Bikeside Speaks (Times Seven)

5_19_10_bikeside_speaks.jpgThe unmistakable style of Alex Thompson

Los Angeles has been home to many groups pushing for transportation reform, and one of the new groups that’s been making a big impact has been Bikeside.  The group has been a leader in highlighting some personal stories as well as data mapping crash history from LAPD maps.  They’ve also put their pedals where their mouths are and organied a ride to Beverly Hills City Hall to push their Council to reform the city’s policies towards hit and run crashes.

This Saturday at 5:00 P.M. Bikeside hosts a unique event at the Bikerowave, 12255 Venice Blvd., designed to educate and empower cyclists to get more involved in the decisions that make an impact on their rides. 

The program?  Seven of the top bike activists in the city each give seven minute presentations on seven different topics.  Each of the seven presentations are followed by a question and answer session that’s seven minutes.  I have to admit, I like the "seven" motif.

The roster for speakers includes:Jeremy Grant, Stephen Box, Mihai Peteu, Ron Durgin, Sara Bond, Enci Box, and Alex Thompson.  Topics range from Moving L.A. with the Greensters, Crowdsourcing & LA Bike Map, and "Every Street Is a People Street."  It promises to be a lively and engaging conversation…so lively that I might stay up past my bedtime to make it there myself.

So get in on all the fun this weekend at the Bikerowave.  The popular Crank Mob ride may (or may not) follow Bikeside Speaks.  As a result of the event, Bikerowave will be closing early for all but the most urgent of repairs.

There’s plenty of places to find out more about Bikeside Speaks! and the event is open to the public.  For more information, check out Bikeside’s website, TwitVite, or Facebook page.

  • really?

    “seven of the top advocates.”

    what is the criteria for ranking our fine city’s advocates? when people talk about movements like that, it makes me barf a little bit in my mouth.

  • Amy

    really?, really?

    When I hear people use that terrible, overused, trite and cliche phrase, “it makes me barf a little bit in my mouth,” it makes me want to shit all over their face.

  • Bill Rosendahl and Marcy Winograd will both be speaking. Yeah!

  • what is the criteria for ranking our fine city’s advocates? when people talk about movements like that, it makes me barf a little bit in my mouth.
    It’s subjective, clearly.

    I would say that this group has spent a lot of time and effort on different campaigns in their time and I would be happy to defend any of their record’s.

    Or, I could be flippant and say “any seven group of people that can get Marcy Winograd and Bill Rosendahl in the same room qualify.”

  • really?

    Soundz like you know how I feel. Thx!

    For journalism’s sake, please keep Streetsblog LA more objective and intelligent, instead of subjective and ass-kissing. The BWG has egos already overinflated beyond the recommended psi. Please don’t encourage them further.

  • Well, as you know “really?”, if that is your real name, engineers set recommended limits conservatively. You can safely inflate your tires, or your ego, beyond the recommended PSI. Remember, when you go over the PSI, the ride will be bumpier, but also generally faster. Kinda like bike activism!

    Get tougher!

  • The self proclaimed doucherati are at it again…smug bicycle activist doing nothing but stroking their ego’s and using their pulpit to divide cyclist….Bikeside circle jerk would be a more appropriate title.

  • *eyeroll*

    “Self proclaimed doucherati” means one has proclaimed themselves to be a doucherati, which no one has.

    “Their pulpit”? If people from Bikeside have a pulpit it’s because they worked hard at engaging people and built a readership base. No one gets readers for free on the internet, so you can act like the pulpit that Bikeside has is illegitimate.

    Troll better.

  • really?

    but you are “self-proclaimed” in so many ways.

    and you’ve basically admitted to inflated egos.

    and that you have a pulpit isn’t being challenged. the divisiveness is the problem. not to mention that the same 7 people are always telling each other how great they are. “circle jerk” is totally accurate. 7x7min circle jerk.

    Read&Write Better.

  • “but you are “self-proclaimed” in so many ways. “

    Not sure what you’re talking about with the divisiveness thing . . .

  • really?


    point blank. do you think the BWG is at times divisive?

  • “really??”

    Who mentioned the Bike Working Group?

  • really?

    BWG, bikeside…all the box-thompson productions.

    damien, what do you think? definitely positive, but at times divisive? all the streetsblog readers want to know what you really think.

  • really?,

    I try to stay out of these sorts of debates, because I don’t think the role of Streetsblog is to choose between activist groups and say, “these are the good reformers and these are the bad ones.” People have different styles and different views on these sorts of things. I just try to respect that.

    I would betray Streetsblog readers by picking a side in arguments between our advocacy groups instead of letting them make up their own mind. The same holds true with our transit groups…you’d be hard pressed to find an article where I go after one of our transit groups, even though they spend a lot of time fighting each other.

    If you want to have that fight, there’s lot of places to do it, Streetsblog included, but that’s not what I’m doing here. I don’t want to choose between the LACBC, and the Midnight Ridazz, and CICLE, and BikeSide, and the League of Cycling Voters and the Eco-Village crowd and…I don’t think most readers want me to either.

    People can make up their own minds on this sort of stuff.

  • Roadblock

    Everytime Alex disses another bike project it certainly kills my motivation to support Bikeside even though I think they are doing really good things.

    I talked about this with Jeremy on Saturday…. Honestly I was set to roll down to bikeside speaks.. but it’s hard to support someone that actively disses your own projects. I don’t know all the workings of LACBC and the fighting between the two groups but it sure did kill my enthusiasm for Bikeside Alex, when after our phone conversation you still decided to get on the MR site and diss the LACBC/LAPD/MR Bike Slogan contest.

    I don’t know who “Really?” is and I dont echo their insults but I do agree that divisivness will get the cycling movement no where just like the transit groups and civil rights groups who fight amongst each other.

  • You can heckle me to the end of days Roadblock. You can knock me around and scold me and tell me how bad I am.

    But you missed it.

    I wasn’t the center of attention at Bikeside Speaks – I didn’t even speak. I didn’t have anything to say that compared, I just couldn’t think of anything. So I introduced people. Then I stood to the side and admired their character.

    I introduced Steve and he talked about how far Bikerowave has come. The journey from being stuck under a tin roof down an alley and down another, to front and center on sunny Venice Blvd where the bikers pass like a river.

    I introduced Jeremy and he read to the crowd the best stump speech I’ve ever heard from a cyclist. Next slide, NEXT SLIDE.

    I stood to the side when there was a speed pizza eating contest and when Stephen worked the room like a stand up comic, passing out pins and books.

    I watched Sara interview Louis about his hit and run. He talked about how he was doing, and what it was like to be hit. And then Sara asked him if it made a difference that she ran, the woman who hit him, and would he feel different if she had stayed.

    I watched him struggle with that question, and think about it.

    I really wish you had been there for that moment. I wonder if you’ve thought about the same question?

    All I can say is, boy, you missed it. You missed a great gathering, a watershed.

    See you at the next one.


  • Roadblock

    Good. I’m honestly glad it was a success Alex. Any time something happens for cycling I celebrate. I hope you find it in yourself to celebrate the success of other groups as well. I hope you are there to celebrate our bike safety campaign and I hope you are there for the LACBC when they finally accomplish the seemingly impossible. Paint. On. The. Streets…

    And by all means. Had Glenn Gritzner stopped and taken care of me instead of leaving me for dead in the street that night I would have felt different. Aside from anger issues with every driver who zooms up behind me, I would probably be a lot less motivated to see unity in our bike movement, a lot less cynical of humanity in general.

  • Mihai Peteu

    I haven’t been truly offended since the last time I broke off a driver’s side view mirror. You, whoever the heck you may be, managed to strike a chord with your brazen comments. If you just wanted to be a “troll” and piss people off, congratulations. But I want to make something very clear – we don’t just pat each other on our backs, we get shit done.

    Have some backbone and call yourself by your real name. When I talk shit about other people, I use my name, and I stand by my comments.

  • really?

    you do get shit done: you alienate people in your “organizing,” and you manage to feel good about it. THAT is truly offensive.

    anonymity is what dissenters in the la bike scene are left with since the same dozen people in the Box-Thompson crew ignorantly groupstomps on anyone who doesn’t get 100% in line behind them. your reply is, “You’re Wrong. Get Tough.” that is some oppressive shit. there’s so much ego and posturing getting injected into the scene by this one small, albeit vocal, group. it’s totally suffocating. no one is going to support biking in LA if you guys make them all join your little club. people have already said this. but you refuse to listen. damien, adding subjective views that they’re the “top advocates” doesn’t help.

    i dare someone to tell me to toughen up again. i don’t need you people fighting for me. you don’t know what you’re doing, and you only make things worse.

  • really?

    First you say 7, then you say a dozen . . . which is it? Is it conceivable that you are wrong and that Bikeside is growing and flourishing? Bikeside Speaks did draw a big crowd and we consistently bring in new people.


    You’re ticked that I criticized your poster campaign with LAPD & LACBC as bad strategy for a dept which hasn’t made that much progress yet. Hate to say “I told you so”, but I did. Here’s a suggestion for a the LACBC & LAPD poster slogan – “LAPD & Cyclists, still kickin!”

  • Roadblock

    Yep the critical mass video shows that the department has a long way to go but that doesn’t mean connecting with LAPD is bad strategy. So there’s nothing to say “I told you so” for. The poster is coming out great. The same reasoning still holds true, joining together on a safety campaign is not bad strategy. You aren’t going
    to abandont the cyclist/lapd task force over the crtical mass video are you? There will be more incidents in the future but it shouldn’t halt progress on other fronts.

    Even you were believing that the LAPD is coming around as some of your past tweets implied:

    “LAPD is positioning itself as a leader in SoCal on cycling & enforcement. Still a long way to go but it could happen!”-@alexbct

    I like that slogan alternative you suggested though. That could be a t-shirt

    graphic of cop plus bike rider together with a tagline “kickin’ it” ahaha

  • Really?,

    If you feel that the advocates in our community are causing divisiveness, then it seems to me the solution is to step up and fill the gap with your own efforts. All of us can write from dawn to dusk on Streetsblog, etc., about what we don’t like, but it takes courage, persistence, and determination to face off with council members, committee members, LAPD, LADOT, and to keep doing it day after day, year after year, slowly watching change come about. These guys have invested huge chunks of their personal lives into making the streets safer for you and me. Even if we don’t like everything about them, perhaps, just perhaps, we could appreciate the intention. And if you’re that upset by what they do, then get off your ass and do something about it and fill the gap. The more voices there are supporting cycling and normalizing it, the better. (Okay, I stole the normalization idea from Roadblock–freely admitting it.)

    Also, I don’t know where you’re getting this “ego” thing from. I’ve had my own differences of opinion with both Alex and Roadblock (who appear to be disagreeing above), and I don’t feel like either have been overinflated. They both have actually proved to be excellent listeners. As has Stephen Box. Have you ever talked to them in person?


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