow up. A New Zealand cyclist is dead, and two others injured, because a driver didn’t bother to wear his contacts and only saw two of the group of 10 riders he plowed into.

Finally, there’s no longer a need to choose between your cleats and sexy high heels.And there’s no need to ever shift again if you can afford this $1000 virtual automatic transmission for your bike.

Designed to kill — LA throws out Complete Streets to plan high-speed Hyperion Bridge complex

Call it a big step backward for livability — and survivability — on LA streets.

Despite a state Complete Streets policy to accommodate all road users, plans to rehabilitate the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex currently calls for a high-speed viaduct focused strictly on moving motor vehicles as quickly as possible, at the expense of all other road users.

Bike lanes included in the current bike plan have been left out. As have safely usable sidewalks. And apparently common sense, as the plans reflect a big step backward to the failed policies of the past, similar to the killer roadways currently found in Orange County and San Diego.

Not exactly what you’d expect from our new progressive mayor, who seemed to get it when completing a questionnaire for the LACBC prior to this year’s election. Or new bike-friendly City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who replaced Garcetti in CD13.

On the other hand, it’s exactly what we might expect from Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who professes his support for bicycling while opposing bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and was the driving force behind the removal of the green bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown LA.

With friends like that, we don’t need enemies.

I’ll let the latest Action Alert from the LACBC take it from here.

The LA Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and Caltrans are currently studying rehabilitating the Hyperion-Glendale complex of bridges over the 5 Freeway and LA River connecting Silver Lake to Atwater Village. Despite being designated for bike lanes in the 2010 Bicycle Plan, the proposed project does not include these planned lanes. Why? LACBC and LA Walks (and many of you) attended a community workshop last night to find out.

What we discovered is plain old car-centric engineering from start to finish. Caltrans and BOE are designing Hyperion Ave. to freeway standards with a design speed of 55 miles per hour. Based on that design speed, they are pursuing a median crash barrier, banked turns, and supersized car lanes. Those decisions leave no room for bike lanes and just a narrow sidewalk on only one side of the street.  Simply designing the street to normal city street standards would leave enough room for everyone.

Your voice is needed to make Hyperion Ave. safe for all. Tell Caltrans and BOE that freeway speeds have no place on city streets and that walking and biking are just as important as moving traffic. Comments can be emailed to Tami Podesta by October 11th at Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov. Please cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, and mayor.garcetti@lacity.org.

To: Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov
cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, mayor.garcetti@lacity.org
bcc: info@la-bike.org

Subject: No Hyperion Freeway – Build a Safe Viaduct for All

As someone who bikes or walks between Silver Lake and Atwater Village, it is absolutely critical that Hyperion Ave. be made safe for people like me. Everyone’s needs can be met if the project is designed for appropriate speeds through an urban community. Specifically, I would like the project to include:

  • Bike lanes on Hyperion Ave.
  • Wider sidewalks and well-marked crosswalks with wayfinding signs
  • Narrower traffic lanes to provide more space for bicyclists and pedestrians and discourage speeding
  • No crash barrier and banked turns that will make people drive even faster
  • A complete crosswalk on the Atwater end of the viaduct to let people access the sidewalk from both sides of Glendale Blvd. and give bicyclists an alternative through the dangerous merge

There is no reason for this project to not be consistent with the bike plan and Caltrans complete streets policy. The viaduct is currently the greatest barrier to safe bicycle access across the 5 Freeway and the LA River. This project can change that and make all travelers benefit.

Sincerely,

your name
your address

………

A new petition calls on Caltrans to stop chip sealing popular cycling routes, following the disastrous resurfacing of Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Baldy Road.

The surfacing treatment, which combines a layer of asphalt over gravel or other aggregate material, results in a rough roadway that is, at best, unpleasant to ride. And at worst can create dangerous conditions that make it difficult to maintain control of a bike.

Considering the outcry from bike riders when Caltrans chip sealed PCH north of Cambria earlier this year, it’s nearly incomprehensible that they would use the same technique on some of Southern California’s most popular riding routes.

Which begs the question — is Caltrans merely incompetent and tone-deaf to the needs of cyclists, or is the agency actively trying to discourage riding on these roadways?

………

Santa Monica sends a shot over the bow of LA’s long-delayed Bike Nation bike share program, as they vote to move forward with their own plan, in what the city hopes will grow to be a regional program developed in conjunction with Metro.

……..

Times readers weigh in on the new three-foot law, as the writer gently corrects a negative commenter. West LA’s Martin Cadillac could become a bike-friendly mixed-use housing, office and retail development; an apparently less bike-friendly car dealer in DTLA says he’s not trying to kill the MyFigueroa project. The aforementioned CMs LaBonge and O’Farrell belatedly celebrate the city’s first Bicycle Friendly Street. Celebrate the new and improved Colorado Boulevard this Sunday. Malibu gets a $900,000 Caltrans grant to improve the existing bike route on PCH through the west side of town. Boyonabike looks at how Monrovia could become more bike friendly in advance of the coming Gold Line station. Old Pasadena gets bike racks.

The Orange County Register finally drops its draconian paywall, but only to complain about Long Beach bike riders. Homebuyers along OC’s new Great Park will get a new bright orange bike. A San Diego driver says he’s going to keep crossing over the centerline to pass bike riders safely, regardless of whether permission to do that was removed from the new three-foot passing law; thank you. Somehow, Modesto police don’t know which way a bus was travelling, but know a cyclist rode in front of it. A 17-year old Redding-area driver is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 61-year old bike rider. A 19-year old man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a Chico cyclist, as well as possession of marijuana for sale — the day he was supposed to get off probation for a previous drug conviction.

