Thursday, February 25, 2010

Manivela Bicycle-Driven Food Delivery Featured on Channel 6's "The Green Scene"

Earlier this morning, Manivela Bicycle-Driven Food Delivery was featured on a Channel 6 News segment called The Green Scene.


The piece was well done and begins with a news anchor introducing the segment saying 'get food delivered without a driver.'


Gettin' up! Check it out here.


Manivela delivers food everyday. Check out the website, FoodBikes.com, and/or call (619) 512 - FOOD. Orders accepted online or over the phone.

Death Pedal 2!: Word Premiere this Saturday, San Diego Premiere March 27 @ Ken Cinema

Get hyped for the Death Pedal 2 World Premiere going down in Richmond, Virginia this Saturday in lieu of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show:


Also, the San Diego Premiere of Death Pedal 2 will be happening at the Ken Cinema on Saturday March 27 at midnight! Be there! Flier coming soon.

San Diego May Host the Most Hostile, Dangerous Motorists in California

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(Photos by Nelvin C. Cepeda for San Diego Union-Tribune).

Unexpected responses to a recent California-wide CALTRANS campaign urging motorists to 'share the road' with motorcyclists, indicate that San Diego motorists may be the most hostile in the state. Furthermore, the responses to the campaign reveal that there may be a link between motorist hostility and crash-prone behavior.

Last week, CALTRANS used a number of electronic freeway signs in San Diego to encourage motorists to 'Share The Road: Look Twice for Motorcyclists':



According to CALTRANS spokesman Edward Cartagena, as originally reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, CALTRANS has received about 800, mostly positive, calls from Californians since the 'share the road' campaign began on February 11. Cartagena reports that, unlike state-wide trends, none of the calls in San Diego have been positive. In fact, one motorist even left CALTRANS a 20 minute long voicemail, ranting about the 'share the road' idea. Some motorists also complained that it 'wasn't [their] job to watch out for motorcyclists.'

One motorist interviewed by SDUT responded, 'What’s to share? You don’t have any choice about that. The sign says look twice, but I have enough to look at.'

If the reception of this state-wide campaign helped gauge motorist sentiment throughout California, then San Diego would be # 1 for highest motorist hostility.

Interestingly, San Diego also ranks high on the list--# 2 in the state--for frequency of motorcyclist crashes. Only one California city, Los Angeles, has more crashes per year than San Diego:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

While CALTRANS' campaign is about the bicycle's cousin--the motorcycle--the responses to the campaign yield some noteworthy information about motorist culture in San Diego. As mentioned in the Bic Control mission statement, one main purpose of this blog is to determine why it is that bicycling ridership in SD is so low--a meager .3% in 2006. One major factor appears to be that many San Diego motorists don't want to share the road and don't know how to share the road.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Study: The Most Crash-Prone Drivers in Society are Judges, Attorneys


(Getty Images)

According to a recent study, the most crash-prone motorists in American society are judges and attorneys. The study, conducted by Insurance.com, found that 44% of all judges/attorneys shopping for auto insurance claimed to be in a prior crash.

One theory, offered by Insurance.com Vice President Sam Belden, is that “Professions that demand multi-tasking – being on the phone, moving fast on a tight schedule – are prone to more distractions and, from there, more accidents.”

The least dangerous drivers by profession are athletes, at 17%.


If many judges are likely to engage in distracted driving then it seems reasonable to suspect that those judges may be sympathetic, even in the court of law, to other motorists who also engage in distracted driving. Judges like to depict themselves as mechanical interpreters of the law. However, they're only human and if they engage in a behavior similar to that of the defendant, it seems more likely that they will rule softer on the defendant than a judge who makes a strict personal effort to not engage in the behavior of the defendant.

It would be interesting to read an academic study that further delved into this particular subject. The weakest part of this Insurance.com study is that the results are based purely on reported crashes. It could be that judges and attorneys are more likely to report their crashes than the average person.

However, there is plenty of evidence that judges in the U.S. are soft on inattentive, distracted, negligent, reckless, and lethal driving. Perhaps, that's because, as the above study indicates, judges and attorneys get into more crashes than any other profession, and, as a result, can relate to defendants who share a similar problem.

