Tag Archive for Los Angeles River Ride

Lee’s office responds to buses in SFV bike lane, Covid-19 claims 2020 LA River Ride, and marking Bike Month by yourself

Good news, sort of.

Steven Hallert reports he got a response from embattled Councilmember John Lee’s office to his complaint about Metro buses using a San Fernando Valley bike lane as a layover spot.

Albeit a very noncommittal one.

Mr. Hallett;

Thank you for contacting the Office of Counbcilmember John S. Lee with your concern about the bus layover location on Rinaldi. Your message was forwarded to me for response.

As that is a Metro bus layover location, I initially forwarded your email to them for response.  I do understand your concern. Our Office does work with Metro to evaluate and locate bus layover locations and this locale is no different.  As you may be aware, bus drivers do need to be able to stop along their route to take breaks, etc., and commercial areas adjacent to shopping centers meet their needs exceedingly well.

However, we also consider active transportation as a major part in the first/last mile process in transit so there should be some consideration taken of the existing bike lane impacts. As such, I have asked Metro to evaluate your concerns in an effort to determine if we can mitigate those impacts.

Metro should be responding directly to you shortly.

So that can be read as forwarding the complaint to the responsible department. Or just passing the buck.

We’ll see how Metro responds.

The sign in today’s photo suddenly appeared on my street, even though we’re miles from the nearest bike path. Maybe someone’s just getting ready in case we ever get one.


More bad news, as Covid-19 claims another victim.

The LA River Ride.

Below is part of an email from LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman last Friday.

We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the 20th Annual Los Angeles River Ride due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is the health and safety of all Angelinos especially the essential workers who are on the front lines of the crisis. We need to stay safe by staying the course. The good news is that we have been working closely with the Autry Museum to reschedule in early June of 2021. This postponement to the same approximate date next year gives LACBC, our sponsors, partners, vendors and participants along with the County of Los Angeles time to recover from the pandemic so we can host a River Ride worthy of it’s 20th Anniversary.

Of course we will honor all of the ride registrations for the new date in 2021! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and check out our LA River Ride Reschedule FAQs for additional information.

What he doesn’t say is that this could have a huge impact on the group’s already troubled finances, since the River Ride is the LACBC’s biggest fundraiser every year.

There are many people and organizations that need your help right now.

But try to find a little extra to send the LACBC’s way. Because the group that’s done so much to help everyone who rides a bike in LA County needs our help to get through this coming year.


Now there’s a good idea.

Robert Leone forwards a message from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition offering an option to celebrate biking next month, even though their Bike Week has been moved to September.

When – May Power

May is National Bike Month and we hope you will engage with our May Power riding program while maintaining proper physical distance from those who are not part of your household.

  • May 1 to 9 is Flower Power week. Please take a picture of flowers you see while riding and post with the hashtag #FlowerPowerSVBC.
  • May 10 to May 16 is People Power week. Take a picture of yourself on your bike and post with the hashtag #PeoplePowerSVBC.
  • May 17 to May 23 is Pedal Power week. Take a picture of your shoe and pedal and post with the hashtag #PedalPowerSVBC.
  • May 24 to May 31 is Wheel Power week. Take a picture of or through your bicycle wheel and post with the hashtag #WheelPowerSVBC.

You may have heard that Bike to Work Day is postponed from May 14 to September 24. However you can still celebrate biking on May 14 by treating it as Bike To Wherever Day! If you are not able to get out and bike on any other day, we really hope you’ll still get out and ride at least on this BTWD!

He also sends a crossword puzzle from Adventure Cycling, if you need a little entertainment off your bike.

Because doing a crossword while you ride may not be the best idea.


Today’s common theme is Bicycle Day, commemorating yesterday’s 77th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered the psychedelic effects of the drug as he rode his bike home in Basil, Switzerland.

Rolling Stone says celebrate the day by taking a trip, though I don’t think they meant on your bike.

The estate of former Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia issued a special limited edition poster to mark the occasion.

Curiously, an Indian website marks the day with ten facts about bicycling. But none about LSD, which is what the day is really about.


It looks like local officials are trying to send a granular message that the beachfront bike path is officially off limits.

That looks like the northern section of the path where it reenters Los Angeles, but there’s not enough detail to say for sure.


Looks like Finish the Ride is going virtual for now.


The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Once again, bike riders are under attack, after someone tossed tacks across a popular riding route in southeast London; Road.cc speculated that it may be related to complaints over people continuing to ride during England’s coronavirus lockdown.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Selma, California busted a bike-riding parole on an arson spree, who set eight fires in just 30 minutes, for no apparent reason. And may have set more the day before.

It takes a major schmuck to crash into an elderly British Columbia man, then just straighten his handlebars and leave the man lying on the sidewalk.



The LA Times says it’s possible walkers and bike riders outnumber drivers right now, and calls on Mayor Garcetti to do the right thing and give Angelenos enough space to walk, run or ride a bike with kids without having to worry about getting run down by one. Although that’s not likely now that the mayor is furloughing thousands of city workers.

Talk about not getting it. An opinion writer for the Southern California News Group demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of induced demand, while supporting sprawl and complaining that Caltrans will no longer fund projects that increase traffic demand. And noting that California “only” accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gases. Yes, she seriously seems to think that a single state accounting for a full 1% worldwide is a good argument.

It’s not your imagination. There’s more traffic now than during the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown.

Bike-friendly Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole resigned under fire after residents of the city complained about budget and staff cuts in reaction to the sudden loss of tax revenue due to the coronavirus shutdown.

You aren’t required to wear a mask when you ride, unless you’re riding in Beverly Hills, Glendale or Riverside County. But it’s not a bad idea.

A professor at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont calls on California not to ban bicycling as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

Former six-division boxing champ Floyd Mayweather is one of us, repeatedly riding his bike through DTLA with an entourage last week. Seriously, it’s great he’s out on a bike, but maybe save the group rides until the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

Reese Witherspoon rides with her scooter-riding son through the ‘Bu. Maybe they ran into Dakota Johnson, who went riding in Malibu with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and his kids.



