Visit SaMo Bike Center with the Spoke, Cambodian Arts Ride & Newport Pre-Thanksgiving Ride

November 19, 2011

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The highly active Santa Monica Spoke, an affiliate chapter of the LACBC, will meet for coffee and pastries on Saturday, November 19th at 10 am at the Colorado Community Room on the southeast corner of 5th and Broadway, followed by a visit to the new SaMo Bike Center.

Cali Bike Tours is sponsoring a short 1.4 mile bike ride to the Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday, November 19th. The ride will leave the Portfolio Coffeehouse at 2300 East 4th Street in Long Beach at 10:30 am, and returning by 12:30 pm.

C.I.C.L.E. is hosting a workshop on Brake and Gear Adjustment on Saturday the 19th, from 9:30 am to 11 am at Normandie Ave. Elementary School 4505 South Raymond Ave. That will be followed on Sunday by a Tire Repair Workshop on Sunday, November 20th, from 10 am to 11:30 am at Swim Stadium in Exposition Park.

The ever popular Get Sum Dim Sum rolls this Sunday, November 20th. Riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park at 10 am, with the ride departing at 10:30; bring money for food.

The well-received Santa Monica Bike Action Plan goes before the SaMo City Council at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, November 22nd in the Santa Monica City Council Chambers, 1685 Main Street.

Bike Newport Beach is hosting a Pre-Thanksgiving Ride on Wednesday, November 23rd. The ride departs from the Newport Pier at 8 am for an easy 30-mile ride along the Santa Ana River Trail, with a stop for a late breakfast at the halfway point.

The public is invited to an informal Thanksgiving Day Mar Vista Turkey Ride, meeting at 3270 Stoner Ave at 9:30 am, with a 10 am departure time. The ride will feature a short, flat tour of the Westdale Trusdale area, followed a ride through the Mar Vista hills.

The South Bay Bike Plan concludes its long march to approval with with one last hearing before the Torrance City Council, 7:00 PM at 3031 Torrance Boulevard.

The Claremont/Pomona area hosts it’s own toy ride on Saturday, December 3rd, sponsored by the Kevin Unck Foundation, with support from Coates Cyclery and the Back Abbey. More details to follow; thanks to Michael at the Claremont Cyclist for the heads-up.

December 7th through 11th, Antenna Magazine’s Re:mix Lab will hit L.A. after a semi-national tour, featuring two urban Bad Boy bikes designed by Cannondale in cooperation with Junk Food Clothing. The art, music, fashion and cultural festival will unfold at a site to be selected.

LA Streetsblog is hosting an End of the Year Party on Thursday, December 8 from 7 pm to 10 pm at St. Andrews West Los Angeles, 11555 National Blvd. Streetsblog parties are always a good time, and well worth the suggested $25 donation; however, head Streetsblogger Damien Newton promises no one will be turned away if you can’t afford it.

Friday, December 9th, the Midnight Ridazz host what may be the most important ride of the year, when they ensure that thousands of L.A. children will have a happy holiday with the 6th Annual All-City Toy Ride. Routes will begin from points throughout the city, converging on Downtown L.A. to collect the toys and celebrate the season. If anyone else is hosting a toy ride this year, let me know.

Tuesday, December 27th, the LACBC returns to Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse for the 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Merriment, 2911 Main Street. Good beer, good friends, bike valet and a portion of all sales goes to support cycling in the great L.A. area. What’s not to like?


Through the looking glass — L.A.-area communities suddenly become bike friendlier

November 18, 2011

I was wrong.

It was only a couple years ago that Santa Monica was named a Bike Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists.

And even though it was just a Bronze level designation, I felt, like a number of other local riders, that the award was premature at best.

From frequently blocked bike lanes to a heavy-handed response to Critical Mass, and a Class III bike route on Lincoln Blvd that could only be considered an attempt to thin the herd, it seemed clear to everyone other than LAB that the day was long off when the city could be considered even remotely friendly to cyclists.

Remarkably, that day is here.

Just over two years later, Santa Monica is leading the way to becoming one of the state’s most bike-friendly cities, setting an example for every other town in the county, with the single exception of Long Beach.

Bike lanes and sharrows are appearing at a rapidly increasing rate. The city’s first bike corral has recently opened at 5th and Arizona. A new Bike Action Plan, which has been widely praised by cyclists, nears final approval by the City Council next week.

