Tag Archive for Where To Bike Los Angeles

Morning links: Arraignment in the Phillip O’Neill case, and a preview of this weekend’s Donut Ride

One quick note before we get started.

I’ve been a little under the weather lately, so today I finally got out for my first good ride in a couple of weeks.

And proceeded to get buzzed by two cyclists in two separate incidents — one male and one female — each one passing just an inch or two from my shoulder.

Maybe I should be impressed by their skill in somehow managing to just miss me as closely as possible; instead, I was awed by their overwhelming jerkishness and willingness to risk a total stranger’s safety.

So let’s make one thing clear.

Whenever you pass another rider on a city street or bike path, call it out to avoid startling them and causing a bike-on-bike collision. A simple “On your left” or “Passing left” can make all the difference.

And don’t pass on the right. Just don’t.

If you can’t give another rider at least an arms-length passing distance — if not the three feet you’d expect from a motorist — then don’t pass, dammit.

You can wait a few seconds until it’s safe to pass, just like drivers can.

………

Ghost bike for Phillip O'Neill; respectfully borrowed from Ghost Bikes-LA

Ghost bike for Phillip O’Neill; respectfully borrowed from Ghost Bikes-LA.

A source who prefers to be anonymous reports on the recent arraignment of the driver charged with taking the life of cyclist Phillip O’Neill in Pasadena last year.

According to her report, the motorist, who wasn’t named, did not appear; his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for him and a pretrial date was set for this month, However, the prosecutor is expecting the defendant to plead out.

On the other hand, the prosecutor said he’d never seen so many people show up to support the victim at an arraignment.

……….

The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles are joining with the LACBC for their monthly bike tour of the LA area, this time through the Palos Verdes area.

And they’re expecting more perfect weather for the ride, so don’t rub it in when you talk to your friends in other parts of the country.

The Donut

When: Saturday, March 15, 2014

Time: Meet at 8:30am; ride at 9:00am

Where: Wilmington Waterfront Park

Drive south on the 110 Freeway to the C Street exit in Wilmington. Then, continue east a short distance to the Park. We will meet at the small parking lot at the Park’s east end off Lagoon Avenue. Here’s the to map the Park: Wilmington Waterfront Park

This is a San Pedro version of the classic “Donut” tour around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We’ll start (and finish) with an easy warm-up (and cool down) through the port city of San Pedro where we will see everything nautical (tankers, container ships, old battleships, merchant vessels, cruise ships, lighthouses, seagulls). Then, we’ll ride into PV proper and tackle the famous switchbacks (the one big climb of the day). From there we’ll continue around to Malaga Cove (rest stop), Point Vicente, Abalone Cove, and Fort McArthur. We should have many wonderful vistas of the South Bay, Catalina and the Port of Los Angeles as we ride back to San Pedro and Wilmington.

Ride Length:  43 miles.

Ride Duration:  Approximately 5-6 hours, including stops.

Difficulty:  Recommended for intermediate-level riders, aged 16 and up. Expect a mix of city and rural riding conditions—busy bike paths and city streets from the start to the switchbacks, then bike lanes and quieter roads circling the peninsula. We’ll tackle one climb at the beginning, then mostly rolling terrain, for total elevation gain of roughly 2,500 feet.

Rain Policy:  Torrential rain, snow, earthquake or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring:  A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a helmet and money for refueling stops and post-ride refreshments.

Parking:  There’s plenty of street parking around Wilmington Waterfront Park

RSVP:   Strongly encouraged, via wheretobikela@gmail.com, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

Touring Los Angeles County with LACBC and Where To Bike Los Angeles is a series of rides that are free and open to every LACBC member, plus one guest.

……….

People for Bikes selects six new cities for their second Green Lane Project; needless to say, LA ain’t one of them. I wonder if the recent lack of support for bike lanes from a handful of city council members had any anything to do with our non-selection.

On the other hand, Santa Monica is installing new green lanes on Broadway and Main.

The Daily News talks to Damien Kevitt about his plans to Finish the Ride that cost him a leg in a still unsolved hit-and-run last year.

The Weekly goes on the off and then unexpectedly back on Marathon Crash Ride, but fails to obey the rules, unlike the less aggressive rider representing Streetsblog.

