Aging boomers: Forget the car, get on a bike



There are alternatives to driving that can work just about anywhere.


One of the problems we face as aging baby boomers is that most of us live in the kinds of places where we don’t have many transportation alternatives to driving. And while many people can drive safely well into old age, others cannot. Reaction times slow significantly. According to one study, “… it takes a 60-year-old driver 9 seconds to recover from undergoing a road glare, whereas this only takes 2 seconds for someone who is 30. Reaction times are also 22 times slower for someone who is 65, compared to a 30-year-old.”

For many, losing a driver’s license is a significant negative milestone. One expert told CBC News: “It’s been demonstrated and said many times, that receiving the news that you will be losing your driver’s license has the same weight as being diagnosed with cancer.”

The problem is, there are few alternatives. Even in cities where there are relatively good para-transit systems, it’s a seriously time-consuming endeavor, and cities are cutting back on eligibility because it costs so much money. When she was well into her 90s, my mom had to prove she was actually incapable of walking any distance to be eligible. But she could also get pushed in her wheelchair to a number of restaurants and stores since she lived in the city. People who live in suburbs have it far worse than she did; they can become trapped.

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This tiny camper trailer is pulled by a bike


It sleeps two nomadic cyclists inside


There is no shortage of camper trailers available for sale, from pricey aluminum one-bedrooms to pop-ups prepped to sleep a family of four. But what about if you want to go small? So small you don’t even need a car?

Denmark-based Wide Path Campers makes a tiny mobile house that can be pulled by a bicycle. Weighing about 88 pounds, the camper is built with a hard UV resistant lightweight shell, semi-insulating foam, and clear shatter-free polycarbonate windows. When in transport mode, the trailer features two wheels and is just under five feet long.

Now, 88 pounds is a fair amount of weight to pull—especially on hills or in windy conditions—but bikers in good shape would be able to do it. It’s not much different than pulling two kids in a bike trailer or on a cargo bike. Another option would be to pair the Bicycle Camper with an e-bike or something like the Copenhagen Wheel, both of which would significantly improve how fast and far you could go pulling the camper.

Once you arrive at camp, the back of the camper folds over the front to reveal a larger, nine-foot-long living space. Inside, the camper offers about four and a half feet of head space, enough to sit up comfortably. There’s a sitting area with a table that can squeeze four people and the dining area transforms into a two-person bed that measures about three feet by six and a half feet (that might be a bit small for couples who like their space).

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Deputies cite 45 motorists during bike, pedestrian operation


The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station gave out citations to 45 motorists for various Vehicle Code violations during its Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation Wednesday.

Deputies involved with the operation patrolled intersections in the Santa Clarita Valley that included:  Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country and McBean Parkway and Town Center Drive in Valencia, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Facebook.

The locations were selected based on mapped out locations where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes during the past three years, according to an earlier press release from the station.

Citations from Wednesday’s operation ranged from $160 to more than $450, depending on the violation.

Of the 45 citations, 28 were for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, seven were for cellphone violations, seven were for speed violations, two were for failing to stop for a red light and one was for a turn violation.

Another motorist was cited for using a suspended driver’s license.

Although the operation included enforcement on pedestrians and bicycles, no violations were issued for the two.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said it conducted the operation to reduce collision-causing factors and lower deaths and injuries.


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South African rides through Orange County to save rhinos

The most common comment Matt Meyer has heard during his 2,000-mile cycling odyssey from the Canadian border to Sacramento?

“Well, there’s something you don’t see every day.”

What? You’ve never seen a guy on a bicycle towing a life-sized replica of a female rhinoceros?



Well, if you were in Huntington Beach Sunday, or along Pacific Coast Highway in recent days, you may well have seen Meyer, a South African safari guide hauling along his companion, Lunar, the rhino.

Meyer is nearing completion of a two-month trek down the coast designed to raise funds and awareness for the animals, several species of which are critically endangered species in Africa and Asia.