Even life-threatening Lincoln Blvd may soon see changes, as Santa Monica prepares to assume authority for the street from Caltrans, which seems more than willing to accept a few fatalities in exchange for an emphasis on vehicular traffic flow — even though it barely moves much of the day.

The police department has a new commitment to working with — and protecting the rights of — cyclists, with SMPD Sgt. Thomas McLaughlin serving as an effective counterpoint to the LAPD’s Sgt. David Krumer.

And on Friday, the city gets its first Bike Center, one of two in the downtown area that will provide riders with secure parking and showers.

More importantly, there seems to be a shared commitment throughout the city administration to make cyclists feel welcome — and safe — on the streets of Santa Monica.

Funny thing is, it’s not just SaMo.

Cities throughout L.A. County are suddenly stepping up to the bike-friendly plate.

Earlier this week, Burbank opened a new Bike Stop at their Downtown Metrolink Station — which is where you can find those cool new Metrolink Bike Cars that have everyone so excited.  Nearby Glendale recently adopted a Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, including a draft bike plan.

West Hollywood is working on a plan of their own, including a proposal to put bike lanes on busy Fountain Avenue, while L.A. is soon to open it’s first green bike lane, as well as a new separated bike lane on Downtown’s Spring Street.

The seven cities of the South Bay are just one away from unanimous approval of the Bicycle Master Plan. Even tiny South Pasadena approved a new bike plan that will add 24 miles of bike lanes to the city’s streets.

And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Of course, there are still problem areas.

Like the Expo Bike Path, which is in danger of being derailed by a NIMBY lawsuit, while the planned bike facilities at the Culver City Expo Station face a misguided budget axe. And the supposedly final L.A. County Bicycle Master Plan, which still leaves a lot to be desired.

But even the biking black hole of Beverly Hills is making progress, limited though it may be.

And most shocking of all, the bayside ‘burb of Malibu, where cyclists have traditionally been regarded as some form of vermin, has inexplicably decided to explore achieving Bike Friendly status itself.

Like Beverly Hills, they have a long way to go.

Then again, so did Santa Monica just a few short years ago.

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Barricades at the pier force cyclists to detour

Speaking of Santa Monica, cyclists who ride the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path — now that most of the tourists have gone home and it is actually rideable again — have been stymied by construction barriers at the pier. Along with nearly universally ignored signs asking riders to walk around the detour zone.

The path was closed to allow a storm drain improvement project, supposedly from September 12th to October 21st.

But nearly a month later, it’s still closed.

So rather than go off half-cocked — as I have admittedly been known to do — I picked up the phone and called the number posted on the sign.

After my call was passed through a series of very friendly and helpful people, I eventually ended up with the engineer in charge of the project, who told me that the delay had been caused by the need to work around some unanticipated utility lines. And that they expect to reopen the bike path next Tuesday, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

And that may just be the most important change as the city moves to greater bike friendliness.

When you can not only get the engineer in charge on the phone, but actually get a genuine response and answers to your questions, something very positive is going on.

Are you listening, LADOT?

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One last note.

I ran across this frightening item from the Orange County Register — at least, it should be frightening for anyone who rides behind the Orange Curtain.

Q. Sundays in Lake Forest are the worst: You have a pack of 50 to 75 cyclists riding up El Toro Road. My understanding of the bicycle law is that a bicycle must remain in the bike lane, and in the absence of a bike lane, the riders must stay as far to the right as safely possible. Instead, this pack rides four, five, six across.

– Mark Hermanson, Lake Forest

A. Perhaps Honk’s favorite county road that doesn’t include an ocean view is Live Oak Canyon Road, that windy, country ribbon of asphalt into Trabuco Canyon beneath a leafy canopy. And likely where those bikers go. And a road where cyclists have been known to at times dangerously, and selfishly, ride abreast of one another.

Yes, under state law, on a public road, riders are to be in the bike lane when they exist; so you and your pal can ride side-by-side if enough room exists. In the absence of a bike lane, in most circumstances, cyclists must stay as far right as possible, which would mean going it single file, or they face citations, Deputy Paul Villeneuve of the Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Division kindly explained.

I don’t even know where to start.

As most cyclists should be aware, CVC 21202 requires cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable — not possible — while offering a long list a exceptions allowing them to move to the left whenever appropriate.