The first 22 days of the coronavirus lockdown saved California $1 billion in traffic injury and fatality costs.

Mechanics at a San Diego motorcycle shop are credited with saving the life of a 74-year old man by using a jack to lift an SUV off him after he allegedly rode his bike off the sidewalk into traffic; the victim is hospitalized with multiple broken bones.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is calling on the city to improve safety and relieve pressure on overcrowded sidewalks in response to Covid-19. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

When a Fallbrook toddler suffers an arm injury in a collision while riding oin a bicycle child seat, you’d think they might actually mention that someone was pedaling that bike. But you’d be wrong.



Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike during the Covid-19 pandemic, while keeping others safe, too. Hint: ride alone when possible.

The American Prospect says the country is finding solace in bicycling in response to being cooped-up by Covid-19.

1986 BMX cult film Rad is making a comeback in 4k.

Kindhearted Oregon firefighters bought a new bike for a seven-year old boy and his sister, after rescuing the kid when he rode his bike off a 40-foot cliff.

Seattle considers banning cars from 15 miles of streets to make room for people.

Even Jackson, Wyoming is getting a protected bike lane.

New York’s city council intends to overrule the mayor, forcing the city to open a planned 75-miles of streets to bike riders and pedestrians whether or not he likes it. And he doesn’t.



A new study from the University of Duh shows what any bike rider could have told them — the bigger and busier the road, the more stressful it is to ride.

The World Resources Institute says bicycling provides a critical lifeline during the coronavirus crisis.

London volunteers are turning out in force to deliver food to vulnerable people by bicycle.

An English teenager can ride a bike for the first time after she was fitted with the world’s first medically-certified 3D-printed bionic hand.

Bike thieves continue to target healthcare workers in the UK, as a Scottish nurse got off a 12-hour shift to find someone had stolen his ebike. However, the story is better for an English nurse, who got a new bike from kindhearted strangers within hours of having hers stolen.

An anonymous British garbageman says there are a lot more bicyclists on the road now that the country is under lockdown, claiming he has multiple close calls with riders every day.

The UK has issued new guidelines allowing roads to be closed to cars during the coronavirus crisis.

A Michelin-starred British chef says he’s more successful than ever after switching gears to deliver meals and baked good by bike.

A Dublin bike shop owner is showing support for frontline medical workers battling Covid-19 by offering free repairs.

Everyone else is finally catching up to the story we linked to a couple weeks ago, about pro cyclist Davide Martinelli using his bike to deliver medications to vulnerable residents of his Italian hometown, which doesn’t have a pharmacy. Seriously, I could have easily linked to a couple dozen sources for the same piece. 

Berlin is adding temporary bike lanes to a number of streets through May.

Bengaluru’s bicycle mayor is heading an effort to deliver necessities by bike to elderly people throughout the Indian metropolis.

You can move almost anything on a bicycle. Even the body of a homeless man in India, after no one else was willing to transport him because of his HIV+ status.

Bikeshare is booming in Wuhan, China as the city that sparked the worldwide coronavirus pandemic returns to life.

Aussie bike shops are recruiting new staffers as bike business booms.


Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas raised the equivalent of nearly $375,000 for Britain’s National Health Service by riding three twelve hour shifts on Zwift. On the other hand, Peter Sagan says he’s a real cyclist, not a virtual one.

Australian domestique Adam Hansen is spending his time off the bike making 3D-printed masks for health workers.

Cycling News says too many questions still remain around the postponed 2020 Tour de France, which is now scheduled to start in late August.

Former pro Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France — for a single stage in 1986 — is training for the Gran Fondo World Championships in Whistler, British Columbia this September, aiming for a top three finish in his age group.



Pro tip: If you’re going to rob a bank, don’t ride away on your bike before you get the money. If you’re riding a bike with a gun tucked in your pants, you’re probably better off just keeping it there.

And maybe don’t post your photo online if it shows you breaking the country’s coronavirus quarantine.

Even if you are the world time trial champ.


Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: Drivers give more distance to riders in bike lanes; cyclist hurt at Sunday’s LA River Ride


Bike lane opponents often claim the painted lanes encourage drivers to pass at an unsafe distance. But a new study from the UK (pdf) finds just the opposite.

The study compared urban streets with and without bike lanes; drivers on the streets with bike lanes were shown to pass cyclists at a greater distance than on those without, with fewer cases of unsafe passing.

That doesn’t exactly jibe with my personal experience, though.

I find drivers in the lane next to a bike lane don’t usually move over to provide a safe passing distance. Especially bus drivers. Even if you’re hugging the left side line to avoid the door zone.

But then, I’ve never conducted an independent study of the matter.

Then again, the new three-foot passing law that goes into effect in September does not include an exemption for passing riders in bike lanes, so hopefully drivers will learn to give a little more space here, as well.


I wasn’t able to make it this year, for the first time since I’ve been a board member.

But word has it the LACBC’s 14th annual LA River Ride was another great success; Cycling Across LA takes you on the century ride in just four minutes.


Speaking of the LACBC, their new 2014 team kits are now available for pre-order at a discount before July 5th.



If you’re a spandex-clad member like me, you’ll want to wear the coalition’s colors with pride. But you don’t have to be a member — or even live in the LA area — to wear it. Anyone who wants to look and feel good on a bike is welcome place an order.

And yes, you will look good.

I’ve got the previous all black version, which is the only jersey I own that is actually flattering and doesn’t make me look like a total bike geek.

And the bright black coloring is surprisingly cool and very noticeable during daylight hours; with the new white back panel and reflectorized details, it should stand out even more, day or night.



Burbank Congressman Adam Schiff becomes the first US Representative to complete the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride from San Francisco to LA.

LADOT compromises on the North Figueroa bike lanes, now promising no delay at all for motorists at Avenue 26; Metro insists it’s not opposed to the road diet after all.

