Hat tip to Urban Cyclist Worldwide for this video:
the UK has a great cycling culture: laws that support cycling, employer benefits that pay for bikes and accessories and some of the first forerunners of urban cycling apparel and goods, like Cyclodelic who had an exciting line with TOPSHOP a few years ago. Cyclodelic is designed by by Amy Fleuriot out of the UK and focused on women’s apparel/accessories.
In the last few years there’s been a huge rush of indie and major brands doing special cycling lifestyle pieces, but it’s a pretty huge milestone when a massive global fashion retailer decides that bike fashion is a good way to stay hot and relevant. It’s too bad that it’s another menswear only project. The pieces look good – there’s probably a pretty significant quality difference between those items and say.. the Levi’s commuter collection or Outlier – but sometimes high water lifts all boats. No one does the volume or have the market reach that H&M does. Maybe a successful capsule collection will develop a wider global audience of people excited to look at clothes through the lens of daily bicycling.
Big news in LA politics — every major candidate for mayor goes on the record as supporting bicycling
This is huge.
For the first time I’m aware of, every major candidate for mayor of Los Angeles is on the record for their stands on bicycling issues. Or rather, their support of bikes.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has managed to get all five leading candidates to complete an in-depth questionnaire on the questions facing the local cycling community.
And surprisingly — or maybe not so surprisingly, given the audience they’re speaking to — every one of the five has come out strongly in favor of bicycling as a key part of the city’s transportation future.
I’m not going to tell you what I think about each one. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s important to be able to work with the winner once the election is over — which isn’t always possible if you’ve come out in favor of his or her opponent. But I will tell you that, from my perspective, two of the responses are head and shoulders above the rest — and not the ones I expected going into this.
I’ll let you read them yourself, and make your own decisions. But you owe it to yourself to read each one before you cast your ballot next month or decide who to support. You also owe it to me, and every other bike rider in the City of Angels. Because the future of bicycling in L.A. depends on who wins that election.
And that depends on you.
Here are the links to the surveys, in the order they were returned to the LACBC.
“Los Angeles should be a leader in innovative bikeway design and programs both for cyclists and pedestrians. I will pursue improvements that will elevate the bikeability of Los Angeles… I will build a network of separated and protected bikeways so that existing and new riders feel safe. This network will effectively connect neighborhoods to retail, educational and cultural institutions and we will start to see ridership grow.”
“Over the past few years, we have made great strides in making our city bicycle-friendly. From instituting new green bike lanes, to installing more bike racks, to parklettes, to larger initiatives like our bike plan—we are moving in the right direction. I would continue this momentum and look to leverage local dollars with state and federal dollars to see these initiatives expand tenfold throughout the city.”
“People aren’t walking or biking because they have to travel so far for food, work, and school. We need to focus on high impact investment in communities, so people can live and work close to their homes if they choose. If people’s needs are met close to home, they will be able to walk. Part of that investment needs to be in the quality of our streets. Some places in South LA, East San Fernando Valley, and the Eastside of LA don’t even have sidewalks.”
“As Mayor, I will approach cycling as a key part of our city’s transportation system. First of all, bicycles are already on our streets, and we must address that fact in terms of infrastructure, safety and planning. Looking ahead, our next Mayor must support bicycling as a viable option for short trips and as a way to link with public transit.”
“Disappointment surrounding LA’s transportation options generally, and the implementation of the city’s bike plan specifically, is understandable. Yet even with such frustration among Angelenos, our City leaders have failed to deliver efficient and effective transit… The days of poor planning, shady bidding, irresponsible outreach, failed implementation, cost overruns, construction delays, and the lack of a common sense approach to smart transit must end – and will end with my administration.”
Let’s give credit where it’s due.
These questions were prepared and submitted primarily by LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, in conjunction with the new Civic Engagement Committee. And yes, that’s the committee I chair. And no, I don’t take credit for this. It was a group effort, with Eric doing the lion’s share of the work. And it’s a perfect example of why you should be a member, if you’re not already.
