Posts tagged los angeles

Everybody SHOULD Ride the Bus in LA!

Today I took my new Zero to a shop in Culver City to get the seat fixed. It was too short, now I love it! The story of how I got home is far more interesting…


I checked to see how long it’d take on the bus. 1:40. No thanks. Lyft claimed they could do it in :40. So I took Lyft line. And he immediately got on the 10. At rush hour. And stayed there. By the time we got to the 110, I was so bored I decided to get out downtown, run some errands, and take a Metro bus the rest of the way home.


If I lived downtown, or anywhere served by the Metro rail lines, Lyft wouldn’t even have been an option. The shop was only a mile from the metro station, an easy walk for this ex-New Yorker. I really miss living someplace walkable. DTLA is currently too expensive and too choked with the dust of construction and all the diesel vehicles serving those sites. Most of the rest of LA isn’t walkable. Yet.


Walking through DTLA is one of my favorite pastimes, and taking the bus home was fun too. It was so enjoyable, I took the bus the whole way back to pick up my bike the next day. Which wouldn’t have been ideal if I had to be somewhere, but my schedule was pretty open. I like the busses that don’t have that black mesh on the window. Those huge windows make for a far more entertaining trip watching the scenery pass by. For instance, I saw a homeless encampment high on a hill in echo park I’d never have noticed from a car window. And a stunning Victorian in Pico-Union I’d never glimpsed before.


Metro has an Office of Extraordinary Innovation currently doing a study to determine how best they can compete against the rideshare apps stealing their customers. I fear that by the time their study is complete, they’ll have been innovated out of business. Yes, riding the bus in LA is slow and tedious. Yes, we need those tunnel boring machines to dig faster. But what can we do to ensure LA doesn’t just give up on Metro entirely in the meantime? At Move LA’s conference, they were pretty optimistic. But more people keep moving here, and all stuck in this old LA mentality they saw in some stupid movie where everyone has a car.


Newsflash Flatlanders- the cool kids aren’t driving cars here anymore. They’re biking and taking public transit. And yes, hailing a rideshare when it’s actually faster than public transit or cycling. And it’s not always faster, you know.


My hopes are for more Metro bikes, especially along the LA River. While I don’t want Metro to steal all of Spoke & Coco’s bike rental biz, I’d sure like to be able to use one to commute while my bicycle is waiting for its fly paint job. It’d also be great if Metro would just dive in and do some test routes. By compiling TAP card swipe data, they could see which connections are most common and come up with more direct routes. Or even try some rideshares themselves, using DASH buses to serve “smart routes” or something. I know that once we have enough affordable housing in central LA, and a complete* Metro rail system, LA will be an awesome place to live.


* I won’t consider it complete until there’s a subway under the Sepulveda pass, from the valley to the airport.


More pix from my trip…

Things you see walking to the bus stop…


I like how Heaven Market just plastered their sign over the old 7-11 sign. And LOVE how multicultural LA is. No matter how much I whine about this place, I will always love that.


Remember how in Mr. Robot everyone ends up selling stuff at flea markets in the street to survive? Well, that’s life here on Alvarado st.


My bad blurry pic of a moped rider in a rad pink vest.

Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

Pinkyracer caught on film Sunset Blvd blog

Recently, LA Times reporter Robin Abcarian contacted me through our mutual friend Arlene Batishill of GoGo Gear. She was looking for a motorcyclist to take her lanesplitting during rush hour traffic. As this was slated to be legalized (officially), she wanted to write an informed article on the subject. A true professional journalist! So refreshing.


Continue reading Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

Execute! Predict! Scan! Decide! Identify!


I’ve been thinking about SIPDE lately. It’s the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s acronym that’s very handy for riding- Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. They must be done in order. Don’t mix that up. Scanning used to be so automatic is wasn’t even conscious. Then I started riding a bicycle. At 15mph, your eyes can safely wander. You notice stuff you’d never see at 20+mph.


The hard part is getting back to 20+mph vision, which requires consciously ignoring shiny distractions and ONLY seeing the things that matter. Mainly the big, fast things that could kill you. Not much else matters. Not that intriguing billboard. Not that new store that looks like it might be interesting. Not the cute guy waiting for the bus. None of that matters. It’s rather annoying that I have to re-train my brain when switching from bicycle to motorcycle. But there it is. Continue reading Execute! Predict! Scan! Decide! Identify!

How Many Stoners Does It Take To Make Traffic?

Riding down Western through Koreatown under a full moon, hoping nothing spectacular would happen. Full moons and Friday nights, especially a holiday weekend, tend to spell disaster on the streets of LA. I smelled it, and this time it was easy to tell which car it was coming from- the hooptie 80’s sedan that had seen some hard miles. Windows down, they stop for a red light. I see the driver is smoking. I think “shit, they’re Black. I don’t want to be that asshole profiling Black dudes.” I pull alongside the passenger, and stop. I look in, planning to threaten to call 911 and report the driver for DUI.

Continue reading How Many Stoners Does It Take To Make Traffic?

