Biking in the AV

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The joys and challenges of riding in the Antelope Valley

Obituary for Linda Pluss

April 10th, 2012
Linda Pluss

Linda Pluss

Text of Linda’s Obituary:

Born December 10, 1937, and passed away March 29, 2012, after a courageous battle with cancer. Her husband, Bob, was her best friend and her knight in shining armor – he was an amazing and devoted caregiver during her illness. She was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher, and friend. She treasured her family and always made them a priority. She was a vibrant woman who approached all aspects of life with enthusiasm, optimism, and passion. Her achievements and involvement in the community were many, including helping victims of domestic violence with her involvement in the Valley Oasis Amigas. She earned her bachelor’s degree from CSUN in 1978. She enjoyed teaching senior fitness at the YMCA. At age 51, she began a new career and taught 4th grade at Mesquite Elementary School for 14 years.

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Ride the Metrolink to CicLAvia 04/15/2012

March 13th, 2012

Meet up to catch Metrolink to Los Angeles for CicLAvia!

The train leaves Palmdale Metrolink Station at 6:39 am, so be there in plenty of time to buy your ticket. Weekend passes are only $10 roundtrip.

There will be a BICYCLE CAR on the train for our bikes!

Ride the streets with NO CARS!!!

CicLAvia lasts from 10 am to 3 pm. This is a wonderful ride in a street festival atmosphere.

We will arrive at LA Union Station at 8:30 am. We will meet a friend of mine, who is taking the San Bernardino line from San Bernardino that arrives at the same time.

Her return train leaves at 1:45 pm; ours is at 2:25 pm.

That gives us plenty of time to ride to our content, enjoying the carless streets.There will be stops in the downtown area where we will wait politely for traffic police to direct us through, but otherwise stops are few and far between.

Here’s a map of the CicLAvia Route.

We will ride as many of the directions as we want, ending in Boyle Heights for lunch, because one of our Caffe Racers knows a great Mexican restaurant there.

Bring enough money for lunch and for any memorabilia you might want to buy along the route.

Please invite any of your friends that you think might want to go, especially those who have never been.

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Urgent: House Transportation Bill guts funding for cycling and walking

February 1st, 2012

Please contact your congressperson and ask him/her to support the Petri-Johnson Amendment to the House Transportation Bill. This amendment will restore funding for biking and walking as well as rail-trails and Safe Routes to Schools to the bill. Otherwise, funding for biking and walking will no longer have any federal funding.

The bill is being marked up now, so time is of the essence.

Contact Congressman McKeon:

Palmdale Office
1008 W. Ave M-14, Suite E-1
Palmdale, CA 93551
Phone: (661) 274-9688
Fax: (661) 274-8744

Contact Congressman McCarthy:

Bakersfield Office
4100 Empire Drive, Suite 150
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Phone: (661) 327-3611
Fax: (661) 637-0867

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High Desert Cyclocross was tremendous fun!

January 16th, 2012
Rich Bartlett

Rich Bartlett of Team Block in the Men's A Race (photo courtesy of SoCalCross)

We walked over to Marie Kerr Park before dawn to help get the course ready for the High Desert Cyclocross races sponsored by AV High Desert Cyclists yesterday morning.

The day started out cold, cloudy, and windy. Eventually, the sun came out.

After we spent some time putting posts in the ground for tape to be wrapped around, I worked at the registration table for most of the day while Sarge banged a drum for the racers on the far side of the course.

I knew little about cyclocross before yesterday. I thought you needed a cyclocross bike to race. I had a vague notion that riders have to pick their bikes up and run with them at some points in the race.

Watching the races, it was easy to catch the excitement and thrill of the sport. The course was, indeed, set up with obstacles like the one in the photo. Another obstacle we could see from the registration desk involved what looked like railroad ties spaced evenly on a hill. Riders had to carry their bikes over this obstacle to the top of the hill.

Not having a cyclocross bike was not a problem, because racers could rent a cyclocross bike at the event. Other racers rode whatever bike they had. The one restriction I saw in the cyclocross literature was no bar ends.

Racers came from all over California to participate, some from as far away as Sacramento.

Race results are available online at http://socalcross.org/results/.

