Thursday, September 30, 2010

Metro wants to hear your comments on Westside Subway Extension Transit Corridor Study


From Bike Metro this morning on Facebook:

Westside Extension Transit Corridor Study Questions/Comment Form
Metro wants to hear from you about the Westside Subway Extension Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR). Please note comments for the Draft EIS/EIR must be received by October 18, 2010. Response to comments will be provided in the Final EIS/EIR.

Click HERE to leave a comment!

My comment below:
Bicycles are the perfect complement to mass transit. Please place priority on developing and constructing concurrent bicycle infrastructure to increase the reach and effectiveness of this and all projects. Dedicated bike lane running alongside all current and planned Metro projects is a good start. Dedicating space for cyclists on all Metro devices is also a good start.

UPDATE from Bike Metro: Be sure to comment on all Metro projects officially by submitting to each project you care about. All are listed at:

Big Blue Bus, It's time to join the 21st Century

This came to my inbox yesterday:

Big Blue Bus has raised fares and changed schedules, but they're still not on Google Transit. They've consistently promised to go on Google Transit but this promise has been consistently delayed. Pressure Big Blue Bus to join Google Transit by signing the petition below and getting your friends to do the same:

In two weeks, we will present them with the petition, and work to get them on Google Transit. If they fail to respond with a date and plan to get on Google Transit, we will raise the issue with the City Council and major customers of Big Blue Bus, such as UCLA and Santa Monica College.

As we saw with Metro, there is strength in numbers. Let's get the Big Blue Bus to realize how many of their frequent, occasional, and potential riders value Google Transit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

4th Street Bike Boulevard!

Wouldn't it be nice if the City of Los Angeles turned 4th Street into a bike boulevard? I test drove it yesterday and with the exception of the usual potholes that plague the streets of L.A. (afterall, Angels can fly, so does it really matter?), the street was a very pleasant way to get across Central Los Angeles. So what's the holdup?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taking the Heat


Yesterday was the hottest day ever recorded in the history of Los Angeles. You think you're having a hard time dealing with the heat?

Look at the animals around you. Birds, bees and butterflies (just the Bs people!) They are coping the best they can, like this butterfly I saw last night outside my kitchen. He was still there this morning, just resting on the ground. I gave him a little water, and I think he appreciated that. Leave water out for your feathered friends. Bees love to drink water from saturated soil.

Want to improve the situation for yourself and others? Leave your car at home and ride your bike to work. Is your commute too far to ride? Take a bus or train, or go multimodal! Plant a Woolly Pocket, or a hundred!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Customer Service reaches new heights at Chevron!

Behold the Chevron Gas Station at Alameda and Cesar Chavez! The prices are so competitive and their outdoor latrine is not to be missed!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marketing and Feasting on a Hot Hollywood Sunday

Jennifer Steinkamp is killing it with this public art piece next to the Hollywood Farmers Market!

What a perfectly hot summer day in Hollywood today! Oh wait, it's fall! At least the farmers know what season it is.








I stumbled into the Feast of San Gennaro on my way back to the market for greens.


and found this lovely Italian princess smiling at me!


I can't decide which end I like better...


or which color!


I'd love to run thru all 6 gears of this baby!


Fiat is opening a showroom near Staples center later this year. Watch out!


Fiat, if you're reading this, I am available to be a Los Angeles blogger for you guys. I gladly 'borrow' a 500 and drive it all over town showing off the car online and in person. Think about it....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Los Angeles Critical Mass September 2010

Phew, I was so late to last night's Critical Mass! I had to work late and I wasn't able to bring my folding STRiDA like I was planning. Instead I hopped on my Bottecchia and booked it full throttle along Fountain and down Western up to 38 mph downhill racing to catch the Mass that departed a few minutes ago. As I approached Wilshire, I could see in the distance a helicopter like a wandering star leading me to my destination.