I Went To Bicycle Heaven And All I Got Were These Stickers

My bike emits butterflies!!! Stickers from

My bike emits butterflies!!! Reflective stickers from RydeSafe

When my friend Jenny said “I’d like to visit Portland for my birthday” I said “Let’s go!” I’d only been once before for the Net Impact Conference, and had a great time. Since then I’d gotten deeper into pedal-powered bikes, so I wanted to explore the country’s Bicycling Capital. We made a stab at getting bikes from friends, but wound up just renting these single speed hooptie city bikes. They were painfully slow, geared to handle most riding for most people, so we didn’t really get much of a workout. But we rode all over Portland for a few days! It was rad.

Continue reading I Went To Bicycle Heaven And All I Got Were These Stickers

Why there are more bicycles in LA than motorcycles

I was really shocked when I saw this GOOD infographic, which states that 0.9% of LA commuters go via bicycle, and so few commute via motorcycle that we’re lumped in with “other”. But when I looked around, I realized I do indeed see way more bicycles on the streets of LA than motorcycles. And now I’m becoming one of the 0.9%. I got a new bike on Black Friday, a Fuji Absolute hybrid. I call her Miss Absolute. It’s immensely more comfortable and faster than the vintage bike I was on before.

Continue reading Why there are more bicycles in LA than motorcycles

Is LA Suffering an Outbreak of the Crazies?

I’ve lived and ridden in LA for over a decade. In that time, I’ve seen some messed up driving and survived plenty of threats on my life.  (some perceived and some real). I’ve even grown pretty confident on my bicycle in the 5 months I’ve been riding. But the past couple days I’ve seen some seriously crazy shit. And it’s not even a full moon. What is going on?

Last night I rode my bicycle from downtown to Hollywood and back. I had 2 cars almost run stop signs into me. Then a minivan pulled into the oncoming lane to pick his friend up at the corner just as I was turning the same corner. I discovered I can lock the wheels on my bicycle very easily without crashing. two wheel slide! wootwoot! But just the same it scared the hell out of me.  That kid’s parents will be getting a nasty letter from me courtesy of the DMV’s letter forwarding system if I can find the link on their new website. Although I fear that budget cuts may have led them to discontinue that service. Continue reading Is LA Suffering an Outbreak of the Crazies?

Living My Childhood Nightmares | Bicycling in LA

A tranquil Saturday ride from Brentwood to Venice & back. Much more pleasant than riding DTLA to Mid-City!

Recently I rebuilt my dad’s old (as in, 40ish years old) 10-speed, with the help of Jim and others at the Bicycle Kitchen. It’s been great to have a fun way to get some exercise and I can tell immediately that cycling builds all the muscles I most need to endure a full day on the track. Because I’m not one to set aside time to exercise, I’m also using the bike as a regular form of transport at least a couple days a week.

Continue reading Living My Childhood Nightmares | Bicycling in LA

The Fog

The Fog, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

When I was a kid, there was a horror movie about this fog that enveloped some town and scared the shit out of everyone. I only recall the bit about the people trapped in the grocery store, wishing they could go home, but The Fog would git them if they tried to leave.

Continue reading The Fog

Bilbao during Santa Semana. no wait, first a word from my future… :-)

The story of Bilbao is a dull and rather existentialist one full of ennui and lonesome misery in the endless rain, which I can’t rush through. I will try to give it justice sometime tomorrow, but really think it’s more likely to spark a novel.

Right now, I’m in a better mood after rejoining my friends in Barcelona. I’m even grateful to be back in Raval,  because the muslims store owners see no reason to shut down on Easter Sunday, unlike all the devout Catholics driving this country deeper into financial ruin by taking damn near an entire week off for Easter. Speaking of which, I finally went to church in Barcelona! 😉 Paddock Motard Bar (which I happen to live very close to, and you’ve read about before here), was open for Sunday services: to show the MotoGP races. They had set out all the chairs they had in rows facing the TV’s and the place was packed with rabid fans watching the 125 race when I arrived. It was awesome! Everyone was going crazy, and it felt so damn good to be somewhere in Spain where Easter didn’t seem to be bringing life to a grinding halt. However, mother nature brought MotoGP to a slippery halt, as it was rained out. grrrr. It rains like 4 days a year in Qatar, and it seems those 4 days are always when the GP is in town! They actually had to cancel the race because they run it at night to show off some fancy lights. The problem is: bright lights + rain = zero visibility. pffft. do it in tha daytime, people!

I’m more interested in keeping my eyes on the prize. Whenever I need a boost, looking at real estate in LA makes me happy. It’s a pleasant way of daydreaming about what I want in life, thinking about where I want to live next. So today’s entry is this third floor loft in the fabulous Barker building. I went to a party at a friend’s loft there in August (which feels like a million years ago) and fell in love with the place. The sexy rooftop pool/spa, the Urth caffe across the street, the whole downtown arts dist. vibe. Love it. Would sacrifice a private garage for it…