Forbes says bicycling is badly in need of good PR, as London’s formerly bike-friendly Daily Telegraph cries out against the false god of cycling. Forbes also presents 10 cities where bicycles rule the streets; I think riders in many of those cities might disagree. Are America’s planners making Americans fat? A good looking new video from Adventure Cycling highlight’s the US Bicycle Route System — and inadvertently, bicycling’s white problem. While LA’s city leaders are busy ripping them out, Las Vegas installs new green bike lanes downtown. Nevada cyclists can now run red lights that fail to detect their presence. Instead of telling cyclists where not to park, why not install enough bike racks for everyone? A second person has been arrested in the death of two New Hampshire cyclists last weekend; the suspect allegedly provided drugs and a car to the unlicensed driver who killed them. Bikeyface says you too could ride to work on a cloud, even if you’re not athletic. New York’s Daily News rides a bike share bike with the city’s Republican candidate for mayor. A New York cabbie is really sorry and has trouble sleeping after he severed the leg of a British tourist following a dispute with a bicyclist; imagine how his victim must feel. Arlington VA cyclists get a new bike repair vending machine. Georgia considers a slate of anti-bike legislation.

A cyclist is critical of Vancouver’s GranFondo after suffering life-changing injuries when he hit a storm grate. A UK cyclist is dead because a race track failed to let drivers know there was a bike path on their property. A Brit couple time their wedding photos to include the Tour of Britain. British bike scribe Carlton Reid attempts to defend bike riding before a hostile TV audience. The successful Paris Velib bike share system may shrink because people won’t stop stealing their bikes. Bike racing’s governing body could have a new president Friday. Garmin-Sharp rider Peter Stetina prepares to compete at the world championships, despite his father’s recent near-fatal fall and flooding at the family’s Boulder CO home.

Finally, when you call the police to report a 5’9″, 90-pound man broke into your trailer, knocked you over the head and stole your bike, maybe you shouldn’t mention he stole your meth, too.

Ignoring road rage in Santa Rosa, San Diego cyclists targeted, and LAPD accused of beating bike rider

Talk about the charges not fitting the crime.

A Santa Rosa driver identified as 22-year old Matthew Dewayne Hamilton is under arrest on a felony hit-and-run charge for what police describe as an accidental collision stemming from a roadway dispute.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Hamilton barely missed hitting a cyclist, who responded by yelling at him. So Hamilton backed up to continue the argument, colliding with the rider in the process.

Right.

It evidently wasn’t assault with a deadly weapon from their windshield perspective, even though the rider, who has not been publicly identified, suffered several broken bones, as well as internal injuries. And even though they themselves describe it as a road rage incident, police insist the driver just wanted to chat, if angrily.

Of course.

Then, realizing his error after plowing into the rider with enough force to cause significant injuries, Hamilton stomped on the gas and fled the scene, abandoning his car nearby. He was arrested while walking through the area.

You know, just another hit-and-run. Not a violent criminal fleeing the scene of his rage-fueled attack.

It’s all in how you look at it, evidently.

Then again, according to the police report, it was the car that was in control of Hamilton at the time of the collision, rather than the other way around.

Thanks to @murphstahoe for the heads-up.

………

San Diego cyclists are being targeted by jerks with a pellet gun.

The city’s 10News says police are investigating confirmed attacks in the La Jolla and Mount Soledad areas, as well as possible attacks in the Fiesta Island and Torrey Pines areas.

One woman suffered serious road rash when a pellet penetrated her shoulder and knocked her off her bike.

Police are looking for three men in a black sedan on possible felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

At least San Diego police get the charges right. Although I might argue for a domestic terrorism count.

………

San Diego police are also looking for tips in last year’s shooting death of 19-year old bike rider Joseph Hutchins in the City Heights neighborhood. Hutchins was killed the day after his 19th birthday.

A successful tip could earn a reward of up to $1000.

Yeah, that’ll motivate someone.

………

A Los Angeles man claims police beat the crap out of him for riding without lights.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, Brian Cisneros was riding to work at the Ralphs market in Marina del Rey last Friday when he was stopped by two LAPD officers at the intersection of Ida and Redwood Avenues.

According to Cisneros, the officers exited their car with guns drawn and attacked him in a brutal assault that included choking, stomping and throwing him onto the hood of their car, despite his lack of resistance.

Then left him there with a ticket for not having lights while riding after dark.

Clearly, something violent happened.

Cisneros, who says he thought he was going to die, was treated for a dislocated shoulder and a fractured elbow, among other injuries. And looks like someone who took a serious beating in the photos that accompany the report.

But something tells me there’s more to the story.

………

Manhattan Beach Patch offers the most detailed report yet on Manhattan Beach school board member Bill Fournell, the bike rider violently assaulted in an apparent attempt to steal his bike on the Ballona Creek bike path on July 19th.

The attack took place around 6 pm, one of the busiest periods on the pathway, as bike commuters use it as a virtual bike freeway connecting Culver City with the coast.

Fournell suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs and punctured lungs, requiring a five-day stay in the hospital, after one of the assailants threw a bike at his front wheel, then struggled with him for possession of his Litespeed bike.

And Patch finally gives us a location for the attack, saying he was assaulted by three juveniles on the bikeway between the Higuera and Dusquesne bridges.

As others have pointed out, the east end of the bike path is far less used than the western sections. Anytime you ride in a secluded area, out of view of the public or other riders, you need to be alert to your surroundings and any possible risks.

Although three kids with a bicycle on a bike path wouldn’t necessarily look threatening or out of place.

………

The LACBC reports the bike plan currently under development by the City of Carson has been watered down in the face of pushback from a pair of large local businesses.

