Idle thoughts while waiting on the end of the world

We were waiting for the end of the word, waiting for the end of the world. — Elvis Costello

It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya? It pours, man it pours. — Albert Hammond

According to some, the world will be coming to an end in a few years when the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012. Although I recently heard a scientist discussing the subject who said that when his calendar runs out, he just puts up a new one.

But anyone who has been watching the news in Los Angeles this week would conclude that the end times have come a couple years early.

It’s raining.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s rain, for crying out loud.

But seriously, it’s right up there with all the other warning signs of a near-biblical apocalypse: War, famine, pestilence, earthquakes and rain in Los Angeles.

And not just rain, but heavy rain. And hail. And waterspouts.

Or as they called it when I lived in Louisiana, Thursday.

Then there’s another sign that the world as we know it may be coming to an end. Not only did Hizzoner recently say the city has to do more to support cycling, but there may be a chance — a slight chance — that we might actually see Mayor Villaraigoso on a bike.

Strange days, indeed.

So just to be safe, I’ve been holed up in my office all week, working on plans to convert my old bike into the world’s first pedal-powered ark.

Which means now I have to find two of all the local species. Like lawyers, hipsters, artists, gangbangers, actors, agents and Brit ex-pats, et al. Though I may have to build a bigger ark just to fit the massive egos on board.

And cyclists, of course.

And that means pairs of roadies and beach cruisers, commuters, recreational riders, fixie fanatics, hipsters, off-roaders, family cyclists, racers, fast riders, slow riders, Lance Armstrong wannabees, Ridazz, bike activists, LACBCists, eco riders, Critical Massers, license-less immigrants and mandatory-helmet-wearing kids.

Just to name a few.

I gotta sit down.


CD5 Council Member Paul Koretz continues his support of cyclists with an effective letter requesting a better bike plan for his district — definitely worth reading. Cyclists and the LAPD begin the long process of building a better relationship, but it appears to be off to a good start. Enci Box continues her examination of L.A. bikeway systems, noting the failure of the city’s Class III Bike Routes. LACBC presents the Spanish language version of their new Bike Parking Community Resource Guide, available as a free download. Steal a bike, lose your pants. Bob Mionske writes that cyclists continue to pay the price for cell drunk drivers. Mandatory helmet laws for children reduce fatalities, but also discourage riding. Even the Boy Scouts say take the whole lane. Urbana, IL boldly removes parking to add bike lanes. Getting Portland’s mounted police off the saddle and onto bikes would save over $500,000. The drunken asshole driver who killed a cyclist in Miami had over 40 traffic violations in 12 years, but was still on the road. DC area cyclists win one and lose one, as a hit-and-run is investigated as an assault, while riders are stopped by police for being annoying. The Guardian says mudguards are a must, even on your fixie. In L.A., we haven’t even got sharrows yet; in Copenhagen, they get footrests. The UK’s Olympic cycling team gets a Formula One boost from McLaren. Police order British children to wear high visibility clothing at night, or get off their bikes. Finally, over 70 cyclists rode the valley’s Chandler Bikeway last weekend in honor of Drake Holland, a 17-year old Burbank cyclist who died in a fall while walking with friends.


  1. I can fill the female side of amateur randoneuse! Or dancer!

    I just want a seat on the pedal-powered arc for end-of-days…

  2. HR Penn says:

    Sister lives in Mojave and I in Louisiana, so I truly get the “Thursday” comment (although it’s sunny and 70 here today). Love the whole post!

    • TheTricksterNZ says:

      Actually, sounds like a typical Thursday late March to early Dec here too.

      Actually if you live in Wellington that sounds like there 365 days a year.

  3. TheTricksterNZ says:

    Reading some of those comments from Carlos’ supporters is just plain sickening.

    If they tried that rich kid crap down here they would have to get a plethora of bodyguards 24/7 as there would be people just itching to give them a solid kicking.

    Then again, if they also proved to be financial swindlers some people would probably take over their backyard to take the piss.

    • I saw a comment where someone said that, as he got 40 tickets over the past year, that it was only like 3 tickets per year or something, and that’s not a lot. If you get 3 tickets per year for 12 years, it’s pretty obvious that you’re breaking the law a lot. I’ve had 3 violations in my entire driving career, and that feels like a lot. To get caught 3 times per year…what about the times he wasn’t caught?

  4. Sorry, it’s 40 tickets over 12 years…but I think I clarified it anyhow.

  5. disgruntled says:

    hehe – sounds like rain in California is a bit like snow in the UK…

    No need to fit the expat brits onto the ark, they should be able to handle a little rain, surely?

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