Archive for Guest Columns

My Ride: Bicycling the friendlier streets of Munich, Germany

Unfortunately, there won’t be any Morning Links today; dealing health issues — my wife’s and my own — kept me from being able to work yesterday. I’ll try to make up for it with a special Weekend Links tomorrow.

Instead, we’re reviving the Describe Your Ride feature, now retitled simply My Ride, with a special guest post and videos from Ralph Durham, a longtime friend of this site who moved from the Bay Area to Munich, Germany. And found the riding experience much different from the US.

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Well, hallo from München (Munich). Yes the home of Oktoberfest.

I’ve been following Ted’s blog for several years and always find it enlightening. I said I would send him some pictures and video if he wanted them or had space to put them up.

I’ve been living in München for 2 years now. My wife took a position here and was nice enough to allow me to join her. She just wants ‘ein Hausmann’. I am getting around the town more and more. Getting to play tour guide to guests and the like. We are on the Warm Showers list so have met some very interesting cyclists.

I’m now retired so this will not be my commute ride. Back in the SF Bay area I commuted almost daily the 12 miles into work. I’m no stranger to busy streets and highspeed roads. I must say that the cycling facilities are much better than I’m used to having. It’s not Holland where my wife and I rode around for 10 days a while ago. This is a slightly modified version of the route I took last year to my German classes.

The video(s) linked are from my house to the center of town. Comes in at about 8 Km. One video is 36 minutes long and is the whole thing. I have also cut it up into 3 sections. Just in case you don’t have over half an hour to take from your day at one time. I intend to put up on Youtube the other variations of the route. This route is a bit longer and slower than the fast way. The fastest way for me involves staying on the major streets (with separated bike provision) more than other options. The traffic here doesn’t bother me.

Cycling in München and around is quite easy if you know your way…. Very little is on any kind of grid. The interior, inner ring, is old and there isn’t much in the way of direct provision. The speed limit where there is no provision shown is normally 30 KPH (18 mph). I’m currently getting my driver’s license. The book is thick. The tests expensive. If you fail you pay again. They really pound road safety into you. Residential sections are 30. Very limited signs as to right of way. The rule is car on the right has priority. No signs, car on the right has priority. That goes for cyclists also. If I have the priority position the driver must give way. And they do. Which I found very disconcerting. And they found very annoying when I tried to give the right of way.

Traffic signals. There is essentially no right turn on red. The lights are on the near side of the intersection. If you pull up into the crosswalk and bike lane you won’t see the light. There is no benefit to do so because you can’t turn right anyway. Drivers turning right are expected to go part way around the corner so that trailing drivers can pass and then they can see down the bike path/sidewalk for oncoming traffic. Did this scare me to death a few times? Yes. I’m better at it now but still check to see that they will stop for my priority. If streets are single lane one way normally a cyclist can ride contra flow. This is indicated with a sign just under the don’t enter sign.

Please excuse the audio and video. I’m still dealing with my learning flat line (a curve implies improvement).

Full version:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

This video starts from the entrance path to our apartment. Right away you will see that my street has 2 vehicle lanes, parking, trees and or parking, the bike way, and a sidewalk. Both sides of the road. This in Grosshadern and this planned community of high-rises was built up 1970 and on. Underneath is the subway line U6. U6 runs right into the center of town and up past Alliance Arena, home of Bayern München. When I cross the main street further along there are entrances to the U6. One on each corner plus a lift. Two of the entrances have escalators which can go both directions depending on who gets there first. After the intersection the road necks down because the area is older. We pass another U station then a main junction under construction. This used to be the outer ring road but just after we arrived they opened a 4 Km tunnel, 400 million euro. This must have been fun to install when you had to keep the U6 running while you put in a 6 car/truck lane freeway tunnel. They are changing the top to become more of a boulevard. Then we head on to Partnachplatz another U station.

Here I diverge from the U route. A right left at the station will allow you to follow the U and is more riding beside a busy street. So instead I sweep to the left. I will then turn right at the eastern entrance of Westpark. I missed the turn by one short block in the video but that means I also missed a few hundred meters of cobble stones….. We then go back onto the route that has a bike ped tunnel under the S-bahn. This is the suburban train. This system runs though München but goes further out.

Turn left at the Kirche and follow the route until we join the road I normally take for speed. Through the little park, along another road and then duck under a slow intersection into the space where Oktoberfest is held. Theresienwiese, 4.5 million square feet largely used for the 16 day party. On the left side is the Statue Bavaria. Bronze 60 ft high and you can climb up into her head. Not for hot sunny days… We go along the tree lined side of the park and then turn into the older wealthy central area of town. Past the construction at the hospital and we meet up with Lindwurmstrasse. This street is the one I would take had I not gone on the more scenic route.

This is just before Sendlingertor. It is one of the original gates to the city. The only other original gate is Isartor. There is a crazy amount of construction going on here. S-tor has 6 U-bahn lines, 5 tram lines (streetcars), and 2 bus lines meet here. They are rebuilding and enlarging parts of the underground station and revamping the water handling system. The U-bahns are under the water table. Of course all lines will be kept running. München is 1.5 million people. Though S-tor the U-bahn runs 1500 trains per day, each train is over 300 ft long.

From S-tor we drop into the city center and then to the Viktuelmarkt. Good place to pick up lunch from a variety of vendors or other eating places. This has a biergarten also so you can kick up your heels and meet all kinds of people from who knows where at eh communal tables. The road through is a pedestrian zone so vehicle traffic is quite limited (and just horrible to drive through) I turn at the end and go under the building which was the Altenrathaus (old) to show you the Neuerathaus (new) (1907) City offices and main square. The Glockenspiel is also there. It plays 3 times a day, plus you can go up into the tower. Then I head back and turn to Isartor. If you continue through you end up at the Isar river.

Hope you enjoy the video. If you want more info I’ll give Ted my email and you can contact direct or use his handy comments section. I will be putting more up onto Youtube at some point. I’m hoping to learn how to strip the audio but that might mean buying software other than the camera companies free one.

Keep riding. Enjoy life.

Ralph

As an added bonus, he also shared this short clip riding on a bike and pedestrian bridge suspended under railroad tracks over the Isar River.