You can hear the candidates discuss the issues in Tuesday’s mayoral debate broadcast by KPCC. Streetsblog looks at the barely contested race in Council District 5, where incumbent Paul Koretz faces little known opponent Mark Herd; rule number one in L.A. politics is incumbents almost never lose. Agoura Hills considers expanding the Chesebro overpass and adding bike lanes over the 101 Freeway. Pomona Valley cyclists are invited to join LACBC affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition, which is celebrating it’s first anniversary. Three former CA governors call for reforming CEQA. New bike lanes are on the agenda in Palm Springs.
Finally, you never have to ride alone again.
+ via BikinginLA / Ted Rogers
Carrera’s new folding bike helmet is making a big splash on the internet with this cute video and a rather attractive and novel approach to a bike helmet.
But is it effective/safe? It’s based off the “hairnet” style leather helmets with a futuristic update. We’ll see what the response goes when more of these hit the streets.
Sigh. Only a year ago the most excitement and design that could be found in bicycle helmets was a Yakkay cover, the odd venting in a Catlike helmet or some crazy graphics on a full coverage mountain bike helmet.
In 2013 – the number and variety of innovation in cycling is heating up and even the humble bicycle helmet is being reinvented. Tomorrow we’re posting Carrera’s promo video shot in Berlin to promote their beautiful folding helmets (an accordion like design) and no sooner have those hit the internet than a company out of Paris put forth their folding helmet design.
If you love it, rush over to ulule – a European version of kickstarter. You’ve got 1 day left to pre-order one!
girls in BMX
First being screened at the Bicycle Film Festival this past summer, the full ‘Sister Session’ short film is now available to view online. Documenting the women competing in the Simple Session BMX jam, the film is a behind the scenes look at women going big, crashing hard and pushing each other to rip it in a male dominated sport.
Women’s BMX is a small but tight and growing community, making their way to big competitions around the world. This documentary captures their first time at a major event like Simple Session.
“Sister Session” is selected to the program of Bicycle Film Festival 2012/13 and premiered in New York on Saturday June 30th. The film has been playing in Bicycle Film Festivals in 30 cities worldwide – Athens, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chicago, Heerlen, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milano, Moscow, New York, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, St.Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna and elsewhere.
Brett Astrid Võmma
Brett Astrid Võmma
Katherine Diaz VEN
Chiara Felder GER
Rebecca Berg GER
Angie Marino USA
Zandile Mkwanazi GER
Allison López ARG
Saki Sawada JPN
Sam Moodie GBR
Camila Harambour CHI
Kayley Ashworth GBR
As a long time New Yorker, I’ve had the privilege of traveling across the globe. I have some favorite cities – some predictable (San Francisco, Berlin) others not as much (Budapest, Washington, DC) – but what they all have in common are excellent public transportation networks. As someone who hasn’t owned a vehicle in 15 years – I’m particularly passionate about living where my bike can be my most reliable and enjoyable form of transportation. I also enjoy the scenery and reading time that train travel affords. Up until a year ago, Los Angeles was “the last place on earth” that I would ever consider living.
Friday’s “Adancemos!” is just that much more impressive and heartening. Attending the 5th annual Move LA conference on transportation in Los Angeles, (a giant hall filled with government, academic and policy professionals with a median age of 55) was a giant surprise in human awesomeness. It’s all too easy to dismiss things: the hugeness of the problem of car culture, the sheer size of LA, the drought of public works funding and perhaps most daunting: the fact that people get set in their ways and change almost always happens painfully slow in large organizations. And yet.
Dr. Robert Cervero, Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, had one of the most interesting anecdotes that illuminated a surprising approach to “connecting the dots” in effecting change in a complex social system. After the fall of communism, a soviet administrator asked who was in charge of the bread supply, only to have the westerner respond that no one was – that the entire system of bakeries, suppliers, delivery, retail, customers is self-regulating. In the same way that people need the government to act in order to create infrastructure, the government cannot act until there is enough already happening on the street with a huge population of people already aware and participating. It was that lack – of infrastructure, public and civic support for a diverse ‘multi-modal’ transportation network in Los Angeles county that made Dr. Cervero “give up” on LA after earning a Ph.D in urban planning from UCLA in 1980. Yet as someone who’s paid to consult on transforming urban transportation networks -globally- the #1 most asked about example of renewal is Los Angeles County. If it can happen here, with every possible road block, it can happen anywhere, at any time. My absolute favorite and most surprising example of urban revitalization through an updated transportation network is definitely Seoul, South Korea. In almost shocking slides you can see how in only 2 years (2004-2006) massive boulevards have become a river way for pedestrians, bicyclists and a high-speed bus line.