The city’s Watson Land Company has argued that putting bike lanes next to the traffic lanes used by heavy trucks would increase the danger to bike riders.

Maybe someone should tell them that their self-proclaimed commitment to sustainability and philanthropy should extend to our streets.

Never mind that anyone wanting to ride through the city under current conditions already has to share those traffic lanes with those same trucks. And that the studies I’ve seen say bike lanes improve safety for everyone on the road.

Speaking for myself, I’d much rather ride beside a massive truck than in the lane in front of one.

No, far better to maintain the conditions that have already resulted in the death of a bike rider earlier this summer.

At least I can understand, if not accept, where they’re coming from in their desire to maintain the heavy truck hegemony over Carson’s streets.

Far harder to understand is the opposition from the StubHub (nee Home Depot) Center, home to the region’s leading velodrome. You’d think that an athletic center that features indoor bicycling events — including the upcoming USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships — would appreciate the desire of outdoor bicyclists to get there without getting killed.

But evidently, it’s inconceivable to them that bike racing fans, or their other patrons, might actually want to ride a bike there. Or maybe they just want to ensure that people continue drive to maintain that parking revenue.

The LACBC asks you to take action to preserve the Carson bike plan.

Take Action: Tell Carson City Council to preserve the Master Plan of Bikeways’ original intent of having a cycle-track on Albertoni and University, and preserving the proposed bike lanes on Avalon, Watson Center Road, and Wilmington.

If you cannot make the meeting on August 6 at 6 p.m., please call Mayor Dear at 310-952-1700 ext 1000 and email the rest of council at:

jdear@carson.ca.us
myfrancisone@yahoo.comail
lholmes@carson.ca.us
mgipson@carson.ca.us
arobles@carson.ca.us

I’d suggest taking it a step further.

And let the StubHub Center know it’s not acceptable for a bicycling venue to needlessly risk the lives of their bike riding patrons.

………

Finally, Apple has evidently decided that American drivers aren’t distracted enough, and wants to incorporate iPhone functions — including texting and email — into car dashboards by the end of this year.

Which means you may be able to thank Steve Job’s successors for the distracted driver who runs you off the road next year.

If you’re still capable of thanking anyone.

Like a bike shop in a surf riot, Helmets on Heads on the Eastside, and what I did this weekend

Just a few quick notes after being tied up inside all weekend.

………

Somehow, bikes always seem to end up on the losing end.

Even in the middle of a surf riot.

Last night proved that problems with “unruly crowds” aren’t confined to urban areas, as a crowd got out of control leaving the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.

And of course, immediately attacked the first bike shop they saw. Evidently, they couldn’t find a surf shop to trash in Surf City.

Earlier reports indicated the shop was looted, but it looks like just one bike was stolen from the window of the Easyrider bike & skate shop after someone threw, yes, a stop sign through it.

We’ll pause for a moment to consider the irony.

Apparently, a second bike was saved by employees playing tug-of-war with looter wannabes, using a bike instead of rope.

Our anonymous OC/Southbay source happened to be riding through in the immediate aftermath.

So a few hours ago, I pull up at a controlled intersection (controlled by five cruisers with lights & uniformed officers) and chat up a bored officer who’s just standing’ around keepin’ an eye on out, and he says right now they’re really cracking down and nailing people for every little thing. So I point out that I don’t have my bike light on. He says that’s too minor to deal with. “People just don’t bring bikes to riots.”

Well, Hunny PD. They should know.

ATTENTION, HOOLIGANS: IN HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA, YOU CAN CONFIDENTLY FLEE RIOTS IF YOU STEAL A BIKE.

People are sweeping the shattered glass off the curbs and only catching most of it before it hits the gutter. Main Street’ll be safe enough to ride by morning, though. And the officer said there’s a street sweeper coming in a few hours to clear PCH.

Thank god the Open’s over.

……..

If you find yourself on the Eastside Wednesday, you might take a few minutes to meet BMX star Steve McCann and watch Schwinn do a good thing.

Helmets on Heads and Schwinn Bikes Provide Free Bike Helmets to kids from Variety Sports Club, July 31

BMX star Steve McCann to speak to kids about the importance of helmet safety

What:

Helmets on Heads, a comprehensive national education campaign from Schwinn Bikes, in association with the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, is visiting Variety Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 31st. More than 250 members of the Variety Boys and Girls Club will receive a new bicycle helmet courtesy of Schwinn.

Educators from ThinkFirst Los Angeles County Chapter will discuss the importance of protecting the brain and fit each kid with a new Schwinn helmet. BMX star Steve McCann will be on hand to assist with helmet fitting, as well as to encourage the kids on safe and fun bike riding, along with helmet safety.

Helmets on Heads is committed to educating one million kids about bike helmet safety over the next 10 years. The organization offers tools and opportunities for educators, local communities and families to get involved and take action in protecting themselves and those around them.

For more information on Helmets on Heads please visit www.helmetsonheads.org.

One quick caveat, though. All the helmets are already spoken for, and none will be available to anyone other than the kids from the Boys and Girls Club.

Correction: I just got word that this event is not open to the public after all, so I’ve removed the time and location. 

………

STM_165x248_1Let me give a belated shout out to my friends at Clif Bar, who sent me their latest flavor to check out. There may not be a lot of perks to this job, but getting free food ranks pretty high on the list.

Note to brewers: I’m more than happy to sample your wares, as well.

I’m just saying.

……..

Finally, about this last weekend.

I spent both days at a retreat for the Board of Directors for the LACBC (Saturday) and an LACBC Board/Staff workshop (Sunday).

