The year 2011 has been an eventful one for those who ride bikes in LA County! We’ve been to more press conferences and seen more giant scissors for ribbon-cutting ceremonies than ever before. Additionally, there is so much momentum with our regional groups that we can’t quite keep up with all the news.
Here are a few highlights from 2011 that we’re thankful for:
- January: Sunday Funday rides kick off with the Valley Pride Ride. (link)
- January: The Bike Wrangler begins wrangling up bikes. (link)
- February: The City of LA’s first bike corral appears in Highland Park in front of Cafe de Leche. (link)
- March: The City of LA’s Bike Plan is approved and signed into action by Mayor Villaraigosa. (link)
- March: LACBC receives the “Best Practices” Award from the Alliance for Biking & Walking for the City of Lights Program. (link)
- April: The second CicLAvia is a huge success. (link)
- April: Glendale’s Safe & Healthy Streets Plan passes. (link)
- April: Metro’s bikes-on-rail restrictions are lifted. (link)
- May: Everyone celebrates bike month around the County. (link)
- May: The Culver City Bicycle Coalition helps conduct another successful bike count.
- May: LACBC releases our first tri-lingual video for the 7th Street bike lane campaign. (link)
- June: LACBC’s 11 Annual LA River Ride attracts over 2,000 participants, and Grand Marshal Austin Nichols, LA Mayor Villaraigosa, and Glendale Mayor lead us all out riding. (link)
- June: LACBC holds a Korean-language press conference for the 7th Street bike lanes. (link)
- July: Carmageddon comes. The world does not end. The Wolfpack Hustle convincingly beats a JetBlue plane from Burbank to Long Beach. (link, link)
- July: LA passes the Cyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance, the first of its kind in the country. (link)
- July: LACBC regional groups debut with the Antelope Valley Bicycle Coalition, Better Bike Beverly Hills, Culver City Bicycle Coalition, Montebello Bicycle Coalition, Santa Monica Spoke, South Bay Bicycle Coalition, West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition. (link)
- August: The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition becomes the 8th local chapter to join LACBC’s regional partnership. (link)
- September: The 7th Street bike lane, which cuts through Koreatown and MacArthur Park, and touches on Downtown LA, breaks ground. (link)
- September: LACBC, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, conducts the City of LA’s 2nd-ever bike and pedestrian count. (link)
- September: ThinkBike workshop invites Dutch planners to re-envision LA’s streets. (link)
- October: Tour de Fat and CicLAvia headline LA’s bikiest weekend ever. (link)
- October: LACBC hosts the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Winning Campaigns Training, bringing together our regional groups to make LA County truly more bike friendly. (link)
- October: The 2nd Annual City of Lights Dinner raises funds and honors Mayor Villaraigosa, Laura Torres, and Hector Tobar. (link)
- November: Spring Street green bike lanes in Downtown LA and 1st Street bike lanes in Boyle Heights open. (link)
- November: The South Bay and Santa Monica pass their bike plans on the same night! (link, link)
- December: Bike Count results reveal–not suprisingly–that cycling is on the rise in Los Angeles. (link)
Thank you to our members, donors, supporters, and partners for making this all possible! We plan on carrying this momentum into 2012 to truly make LA County better and more bike-able.
Tags: Spring & Main, Spring Street
Today we celebrated the opening of the buffered green bike lane on Spring Street and the green lane on 1st Street in Boyle Heights with Councilmembers Perry & Huizar at a press conference held at the corner of Spring and 2nd on grounds of the LAPD Headquarters. This 1.5-mile buffered green lane stretches from Cesar E. Chavez to 9th St. on Spring St. and is Downtown LA’s first bike lane. A crowd of about eighty people including many bicyclists, downtown residents, and workers gathered to hear city councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar, Tim Fremaux of LADOT, Valerie Watson of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council (DLANC), and our own Jen Klausner.
