The 2012 edition of my Watts Happening Ride took place this past picture-perfect Saturday, and it was my complete pleasure to share the following landmark people, places and events I’ve discovered there with the 28 cyclists who joined me:
The last residence of jazz great Jelly Roll Morton
The childhood home of Nobel Prize Winner Ralph Bunche
The location of the 1969 Black Panthers shootout
The Hotel Dunbar, centerpiece of the Historic Central Avenue Jazz Corridor
The location of the 1974 SLA shootout
The actual fictional location of the Sanford and Son Salvage Yard
The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia
The location of the incident setting off the 1965 Watts Riots
The home of Eula Love, killed by police in 1979 as a result of a past-due gas bill dispute
The motel where legendary singer Sam Cooke was killed
The flashpoint of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
The location of Wrigley Field, demolished in 1966.
Unfortunately, the above annotated timelapse video abruptly ends at the third-to-last location we visited, leaving me to discover that I need to get a bigger memory card if I want to capture the entire 33-mile, six-hour tour on camera the next time — and there will be a next time. I hope you’ll join me.
Remember back in January when when the City Council suspended the bike license program after LAPD Chief Bratton recommended discontinuing the program all together? You might recall that since the program was suspended and no more licenses are being issued, the Chief issued a moratorium on the law until and can be officially removed. Well, turns out some officers don’t seem to care about that.
This photo shows LA cyclist Alex Thompson being handcuffed Saturday night for, get ready for this, walking in a cross walk while there is a red hand showing. He was in cuffs for 20 minutes, but he wasn’t trying to cross when they grabbed him. He was trying to take a photo of another cyclist who was being cited by Officer Schube for not having a bike license. More details on West Side Bike Side -as you can imagine this one will be going to court. On the list of the worst people in the city to give a bike license citation to, the people who were actively involved with getting the law suspended 3 months prior are probably towards the top of the list. This one is going to be interesting…
[Photo of Alex Thompson in cuffs by Gary Se7en, used with permission]
Via treehugger, I came across this film from streetfilms created about the LA bike scene and the wellspring of community action that has flowed from the Bike Kitchen out to all corners of the city. Neato!
Pamela Lang writes in the Burbank Leader that there should be a speed limit on the Chandler Bikeway. Because people on bikes and roller blades and distracted runners go really fast, and they are mean.
You see, Pamela goes for morning walks along the bikeway. She recently witnessed an accident involving 2 bicyclists and 1 blader. So, she wants going really fast to be against the law.
The city of Burbank needs to impose and post a speed limit for bicyclists and those using roller blades, skateboards or any other vehicle on wheels. I have personally witnessed those on bikes passing me at an alarmingly fast speed.
Now, I’m not sure about your skateboard or your roller blades, but my Trek mountain bike did not come with a speedometer. However, I did find one for under $5 here. And one for skates here. They even make them for skateboards. Although, this one appears to be discontinued. Shucks.
Anyhoo.. I have a few questions that I’d like you to consider as you trudge through the rest of the day:
Should bikeways be off-limits to bikes?
Should there be posted speed limits?
What should that speed limit be?
Will there be use of radar technology to enforce said speed limit?
This may be the most vague post you read all day, mostly because none of the actual info has really been made public yet (and I’m in San Francisco today so no pinning this one on me). Basically, in retaliation for the SMPD constantly harrassing cyclists and making their lives generally hellish, the rogue group called the Crimanimalz (yes those guys) are planning some kind of 100% legal disruption today. Again, I don’t know the deal but from what I can gather they’ve double checked the laws and plan to raise holy havok when the SMPD shows up and tries to get all uppity and oppressive and what not. Updates later on after it all goes down. Pics too I’m sure.
Yesterday approximately 6o cyclists protested police harassment (photos on Flickr & Ridazz) of Santa Monica Critical Mass. In response to the 14 citations of Santa Monica Critical Mass (SMCM) riders last Friday we, the Crimanimalz, blocked 4 crosswalks for a cumulative period of 40 minutes. By walking back and forth across crosswalks continuously the Crimanimalz were able to legally create massive traffic jams. We effectively showed that legal behavior can be outrageously disruptive. Further, we showed that should the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) continue targeting cyclists on Critical Mass, there will be consequences for traffic in Santa Monica on other days.
Hello friends! We know a more than a few of you reading this will go out of their way to ride a bike anywhere and everywhere they can. Even places that seem crazy! Attempting to survive while perched atop a frame of hollow metal with some wheels stuck on and conquer mountains, forests, deserts and even the freeway!
But more dangerous, more foolhardy and just plain more inconvenient for everyone involved… are those riders who choose to ride on the sidewalk!
I mentioned in my previous post that there were numerous camera filming different angles of this second bikes on the freeway ride and that footage has been compiled and published. Here it is, for your enjoyment:
A group of cyclists from LA have formed Team Midnight Ridazz for this years AIDS LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and are having a photography exhibition this weekend to help raise funds for the ride. Photos are by the actual participants and represent all kinds of aspects of bike culture in Los Angeles. It’s taking place Saturday evening at The Bike Oven ( 3706 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065 ) from 7pm till midnight or so. You know you want to go check it out.
Last night was the Wolfpack HustleMidnight Dragrace that I mentioned the other day and for those that showed up and stuck it out it was one hell of an event. Somewhere between 200-300 riders were in attendance around the 11pm when qualifications were supposed to begin but due to the crowds and chaos things were *a tad* bit late to start. Previous races have seen the full support of the LAPD (with at least one race even having officers in patol cars blocking off the 2nd st tunnel for us) so just after midnight when the cops showed up people weren’t too surprised or worried. Ooops. Continue reading Wolfpack Dragrace Report→
Earlier this week the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council unanimously voted to adopt the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights (pdf link). This is a major step for cyclists in Los Angeles and hopefully just the first of many more to come. Reports from people who were at the meeting say that the NC was fully supportive and excited to adopt the Bill of Rights. In a thread on the Midnight Ridazz website, EHNC president Elson Trinidad posted a comment suggesting that might not be the case in some other parts of the city. He writes:
“…best of luck trying to get many other neighborhood councils to endorse this. I’m not gonna name any names, but just letting you know you’re gonna get laughed at by some of the other neighborhood councils, which don’t even consider bicycles as a legitimate form of transportation and want more parking and more cars on the road.”
While I’m pretty sure everyone with a car in Los Angeles is supportive of more parking, I’d love to hear from anyone who lives and drives in here who wants more cars on the road. Yeah, that’s just what drivers want – more traffic and less parking. But that’s beside the point – the point is there’s no reason this document shouldn’t be adopted by every Neighborhood Council in the city, hell by the city itself. As I said, this is a major step, and hopefully just the first of many. It’s really exciting to see this happen and it will be great when EH gets to brag that they were the first ones to run with it when everyone else gets on board. Full text of the Bill is after the jump.