Tag Archive for St. Anne’s

St. Anne’s Toy Ride, Festival of Lights Bike Night and other bike-related news

A lot of news items have crossed my desk this week, with a number of bike rides and other assorted groups and activities for the cycling set.

Looks like it’s going to be a very busy weekend.

First up, I want to remind you about this Sunday’s easy, family-friendly El Niño (para las niñas) Toy Ride, sponsored by LA Greensters to benefit the children of St. Anne’s. The ride kicks off at 1 pm Sunday, December 6th, from the Red Line Metro Station at Santa Monica and Vermont; just bring a new, unwrapped toy to be delivered to St. Anne’s in time for their annual Christmas party. With your help, no child will go home empty handed.

Tonight is the first night of DWP’s Holiday Lights Festival, the annual event in which only people in cars are usually allowed to inch along a Griffith Park street staring at the light displays, even though state law requires that every street be open to cyclists. However, this year, the opening night — tonight — is a bicycle-only Bike Night, and the festival will be vehicle-free and pedestrian-only from the 4th to the 17th before they kick people out and let cars in.

My contribution to Sunday's Toy Ride

Next up is the dedication of the new ornamental bike path gateways on the Ballona Creek Bikeway at 10 am Friday, December 4th, sponsored by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The event takes place at the Inglewood Boulevard Bridge over Ballona Creek, and includes a community tree planting and 1.5 mile bike tour of the new gates. RSVPs are recommended but not required; call 323/221-8900. (Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.)

While you’re in the area, you might want to join up with the award-winning Santee Education Complex Debate Team, which is riding down Venice Blvd to Venice High School to deliver trees for planting. The event kicks off at 11 am Friday at Santee High; if you hurry, you’ll have just enough time to get there after the Ballona gate dedication, or you can meet up with them as they ride along Venice. Read more at Illuminate LA and Westside Bikeside.

Later Friday, it’s time to party with the good folks at West L.A.’s Bikerowave bike co-op as they celebrate the inaugural Pedal With Me group ride, sponsored by the United Steps, a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking unique solutions for homelessness. The party starts at 8 pm at the Bikerowave on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, promising good music, volunteers, bike repair tools and live art. Not to mention a great time.

On Saturday, you have your choice of two group rides. First up is the the Pedal With Me event to address homelessness in Los Angeles, with two rides departing from the Bikerowave beginning at 9 am and 11 am. More details and volunteer opportunities are available on the Bikerowave website.

Also on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Altadena Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Athletic Association present the 2009 Tour of Altadena Bike Ride from 9 am to 1 pm this Saturday, December 5th. The ride kicks off at 9 am at Bronco Pavillion in Loma Alta Park, with a 10 mile Family Fun Ride or a 12.5 mile Hill Challenge. There is a $10 entry fee, and a $6 barbeque at 11 am; all proceeds benefit the L.A. County Sheriff’s Annual Charitable Giving Campaign.

On Sunday, December 6th, Bikerowave celebrates the holidays with its first ever swap meet, promising good deals on bikes and parts. Coffee, donuts and fruit will be provided; add a little pasta — or maybe beer — and you’ve got the four basic food groups of cyclists. One of the city’s best farmer’s markets will be right across the street, as well. Email stevenhma@gmail.com if you have items you’d like to sell.

And mark your calendar for next Wednesday, when the City Councils Transportation Committee will hold a bicycle-only session beginning at 2 pm at Downtown’s City Hall. Topics will include a report from LAPD on bicycle incidents, the Sharrows pilot project and a proposed anti-harassment ordinance.

Last but not least, not an event but a new cycling group. Thanks again to Joe Linton for letting me know about the newly formed South Bay Bicycle Coalition, which held its first meeting at the Manhattan Beach REI on November 17th with 30 cyclists in attendance. The group was born out of a Manhattan Beach group dedicated to safer cycling; if you’re down in the South Bay, check ‘em out.


In case you missed it, C.I.C.L.E.’s Joe Linton (yes, the same Joe Linton) was featured on KPCC’s Air Talk program yesterday talking about L.A.’s planned CicLAvia — definitely worth clicking the link to stream the segment or download the podcast. Streetsblog says the LAPD is looking into last weekend’s Critical Mess. Flying Pigeon notes that local cycling craftsmen Greg Townsend and Mr. Jalopy are featured in the current LA Magazine. Bike San Diego interviews local cycling visionary Sky Boyer. Our Missouri cycling reporter is anything but Surly about his new commuter bike. Biking in Heels discusses the important winter-time topic of proper lighting. A great dooring animated video courtesy of Urban Velo. Witch on a Bicycle lets Philadelphia’s knee-jerk leaders have it with both barrels. A debate sponsored by the UK’s Spectator magazine concludes that cyclists are not a menace. Finally, also from the UK — and the Department of Duh — comes a study showing roads should be made safer for cyclists. Anyone who didn’t know that, please raise your hand.

