A little this, a little that — thank you LADOT, a SaMo bike corral and a new oldest living cyclist

March 23, 2012

As you may be aware, one of my pet peeves is people who park in bike lanes.

As in, they really piss me off.

And yes, peeves make lousy pets.

So I was far from happy as I was riding on San Vicente Blvd the other day, and spotted this Mercedes parked so badly the rear of the car was sticking out into the bike lane.

I signaled the cars coming up from behind that I was moving to my left — most of whom seemed to be blissfully ignoring the speed limit as well as my presence. And had to wait until a half dozen or so cars passed before I could safely move around this its jutting ass.

So imagine my delight as I rounded the front of the car and saw a parking ticket tucked under the wiper.

Of course, chances are, the ticket was for violating the daytime no parking restrictions, rather than illegally blocking the bike lane.

But either way, it felt damn good to see.

So thank you to LADOT — or maybe LAPD — for writing it.


Later that same day, I found myself riding up Main Street in Santa Monica the other day on my way back from the Marina. And noticed that a new bike corral had sprouted alongside the northbound bike lane.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I received an email inviting me — and yes, you too — to the Grand Unofficial Opening of the city’s first on-street bike corral.

Join in on Saturday morning at the bike corrals between 11 and 12 for coffee, muffins, balloons, music, ribbon cutting, speeches, politicians, drum rolls, bike type activities, media coverage, lights, cameras. And more. Much more!  It’s a party!  Be there.

Spoke, a sponsor of the Opening and Santa Monica’s Bike organization have organized a group bike ride from the Bike Center at 10.30 to arrive in time for the opening.

Santa Monica Bike Corrals
Grand Unofficial Opening
Saturday 11 am
2439 Main StreetOutside Peets at the Edgemar Center
(on the Main Street bike lanes)


Looks like West Hollywood bike touring and rental company Bikes and Hikes LA is going to have a reality show on Bravo. And they need to find a cyclist who ended up on film in Hancock Park.

If that’s you, or you know who it is, let them know.

They want to make you a star.


This has been a busy week for emails. So if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, be patient.

One that disappointed me, though, was the news that Culver City women’s sports apparel and equipment retailer Sports for Eve is going out of business at the end of the month.

I’ve long thought it was a great idea to have a sporting goods store just for women. And the store always felt comfortable and inviting, with a great selection and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Even if I wasn’t exactly the target market.

So I’m very sad to see it go.

On the other hand, you now have an opportunity to get a great deal on top quality cycling, running, yoga and workout gear. And as they reminded me, bike bags, lights and other bike accessories are unisex, so guys can take advantage of the clearance sale as well; I already got a great deal on a chain cleaner.

You’ll find them 3849 Main Street in Culver City.

But hurry, because they’re closing the doors — permanently — at the end of this month.


Another email I received on Thursday offers a new way to carry a companion on your bike.

Half the Wheels, Twice the Fun: Companion Bike Seats creates the first ever rear mounted bike seat.  Featured at SXSW, the Companion Team was in full force giving FREE rides to popular hotspots. The simple yet strong design can safely carry an adult, while comfortably enjoying the ride on a padded seat and foot rests.  The optional locking stashbox has many uses not to mention perfectly holds a 6-pack with ice.  The Companion is available now on Kickstarter for a reduced pre-order price, http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm.

Companion Bike Seats was created by two best friends who share a deep love and appreciation for biking.  Always having friends over but never having enough bikes, they wanted to share the joy and benefits of riding with everyone.  The solution was to create the world’s first commercial rear mounted bike seat that allows one bike to safely and comfortably carry two people.  Companion believes that biking is not only beneficial but also a ton of FUN!  Biking is more than a mode of transportation… it’s a lifestyle and now you can share that lifestyle with a Companion.

Through Kickstarter, Companion hopes to raise the necessary funds to begin manufacturing.  In appreciation for helping to reach the goal, Kickstarter backers enjoy reduced rates: Companion $85 (Retail $100), Companion with “Stashbox” $115 (Retail $150).  Thanks for helping to make this product a reality!