While cyclists are required to ride in a bike lane where present, we enjoy a similarly long list of exceptions that allow the rider to exit the lane when necessary.

And there’s nothing in the California Vehicle Code that prohibits cyclists from riding two or more abreast. In fact, it’s not even mentioned anywhere in the code.

Which means that cyclists can legally ride abreast as long as they don’t impede traffic — which is defined as five or more vehicles following behind a slow moving vehicle and unable to pass; if they can pass, they’re not being impeded.

In fact, it’s often safer to ride two or more abreast when the lane is too narrow to share, in order to increase visibility and control the lane to prevent unsafe passing.

You’d think someone in law enforcement would know that.

And it’s scary as hell when they don’t.


Great food, coffee, beer and a bike shop — what more could L.A. cyclists want?

November 16, 2011

I love great food.

Not to mention exceptional coffee. And I’ve seldom been known to turn down a good beer, especially on a pleasant outdoor patio after a good ride.

So when I heard a group a cyclists was planning to open a new restaurant in Calabasas specializing in just that — and marrying it all with a small bike shop — they had me at hello.

I’ll let one of the restaurant’s creators, Gideon Kleinman, explain what will await you next year with the opening of Pedalers Fork.

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Front view of restaurant

Pedalers Fork was conceived by a group of riders who wanted to make a home for cyclists. A place that really has everything one needs to enjoy some of the greatest aspects of riding in our wonderful Santa Monica mountains.

Three of the four founding members just rode and completed the Leadville 100 and we are already training for next year, both on road and mountain. With that said, you can see that the passion is there for our pursuit of the sport and lifestyle. We wanted to create something where we could ride everyday, and enjoy the finest coffee, food and beer. Having partnered with a restaurant owner in the San Fernando Valley, we began to look for just the right space and community to establish Pedalers Fork. When we saw the space directly across from the Sagebrush Cantina in Old Town Calabasas we knew that was it. The community is there and a better location for roadies and mountain bikers hardly exists in Southern California.

We plan on having a variety of aspects that should appeal to the entire cycling community. The coffee will be furnished by our very own 10 Speed Coffee, which we partnered with and are bringing down from Hood River, Oregon. We will be roasting daily on site, and doing all of the most sought after coffee preparations and service. From single cup drips to the beautifully poured lattes, we will be bringing the a level of coffee sophistication that hardly exists in Southern California, and is so sought after by cyclists.

Rear view with cafe and bike shop

After, before or really anytime, Pedalers Fork will be an amazing place for cyclists and non-cyclists alike to dine. Our chef comes from one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles, he is a cyclist as well and is crafting a menu specifically for the community. Pedalers Fork will be completely Farm to Table and will go to rigorous lengths to ensure that we are working with local farmers to get the absolute best and freshest ingredients. Meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, poultry and everything else on the menu will be sourced locally and will always be in season. We feel that many of the places available to cyclists don’t have the level of food in terms of quality and good healthy options that most cyclists really want.

Another of the post ride remedies that we knew we had to excel in was beer. We will have around 40 rotating beers on tap at all time and an extensive bottle list. From the micro brews of the Pacific Northwest to the oldest Trappist Ales, our selection will appeal to even the most discerning beer drinkers. We have likened our patio and bar area to a beer garden and want nothing more than to see everyone gathering at the tables and enjoying a few pints in the afternoon sun. We will be creating beer/riding clubs where people will get the chance to sample a variety of beers at a discounted price and enjoy them with friends, riders and anyone else who wants to join.

The last and perhaps the most crucial aspect of Pedalers Fork will be the bike shop. We wanted to make a meeting place for riders that can really serve them. We will have all the ride essentials; with tubes, tires, tape, food, etc, the shop will be a cyclist’s dream convenience. We plan on doing minor repairs if needed, but we are huge proponents of our local bike shops and we do not want to compete with them. It will be a fun place to watch races, pick up a few essentials, or just relax after a hard ride. Our self-locking bike rack will always ensure that your ride is safe so you needn’t keep looking over your shoulder to make sure your bike is still there. The shop will be the focal point of the restaurant and when not open, it will be lit and on display as a window into the cyclist lifestyle.

With all of these elements together, we feel that we are not only creating something perfect for cyclists and the community but will have an establishment that is totally unique. We are aiming to open around March and encourage people to friend/like us on Facebook (Pedalers Fork) and follow us on twitter @PedalersFork.

