For Bill Rosendahl, It Was Just Like Riding a Bicycle
(Video by Rob Adams. The whole project was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the David Bohnett Foundation.)
I have to admit, when City Council Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl’s office first approached us about the Councilman taking a bike safety class, my first thought was “this will be hilarious.” Despite being a strong supporter of cyclists rights at the City Council, Rosendahl would often declare that he hadn’t ridden a bike in over 30 years. I pictured wobbling, and a lot of it
Well guess what? His muscle memory is pretty strong. The sixty-six year old Councilman hopped on my spare bike (yes, that’s my beach cruiser with the squeaky frog) and after about 30 seconds completely found his balance. After an hour and a half of safe cycling instruction from Don Ward and Meghan Kavanagh, we took a ride from a Westside Church to the Councilman’s house on a mix of local roads, Barrington Avenue and Venice Boulevard.
As you can see, the Councilman even got to experience getting buzzed and shouted at by an irate van driver. Welcome to the streets! However, Rosendahl had a great time, shouting out to constituents as he pedaled through the Westside that “I’m learning to ride a bike!” As we rounded the last corner on our route, I even heard two of my neighbors talking on the porch and one of them saying, “I didn’t know he could ride a bike…”
The good vibes from the Councilman’s ride must be spreading. One week later, fellow Transportation Committee member Councilman Paul Koretz went on a ride for the first time in fifteen years during Carmageddon.
For the record, the cameo by Los Angeles’ Mayor Villaraigosa, who was injured in a bike crash nearly one year ago, wasn’t planned by either his office or us. The Mayor was visiting a mutual friend who’s staying with the Councilman.