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?

Don’t miss the Bike Path Beach Bash Ride led by C.I.C.L.E. June 29

Photo from C.I.C.L.E. Official Facebook

Photo from C.I.C.L.E. Official Facebook

Grab your bike and head to the beach with Metro, C.I.C.L.E. and Walk ‘N Rollers on Saturday, June 29. The bike ride will traverse the Ballona Creek Bike Path, which is fully protected and perfect for those who may not be super confident about bicycling out and about yet. Meet fellow riders and get ready to explore!

The ride leaves from the La Cienega/Jefferson Expo Line Station at 11 a.m.

Here’s the press release from C.I.C.L.E. with all the details and some tips.

On Saturday, June 29th, 2013, through a sponsorship by Metro, C.I.C.L.E., with the Walk ‘n Rollers, will kick off the summer with a ride along the mural speckled Ballona Creek Bike Path to the sea! This path is a fully protected bicycle path making it an ideal opportunity to ride a longer distance without vehicle traffic whizzing by or the congestion of CicLAvia. The ride will make stops at Overland Ave. and Centinela Ave. to learn about the Creek and the watershed. These stops will also serve as alternative starting points for participants who would like a shorter ride, arriving at 11:20am and 11:45am respectively.  Participants will learn about points of interest to explore when we reach the shore and will be given one hour to spend at the beach for lunch, a picnic, or to take a dip in the water. We encourage cyclists to pack up their bike baskets with food, sunscreen, beach gear, and water.

As with all C.I.C.L.E. rides, this ride is family-friendly, leisurely paced and will return to the starting point. C.I.C.L.E. rides are fully supported, led by trained Ride Leaders and volunteers. This ride is approximately 14 miles with alternative starting points for shorter route options.

When: Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Time: Meet at 10:30 am, ride leaves promptly at 11:00 am
The ride will return to the starting point by 2pm
Alternative starting point at Overland Ave. at Ballona Creek Bike Path: 11:20 am
Alternative starting point at Centinela Ave. at Ballona Creek Bike Path: 11:45 am

Where: La Cienega/Jefferson Expo Line Station
Accessible by Metro Expo Line and Metro buses 38, 105 and 217. Plan your trip at metro.net.

What to bring: Bring water, snack and a bicycle in good working order. This ride is FREE and open to anyone, but all participants should be able to ride a bike safely with the ability to brake, change gears, and balance while stopping and starting. All participants under 18 MUST wear a helmet and be escorted by a parent or guardian. Children under age 8 should be on a tag-a-long, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device to participate in the ride.

About C.I.C.L.E.: Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.) is a nonprofit organization working to promote the bicycle as a viable, healthy, and sustainable transportation choice. 

About Metro Los Angeles: About Metro: Metro is the planner, operator and builder of LA County’s expanding public transportation system. The agency plays an important role in bicycle planning across LA County, funding more than $155.5 for bicycle projects since 1993, facilitating first mile/last mile connections to transit and supporting bicycle transportation through various policies and programs. Metro’s sponsorship of CICLE events helps fulfill the agency’s goals of encouraging bicycle trips and promoting safe cycling skills.

About Walk ‘n Rollers: Walk ‘n Rollers is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage children, through education and training, to bike, walk, skate and scoot to school more frequently. We work with schools to develop sustainable walk/bike to school programs, host Kids Bike Skills Workshops and Walk ‘n Roll Festivals and work with cities to implement Safe Routes to School education and encouragement programs. By teaching safe and responsible behavior, we aim to create healthier, more sustainable communities.

Caltrans, Amtrak announce new bike reservation policy

Here is the news release from Caltrans, which funds Amtrak service in California:

Caltrans, Amtrak Announce New Bike Reservation Policy to Improve Customer Service and Enhance Safety

SACRAMENTO – Amtrak California passengers traveling with bicycles can reserve onboard bike rack space free of charge beginning June 1, 2013 when booking travel on Pacific Surfliner trains.

“We heard our customers and we responded,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans eliminated the $5 bike reservation fee to make it as easy as possible to bring your bike along when riding the Pacific Surfliner trains.”

Previously, without a bike reservation system in place, when bike racks became full, passengers had no choice but to store bikes next to luggage storage areas or walkways.  At times, if bike traffic became too heavy, bike passengers would not be allowed to board at all.

“With bike reservations, planning travel is made easier by enabling bike-toting passengers to choose an alternate train should their first choice be fully booked.
It’s truly a win-win,” said Caltrans Division of Rail Chief Bill Bronte.

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Bike Week special announcement: Metro to partner with C.I.C.L.E to sponsor 20 community bicycle rides throughout Los Angeles County

Above: a photo gallery from Saturday night’s ride between Union Station and Dodger Stadium. About 80 cyclists participated. Photos by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Here’s the news release from Metro: 

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced a partnership with Cyclists Inciting Changes Through Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.) to sponsor 20 “Urban Expedition” community-based bicycle rides throughout L.A. County over the next two years.

The ambitious effort kicks off Bike Week L.A., May 13-19, and will continue through Bike Week 2015.  Destinations and routes for these group rides are being organized and are intended to introduce new and veteran bicyclists to some of L.A. County’s iconic destinations they might not visit on their own. Metro and C.I.C.L.E. conducted the inaugural ride Saturday, May 11 from L.A. Union Station to Dodger Stadium where bicyclists enjoyed secure bike parking, an exclusive tour and special discounts to see the Dodgers battle the Miami Marlins.

The rides focus on safe bicycling etiquette, rules of the road and basic maintenance. Before each ride, participants are given a “safety workshop” so they learn safe road bicycling along the route and practice proper methods of taking a bike on public transit.

“These rides are for all people from the first-timer to experienced rider,” C.I.C.L.E Executive Director Dan Dabek said. “Each ride is led by a trained guide who will not only point out places of interest, but will instruct riders how to negotiate live traffic lanes and bike paths.”

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Metro promotes bicycle activities and festivities during official “Bike Week LA” May 13 to 19

Here’s the news release from Metro:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is sponsoring “Bike Week LA” activities from May 13-19 to encourage Angelinos to ride bicycles to work, school and other destinations throughout LA County to reduce traffic and air pollution. Bring a bicycle or bicycle helmet on Metro buses and trains for a free ride on Bike to Work Day, May 16.

Metro will be offering a chance to win several prizes, such as a commuter cycling package from REI valued at $750, to those who pledge to bike to work on Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16. Pledges may be made online at www.metro.net/bikeweek. Schools, workplaces, and advocacy groups will hold bicycle pit stops that day with free refreshments, giveaways, and bicycling information for bicycle commuters.

Metro has plans to help increase the number of bicycle trips in L.A. County, and has invested close to $200 million in bike facilities and programs. Besides direct investment in bicycle projects, the expanding network of Metro buses and rail service enables more cyclists to extend their trips by combining bicycling with public transit.

All Metro buses are equipped with front bike racks. Bikes may also be taken on Metro trains. On Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16, Metro will offer free rides to bicyclists on Metro buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County. Culver CityBus, Glendale Beeline, LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit and Torrance Transit will also offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle or bicycle helmet. Metrolink will offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle.

Cyclists may bring their bicycles on Metro trains during all system hours.

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