Thanks again and we look forward to riding with you all!

From left: Gideon Klienman, Head of Marketing and Creative Development, Owner/Partner Robbie Schaeffer and Chef Sam Baxter

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for March.

And at about 23 miles from my home, it’s easily within riding distance. Although after a few good beers, the ride back could be challenging.


Double the links — OCTA bike victim ID’d, bike plan meeting in BH, London cyclists ride in protest

November 14, 2011

I already had a full load of links ready to go Sunday night when I set them aside to write about Saturday’s cycling fatality in Laguna Hills.

So settle in for a double dose of all the latest and greatest bike links the interweb has to offer.

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First up, the cyclist killed in a right hook by an Orange County OCTA bus on Saturday has been identified as 35-year old Romeo Jimenez-Zavaleta of Laguna Hills.

Still no word on whether he was riding on the wrong side of the street or on the sidewalk before entering the crosswalk. A reader named Bruce confirms that sidewalk riding is legal in Laguna Hills. And unlike the street, there is no right or wrong way on a crosswalk, though there is some question whether a badly worded state law allows cyclists to ride in or next to a crosswalk.

Either way, the driver should have been able to see someone in the crosswalk directly ahead of the bus.

And Mendocino cyclists mourn the death of 82-year old David Russell, who was a long-time fixture in the local riding community before he was killed by an 18-year old driver.

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The next meeting to discuss the proposed bike plan update in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills will take place this Wednesday, November 16th at 5 pm. If you ride the gilded streets of BH — or would if pedaling through the city didn’t suck so much — try to be there.

I’ll try not to take it personally that they scheduled the meeting for the only time this week that I can’t go.

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More on Metrolink’s new bike cars; thanks to Steven Vance for the heads-up. LADOT Bike Blog rides down to check them out; note that tandems and gas bikes are banned.

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After a second cyclist is killed at a dangerous intersection, London cyclists take to the road en masse to call attention to the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections and demand safer streets for everyone — including cyclists.

And despite what the city’s seemingly auto-centric mayor may have to say on the subject. A writer points out that the mayor is an experienced cyclist, and roads he considers ridable may not be safe for other cyclists.

London’s equivalent of LADOT says they’re sorry, and one board member agrees that the streets aren’t safe enough.

Meanwhile, over 300 Toronto cyclists hit the streets to call for better safety after a 38-year old cyclist is killed by a truck on the way to pick her son up from school, including calling for side guards on semi trucks, which might have prevented the tragedy. A local rider says if the city cared about human beings on bikes, she would still be alive today.

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A KCET blogger offers a surprisingly biased look at riding on the sidewalk from a pedestrian’s perspective.

Bike riders (with an attitude) bristle at these proposals, which would sour the outlaw aspects of urban bike commuting into the bourgeois rectitude of a Copenhagen or Amsterdam. Pedestrians – of which I am obliged to be one – just wish bike riders didn’t regard us as impediments to their speed.

Perhaps he’s suggesting that only bike riders with an attitude pose a danger to pedestrians, but it reads like an indictment of all bike commuters.

Unexamined in these discussions about what should and shouldn’t go on sidewalks, is the conviction among those who go about on wheels – either two or four – that wheels themselves have a natural privilege over those who are wheel-less, and that those who ride (bike, car, skateboard) are the betters of those who walk.

Lumping us in with drivers?

Now that hurts.

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KPPC’s Patt Morrison looks at the recent groundbreaking University of Wisconsin study showing increased cycling rates could result in up to $3.5 billion in savings from better air quality and $3.8 billion in lower healthcare costs each year — not to mention over 1,000 fewer traffic fatalities. And asks what it would take to get you on a bike.

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The first markings for what will soon be L.A.’s first green bike lane appear on First St; the rest is soon to follow. The UCLA Cycling Team invites you to participate in the Bruin Fall Century next Saturday. Burbank police worry about a rise in bike collisions and place the blame on cyclists, who may not know the rules of the road. Flying Pigeon rides for dim sum this Sunday. I love stories like this; a Burbank group repairs bikes to donate to needy children. Hint to Santa Monica cyclists — if you’re carrying drugs, don’t ride on the sidewalk. More on the Santa Monica Bike Centers slated to open at the end of this week; lost in the anticipation is news that Burbank is opening a BikeStop of their own. Does it matter if they don’t make a profit, since every other form of parking — and driving — is heavily subsidized? How would you like a 22-mile long east-west bikeway through the San Gabriel Valley? (Note: I originally wrote that the bike pathwould run through the San Fernando Valley; thanks to Rex Reese for the correction.) Three more bike thieves are behind bars, this time for a burglary in Agoura Hills.