One example of a judge normalizing inattentive, distracted, negligent, reckless, and lethal driving is represented in the case of San Diego motorist Arthur Newman who was driving in the bike lane where he struck cyclist Walter Joller from behind and killed him. Newman received no jail time; only probation and a mere $700 fine!

If that ruling isn't soft on lethal driving, then I don't know what is.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trailers for New Fixed Film, Revoked

Revoked, the curiously titled fixed film by San Francisco's Chris Fonseca, is set to premiere this March in Long Beach. Fonseca's new film features two San Diego-area riders; Gus Molina (Fast Pace Zine) and DJ Mull.

Foneseca's first film, No Cassettes, also featured a handful of riders from San Diego--Joe Kelley, Isaac Gibbs, and Rocco. In fact, the majority of No Cassettes was filmed in San Diego.

Long Beachers Matthew Spencer and Justin CONGO Mitchell, who finished first and second in San Diego's Cult Classic 2, will also have feature sections in Revoked. For a sneak peek, check out the following trailers:

REVOKED FINAL TRAILER from REVOKED MEDIA on Vimeo.



REVOKED TRAILER from REVOKED MEDIA on Vimeo.


With Revoked set to premiere next month, March is beginning to look like it'll be a huge month for fixed culture in Southern California. Death Pedal 2 and Fast Pace Zine Issue 2 will be hitting the streets of So Cal, as well. The kids aren't f*cking around.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Phoenix or Bust: SD Polo to Compete in PHX Tournament this Weekend

Phoenix or bust? Or bust Phoenix?

We hope it's the latter (i.e. the verb version).

The SD Bike Polo team is heading to Phoenix this weekend to compete in the Desert Polo Invite II, organized by the Phoenix Bike Polo, and we hope they bust some skulls...in a friendly way.



This will be SD's first appearance in a bike polo tournament. Here are the teams representing San Diego:

Team 1
DT
Eric
Hillbilly

Team 2
Cam (the babysitter)
Curtisquatch
Josh

Team 3
Eddie
Gordon
Trevor

Official team names are yet to be determined. Though, the general consensus amongst the players is that El Polo Loco is a good name, for at least one team. Marcus at Chula Fixed put together this lil' logo:



Meanwhile, as I was looking through my documents, I came across this picture of Ed Fletcher--a San Diego booster, entrepreneur, capitalist, property-owner, and automobile advocate--taken moments before a race from San Diego to Phoenix sometime during the 19teens:

(This image of Ed Fletcher was found while researching a report I wrote for an Urban Studies & Planning: History of San Diego course at University of California, San Diego. I chose to investigate the history of San Diego's transportation transformation, from electric streetcar to automobile, during 1880 - 1945. Fletcher, an elite member of San Diego society, was a huge power player during this era. He helped shape the urban face of San Diego and aspired to make San Diego an automobile city. To prove that SD was a better city than Los Angeles for highway connectivity to Phoenix, Fletcher organized an automobile race (represented above) to Phoenix. He beat the racer representing LA and brought national attention to San Diego's automobile advocacy efforts. Fletcher then became Chairman of the State and National Highway Committee. Interestingly, Fletcher's cousin, A.B. Fletcher, was appointed Chief Engineer of the State Highway Commission by California Governor Hiram W. Johnson. Today, Ed Fletcher is remembered by the East County road named after him--Fletcher Parkway. (Source: Memoirs of Ed Fletcher, 1952)).

SD Bike Polo, I never thought I'd say this, but make like Ed Fletcher! Win this tourney, locos!

P.S. Wish I could be there. Lookout for the SD Bike Polo tourney coming in a few months. Details to be announced.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tonite!: Free DIY Bike Light Workshop @ Che Cafe!

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Come out tonite for a free DIY bike light-making workshop taking place at 7pm in The Che Cafe on the southern-most portion of the University of California, San Diego campus.

Learn how to make your own colored spoke light! The workshop will be lead by Cairie Rainey, a student of UCSD's Interdisciplinary Computing and Arts Major (ICAM).

(Cairie from UCSD's ICAC/ICAM will be dropping some knowledge).