A Bakersfield rider gets pinned between two cars by a suspected stoned driver; fortunately, the cyclist only suffered moderate injuries.

Baseball legend Barry Bonds is one of us, even if the writer can’t resist the usual steroid/doping comparisons.

The Supreme Court throws an unexpected wrench into the Rails to Trails movement; the family bringing the suit would rather have a train on their land than a bunch of us nasty bike riders.

Consider it a Mood Ring for your head. A new helmet tracks your stress levels and transmits them to your iPhone. Because it’s so hard to know when your stressed while riding your bike, right?

Finding an alternate path to equity for women’s cycling.

A nine-foot travel lane costs less than a 12-foot lane, and can make everything better.

Bike tourism goes to the next level as Oregon builds a network of Overnight Bike Pods.

The New York Times offers a number of gadgets to improve bike safety, and correctly notes the most common mistake new riders make is not riding predictably. Which means riding in a straight line, with traffic, signaling and obeying the right-of-way; now that’s not so hard, is it?

Virginia legislators vote to keep it legal to tailgate bicyclists. After all, what harm could possibly come from that?

The World Naked Bike Ride pops up in Peru; evidently, Peruvians are growers not show-ers.

London plans a network of bicycle Quietways to shift riders onto underutilized side streets. Can’t call them Quietways here because this city is seldom silent.

Don’t piss off this 91-year old Baroness, or she’ll whack you with her handbag — then re-enact it for the cameras.

Finally, in LA we dodge cars; in Florida, golf balls.

Accused OC DUI hit-and-run driver stays behind bars, and an ever-expanding list of local bike events

One quick bit of news before we move on to this week’s events.

Earlier in the week, it was revealed that Sommer Gonzales, the 18-year old Orange County driver accused of killing 21-year old bike rider Joseph Robinson in drunken, high speed hit-and-run, would have to be released from jail due to the 48 hour limitation on holding a suspect without filing charges.

However, sources tell me that rather than being released, she was transferred to a juvenile facility — odd since she’s legally an adult, if only by seven months.

The most likely explanation is that she may have been on probation as a juvenile, and her arrest in this case — or more likely, for the meth that was reportedly found in her car — violated the terms of her probation.

Chances are, we may never know for sure, since juvenile records are usually sealed unless a judge orders otherwise.

……….

Last month’s scheduled ride with LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles had to be cancelled due to smoke from the Colby Fire. This month, they make up for it by returning to the planned route through the river bikeways and historic towns of the San Gabriel Valley.

Through the San Gabriel Foothills: River Bikeways and Historic Towns 
When:            Sunday February 16, 2014
Time:             Meet at 8:30am, ride at 9:00am
Where:          Classic Coffee, 148 North Glendora Avenue, Glendora, 91741
                      Meet in the public parking lot behind Classic Coffee

Back in January, we had to cancel this Tour—smoked out be the Colby Fire! We were disappointed (no one likes to cancel a bike ride), but the air quality was truly bad that day and we would have suffered.

So, now we’ve rescheduled the 2nd edition of our very first Touring LA County ride—a tour in the San Gabriel foothills along the northeastern fringe of urban Los Angeles. Rich in history, variety and natural beauty, the area is home to some of LA County’s earliest small cities: Monrovia (incorporated in 1887), Azusa (1898) and Glendora (1911). Two river bike-path systems — along the San Gabriel and the Rio Hondo — tie together the ride, passing along the Emerald Necklace, an evolving string of pocket parks and greenways. The route also includes the Royal Oaks Bike Trail (a rails-to-trails path on the old Red Line trolley right-of-way) and a foray into Monrovia Canyon Park, with its forest and streams.

Ride Length: 46 miles

Ride Duration: About 5-6 hours, including stops

Difficulty: Recommended for intermediate-level riders, age 16 and up. The total elevation gain is roughly 2,000 feet over the course of the entire ride.  The terrain is mostly rolling, with one major climb to Monrovia Canyon Park.  Primarily on bike paths, the route begins and ends with some some city street riding through Glendora, Monrovia and Azusa.

Weather Policy: Torrential rain, snow, earthquake or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring: A road-worthy bike, an extra inner tube, a patch kit and pump, drinking water, a pocket snack (such as, an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a bicycling helmet and money for “refueling” stops and post-ride refreshments at Classic Coffee.

