Tag Archive for Rick Risemberg

Morning Links: Bike to Work Day, Rick Risemberg lets Cedillo have it with both barrels, and a new Sweet Ride

Happy Bike to Work Day.

Or as I call it, trick or treating for bike riders.

And don’t forget the Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hours in Echo Park, Santa Monica and throughout the area.

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Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the North Figueroa fiasco.

Writing for Flying Pigeon, he accuses CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo of bait and switch in supporting bike lanes when he was running for office, and seemingly opposing them now that he’s in office.

North Figueroa has been shown to be overdesigned for the level of traffic that it sees, resulting in scofflaw drivers speeding down the wide lanes, killing and maiming residents and visitors alike and creating a bleak and harrowing ambience that diminishes the curb appeal of local businesses. The road diet and its accompanying bike lanes would restrain the speed demons, and the bike lanes themselves would allow neighbors the option to get about without cars, which so many of them do not own anyway. This would improve job access and bring more customers to local stores…

Yet Cedillo, who in the video above enthusiastically speaks of the city’s need to install “real bike lanes” such as he studied in Denmark, now is sitting on the project, and in fact giving the appearance of orchestrating the new community meetings he’s set up to make the opposition looks bigger than it is. Of course the video was taken when he was fishing for the votes of the cycling community prior to the last election….

And he cites the Councilmember’s actions as a perfect example of how to subvert the democratic process in a piece for Orange 20.

Yes, in the name of the spurious concept of “balance” employed by Faux News, the number of people speaking for the road diet was held down to match the number speaking against—a principle that, if applied to elections, would result in a tie every time.

In other words, democracy be damned.

They’re both good reads.

And if it doesn’t piss you off than an elected official is blatantly ignoring both the will of the people and the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, for reasons known only to him, maybe it should.

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Sweet Ride USA releases their fourth episode, which features a public ride to a Highland Park donut shop.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers up three things he likes about Bike Week and two he doesn’t, while Damien Newton says we need to get more young people involved in planning.

Are e-bikes the missing link in LA transportation plans?

LA cyclist Kurt Broadhag will ride this year’s RAAM to support the non-profit Innovation: Africa.

LACBC local chapter SCV Bicycle Coalition works for safer cycling in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The second annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride rolls through Glendale this weekend, while El Monte hosts a Bike Fest the following weekend.

It may take awhile, by Cal Poly Pomona is committed to becoming friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians; too bad it took the death of bike riding student Ivan Aguilar to make it happen

PCH will get a pedestrian-friendly makeover in Hermosa Beach, which could include bike lanes. Key word being “could.”

 

State

San Diego is looking for funding for a long-planned separated bike path through Mission Valley, while biking group the Awarewolfs — not wolves, for some reason — hosts a monthly full moon ride through the city.

Congratulations to Rancho Cucamonga and Chula Vista on making the Bike League’s new Bicycle Friendly Communities list.

The LA Times says San Francisco’s failure to prosecute a truck driver caught on video right hooking the bike rider he killed is a reminder we still have a long way to go. Meanwhile, SF Streetsblog says the legal system failed Amelie. No shit.

Bike to School Day flops in Calistoga, as only 28 students in two schools participate.

 

National

Speeding Seattle cyclist kills a leashed dog being walked in a crosswalk. Seriously people, if you can’t stop for pedestrians and dogs in a legally marked crossing, you’re the problem.

A hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider to die near my hometown gets off with less than a slap on the wrist; the local paper says the system failed her victim, too. Again, no shit.

New York’s new mayor looks to Sweden for inspiration for the city’s Vision Zero plan. Here in LA, no one in city government seems to have even heard of Vision Zero. Or Sweden, for that matter.

Under the heading of they really should know better, the EPA is closing its bike room, which means a number of employees may stop riding to work. And that can’t be good for the environment.

Now that sounds like fun. A New Orleans bike group is hosting a second line bike ride, with cyclists following a jazz band on a flatbed truck.

 

International

Five tips for a successful Calgary tweed ride.

Toronto considers building separated bike lanes through the downtown core.

Looks like stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is up to his old tricks. Or maybe new ones.

A Sydney columnist looks at the culture war on the roads Down Under, and calls for more to be done to make cycling safer without pushing riders off the roads.

Aussie brothers use fake charity as an excuse to bike door to door and beg for booze. Works for me.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon and known gang member illegally carrying two concealed weapons, don’t ride salmon, already. Fellow salmon cyclist Alec Baldwin says cross his heart, he wasn’t asking for special treatment, while Japanese animators have their own unique take on his arrest.

And Joe Linton catches me getting blessed at the Blessing of the Bicycles on Tuesday, albeit from an unflattering angle. Then again, I don’t think my boney ass has a flattering angle these days.

Photo by Joe Linton; shamelessly stolen from LA Streetsblog.

Photo by Joe Linton; shamelessly stolen from LA Streetsblog.

