Tuesday, December 29, 2009

San Diego's Best Of 2009

2009 was another huge year for the bicycle in San Diego. During the compilation of this list and the chronological thinking required, the sheer plethora of awesome bicycle art/developments/events/rides/good-times that popped up from the memory storage part of my brain, convinced me, at times, that all this stuff couldn't have possibly fit in one year!

Did Death Pedal really get released during late April of this year?! Kareem is almost done filming DP2 already! How can that be? Where did the time go? Perhaps, I've just been surrounding myself w/ people who get tons of stuff done in a short amount of time...And so, this Best of 2009 piece is, to an extent, a list of people in SD who have been making the biggest moves all year.

First, I'd like to offer a little context in regards to how SD fits into the US urban bicycling youth movement: San Diego still has one of the largest Critical Mass rides on the West Coast and has, in the last four years, experienced more growth than any other West Coast CM. In '05 there were 35 CMers and four years later CM rolls deep w/ around 900-1,000 riders on a monthly basis. Bike commuter ridership is still rising rapidly, according to UCSD's commuter research team. As far as fixed gears go, SD has been a huge player in the US fixed movement. Both Death Pedal and No Cassettes, two fixed-gear trick films, held their world premiers in SD. San Diego was the only city in the world to host two premiers for The Revival; both of which experienced great turnouts and were quite unique in style from one another, in my opinion. SD has been blowin' up since 2006. There's no question. But 2009 has taken it to a new level. With no further ado, here's Bic Control's Best of 2009:

Best Artist: Matt Lingo

Matt Lingo, reppin' SD while in Seattle.

Matt Lingo has had an impeccably huge year in 2009. Matt's photographs and their signature metallic style have garnered attention from cycling-enthusiasts and photography-connoisseurs from around the world. In 2009 alone, Matt published a photo-essay book on fixed gear cycling called This City Can't Swallow Me, launched his website, locked up a cover photo for COG, a cover for Fixe Magazine, shot the best West Coast fixed gear riders for Leader, The Revival, Death Pedal, No Cassettes, in every major West Coast city from Las Vegas to Seattle, in addition to keepin' it real in SD by shooting local events such as the Cult Classic, The Cretins' Day of The Dead Ride, Foot Down and more. As of late, Matt has dropped a number of ill lil videos on his Vimeo account, including the The Revival Premier at The Whistlestop and a fun video w/ our boy Terrence Patrick aka Heavy Pedal. All the while, Matt is able to keep a humble attitude and seems to always have fun shooting.

Now, enough talk, more shots:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(Jake Ricker (The Revival, Death Pedal) riding in Seattle).

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(Emi Brown (MASH) riding in SF).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
(Tyler Johnson (The Revival) riding in Seattle. Above photos by Matt Lingo).

Best Artist Honorable Mention: Kareem Shehab

(Photo by Matt Lingo. Font by Anthony Bareno).

Kareem's film Death Pedal, which he directed, filmed, and edited is like you're favorite punk-rock record--it's fast, fun, and just straight-up rips. As I'm thinking about it, I want to hear the soundtrack right now. In the meantime, X's album "Los Angeles" will have to suffice. That album is certainly a worthy comparison to where it is that Death Pedal fits into the fixed-gear film spectrum.

Death Pedal, which features our boys in SD (i.e. Joe Kelley, Richie Ditta, Kevin, Marcus Price and more) as well as some of the toughest West Coast riders from Seattle to Phoenix, also features riders from Singapore (i.e. Dre Reyes) and Beijing (i.e. Ines Brunn, who resides there). Death Pedal not only has employed a global perspective in terms of filmed content, but this film has also reached a global audience. Kareem toured Europe premiering DP. Check this fun video put together by a filmmaker in Paris. This short video is about the DP Paris Premier. When over 50 kids in Paris come out to party and have a good time at your bike art event, that's got to be tops. Big ups, Killa.

The Life of Tom #01 / Death Pedal Paris 1st ! from Thomas Prudon on Vimeo.