Although rhinos have few enemies in the wild, they are a popular target of poachers and have been hunted to near-extinction. They are valued in several cultures for their emblematic horns, believed to have medicinal and aphrodisiac benefits.

South Africa is home to about 70 percent of the world’s 29,500 rhinos, according to National Geographic. But that population in the wild is in crisis. According to South African National Parks, the number of rhinos poached more than quadrupled between 2010 and 2015, from 333 to 1338.  And much of this happens in areas where rhinos are supposed to be protected. Rhinos are also imperiled in habitats in Borneo and Sumatra and a subspecies in Vietnam was declared extinct in 2011.

From a young age, Meyer, a professional Safari guide from South Africa, formed an affinity for the cumbersome rhino and wants to make sure other children can appreciate the animal in the wild.

“I don’t have children of my own,” he said. “But I have nieces and nephews and I couldn’t let them inherit a planet without rhinos.”

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LACBC is offering a Bike Communting Essential Workshop tonight



Bike to work day is coming up on Thursday May 18, 2017. Are you thinking of commuting to work for the first time? You probably have questions like:

Which route should I take?

What about transit?

What gear do I need?

What do I wear?

Where do I put my bike when I get to work?

Let LACBC and our friends at Just Ride LA answer your questions in this Bicycle Commuting Essentials workshop. With a little information, you’ll be prepared and feeling confident. We think you’ll enjoy commuting by bicycle and it could become a regular thing for you.

May 08, 2017 at 7pm – 8pm
Just Ride LA
1626 Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
United States

Prince tribute bicycle is a thing of beauty



“Anna Schwinn — yep, that Schwinn — reached out to me a while ago about doing a custom bike for her,” Noren explains. “Then, not long after, Prince died, and she asked if I would do a Prince tribute bike.”


Noren is no stranger to requests for one-of-a-kind customs, having created bikes in Minnesota since 1993. However, he admits that this request was somewhat intimidating at first.

“When I do a theme bike for someone, I do the research and really make sure to get it right,” he explains. “When you’re doing a bike, you have a limited canvas. So I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to make a bike that can represent Prince. How do you take his music, his spirit, and what he did, and put that into a bike?”

The first thing Noren did was really try and think about style.

“He was never gaudy,” he says. “He was always classic and classy.”

Using that as his guide, Noren began putting together the blueprint (purple-print?) for Schwinn’s Prince dream bike.

While he was able to construct the color scheme and theme himself, word got out about his latest project, and soon he was receiving messages from vendors and even associates of Prince himself, offering to donate items and materials to be incorporated into the pedal-powered memorial.

The final product was something that Noren felt was worthy of its namesake.

“Looks-wise, it’s the shit,” he says. “When someone agrees to spend $8 to $10K on a bike, it’s asking a fucking lot. That why I put so much of myself and my time into this. This isn’t a bike that’s going to get lost in a bike rack.”


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How far would you ride for Love? This Man Rode a Bike From India to Sweden



Inspired by a prophecy, PK Mahanandia traveled more than 4,000 miles.

Pradyumna Kumar “PK” Mahanandia was born an “untouchable” in a remote village in eastern India, in the region that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. As a member of one of India’s lowest castes, he had no hope of escaping poverty and discrimination. But a chance meeting with a wealthy Swedish woman—and the epic journey he made by bicycle across continents to be with her—changed his life and fulfilled a prophecy given to him at birth. [See portraits of refugee mothers on harrowing journeys.]

Kumar’s saga is recounted by Per J. Andersson in the book The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love, and there’s talk of turning it into a Hollywood movie starring Dev Patel. When National Geographic caught up with Mahanandia by phone at his home in Sweden, he revealed what it was like to travel the “hippie trail” in the 1970s, whether his trip would be possible now amidst the migrant and refugee crisis, and how the secret of a happy marriage is to park your ego outside the house. [Go inside a makeshift migrant camp in Belgrade, Serbia.]

