Tag Archive for things you see when you’re riding

Things you see while you’re riding, bike-friendly Roaring Nights at the Zoo, and a happy bike riding kid

Most rides, you don’t see anything out of the ordinary. And others just take your breath away.

I’ve ridden past the hang gliding launch site above Dockwieler State Beach for a couple decades now, and never actually seen one in the air. Until now.

Let alone ridden alongside, so close I could nearly touch it.

Then again, maybe you could do the flying yourself on your next ride.


This is what happens when I find myself stuck updating recent stories instead of working on my next post.

I get scooped once again by the ever-intrepid Damien Newton of LA Streetsblog.

Then again, this is a story worth sharing.

Roaring NightsBecause there’s a bike party going on at the LA Zoo. And if you’re over 18, you’re invited.

The Zoo’s Roaring Nights program offers live music, a DJ, stand-up comedy, food trucks and — here’s the best part — full bar service. Which means you can enjoy a beer while watching the bears. Or a martini with the marsupials.

Okay, maybe the second best part.

Because the Zoo is going to be LA Bike Central every Thursday for the next three weeks.

They’re encouraging everyone to ride their bikes there and leave their cars at home. Which means you could take a pleasant ride up the LA River bike path to the zoo on a warm and starry summer night. Or thanks to the 7 pm start time, make your way causally through the Griffith park area in relatively light post-rush hour traffic.

And you’ll find a free bike valet once you get there, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, along with a special discount on admission for LACBC members.

You are a member, right?


Thursdays, July 11, 18, and 25, 7:00  – 10:00 p.m.

LINE UP:      

July 11: Live band So Many Wizards; Comedians Rob Gleeson and Jonny Loquasto

July 18: Live band CHIEF; Comedians Francisco Ramos and Helen Hong

July 25: Live band NO; Improv comedy troupe


The Los Angles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park at the junction of the I-5 (Golden State) and the 134 (Ventura) freeways.

Biking to the Zoo is encouraged, and the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition (LACBC) will provide free bike valet for all of the Roaring Nights events.


The event is $18 for general admission, and $15 for members of GLAZA, KCRW, and LACBC members.


For more information online, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.lazoo.org/roaringnights or call (323) 644-6042.

All events are 18+ and up. No outside food or drink is permitted.


The carnage continues, as two Highland CA boys are seriously injured when the bike they were sharing was hit by a car after they unexpectedly rode off the sidewalk into the roadway. The six- and nine-year old boys weren’t wearing helmets, despite state law requiring them for anyone under 18.

Meanwhile, Ontario police look for the killer of 17-year old cyclist Horacio Pineda, but have little to go on.


Patrick Pascal sends word that new bike lanes continue to spread across the city.

LADOT has finally completed the “last mile” of the Sunset Blvd bike lane!  For several years the lane ended at Douglas just west of Elysian Valley Parkway (the main entrance route to Dodger Stadium).  Today the reconfiguration was completed, adding (1) several hundred yards of bike lane from Douglas to Elysian Park and (2) a bus/bike lane continuing to Figueroa (where bike lanes into downtown were recently added).

While this project was modest in scope, it now allows a bicyclist to ride on bike infrastructure all the way from Hollywood to downtown.


The LACBC’s Eric Bruin’s and Boulevard Sentinel bike lane hater Tom Topping talk road diets with KPCC’s Larry Mantle, with a cameo by Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali at the end. Speaking of Flying Pigeon, their popular Spoke(n) Art ride takes place this Saturday, and they say we should call them neighborhood greenways, instead. Bicycling is thriving in South LA, even if NPR and the Bike League are just starting to catch on. That universal access playground they’ve been building on the bike path in Santa Monica is finally ready to open. West Hollywood wants your online feedback for their new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan. Free bike safety classes are coming to Santa Monica and LA. Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee rejects the city’s proposed bike plan, telling designers to come back with something more ambitious — including an east/west cycle track; Boyonabike calls it a sea change. LA Magazine offers a brief, mostly positive review of Calabasas bike café Pedalers Fork.