Associated Students (AS) was generous enough to approve funding for materials that would allow for the creation of 25 lights! Not only will you learn how to make your own spoke light and benefit from an intro to building your own electronics, but 25 people will be able to take theirs home for keeps! As of two nites ago, 15 people already RSVP'd light materials. If you act quick, you might be able to RSVP in time. Email icac[at]ucsd[edu], asap. Students and non-students are welcome.

In addition, we'll be screening fellow UCSD-Alumni Kareem Shehab's super fun, fast-paced fixed film Death Pedal.

This unique workshop is fully sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Computing and Arts Cult (ICAC) and Bic Control: Bicyclists on the Mic.

See you tonite and be first to learn about more upcoming ICAC and Bic Control DIY collaborations.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cult Classic 2: The Exceptional Nite in Words, Photos, Videos


(All photos by Matt Lingo).

Staying true to the name, Cult Classic 2 was an exceptional sophomore freestyle event comprised of good vibes, laughs, talented riders, and exciting events. The now bi-annual event, organized by Dan Arel (DNA Fixed / Leader Bikes), went off without a hitch last Saturday at San Diego's Embarcadero bay-front.

CC2 was well attended--approximately 175 people, including riders from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Long Beach, came out to support, compete, and/or to simply have a good time.

The first event was footdown; my personal favorite. About 40 kids straddled and saddled up for one giant game of footdown. I ended up coming in 6th-ish; a personal disappointment after winning the SD Fixed.com Two-Year Anniversary Footdown last fall. Per usual, I employed my defensive tactics; but alas!--Congo screened me up against the border line and then I was derailed by Chris Foneseca shortly thereafter. As a defensive footdown player, I enjoy playing with offensive players. The most offensive player of all is my boy Robert Reyes. Robert throws down. He's the only person I know who has a special type of footdown named after him--the aptly named
Robert Reyes Footdown. Here's Robert looking slightly bummed, shortly after hearing that Cult Classic Footdown would not allow feet/hands to come off the pedals/bars:

(Have you played Robert Reyes Footdown? Robert, who formerly worked at a security guard in Tijuana, brings feet down; Other peoples' feet, to be exact).

There was no denying that Long Beach riders were in the house and were in it to win it. It all started with footdown where Long Beachers Matt Spencer nd his buddy Corey came in first and second.

Footdown
1st Place: Matt Spencer
2nd Place: Corey
3rd Place: Andy Compton

Andy Compton (Fast Pace Zine) claims that the only reason he finished 3rd in footdown (judged by Morissey-lover Dan Arel) was because he was wearing a Morissey shirt at the time. Dan is so Morissey-core that he has 4 Moz tattoos to prove it.

The 2nd event of the evening was the Trackstand Comp.

About 30 riders entered Trackstand, but only one rider held it down to the fullest--SD's Isaac Gibbs, who won Cult Classic 1 last summer. I was pretty stoked to come in 5th-ish, which is a better placing than I expected.

Long Beach was right back in it, w/ Congo staying strong w/ a 2nd place finish and Corey in the top 3 once again.

Trackstand Comp
1st Place: Isaac
2nd Place: Congo
3rd Place: Corey


Up next were the races.

The SD ladies held it down in the women's race. San Diego's Yvette and Paulina came in first and second:

Women's Race
1st Place: Yvette
2nd Place: Paulina Goodman
3rd Place: Maya

Long Beach swept the men's race.

Men's Race
1st Place: Matt Spencer
2nd Place: Congo
3rd Place: Corey


Up next was the event I was most anticipating--1 Minute Freestyle.

North County's Gus Molina has been absolutely killin' it lately. I was really looking forward to his 1 minute session. Unfortunately, a few days before CC2, Gus hopped off a dock and slammed his face into his bike's stem:


(Face versus stem. Gus Molina's face collided w/ his stem days before CC2, rendering him injured. Poor guy. The good news is that, according to Andy Compton, Gus may have an especially brutal intro in the upcoming fixed film Revoked set to premiere in March).


(SD's best: Gus Molina and Joe Kelley, some of the best people and riders in the SD area. Joe Kelley, who came in 2nd at CC1, did not compete last Friday due to a crank problem that he could not fix in time).

