Tag Archive for Performance Bicycle

A random mediation on blessed bikes, Bike Week and the Ride of Silence

Some random thoughts as I catch up from the first few wet days of L.A. Bike Week.

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Bishop Jon Bruno, who clearly dressed for the occasion, though I suspect he didn't ride in that.

Despite my firm belief that the human body is incapable of sustaining life prior to 7 am, I found myself rising just after 6 yesterday to for the one hour ride downtown for the Blessing of the Bicycles.

It only took a few minutes of walking the corgi, who was none too pleased to be awakened at that hour — let alone dragged out into the rain — to decide that driving would be a much better option.

So I strapped my bike onto the back of my 17-year old car, which finally chugged past the 105,000 mile mark on the way, and made the drive to Good Samaritan Hospital.

Despite the rain, I  saw a surprising number of cyclists there, with more arriving throughout the hour-long event. Most of whom had the bedraggled look of someone who had braved the elements to get there.

The Buddhist representative warned children to stop doing dangerous tricks on their bikes, or he'd tell the Kung Fu Panda.

I’ll let the CicLAvia blog tell the story, as they were clearly taking much better notes than I was, focused as I was on sucking down some hot coffee and scarfing from the wide array of pastries and fresh fruit.

If the spread they put out for cyclists is any indication of the quality of care patients receive at Good Sam, I may need to switch my medical allegiance from the Jews to the Episcopalians.

Being of a very ecumenical bent, I don’t think God really cares which team you choose, as long as you choose one.

Our newly bike-friendly and apparently fragile mayor arrived with his foot in a cast — not, as might be guessed, the result of another cycling accident, but from wandering through a strange hotel room after dark.

(Insert joke here.)

DWP Employee Chris Bolivar is honored for his heroics in stopping a bike theft by bike owner and Good Sam VP Dan McLaughlin.

For me, though, the highlight was seeing DWP employee Chris Bolivar honored for his heroics in rushing off a Metro bus to stop a thief from stealing a new Trek Madone belonging to Good Sam VP Dan McLaughlin. And then watching him ride off with his wife on a newly-purchased red and white Schwinn tandem.

After listening to an array of Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish prayers for our safety — nice work on the shofar, Rabbi — I took my place in a long line of cyclists to be blessed by Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno, walking my bike since the other half of my cleats were still in my car along with the shoes they’re attached to.

Frankly, I’ll take all the help I can get to safely navigate these city streets.

Evidently, I’m not the only one, as Will Campbell’s blessed ass made the front page of the Times’ Late Extra section.

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Councilmember Bill Rosendahl invites all to participate in Bike Week. KCRW’s Shortcuts blog reports on a soggy start to the week. Metro offers an interactive map to help you plan your route for Bike to Work Day. The afore mentioned Mr. Campbell looks forward to Thursday’s Bike from Work Happy Hour, which also takes place at Pourtal Wine Bar, among other bike-friendly taverns.

Ten deals and freebies for Bike Week. Bike-friendly UCLA observes Bike to Campus Week. More commuters are getting there by bike. Sensible gear for biking to work, and how to dress — or pack — for it.

Even, courtesy of Tucson Velo, if you’re a drag queen.

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Long Beach wraps up Bike Week with the Grand Opening of a new Performance Bicycle shop on Friday, their 100th nationwide. To celebrate, the first 100 people in line will have chance to win one of seven new bikes valued at a total of over $7,000. The store is located at Long Beach Town Center, 7611 East Carson Blvd in Long Beach; distribution of keys for the contest will take place at 8 am, with the doors opening at 9.

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Tonight marks the world-wide observance of the Ride of Silence, a slow paced memorial ride to honor cyclists killed or injured on the roads, raise awareness of cycling and ask that we all share the road safely.

And once again, it won’t be officially observed here in Los Angeles.

There will be ROS rides in other parts of Southern California, though, including Fullerton, Irvine, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, San Diego, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, if you live in those areas or can make the trip.

