Monthly Archives: April 2011

Organizing Successful Bike Trains, Safe Routes to School

SRTS National Partnership logo

Walking school buses are popping up everywhere, but have you seen or heard of a bike train? Starting a bike train, a group of children and parents who ride to school together with other families, is a great way to get students actively commuting to school from farther distances. Bike trains have the same underlying principles as walking school buses but forming a consistent, sustainable bike train that allows students to safely bicycle to school while parents, teachers and administrators rest easy, requires a deft balance between organization, encouragement and training. This webinar hopes to tackle those hurdles and leave attendees with the tools to either tune up their current bike train or start one anew!

This webinar will focus on success stories from Tampa Bay, Florida; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, DC that will provide insight from the nuts and bolts of grassroots organization to bike trains that are arranged and endorsed at the multi-school level. Presenters will highlight their unique programs but also outline the steps necessary to create and organize a bike train that will make a difference and the tips and tricks to keep them running smoothly.

There will be an opportunity for questions and answers at the end of the presentation.

The webinar will broadcast at 1pm EDT, Thursday, May 5 and will last one hour.


Kiel Johnson, Bicycle Safety Educator, Bicycle Transportation Alliance (Portland, Oregon)
Jason Jackman, Program Planner Analyst, Center for Urban Transportation Research (Tampa Bay, Florida)
Parrie Henderson, Parent Organizer, Mt. Pleasant Peloton (Washington, DC)
David Cowan, Program Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership (Denver, Colorado)



This webinar is part two of a six part webinar series by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership that focuses on bicycling and Safe Routes to School.

Thank you to the SRAM Cycling Fund for making this series possible.
For more information please contact Dave Cowan at

**Recording of this webinar will be available at within seven days of original broadcast. Past webinars and tipsheets can also be found at this link.




CicLAvia Afterglow!

We had a GREAT Feeder Ride from Santa Monica and look forward to the next one! Thank you all for riding with us and making the day such a wonderful event. The next one will be even BETTER! We are out of town until after Easter so our pictures and videos may take a bit to get posted – we will try to get a few photos up before we leave (or from the road, bike touring in Portland!) and more when we get back.

Here are some photos sent to us by from one of our Feeder Riders, Stanley D. Wolfersberger THANKS !
He says he has more photos of individual riders he’d be glad to share – if you are interested email us and we’ll put you in touch.

Here’s an LAT Article from one previously “skeptical” reporter who’s perspective of biking in LA has shifted since CicLAvia!  I gotta say it brought tears to my eyes.

This from CicLAvia-

Thanks to all our great volunteers, sponsors, supporters and partners, CicLAvia 4.10.2011 was a huge success!

With perfect weather, and more than 130,000 participants, Sunday’s CicLAvia was huge. It was great fun for young and old alike – families, all races, all abilities, walking, skating, and… of course… bicycling! Angelenos explored our neighborhoods, connecting with each other, with our wonderful city.

CicLAvia plans two more events this year: July 10th and October 9th! If you enjoyed CicLAvia yesterday, and you want CicLAvia to continue and to grow, please make a donation today. Your contributions keep CicLAvia free and frequent. We can’t do it without you.

Click here to donate to CicLAvia.


Photo by Alex Thompson

Keep up with and weigh in on the latest CicLAvia news and discussions
at the CicLAvia blog!
(read online – orsubscribe via email via button on right column)
Follow via Twitter! Like us on Facebook!


Important City Council Meeting Tonight

At tonight’s meeting they will discuss the projects in and around Downtown, including road diets and bike lanes. We need to show our support. It would be great if you can attend, or email your support to


City Council Meeting Tonight:

When:     Tuesday , April 12, 2011 at 6:30pm
Where:   Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street,
City Council Chambers, Rm 213

We need to show support for the plans that will bring new business to the downtown on bikes if the infrastructure is provided.  See the plans here and the agenda here.

Executive Summary

The success of the Downtown and Civic Center relies on the strength and connectivity of pedestrian, vehicle, bicycle and transit networks. Significant improvements are underway with the Expo Light Rail, Palisades Garden Walk, the Village, recently-completed Santa Monica Place and other major private and public projects. The increased desirability of the Downtown and Civic Center will bring residents and visitors alike to the area for recreation, shopping, cultural events or work. The Expo terminus itself will serve thousands of daily light-rail passengers and become a center of activity that alters circulation patterns. The ability to successfully adapt and provide strong access to and around the Downtown/Civic Center on foot, bicycle, transit and in a vehicle is necessary to support this as a center of activity and primary business destination, and to advance the key LUCE principle of “No Net New Peak PM Trips.” Achieving this vision will guarantee that the Downtown continues to produce high economic benefit with comparatively low traffic impacts relative to other similar destinations in Southern California.

