My apologies for the continued problems with email notifications for subscriber to this site. We’re still working on getting it fixed.
Jonathan Weiss, longtime LA Bicycle Advisory Committee, has discussed the history of BMX racing with us before, including the birth of the sport right here in Los Angeles. So when I received the following email from him over the weekend, I wanted to share his thoughts with you.
I have a local history addiction. I’m into bicycling. And I hopped off curbs on my Schwinn as a kid in suburban Detroit. So, when I learned that Palms Park in the nearby Palms district of West Los Angeles was the birthplace of BMX, I had to do something about it. I could imagine and identify with some these local kids (and others they attracted) racing up, down, and around some hills on their modified Schwinn Stingrays like motocross racers and with races sanctioned (entrance fees, awards and even insurance) by Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. This nearby park was the Elysian Fields, the first field of dreams, the epicenter of the first X-Games sport.
So, I put together some of the story, I set up a Facebook page, and I got in touch with some of those who started BMX racing. That’s the fun part of history. The tougher part is when some of the participants and eye-witnesses to history, those who I’ve been lucky enough to get to know, start to go. On October 1st, another left us – Rick Twomey.
From me, and from fans from around the world, thanks for sharing your memories with me and on the Facebook page, Rick. And thanks for what you’ve left behind.
If we’re lucky enough to have the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles – with BMX competition in Long Beach – I know I’ll be thinking of you, innovator, sponsor, and author Rick Twomey, and of Rec and Parks’ Ronald Mackler, who left us in 2010, and of Scot Breithaupt, who left us last year.
Note: I failed to mention that Weiss left the BAC earlier this year. We all owe him a round of thanks for his years of service to LA’s bicycling community.
Speaking of the BAC, the next bi-monthly meeting of LA’s only official voice for bicyclists is tomorrow night in Hollywood.
If you missed it, bicyclists sadly lost their lives in both Palm Springs and Yorba Linda over the weekend.
The Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition’s Tamika Butler spoke about Planning While Black at the NACTO Designing Cities Conference last week, with a presentation that reportedly brought down the house.
CiclaValley complains about serious city inaction on clearing the dirt hazard in the Forest Lawn bike lane.
Mickey Rourke is one of us, as he takes his dog for a ride in WeHo.
Santa Monica police arrest a man for attempting to steal a number of bicycles from the Bike Center after employees wrestled him down.
Plans are in the works for a single, integrated bikeshare system that would include Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Long Beach and UCLA, with possible expansion to Culver City and the South Bay.
Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Estates make plans to work together to address traffic and safety issues across city borders on the peninsula, as South Bay bicyclists push for greater safety on the roads.
The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition is holding their October meeting tonight.
Bike the Vote LA is hosting a ballot party in DTLA tonight to discuss choices for next month’s phone book-sized ballot.
Get your pizza delivered poolside by bicycle in Palm Springs.
The San Luis Obispo District Attorney proves it is in fact possible to charge a driver who wasn’t texting or under the influence with vehicular homicide for killing a cyclist — in this case, a champion triathlete and the wife of a Cal Poly dean.
The story of Benicia cops buying a new bicycle for a teenager who was walking four hours a day to get to and from work has gone around the world.
Napa County tries rumble dots, rather than rumble strips, to keep drivers from drifting off the road, and protect bike riders on the shoulder.
Sad news from Modesto, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Friday night.
A horrifying story from Redding, as a man believes he was attacked while riding his bike to the drug store, but can’t remember what happened after suffering a broken arm and eye socket, along with multiple skull fractures.
A government website says sharrows don’t make bicycling in urban areas any safer.
Yes Magazine says women are being left behind even in the most bike friendly states, and offers suggestions on how to change that.
A sports website looks back on the Tour de Trump, the American bike race sponsored by the GOP’s current presidential candidate for a two whole years back in the ‘80s.
Colorado Springs CO residents can’t seem to grasp the concept of a road diet, let alone give time for traffic to adjust.
A Polish bike rider sets a new record for bunny hopping 3,461 steps up the former Sears Tower in Chicago.
A Chicago letter writer says bikes should be banned from the city’s busiest streets, insisting that bicyclists somehow make traffic worse by never obeying the law on streets he claims are paid for with gas taxes. Never mind that public taxes pay for city streets, traffic is caused by all those cars, and most drivers aren’t all that law abiding, either.
A Connecticut man returns home after a 12,124 mile ride around the perimeter of the US to help ensure veterans have enough to eat.
A new study finds that every $1,300 spent on New York bike lanes adds another year of life to the overall population of the city.
A New Orleans bike rider plans to keep riding even after she was the victim of a hit-and-run.
A Florida man faces criminal charges for putting a milk crate on his bike.
The next bus driver who honks at you may not be one.
Stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill offers advice on how to fall off your bike, while Bike Radar tells you how to hose it down.
Caught on video: A London pedestrian berates a bicyclist for riding through a crosswalk when people are using it.
A former Premier League soccer player plans to run and ride 1,000 miles linking 44 UK soccer stadiums.
A one-legged Irish cyclist sets the world’s first Paralympic hour record.
Here’s your chance to cross the Rubicon and take a month-long European bike tour in the steps of Julius Caesar.
A Dutch study concludes bike riders will usually choose the most comfortable route rather than the most direct.
California’s former Governator is busted for biking in the Munich rail station.
Bicycling continues to grow around the world, as Iranian cities Isfahan and Neishabur work to accommodate bicyclists, though Tehran lags behind.
New Zealand bicyclists push for a repeal of the country’s mandatory helmet law, even though the country’s leaders appear to have no intention of doing so.
Who was that meth-carrying masked man on the lightless bike? It’s one thing to carry a joint when you ride; another to carry the entire plant with you.
And this is not the proper use of a bicycle, no matter how pissed off you are.
L’shanah tovah to everyone nursing a Rosh Hashanah hangover this morning.