Tag Archive for thank you

Your relatively short list of holiday links, and a brief Thanksgiving thank you

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Not the least of which is everyone who reads this blog, and the many kind hearts who reached out to show their support over the past week. Some of whom I know; many I’ve never met.

And each of whom have touched my heart in ways I’ll never forget.

So thank you, sincerely.

And please accept my wishes for a very warm, safe and happy Thanksgiving.

………

A survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety shows nearly twice as many nighttime motorists drive on weekends with drugs in their system compared to alcohol. Worse, over one-in-five drivers — a combined 21.3% — have some form of intoxicant in their system.

Not that we should be concerned about that or anything.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD will employ choppers and horses and bikes, oh my, to maintain order on Black Friday; I remember when it used to be called the day after Thanksgiving. The LAFD considers options to speed up emergency response times. Santa Monica will sponsor a Family Bike Fest on December 8th. L.A. cyclists ride to promote forthcoming bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd. Bike SGV will help you burn off those Thanksgiving calories with a bike train this Sunday. C.I.C.L.E. will sponsor a tweed ride on January 19th. Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd is about to get a pedestrian and bike-friendly makeover. Alhambra begins revising their widely reviled draft bike plan. A cyclist gets the runaround from the Long Beach Police, but gets her stolen bike back anyway; evidently, the LBPD was too busy warning cyclists not to ride on the sidewalk. Long Beach Gang Enforcement detectives are investigating the shooting of a 29-year old cyclist.

A Corona del Mar writer says using sharrows to move cyclists into the traffic lane will only increase the danger to riders; hate to break it to him, but we already have the right to ride there. The proposed High Desert Corridor could include a high speed rail connector and a bike path. A Sacramento cyclist is shot and killed while delivering strawberries to his brother.

Oddly, traffic fatalities are higher in red states than blue states. The Interbike trade show will open its doors to consumers next year. They’re already making lists of the best Christmas gifts for cyclists. A Boston bike co-op is forced to shut down after a burglary. Bikeyface says all weather is fair bike weather if you have a good raincoat. A Philly writer calls for greater traffic enforcement, saying drivers and cyclists are both about as bad. A Georgia man agrees to let a stranger ride his bike, and is somehow surprised when he rides off with it.

A Canadian driver gets a whopping $1000 fine for falling asleep behind the wheel and killing a cyclist; I guess the idea of pulling over and taking a nap before you kill someone is unheard of up there. A report calls for cutting London cycling fatalities; evidently, there’s no safety in numbers in the city. The widow of a UK cycling victim calls on riders to always wear their helmets. A Welsh cyclist is considered a heroine after rescuing a drowning woman. Turns out the Netherlands isn’t a living hell for cyclists after all. Parisian drivers fight back against plans to create a more livable city by removing a major highway on the Left Bank; that hardly supports the breathless hyperbole of the headline, though.

Finally, now your bike can trot like a horse; does that mean you’ll have to clean up after it, too?

……..

Remember that Thanksgiving drivers will overstuffed and sleepy, sober or not. And Black Friday shoppers are likely to be more concerned about getting to the next sale and finding a parking space than watching out for bikes on the road.

So enjoy the great weather they’re promising us and get out for a good ride. But ride defensively and be careful out there.

Today’s ride, in which I thank the LAPD

I try to always be courteous when I ride, and respectful of other people’s rights and safety. All I ask is that I receive the same courtesy and respect in return.

Which doesn’t always happen.

Take today’s ride. My route took my down Ohio through Westwood, before cutting through the Veterans Center on my way to San Vicente.

Just west of Sepulveda, the wide sidewalk along the north side of Ohio is designated as a shared Class 1 (off road) bike path. Maybe it shouldn’t be; it’s not a great place to ride, and many cyclists prefer the street. Personally though, I find it preferable to dealing with the drivers along that stretch who try to squeeze by too fast and far too close.

Besides, I almost feel like we have to use whatever infrastructure we have — however crappy it may be — or our good friends at LADOT will question why we need a new Bike Master Plan — again, crappy though it may be — when we don’t use the infrastructure we’ve got.

So when I came up behind a couple of pedestrians blocking my way, I slowed down and moved as far to the side as possible, then politely said “Bike passing on your left.”

No response. At least not from the guy blocking my way, though the other pedestrian further away seemed to hear me clearly. So I said it again a little louder. This time, he turned around, and yelled at me to “get my fucking bike off the sidewalk and ride in the fucking street.”

Now, I could have responded by pointing out that it’s perfectly legal to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles. But the stronger argument seemed to be that he was, in fact, walking on a bike path.

He wasn’t having any of it, though, He pointed to a brief stripe on the asphalt and insisted it was a bike lane. And again told me to get my “fucking ass off the sidewalk.”

Now, most days, I might have just flipped him off and gone on my way. But I’ve challenged myself not to make any rude gestures or swear at anyone — no matter how deserving — while riding for the next three months.*

Yeah, I wouldn’t bet on it, either.

Besides, I was damned if I was going to let some indignorant a**hole chase me off one of the few Class 1 paths on the Westside.

So I walked over to the nearby Bike Path sign, and tapped on the arrow pointing to the sidewalk. He responded by showing me the rare double bird. At that point, it was rapidly becoming clear that I might need to defend myself, so I squared up to him and said, “you got a problem?”

“No,” he replied, “but you’re about to.”

At that exact moment, we both noticed a police car driving by in the opposite direction. And like the idiot he was, he yelled out to them for help. Then as the officers made a U-turn and pulled up next to us, he walked off — leaving me to deal with them.**

They both stepped out of their car and asked what was going on. So I explained the situation as carefully as I could, pointing out the sign indicating this was a bike path, and saying I was just trying to ride safely and courteously when I had indicated my presence. And complaining that it was bad enough dealing with people who aren’t willing to share the road, nodding at the cars that passed by, without having to deal with it on a bike path.

The senior officer nodded, and said, “You know, some guys are just jerks.” And then added, “We’ll go talk to him.”***

So I apologized that they had to get involved, thanked them both, and shook their hands, hoping that my bike gloves weren’t too sweaty yet. Then I rode off, taking extra care to come to a full stop and signal for my turn at the next light.

I just hope the other guy showed them more respect than he did me.

Well no, actually, I don’t.

*And no, I didn’t. Today, anyway.
**Highly abridged version of conversation.
***Ditto.

………

Lovers of bicycle comics can come in off the ledge now — Yehuda Moon is back. Damien Newton fills us in on today’s TranspoComm meeting, which most of the committee evidently considered less important than the Lakers victory parade. The lawyer for the pedestrian-killing Swedish hip hop star wannabe wants us to believe he beat a Hollywood jazz musician to death in self defense. The Cycling Lawyer suggests how to cover your ass since American insurance won’t cover cyclists. Thanks to the other cycling lawyer for calling attention to a plot by drivers to block an upcoming Colorado century ride. London’s cycling mayor thinks mirrors on stop lights could help save cyclists’ lives. Looks like my old stomping grounds are becoming bike-friendly, just a few decades too late to do me any good. Finally, a former downhill champion discovers weed dealing can take you down faster a good mountain bike.

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