Councilmember Perry spoke about how the new bike lane fits into Downtown’s role as a transportation and jobs hub as well as its increasing residential population. She also emphasized that the green paint used on the lane was specially treated to provide traction in all weather. Councilmember Huizar praised LACBC’s role in pushing for this and other bike infrastructure improvements and spoke about the work being done in his district including the green pavement treatments with the 1st Street bike lane, the city’s first bike corral, and other improvements he hopes to see implemented.
Valerie Watson of the DLANC said that the bike lane had support from downtown businesses-owners many of whom display badges showing their support. She also backed the implementation of additional bike lanes on 2nd, 7th, 11th, Main, Figueroa, and Flower by next year and looked forward to the Parklets that the DLANC is working to implement on Spring Street in 2012.
LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner, sporting a shock of purple hair, joked, “I appreciate many of your suggestions that I dye my hair lime green to match the color of the lane.” On a more serious note, she expressed hope that the lane would lead to more politeness between all users of the road saying, “Courteous riding, polite driving, I dig it.”
Many of the speakers also noted how the Spring St. lane had been inspired by the ThinkBike LA workshop back in September. Dutch bicycle planning experts visited LA to make recommendations on how to improve LA for cyclists. We are really pleased that LADOT worked so quickly to take an innovative approach on Spring based on the efforts of the ThinkBike LA workshop. While LADOT was able to implement this project quickly, the rain over the weekend definitely didn’t help, so they’ll be back out on Spring Street in the coming days to touch up the green paint.
After the speeches, the lane was inaugurated with a green ribbon-cutting and a ride down Spring St. from 2nd to 9th St. led by Councilmembers Perry and Huizar and the many bicyclists in attendance. If you haven’t already ridden the bike lane, we encourage you to do so–the lane passes right by Olvera Street, LA City Hall, LACBC headquarters, and a bevy of other great eateries and shops!
Many thanks to councilmembers Perry and Huizar, Mayor Villaraigosa, the DLANC, and LADOT for making this all possible! And thanks to everyone who came out to the press conference today, the volunteers who did outreach leading up to the bike lane’s implementation, and the Downtown businesses and residents who supported turning Spring Street into a neighborhood street!
Tags: city of lights, fundraisers, Mayor Villaraigosa
Last night, over 100 people gathered at La Fonda Supper Club for the 2nd Annual City of Lights Dinner and Benefit Concert! Together, we celebrated the nationally recognized City of Lights program that works to outreach to low-income, mostly Latino people who ride bikes.
Emceed by actress Miriam Isa, we celebrated the work of the City of Lights program, the people making CoL possible, and those working to improve the lives of the local Latino community. Lisa Waring of event sponsor GEK Law addressed the crowd. Last year’s City of Lights dinner honoree Councilmember Ed Reyes, welcomed the audience in the pre-taped video and lauded the City of Lights program for their work advocating for the 7th Street Bike Lane. We then honored Laura Torres, a native of Boyle Heights, with the Streetlight Award for her on-the-street efforts organizing DREAM Riders’ rides. Next up, we honored East Hollywood native Hector Tobar, a writer and columnist for the LA Times with the Shining Light Award for shining a light on the struggles of Latino immigrants. Mr. Tobar also provided a signed copy of his new book The Barbarian Nurseries for the live auction. Other live auction items included artwork, bikes from REI and Tern Bicycles, and a one-of-a-kind pine cone chandelier.
We heard from day laborer and one of the stars of our 7th Street Bike Lane video Jose on his experiences with the City of Lights program. Mayor Villaraigosa then addressed the crowd by video as he accepted the Leading Light award for being a leader in local bike advocacy. The LACBC staff and City of Lights volunteers then presented CoL co-founder and former LACBC employee Allison Mannos with a wheel with a built-in generator hub and light to for the work she’s done at LACBC and with CoL.
We ended the night by picking up goodies from the silent auction, mingling, and dancing the night away to the music of the mariachi group Trio Ellas.
