Sunday, January 31, 2010

Los Angeles Critical Mass January 2010

Probably 400 cyclists showed up for January 2010 Los Angeles Critical Mass.

I decided the Cyclists' Bill of Rights should make an appearance at the ride.

The ride was moving quick and somehow I got stuck with a group that lost the main pack. We ended up down La Cienega at 18th Street, while the main group was up on Sunset in Hollywood. After furiously twittering and texting, we made our way back to the main group.

We caught up with the People's Ride and ended up at Echo Park for a pitstop.

Thankfully, I was able to make repairs to my flag pole mount.

Riding through the 6th Street Tunnel. A few kids raced thru the tunnel. Afterwards, one kid went down HARD. Henry, buy a helmet bro! You were out cold for a minute! Not cool. Hope you're feeling better. On we rode, Henry got a ride to the hospital.

Mike G from Planet X! Whatup!?

Then on to a party at TOW, with a DJ spinning music, and a folkish type band playing rowdy tunes for the cyclists.

Michael and I ended the night with last call at The Bounty.

Even though the group got split up a couple times, I consider it one of the best rides so far. I didn't see one cyclist get cited by the police. THANK YOU LAPD! Henry fell hard and got knocked out, but he should make a full recovery. And the party at TOW was a total bonus! I'm guessing we rode 35-40 miles total. Santa Monica should be even bigger next Friday! It's the 5 year anniversary. Be prepared: Santa Monica Police love writing tickets to cyclists. Until then, ride safe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Visiting Holly Flora

Welcome home my Love!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ask The Chief

Yesterday, I attended a live edition of Patt Morrison's Ask The Chief monthly broadcast on KPCC. It was held at the brand spanking new Ronald F. Deaton Community Auditorium, a modern, sleek building seemingly void of bike parking or restrooms. The chief arrived a little before the start, packing heat and rolling 4 deep!

I was a bit disappointed that with at least 6 cyclists in attendance with questions for the chief, only one person was able to get their question asked on air. Afterwards, the chief was available for some additional questions. Que Box & Roadblock:

Though I wish these questions made it on the broadcast, I think it's important the chief is hearing the concerns of cyclists.

Commander Doan, Box and Roadblock

By far, the most interesting and worthwhile part of the event was meeting Commander Doan, who is the newest pointman on bicycle related issues for the LAPD. He seemed genuinely interested in the needs of cyclists and even admitted that rank and file officers need additional training in regards to cyclists' rights and what exactly the laws are concerning cycling. He also talked at length regarding the hit and run incident last week, as well as the need for undercover sting operations on bike paths that have seen criminal acts against cyclists recently. He mentioned that LAPD is looking to do a community outreach program to educate motorists on the rights of cyclists. I left the event cautiously optomistic that the LAPD can improve their record of protecting cyclists.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hit & Run

Photo: Ross Hirsch

For Ed Magos, the new year began with a trip to the hospital. Yesterday morning a woman driving a white Porsche slammed into him as he was cycling to work in downtown Los Angeles. The driver pulled over, and reportedly said someone should call 911, then returned to her car and drove away. dudeonabike broke the news on Twitter to the cycling community, with a report of the incident:
Cyclist down NOW--hit and run by a white Porsche at 2nd St. tunnel in DTLA. I got witness info and plate#. Will update when I get to office
and then details of the assailant (Thankfully, a witness was able to provide a description of the vehicle, the driver and the license plate number)
Cyclist hit and run in DTLA at 8:30 am: white Porsche Carrerra style w/ plate: 5ZNY307. African American female, mid-30s.
Fellow cycling activist Stephen Box knew Ed and was able to report on his condition
~ 2nd Street cyclist, hit and run victim, no broken bones, no serious injuries, family is with him, will leave hospital this afternoon
and finally that the suspect turned herself into police later in the day
~ somebody else in LAPD - 2nd Street Hit & Run Motorist turned herself in, "I may have hit something. I don't know what."
Being a fairly new user of Twitter, I was amazed at the power of this platform to distribute information instantaneously. Hundreds of L.A. cyclists were aware of the plight of a fellow cyclist and were rallying to his cause, as well as expressing anger and outrage, at the assailant and the police, who many believe are not giving crimes against cyclists the attention and priority that they deserve. For all those who care, here's 2 things you can do to make L.A. a safer place to ride a bike.

1. Comment on the Bike Plan, the deadline is tomorrow! If you're looking for inspiration, Damien Newton shares his comments on Streetsblog LA

2. Attend the Live Q&A with Police Chief Charlie Beck next Wednesday January 13th, 2010 at 630pm, hosted by Pat Morrison of KPCC. RSVP to .

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our First Loaf of Bread

Good Food is one of my favorite radio shows on KCRW. Host Evan Kleiman covers the spectrum of culinary interests, from sustainable agriculture to Jonathan Gold's latest discovery in some strip mall in San Gabriel. On Saturday, I couldn't pull myself away from the radio while Evan interviewed Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, the authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes. I couldn't stop myself from buying all the ingredients yesterday and preparing a bucket full of dough for a week's worth of bread. Tonight, Heather and I made our first loaf. It had a thick crisp crust and the sweet potato was perfectly seasoned with cracked pepper. I think it's the best bread I've ever had, and we made it ourselves!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gun Play

Guns are fun! My oldest friend Chuck is something of a gun guru. This weekend, my dad and I joined Chuck at the Angeles Shooting Range in Lake View Terrace for some target practice. The weather was perfect, a calm breeze at your back and bright California sunshine overhead.

My dad brought his 50 year old Winchester 308. We were curious to see how it held up after 40 years in storage. It's a classic hunting rifle, with a lever action that reloads after each shot. Chuck had something a bit more modern, a 338 rifle with a high powered scope.

This weapon is designed for taking down big game at long distances, up to 700 yards, and beyond. The bullet is nearly twice the size of my dad's 308 ammo. I was very nervous pulling the trigger, but the thrill of hitting a target hundreds of yards away was addictive.

Being an American Male of a certain age, I'm saturated in guns on TV, video games and film. In person, it's a much different experience; visceral, loud, frightening, shocking and yes, thrilling!

If modern society ever breaks down into total anarchy, Chuck is the first person I will look to for protection and food. A few months ago, he had us over for wild boar tacos, a boar that he shot after stalking it for a couple hours in the hills of Central California.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year 2010
Originally uploaded by Alex de Cordoba
2010: The year of the bicycle!