Eastside and Long Beach Celebrate Biking Tomorrow

6_26_09_roca.jpgL.B. Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy shows off colored shared lane and Sharrow on Second Street.  Photo: Russ Roca Photography/Flickr

This upcoming weekend is a big one for bike culture in Los Angeles County.  While our famed DIY culture is already kicking into high gear today, a Friday that features the LACBC's Car-Free Fridays and two Critical Masses; this time the highlights are from a pair of official events.  Tomorrow morning, the City of Long Beach unveils green-colored shared lanes marked with a Sharrow on Second Street.  Across the county, the Eastside Bicycle Club celebrates their one-year anniversary with a ride and party sponsored by the Los Angeles Parks Department.

As you can see, the paint is already on the ground in Long Beach, and writer/photographer Russ Roca  provides a little preview.  Roca, an experienced and knowledgeable rider, is celebrating the new paint for several reasons.  Between the green lane and the Sharrow, it's going to be impossible to not get the message that bikes have the right to full use of travel lanes.  A point especially important to Roca, who recently received a bogus ticket for not riding in the gutter from an uninformed member of the L.B.P.D.

Of course, as with any improvement there are detractors.  While Roca was trying to interview Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy, a malcontent interrupts the interview to give Gandy a piece of his mind.  Roca and Gandy take the interruption in stride, but watching it I can't help but feel the interrupter is a perfect example of the entitled, arrogant drivers that make these kinds of amenities necessary.  He's rude, possesses no self-awareness, doesn't care that other people were in the middle of something and is mis-informed.  You can see the full video of the "interview" at the link above.

But let's focus on the positive.  Congratulations, Long Beach.  We hope your efforts are multiplied throughout the county.

6_26_09_eastside_bike_club.jpg

Meanwhile on Eastside., the Los Angeles Eastside Bike Club is celebrating their first anniversary in style.  At 3:00 P.M. tomorrow, the club will meet at Lincoln Park for a 4:30 ride through the communities of Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights and El Sereno.  The ride will conclude back at Lincoln Park where riders will picnic.  The Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation will provide bands and DJ’s playing music.

After dinner, there's going to be movies and fireworks.  That's quite a birthday party!  Congratulations to the Eastside Bike Club and thanks to the Los Angeles Parks Department for pitching in.

Sadly, tomorrow I'm going to be running electronics recycling day for my church and probably won't be able to make either event.  If you make it out to the Eastside tomorrow and want to write about it or take some pictures, drop me a line at damien@streetsblog.org.