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High Desert SoCal Cyclocross races on Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 11th, 2012
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Lancaster Mayor Parris challenges Palmdale Mayor Ledford to a bike race

January 11th, 2012

Last night, at the Lancaster City Council meeting, after discussion and approval of the Plan for Bikeways and Trails, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris issued a formal challenge for Palmdale Mayor Ledford to compete in a bike race against each other. For real. I was there. I heard it with my own ears.

On the video of the council meeting, you can hear it at approximately 1:19:41. (The link is not direct, but takes you to a page where you can select the video.)

The idea for a race between mayors was originally proposed by High Desert Cyclists’ President Paul Avila, who is also the organizer of SoCal Cyclocross High Desert Cyclocross races on Sunday, January 15, 2012.

I think it’s a wonderful idea that would promote cycling in the Antelope Valley and generate excitement for the Tour of California in Palmdale in May.

Now the ball is in Mayor Ledford’s court. I hope that in the spirit of fun and the promotion of healthy lifestyles in the AV that he will accept this challenge

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LA County Planning Commission Meeting 11/16/2011

November 17th, 2011
LA County Planning Commission

LA County Planning Commission

Yesterday, I went with Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Alice Strong, who represents cyclists in the San Gabriel Valley, to a meeting of the Los Angeles County Planning Commission. We commented on the draft of the LA County Master Bicycle Plan.

After going through the plans for the Antelope Valley area on the plan, I found that most of the bicycle improvements planned are Class III (Bike Routes) bikeways. This means all that will be done for those roads will be green Bike Route signs. This is unacceptable, especially for roads like Elizabeth Lake Road.

There were 12 people who wished to make comments on the plan. The commission gave us each 3 minutes to speak. I was the third person to who spoke and they seemed to listen to my comments and asked questions when I was finished.

I hope that they will take some more time and make changes that will improve the final county bike plan.

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Lancaster Bike Plan Released and Tour of California returns to Palmdale

November 3rd, 2011

Lancaster has placed it’s new Draft Master Plan for Trails and Bikeways on the City of Lancaster website for the public’s review. It is quite thorough — 559 pages.

Next, the plan heads to the Architectural and Design Commission on the First Thursday of this month 5 p.m. in Council Chambers. You are invited to attend that meeting and voice your thoughts about the plan at that time.

There is a 30-day review period for the plan that started on October 31, 2011, and will end on November 30, 2011.

Send your comments on the plan to Elma Watson, City of Lancaster, Planning Department, 44933 Fern Avenue, Lancaster, CA 93534 or email Ms. Watson at ewatson at cityoflancasterca dot org. Or you may send her a fax at 661-723-5926.

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Exciting news!!!

Stage 6 of the 2012 AMGEN Tour of California will start on May 18, 2012 in the City of Palmdale.

According to AV High Desert Cyclists President Paul Avila, “I have spoken with my contacts at the City of Palmdale and there will be some exciting events leading up to the race. This will put Palmdale on an international stage for cycling!!”

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Final Los Angeles County Bicycle Master Plan

October 21st, 2011

On November 16, 2011, there will be a public hearing of the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission for members of the public to testify or submit written comments about the final version of the County Bicycle Master Plan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 9:00 am
Hall of Records, Room 150
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Review the final plan here.

Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition asks those of us in the Antelope Valley to review the plan and send our comments to her in the week BEFORE November 16th, so she can compile them into a letter she will send to the County Planning Commission and the County Supervisors. Email your comments to Alexis at la-bike dot org.

I’m planning to take the Metrolink down to the meeting, so if you have any last minute comments you’d like me to convey to the Planning Commission, please email me at michelechavez at yahoo dot com.

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Final draft of the Lancaster Bike Plan moves towards approval

October 21st, 2011

Dear Readers:

I owe you all a big apology for allowing my lazy nature to take over for the past 2 weeks and taking a long siesta from writing. I’ll try to make it up to you today with several posts.

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On Tuesday evening, Rich Maine of the Caffe Racers, Dave Burrell of the AV High Desert Cyclists, and I went to the Final Community Workshop for Lancaster’s Master Plan of Bikeways and Trails which was held at Lancaster City Hall.

The final draft of the plan has been completed. In the next few weeks, City Staff will upload all 600+ pages of the plan to the City of Lancaster website for citizen review.

Ryan Snyder

Ryan Snyder presents the Lancaster Master Plan of Bikeways and Trails.

Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates went over the highlights of the plan and presented a brief video that displayed the vision Lancaster’s leadership has for biking, running, walking, and equestrian activities within the city.

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