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Wednesday, September 26th
Offsite Blogging LXXXIII
Two more for you today....

At Orange 20, I get happy about how cycling is Building Momentum in our region...

...While at Flying Pigeon LA I am Shocked! Shocked! at just how many scofflaw motorists I saw on my ride downtown last night.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 10:20:15 -0800 [link]  

Sunday, September 23rd
Streets Eats: Sunset through Silverlake: Part 3
Yeah, it's officially "Silver Lake," but even many of its denizens spell it "Silverlake," which I find to be typographically more felicitious. And it sounds the same, so just close your eyes when you say it, if you're an administrative purist.

Which is to say, I've decided to initiate an irregular series of restaurant reviews, starting with Sunset Boulevard through that neighborhood immediately west of Echo park, and limited to establishments that qualify as bike-friendly, whether by intent or just circumstance. They won't be full-scale reviews, especially since as a vegetarian I won't sample the full range of wares at most places, and couldn't afford to anyway. But I can give an idea of the range of offerings, how good a meal or two I try there turns out, and whether the atmosphere is exciting, relaxing, homey, elegant, whatever. What the street life is like around each place, and what form the bike-friendliness takes.

It's really just an excuse to eat out more, and a guide to those who need no excuse and are heading out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner on two wheels.

Inside a FloreThird victim: Flore Vegan
Silverlake is becoming a culinary paradise for vegetarians and even vegans. Just down the street from Cru, the first restaurant in this series, is Flore Vegan, serving up surprisingly hearty fare in the form of wraps, sandwiches, salads, burgers, soups, and pizzas.

They do serve mock-meats, which I as a long-term vegetarian don't particularly favor; I don't miss meat. But many vegetarians do, and many take carnivorous friends out to lunch or dinner sometimes, so they have their place. For myself, I chose their reuben sandwich, made with tempeh and sauerkraut—I love sauerkraut!—and it was hearty without being heavy, balanced, and absolutely delicious. The accompanying salad was very good. Indeed, I wished I had been hungrier so I could order more!

But as it was, I have to say that, if this casual lunch was any indicator, the place is a keeper.

The inside is cozy and comfortable, with wood decor offsetting the presence of a deli counter, and quiet enough for conversation. I was alone, so I chose to sit outside, where street noise was a bit of an issue, but where the constant flow of people sauntering by made for a happy urban experience. Few places in Los Angeles have as much street life as Silverlake, which is one big reason I go there so often.

There are several bike racks within a hundred feet of the restaurant, but they are not infrequently taken up. I had no problem locking my Bottecchia up this time, but would have taken one of the racks across the street if I'd had to. There are few neighborhoods in LA with as much bike traffic as Silverlake, either—another reason I go there so often. And Golden Saddle Cyclery, whose owner Kyle I was annoying that day, is just around the corner.

Try this place out, even if you're not a vegetarian or vegan. You'll be able to imagine yourself in a sort of Wild West version of a Parisian sidewalk café. Good food on a great street, and lots of bikes— just what you're looking for! (No booze, though.)

Flore Vegan
3818 W. Sunset Boulevard (at Sunset Junction)
(323) 953-0611
Monday: 11am to 4pm
Tuesday through Friday: 11am to 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 1pm (brunch), 1pm to 10pm (dinner)

Richard Risemberg on Sun, 23 Sep 2012 08:54:36 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, September 19th
Offsite Blogging LXXXII
I start off this week at Orange 20, musing on LA's growth into more of a multi-modal town, and how it benefits us all, in Taking the Heat.

Then at Flying Pigeon LA I look at North Figueroa and realize that There's Plenty of Room for a road diet, so what are we waiting for?

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 13:21:39 -0800 [link]  

Monday, September 17th
Transportation a la Modes
Here's a nice snippet of video from Portland, Oregon, showing a truly multi-modal intersection where pedestrians, cyclists, buses, streetcars, those pesky horseless carriages, and even an aerial tramway are all graciously in play.

