I knew it was coming.
But I was surprised to see signs pointing to the new Santa Monica Bike Center on my last pass down Ocean Ave in our own little city by the bay.
I was less than 10 miles into my ride, though, so I saved a closer inspection for my return trip.
And while the northbound stretch of Ocean didn’t yet have the signs indicating the turn at Broadway that the marked the southbound route, once made my turn, I was easily able to follow the well-marked path to the Bike Center site at 2nd and Colorado.
Thanks to a recent typically insightful and well-deserved critique by Gary Kavanagh, I wasn’t surprised to see newly painted sharrows — and even new bike lanes — throughout the area. Though I found it much easier to ride past the typically backed-up Broadway traffic on the right than follow behind as the sharrows indicated.
Although I didn’t see — or at least didn’t notice — the dueling bike lane and sharrows that somehow ended up on 2nd Street right next to me.
Evidently that’s just a reflection of how hard SaMo is trying, though as Gary points out, not always succeeding, to become bike friendly.
The effort is appreciated, if not always the results.
I was disappointed, though not surprised, to discover the Bike Center — actually, Centers, with another satellite location slated to open at 4th and Broadway — are still far from opening.
In fact, a little research revealed an opening date scheduled for the 18th of this month. And yes, you’re invited.
Which means Santa Monica residents and visitors will soon be treated to:
Hopefully, these privately operated Bike Centers will prove successful, and offer a model for other cities throughout the area.
And yes, I’m talking to you, L.A.
One of my favorite anonymous sources offers this update in the case of Adam Garrett, the schmuck teenage driver accused in the late night hit-and-run death of cyclist Hung Do. And then calling police the next day pretending to be a witness in an apparent attempt to find out what they knew — a call that resulted in Garrett becoming the lead suspect.
No one said he was a rocket scientist.
On Wednesday morning, Adam Carl Garrett was in court again. I didn’t expect anything more than a quick, perfunctory appearance before the judge.
But the victim’s family & friends were there. And they spoke before the judge. It was horrible.
Hung Do’s mom is a widow, and she told the judge how it feels, every day, to have lost her only son. She doesn’t speak English, but a mama’s grief doesn’t need a court-appointed translator. Other family members spoke, too, as well as a guy named Scott who identified himself as one of Hung’s best friends. He wants justice.
Poor li’l Garrett was also teary-eyed. He’s probably upset over the inequity of a system that allows a maximum six-year prison term for a criminal whose victim received a death sentence.
Garrett’s back in court on Monday, December 5th. I’ll be bringing Kleenex, because on Wednesday there wasn’t enough to go around.
Before we move on to this weeks events, a special thanks to Governor Jerry Brown.
Because it was our honored governor who not only vetoed a law that would have required drivers to give cyclists a minimum three-foot passing distance, but also vetoed a bill that would have increased the penalty for drivers who text or call on a hand-held cell phone, since the current law is almost universally ignored.
Because without his foresight, I might not have gotten Jerry Browned — that’s the new term for buzzing a cyclist, which as I recall originated with the aforementioned Gary Kavanagh — by a texting driver who forced me out of the lane I was occupying.
And nearly into the rear of a parked car.
It was easily the most memorable moment of my riding week, and not in a good way.
So thanks, Governor, for clearly demonstrating just how out of touch you really are. And putting my life, and that of every other cyclist, pedestrian and driver on our streets, at continued risk because you couldn’t be bothered to understand just how these vetoes effect us.
Although you’d think that simultaneously suffering the consequences of two misguided Jerry Brown vetoes should get me some sort of prize or something.
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.
Streetsblog hosts an upscale fundraiser at the home of Joel Epstein and Karen Sarachick on Saturday the 5th. The casual dinner reception begins at 6:30 pm with a suggested donation of $100, email damien at streetsblog dot org to RSVP and get directions.
