Category Archives: public trans

Car-free Commuting Adventure

I’ve postulated that the same reasons I love being car-free: the openness, interactions, realness, risk and adventure; are the same reasons most people don’t want to bike or ride public transit. If it’s hot, I sweat. If the road sucks, I feel every bump. It’s freeing, but also a reality that you can’t easily hide from by rolling up your windows, blasting music or turning on the AC, etc. Probably why people feel so damn safe in their car that they can’t imagine that they nearly killed you (and also why they get bent out of shape when you bang on their car!). This sense of safety may also partially explain why more than 25% of automobiles drivers take off after hitting a cyclist…

Anyway, I’ve got a little story about being car-free and adventure. It started Wednesday night with a super awesome gesture from Jack. Remember the $100 Craigslist Benotto I bought last year? The one I broke the cranks on. I lost a few chainring bolts so I swung by for some new ones. He went up to his elevated workspace and I noticed an exact replica of the Bianchi steel frame I rode for years as a fixed gear, raced 508 with on Team Bonobo and then broke shortly thereafter. He said it was a friend’s and was working on it quickly before he replaced my bolts. I was hanging out with his housemates, we’re all shooting the shit and he’s plucking away on this bike. Then I see him working on the Benotto. Finally. I was getting hungry.

Then he passes down my old, broken Bianchi and I reminisce. Ah, Go Vegan! and Converge stickers. Then he comes down with the other Bianchi that has all the Benotto parts on it! ‘Dude, that bike was sketchy, I couldn’t let you ride it. I thought you’d be stoked on the same bike you had before.’ So stoked!

 

The 'new' Bianchi with the Benotto components and the old, broken Bianchi. Thanks Jack!

 

 

We went and ate at Pure Luck and then I rode it the mile back to my house. Sweet, no more untightenable headset or sketchy, loose cranks! Is this bike now too nice to be my junker commuter?

 

Thursday- Work, Work, Ride to Airport

I’ve no qualm with packing my days tight. Thursday morning I woke up early to pack for my weekend in SF and was out the door by 830am to teach my 935am class. I ride to the Rapid bus on the new Bianchi. After class I have lunch and then a teacher training for my other job from 1230-330pm. Flight at 530pm, so just under an hour to go the 6 miles to the airport. I’ve ridden to LAX before and had just gotten done telling my co-workers how easy it is.  Earlier I had felt the cog slipping a little, but I thought it was just settling. It looked okay. Then less than a mile away it’s slipping again. A lot. I look closely at the cog and it’s totally stripping the hub! Shit. I was 5 miles from the airport, on the side of the road with a stripped cog. Basically I couldn’t propel the bike forward.

But wait, I have a flip-flop hub! I could just thread it onto the other side and hand tighten it and hope for the best? I give it a go but the locknut won’t fit. There’s nothing to hold the cog tight.

 

40 minutes to get 5 miles with a broken bike.

My phone says over an hour to walk and do public transit. I call Brian and Jenny, who live 3 miles from the airport, whose house I’ve used to drop my bike off when I’ve flown with the break-away bike and had to go straight to work. Neither are home. So I tighten the cog down on the non-stripped side the best I can. With no lock nut. Basically I can pedal but can’t apply back pressure to slow down or the cog unthreads. It’s too sketchy to ride all the way to the airport, since I can’t stop. If I leave my bike at the Greenline station for the weekend any part not locked would be stolen. I aim for Brian and Jenny’s house. The plan is to hop their fence, leave the bike in the backyard and run to public transit.

 

25 minutes to get 3 miles

I pull up and knock to see if their houseguest is there. No luck. Then out of nowhere Jenny’s brother Alec rides up! Hey man! As I’m explaining my predicament I get a txt that my flight is delayed 30 minutes. Sweet! We open the garage and weigh my options. Try to fix it? Leave it and go on foot? Then he points to a beaten up beach cruiser. Dude, just take that. Score.