I don’t often talk about my role with the LACBC here, since I want it to be clear that I’m speaking for myself, rather than than the LACBC or any organization I may be associated with, when I speak to the media or write on this site.

But allow me a moment to say I’m very proud to play a small part with such an outstanding organization. The people who work or volunteer for the LACBC are among the finest I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with. And dedicated to making to making the 88 cities and unincorporated areas that make up LA County better, safer and more inviting places to ride a bike — and helping make those communities healthier and more livable for everyone, whether they ride or not.

If you aren’t already a member, you owe it to yourself and your community to become one.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Even if you never ride a bike, you owe it to yourself to support a group working to improve commutes and make our streets safer for everyone on them.

Raise funds for the L.A. River bike path, meet the candidates in CD13 and promote bike lanes in NELA

It’s one of the most frustrating things about riding in Los Angeles.

One of the city’s crown jewels, the L.A. River bike path may be a joy to ride where it goes. But it has too many gaps its way to the coast.

Now the LACBC is working to complete the path in just seven years, providing a single, continuous pathway from Canoga Park to Long Beach.

And you can help by signing up to raise funds. Or just contributing to one of the fundraising teams.

You could even win a bike trip to Tuscany, a bike from DTLA bikes or other prizes.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has long been fighting for a safer, cleaner, quieter form of transportation for all Angelenos whether they bike, walk, or drive. The Annual Los Angeles River Ride provides much of the funds LACBC needs in order to transform the face of Los Angeles County and give future generations the option of enjoying Los Angeles by bike! This year’s Annual Los Angeles River Ride also incorporates a campaign to complete all 51 miles of LA River Bikeway. Imagine it: a completely car-free uninterrupted bike highway running right through the middle of Los Angeles, from Canoga Park to Long Beach!

When you raise funds for the River Ride you are contributing to this campaign. What a legacy to leave, the knowledge that you helped make such an enormous and positive change to the landscape of the 5th largest economy in the world. In addition to helping LACBC do such great work, high fundraisers win great prizes.

The top prize for the highest fundraiser is a bike trip to Tuscany, courtesy of VBT. We also have a prize for the fundraiser who gets the most people to donate to the cause: a bike from DTLA Bikes. Runner-up prizes include a New Belgium Brewing Cruiser Bike and signed copies of Where to Bike Los Angeles. Prizes are guaranteed for meeting fundraising minimums at the $100 (LACBC socks), $250 (River Ride jersey), $500 (access to the River Ride VIP tent and beer garden), $1000 (recognition at LACBC donor and supporter party), and $5000 (custom vintage cocktail mixology, tea ceremony, or dinner with our Executive Director and Board President) levels. Go to www.la-bike.org/riverride for more information.

………

Seriously, could you run over this smiling face?

You, too, could wake up to a face like this.

Okay, so it’s not bike related.

But as someone who adopted a rescue dog a couple years ago, I can attest it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You don’t rescue a rescue animal, they rescue you.

And here’s your perfect chance to get rescued at the city’s largest annual dog and cat adoption event, at the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Blvd this Saturday and Sunday.

Ride your bike there, and spend an afternoon petting some cute furry friends who could use the love.

Or better yet, pedal home with a new best friend.

You won’t regret it.

………

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.

Photo courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious

Photo courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious

Caltrans is hosting Bike Local! Bicycles as Everyday Transportation (pdf), a month-long exhibition highlighting “a wide variety of affordable commuting and recreational bikes, classic bikes, materials on biking safely, illustrations of bike-friendly street-design, videos of bike commutes, a wall-size map of bike routes in Los Angeles County, and displays of biking accessories that make riding safer and easier.” The exhibit takes place in the Transportation Museum at District 7 Headquarters, 100 South Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm through June 1.

Saturday, May 4, The LACBC Civic Engagement Committee is invites you to Bike the Vote with an informal Meet and Greet with the candidates for L.A.’s 13th City Council District to replace outgoing councilmember and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti; both candidates have promised to attend. The event takes place at Golden Road Brewing5410 West San Fernando Road, from 1 pm to 4 pm; Golden Road Brewing is promising participants $4 pint specials of their Point the Way IPA, GR Hefeweizen, and Get Up Offa that Brown beers. The event will be preceded by a short bike ride starting at Sunset Triangle Plaza at noon, departing for Golden Road Brewing at 12:15 pm.

Flying Pigeon LA hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, May 4th; this month’s ride will visit some of the business in Northeast Los Angeles to show bikes mean business, and that proposed bike lanes on Colorado Blvd and North Figueroa are nothing to be afraid of. Meet at Flying Pigeon, 3404 North Figueroa, at 3 pm, departing at 3:30. Highly recommended for a very smart cause.

The next ride in the LACBC’s popular series of Sunday Funday Rides takes place on Sunday, May 5th with the L.A. State Historic Park Out ‘n’ Back ride. The ride meets at L.A. Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street in Chinatown at 10:30 am, rolling at 11 am for a fun, family-friendly 12-mile ride through the Arroyo Seco hosted by Board Member Trent Strong, followed by a BBQ with options for vegans and carnivores.

Warm up for Bike Week and River Ride with the Tour of Long Beach 2013 on Saturday, May 11th, featuring a bike fest and rides ranging from a 5-mile Family Fun Ride to 31 and 62 milers through the bike-friendly streets of Long Beach, along with a full century through Long Beach and down the SoCal coast to Laguna Beach. Proceeds go to support pediatric cancer research at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach.

Ventura County and West Valley riders can take part in the 28th Annual Cruisin’ the Conejo Bike Ride on Saturday, May 11th. Rides range from a 12-mile children’s junior tour and 35-mile fun tour, to a 68-mile metric century and a 100-mile full century; all rides start and finish at 649 Lawrence Drive in Thousand Oaks.