Best Artist Distinguished Mention: Gerardo "Acamonchi" Yepiz

No SD bike artist list is complete without Gerardo "Acamonchi" Yepiz's work. Acamonchi is a mainstay of the SD DIY, art, skating, riding, punk rock communities. Amidst making a big move to NYC in the middle of this year, Gerardo naturally didn't have as much time as he had in'07 and '08 to focus on art and bike-related art. Nevertheless, he still dropped some sick bike-related pieces and put out tons of rad buttons and patches for The Cretins, SDCM, and more. Kids throughout North America and especially Mexico, including the up-and-coming Mexico City D.F. Fixed community, keep an anticipatory watch on Acamonchi's latest works. Hope NYC is goin' well, man!

Best Artist Distinguished Mention: Jena Mind Tricks

At the SDFixed.com two year anniversary party, Eugene Cho described Jena as 'the queen of SD Fixed.' He meant it as a compliment. Jena is rad. No question. In '09, she came through big on some crucial posters for every Foot Down event, Bike Prom, the Cult Classic, Benefit For Ginger, and more.

Best Artist Distinguished Mention: Anthony Bareno

Anthony's style is super dynamic. His photographs are straight classy and he has a historian's appreciation for fine bicycle craft-work. It's no wonder that Sky Boyer (owner of Velo Cult, pictured on the randonneur above) has employed Anthony to take the lead on the Velo Cult blog and to shoot their incredible museum-like collection of classic bicycle machines.

When he wants, he can get down with a completely different style and create more edgy things like the Death Pedal font (above).

Best Artist Distinguished Mention: Brandon Means

(Rider Gus Molina tearing it up for No Co).

Brandon Means' work is putting North County fixed gear riders on the map. Brandon is blowing up and he just turned 16! He has all the signs of becoming one of the best bike photographers in the States. In fact, he already snapped two shots which made it to Prolly's Top 10 of 2009 Best Freestyle Pics. Dude's got 1/5th of the photos on the list! Keep up the great work, Brandon!

Best Artist Distinguished Mention: Marcus aka Muerte

San Diego bike life is better with Muerte. It's really great to have Marcus around. He blew us all away with this ill flier for The Cretins' Halloween Ride. So tough! Looking forward to his work in '010. And best of all Muerte reps the South Bay hard! C.V.!

Best Artist Noble Mention: Skyy aka Aperture Sargent

Skyy aka Aperture Sargent has had a good year as well. He took the above photo during the one year anniversary of Atip's passing.

There are a lot of great artists in SD who ride bikes. But to be eligible for the above category, the only art which applies is that which is directly related to bicycling or bicycling culture.

Best Bike Event: Cult Classic

(Flier by Jena Mind Tricks).

The Cult Classic was an absolute blast. The evening was full of laughs and posi-core vibes. It was a huge nite in San Diego and I think everybody came away from the event w/ high spirits. Not only were the comps super fun but the evening was very purposeful. We raised over $1,200 which will go to a permanent and city-sanctioned memorial bike rack dedicated to Atip!

Best Bike Event Honorable Mention: Bike Prom III

(Flier by Acamonchi).
Bike Prom was by far more magical than your average prom. That's saying a lot since we all know that the average prom is pretty much the most magical thing ever invented by humans. This year the theme was dirty sock hop, 50s-throwback, "blast from the past." Hands down, this was the most fun dance party all year, bike event or otherwise. Thanks to The Baja Bugs the "blast from the past" theme was real-deal. The Baja Bugs, who played some Chuck Berry and Chuck Berry-ish songs, was fronted by none other than Hector Penalosa, one of the frontmen for '77 Southern California punk rock legends, The Zeros, who are from South Bay, San Diego, to be exact! On top of that, we raised approximately $600 this nite! $300 of it went to our buddy who rode AIDS Lifecycle and $300 to our friends' mom who needed a type of surgery that could help her walk again.

(Yes! The frontman of the best band ever played at Bike Prom III= awesome).

Best Bike Event Distinguished Mention: Death Pedal World Premier

(Flier by Swampdonkey).
The Death Pedal premier was one of the proudest moments for San Diego bike life. This was it! San Diego's fixed gear film, directed by SD's Kareem, and featuring our SD friends turning tricks in SD! Many of us were connected to this film in one way another. And now the assembled work was finally ready to be premiered! There was tons of excitement for this film. Everyone was at their highest state of excitement, together in one room. The room--The Rat Tail Warehouse--erupted with good vibes. DJ sets, Leader frame raffle, and non-stop laughs---Overall, the evening was a straight rager.

