I first discovered the New York Times article via my #BikeNYC friends, only to see that several other cities were represented (but with far less activity on the maps, presumably those other cities don’t have as many rabid NYT readers). As something to explore, the NYC map is the most interesting – so far.

NYT map

Gizmodo had a good article articulating how the project came about and comparing it to Strava, which was informational but also funny. The map invites cyclists to add ten-word blurbs to a map of the city. They range from practical advice (“Avoid Brooklyn Bridge unless it’s early or late”) to jokey (“Williamsburg Bridge is a drag strip for Category 6 racing”). You can also toggle onto a secondary mode, which pulls data from the popular GPS tracking app, Strava, to show which routes are most popular amongst users. There are already plenty of different mapping options for cyclists who need directions, but this interactive grants us access to a secondary layer of information: all of the tips and tricks that, normally, take years of experience to amass.

Awesome! But what about Los Angeles?

It exists! Along with Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver, Chicageo, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, Boston & D.C.

NYT LA map

As the founder of L.A. Bike Trains, I’m SUPER interested in maps pertaining to cycling in Los Angeles County, not just the hot spots in downtown, Silver Lake and Santa Monica. Where there are people, there’s a need to make bicycling a pleasurable and easy to figure out experience. The very next day I came across Commuterama.com another interactive transportation map, this one dedicated to LA.

comuterama

I was bummed, however to see that it’s another driving tool, like the popular waze app that “brings 30 million drivers together.” Usually to suggest ‘off streets’ that push aggressive drivers trying to shave time off their trips onto small residential streets, where cyclist are told they belong and feel they’ll be safe because it’s clear from the traffic issues of the main avenues. Does anyone else see the inequality and potential problems from that approach?

Instead of developing alternatives to the unsustainable model of a car for everyone and every trip, why are we not pushing development of maps like the NYT biking map? If Waze was ethical, they’d keep cars off biking routes (which they don’t) and if Commuterama really wanted to make LA a better place to live, it would be a multi-modal approach that would encourage public transportation and biking alternatives. The good news is that Commuterama is looking for public feedback and because they’re supported by LADOT, they’re likely to bend to any significant response asking for things like public transit and biking features/information.

 

So drop them a line:

Feel free to share any ideas and wishes you may have about your commute by emailing ideas@commuterama.com.

 

{UPDATE: LA Bike Trains, reached out had a *great* talk with the commuterama.com team about bringing bike routes and infrastructure into what they are developing. Yeah LA!!!}

It’s gonna be a minute until we have something as beautifully fleshed out as http://labikemvmt.org/

but the #BikeNYC People’s history (rough unedited, slightly embarrassing ..for me, anyway) video is online, thanks to Dedicated Lane Productions. I’ve yet to transcribe the full 90+ minutes, but I’m sure it will be amazing project for my retirement years. GIANT PROPS to Red Lantern Bicycles, not just for hosting, but for being a true home. I feel happier and more loved just hanging out at that wonderful space, from the bike shop in back (Holla at Brian & Chombo!!!) to the good people making organic deliciousness (coffee, tea or comedy?) and gluten free cafe treats up front. I definitely could not have done this as well without Lena. You know who you are and you are awesome and appreciated.

Video #1
There’s not much in the first minute beyond us figuring out how to get talking. Then Mike Green (my BFF aka: BikeBlogNYC) does a great job of introducing all the panelists. (1:35) The first speaker, Time’s UP! Bill Di Paola, (9:20) gives an impassioned and inspiring social bike history beginning in the 1980′s on how Time’s UP! got started.

 

Video #2
Chris Kim gives a NYC Messenger centric history of biking in NYC since 1996.

 

Video #3
Caroline Samponaro, from Transportation Alternatives gives a history of NYC biking since 1980′s and Hodari Depalm clarifies the Bike Ban was killed by the messenger community. Ken Stanek refers to Charles Komanoff’s writings. Charles was originally scheduled to speak, but was unable to attend due to a funeral. Thankfully Charles is a prolific writer!

 

Video #4
I introduce Taliah for an outrageously long 1:30. Taliah Lempert (Bicycle Paintings) describes how she discovered cycling in NYC and how she became a full time artist dedicated to painting bikes.

 

Video#5
Chris Kim enters into the conversation by clarifying how critical mass has changed in NYC, it’s impact and decline. Austin Horse makes a cameo. Ken Stanek talks what came out of Critical Mass. And we have unplanned audience participation! Oops.

(psst! Videos 6 – 13 will be posted in a following update)

classroom

Interested in riding bikes, but intimidated by LA streets or just not sure how to ride with the confidence of an experienced urban bike rider? You’re in luck! This class is designed to teach adults how to use a bicycle with confidence and competence for pleasure, utility and sport under various practical conditions.

[Please RSVP to the facebook events page so we can know how many to anticipate.]

From 9am – 10am we’ll have classroom based instruction at R5Y7: a bicycle gallery located at 4357 Melrose Ave. Close to the Vermont/Santa Monica Red line and LACC.

