Leading L.A. bike activist victim of apparent hit-and-run; Bike Week is here & other upcoming events

Just received word that Jesse Ramon, aka Aktive, one of L.A.’s leading bike activists, was hit by a car in an apparent hit-and-run on Olympic Blvd on Friday.

No word yet on his condition; hopefully he’s okay and just laying low tonight.

If you haven’t met Jesse, you’ve missed out on one of the city’s hardest fighters for the rights of bike riders. He’s also the go-to guy for ghost bikes in the L.A. area, committed to honoring fallen riders without regard to the type of rider; in his eyes, a fallen bike commuter deserves the same respect as a weekend warrior or one of the city’s invisible cyclists.

And once you meet him, he’s almost impossible not to like.

So please join me in saying a few prayers and/or sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

It hurts like hell to hear about a rider down. And even more when it’s someone you know and like.

Update: Good news. Jesse commented on Facebook that both he and his bike are okay, and that the police are on the case.


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 Spoke(n) Art Ride takes place on Saturday, May 12th; riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop, 3714 North Figueroa Street, at 6 pm, with a 6:30 departure time, and return for a reception around 10 pm or 10:30. Single speed beach cruisers are available to rent for $20.

Also on Saturday, Walk Bike Glendale hosts a family-friendly Montrose Historical Bike Ride, visiting historical sites around the Montrose area. Riders meet at 10 am at Montrose Bike Shop, 2501 Honolulu Avenue, with a 10:30 am departure time.

The Antelope Valley’s High Desert Cyclists hosts a series of monthly Brunch Rides starting at Marie Kerr Park on 30th Street West in Palmdale on the second Saturday of each month. The comfortably paced 15 to 20 mile rides will visit a local restaurant or coffee shop for brunch before returning to the starting point; organizers promise no rider will be left behind. The next ride is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th at 7:30 am, with successive rides scheduled for June 9th, July 14th, August 11th, September 8th and October 13th.

National Bike to Work Week takes place May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th. Here in L.A., Bike Week kicks off at 10 am Monday, May 14th at Expo Park/USC Station, which is also the starting point for the Expo/Mid-City Bike Ride starting at 8 am. Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place on Tuesday, May 15th from 8 am to 9:30 am in front of the hospital at 1225 Wilshire Blvd; expect a great breakfast and bike swag, with non-sectarian bike blessings from virtually every faith found in L.A. Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 17th, including free rides on Metro buses and trains. Bike to School Day is Friday, May 18th.

Pasadena offers a busy Bike Week as well, with rides ranging from A Taste of Pasadena and Ladies Night, to a Mayor’s Ride and Bike-In Movie Night from Monday the 14th through Saturday the 19th. Check with CICLE.org for more rides and full details.

The annual Ride of Silence takes place in the middle of Bike Week on Wednesday, May 16th, with Southern California rides in Irvine, Rancho Cucamonga, Carlsbad, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura; a ride will be held in Oxnard in memory of six-year old Anthony Martinez Jr. The only ride in the immediate L.A. area will take place starting at 7 pm at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Ride of Silence takes place in cities around the U.S. and throughout the world to remember those who have died while riding their bikes. I couldn’t endorse it more strongly; while I’ll be tied up with other obligations that night, I hope you’ll take my place at the ride nearest you, and send a clear message that we belong on the streets and have a right to return home safely. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the Ventura County Star link.

The Amgen Tour of California will kick off with the first of eight stages on Sunday, May 13th in Santa Rosa, with Southern California stages from Palmdale to Big Bear on Friday, May 15th — where you can enjoy the full VIP experience, including free cowbell — Ontario to Mt. Baldy on Saturday the 19th, and the final stage from Beverly Hills to L.A. Live on Sunday, May 20th. You’re invited to ride the Downtown leg of the Amgen ToC final stage with the Nissan Ride Before the Pros on Sunday the 20th. Riders of all ability levels are invited to ride the 5-mile closed circuit from 8 am to 9:30 am starting at Staples Center. Think of it as a mini-CicLAvia; free registration required.

Cap off Bike Week with a Bike Exhibition hosted by the Santa Monica Spoke at the annual Santa Monica Festival on Saturday, May 19th from 11 am to 6 pm at Clover Park, 2600 Ocean Park Blvd, offering a full day of music, dance, visual arts, food, information and shopping. Admission is free, and there will be a bike valet.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers for the city’s bike count on Saturday, May 19th and Wednesday, May 23rd.

Also on the Sunday the 20th, the younger set can join in the inaugural Kidical Mass Bixby Knolls bike ride, from 1 to 3 pm beginning and ending at Los Cerritos Park in Long Beach. The four mile ride will be led by Long Beach Bike Ambassador and Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz, and feature complimentary ice cream, music, free tune ups, yoga demonstrations and a blessing of the bicycles.

Anyone who rides PCH — or would like to — is invited attend a meeting discussing design of the Pacific Coast Bike Route Improvements Project between Busch Drive and the western Malibu city limit. The meeting is scheduled for 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 23rd in the Multi-Purpose Room at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch RoadNote that the meeting has been moved from Saturday the 19th; the Saturday meeting has been cancelled.

San Diego cyclists are invited to Ride to Vote on Wednesday, May 23rd to advocate for safer bicycling facilities in the city. The all ages ride will assemble at 5 pm at the fountain in Balboa Park for an easy 11-mile ride. While the organizers strongly support independent candidate Nathan Fletcher for mayor of San Diego, they want to send a message that they will strongly support any candidate, regardless of party, who genuinely embraces a vision of a people-friendly San Diego.

Los Angeles cyclists enter the political realm when the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Civics Committee – or maybe Civic Engagement Committee — meets for the first time promptly at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 29th on the Mezzanine level at LACBC headquarters, 634 South Spring Street in Downtown L.A. Help us get us work to get candidates for mayor and city council in Los Angeles and other area cities on the record for their stands on bicycling issues to ensure the election of more bike-friendly political leaders.

The Palms Neighborhood Council will host their 19th Annual Bike Rodeo on Saturday, June 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm at Palms Elementary School, 3520 Motor Ave. The event is free for Palms residents and children attending Palms area schools.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County; save $10 if you register by May 15th.

Recover from The L.A. River Ride with a laid-back bike, brunch and beer ride the following Saturday, June 16th. The first annual B3 charity bike ride will raise funds for the Pablove Foundation with beer and food specials, while making a loop between Golden Road BrewingTony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend.

Sunday, July 1st, Shuntain Thomas, the Real Rydaz and We Are Responsible People (WARP) will host a ride through the streets of South Los Angeles to raise attention to the problem of childhood obesity and streets as recreational space. The ride starts at 10 am at Exposition Park, and ends at a street festival at 86th Street and Vermont Avenue.

The 4th Annual California Tour de Dreams 2012 will take place August 9th through 19th as cyclists will ride 540 miles from UC Berkeley to UCLA to educate communities about the passage of the California Dream Act and advocate for passage of the Federal Dream Act; register online by May 31st.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Mark your calendar for the next CicLAvia from 10 am to 3 pm on October 14th; more details to follow.

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