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My Ride is about your own experiences riding a bike — where and how you ride, whether good or bad, or anything in between. It can be a rant or rave, a description of your favorite route or how riding makes you feel. And any way you want, in words or pictures, bike cam video, or any other format you think tells the story best, wherever you happen to ride.

If you’d like to share your story, just send an email to the address on the About BikinginLA page.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

An open letter urging Beverly Hills to approve Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes

Yesterday we had a guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot discussing the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which is back for discussion before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

Stephen Collins wrote to the mayor and city council in response, urging them to approve the desperately needed lanes, which is the missing link between existing lanes in West Hollywood and Century City. He agreed to let me share his letter with you.

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Hello Mayor Bosse and Beverly Hills City Council Members,

As a resident of a neighboring community (Hollywood), an individual who makes an effort to bicycle commute whenever possible (for the environment we all share, in addition to my wellness), a visitor and patron to parks and businesses in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities, and an engineer with work experience in public infrastructure;

I write to urge your strong support of Bicycle Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. I ride this route regularly, and there is a stark contrast between the safe, relaxed, and predictable riding I am able to do on this same street through nearby West Hollywood, and the dangerous, nerve-racking, and unpredictable riding I must choose if I stay my path into Beverly Hills.

A popular website for cyclists called Strava publishes an aggregate map of where their users ride. I would like to draw your attention to how important Santa Monica Blvd. is to the region in the image below, where I’ve approximately circled the segment through Beverly Hills.

Brighter lines indicate higher utilization. As you can clearly see, this is the most important East/West route for bicyclists North of the 10 Freeway. It’s utilization is on par with streets like Venice Blvd (complete bike lanes, with recent safety improvements in Mar Vista), San Vicente Blvd (complete bike lanes), Sunset Blvd through Echo Park/Silverlake (complete bike lanes) and even the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path, which is car-free. This is the most important stretch of road in the whole area which does not have complete bike lanes. You should have no worries that an investment in safe multi-modal transit for the future of Santa Monica Blvd will be underutilized.

[FYI – Strava is able to provide better data and analysis to city planners and decision makers directly through their Strava Metro program – I encourage you to check it out here: http://metro.strava.com/]

If you haven’t, I would also encourage you to take a single short ride along this segment of road one weekday morning or afternoon, in either direction. Cars and buses move swiftly in open sections of road, and completely jam forward progress when traffic gridlocks. Neither of these are nearly such a concern to cyclists in neighboring communities on this route.

The wide, green lanes in WeHo are a delight, but even the striped lanes on the other side through Century City are leaps and bounds more safe and comfortable to ride than the section through Beverly Hills.

This is a very important bicycle thoroughfare for the region, and Beverly Hills has an opportunity to step up to or even exceed the standards in safety and environmental consciousness set by its neighbors on the same road. It can also be used to encourage cyclists to visit your business district, and to allow community members safer access to their favorite shops in town.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter. I am sorry I am unable to attend your meeting tomorrow – thus my note.

Best,

Stephen M. Collins

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If you’d like to voice your support, you can attend attend the meeting at 7 pm in the council chambers at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. If you can’t make it, email your support to mailto:[email protected], and indicate whether you are a resident or work there.

 

Morning Links: Riding with SaMo’s mayor, crazed California driver, and your next bike should have a bazooka

Evidently, Saturday’s ride with the mayor of Santa Monica was a successful affair.

David Drexler forwarded his thoughts afterwards.

Thanks for the “heads up” about the monthly ride with the Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer.

It was a lot of fun.  He is a great guy, and very approachable.

We chatted for a while before the ride, and rode together for a while. He likes to talk about cycling infrastructure and Santa Monica’s plans for the future including a fully protected bike lane from North to South coming up soon for construction that will feed into the East/West green lanes.

The Mayor told me that both he and his wife and 2 children all have bikes at home and ride together, and most days he cycles from his home to his city office in Santa Monica.

Also with us for the ride was the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole who likes cycling and was pointing out areas for Green Lane expansion and revision to the Mayor during the ride.

You don’t have to be a resident of Santa Monica to participate in the Monthly ride with Mayor, so everyone should consider coming out and chatting with him about cycling next time.

Photo attached of the Mayor (on the left) giving the group instructions before the ride.

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These are the people we share the roads with.

Somewhere in California, a crazed road raging driver harassed a bike rider, demanding that “all you little bastards” should get out of town, and threatened to come back with a shotgun.

Although any experienced road raging driver would know that using a gun is a crime, but using a car just makes it an accident.

Right?

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Members of the pro peloton name the most promising young riders; no North or Central Americans made the list, though one Columbian rider did.

So much for cleaning up the sport. An anti-doping organization claims no drug testing has been done at the last five international cyclocross events, and they haven’t checked for motor doping, either.

Alberto Contador says it’s more important to ride with style than to win. Something tells me his sponsors would disagree.

Flamboyant world road champ Peter Sagan likes Haribo candies more than post-race interviews; Bicycling Magazine compares his early season behavior to performance art.

VeloNews discusses Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day classic, where riders used a tactic employed by traffic-shy cyclists around the world by taking to the sidewalk. And it turns out the women Omlooped, too. Twice.

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Local

Road and Track says the future of Los Angeles transportation is full of possibilities, from trains and hydrogen-powered cars to, yes, bicycles.

A new bike-inspired coffee shop and bicycle accessory shop will be opening soon on York Blvd in Highland Park, where a successful road diet has helped bring life to the street. Though this being Los Angeles, not everyone approves.

CiclaValley explains how to take your bike on MetroLink.

There will be a feeder ride for people looking to get from Highland Park to Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event.

 

State

Bike co-op and advocacy group BikeVentura is officially launching with a party this Saturday.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike thief who assaulted the owner of a bike he was trying to steal.

 

National

Nice to know we’re still making life miserable for self-driving cars.

Mobility Lab asks how far is too far to ride to work, concluding that anything beyond 30 miles is just crazy. Although I once met one of the early RAAM competitors, who commuted 157 miles by bike from his home in Steamboat Spring CO through the mountains to Denver, and back again, everyday, even in the dead of winter.

Police in Oregon are searching for the identity of a drunken rider who was hit by a truck on Friday. This is why you should always carry ID. And ride sober.

Young riders of faster ebikes could be required to wear a helmet until they reach the age of 21 under proposed Utah legislation.