Read more about it on the Green Lane project website.

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:18:18 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, September 12th
Offsite Blogging LXXXI
Let's see what I've come up with this week...oh, yeah:

On Orange 20's blog I talk about how Downtown Los Angeles is becoming Network-Ready as its scatter of bike lanes begin connecting to each other.

And at Flying Pigeon LA, I discourse on riding In the Slow Lane, and how it isn't really all that slow after all.

The two go together in a way—when you're in a bike lane, you don't feel as though you have to rush along a motor traffic speeds...and it's much more relaxing!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 12 Sep 2012 15:03:12 -0800 [link]  

New Knickers, Late but Worth Waiting For!
Our latest batch of Classic Wool Knickers is here at last, after a bit more delay than usual at our downtown factory, but they were definitely worth the wait.

We have reprised our original and much-beloved charcoal with a burgundy gusset, but in a finer, stronger wool than we use way back then. It was a real find, as charcoal gabardine is hard to find these days.

And, as a number of buyers were asking for a slightly more conservative look, we have made a run of True Black gabardine knickers with a black satin gusset, subtle and elegant.

White I feel that the onscreen images don't really do them justice, they still give you the idea: style, fit, drape, and comfort on or off the bike. As we like to say, Look Good, Feel Good, Ride Happy!

But don't just take our word for it: read our testimonials from happy purchasers. Then go the our shopping cart and see the knickers themselves.

Of course, you shouldn't forget that we provide classy and comfy hats, socks, and the world's finest merino t-shirt, among other things; browse around and get yourself set up for sweet riding this fall--and every other season of the year, no matter where you are!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 12 Sep 2012 10:15:52 -0800 [link]  

Monday, September 10th
April Economides Now Working for BikeNation
Here's a press release from local SoCal bike-sharing startup BikeNation. April, whom I've met, could not be a better choice for such a position, and Bicycle Fixation wishes her the greatest of success!

Bike Nation Names Bicycle-Friendly Business District Expert April Economides as
General Manager for its Long Beach Bike Share Program

Economides led the nation's first Bicycle-Friendly Business District (BFBD) program in Long Beach, CA; helped launch additional BFBDs in San Diego, CA and Oakville, Ontario; and speaks around the continent about BFBDs and "The Business Case for Bicycling."

April Economides by Evan Patrick KellySeptember 10, 2012 (Long Beach, CA)— Bike Nation announced today that bicycle-friendly business district expert April Economides has joined the company as General Manager for its upcoming bike share program in the city of Long Beach, California. Economides created the nation's first Bicycle-Friendly Business District (BFBD) program for the City of Long Beach in partnership with four business districts, as well as the nation's largest citywide discount program for bicyclists called "Bike Saturdays." Bike Nation recently announced plans to roll out a privately-funded program consisting of up to 250 kiosks and 2,500 bikes in Long Beach, with initial installations expected to begin in February of 2013 in downtown.

"We are thrilled April has joined the Bike Nation team and is bringing her expertise in economic development and sustainable management to our bike share program in Long Beach," said Derek Fretheim, Bike Nation's Chief Operating Officer. "Her reputation as a champion of bicycling for everyday people is well deserved and will serve Long Beach's residents and visitors alike very well as we roll out an alternative and ecologically-friendly transportation alternative in the months ahead."

"I'm proud of my hometown for transforming into a healthier, more active city," said Economides. "This bike share program will give resident and tourists a convenient and healthy way to make those short trips that can be easily biked—whether it's to commute to work, run errands, meet friends for dinner or explore the city at human-scale speed. It's a great way to bring new customers into our local businesses and decrease car parking congestion—a top concern for many business districts."

In her new role, Economides will oversee all aspects of operations for Bike Nation's Long Beach bike share program, including stakeholder outreach, kiosk sites and community engagement. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management and is a car-free bike commuter. Economides, a Long Beach native, is the principal of Green Octopus Consulting, a green business firm that works at the intersection of economic development and sustainable city planning and helps create and promote vibrant, livable communities. She speaks frequently around the U.S. and Canada about "The Business Case for Bicycling" and Bicycle-Friendly Business Districts, launching and inspiring additional BFBD efforts in San Diego, Oakville, Miami, San Jose, Minneapolis and other cities.

