Tag Archive for County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas

Bike the Vote LA voter guide for CD10 race, your very own little pony trike, and another Peloton parody

Bike the Vote LA has posted their voting guide for LA’s 10th Council District.

Outgoing LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, considered a shoo-in by most pundits, rates a surprisingly low C+ on the survey compiled by a number of the Southside’s leading bike advocacy groups.

Meanwhile, a pair lesser known candidates, Channing Martinez and Aura Vasquez, lead the way with their support for non-automotive transportation and Complete Streets policies.

Hopefully, the other candidates will garner enough votes to deny Ridley-Thomas an outright victory in arch, and force a runoff that with get both candidates on the record, for better or worse.

Whomever that other one might end up being.

Meanwhile, the Bike the Vote LA newsletter includes opportunities to help get out the vote for Loraine Lundquist in CD12, and Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman in CD4, along with Dan Brotman in Glendale.

Full Disclosure — My personal interactions with Ridley-Thomas have all been good, which is why I’m surprised to see him score low here.

On the other hand, I’m tired of career politicians using the LA City Council as a soft place to land after getting termed out of other jobs.

Let’s hope whoever gets elected will be committed to safer streets in the long-ignored district. 

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Here’s the ultimate proof you can carry anything on a bike — your very own two-pony semi-covered tricycle for the equivalent of just $5,900, sans ponies.

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Peloton continues to populate YouTube parodies. Like this one, for instance.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real. 

Someone has been booby trapping Dallas, Texas bike trails with nearly invisible twine or rope in an apparent attempt to knock riders off their bikes. Let’s get this straight. This isn’t a prank, it’s a deliberate attempt to injure innocent people and frighten them off the trails. Which makes it an act of anti-bike terrorism.

Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Still more proof you can carry anything on a bicycle. Including other people’s stolen car batteries in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, we were right. San Diego is reporting five bicycling fatalities last year, along with 24 pedestrians killed. Which is about 29 people too many.

Some San Mateo residents are looking forward to a road diet on North San Mateo Drive, but several automotive businesses see it as an attempt to drive them out of business.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines women-only night at a Bay Area bike co-op. Which should be a required feature everywhere for women tired of mansplaining mechanics.

Streetsblog says San Francisco needs a bicycle mayor. LA just needs to listen to its own already appointed, and usually ignored, Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Finishing out our San Francisco trifecta, the city’s iconic Market Street will officially be carfree starting next week. Which is kind like banning drivers from LA’s Wilshire Blvd. Which isn’t a half bad idea.

Okay, make it a quadfecta. San Francisco’s transit authority is testing out 50 special adaptive scooters from Jump, Lime, Scoot and Spin for people with disabilities. Hopefully that will prove successful and spread down here.

Alameda is asking for public input to help keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting hit by motorists.

Oakland is considering a bike and pedestrian bridge leading to a proposed A’s baseball stadium in the city’s Jack London Square.

Business owners are supporting a proposed 19-mile bike trail along the Russian River despite the $145 million price tag, saying it could bring in more business from people on two-wheels.

 

National

A writer for Best Reviews recommends the best mountain bike, which probably isn’t. If you can put up with the Chicago Tribune’s multiple popup ads.

Gear Junkie offers tips for fat bike winter fun, for anyone with access to a little snow.

Bike thieves hit a Boulder CO bike shop for the second time in weeks, making off with “tens of thousands of dollars worth of new bikes.”

Curbed makes the case for why you should ride your bike all year in frigid Chicago, even in the winter. Which LA bike riders know is unreasonable, since we get cold when the temp drops below 70°.

It was a bad year on Ohio roadways, where 23 people were killed riding their bikes in 2019.

Kindhearted Philly cops buy a new bicycle for a boy whose bike was stolen by a group of older kids just before Christmas.

Credit a West Virginia police chief with a good grasp of the obvious, as he steps out on a rock-solid limb by linking drug use and bike thefts.

Seriously? Daytona Beach police are trying to drive down bike and pedestrian deaths by focusing on the potential victims rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines, explaining that there’s no point in focusing on drivers, because they usually don’t see the victims until it’s too late. Which couldn’t possibly be a reason to slow down and pay attention to the road in front of you, could it? Or why it remains the fourth most dangerous city in the state.