Best Bike Event Noble Mention: Fat Lip at Foot Down (flier above)
Fat Lip from legendary 90s hip-hop crew The Pharcyde DJ'd bike nite in San Diego? Crazy, right? It happened and it was out-of-control. Fat Lips hearts the SD bike kids.

Best Bike Event that costs more than the average hourly wage: Bike The Bay

The most awesome thing about the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition's Bike The Bay event is that it's the one time a year, and the second time in modern history, where cyclists are allowed to ride on the Coronado Bridge. For those readers not familiar w/ the Coronado Bridge, this bridge discriminates against cyclists. Motorists are allowed to drive into Coronado for free and emit smog and GHG into the Coronado neighbhorhood all day long, but zero-emissions, pollution-free cyclists have to pay for a ferry or bus to enter this part of SD. Shouldn't the free-access be the other way around? San Diego has a knack for being backwards about many things. This is just one example. Motorists first, pedestrians and cyclist last.

Riding over the bridge is simply a beautiful and phenomenal experience. We, as sustainable public road users, should be allowed equal access to this public resource everyday. Until the bridge is modified for bicycle access, we have the Bike Coalition's Bike The Bay event to look forward to. Unfortunately, BTB costs $50-55 to ride. That is certainly more than the average wage. However, all the money goes back to the Bike Coalition, a non-profit org who works to improve bicycling throughout SD County. This is the Bike Coalition's largest fundraiser op and, as such, is an essential event for Bike Coalition to keep moving forward as an effective advocacy org.

If you couldn't make it in '09, contact the Bike Coalition to see if you can volunteer some time so that you can ride in 2010. Riding over this bridge is quite incredible.

Best Bike Event that costs more than the average hourly wage Honorable Mention: San Diego Custom Bicycle Show

(Some of the finest bikes on display were these two bikes designed and built in SD by our boy Carlos Maldoror at Slowcraft Maldoror. Photo by InterbikeTimes.com)

(Frame by Brian Baylis. Photo by Esteban for Velo Flaneur).

(Frame by Bilenky. Photo by Esteban for Velo Flaneur).

Sky Boyer, owner of Velo Cult, expressed to me that the first-ever San Diego Custom Bicycle Show spearheaded by the commendable Brian Baylis, was one of the coolest things to ever happen for bike culture in San Diego. I don't think Sky's statement was too far off at all. The bikes on display here were absolutely spectacular. There wasn't even enough time to nerd out on all of them. Having left--due to the show closing up--without seeing a number of the bikes, I couldn't help but feel like a deficient nerd. Certain nerding-out opportunities went untapped. So, camp out in the parking lot next year to get there as soon as the doors open. You can practice Park(ing) Day a few months early.

There were over 40 different frame-builders ranging from Texas to Portland, with bikes on display--too many to mention. Several that really stuck out to me were Slowcraft Maldoror, Brian Baylis, Rock Lobster, Bilenky, Moth Attack, Ditta, Gallus, Proletariat and of course the family w/ the collection of low-riders and so many more whose names escape me.

Best Ride: The Cretins' Third-Annual Halloween Ride (flier above)

This ride was out-of-control fun. Some awesome people in SD mobilized for this ride and I don't think there was one person who didn't have a blast. This ride brought back that DIY-large group -ride-spirit/camaraderie that characterized 2006, 2007, and the first half of 2008. Plus the costumes were so brutal! The Cretins'-shaped pinata was amazing and the games we played at Balboa Park afterward were straight hilarious. The Cretins still hold it down in SD.

Best Ride Honorable Mention: Chain Gang Second-Annual Waterpark Ride

We rode about 20 miles from Downtown SD to South East Chula Vista, with essential burrito stops and water-gun refill stops along the way. The ride itself was super fun, but the payoff was even better. We were happy to be there, as you can tell from the photo. Summer 2009 ruled. Never forget that inner-tubing is not a crime!

Best Ride Noble Mention: July SD Critical Mass Ride

The approximately 1,200 people who showed up for July SDCM happened to come out for the best CM ride of the year, in our opinion. The first portion of the ride was reminiscent of old-school 2006 CM rides--riding into Hillcrest, down Uni, up to uptown, down Adams, 30th connection, locals-only-style-weaving through South Park to make one of the most well executed Mass turns I've ever seen, which went down at the Golf Course Dr. and 26th Street intersection, to continue down the long hill through Golden Hill's lone forest. It didn't end there. We rode all the way out to OB, into Mission Beach, up through Pacific Beach, around Mission Bay, and took Presidio back up where some of us broke off for a well-deserved kick-back sesh. The pace of the 25 mile-ish ride was above average that nite, which was a nice change for us daily cyclists. The vibes were very positive that nite and the overall riding flow and sociology of the ride was super impressive. Big ups to the old-school CMer who lead the first portion.