Kickstarter – http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm

Think I could get them to send me a prototype in time to take the Corgi to CicLAvia next month?


Maybe the courts are finally starting to take traffic crimes against cyclists seriously, as an Illinois woman is sentenced to 10 years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist. And a Florida man gets 15 years for a similar crime.

When even Florida, the most dangerous state in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians, treats killing a bike rider treats like the crime it is, things are really starting to change.

On the other hand, maybe not so much, as a 72-year old Sonoma County woman is arrested for DUI for the sixth time in just nine years; thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have killed anyone.



Surprisingly enough, it looks like Long Beach’s Octavio Orduño isn’t the oldest living cyclist after all — or even the oldest in Southern California. Victorville’s 108-year old Charlie Barcio has him beat by four years.

And yes, I want to be like them when I grow up.


Great quote from Chicago bike and transportation blogger Steve Vance, who Tweeted that Volvo making kid’s bike helmets is like Smith & Wesson making bulletproof kid’s vests.


A 63-year old Brooklyn cyclist is critically injured in a horrific collision, as an 80-year old driver first hit a school bus, then crashed into the rider and a parked SUV trying to flee the scene.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was tell my father-in-law he was never going to drive again; after a lifetime of mobility and self-sufficiency, losing the privilege to drive meant a major change in lifestyle and self image.

But as this story shows, there comes a time for most drivers when someone needs to take the keys away. For their good, and the safety of everyone around them.


Former multi-sport star athlete Bo Jackson will team with Lance Armstrong to ride across Alabama to raise funds for last year’s devastating series of tornadoes. If you can’t ride, you can still donate.


Bike journalist Carlton Reid examines the document that lead to paved roads in the United States. And no, it didn’t come from motorists.


It’s a return to form for Will Campbell, who gained fame for devastatingly entertaining reports from his experiences as a bike commuter, until he started working from home.

Now he’s commuting again, this time as a volunteer with the local branch of the SPCA; one thing that’s long been clear about Will is that he has a humongous heart and has seldom, if ever, met an animal he didn’t like.

The other thing is that he doesn’t put up with a lot of crap from the idiots he meets on the road. Like the distracted driver who flipped him off, and a honey badger of a red light running bicyclist.

Welcome back, Will.


Finally, local San Gabriel Valley councilmembers seem to feel justified in standing in the way of bike projects because they say nobody bikes there.

So if you ride anywhere in SGV, send a photo of you on your bike, or other riders on theirs, along with the location of the photo, to LACBC affiliate chapter BikeSGV — aka @bikeSGV on Twitter.

Let’s prove ‘em wrong.


Update: Erik Griswold reminds me of a story I had meant to include today, as an Irish driver will miss out on the first five years of his soon-to-be-born child’s life, after being convicted of running down — the deliberately running over — a cyclist in a jealous rage.


The good news is, my sister and her family are coming to L.A. for a visit over the next several days. The bad news is, that may mean my posting on here could be a little sparse until after midweek. So let me apologize in advance if I’m not able to keep up. Then again, this could be a good time to send in a guest post if you’ve got anything you want to say on the subject of bikes or bicycling. Or even Corgis, for that matter.

Just a hint.

Ten percent set-aside, bike corrals pass; bloggers call for better — or new — LADOT leadership

April 28, 2010

According to Damien Newton at Streetsblog, the L.A. City Council passed the 10% set-aside for “people powered transportation” from the city’s share of Measure R funds by an 11 – 3 vote today.

But in a truly bizarre twist, LADOT — which has spent the last 14 years not building the previously approved projects in the 1996 bike plan — has no idea if they can actually spend the money, whether that turns out to be $3.2 million or the $5.35 million shown in our newly bike-friendly Mayor’s budget.

Which may be the first time — in my knowledge, at least — that a city department has gone out of it’s way to resist additional funding.

Speaking for the LADOT was Mike Uyeno, who was joined by Maria Souza-Rountree from the Chief Legislative Analyst Office.  Time and again, Council Members asked if the LADOT would be able to spend Measure R Local Return funds that were set-aside.  Time and again, Uyeno gave an answer somewhere between “no” and “I don’t know.”  For example:

Councilman Paul Koretz asked:

Is there any chance at all that we’ll be unable to spend the 10% on bike and pedestrian needs.