Special thanks to our sponsors: BioLogic and Tern Bicycles; GEK Law; Kim and Lester Mannos; Lourdes Lopez, Locke and Lord Law Firm; Councilmember Ed P. Reyes; El Maestro Bicycle Shop; Cinco Puntos; Abel Valenzuela; Jay Slater; Clemente Gomez; and Hector Rodriguez.
Thank you also to our in-kind donors who made both the live and silent auctions possible: Mia Nakano, Steve Boyd, Aaron Kuehn, Harpal Sodhi, Lalo Alcaraz, Kristen Erickson, Gustavo Muniz, Ken Haber, Tim Smith, Rome Gee, Center Theatre Group, Laemmle Theatres, Orange 20 Bicycles, Ernesto Vasquez, Scoops Ice Cream Shop, Lourdes Lopez, Kelly Martin, the Bicycle Kitchen, Steve Mattson, Allen Bleyle, Brenda Yancor, Silver Lake Wine, REI, Michelle Quinones-Chino, the Ortheum Theatre, Big 5 Sport Goods, the BiciDignarios, Louise Marler, Kelly Cruz, Eric Almanza, Colin Bogart, Raquel Trinidad, and Margie Mannos.
Thank you to all who attended; the volunteers and City of Lights committee who put this together; the honorees; our emcee Miriam Isa; La Fonda Supper club; WYTe Studios photography; and all of City of Lights’ supporters. We’ll see you next year!
Tags: Alliance for Biking & Walking, Campaigns, regional groups
This past weekend, 28 bike and pedestrian advocates gathered at the LACBC headquarters for the Alliance for Biking & Walking Winning Campaigns training. Each year, the Alliance holds three to four trainings across the country, and this year the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was lucky enough to host one of them!
Led by Brighid O’Keane of the Alliance and one of LACBC’s co-founders Ron Milam, now of Ron Milam Consulting, this 3-day training gave us the tools we need to propel our bike and pedestrian campaigns to victory! We covered everything from defining our problems to setting campaign goals to assessing and managing our resources. The training also including a biking tour of Los Angeles where we got to see the 7th Street Bike Lanes, the new sharrows on New Hampshire and 4th Street, the Bicycle Kitchen and the Bicycle District, and the Sunset Blvd. bike lanes. Our walking tour included visiting the Occupy LA folks at LA City Hall and stocking up on Dia de Los Muertos goodies at Olvera Street.
While a few LACBC staffers had participated in other previous Winning Campaigns trainings before (Fun Fact: Our Sharrows and 7th Street Bike Lane campaigns both got started at different Winning Campaigns trainings!), what made this training particularly special was the presence and enthusiasm of our local regional groups. While the LACBC staffers mapped out two campaigns to build off of ThinkBike’s momentum of bringing protected bike lanes to Spring St. and Main St. in downtown LA and Jefferson Ave. near USC, our regional groups came up with other inspirational campaigns. Future campaigns include a regional bike plan from the West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition; the Michigan Ave. Greenway from Santa Monica Spoke; Olympic Blvd. bike lanes from the Montebello Bicycle Coalition; an anti-harassment ordinance for the city of Lancaster from the High Desert Cyclists/Antelope Valley Bicycle Coalition; bike lanes and a road configuration from the newly formed West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition; and road enhancements (including bike lanes) along Verudgo Rd. from a group of bike and ped advocates from Glendale.
Other campaigns around the region include campaigning for a “safe routes to transit” program from Los Angeles Walks; a walk local, shop local from Walk Beverly Hills; and a bicycle education program for teenagers, especially girls, from Chicks on Bikes Radio. We additionally had participants come from Ontario Wheelhouse from Ontario, CA; Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance from Boise, Idaho; Bicitekas, plus another advocate, from Mexico City; the California Bicycle Coalition from State of California via Sacramento.
Thank you to Brighid and Ron, for leading us to our future victories. Thank you to the Alliance for organizing this great training, as well as always providing resources for bike and ped groups across North America. Thanks to the Winning Campaigns training sponsors: Planet Bike, Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Bikes Belong, SRAM, Alta Planning & Design, Team Estrogen, Sun Revolutions for the Planet, Hawley, AARP, Specialized, Breezer, and CLIF Bar. Thanks also to Kaiser Permanente, for providing scholarships for many of our participants to attend for free.