Best Alleycat Race: Beach Party Alleycat by Bogus

This was another great summertime event and easily the best alleycat of the year. About 40 heads came out to meet at Mission Bay and participate in Bogus' Beach Party-themed alleycat. The manifest destinations were very well chosen and made for a highly entertaining race. I was super stoked to come in 4th! So fun. The bonfire after-party was a riot.

Best Bike Advocacy Development: San Diego's new bike blog community

As Kathy Keehan, Executive Director of the Bike Coalition put it, 2009 was the year for the bike blog. We fully agree. Bike San Diego.org and Velo Flaneur are more than blogs--they're news sources. In San Diego--an extremely auto-centric, motorist-first, pedestrians/cyclist-last establishment, with many of the surrounding news institutions following suit in auto-centric group think--livable streets perspectives are terribly needed.

Sadly, this year we saw a number of news stories on pedestrian and cyclists fatalities where the speed of travel of the motorist involved in the deadly crash was never questioned by the journalist reporting the incident. This bias must stop.

SD bike blogs are representing news from the perspective of a cyclist and are breaking stories which pertain to bicycling, livable sreets, urban planning, traffic engineering, and traffic sociology. The SD bike blogs are the closest thing our city has to Streetsblog, a livable streets news source for Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C., and NYC.

SD Bike Commuter.com has been a great platform for constructive advocacy discussion this year. Blogs like Brown Girl In The Lane, City Heights on Two Wheels, and Farewell To My Car: The 30 Day Trial have been useful sources for those interested in pursuing a happy life without owning a car.

A very important thing that the above-mentioned bike bloggers realize there is that there is a difference between talking about pro-bike change and actually doing what it takes to create change. The above-mentioned SD bike bloggers do both.

At the Tweed Ride and Bike Coalition Retreat afterparty at The Station, it was abundantly clear that we are more than a network of bike bloggers--we're a community.

Best Bike Infrastructure Development: Bayshore Bikeway Bike Path Extension, Imperial Beach to Chula Vista

(Photo by SANDAG).

Finally, a car-free alternative to the dangerous 8-lane, fast-food wasteland that is Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach. Previously, when trying to ride from IB to CV cyclists had to contend w/ the high volume of motorists cutting in front of you to access the dozen strip-malls along the road stretch. When they weren't cutting in front of you, many were going 55 mph+. When they weren't going 55mph+ many would not let you change lanes. Instead of yielding to your obvious, communicated, and signaled intention to change lanes many would just keep driving and expect you to stay clear of their hegemonic 3,000 lb vehicles, even when approaching a nearby red light that will require them to yield and stop anyways!

(Palm Ave in Imperial Beach; one of the deadliest places in the county to get around any way other than a car. On the other hand, Palm Ave. is one of the best spots to legally chill in your car on top of a sidewalk).

Palm Avenue is one of the deadliest areas to ride a bike or walk. The new IB-to-Chula extension of the Bayshore Bikeway allows for a livable, peaceful, and more fun alternative.

Thank you, SANDAG, for building this essential extension.

Best Bike Infrastructure Development Honorable Mention: Lake Hodges Pedestrian and Bicyclist Bridge

As a result of the Lake Hodges bridge, cyclists riding in this area of North County no longer have to ride on the side of the freeway.

Appreciation Award: Kathy Keehan, Executive Director of the Bike Coalition

Kathy Keehan is the epitome of a go-getter. She's doing tons of behind-the-scenes work to improve the lives of cyclists throughout our immense county. Working as a full-time bike advocate in an auto-centric establishment can be a struggle. Fortunately, we have a person like Kathy to keep fighting for us. If you've ever had a conversation with Kathy you'll know that she has tons of energy, a positive attitude, a brain full of useful knowledge, and most importantly she has the vision for a bike-friendly city and society, in addition to the passion and skills to work towards making that vision a reality.