It will also be observed at the L.A. Velodrome tonight, as cyclists will ride 40 silent laps in honor of fallen riders. And we do have a long and tragically growing list of local riders to honor, including James Laing, Jim Swarzman, Danny Marin and Alex Romero, just to name a few.

I tried, and failed, to get an L.A. ride started this year, mostly because I’ve never organized a ride and had no idea what the hell I was doing.

However, I’m committed to getting one off the ground next year, and will start earlier to organize it and get the cooperation of local authorities and advocacy groups.

If anyone wants to help, just let me know.

And thanks to Kieron at the Velodrome for stepping up to make sure local riders won’t be forgotten this year.

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A fascinating look at the rich and powerful former New York DOT commissioner who may or may not be behind the backlash against the city’s successful and popular Prospect Park West bike lanes — despite being married to a leading, and presumably pro-cycling, Senator Chuck Schumer.

HuffPo’s Joel Epstein also offers his typically insightful thoughts on the subject.

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After Sunday’s hard charge up Mt. Etna, Contador still holds the leader’s jersey in the Giro; Bike Snob says he looks pretty in pink. In the wake of Wouter Wayland’s death in Stage 3 of the Giro, organizers have added extra safety measures for a difficult descent on Saturday’s Stage 14.

Colorado bike prodigy Taylor Phinney rides his first AToC. Team Sky’s Greg Henderson takes the overall lead after winning Stage 3 of the AToC; Phinney is currently the top American at 8th. Bicycling profiles the top young Americans in the race.

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LACBC gets a shiny new website, and unveils their latest video with Austin Nichols looking forward to the upcoming River Ride on June 5th. The Coalition also reminds cyclists that comments on the proposed L.A. County bike plan are due by June 3rd, and says it could be a lot better.

And don’t forget you can get a discount for River Ride through BikingInLA, and enter a contest to win a free River Ride.

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LADOT Bike Blog recaps the recent BAC Planning Subcommittee meeting, including implementation of the Bike Plan, extending the crappy, door zone Westwood Blvd bike lanes south to the planned Expo Line station, and bike lane projects around the planned Universal Studios expansion.

The last of which will happen over my dead body unless they allow the L.A. River Bike Path to extend through their property.

The expansion, that is. Not the bike lanes.

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Writing for Streetsblog, Mark Elliot of Better Bike Beverly Hills updates the status of the Westside’s black hole for cyclists; the LACBC’s Marissa Christiansen reports on the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the area’s new Bike Master Plan. A UCLA student invites you to log your commute times by bike and car to prove bikes are faster for shorter trips. Richard Risemberg calls for a separated cycle track on Washington Blvd to close the gap in the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through the Marina area. CicLAvia shares a photo from Sunday’s South L.A. ride; word is that July’s scheduled CicLAvia will be cancelled, but October’s will go forward with an expanded route into Boyle Heights. Eco-Village looks at the new bike lanes on Expo and MLK. Learn the art of track racing at the L.A. Velodrome. L.A. Creek Freak objects to “improvements” to the North Spring Street Bridge that would just allow more cars to go faster. Long Beachers are invited to participate in a bike safety study. Long Beach’s biking expats get an unplanned delay in starting their latest cross county adventure. A bike cam catches a car speeding through the Santa Cruz Mountains, only to come upon the same car upside down on the side of the road moments later.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood calls on cyclists to join the 2 Mile Challenge to replace short cars trips with bikes and raise funds for three worthy organizations. The League of American Bicyclists lists events throughout May’s Bike Month, and partners with AAA to promote bike safety. Examining the myth that gas taxes pay for the roads motorists drive. Amazon discovers bike commuters. Momentum magazine jumps into the great helmet debate, while yet another study shows mandating helmet use is counterproductive; however, Brit James Cracknell credits his with saving his life. Sharrows make their way to small town Oregon. Bike Portland takes the local paper to task for biased reporting. A Tempe cyclist finds his bike on Craigslist the day after it’s stolen, A Denver cyclist is killed by a hit-and-run driver just weeks before participating in the 412-mile Ride the Rockies. Minneapolis cyclists could soon find bike supply vending machines along popular bike trails. Zeke puts his recent first aid training to use, determining that a tourniquet is probably not necessary for minor road rash.