Also on the 5th, Free the Streets unfolds its eco-visionary experiential art/music fest celebrating the burgeoning bicycle cultural scene of South Los Angeles. (And yes, I lifted that directly from the Facebook page.) It takes place from 2 pm to 10 pm at Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave. Admission is restricted to 21 and over, with a $10 entry free and on-site bike valet; all proceeds go to support the expansion of CicLAvia into South L.A.
This month’s edition of Flying Pigeon LA’s Brewery Ride takes place on Saturday the 5th, with a slow paced ride to the new Angel City Brewery in Downtown L.A. The ride meets at 3 pm, and rolls at 3:30 pm, with bikes available to rent for $20. That will be followed by the Spoke(n)Art Ride on the 12th, and the popular Get Sum Dim Sum Ride on November 20th. All rides depart from the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park.
Saturday, November 5th through Monday, November 7th, the California Bicycle Coalition will host the 2011 California Bike Summit to help set the statewide bicycle advocacy agenda for 2012 and beyond. The sessions with take place at Downtown’s Kyoto Grand Hotel, with the Monday session held at the California Endowment for Health; Flying Pigeon is offering a $30 weekend bike rental.
The next ride in the LACBC’s popular series of Sunday Funday rides takes place on Sunday, November 6th with the East Valley Hansen Dam Ride, lead by board member Carrie Ungerman. The ride meets at the North Hollywood Metro Station at Lankershim and Chandler at 9 am and rolls at 9:30. The easy 23 mile ride is free for LACBC members and one guest; memberships will be available at a reduced price.
November 7th and 10th, LADOT will hold a series of Westside Mobility meetings to discuss the future of Westside Commuting; topics include Project Overview, Bicycle and Pedestrian, Transit – Light Rail, Bus and BRT, Roadways, Smart Choices for Commuting, Parking, and Project Ideas via Electronic Surveying. See website for times, locations and registration.
The South Bay Bike Plan continues it’s long march to approval with hearings before the four remaining city councils: Lawndale on November 7th, Gardena on November 8th, Manhattan Beach on the 15th and Torrance on November 22nd.
The LACBC Planning Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month; the next meeting is scheduled for 7 pm on November 8th, note the new location at Johnny’s New York Pizzeria in Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. This month’s meeting will focus on developing a list of policies for the LACBC.
Update: The LA Tamale Throwdown scheduled for November 11th through 13th has been cancelled for this year.
On Saturday, November 12th, C.I.C.L.E. hosts a ride through the streets canvas of our city, with a leisurely paced 7.5 mile tour of L.A. street murals in Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights and the Downtown Arts District, with a party to follow. Riders meet at Lincoln Park by the Valley Blvd parking lot, Valley Blvd and San Pablo Street, with the ride starting at 1:30 pm.
Also on Saturday the 12th, Palm Desert hosts the first Palm Desert Century Bike Ride, with rides of 20, 32, 50, 60, 70 and 100 miles; online registration ends November 11th.
Update: The LACBC’s Tour de Taste originally scheduled for Sunday, November 13th, has been postponed, with the date to be determined.
The County of Los Angeles unveils the final draft of their proposed new bike plan, offering a more than 500% increase in bikeways. Your last chance to comment of the plan could come before the County of Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission, Wednesday, November 16th at 9 am in the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street in Downtown L.A.
December 7th through 11th, Antenna Magazine’s Re:mix Lab will hit L.A. after a semi-national tour, featuring two urban Bad Boy bikes designed by Cannondale in cooperation with Junk Food Clothing. The art, music, fashion and cultural festival will unfold at a site to be selected.
Friday, December 9th, the Midnight Ridazz host what may be the most important ride of the year, when they ensure that thousands of L.A. children will have a happy holiday with the 6th Annual All-City Toy Ride. Routes will begin from points throughout the city, converging on Downtown L.A. to collect the toys and celebrate the season.
Tuesday, December 27th, the LACBC returns to Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse for the 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Merriment, 2911 Main Street. Good beer, good friends, bike valet and a portion of all sales goes to support cycling in the great L.A. area. What’s not to like?