The following recommended bicycle facilities and intersection improvements have been defined under the RDA Expo Green Streets category.

  • 2nd Street: Create continuous bike lanes on 2nd Street from Colorado to Montana, to connect with the Main Street bike lane at Colorado. This would create a long-distance north-south connection, and alternative to Ocean Avenue which some bicyclists feel is too busy with motor vehicles and buses. These bike lanes would be provided in Downtown by implementing by reducing through lanes from 4 to 2, with left turn lanes at most locations. Capacity exists on Ocean Avenue if this results in some shift of vehicles from 2nd to Ocean.
  • 6th and 7th Streets: Create new 6 foot bicycle lanes with a 3 foot buffer zone on 6th Street while maintaining parking on both sides and a vehicle travel lane in each direction, and create a continuous bicycle lane through intersections on 7th Street accommodated by eliminating left turn lanes at intersections.
  • 4th Court Connection from Expo Station to Broadway: Install wayfinding signs and shared lane markings to direct bicyclists from Colorado to Broadway using the alley between 4th and 5th Street. This completes a gap in the network, and will be critical as a link from the Esplanade and Expo Station to Broadway, which provides connectivity to much of the rest of the city.
  • Broadway: Upgrade bike access along and connections to Broadway, which will become a primary bicycle connection to the Expo Regional bike path terminating at 17th Street. In Downtown, reinforce the shared use of the transit lanes in the westbound direction, reconfigure existing lanes to provide an eastbound bicycle lane, and the improve intersection treatments adjacent to the bicycle transit center.


REI – Panamerican Peaks Project w/Thomas Laussermair

In May 2009, independent traveler Thomas Laussermair set off on an adventure of a lifetime-to pedal the length of the Panamerican Highway (Alaska to Patagonia) and climb the highest mountain of every country along the way. Join us as Thomas shares a digital presentation of some of the most exhilarating segments of his 14-month journey. Join Thomas as he ropes up for glacier travel on Canada’s wild and remote Mount Logan (19,551 feet), braves the high heat of Baja California, cycles across the stunning Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and makes an unguided climb of Argentina’s Aconcagua (22,841 feet). Thomas will show you what it takes to plan an adventure of this magnitude, and discuss what he learned along the way.
For more information, visit

  • Date: 4/19/2011
  • Event Location: Santa Monica REI
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (PDT)
  • Presenter: Thomas Laussermair
  • free
  • Register

Ride from Santa Monica to CicLAvia with us!

Feeder Ride to CicLAvia starts at the top of the Santa Monica Pier

Meet 8:00am roll out 8:30am

See more pick-up points below or join us on route
Here is the CicLAvia Route Map with pick up points
CicLAvia to Santa Monica Return Route Map
Note: See All 3 Feeder Rides from the Westside on BikeSideLA

We roll out from the pier at 8:30am – head North up to Broadway and then proceed inland along Broadway picking up any riders that want to catch us along the route.  We will continue on Broadway all the way to the West LA boarder, through Century City where we will travel along Santa Monica Blvd (meet-up point Beverly Glen and SM Blvd) and onto Little Santa Monica into Beverly Hills where we’ll meet up with Biking In LA’s Ted Rogers and some riders from La Grange and the BAC and any other folks who want to meet us at Starbucks at Santa Monica Blvd & Wilshire (aprox 9:15 – 9:30).

We continue on Little Santa Monica to the Farmers Market to pick-up a group from the Grand Masters and folks who want to meet us at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market – Better Bike Beverly Hills (Mark Elliot)/ Sustainable Streets (Ron Durgin) booths,
Civic Center Dr. & Third (southern end of the Farmers Market)
We will plan to roll out of here by 10am

…… and onto CICLAVIA!!

Times listed are approximate –
Look for updates on FB and twitter


If there are any route updates they will be posted here on this page.

CicLAvia this weekend 4/10/2011

First of the three CicLAvia’s this year on April 10,2011

CicLAvia makes the streets safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia.

CicLAvia temporarily removes cars from L.A. streets - and the streets fill up with smiles!
CicLAvia temporarily removes cars from L.A. streets – and the streets fill up with smiles!

A Ciclovía is not just for recreation. It is social integration.

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!

Santa Monica Spoke will ride to CicLAvia from Santa Monica, we would love you to join us.  Look for more information to be posted later this week here, our google group and on Facebook and twitter.