A Santa Barbara bike rider is killed in a late night collision; initial reports blame the victim. Professional mountain biker Matthew Slaven was shot in a Santa Cruz robbery on Monday. Santa Rosa becomes the latest city to pass an LA-style vulnerable user anti-harassment ordinance; thanks to murphstahoe for the heads-up. Is a bike path a success if most cyclists won’t ride it? A Palo Alto man is arrested for masturbating during the local fireworks show — while riding a bike, no less; the last line of the story is classic. A Donner Lake pedestrian was killed by a cyclist allegedly biking under the influence at 4th of July ceremonies. Dangerous days in Sacramento, as cyclist is intentionally rammed in a road rage attack, and another dodges a bullet fired by an angry driver.

The Bike League looks at Ride 2 Recovery through the eyes of a wounded warrior. A Texas right hook is caught on dashcam video. From wannabe Texas A&M yell leader to bike thief; can’t wait to see the inevitable Lifetime movie. A drunk hit-and-run driver is arrested for running down a seven-year old St. Paul cyclist. Now that they need cyclists’ votes, formerly anti-bike New York mayoral candidates are falling over themselves to be bike friendly. Evidently, the NYPD thinks bikes are more dangerous than cars. A Delaware rider is arrested for biking under the influence after crashing into a police cruiser. Famed open-source software developer Seth Vidal is killed in a North Carolina hit-and-run, his killer turned himself in on Tuesday; thanks to Monet Diamonte for the link. A speeding driver gets 7 years for killing a Florida man walking a bike.

Dogs chase bicyclists, so why wouldn’t a Yukon wolf, who stuck around to chew on the bike after the rider wisely bailed. A pair of experts put relative road risks in context while offering a polite smackdown in response to a paper’s call for licensing bicyclists. Calgary cyclists feel safe on the city’s new downtown cycle track. A UK cyclist is killed when he’s hit by a van during a local road race. A philosophical take on road raging anti-bike Twitter users, who somehow don’t seem to know what they’re saying. Wrong way Brit driver injures pedestrians before crashing into bus, so of course, it has to be the bicyclist’s fault. A writer for London’s Guardian says there’s no ethical case to be made for mandatory helmet laws. Meanwhile, London’s Mail manages to correct itself; the original headline located RAGBRAI in Idaho and called it a race, but at least they got the fact Lance will be riding there right. Pro rider Mark Cavendish is doused with urine — from a bottle, thankfully — during Wednesday’s Tour de France time trial; somehow, that didn’t make it into this otherwise all-inclusive animation explaining Le Tour in great, and very cute, detail. An international cycling classic just concluded in both Italy and great obscurity; no one even noticed an American won. I’m liking this guy more all the time, as newly installed Pope Francis calls on neophyte priests and nuns to give up fast cars and, yes, ride a bike; a Columbian priest actually takes him up on it. An Aussie man is told to stop buying stolen bikes, even if he is doing it for the right reasons. An Australian cyclist dies six months after he fell from his bike.

Finally, how could you not love this photo from the recent Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, courtesy of Red Kite Prayer‘s Patrick Brady? And yes, it gets bigger with a click.


Seriously, if you’ve forgotten the sheer joy of riding your bike, that smile is guaranteed to remind you.

I want to be like him when I grow up.

Let’s take a quick break for a cute dog on a bike. Or a bike trailer, anyway

Trix and owner

Trix and owner, both smiling on near perfect LA day

Let’s take a break for a little happier news.

Yesterday was a difficult morning for me, as I dealt with the emotional residue of a difficult weekend. So I set out on my bike in an attempt to improve my mood.

And yes, it did the job.

Over the years, bicycling has become my valium, my prozac, my meditation, my church. It clears my mind, energizes me when I’m tired, lifts my mood and gives me the distance required for much needed perspective.

So by the time I got to the Marina, my burden may not have been removed, but it felt a lot lighter than before I started.

Trix rides unrestrained, sitting or standing as it suits his — her? — whim

Trix rides unrestrained, sitting or standing as it suits his — her? — whim

Which may be why I laughed out loud when I looked up and saw a dog standing imperiously on trailer pulled by a recumbent bike, looking for all the world like a four-footed centurion pulled by a pedal-powered chariot.