I finally caught up and was one of a group of 2000 bicyclists and dozens of police from across the city riding together in harmony on a warm fall night in Los Angeles with a harvest moon rising slowly in the east. It was a perfect night even if the ride wasn't. It seemed like a different ride, everyone was on their best behaviour, not out of threat of citation, though many cyclists did receive tickets.

Los Angeles Critical Mass September 2010 Map

Instead, everyone seemed to get the message that this is a ride of peace, harmony and social change. I was so proud to be a cyclist in Los Angeles, riding alongside peace officers who were all in high spirits and clearly noticing a change in the attitude of the ride.


Hopefully, our city's leaders will see the potential that bicycles have to transform bodies, minds and communities for the better. Goals like reducing stress, traffic and pollution are all achievable with small investments in bicycle infrastructure, community outreach and most importantly a shift in the mindset of city leadership.


I'm thinking mostly of LADOT who I hear is newly leaderless. Hopefully, some young, bright woman with a proven track record of transforming city transit systems for the better will be hired! We can dream, can't we?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Little Injustices Multiplied

Los Angeles was recently listed as the 2nd most stressful city in the United States, after Detroit! We have the most expensive housing and the 2nd worst air pollution. YAY FOR US! As I make my way thru life in L.A., I try to think about what it is that people also find stressful. Here's a great example!


This brand spanking new parking meter comes with a red notice that basically says if the meter is broken, you cannot park in the space. As any Angeleno that drives a car knows, a parking space is like a golden ticket, a valuable prize that once gained, can put a smile on your face and instantly relieve the stress of driving and trying to find parking. What misery must befall a citizen to discover that the meter cannot accept their payment and now must return to their vehicle for another stressful round of find a parking space!

How did we get to a situtation where the Mayor, City Council President and head of the Department of Transportation believe they can actually punitively close a parking space whenever they are unable to maintain their profit generating equipment? I look forward to the day when Angelenos force our elected officials to treat us with respect and fear, rather than with a whip and shackle! Until that day, I remain outraged by these little injustices.

But there is hope. His name is Stephen Box and he believes that the city should work for it's people, not the other way around. Please take a moment to learn about his candidacy for the City Council in the 4th District. From Stephen's Facebook page:

A Vision that Connects: The City of Los Angeles must connect its boundless potential with a commitment to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and operate businesses. L.A.'s vision must connect the 91 neighborhood councils, 35 community plans, 15 council districts, and 45 city departments in a commitment that transcends traditional boundaries. Most of all, it is imperative that CD4 connect its rich history with the abundant opportunity that lies ahead. It's time for Los Angeles to connect with its destiny as a great city and CD4 is the place to start.

A Plan that Endures: The City of Los Angeles must bring its vision to life with a General Plan that endures. The plan must be more than a suggestion. The people of L.A. can no longer afford to live in an environment where vision plans battle with specific plans, master plans contradict community plans, and they are forced to sit by as growth follows the whims of developers. CD4 is attractive to developers for all the wrong reasons and it is imperative that the community grow according to a "plan that endures."

A Budget that Sustains: The City of Los Angeles must develop and implement a budget that is based on a commitment to the city's vision and plan, committing resources to the support and enhancement of the elements that improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. L.A.'s budget must build on opportunity and drive prosperity, not submit the people to a repetition of a past that codifies mediocrity and perpetuates inefficiency. Now is the time to insist on a city budget based on a commitment to performance, efficiency and effectiveness. CD4 is an abundantly diverse community with a vigorous economy and it is imperative that the city's budget commit to supporting the quality of life by allocating the necessary resources.

A City that Works: The City of Los Angeles must put people first, engaging them, serving them, and evaluating performance based on the delivery of city services. There is no better time than now for L.A. to move from a complaint-driven system to a standards-driven city, one that delivers on its vision, commitment and potential. Most of all, L.A.'s greatest asset is its people. It's time for the City of L.A. to make its priority putting people to work, starting with CD4.

