Richard Risemberg on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:40:34 -0800 [link]
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:05:46 -0800 [link]
While at Flying Pigeon LA, Bike Rack Hack Back on Track looks at the imminent restart of the city's dormant sidewalk bike rack program, and what exactly happened to stall it.
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:36:19 -0800 [link]
The Bicycle Culture Institute just sent the most heartening press release about a grassroots Los Angeles race—and its meaning to women and the "youth of today":
Inner City Youth With Troubled Past Re-Focus on Athletics
L.A. youth step up their game as street race out grows the city and gathers international attention
The stakes are high this summer: with the July 12th, 2014, Civic Center Criterium drawing international competitors, local youth are focusing their energy on becoming stronger cyclists.
Athletics have long been a tool to build character and prevent crime among youth, especially within inner-city and low-income communities, and this has proven especially true in the case of the Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series. In contrast to traditional organized sports, urban bike races offer a low barrier to entry and have a way of converting hooligans into heroes.
Take young men and women like dog tag holder Edgar "Willo" Juarez and members of local racing teams Gorilla Smash Squad and Kushtown, who have found in cycling a healthy outlet for their energy, where they can channel their competitive urges and thirst for street cred into training and personal development.
With low registration fees and little equipment required, these races give young adults an outlet beyond the tagging, drugs and delinquency that underprivileged youth are often drawn to. Here in Los Angeles, the paramount prize is the coveted Wolfpack Hustle Dog Tags.
Daredevil Bike Race Celebrates Equality For Women In L.A.
In an arena that has long been undeniably male-dominated, Wolfpack Hustle's non-traditional races have taken the lead to invite women to their place at the starting line.
While women fight tooth and nail for half the road in pro cycling, Wolfpack Hustle races draw more female competitors with every race, as strong urban cyclists like Jo Celso and Kelli Samuelson achieve accolades alongside the top men in their fields, inspiring young women to clip in and take off.
Ever since their humble beginnings made up of a dozen or so cyclists in cutoffs riding on Monday nights out of Silver Lake thirsty to see who was fastest, Wolfpack Hustle has always supported its she-wolves—like first generation dog tag holder Beatriz Rodriguez, who later went on to attain Cat 1 rating and National titles under the USAC. The chance to measure up against Rodriguez, a legend and inspiration to female cyclists, drew other women on bikes to future races.
Instead of putting out a call for podium girls, Wolfpack Hustle organizer Don Ward chose to challenge women to contend for their place among the world's toughest urban cyclists and win their own dog tags once again on July 12th at the Civic Center Crit set to encircle the Los Angeles City Hall building with a finish line adjacent to the Grand Park lawn on Spring St.
The race categories include a brakeless track bike division for which 55 women are currently signed up. Rather than hold women's races in the shadows of men's, an ongoing discrepancy among the pro circuits, Wolfpack Hustle races have led the way in drawing more women to the sport of cycling. Equal courses, competition time and resources, coverage and awards are among the ways in that Wolfpack has attracted growing numbers of women.
Saturday, July 12th
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Organizer: Don Ward
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 03:39:37 -0800 [link]
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:14:17 -0800 [link]
But at Flying Pigeon LA, I celebrate, in a snarky way, the sudden appearance of a bike corral right on Figueroa, wondering How on Earth Did This Happen?
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:31:19 -0800 [link]
Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles is the centerpiece of one of the busiest commuter corridors in the US. The corridor includes the nearby Santa Monica Freeway, Interstate 10, but Wilshire itself serves many of the destinations those commuters are crowding towards: office buildings, shops, schools, and parks and museums as well. It stretches from Downtown through Pico-Union, Koreatown, Hancock Park, the Miracle Mile, the stuffy provinces of Beverly Hills, through Westwood (where it skirts UCLA), through West Los Angeles, to Santa Monica.
Throughout all this long route, so far, the only bicycle amenity one can find is a short bit of bike lane through "Condo Canyon" just east of UCLA, and a scattering of bike racks ont eh sidewalks here and there. Mostly here, in the Miracle Mile, since I live here and have called in a couple of dozen of them.
But that's about to change….
A few years ago traffic surveys showed that Metro's buses actually carried 25% more passengers up and down Wilshire at rush hour than all the private cars put together. So, in an entirely unexpected display of good sense, LADOT decided to build a dedicated rush-hour bus lane down the length of that long street, as far as the border with Santa Monica—and in fact to make it a shared bus/bike lane, at least for those busy hours morning and evening when parked cars are shooed away to let commuters through.
Of course there were "issues": Beverly Hills didn't finish its planning for the lanes in time to apply for the grant that's apparently funding them, and the residents of the aforementioned Condo Canyon wrestled their council member into submission (easy to do when you're wealthy) and made him oppose the project for the mile or so between Beverly Hills and Westwood. They were afraid that their entry into the street's legendary traffic james might be delayed a few seconds by a passing bus.
This opposition was based on nothing more than ignorant stupidity, but that plays well in LA, especially, as I've said, when the idiot in question is rich.
But good sense and a love of cleaner air won out as far as the eastern border of Beverly Hills, and the lanes are already built through Koreatown.
Now they are coming to the Miracle Mile, which sees lots of bike traffic, but which unfortunately sees most of it on the equally-busy sidewalks, where it is decidedly incommodious.
Here's a crew hard at work, just around the corner from my apartment:
Can't wait to try them out! With the subway coming soon, and Sixth Street a block north tentatively scheduled for a road diet with bike lanes, the Miracle Mile will soon be LA's transportation paradise.
Stay tuned for more news soon!
Note: This post originally and erroneously stated that Beverly Hills opposed the bus lanes, when in fact the city simply didn't bother to apply in time to be included in the project grant.
Richard Risemberg on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 18:55:56 -0800 [link]