When you were born, the village astrologer made a prophecy about you. Tell us what he said.

My passport says December 5, 1951, but I found out later that I was actually born two years after independence, in 1949. In India, it is common for the parents to call an astrologer when a newborn child comes to the planet. According to the prophecy, my wife and I were not going to have an arranged marriage like many people in India. My parents were also told that my wife would be from a faraway land and born under the zodiac sign of Taurus, that she would be the owner of a jungle or forest, and that she would be a musician, playing the flute. I believed strongly in the prophecy and now know that everything is planned on this planet.

I understand Rudyard Kipling lived near your village and your people’s myths inspired his classic, The Jungle Book. Tell us about your childhood. Did you grow up like Mowgli?

We pronounced it “Mongoli,” which means the dawn, but in English they say “Mowgli.” It’s a name you won’t find in Bombay or Delhi. But it is a common tribal name. My grandfather told me a man called Valentine Ballvisited my village in the 1880s and wrote a book, Jungle Life in India,which inspired Rudyard Kipling. The area I grew up was the first jungle administration under the British Raj. It’s in central Orissa and is called Angul now. My village is situated on the Mahanadi river. That’s where I was born, between the river and the mountains.

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The Styled Side: what to wear when you’re biking

From by Leo Duran


Did you just start biking using one of SoCal’s manymany bike share programs? Or maybe you bike already, but want to start pedaling more to the office or to happy hour with friends.

Whatever the reason, some clothes aren’t built specifically for that kind of wear-and-tear. I’ve had to say goodbye to several jeans because my leg movements tore a hole in the crotch, for example.

But the wheels of change have come.

“Companies are creating very focused gear for the biking commuter who doesn’t want to have to change into another outfit for the office,” says Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily. “Customers want comfortable, flexible clothes for ALL areas of their life.”

This isn’t spandex-style, though.

These are clothes that look normal to the naked eye, but they are engineered in ways to make them better for biking.

“Stretch is key!” says Tyree. “Plus, style is also important. People want tailored clothes so they can hop off the bike and walk into the office without having to change.”

And there’s a growing market of consumers in need of these clothes, too, with the rate of bike commuters in large cities climbing 105 percent from 2000 to 2013.

So we wanted to put some of them to the test on a bike and in everyday life, and I recruited frequent and infrequent bicyclists of KPCC to take a ride.

How we judged the clothes

There are four things that we looked at for these reviews.

First, is the item designed for mobility as you move?

Plus, it needs to be breathable and light for SoCal’s climate (which, as you know, continues to reach record high temperatures every year).

Third, the clothing should stay clean or at least wash easily.

Finally, how does they look? This is SoCal, after all, where looks can sometimes be everything.


Men’s chinos – Leo Duran

How I bike: I bike nearly every day to commute to work. Plus, I frequently cycle through my neighborhood of downtown L.A. to get groceries or meet up with friends for a drink.

The look I want: I prefer to wear slim-legged pants (shows off my butt!), which can be at odds with how biking pants should have ample room in the thighs for movement.


Why to get them: these pants have the most thoughtful design features.

Features: There is a reflective flap that pulls-out of the back pocket, as well as iridescent imprints on the inside legs that are revealed when the cuff is rolled up. The pockets are also very deep, and one even contains a “mini-pocket” specifically for a smartphone the size of an iPhone 6 Plus or smaller.


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Three things you should never cheap out on: A Bike in one of them

Being cheap means always paying the lowest price for everything. Being frugal means spending enough money to get your money’s worth. Don’t be cheap; be frugal.


2. A Bike

More and more cities are becoming bike-friendly. If you have good bike infrastructure in your city, commuting to work via bike or at least doing some of your errands on a bike can save you money. Plus, it’s good for your health and good for the environment.