Orlando, Florida’s mayor has a plan — or rather, multiple plans — to shed its reputation as the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians. But as the story says, “…pledging something and doing something are very different, especially when it comes to the multifaceted challenge of making our streets safer.” As we in Los Angeles know all too well.

Congratulations to Tampa International Airport, which has been named the nation’s first bicycle-friendly airport by the League of American Bicyclists.

When you’re already a twice convicted Florida felon, probably not the best idea to ride your bike with a fully loaded 9mm, crack, weed and oxycodone, along with a full face mask and $644 in cash. Just saying.

 

International

Mexican authorities are feeling well-deserved international pressure to solve the murder of a young women’s rights advocate after she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in downtown Juarez; the deadly border city saw 180 women murdered last year alone.

A Spanish bike rider learns the hard way that bicycles and massive storm-driven waves don’t mix.

Tragic story from India, where the wife of a major bicycle manufacturer was found hanging in an apparent suicide, though police are treating it as a suspicious death. Seriously, if you’re thinking about it, get help now by calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Canberra, Australia is finally showing Sikhs a little respect, dropping the ridiculous requirement to wear a helmet atop their turbans when they ride a bike. Now they just have to drop that ineffective mandatory helmet law for everyone else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will start what promises to be a long and difficult comeback from the massive injuries he suffered preparing for last year’s Criterium du Dauphine at the UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates next month.

With a start like this, frenzy is the right word for this Kiwi mountain bike race. But do they really have to destroy fragile terrain by wildcatting off the trail?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be wood. You could soon stop riding on air.

And congratulations, Critical Massers. You’re now considered a radical left-wing group that bears watching.

 

 

Rail-to-River comes to South LA, important meeting in BH, and e-bikes to help the recently homeless

We finally made it.

As you can see, things look a little different around here.

Which is a clear sign this site finally made the transition to a new server, the first step in transitioning to an advertising supported bike news site.

There are still some bugs to work out, including the fact that links from the old site haven’t followed over to the new one yet, and visitors to the old site aren’t automatically transferred over here.

Meanwhile, the design is just temporary, an attempt to replicate the old look and feel while we work on the cool new site to come.

So bear with me while we work out the bugs, and build a whole new bigger and better BikinginLA.

And thanks to everyone for the kind words of support in recent days.

I’m definitely feeling the love.

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Big news from LA’s undiscovered country south of the I-10.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has joined with fellow Supervisor Gloria Molina to propose an 8.3 mile rail-to-trail conversion through the heart of South LA.

The proposed Rail-to-River trail would follow Slauson Avenue east from the future Crenshaw/LAX rail station in Inglewood to just north of Washington Blvd near the LA River. Which means that riders will finally have a direct off-road route from the LA River bike path most the way to the beach.

More importantly, bike riders — and potential riders — in one of LA’s most underserved areas will have a safe place to develop their skills and build a healthier lifestyle. And the county will turn an underutilized eyesore into an asset that could help revitalize the area.

What’s not to like?

The first meeting to discuss the trail will take place this Wednesday at the Los Angeles Academy Middle School, 644 E. 56th Street in Los Angeles.

Big thanks to Ridley-Thomas and Molina for bringing this to the table.

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The Cyclist Down Facebook page reports yet another hit-and-run in Downtown LA.

A Cyclist was injured in a Hit & Run early Sunday morning in DTLA.

The cyclist suffered injuries to his wrist and a broke his nose in two places.

The incident occurred around 1 am near 4th & Hill. Cyclist was knock unconscious and does not remember the incident and was transported to a local hospital.

No further details available at this time.

Hopefully, we can find the jerk who left yet another rider bleeding in the street.

In case you have noticed, I effing hate hit-and-run drivers.

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The Biking Grey Hole of Beverly Hills — upgraded from Black Hole thanks to some nice bike lanes on Burton Way — will host a meeting tonight to discuss the planned reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard through the city, including the possibility of bike lanes to fill the gap between lanes in Century City and West Hollywood.

The meeting will take place in the Municipal Gallery on the second floor of the Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 North Rexford Drive starting at 6 pm. If you ride through the city — or would if you felt safer on the streets — you owe it to yourself to be there.

Or at least voice your opinion on the comment page.

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I’m not one to simply repost a press release.

In fact, most never make it any further than the trash bin on my email account.

But I’m going to make an exception this one time. Because not only is the piece unusually well-written, but it tells the tale of a young man determined to make a difference.