Meanwhile, Richard Risemberg takes Councilmember Gil Cedillo to task for misrepresenting the facts about North Fig.

And speaking of LADOT, the Bike Blog looks at the future of bikes at Union Station.



The hit-and-run epidemic hits our neighbor to the south, as San Diego has its deadliest year for hit-and-runs since 2009. And it’s only June.

Sadly, the husband of California’s first female Episcopal bishop is killed in a bicycling collision with an 83-year old driver. Thanks to Biker395 and Mike for the heads-up.

Shades of failed 1980’s road design, as a Mountain View bike lane sacrifices rider safety for the sake of automotive throughput.



HuffPo explains how to look like a lady while riding your bike. Then again, maintaining your modesty on a bike is a lot easier when you don’t have paparazzi trying to shoot up your skirt.

Bad enough we have to worry about dangerous drivers; a Kansas City cyclist is apparently killed by a downed power line.

A teenager with cerebral palsy is participating in a 250-mile group ride across western Michigan. No, really, what’s your excuse?

New York’s mayor lowers the speed limit to 25 mph as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan. But the NYPD can’t be bothered to investigate most collisions involving bike riders, unless the victim is a pedestrian.

Charlotte NC cyclists call for more to be done to improve safety after a rider is killed.



A Canadian publication asks if there’s any hope for détente in the war between bikes and cars. But can we please drop any further reference to the mythical war on cars?

You can see a lot of things riding a bike. For instance, two Brit cyclists may have witnessed a murder.

A writer asks if Madrid is too dangerous for the city’s new e-bike share system; then again, they said the same thing about New York before Citi Bike opened.

Despite reports to the contrary, it looks like bicycling in Australia is actually getting safer.

Your bike helmet may have been designed to provide safety for a dummy, not a real head like yours.

A New Zealand truck driver admits to careless driving in the death of a bike rider; he plays the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see her. But why was a 75-year old man behind the wheel of a 10-ton truck in the first place?



A bike! A bike! My kingdom for a bike! Infamous English King Richard III could spend the rest of eternity in a bike rack. And if you’re going to harass a group of cyclists, first make sure one of them isn’t an off-duty cop.


So let me tell you about my Sunday…

It was, as a far better writer once put it, the best of times and the worst of times.

In that order.

Once again, the good folks at GEKLaw offered to let me ride as part of their team for this year’s River Ride.

But while I jumped at the chance to join them — particularly since this year’s ride honored GEKLaw bike attorney Howard Krepack — I’d also made a commitment to volunteer at the LACBC at River Ride. So I split the difference, working the booth while wearing the T-shirt honoring Howard, and letting someone else do the actual ride in my place.

Which is how I found myself riding to Griffith Park at 6:15 in the morning.

Thanks to the early hour, it was a surprisingly easy ride.

Santa Monica Blvd was closed off for the West Hollywood Pride parade, but no one was manning the barricades to stop a lone cyclist from riding through. So from Doheny to Fairfax, I had, in effect, my own private CicLAvia as the only moving vehicle on the street.

Even afterwards, traffic was so light I continued on Santa Monica until it merged with Sunset, before cutting up towards Griffith Park.

Somewhere along the way, though, I lost my breakfast.

No, literally.

Thanks to the early hour and lack of sleep, I had neglected to zip my seat pack. And the pastry I’d brought along to eat at the end of my ride managed to bounce out, thanks to one bump or another.

Thankfully, the more important items, such as my keys and wallet, managed to stay in place.

Then again, I’d also left both of my water bottles at home, so I had a very dry and thirsty one-and-a-half hour ride.

The only other minor problem was a missed turn near the end of my ride. As a result, I found myself making the last leg of my trip on the L.A. River bike path, just as the first Century riders were making their way to Long Beach.

Despite being a two-wheeled salmon riding upstream against the tide of riders, I found myself facing a very courteous crowd of cyclists, all of whom went out of their way to make room for me.

Then just as I left the bike path, I suffered my first flat tire in over a year — ever since last year’s Blessing of the Bicycles, in fact — forcing me to walk the last half mile in order to get there on time.

The good news — or at least that’s the way it seemed at the time — was that there were bike mechanics on hand to make last-minute repairs for River Ride riders before they set out. And within a few minutes, I had a new tube installed and was set for my ride back home.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon is a blur, albeit a very pleasant one.

If you’ve never volunteered for River Ride, I highly recommend it. There’s something very enjoyable about working with a well-oiled team of volunteers to help other riders have a great time. And getting to meet cyclists of every possible description more than compensates for the early morning wake-up call.

And once again, the LACBC team headed by the incomparable JJ Hoffman did the impossible and pulled off a massive event that seemed to go flawlessly.

Sometimes I get the feeling that if JJ stripped down, you’d find a big red S on her chest. Though where she’d find a phone booth to change in these days is beyond me.

I also had the pleasure of working with a number of great people, many of whom I met for the first time — including a hard-working team from Walk Bike Glendale.

It wasn’t until I took a lunch break at 2 pm that things went south.

In a big way.

Once I moved away from the noise and hubbub of the River Ride, I noticed that I’d missed a couple of calls from my wife. When I called her back, I learned that she’d tripped while walking on a sidewalk, and couldn’t move her right leg or wrist.

So I got back on my bike, riding through unfamiliar territory in an attempt to shorten the return trip home so I could get her to the emergency room.

And that’s one of the few situations where driving has the advantage over bike commuting. When something goes wrong, you can find yourself a long way — and a very stressful long time — from home.

Then there’s the other problem.

About half way home, I had another flat.

It seems the mechanic who did me the favor of fixing my earlier flat — at no charge, I might add — did me no favor by failing to find what caused it. Sure enough, as I examined the tire, I found a small piece of glass embedded in the tread that had worked its way back into my tube.

Since I had already gone to work at the LACBC booth while he fixed my flat, I have no idea whether he had looked for the cause of the flat, or just failed to find it.

Either way, I was forced to stop and make another repair at the worst possible time.