As mentioned, some extremely talented riders made the trip to SD for Cult Classic 2. One of said riders was Congo, who has a section in Kareem Shehab's upcoming Death Pedal 2. Kareem had some great things to say about Congo's riding abilities and Matt Lingo had some documentation to support those claims:

If you're a detective or if you just like to read bike blogs, then you probably know that the above pic was not taken at Cult Classic. The reason I've included this pic is to demonstrate Congo's hopping caliber. When I first saw this photo of Congo I couldn't believe that anyone could hop that high straight off the ground. It looks like he's flying through the air...Or, perhaps that's one of the visual effects of a rat tail. On Friday, I not only got to meet Congo--a great guy, by the way--but I got to see this trick w/ my own eyes. Congo is a down-to-earth dude, who can leave earth when he wants (as represented above and below):

(Congo bar-spin hop off ledge).

Congo's 1 minute freestyle sesh was definitely one of the highlights of the night.

Using Nick's footage, Marcus (Chula Vista Fixed) put together a nice edit of the nite, which includes Congo's hop:


Cult Classic 2 from Marcs CVFG on Vimeo.

After Congo, Matt Spencer responded w/ a super clean 1 min sesh to narrowly surpass Congo in points. When Matt Spencer wasn't placing in every category (except trackstand), he was filming:

Cult Classic 2 from Matthew Spencer on Vimeo.


1 min Freestyle
1st Place: Matt Spencer
2nd Place: Congo
3rd Place: Michael Chacon


The nite concluded w/ Best Trick. Those who placed in Best Trick went big.

Unlike CC1, which was only about 6 months ago, CC2 featured a ramp which changed up the game a bit and, perhaps, represented a sign of a rapidly changing freestyle culture. Not gonna lie--the ramp was pretty damn entertaining.

San Diego rider, DJ, placed 2nd in Best Trick w/ a mid-air toboggan he landed.

(DJ goin' big on Cult Classic's first-ever ramp).

Despite the stem-bashed eye, Gus Molina found some last minute inspiration to compete in Best Trick, after hanging out on the sidelines throughout the nite. His trick put him in tie for 3rd place!


Michael Chacon took first in Best Trick:

Best Trick
1st Place: Michael Chacon
2nd Place: DJ
3rd Place: Mike Dinh / Gus Molina


Overall, Matthew Spencer took 1st, Congo took 2nd, and Michael Chacon took 3rd.


(Matt Spencer (above) was the overall winner of Cult Classic 2).

Congrats to all the riders! It was awesome to witness Long Beach talent in full effect. Fixed freestyle is definitely blowin' up in L.B.C. and that was abundantly clear last Friday. Most importantly, those L.B.C. riders who came down seemed like great and friendly people who realize that the most important part of fixed freestyle is to just have fun with it.
Big ups to Rocco (pictured above, right) for grabbing the mic and helping to coordinate the nite. Biggest ups to Dan Arel (pictured above, left) for organizing this exceptional Southern California fixed freestyle event.

See you again in September for Cult Classic 3!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Report: Most Vulnerable Road Users Receive the Least Funding

The following story was written by Sam Ollinger for Bike San Diego on February 10, 2010.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking recently released a 2010 Benchmarking Report in order to measure the progress of efforts on bicycling and walking in the U.S. The overall conclusion of the report is that bicyclists and pedestrians receive a pitiful share (1.2%) of transportation dollars and yet, are at a much larger risk on our roadways where a disproportionate percentage of transportation dollars go toward auto-based infrastructure.

As the eight largest city in the country, the percentage of San Diegans who took full advantage of year round perfect weather to commute by bicycle was a pitiful 0.9%. The Complete Streets Act in California which was signed in 2008 and ensures that the design of all streets will enable safe access for all users was adopted by the city of San Diego. Yet to date, the city has done nothing to increase staffing to show the full support of that adoption. The sole bicycle coordinator at the City, Brad Jacobsen, was scheduled to retire in 2009 and the city has still not finalized plans on continuing that position.

Despite the gloomy report, San Diego has published very ambitious goals to increase bicycling [pdf link] to a 10% mode share by 2020. Unlike Portland whose successful efforts to promote bicycling include trying out innovative bicycling facilities; leading bicycle promotion activities like Bike to Work Day and CiclovĂ­a; San Diego’s plans to promote bicycling have been more modest. The plans include the creation and connection of bikeways, maintaining existing bicycle infrastructure, increasing the percentage of bicycle transit trips, and increasing public awareness of bicycling.


