Tag Archive for Encino Velodrome

Conservative writer says pry his truck out of his cold dead hands, and crowdfunding for new Encino Velodrome lights

Um, okay.

A writer for a conservative website accuses car-hating liberals of wanting to take everyone’s cars away because they hate freedom.

No, really.

If there is one thing liberals hate more than guns, it’s automobiles, and not because of the climate; our vehicles are scorned by the Left because they free the individual to go anywhere he or she chooses.

In a word, privately owned cars and trucks equal F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

That’s why, in the same spirit as Charlton Heston once warned the gun grabbers, I now notify today’s successors to what Car & Driver‘s Brock Yates famously called the Anti-Destination League that they will have to pry my cold, dead hands off the steering wheel before they get me out of my pickup.

Never mind that the ongoing burden of car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance represents the exact opposite of freedom, as far too many Americans have to work just to keep a shiny hunk of metal and glass parked in their driveways.

The purpose of encouraging alternative forms of transportation isn’t to force anyone out of their cars — let alone take them away.

It’s to provide people with viable alternatives to driving, so they have the freedom to to travel however they choose, rather than forcing them into the tyranny of car ownership as the cost of getting from here to there.

Which you’d think any real conservative would understand.


The sadly neglected Encino Velodrome, a 50-year old open-air treasure nestled in Balboa Park, is raising funds for a much-needed upgrade to the current dilapidated lighting system.

The facility, which has seen bigger and better days — and was nearly home to the track cycling events in the ’84 LA Olympics — has raised just $1,498 of the modest $20,000 goal.

We could easily get them over the top in the next few days with a little support from the city’s bicycling community.


That’s more like it.

California may call surfing the official state sport, and three states claim rodeo.

But only Delaware names bicycling as the state’s official sport. Which raises the inevitable question of why the hell don’t we all live there?


Streets For All is hosting my state senator for their next virtual happy hour one week from today.


Cincinnati’s newly elected mayor one-ups New York’s new mayor, who took a bikeshare bike to his second day at work, by riding the city’s bikeshare to his inauguration.


Now this is art.



CicLAvia recaps last month’s South LA event, calling it a view to LA’s open streets future.



Sad news from California’s San Joaquin Valley, where a Bakersfield man was killed when a driver crashed into his bike yesterday. And a 69-year old man was killed in a Fresno hit-and-run when a truck driver swerved onto the shoulder where the man was riding, and left him there to die alone in the street.

On a happier note, a San Francisco dad is taking advantage of the city’s carfree and slow streets to form a bike bus to get kids riding to school, with pent-up demand quickly swelling it to several dozen bike-riding children.



Forbes recommends cold weather gear to help keep you riding throughout the winter. Just in case you live somewhere where the weather actually gets, you know, cold.

JBL’s new handlebar-mounted speakers are perfect for your next bike party, or when you just want to annoy everyone else around you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old man relates his own history with ebikes, while walking you through everything you need to know to keep up with him on one of your own.

The founder of Bike Index details his investigation that helped uncover a Colorado bike theft ring that funneled hot high-end bicycles to a bike shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for resale at slightly less than their actual value. Yet another reminder to sign up for free lifetime registration with Bike Index today.

Sad news from Iowa, where a longtime mainstay of the annual RAGBRAI mass ride across the state has passed away at 94; she participated in the ride for nearly 30 years, starting when she was 65 and continuing into her 90s.

After watching it deteriorate for a couple years, a Brooklyn writer rescues a rare 1998 Litespeed softail titanium mountain bike that was in the process of slowly being stolen, one piece at a time.

North Carolina has given away over 30,000 kids bike helmets over the past five years, funded by the state’s Share the Road specialty license plates.



This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British driver has been busted for distracted driving nine times over the past four years, but was still allowed to keep driving. Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous driver on the road.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to tour Edinburgh on two wheels, calling the city surprisingly easy to bike despite its ancient streets and undulating topography.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a van driver was fined the equivalent of less than $750 for knocking a man off his bicycle, fracturing bones throughout his body and leaving him unable to move for two months.

A new study from Zurich, Switzerland shows that shared ebikes and scooters may not be as eco-friendly as we were led to believe.

Commercial cargo bikes are changing the look of German streets.

A Cypriot woman was arrested for injuring a bike-riding woman while driving at six times the legal alcohol limit — before 9 am.

Bike riders in Hyderabad, India are calling for major safety improvements to make the city bike friendly after a man was run down by a drunk driver while riding with three companions.

A new Chinese bike cam system combines a front headlight, rear taillight with brake light, and an action cam into a single unit.


Competitive Cycling

Argentina’s early season Vuelta a San Juan has been cancelled for the second year in a row, courtesy of our old buddy Covid-19.

Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to ‘cross. But I don’t think this is supposed to happen.




Zwift’s virtual Tron Bike could soon be coming to a real world near you. Your next ebike could be powered by hydrogen. And pedals, of course.

And you’ll now have to put a headlight on your ass to ride it in the roadway after dark.


Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Encino Velodrome robbed again; Urban Rangers ramble along the L.A. River Thursday

Seriously, it take a real a**hole to steal from the Encino Velodrome.

Having just been there for the LACBC board meeting last month, I can tell you these are great people offering a real service to local cyclists and scraping by on a shoestring. And they deserve a hell of a lot better than this.

If you can afford to make a donation, they could use the help to recover from this latest break-in — yes, this is the second time its happened this year. Or if your business or foundation is looking a great sponsorship opportunity, the Velodrome desperately needs a new track, among other much needed improvements.

So keep your eyes open for the missing items. And if you know who did this, don’t let these jerks get away with it.


A few upcoming events that didn’t arrive in time for last weekend’s update:

The L.A. Urban Rangers are hosting a free L.A. River Ramble this Thursday from 7 to 10 pm starting at Downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); water and sturdy shoes — or better yet, a bike — are strongly recommended.

Make your plans for the Moving Beyond Cars: Getting There is Half the Fun Party from 7 to 10 pm Thursday, August 11th at the Architecture and Design Museum at 6032 Wilshire Blvd; tickets are $5 for students, $10 for the rest of us.

And L.A.-based urban cycling attire maker Swrve will host an art opening in their new Glassell Park location from 7 – 10 on Saturday.


The Beverly Hills Traffic and Parking Commission meets Thursday to discuss everything they’re not doing to support cycling. Get your official Bikes vs Jet t-shirt; meanwhile, it looks like someone else is going to win that Streetsblog T-shirt, dammit. LADOT attempts to address the concerns of local residents regarding the planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard. The LACBC’s City of Lights partners with LA Conservation Corp to work for more bike lanes in South L.A. The LAPD responds to an uptick in Downtown bike collisions by urging cyclists and drivers to get along. Santa Monica Spoke invites you to get a first look at the city’s new Bicycle Action Plan. Culver City works to connect downtown to the new Expo station. A call for cycle tracks in Eagle Rock. The SoCal cross season is coming up. The Business Journal asks if it’s time to apply the brakes to L.A.’s car culture; I’d say that’s my favorite headline of the week, but it’s still early. A nice profile of the owner of Stan’s Monrovia Bicycles. Now that Lindsey Lohan is riding a bike, there may be hope for her yet. An 18-year old Riverside cyclist is critically injured for the second time this year. If Sacramento lags behind even L.A. in bike safety, riding there must seriously suck. A 71-year old Davis cyclist is killed after being hit by two separate vehicles. Pleasanton employs new microwave traffic signal detectors to improve bike safety. We all have to share the road, so be nice about it.

People for Bikes thanks you for your support of federal bike funding, and says hold on for what’s next. Wearing regular clothes when you ride as a radical statement; why all this focus lately on what to wear? Just get out on your bike and wear whatever the hell you want. Seriously. One of the better stories I’ve seen on how to ride safely. How to take your bike on a train. Adjusting your lifestyle to ride in the summer heat. The six best cities for a bike vacation. Famed ex-framebuilder Dave Moulton offers a fascinating look at some unique bike designs. The good news is, he’s going to be okay; former NFL quarterback Joey Harrington is hit by a car, suffering a broken collarbone, broken rib and punctured lung. The death of a Seattle cyclist leads to calls for local jurisdictions to have more control over their own speed limits, although other voices blame those damn bike lanes for stressing drivers. Two years home detention for killing an Indiana bike cop. The Duluth News Tribune says you have a right to the road, regardless of what some drivers think. New York road fatalities are at an all-time low, while cycling is at an all-time high; coincidence? Blake Lively and Leonardo DiCaprio salmon through New York. Comparing cycling in Amsterdam to New Amsterdam; I like the fact that Dutch drivers are taught to open their car doors with their right hands, forcing them to check their blind spots. A road rage driver caught on helmet cam faces a whopping $250 fine and 30 days in jail.

Looking for the next Raul Alcala nearly 25 years later; easily one of the most exciting racers I’ve ever seen. Flying Pigeon L.A. has some left coast competition. Toronto cyclists protest plans to rip out some of the city’s bike lanes. When it comes to electric cars, the UK may be backing the wrong horse. A drunk cyclist escapes jail time for colliding with a pedestrian and breaking her skull. A road raging driver threatens to hit a Brit cyclist. A historic London velodrome will survive for another century. Learn to build bikes — and give them away. Looks like cyclists in the UK have the same right to take the lane that we do, and the same problems doing it. A UK driver faces charges in the death of an Olympic cycling prospect. Five things a Brit rider hates about cycling. Philippe Gilbert thinks sweeping most of this year’s classics should earn him a little respect as his Omega Pharma teams announces plans to merge with Quick Step.

Finally, swapping your car for a bike could put you in the money. Especially if you’re in the habit of parking it in the bike lane in Vilnius, Lithuania; thanks to Greg Whitman and John Stesny for the links.

And thanks to EcoVelo for putting the relatively low risk of bicycling in clear perspective.

Agoura Bicycle John’s celebration today, no BPIT this week, and Brentwood Grand Prix Saturday

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.

Saturday, July 30th, the Bicycle John’s in Agoura Hills hosts their 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation & Le Tour Celebration with a 20 mile social ride, pre-ride events and registration and post-ride BBQ, auction and prizes, including manufacturer reps and leaders from the local cycling community. It takes place from 3 pm to 9 pm at 29041 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Agoura Hills, with the ride scheduled from 4 pm to 6 pm.

The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting previously scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd has been rescheduled for October; meetings will now be held on a quarterly basis.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee holds it’s bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd — not Tuesday, as usual — at 7 pm at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, August 6th at 3 pm; followed by Spoken(n)Art Ride at 6 pm on August 13th at 6 pm, and the popular Get Sum Dim Sum Ride at 10 am on Sunday, August 21st. All rides meet at Flying Pigeon Bike Shop, 3714 North Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

West L.A.’s annual Brentwood Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, August 7th on San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood; races start at 7 am and run through 4 pm.

Also on Sunday, August 7th, the LACBC hosts the monthly Sunday Funday ride; this month’s edition explores the self-proclaimed America’s Most Bike-Friendly City with the Long Beach Family Fun Ride hosted by Board Member Steve Boyd. The easy, family-friendly ride is open to LACBC members and a guest; discount memberships are available at the ride. The ride assembles at Del Valle Park, 5939 Henrilee Street in Lakewood at 9:30 am, with the ride starting at 10 am.

Sunday, August 14th from 1 to 3 pm, American Legion Auxillary Post 817 is hosting a BBQ and raffle at 13553 Reedley St, Van Nuys. Just $2.50 a plate gets you a choice of burger, hot dog, chicken or hot link, including chips and potato salad; full bar will be available for an additional price. 100% of the BBQ proceeds will benefit Ride2Recovery, a program to help injured veterans overcome the obstacles they face through bicycling.

The Encino Velodrome hosts the Encino 6 Hour Race on Saturday, August 20th at 17301 Oxnard Street, at the edge of Balboa Park in Encino. Gates open at 10 am; race day registration is at 11 am and racing starts at noon.

Tuesday, August 30th, Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse will host a benefit night for Streetsblog LA from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm; a portion of all food and drink purchases will benefit Streetsblog; 2911 Main Street. Events will include a raffle, drink specials and possibly a bike valet.

The 2011 Far West and SCNCA Elite Track Cycling Championships come to the Encino Velodrome on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th at 17301 Oxnard Street, at the edge of Balboa Park in Encino. Gates open at 8 am; racing starts at 9 both days.

Mark your calendar for L.A.’s Ultimate Bike Weekend, as the 2011 L.A. edition of the Tour de Fat comes to town on Saturday, October 8th, followed by the next CicLAvia on Sunday, October 9th, offering an expanded route taking participants another 2.5 miles into Boyle Heights.

Finally, the LACBC’s award-winning City of Lights program will host their 2nd Annual City of Lights Awards/Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, October 27th from 6 to 11 pm at CARECEN HQ, 2845 W 7th Street. Tickets will be available for $45 later this year.

Paramount Grand Prix, Eat Real, LA Anti-Harassment Ordinance and LACBC at Encino Velodrome

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

It’s the Carmageddon grudge match of the century as L.A.’s own Wolfpack Hustle takes on Jet Blue on Saturday, July 16th. Follow along online as five cyclists race passengers Joe Anthony and Erza Horne on a Jet Blue flight from Burbank to Long Beach to see who can arrive at the Light House in Shoreline Aquatic Park first. The action starts at 10:50 am near Cahuenga and Chandler in North Hollywood, and is expected to conclude between 1:15 and 1:30 pm. Follow along on the Twitter hashtag #FlightVsBike, or a live tracking GPS courtesy of L.A. Streetsblog; rumor has it there may be a party afterwards.

The LACBC invites you to join them in a free guided ride to the Eat Real Festival in Culver City this Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th. The ride meets at 10:30 am both days at the corner of Western Ave and Wilshire Blvd, and commences promptly at 11. The Festival will take place from 10:30 am to 9 pm both days at the historic Helms Bakery District, 8800 Venice Blvd. A bike valet will be available courtesy of the Bikerowave and the Culver City Bicycle Coalition from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday.

The Paramount Grand Prix takes place this Sunday, July 17th, with the first race starting at 7:30 am and the last race starting at 3:40 pm; registration takes place at the intersection of S. Broadwick and Paulhan Streets in Rancho Dominguez.

L.A.’s groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance comes up for a final vote before the full City Council on Wednesday, July 20th, at L.A. City Hall, 200 North Main Street. The session starts at 10 am, item #19 on the agenda. Cyclists are encouraged to attend and show their support.

Later that same day, Wednesday, July 20th, the LACBC Board of Directors will hold their monthly meeting at the Encino Velodrome, 17301 Oxnard Street in Encino, beginning at 6:30 pm. The meeting is open to the public; your opportunity to meet the board members, learn what the LACBC is doing and express your interests and concerns about bicycling throughout Los Angeles County. And yes, I’ll be there.

Also on Wednesday the 20th, Global Green and the Santa Monica Transportation Department are co-hosting a community forum on bringing bike share to Santa Monica. The meeting takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Santa Monica Civic Center, 1855 Main Street.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Get Sum Dim Sum Ride on Sunday, July 17th at 10 am; the ride meets at Flying Pigeon Bike Shop, 3714 North Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

West L.A.’s annual Brentwood Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, August 7th on San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood; races start at 7 am and run through 4 pm.

Tuesday, August 30th, Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse will host a benefit night for Streetsblog LA; 5% of all food and drink purchases will benefit Streetsblog; 2911 Main Street.

Mark your calendar for L.A.’s Ultimate Bike Weekend, as the 2011 L.A. edition of the Tour de Fat comes to town on Saturday, October 8th, followed by the next CicLAvia on Sunday, October 9th, offering an expanded route taking participants another 2.5 miles into Boyle Heights.

Finally, the LACBC’s City of Lights Program will host their 2nd Annual City of Lights Awards/Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, October 27th from 6 to 11 pm at CARECEN HQ, 2845 W 7th Street. Tickets will be available for $45 later this year.

Encino Velodrome robbed; defending bike lanes from ill-considered online attacks

Thieves gained entry by tearing off roof; photos from Encino Velodrome Facebook page

Move these guys to the top of your list of schmucks who should be caught.

Over the weekend, two or more thieves burglarized and vandalized the Encino Velodrome, a non-profit organization that has served SoCal cyclists for over 50 years.

According to the Velodome’s Facebook page, the thieves peeled back the roof to steal Vittoria Diamante Pro Clincher Tires, as well as Pearl Izumi and Shimano cycling shoes. And trashed the office, spray painted a scooter and left a half-assed tag on a wall.

Do you recognize the work of this artistically impaired tagger?

So be on the lookout for anyone trying to sell those items. Or if you recognize the tag, contact the police right away. And get that loser some art lessons.

And if you happen to have a few extra bucks laying around, or a few free hours, I’m sure they could use a little help to patch the place back up.


Bike lanes cost $5,000 to $60,000 a mile, while freeways cost $8 million to $65 million — not including maintenance costs. So why not tear down unnecessary freeways and use the money more efficiently?

Speaking of bike lanes, evidently, the New Yorker’s John Cassidy supports bike lanes except when he doesn’t. And he keeps digging himself in deeper, while high profile bloggers and economists around the world call his bluff; some even compare him Tea Party tactics and Gothamist offers a good refutation.

A similar argument is taking place right here in L.A., as local bloggers are high critical of a poorly thought-out anti-bike lane screed from a local university professor who probably should have stuck with her field of expertise. Examined Spoke offers a much needed reality check, while Damien Newton provides a point-by-point refutation for future reference.

Meanwhile, Rick Risemberg explains what L.A.’s bikeway options are, while new bike lanes manifest on Woodman Ave in the Valley.


Tony Martin of HTC – Highroad takes the Race to the Sun and Radioshack’s Andreas Kloden finishes second. Pro cyclists prepare to boycott the Tour of Beijing — yes, there is one — in a dispute over race radios, while European federations support the ban. And banned cyclist Riccardo Ricco gives up cycling to become a bartender; don’t let the door hit you, dude.


Help preserve the Wilbur Ave road diet Tuesday evening. LACBC wraps up a report on last week’s National Bike Summit — as does its South Bay affiliate. Bringing back L.A.’s former main street. As long as you’re going to CicLAvia, might as well race over 10 of the city’s toughest hills first; or you could wait another year and tackle the steepest climb in town. CicLAvia is looking for designers and/or developers for a new website. With a little work, a bad buy becomes a great bike. Mark your calendar for Good Sam’s Blessing of the Bicycles on May 17th; while you’re there, you can check out the Bike Wrangler space across the street. Photos from Saturday’s Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day parade. This St. Paddy’s Day, try biking to the bar — but beware BUI. Long Beach celebrates its 103-year old tricycle riding resident.

Danae Miller faces up to 10 years in prison for killing Amine Britel in Newport Beach while allegedly drunk and texting. A new OC park offers cyclists stunning views. The Excutive Director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition steps down, so they’re looking for a replacement; hey, I’m available. Over 4,200 cyclists tackle the windy Solvang Century. A NorCal cyclist sees her life change after suffering a brain injury in a collision with another cyclist. Cyclelicious points out the Road Rage Psalm, which promises that evildoers in their evil devices will be cut off; evidently, God really is on our side.

Speaking at the Bike Summit, NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says the movement is unstoppable. A Tucson fast food joint is ordered to replace bike parking it removed for a DVD stand. If biking is going to succeed, we need to make it work for everyone — including women. If you want change, try writing a letter. Seventeen times more Americans die climbing stairs than riding bikes every year, so why the scaremongering tactics about helmet use?

Evidently, you don’t have to dress up like traffic cone after all. Courtesy of Witch on a Bicycle, a UK woman is injured when someone strings a wire across a bike path; I’d call that an assault, not a prank. Bike Radar looks at the author of London Cyclist, one of my favorite bike sites. The Flying Scotsman launches a bike safety program for Scottish children. Bike historian David Herlihy’s next book will focus on early TdF winner Octave Lapiz, shot down on Bastille Day while flying for the French in WWI. A review of the Bike Revolution registration program, launching soon here in the U.S. Tokyo commuters turn to bikes as other transportation options fail.

Finally, the Eastsider offers the story of a man who lost his wallet — and the fixie-riidng teenager who brought it back intact. And while we have our problems, there are some things we don’t have to worry about here.