 

40 minutes to get 3 miles- on a beach cruiser!

Within minutes I’m riding the madness of Century Blvd toward LAX. When I ride I take the lane, comfortably. On a beach cruiser on a sketchy, fast westside road is something else. I actually had people slow down and look at me, not with anger, but perplexity.  I am pedaling frantically while wearing a white button-up, nice jeans and dress shoes with these socks:

 

 

As I get close to the airport traffic slows, I wave to the security folks and cruise into Terminal One. I hop the curb and ride straight to the bike rack. Boom. Early. Possibly would have made the original flight time!

So my record stands: I’ve never missed a flight. Sure, I got lucky, but what is luck than just keeping options open and having Faith in Vagueness? Now I just need to figure out how I’m getting to work Tuesday morning…

 

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Filed under city, public trans, travel

Trail Run Balti

Back in December when a crew of us ran the Ridgecrest 50k, Morgan ‘Goat‘ Beeby suggested a Run and Curry Day: a trail run in the San Gabriel mountains and post-run Balti at his place in Pasadena (recipe below!). This past Saturday opened up for a few of us and we decided to go for it.  Stoked.

Ends up my friend Maria from Chicago, fresh off her win at the Rocky Raccoon 50-miler, would be in town hanging with the Moeben crew and free to join us. A friend of a friend who just moved here from Pittsburgh via Colorado met her and I at Union Station for the train ride to Pasadena. In true Morgan style and British politeness, he met us at the train on his bike, took our extra stuff and rode it to his house while we took a rapid bus to the base of the mountains. Minutes later he rolled up, locked his bike and we were ready to run.

 

They look a band! L to R, Morgan, Chris, Maria, Matthew.

 

I love the San Gabriel mountains (I was devastated when the fires hit them hard). So much adventure has been had there, but mostly by mountain or road bike. I’ve hiked there a few times, but, like many cyclists, hiking feels too slow. Could trail running be a ‘slower than riding but faster than walking’ mix of adrenaline and nature?  We headed through Alta Dena on streets before hitting Eaton Canyon and heading up steep, exposed, Mt Wilson Toll Road.  I hate the first climb of the day! Especially in the heat. I wanted to call the WHAAAmbulance, but I knew I’d settle in and we’d be out of the sun shortly. Poor Matthew had a stomach issue from the start and never recovered, but continued on.

At Henninger Flats we saw some ultra runners on their way down (I imagine they don’t start at 1pm! haha). They may have thought we were making fun of them, but our excitement is genuine! From here we climbed a dirt road for another mile before it turned left across a bridge onto Idlehour trail. Here we met Morgan’s friend Chris and the single track began. I had never been on this trail and it was super fun to run. Almost two miles of technical downhill. Morgan dropped the hammer in his boat shoes and I could barely hang on.  Within 15 minutes we hit the beautiful Idlehour campground, located deep in the canyon, almost completely tree-covered. Morgan and I couldn’t resist the draw of the open water and took a very quick, very cold dunk in the stream.

 

All three photos are on Upper Sam Merrill Trail, above Echo Mountain. This is looking West.

 

A few miles uphill, doing a mix of running and fast hiking, and we were at Inspiration Point.  From here we hit Upper Sam Merrill trail, which I have ridden before.  Again Morgan set the down hill pace and it was exhilarating!

Morgan and I separated from the others and we were chatting away, jumping off and over rocks and railing the tight turns, when we heard someone yelling from a canyon deep in the mountains. We stop and notice someone waving their arms. Is someone hurt? Shit. Then we hear, ‘It’s Jeff!’ Crazy! He was going to come on our run, but had decided that morning to ride road to Mt Wilson instead. When he got home and it wasn’t dinner time yet he drove up to Pasadena and tried to run toward us. Ha! He was descending from Inspiration Point on another trail but had heard our voices. I guess being loud and talking a lot has its advantages? We all headed toward Echo Mountain and regrouped before the final 2.5 miles of trail down to the road.