Parking: There’s plenty of public parking behind Classic Coffee, accessible from Vista Bonita Avenue (one block east of Glendora Avenue).

RSVP: Strongly encouraged, via wheretobikela@gmail.com, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

………

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.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets on the first Tuesday of every even-numbered month; the next meeting takes place at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 1st at 6501 Fountain Ave.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs takes place on Saturday, February 8th. Up to 30,000 cyclists from throughout the US and around the world will travel through the Coachella Valley on rides of five to 100 miles.

Saturday, February 8th, take a bike tour of Pomona Valley craft breweries. The unsponsored ride meets at the new Sanctum Brewing Company, E Commercial St & Paloma Dr in Pomona at 1:30 pm, before rolling to the Dale Bros Brewery and Claremont Craft Ales before returning.

The San Fernando Valley Bike Club offers a twice monthly Campagni Group Ride — Italian for companion — on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. The moderately paced, leader-led no-drop ride on February 9th offers 27 miles and just 482 feet of climbing, departing from the Northwest corner of Nordhoff and Etiwanda in Northridge (CSUN Parking Lot B1) at 8 am sharp. Click here for more details (footnote d); lots of other great sounding rides on the list, too.

C.I.C.L.E. offers two Learn to Ride for Adults classes on Sunday, February 9th, from 9 to 11 am and 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Both classes take place in the parking lot of Eagle Rock Plaza, 2700 Colorado Blvd; tickets are $30, need-based fee waivers are available.

On November 27th of last year, David Enright was riding his bike on Eagle Rock Blvd when he was hit by an unlicensed and uninsured driver, breaking his left forearm, right elbow and clavicle, and fracturing his pelvis in seven places. His friends have set up a fundraising website to help defray his expenses and lost wages; a donation of just $40 gets you into a party at 8 pm on Sunday, February 9th at the Record Parlour in Hollywood, 6408 Selma Ave.

Monday, February 10th the Los Feliz Improvement Association presents Law & Order in Los Feliz, a discussion with LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and LAPD Northeast Division Police Captain Jeffery Bert, 6 pm at the Autry Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way. Considering how the flyer equates homelessness, crime, noise and bicyclists, maybe you might want to attend if you’re in the area.

The next Metro Bicycle Roundtable meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11th from 5:30 to 7 pm in the Gateway Plaza Conference Room on the 3rd floor of Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza. Topics include status updates on bike share, bicycle campaigns and planning studies.

Also on Tuesday, February 11th, Santa Monica’s proposed Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) goes before the city council starting at 6:30 pm; Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street.

Anyone interested in participating in this year’s Climate Ride is invited to meet with Team LACBC Captain Greg Laemmle and Climate Ride Director Blake Holiday at the LACBC Climate Ride Meet & Greet from 6 pm to 7:15 pm on Wednesday, February 12th at the Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. RSVP to Kelly@la-bike.org.

The movie that got me back into bicycling will screen on Wednesday, February 12th as the Laemmle Theaters show the classic bike movie Breaking Away as a fundraiser for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Operation Firefly to put lights on everyone’s bikes; 7:30 pm at the Laemmle NoHo 75240 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood.

Celebrate a belated Valentines Day with Ride for Love: Explore the Changes of Watts, co-sponsored by Metro, C.I.C.L.E. and the East Side Riders. The ride will share love, community, and the joy of bicycling while exploring the history and changes of Watts; meet at 9:30 am at 10950 S. Central Ave.

Bike Newport Beach is hosting a Lunch in Laguna Beach Valentines Ride on Saturday, February 15th. Meet at the Newport Beach Civic Center for the 10 am, 18.3 mile moderately paced ride, returning about three hours later.

Last month’s scheduled ride with LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles had to be cancelled due to smoke from the Colby Fire. This month, they make up for it by returning to the planned route through the river bikeways and historic towns of the San Gabriel Valley. The ride meets at Classic Coffee, 148 N. Glendora Ave in Glendora at 8:30 am, rolling at 9 am.

The first Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit takes place on Sunday, February 16th from noon to 8 pm at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Placetickets $10.