Thanks to all the participants for making this possible!
With 88 cities and jurisdictions across this vast County, it’s so encouraging to see local leaders taking the initiative to make their communities more vibrant and safer. To carry out these campaigns, LACBC and these regional groups will need your involvement and support. When you sign up for LACBC membership, you can support your local regional group by signing up for membership with them as well. A percentage of your membership dues go back to your local chapter. Learn more about our regional groups here and how to start your own chapter here. Together, we’re truly working to build a better, more bike-able LA County!
See more photos on the LACBC Facebook Page!
Tags: CicLAvia, fundraisers, Tour de Fat
Everybody bikes in LA! If you weren’t from around here and visited Los Angeles this weekend from out-of-town, you would have thought that LA was the bikiest city ever! With Saturday’s Tour de Fat reeling in the eccentric and costumed bicyclists and Sunday’s CicLAvia attracting everyone you know including your mom and Bobby Gadda’s mom, this weekend was pretty great.
Thank you, Los Angeles, for reminding us of how great our region is this past weekend. Since the first CicLAvia launched over one year ago, we’ve noticed how common it is to use CicLAvia images for all bike-related materials. The LA Bike Plan, various Los Angeles bike articles, and even our LACBC membership brochure. We know that these photos of bike-topia don’t necessarily represent what LA looks like on a daily basis, but we’re always giddy that these images depict a real movement taking place and know that this is what we can strive for on a daily basis.
It is estimated that 130,000 people attended this CicLAvia, and roughly 1,500 came out to Tour de Fat (it was fun seeing many of you on BOTH days). We hope events like CicLAvia and Tour de Fat continue to keep inspiring new people to explore Los Angeles by biking and walking daily. Too often we talk to people who don’t ride a bike regularly, but given the knowledge and tools to ride well, the facilities and policies to make our rides safer, and the inspiration (perhaps at events like CicLAvia and Tour de Fat), they’d be willing to give it a try.
We’d like to thank everyone who made Tour de Fat, CicLAvia, and LA’s bikiest weekend possible!
At Tour de Fat, attendees helped raise $17,000 for LACBC, C.I.C.L.E., and the Bicycle Kitchen– three local organizations that are making biking safer and more enjoyable for both those who ride, and those who will ride in the future. Thank you, Tour de Fat festival go-ers! Thank you to the New Belgium Brewing Company for always supporting bicycling and just being so downright awesome. Thanks to all the volunteers, including LACBC’s Tour de Fat volunteers for registering our many parade participants, for providing ride support, and for valeting bikes.
Thanks to all who participated in CicLAvia. Thanks to the CicLAvia organizers and all the other sponsors and partners that have made this movement a success. Thanks to the army of volunteers that made CicLAvia, fun, safe, and possible. Special thanks to our LACBC bike valet volunteers at El Pueblo and Little Tokyo. Thanks to all who have donated to CicLAvia to keep the event free (if you want to keep the movement going, please consider donating here.) Mark your calendars now: The next CicLAvia is April 15th, 2012!
Don’t think that just because this weekend is over, that the bikey fun stops too. We encourage you all to ride your bikes, dress up in costume, meet up with your favorite people, and celebrate and explore Los Angeles all the time!
Thank you to all those who came out to last week’s Think Bike workshop. Along with invaluable contributions from Dutch planners and engineers–Hillie Talens (CROW), Tonny Bosch (GoudappelCoffeng), Cor van der Klaauw (province of Groningen), and Richard ter Aves (GoudappelCoffeng)–your hard work and participation helped make the program a great success!
The three workshop teams, looking at Downtown, Pacoima, and the USC area (click on the links to see what each of the teams came up with!), drew up a range of possibilities from the visionary to the shovel-ready. Friday’s presentations drew over a hundred committed advocates, planners, and engineers who enthusiastically received our Dutch guests, the teams they assisted, and the blueprints they helped craft.