Rolling down Rodeo Drive and the best of the Westside with the LACBC last Sunday

Some of the riders before the start, including the Spoke's Cynthia Rose in the purple top; photo courtesy of Harry Dougherty

Okay, so it turned out to be a very long ride.

When I mapped out a route for the I ♥ the Westside ride, the second in the LACBC’s new series of Sunday Funday rides, I rode the 28 mile route in about two hours without breaking a sweat.

So I added another hour to my estimate to allow for a series of five minute stops to discuss different cities and issues along the way. And then added another half hour just to be safe, and assumed everyone would be on their way home to watch the Super Bowl commercials by 1:30.

Paul Backstrom discusses the proposed Main Street road diet in Venice

Like the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

What I hadn’t counted on was the need to stop — repeatedly — when riders were cut off by traffic or red lights. Not mention an unexpected encounter with the Sweet E’s Bakeshop truck in Culver City.

I learned a long time ago never to come between cyclists and their cupcakes.

In the end, we got back to our pier-side start point over an hour after what I thought was a very generous worst case scenario.

Rick Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation discusses native plants on Ballona Creek

On the other hand, we made it without a single flat or mechanical problem. And everyone who started out either made it to the finish with the rest of the group, or left along the route to meet other obligations.

That alone made it a successful ride in my book.

I also learned that leading a ride is a lot like hosting a party — you spend so much time looking after everyone that you barely spend time with anyone.

There were a lot of great people that I didn’t get to spend as much time with as I wanted. And some I didn’t get to meet at all, much to my regret. In fact, 42 riders started out, including four new members of the LACBC who signed up that morning.

An unexpected Culver City food truck encounter made it a very sweet ride

And everyone seemed to have a great time, myself included. Then again, any day on a bike is a good day, and the perfect Westside weather and great guest speakers just made it that much better.

We started off with a brief presentation from the LACBC affiliate Santa Monica Spoke’s Cynthia Rose, who offered a brief overview of the many projects the Spoke is working on to make L.A.’s city by the bay live up to it’s bike-friendly status.

After a brief jaunt down Main Street, I asked if anyone could tell me when we left Santa Monica and entered Los Angeles; not surprisingly, almost everyone was able to pinpoint the exact spot where the bike lanes ended, the road widened to two lanes and traffic sped up.

Jim Shanman discusses the work of the recently formed Culver City Bicycle Coalition

That lead to Paul Backstrom from Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s office speaking for a few minutes about the proposed road diet that would tame the L.A. section of Main, by creating a mirror image of the Santa Monica stretch. He noted that the city is working on solutions to move the bike lanes that would result out of the door zone, which has been fairly criticized in the original plans.

As we rode up Ballona Creek, Rick Risemberg, aka Mr. Bicycle Fixation and one of the city’s leading bike advocates, volunteered to talk about the native plants and rest area that had recently been installed along the bikeway, as well as a water filtration system designed to keep pollutants out of the bay.

Bikes roll down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills; photo courtesy of Joni Yung

When we got to Culver City, Jim Shanman spoke briefly about the efforts of the newly formed Culver City Bicycle Coalition and their work on the new Culver City bike plan. And invited everyone to come back to participate in the LACBC-affiliate group’s next monthly Family Ride on the 27th.

One of my first thoughts in planning this ride had been that I wanted to see bikes rolling down Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Bentley-choked Rodeo drive. But I regretted that I hadn’t had time to reach out to Mark Elliot of the group Better Bike Beverly Hills — yes, yet another LACBC affiliate — to join us on the ride.

Mark Elliot talks about Better Bike Beverly Hills' work to make the city friendlier to bikes

So while we were stopped in Culver City, I asked if any of the riders were from Beverly Hills. When one man raised his hand, I asked if he was involved with the BBBH.

He introduced himself as Mark, and said “I founded it.”

That was how I finally met Mark Elliot, one of my personal heroes among local bike advocates, if only because he’s taken on one of the hardest battles in the L.A. area.

So when we got to Beverly Hills — which currently lacks a single inch of bike lane — Mark spoke about the work his group has been doing to transform the Westside’s bicycling black hole into something more ridable. Including the group’s efforts to capitalize on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restructure Santa Monica Blvd to make it, not just safe for cyclists, but actually inviting for the countless riders who now go out of their way to avoid it.

I talked about the decline of Westwood and biking through the VA; photo courtesy of Joni Yung

At our stop in Westwood Village, I spoke briefly about the decline of one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, and my personal vision to turn Westwood Blvd into a pedestrian walkway from Wilshire to the UCLA campus. We also discussed the new Veterans Administration master plan and the importance of regaining bike access through the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which was closed to bikes after 9/11 — evidently because of the threat that bicycles would pose to all the people buried there.

LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner talks about the perils of riding and walking in Brentwood

Finally, Jen Klausner, Executive Director of the LACBC, spoke about the dangers that cyclists and pedestrians face in the Brentwood area, as well as the lack of adequate infrastructure to protect them from the dangerous behaviors and sense of entitlement displayed by many Westside drivers.