A San Francisco cyclist faces a vehicular manslaughter charge for running a red light and killing a 68 year old woman as she walked in a crosswalk; if we’re going to hold drivers accountable, we have to be accountable, too. San Francisco cyclists can get free bike lights for the next month. Just Another Cyclist says whatever life brings, just keep pedaling. Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers photos from the San Francisco Bike Expo; we need to get something like that down here. A Union City cyclist is touch-and-go after yet another a hit-and-run. A Marin County physician calls for bike helmets for everyone, while a UK public service site seems to agree. A Napa driver warns readers about a scamming cyclist; sounds more like an urban myth to me.

Bicycling offers video advice on high cadence climbing, along with seven cycling moments that stand out in 2011. Bike Portland celebrates the T-shirt stylings of Long Beach biking expat Russ Roca. Bike-friendly Austin discovers bike corrals, while the local paper offers a great history of bike racing through the years. A hit-and-run driver turns himself in hours after killing a Minneapolis cyclist. An interview with the new head of Cincinnati’s Queen City Bike organization. The Indianapolis Star looks at the growing popularity of cyclocross. A Portsmouth woman is charged with DUI, while the cyclist she hit is ticketed for riding without lights. Does it matter where your bike was made? Every nasty driver is somebody’s friend — and could be a cyclist. A UPS driver acknowledges she saw a cyclist, but cut her off anyway. New York’s anti-bike backlash is nothing new, even though the new bike lanes have made life safer for pedestrians. A Florida university wants to turn North Miami’s only segregated bike path into a four lane street

The Department of DIY opens a branch in Mexico City, as local cyclists paint their own 5 km bike lane in just 8 hours for less than $1,000. Hamilton ON police have ticketed 54,000 drivers so far this year and roughly 525 cyclists; so which group is the scofflaws? A UK bike advocate is slowly bouncing back from life threatening injuries suffered two days after her helmet was stolen. A UK car website that supports safely sharing the road proves popular with cyclists. Someone is stringing rope across Brit roads and bikeways. As if cars aren’t enough to dodge, an Oxford cyclist barely survives a falling girder. How to stay motivated to ride when you see winter out your window; and if you’re riding through sheep pee, don’t forget your fenders. Bike Radar profiles Kozo Shimano — yes, that Shimano. Whether Alberto Contador wins or loses his arbitration hearing, cycling is already the loser; meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde is banned from his own presentation ceremony. Munich’s old cycle tracks can’t keep up with the increased demand. Bike are fashionable in China once again; then again, maybe they never really went away. Bangalore will soon get its first bike lanes.

Finally, a Canyon Country amputee rides his first century, raising nearly $3000 for charity. And though it’s not bike related — other than the great graphic — don’t forget the Great Venice Toy Drive through December 8th.


Unrelenting pace of cycling fatalities continues as Laguna Hills cyclist killed in OCTA bus right hook

November 14, 2011

It’s happened again.

Just a week after the riding deaths of Sherrie Norton and Robert Hyndman — and critical injuries to two Long Beach riders — an Orange County cyclist has been killed in a right hook collision while riding in a crosswalk.

The Orange County Register offers a confusing description of the collision. But apparently, the cyclist, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north on Paseo de Valencia around 5 pm Saturday, either on the wrong side of the roadway, or more likely, on the sidewalk facing southbound traffic.

As he attempted to cross Alicia Parkway, he was struck and killed an Orange County Transportation Authority bus turning west onto Alicia from southbound Paseo de Valencia.

No other details are available at this time.

However, the driver should have been able to see the cyclist, as the rider appears to have been coming directly towards him in the crosswalk.

The paper notes that the OC Sheriff’s department is continuing to investigate the collision.

This is the 10th confirmed cycling fatality in Orange County this year, and 64th confirmed traffic-related bike fatality in Southern California since the start of the year. That compares with an average of 10 bicycling deaths in Orange County for the last two years on record (2008 and 2009), and 55 in Southern California over the same period.