(Photo from the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking).

Facing a $179 million budget deficit and a crumbling infrastructure, the city of San Diego needs to step it up a notch if it really intends to meet the goals outlined in the Bicycle Master Plan. Maintaining existing bicycle infrastructure that is poorly connected is the very minimum that cyclists expect from the city. In order to really meet and exceed the goals outlined in the Bicycle Master Plan put forth by the city, San Diego needs to be a vanguard in promoting bicycling as a utilitarian form of transportation. I will be outlining some ideas in a forthcoming post.

In the meantime, you are encouraged to respond with your ideas or criticisms. What can San Diego do to ensure that 10% of all trips are made on a bicycle?

Report: A Quarter of All Car-On-Bike-Crashes Are Hit and Runs

The following story was written by Damien Newton for Los Angeles Streetsblog on February 5, 2010.


(Image from LAPD via Westside Bikeside)

A new presentation on the causes and severity of bicycle crashes, available here after being hand-scanned by Enci Box, has been made available and analyzed at Westside Bikeside by Dr Alex Thompson. Amongst the results is the above chart showing that nearly one quarter of the reported bicycle crashes in the City of Los Angeles in 2008 were also "hit and runs." While this number is high, the news gets worse; these are just the ones that are reported and recorded. We've already seen that sometimes hit and run crashes involving cyclists aren't taken seriously, and other times the police report is just poorly done. However, as Thomspon notes, just getting our hands on these statistics is a step forward in the relationship between cyclists and the LAPD.

While having this data is a step forward, it can be somewhat confusing in its current form. For example, while it breaks down that roughly ten percent of collisions were caused by someone running a red light or ignoring a stop sign, it doesn't differentiate between crashes caused by aggressive cyclists or aggressive motorists. Hopefully that information is made more clear in an update promised in a couple of weeks.

Looking at the presentation, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition noted in an email that 25% of bicycle related collisions are due to wrong way riding. Considering that their own bike counts showed that fewer than ten percent of all riders are going in the wrong direction, this act is a major safety concern. While the LAPD claims to be working to better educate cyclists about this, which is surely music to Councilman Tom LaBonge's ears, the LACBC wants those outreach materials to be in English and Spanish to build off the success of the City of Lights Program. A sound idea.

It seems that since last December, when the Coalition was surprised to find out at a City Council hearing that it was working with the LAPD on their bicycle related educational materials to officers, that relations between the Department and the Coalition have improved. In a post at the Coalition's blog, Aurisha Smolarski reports on their collaborative efforts with the LAPD to crack down on bike thefts and improve the training of police when it comes to cycling. Currently, the Bike Coalition is working with the LAPD to help identify the most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles. You can help the LACBC help the LAPD through a variety of online tools: via Twitter @lacbc, Facebook, or through an interactive Google Map the LACBC has set up. In its first day online, the map got 600 views and thirty intersections tagged, so the Bike Coalition is now asking that people narrow their suggestions to places where there were actual collisions, not just places where it seems dangerous to drive.

I've already tweeted them that, "The intersection of Third and Fairfax, where the Farmer's Market is located, is a death trap waiting to happen." If for some reason it's easier for you to leave your nightmare intersection in the comments section, I'll make sure to forward your thoughts and experiences on to the LACBC.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cyclist Struck, Killed by City-Employed Truck Driver in South East SD

The driver of a City of San Diego-owned dump truck hit and killed a cyclist in the Oak Park neighborhood of South East San Diego on Monday, shortly before 1pm.

The 38-year-old cyclist died at the scene of the crash, College Grove Drive and 54th Street.

Police officers closed down east bound traffic for several hours to allow for an investigation.

The San Diego Union Tribune and San Diego News Network are reporting on this tragic incident.

Our thoughts are with the cyclist and his family and friends.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Death Pedal 2 World Premiere!

Dear World,

Your premiere for Death Pedal 2 is less than two weeks away! If you're not ready, you better get ready.

Unlike last year, the Death Pedal 2 World Premiere will not be in San Diego, unfortunately. The World Premiere is happening a bit closer to where Kareem now lives and closer to NYC, which is where a couple of the main riders in the film (i.e. Wonka & Torey Thorton) reside.