Kathy is trying really hard to reach out to younger, center-city riders, too. She wants more young energy pushin' the Bike Coalition. In fact, at the recent 4-hour Board Retreat meeting earlier this month, it was determined that in 2010 the focus and priority for the Bike Coalition will be the urban core, center/mid-city area of San Diego. Can't wait!

UK Study: Most Car on Bike Crashes Caused by Motorists

The results of a new study by the United Kingdom Department for Transport found that most serious crashes involving a motorist and an adult cyclist are caused by the motorist, reports The Guardian.

According to the study, UK police found the motorist to be solely responsible for the crash in approximately 60%-75% of the cases, while cyclists were found to be solely at fault 17%-25% of the time.

In 2% of the cases, the cyclist was found to have disobeyed a traffic signal or stop sign. In 2.5% of the cases, a potential cause of the crash was due to the fact that the cyclist was wearing dark clothing. A failure on behalf of the cyclist to use lights was responsible for 2% of the crashes.

The study found that a quarter of all cycling deaths in 2005-2007, were caused by motorists rear-ending cyclists. These types of deaths were found to be more common in rural areas; accounting for one-third of all deaths.

The head of the UK National Cyclists' Organization lobby group, Chris Peck, believes that this report supports the lobby group's view that the UK government is overly-fascinated with putting helmets on cyclists' heads rather than focusing on curbing poor driving behavior, which is statistically a larger and more deadly threat. Furthermore, Peck went on to say that "We believe that the government should now focus on tackling the causes of injury which appears to be mainly inconsiderate and dangerous driving. Reduced speed limits, stronger traffic law enforcement and cycle-friendly road design are the solutions."

Death Pedal 2 Sneaks with Congo: Photos by Matt Lingo

Congo was down from Los Angeles today filming parts with Kareem for Death Pedal 2. Matt Lingo came out to document:

Goddamn! Riders are goin' bigger and bigger everyday. I just saw this crazy picture of Wonka eyeing a super gnar looking drop situation. The picture is up on the Death Pedal site here. Death Pedal 2 looks like it's coming together nicely. Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SD Cyclist Struck by Semi Truck, In Critical Condition

San Diego cyclist, Matt Kelly, was struck by a semi truck in City Heights, pinned underneath the truck, and dragged 20 feet, last Friday.

Matt is suffering from a shattered pelvic and femur bone, severe internal bleeding and has undergone four surgeries so far. Doctors will begin surgery to reconstruct his bones, according to his friends who created FriendsOfMattKelly.com. The website includes information for submitting kind donations.

Matt was riding eastbound on Orange Ave. when a motorist driving the semi apparently did not see Matt and turned into him, cutting him off, and pulling Matt underneath the truck. The driver of the semi was questioned and the truck was impounded as evidence.

Photos of Matt Kelly hosted by FriendsOfMattKelly.com

Matt plays in local power-pop rock band CHAZ. Last nite, Crystal Antlers headlined a benefit show in North Park for Matt. This travesty is particularly hard-hitting in that Matt and I, though we never had the chance to officially meet, had many good mutual friends--thus making the pain felt throughout the community even more evident.

Our thoughts are with Matt, his family, and his friends.

12/23 Update: Matt's sister recently started a blog detailing Matt's struggle in the hospital. The blog is available here. According to the latest entry, Matt had a relatively good night last in the hospital. So far, he's undergone four different surgeries to stop the internal bleeding and will be undergoing another to have his pelvis repaired with pins. The good news is that he is conscious and recently made eye contact with his sister.

Emi Brown Rides Fixed from LA to Inland Empire: Video by Matt Lingo

Emi Brown: Los Angeles to Inland Empire from Matt Lingo on Vimeo.

Matt Lingo put together this rad lil' video of Emi Brown (MASH) riding from LA to Inland Empire, a 62 mile ride, in under 3 hours on his fixed. Emi has been in town since the All Ages Revival & London To Paris premier and he is absolutely stoked on San Diego! Ran into him in the neighborhood, had a drink together, and must say that he really is a great a guy. It's awesome to hear when people new to SD have great things to say about the SD bike community.

While we're on the subject, Grace LaDoja, the talented UK-based director of London To Paris, had nothing but posi things to say about her social experience with SD. Check her entry on the SD L2P premier and look out for future premier dates, all of which are posted on her blog.

