Spotted on the Rivendell site. Sweet.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday from the gang at EcoVelo.
Have you ever received a bicycle as a Holiday gift? One of my fondest memories from childhood was receiving a Schwinn Sting Ray that my older brother and our friend refurbished with help from my Dad. They painted it purple sparkle and it was something to behold. The fact that my big brother built it for me made it even that much more special. I rode the purple beast all over the countryside surrounding our small town and it brought me endless joy. Now, as an adult, I appreciate more than ever the effort and sentiment that went into that special gift.
The LAPD recently started enforcing a little known municipal code that requires all bicycles to be licensed within the City of Los Angeles. The stated purpose of the bike-license program is to recover stolen bicycles and help locate lost children, but many local cyclists are outraged, saying the law is “ridiculous” and designed to discourage bicycle use in their “car-obsessed city.”
From the L.A. Weekly:
Until recently, Los Angeles Municipal Code 26.01 was little known. But then in August, the police department began to enforce its central tenet: All cyclists shall ride licensed bicycles; those who do not will be cited and fined. Upon learning of the LAPD’s accelerated enforcement, the city’s cyclists flooded bike blogs with outrage, saying that the code was “ridiculous,” designed “ultimately to prevent bikes in our car-obsessed city … for harassing cyclists.” Others posted plans for evasion: “Like, if I put down the name ‘Elmer Fudd, Address 666 Sexdevil Dr., Los Angeles, CA’ for my new Cervélo all-carbon road frame with Campy parts —will I face a stiff penalty or time in the pinta?”
Cyclists took their case to City Hall at a recent meeting of the city’s Transportation Committee, which met to discuss whether or not the bike-license program was accomplishing its intended goal: recovering stolen bicycles and lost children (supposedly, the home of a lost child could be traced through the bike license). Early on, however, it became clear that the committee was speaking to a constituency it did not fully understand.
In a recent Op-Ed piece in the Seattle Times, David Hiller, Advocacy Director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, refutes the widely held misconception that our roads are predominately funded by motorists, and that pedestrians and cyclists are “funding freeloaders”, enjoying the benefits of public roads without paying for them. As he explains in his article, nothing could be further from the truth.
WHILE James Vesely’s attempt to stir the pot may seem reasonable ["Impose a license fee on bicyclists," editorial column, Dec 7], it ignores much of what we know about who subsidizes whom on our roads, sidewalks and trails. It also casts people who travel by bicycle, or walk for that matter, as the “fringe” who don’t participate equally in our society and communities. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that less than 3 percent of the region’s total transportation funds are spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs, while 37 percent of the region’s population —the old, the young, the disabled, the poor and those who don’t own cars —cannot or does not drive. What’s more, 60 percent of Washingtonians want to walk and bike more than they currently do.