 

It's hard to see, but this is looking South-ish toward downtown Los Angeles. You can see the Palos Verdes penninsula and Catalina Island in the distance.

 

Back at Morgan’s we all helped with the final steps of the Balti. It has been so long this I have eaten this dish! We grubbed hard and reflected on the beautiful 15-mile run.  Friends, trail running, cold water, huge mountains, huge views and curry = awesome day.

This Balti is from an old-time LA bike activist named Oisin, who I believe moved from LA in 2006. He raced the very first Feel My Legs (photo here). I really had to dig to find this recipe!  I kept the weird UK English for authenticity.

 

Oisin’s Balti

The Balti Sauce

Makes 1L (~1 3/4 pints)
3 Tbsp veg oil (olive preferable)
2cm cube (3/4 inch) grated fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove pressed or minced
5 onions chopped fine
4 tomatoes (plum/roma are best)
2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 bay leaves
4 brown cardamom pods (slightly broken open by crushing w/ knife blade)
1 1/2 tsp dried methi (the leaves of fenugreek)
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Heat oil in large saucepan
2. stir in ginger and garlic
3. add onions, saute til translucent
4. add 250 mL water, bring to boil while stirring
5. add tomatoes, all spices
6. cover pan, turn heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes
7. remove bay leaves and cardamom pods
8. cool and liquidise

You can make a still very tasty version with just oil, onions, ginger,
garlic, tomato, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, chili, salt, fresh
coriander (1/4 cup)
—————————————————————————————–

Pepper, Potato, Mushroom Balti

1 lb potatoes peeled
1/2 – 3/4 lb mushrooms sliced
4 large green and/or red peppers sliced
8-10 Tbsp veg. oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions chopped
4 cm cube fresh ginger grated
6 garlic cloves crushed/pressed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pt (600 mL) Balti sauce (see above)
1 heaped tsp garam masala
2-4 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1. boil potatoes in salted water until just tender.  Drain.  Cube.
2. heat 4 Tbsp veg oil add onions and saute until translucent.  remove from pan.
3. heat remaining 6 Tbsp oil. add potatoes and lightly brown for circa 8 minutes
4. add garlic and ginger and cumin seeds
5. stir vigourously making sure to coat potatoes for about 30 seconds
6. add chili, salt, stirfry 1 minute
7. add mushrooms, green peppers, stirfry 2 minutes
8. add Balti sauce, stir
9. add garam masala, coriander
10. turn heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes stirring often

Note, the oil content can be reduced to make it healthier, but I figure I’d rather just eat less of it and have it taste good.  I use olive oil because I think it makes it taste richer, but you can use any vegetable oil.  If using olive oil then bear in mind that it burns at a lower temperature than canola/sunflower.  I also add lots more red and green peppers and sometimes okra.

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Filed under hike, off-road, public trans, recipe, run

Transportation as training: riding from SLO to LA in one day

Just showing that it was cold enough to wear gloves!

Last Tuesday evening, as I sat in a coffee shop in San Luis Obispo (SLO) and wrote about my train ride and upcoming bike ride from SLO to LA, I could feel the sickness I had been fighting for days creeping up. I was in denial, but by the time I met up with Mike at the train station I knew it was upon me.  As mentioned, I ate vegan Thai and even though I brought him some, we were still hungry enough for post-dinner burritos. Carb loading? Not that it did any good because at 5am I awoke with a very unhappy stomach. Let’s just say there was no carb loading happening. Yeah. And my throat hurt! When the alarm went off at 6am I didn’t want to go anywhere! Lacy’s sister Taylor awesomely had let us crash on her couches and was up doing work while Mike and I hid under the covers talking about how cold it was out.

Back at my favorite coffee shop by 7am, we discussed Egypt and what to call the pumpkin chocolate chip baked good we were both eating (muffin? cupcake? does it matter?) while time passed.  How’s that saying go? A journey of a thousand miles begins with a questionable baked good and procrastination? Cool.