Also on the 16th, a fundraising ride from Pasadena to Silverlake will be held to benefit injured cyclist David Enright (see February 9th for more information). The ride will depart from Intelligentsia Coffee Bar in Pasadena at 10 am, riding by historical landscapes, quiet ravines, bustling neighborhoods, and the breathtaking Silverlake Reservoir, ending at the flagship Inteligensia in Silverlake. Suggested sponsorship is $200, however, sponsorship is not mandatory; all proceeds go to help Enright’s long road to recovery.

Monday, May 17th is your deadline to enter the Ride with Greg Laemmle contest. The winner receives a free entry to this year’s Climate Ride, as well as $2500 towards your minimum fundraising total and an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the remainder of 2014. Two second place winners will get the movie pass, free Climate Ride registration and $1250 towards fundraising.

Serious Cycling hosts a Malibu Gran Fondo from Friday, February 21st to Sunday, February 23rd. Event is limited to first 100 to register.

Get ready to get jiggy wit it as the LACBC invites you to celebrate their 16th birthday with a 1998-themed Bike Prom from 8 pm to midnight on Saturday, February 22nd at the American Legion Post 206, 227 N. Ave. 55 in Highland Park; earlybird tickets are $8 for LACBC members and $16 for nonmembers before February 7th.

Chinatown’s annual Firecracker Ride takes place on Saturday, February 22nd with rides of 20 and 30 miles943 North Broadway.

Check out the latest implementation of the Glendale Bike Master Plan with a leisurely ride through the city’s new designated bike routes, ending at the Golden Road Brewery, from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, February 22nd. Meet at the Glendale Public Library, 222 East Harvard Street.

The LABC’s West Bike Ambassadors host a leisurely ride through Venice and Mar Vista on Sunday, February 23rd; the eight to ten mile ride starts at the Mar Vista farmer’s market at the intersection of Venice Blvd and Grand View at 10 am.

The San Fernando Valley Bike Club offers a twice monthly Campagni Group Ride — Italian for companion — on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. The moderately paced, leader-led no-drop ride on February 23rd offers a choice of 25 or 52 miles around Chatsworth Lake, departing from the Northwest corner of Nordhoff and Etiwanda in Northridge (CSUN Parking Lot B1) at 8 am sharp. Click here for more details (footnote d); lots of other great sounding rides on the list, too.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 25th, as Longbeachize hosts a Long Beach mayoral forum at the Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th Street, sponsored by the LACBC, Bikeable Communities, Streetsblog LA and the Long Beach Post. Topics include bicycling, pedestrian accessibility, placemaking, urban design, and green policies. Time and further details to be determined.

A community meeting will be held from 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, February 26th, to discuss the proposed Rail to River Greenway along the Slauson corridor in South LA, at the Los Angeles Academy Middle School’s multi-purpose room, 644 E. 56th Street.

Burbank will host a community meeting on Wednesday, February 26th at 6 pm to discuss the proposed Burbank Channel Bikeway; 301 E. Olive Ave in Room 102 of the Administrative Services Building. The proposed bikeway will run from the Burbank Metrolink station to Griffith Park via the Burbank/Western flood control channel; if you can’t attend, you can still provide input online through February 8th.

The 2nd Annual Bike Oven Fundraiser Auction takes place on Saturday, March 1st from 5 to 10 pm, 3706 North Figueroa St. Donations of any kind are welcome, from auction items to refreshments.

The formal recommendation to include bike lanes on a rebuilt Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills goes before the city council on Tuesday, March 4th, at 7 pm; 455 North Rexford Drive. If you ride through Beverly Hills — or would like to — be there to fight to complete the missing link between the Century City and West Hollywood bike lanes.

Sunday, March 9th marks the return of the LA Marathon — and the world-famous Wolfpack Hustle: The Marathon Crash Race. As always, the ride meets at 3 am at Tang’s Donuts, 4341 W Sunset Blvd, rolling at 4 am through the closed marathon course to the coast.

C.I.C.L.E. hosts The Way Back When Ride: La Puente, co-sponsored by Metro and Bike SGV, on Saturday, March 15th. The family-friendly, leisurely paced ride meets at 10:30 am at the Park-N-Ride Lot at Stafford Street and Glendora Avenue in the City of Industry, rolling at 11 am.