A Denver bicyclist claims he was repeatedly passed, then intentionally run down by a road raging street sweeper driver.

A former Wichita KS bike shop owner now runs a bike repair service out of his garage, while offering free bike rentals to anyone who wants to borrow one.

Even heartland cities are attempting to eliminate traffic fatalities, as Columbia MO commits to developing a Vision Zero plan.

Massachusetts is planning a network of bike lanes to keep up with rising demand.

Evidently, blocking bike lanes is nothing new; New York truck drivers have been doing it since at least 1899.

If anyone feels like moving to the deep South, the Georgia Bikes advocacy group is seeking a new executive director.

 

International

Road.cc presents the perfect bikes to buy when you have more dollars than sense.

A Nova Scotia columnist calls on the province to scrap its mandatory bike helmet law, saying that it will keep bikeshare from succeeding there without making riders any safer. Meanwhile, a writer for Forbes says bike helmets can be hazardous to your health by encouraging risky behavior.

British cycling champ Chris Hoy goes from Olympic gold medalist to children’s book author.

Caught on video: A Kiwi parent could face a police investigation after he knocks a BMX rider on his ass for colliding with his skateboarding son at a new skate park.

 

Finally…

Not even bike messengers are safe from automation. Forget a Swiss Army Knife; what you really need is a bazooka-toting Swiss Army Bicycle.

And seriously, cats should know better than to try mountain biking, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Todd the Volunteer, double rainbows, more endorsements, and don’t read the comments

The most interesting people ride bikes.

Mike Wilkinson encountered a bike-riding homeless man who calls himself Todd the Volunteer, and asked if he could share the man’s story.

Driving along Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove, in the distance I saw the silhouette of a man in the middle of the expansive street. As I approached, I realized he was sweeping up debris from the recent rains. I noticed his bike with a trailer and huge orange sign on the side of the road. Then, in a second, he was in my rear view mirror.

Finishing my errand, I remembered how my wife and I had agreed that we would want to help a homeless person who is doing something productive. I couldn’t forget this guy, so I resolved to find him on my way home. His bright orange sign made that easy.

Todd the Volunteer introduced himself as I handed him a five dollar bill. He posed for some pictures and told me he had recently cleaned several freeway underpasses from top to bottom. He was friendly and articulate. His energy and appearance was far from the stereotype of a homeless person with mental issues, addictions and poor hygiene.

He lives in a local park, and he is a busy guy. He has a Go Fund Me page, and there is a You Tube video about him. KNBC Los Angeles did a piece on him. He told me “I believe that if I help the community, the community will help me.” Last year the Orange County Register named him one of its 100 most influencial people. Now I know why.

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You also experience the world on a bike in a way you never would zooming by in a car. Like the double rainbow Sam Kurutz captured as he rode home Wednesday night.

A big cloudburst took place in Pasadena/Sierra Madre last night and produced a beautiful rainbow. I got soaked except for my chamois, by some miracle. Anyways… it was a tricky ride home because drivers were looking at the rainbow and not for a cyclist, so I had to be really cautious.

 

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More political news leading up to next month’s local elections.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Krystal Padley for Pasadena’s 5th city council district.

Walk Bike Burbank offers responses to their candidate survey from the people running for Burbank City Council.

And the LA Times provides a recap of their endorsements; they got it right on Joe Bray-Ali and Measure S, but missed the mark in endorsing career politician Paul Koretz over challenger Jesse Creed.

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As Erik Griswold points out, you really don’t want to read the comments on the San Diego U-T’s story about the proposed California Idaho Stop bill.

But you probably will. And you’ll regret it.

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A British pro calls for a ban on disk brakes after he claims one cut through his shoe at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Or maybe not, unless his shoes are made out of cardboard.

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Local

The Electric Bike Expo starting in Long Beach this afternoon makes LAist’s list of 20 of the coolest things to do in Los Angeles this weekend.

 

State

San Diego officials are accused of not taking Vision Zero seriously, saying zero traffic deaths is a nice goal, but “we know we won’t be able to meet that.” Nice lack of commitment there, guys.

San Francisco discusses possible safety improvements on 17th Street, where several riders have been injured after catching their tires in streetcar tracks.

The Napa Valley Register says tourist-designed bikeshare is coming to the area, but doesn’t bother to explain what the hell that means.

The mayor of Redding wants you to try riding the area’s trails as part of their Mountain Bike Challenge.

 

National

The Portland city council voted to overturn a decision by the city’s Police Bureau to exonerate an officer for using a Taser on a bike rider not once, not twice, but six times — three after he was already on his stomach with two officers on his back.

Michigan considers requiring drivers to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance, as well as proposing that all driver education classes include an hour on how to share the road with vulnerable users.

Boston’s mayor promises to make the city safer for people of all ages to walk, bike or drive, in part by reducing speed limits to 25 mph.

Never mind walking in Memphis. PeopleForBikes is looking to make historic South Memphis a comfortable place to ride a bike in as part of their Big Jump Project.

Bicyclists in Shreveport LA complain that a proposed bike path network doesn’t go where people want to go and won’t encourage new riders. The best way to ensure any bikeway will fail is to put it where city officials want it go, rather than where people want to ride.

 

International

Bike Radar offers five suggestions for things you can do behind the wheel to make the streets safer for bicyclists. They forgot to mention put down your damn phone, take your foot off the gas, and pay attention.

Saskatoon cyclists ask the city to change a number of bylaws that limit bike safety and the practicality of bicycling in the Canadian city, including a ban on carrying loads and a requirement to dismount and walk when passing pedestrians on bridges.

A Toronto teenager got a $350 fine and three points against his driver’s license for running a red light on his bicycle, even though that’s not supposed to happen. Bicycling violations aren’t supposed to count against your license in California, either. So if you get a ticket, make sure the officer marks on it that you were on a bike, not in a car.

Heartbreaking story of an Afghan journalist who fled on a rickety bicycle to seek asylum in Canada — not from the people back home who wanted to kill him, but from the political turmoil and anti-Muslim attitudes in the US.

London’s new mayor has come out in favor of three of the city’s Mini Holland bikeways in the face of a 6,000 signature petition from motorists demanding their removal.

That viral video of a Brit bike rider ripping the mirror off the van of a driver who harassed her has been taken down after it was proven to be fake.

