Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – riding fearlessly through Commerce

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a weekly Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week.

Vincent Baltierra, Sr., leaves his house at 5:15 every morning, pedaling his bicycle down Washington Boulevard alongside the hundreds of trucks hauling containers between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Union Pacific and BNSF rail yards. He clocks in before 6 a.m. at City of Commerce City Hall, where he works as a street maintenance helper. He’s biked to work this way for 10 years.

“Although Mr. Baltierra is 72 years old,” wrote Rebecca-Lee Longoria, City of Commerce employee transportation coordinator, “cold, rainy, [or] hot weather, not to mention dangerous traffic conditions, do not prevent him from riding his bicycle to work.”

Name: Vincent Baltierra, Sr.
Start: City of Commerce
End: City of Commerce
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 30 to 40 min

Mr. Baltierra and his bicycle at a City of Commerce rideshare event

Mr. Baltierra and his bicycle at a City of Commerce rideshare event. Photo courtesy of Rebecca-Lee Longoria.

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Metro offering free bicycle traffic skills classes this summer

Photo: MoBikeFed via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: MoBikeFed via Flickr Creative Commons

Riding your bike around town can be pretty daunting. Luckily, Metro is offering free bicycle traffic skills classes all over L.A. County through September. The next workshop is this Saturday, June 22 in Claremont. (This class is currently waiting list only, reserve your spot in an upcoming class by following registration instructions on Metro’s Bike Program page.)

The classes are open to anyone who wants to learn or fine tune skills for riding on the road. Registration is required and participants must be over 18 years old. Make sure to bring a bicycle that’s in good working condition, pen and paper, lunch and water.

Metro offers 3-hour courses in both English and Spanish as well as 8-hour courses. Each workshop is broken up into classroom instruction, a bicycle handling practice session and on-road riding. Class participants will receive a free helmet, front and rear lights, and safety manual.

You can’t make me ride in a bike lane.

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Bike Lane - Photo by Dan Gleiter

It seems like bike lanes are surfacing up overnight on just about every street in Los Angeles these days. I, like many cycling advocates in Los Angeles see this as a positive change for the city, one that benefits thousands within the community.

With the expansion of bike lanes throughout the city, I’m able to see more and more encouraged folks taking up their bikes to commute, and interest those who’ve never even thought of taking up cycling to commute. Bike lanes are GOOD.

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Metro Rail will run enhanced service for this Sunday’s CicLAvia

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Walk, bike or skate down six miles of Iconic Wilshire Boulevard this Sunday with CicLAvia! There are 5 Metro Purple Line stations along this summer’s route – 7th/Metro, Westlake/MacArthur Park, Wilshire/Vermont, Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire Western – so whether you’re heading out or heading home, Metro can help you get there.

Iconic Wilshire Boulevard will be car-free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bus lines detouring for the event include: 20, 60, 206, 210, 460, 487, 720 and Metro Silver Line. Detours will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or when barricades are present. For more details, please check the Service Advisories page.

Wolfpack Hustle is also holding a bike race around City Hall on the same day until approximately 9 p.m. that will impact bus service on Spring Street, Main Street, Temple and 1st Street. To avoid bus delays and detours, use Metro Rail to travel through and around impacted areas.

  • Red and Purple Line will each run every 10 minutes with 6-car trains. This means a combined service of every 5 minutes between Union Station and Wilshire/Vermont.
  • Gold Line will run every 7-8 minutes with mostly 3-car trains.
  • Blue and Expo Line will run every 12 minutes with 3-car trains.
  • Green Line will run every 15 minutes with 2-car trains.
  • Expect limited bike rack availability on the Orange Line. Use adjacent bike path where available.
  • Anticipated stations to be busiest include Union Station, 7th St/Metro, Wilshire/Vermont and Wilshire/Western. Consider using other nearby stations along the route to avoid potential wait times.
  • Use entire platform length when boarding for more seating and bike space availability.
  • Board with bikes using doors marked with yellow decals.
  • Always walk your bike within Metro stations or on board trains.
  • For everyone’s safety, do not bring bikes on escalators; use the stairs or elevators instead.
  •  Do not use emergency exit gates to enter or exit except during emergencies or unless directed by law enforcement or Metro personnel.

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Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – mayor of South Pasadena, biking to work since 1977

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a weekly Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!

Dr. Richard Schneider is an overachiever in many ways. He’s a pathologist at two hospitals — one in Hollywood, the other in Lynwood. He’s the mayor of South Pasadena. And he’s biked to work nearly every day since 1977.

Name: Dr. Richard Schneider
Start: South Pasadena
End: Hollywood and Lynwood
Distance: 10 miles (Hollywood), 17 miles (Lynwood)
Time: 35-55 minutes (Hollywood), 70-85 minutes (Lynwood)

Dr. Richard Schneider and his bicycle (plus high-visibility jacket, helmet, and lights)

Dr. Richard Schneider, mayor of South Pasadena, and his bicycle (plus high-visibility jacket, helmet, and lights)

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Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition — the “bikiest” guy in LA

It’s time again for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for stories about commuting via bicycling. We collected nominations all throughout Bike Week LA and will be publishing a Why You Ride series with one winner a week — to remind us that every week is Bike Week!

Our first winner this year is Justin Resnick — probably “the bikiest guy in LA,” according to his colleague Rick Gutierrez, who nominated Justin for a Golden Pedal Award. Justin studies bicycle and pedestrian planning as a UCLA urban planning graduate student, serves as the president of the UCLA Bicycle Coalition, and works for the LADOT Bike Program. He bikes from Santa Monica to UCLA almost every day and to downtown Los Angeles one to two times a week. (And according to Rick, Justin bikes everywhere else too, including “nights out on the town.”)

Name: Justin Resnick
Start: Santa Monica
End: UCLA or downtown Los Angeles
Distance: 5 miles to UCLA, 18 miles to downtown LA
Time: 25 minutes to UCLA, 75 minutes to downtown LA

Photo of Justin and bicycle

Justin and his bicycle tabling for the UCLA Bicycle Coalition. The front and rear racks on the bike make it easy to carry things on his commute.

Justin commutes on a single-speed road bike that he built himself. He makes the ride easier by using “business-like” bicycle accessories that allow him to shift quickly from his bike to the office. His panniers, for instance, look like standard briefcases and have shoulder straps for carrying, as well as flaps that roll down to hide the pannier hooks. His shoes look like regular office shoes, but have clips that attach to his bike pedals (for more efficient pedaling). He calls his outfit being a “cyclist in stealth mode.”

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New video shows that L.A. River Ride this Sunday looks like fun

Here’s a video teaser for the LA River Ride this Sunday, June 9, starting at 7 a.m. It could be a great day out. Start and finish are in Griffith Park near the Autry Center. Rides range from 100 miles to a little kids’ ride (no miles). Live music, food etc. But there’s a parking alert. Due to massive construction in Griffith Park, parking will be severaly limited. Metro Local Line 96 stops a short ride from the starting line. Why fight it when you can ride it?