Also on Saturday, March 15th, give your legs a test with the annual Malibu Seven Canyon Classic, with routes ranging from 50 to 100 miles, including a new fast, flat route along the coast. All rides start at 8 am.

Finish up the day with the first Streetsblog fundraiser of the year from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, March 15th as they honor Streetsie Award winner Paul Backstrom, Transportation Deputy to Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin. The event, with a suggested donation of $100, will include Indian food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages; location provided upon RSVP to Damien@streetsblog.org.

The National Open Streets Summit is scheduled for Friday, April 4th through Sunday, April 6th in Los Angeles.

The next CicLAvia is scheduled for Sunday, April 6th on iconic Wilshire Blvd, LA’s historic main street. The free event rolls and walks from Downtown to the Miracle Mile with expanded hours from 9 am to 4 pm.

Fans of the Amgen Tour of California can ride the same official Stage 8 course the pros will when the L’Etape du California rolls on Sunday, April 6th in Thousand Oaks. Entry is limited to the first 1,500 riders to register.

The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride takes place on Sunday, April 27th at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Highway in Long Beach. Rides range from eight to 100 miles, with a $200 fundraising minimum.

On February 17th of last year, Damian Kevitt was hit by a minivan while riding his bike in Griffith Park. The driver attempted to flee the scene with Kevitt trapped under the vehicle, dragging him nearly 600 feet onto the 5 Freeway and leaving him for dead; the resulting injuries cost him a leg, and nearly took his life. On Sunday, April 27th, Kevitt is planning to finish the ride to raise funds for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

The Ride 2 Recovery to benefit wounded vets returns to Southern California on Saturday, May 3rd in Thousand Oaks. The ride departs from the Lost Hills Sheriff Station, 27050 Agoura Hills Road, starting at 8 am; no cost for injured vets.

Mark your calendar for Glendale’s 2nd Annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride on Sunday, May 18th, with rides ranging from seven to 45 miles.

LA’s most popular fundraising bike ride rolls on Sunday, June 22nd with the 14th edition of the LACBC’s Los Angeles River Ride. Ten rides of varying lengths, with starting points in Long Beach and Griffith Park, including two centuries, a 15-mile family ride and a free kid’s ride; discount prices available through May 27th.

Mark your calendar for the Peace Love & Family Ride for Crohn’s and Obesity in South LA on July 5th and 6th. Great cause; more details when they become available.

The year’s second CicLAvia takes place on Sunday, October 5th with a new variation on the classic Heart of LA route through Downtown LA, from Echo Park to East LA.

The first winter — or late fall, anyway — CicLAvia is also the first to roll through historic South LA on Sunday, December 7th, from the cultural center of the Southside in Leimert Park to the birthplace of West Coast Jazz on Central Avenue.

Find bike racing schedules and other cycling events at SoCal Cycling.

Horrific DUI hit-and-run case goes on trial, bicycling may be safer than you think, and a Saturday San Gabriel ride

Before we start, a little housekeeping.

Note the addition of four new pages at the top of this site. Hopefully, they’re self-explanatory.

Facts & Stats is exactly that, a random collection of bike facts and statistics that will continue to grow as we stumble upon useful and/or interesting information — including the bit about bike safety a little further down this page.

Resources is a listing of things bicyclists may need, from information on the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance and the seemingly dormant Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, to the LAPD’s Bike Liaisons and a listing of lawyers experienced in bike cases.

Organizations lists bike advocacy groups on the national, state and local levels, as well as local riding groups.

Bike Shops & Co-ops provides links to a small listing of local bike shops that I recommend, or that have been recommended to me; obviously, there are too many shops in the LA area to list them all. In addition, you’ll find bike co-ops and other bicycle services, as well as locally based manufacturers and online retailers. Other online retailers may be added down the road, but the idea is to support local bike shops and builders.

All of these should be considered works in progress. So if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email the address on the About page.

And I promise to update the Events page now that things are finally getting back under control.

………

Somehow, I’d forgotten all about this case. Maybe because it didn’t involve a bike rider.