So my apologies to anyone in Hancock Park who may have heard the words I was muttering under my breath. At least, I hope they were under my breath.

The lesson learned is, as Ronald Reagan put it, trust but verify. If you have someone else fix your flat, make sure they check the tire.

Or better yet, just fix it yourself.

I finally got home nearly two-and-a-half hours after I’d spoken with my wife. And five minutes later, I was driving a very angry and highly pained spouse to the ER.

The good news is, she seems to be okay.

No broken bones or dislocations; three days later, her wrist is better, though she’s in a splint and on crutches until she can see the orthopedist — which, thanks to the complications that come with an HMO, may not be until mid-July.

If anyone trots out the old fallacy that this country has the best medical system in the world, please refer them to that last sentence.

We may have decent medical care, but the insurance system that supports it is badly broken.

Meanwhile, I now find myself driving her to and from work, walking the dog and doing all the work around the house.

Not that I’m complaining, of course.

That’s just part of being married.

But it does explain why my posts have been a little sparse this week.

Hopefully, I should have time to sit down and write again later tonight. There’s a huge stack of bike-related press releases and requests for publicity gaining virtual dust on my desktop.

So give me a little time, and I’ll get back to the topic of biking.

No, really.

I promise.

Random thoughts on last Sunday’s River Ride; simple new rules for rude River Riders

Now that life has finally settled down a little, let’s talk about last Sunday’s successful L.A. River Ride.


Just a few of the riders resting at the Long Beach pit stop, turnaround point for the 70-mile ride.

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who made this ride possible.

It never fails to amaze me that a largely volunteer organization can pull off an event like this every year. And do it well enough that riders not only come back year after year, but that it keeps growing.

In fact, the one comment I heard more than anything else during and after the ride was how well organized it was.

Credit for that goes to the relative handful of LACBC staffers, as well as the many volunteers who put in countless hours in the weeks leading up to the event. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened — let alone been the success that it was.

So if you had anything to do with it, there are over 2500 cyclists who owe you a round of thanks.

And a special thanks to JJ Hoffman, who once again did the impossible as River Ride Coordinator, along with Volunteer Coordinators Martin Lopez-Iu and Erik Alcaraz.

Update: I inadvertently left Erik Alcaraz’s name out of the sentence above when I first posted; my apologies to Eric, and thanks to Carol Feucht for calling that to my attention.


Several people gave up their Saturday so we could enjoy a clearly defined route.

I was particularly grateful to the people who sacrificed their Saturday to mark the route and keep us all from riding off the rails.

It took me awhile to catch on to how the riders ahead of me invariably knew just where to turn. And yes, I confess that I can be a little slow sometimes.

Once I finally spotted those little tags on the pavement, I was never again in danger of being lost. Even in parts of town where the route strayed far from the river and on which I had never before set foot or tire.

Anytime I started to get confused, I just cast my eyes down to the pavement, and within a few minutes I’d know exactly where to go and what to do.

Now, if someone could just provide the same service for my life.


As we neared Long Beach, concrete and graffiti gave way to beautiful wetlands.

I do have one criticism, though.

The one part of the ride that wasn’t so successful was the exit from the bike path back to the finish at the Autry Museum at the end of the ride, where cyclists leaving the bike path were thrown into bumper-to-bumper traffic with little or no idea where to go.

And while it’s one thing to expect experienced riders to contend with crowded streets, it’s another to ask little kids and parents returning from the family ride to know how to navigate between traffic lanes jammed with frustrated drivers.

More attention needs be paid to the end of the ride next year, including the possibility of arranging for traffic cops to rein in motorists and direct riders safely back to their destination.


After the ride, I had the privilege of talking with biking attorney Howard Krepack, who had allowed me to ride as his guest — and for which I remain extremely grateful.

Part of our discussion centered on the dangers posed by thoughtless road design and construction work that fails to consider the safety of cyclists.

Discussing bike safety with GEK Law's Howard Krepack; I'm the one in full bike drag.

Krepack has spent the last year or so dealing with exactly that problem, resulting from construction work on PCH that left an open trench and loose gravel on the side of the road where countless riders usually pass safely every day. Yet in this case, the lack of consideration given to the needs of all road users left a dangerous situation uncorrected for a full weekend, resulting in a number of riders being seriously injured.

I saw a similar sort of thoughtlessness on the lower section of the L.A. River Bike path below Vernon — which this time, fortunately, only posed a potential danger.

It was at a section where the southbound path forked, with the left fork continuing downriver by passing under a bridge, while the right fork led up to the roadway.

In between was a white concrete retaining wall, with the butt end facing directly towards oncoming riders. And no signs or painted warning of any kind to alert riders to the dangerous obstruction placed directly in the center of the pathway leading up to it.

A moment of indecision or distraction — or getting crowded off the path, which was a distinct possibility at times on Sunday — could easily have resulted in serious injuries.

Cyclists in Long Beach, with the legendary Queen Mary in the background on right.

Of course, since it’s a permanent part of the pathway, it’s a danger riders will continue to confront on a daily basis until it’s fixed.

Or until someone is seriously injured, or worse.

All because someone failed to think about the safety of cyclists on a pathway intended for our use.

And because of a quirk in state law, no one will ever face any liability for such a dangerous obstruction, or have any legal obligation to fix it.


Speaking of getting crowded off the pathway, there was an ongoing problem throughout the ride of a handful of bikers behaving badly.

To be fair, the overwhelming majority of cyclists seemed to be very considerate, as riders of widely varying types and abilities went out of their way to make room for one another and ride safely.

Unfortunately, though, a few riders seemed to think they had no obligation to ride safely around their fellow cyclists. Time and again, I found myself or other riders passed by mini-pacelines with no warning and just inches of clearance, or in some cases, even grazing other riders as they rode by.

In one particular case, I was amazed to watch a slower rider being passed on both sides simultaneously, with no warning whatsoever and just inches to spare on either side — and an unprotected drop of over 30 feet to the concrete riverbed below.

