So today, my actual Saturday, turned out to be as busy as most workdays I have lived through, starting with a run to the Post Office to grab some Priority Mail envelopes for shipping Bicycle Fixation products, on to my mother's house (now no longer her home) to take in the trash cans and check the mail, then on to the house where my son and ex live to check the toilet. (They rent from my mother, whose agent I am.)
Next I rode up to Hollywood Boulevard to meet with some folks at a photo store, and finally to a three-hour meeting at the Bike Writer's Collective to wrangle out improvements to the city's bicycle plan, which could certainly use some improvement.
The bicycle meeting lasted three hours, and was pretty productive, which is not always the case with meetings.
By the time it let out, the sun was almost down, and I rode home under golden skies that darkened slowly to deep indigo, clear and vibrant as only desert skies can be, washed clean by a modest rain last night.
Not many miles today, but all of them good miles. A Saturday despite the chores and meetings.
Richard Risemberg on Sat, 28 Nov 2009 19:12:29 -0800 [link]
LACBC, folks from Echo Park Cycles and other cyclists showed up to the meet and greet with Chief Charlie Beck on Saturday where we alerted him that physical assaults on cyclists, harassment by motorists and bicycle thefts have been increasing in LA.A litte more even-handed treatment of cyclists here at Ground Zero of Carmageddon could go a long way towards making Los Angeles something other than a traffic sump...such as perhaps a real, livable, lovable city.
Chief Beck is interested in addressing these issues seriously and has assigned Lieutenant Andre Dawson, as the bicycle liaison in his office to work with us on addressing these concerns.
LAPD will be putting together a work group to continue to work with cyclists on addressing these issues. LACBC will also continue to work with them to develop educational material that all their officers will be required to view during their roll call and training.
Here is what you can do now!
Report all assaults, thefts or acts of harassment, regardless of how minor they are. It is an initial step that we can do now, to help them track and identify where these problems are happening and to help them identify suspects.
- Call in and report incident to LAPD precinct in area of occurrence
- If you are assaulted: give as much info as possible regarding suspect, license plate, color of car, clothing they were wearing, etc
- If your bike was stolen: give then as much info about the bike, serial #, color of bike, make/model, suspect info, etc
If the officer refuses to take the report or says that they do not have time, that it is not a crime or any other excuse, call Lieutenant Andre Dawson at 213-792-3551 and explain the situation to him.
He has assured us that he will make sure to take care of it and hold the officers accountable for what is happening in the area.
I could live with that!
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 24 Nov 2009 17:27:12 -0800 [link]
So they're here, they're beautiful, and they're in limited supply--these are not easy to sew, and we have to import the 100% merino wool ourselves from New Zealand, so this batch will be all we've got till next year.
We've made a couple of small changes: a slightly longer sleeve, for better wrist coverage when riding, a slightly shorter tail, for better off-bike aesthetics (without compromising coverage in back). The same eminently-comfortable merino rib, the same elegant charcoal and visible yet never garish burnt orange colors. Made to fit closely, so if you're a big or tall medium go for a large, etc. Slim folks of average height, get your t-shirt size.
Good top for any season (hence the name): by itself in warm weather, over a light t-shirt in spring or fall, or as a base layer for deep winter riding (or skiing). Zips up to your eyeballs for when the snow flies, and has a double-layer neck! Yet the hood buttons back for more moderate chill, and drapes nicely down the back if you don't need it at all. Many customers report having worn theirs during some part of the day for the entire year since they got it!
Get them while you can: the Four Season Jerseys!
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 24 Nov 2009 07:03:31 -0800 [link]
It was a slow and very genteel (ie, no CM-type hijinks) ramble crisscrossing most of Downtown, with stops to enjoy some of LA's classic Art Deco buildings, and lots of smiles from street and sidewalk both. A couple of skateboarders rolled along with us for several miles, and ragtime played from sound systems on two of the bikes.
We wound through a lot of heavy traffic, both wheeled and legged, and even passed right by the building where BF's contract factory lives. Broadway, Spring Street, the warehouse district, a little of Skid Row, and a touch of the LA River, where we rode through a tunnel to a spot under the 6th Street bridge.
Didn't have time to stop for drinks at the end, so John Vu and I headed west, he to a meeting in Echo park, and I to a meeting with Gina and a couple of photographer friends for beer and business--which we rode to, of course. (And by the way, without hurrying, Gina and I beat them to the restaurant from our place, where we'd first met--bikes vs. SUV in traffic! And they left first!)
I'll link to photos once I find out where they are. My guess is they won't be posted till tomorrow or later. But they ought to be pretty good. Props to CICLE.org for making it all happen!
Update, 22 November: And here are some photos, as promised, on CICLE's Facebook page and on Flickr.
Richard Risemberg on Sat, 21 Nov 2009 21:41:29 -0800 [link]
12:30PM at Union Station. See CICLE.org, for more information.
See ya there!
Richard Risemberg on Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:45:17 -0800 [link]
They do seem to think that body english is good enough for handling ice, of which I'm doubtful, so here's a link to Peter White's page on studded bicycle tires for snow and ice, including black ice. He also imports and sells the tires.
Many of my acquaintances in northern climes ride happily year round (a number of them wearing our wool knickers and hooded jerseys), and I think every single one of them uses studded tires, which can last up to ten seasons.
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 14:11:13 -0800 [link]
No codes, passwords, or secret handshakes needed; the shopping cart is set up to do it automatically. Just spend more than $50, and ship to an address within the fifty Untied States.