Do the right thing December 6th — the El Niño Toy Ride for the children of St. Anne’s

In Spike Lee’s classic movie, they told him to do the right thing. But no one could seem to figure out just what that was.

I think I can answer that.

You see, when I got home from my ride today, I found an email waiting from yet another friend I’ve never met; a reader who’s been kind enough to steer my attention to a few things I might have missed otherwise.

This one included.

As Patrick put it,

I don’t know the first thing about the LA Greensters, but, as vice-chair of the board, I am well familiar with St. Anne’s and the great things they do for the young women and their children in the Rampart district and beyond.  If you could find space on your blog for a mention, it could help brighten a few more Christmas mornings.

Who could resist an invitation like that?

So I clicked on the attached link, and found myself reading about next month’s El Niño (para las niñas) Toy Ride, sponsored by LA Greensters — a group of cyclists committed to creating a more sustainable model for the film industry.

And the more I read, the more I was moved — and the more I agreed that this is something you’d want to know about.

You see, for over 100 years, St. Anne’s has helped local women, children and families in need, dealing with issues like teen pregnancy and parenting, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and homelessness among adolescents.

But recently, they got some bad news.

The toys they were counting on for their annual Christmas Party wouldn’t be coming, after all. Which meant that 150 children wouldn’t get gifts this year.

At least, that’s where things stood until the big-hearted people at LA Greensters found out about the situation and decided to do something about it.

Now they need your help.

On Sunday, December 6th, they’re inviting cyclists to meet them at the Red Line Metro Station at Santa Monica and Vermont at 1 pm for an easy, family-oriented ride to St. Anne’s. And they’re asking you to bring along an unwrapped toy or other gift appropriate for children:

Everyone is encouraged to bring along an unwrapped toy or gift for children ages 0-17. We can arrange to pick up gifts and/or money donations before the ride if you cannot attend or wish to make a larger donation. If your toys are too big or too heavy for you to carry on the ride we are equipped to haul these items for you. All donations are fully tax deductible and a letter of acknowledgment will be sent to you from St. Anne’s a 501 (c)3 organization.

I know this has been a hard year for all of us. Myself included.

But I can’t think of anything that would make me more proud of this city’s cyclists than for a thousand cyclists to show up for the ride bearing so many gifts that the children of St. Anne’s can have a holiday they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. Maybe even enough that the sisters of St. Annes can pass them along to other organizations in need.

And they’ll have the generosity of the cycling community to thank for it.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to join in. But I am going to stretch my budget to make room for a few toys I hadn’t planned buying on this year. So if the Greensters want to swing by and pick them up next week, just let me know when.

For all your corporate types out there, this is a great opportunity for your company to make a donation that will really make a difference. Or if you’re outside the L.A. area and want to help, I’m sure they’ll take a check.

For the rest of us, it only takes one small toy to put a smile on a child’s face. So do what you can. And pass this page, or the link to the LA Greenster’s Facebook page, along to everyone you know.

Because this is a chance to open your heart and do the right thing.

And for once, you don’t have to be Spike Lee to figure out what that is.


LACBC catches the new Chief’s ear, and gets a promise to address the problem of bike thefts, assaults and harassment against cyclists. Joe Linton does the math, and discovers that L.A.’s new bike plan calls for just 28 — yes, 28 — new miles of bike lanes; Dr. Alex says cyclist could have gotten more for our money if the plan had been created on a compost powered laptop. Flying Pigeon celebrates the Gold Line extension by offering a same-day discount to anyone who rides it. Acomprehensive regional transit plan for Los Angeles; too bad it’s 60 years old. Even though state law requires that bikes have equal access to every street, DWP still offers separate but unequal access to the annual Holiday Light Festival. Writing on Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske’s blog, Rick Bernardi discusses police enforcement of a non-existent law against riding two-abreast in Redondo Beach. Cities for Cycling will attempt to improve road design standards to include cyclists and pedestrians. Shoot a cyclist with a gun, get 120 days in county lockup; shoot a car with a pellet gun, get over three years in state prison. The next time a driver complains that cyclists don’t pay our shareof road fees, show them this. Indianapolis forgives tickets for commuters who ride park trails before or after posted hours. In an interesting tactic, a Toronto cyclist takes the city before the labor relations board, claiming the streets aren’t safe for working commuters. The Department of DIY opens a branch in London’s East End. Finally, yesterday was a difficult day for cyclists; here in Westwood, at 9th and La Brea, and in the Windy — and rainy — City (love that headline, Dottie).

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