And we took the Brompton folding bikes, even though we were riding the whole way—no trains or bus or any other conveyance to stow them into.
The picture says it all:
Even a fairly large hotel room is still fairly small, if one is to be realistic about it. Since the Inn at Playa del Rey, where we stayed, didn't have secure bike parking, we'd be keeping the bikes in our room, as we always have done when traveling. The Bromptons when fully folded took up almost no room at all, and were never in the way.
And they still rode well enough for our jaunt down the coast through all the south county's beach cities.
Richard Risemberg on Sat, 25 May 2013 08:04:01 -0800 [link]
And at Flying Pigeon LA I examine the unlikely Sprawlfest that results when LA's own transit agency does everything it can to encourage driving and discourage bicycling to light rail and subway stops….
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 21 May 2013 16:06:46 -0800 [link]
As regular readers here may know, we borrowed Bromptons for a long train loop last year, which you can read about here, after which Gina immediately bought hers.
I have held back, strictly out of miserliness, but finally took the plunge. The bike will be ready for its close-up soon, so watch this space.
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 21 May 2013 07:43:48 -0800 [link]
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 15 May 2013 07:54:49 -0800 [link]
Even here on Wilshire Boulevard, a Los Angeles commercial road that is more daunting than most to bicyclists, the racks are well-used and you see cyclists everywhere. It's true, at least half of them are riding the sidewalks; Wilshire's lanes are narrow and the traffic heavy and often aggressive, but we are here.
The racks in the photo are a couple of blocks from my apartment, and are among the eighteen or so that I requested (at various times) form the LADOT. It took folks a while to find them, but now they are regularly packed with bikes. I can only imagine what it will be like when (or, I sometimes fear, if) the city puts in the combined rush hour bus/bike that have not only been long promised, but have been approved by the city council.
Meanwhile, the number of cyclists grows day by day. On Sixth street a block north, on the delightful Fourth Street connecting us to Koreatown, and even mixing it up with the mad traffic (or the pedestrian crowds) of Wilshire's Miracle Mile itself.
And next month, CicLAvia will be coming down Wilshire from downtown—ending right here in the Mile!
Richard Risemberg on Sun, 12 May 2013 08:26:14 -0800 [link]
While at Flying Pigeon LA I try to counter a rabid disinformation campaign with some evidence that bicycles are really Wheels of Fortune for a local economy.
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 08 May 2013 09:14:01 -0800 [link]
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 01 May 2013 09:09:52 -0800 [link]
For years the bicycle had been categorized as a toy for children, a tool for professional athletes, or a last-resort of the desperately poor—a mode of travel that required either courage or foolishness.
Yet the foolish ones were those who immured themselves in cars, alone and sequestered, for so long, draining municipal treasuries with their demands for free roads and cheap parking, clogging lungs, driving the weather crazy, walling themselves off from their world and their fellow humans.
Now that's changing, as people become accustomed to seeing cyclists everywhere—cyclists who are neither poor, nor supermen, nor derelicts. Cyclists who are just people like themselves, but riding bikes...and looking pretty happy about it.
The other day my wife Gina and I were pedaling from a music shop in Hollywood to the Farmers Market near our house, and as we passed through a nondescript intersection of two side streets, another couple out on bikes veered around the corner, while two fellows coming the other way zipped through the crossing with us. Six cyclists, meeting by chance, in the middle of an average neighborhood surrounded by shopping streets.
Over and over again it happens, on main streets and side streets alike, and the bike racks scattered round the city are more often in use than not.
The bicycle is becoming normal once again. And CicLAvia helped with that, giving everyday folks "permission" to ride their bikes on the street in that great rolling party, and get a taste of what they had been missing during the long grey era when we lived in glass and metal boxes, breathing essences of vinyl and burnt fuel.
It was a lack of imagination that held us back for so long, nothing more.
Here's a short video of the most recent CicLAvia, to give you a taste of what Los Angeles has just discovered—in case you weren't lucky enough to be there with us:
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:02:07 -0800 [link]