Retiring Zev Yaroslavsky, of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, had an inspiring reminder of time scale: that change can happen rapidly, but also that a human’s perspective on time is nothing compared to larger society and history. Slides from 1906-1912 show how rapidly LA went from a pastoral place with few roads to an urban environment. By 1920 LA had one of the greatest public transport systems in the world. Two decades later that had completely changed. And it’s only in the last 15 years that LA has been able to successfully develop things like the Red Line Subway, The Orange Line bus route (currently rated the most efficient bus line in the world!), and other major projects. My favorite project has to be the JEM line: Valley-Westside Rail Line: potential of a tunnel connecting Van Nuys and Sepulveda Pass Corridors together to maximize benefits, ridership, funding sources, and connectivity. How epic! Yet rapid – these projects have always required density – which LA has previously lacked in the sprawl of housing and highways. Cities like Paris, London, New York all existed for far longer than 100 years before developing their major infrastructure.
[For a really inspiring time, check out LA Metro's series of 3 transit maps: existing, +3 years & the grand plan (below)]
Examples, it seems are critical for change. So is participation. LA mayor Villaraigosa’s broken elbow from an accident on a bicycle completely changed his agenda in governing and put bicycling on the map in LA. Trips to Copenhagen lit the imagination and passion for what change could look like. The work of one person, inspired by Bogota, Columbia’s Ciclovia brought to the attention of the newly receptive mayor blossomed into the cultural movement now known as CicLAvia, an opportunity for Angelenos to ride car free through the streets. If there’s anything that people should know from the conference is that the people working on these giant projects are amazing people dedicated to making people’s lives better, creating an environmentally responsible system that allows people to increase their job opportunities (and easy access to the beach! or the airport!) And that the best way to support them is to participate. Get on a bike! Walk whenever you can. Take the bus, or the train and vote for a new mayor that cares about nurturing the progress that’s been made.
Mayoral Candidates at #moveLA that I was impressed with – Eric Garcetti & Wendy Greuel. It was great to see that several candidates are openly aware of and committed to the efforts of things like the Mayor’s Transit Corridors Cabinet, an effort to bring together people from housing, private business, transportation and other areas.
Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve come to see walking and the rights of pedestrians in an entirely new way. Living in New York and Europe accidentally gave me the impression that sidewalks are a matter of civic necessity and duty, and that walking to the post office or nearest grocery store was something that could be taken for granted. Sadly, all over the planet, that’s not the case. It doesn’t take a genius to put together obesity, depression and financial disparity problems as outcomes to a community that makes driving the only safe option to go about daily life. If ever there was a place invested in the automobile, it’s Los Angeles. Double bummer.
But that’s changing in some big ways. My biggest cause for optimism looking out into the new year comes from an organization called Los Angeles Walks. They recently published a list of the 12 Best things to happen to LA Pedestrians in 2012 I’m super proud of Los Angeles and an amazing population of trailblazers who aren’t waiting for the city or anyone to improve the safety and beauty of our city. We’re organizing, voting, planning and even going to school to learn how to make a difference. Now that’s encouraging!
From pedestrian coordinators to polka-dotted plazas, this was definitely a banner year for L.A.’s walkers. Across the city, we’re seeing physical improvements to our streets and sidewalks as well as a changing perspective from citizens who are actively proving a certain ’80s song wrong. Of course, we still have a long way to go—we still have far too many pedestrian collisions, including a recent “epidemic” of hit-and-runs—but we definitely think 2012 was a big step in the right direction for making the city more safe, accessible and fun for walkers. So, in no particular order, here are our picks for the 12 best things to happen to L.A. pedestrians this year.