Caught on video: A British bike thief tries, and fails, to cut through a lock and steal a bicycle.

Irish cyclists protest in front of the legislature demanding that 10% of the country’s transportation budget be set aside to promote bicycling and protect riders.

An unlicensed hit-and-run driver who killed an Irish bicyclist had his sentence increased by nine months after prosecutors appealed his original two and a half year sentence. He was also banned from driving for 15 years, although that didn’t seem to stop him before.

Move to France and get 200 euros — $212 — towards the purchase of a pedal-assist ebike.

A female rickshaw driver is breaking gender rules in Bangladesh. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An 18-year old Malaysian youth is under arrest for a Facebook post calling for the public to come together and meet with the sultan in charge of the state where eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision. Let that be a reminder not to take the freedom of speech and assembly we enjoy in here the US for granted.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything on your bike, even a dead deer. Who needs a speed gun when you’ve got a hi-viz vest and a blow dryer?

And if you’re the ethics chairman of county bar association, maybe you should consider the ethics of not driving distract and under the influence.

 

Guest Post: Why do motorists hate bicyclists (a rant)

I want to share something that was sent to me recently. The author asked to remain anonymous, but trust me, he knows what he’s talking about.

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Why do so many drivers hate bicyclists? Bicyclists force drivers out of their normal stupor, making them pay attention to the road around them. Drivers recognize, if only subconsciously that they have to change their behavior or risk killing someone. How does one react when being told to change their behavior. I find my 5 year old nephew’s reaction is likely the same for many adults. Denial, Anger, Projection, depression and acceptance.

Denial. The first reaction is naturally defensive; I did nothing wrong! The cyclist appeared out of nowhere, as if they were transported off the Starship Enterprise. Or the mixture of lights, reflectors and bright colored clothing just happened to blend into the color of the asphalt while the sun completely blinded me going 40 mph when I couldn’t see a thing because I was texting on the cell phone, yet decided to speed anyway. See. Not my fault. A freak act of god (small g).

Anger/projection. Because they remain in denial, the anger is often projected outward towards the cyclist. This “fault” ends up being they are all lawbreakers. If they see another motorist run a stop sign, the first thought is that the motorist must also be a cyclist.

Lycra is the new symbol for a bike riding street gang on the same level as some nationwide criminal gangs, threatening you with taunts such as “Hey buddy, nice car. It would be a shame if it got my blood all over it.” The driver then races off in fear, peeling rubber as the bicyclist chases after them at a dangerous 12-15 mile per hour pace. Yes, they remember reading “The Tortoise and the Hare” and it didn’t end well at all for the hare.

Worse are the confrontations that happen at this stage. Adrenaline abounds on all sides after a near collision.

Bargaining. This is actually when recovery really starts, as the motorist is now thinking of solutions, albeit clouded by denial and anger so solutions must benefit the driver and punish cyclists. When they think about how they can resolve the issue, they offer such non solutions as registration fees, gas tax equivalents. Somehow, if bicyclists would only pay the $3/year for registration, drivers would welcome them onto the streets, pass safely, offer free donuts at stop lights and offering the occasional come hither look (hey, a cyclist can dream right?).

Depression. As much as I would enjoy the schadenfreude, being called out on his poor behavior that a driver would, like my five year old nephew, fling and then bury himself into the back seat of the car, crying and kicking.

Wait, let’s just pause for one moment to visualize that, (sigh) ok, moving on.

Depression is a good thing. Drivers are now noticing bicyclists on the road, and while peppered with anger and frustration at the occasional lawbreaker, they are noticing bicyclists and watching out for them, seeing how the rhythm of bicycle/motor vehicle occurs.  Perhaps they are noticing where the road could be designed a little better to get cyclists out of their way. (I admit, I often perform mental bike audits when I am driving)

Acceptance. This is where the motorists truly recognizes the right of the bicyclist to be on the road, anticipate bicyclist behavior and act accordingly. Allow me to digress slightly to make my point. Years ago, when I first started taking transit, I would sit in the front row of the bus (to watch my bike on the rack), and I would gasp, hiss and cringe every time a car cut the bus off, or the driver had to hit the brakes quickly. Recognizing my frustration (and being annoyed by it), when we stopped at a light, he turned back towards me and said, “relax. I’ve got this.”

I call this the Tau of the Bus Rider. You can’t control everything so you must put your faith in other people to do the right thing. Bicyclists need to be predictable. Motorists need to pay enough attention to be able to predict what bikes are going to do and react accordingly.

In summary, motorists should pay more attention while driving, quit whining and just accept bicyclists as normal roadway users. but until that time, expect a lot of juvenile behavior.

Guest post: Cyclists call for die-in tomorrow in bike-unfriendly Palos Verdes Estates

There’s been a significant movement to protect the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians in Southern California in recent years. However, there have been some notable exceptions.

One of those is on the Palos Verdes peninsula, where challenging hills and stunning views have made it one of the region’s most popular riding areas.

Yet despite three riding deaths in just the past year, exclusive Palos Verdes Estates has repeatedly refused to take even the most basic steps to improve safety, rejecting calls from their own safety committee to install Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Which only confirm what the law already allows, even though many motorists — and some police departments — may be unaware of the fact.

As a result, cyclists have called for a die-in tomorrow afternoon to protest their decision and call for better safety in the community.

Delia Park and Kristie Fox explain.

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WHAT: Die In protest. Bring your bikes with you, if possible. Lay down with us in Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates to show passing motorists the bloody reality of what happens when bikers get hit by cars.

WHEN: ‪4:00 – 5:00 PM this Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

WHEREMalaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates

WHY #1: To demand that the city install bicycle safety signage that says, “Bikes May Use Full Lane” (BMUFL signage) which have been recommended by the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic and Safety Committee but rejected by the PVE City Council for no reason other than opposition by a handful of angry residents.

WHY #2: This year, over a three-month period, three cyclists were killed in bike-car collisions on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This is an unprecedented number of fatalities for this location. Protest activities began after the last of these fatalities, a hit and run in which no one was ever apprehended.

After working patiently with the city council, and with dozens of cyclists attending many council and committee meetings, the BMUFL signs were unanimously approved and recommended by the traffic and safety committee but rejected by the PVE City Council, who caved in to the localism for which PVE has become globally recognized via media exposure of the Lunada Bay Boys, a local group that has allegedly impeded non-local surfers from using local public beaches.

