Tag Archive for Dr. Michael Cahn

Morning Links: Lecture on 1890s French bike art, last day for Metro Bike Share survey, and don’t lock up to trees

This Wednesday, long-time Santa Monica bike advocate and UCLA/Cambridge lecturer Dr. Michael Cahn will conduct a free lecture on the 1890’s bicycle art of Jean de Paleologu.

Here’s how he describes the talk, titled Ladies Cycling in the Night Sky.

On Wednesday February 8th I will show some pictures and say a few word about Ladies Cycling in the Night Sky, as popularized by Jean de Paleologu (PAL) around 1890. He started a trend in France that associated the bicycle with female figures flying in the wind. A striking visual discourse which is still alive on the occasional wine label.

Yet the image of those night cyclists is very distant from the concern with bloomers and rational dress that dominates the English speaking cycling scene for women during the same period.

And how does it all connect with an old Greek statute found on the island of Samothrace ?

All welcome to join us for this lecture on the history cycling, imaginary and otherwise.

UCLA, Public Policy, Room 1222 11:00 – 12:15

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Local

Today’s the last day to take the Metro Bike Share survey, and maybe win a free prize pack.

The Daily News says Southern California is in the grips of a diabetes crisis. The same Vision Zero street improvements that can help eliminate traffic deaths can help prevent even more deaths from diabetes, heart disease and stroke by encouraging more people to get out and walk or ride their bikes.

A Pasadena father takes his two young kids bike riding at Cogswell Dam in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Malibu now has $38.5 million to pay for 12 safety improvement projects on PCH, some of which have already been completed, including bike route improvements. However, no one seems to be talking about the most important safety improvement — transforming PCH from a speed-focused highway ferrying people through the city without stopping, into the city’s Main Street.

 

State

The president of Irvine-based Felt says the company is a perfect match with new parent Rossignol.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments will consider spending $10 million on bike and pedestrian projects following one of the deadliest years for pedestrians. Then again, it wasn’t great for bicyclists, either.

Caught on video: San Francisco bicyclists continue to fall on the city’s 17th Street streetcar tracks, despite repeated promises from the city to do something about it.

 

National

Cities around the country are turning to bicycle paramedic teams to improve response times and save lives, according to the Washington Post; LA bike paramedics were among the first emergency crews to reach Carrie Fisher on the ground after she suffered a heart attack while landing at LAX.

Registration is open for the 32nd annual Ride the Rockies, a seven day, 447 mile bike tour through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

Heartbreaking letter in a Topeka newspaper from a father calling for stiffer penalties for killer drivers, recounting the bicycling death of his own son 28 years earlier.

Needless to say, Minneapolis bicyclists aren’t exactly thrilled with a proposed bill that would require bicyclists to complete an educational program, pass a test and pay a fee just to use the city’s bike lanes. As we’ve noted before, the effect of the law would just be that bike lanes would go unused while riders risk their safety riding in the traffic lanes next to them.

Bicycling Magazine looks at how Boston and Atlanta compare when it comes to bikes, concluding Atlanta edges Boston out in overtime. Which is just the opposite of how the football game came out.

There’s something seriously wrong when an 80-year old Florida grandmother has to sacrifice her own life to save her friend from a hit-and-run driver.

Key West FL considers a road diet on a busy four-lane main drag, converting it to two lanes with bike lanes.

 

International

Toronto’s bike-hating columnist is back at it again, citing 211 bicyclists using a bike lane on a cold January morning as proof that no one uses it during the winter. Except for the 211 people who used it, of course. Then gets in a snit when bike riders refuse to interrupt their commutes to pull over to talk to him. Maybe he’d have better luck getting drivers on their way to work to pull over and chat. Or not.

London is averaging one collision a day between bike riders and pedestrians, an increase of 47% over the last seven years. Which really isn’t much in a crowded city of 8.6 million people, although a better number would be zero. Unfortunately, you can’t control what pedestrians do, but you can control where and how you ride, and always slow down and ride carefully around people on foot.

A Scottish woman is back on her bike just twelve weeks after a double lung transplant.