However, it should be noted that the 5-year average for both is much higher, at 13 and 68.2 respectively.

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As long as we’re sharing bad news, an 18-year old cyclist was the victim of a hit-and-run in East Long Beach. Fortunately, his injuries were non-life threatening, although that does not necessarily mean he didn’t suffer serious injuries.

Police are looking for an oversized, dark-colored pick-up with possible damage to the passenger-side front or side window. Anyone with information can contact authorities at www.tipsoft.com

And an 82-year old Mendocino cyclist was killed when he was hit from behind while riding on the shoulder of Highway 1; he was hit by a pick-up operated by an 18-year old driver who drifted off the roadway, hitting the victim at 55 mph.

I want to say that someone still riding at 82 deserves better than that.

But so does every other cyclist, no matter how old.


Yes, we have no tamales, but we do have an artistic weekend ahead

November 12, 2011

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride rolls once again on Saturday, November 12th. The ride leaves at 6:30 pm to tour open galleries in the North East L.A. area; cruiser bikes are available to rent for $20. That will be followed by the popular Get Sum Dim Sum Ride on November 20th. All rides depart from the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park.

Update: The LA Tamale Throwdown scheduled for November 11th through 13th has been cancelled for this year.

On Saturday, November 12th, C.I.C.L.E. hosts a ride through the streets that form the canvas of our city, with a leisurely paced 7.5 mile tour of L.A. street murals in Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights and the Downtown Arts District, with a party to follow. Riders meet at Lincoln Park by the Valley Blvd parking lot, Valley Blvd and San Pablo Street, with the ride starting at 1:30 pm.

Also on Saturday the 12th, Palm Desert hosts the first Palm Desert Century Bike Ride, with rides of 20, 32, 50, 60, 70 and 100 miles; online registration ends November 11th.

Update: The LACBC’s Tour de Taste originally scheduled for Sunday, November 13th, has been postponed, with the date to be determined.

The South Bay Bike Plan continues it’s long march to approval with hearings before the last two remaining city councils in Manhattan Beach on the 15th and Torrance on November 22nd.

The County of Los Angeles unveils the final draft of their proposed new bike plan, offering a more than 500% increase in bikeways. Your last chance to comment of the plan could come before the County of Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission, Wednesday, November 16th at 9 am in the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street in Downtown L.A. The LACBC says it still needs some work.

Santa Monica’s new Bike Center is scheduled to open on Friday, November 18th at the corner of 2nd and Colorado, and you’re invited.

The highly active Santa Monica Spoke, an affiliate chapter of the LACBC, will meet for coffee and pastries on Saturday, November 19th at 10 am at the Colorado Community Room on the southeast corner of 5th and Broadway, followed by a visit to the new SaMo Bike Center.

Cali Bike Tours is sponsoring a short 1.4 mile bike ride to the Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday, September 19th. The ride will leave the Portfolio Coffeehouse at 2300 East 4th Street in Long Beach at 10:30 am, and returning by 12:30 pm.

December 7th through 11th, Antenna Magazine’s Re:mix Lab will hit L.A. after a semi-national tour, featuring two urban Bad Boy bikes designed by Cannondale in cooperation with Junk Food Clothing. The art, music, fashion and cultural festival will unfold at a site to be selected.

LA Streetsblog is hosting an End of the Year Party on Thursday, December 8 from 7 pm to 10 pm at St. Andrews West Los Angeles, 11555 National Blvd. Streetsblog parties are always a good time, and well worth the suggested $25 donation; however, head Streetsblogger Damien Newton promises no one will be turned away if you can’t afford it.

Friday, December 9th, the Midnight Ridazz host what may be the most important ride of the year, when they ensure that thousands of L.A. children will have a happy holiday with the 6th Annual All-City Toy Ride. Routes will begin from points throughout the city, converging on Downtown L.A. to collect the toys and celebrate the season. If anyone else is hosting a toy ride this year, let me know.

Tuesday, December 27th, the LACBC returns to Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse for the 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Merriment, 2911 Main Street. Good beer, good friends, bike valet and a portion of all sales goes to support cycling in the great L.A. area. What’s not to like?


Cops 4 bike thieves 0; County bike plan goes before Planning Committee with much to be desired

November 11, 2011

This hasn’t been a good week for bike thieves.

Manhattan Beach police nailed two, along with a half-dozen hot bikes. If you’ve had a bike stolen in the South Bay in the last six weeks, see if your bike fits the description of the bikes they recovered.