I couldn’t resist.

So I caught up with the rider, and asked if he’d allow me to take a couple photos.

He was more than welcoming, while the dog, named Trix — I hope I got that right — mostly obliged.

Of course, like an idiot, I neglected to get the name of the friendly rider, or ask where he was from. Considering the riders I spoke with yesterday ranged from Alaska to DC, that could have been just about anywhere.

So if you recognize yourself, or know the rider and his dog, let me know.

And thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in days.

It wasn’t until much later, after I got back home, that I realized I’d captured the whole thing on video.

Colorado’s Dan Maes keeps his tinfoil hat in the ring; things you see when you’re riding

Breaking news from Colorado: the Tea Party favorite who thinks bike share is a UN conspiracy is now the official Republican candidate for governor.

Proof that common sense is not a requirement for higher office.

And the best argument yet for always wearing your helmet when you ride.


I frequently cut through the back roads when I ride back up from the coast. And for the last year or so, I’ve been watching a new building go up on the corner of Short Street and Entrada Drive.

I hadn’t been through there for a few weeks, though, so I was surprised to see the façade had gone up already. And even more surprised to see that it is either going to be the new headquarters for Harlequin Books, or it’s well on its way to being the ugliest new building in L.A.

Why do I have a sudden urge to buy some argyle riding socks?

And yes, it is in L.A.


Don’t forget the Metro Bicycle Roundtable at noon Wednesday, and the 1st Annual City of Lights Awards Dinner on Thursday.


Joe Linton digs deep into the proposed bike plan, while Damien Newton reminds readers about the upcoming Streetsblog fundraiser on Wednesday the 25th; I’m going to do my best to be there. Mihai Peteu says Los Angeles sucks because it lacks safe bikeways that connect. LADOT Bike Blog talks to the coordinator behind the Watch the Road campaign. LACBC reaches out to young cyclists in South L.A. and Pacoima. Are we on our way to becoming Los Amsterdam? Jeremy Grant reports on Monday’s BAC meeting. Santa Monica’s City Council talked ciclovia Tuesday night, while the city’s upcoming Tour da Arts will feature a cycling cellist. Long Beach’s cycling expats celebrate a full year of touring America by bike. An e-biker files a $1.5 million claim against Laguna Beach after a bad roadway causes her to crash.

A bike advocate paralyzed in a cycling accident writes to question a call for mandatory helmets; a Canadian study shows helmet laws do result in higher usage, but doesn’t address whether it improves safety, reduces injuries or discourages ridership. Tucson police start strict enforcement of dangerous bike violations, but go after dangerous drivers as well. When gas goes up, so do bike sales, which should bode well for bike dealers in the years ahead. Tips for surviving summertime bike commuting, assuming summer ever makes it to the coast. Florida cyclists can play bike poker on the Seminole Cyclists Poker Run charity ride. Interval training can burn fat as well as boost speed. The Federal DOT considers policy changes that could bring more innovative bike designs stateside. A Missouri driver says bikes should be banned from any road with a speed limit over 20 mph. What to do if you’re involved in a collision with another cyclist. This just in: hundreds of cyclists rode their bikes and nothing happened. In Florida, authorities sweep road rage under the carpet with “It’s your word against his;” sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Get your bike portrait taken free in NYC. Stopping for red lights is just so much simpler — and safer — than the alternative. A Dayton writer is uncomfortable with the city’s new bike lanes; wait until she gets a look at sharrows.

Former world cyclo-cross champion Radomir Simunek died Tuesday after a long illness. My favorite bike-riding, fiction-writing ex-Londoner tries to reason with Scottland’s rainy season. Research shows cyclists and drivers are often the same people. An Aussie cyclist offers a little support for Lance. For the rider who has everything, a $40 bike mounted bottle opener.

Finally, a movie I’d want to see; too bad it’s not real. And from my hometown, a driver goes into the left lane to make a right turn around a cyclist stopped in the right lane at a red light.

No, really.

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