1. The city appoints two pedestrian coordinators: Walkers won two official advocates in City Hall this year as the LADOT named two pedestrian coordinators: Margot Ocañas and Valerie Watson. The duo is working hard to update L.A. pedestrian infrastructure—like signaling, striping, and signage—and improve safe routes to schools and transit. And speaking of safety…
2. L.A.’s first continental crosswalk: Just this week, L.A. saw one of its greatest pedestrian victories as a “zebra stripe” crosswalk debuted at the intersection of 5th and Spring. Our own Deborah Murphy spoke at the press conference with Mayor Villaraigosa on how the new design will help make walkers more visible. 53 more crosswalks are planned for 2013, at intersections prioritized due to their high rate of pedestrian collisions.
3. Jeff Speck’s Walkable City book: Part urban planning primer, part love letter to walking, the former design director for the NEA’s fantastic book makes an excellent case for why focusing on the pedestrian experience will improve our cities. Not since Jane Jacobs have we seen a writer who describes a vibrant American sidewalk with such eloquent, blissfully jargon-free writing. The book only has a few examples from L.A., but maybe that’s a good thing—learning from the stories of other cities in this book will certainly help to inspire some change right here at home.
4. Sunset Triangle Plaza: Who would have guessed that a half-block of chartreuse polka-dots would get so much attention? An unprecedented collaboration between Streets for People, the L.A. City Planning Commission and the L.A. County Department of Public Health resulted in the city’s first street-to-plaza conversion in Silver Lake for only $25,000. The plaza itself needs some tweaks—the color’s still controversial, neighbors complained about the loss of parking, ugly plastic barricades showed up after a car took out a few planters—but the good news is that the process is documented, and any community can adapt (and improve on) the model for their neighborhood.
5. Parklet pilot program approved: In August of this year, the City Council approved a new pilot program pioneered by the UCLA Complete Streets Initiative to build parking space-sized parklets across the city. Four locations were announced right away, and if the six-month program goes well, more will pop up around L.A. in 2013. We’re all for the parklets, but we prefer the more L.A.-specific name: Let’s call them “plazitas!”
6. Christopher Hawthorne’s Boulevards project: As part of a series that launched this year, the Los Angeles Times architecture critic has been documenting L.A.’s famous boulevards, from Sunset Boulevard’s changing personality to Harbor Boulevard’s history of political unrest. The fact that the architecture critic at our paper of record is focusing on L.A.’s streets shows a true shift in the city’s attention to urban design. Bonus: Maybe because of Hawthorne’s project, the L.A. Times launched a campaign to let readers report damaged or missing sidewalks.
7. Police return to Pedestrian Advisory Committee: After Los Angeles Walks, Midnight Ridazz and LACBC presented at City Council, police representatives re-joined the LADOT’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, signifying a unified commitment to safer streets. Especially in light of the recent rash of pedestrian deaths on L.A. streets, this partnership is extremely important. (If you’d like to attend an upcoming meeting, the committee is still looking for representatives from many council districts,details here.)
8. Opening of the Expo Line and Orange Line extension: These two projects illustrated the dedication of the city to providing transit options for its residents as it continues building (rebuilding?) a world-class transportation system. The Orange Line now connects the extremely popular bus rapid transit line to rail in Chatsworth, and the new Expo Line brought much-needed service to South L.A. and Culver City. And,despite political battles, the second phase of the Expo Line is on schedule, which means we might be riding that light-rail-to-the-sea as soon as 2015.
9. The L.A. Weekly’s hit-and-run investigation: A devastating feature in the L.A. Weekly just a few weeks ago explored the tragic “epidemic” of hit-and-runs on our streets: 48 percent of traffic accidents in Los Angeles are hit-and-run offenses (much higher than the national average of 11 percent), and approximately 100 pedestrians are killed each year in Los Angeles by hit-and-run drivers. Yet the city and LAPD are not doing enough to prosecute and prevent these crimes (read our response to the article). Investigative journalism like this is important to amplify the conversation about safer streets, and we applaud the Weekly for taking on this issue. Update: They even did an excellent follow-up article on how hit-and-run victim Don Ward tracked down the driver who hit him.
