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Wednesday, February 27th
Offsite Blogging CV
Let's lead off with Flying Pigeon today, where I cover kids, cars, bikes, and the choices different cities allow you through their infrastructure, in Family Values.

And let's wind up with Orange 20, where I go over a very Green and Green our nearby neighbor Santa Monica recently made on Ocean Park, its new "Complete Green Street."

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 27 Feb 2013 12:42:05 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, February 26th
What Hump?
I've carried many odd items on my bike over the decades, but I never expected to carry a cello—which is what I carried today.

It was Gina's cello, which had been out for repair. Her car is also out for repair, so on my way home from South Pasadena I stopped by Stein on Vine, the ancient and honorable music store in Hollywood, and picked it up.

It was in its soft case, which has knapsack straps, so I hoisted it onto my back and rolled off.

Astoundingly easy! And...drivers are politer than usual when you are carrying a cello on your back as you ride!

Gina's practicing on it now.

Richard Risemberg on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:11:10 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, February 20th
Offsite Blogging CIV
On Orange 20's blog this week, I talk about Happiness, Quantified, and how Denmark and other countries with high levels of cycling are also pretty happy places.

Then, on Flying Pigeon LA's blog, I revisit a Forgotten Paradise of cycling to remind us that there are other velocentric cultures in other parts of the world where cycling is, simply, normal....

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 20 Feb 2013 09:27:31 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, February 19th
Seeing the Light
In just toddled over to the credit union down the street, where in addition to cashing a mighty ten-dollar check, I availed myself of the dead battery drop-off. This is ia little plastic column in the building lobby, wehre you pop in old batteries for a company that recycles them.

Recycling batteries is good, but not using them is even better, and the thunk of the battery falling into the pile reminded me that I will be making far less use of this service soon: for nearly all the parts for my new wheels, with dyno hub, have arrived.

I wanted new wheels for my poor old Bottecchia anyway, as the current ones have seen nearly 40,000 miles of LA potholes—though they are still true! They are also a bit narrow for the Schwalbe Marathon 28mm tires I favor.

The new wheels will have rims by the same manufacturer—Ambrosio—another Miche track hub in back, and an unknown quantity, the Shutter Precision dyno hub, in front. Headlight will be a Busch & Müller Cyo R, taillight will be the very bright B&M Seculite I had on another bike (with a bottle dyno) for several years.

The SP dyno fulfills three requirements: 1) It claims fairly low resistance with the lamp on or off, 2) it uses sealed bearings, and 3) it does not cost anywhere near the two hundred eighty dollars of the world-standard Schmidt units.

I am very much looking forward to night rides that don't begin with the nagging fear that my batteries will run out before I get back home (it has happened several times), and even more so I look forward to generating that much less chemical waste, be it recycled or not, as I pedal around town.

Of course I'll let you know how it all works.

Richard Risemberg on Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:00:16 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, February 13th
Offsite Blogging CIII
On Orange 20s blog, I round up a bunch of Bankrupt Arguments against bicycle infrastructure and slap 'em around a little bit...

...While on Flying Pigeon LA's blog, I have the much more pleasurable task of observing that LA is finally headed towards becoming a grown-up bike town...And We Are Getting There!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 13 Feb 2013 15:09:57 -0800 [link]  

Saturday, February 9th
Offsite Blogging CII
On Orange 20's blog we bring back one of our favorite subjects, wayfinding, in a post entitled, Where Are We Now?

And at Flying Pigeon LA we segue into another of our favorite subjects, bike parking, in Once You Get There....

Richard Risemberg on Sat, 09 Feb 2013 10:35:10 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, February 5th
Everywhere You Look....
Everywhere you look, you see bikes in the city now. Los Angeles is becoming a bike town, and although additions to infrastructure have helped, it seems to be a natural process. In fact, some parts of town that have bike lanes don't have all that many riders, while other parts of town that a re bare of velocipedal amenities see plenty of riders. My neighborhood, the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire, is one such. Larchmont, to which I pedaled for a yoga class yesterday, is another.

The two neighborhoods do have a few things in common, though:

One is that they are both destinations, with plenty of shops, eateries, and jobs. Wilshire has numerous office buildings, and Larchmont is near a major studio complex.

Another is that they are embedded in residential neighborhoods. Larchmont's is mostly single-family houses, but Wilshire's is divided between houses on the south and a mix of classic and newer apartment buildings on the north, as well as brand-new condo blocs on the boulevard itself.

And a third similarity is infrastructural: Plenty of bike racks! When Larchmont switched form parking meters to pay stations, thirty-three of the old meter posts were retrofitted with post-and-ring bikestands to supplement the ten or twelve staple racks that had been there before. And on the Miracle Mile. LADOT has placed nearly twenty racks over the last couple of years, in response to my suggestions. (The Mile is at the end of the popular Fourth Street bicycle route as well.)

So, let me contradict myself: while the bicycle infrastructure isn't obvious, it is there. And it is helping nurture what seems to be an organic growth in cycling that might peter out (as it did in the 1970s) without a little love from the powers-that-be.

Fortunately, we seem to be getting that at last....

Richard Risemberg on Tue, 05 Feb 2013 08:47:56 -0800 [link]  

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