A very bored paramedic, one of the best signs of a successful ride.

Had he been startled by the unexpected pass, all three could have found themselves tumbling down the steep embankment. And they could have easily taken a number of other riders with them, myself included.

So for anyone unclear on the concept, here are a few rules to remember for next year’s River Ride.

Or any other ride, for that matter.

  • Don’t pass unless you can do so safely. That means don’t start a pass if you can’t get back before oncoming riders get in the way, or if there’s not sufficient room to do it without interfering with the safe movement of other riders.
  • Always pass on the left. Cyclists will instinctively move to their right when startled or if they feel a need to avoid objects or other riders, and won’t expect to find you there.
  • Don’t pass closer than an arms-length distance to another rider. While you may be used to passing shoulder to shoulder in the peloton, it’s guaranteed to startle, threaten and/or piss off most riders. Like me, for instance.
  • Never try to pass a rider who is already in the process passing someone else. That’s just begging for trouble, even under the best of circumstances.
  • Call it out before you pass. A simple “On your left” or “Passing left” will avoid the overwhelming majority of collisions — let alone altercations — between cyclists.
  • That said, shouting “Left! Left! Left!” is not French for “Get the hell out of my way.” Other riders are under no more obligation to get out of the way of jerks on two wheels than they are the ones on four.
  • Speaking of jerks, calling out “Rolling” does not give you a free pass to run red lights; particularly when there is cross traffic waiting for the green — and especially when a few dozen of your fellow riders are already stopping.
  • Never put other riders at risk. Save your aggressive riding tatics for race day, when you’re riding with people who are presumably willing to assume the same risks, rather than people who are just out for a good ride on a nice day.
  • Show a little respect to everyone you pass. It’s entirely possible that the rider you just cut off could run you down and drop you like freshman English if the mood strikes. Or that the plump girl or guy struggling to finish the 30-miler could end up being the hottie on the century who won’t give you the time of day in another year or two.


One thing seldom comes up in the seeming endless conflict between cyclists and equestrians over who should have the right to ride off-road trails.

Undoubtedly, some riders could show more consideration to other trail users. But I’ve never seen a bike leave a massive, steaming and slippery pile of crap in the middle of a heavily used pathway.

I am legally required to clean-up after my dog — and do so gladly — even though she does her business out of the way, where no one is likely to step or slip in it.

Yet horse owners seem to feel no similar obligation to clean-up after their animals. And left several mounds of manure in the middle of the river bike path on the busiest day of the year, where it posed a health and safety danger to everyone that passed.

Thanks again to Howard Krepack, Lisa Waring and the entire GEK Law team for the chance to ride with them on Sunday.

Winner(s) announced in our free River Ride contest; last day for online discount

How about a little good news for a change?

Over the weekend, the staff of the LACBC’s 11th Annual L.A. River Ride narrowed the list of contestants to win a free entry to this Sunday’s event to just two finalists.

Then couldn’t decide between the two.

So they asked if I’d mind if we just declared a tie and gave the prize to both. Yeah, like I’m going to object to a little extra generosity for my readers.

So congratulations to Shalimar Gonzales, who recently moved to L.A. and wants to use the River Ride to make new friends and push herself to finish her first long distance ride. And to personal trainer and inspirational writer Jason Johnson, who wants to inspire others to fulfill their dreams and become the best version of themselves.

Both of you will receive a certificate for a free River Ride entry by email within the next day or so; just print that out an bring it to the River Ride on Sunday with your ID to receive your free ride.

And thanks to everyone who entered. Even though you didn’t win, you can still save $10 by registering online with special discount code TEDBC11(case sensitive), exclusively for BikingInLA readers.

But don’t wait — online registration ends today!


Speaking of the Bike Coalition, the LACBC’s Allison Mannos and Adrian Leung draw a connection on Streestblog between bicycling in developing countries and low-income cyclists of color in the U.S. Definitely worth a read.


No updates yet on last night’s freak collision that took the life of one cyclist and seriously injured another when an SUV ran off a San Diego Freeway and flipped over onto an off-road bike path. More news when it becomes available.

Ride the 2011 River Ride route six months early — and free this Sunday only

Think of it as the 2010-and-a-half River Ride.

What started out as a chance for River Ride volunteers to experience the course they usually miss out on because they’re busy helping others enjoy it is now open to everyone. And its turned into the one of the biggest and best free bike rides of the year.

The L.A. River Training Ride is now open to riders of all levels, from beginners to experienced long distance cyclists — whether you volunteered with the River Ride last year or plan to next year, or want to get a head start on training for next year’s ride. Or just feel like getting out for a great ride with a great group of people along the L.A. River Bike Path.

And it will be led by experienced riders from the LACBC staff, as well as other volunteer ride marshals, to offer guidance, advice and encouragement every step, or pedal stroke, along the way.

Riders will meet at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park this Sunday, November 14, at 7:30 am, then ride to Long Beach for lunch. Those who arrive early enough may ride over to see a special showing of Riding Bikes with the Dutch at the Art Theatre in Long Beach. Other riders will have lunch in Long Beach before either riding or taking the Blue Line back to Los Angeles — making it the perfect opportunity for anyone who doesn’t want to do the full ride, or isn’t sure if they can make it all the way.

As well as your chance to overcome those nagging doubts about signing up for the real River Ride next May.


Speaking of Riding Bikes with the Dutch, that special showing I mentioned is also open to the public, and will take place at 11:30 am this Sunday, November 14th.

I’ll let Tim Blumenthal of People for Bikes tell you about it.

  • When: Sunday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m., 
Q & A with the filmmaker to follow at 12:15 p.m.
  • Where: Art Theatre, 2025 East Fourth Street, Long Beach, CA
  • Cost: $10 per person; tickets available online or at the box office

The filmmaker, American Michael Bauch, completed a home exchange in Amsterdam, and spent months living and documenting the bicycle-centric lifestyle of the Dutch. “The first time I stepped off the train in Amsterdam I was literally speechless,” said Bauch. “Everyone from three years old to 93 seemed to be tooling around the city on two wheels. There was a three level structure dedicated to just parking bicycles. This was too much to take in with just my own eyes. I needed to share this with everyone I could and this is why I made my film.”

