Monday, December 15, 2008

Not called Christmas any more

They say it is not called Christmas any more, but I just cannot kick the habit. Whatever you call it, don't forget your bicycle and your bicycle friends. The LACBC, our Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has come up a with a nice selection of T-shirts for all frame and chest sizes, with marvelous designs, and a good cause it is too. And don't forget one for yourself, after all those missed stops at the gas station, you surely have earned one, or even two.

Next year the Bicycle Coalition ( is planning a big membership drive at UCLA. T-shirts are good, but with all the work that waits for us to make the bicycle really viable in Los Angeles, we need smart and angry cyclists who join in and take charge. We could have a cordon of stations at most entries to the campus, and hail cyclists with good news about supporting the bicycle party. Now that the other election is over, we need to vote the bicycle king, and we need to do it soon. Please let me know if we can count on you to be on the sidewalk at the crucial time, and greet, thank, inform, count and recruit our brave and beautiful souls on the saddle. This is going to be a big one, and we want 50 bicycle recruiters placed at 12 points, and the exercise may include a short questionnaire and some counting of the bicycles.

There was also talk about a different kind of bicycle event: A ride from USC to UCLA, and one from UCLA to USC, 11 miles each way. Crews depart at the same time, they meet twice on the road, and a noisy encounter it may be. Before the return trip, each crew is fed and watered at the other campus in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, as only the bicycle can produce it. And the winner is: The group which sends more cyclists, and offers a kinder welcome to the arriving peloton. -

Lets hear from you if you can help to get this off the ground:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crash Data

Please enter your crash data below as a comment, using some or all of the following criteria. This will help us to get a measure of the danger-spots around campus.
Crash Data Criteria:
Location, direction, speed
Time of day, date, daylight
Type of crash: Dooring, right hook, left hook, harassment (specify), distracted driver/cyclists, failure of gear,
Infrastructure involvement (Potholes, signage, bike-lane)
Injury, ambulance, hospital ?
Police Report? Cell phone useage, Alcohol, Drugs
Cyclist helmet / ear-phones
Insurance Involved? Lawsuit? Justice served?
Lesson Learned ? (How could we have avoided this incident)
Cyclists trained to League standards?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Save the date: Bike Town Beta #1 Los Angeles- Westwood Village
Saturday October 25th, 2008 6pm-10pm
Boundaries: Wilshire, Galey, Westwood, and Le Conte

This could be the first Ciclovia in Los Angeles - See if you can find a better party: Its a humble announcement, but the buzz is there.

And just in time for the new Complete Streets Legislation, just signed, which gives bicycle traffic an entirely new basis in law -

Perhaps we are in for better bicycle times. But has UCLA moved? Has their bicycle department heard from you about access routes, about street surfaces in Westwood and about crossing the 405? What about the cemetery closed for national security? Or perhaps a charming bikepath right through Los Angeles Country Club, instead of Hell on Wilshire, every day.

Yes, much work remains to be done, and Bike Town Beta can be a joyful beginning for this work. But where to go if UCLA does not get around to implement its own bicycle masterplan? And actually improve access to the campus? What doors to knock on? Which phones to ring?

That's the big question. Too big for a few academic cyclists? Probably not. No.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Obama on the bicycle

This is from the Bicycleretailer

Obama Pledges Funding for Cycling

CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN) — Barack Obama, in a private 20-minute meeting with members of the Bikes Belong board of directors, told them if he were elected president he would increase funding for cycling and pedestrian projects. And the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee also said he would support Safe Routes to Schools programs.

He also told them he seldom makes promises on what he would do if elected president, but that this was a promise he would keep. Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, laid out the industry’s position on boosting funding for cycling-related projects and for Safe Routes to Schools at the meeting.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) called the opportunity for industry leaders—both suppliers and retailers—to meet privately with a presidential candidate so early in a campaign for the White House was historic. "It's important for this industry to understand that it is a force," said Blumenauer, shortly after Obama left the event.

Stan Day, SRAM’s president, said that Obama "gets it." He pointed out that Obama understands that bicycles can be part of a solution to issues as diverse as health care, obesity, energy and environmental policy. "He does his homework and he can connect the dots," he said.

Of the estimated 160 guests who turned out for the event, Day estimated close to 60 represented the bicycle industry ranging from suppliers, retailers and advocates. Among the guests were Greg LeMond and his wife, Kathryn. Obama, in his remarks to the guests, thanked the LeMonds for attending.

Chris Kegel, owner of Wheel & Sprocket, a six-store chain of stores in the greater Milwaukee area, drove to Chicago early Thursday evening to attend the fundraiser at the home of F.K. Day and his wife, Leah. Day is vice-president of SRAM.

"I think it’s very important that we (the bicycle industry) were involved with this type of event," Kegel said. Kegel added that he personally supports Obama and believes that Obama can help end the partisanship that divides the country.

Chicago retailer, JoAnne McSweeny, owner of Trek Bicycles on Michigan Avenue, said she has followed Obama’s career for years and supports Obama’s run for president. She, like many others, said Obama's support for cycling is important for the nation’s future.

During a conversational 15-minute speech, Obama poked fun at himself telling the crowd that when he was photographed last weekend riding a bike with his children, he looked like Urkel. For those unfamiliar with Steve Urkel, he was the nerdy, bespectacled semi-hero on the long running sitcom "Family Matters." The show was centered on an African-American middle class family living in Chicago.

Obama said he had no idea at the time he was riding with his children that he would soon meet with so many members from the industry. However, he pointed out, he knew photographers would be snapping photos of him on his bike, and that he wore his helmet to set an example for the kids.

Tom Petrie, president of Velimpex, who flew to Chicago Thursday afternoon, said he didn’t expect to hear Obama lay out a specific agenda for the bicycle industry. "However, it was refreshing to see somebody trying to unite the country instead of trying to divide it with wedge issues. I find it refreshing and, frankly, necessary,” Petrie said

For a complete report on the event, read the July 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.
—Marc Sani

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Einstein on the Bike

Some will say they had known it all along. The intelligentsia, the teachers of our teachers, the professors and the PhD's have long lost the plot. Now they even want to go back to the bicycle! What is wrong with them? Why can they not use the car like the rest? Yes, the bystanders will probably shake their head when the intellectual elite of this university comes together from all corners of the campus and wears their bicycle with pride during our weekly professorial ride. Join us and support us!
Our job on campus is to thinking, and establish truths, and our hope is that together, as a heterogeneous group called The Bicycle Academy, we can change some minds about the feasibility of the bicycle.
Books and Bicycles are perhaps the greatest achievements of humankind. Books are airplanes of the mind, and bicycles are the airplaces for the body. For books we do have libraries, and for the bicycles we have potholes. Now there is our work cut out for us.