The new target of localism has become cyclists. A small contingent of Lunada Bay residents mobilized and ultimately swayed the City Council to vote against the recommendations of its own traffic engineer and its own traffic safety committee, which recommended installation of the BMUFL signage.

After decades of complaints, the PVE City Council has finally begun to address the Lunada Bay Boy surfer issues following a public outcry through intense media scrutiny, surfer protests, and a class action lawsuit alleging gang activities against members of the surfer locals. However, the same discrimination that has impacted surfing in Lunada Bay for decades is now directed towards cyclists. The PVE City Council chose to side with the local residents and protect their convenience and “way of life” over the lives and safety of cyclists.

It is time for all cyclists to join in solidarity and support safe cycling for everyone in the LA region, particularly PV, where thousands of cyclists come to enjoy the coastline views and hills that have served as training grounds for locals and professionals for decades.

Show up tomorrow in Malaga Cove ‪at 4:00 PM and support the effort to advance cycling safety and awareness!

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson discusses the die-in, as well as calls to install a crosswalk for kids walking to school.

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Guest post: Looking for a Bike? Shop Local and Shop Small. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

Last week, I asked if any bike shop owners or employees wanted to explain why you should do business with your local bike shop this holiday season.

First to respond was Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, who explained the importance of buying your ebike locally.

Today we hear from David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, one of the city’s most popular shops for road and off-road riders alike.

Not to mention the shop that created one of the bike world’s most brilliant marketing efforts by partnering with the car dealership across the street to allow people to trade in their car for a new bicycle a few years ago.

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By David Kooi

Are you looking for a bike? Here are some reasons why you should visit your local bike shop.

Personal Attention and Friendly Expert Advice

Choosing the right bike isn’t always easy. These days, there is a different bike for just about every type of riding and terrain. A good local bike shop is staffed with friendly, helpful experts. Go in and talk to them about the kind of riding you would like to do. They will help you make the right decision. Choosing the right bike will ensure that you’ll get the most from your purchase. If you pick the right bike, you’ll enjoy riding it. And, if you enjoy riding it, you’ll ride it more often. If you pick the wrong bike, it might languish, covered in dust, in your garage. And nobody wants that.

cute-kid-on-a-bike

Quality Products

The bikes you’ll find at your local specialty shop are usually better quality bikes than you’ll find online, at department stores, or at big box retailers. Why? Most of the best bike manufacturers only sell their bikes through local, independent shops. Why would they do that when they might be able to sell so many more bikes online or at Wal-Mart and Costco? It’s because they recognize the importance of dedicated specialty shops. They count on these shops to educate their customers on the value and features of their bikes. And they trust these shops to build, fit, and service those bikes properly and professionally.

A Professional Bike Build

When a bike arrives at a shop or at your local Target, it’s in a box full of parts. Some of it is partially assembled in a far-away factory, but it needs a good amount of work and fine-tuning to get it ready to ride. Whom do you trust to build your bike? At a good local bike shop, your bike will be assembled by an experienced professional mechanic and test-ridden for safety. When you go out for your first ride, you can be confident that the bike is safe.

Fitting

Bikes come in difference sizes. Then, within each size, the bike needs to be adjusted to the individual rider. If you buy the wrong size or don’t get a proper fit, you probably won’t be happy with your bike. When the bike is set up perfectly for you, you’ll be comfortable and happy – and you’ll ride it a lot more. And, if you’re a rider for whom speed matters, a properly fit bike will make you faster. When you buy your bike from a local shop, the bike fit is often included with the purchase of your bike. Further, if you need additional guidance on how to use the bike, most shops are happy to teach you about how to use the shifting, the brakes, and other essential features.

group-cruiser-ride

Maintenance

Bikes, much like cars, need maintenance. Some maintenance can be performed at home, like keeping the right amount of air in the tires, cleaning the bike, and lubing the chain. Your neighborhood shop can teach you how to do those things. More complex repairs and maintenance should be performed by experienced mechanics. A good local bike shop is home to such people. Furthermore, some amount of maintenance is typically included with your purchase when you buy from a local shop.

Accessories

When you get a new bike, you’ll likely need some other items to maximize your enjoyment of that bike. The friendly, knowledgeable experts at your local bike shop can help. The right pair of gloves can help with numb fingers. The right pair of shorts can literally save your butt. A good set of lights and a properly fitting helmet could save your life. A well-stocked flat/repair kit could save you from an Uber ride home. Or maybe you just want some flashy, fancy socks to match your new ride? Whatever you need, a good local bike shop will have the expertise and the selection to help you.

david-with-local-school-kids

Community

Your neighborhood shop is often a hub for the local cycling community. They can tell you about where to ride, about local events, and about local clubs and teams. They also might host clinics and classes about bike safety, bike handling, bike repair, and bike maintenance.

A good local bike shop also gives back to your community. At my shop, we work with local elementary schools to help get more kids on bikes. We teach local Boy Scout troops about bike safety. We donate bikes to the local Boys & Girls Club for kids in need. We sponsor a mountain bike team at a local high school. And we’re always looking for opportunities to do more. That’s how communities work.

boys-and-girls-club

You can also get to know the people who work at your local shop. Most employees are passionate about cycling and excited to talk about it with anyone. Employees don’t turn over at the same high rate as the big box retailers. You can get to you know them. They’ll recognize you when you come in the door. In these days of the Internet and Big Box domination, you might find it nice to have a small, welcoming place to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. At most shops, you are welcome to stop by and say hello and check out the newest gear – even when you don’t have any plans to buy anything new. Or, imagine you find yourself out riding and want to refill a water bottle. Someday, a drone sent by Amazon.com will fly up to you to refill it for you, but in the meantime, feel free to stop by a shop along your route.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

A Vibrant Local Economy

Do you want to make a difference in the local economy and in the lives of your neighbors? When you spend $500 at a small local business, you change their day. You get noticed. You get remembered. When you shop local and shop small, your money matters. The money you spend helps to pay the rent. Your money keeps the lights on. Your money pays the salaries of people working there. Those people, in turn, use that money to shop locally and the cycle continues. They pay for tuition. They buy stuff for their kids. They go out to eat at local restaurants. Your money keeps storefronts occupied, keeps your streets and sidewalks clean, and helps sustain a vibrant community. When you shop local, you make a difference.