Bicycling is booming in big U.S. cities, with more urban riders than ever. This film offers insights for Americans like us hoping to create more bike-friendly, livable communities in our own backyards.

Learn more about the film on the Riding Bikes with the Dutch website or by watching the trailer.

Happy trails,

Tim Blumenthal, peopleforbikes.org


The LACBC says cyclists and local residents were shut out of an Ad Hoc committee to reconsider the Wilbur Ave road diet, while LADOT apparently has a super secret plan — developed without input from cyclists or local residents — to reconfigure the roadway.

If you’re pissed off — and you probably should be, especially if you live along Wilbur or ride in the Valley — you’re urged to email and voice your opinion.

Write to the Northridge West Neighborhood Council members and Councilmember Smith to demand that this committee be fairly staffed with residents, homeowners as well as local cyclists.

Local residents, be sure to include your zip code.

And isn’t it time we had real leadership at LADOT to put a stop to this kind of crap stuff?


The Eagle County DA attempts, and fails, to explain his highly flawed reasoning in declining to prosecute a rich money fund manager for felony hit-and-run. Bob Mionske says the DA is wrong on the law and picks the wrong battles to fight, while the Vail Daily urges him to prosecute the felony charges the crime merits.

Personally, I’d suggest that he either prosecute the driver for felony hit-and-run or resign and let someone else do it.

But that’s just me.


The mainstream media discovers the proposed cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, as the Daily News, et al, publishes the story, while the Times draws comments from the usual bike-hating suspects; Mark at the C-Blog says it may not be as effective as I think. NoHo’s killer intersection may finally get a traffic signal. LACBC offers a new countywide resource guide. Bicycle Fixation relates a night of riding with Flying Pigeon and the editors of Momentum Magazine. Long Beach’s cycling expats say yes, they know they’re doing it wrong. Calabasas residents help plan a new off-road bikeway along Las Virgenes Creek. Ventura plans a new development where 25% of the parking spaces will be for bikes. People for Bikes says San Francisco sets the bar high. The proposed solution to two NorCal bikes deaths: ban cyclists from any road without a bike lane and require all cyclists to wear helmets, even though the first victim was killed while riding in a bike lane, and the helmet the second victim was wearing didn’t do her any good. A cyclist is killed by a 78-year old driver south of Yountville. A California middle school student is told to take an American flag off his bike to “avoid racial tension.”

An Oregon study of bike commuting injuries shows that injury prevention should focus on improving the riding environment, rather than on the habits and skills of riders. After attempting — and apparently failing — to fire the Executive Director, the directors of Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club face a recall. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming is working on becoming bike friendlier. A Chicago mayoral candidate promises to make it one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. A blind, nine-time cancer survivor who raised over $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital by riding a bicycle 400 miles from Chattanooga to Memphis has died at age 21. Would you ride to work if you had a guaranteed ride home if you needed it?

Someone may be sabotaging an oceanfront UK bikeway. A British cyclist has been arrested in the bike rage attack on a motorist who nearly doored him; in another UK attack, a cyclist smashes his bike into a driver’s windshield. Some schmuck(s) stole the jersey Marco Pantani’s wore to win the 1998 Tour de France. In interesting choice, Team Sky taps the other Texas pro, TdF veteran Bobby Julich, as team race coach. Aukland NZ pulls the plug on their bike share program. A Croation cyclist is fined for falling off his bike.

Finally, advice to riders — don’t ride near foliage because “Rats can jump out and scare you so badly, you’ll be propelled into traffic and, you know, die.”

Yesterday’s ride, in which I didn’t

Sunday afternoon was spent watching other people ride their bikes.

Or more precisely, working in the LACBC’s booth at the River Ride, sending a number of riders home with souvenir jerseys, and helping enroll more than a few new members into the area’s largest and most effective bicycling organization.

As much as I would have enjoyed rolling down the river myself, I had a great time meeting cyclists of all ages and every possible type. And watching an absolutely amazing group of volunteers work their collective tush off to help make the ride a huge success.

From my little corner of the booth, I only saw a small part of the work involved. And only met a tiny fraction of the people who gave up their day — and in some cases, months of their life — to pull this event off.

So I won’t even try to list all those who did the hard work that let everyone else enjoy the day.

But as a board member, and a member of cycling community, I would like to personally thank JJ Hoffman and Erica Yoshimoto for doing the impossible by making this all happen. Along with everyone else who had a part, large or small, in pulling it off.

Without them, this ride would not have happened — let alone been the success that it was.

And I’m sure there are several thousand cyclists who’d agree today.

Update: One of those riders I met yesterday, Kim West, sent a link to a great photo set from yesterday’s ride — definitely worth checking out for a reminder of what you experienced.

Or what you missed.


Could a biotech firm fight cancer by building a bike path in Santa Monica? The annual AIDS/LifeCycle takes off from the Bay Area Sunday, on it’s way to an L.A. arrival next Saturday. A first person account from victim #3 in last week’s hit-and-run attacks in San Francisco. The Bahati Foundation racing team reorganizes under new management following the death of Jorge Alvarado and the Floyd Landis disaster. Just because you can legally pass on the right doesn’t mean the police won’t find you at fault if you do. After the court repeatedly let a bus driver off the hook, a cyclist ends up like “a bug on a steamroller’s wheel.” Bicycling in Memphis shouldn’t be so dangerous. Over 13% of commuters in my old hometown get to work by bike; that’s probably about 12% more than in my new hometown. Some days it’s a bike, others it thinks it’s a truck. Instead of worrying about cars, maybe we need to be worried about the air we breathe. Ride cross country to raise money and build houses along the way. Maybe it’s time for Britain’s government ministers to get out of their Jags and onto a Brompton. Roll the streets of London on a bicycling architecture tour. Organs from a 15-year old cyclist save 6 lives after he’s struck and killed by a double-decker bus. The mini Tour de France runs through the French countryside this week. Naked Greeks on bikes roam the streets of Thessaloniki. Rome plans to transform into a cyclists utopia in just 10 years; imagine what L.A. could do with that kind of commitment.