The Amgen Tour of California rolls through the state starting in Escondido on Sunday, May 12th and ending in Santa Rosa on the 18th. This year’s race bypasses L.A.; the nearest stages are Stage 3 from Palmdale to Santa Clarita, and Stage 4 from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara.

This year’s Bike Week will take place May 13th – 19th, starting with Fix Your Bike Day on Monday the 13th, Guided Ride Day on Wednesday, May 15th, Bike to Work Day on Thursday the 15th, and Bike Local Weekend from Friday, May 17th to Sunday the 19th, offering discounts to bicyclists who mention Bike Week. Pledge to ride your bike on Bike to Work Day and you could win a free bike from REI.

2013-posterThe 10th Annual Blessing of the Bicycles is scheduled for 8 am to 9:30 am on Tuesday, May 14th at Good Samaritan Hospital, 616 Witmer Street, between 6th and Wilshire. The multi-faith event is always one of the high points of Bike Week. And it never hurts to have a little divine protection when you ride.

Pasadena celebrates Bike Week as well, including Ladies Night on Wednesday, May 15th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Paseo Pasadena, 280 East Colorado Blvd.

Culver City-based Walk ‘n’ Rollers invites you to a family-friendly Bike Week Group Ride on Wednesday, May 15th from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. Meet at the pedestrian bridge over Ballona Creek.

Also on the 15th, the Antelope Valley’s High Desert Cyclists will screen the award-winning documentary Bicycle Dreams at 7 pm, at 1031 West Ave M-14, Suite A in Palmdale.

373034_423885610958180_1943767416_nThe annual Ride of Silence falls in the middle of Bike Week, on Wednesday, May 15th, honoring fallen cyclists and calling attention to the need for safety. The biggest ride in the Los Angeles area will take place at the Rose Bowl starting at 6:30 pm and rolling at 7; I also hear there may be a ride in Downtown L.A., details to follow. Other Southern California rides take place in Gardena, San Clemente, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, as well as the 2nd Annual Anthony Martinez Jr. Ride of Silence in Oxnard. Highly recommended to send an important message, as well as a little emotional healing.

The Education Committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will host a Bike Rodeo at 10 am on Saturday, May 18th at Micheltorena Elementary School, 1511 Micheltorena Street. Children from 5 to 12 are invited to participate; free bikes and helmets will be available for those who need them.

Also on the 18th, the Eastside Bike Club is collaborating with the El Sereno Healthy Star Collaborative on a family-friendly slow is cool community ride starting at 12:30 pm at El Sereno Middle School, 2839 N Eastern Ave, departing at 1 pm.

The Plain Wrap Ride rolls through the Inland Empire on Saturday, May 18th starting at 8 am at Coates Cyclery, 760 East Foothill Blvd in Pomona. Online registration for a very affordable $25 ends May 15th; day of event registration is $35. Thanks to CLR Effect for the link.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee usually meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. However, the May meeting has been cancelled to give members a chance to recover from the long, long campaign season; the next meeting will take place June 25th to discuss where we go from here, location TBD. You don’t have to be an LACBC member to participate; email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the discussion list.

Sunday, June 1st, women riders of all abilities are invited to take part in La Bella Preme. The event starts and finishes at the Triunfo Creek Vineyards, near the corner of Triunfo Canyon and Kanan Roads, with rides of 11, 31 and 63 miles along the Malibu coast. Click here to learn more.

Caltech Bike Lab teams with C.I.C.L.E. to offer a series of free defensive cycling classes; the next one take place on Saturday, June 8th at Caltech Y, 505 S. Wilson Ave in Pasadena. RSVP to bike@cicle.org with the date you want to attend.

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 why haven’t you registered already?

Now that you’ve had a taste of CicLAvia to the Sea, mark your calendar for the next edition when CicLAvia rolls down L.A.’s iconic Wilshire Blvd on Sunday, June 23rd. The ride rolls, walks, scoots and skates from Downtown to Fairfax — on both sides this time, I’m told —  from 10 am to 3 pm with a focus on exploring the city’s art and architecture. CicLAvia returns to an extended Downtown route on Sunday, October 6th.

Here’s your chance to bike the famed Las Vegas strip and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley, with the 6th Annual RTC Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello on Saturday, September 21st. The event will offer routes for riders of all levels, from a 17-mile ride to 60-mile Metric Century and a 103-mile Gran Fondo; the longer rides will visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead.

Hit-and-run on Mulholland Hwy, boat racing by bike and train, win a bike trip to Tuscany from LACBC

Lots of news coming in through my inbox this past week.

So let’s take a few moments to catch.

………

First up is news of a hit-and-run on the dirt road section of Mulholland Highway. Fortunately, the rider wasn’t hurt, but that doesn’t change the need to find the driver and bring her to justice.

According to the email, the owner of a Valley bike shop was riding between the trail head near Topanga Canyon and the Reseda trail head when he was struck by what’s described as a white crossover SUV. He landed hard on the hood of the car, leaving a major dent.

The driver was reportedly looking down at her phone when she hit him. She got out of her car to look at the dent on the hood, then sped away without talking to her victim, who wasn’t able to get the plate number or make of car before she left.

If you see a vehicle that matches that description with a large dent in the hood, take down the license number and call the police.

Thanks to Dan at Santa Monica Helen’s for the heads-up.

………

A couple weeks ago, Michael Eisenberg, who has contributed a number of items here in recent months, emailed me asking for info on taking a bike on an Amtrak train.

He was planning to participate in a Newport to San Diego sailboat race, and wanted to drive his boat trailer down to San Diego, then use a combination of bike and train travel to come back up to get his boat and start the race.