Employing their newly-acquired slang, our Dutch guests emphasized Los Angeles’ potential to be an “awesome” city for bicycling. Our wide boulevards could easily accommodate generous separated cycle paths. Our climate spares us the hassle of brushing snow and chiseling ice off our saddles. Our streets have staggering excess capacity on weekends, offering the chance to convert barren Downtown streets to lively open-street Sunday plazas. And make no mistake, our community–judging by spectacular turnouts at CicLAvia–is begging for quality bicycling opportunities.
Addressing the concerns of skeptical participants, they assured us that a dedicated community and political will can remedy the area’s history of car-focused planning. After World War II, the Netherlands followed a similar development path as Los Angeles as it rapidly suburbanized and became increasingly dependent on foreign oil. The oil crisis of the 1970s prompted a re-thinking of Dutch transportation policy, and the nation committed to ambitious and forward-thinking policies to improve bicycle infrastructure and public transit.
Thirty years later, 27% of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle–more than half of which are made by women. And bicycle trips aren’t limited to short trips to the market on the next block, accounting for 15% of all trips between 4.5 and 10 miles! This figure should serve as inspiration to skeptical Angelenos concerned that our city’s sprawl makes bicycle transportation unfeasible.
How did the Dutch accomplish this? Credit largely goes to the planners and engineers who sought to provide infrastructure which invited people to get out on their bikes and ride.
Under Dutch law, when a motorist and a pedestrian or a bicyclist are involved in an accident, the motorist is responsible unless she can show that the other party caused the collision. This law embodies the common-sense notion that maneuvering tons of steel on streets shared with other community members demands vigilance and caution.
Crucially, the Dutch aim to make bicycling safe, enjoyable and expedient. Wide bicycle paths encourage couples and friends to ride side-by-side and enjoy each other’s company. Many paths are physically separated from motor vehicle traffic, creating a sense of security which invites a broad demographic including children, women, and older community members. The continuity and connectivity of the Dutch facilities makes bicycle transportation as fast as driving a car.
For years, we’ve admired Dutch-style bicycle infrastructure. ThinkBike afforded us the opportunity to work directly with the world’s leading bicycle planners and engineers. After this event, we have a host of expertly crafted and ambitious visions for Downtown, Pacoima, and USC. Now let’s get to work making these visions a reality!
This Thursday & Friday, we’re excited to welcome a team of Dutch transportation experts to Los Angeles. Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Mayor’s office, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and LACBC, ThinkBike brings Dutch transportation experts to work with local stakeholders, planners & engineers to plan and discuss how large cities can become more bike-friendly.
This innovative two-day event will pair Dutch transportation experts with staff from LADOT, LA City Planning, 3 council offices, the CRA, members of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, USC, the Central City Association, Trust for South LA, Pacoima Beautiful, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, LACBC staff, along with a few students from SciArc to re-design & re-imagine three different neighborhoods & streets in the City of Los Angeles. The three teams will focus respectively on Spring & Main Streets in Downtown Los Angeles, Jefferson & Vermont by USC, and Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima.
After the opening session on Thursday, each of the teams will visit their project areas and bike the streets to understand the issues and opportunities. The teams will then spend the bulk of Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday until the start of the closing session, creating a new vision for their streets. The groups will then present their designs back to the community during the Friday afternoon closing session.
In addition to helping us create a new vision for several of our Los Angeles streets the Dutch team will also provide their knowledge and expertise on bike safety, commuting by bike, biking to school, bike parking, bikes and public transport and law enforcement. We hope that through the opening & closing events and by bringing together this mix of stakeholders and decision makers on design teams, ThinkBike will provide the education and understanding to all involved on the why and how we can create a great bicycling city.
We are looking forward to learning from the Dutch team how the Netherlands has successfully implemented a comprehensive program to promote cycling and hearing from them on how they think Los Angeles can transform itself into a great city for bicycling. While Amsterdam and Los Angeles are two very different cities, there is much we can learn from the Dutch to better inform how our roadways are designed and how they can enhance our communities rather than dividing them.
As Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition pointed out on SF Streetsblog on Monday, “[In the Netherlands] it is understood that the challenges to making the city more bicycle- and people-friendly are predominantly political challenges – not physical ones – and progress requires sometimes-tough political choices. This means that local electeds set the policy and direct transportation officials within the bureaucracy to carry that policy out, even if it means occasionally upsetting some people who will not be able to drive or park as easily as they once did.”
With the passage of the LA Bike Plan, the LA City Council and the Mayor approved a new sustainable vision for Los Angeles’ transportation network. Our leadership acknowledged and supported the tremendous health, environmental, equity, and livability benefits of biking. Now we need their leadership on the implementation of the plan. We need our elected leaders to be champions for changing our streets and make the political decisions that will really create safer streets that encourage people of all ages and abilities to bike, walk, and take transit.
Join us for the opening & closing session. Even if you haven’t registered, you can still show up. We’ll be tweeting throughout the two days to share the process and ideas being generated by each of the three teams. After the closing session on Friday, we’ll head down to Angel City Brewing to continue the discussions started at ThinkBike over food and drinks. Free bike valet will be provided by LACBC at the opening & closing session as well as at Angel City Brewing. We look forward to seeing you at one or all of these events!
What: ThinkBike Opening Session
When: Thursday, Sept 22nd, 9am-10:30am
Where: John Ferraro Council Chamber - Room 340- Los Angeles City Hall- 200 North Spring Street
What: ThinkBike Closing Session
When: Friday, Sept. 23rd, 3:30 to 5:30pm
Where: Los Angeles Police Department- Deaton Hall Auditorium- 100 West 1st Street
What: Post ThinkBike Social Event
When: Friday, Sept 23rd, 6-9pm
Where: Angel City Brewing - 216 S Alameda St (Enter on Traction)
Tags: 7th Street
As we mentioned in our press release, LACBC held a press conference in Koreatown yesterday in tandem with Koreatown Immigrant Workers’ Alliance (KIWA) and Korean Resource Center (KRC) on the corner of Catalina and 7th.
Despite the gloom in the sky, there was a lot of excitement building up for the “first bike lane in Koreatown” as we set up for our press conference. Several members of the Korean media including Korea Daily, the Korea Times, LA18, and KBS came out to our press conference and learn more about the 7th Street Bike Lane.
The owner of Catalina Bike and Hardware on 3rd/Catalina came out to speak about the economical benefits of the bike lane and a youth cyclist came to share his love for bike riding and his hope for safer bike rides with the addition of the bike lane. All our speakers were engaging and spoke with vigor about the benefits of the upcoming bike lane for their neighborhood.
The turn-out was amazing, and we really appreciate all the members of the community and bicycle advocates that came to support us today, with a special thanks to Yongho Kim at KRC and Eileen and Jang Woo at KIWA. It seems that everyone is just as excited as us about the 7th Street Bike Lane campaign and, most importantly, we hope that the Korean speaking community will be more aware of the campaign as well.
Keep connected on our website to follow our progress with 7th Street! Thanks for all your support!
LACBC to Hold Press Conference for Korean Community on 7th Street Bike Lane — Thursday June 16th @ 2 pmJune 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 3 Comments
Tags: 7th Street
|*||Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
634 S Spring St #821
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 629-2142 | www.la-bike.org
LOS ANGELES, California – Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), in tandem with Koreatown Immigrant Workers’ Alliance (KIWA) and Korean Resource Center (KRC) will hold a press conference on June 16th to discuss the upcoming implementation of the 7th Street Bike Lane the first bike lane to be implemented from the greater City of Los Angeles Bike Plan.
“We are really excited about the 7th Street bike lane project. It’ll help us share the road with bicycle riders and make the streets and sidewalks safer for everybody in Koreatown—especially children and families who rely on bikes to get around. It will also encourage bike use to help our environment and make our neighborhood cleaner for the future,” said Jang Woo Nam, KIWA organizer.