Here on the Westside, police are celebrating the arrest of two burglars specializing in high-end bicycles.

Thirty-sex year old Herrera and 23-year old Julian Herrera were arrested following a burglary on the 100 block of South Bentley just west of UCLA; no word on whether they’re related.

Two bikes that were stolen in the burglary were recovered from their cars, along with an additional two bikes that were found in their homes. One of those bikes was reported stolen over the weekend in Woodland Hills, and has since been returned to its owner.

Both suspects have been linked to other burglaries in the West L.A. area, and are being held on $500,000 bond.

A bike-riding LAPD officer calls on cyclists to report any theft that may have occurred in the last 18 months.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the screen grab, and the office of bike lawyer Howard Krepack for an advance heads-up on the arrests before the news was officially released.

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The LACBC writes to urge everyone to attend the L.A. County Planning Commission next Wednesday, November 16th, when they will review the Final Draft of the new Bicycle Master Plan — a plan they say still needs some serious work.

While the plan is a nice start, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Like lane widths that are painted to high-speed highway standards, and a failure to comply with suggestions from the county’s own Health Department.

Additionally, the County Department of Public Health recently released the “Model Design Manual for Living Streets” and is in the process of adopting a “Healthy Design Ordinance” elements of both of these initiatives should be reflected in the County Bike Plan. Specifically the Plan should adopt the lane width standards set out by the Model Design Manual for Living Streets.  Instead of uniformly applying Caltrans Highway Design Manual standards across a County so diverse in density, urban form, and local need, the County Manual provides more flexible standards which better reflect local uses.  On streets with design speeds below 35 mph, 10’ lanes are standard, with widths up to 11’ considered if heavy bus or truck traffic is present.  On streets with higher design speeds, the Manual is silent, permitting DPW to continue to utilize Caltrans highway design standards where prudent.  Recognizing that drivers adjust to narrower lanes by reducing their speed, the County Manual emphasizes that “desired speed” should guide lane width determinations.  In addition to desired traffic speed, we strongly request that the County give due consideration to bicycle traffic volumes and history of collisions involving bicycles.  Finally, to the extent the County will seek of guidance from the Caltrans Highways Design Manual, it should document exceptions to 11’ and 12’ lane standards as provided for in Chapter 21 of the Caltrans Project Development Procedures Manual.

The Coalition also calls for less reliance on the virtually worthless Class III bike routes — particularly on the dangerous roads of the Antelope Valley — and greater emphasis on infrastructure that will encourage riding for people of all ages and skill levels, especially in high obesity areas.

Take a few minutes to download the plan and look over the areas where you ride. And see if you think this solves the problems you know about.

And chances are, you’ll want to be at that meeting Wednesday to suggest that this Final Plan shouldn’t be.

Final, that is.

……..

Some of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations press for fair funding in the proposed federal transportation bill (pdf); DC Streetsblog says there’s still reasons for hope, even if it is popular with the GOP.

Meanwhile other cyclists complain about a clause that would force riders off roads and onto bike paths; Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious points out the obvious dangers in that. Or at least, the dangers that should be obvious to anyone who cared enough to consider the matter.

Unlike our current representatives, for instance.

Richard Risemberg writes Sen. Barbara Boxer to demand a change. And the League of American Bicyclists asks you to sign a petition to fight it.

I just did.

……..

Making short trips by bike could save four trillion pounds of CO2, 1,100 lives, and $7 billion in mortality and healthcare costs — and that’s just six months of riding in just six states.

……..

I linked to this on Tuesday, but it’s worth linking to again, as several people have forwarded it to me over the past few days. Seems like everyone loves the story of the Colorado cyclist who had her bike stolen during last week’s Colorado vs. USC football game.

She found it listed on Craigslist, contacted the thief and arranged to meet him, posing as a prospective buyer. She asked if she could take it on a test ride — then rode back to her car, stuffed it in the trunk and drove off, in full view of the thief.

And yes, the bike thief was not only arrested, but confessed to his crime.

Just remember, as Boulder police note — and as the LAPD has stated a number of times — it’s not the smartest move to confront a thief on your own.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

……..

