For such a car obsessed place, the California mega city of Los Angeles has a thriving and active bike culture. Dozens of group rides can be found for all interest levels from Santa Monica to downtown. There is also a strong political force where the city council passed a law requiring motorists to give cyclists room three feet of space on the road. I’ve always kept a close eye on LA and watched its progression along with really great blogs like: BikinginLA, TakeoverLA, wolfpack hustle and of course, trackosaurusrex.
I mean look at their police force:
(cake anyone?) (Rider spotlight of Officer Gordon Helper from the Wolfpack Hustle.)
I mean bike cops aren’t necessarily your friends but it gives them a better understanding vs our NYPD who show up at your bike accident, after being hit by a car and give the cyclists traffic violations, if they do any investigation at all.
Here is a recent article about LA’s bike scene from the NY Times, covering the politics and the fourth annual CicLAvia, which attracted over 100,000 riders.
Los Angeles Lives by Car, but Learns to Embrace Bikes.
photo by: Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Photo Caption: The fourth annual event, which closed 10 miles of Los Angeles streets to car traffic, drew nearly 100,000 bicyclists.
By: Adam Nagoyrney
Published: May 19th, 2012
LOS ANGELES — It was a warm April morning in downtown Los Angeles, and there was not a car on the road. For five hours, the streets were commandeered by nearly 100,000 people on bicycles — old and young, wearing spandex and silly hats, dogs and babies perched on handlebar baskets — in a celebration that produced a sight that once would have seemed inconceivable in this city of cars.
“Bike ridership is up dramatically in L.A.,” the mayor said.
It was the fourth time this city closed its streets for the event known as CicLAvia, and it was the largest one yet.
These days in Los Angeles, there are midnight bike rides, East Side bike rides, women’s bike rides and nude bike rides rolling out nearly every day. In the past 18 months, close to 40 miles of bike paths and lanes have been created across the city and the City Council passed a measure to prevent bicyclists from being harassed by motorists.
I’m in a construction lift, 80′ off the ground working on lighting for White Collar, here in lovely Yonkers…
So this gives me time to plunder a bunch of other bicycle blogs for another random edition of: Video Friday!
Title: Giro reverb session 1: Artist Chris McNally Rides San Francisco.
From: Urban Velo Here’s a short video that tells the story behind the Giro ad in Urban Velo #31, It’s a profile of artist Chris McNally, who has done work for Puma, Levi’s, Ibis Cycles and more.
Title: How a bicycle is made.
From: Urban Velo Let’s kick off the week of Bike to Work Day (5/18/12) with this simply awesome video that is what the title says, “How a Bicycle is Made”.
Part of me thinks I’m about to watch a Tom & Jerry cartoon and another part is waiting for the MST3K silhouettes to pop up and start delivering witty snark. But really, it’s just an incredibly fascinating and detailed video from 1945 that shows questionably young workers putting bikes together with “bracket pieces” and makes me wish for ye days of olde when the bike industry necessitated seemingly endless rows of warehouses to keep up with the demand.
Do you think this is how they do it in Taiwan today?
Title: The Last Kilometer.
From: Urban Velo A clip from The Last Kilometer, an upcoming film following cycling through five characters and five stories. From what I can see and have read, I’m going to like this film.
Title: Garage Race 2012
From: Urban Velo Racing in a parking garage seems like a great time and a terrible idea all at the same time, though this one at least seems to be in a garage without any cars popping up unexpectedly.
Title: Boikzmoind DVD
From: Urban Velo Videos about fixed gear bikes are a dime a dozen, so it takes something a little extra to make yours stand out. The folks in Bristol did just that when they put together this beautiful piece of work for a 30 minute documentary about fixed gear riding in the Bristol area called Boikzmoind. Instead of just releasing the video they also crafted a 95 page book to complement it, using screenprint and digital printing processes to bring it all together. The video looks to be shot with equal attention to detail, mixing standard philosophical waxings with a good dose of humor (what’s up with that bunny?!).
The package will run you $47 and you can purchase it here.
More shots of the book are here.
Title: Courier Culture
From: Urban Velo A short film about the courier culture in Washington D.C.
Title: Spy Tour of California: Matthew Busche
From: Tracko The California based eyewear brand Spy built this unique commercial to be a playful expression of its youthful, irreverent point of view by bringing an action sports approach to road cycling, as well as sending a “Youth Against the Old Guard” message. The idea was born of this: Matthew Busche—Spy athlete and 2011 U.S. National Road Race Champion—trains a lot. To be the best requires tremendous focus and hard work—which equates to pain. To get through it, Busche says his mind drifts in and out of daydreams. Told through the prism of Busche’s daydream, viewers journey with him as he imagines himself hitting the alluring trails of California’s coastal mountain ranges and doing some crazy stuff on a bike strictly built for pavement.