There’s more than one kind of distracted driving. A British driver gets a whole 20 weeks — yes, weeks — for killing a grandfather out for a bike ride when she turned around for a “split-second” to yell at her kids for throwing popcorn.

British bicycling groups welcome police going undercover on bikes to catch drivers passing dangerously close.

Stockholm sees a 45% reduction in children’s asthma attacks after instituting congestion pricing.

In a brilliant move, Spain will impose special temporary speed limits on popular riding routes at peak cycling times to protect bike riders. That would be like dropping speed limits on PCH to 30 mph on Saturday mornings. Which isn’t a bad idea.

An Aussie writer takes a self-guided tour through Slovenia, and finds more adventure than she expected.

New Delhi bike riders have to contend with a lack of cycle tracks, traffic congestion and bad road design, despite the highest number of bike trips in India.

A retired Indian general is riding his bicycle 7,500 miles across India to honor all the soldiers who have lost their lives since the country gained independence in 1947.

An Indian tsunami survivor hasn’t seen her parents in four years. And doesn’t expect to see them for at least another three, as she focuses on competing in track cycling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A former Australian elite track cyclist has her career cut short by a horrific series of experimental surgeries.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re carrying burglary tools on your bike and ghost riding another bicycle at two in the morning, put some damn lights on it. It doesn’t take a prince to push his fiancé’s vintage bicycle, just a soon-to-be royalty-in-law.

And this is why you don’t lock your bike to a tree.

 

Update: Santa Monica takes a big step forward in becoming truly bike friendly

Yesterday, I saw the blue screen of death.

No matter what I tried — and as an experienced Apple Computer user, I tried everything —I couldn’t revive my laptop. Then suddenly, on its own, it came back to life after being dead for over two hours.

I can only assume that my computer is now among the silicon undead. And that this is the beginning of the long-dreaded Mac zombie apocalypse, as hordes of hip, user-friendly computers will soon by crawling through the streets in search of brains.

Or maybe processors.

So while I spent my evening in the local Apple Store, where my Mac inexplicably got a clean bill of health, other cyclists were storming Santa Monica City Hall to protest a bike licensing law that had been used more as a punishment for cyclists than as a means of recovering lost or stolen bikes. And with a penalty that far exceeded the $10 maximum allowed by state law.

By all accounts, they were remarkably successful.

According to LACBC-associate Santa Monica Spoke, the council voted to continue the current bike licensing program on a free, voluntary basis — which means no one, resident or not, will get a ticket for not having a license.

And that, as Gary points out, neither he nor anyone else will be a criminal any more.

The city will also work with cyclists to establish an alternative registration program that is more focused on actually recovering bikes — and preventing theft to begin with. Ideally, they would work with the LAPD and City of Los Angeles, as well as the county and other cities in the area to come up with a regional solution, since bike thieves seldom confine themselves to a single jurisdiction.

Spoke and UCLA Bicycle Academy member Dr. Michael Cahn offered a detailed report on last night’s meeting.

Tonight the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to discontinue the Bicycle License Ordinance, to allow free registration for an interim period until staff develops an alternative plan (based on collaboration with SMPD and Bicycle Community) on how to do the right thing: to facilitate return of lost bikes and reduce theft. YEAH!

Great outcome, much shaking of hands and expressions of good intentions. Speakers tonight were Richard McKinnon, Michael Brodski, Gary Kavanagh, “Per Se,” and myself. Councilor Kevin McKeown reported on his romantic childhood attachment to bicycle licenses, and it transpired during the meeting that evidently for some years in the past he must have been one of the very few owners of a valid license. Mayor Bloom told the story how he bought a bike at a police auction for 2 dollars when he was so small that the auctioneer could not see his raised hand, being just a little boy.

Thanks everybody for making this possible! A great foundation for our future work as SPOKE. Thanks to everybody, bloggers, speakers, email writers, well wishers, and meeting room searchers ! The city council has heard us and extended us a hand. Now we need to grasp this hand and move along. Calmly and determined.

Watch it tomorrow by clicking here, (select agenda item 7B).

Well done Santa Monica Spoke, well done everybody!