Additionally, Economides has advised cities and organizations on placemaking, such as creating parklets and activating urban parks, managed communications and marketing for L.A.'s Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District for four years and contributed to sustainability plans and metrics for the cities of Long Beach, Claremont and Berkeley. Economides also writes the "Bikes Mean Business" column for Women on Bikes SoCal and served on the host committee for TEDxSoCal, Pro Walk/Pro Bike and the Women's Bicycling Summit.

Along with its bike share pilot program in Long Beach, Bike Nation announced separate bike share agreements earlier this year with the cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim. The Orange County-based company is set to unveil the first of 10 kiosks and 100 bikes in Anaheim later this month, with plans to install up to 40 kiosks and 400 bikes as demand warrants. The company also plans to begin rolling out the first of its 400 kiosks and 4,000 bikes in Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Westwood and Venice Beach early next year.

Bike Nation's bike sharing program is made up of self-service kiosks where individuals can rent and return a bicycle anywhere within a network of stations. Stations are located in close proximity for quick trips where users live, work and visit. The usage fees for the bicycle share system are incentivized for turnover and trips of less than 30 minutes in duration with a single 24-hour membership priced at $6, with discounts for three-day ($12), weekly ($25), monthly ($35), yearly ($75) and yearly student/senior rentals ($50).

About Bike Nation
Bike Nation was established in 2009 when the opportunity arose to develop a new, 'green' form of transportation that combines bike share with sponsorship and advertising. This idea was conceived from a request from Media Nation, and it's Outdoor Bike Banner Division, to participate in the FTA "Mobility Hub" project for Los Angeles, Hollywood and Long Beach. This request was based on Media Nation's long history of nationwide logistical and operational expertise with outdoor media programs such as its bike billboard programs, and long ties to major corporations such as AEG and Verizon. Today, Bike Nation operates in partnership with its sister company Media Nation Enterprises, LLC and is part of a family of companies owned by First Pacific Holdings.

For more information about April Economides, please visit For more information on Bike Nation, please visit our website: accounts.

Photo of April Economides by Evan Patrick Kelly

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:31:09 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, September 5th
Offsite Blogging LXXX
Okay, this week I occupy Orange 20's blog with a look at the Main/Spring of Downtown Cycling, the couplet of new bike lanes on two of the center city's most important streets.

While at Flying Pigeon LA, I bemoan the Opportunity Lost in Metro's treatment of bicycle facilities at bus and train stops in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 05 Sep 2012 09:31:29 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, September 4th
Better Late than Never
I love my downtown factory; the people are sweet, the quality of their work is stunning, they treat their employees and contractors really well, and they always answer the phone—even when they know it's me calling.

Bu they always run late, and the upcoming product run will not be the exception that proves the rule.

Yes, the new batch of Classic Wool Knickers that I expected would be on our shelves today and on the website tomorrow, will not, I am sorry to say, be available before the weekend. We might even have to wait till Tuesday, though hope not, as we're very low on stock.

Still, they are worth waiting for: a beautiful, dark, rich charcoal gabardine, one of the nicest cloths we've used for a normal product run (as opposed to our occasional "luxury editions"), with our signature burgundy satin gusset; and a True Black with black gusset for those who like a more low-key look.

So keep an eye on this blog or our Twitter feed; we'll let you know when they''re up for sale. (We mostly post links to bicycling news stories there, but indulge in an occasional bit of self-promotion as well.)

Meanwhile, we've got a few left of the last run, plus of course hats, socks, and our wonderful and extremely flattering merino wool v-neck t-shirts, all right here.

Richard Risemberg on Tue, 04 Sep 2012 18:01:26 -0800 [link]  

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