The Basics
• The Bicycle
• Maintenance Basics
• Clothing and Equipment

Bicycling in Traffic
• Your Role in Traffic
• Avoiding Crashes
• Hazard Avoidance Maneuvers

From 10am – Noon we’ll finish our classroom (gallery) overviews and do some guided on street riding. Starting with the bike lane on Heliotrope and progressing as people are comfortable.

Co-Taught between the legendary Dorothy Wong, a UCI certified instructor and director of SoCalCross with Siobhan Dolan, cook at LA’s bicycle kitchen and organizer of the LA Ladies Bicycle Brunch series.

This workshop is geared towards adults who have little or no experience riding a bike or who need help learning the skills and confidence to begin riding in urban traffic.

lane

Red#5 Yellow#7 : a bicycle gallery is happy to kick off the 2013 season with a special show commemorating 4 years of the Passage Ride.

Passage56_1060478

Passable Atlas: Artists Talk

Local LA artists Sean Deyoe and Nathan Snider have led The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time, a weekly Wednesday night bike ride exploring far-flung areas of the city since 2009.

Tonight they will be speaking about the ride and the gallery installation inspired by unexpected connections between otherwise disconnected places. The ride is known for its unique routes and ambitious conceptual themes, aiming to give participants a balance between seeing new things and seeing old things anew.

After the talk there will be a Q&A session, followed by drinks around the corner at The Faculty from 8:45pm – 10pm

facebook event RSVP

r5y7 map

Besides the wonderland of free and open museums along museum mile for cicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire 2013, this was also a turning point in which forward thinking artists realized that wide open, car-free streets with 150,000+ happy people is the perfect venue for performance art.

Bobby Gadda & napLAvia

More popularly known as Tall Bike Bobby, Mr. Gadda is the former president of the cicLAvia board of directors and famous for his TedX talk about bike touring on a tall bike. Though he now lives in the bay area, he took a long sleepless bus ride down to LA and decided to catch a nap at stops along the route, inviting others to rest and relax.

naplavia

nap bobby

iconic nap

photo: Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

Bruce Chan & danceLAvia

If you’re a member of Bruce’s Buddies (or just lucky enough to know the LA Bike Trains co-founder) you know he LOVES to DANCE. So naturally, this had to happen. Is it going to far to call this man a revolutionary? All I know is that if there isn’t dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.

 dancelaviabruce chan dance

Carole Frances Lung‘s (aka Frau Fiber) “Bicycle Reinforcement” collaborative bicycle powered sewing machine. In front of the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

With live action silk screen patches by artist Sonia Romero, you could pedal power Frau Fiber’s vintage sewing machine and add one of three lovely designs on sturdy cotton onto whatever you had. I didn’t see anyone drop their pants, but I was thrilled to see people so excited to randomly volunteer bags, shirts or anything they had.

bike patch

bike sewing machine

How does it work? Been frustrated? Just curious?

Once again Casey Neistat inspires us with a short, entertaining and awesome video. Here’s his look at CitiBike’s “pain in the ass factor” measuring comfort, speed, cost and ease of use between his personal bike, CitiBike and a taxi in Manhattan.

labiketrainmap

L.A. Bike Trains Special Event Route: CicLAvia to the Wolfpack Crit.

Join us for a leisurely ride along the cicLAvia iconic Wilshire Blvd route, stop to enjoy some of the local activities and ride as a group through some open streets before enjoying an afternoon of live bicycle races around beautiful LA city hall.

 

Meet:
La Brea Tar Pits (Wilshire/S. Curson)
Departure Time: 11:30am

Meet:
K-Town Hub
3700 Wilshire (corner of S. Oxford)
Departure Time: 12:40pm

Meet:
Fitness Hub (Figueroa/Wilshire)
Departure Time: 2:10pm

Finish:
Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Criterium
https://www.facebook.com/events/164860623670468/

 

About LA Bike Trains:
http://labiketrains.com/about/

Need to get to work in Los Angeles? Wish your commute was super fun instead of a drag?

We provide a rolling party along select routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience.  And it’s totally free!

 

The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time is pleased to announce Passable Atlas, a 18-day show at Red #5 Yellow #7 gallery in Los Angeles, CA.

OPENING:
Thursday, June 20, 2013
6pm-9:30p

4357 Melrose Ave 

passableatlas

For the last four years, local cyclists Sean Deyoe and Nathan Snider have led The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time, a weekly Wednesday night bike ride exploring far-flung areas of the city. Convinced that bicycle infrastructure encompasses much more than bike lanes and river paths, they climb hills, wander off-road, and venture underground to bring out the hidden and unexpected connections between otherwise disconnected places. The ride is known for its unique routes and ambitious conceptual themes, aiming to give participants a balance between seeing new things and seeing old things anew.

Passable Atlas is a showcase of maps, photos, and video from The Passage ride, with nods to the various literary, architectural, and intellectual sources that have served as inspirations. For the full experience, those with bicycles may also take part in a special Saturday night ride scheduled in conjunction with the closing of the show on July 6th. Part document, part experience, part guidebook for exploration, Passable Atlas presents an argument for a more open city.

Passage158_0803bPassage84_0209Passage56_1060478

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