Just a drunken Torrance drug and alcohol counselor who hit a pedestrian so hard she knocked him out of his pants and boxers. Then drove two more miles with her dying victim lodged in her windshield, naked from the waist down. And turned away from the emergency room that could, maybe, have saved him.

Consider this from The Awl.

When Wilkins had pulled into the gas station with a pantless (Phillip) Moreno embedded in her windshield, her blood alcohol level was .17. That’s twice the legal limit. There were traces of THC and benzodiazepine in her bloodstream. When police searched her car they found two empty mini-bottles of Absolut Vodka and a 40-ouncer, along with a receipt that showed it’d been purchased that evening.

That driver, Sherri Lynn Wilkins, is on trial now in a Downtown LA courtroom in a case that’s expected to take three weeks.

With two prior felony convictions, she faces life in prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter, which would be her third strike.

I have a lot of sympathy for people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. But anyone who could do what she did deserves to go away for a long time.

Take a few moments, and read Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s story from The Awl. It’s very well-written, and a very powerful read.

Though perhaps one that’s best done on an empty stomach.

Thanks to Geoff Stiltz for the heads-up.

………

Ever wonder how safe bicycling really is?

According to the 2010 National Bicycling and Walking Study, Americans took 4 billion bike rides in 2009; resulting in an estimated 52,000 injuries, while the national FARS database recorded 628 deaths.

As a result, the odds of returning home unscathed that year would have been nearly 77,000 to one in your favor, while the odds of surviving any given ride were an overwhelming 6.3 million to one.

And yes, deaths and injuries have gone up since then, but so has ridership. If anything, your odds could be even better today.

So don’t let the bad news scare you off. Even if you’ve seen far too much of it here lately.

As for me, I’ll gladly take those odds. Especially when the health benefits of bicycling significantly outweigh the risks.

Thanks to People for Bikes for the top link.

………

City leaders are finally talking Vision Zero. Just not in this city.

New York’s new mayor follows through on his campaign promise for a Vision Zero; even if new NYPD Chief Bratton’s famed data blames the victims. And San Francisco steps up to the plate to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.

Even new US DOT Secretary Foxx says it’s time to make bike and pedestrian safety a priority.

Los Angeles?

<crickets>

………

Update: Ride cancelled due to smoke from the Colby fire.

This Saturday my friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles, are hosting their latest monthly ride through the LA area — this time a tour of the San Gabriel foothills.

Saturday, January 18, 2014 – 8:30am

When: Saturday, January 18;  Meet at 8:30 a.m., ride at 9:00 a.m.

Where: Classic Coffee - 148 North Glendora Avenue, Glendora, 91741 (Meet in the public parking lot behind Classic Coffee)

This is the 2nd edition of our very first Touring LA County ride—a tour in the San Gabriel foothills along the northeastern fringe of urban Los Angeles. Rich in history, variety and natural beauty, the area is home to some of LA County’s earliest small cities: Monrovia (incorporated in 1887), Azusa (1898) and Glendora (1911). Two river bike-path systems — along the San Gabriel and the Rio Hondo — tie together the ride, passing along the Emerald Necklace, an evolving string of pocket parks and greenways. The route also includes the Royal Oaks Bike Trail (a rails-to-trails path on the old Red Line trolley right-of-way) and a foray into Monrovia Canyon Park, with its forest and streams.

Ride Length: 46 miles

Ride Duration: About 5-6 hours, including stops

Hopefully, the Colby Fire will be out by then, and everyone can enjoy some good air to breathe.

And mark your calendar for a new Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit on Sunday, February 16th.

………

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton finds problems with the mayor’s recent traffic collision. LA City Council members want to set rules for how long ghost bike should stay up; how long do the victims stay dead? New Virgil Ave bike lanes officially open on Saturday. New semi-green bike lanes on UCLA campus. Neon Tommy explains why traffic sucks in Century City. Looks like a massive Boyle Heights roundabout is finally moving forward; no word on whether they plan to accommodate bikes or use us as bumper fodder for speeding drivers. Great idea, as a last-minute effort attempts to save the Figueroa-Riverside Street bridge as an elevated parkway for cyclists and pedestrians; as usual, the city says no. On the other hand, we should get a new bright orange Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge soon. UCLA Today interviews parking meister Donald Shoup. Glendale gears up for the 2014 Jewel City Ride next May. Massive new Burbank Ikea will have 1,726 parking spaces — and 86 for bikes.

