Monday, February 27, 2006

Canine Power!

Sometimes on two wheels, sometimes on four, wheels help them achive more mobility.

Trixxy was spotted (picture on the right), apparently enjoying the experience of visiting WorldFest(Los Angeles, 2005)

If dog's could smile, I think Trixxy is smilling. And I am sure she appreciates the curb cuts, a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), at sidewalk intersections, just like many skaters, cyclists, and other peds do.

Dog powered vehicles. These are a kind of manual wheelchair for dogs that for some reason loose ability to walk with their hind legs. There are variations that let animals get around on wheeled prosthetics with as little as one paw power.

And for for your interest there are some dogs that climb trees, learned how to walk on thier hind legs, skateboard, and even ride bicycles. These are amazing creatures.

"Faith" The Biped Dog! was born with some deformities in her front two paws. And as a puppy she, it is reported that out of necesity, she learned how to walk on her rear two legs.

At the links you will find videos of these amazing living animals in action.

Perhaps the next step is help get our four legged friends access to the public bus system so they can travel with us so we don't have to drive a car.

Bicycle Workshop

Dave Snyder, one of the pioneers of the San Francisco Critical Mass movement was the guest speaker at the Santa Monica Bicycle Workshop(Feb. 2005) You can download the audio file (35mb MP3 file). The audio clip is 45 minutes.


Note about recording quality:
first couple minute the recording is fair to poor, then the quality is much better throughout the end.

Also, check out the Santa Monica Bicycle Workshop web page on the City of Santa Monica's website.

If you want to hear Dave talk some more, listen to his interview on bikescape podcast. In that interview he talks about the history of bicycle advocacy and the birth of the world wide Critical Mass movement in San Francisco from the early 90's through 2005.

He also was interviewed for an article in the San Francisco Chronicle(1997).

You can also catch him on some video interviews on the "We Are Traffic", a documentary film about the history of Critical Mass in San Francisco. You can also download it or watch it online at Google Video.

Related Links:
- Santa Monica Critical Mass video(May 2006)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa Monica/West L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Sunday, February 26, 2006

SUV City

"SUV City, The Friendliest Place to Drive your Big SUV" is the slogan for a fairly new mockumentary film released in 2005.

"SUV City was inspired by sitting at Peet's Coffee in Santa Monica every morning and watching the parade of mammoth SUVs rolling by on their way to work or day care. I thought how totally ridiculous they look and had to find a way to mock them." says Michael Kelley, SUV City writer/director/producer. Kelley is also an avid cyclist.

I would like to point out that this film also illustrates the inequity played out on joggers, pedestrians who use the roads and sidewalks in SUV City (Santa Monica).

Its a hilarious film. And cyclists, skaters, and other peds will probably get a little giggle at the way this film ends.

You can watch it online or read more info
about it at the official SUV City website

Also, if you want a T-shirt with the SUV City logo or pictures, I found some available at
Cafe Express. They also apparently put the design on coffee mugs, calendars, baseball hats, and other misc items too.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dinosaur Spotting...

Nascar promotion exhibit spotted at 3rd Street Promenade last Wednesday. They were there during the time of the Farmers Market.

Ironically, they have the but end of the car adjacent to the but end of one of the dinosaur bushes at the Promenade.

Is it perhaps a symbol of two beasts that became extinct?

In the early days of Santa Monica's citihood, it was popular to race cars. See the book to the right, "Real Road Racing: Santa Monica Road Races".

You will see some shots taken between 1910-20, along roads like "Ocean Ave", "San Vicente", and "Wilshire". It was an 8.4 mile course.

You would think that some folks think they are still racing on those roads, even with the heavy traffic we see on those roads today.

Perhaps the Nascar display is a kind of an unintentional last hurrah and tribute to the next addition to the extinct in Santa Monica.


Friday, February 24, 2006

L A Critical Mass

The LA Bike Tour is probably the biggest Critical Mass of cyclists in the United States. It's happening in Los Angeles. It is officially known as the "Acura L.A. Bike Tour". The next one is on Sunday March 19, 2006. It is a 22.6 mile bicycle ride(thank you Stephen and an anonymous reader for milage correction) in the early morning, on the same day as the Los Angeles Marathon. Several Thousand cyclists ride. Most are registered, and some not. In previous years some folks have resented that the LA Bike tour was sponsored by a car company. So some refused to pay a registration fee as a form of boycott. And some didn't register because they could not afford the high registration cost.

The roads are blocked off to motor vehicle traffic. It is a day where cyclists have priority, quietest, and cleanest air on these streets. It is one of the best opportunities to see the buildings and other things while riding your bicycle down these roads. There are some Photos taken from the 2005 ride.

Think about it, 22 miles of riding a bicycle in Los Angeles without being bullied by car, trucks, and vans that want you our of their way or who use the road as their personal speed test track. Intersections blocked off to motor vehicle traffic.

It is virtually a care free, car free, day to enjoy the air, the pleasure of enjoy the city scape, sharing time with others on two wheels, on your bicycle.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Siesta time

Sometimes a bicycle is just a bicycle. Sometimes it is a vehicle to get you from point A to point B. And sometimes its a place to take an afternoon nap.

(picture taken an in West L.A.)