Bike Rants

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While scanning some blog recently I couldn’t help but notice some fellow LA bike riders bitching and moaning about things that had I thought of first I would have happily bitched and moaned about myself. That said, rather than rehash, I thought I’d just point you in their general direction. First off Mikey Wally points out how lame many of the city sponsored bike rides are, and how they are filled with people paying to pretend to be cyclists:

Why pay $39 before May 15, or $49 after May 15 to get a t-shirt and bibs you’ll never wear again and ride with a bunch of recreational spandex newbies on expensive carbon bicycles they don’t know how to ride or fix themselves when you can hit the streets everyday? Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I’m already in the future?

It’s funny that he mentions the future, because over on WestSideBikeSide Mihai is complaining about just that, or at least asking why the cities keep citing bikes as an important part of future plans but then completely ignoring them in the moment. Or worse, actively discouraging them:

Why does a Beverly Hills police officer think it’s a good idea to turn off his lights at night, point his SUV at us, and speed up towards our group in order to teach one of the three of us a lesson about not having a headlight (License plate #1098193, short blond hair, medium build)? Why does the Santa Monica Police Department harass cyclists without even knowing the California Vehicle Code? Why do you robotic, peon police officers harass us when we ARE the F’in future?…
…Why do I always beat the Metro Rapid and Big Blue Buses on my way to work? Why does that Blue Line driver talk smack to me every Saturday morning when I bring my bike on board?

The contrast to that is, perhaps because of the rising gas prices and people looking for other options, there are definitely more people on bikes on the streets these days which is a good thing. I can’t wait for gas to hit $10 a gallon!

13 Replies to “Bike Rants”

  1. When you’re getting grief take your complaints to the police department. They need to here about it. Plus write a letter to the your local newspaper. I too have noticed more riders on the road lately. Since gas is nearing $5.00 I hope it drives (no pun intended) more people to get out of their cars are ride. Fortunately the co. I work for pics up my fuel bill otherwise I would be in a serious crunch. One thing I do everytime I drive is hypermile. If you must drive this is the way to go, you save gas, and money. supermiler.com has a bunch of tips on how to do it.
    As for newbs on bikes at rides that cost $39, I’ll pass. It’s just too much to spend – unless it’s a charity ride or something for a worthwhile cause.
    You want bikes lanes? Go to your planning commission meetings. The High Desert Cyclists of the Palmdale/Lancaster area recently attended a meeting for bike related topics and 5 of 5 got quoted in the AV Press. Say it loud and you’ll get heard.

  2. I wouldn’t go as far as to say its the future. It is now, a very viable option for a lot of people. Unfortunately it isn’t an option for all of us. My orthopod took me off bikes 10 years ago as there is nothing left of my knees so other options will need to be explored.

    As far as officers that are out of line people need to take it further than bitch about it on a blog. Deeporbit gave one example. Another is that people need to go to the departments and talk with those in charge, file complaints if need be. Until everyone gets it that bikes and autos have the same rights and duties on the road this will not be an easy transition.

  3. It is clear that neither you nor MikeyWalley have ever put on a large, planned and coordinated event – particularly an event which appeals to more than just the “urban riders” but to all cyclists regardless of skill level or their level of hipster-rebel-against-society-posing. Heck, he fails to point out that what little money does come through after the costs of putting on such an event goes to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition which has done far more to make the streets safer to ride on than MikeyWalley even realizes. Why? Because it’s all true advocacy work that’s not lauded too often.

    And to those of you who think that you can just go ask for it and it’ll get done – you’re only half right. Did you know that part of a planned and partially constructed bike path along a light-rail project may not happen because the Construction company in charge of it wants to save money and not construct it out for a large portion? I bet you didn’t. Do you think METRO or local officials knew about it? No. It takes the LACBC to keep hounding on these issues and alerting, lobbying and working with City Officials to keep their contractors true to the original contract.

    Get with it people. Getting involved is one thing – but making things actually happen take much more work over a longer period of time.

  4. I’m doing the River Ride for the second time this year. I was shocked 2 years ago at the total lack of the CM/MR crowd. Maybe its the expensive, maybe its the gawdawful early start time, but people need to know it is a fundraiser for the one organization that has a decent voice for bicyclists in LA County. I’m unsure why the hipster cyclist crowd looks down on this ride. And the spandex thing – wow. I’ve commuted by bike regularly for the past 3 years, doing about 2000 miles a year. For my commute, I wear jeans. But people if you are going to ride 100 miles believe me, you want to wear the spandex/diaper pants. you need that sh*t!

  5. I used to pay $45 to $60 for each triathlon I did, and that was half off the normal rate because I was collegiate. It’s really hard to justify paying money nowadays when I can ride on ridiculously awesome rides like Crank Mob, Ride Arc, CubCamp, Wolfpack Hustle, Bad Idea Ride or any other MR ride for that matter.