City Attorney Reverses Cyclist's Wrongful CVC 21202 Citation

In March of 2009, a San Diego cyclist was cited by an SD Police Officer for passing on the left side of very slow-moving traffic on El Cajon Blvd. After being cited for allegedly violating California Vehicle Code 21202(a), the cyclist (one of our readers) contacted the officer's supervisor. The officer's supervisor, a sergeant at SDPD, agreed that the cyclist had not violated 21202 and that he should not have been ticketed. However, this fact did not seem to sway or convince the judge handling the case. The judge decided to uphold the officer's citation and claimed that the cyclist should have been riding along the 'edge' of the curb.

It doesn't end there. In fact, some real justice was finally served when the Deputy City Attorney, who was contacted about the case, actually reversed the judge's decision last week and offered a legitimate sign that our current City Attorney actually understands the California Vehicle Code laws which were meant to protect cyclists and to uphold our right to the lane.

The City Attorney's ruling was a breakthrough. However, the struggle is not over for the cyclist wrongfully cited. After the initial trial (and before the City Attorney's reversal) the officer, who ticketed the cyclist, paid a visit to the cyclist's workplace to deliver a 'self-transcribed transcript of the traffic court’s proceedings and a complaint' about the cyclist. Due to the company policy, the cyclist's employer must now investigate the claims made by the officer.

In response, the cyclist has filed a complaint/report with the San Diego Citizens' Review Board for Police Activity. According to the cyclist involved, an investigation will be conducted.

Meanwhile, the cyclist is trying figure out how he can be reimbursed for the $165 he was forced to pay in lieu of the wrongful citation.

The cyclist involved, who is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about bike justice, has been detailing his struggle on his blog. The latest entry is titled 'Lessons Learned from Fighting a Wrongful CVC 21202(a) Citation.'

Sunday, December 13, 2009

SD Bike Coalition: Focus of 2010 will be "Urban Core" of San Diego

The results of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition's annual, 4-hour-long retreat, which took place yesterday, are as follows: In 2010, the Bike Coalition's focus will be on the 'urban core' of San Diego. Concerted efforts will be made to improve road maintenance, facilities, outreach, education, political support, membership, and fun group rides/events starting from the Park Blvd. & University Ave. intersection and moving outwards.

The 30 retreat participants included SDCBC's Executive Director Kathy Keehan, Education Coordinator Orville Fitz-Henley, the Board of Directors, and invited core members, instructors and local bicycle advocates, ranging from Bic Control (yay!) to Bike San Diego contributors.

It was an incredible experience to be (1) invited to the retreat and (2) to be able to be apart of shaping Bike Coalition goals for 2010. The retreat was extremely uplifting. Many great ideas were discussed.

To get involved w/ the Coalition please visit the website here. The Bike Coalition is a non-profit organization, whose main funding source is membership.

We're all very excited for 2010; a year which will surely be a great year for bicycling in San Diego. You can help make it a historic year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Matt Lingo Cover Photo of Latest Fixe

Big ups to San Diego's Matt Lingo for locking up the cover photo of Fixe's latest issue. French-based Fixe Fixed Gear Magazine has a wide European circulation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Saturday!: SD's First Annual Tweed Ride

By Carly Studer

Just when San Diegans thought that they would never have a chance to wear that tweed jacket or scarf they bought on impulse, a community event is coming to San Diego to prove them wrong. TWEED RIDE is a bicycling community event where San Diego cyclists forego lycra and don their most dapper antiquarian apparel for San Diego’s first annual event. Similar events have taken place in cities like London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston. Rain or shine, participants will help demonstrate that cycling is appropriate for everyday life and leisure. Starting around teatime, the leisurely ride ends at The Station Tavern at 2204 Fern St. where you can wet your whistle and grab a bite to eat.

While there may be a misconception that bicycling is for children or racers, San Diego has a growing amount of residents that have the bike bug. SANDAG estimates that there are currently over a half million bicycle trips everyday in the San Diego region. Bicycling is good for your health, for the environment, doesn’t create noise or fumes, obstruct space – and makes you happy. The TWEED RIDE is one way to show the utility and joy of riding.