In case you don't know, our boy Kareem moved from SD to Atlanta to work as a stylist for Outkast and to get a Masters degree in engineering--both of which are, obviously, mutually reinforcing career endeavors. You know that old expression, 'If you can dress Andre 3000 you can engineer a bridge.' Well, Kareem is living proof. We're proud of you, dawg.

And we're proud as f*ck for this film! On the real tip, the trailer is absolutely bangin'.

There will only be a handful of U.S. premieres of DP2, so make sure to save up your bills and get a road trip going w/ your homies just in case your city doesn't have it's own exclusive premiere. This film is not to miss.

I was just talking to Kareem today about locations for the SD premiere and there are some solid ideas--one spot in particular--that we're eye-ing. Leader Bikes (Kareem's sponsor) is going to be organizing this premiere and I will be helping them and DJing. Yeah-yuh!

If you're an international reader who wants to host a premiere in your city, get a hold of Kareem because he wants to have more international premieres for this film, compared to DP1. Even though Tijuana can be seen from my house, it's still considered a different country. So, that means Tijuana DP 2 Premiere is on!

Yup, 2010 is well on it's way to being the best year ever.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pedestrian Nearly Struck by Motorist Outside "Car-free Balboa Park" Meeting

Earlier this evening, I--the pedestrian mentioned in the headline--was walking to the Balboa Park Committee meeting to support Mayor Jerry Sanders' proposal to make the park 'car-free,' when a speeding, negligent motorist nearly struck and killed me.

The incident took place at the intersection of President's Way and a small street that connects to the Plaza de Panama, a former (pre-1950s) pedestrian-space turned (post-1950s) parking-lot which the Mayor wants to take back for people who aren't surrounded in 3,000 pounds of metal and glass. I entered the street at the ramp in a 100% legal fashion when an older (late 60s) man in an early 2000s silver Honda Accord came speeding up to the intersection, showing no signs of yielding to me or stopping behind the line. At this point, I was already in the intersection and when it became apparent that his speed of travel was too fast and too close to the stop sign to be able to stop behind the line in time, I rose my arms to the side in a 'What are you doing?'-fashion. The motorist then slammed on his brakes in a manner so sudden that his tires screeched. The man's car was about 4 to 5 feet over the line and only a few feet from me. If I had kept walking, I most certainly would have been seriously injured or killed by this negligent man, only 150 feet away from the 'car-free Balboa Park' meeting.

Frustrated w/ this man's vehicular negligence, I continued walking through the intersection w/ my hands still held to my side while making eye contact w/ the motorist. This man offered no sign of apology whatsoever. There was no open-handed hand gesture or any type of conciliatory body language. Nothing. Perhaps, this man considers such intense motorist-on-ped encounters to be a normal facet of his day to day driving experience. As I passed his car and continued on to the meeting, I looked at him and said 'slow down.' The man then drove on in a hurried manner, parked his car, and walked into the Santa Fe room in the Balboa Park Club building--the exact room I was walking to!

Being in the same room w/ this man felt awkward; especially considering that the main topic of discussion was curbing motorist travel throughout the historic Balboa Park.

As I sat there, I thought about the nerve this motorist had for attending a meeting about making Balboa Park more pedestrian friendly, when moments before, he was (1) speeding in an area known for high pedestrian traffic volume, (2) partially ran a stop sign, (3) nearly struck me w/ his vehicle, and (4) offered no visible apology whatsoever. In my eyes and even in the Mayor's eyes, this man and his negligent driving practices represent a serious threat to the quality of life for Balboa Park users. This motorist was/is part of the problem.

If this man had also been walking to the meeting, we probably would have crossed paths and exchanged a friendly "hello." Instead, our encounter, which was borne out of his mistake, nearly resulted in my death.

The Mayor's plan, once implemented and complete, may reduce the likeliness of such incidences. However, it's important to realize that Mayor Sanders' vision of the Plaza de Panama is not completely 'car-free.' Motorists will still be able to drive several feet away from the Museum of Man and into the heart of our park. The only difference is that they wont be able to make laps around the small fountain and the 67 parking spaces will be removed so that a pedestrian-friendly area may replace what Mayor Sanders has called a 'ceremonial parking lot for cars.'


