Safe Cycling Is Da Best Cycling, Mon

We all need to get places and getting there on bike is starting to make more sense every day.  Cycling can be a safe mode of transportation – certainly safer than texting and driving – but stuff does happen.  Fran Pavley, Julia Brownley and Safe Moves (http://www.safemoves.org/) are hosting a biclycle safety event on May 7th at Will Rogers State Park from 11 to 2.

Get Your Bike On!

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The LA River Dog Has No Bite

He Just Barks A lot

I went to municipal court today in Van Nuys to support my Canadian friends who were cited for loitering by the LAPD in February for being in and around the LA River.  Fortunately and unfortunately the case was dropped.  So thousands of dollars and hours of time and pieces of six souls were burned up because the City of LA doesn’t know what to do when it comes to the LA River: “Hey, there is someone in the river, Chief. What do you want us to do? Go down there and write them one of those meaningless tickets…teach them a lesson?” What kind of a message does this behavior send to the thousands of Canadian tourists that come to LA every year? I know that people like to make fun of Canadians, but we Angelenos are the joke when it comes to the river. So, it appears, as suspected, there is no law that prohibits people from going in the LA River. Case solved. Paddle on safely, amigos.

Safely Spinning

Cyclavia is happening on April 10 th – downtown closed off to cars – and it is going to be a happening for sure.  Surviving LA fully supports the pro-cycling movement in LA and the first step is getting people out on their bikes.  Before you hit the streets consider the following safety tips:

http://www.bicyclela.org/Etiquette.htm#Tips

And here is all you need to know about Cyclavia:

http://ciclavia.wordpress.com/

Peddling for Dollars

Gas prices are going up again and are only going to get worse as we head into summer.  Some people are now using their bikes to get around town and reaping the benefits of saving money on gas and getting some exercise at the same time.   While LA is definitely dominated by das auto, it is not difficult to imagine a future LA where cycles and cars truly share the road.`

That future is realized in the LA Master Bike Plan.  Kudos to the LA County Bike Coalition, Mayor Villaraigosa, Ed Reyes, and other cycling advocates who shaped the recently approved plan.   There are many, many miles of new bike lanes in the new plan and a variety of other goodies that will definitely push LA forward on the biking front.  You can check out the plan at:

http://www.labikeplan.org/

Traffic in LA Not So Bad

I know it is hard to believe, but yes, we do have the worst traffic congestion in the US (not so bad, it’s the worst) and it is only going to get more sucky as the economy picks back up again according to a recent report covered in USA today.  When I am sitting in traffic I often think about the other fools stuck in more horrible gridlock in other cities like New York or San Francisco, but it turns out that we are the biggest fools of all.  Here is more of the story:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-08-1Acongestion08_ST_N.htm

So this traffic beast isn’t going to magically go away so we have to start doing something about it. Cycling, bike commuting, is definitely part of the solution. The good folks at the LA Bicycle Coalition have been working on cycling issues for many years. Learn more about them at:

http://la-bike.org/

If it Can Happen in New Zealand

It can and will happen here.  LA will have another major earthquake, but sadly we are woefully unprepared for it again.  What you do now, before the earthquake, will determine what your life will be like after.  People are often injured and killed by sort of silly things – flying stereo speakers – during earthquakes.  Start with the following to prepare you and those you love for an earthquake:

Do a hazard hunt for items that might fall in your home during earthquakes and secure them.

Create a disaster preparedness plan and practice it.

Own a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.

Determine how you will establish and maintain contact with people in a cellphone dead world. 

Have an emergency supply stash that will be accessible:

  • Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for 3 days and ideally for 2 weeks.
  • What else would you need to be on your own for up to 2 weeks?
  • What would you need if you are in your car or office when the earthquake strikes?

Know and practice Drop, Cover and Hold.

Canadians Do the Right Thing, Eh

Congrats to Dave Fort and crew for raising the profile of the LA River and the need for us to more quickly move toward a cogent plan to use it.  I will be posting the numerous internet comments about this trip as they reflect the need for leadership here:

“The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”
-Lao Tzu
*They probably didn’t know that when it rains in the Southwestern US (which is rare) flash floods are very possible. This is even more likely when the river is made of concrete. People have been rescued from the LA River before and rescue personnel are put in an incredibly dangerous position doing so.
*Maybe so, but you don’t know the Los Angeles River. It’s really not a river. It’s a wash with a small creek in it. When it rains, the water rises and moves very fast – definitely not canoe territory.
*I’m an experienced white water rafter and I wouldn’t go down it when the water is high simply because of the fact that it is also full of all kinds of discarded junk and debris and because it is really polluted.
*The Los Angeles River is a misnomer. Most of it is a huge flood control channel which every year flushes taxpayer money out to sea while authorities attempt to rescue people attempting to use it as some form of entertainment.

*It wasn’t a real rescue like four stupid Americans form OC in a yacht off of Somolia that will cost millions and possibly American lives. Though it did take police away from the usual LA drive by shootings, baby killings, sex abuse and celeb drug use .

*What a great adventure … traveling down the LA River, stopping at out-of-the-way villages and trading posts, treating the locals to the entertainment they’re unable to get to or hear on those newly invented radios and television.  I wished they’d stopped in my little village of Los Angeles so I could hear them.
*Everyone outside of L.A. knows this is not a river, it is a cesspool heading to the beach.
*Very liberal application of the word “river.” If somebody wants to self eradicate from gene pool, that is their business. Who is to say they don’t know what they are doing? Given their choice of vessel, I doubt it. Whatever floats their boat.

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