Finally, L.A. considers taking another small step forward by requiring developers to count all forms of traffic, rather than just cars.

Long Beach Bike Fest this weekend, River Ride’s just a month away

First up, a quick reminder that we’re just under a month from L.A.’s largest and most popular organized group ride, the 10th Annual Los Angeles River Ride, rolling June 6th from Griffith Park. Six rides to choose from, ranging from a free kid’s ride to a full century. And you only have one more week to save $10 on early registration.

And speaking of the LACBC, they invite you to attend the 7th Stage of the Amgen Tour of California at Staples Center on Saturday, May 22nd.


If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, you could do worse than a Will Campbell-led tour of Watts. Or maybe you’d prefer a quick trip down to Long Beach for the last two days of the Long Beach Bike Festival; Streetsblog interviews the filmmaker behind Riding Bikes with the Dutch, premiering Sunday as part of the festival.

I’m sure L.A. will sponsor it’s own bike festival any day month decade century now. But at least we get Bike to Work Week.


If you’re looking for something to do next Wednesday, have a little LAPD BBQ to benefit Kristina Ripatti-Pearce, the former LAPD officer who retired after being partially disabled when she was shot on duty — and currently training for this year’s Race Across America (RAAM).


A Santa Monica council member says if a better bikeway system can get just 10% of the city’s cars off the street, their traffic problems will be solved. Stephen Box says LAPD Chief Beck’s words don’t mean anything if they don’t translate to the street beat. L.A.’s Department of City Planning has a rare opportunity to reshape the city’s DNA. Bikeside speaks at Bikerowave on May 22nd. Mr. Bicycle Fixation himself is now writing for the Orange 20 website. A very cool look at South L.A.’s Black Kids on Bikes Freedom Ride. A look at the five best bikeways in L.A. Neon Tommy tests a Walmart fixie. A 64-year old cyclist riding without lights is killed in Twentynine Palms. The CHP offers advice on how to share the road for cyclists and motorists. Support for a San Jose cyclist left severely brain-damaged by a hit-and-run driver. Reno gets a bike boulevard that isn’t. In a bizarre bike safety spot, a bike riding octopus takes a spill and injures one of his eight appendages — which is, evidently, proof that you should wear a helmet. The latest update from Long Beach’s biking expats documents a week in Fort Worth. John Leguizamo offers advice on how to ride in the city. How bike collisions — not accidents — occur in Orlando. Overflowing bike racks are a good problem to have. Graphic proof that safety in numbers really works. Baltimore considers five bills to benefit bicyclists. Another Chicago cyclist intentionally run down by a driver. It may be ugly, but it’s electric — and wireless. Another dead British bicyclist, another slap on the wrist; but life in prison for the road raging driver who killed a cyclist for damaging his mirror. Five Brit women cyclists training in Belgium are injured when they’re hit by a car. An Ottawa, Canada columnist shows he just doesn’t get it, saying bike lanes will only benefit the few at the expense of the many.

Finally, on the heels of DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s support for Complete Streets, the Centers for Disease Control recognizes that transportation reform is health reform.

Mark your calendar — there’s a whole lotta biking going on*

*With apologies to The Killer

A lot of big events coming up in the L.A. bike world over the next few weeks. So mark your calendar and make your plans.


First up, simply because it is first up, is Bike Week at the Barnsdall Municipal Gallery, as Jennifer Moran, Brian Janeczko, Enci Box and Aurisha Smolarski present the collaborative project, In the Living Room of LA’s Bicycle Culture, through Sunday.


Thanks to Zach Behrens of LAist for the reminder about this Saturday’s Ride to Arrest Cancer bike ride and wellness fair sponsored by the LAPD.

This is your chance to roll with the men and women in blue on routes of 15, 25 and 50 miles, starting at the Valley Traffic Division at the Plant in Panorama City and visiting various police stations throughout the Valley. Preregistration cost is just $25 for adults ($30 day of the ride) and $15 for kids under 12, and includes BBQ, a T-Shirt and official police escort.

The ride benefits the Los Angeles Police Cancer Support Group, which assists “members of the law enforcement community who are living with cancer, cancer survivors, family members, friends, or caregivers.”

I’m usually not a fan of mass charity rides, but this one sounds like a lot of fun. And after watching too many friends and family fight cancer, I can’t think of a more deserving cause.


Also on Saturday, the 2nd Annual ArtCycle, billed as a conjunction of art, music and bicycles. The free event takes place from 2 pm to 10 pm at the junction of Santa Monica and Madison in East Hollywood. Better yet, Santa Monica will be shut down to vehicle traffic in sort of a mini-CicLAvia, so bring your bike and check it out.


Next week marks the return of the new and improved Bike Summit — now expanded to include a broader view of non-motorized traffic and renamed the LA StreetSummit 2010, Biking, Walking & Beyond.

This was by far the most informative — and yes, fun — event I attended last year, whether on a panel or part of the audience. And a rare opportunity to connect with a broad cross-section of cyclists of every type, while listening to and meeting some of the leading authorities on a wide-range of transportation subjects.

It begins at 7:30 pm on Thursday the 18th with a keynote address at Occidental College’s Keck Theater by Janette Sadik-Khan New York City’s now legendary Commissioner of Transportation — the woman responsible for tripling the amount of bikeways in just 3 years, in one of the world’s most crowded, built-out and bike-unfriendly cities on the planet.

And like the song says, if they can do it there, they can do it anywhere. So hopefully every employee of LADOT and Metro, and every elected official in the city will be sitting in the audience taking notes right next to me.

Because this is one talk I won’t miss.