I’ll let him tell you how it worked out.

I’ve returned from my sailing/biking weekend and I thought you might want a travel report.

After launching the boat in Newport Harbor, I headed down to San Diego to leave the car and trailer. As I expected, I was running late and wasn’t ready to start cycling back to Newport Beach until 3:45. With a stop for dinner I calculated that I would arrive at my destination  around 10. I really didn’t want to finish the ride on PCH after dark, so I changed my plans and headed over to the Amtrak Old Town station.

The train was scheduled to depart at 4:08, so I needed to hustle to cover the 5 miles in time. I got there with 2 minutes to spare. As an aside, as I was speeding up Rosecrans Blvd passing block upon block of stalled rush hour traffic, I came upon a police cruiser with a cyclist pulled over and with his hands spread out on the hood awaiting a pat down. I have no idea what led up to this.

I’ve never ridden on a train before, so I had to ask around to find out what to do next. I was told that the only bike storage was on the lower level of the first car. When I entered to car, I found 10 bike racks in the front. This car also contain the area for special needs travelers. There were already 7 bikes in racks, and these must all have arrived. At the first stop, as Old Town was the second stop. I noticed that every other bike was locked, so I new I would have to get up at each stop to keep tabs on my bike as it was the low hanging fruit.

While on the train, I figured out how to register on-line with Amtrak and to purchase a ticket. I was ready when the conductor came by to scan the bar code on my phone. The ride was of course extremely pleasant. As I was dressed in cycling gear, I had two people come up to me asking about where to find good cycling spots in SD. Talk about the blind leading the blind. I was able to tell them about the excellent bike path that traverses the South Bay from Coronado around to Chula Vista and up to San Diego.  But when I mentioned the path was only about 30 miles long, their eyes got really big. My how perceptions change after a time.

The only glitch occurred when we arrived in Irvine. The train overshot the platform, and I had to carry my bike up the stairs and back to the second car before heading back downstairs to exit. Talk about tight.

Once I exited the station, I Googled the directions from Irvine to Corona Del Mar in walking mode. I was given 3 choices, all the same length of 15 miles. Two were major boulevards, and one was listed as Shady Canyon / Bonita Canyon. That sounded the most appealing and it did not disappoint. I was a first rate bike path with spectacular views. I arrived at my destination at 7:00 with a sense of accomplishment in discovering a new method of travel.

Once back at the boat, I removed the bike wheels, packed the bike into a travel bag, and stored it down below. The next day I won my singlehanded division in the Newport to San Diego sailboat race.

I’ve written this for you, not because I’m looking for any publicity, but instead to inform you about how easy and satisfying bit was to combine rail and bicycle travel.

Just goes to show what you can do with a bike and a little imagination.

As an aside, he notes that he’s planning to bike down to Knott’s Berry Farm for an annual car show later this month, a distance of 115 miles round trip. Which should impress his friends more than any car he might take down there.

………

Eisenberg's DIY bike rack

Eisenberg’s DIY bike rack

Eisenberg also writes that he’s gotten in the bike rack business for a friend.

I went to the gym last night. The gym manager showed me a video taken in the morning of some low life creep cutting a cable lock on a $1000 bike and riding off. I hope they catch the bastard. Anyway, there was no proper place to lock a bike before, just around a 6″ x 6″ support post. So I whipped this up for him today. It’s now out being powder coated. I made this one for about 1/2 of what I saw similar ones online if anyone is in interested.

I should note that LADOT offers a free bike rack program, installing U-racks on request anywhere within the City of Los Angeles.

But if you’re outside the city or want a larger rack, you can contact him at maecomotorsport@bizla.rr.com.

Bike rack 2

You could have a rack like this of your own

And he notes that, now that the rack has been installed, the gym owner hopes the rack gets enough use to justify a second one.

………

The LACBC is offering you a chance to win a bike trip to Tuscany by fundraising for the upcoming River Ride.

Fundraise for LACBC’s Annual Los Angeles River Ride.  It is easy.  The top prize for the highest fundraiser is a bike trip to Tuscany, courtesy of VBT. We also have a prize for the fundraiser who gets the most people to donate to the cause: a bike from DTLA Bikes. Runner-up prizes include a New Belgium Brewing Cruiser Bike and signed copies of Where to Bike Los Angeles. Prizes are guaranteed for meeting fundraising minimums at the $100 (LACBC socks), $250 (River Ride jersey), $500 (access to the River Ride VIP tent and beer garden), $1000 (recognition at LACBC donor and supporter party), and $5000 (custom vintage cocktail mixology, tea ceremony, or dinner with our Excutive Director and Board President) levels. Go to http://www.active.com/donate/riverride and  www.la-bike.org/riverride for more information.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has long been fighting for a safer, cleaner, quieter form of transportation for all Angelenos whether they bike, walk, or drive. The Annual Los Angeles River Ride provides much of the funds LACBC needs in order to transform the face of Los Angeles County and give future generations the option of enjoying Los Angeles by bike! This year’s Annual Los Angeles River Ride also incorporates a campaign to complete all 51 miles of LA River Bikeway. Imagine it: a completely car-free uninterrupted bike highway running right through the middle of Los Angeles, from Canoga Park to Long Beach!

When you raise funds for the River Ride you are contributing to this campaign. What a legacy to leave, the knowledge that you helped make such an enormous and positive change to the landscape of the 5th largest economy in the world. In addition to helping LACBC do such great work, high fundraisers win great prizes.

………

Reporter Roger Rudick produced a story for KCRW’s Which Way LA contrasting the impressive bicycling infrastructure in the Dutch city of Rotterdam with the far less notable bikeways here in the City of Angeles.

