I confess, I didn’t participate in last year’s Bike to Work Week.
It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s just that for those of us who work at home, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to get on the bike to pedal from the bedroom to the living room.
Although I suppose I could have joined the squadrons of laptop-toting writers who commute to Starbucks or Coffee Bean every day.
And while I wouldn’t have minded grabbing some of the bike swag offered at places like REI, it was long gone before I could justify taking a break from my creative endeavors for a quick 30 miles in the saddle.
But there was one event I truly regretted missing.
Maybe it’s just my Catholic upbringing. Or maybe it was understanding that as safe as cycling actually is — despite common perceptions — anything can happen.
And sooner or later, it usually does.
So I did my best to find a way to get my butt out of bed, out of the house and on my bike in time to make it Downtown in time for Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual Blessing of the Bicycles. But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t make it work with my schedule — let alone overcome my wife’s reluctance to let me ride the mean streets that lurk between the Westside and Downtown, especially at rush hour.
Because there’s just no good way to get there from here.
This year, though, I intend to make it one way or another.
Whether that means fighting my way through L.A. traffic, popping my bike on the front of a Metro bus, or throwing it on a rack and driving most of the way — and parking a few blocks off so everyone will think I rode the whole way.
Good Sam cites some pretty horrific safety stats to support the event, most of which I will spare you — though I am struck by the fact that biking deaths are most likely to occur in summer or fall between 6 – 9 pm on a Friday.
But honestly, it just sounds like fun.
And it couldn’t hurt to get a little support from the deity of your choice before your next ride.
Good Samaritan Hospital’s 7th Annual West Coast Blessing of the Bicycles
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
8 am to 9:30 am
Good Samaritan Hospital Entrance, 616 S. Witmer Street (intersection of Witmer and Wilshire)
The non-denominational event will feature religious leaders from different faiths who will impart blessings in the service for cyclists to continue their safe ride to and from work and/or school.
Commemorative lap around hospital campus saluting the healing and remembering those injured in bicycle accidents.
Free bicycle safety check.
Golden Spoke Award recipient
Los Angeles Police Department Bicycle Training Unit to participate.
The LACBC gives the LAPD a list of the city’s worst intersections. Last weekend’s Tweed Ride through Hollywood makes CNN’s website. LADOT’s new Bikeways blog offers advice on how to protect your bike from thieves. Burbank’s Verdugo Ave. goes on a road diet; trading a traffic lane for bike lanes wasn’t the end of the world after all. Bike corrals may soon be coming to L.A. The only thing different about a woman rider is, well, nothing actually. A Sacramento cyclist is cited for riding without a seat after his was stolen. Cyclelicious says the American Trucking Association is wrong — equal treatment for bikes does not equal economic catastrophe; Examiner cites knee-jerk reactions from car-centric legislators. AT&T’s anti-texting while driving PSAs could save lives, including yours. Turns out the witness in the hit-and-run death of an Illinois cyclist was the driver who killed him. A Denver-area cyclist dares last week’s blizzard to stop her from riding. Online tutoring to fix your Dutch bike. Aussie off-road champ James Williamson’s death was due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Belfast gets bike racks, while Dublin reaches its highest level of cycling in the past 10 years. A Toronto writer argues he isn’t anti-bike, he just opposes the bike lanes that could help ease congestion because the streets are too congested; meanwhile, a Toronto cop thinks cyclists would get more respect if they’d just wave politely. Evidently, the life of a cyclist in Canada is only worth 9 months probation — even if the cyclist killed by unsafe passing is an off duty cop. Singapore gets its first ghost bike after two riders are hit from behind by a suspected drunk driver.