First Look At Santa Monica’s Bicycle Action Plan

At this weeks Planning Commission Meeting:

When:     Wednesday , April 6, 2011 at 7:00pm
Where:   Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street,
City Council Chambers, Rm 213

Review of Emerging Bike Action Plan Information. The Planning Commission will receive and comment on information on the emerging Bike Action Plan including, but not limited to, a selection of initial projects and programs that implement the LUCE goals and policies. The Commission will consider the draft plan at an up-coming public workshop.


Staff Report
Santa Monica Land Use & Circulation Element
Existing Bike Facilities and Proposed Project Limits Bicycle Action Plan
Bicycle Action Plan Initial Draft Project and Program List
Bicycle Facility Toolbox DRAFT
Michigan Bikeway


Some Santa Monica Bicycle History

by Michael Cahn

Paul Leaf: Painting Bike Lanes on the Canvas of the Street in 1970’s Santa Monica

We found Paul Leaf because he raised his voice in a letter to the editor in the SMDP. He worries that people are not riding safely on their bikes. Track bikes on Main Street make him shake his head, cycling is not about fashion, it is about operating your vehicle safely. Sitting badly and uncomfortable is never a good start. Bike shops should offer bike fitting for every bike they sell, and cyclist should be educated to understand how important proper bike fitting is. Ted Ernst from Manhattan Beach, he was very focused on fit, and he speaks German.

Paul came to Santa Monica in about 1975. He came from New York, where he discovered Central Park as a cycling oasis. New York’s John Lindsay and his parks commissioner Thomas Hoving initiated a weekend ban on automobiles in Central Park in 1966 —a policy that has staid in place since. Today we would call this Ciclovia: A large area in an urban environment where bikes reign. Things were happening in New York: Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic on Sundays beginning on Earth Day 1970, and the first bus lanes in the country were built there.

For the young man from New York who loved his bikes, who went to art school in Stuttgart, this experience was important. When he came to Santa Monica, with a bike and a Olivetti typewriter, he got involved in local politics: There was renters rights, and he went on to establish the Santa Monica Arts Commission and served on its board for many years: They put on Ballet on the Beach, Shakespeare on the Pier, and the iconic Chain Reaction in front of RAND, sponsored by the widow of McDonald’s fast food empire. The Art and Design program at Santa Monica College was established.

That was the time of Bikecology on 28th and Wilshire, in the old Bekin’s Building before they moved to 1515 Wilshire, and before it turned Supergo and before it went Performance. Paul was fired up to bring the New York experience to Santa Monica: Central Park bicycle paradise on weekends translated onto the West coast as – bike lanes for every day. The hope was a that strip of paint on the road could recreate the car-free experience of Central Park on weekends. Only an art student who trained with Willi Baumeister and Fritz Winter could pull this off: The street was his canvas, and the bike lane was his stroke. A petition was crafted and circulated at Bikecology and yielded 500 signatures, requesting the council to paint bike lanes. Mayor Jim Conn, the famous pastor from Ocean Park, received the petition. The first bike lane went down on San Vicente. Sadly, the strip of paint has not been able to reproduce the full hit of street ownership that New York’s Central Park offered cyclist every weekend, but those vehicular cyclists who are critical of bike lanes should remember that these humble strips of paint were a little revolution when they first appeared.

Paul was part of the racing scene in Santa Monica back when cycling jerseys and shorts could be mistaken as a Halloween costume. Every Sunday morning the Trancas Death Ride departed from the pier going all the way to El Matador Beach, past Malibu. Victor was already building frames on Ocean Park Ave. Paul was also a Board Member of Co-Opportunity, and as an annual community service he offered bicycle instruction for the clients at the supermarket. The best ride in Santa Monica is still Ocean Avenue, up San Vicente, around the Golf Course, and down again. He rode De Rosa & Colnago: but you would not ride a fixed gear on the street. The CAMPAGNOLO logo still clearly visible on his right leg, just above the sock, firmly tattooed into his skin. That gave a lot of street cred back then. He once had a blow-out coming down a canyon. Another accident happened when this mother unloaded the baby from the car, kicking open the car door right into his path. Paul did 8000 miles a year, raced for Marina del Rey Cycling Club and was a member of USCF. After all these miles, a sore back and a dodgy hip have brought an end to riding. The bikes have been sold, but he clearly sees the need to educate cyclists so that they can have a positive experience on the road.


Today Paul looks back on many years of IMDB credits. He directed his own play “Mutiny at Port Chicago” at Santa Monica’s Ruskin Theater at the Airport.