When you spend $500 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, you won’t move their quarterly earnings per share one tenth of one penny. You’re just a tiny part of a larger demographic.

Price

Don’t assume that you’ll get the better deal online. Give your local shop a chance. You might be surprised to discover that your local shop is competitive with online prices, especially when you factor in the value of the products they are selling and other services provided. And, in the end, maybe you’ll find yourself willing to spend a few extra bucks for the friendly, expert service, the quality products, and to contribute to your community and local economy.

storefront

About the Author

David Kooi is the owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, California.

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, 21526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

[email protected]

818-456-4105

www.smmcyclery.com

www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-mountains-cyclery-woodland-hills

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If any other bike shop owners or employees want to weigh in on the subject, just email me at the address on the About page.

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Donate to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

 

 

 

Guest post: Support your local ebike dealer or local bike shop on Small Business Saturday

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

These days, a lot of people are considering ebikes, for obvious reasons. They’re a great way for beginners to get into bicycling, to ride without fear of hills or going too far, or commute to work without breaking a sweat.

Not to mention they’re a lot of fun.

But where you buy your bike matters, as Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village explains.

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At least once a week we receive a call from someone asking if we can help fix the e-bike they bought online. “It was a really good deal,” they say. “Their website has excellent reviews,” they continue. “But they don’t respond to phone calls or emails now that I have the bike.”

This is exactly why you buy a technologically-advanced machine from a local bike shop, preferably one that specializes in e-bikes. You certainly can’t test-ride a bike online. Many times a customer comes in after doing a lot of Internet research thinking they know exactly what they want but after trying a variety of styles, sizes and power options they often fall in love with something very different.

The staff of your local e-bike shop have likely ridden in the neighborhood. They know how each bike will perform on that monster hill and in the riding conditions that you will encounter. Most local bike shops host group rides and will be happy to give you directions to great ride locations. You may even end up making some new friends!

And of course, when you buy local you meet the actual people who will be there for you in case a problem should arise. Most local shops handle warranty repairs and will get your e-bike set-up just right. They will make sure the accessories you choose will fit and even install them for you.

So support your small and local business owner on Saturday, and every day. It’s good for you and it’s great for the community.

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I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop, because they’re the ones who will take the time to ensure you buy the right bike or gear for the way you ride, and be there to support you long after they take your credit card.

I’m told some shops even accept cash.

So take a few minutes out of your frenzied Black Friday, or tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, to stop by your favorite LBS and buy something. Anything.

They’ll appreciate the business.

And if you’re new there, take the time to introduce yourself and get to know them, so you won’t be a stranger the next time you come in.

 

Guest post: CiclaValley talks next Sunday’s Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon

I had the pleasure of attending the LACBC’s Firefly Ball last night as a guest of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass. Unfortunately, that kept me out late enough that I wasn’t able to get today’s Morning Links ready.

Instead, here’s the guest post from CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew that was delayed by yesterday’s breaking news, as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

Come back over the weekend and we’ll catch up on all the news we missed.

………

Being Mr. CiclaValley has its perks. The top one is that I get to live in the valley, but to add to this charmed lifestyle, I’ve also befriended Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Phil Gaimon, all photos by Zachary Rynew

Phil Gaimon, photos by CiclaValley

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he’s just another regular guy, not this famous, elite athlete with a cult following.

Maybe being really fast and riding expensive bikes would tip you off too, but even then….

Since he’s made this city his home, he’s always made time to help the local cycling community and took it upon himself to organize a cleanup of Mulholland.

To add to it, he’s hosting his inaugural Mailbu Gran Cookie Fondo on November 6th to give enthusiasts a top notch cycling event while also benefitting the City of Hope.

Phil is a pretty straightforward guy and answered some questions about life on the tour and his up coming ride.

Participants in Mulholland clean-up

Participants in Mulholland clean-up

Question: Why Malibu?

Phil Gaimon: Every time I tell someone that I live in Los Angeles, they ask how the hell I can train in a town known only for traffic and movie stars. The truth is that I’ve ridden all over the world, and I can’t say L.A. is the very best, but it’s part of a 20-way tie for a climber like me. Just north of the city, you’ve got the Pacific Coast Highway with the ocean on one side and a ridge of mountains on the other. There are tons of tiny roads up and down that ridge, with Mulholland on top — this twisty, beautiful road where they film every car commercial. You can climb around that ridge for days and never hit the same road twice. SoCal doesn’t have a proper post-season gran fondo, so I thought that the Malibu Gran Cookie Dough would be a fun way to show off my home roads and help L.A. get the reputation it deserves as a cycling destination.

Q: What’s the route like?

PG: We have three lengths: 46 miles, 87, and 118. They’re all really hilly, finishing off with an optional dirt climb that even the locals rarely tackle. Lots of suffering up steep climbs along the oceans, and then at the top you’ll see snowy mountains in the distance and dolphins in the water behind you. The weather is always perfect, and it’s a magical area to ride.

Q: And the cookies?

PG: Cookies are my thing. I think I mentioned in a blog a long time ago that I like them, and it snowballed. Now people bake cookies and bring them to me at races, Team Cannondale and Castelli are selling a cookie-themed team fan jersey, and I’m just embracing it because it’s the best thing I have going, and my teammates are all jealous.

There’s a cool restaurant in Santa Monica called M Street Kitchen, which is known for cookies. When I found out their celebrity chef rides bikes, we got to be friends. Jeff Mahin had just returned from the White House when I met him, so basically Obama tested the cookies for me. Jeff loved the idea of the Gran Fondo (which we’ve now dubbed the “Gran Cookie Dough”). Now we get to offer a great bike ride, and a celebrity chef providing cookies at the top of the climbs and a real gourmet lunch after. Team sponsors are all jumping in, so we’ll have some great swag to go with my local pro friends and Cannondale teammates.

Q: Tell us about the charity you’re supporting.

PG: My dad died of cancer last Fall, and City of Hope is a leading cancer research and treatment center. There’s a cycling club in L.A. called Fireflies that raises money for City of Hope with an annual five-day ride, and my friends there helped make the connection.

Q: Where do we get more information?