    Just as an update to the BHPD SUV intimidation bit, I talked to the officer’s watch commander, and his attitude was that we should be happy that one of us didn’t get cited. Yes, of course I’ll file an official complaint, but I doubt any action will be taken afterwards. Complaining about this bullshit on blogs is THE BEST option we have right now, it’s the first thing anyone should do after being wronged by police. Get the story out there, get people’s contact info, and hopefully get a class action lawsuit going at some point in the future. That’s what put the LAPD in their place, no?

  6. All you cheapskate haters need to go cork the intersection of STFU & Now. It’s like crying about giving blood to the Red Cross because all you get is a fucking box of juice, some cookies and a sticker that says “I Gave Blood.” Fucking Red Cross ripoff scamsters!

    What’s to justify? The river ride isn’t some novelty ride on the freeway/Let’s-go-to-Scoops-and-lay-down-elitefixie-skids-on-Helio ride. It’s the LACBC’s lead fundraising event — and a highly organized one at that. Support it and you’re helping enable one of the lead nonprofit cycling orgs in our county in their cause to promote and encourage cycling. Or don’t. Either way just try to get in that overtorqued headsets of yours that it ain’t some spur of the moment trek that they just pulled out of their saddlebags and stuck a pricetag on. GAH!

  7. What’s great about this post, and subsequent comments, is that it has no less than Alex Thompson, Alex Amerri (prendrefeu), Mihai Peteu, Mikey Wally, Sean Bonner, and Will Campbell participating. These guys can all ride your legs off, and they all know each other. In all cases they either love or hate one another!

    So, in honor of the fact that Mr. Amerri is wrong (everyone knows about Expo Bike Path right of way issues) – here are speed and intelligence ratings for the participants I know in this thread:

    Speed:
    1) Alex Thompson
    2) Mikey Wally
    3) Mihai Peteu
    4) Sean Bonner
    5) Will Campbell
    6) Alex Amerri

    Intelligence:
    1) Alex Thompson
    2) Sean Bonner
    3) Mihai Peteu
    4) Mikey Wally
    5) Will Campbell
    6) Alex Amerri

    I would like to preemptively deny that the intelligence rating is determined purely by considering how recently you have publicly agreed with Alex Thompson. Also, these lists are not intended as an insult to Mr. Amerri, even though he is wrong.

    Everybody take your vitamins!

  8. In light of Alex’s comment I’d just like to chime in and say there’s no way I’m faster or smarter than any of the folks listed and I love them all to death, even the ones I’ve only recently met if only because every time I see them they are somewhere out there on a bike doing what they believe in.

    As evidence of this I submit these facts: I owe my current bike obsession 100% to Will Campbell and without him my old Kona mountain bike would probably still be sitting under some tarp rotting away. Every single week I either get dropped or come in firmly in dead last on the Wolfpack Hustle. I have no idea how to spell consiously. Or Consciously I guess. 2nd try. Not bad.

  9. That’s a lot of white spray paint cans that can be bought w/ $45. Or for double that amount, maybe a thousand flyers advertising Midnight Riders. I’ll be blunt about this one: old people/families/kids = River Ride, young people = Midnight Ridazz. Who’s more like to make a fuss and create change? The young rebellious people of course! They’re the ones that will soon graduate, find a job, and then make the eternally important decision of how to get around town.

    What’s the administrative overhead for do-it-yourselfers like Semiotics of the Ride or 4SBB? Probably zero. I like to see EXACTLY where my money is going. What’s better than dumping money into a non-profit? Making it happen your own damn self. Whatever “it” may be.

    Oil has peaked and we still have “cars on sale” ads on TV. We’re still talking about “planning” for bikes. That sounds like institutional support for cycling is in its infancy to me.

    The one good thing about my generation is that we expect instant gratification. So that’s why these cool sounding 10 or 20 year plans don’t really satisfy us.

    Alex, stop wasting space with your enumerations and add something to the conversation instead. As far as the ratings above go, I could care less about insulting my intelligence, but the Speed ratings are way off. And stop revealing people’s identities.

  10. @alex, im faster than you. either one of you.

    @sean bonner, do you have a chumby? can i borrow it?

    LABDAN is gonna blow your minds!

    freedom from oppression, freedom to potential.

  11. List #3:

    1) Mihai
    2) jericho1ne
    3) Mihai
    4) jericho1ne
    5) Mihai
    6) jericho1ne

    Suggested list titles: “People who are the same person”, or “People who are slower than Alex on all days!”

    You know I will add to this particular conversation . . . in private.

    Mikey – see you Saturday.

    Final thought:

    Is Sean Bonner ready to graduate to Cub Camp?

    === END OF THREAD ===

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