Yet surprisingly, he discovers that the two cities aren’t that different.

Which suggests that Los Angeles could do a lot more to encourage cycling and keep riders safe.

………

Police have concluded that the driver was at fault in the death of Cal Poly Pomona bike rider Ivan Aguilar. Charges against the driver, who has not been publicly identified, are on hold pending the result of a final report from the L.A. County Coroner.

………

The family of cyclist Donny McCluskey published a moving memorial to the fallen cyclist, who was killed in Rancho Mirage when a speeding driver ran a red light and hit another vehicle driven by a drunk driver. The cars spun out of control and hit McCluskey, who was stopped at the red light.

McCluskey was killed despite doing everything right. Except being in the wrong place when two drivers broke the law.

Yet shamefully, neither has faced more than a slap on the wrist for taking the life of an innocent human being.

Donny McCluskey Memorial

………

Finally, it turns out that those green bike lanes on Spring Street in Downtown L.A. aren’t so hard for filmmakers to remove in post-production after all.

Which begs the question of why Hollywood really wants them gone. And why FilmLA, the L.A. Times and L.A. city officials have fallen for what appears to be one big anti-bike lie.

Let alone why the city appears to have caved in to bogus demands to let the highly popular green lanes fade to oblivion.

Credit to LA Streetsblog’s Damien Newton for getting the truth in this story.

………

I’m going to be at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition booth at CicLAvia from 2 pm to 3:30 pm this Sunday at the Culver City hub; stop by and say hi if you get the chance.

Better yet, bring a few bucks, checkbook or credit card with you and I’ll be happy to sign you up as an LACBC member if you’re not one already.

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 aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

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 bike@cicle.org 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?

LAPD doors a cyclist, CD11 candidates talk bikes and raft load of soggy bike links for a rainy few days

An LAPD cop nearly doors L.A. cyclist Weshigh — and seems incapable of saying “sorry,” let alone comprehending CVC 22517:

22517.  No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

………

The LACBC teamed with Streetsblog, LA Walks and Bikerowave to host it’s first ever political forum, a Tuesday night debate among the four leading candidates to replace bike-friendly Councilmember Bill Rosendahl in CD 11.

A special thanks to Will Wright, Government and Public Affairs Director for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for moderating the event.

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

You can view post debate interviews with the four participating candidates — Mike Bonin, Tina Hess, Fred Sutton and Odysseus Bostick — prepared by Strteetsblog’s Damien Newton.

Although it’s pretty clear who’s got the simian vote.

The next LACBC-sponsored debate will take place in Council District 1 for the candidates to replace Councilmember Ed Reyes after the Ride Figueroa on February 10th.

If you want to get involved in bike politics in L.A. County, come to the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meeting at 6:45 pm next Tuesday, January 29th at the Pitfire Pizza on Second and Main Downtown.

………

It just keeps on coming, as a 44-year old cyclist is seriously injured in a head-on collision in Capistrano Beach; he reportedly drifted onto the wrong side of PCH around 3 pm Wednesday.

………

In light of l’affaire Lance, the Times dug up this story from 1989 reporting that America’s only remaining Tour de France winner was pressured to dope by his former Dutch team. And speaking of Lance, it looks like no one really buys it; although he may — or may not — have kept one local promise.

Meanwhile, former UCI chief Hein Verbruggen confirms rumors that doping cyclists were tipped off by pro cycling’s governing body; the World Anti-Doping Agency says not so fast. Reports that pro cycling is now clean may have been just a tad premature, even if some claim it’s just an accident, while South Africa plans to retest the country’s 50 top riders.

It looks like the FBI is investigating Floyd Landis for possibly defrauding those who contributed to his defense fund. And two readers file suit against Lance because they didn’t realize his books were fiction.

………

Revitalizing Boulevards in Northeast L.A. Aaron Paley looks back at the birth of CicLAvia; which is hiring a new marketing manager and director of development. The Source looks at last weekend’s Tweed Ride; so does Flying Pigeon. Spreading the gospel of bikes at the King Day Parade. LADOT wants your bike photos. Here’s one we can all relate to, as Boyonabike gets harassed for riding legally. Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd gets a major makeover, even if some — or maybe just one — of the people who live on it don’t want bike lanes. CLR Effect sees the ghosts of unloved bikes. Long Beach’s Danny Gamboa brings ghost bikes to life. A cyclist is kneed to the ground by a tow truck driver after riding in the slow lane of the 405 in today’s rain.

Sign the petition — or rather, petitions — to maintain bike funding in the California budget. Coronado approves bike corrals, which are also going in across the bay in the North Park neighborhood where I used to live. Thousand Oaks will remake an intersection to improve safety for cyclists. Talk about instant karma, as a Santa Cruz driver hits a cyclist and flees before crashing into a divider and flipping his truck; the rider was hospitalized with serious injuries. A cyclist has filed suit after he was hit by a patrol car driven by an East Palo Alto police officer. Ninety days in jail for intentionally trying to run over a San Mateo bike rider; how much time do you think he would have gotten if he’d used a gun instead? A crime so nice they did it twice, as a couple is arrested for the second time for selling hot BMC bikes. It’s safer than ever to bike commute by the bay. Bike collisions spike in Chico; naturally, police blame the bike riders.