On Saturday, March 20, Street Summit takes place from 10 am to 5 pm at Downtown’s LA Trade Tech College.

The morning session starts with featured speakers including Carl Anthony, the founder of Urban Habitat; Charlie Gandy, Mobility Coordinator for the City of Long Beach — which is rapidly on it’s way to becoming one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities — and Lydia Avila of the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC).

That’s followed by a series of workshops in the afternoon, with sessions starting at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm, ranging from discussions on CicLAvia and the bike plan to diversifying the bike community and what the hell is happening in Long Beach. Along with about 26 others to suit virtually every taste and interest.

And yes, I’ll be attending.

In fact, I’ll be hosting a 1 pm workshop on bikes and politics with Aurisha Smolarski of the LACBC, Marcel Porras, Transportation Director for L.A.’s 13th Council District, and David Vahedi, a recent candidate for L.A.’s 5th Council District. More information on that next week.

And did I mention it’s all free? Even the lunch (insert “there’s no free lunch punchline” here).

But only if you pre-register by March 15.


Also on the 20th — and also courtesy of LAist’s Zach Behrens — comes word of the Hit the Trail rides in Santa Clarita.

The City of Santa Clarita invites residents to join Mayor Laurene Weste and the City Council for Hit the Trail on Saturday March 20, 2010. The 3rd annual community bike ride will kick off promptly at 10 a.m. from three convenient starting points across the City and culminate with an exciting Bridgeport Park Rally.

Hit the Trail offers the unique opportunity for residents of all ages to join in a leisurely community bike ride along the City’s extensive trail system. There is no cost to participate- just arrive at one of these three convenient starting locations by 10 a.m. for a fun-filled ride to Bridgeport Park:

Route 1 (6.1 miles) – Valencia High School (San Francisquito Creek Trail)

Route 2 (4.3 miles) – Placerita Junior High School (South Fork Trail)

Route 3 (7.1  miles) – Camp Plenty Trailhead at Camp Plenty Road and Soledad Canyon Road (Chuck Pontius Commuter Rail Trail)


County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky reminds cyclists about Metro’s upcoming bike and pedestrian count on the Valley’s Orange Line Bikeway March 24 and 27. To sweeten the deal, they’re throwing in free pizza and T-shirts at the training/orientation session on the 22nd.

Free food and T-shirts? Damn! They’ve discovered our Achilles heel.


Next month, Streetsblog holds it’s first fundraiser at L.A.’s Eco-Village on April 9th, honoring the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards, including the L.ACBC’S City of Lights program, the Eco-Village, ArtCycle and a certain bike blogger you may be acquainted with.


And a little further in the future —

May 2nd, you have a rare chance to ride the Vincent Thomas bridge across the L.A. Harbor — and help fight diabetes — with the 2010 Tour de Cure Ship-To-Shore Bike Ride.

The following month, help support the city’s leading bicycle advocacy group with what is probably the city’s most popular yearly bike ride, the 10th Annual Los Angeles River Ride presented by the LACBC on Sunday, June 6th.


In case you were wondering where I was all afternoon…

The LACBC reports on today’s meeting of the LAPD Bike Task Force, including the release of a document signed by Assistant Chief Paysinger marking the first steps in the department’s new bike training program.


And now, a long, long list o’links.

Follow up the Street Summit with the Street/Bike Summit After Party, just a short currently feasible ride to the north. Take a look at the city’s first graphic street maps of bike collision data, with more promised soon. Will confronts a jerk driver who nearly turned him into roadkill. An upcoming UCLA Rosenfeld Forum on bold solutions for L.A.’s traffic problems evidently neglects to consider cycling. If L.A. really can get sharrows on the street by summer, it will only have taken 2 years; LADOT Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery doesn’t think it’s possible — and if anyone cares, I vote for putting them on Abbot Kinney; low-traffic streets like Westwood’s Westholme Ave. don’t need them.

A Whittier cyclist dies over 2-1/2 years after the collision that killed him. Pro tips to help you master Google’s new bike maps; or try a video introduction, if you prefer. Refuting the myths that motorist use to fight cycling. Is San Francisco’s Muni driving more people onto bikes?

Dave Moulton asks what’s the problem with banning cell use while riding? A Connecticut cyclist sounds off about lazy drivers who put their dogs at risk. Colorado’s broken-ribbed cycling governor is officially back on the job. A teenager in Colorado is found guilty for shooting at a group of bike riders; the victim spit the bullet out of his mouth. Does a revival of the cruiser mean bikes are regaining acceptance as transportation? DC’s mayor gets a new Colnago EPS worth about $11,990 more than the limit he’s allowed to accept. Found outside a Boston-area Trader Joes, a handbuilt bike made of bamboo and gaffers tape. Very cool black and white photos of a slowly defrosting Windy city.

Contador throws down the Gauntlet for this year’s Le Tour by destroying the field in the 4th Stage of Paris-Nice. Marissa Tomei rides a bike through the heart of Italy. After the carnage leading up to South Africa’s Cape Argus bike tour, a rider argues that car keys and common sense seem to be mutually exclusive. A biking Vancouver city official is injured in a collision the day before he was due to open a bike lane he’d fought for. It’s not the Idaho stop, but London considers allowing cyclists to turn left (equivalent to our right) on a red; meanwhile, London’s mayor is urged to ban large trucks from key bike routes. Tesco unveils its first in-store bike shops; imagine a bike department between Produce and Dairy at your neighborhood Vons. Test riding the women’s spring-suspension model of the classic Brooks saddle. Jersey — think old, not New — narrowly avoids a mandatory helmet law for everyone, while passing it for riders under 18. A call to license all cyclists over 16 on the Isle of Man. A perfect cycle chic day on the streets of Copenhagen, brought to you by Biomega with an assist from Flying Pigeon.

Finally, it looks like Downtown’s Angels Flight funicular may finally reopen, nine years after a tragic accident killed an 89-year old man; I wonder if they’ll limit it to two bikes per car.