 

Mike 'Grip it and Rip it' Szerszunowicz stoked on dirt

 

We rolled out of SLO in sub-40 temps, under a clear sky. Mike’s longest ride to date was our 12-hour hangout fest, the OC 200k. He’s signed up for the Death Valley double century at the end of the month and thought a 210-mile ride would be good training. Outside of Oceano (aren’t we at war with them?) we were turned away from the normal route due to construction and instead of back-tracking (I hate back-tracking!!) we cut through a farm, pictured above. Fun.  The area is somewhat familiar to me because I rode SF-LA in Sept and also rode the Solvang double century out here six years ago (Matt Provost on fixed and naked mile!!).

 

Every town should have a mural of its place in the world. I wonder how many miss that the negative space is California!

 

We rolled into Guadalupe, a tiny little town that I love. I must really love it because I took 60% of my photos here and only one afterward. Ha. It’s at this point in the trip we are definitely having fun, but getting nervous about the time. See, we had hoped to leave at 7am. We left at 8am. I thought it would take about 14 hours and it took over 16. Three hours is a big deal because it’s the difference between home at 10pm and home at 1am. The latter ended up not being that bad.

 

Tortilla room in Guadalupe!

 

Most of the time we spent just chatting away about riding, life and some upcoming events we both have. We set tiny goals. A quick break in Lompoc at the Fresh and Easy (free coffee!) and then a meal in Santa Barbara.  In SB we swung by our friend Jim’s new shop, Cranky’s, which may be the first time I have seen FBM bikes next to Colnagos. Then we ate burritos. Then it got colder and we were getting a little worried. It was after 5pm and we were a hundred miles from home. My sickness wasn’t killing me, but it had me feeling colder than usual. Luckily Mike was on it! He took some big pulls and really kept us moving quickly.

 

I think this is the climb out of Lompoc.

 

The sun set and we rolled south. Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, familiar, but far-from-home places. I’ve ridden out here plenty, including the LA-SB-LA back-to-back ride I did a few summers ago. How does one ride all day? It’s not much different than existing. You are just on your bike and in someways it is comforting because with every passing minute you are closer to your goal. It’s more tangible than many goals in life! It’s not a secret that 9-5 work in an office is scary to me. When I’m asked, what do you think about on these long rides I respond with the same question about what people think about all week at work.

 

'Red? Where the fuck did you get that banana?' RIP, Mitch Hedberg. Chart from the store in Guadalupe.

 

There’s this part of the PCH in Ventura County where you are back on the coast after some inland riding. It’s so beautiful. By now it’s late at night and the pressure to get home has been replaced with a feeling of privilege to be out where we are.  The sky was full of stars, the waves were crashing against the beach and there wasn’t a car on the road to ruin it. Stoked.

The route down the PCH past Mulholland Drive, Leo Carillo, Decker Canyon and other familiar, often-ridden spots is usually accompanied by a southerly wind. Not this night. We had a slight headwind most of the time, but it wasn’t a killer. We just couldn’t stop too long because we’d get cold! Before too long we had turned inland and were on the 15-mile home stretch through urban Los Angeles.  Sasha had just gotten home from Pure Luck and made us burritos which were quickly devoured. I was too cold and tired to shower and fell asleep shivering. Apparently I was also too tired to realize that the window next to my bed was wide open.

I spent the next few days full-on sick, but am so glad this trip happened. I can’t recommend riding the California coast enough! Do it while you can. Before that California super storm comes and obliterates the whole state.

 

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Filed under public trans, road, tour, travel

Bicycling to Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

Ever try to park your bicycle at LAX? The LA World Airports site has no info and an online search gives you this LAist article which does not say much.

Rolling along 104th st toward the airport. Tower in distance!

I had a long weekend flight and work not far from the airport before and after so I decided to ride my $100 Craigslist bike and leave it. The best advice I got was ‘lock it up with the motorcycles’. So I rode into the airport and followed signs for departing flights and then to parking garage 1. Was it sketchy? Honestly, inside the airport felt safer than the sprawl-land madness that surrounds it.