PG: Easiest way would be to visit our website, www.philsfondo.com or visit your local Cannondale Dealer for more info.

Q: When/Where/Why?

PG: Sunday, November 6th – Malibu, CA. Bikes, Cookies & Fun!

granfondo

Guest post: Letter from St. Louis

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from St. Louis correspondent Karen Karabell. 

While I don’t always agree with her, I’ve found Karen to be one of the most agreeable people to disagree with I’ve ever encountered. In fact, she’s become one of my favorite people, even if we’ve never managed to close the 1,800 some odd miles separating us. 

I do agree that knowing how to ride anywhere, under any circumstances, makes all the difference in both your safety on the streets, and your enjoyment on your bike. And taking a course in bike safety is one of the the fastest and best ways to get there.

……..

The news this summer from Southern California has been thrilling. Three cycling clubs have offered CyclingSavvy to their members. Big Orange is considering making participation in a CyclingSavvy workshop mandatory for membership.

Wow! Before we know it, cyclists everywhere will recognize CyclingSavvy as a quantum leap forward in bicycle education. Bicycle safety instructors throughout the land will retrain themselves to start teaching CyclingSavvy.

A new tagline for selling truly useful bicycle education that changes people’s lives will be: “Got Savvy?”

Is she crazy?

Those who follow the politics of bicycling might think so. Perhaps you’ve heard of CyclingSavvy, but not actually taken the course. Be aware that much of what you’ve heard may be unintentionally inaccurate at best, and even deliberately misleading at worst.

Such are politics! Be that as it may, things are changing, and fast.

I want to introduce you to Shawn Leight, incoming president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The ITE is an international scientific and educational association, with 13,000 members working in more than 90 countries.

I met Shawn through a Facebook post:

facebook-screen-shot

The screen shot excerpted above is after our first IRL meeting.

Shawn and I decided to meet the old-fashioned way. We both live in the St. Louis area. For our first meeting, he suggested lunch. I said no.

I prefer not to sit down with a transportation professional until we’ve done something else together: Ride.

I needed to show Shawn that I was a regular human, not a person reeking with ideological certainty cyclist. It worked! Our ride together allowed us to move beyond the caricatures that permeate discussions about bicycling in America.

Shawn and I rode together in heavy afternoon rush hour traffic. I loved showing him how we cyclists can easily share our existing roadway network, especially when we take advantage of the hallmarks of the U.S. transportation system: Communication, Cooperation, and Courtesy.

On one stretch, I controlled our space on a narrow two-lane road without shoulders. I waved on or held back other drivers as circumstances dictated. We received complete lane changes and zero incivility.

He later told me that I earned his respect when he asked if I’d control an uphill travel lane on a busy St. Louis County arterial road. “Heck no!” I responded.

My visceral response assured him that I was not crazy. But savvy cyclists know that my response could not be as simple as that. It never is when the topic is bicycling.

I told Shawn that I would try to find an alternate route. Failing that, I’d take advantage of the “platoon effect” and ride on the road when it was empty, moving to the shoulder to facilitate passing. On the shoulder I’d be slow and cautious! I would monitor conditions constantly in my rearview mirror, ready to bail if an errant motorist headed my way.

This all becomes second nature when you’re riding on a shoulder, or practicing what we now call “Edge Behavior,” thanks to Dan Gutierrez.

Dan has earned a place in history for creating an easy way to think about bicyclist behaviors. He coined the typology “Pedestrian,” “Edge,” and “Driver” behavior to describe how bicyclists operate their vehicles. Successful bicyclists use all three behaviors to their great advantage. We CyclingSavvy instructors show people how to use each behavior safely and effectively.

cyclist-behavior-spectrum

Unlike any other form of transportation, bicycling is an art. Trains, planes, boats, pedestrians and motorists have fairly standard operating characteristics. But we cyclists have choices.

So many choices! Also: Safety is a product of behavior. This is something that I did not truly appreciate until I got savvy.

Even after I took my first CyclingSavvy workshop, it took me a long time to become a savvy cyclist (but that’s another story).

Before I understood savvy cycling, I was a typical bicyclist, exhibiting what psychologists call “unconscious incompetence.” This is a technical term to describe people who don’t know what they don’t know. The term fit me perfectly when I first went to Florida to check out CyclingSavvy.

I’m not criticizing myself! At the time I simply shared our culture’s prevailing mindset regarding bicycling. Most people are clueless regarding safest and best practices.

Again, it’s not their fault! People don’t know what they don’t know.

So, Smarty Pants, what exactly is it that “most people” don’t know yet about bicycling?

Thank you for asking! I’ll be glad to touch on some salient points:

It is possible to ride safely and easily on any urban street, right now.

In CyclingSavvy we give people the tools to do so. We do a whole lot more than this; I’ll write more about that in a minute.

I’ll never forget my conversation with a prominent local cyclist and former board member of the League of American Bicyclists. I was practically begging her to take even just only the classroom session of CyclingSavvy. She refused. She already was an “expert.” She had nothing to learn, especially not from me and my ilk who dared find issue and speak about safety flaws with the special infrastructure that she so fervently promoted.

The conversation did not go well. She finally yelled at me in frustration.

“Education doesn’t work!”

She was right, based on what she knew. As a League Cycling Instructor, I could not make education “work,” either. That’s why I decided to go to Orlando in 2011 to see what this “savvy cycling” thing was about. The experience set me on a whole new path, mainly because it wasn’t about bicycling.

The biggest thing we do in CyclingSavvy is bust myths.

Myth #1: Rules were created for cars. The rules of the road were created long before automobiles were common. In fact, the rules were created in part because of the behavior of reckless bicyclists, who were injuring people in the road and startling horses pulling carriages.

unrestrained-demon

The guy who created the rules was nothing short of brilliant. He devised something so simple and elegant that it would become—and remains—the basis for the most boring transportation network on Earth.

Nothing wrong with that, right? When the topic is traffic safety, “boring” equals “good.”

Myth #2: When operating a human-powered vehicle on the road, it is not safe to mix with faster, heavier, motorized traffic.

I can see how people believe this. Especially because we regularly see bicyclists do all kinds of crazy shit practice all sorts of behavior. But bicyclists usually get along just fine, however they choose to ride.

