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Wednesday, May 28th
Offsite Blogging CLXXI
Well, you'll just have to read both blogs this week, where I cover the two segments of LA's San Vicente Boulevard, which are laterally displaced by ten miles or so....

On Orange 20's blog, I start off a day of Multi-Modal Meandering with a look at the western half of San Vicente, then segue into a traverse of the San Fernando Valley.

But at Flying Pigeon LA, I dive into The Westside Whirlpool, where San Vicente, La Cienega, and Burton Way all come together in a swirl of lanes and cars that LADOT has valiantly attempted to make bike-friendly. And has done so, to a limited extent….

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 28 May 2014 23:37:24 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, May 22nd
No Cigar
As the old saying goes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Or at least the road to heck…as in the photo below, which I snapped a few days ago while walking past a soon-to-open bakery/bistro near the apartment.

I was at first glance pretty happy to see loads of bike parking out of the corner of my eye. Then I looked closer and saw…a modern variation of the old "wheelbender" racks, with which it is difficult if not impossible to use a U-lock.

Bike racks at new bistro

This is in the heart of Los Angeles, and very, very far from Mayberry….

As another old saying goes, one from the days when carnival games on the boardwalk were a big part of life: "Close, but no cigar."

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 22 May 2014 22:51:17 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, May 21st
Offsite Blogging CLXX
A diverse week, this one….

On Orange 20's blog, I try to provide a little Election Direction for an upcoming race in LA, with a good bit of help form the LACBC.

While at Flying Pigeon LA's blog, I wonder Where Is The Vast Liberal Conspiracy When You Really Need It?, as an event touted as exploring the "future of mobility in Los Angeles" views it strictly from the windshield perspective….

Think we'll ever figure it out in this town?

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 21 May 2014 23:15:37 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, May 14th
Offsite Blogging CLXIX
Two very different posts on the North Figueroa debacle here in Los Angeles, as a candidate for city council praises bike lanes to the sky while trolling for votes, then stonewalls their implementation once in office. Read 'em both:

At Orange 20: Democracy? What Democracy? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Democracy!

At Flying Pigeon LA: Bait and Switch

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 14 May 2014 21:34:18 -0800 [link]  

The Few. The Proud. The Woolly.
So here it was, predicted to be a ninety-seven degrees Fahrenheit, and hotter in South Pasadena, where I was headed. Even though I chose to cut the four most boring miles out with a stint on the subway, that left me thirty-two miles of bicycling, with a number of hills involved, and two appointments. (Which became three during the course of the day.)

However to keep myself fresh and presentable for those appointments?

The short answer: wool. Yes, wool. Sheep hair. Supposedly for winter only. (Just don't tell that to the Bedouin, with their woolen robes....)

Oaky, I have to make this into a sales pitch. because the wool clothes we sell keep this site going, but they really are wonderful in warmer weather. After all, I designed them myself, right here, with rigorous road testing of prototypes for months, sometimes.

Everyone knows that wool keeps you warm in the fall and winter, and that it dries quickly if it gets wet in a rainstorm. But wool in heat seems counterintuitive to most folks.

But, as we know from the tired arguments NIMBY's present when they argue against bike lanes, "gut feelings" are generally nothing more than gas. Just as slowing traffic reduces congestion in real life, and trading parking for bikeways improves business, wool can be perfect in blast-furnace temperatures. Nothing wicks moisture better, turning you into a big evaporative cooler.

Today I wore wool gabardine pants, a wool gab hat, and a stretch merino wool T-shirt…and arrived at each destination dry and comfortable.

By contrast, my wife, whom a family obligation cornered into driving eighty miles yesterday, came home drenched and frazzled in her cotton duds, despite her little car's air conditioning.

Be brave, be bold. Be comfortable: try some of our wool cycling clothes today, even though summer's approaching. You will, as our tag line puts it, Look Good, Feel Good, and Ride Happy.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 14 May 2014 01:34:34 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, May 8th
Offsite Blogging CLXVIII
I loaded comments on the North Figueroa bike lane project in Northeast Los Angeles onto both blogs today, though with different takes on each. The newly-elected council member, Gill Cedillo, is holding a meeting tomorrow night in an effort to persuade residents that speeding traffic is a wonderful thing, and that all cyclists, pedestrians, and neighborhood businesses should get is some lousy sharrows, and be grateful for them.

This is a sad sate of affairs, since the neighborhood suffers from the bleak speedway that its main street has become, and the council member is inexplicably holding back the 'hood's likely revitalization.

If you have any interest in real neighborhoods, which even Los Angeles deserves, read them both. And if you live or own property or a business anywhere near North Figueroa, in Highland Park or Cypress Park, please show up….

On Orange 20's blog: Street or Slaughterhouse? Fight to Salvage North Fig's Bike Lanes!

On Flying Pigeon LA's blog: Your Life, Health, and Prosperity Are at Stake

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 08 May 2014 00:20:40 -0800 [link]  

Monday, May 5th
Market Run
The Monday morning run to the farmers' market, three or four miles north on a narrow and entirely residential street (except wehre it crosses arterials and host businesses on each corner). Because this street, Hauser, suffers traffic signals at each major crossing, it draws scurrying hordes of motorists too lazy to use big, broad, fast La Brea a short distance to the east. So they jam onto this thirty-foot-wide, twenty-five miles-per-hour street of houses and yards, duplexes, and small courtyard apartments and crowd each other over in the nervous manner of roaches fleeing the light as they endeavor to pass through at forty or more, oblivious to anything except their own sense of entitlement.

I have many times been repeatedly passed on this street by the same two or three cars, only to find them bunched up, snout to tail, at the next stop sign or red light. And the next, and the next. And just today, ont eh way home from the market—I was passed, illegally close of course; that's normal, but in this case it was closer than usual—by some typical imbecile in a towering SUV with a broken side mirror, no doubt sacrificed to an earlier squeeze play somewhere, whom I of course came up to within a block, at a cross street. I pulled up next to him where there was plenty of room between car and curb, when suddenly he lurched into a right urn without signaling. Since he was sof ar left that there was room for another road user to his right, this made his turn doubly illegal. Fortunately my abiding sense of distrust kept me from following my impulse to move ahead, or he would have collided with me.

I wonder if he's one of those orthographically-challenged droolers who fill comments columns with complaints of "scofflaw cyclists." I wouldn't be surprised….

On the ride up, however, I had a sweeter interaction with a servant of the motorcar. A woman about to enter her sedan stopped by her open door to talk with a neighbor across the street. There was traffic coming downhill as I pedaled up, leaving not too much room, even for a bicycle. The woman by her door casually pulled it in a few inches as I approached, to give me more room. No eye contact, no big fuss…just doing the right and neighborly thing, perhaps without noticing it herself.

More than made up for the later lout's selfishness. But how rare a kindness is on LA streets, if I have to make a note of it!

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 05 May 2014 20:28:56 -0800 [link]  

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