Stephen Box on the Web Twitter Youtube & of course Facebook

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DOs & DONTs Workshop tomorrow B4 Los Angeles Critical Mass


If you're riding Los Angeles Critical Mass tomorrow, please come at 6:30pm for a special workshop on the DOs and DONTs of riding Critical Mass. Here's the deal in case you're interested:


• talk to stranger, bystanders, bus riders, motorists – welcome people to join us next time

• help cars stuck in mass to exit to the right

• stop regularly if you’re in front (no matter how slowly you think you’re going, gaps are opening up behind you)

• stop at red lights when in front to allow the rest of the ride to “mass up” behind.

• keep going in dense packs through red lights to stick together and keep it safe for everyone.

• fill gaps; Critical Mass depends on bicycle density to displace cars.

• remember that pleasure and friendliness are more subversive than anger and blaming.


• race ahead to block cross traffic before the Mass has arrived

• ride into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road

• pick fights with motorists, even (especially) if they’re itching for one

• fail to turn and twist through the city to make the ride more interesting

• forget to smile and wave and talk to strangers!

• imagine that you are morally superior just cuz you’re on a bicycle (you’ll be in a car again soon enough)

• hesitate to tell other Massers what you think of their behavior, whether good or bad. Talk to each other!

• forget – we are all responsible to make Critical Mass what we want it to be.

Liam says "Drink your milk and follow the DOs and DONTs!"

I've borrowed this list from San Francisco Critical Mass and I think it's going to improve our ride exponentially! But words without action are meaningless, so for the health of the ride, we need as many people as possible to spread the word and help police ourselves from within, because the other option is not so desirable! As during the past 3 rides, LAPD will be riding with us, but there's a chance they will be enforcing certain sections of the California Vehicle Code to ensure the safety of the mass, other cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, stray cats and the community as a whole, which I support wholeheartedly. Thank you Chief Beck for your support!

RSVP on facebook here!

Los Angeles Critical Mass meets the last Friday of every month at the Purple Line Station, Western and Wilshire. 6:30 pm. Ride at 7:30pm.

View Larger Map

DSL Internets Engaged!

So I switched my DSL service today and I couldn't be happier. DSL Extreme is a great option as is my previous provider

I switched because I'm not satisfied with the rates for internet service. Why has the cost for internet remained flat? Weren't we supposed to be riding hoverboards by now? What happened?

If you're considering new DSL service and like DSL Extreme, let me know and I'll send you a referral email. You and I both get a $20 credit if you sign up thru my referral!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heath Bazaar Today till 6pm!

Hop in your Speedster now and go get amazing local handmade jewelry, handbags, belts, tasty treats, artwork and of course Heath ceramics on sale right now at Heath!

The LOS ANGELES line-up:
/ Katherine Bentley
/ Beatrice Valenzuela
/ Krank Press
/ Treat Street
/ Jackie Terrell
/ Cathy Callahan
/ Clare Vivier
/ Modern Kids Photography
/ Matteo
/ Samantha Grisdale

View Larger Map

Sunrise over Los Angeles

Woke up 20 minutes before sunrise and mashed up Runyon to catch the first rays of a new rising sun.

Here comes the Sun




Saturday, September 18, 2010

West Hollywood shows Street Pride!


As Sunset Sunset Blvd winds its way from the ocean to Chinatown, it passes thru 3 different cities. In West Hollywood, there's a marked difference in the quality of the roadway (recently resurfaced) and the use of landscaping in the street. How nice would it be if Los Angeles could learn how to create a friendly streetscape. If only LADOT took a drive along Sunset Blvd...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Phishing on Craigslist

Just got this real looking email that almost fooled me:

Phishing Email Pretending to be Craigslist

I almost fell for it. Phew! Craigslist phishing and spoof emails are very popular since Craigslist is popular! Be careful out there.

Park[ing] Day 2010

Park(ing) Day 2008, Los Angeles
Photo by waltarrrrr

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Make sure you check out all the decorated and re-purposed parking spaces throughout the city, like this one from 2008!


September 17th Park[ing] Day LA celebration!