And we could use a lot more like him.

bikeshareLOS ANGELES, CA, December 9, 2013 – Formerly homeless residents at two Los Angeles supportive housing projects will soon have wheels to get to jobs and job training, school, interviews, medical appointments, sober meetings, and gatherings with loved ones – courtesy of a teenage Eagle Scout candidate and competitive bicyclist.

Diego Binatena of Boy Scout Troop 927 in Westchester learned that the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), a bicycle advocacy group, was looking for a good home for 20 electric pedal-assist bicycles that were sitting unassembled in a warehouse due to the closure of a bicycle company.

“A bicycle is a terrible thing to waste,” joked Binatena, a Scout since first grade, a bicycle commuter and national-level competitive racing cyclist. More seriously, said the Playa del Rey teenager, he created “Cycle Forward BIKESHARE” as his Eagle Scout Service Project to put the LACBC bicycles to use as transportation for formerly homeless youth and men trying to improve their lives.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Binatena is aware of the effects of poverty and homelessness. His mother, Julie Lansing, is the administrator of a rent-subsidy housing program for low-income families and chronically homeless adults.

“Our dinner table conversations were often about the problems of homelessness and how our family could help with solutions,” said Binatena. “My mother had us participate in food drives, adopt-a-family, and fundraising events. She taught us that everyone who cares about people in need can make a difference in their lives.”

Binatena found his partners and beneficiaries for BIKESHARE at two Los Angeles transitional housing agencies: Jovenes, Inc, in Boyle Heights and PATH La Kretz Villas in East Hollywood. Jovenes focuses on helping at-risk men ages 18-25 years and PATH provides intensive supporting housing for 48 residents.

“Moving around the city is a tremendous challenge for our residents, and this bike sharing program will make a real difference,” said Eric Hubbard, Development Director for Jovenes, Inc.

Be Prepared

Binatena launched his project in September and quickly learned that for his project, the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” required hard work, money and friends. After consulting with bicycle advocates, he set a $25,000 budget for the project. Beyond the bikes donated by the LACBC, valued at $1,000 each, he needed bike racks, safety equipment, locks, commuter bags, and safe-cycling program materials.

With a polished Power Point presentation in hand, Binatena got agenda time at the Westchester/Playa and East Hollywood Neighborhood Councils and the Westchester Rotary Club. He left all three meetings with checks in his pocket. He got donations from the South Bay and Los Angeles Wheelmen Bicycle Clubs and the Southern California Gas Co. He successfully solicited bicycle accessories, and safety equipment from KHS Bicycles, Collision & Injury Dynamics, and Planet Bike. He recruited fellow Scouts and friends to assemble the bicycles and racks.

Three months after project launch, Binatena exceeded his goal: He collected $2,700 in donations and $2,300 worth of bicycle equipment.

“I was not prepared for such a positive reaction from everyone,” he said.

Hard work and persistence are not new to Binatena. Bicycle racing requires planning, preparation and focus – plus countless hours on the bike in training to compete at a high level, he said. After winning the 2013 California Junior State Road Championships and other elite races, he was recruited by the USA Cycling National Team to race in Europe against the best in the world.

When Cycle Forward “BIKESHARE” is rolling at PATH and Jovenes, Binatena will present his service project to the Eagle Board of Review to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

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Finally, maybe you missed the uproar over the weekend about the overly-litigious gang that couldn’t shoot straight, as Specialized threatened to sue a small Canadian bike shop that dared to use the name Roubaix, which Specialized claims to own but really doesn’t.

No offense to local bike shops who carry the brand. But it’s going to be a long time before I’ll be willing to buy anything bearing the Specialized S. Evidently, I’m not the only one.

And no, an apology won’t be enough.

Not this time.

A busy bike week, with a Brewery Ride, Sunday Funday, and fundraiser parties for CBC & CicLAvia

We’ve got busy week on the local bike front, and a long list of upcoming bike events.

But before we get started, one quick important note —

County Supervisor invites you to vote on a new configuration for Slauson Avenue — including one option that would bring bike lanes to the avenue (Option D, Alternative 1).

Not that I’d tell you how to vote, of course.

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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 Culver City Bicycle Coalition invites you for an easy ride with the city’s mayor at 8 am every Monday, starting at Syd Kronenthal Park, 3459 McManus Ave, at the east end of the Ballona Creek bike path.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, February 4th; this month’s edition will visit the Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village. Riders will meet at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park at 3 pm, with a 3:30 departure. Single speed beach cruisers are available to rent for $20, which should give you an idea of the pace.