In the end, it was a great day, combining a fun, beautiful ride with an overview of local advocacy.

LACBC board member Alex Amerri (in white) will lead the next Sunday Funday ride March 6th

And it sets the stage for next month’s Sunday Funday #3, in which fellow board member Alex Amerri will lead a fast-paced 62-mile ride through the north San Gabriel Valley.

And riders on that one probably won’t have to worry about the group being broken up by red lights.

My thanks to everyone who turned out for the ride, especially Cynthia Rose, Paul Backstrom, Jim Stanman and Mark Elliot for their help in discussing the issues and opportunities for bicycling on the Westside. And special thanks to the LACBC’s Jen Klausner, Joni Yung, Alex Amerri, Greg Laemmle, Carol Feucht and Martin Lopez-lu for making it a success.

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Photo courtesy of Harry Dougherty

 

Harry Dougherty offers a great set of photos from Sunday’s ride — definitely better than my feeble attempts and worth the click to take a look.

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LAB calls on Colorado cyclists to support proposed legislation to fight the Black Hawk bike ban. I’d go a step further and encourage any cyclists to write in to support the legislation; Colorado’s economy depends on tourism, so your opinions on the misguided ban on bikes that could affect your decision to visit the state matters.

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The LACBC notes that a second workshop will be held Thursday night on the proposed redesign of the South Figueroa Corridor that could result in the city’s first true Complete Street, incorporating real pedestrian and bike access.

And don’t forget Wednesday’s 2:30 pm joint meeting of the City Council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Committees at Downtown City Hall to consider the city’s draft bike plan; this is the last public hearing before it goes to the full Council for approval. At the moment, it looks like illness will keep me away, but I urge you to show your support if you can make it.

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Kids, don’t try this at home! A cyclist was injured in a collision with a Blue Line train on Monday. According to authorities, he was holding onto a moving bus while wearing headphones and turned into the train when he let go.

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Long Beach finally eliminates their illegal bike licensing law. A driver sticks her neck out to support the Wilbur Ave road diet (scroll down). RSVP now for a free bicycle inspection and safety check workshop at the Bike Oven Wednesday night. The city’s first bike corral will be officially unveiled Friday morning in front of Café de Leche in Highland Park. CicLAvia invites you to help extend its route into South L.A. Flying Pigeon blogger Mickey Wally offers more of his great urban cycling photos. Green LA Girl talks with Jessica Meaney of Safe Routes to Schools. Car-less Valley Girl asks drivers not to mess with the balance on the street. How to contest a bad police collision report. Charlie Gandy talks about Long Beach’s bike-friendly successes in Corona del Mar. Tracking San Francisco’s most dangerous streets for cyclists. The Bay Citizen analyzes two years of bike collision data, and finds riders responsible for most wrecks — with the chief cause pedaling too fast. Huh? Now this kind of harassment from a passing car I wouldn’t complain about.

Dave Moulton says learn something from DC’s Swanson case, and don’t let matters surrounding the death of cyclist Ben Acree in San Diego last weekend drag on for three years. Better food and bicycling could be the cure for childhood obesity. If there’s a war on cars, then why are so many of the victims pedestrians (and cyclists)? Portland authorities search for the hit-and-run schmuck who ran down a stage 4 cancer patient. A Seattle lawyer jumps head-first into the Great Helmet Debate, concluding skid lids leave a lot to be desired. A Washington woman wins a lawsuit against REI for a defective bike part one day after she died in a backcountry accident. A Minneapolis study clearly shows the rate of bike crashes goes down as ridership increases. New York cyclists are up in arms over a citation to a rider for not wearing a helmet — even though that’s not illegal under New York law. A HuffPo writer urges a backlash to the New York anti-bike backlash. More than half a million New Yorkers ride more than once a month, but the Daily News hasn’t seemed to notice; makes you wonder what other stories they might be missing.

Brit blue-eyed soul singer Adele rides a bike. Pro cyclist Riccardo Riccò is hospitalized with kidney failure after allegedly botching a transfusion in an attempt to kick-start his comeback from a 2008 doping ban, while TdF winner Alberto Contador plans to fight the relative slap on the wrist Spanish authorities are reportedly planning to give him. Somehow, people shocked! shocked! to discover the windshield perspective of the host of the BBC’s top-rated Top Gear show; BBC radio is starting a 10 part series on the history of the bike.  L.A. cyclists have to contend with big ugly cars, while Dutch cyclists have to worry about big friendly dogs. The 2012 Olympic road course will finish with a sprint ending at Buckingham Palace; no word on whether the Queen’s corgis will be in attendance.

Finally, a non-bike related conclusion as a motorcyclist’s helmet cam shows exactly what it’s like to get rear-ended at stop, but without the pain, courtesy of Cyclelicious. Will Campbell plans a train-assisted March March through the real Eastside along historic Whittier Blvd; knowing both Will and Whittier, this one you won’t want to miss.

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