Uyeno answered

I’m not sure. It depends what staffing becomes available. Not sure what ped. projects are out there in the department. There’s just a lot of open ends in this anymore.

In all fairness, the recent budget cuts have reduced the department’s staffing. But for the first time in memory, LADOT has both the funding and the political backing to actually accomplish something in terms of biking projects. And the best they can come up with is “I don’t know?”

I’d suggest giving LADOT’s leadership 30 days to come back with a plan to spend every penny of that money, effectively, efficiently and productively. And if they can’t do that, then it’s time to hire someone who can, or maybe just do what others have suggested and eliminate the department entirely.

No excuses.

Speaking of which, Damien tells LADOT’s Rita Robinson to stop making excuses and just try something already; while LAist’s Josh Behrens asks if it’s time this city got a new transportation leader.

Anyone think NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is ready to come home and take on a real challenge?


After a seemingly ridiculous amount of debate and delay, the City Council gave unanimous approval to the city’s first bike corral yesterday. This project had the full support of virtually everyone — with the possible exception of LADOT — including the Highland Park business owner who asked for one in front his Café de Leche.

Now the question is whether LADOT will support and implement the project, or if they will drag their feet until this turns into another sharrows project.


In local bike news, an unidentified hero bicyclist finished a police chase for them, as he ran down a suspected drunk driver who had taken off running after colliding with another vehicle during a police pursuit. Kudos to the cyclist, but standard advice is to point out the bad guys and let the police do the actual apprehension. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

And hats off to Jason Alexander — not for colliding with a 14-year old cyclist on his way to school — but for doing the right thing and staying with the rider until the paramedics arrived. The collision occurred at Wilshire and June Street near Hancock Park, and the rider was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries; no word yet on how it happened, but Alexander was not cited and police sources suggest he was not at fault.


Our bike-friendly U.S. Secretary of Transportation — no matter how many times I write that, it still seems strange — says the one thing we know for sure about biking infrastructure is that people want it, and calls for a nationwide interstate biking network. As a result, he gets some love from cyclists, but the way some people react, you’d think he was suggesting that we move freight by bike instead of trucks.


Congratulations to the LACBC’s Dorothy Le, as Grist recognizes her as one of 40 people who are redefining green. While the city dithers over bike share, a Hollywood man succeeds with an e-bike rental program. If Santa Monica truly wants to be a bike-friendly city, their departments need to communicate with each other — even during construction projects. Upcoming family bike and pedestrian events in Culver City. The Anonymous Cyclist says time’s running out to get your stickers. That two miles of new bike lanes striped in Long Beach over the weekend marked the completion of the city’s 33-mile bike loop. AAA says California drivers are still texting despite a state-wide ban.

New York bike advocates question the city’s bike count. Denver opens a bike-through coffee window, while a cyclist in neighboring Boulder is hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk marked by flashing lights. New Braunfels TX passes a new law requiring drivers to change lanes if they encounter a vulnerable road user, or pass with a minimum of three feet on two lane roads. Minnesota’s governor signs a law giving cyclists the right to ride though red lights that don’t change. In a bizarre case, a DC-area mom deliberately runs down her cyclist son.

A British driver is accused of murder after intentionally running down a cyclist who damaged his mirror. The three-foot movement spreads to the UK, and takes on a lovely shade of Pepto-Bismol pink. A writer asks if spandex bike shorts are too revealing; obviously, she didn’t grow up with Speedos. The Queen honors Brompton for her birthday. Be careful who you accuse of doping Down Under. Auckland maps out areas cyclists might want to avoid; thanks to the Trickster for the link. A writer in Toronto challenges the precepts of Vehicular Cycling; part two should be very interesting. Now Lexus is getting in on the high-concept bike design trend…yawn.

Finally, 84% of Brits surveyed by a motorists’ group say more money, not more laws, will make cyclists safer; 82% say registration and licensing is a bad idea, and only 1% support mandatory helmet laws.


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