(Ahh yes, the world-class Balboa Park in all its glory. The park is truly a marvel in design; at least up until the 1950s when a 70+ space parking lot replaced a grand pedestrian plaza. Currently, automobile travel within the park is so unrestricted, that motorists can literally drive several feet away from the stairs that lead to the Museum of Man tower (center-left area of the above photo). Pedestrians who want to walk from the Museum of Man to the visitor's center in the lower-right corner of the picture must contend w/ motorists eager to temporarily store their giant metal boxes (pictured below), rather than park for free on the public streets outside the park. Above image via balboapark.org. Below image by Sean M Haffey, SDUT).



One proposal, which has won support from a number of bike advocates, is to completely close off Laurel Street access to cars and open it up exclusively for pedestrians, cyclists, etc. If Laurel Street--labeled 'El Prado' on the map--were to be completely closed off from cars, the motorist who nearly killed me 150 feet away from the 'car-free' meeting would never have been on that road and would have had to enter from President's Way--an alternative which would improve the quality of life for pedestrians and cyclists in the Laurel St./El Prado and Plaza de Panama area.


(This diagram, from the San Diego Union Tribune, shows the center of Balboa Park in its current state while also representing the area planned for pro-pedestrian remodeling).

Though restricting motorist-travel on Laurel Street would create a safer and more enjoyable environment, the Mayor's plan is a step in the right direction. The Mayor recognizes that some areas in San Diego can be improved by removing cars. For San Diego standards, that's huge. The Balboa Park Committee agreed w/ the Mayors' plan and thus motioned unanimously in support of the plan. The motion was met with applause from the audience. Finally, some real livable streets infrastructure improvements are getting done and it's exciting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cult Classic 2, Friday, February 12, 2010!

This is gonna be a riot:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Flier by Jena Mind Tricks.

Organization by Dan Arel (DNA Fixed). Thanks for putting this together, man! Detail city:

CULT CLASSIC 2
February 12, 2010
8PM
Embarcedero

Events:
Best Trick
Trackstand Comp
1 Min Freestyle
Footdown
Mens Drag Race
Womens Drag Race

Sponsors:
Allee
Bagaboo Bags
Blaq Design
Chula Vista Fixed
DNA Fixed Gear
Fast Pace Zine
Helper Clothing
The Hundreds
iMiNUSD
Kilolibra Clothing
Leader Bike
Macbeth Shoes
Mishka Clothing
Pedal Consumption
Prolly is not Probably
Selle San Marco
Volume Bikes
Zlog
(more soon)

With Support From
Bic Control
The Cretins
Ride Esco

Be there!

Gus Molina for WRAHW

San Diego's Gus Molina has been absolutely killin' it lately. His riding caliber has helped put Fast Pace Zine and SD's North County on the map. Gus is a really nice dude whose making some serious moves. Filmmaker Bryan Babbel put together this lil' edit for WRAHW, an NYC-based bike blog created by the talented Torey Thorton (Death Pedal 2, The Revival).

WRAHW Exclusive: Gus Molina from Torey Thornton on Vimeo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Levels for Fixed Gear Freestyle


(Tom Mosher (The Revival, Death Pedal) has got mic control and bike control. Photo by Prolly(The Revival)).

So, just in case you haven't heard, a massive fixed gear freestyle event called Midwest Mayhem recently went down in Milwaukee. All signs indicate that the event was a huge success and helped elevate fixed freestyle to a new plateau.

(Check out Prolly's in-depth re-cap of the event in which he touches on the sheer importance of this weekend in terms of its contribution to advancing fixed freestyle as a sport and as a community).


(Wonka (Death Pedal 2, The Revival) wall ride. Photo by Andrew Temkin).

There is no question that fixed gear freestyle is still blowing up. Happenings from the last week alone, from Midwest Mayhem to Death Pedal 2 trailer and even to SD's Critical Pass trick sesh, have indicated the growth of talent is accelerating at an unprecedented rate.

All this talk is getting me excited for Cult Classic 2, a fixed gear event taking place in SD in a week and a half. Cult Classic was the best bike event of 2009 and the second installment is bound to be a blast. Flier up soon.