Let me add my own thanks to everyone involved in getting this law changed, including the Spoke’s Cynthia Rose and Bikeside’s Mihai Peteu, both of whom are rapidly climbing the list of the area’s leading bike activists.

And thanks the officials in Santa Monica, who came to the meeting with an open mind and clearly listened to the concerns of cyclists.

And that, in my book, is the single most important feature of any bike-friendly city.

.………

Another day, another front in the battle to make the coastal area friendlier to bike riders and other humans, as LADOT and the LACBC make the case for a road diet to transform Venice’s Main Street in a more Complete Street that will benefit everyone, as opposed to just cut-through drivers. Both groups will present to the Venice Neighborhood Council tonight in an effort to get everyone onboard and avoid the silly and unnecessary controversy that followed the Valley’s Wilbur Ave road diet. Cyclists are urged to attend to show your support; the meeting begins at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.

.………

Lance Armstrong remains confident and defiant despite a grand jury investigation into allegations of doping on his semi-federally funded U.S. Postal Team; on the other hand, it’s hard to make the argument that he defrauded the government when it spent $32 million in sponsorship but received over $100 million in value? A UCI committee member calls for a 2-year ban for TdF champ Alberto Contador. And Floyd “I was lying then but I’m telling the truth now, really” Landis calls it a day.

.………

LADOT’s Bike Program launches Twitter and Facebook accounts. A 70-year old cyclist was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Arcadia. Last week, someone wrote me looking for a bike to rent; next time, I might have a better suggestion. Hearings for the South Bay Bike Plan continue this week, including tonight in Hermosa Beach. Cyclists argue for Class 1 bike paths on the rebuilt Gerald Desmond bridge. The Claremont Cyclist notes the 40th anniversary of the death of Ireland’s first great international cycling champ. Where else can you bike and ride the rails to the slopes? Sonoma confronts the classic battle of bike lanes verses parking. A Martinez CA judge denies a defense request to exclude vital evidence against a driver charged with the hit-and-run homicide of a local cyclist. Response to the Levi’s GranFondo was so great, it crashed the servers on the first day of registration. Ross del Duca — author of one of California’s best bike blogs — adds his own thoughts on bike licensing.

Elly Blue asks what it means to ride responsibly. You may be insured on your bike after all. The makers of a new brake pad promise an end to endos. Lane markings can warn cyclists while also welcoming us to the road. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords spent her last night before the shooting on her bike. An Oregon state legislator survives the slings and arrows of bike activists after calling for a ban on carrying children in, on or around a bike. Washington continues to move forward with Vulnerable User and Complete Streets laws. Virginia’s proposed reckless cycling law could be ripe for abuse. An NYC councilman says cyclists brought his licensing proposal on themselves, while the anti-bike debate goes on. One of the astronauts scheduled for next month’s space shuttle flight is injured in a bike accident. Why you should be proud to ride like a girl.

An Ottawa cyclist says if bike lanes ghettoize cyclists, then by all means, ghettoize her. A 67-year old Gloucestershire cyclist is killed when she’s hit by a van & trailer while on a club ride. Aussie cyclist Amber Halliday is critically injured after crashing in a Down Under tour women’s crit.

Finally, at least one car manufacturer gets it, as Kia says why own the road when you can share it?

Casually reclaiming the streets of Santa Monica

There are lots of ways to reclaim the streets.

Monday night, Santa Monica showed one way, hosting a public community meeting to discuss the city’s Bicycle Action Plan and improved access for riders throughout L.A.’s immediate neighbor to the west; Wednesday morning we’ll have a guest post from Eric Weinstein reporting on what happened there.

Meanwhile, biking advocate and UCLA lecturer Dr. Michael Cahn demonstrates another by turning a bayside side street into a casual celebratory spot.

The former LACBC board member, founding member of the Santa Monica Spoke and a leader of the UCLA Bicycle Academy invites you to join him in celebrating his birthday with a sidewalk potluck Wednesday, December 15th — today, in other words, unless you happen to read this in the next 20 minutes — from noon to three pm at 507 Washington Ave in Santa Monica; RSVP velocipedus@gmail.com.

I may just put my boxes down for a bit and drop by myself.

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