I wanted a better place than this bike I came across.

There are a few concerns when locking your bicycle in an odd place. One is the usual re theft and vandalism. The other is that some overzealous pseudo-authority figure will notice your out of place transportation choice and make it his or her mission to teach you a lesson. I’ve had my bike locked by security guards, friends have had locks cut by them. It seems to be their business when you leave, but never when you ask them where to park. Anyway, I wouldn’t leave my bike locked like the above one out of fear of security guards messing with it.


I circled through the garage and found the motorcycle parking on the first floor- where arriving flights let out. There is no rack here, but there are locks on this ledge railing, so I assumed it was safe. I was also able to double lock it and include both wheels.


The morning I was leaving I had the realization that I couldn’t bring my tools on board and I hadn’t planned to check anything. What to do with the tools in my seatbag? I didn’t want to just leave it because it’s too easy to undo the velcro and walk away with $50 worth of tools (half the value of the bike!). My solution? Cover the seat with a plastic bag a la it’s raining out style therefore covering the seatbag and hiding it from view (and less sketchy than hiding the tools in a planter- which I’ve done successfully!). Foolproof? No, but I felt pretty confident that most people leaving an airport have little interest in multi-tools and tire levers.

Confident in my locking and tool hiding job I headed to Terminal 1. Guess what I see! Yep, a bike rack.




In all of my years of flying in and out of Terminal 1 (Southwest!) I have never noticed this rack. Is it new? Now I was stuck with the dilemma of moving my bike or not. One, I really didn’t have much time and two, if anyone in all of LAX would steal a seatbag filled with tools it would be someone on a bike….so I left it with the motorcycles.

Four days later I returned and my bike was (seemingly) untouched. Seatbag and all! And serendipitously the plastic bag kept my seat dry from the sprinklers just below. Score.

So when you ride your bike to the airport you have a few choices. I don’t know if there are bike racks at other terminals, but you always have the Terminal 1 option. Be sure to enter the terminal area on the ‘arriving flights’ level to ride right to the rack or to the motorcycle area of Terminal 1 parking, if you choose this option. Riding out of the garage no one looked twiced at me and I made my way to Veggie Grill for an early lunch…

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Santa Monica 100

The Santa Monica 100 map from my June 12th ride on single-speed. Turn by turn directions at the bottom. More info on this post.

How was it? I’m not sure. I was 15 minutes late and chased the entire way. It started chaotically when I got to Wilshire/Western in Koreatown to hop on the Rapid bus to Santa Monica. I was even early. If you know me well, you know this is rare. It was chaotic because Korea was playing in some international sporting event involving kicking a ball around. This being Koreatown, the street was flooded with fans watching live on a giant screen. I definitely support public gatherings. Especially the folks who looked like they had stayed out all night to catch the 430am start.

So I had forgotten about the valuable space that is the bike rack on the 720 bus. No fewer than four dudes with bikes waiting at the stop in front of me. Then the first bus’ bike rack is full. And then the second. Then one dude decides to ride to wherever he was going. Three more buses later I have a spot.

the bus at 630am. Good thing they come every 6 minutes.

I missed the start by minutes. Though a whole cast of characters made it an exciting day on the mountain bike.

The exerciser
He said I was close enough to try and cut off the group by running down a giant staircase that’s main function is for exercise. Nope.

The LA County Bicycle Coalition crew
They got me to the trail head and on the route. Thanks! I’d later see them about 8 miles back from my turnaround point.

Back of the pack dudes
On the big climb up Sullivan Ridge I caught a dude who said he was on the ride. Sweet. At the top three more dudes said ‘five minutes ahead’. I think I’m now in the ride. I’m not.

Mountain bikers at the Hub
They said, ‘oh 20 minutes ago’ (maybe I lost time by riding Broken Arrow on the way? I figured they’d hit all the single track, but I guess not).