Remember, we are talking about bicycling. This is an inherently safe activity. Don’t take my word it. Go be a Salmon Wedgie Ninja on any road you want. You probably will be terrified. Yet you will likely get home unscathed.

Myth #3: We must have special facilities in America to ride safely. Nope. As my colleague John Brooking has observed: Educated cyclists do not need special infrastructure. But safely using special infrastructure requires education.

As a corollary, Myth #3.5: CyclingSavvy opposes special infrastructure for bicyclists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Our job is to show people how to keep themselves safe, wherever they ride.

Myth #4: What is considered “safe” is typically the opposite of safe.

defensive-driving

‘Nuf said with the graphic above.

Myth #5: Cyclists cause delay. Ugh. This idea needs its own PR campaign to be dismantled and abolished.

A successful campaign to kill the myth of delay would lead to the demise of many entertaining YouTube videos, as angry dudes start changing lanes to pass, like everyone else.

It is very easy to change lanes to pass bicyclists. Fat chance passing anyone else on the 405/10.

405-10

I asked my cousin to send me a photo of his favorite traffic-clogged Los Angeles freeway. We have traffic jams here, too, though none that look as deadening as in this scene from LA.

Whenever I see people stuck like this in traffic, I think:

You all are crazy. I’ll haul groceries on my bicycle any day to avoid that.

Myth #6: There will always be antagonism between motorists and cyclists.

This may be the biggest myth that we savvy cyclists bust, day after day after uneventful day.

We busted it again last month in a CyclingSavvy workshop with novices. Check out what happens when we use “driver behavior” on fast and scary roads:

cs-1

Nothing.

cs-2

Nada.

cs-3

Zilch.

Well, that’s not exactly true. We get where we want to go, safely and easily.

I have yet to meet a CyclingSavvy graduate who is not thrilled by the possibilities of being empowered to use a bicycle to go anywhere.

CyclingSavvy has a marketing conundrum. I decided to be frank about this in a classroom session held this summer with Shawn Leight at his engineering offices. Joining him was another transportation professional, a magazine editor, and two “regular folk” able to rearrange their Monday afternoon schedules. Yep, that’s five people. We need 500 in these sessions. Thousands!

As we moved through the presentation, they clearly were impressed. It is impossible not to be. CyclingSavvy uses powerful graphics and video to pack practical information into a fast-paced interactive format.

I was teaching alone, and decided to give myself a break by using two videos from the new (and not yet finished) CyclingSavvy Online. This group was impressed—as is everyone we manage to cajole into attending a session.

I asked them: “This is good information, isn’t it?” They nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

“Yet nobody wants it,” I said, “because they don’t know what it is.”

This isn’t exactly true. There certainly is a buzz among the cognoscenti. Yet with fewer than 100 people in the nation certified to teach, it’s not easy to find a CyclingSavvy workshop. Now we can point them to CyclingSavvy Online, which offers this information to anyone with Internet access.

The early reviews are impressive and encouraging. I recommended CyclingSavvy Online to my sister, who bought a recumbent tricycle this summer.

text-msg-1

I have no doubt that many will find the online course useful. And that others will not believe a word, until they try CyclingSavvy strategies for themselves.

Safe traffic cycling is totally counter-intuitive (see Myth #4). And people are not convinced by argument. People are convinced by experience. The rearview mirror on my helmet convinced me that what we teach are safest and best practices.

We savvy cyclists want everyone to discover what we know: That bicycling can be easy and fun and safe, wherever one chooses to ride.

(Dude, I’m not talking about riding on freeways. Stay. Off. The. Freeway.)

It is a challenge to counter experiences people refuse to let go of. I don’t even waste my breath trying anymore. Still, I am heartbroken each time I am regaled by someone who has tried bicycling on the road, and therefore is certain that it is not safe. By golly, she was riding in a bike lane and some idiot cut across her path and turned right in front of her. She could have been killed!!!

CyclingSavvy Online saved my sister from the terror of that experience.

text-msg-2

She took her recumbent this summer to the Gulf Coast, affectionately known as the Redneck Riviera. She was triumphant as she later described her experience on Perdido Beach Boulevard, the main drag with its commodious bike lanes:

“Because of those videos, I knew that I had to get out of the bike lane before every intersection so that I wouldn’t be right hooked!”

This observation made me think of my conversations with the traffic engineer, Shawn Leight.

He believes everyone should be accommodated; it doesn’t have to be an “either-or” proposition.

“Our transportation system is big enough to have bicycle facilities for those who want to use them and at the same time support bicyclists who prefer to ride as part of traffic,” Shawn said.

I understand Shawn’s perspective. I am grateful that he insists on inclusivity. Other influential engineers and advocates have ignored or dismissed us because we already know how to keep ourselves safe (i.e., the “strong & fearless” hogwash).

What is wrong with EVERYONE knowing how to keep him- or herself safe? Yes, I’m shouting, for a good reason:

BECAUSE of the rise in facilities, our job as bicycle safety educators has become more important than ever.

Mighk Wilson, executive director of the American Bicycling Education Association, has said it best: “We cannot design ourselves out of the need for education.”

Shawn points out that transportation safety for decades has been built upon three Es: Education, Engineering and Enforcement. “We all can accomplish a lot more with engineers and educators working together,” he says.

We savvy cyclists add a few more Es to the list. We frankly want nothing less than to change the culture. We want to make bicycling as easy a choice for everyone as motoring.

i-am-traffic

It is obviously a big conversation, and we’re having it! I cordially invite you to meet Shawn and Mighk—and people from all walks of life who are passionate about the topic—the old-fashioned way this fall in St. Louis.

The ABEA is holding its first national conference, but second confab. The first gathering led to the formation of the ABEA and I Am Traffic.

At I Am Traffic 2 we are building upon our successes and strategizing for the future.

Nothing beats face-to-face conversation…and bike rides, and parties. Let’s have fun getting savvy!

Speaking of which: I’m looking for a marketing genius or two to enroll in a CyclingSavvy workshop. There’s a workshop being held in St. Louis right before IAT2.

The marketing genius will get savvy, and then create the campaign demolishing the myths surrounding safe and easy bicycling. This campaign will cleverly show people how to protect themselves and control their space.

I can’t help but think of the marketing wizards who made “Got Milk” an unforgettable idea.

got-milk_

Got Savvy, anyone?

 

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