When your bike becomes your frenemy. San Diego’s acting mayor sees a world-class bike city in the town’s future. A 71-year old Riverside County rider is injured when she allegedly turns into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Thousand Oaks cyclists get new bike lanes on a bridge, but no safe way to get to them. UC Santa Barbara student committee works on improving bicycling on campus. It takes a real schmuck to assault an 11-year old Bakersfield boy to steal his BMX bike. A 70-year old Antioch cyclist is killed in a collision; witnesses report he ran a red light, not something most 70-something riders are normally prone to do. Napa cyclist responds to hate speech graffiti.

Four 5x goals from People for Bikes. Protected bikeways mean business. Elly Blue writes about riding out your period. High speed Seattle road ragers crash multiple times, on purpose. Washington farmers say bikes and trees are incompatible; seriously, I can’t make this crap up. Headline of the day: If smartphones are so smart, why don’t they tell drivers to watch the road? Chicago lawyer goes after taxi that apparently hit a cyclist, only to find the real culprit. Chicago celebrates winter Bike to Work Day; strange that we don’t have one when our weather is so much better. Unlicensed Illinois teenager gets five years for killing a nine-year old bike rider. Tennessee teens pepper spray a cyclist from a passing car. A Massachusetts cyclist is run down by a drunk driver early New Year’s morning after his mother warned him not to go out. Utica NY driver ticketed for failing to pass safely after running down a 74-year old woman with a reputation for “recklessly bicycling in the street;” no, really, that what they said. Cars don’t kill people, irresponsible drivers do; amen brother. Florida police catch a bike riding cross-dressing bank robber. Miami cyclists want the mayor to ride with them to see why riders are getting run down on a city causeway.

In a case eerily reminiscent of the Torrance tragedy above, a Brazilian motorist drives 6 km — 3.73 miles — with the body of his bicyclist victim embedded in his windshield. Maybe bike forks don’t have to be angled after all. Brit motorcyclist tries to kick a bike rider into traffic. Britain needs more cyclists. Britain’s bicycling minister sees a future for everyday riders the current streets can’t support; at least they have a cycling minister, unlike some countries I could name. As long as we’re introducing crazy laws for cyclists, here’s three more. We don’t need no stinking elevated bikeways. Spaniards riot over plans for a bike-friendly boulevard. Think your ride’s tough? Try a 12,000 km race across Africa. Kiwi driver gets 32 months for pushing a triathlete off his bike in a road rage attack. Family of a fallen New Zealand cyclist forgives the driver she collided with, saying he did nothing wrong; that’s class. Aussie pro quits his comeback due to a dangerous heart arrhythmia. Australian judge loses her license for a whole eight months after hitting a cyclist while driving under the influence, but at least she’s barred from hearing alcohol and traffic cases.

Finally, CNN looks at the future of bicycling, which oddly doesn’t include just getting on a bike and going for a ride. And that would probably please a Santa Monica letter writer, who wants to rein in all those killer bike riders on the boardwalk.

Sadly, I’ve gotten word of yet another apparent bicycling fatality, but haven’t been able to get confirmation yet. Let’s hope Friday will bring better news.

A close call in DTLA, a biking Hollywood producer gets left off the bus, and get your kicks on Route 66 next Sunday

It could have been so much worse.

Friday night, a high speed chase ended with a dramatic crash at Olympic Blvd and Los Angeles Street in Downtown LA, followed by police fatally shooting the driver for reasons that have yet to be explained.

And all just steps away from a group of bike riders who were nearly collateral damage in the crash, and had a front row seat for everything that followed.

Take a look at the link below — for some reason, I can’t embed the video — and watch carefully just above the geyser where the other car takes out the fire hydrant. (Hint — click on the full screen option for a better view.) You’ll see three bike riders who can count their lucky stars as both cars spun out on either side of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbDwKspYgiU

Looks like some of the angels this city is named for were looking out for them. Ether that, or they need to buy some lottery tickets for Tuesday’s drawing, because they had to be some of the luckiest people on two wheels.

Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up, who says a friend of his was one of those lucky riders.