10. Big objects moving through L.A.’s streets: First it was a boulder for LACMA, then it was a space shuttle for the California Science Center. (What’s next? One of the pyramids creeping up the PCH en route to the Getty Villa?) But instead of eliciting groans from drivers, closing our roads to move Levitated Mass and Endeavour to their destinations transformed L.A. into massive street parties where people discovered new ways to navigate the city without their cars.
11. It started to feel like everyone walks in L.A.: From the Big Parade to the Great L.A. Walk, from Trekking L.A.’s neighborhood walking tours to the L.A. Conservancy’s exploration of historic districts, we saw a groundswell of pedestrian tours, itineraries, and events throughout the city. Our only regret is that we can’t possibly keep up with all of the pedestrian urban exploration happening around us!
12. Rebirth of Los Angeles Walks: Of course we couldn’t help but include a revitalized Los Angeles Walks in our round up. You might know that L.A. Walks has been around in some form since the ’90s, but 2012 saw our official relaunch with anew steering committee and vision for the city. After our awesome karaoke fundraiser in April, we set to work on our campaigns, hosting three community meetings across the city, and we organized “WalkLAvia” parade down Figueroa during the autumn CicLAvia. And we got plenty of press which helped connect local walkers to our cause. We’re excited for 2013 and hope that you’ll join us as we work to make L.A. a great place for walkers. Thanks to everyone for your support!
New road shoes from GIRO at Interbike in Los Vegas. Since we’re already living in the future, it’s no surprise that these neon/black bumble bee like color trends are all but inevitable now. At the bicycle industries September mega-show it was as if there’s been a giant sale of clear acrylic display stands in neon…. Because that’s what we saw everywhere.
Diadora’s black & neon yellow road shoes for 2013..
Pearl Izumi’s line up for men in 2013
NorthWave Shoes for 2013
In truth the best thing that anyone could wish for going into a big show isn’t just to spot the next mega-trend or must have color way, but to discover something that is new, better or more nuanced that anything you’ve ever seen before. Surprise me! And… fizik did just that. The brand best known for their elite saddles came out with an absolutely gorgeous offering of men’s and women’s shoes. Made in Italy with materials that are either space age stuff or buttery handmade leather, they’re gorgeous and… super comfortable. Road, mountain and time trial models, though the high end road shoe was THE TALK of interbike 2012. WANT!
For most people, the show stops there. Sure the BMX guys will be super miffed that the five ten shoes weren’t reviewed (I’m a girl – not into BMX- sorry). But in the last few years there’s been an ever growing category of “lifestyle” shoes on offer. This year even cross over brands that usually only accidentally captured the urban/lifestyle market were actively out pitching their wares to local bike dealers. Bike specific shoe companies from CHROME to DZR were there, showing well and many others: Teva, Vibram and KEEN were also out representing the general “outdoor” category. Of which, Teva was a surprise winner.
The thing with bicycling getting to be a bigger, more complicated (and welcoming?) thing to a larger and more diverse range of people is that the products made for them can have a strange lifecycle; as companies try to interpret trends, resonate with enthusiastic buyers or just respond to what other companies are doing. Sometimes you look at a neon colored plastic shoe and wonder what happened that lead civilization to creating these. Or why the poop-brown meme of the “lifestyle” cyclist/commuter persists. It’s almost as if for all our growth and urbanization, cycling is still a bunch of guys in tropical fish technical gear or middle aged men slowly ridding around in comfortable open toed leather sandals and clothing the color of decaying foliage.
So I’m always incredibly pleased to see new things coming from DZR, CHROME and Cadence. Even Vittoria keeps it real, though sadly I didn’t see Cadence or Vittoria shoes at interbike this last September. DZR came out with two models that were brazenly more fashionable than anything else.
data visualization is getting pretty sexy these days, no more so than the simple and delightful interactive map available HERE showing you where people in the US are using bicycles as transportation.
It also reads like a ‘best US cities to live’ guide. Data was collected in 2006 and again in 2011 so there’s information on gains+ in the percentages in commuters and overall trips made by bike. One of the biggest, most pleasant surprises I discovered was how many people commute by bike in Arizona – a traditionally republican state with spread out infrastructure and super hot summers – not exactly Portlandia, yet check out those numbers! Sexy!
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