Car(e)free Lifestylin’

In case you might be interested here’s a head-ups pointing you to two stories in the news the last couple days — one in the L.A. Times yesterday and one on KABC’s Eyewitness News today — both of which nicely capsulate a couple of the reasons why I like to bike and walk around town so much. The first is the Times’ profile on author Will Self who’s presently visiting L.A. to talk about his new book. In the feature by Dean Kuipers, Self gets off his Alaska Airlines flight at LAX and immediately goes for a long walk across Los Angeles:

In fact, he wanted to walk all the way to his hotel in downtown Los Angeles, a distance of more than 17 miles, where he was staying a few days to talk about his new book, “Psychogeography.”

[snip]

His walks, he said, “are about reclaiming cities, both at a personal and a political level. They’re about assaulting people’s idea that there are places that are not worth being in, or traveling through.”

Bingo. Checkmate. And while we’re talkin’ about walkin’ allow me to mention again Franklin Avenue’s 2nd Annual Great L.A. Walk, which will be starting this Saturday at 9 a.m. in front of the Coca-Cola building at Pico and Central and continuing westward the full 15 miles until Pico ends in Santa Monica.

After the jump you’ll meet JImmy “The Legend” Lizama.


lizama.jpgOn abc7.com is a look at urban cyclists/alt-commuters from reporter Gene Gleeson. In it Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama nails it:

“It’s a funny thing, you start riding a bike in any city and the city opens up to you,” said Lizama.

For Jimmy, it’s about embracing the city head-on, the locals, the landmarks, the neighborhoods we often miss on the other side of the windshield.

“In a car, you’re so stuck in this vehicle, in this little box, and you don’t interact with anybody out here. It’s really, really horrible,” said Lizama.

My sentiments exactly.

P.S. And while biking home tonight I snapped a literal score of things that caught my eye along the way. I’m gonna post it with the headline “The 20-Picture Project.” Look for it later this evening.

6 Replies to “Car(e)free Lifestylin’”

  1. The Militant doesn’t get it when people are looked down upon by other for not using a car (wither by choice or by economic status). If anything they should be given a big hug. Seriously, do people really want more cars on the road to cut them off/stall in front of them/tailgate them/make illegal turns/steal their parking space/rear-end them/cause a fenderbender/etc? Even if the Militant were a car-only kind of dude, he’d still be 100% for less cars on the road.

  2. Thanks for letting me know about my next book purchase.

    Psychogeography is why I’m going on my second “Great LA Walk” this Saturday. Last year’s Wilshire walk was as great as scaling Mt. Whitney in a day, but in a horizontal fashion, and with tasty margaritas at the summit.

    Jimmy is a bike god. For his contributions to LA bike culture, there should be a bronze statue of him erected, ala the Rocky statue in Philadelphia.

  3. Great article. At tonights planning meeting in outer monrovia I made a couple of proposals inspired by you. We may be a little ‘burb in the metro area but it has to start somewhere.

    My proposal is simple. Since we are looking at redeveloping and looking to get mass transit going, make bikes an even more attractive mode to getting around or even just to the goldline station which may or may not be here in 2012.
    1) create from existing alley’s bike expressways to the major points in town.
    2) eliminate street parking on existing bike routes (we all have drive ways and garages) to make it safer for the bikes to share space with cars.
    3) designate some ped/bike paths with clear seperation
    4) eliminate some Old Town parking spaces and put in bicycle parking racks. (Shuffle cars off to the lots behind Myrtle.

    Let’s those that need cars keep them, sets it up where bikes are a safe and viable option.

    I even suggested they read your article that ran in the Times. Keep the articles coming, eventually those that need to hear it will get it. (Yes this wasn’t so much about bicycling as commuting but as a way to see the city in a new way but you still get your applause from me).

  4. OMG JIMMY! That dude has helped me out so many times at the bicycle kitchen.

    I’ve been carless my whole life as well. I been an urban cyclist since July 1st. IT’S SO FUN!

  5. There are also articles on living car free in Los Angeles in this months Angeleno and URB magazines… a trend perhaps!?

    Wooohooo!!!! One Less Car!!!

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