Velo City Energy Ride– A tour of the Sites that Power New York City
Date: Saturday May 19, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Dekalb Market – 138 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Together we’ll ride 13 easy miles through Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan starting and ending at Velo City’s home at the Dekalb Market.
JOIN VELO CITY’S Energy Ride to support our work teaching youth how to change the city through cycling!
Cyclists of all levels, grab your helemet and get ready to exlpore the sites that help power New York City. The tour will be led by professionals who work for ConEdison. We will ride 13 easy miles through Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. The tour will start and finish the De Kalb Market.
Don’t have a bike? You can use one of our bikes for the ride for $10. You must reserve 24 hours in advance if you would like to use one of our bikes.
Support Velo City with a $30 suggested donation and get a free drink!
Donations can be made to Velo City through its fiscal sponsor, the Vera Institute of Justice. Donations will be tax deductible as permitted by law and the proceeds from this benefit will fund New York City urban planning and design education initiatives for teens.
Date: Sunday May 20, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Williamsbridge Reservoir, Bronx, New York 10467
Did you know that the Bronx River Is NYC’s only true fresh water river? It was considered a source for NYC’s drinking water in the early 1830’s. By the end of the 1800’s it was labeled “an open sewer.” The river has made a comeback since the days of reckless dumping and now supports many forms of aquatic life like Alewife Herring and even a beaver named “Jose.”
To Register Now.
What is VeloCity?
Velo City’s mission is to introduce youth from diverse under served communities to urban planning and design concepts, community involvement opportunities, and career options in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design through cycling.
This weekend is also the Gran Fondo, a unique cycling experience for racing enthusiasts, to ride in an italian style bike race here in NYC.
Tomorrow, May 18th & 19th, kicks off with a Bike Expo, the third bike show of the month.
Here are more details:
Two days of all things road cycling in the heart of Manhattan
Gran Fondo New York brings Italian style bike racing to NYC
Admission is free and open to the general public When:
Friday, May 18th 11am-8pm (last entry at 7.30pm)
Saturday, May 19th 11am-8pm (last entry at 7.30pm) Where:
Penn Pavillion in midtown Manhattan at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, across from Penn Station and MSG (401 Seventh Avenue)
Free, secure bike parking on-site. Bring your bike through the double doors at the 7th Avenue entrance. You will be able to check your bike in with security staff.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012, 12noon-4pm.
Meet at The City Reliquary Museum:
370 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburgh
$25, includes a mid-tour beer at Matt Torrey’s Bar.
RSVP with Matt@levysuniqueny.com
A 4 hour bicycle tour of Williamsburgh, East Williamsburgh and Bushwick and the former brewery buildings of the most densely packed brewing neighborhoods in America, circa 1890!
See historical photographs of various brewery buildings when they were built, between the 1880s and 1920s, compare them with vintage 1970s photos (in the heart of Bushwick’s deep dark arson-and-gangs era) and observe them as they stand today, re-purposed but obviously the same brewery buildings. German Churches, banks and social halls will also be observed.
The tour will end at Evergreen Cemetery on the Brooklyn/Queens border, where many of the Brewers are buried . . . with a surprise!
A historical, educational, beer-drinkable adventure! BYOBike and helmet.
NPR is documenting this momentous occasion with some online sharing:
Get Ready for Bike to Work Day (and share your photos)
By: Bill Chappell
Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 18. And that prompts a question: Do you bike to work? If so, you should prove it — by taking a photo of yourself with your bike. Then share the picture, and we’ll consider it for NPR’s Bike to Work Day gallery.
Just post the image to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #NPRbike, and we’ll take a look. To be considered for the gallery, post your pics by 2 p.m. EDT Thursday. If you miss that deadline, don’t worry — on Bike to Work Day, you can use that same hashtag to see how NPR listeners roll.
If you love riding on a particular street, or maybe a certain hill really challenges you, show us what makes your commute special. You can also show off your bike’s fenders, racks or baskets, but this is no beauty contest — it doesn’t matter if the only TLC your bike gets is air for its tires and oil for the chain.
If your biking to work tomorrow, also post pictures on twitter with the tag #bikenyc just to localize things.
For some inspiration, here is a story of a woman who bikes 24 miles round-trip in Indiana.
Cyclist relishes her 24-mile round-trip ride to work.
By: Vic Ryckaert
May. 17, 2012
photo by: Robert Sheer
Laura Metcalf doesn’t feel guilty about grabbing a doughnut or a cookie at the office because she knows that, most days, she’ll burn those extra calories off on the way home.
Metcalf, 43, rides her dependable and tank-like Surly bicycle from her Southeastside home to her office job at Riley Hospital for Children/IU Health about three days a week through sunshine, rain and even snow. That’s a roughly 24-mile round trip from her home near Franklin Road and Raymond Street.