The TWEED RIDE is for fun, but it is also meant to show that cycling is appropriate and sustainable for everyday errands, commuting, and leisure – and it can even be done in nice clothes. San Diego has one of the best climates for cultivating a sustainable infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. The TWEED RIDE is one of many fun events that encourages cycling for as a less-polluting, healthy, and fun alternative to motorized travel. We live in a era where individuals are stopping and looking at the input the contribute to the environment, and also care about the world they are leaving for the future. TWEED RIDE embodies the spirit and characters of the cyclists in San Diego and the billions of utility riders around the world. An event like this shows their good-hearted nature, but also is reminding the rest of the community of the impact they could be making.

For more information, visit sdbikecommuter.com, or contact Esteban del Rio at edelrio[at]sandiego.edu or Sky Boyer at veloculture[at]gmail.com.

After NYC DOT Remove Bike Lane, Activists Re-paint It

Since we're on the subject of NYC, check out this video of NYC bike activists who re-paint a bike lane in Brooklyn after the original 14-block bike lane was removed by NYC DOT.

According to Prolly, 'it all started when this past Summer the Hasidic community voiced their disgust with the scantily-clad woman riding bikes through their neighborhood and it's been a battle ever since.'

The Hasidic community appears to be split on the bike lane. Streetsblog New York reports that some members of the Hasidic community actually helped out w/ the re-painting of the bike lane.

It appears that the ultra-traditionalists of the Hasidic community were allegedly against the bike lane because it supposedly facilitated 'scantily-clad women,' while, what appears to be a more modern group w/in the Hasidic community actually wanted the bike lane to stay in their community, and even allegedly offered to help re-paint it.

So, we have DOT and direct-action bike activists and then we have a community response from ultra-traditionalists and modernists within the Hasidic community who are split on the issue.
Wow, this is quite an interesting sociological situation.

We wonder what prompted the NYC DOT to internally justify the removal of this bike lane. If it really was because traditionalists complained about women riding bikes in shorts and tank tops, then that would be absolutely absurd and completely unacceptable.

Members of the NYC bike community are organizing a "Ride & Vigil for the Bedford Bike Lane" this Sunday, according to The Gothamist.

Meanwhile, the DIY spirit has had a contagious effect on others, as well...

Props to Prolly reader and comment contributor named Radam who posted this image on Prolly's entry. This image had us cracking up. We can all use a little more Seinfeld in our lives...

NYC Premier of The Revival: Video by Skitch

Though this film does not directly related to San Diego, it certainly does relate to The Revival, which recently screened to an all ages crowd in SD on December 8th and on November 20th for Whistlestop Bar goers.

This film is pretty gritty and fun to watch. So, we decided to share it:

The Revival Premier, New York City from Skitch Clothing on Vimeo.

Looks like a riot! Congrats to The Revival crew, Prolly, and Skitch. Prolly's entry on the NYC premier experience really captures the excitement that this film generates.

The NYC crew is just killin' it and goin' super big right now. The riders in the above film are some of the hardest in the States. Wonka, Torey, and Prolly--all NYC riders--each have a section in The Revival.

Speaking of NYC riders, there will be some serious NYC representation in our boy Kareem's new film Death Pedal 2, which he recently announced is nearly complete!

All Ages Premiers of The Revival and London To Paris a Success

Damn, what a fun nite! The all ages premier of The Revival and London To Paris was a true success.

The energy last Saturday nite was very exciting. Leader Bikes flew in Tyler Johnson (The Revival), Massan (Macaframa, London To Paris), Grace Ladoja (director of London To Paris), Emi Brown (MASH), and Terrance Patrick (Death Pedal) to promote bikes and to be apart of the premier experience. It was very fresh to have so many new heads in town and to have so many great people in the same room enjoying a shared passion for bicycles and bike community.

London To Paris was great. The Revival was as excellent as ever.

Here are some photos Matt Lingo took of the experience:

The following two photos were taken the day before the premiers:

Also, here are some photos Skyy took that evening:

Friday, December 4, 2009

NPR Story on Aggressive Drivers Normalizes Motorists

This piece was written by Esteban and originally posted on his blog vélo-flâneur.


In a story on All Things Considered, NPR reporter Mandalit del Barco uses the road rage conviction of Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson to discuss the perceived growing tensions between cyclists and drivers in Southern California, and by implication, how the “problem” unfolds nationally.

(I listened to the first edition on the East Coast feed on WFCR, Amherst MA - ed.) The transcript can be found here.