"Streets are for People!"

This Friday is the 4th annual celebration of Park[ing] Day LA and park-ticipants throughout the city will step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and proceed to transform metered curbside parking into urban parks, just for the day.

Park[ing] Day LA is designed to stir a conversation or dialogue on public space, green space, and open space, challenging the status quo and inspiring locals to imagine a city where "Streets are for People!"

CommunityWalk Map - Park[ing] Day LA - 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Sunday

Morning Dew in Rustic Canyon

Stairs Into the mist

Go out there and cultivate positive actions.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

STRiDA 5.0 SX Limited

My father Pedro de Cordoba, 81 years young, takes his first ride on my new STRiDA an award winning folding bicycle.

STRiDA 5.0 SX Limited Specs:
Bike Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
Frame: 7000 Series Anodized Rustproof Aluminum
Drive Train: Kevlar Greaseless Belt Drive (up to 50,000 miles)
Wheels: Alloy 18" Rustproof (46 cm) & Schwalbe High Pressure Tires
Brakes: Cable Disc Brakes
Speeds: Single Speed - 60 Gear Inches
Folded Size: 45" x 20" x 9" (114cm x 51cm x 23cm)
Grip & Seat: Leather
Bottom Bracket: Welded
Weight Limit: 220 lbs (100 kg)
Height Limit: 5'4" -- 6'4" (163cm -- 193cm)

"It really is a FUN little bike. I may not take it on an all day trek through the city, but it’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon ride. It’s also one of the best bike’s I’ve ridden when it comes to stowing away or hauling around the city." - FoldingBike

"With the commuter user in mind, the 5.0 rolls with a silent, clean Kevlar belt – no greasy pant legs – and the folded design manages the sidewalk stretch with parallel tires that make it an agreeable sidekick while strolling." - KiranSomethingDifferent

"I gave it five stars because of the excellent design and comfort. I had the opportunity to put two of them in a convertible VW Eos trunk. Many compliments on the street. People started to say, “cool bike”." - GangBike

"We need to raise a whole generation of children to rediscover the joy of the bike, and appreciate its benefits. Forget going green. Forget sport. We need to do what generations of marketeers have done for cars: promote the upright bicycle as sexy, exciting and cool for all." Mark Sanders, Inventor - BikeBiz

So do you want one? Buy it here!

Friday, September 10, 2010

For Sale: Hand Made Laptop Stand

Buy my custom made plywood laptop stand. I'll make it to your specifications. You can even email me a simple drawing and I'll drill the holes out to your design! You can specify the angle of rake on the stand and if you have any requests for wood type, let me know. This one is made from scrap plywood I bought at Home Depot.

A basic laptop stand will set you back $45.00 plus shipping.

I take Paypal.

Thank you!

For Sale: 2000 BMW 328i

2000 BMW 328i 5 spd Silver - $11000

2000 BMW 328i with Manual Trans & Sport Package

2000 BMW 328i 5 spd Silver

One Owner, a Female Physician in Santa Monica. Low Mileage. Normal paint after 10 years of driving, small ding in door, small scratches on bumper. Fresh Oil, Air Filter, New brakes front and rear. 18-25MPG depending on driving preferences. Clear Title, No Warranty. Call 818 Six Two Zero Seven 865

Vehicle Highlights
Engine:6-Cyl, 2.8 Liter
Transmission:Manual, 5-Spd
Selected Equipment
Traction Control
Telescoping Wheel
ABS (4-Wheel)
Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
Dual Power Seats
Power Steering
AM/FM Stereo
Moon Roof
Power Windows
Power Door Locks
Dual Air Bags
Premium Wheels
Sport Pkg
Leather Interior