Trippet Ranch hiker
saw my perplexed look and said, ’10 minutes ago a big group left….’

Helen’s dudes
Saw me riding up Old Topanga Canyon rd and turned around. We were right near Red Rock Canyon Park where’d we figure out later the main group went. Rode with me all the way to the top of the road climb to the route I knew from the Rough Riders ride I had done last year to Calabasas peak and then down to Stunt road. One dude drops. Added a bunch of miles and a huge climb.

My friend Mark riding Cross
He had gotten dropped (‘Dude, they are fucking flying! I couldn’t hold on at all). Met up with him on Mulholland.

Malibu Creek State Park meet-up dudes
They see us and get all amped. They think we are off the front. ‘No, sorry. You know where to go?’ Now there are 5 of us. We do Bulldog Climb. Mark drops and head to the beach. I have to push on four different occasions. We descend to the Corral Canyon Backbone trailhead, which I have ridden before. It’s awesome to have pedal-powered from a usual riding spot to one I have driven an hour to.

One of the meet-up dudes handling a snake

This trail rules. There are only three of us now and it has been hours since we’ve heard anything about any of the original riders. Finally some single track.

Original Riders!
Past Latigo, just before Kanan some dudes come ripping by. Holy shit! A few minutes later my friend Cole Maness. We stop and chat. I love Cole. He’s got that Southern friendliness and stokedness. He does epic shit and has no ego. We were chatting once about his Rapha trip to Nepal and he says to me, ‘Really, I should thank you. Because you won’t wear wool I get to do all of this traveling!’ (I was asked to be on the Rapha Continental team but declined cause of all the wool. Oh well)
He tells us there are only 9 riders left.

Al on single-speed
He was pushing up from Kanan. He tells me to hurry up and do the rest and catch him so we can ride together. I raced Al last year at the 24 hours of Boggs. I chased him all night. He slept at 930am and I thought I could make up the difference and pass him, but he had ridden fast enough and held me off, while sleeping, for a podium finish!

At Kanan, Helen’s dude heads to the beach. ‘I’m so done. I can’t ride anymore.’ The meet-up dude and I decide to turn around and not do the last 5-mile out and back. He’s already hours late.
At Malibu Creek State Park (again) he gets in his car and offers me a ride. I decline. I decide to ride road all the way back to dirt Mulholland and skip the route through Red Rock. I had never entered dirt Mulholland from the west. Rad.
I cruise it the whole length. It’s hot as shit. It turns to pavement again, I bomb down Sepulveda, splitting lanes in traffic, back to the 720 in Westwood. Eleven hours bus to bus time. Maybe 100 miles?

Thanks to the folks who made the route. I’ve a new appreciation for the Santa Monicas and what connects to what. Next time I hope to ride with the regulars. I heard 8 of 40 finished.

4th & Adelaide
down Adelaide
R to Ocean up Amalfi
L to Capri
L to Sullivan fireroad
L to Mulholland
L to Fireroad 30
R to Eagle Rock
R to Trippet
down Entrada
L to Topanga
R to Old Topanga
L to Red Rock Road
L to Calabasas Peak
R to Stunt
L to Mulholland
L to Las Virgenes
R to Craggs
L to Bulldog
L to Castro
R to Kanan backbone
turn-around @ Zuma Ridge FR

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And Hope Dies a Little Bit

Thanks to Joe Linton from LA Creek Freak for the share on this.

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ideas that involve act

In my previous post I alluded to being some sort of activist, but it’s unfortunately true that my participation in ‘activist’ activities (action?!) is irregular. Though in the last month or so I’ve been keeping up more with sites like LA Streetsblog and Infrastructurist.com and am seeing more potential in the overlap between their ideas and my own. I’m trained in counseling through my nutrition schooling and one of the main foci is that knowledge is not enough to produce change in individuals. Regardless of the targeted change, there are a plethora of social and environmental factors working against us. Techniques to overcome these barriers as they appear are crucial in any behavior-change plan. My approach has been to be a quiet (okay, not always that quiet!) example and to be a resource for those with a thirst for bicycles, veganism, etc. So before I’m off for this weekend’s adventures I wanted to share what I’ve spent time this week reading.