This month’s edition the LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday rides rolls to the legendary Watts Tower this Sunday, February 5th. The Sea to Towers Sunday Funday Ride will combine efforts with the LA Wheelmen and Beach Cities Cycling Club, hosted by LACBC and Wheelmen member David Nakai. The ride meets at 8 am at Dock 52 in Marina del Rey, and offers your choice of a relatively flat 39 mile ride or a more challenging 49-miler. The rides will meet up with a third group for an easy 10 mile ride to the towers and back starting at 10 am from Jesse Owens Park.

The LACBC Planning Committee will talk streets and infrastructure from 7 to 9 pm Tuesday, Feb. 8th at the Pitfire Pizza on the corner of 2nd and Main in Downtown L.A. Correction: The LACBC Planning Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, not the first. However, that is Valentine’s Day this month, we will not be meeting that night.

Head to Silverlake on Wednesday, Feb. 8th from 7 to 9 pm for BikeUP! LA, a free benefit for the California Bicycle Coalition at the Living Room, 3551 West Sunset Blvd, to help make L.A. more bikable by making real changes in Sacramento. Guests include CBC Executive Director Dave Snyder, L.A. City Council Member Tom LaBonge, and representatives from the office of Council Member and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and the LACBC. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

This Friday, February 10th, CicLAvia will host a Valentine’s Party from 7 to 10 pm at Atwater Crossing, 3245 Casitas Avenue. They promise music, speed dating — open to all genders and orientations, raffle, auction and a photo booth, with food and drinks for sale. Admission is free, but bring money for food and drinks and all the fun stuff.

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with 34th Annual Chinatown Firecracker Ride and Run on Saturday, February 11th (Ride) and Sunday, February 12 (Run). Say you were referred by the LACBC (go ahead, I won’t tell) and they’ll donate $7 to the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition, which will provide a bike valet for the event.

The monthly Spoke(n)Art Ride will take place at 6 pm on Saturday, February 11th, departing from the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park. Single speed beach cruisers are available to rent for $20.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition will host a fundraiser the day after Valentines Day, February 15th, from 4 to 7 pm at Joxer Daly’s, 11168 Washington Blvd.

The Watts Towers will be a popular destination in February as one of L.A.’s favorite cyclists leads a ride to the iconic artworks. Will Campbell’s Watts Happening Ride 2012 will start at 9 am on February 18th at the Happy Foot/Sad Foot at the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard & Benton Way in Silver Lake, and explore landmark people, places and events in, to and from South L.A. If you don’t know Will, few people know more unofficial L.A. bikeways or fascinating tidbits and trivia about unexplored corners of the City of Angeles. Highly recommended.

Flying Pigeon will host a reception for Stephen Rea, author of Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling With the Stars on Saturday, February 18th from 7 to 10 pm at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park. Vegetarian-friendly food and drink will be available.

The City of Los Angeles will be hosting a series of four Mobility Think Lab Workshops to help solve the city’s mobility problems, on Saturday, February 25th and Saturday, March 3rd in Van Nuys, L.A. and Pacoima.

The draft bike plan for the County of Los Angeles will face a hearing by the county Board of Supervisors in a public session at 9:30 am on February 28th, in Room 381B of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street Downtown.

You’re invited to train with the Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling team at their official winter training camp March 2nd through 4th in Paso Robles; the cost is a mere $3,000.

Sunday, March 4th, there will be a memorial for Carol Schreder, the Hollywood writer/producer killed while riding on Mulholland Highway last December. The memorial will be held at the Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, starting at noon.

Also on Sunday the 4th, the LACBC rolls out it’s first Tour de Taste, offering an easy, guided 12 mile bike ride along Ballona Creek, as well as food and drinks from some of the area’s best restaurants. The event kicks off at Media Park at the corner of Culver and Venice Blvds starting at 10 am, with rides departing every hour. Cost is $65 for LACBC members and $95 for non-members, with discounted membership and ticket available for $120 (pro tip — become an LACBC member before the 4th and save $20); all proceeds go to create a more bikable Los Angeles.

If you enjoyed the last CicLAvia, you’ll love the next one on Tax Day, April 15th from 10 am to 3 pm; the route will follow the same expanded course as last October’s.

The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th.

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; more details to come.

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