Why even experienced cyclists sometimes ride on the sidewalk; Carlton Reid looks at the legalities of UK sidewalk riding, as well as confusion between cycle tracks and sidewalks. London cyclists win an important victory to keep bike lanes on a bridge with heavy bike commuter use. An around-the-world adventurer starts a campaign to give Scot children more space to ride to school. Even in rural Scotland, cyclists get honked at by drivers who could easily pass. British design and Chinese manufacturing — as if any western country makes much of anything these days — combine to build a cheap, colorful single-speed bike. For the second time in three years, someone has tried to sabotage the Etape Caledonia. Debuting at Cannes, a gritty, bike-centric modern fairy tale from Belgium; thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up.

Finally, Pittsburgh police take different sides on citing a cyclist for Biking Under the Influence.

Report a dangerous intersection; recycle old tubes for fun and profit

I wasn’t able to fit Thursday’s Webinar on the revised draft of the new bike plan into my schedule; if you participated in the sessions and want to share your thoughts, let me know and I’ll be happy to post it here.

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No one knows the streets better than a bicyclist.

So chances are, in the course of your riding, you’ve noticed a dangerous intersection or two. Or twenty, maybe. Someplace where drivers frequently break the law and place other road users at risk.

Like the left turn arrows at Santa Monica and Beverly Glen, for instance, where cars often go through the intersection long after the light has changed — regardless of whether there are bikes crossing or pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Or one block north, at Beverly Glen and Eastborne Ave, where motorists routinely ignore the no U-turn sign to the detriment of everyone else on the street.

And maybe, like me, you’ve thought that all it would take to improve the situation is a little police enforcement.

So I asked LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer who we should contact at the LAPD to report the situation. Here’s his response:

West Traffic – 310-202-4545
(West LA, Pacific, Olympic, Wilshire, Hollywood)
Captain Nancy Lauer nancy.lauer@lapd.lacity.org

 
Valley Traffic – 818-644-8000
(Everything in the San Fernando Valley)
Captain William Sutton suttonw@lapd.lacity.org

 
Central Traffic – 213-972-1853
(Central, Rampart, Hollenbeck, Northeast, Newton)
Captain Ronald Marbrey marbreyr@lapd.lacity.org

 
South Traffic – 213-485-7417
(77th, Southwest, Southeast, Harbor)
Captain Kelly Mulldorfer kelly.mulldorfer@lapd.lacity.org

Sgt. Krumer suggests calling first, then sending an email to the captain in charge to follow-up.

When you call, talk to the officer who answers the phone, and say something like this:

“Good Morning, I am (NAME) and I live in (AREA).  I would like to report a dangerous intersection and request additional enforcement along (LOCATION).  The problems at that location are…”

After explaining the situation, conclude by saying “Thank you officer…what was your name again?”

Then once you hang up, email the Captain of the respective Traffic Division and write something like:

“Hello Captain (NAME),

I spoke to officer (NAME) on (DATE) and advised him of an issue at (LOCATION).  I requested additional enforcement at that location.  Please let me know if you require any additional information.

Thank you for your efforts,

(YOUR NAME)”

As always, thanks to Sgt. Krumer for his help.

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Recycle your old tubes at the Grand Opening of the new Woodland Hills store, or the newly remodeled Santa Monica location this weekend.

I’m usually a supporter of your friendly neighborhood LBS.

That’s Local Bike Shop, for the uninitiated.

But this weekend, I’d highly recommend heading over to the Grand Openings of the newly remodeled Performance Bicycle in Santa Monica or the new location in Woodland Hills.

And take your old inner tubes with you. Because for each old tube you bring in, you’ll get a $5 credit, up to a limit of three tubes.

