Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do it, bike it yourself.

Bicycling Magazine is not usually my kinda zine, but Jim receives it. The latest issue has an article which I just had to share. It is about a bike lane (on Los Angeles' Franklin Street) created by guerilla cyclists. Unfortunately there is no link to the article on the web, so I can't share it here. The article is called The DIY Bike Lane by Dan Koeppel and is published in July '09's issue of Bicycling. Here is a sample of what a DIY bike lane looks like.

I did some further web snooping and found that this was not the first guerrilla bike lane. Nor will it be the last, especially in Los Angeles. Did you know there is a Bike Master Plan that has approved all kinds of lanes and street updates for cycling? Yes, indeedy, there is. Lots of improvements are approved, but few actually are seen through. This article in particular highlights the fact that of the twelve bridges which connect commuters to LA's downtown area, none have bike lanes. As a once Pasadena-Los Angeles bike commuter, I know this all too well. May I just say, it is scary to ride across them. I believe most have side walks. And as a cyclist, I am against riding on sidewalks because my bike at full speed scares pedestrians, rightfully so. Any wrong move and one of us could end up either in traffic or in the LA "River"- which (at the moment) Angelenos know to be six inches of water with two feet of concrete underneath, in most places. Concrete is not easy to pick out of your teeth. Or skull.  

This is why bike lanes are so important. Organizations like CICLE and LA Bike Coalition are always fighting for cyclists' rights. Somebody's got to do it. The guerrilla lanes don't last long, according to the article it was there for 100 hours before being removed by LA Public Works. 

It goes without saying that this is totally illegal... and yet I love it. Sometimes you just have to push the envelope, no? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Season of the New

Hmmmm... been a while since I posted. But it is a new and beautiful day. New Year. New vision... this day marks the turning of a new leaf. For me, maybe. But for our world?

Like on election day in November '08, I am here, torn again. Then it was the Election of Obama that excited me, and the passage of Proposition 8 in California that devastated me. That cool day in November, there were many people at my house- of all ages and races- celebrating the election events, and in turn crying at the history being made before them, especially during President-Elect Obama's speech. As I looked across the room at the glorious tapestry of people who graced my living room, outwardly I smiled. But inwardly, I was devastated. I couldn't help and think of all my LGBTI friends and how they were feeling at that moment. What did that day mean to them?

Again- all over again- the nomination of Sotomayor is so exciting (I am Boricua by birth) and yet in California, we have upheld this 'separate but equal' status of our LGBTI brothers and sisters. I don't know what else to say. 

So for today's post, I'll share with you a poem I wrote. Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a new and better day- for everyone.

Season of the New

afternoon light that gives a golden glow

warmth and promises of beauty there grow


the shock of new green and auras all around

song of which bird? And Seedlings on the ground


Pretty little blossoms, lining up for bees

Waiting for a pollen kiss to bring them to their knees

The wonders of this strange light

Winding serpentine

keeps rhythm with nature’s cyclic rhyme

So rolls out the springtime,

and it’s creation-