The story begins with some numbers regarding cyclist fatalities and injuries:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic crashes killed 716 cyclists last year and injured 52,000 people riding bikes, trikes and unicycles. That includes recent fatalities from Brookline, Mass., to Portland, Ore. But unlike the Los Angeles case, Mooney says drivers who kill or injure cyclists are rarely convicted.

The problem of driver convictions is made plain. Importantly, the story does not mention that there were 39,800 total motor vehicle-related deaths in 2008 (a record low!). Certainly, cars and trucks represent a threat to cyclists. But the numbers make clear the fact that motor vehicles are deadly for tens of thousands of people every year – a vast majority traveling in cars and trucks.

Yet, del Barco uses the Thompson case from early this year to dig into the issue of motorists’ growing resentment toward cyclists:

The Mandeville Canyon driver’s reaction was perhaps an extreme example of the everyday resentment heard from other motorists.

“These bicyclists are extremely rude, and they take up the road — four, five people at a time,” complained one caller to NPR member station KPCC’s show AirTalk. The caller said he lives in Mandeville Canyon, and he has had it with cyclists.

“When you pull up alongside them and ask them to stay out of your way, they yell at you,” he said. “They’re extremely provocative, they’re asking for trouble, and this is not the worst case that’s going to happen. Someone’s going to get killed, and to be frank with you, the residents aren’t going to feel too bad about it.”

This story constructs the problem as cyclist behavior, not the aggressive driving, honking, and impatience. This frame is strengthened by two subsequent passages: the first tells of reasonable but lawless behavior:

“When I see the light turn red, I try to race as fast as I can through it,” she says, “because I know I will have a block of peace and quiet, where there won’t be cars behind me.”

And the second provides an example of cyclists complaining bout law-breaking cyclists:

But even Thompson and another bike blogger, Ted Rogers, disapprove of reckless bike riders who maneuver through traffic as if playing a video game.
“Oh, we hate these guys,” says Rogers. “We absolutely hate them. The driver you tick off is the one who’s going to run me off the road.”

These instances are not out of the ordinary. For responsible and safe cyclists, sometimes running a red light is safer (like waiting to make a left turn) than standing in the middle of an active intersection like a sitting duck. And much of the “problem” of cyclist behavior comes from irresponsible riders who flaunt both safety and the law.

This story has some real positives for cyclist safety – it gives advocates a voice and lays out the danger that motorists facilitate. But the overall tone of the story is that the problem lies in cycling, if not specific cyclists. We have a right to be on the road, and we should be treated as normal. Most motorists are patient and friendly in my own experience. But also in my own experience, far too many drivers are aggressive, rude, and outright dangerous. Why aren’t motorists and motor vehicles treated as a variable here? In this story, it is the cyclist who causes things, not the drivers. del Barco, in effect, further normalizes “motorism” and implicitly marginalizes cycling as a normal, appropriate, and legal method of travel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Saturday!: London To Paris & The Revival All-ages Premier!

The Revival-related fun is not even close to ending. Don't you know that this is San Diego?! That means Double Feature--we get down so hard that we need two Revival premiers. Not only will The Revival be premiering this Saturday for free to an all-ages crowd, but the new film about a fixed-gear bike tour from London to Paris (appropriately titled London To Paris) will be premiering as well.

Plus, before the films DJs Bikerophone and Justin Cota-Pop will be dropping tracks for your earhole pleasures. And even before that, fun stuff will be taking place for this all-day event. It'll go a lil' something like this:

4PM: Meet at Big Fountain at Balboa Park for a trick/hang out session.

6PM: Ride around SD which will end at premier location.

Leader Bikes is flying in some of the most talented riders from the States into SD specifically for Saturday's event. Riders include:

Emi Brown (MASH)
Massan (MASH / Macaframa)
Tyler Johnson (The Revival)
John Cardiel (Macaframa)
Grace Ladoja (Filmmaker, London To Paris)
And Terrance Patrick (Death Pedal) might be coming out from AZ.
Plus you!

Damn, SD is goin' big! Come through this Saturday for this all-day bike celebration!

Press Watch: Skitch on Bic Control

B.C. got up on Skitch thanks to Tom Briggs (producer of The Revival).
Thanks, Tom!

Thanks again to Tom and Wayne for allowing us to be apart of The Revival experience. It was awesome to help disseminate this excellent work of art. We love the perspective you have on the bicycle and how its users interact w/ cities. Check out more of Tom's art, design, and clothing at Skitch.