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dick Moves

Dick Moves on Fountain

The above diagram shows a stretch of Fountain Blvd where Sharrows were recently installed. I've had the pleasure of bike commuting this road many times over the past couple weeks and have noticed a disturbing trend. Many cyclists, for various reasons, decide to ride their bikes on the opposite sidewalk against traffic or sometimes even in the oncoming driving lane AGAINST the Sharrow. I tweeted about this including this diagram and got many responses from other cyclists, mostly bringing up exceptions and reasons why cyclists would ride this way. My view is that if the cycling community works hard and achieves a small victory of getting sharrows installed on Fountain, then we're obligated to properly utilize this great piece of cycling infrastructure. It's true that education of cyclists and drivers is part of the solution, and hopefully this will continue. In light of this need for education, cyclists take note: if you're riding on Fountain in the red or blue position, you're engaging in a dick move. Use the sharrows, they are there for you. Much sweat went into getting those installed, and we should use them. They work wonderfully. There are always going to be exceptions to this basic rule, but first you must acknowledge the wisdom of this premise.

Ciclavia Map

In other less dispyo͝oˈtāSHəs news, CicLAvia is nearly a month away, so mark your calendars for 10-10-10 and get ready to experience 7.5 miles of carfree & carefree community building! From CicLAvia:

Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States, connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. The health benefits are immense. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space.

In Los Angeles we need CicLAvia more than ever. Our streets are congested with traffic, our air is polluted with toxic fumes, our children suffer from obesity and other health conditions caused by the scarcity of public space and safe, healthy transportation options. CicLAvia creates a temporary park for free, simply by removing cars from city streets. It creates a network of connections between our neighborhoods and businesses and parks with corridors filled with fun. We can’t wait to see you at CicLAvia!

Happy Riding!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Magic in San Francisco

If Heather and I have an opportunity to spend a 3 day weekend with our sweet sister in San Fran, we take it! Labor Day was one such opportunity and the magic doth flowed from the moment we awoke at 5am, with little more than an hour before our flight departed from LAX. Somehow, we made it to the gate with moments to spare, after returning a rental car, moving Heather's car, and dashing into a cab to make it to LAX. Apollo was most certainly at our back blowing favorable winds in our direction as we hit 90+ mph on empty LA streets desperately hoping we wouldn't miss our flight.


Once onboard, I got to meet the captain and get a look at the newly designed cockpit sans Yoke.


Just an hour over this beautiful state and we ended up in the arms of this one:


Breakfast consisted of this sausage gravy masterpiece from Universal Cafe


With our bellies full, we walked and walked and walked, mostly past colorful murals like this one


and interesting shops I hope to patronize some day like this one


and along streets that are designed for the benefit of communities like this one


and if you look closely, there were tiny little works of art all over like this one


and community gardens everywhere like this one


some even made their own Woolly Pockets like these


and some used real Woolly Pockets like these


We had dinner at a very special restaurant called Outerlands in the Sunset


where they make their own bread from scratch



and grind coffee using this 160 year old grinder


and serve the most darling trout I've ever tasted


Another day, another walk, this time deep into the latino community in the Mission where we found this time machine called St. Francis





The owner has an endless supply of vintage collector cards from the days of yore, when Michael was black


and the MCP (Master Control Program) hadn't sneaked into our pockets yet


and the universe was well defended


and we didn't worry about HGH


and Tony Hawk was just a kid on a board


anyways, the meal was just right, Chef's Mess


after the mess, more walking, past more murals like this one


and this one


and this one


But we had to leave the city


because there was magic in a valley near the sea






at the San Francisco Zen Center and Green Gulch Farm near Stinson Beach, where you hear a nice talk by a devotee of Gautama and then walk the strawberry fields forever and buy some fresh baked bread and the crispiest apples ever


Then we went for a hike to Bass Lake. This is not Bass Lake


this is Bass Lake


it was cool and refreshing


and featured more magic with carbon and photons


after the hike, we wandered into a lost beach town called Bolinas, where people live a certain lifestyle rich in surfing and merriment







Ok, this post is getting way too long, here's the rest of the weekend!

more food including breakfast at Tartine Bakery


more walks to views at Corona Point


drinking and dining under a beach umbrella in Dolores Park



we need like a thousand more of these signs