Here’s your chance to spend the summer on the road working for People for Bikes. Register now for a free webinar on strategies to move towards zero traffic deaths; I might sign up for that one myself. Despite the accusations they hurl at cyclists, drivers only pay for 51% of road costs; you and I pick up the rest. A reminder to make sure your bike lawyer really is a bike lawyer. Turns out the bikelash is a fiction of the media, at least in Seattle, where the overwhelming majority of residents support bikes despite what the local press says; the Atlantic Cities says it’s time to declare peace in the fictional war on cars. Boulder CO sets a record for their winter Bike to Work Day. Plans are in the works for bikeways to connect communities in northern Colorado; I rode everywhere on that map when I lived out that way. Ohio police seem to make up the law as they go along, declining to charge a driver who struck a cyclist because — wait for it — he wasn’t wearing a reflective vest; thanks to Rick Risemberg and Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland for the heads-up. So maybe riding a bike to the presidential inauguration wasn’t the best idea; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link. And in yet another city where I used to live, one  year after a cyclist was killed and another seriously injured, bike safety is still a concern in Baton Rouge LA; actually, it’s still a concern everywhere.

After a colleague is arrested for protesting the removal of a bike lane, Toronto physicians call for more bike lanes, more quickly. One writer says cyclists present the wrong image when they show up for mass protests in cycling attire, while another says if we focus on making the roads safe it won’t matter what we wear. The UK Parliament debates the future of bicycling, but questions remain whether the country’s leaders have the will to get it done; I can’t imagine Congress caring enough to even discuss the subject. As long as bike theft is ignored, Great Britain will never be a cycling nation; the same could be said on this side of the pond. How to rebuild your bike after someone backs into it. Chinese artist Ai WeiWei creates a tower of bicycles in Italy. Beijing pledges to get tough on blocked bike lanes; something every city should do — including this one.

Finally, most of us want to be seen when we ride; now there’s a bike for those who don’t, as well as a beer carrying bike designed for DUI drivers. This is what happens when a cyclist runs a red light in Shanghai; odd that no one mentions that the car that hit him ran the light, too. And Flying Pigeon demonstrates how to bunny hop a bakfiets

Your big, bold list of King/Inauguration Day bike links

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

Something to remember as we confront the irrational anger in today’s America.

And on our streets.

………

L.A. cyclists finally have some real reasons to get excited as plans are unveiled for the city’s first cycle tracks and raised bike lanes. Meanwhile, the city speeds up key projects by opting out of environmental review; hearings for first year projects will be held next month.

Personally, I’ll be happy when the 7th Street bike lanes don’t stop at Figueroa, throwing me head first into the madness of barely organized traffic every time I ride Downtown.

………

Evidently, you can ride slowly in L.A. traffic and still get where you’re going in one piece. Orange 20 Bikes reports on Saturday’s Tweed Ride. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Marathon Crash Race 2013 on March 17th. The Venice Neighborhood Council discusses road diets, bikes lanes and back-in angled parking on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Operation Firefly brings bike lights to Boyle Heights. The LACBC offers Pigskins & Pedals: A Sunday Funday Tour of LA’s Historic Football Stadiums on Sunday, Feb 3rd, while new LACBC-affiliate chapter Downey Bicycle Coalition kicks off a series of monthly community bike rides next weekend. Cycling in the South Bay promises to stop for stop signs — well, that one, at least. CLR Effect looks at a cloudless Sunday on two wheels, meanwhile, Michael writes movingly about the loss of his father last week; let’s all offer a prayer or some good thoughts for a good man.

Where to ride if you’re visiting Disneyland. A 47-year old San Marcos cyclist is seriously injured in an early morning hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane. Some cities ticket cyclists for riding on the sidewalk; in El Cajon they shoot them repeatedly. The San Luis Obispo paper calls on a “well-meaning” Caltrans to fix the mess they created on Hwy 1.

American Katie Compton wins the world overall cyclocross championship without a single pedal stroke, while a Kiwi rider makes his mark with his moustache. A People for Bikes survey shows the need for better infrastructure. Your next bike lock could be a kickstand, and vice versa. L’affaire Lance — which we’re otherwise ignoring here — elevates America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, while the other former Tour de France winner who swore he didn’t dope but didn’t go on Oprah sues Armstrong’s confederates; Dave Moulton wishes Lance would just go away and take his dope with him. Riding fat tire bikes through the Alaskan winter. In a tragic irony, a postal worker is killed at the same dangerous intersection where a mail truck killed a cyclist in 2011. Can America survive a White House Chief of Staff who bikes while distracted?

London Mayor BoJo appoints a writer for the Daily Telegraph as the city’s first bicycling commissioner; I suppose it’s only Americans who’d be bothered that his name is Gilligan, right li’l buddy? Britain’s Parliament commits to getting the country on their bikes; don’t hold your breath for Congress to pick up the torch. The same UK court that fined a driver £35 for killing a cyclist fines another £110 for hitting a parked car. An Irish cyclist says it’s time to make helmet use mandatory. Scot cyclists prepare to Pedal on Parliament again. Soccer-playing 2006 Tour de France champ Oscar Pereiro says cyclists aren’t the only ones who dope, pointing the finger at his fellow footballers. Speaking of the TdF, the 2014 edition kicks off in the home of the Damned United. Even in Copenhagen, NIMBYs fight bike lanes. American tourists in Taiwan want to share a photo with two Aussie cyclists they met on the road. An Australian cyclist loans his own front wheel to a racer in need. A New Zealand writer says bicycles could save the world.

Finally, if you’re going to ride, ride by the rules — all 91 of them. Soar high above traffic in your own bicycle habitrail. And if this isn’t enough links for your MLKing/Inauguration Day reading, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a big bunch more.

………

Congratulations to April Economides, Kevin Hopps and Trent Strong, the newest members of the LACBC board of directors; if you’re not a member of the LACBC, you’re missing out on the county’s largest and most effective bike advocacy organization.

%d bloggers like this: