Tag Archive for Los Angeles National Cemetery

Weekend Links: CicLAvia videos, safer VA passage, more Coronado madness, and a busy bike weekend

Let’s start the weekend with a few videos.

First up is a moving piece about a legally blind photographer experiencing his first CicLAvia. Bruce Hall not only rode a bike, accompanied by professional cyclist Damon Roberson, but captured the day in a series of beautiful photos.

Which brings up this this short film that captures the magic of the Culver City Meets Venice CicLAvia earlier this year.

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If you ever wondered why some people think cyclists are crazy, semi-suicidal scofflaws, this should answer the question.

Of course, the problem comes when they witness the actions of one rider, or even a few, and decide that all people on bikes are like that.

Which is a pretty good metaphor for a lot of what’s going on in the world these days.

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You only have until Monday to offer comments on the draft master plan for Veterans Administration campus in West LA.

While that may not seem like something that would affect cyclists, many riders use the VA grounds as a safe alternative to virtually unridable Wilshire Blvd; for decades, it was my preferred passageway on the way to the coast.

And as others have pointed out, safety could be dramatically improved for both bicyclists and pedestrians by reopening the gates to the Los Angeles National Cemetery just across the street, and allowing non-motorized traffic to use the roadway that passes between Westwood and the VA, just as they did prior to 9/11.

Here’s my take on it from a few years back.

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The collective madness continues in Coronado, where a letter writer somehow manages to tie the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, KPBS public radio and the Late, Late Show’s James Corden into a single grand conspiracy to besmirch their isthmus with bike lanes.

Note to Coronado: It doesn’t take a conspiracy to make you look like fools; you’re doing a damn good job of it on your own.

At least there’s one voice of sanity.

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Today is Global Fat Tire Day. So what are you doing to celebrate?

Here’s one suggestion.

fattire_l

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Get him to the Greek, where the SoCalCross Prestige Series brings the CACX District Championship Weekend to the Greek Theater in Griffith Park this weekend for two full days of fun and cyclcocross racing action. No word on whether Russell Brand will make it there in time.

The award-winning documentary Bikes vs. Cars opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7 this weekend; check out reviews from the LA Times, OC Weekly, Bicycling Magazine and the New York Times.

Unless you’re a very early riser, you may not have time to catch the December edition of Helen’s Cycles Monthly Group Ride with Tour de France stage winner Eros Poli. But you can still catch the Cannondale Saturday Demo at the Santa Monica store on Saturday, and the Cannondale Demo Sunday Nichols Ride on, uh, Sunday.

If you read this early enough, you may still be able to make it to the Culver City Bicycle Coalition’s Holiday Ride, kicking off at 9:30 this morning.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles will teach you how to fix a flat at 11 am today. Seriously, If you’re going to ride a bike, you need to know how to keep air in your tires.

The LACBC joins with local chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition this month’s edition of their popular Sunday Funday Ride tomorrow, with the 14-mile family friendly We Go WeHo Ride.

Downtown’s Just Ride LA bike shop is taking to trip up La Tuna Canyon on Sunday.

Figueroa for All invites you to join their crew for the 2015 NELA Holiday Parade on Sunday, whether you choose to ride, walk or roll.

Join pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, the LACBC and Councilmember David Ryu’s office in cleaning up a stretch of Mulholland between Cahuenga and Runyon Canyon on the 12th.

Also on the 12th, the Southern California Toy Drive Ride will deliver toys to Camp Pendleton for the Toys 4 Tots program.

Finish the Ride will host their first ride, run, walk and roll across the San Fernando Valley on the 27th.

And mark your calendar for the first Los Angeles Bicycle Festival next May.

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Local

In non-breaking news, Metro has officially adopted the fare structure for the still-unnamed bikeshare system, which is pretty much what it was before.

CiclaValley looks at bicycling and pedestrian equity in South LA, or the lack thereof. As he puts it, “A bike network is only as good as your weakest link. It’s about time someone at least bought a chain.”

LA Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls for a series of parks and bikeways along the planned corridor for the un-built 710 Freeway extension through Pasadena and South Pas.

Actor/Director Chad Michael Collins had his bike stolen recently while he was watching the new Hunger Games movie. If you see him, tell him to list it on here with Bike Index to increase his chances of getting it back.

A cyclist will arrive in LA on Sunday after riding fixed 2,451 miles from Chicago along Route 66.

The Pasadena Star News reports a man was punched and the mountain bike he was riding was stolen while on a test ride from a local bike shop.

 

State

San Clemente plans two-way protected bike lanes along PCH.

Following the death of a 12-year old bike rider, Oceanside plans to improve safety for cyclists by installing more speed limit signs and speed monitors. Neither of which would have done anything to prevent the collision that killed Logan Lipton.

It takes a real schmuck to hit a bike-riding kid and leave him lying in the street like this Moreno Valley hit-and-run driver; fortunately, his victim wasn’t badly hurt.

A cyclist and author has his custom titanium tandem stolen in Watsonville, after 50,000 miles of touring the world and picking up riders on his empty back seat. And not for the first time.

So much for that. San Francisco police resume their crackdown on bike riders after earlier assurances it had ended.

Shaq gets an early Christmas present with an oversized 36” wheel bike made for taller riders by San Francisco’s DirtySixer Bicycles.

We all fall off our bikes sooner or later; slashing the neck of a Vacaville kid who laughed at another boy for doing probably wasn’t the best response.

 

National

It looks like that folding cargo bike collaboration between Tern and Xtracycle is a thing now.

Speaking of being a thing now, a new Kickstarter has kicked off for Invincible, which claims to be the world’s first city-proof bike; their new protection plan promises to replace your bike within 24 hours if it’s stolen while using the U-lock that comes with it. If anyone has me on their Secret Santa list, I’ll take the eight-speed version, thank you.

Finally a sentence that fits the crime. After being convicted of driving under the influence, followed by a drunken jailhouse tirade, a former Snowmass city councilman is sentenced to ride his bike 13 miles through the Colorado snow to deliver urine samples to prove he’s not drinking.

Nice thought from a writer from my hometown, who says we all share the same roads and face the same issues, and need to stand together as one, no matter how you ride.

Chicagoist offers five mistakes to avoid after a bike crash.

To improve safety on New York streets, focus on the cars, trucks and SUVs that cause 97.6% of deaths and injuries, not the bikes that cause the rest.

Crash into a cyclist, attack him and throw his tire into the woods before fleeing the scene, and a Maryland judge will let you walk with just 16 lousy hours of community service. Nice to see they take road rage seriously there. And yes, that’s sarcasm of the dripping variety.

Eighteen months after controversial bike lanes were installed in Alexandria VA, they’ve calmed traffic, reduced collisions and increased the number of bike riders on the street, despite the fears of local residents.

 

International

What to get for the bike riding women in your life.

Toronto considers allowing their parking officers to take a photo of cars parked illegally in bike lanes, then follow up with a written ticket later.

Not surprising that the founder of Britain’s Motorists Association would call for cyclists to “pay their way,” just like motorists, who actually don’t; even then, the equivalent of $75 a year seems excessive.

Good news from France, as a gendarme who was critically injured by an out-of-control race moto at this year’s Tour de France is making a miraculous recovery from his injuries.

A new Dutch program promises to take elderly Kiwi residents on rickshaw bike cab rides, while a Dutch bicycle engineer says sharrows aren’t necessarily a bad thing — as long as they’re used on streets with a speed limit under 19 mph.

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

The Department of DIY strikes in Jerusalem, where residents paint their own bike lanes to protest the city’s delays in building bike paths.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, a bike theft isn’t a bike theft. If you’re doping to win an age-group Masters race, you have a serious problem.

And stealing a car, hitting a cyclist and fleeing the scene while five months pregnant probably isn’t the best way to win Mother of the Year.

 

Run over by a riding mower, near-killer PV speed bumps to stay

As some of you may know, my oldest brother runs a dog team up in the Anchorage area, competing in the famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, and finishing three.

The other left him and his team huddled in a shelter in subzero temperatures, waiting for rescue with a broken sled — not to mention a broken leg, frostbite and a bruised shoulder.

The dogs were just fine, though.

So maybe he was in the market for a safer form of transportation, or one that works a little better once the snow melts. Or maybe, like the rest of us, he was just trying to save a little with the current sky high price of gas.

Regardless, my brother, Eric O. Rogers — perhaps the only particle physicist and dog musher on the planet — has now officially joined the ranks of bike riders.

And promptly gotten himself run over.

By a riding mower.

It seems he rode his bike to the local Lowes home improvement store, and stopped in the parking lot to ask an employee where he could find a bike rack. And as he was stopped on his bike, he was hit by man on a riding lawnmower.

Fortunately, the mower wasn’t in use at the time, and he escaped with nothing more than a little road rash.

And I’m sure you already know the answer to the question that nearly got him turned into mulch.

Lowes, at least that one, doesn’t have bike racks.

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In a decision that defies common sense, the City Council of Palos Verdes Estates has voted to keep the speed bumps that nearly killed cyclist Richard Schlickman.

As you may recall, Schlickman was critically injured when he hit the newly installed speed bumps — excuse me, speed cushions — while riding downhill at speed, with little or no warning to cyclists that they had been built on a popular riding route. He had been riding downhill at speed when he hit the bumps, sliding nearly 80 feet down the roadway before coming to a stop; fortunately, word is he continues to make slow but steady improvement from what could have been a fatal fall.

But rather than remove or replace the potentially killer cushions, the council inexplicably voted to keep them in place.

Evidently, they haven’t yet crippled or killed enough cyclists in their effort to tame local traffic. Maybe someone should tell them there are alternative methods to calm traffic that don’t put riders lives at risk.

I hope PVE has a good lawyer.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Hap Dougherty shares another great set of cycling photos. This time, it’s a Memorial Day ride that took him from Westwood’s Los Angeles National Cemetery, throughout the Westside and up the L.A. River Bike Path — home to this weekend’s L.A. River Ride.

It does make you wonder why the cemetery insists on banning bikes, when so many riders just want to pay their respects.

Myself included.

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Over the weekend I found myself drawn into a discussion on the West Seattle Blog, possibly the nation’s leading hyperlocal news site — sorry Patch — managed by a couple of longtime friends.

One of their readers was shocked and offended to see a cyclist towing his child in a bike trailer, assuming imminent danger — if not death — for the parentally neglected kid.

Problem is, while motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for children, few, if any, of those deaths result from collisions with bicycle trailers. In terms of sheer numbers, children are at far greater risk riding in a car with their parents, or simply walking on the sidewalk.

One of the writers tried to make the point that even if just one child was killed as a result of riding in a bike trailer, it would be one too many — especially if it was your child.

That conveniently ignores the nearly 7,000 or more passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions each year — many of them children. As well as the more than 4,000 pedestrians of all ages killed every year. Each of whom was someone’s child.

So rather than getting up in arms over a potential, hypothetical danger, we should be concerned about the proven risk posed by careless, aggressive, intoxicated or distracted drivers, who kill over 33,000 people on American streets every year — including a minimum of 630 cyclists.

Sadly, there are none so blind as those who cannot see through the glare of their own windshields.

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Finally, thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for stopping by to say hi as he passed through town over the weekend, along with his lovely family. It was a true pleasure to finally meet someone I’ve only traded emails with, and who’s work I have always enjoyed and admired.

And while I neglected to take any pictures, he did capture great shot of the new intern, who has been helping more than she knows by sleeping behind the sofa this morning and allowing me to work uninterrupted for a change.

A safer route from Westwood to Brentwood, Santa Monica and the coast

As people have pointed out lately, prior to 9/11, cyclists used to be able to ride through the Los Angeles National Cemetery just west of UCLA in Westwood — providing a much shorter, faster and safer route between the campus and the Brentwood, West L.A. and Santa Monica areas. A meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday to discuss reopening bicycle access through the cemetery, at a site to be determined.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy and the Bicycle Coalition at UCLA invite all interested cyclists, staff and representatives of UCLA Transportation Services, Office of Sustainability, the Campus Architect, UCLA Government and Community Relations, the Transportation Deputy for Councilmember Rosendahl, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, and other stakeholders and interested parties, to attend a meeting with Lisa Pinto, District Director for Congressman Henry Waxman.
The topic of the discussion is the Re-Opening the National Cemetery for Bicycle Traffic

The meeting will take place at 5:15 pm on Wednesday February 17, 2010.  We are currently negotiating with Transportation Services and hope we will be able to hold the meeting in their conference room.

While I respect the need to maintain the pastoral nature of this cemetery, I would hope than anyone — cyclist, driver or pedestrian — would demonstrate the proper respect for hallowed ground, where 14 Medal of Honor winners dating back to the Civil War are buried, along with over 100 of the famed Buffalo Soldiers and countless others who have served their country with honor.

Maybe if we show a little courtesy and respect at the meeting, they may be more willing to believe we’ll show it to those buried and visiting there, as well.

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An international arrest warrant has been issued for former Tour de France non-winner Floyd Landis for allegedly hacking into a French doping lab computer following his failed drug test.

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Stephen Box calls attention to a “secret” LADOT meeting to preview the revised bike plan tomorrow afternoon. A first visit to the Bikerowave. A good turnout for the 8 Presidents Ride. The Amgen TofC ends in Thousand Oaks on May 23rd. Sidewalks and bikeways should be part of every federally funded road project because “when roads slim down, so do people.” Corpus Christi, TX considers a 3-foot passing law for cars, and 5 feet for trucks. Considering the monetary benefits of biking infrastructure. A $40 million jury award for a 14-year old Arizona cyclist killed by a drunk driver. Arizona reintroduces the Idaho Stop law. A 77-year old veteran bike racer is killed in a Texas SWSS (Single Witness Suicide Swerve), in which the only witness is the driver who swears the riding turned in front of him for no reason. A UK writer blames all cyclists, calling for mandatory testing and licensing after her mother is injured by one; I was once bitten by a dog, but I didn’t insist that every dog be muzzled and tested for rabies. Manchester, UK cyclists carry ironing boards and deckchairs on onboard to successfully protest a ban forbidding bikes on trams included carrying ironing boards. Riders are called a menace in Bahrain, as well. New Zealand authorities are still hunting the hit-and-run killer of a 62-year old cyclist last October. In Australia, road users stick to their own kind and everyone else is the enemy; sort of like it is here. A driver deliberately swerves into a Kingston, Ontario cyclist, then flees the scene. Mumbai cyclists prepare for their first ever Cyclothon. Finally, the men of England are encouraged to rise up against reckless drivers who endanger men, women and children — in 1908.

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