You should check out this event tonight:
Portland City Repair’s Mark Lakeman will be speaking Friday September 11th at 7:30pm at the Eco-Village and then Saturday from 10am to 6pm he’ll be leading an intersection repair project. more info

Would $5 Gallon Gas Cause Commuters to Change Their Ways?
This is very curious to me. As cheap as I am, I forget how driven by cost so many people are. $5/gallon gas could totally transform our cities.

Did anyone look closely at this controversial interview and research out of Toronto?
Professor Chris Cavacuiti on how to stay safe on the roads

Here’s a criticism from http://www.cyclelicio.us:
http://www.cyclelicio.us/2009/08/study-claims-cyclists-at-fault-in-only.html

Have you talked to your work about this?
Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision: Frequently Asked Questions

The Bike League worked hard to get that passed, but local cyclist, trouble-maker and mathematician Dr. Alex Thompson is rightfully unhappy about the bronze-level distinction they awarded Santa Monica with ZERO input from local cyclists: an open letter to the League of American Bicyclists. Props to him for articulating an idea I’ve had about drivers for a long time: murderously entitled.

Have a safe, adventurous weekend and thanks for reading. Lastly, here’s what’s been in my head while I worked this morning:

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Filed under city, political, public trans

Feel My Bus

Life is a lot like this bus that we spotted stuck on Baxter St during Feel My Legs. A bus has almost unlimited potential in how far it can take you and provides seemingly unlimited space to fill with your heart’s desires (not to mention it as a ubiquitous symbol of education/knowledge). But then sometimes you want to go to places you probably should not. Even if you know this, the idea is intoxicating and the potential for growth being in a new, uncomfortable space is huge. Going where we shouldn’t also has its risks. If it did not than it wouldn’t be any different than our everyday lives. And then sometimes you get stuck on a steep incline.

Photo from Ingrid’s Flickr. The bus made it up Baxter, from the steep Fargo St side, but is stuck on the ridge before the descent. In previous years we came up the road from the direction the bus is facing, but in 2009 I pulled this hill in order to include the new one in El Sereno.

What does this have to with a hill race? I’m super busy right now and going through some things I really, really wish I did not have to do, so I’ve been super slack on posting about Feel My Legs this year. Hopefully in the next couple days.

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How to use a bike rack

This has made its rounds, but in case you missed it I post it for your consumption. Public transit, bikes and Hip Hop; if it only had a giant vegan feast at the end this would be fully representative of things I get stoked on. Oh and if the rapping was actually good.

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yo Los Angeles

yo Los Angeles,
I love you. I never thought I would, but these last five years have been fantastic. Especially the bike riding. I remember when LA Critical Mass was the only ride and it started at 5th and Flower and was mostly messengers. Then came More Than Transportation 1, 2, 3 and 4. By 2005 we had Bike Summer. Then Midnight Ridazz blew up and we have more groups and rides then I can keep track of. Each passing day I am enthralled by the number of people on bikes. The people are here, but where is our city? What are you doing?

Metro Board tonight passed the half cent sales tax proposal for November, but a huge chunk of the money is for highway widening. And they refused to allocate any specific amount (1% was requested) for cyclists and pedestrians.

I don’t want LA to be Portland. That’s why I live here. But can I have a little Portland in my LA? How about some Copenhagen? I’d even settle for some Oslo.

Here are some articles I’ve read this week that kept me motivated. Enjoy.

Crimanimalz are taking over

LA Times: Two death-defying transit stunts: biking on freeways and walking across the street

New bike lanes spotted around LA

Councilman Labonge, Europe and Bikes

We’re here. We ride. Get used to it.

Highway Funding: The last bastion of socialism in America

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