………

You might be surprised who rides a bike. Or takes it on the bus.

When they can, that is.

It’s been a long-time problem that bike riders can be left stranded on the streets when the two bike racks on the front of Metro buses are full — including a woman who was forced to ride home alone at 4 am on New Years morning a few years back when she wasn’t allowed to take her bike on the bus.

TV producer Michael Binkow gets it.

Despite achieving a level of success that allows many of his peers to travel by limo or luxury car, he chooses to ride his bike to worksites throughout the city. And combine that journey with taking a Metro bus to get through some of the more challenging sections.

Except when full racks leave him stranded on the side of the road, waiting for bus after bus to pass by until one finally has an open space for his bike — even when there’s room for both him and his bike inside.

Here’s an email he sent to Metro on Friday, and cc’d me on.

Dear Ms. Johnson,

My name is Michael Binkow and I’ve been a resident of Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks) for the past 32 years.  I’m a television producer (“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” “1 vs 100,” “Container Wars,” etc.) so my work takes me to various parts of the city.  I’m now in Santa Monica and riding a bike to and from work most everyday.  With (the end of) Daylight Savings Time and ongoing construction on northbound Sepulveda Boulevard through the Sepulveda pass (and no bike lane), I’ve been riding the bus for 3 miles from Church Lane or Getty Center to Skirball Center to continue my ride home.

Here’s the issue—if there are two bicycles on the front of a bus, I’m stuck.  Drivers are “not allowed” to let me on and sometimes I must wait for several buses to pass before there’s an open slot.  By then of course it’s dark and even more dangerous to ride.  I’ve heard it’s a liability issue with potential injury to other passengers.  This is just fair.  One possible solution:  leave it to the driver’s discretion.  If there’s room on the bus and the bike won’t affect other passengers, let us on.  If the bus is too crowded and there’s not enough room, so be it, we’ll have to wait for the next one.

It’s obviously frustrating that those of us trying to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce auto traffic and take advantage of public transportation are discriminated against.

Please do what you can to revise this current policy.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Michael Binkow

………

My friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where To Bike Los Angeles, have been hosting a series of rides around the city and nearby environs in conjunction with the LACBC.

Their next ride will explore the legendary Route 66 that reaches its terminus right here in the City of Angels. Or more precisely, in Santa Monica, despite what the song says.

Route 66

When:   Sunday, December 22, 2013

Time:    Meet at 8:30am; ride at 9:00am

Where: Union Station in downtown Los Angeles

Meet in the garden courtyard on the south side of the main concourse of Union Station. Here’s the map.

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, Main Street of America, or the Will Rogers Highway, is one of our Nation’s first interstate highways. Opened in 1926, it rolls west from Chicago. In our end of the country, it passes through Azusa, Pasadena, downtown L. A., and on to its unofficial terminus at the Pier in Santa Monica. On this tour, we’ll experience a bit of this historic highway by following a bike friendly version of Route 66 (the current official route is on the 101 Freeway from downtown to Hollywood) from Union Station west on Sunset Boulevard, then Fountain Avenue, then Santa Monica Boulevard and a few side streets to the ocean. Along the way, we’ll ride down holiday decorated streets in Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. After a short break at the Pier, we’ll meander back to downtown on Main Street, Abbot Kenney, Venice Boulevard, and another Main Street.

Ride Length: 40 miles.

Ride Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours, including stops.

Difficulty: Recommended for intermediate-level riders, aged 16 and up. We’ll be riding on city streets, sometimes in bike lanes and sometimes on bike friendly streets marked with sharrows. Bottom line: be prepared for riding around automobiles on the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Hardly any climbing.

Weather Policy: Torrential rain, snow, earthquake or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring: A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, plenty of drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a helmet, proper clothing, and money for refueling at random espresso bars and for post-ride refreshments.

Parking: There’s plenty of inexpensive parking not far from Union Station in Chinatown. Or, save gas and parking coin—ride a Metro train or a bus to the station.

RSVP: Strongly encouraged, via wheretobikela@gmail.com, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

………

Finally, there’s still time to get into the spirit of the season — assuming you read this before Sunday evening — with the LACBC’s annual Larchmont Holiday Caroling Bike Ride.

 

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