Biking in the AV


The joys and challenges of riding in the Antelope Valley

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Painted Turtle Ride

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Painted Turtle

They are having another Painted Turtle Ride this weekend on Saturday, September 10, 2011. I did it last year with Beverly and it was a lot of fun. My most vivid memory of the ride is when we ran over a rattlesnake. Fortunately, it was already dead.

This year, like last year, are 18-mile, 36-mile, and Metric Century routes.

Details are here.


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.


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.


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.


Antelope Valley bicyclist hit by car

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

A friend says that a friend of hers was hit by a car after a ride on Saturday morning.

There wasn’t a story about this in Sunday’s Antelope Valley Press, so I don’t have anything to share that has been confirmed. When details becomes available, I will share it with you here.


CicLAvia Community Ride 07/10/2011

Monday, July 11th, 2011
CicLAvia Community Ride 07/10/2011

CicLAvia Community Ride Route

Since the CicLAvia originally planned for July 10, 2011, would not be happening, CicLAvia organizers invited folks to come for a community ride in Los Angeles. Unlike CicLAvia, the streets would not be blocked off.

Fred Flores relaxes

Caffe Racer Fred Flores relaxes before the ride

Sarge, Fred Flores, and I rode to Los Angeles on the 9:13 am Metrolink train from the Antelope Valley, which arrived at Union Station at 11:20 am. Metrolink instituted a $10 weekend pass last weekend, which allows travelers to ride from Friday evening until midnight Sunday, all on the same ticket.

We rode from Union Station to Hollenbeck Park and waited there as other riders gathered for the start of the ride.

joni yung

joni yung, host of Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist, and fellow L.A.Legger

Sarge with flag

Sarge ready to ride with the U.S. flag, of course

We ride

We ride . . .

There were 200 to 300 riders. We took the right-hand lane and obeyed all traffic laws. The first stop was the African-American Firefighter Museum at the corner of Central and 14th.

Old-time fire engine at the African-American Firefighter Museum

We then rode through the fashion district, into Little Tokyo, and passed City Hall, stopping again at El Pueblo, where there was Native American dancing and drumming.

Mariachis at Mariachi Plaza

Mariachis play for us at Mariachi Plaza

Our last stop before returning to Hollenbeck Park was Mariachi Plaza, where mariachis played for us.


Lancaster Plan for Trails and Bikeways Public Workshop 06/29/2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Members of the public gathered at Mariposa School in Lancaster on Wednesday evening to meet with city officials and consultants to offer their opinions on what is needed to improve bicycling, walking, horseback riding, and mobility for the disabled within the City of Lancaster.

Gathering for Workshop

Members of the public gather for the workshop

After brief talks by city official including April Bartlett, chairwoman of the city’s architectural and design committee, and Berna Mayer, Antelope Valley Partners for Health board member, Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates gave a presentation on the planning process so far, the work that they have done to date, and shared the draft maps of the plans that have been produced.

Prior to this workshop, several public meetings have been held with cyclists, equestrians, walkers, and disabled people to address what kinds of things they feel would make Lancaster the kind of place they would like to live in, what would make it a healthier, more vital community, more walkable and more livable. This process began last September with monthly staff meetings, meetings with an advisory committee consisting of stakeholders, and public workshops. Snyder and his staff reviewed background documents, did extensive field work, and created draft maps.

Ryan Snyder

Ryan Snyder presents the draft plan

For bikeways, a network is proposed that connects the whole city, making bike travel easier both north-and-south and especially east-and-west. These improvements will include the standard Class I, II, and III bikeways, but also colored and buffered bike lanes, wider shoulders, and small paths. Pedestrian improvements will include wider cross walks, higher visibility, curb extensions, bulb-outs, perpendicular ramps, crossing islands, signs and pavement markings. Barriers to the disabled will be addressed to fix inaccessible bus stops and missing curb ramps. Equestrian trails will include trailheads, parking, and sitting areas. Jogging loops will be created that include earthen trails, decomposed granite trails, and rubberized sidewalks.



Lancaster Bike Plan Workshop, Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The City of Lancaster is developing a new Bike and Pedestrian plan on which much progress has been made at previous meetings and walk audits.

A Public Workshop with updates on the plan and asking for more input from the public will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Mariposa School, 737 West Avenue H-6, Lancaster.

The flyer about this and other upcoming events in Lancaster says:

Come review recommendations for bikeway and pedestrian improvements, and learn more about safe bicycling and walking in your neighborhood.

According to Elma Watson, Assistant Planner for the City of Lancaster:

Ryan Snyder will present the status of the planning process, with a focus on the Draft Recommended Bikeways, Trails, Pedestrian, and ADA improvements. These maps contain the information gathered from the workshops last fall and we want to continue to solicit the community for their input to further improve the Master Plan for Trails and Bikeways.

Not only do we want you to join us at our upcoming workshop, but we also want you to help us spread the word. Ask your friends, family, co-workers or club members to come with you to our workshop…this effects road safety and connectivity for all!

I understand that a contingent from the Cycology ride will be riding to Mariposa School for the workshop. I’m planning to ride there myself.

Please be there and let your voice be heard about the bikeway improvements you’d like to see funded and implemented in Lancaster!

Don’t forget: Wednesday night, June 29, 2011, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Mariposa School, 737 West Avenue H-6, Lancaster.


Byrd’s bird

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Though she never got a chance to learn to ride a bike, my friend Byrd Ehlmann was enthusiastic about me riding, and wanted to take a class that C.I.C.L.E. offers for adults who didn’t start biking as children. Sadly, she passed away before she could fulfill that desire.

Byrd had a huge love for life. She treasured life in all its myriad forms and loved nature. Living without a car, she wrote about her neighborhood walks and the beauty of what she saw along them.

Not long before she left us, my husband expressed to Byrd his concern about the birds who were nesting on a precarious ledge on our veranda. He had just finished cleaning up the remains of the 3rd or 4th egg he found that had fallen out of the nest. He was disturbed by the loss of life and didn’t want to see it happen again.

Of course, Byrd said, “You MUST build them a bird house!” Not “you should” or “you could,” but “you MUST!”

Sarge didn’t hesitate. In the spot where the birds had built their nest, he put together a sturdy house for them to nest in.

For 3 years, the bird house sat empty. That is, until this month. One day, when I looked out onto the veranda — lo and behold! A bird sitting inside the house!

Byrd's bird

It’s as if Byrd is still here on our veranda, not just in our hearts.


Elaine Macdonald’s photos from the team time trials

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Elaine Macdonald sent in some great pictures she photographed at the SCNCA Team Time Trial Championships last Saturday.

Warming up (photo by Elaine Macdonald)

Lining up for registration (photo by Elaine Macdonald)