Biking in the AV


The joys and challenges of riding in the Antelope Valley

Archive for August, 2011

Biking in LA reports on cyclists hit by car on Saturday morning ride

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

The AV Press reported on an incident that occurred Saturday morning (though they did not list a time) in which two cars collided and two bicyclists on a morning ride with a group out of a bike shop (the Block Shop ride) were hit.

Ted Rogers reports on the incident in Biking in LA and a rider on the ride shared what happened in the comments.

I’m still confused about where this happened. The AV Press says it occurred on Ave L at 4th St West, but I don’t believe that 4th St West goes through or has a light. I think it was 4th St East. I know there is a light there. It’s only a block from where Sarge works at 3rd St East and Ave L.

I believe the speed limit on Ave L on this section is about 55 mph. Whitney says the driver ran the red light at high speed, which probably means the driver was going faster.


SCAG 2012 RTP/SCS Workshop in Santa Clarita

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Last Monday, Sarge and I attended a workshop about the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy at the Santa Clarita Activities Center in Santa Clarita.

Sarge ended up attending by default, more on that later. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure what this was all about.

They showed a well-put together slide show which explained what SCAG is considering in developing its new Regional Transportation Plan. You can see that slide show here. [This is a PDF file]

Not only is this the exact slide show that we saw, but it also includes the responses those who attended made during Keypad Polling, which took place after we came back from breaking up into smaller group to talk about what we’d like to see the transportation plan focus on.

As the small group I was a part of talked about what we’d like to see, it became clear that many a few of us would like to see more frequent public transit that makes better connections. We would also like to see the different transportation entities have better communication and offer better tools for people to use to make better connections.

Which is, coincidentally, why Sarge ended up coming to the workshop: I missed my Metrolink train by 10 minutes, having read the schedule incorrectly, so he picked me up at the train station and drove me to Santa Clarita. There wasn’t another train for another hour and 35 minutes.

During the breakout session, I also expressed the need for a bicycle network to connect the far-flung North Los Angeles County communities and for the need for safe bicycle lanes and paths within the communities.

The Keypad Polling was a lot of fun and I felt it was the best part of the workshop, because it gave us instant feedback about our responses. It felt like the people who had developed the questions were truly interested in our answers.

Take a look at the video and the slide show, and let me know what you think. SCAG doesn’t actually fund or carry out the plans, but my understanding is that the eventual plan that they develop will act as a blueprint for local communities to follow over the next 25 years.

My question is, will it have any teeth?


Bicycling to the Movies

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Sarge and I biked for the fourth time this Sunday to the movie theater at the Antelope Valley Mall.

Sarge and bikes at the AV Mall Cinemark 22

We have yet to find any official bicycle parking there, but the handicapped poles have come in handy for locking up the bikes.


Bike Rally to benefit Lisa Collins

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

On Saturday August 13th Block Bikes is hosting a Bike Rally to benefit Lisa Collins who was hit by a distracted driver on the Ave L freeway overpass. Lisa is recovering from massive head trauma and is at Kindred Healthcare in West Covina. Her family is incurring considerable debt.

The Rally will take place at American Heroes Park (701 W Kettering Ave) in Downtown Lancaster (north of Lancaster BLVD – cross street Elm). Sign ups will be from 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm and the RALLY will begin promptly at 2:00 pm. The cost will be $20 per team of 2 and ALL proceeds will go to Lisa Collins.

See the link for further details.


Bicycle John’s Caffe Racers Night Ride preempted by Trail Head Bingo Ride this weekend

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The regular Saturday night Caffe Racers ride is being preempted this weekend.

Instead, Bicycle John’s will be leading the bike ride at the Trail Head Bingo Event this Saturday, August 13th starting at 7:00 am, at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds Trail Head, 2551 West Avenue H.

We’ll have a fun ride, receive a stamp for a bingo card, which we can turn in for a wonderful raffle prize!


Metrolink to make more room for bikes

Friday, August 5th, 2011

I love CicLAvia and feel the best way to get there from the Antelope Valley is on the Metrolink.

It’s been unfortunate that officially Metrolink only allows 2 bikes per train car on each train. Unofficially, at the discretion of the conductors, more bikes have been allowed. You never know in advance, though, whether you are going to get your bike on the train or not.

This has led some people to drive down to North Hollywood to catch the Red Line rather than take the Metrolink.

Thanks to The Source, I was pleasantly pleased to see this August 3, 2011 news release from Metrolink about plans to increase space for bicycles on their trains:

As part of a pilot program, Metrolink will introduce its first two “bicycle cars,” passenger railcars outfitted with space for at least 18 bicycles, instead of two slots like Metrolink’s other railcars. The agency hopes this will encourage more bicyclists to take the train to their destination.

To accommodate the additional bicycles, Metrolink crews removed 29 passenger seats on the bottom level of one of its railcars that traditionally seats up to 149 people. . .

Initially, Metrolink’s “bicycle cars” will debut on the Inland-Empire line weekend beach trains, where the demand is highest for additional bicycle storage space. Bicycle cars can be identified by yellow decals located on the outside of the rail car.

Metrolink is prepared to add up to 10 additional “bicycle cars” to its fleet, depending on the success of the pilot program.

Bicycle Car on Metrolink Train

Bicycle Car on Metrolink Train (The Source)

Let’s all hope and pray that bicycle cars are a huge hit with Inland Empire Metrolink riders, so that we get bicycle cars on the AV Line. If and when we do get them, it’s important for us to use them, because they’ll need enough ridership to be continued.

Also, don’t forget the new (since July) Metrolink weekend $10 ticket. That’s $10 from Friday evening until midnight on Sunday. With that ticket, you can ride anywhere on Metrolink during that time period for $10 and your ticket is also a free transfer onto Metro, both bus and light rail.