According to a 2015 AAA study, it cost $8,698 a year for the average sedan owner. You can certainly get a bike for less than that but if you are going to be biking a lot, you want a quality two-wheeler that is comfortable and reliable. While you can certainly spend much more, you can get a good commuter bike for as little as $300 or $400 according to Any lower than that and you may have the same problems you encounter when you buy a cheap car: constant repairs. (If you can avoid paying to having your bike tuned up by becoming a “DIY” expert, you can save even more.)

If you’re able to give up your car, that’s a big savings, more than $8,000 a year. But even if you keep the car and use the bike more often, you can save on things like gas, parking and wear and tear on your car.

If you’re new to bike commuting, don’t buy your bike online or from a big box store. Go to a proper bike shop where the staff are knowledgeable and can help you not only pick the best bike for the circumstances of your commute but advise you on the accessories you need: a helmet, lights, and a lock to keep you and your bike safe.




Bicycles and the Law

Codes, Laws and Regulations for Bicyclists

This page is provided to help bicyclists understand how to ride safely and legally on public roads, parking, and on bikeways and law within the State of California and the City of Los Angeles. Please click on the links below to find the actual laws regarding bicycling.

  1. California Vehicle Code
  2. California Streets and Highway Code
  3. City of Los Angeles Municipal Code

For a quick review of the laws regarding Bicycling in California and the City, please see the California Vehicle Code and Los Angeles Municipal Code summary listed below.


California Vehicle Code (CVC) Bicycle Reference Summary

Bicyclist Rights (CVC 21200)
Bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers.

Alcohol and Drugs (CVC 21200.5)
It is against the law to ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Equipment (CVC 21201 and 21204)
Bicycles must be equipped with at least a brake which allows operators to execute to a wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. Handlebars must not be higher than the rider’s shoulders. Bicycles must be small enough for the rider to stop, support it with one foot on the ground, and restart safely. At night, bicycles must be equipped with a white headlight or white light attached to the rider and visible from the front. Bicycles must also have a rear red reflector and white or yellow pedal reflectors. There must be a white or yellow reflector on the front of the bicycle visible from the side, and a red or white reflector on the rear of the bicycle visible from the side. All riders must have a permanent, regular seat. Bicycle passengers less than 40 lbs. must have a seat which retains them in place and protects them from moving parts.

Use of the Roadway (CVC 21202)
Bicycles traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable except: when passing, preparing for a left turn, to avoid hazards and dangerous conditions or if the lane is too narrow.

Bicycle Path Crossing (CVC 231.6)
A “bicycle path crossing” is the prolongation or connection of the boundary lines of a bike path where the intersecting roadways meet at approximately right angles. Or any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for bicycle crossing by lines or other markings on the street surface.

Hitching Rides (CVC 21203)
Bicyclists may not hitch rides on vehicles.

Carrying Articles (CVC 21205)
Bicyclists may not carry items which keep them from using at least one hand upon the handlebars.

Motorized Bicycles (CVC 21207.5)
Motorized bicycles may not be used on bike paths or trails, bike lanes, or other bikeways.

Bicycle Lane Use (CVC 21208)
Bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use bike lanes except when making a left turn, passing, or avoiding hazardous conditions.

Obstruction of Pedestrians (CVC 21210)
Bicyclists may not leave bicycles on their sides on the sidewalk or park bicycles in a manner which obstructs pedestrians.

Bikeway Obstruction (CVC 21211)
No one may stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path.

Helmets (CVC 21212)
Bicyclists and passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet when on a bicycle.

Direction of Travel (CVC 21650)
Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic.

3-Feet for Safety Act (CVC 21760)
When passing a bicyclist, drivers of motor vehicles must provide bicyclists with a three feet buffer between their motor vehicle and the bicyclist. If roadway conditions do not allow for a three feet buffer, the driver must slow down when passing a bicyclist.

Toll Bridges (CVC 23330)
Bicyclists may not cross a toll bridge unless permitted by signs.

Head Phones (CVC 27400)
Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset covering both ears, except hearing aids.