That’s up to $15 for the unreliable, over-patched or unrepairable tubes currently cluttering up your bike space.

This weekend, from July 23rd to July 25th, Performance (www.performancebike.com) will celebrate the grand openings of its new Woodland Hills and completely remodeled Santa Monica stores with the Bike Tube Blow-Out, a recycling program sponsored by Performance and Liberty Tire, the largest scrap tire recycler in the country. During the weekend, anyone can bring their used or blown-out inner tubes to the store and receive up to three $5 money cards for the tubes they recycle.

Liberty Tire Recycling, the nation’s largest collector of used and scrap tires, will turn the bike tubes into mulch for playgrounds, athletic fields, railroad ties and highway asphalt, among other uses. The company collects and recycles nearly one-third of all of America’s annual scrap tire material and has cleaned up more than 150 dump sites littered with nearly 40 million scrap tires—more than any other organization.

“We estimate that a major city can annually generate several tons of used rubber just from blown out bicycle inner tubes alone,” said Jim Thompson, CEO of Performance Inc. “Our aim is to make bike inner tubes a proven reusable resource for playgrounds, manufacturing and other applications.”

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Insisting his time has come, Andy Schleck wins the last mountain stage of the Tour de France but not the yellow jersey; however, anything is possible in Saturday’s time trial, he says.

Meanwhile, the French love the Tour a lot less than they used to. Jens Voigt blows a tire while descending at 40 mph, shattering his bike — and his body — but refuses to abandon the race. Irish rider Nicolas Roche threatens to put his teammate’s head through the nearest window. More on the Kiwi TdF rider tackled by a gendarme before Wednesday’s 16th stage.

And in today’s daily doping news, Greg “Everyone dopes but me” LeMond says the evidence against Lance is overwhelming.

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More on the slap on the back wrist given Celine Mahdavi, who ended the professional bike racing career of Louis “Birdman” Deliz in a hit-and-run. Alex Thompson says LACBC forgot to give credit to Stephen Box for $1.32 million in Measure R funds. Gary argues that the penalty for most driving crimes should be permanent revocation of driving privileges. LADOT Bike Blog reminds readers about this weekend’s Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street. Metro and Calstart are conducting a folding bike survey. Joe Linton says the new draft bike plan is an improvement over the last one, but still has a way to go. The rich get richer, as Long Beach cyclists will soon enjoy separated bike lanes downtown. A Santa Barbara council member calls the city’s focus on alternative transportation regressive and destructive. Ten ways to stay safe on the road. A cyclist riding cross country for charity is killed in South Dakota; the driver uses the universal get out of jail free card, insisting he just didn’t see her. Riding along with a Seattle council member, and annoying faster riders. Evidently, New York workers aren’t capable of looking both ways to avoid bikes. A Colorado Christian music festival tries to solve traffic problems by banning bikes, while a Steamboat Springs writer says promoting cycling would attract thousands of rude, disrespectful, dangerous, arrogant road and trail hogs; sounds to me like she’s describing drivers. A Kansas driver intentionally strikes a cyclist, then flees the scene. A Baltimore street goes on a road diet. After losing a $2.9 million verdict, a Connecticut water district may close its 41 miles of trails. A Maltese cyclist plans to sue over bad road design after catching a wheel in a storm grate. Even Nicosia Cyprus will have a bike share program before L.A. does. A Mumbai Muslim seminary issues a fatwa against female cyclists. A helmet and some good Samaritans save the life of a Vancouver cyclist after she falls nearly 15 feet onto some rocks, landing on her head. A truly bizarre story on the dangers of cycling, including scrotal damage and using your helmet to ward off the blows of a road raging driver.

Finally, an Oregon driver shares his attitude towards bikes on his license plate; something tells me he falls into the anti camp. Maybe it belongs to the Portland bus driver who urged city residents to kill a bicyclist after a close call, or it could be the person tried to injure cyclists by placing a tape tripwire at a popular intersection.

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