The New York Times says bikes are just the latest scourge pedestrians have had to face. A Brooklyn pedestrian is in a coma after she was struck by a “racing” rider; the local website blames the cyclist without offering any details. Meanwhile, an NYU student says jaywalking peds and aggressive drivers are the real problem — and it’s okay to flip off a driver who honks at you.

……..

L.A. suggests slowing sidewalk cyclists to 3 mph when pedestrians are present; I don’t think my bike can even go that slow without falling over, then again, I don’t normally ride on sidewalks. Here’s your chance to intern at LADOT. The Beverly Hills Public Library gets a shiny new bike corral. It takes 10 times as much space to park two SUVs as it does two bikes. Roadblock calls for donations to Occupy L.A.’s Bike Share program. Santa Monica’s Planning Commission approves the city’s Bike Action Plan, while Alhambra moves forward with one of their own. Metrolink offers some very cool new bike cars that can hold up to 18 bikes and will run throughout the week. Good advice from the Claremont Cyclist on handlebars and how to use them. CaliBikeTours invites you on a short ride to the Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday.

Bike San Diego offers a great recap of last weekend’s California Bike Summit. The San Diego hit-and-run driver who was found hiding in some bushes after killing a cyclist will face trial on gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI charges. San Jose sees its third bike or pedestrian death in just five days, and the 6th traffic fatality in the larger South Bay area. San Francisco bike fashion sans spandex. Farmers think they can’t operate safely enough to allow a Central Coast bike path without killing us; oddly, I rode tens of thousands of miles through the Colorado farm country and I’m still here.

This year’s Tour de Fat raised over $400,000 for non-profit groups throughout the U.S., including the LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and the Bicycle Kitchen. Build your own solar-powered lighted bike helmet. How to keep your bike from being stolen; former NBA center Shawn Bradley gets his back. Twenty-eight reasons to bike; most days, I only need one. Bicycling offers 50 golden rules for riding a bike. Boulder CO proposes an 8 mph speed limit for bikes in crosswalks; like the proposed L.A. sidewalk limit, I wonder if that can be legally enforced against riders without speedometers. A Kansas driver gets just seven days in jail, plus 25 days house arrest for killing a cyclist while drunk; one reason for the low penalty — the victim was drunk as a skunk, high and riding in the lane wearing dark clothes and without lights. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway could soon connect the full width of Austin TX. A Texas driver is arrested for a head-on hit-and-run collision that killed two bike-riding Mormon missionaries and injured another. An Illinois cyclist gets a $120 ticket for riding salmon. Drivers complain about an Indianapolis road diet. An Ohio driver gets three years and six months for running down a cyclist while drunk, while apologists continue to make excuses for him. Listen online to Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas recent radio interview. Memphis gets 55 miles of bikeways in just two years. Haywood NC gets a new bike plan, for which our buddy Zeke should get a lot of credit. Here’s your chance to own a totally unique bicycle, since that sprung-steel wheel bike is up for auction. The New Orleans Times-Picayune endorses the seven-fold expansion of the city’s bikeways.

After a bike-riding mother is dragged to her death, Ottawa authorities don’t think it’s worth doing anything about it. A Toronto driver charges onto the sidewalk to run down a rider in a road rage attack. A UK cyclist clings to the hood of a car for dear life after his bike is slammed by a grinning driver in a road rage assault. The Guardian wants to create a worldwide map of ghost bikes, but questions whether they put people off from riding; I’d say ignoring the dangerous conditions on our streets seldom makes them go away. And as long as London Mayor Boris Johnson is in office, local cyclists may want to stock up on them, while a London bike ride will tour the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections. Cambridge cyclists say signs telling them to dismount need to be more polite. David Hembrow says Great Britain has improved road safety by taking vulnerable users off the road; Bike Aware says it’s the drivers who need training instead. Scotland plans to increase transportation spending — and cut bike and pedestrian funds. An Irish cyclist warns of a second-lock bike theft scam. Disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis gets a one-year sentence for hacking into a drug lab computer system. Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Romain Sicard was arrested for stealing traffic markers while driving drunk. Italy overturns the conviction of the man who supplied the late, great Marco Pantani with a fatal dose of cocaine. A pair of USB-equipped German bikes can charge your mobile device while you ride.

Finally, a British car site offers real advice on how to share the road with cyclists for a change. And check out this checklist of privileges drivers enjoy — and you don’t.

A Veteran’s Day aside to everyone who has served our country.

Thank you. Just… thank you.


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