“We think this bike lane, which LACBC has advocated for two years to bring to Koreatown, will meaningfully boost the many Korean owned businesses along the corridor,” said Jennifer Klausner, LACBC Executive Director.
To obtain more information, journalists may reach Allison Mannos at (213) 629-2142 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Journalists may also visit the project website at http://la-bike.org/projects/7th-street-bike-lane for more information.
# # #
7th Street Bike Lane Project Press Conference
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM
Place: Corner of Catalina and 7th Street in Los Angeles (Catalina Street, western sidewalk–on the side of the school
Tags: LA River Ride
Two Sundays ago, on June 5th, we saw over 2,000 riders of all ages and abilities roll out in perfect riding weather for the 11th Annual Los Angeles River Ride! We’re in our 11th year, and each year we are always amazed at how much time, energy, and dedication so many people give to make the River Ride what it is.
Top 3 photos: Allison Mannos/LACBC, Bottom photo: Kim West
Thank you to our River Ride Committee, a mix of staff and volunteers that began meeting in January and has spent countless hours planning this event. We had over 150 volunteers on the day of the ride checking you in at registration, leading and caboosing your rides, cutting and serving fruit, directing parking lot traffic, making sure you got your raffle ticket, entertaining and helping at pit stops, and more. We also had several volunteers before the ride loading supplies, running the popular REI pickup on Memorial Day weekend, answering the LACBC office phones for River Ride inquires, entering registration data into our system, marking the route with those colorful arrows and signs, and more! We still have volunteers inputting data and following-up in this post-River Ride haze. It takes a mini army of volunteers every year, and we are always so thankful that we get such enthusiastic, dependable, and giving people.
In addition to our volunteers, the River Ride could not have been possible without so many other people and groups. Thanks to County Supervisors Don Knabe, Zev Yaroslavsky, Michael Antonovich, Gloria Molina, and Mark Ridley Thomas. They, in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Paramount, Youth Educational Sports, and Moms in Motion, made our Kids’ Rides, Safety Rodeo, and other activities possible. As a result, all kids 12 and under were able to ride for free, and some lucky children received free bicycles!
Thank you to Specialized for your support and the bikes for the kids. Special thanks to REI for all the support we have received over the years, both financial, in-kind, and technical (these videos rocked); GEKlaw, our partners in safety and justice; the Laemmle Foundation and LLB&L who both support us in so many ways; Herbalife; New Belgium for the support and the yummy beverages that keep us going and help us celebrate; our longtime friends at Metro, Good Samaritan Hospital, CH2MHill and LA World Airports; and our new friends at Warner Brothers, 100.3 the Sound, and KOA Corporation.
Thank you to Sparkletts, Clifbar, Pitfire Pizza, and Cafecito Organico for the food and beverage donations. Thanks to DT Swiss, Helen’s Cycles, Cynergy Cycles, I Martin Bicycles, and Incycle of Pasadena for their donations and all the tech and moral support.
A special thank you to the Autry National Center for hosting this event, plus Eliya-USA and Awards Plus for helping us put all the pieces together.
And of course, thank you to Grand Marshal Austin Nichols; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman; Councilmember Tom LaBonge and his Deputy Isaac Burks; Councilmember Eric Garcetti and his deputies Mitch O’Farrell and Arsen Melikyan; Ed Reyes and his deputies Jill Sourial, Lupe Vela, and Sonia Jimenez; and the Cities of Maywood and Long Beach.
Lastly, thanks to all the riders for coming out as we could not have a River Ride without you! Your registration fees all benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and our work to make LA County a safer place to ride. Also, thanks to those who signed up for membership. The River Ride may happen once a year, but LACBC works year-round and if you haven’t joined us to become a member, please sign up and be part of the change.
As you can see, so many people come together to make this great event possible. Through this ride we are building a community that supports better biking in LA and a completed and newly revitalized Los Angeles River. We hope to see you all next year as we celebrate a dozen years of the LA River Ride!