Although our inventory is a bit low right now, both the Ninja Road Warrior Hoodies and the James Black Hats in L should be restocked within a few days.
So click on over to our shopping cart and see what we've got for you.
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 17 Nov 2009 07:35:32 -0800 [link]
Well, the replacement tire also cracked, and the front is showing rather alarming (though probably not dangerous) sidewall cracking too.As long as the tire's not bulging, it is not likely to blow out; but the cracks can let road grit in, which will chew at the threads and also possibly work its way into the tire and cause a flat. (I've had the latter happen to an old pair of Ritchey Tom Slicks.)
My rims, Ambrosio Excellences, are superb: light and incredibly strong, they haven't needed a touch of the spoke wrench since I got them some 17,000 miles ago--but they are very narrow--only 13mm across the inside, according to the manufacturer's website.
The ETRTO tire/rim compatibility chart does not recommend 28mm tires on rims that narrow. So, I bought a pair of 25mm Marathons yesterday, to see what happens. Will I get to wear out the tread before they crack? Is it rim width that causes the problem, after all? Or is it the relentless UV exposure they suffer in LA? And does anybody out there want some 3/4 worn Marathons for skidding or for grocery runs? They're excellent tires, except for this one issue.
Stay tuned; we should know in a year or less.
Richard Risemberg on Sun, 15 Nov 2009 06:50:32 -0800 [link]
This would definitely be a way to get more money for effective bike & ped facilities, and we should all read this closely.
The success of public transportation can be limited by the problem of the "first and last mile." One of "the best present options for solving the first and last mile dilemma are...bicycles." (Andrea White-Kjoss)And perhaps most important in terms of actually getting infrastructure put in:
Whether used for longer trips to access amenities outside the walkable radius of a public transportation station, or whether they enable direct access to a public transportation facility, bicycle amenities play an important role in encouraging public transportation use by providing riders with greater opportunities, choice, flexibility and safety for reaching their final destinations.
...A bike-on-bus demonstration program in Phoenix, Arizona that led to over 1,400 new public transportation riders per month.
Studies suggest that developments that incorporate bicycling and walking infrastructure in proximity with public transportation can reduce fiscal outlays of local municipalities towards roads and other infrastructure expansion by twenty-five percent. (TCRP Report 102: Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects, Transportation Research Board, 2004)Read the entire report at edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-27240.pdf
They are asking for comments too. You may comment by going to www.regulations.gov and following the instructions.
Richard Risemberg on Fri, 13 Nov 2009 13:48:16 -0800 [link]
For details, see CICLE.org.
Ride ends at a downtown English-style pub for imbibition and conviviality.
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 11 Nov 2009 20:40:49 -0800 [link]
Clayton reports that "They worked wonderfully." Makes me wish I'd kept a pair for myself! (They were a limited edition.)
But of course I have my gabardine Classic Wools; we're a bit low on inventory right now (though we've plenty of 32s for you fit sorts, and a smattering of other sizes as listed on the shopping cart page), but are intending to restock soon. I wear the gabs nearly every day.
Other inventory news: the Four Season Jerseys/Ninja Road Warrior Hoodies you've all been asking after are scheduled to be finished on the 16th of this month. (Of course, in our factory that usually means the 21st...!)
Richard Risemberg on Wed, 11 Nov 2009 07:39:50 -0800 [link]
They'll be carrying a selection of our clothing designs, including Classic Wool Knickers, Town & Country Shorts, Ninja Road Warrior Jerseys, and knicker socks, so you can try before you buy.
In fact, you should check them out even if you don't need new clothes, since they carry, besides the (in)famous Flying Pigeon city bikes, a variety of cargo and city bikes, including Torker and Batavus, plus their own customs mods of Pigeons and other bikes.
And they're one of the biggest dealers of Schwalbe's super-tough city tires in the west!
Flying Pigeon LA!
Richard Risemberg on Sat, 07 Nov 2009 15:32:50 -0800 [link]
Cyclists, like pedestrians and horse riders, use the roads by right of way. Drivers use it under licence. Drivers bring almost all the danger to the situation, yet it is the cyclists who should apparently take the long way round on a path with a loose surface littered with broken glass and dog excrement. Excuse me if I don't show the proper gratitude for this provision. I ride fifteen miles a day, at an average of as close to 20mph as I can manage. I am better off with other vehicular traffic than mixed in with pedestrians. Even if there was a bike path going my way, which there isn't, the roads were there first and are perfectly satisfactory. Apart from the potholes, obviously.Read it all on Chapman Central
I pay council tax and high-rate income tax, but almost never use the bike paths the council provides from that money - they are mostly shared use, and a bike moving at the kind of speeds I do has no place on the pavement. Shared use paths are also three times more dangerous than riding on the road. The additional cost of decent bike provision over and above the necessary provision for cars and pedestrians (including leisure paths) is, in any case, small, especially if done at the time of construction. And it's funded out of council tax, which of course I pay, as do most adult cyclists.
Richard Risemberg on Tue, 03 Nov 2009 07:49:27 -0800 [link]
Or you can get lucky and find a handsome print copy, which should be in a lot of bike shops, bookstores, and other places soon...find out where right here.
Richard Risemberg on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 18:51:42 -0800 [link]
My old Bottecchia and a Trek representin' for the fendered folk!
Chuck's Della Santa custom.
About 70 miles fixed for me, in very dry, hot weather--think it was just short of 90°F most of the day.
And then home to a birthday dinner, cooked by the incomparable Gina!--for my son Jack--who rode his fixie over.
My kind of Sunday....
Richard Risemberg on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 09:51:31 -0800 [link]