Archive for the ‘Road Riding’ Category

California Bike-Themed License Plates

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019


You can now order a specialty California license plate with a bicycle theme. The money raised by this license plate will provide grants for bicycle education and advocacy to community organizations at the state and local level.

For years, our friends at CalBike have worked to get California to join the 24 states that have a bicycle specialty license plate program. The new California program allows every car owner to pay extra for a special license plate that shows their support of bicycling. The plate also raises money to support bicycling.

CalBike has been working very closely with California Department of Public Health to design the plate and the program. The DMV has now approved the plate and is taking reservations at

The bicycle specialty license plate costs $50. A personalized bicycle license plate costs $103.

The proceeds of the license plate will support education and advocacy to promote bicycling as healthy transportation. For example, grants could support earn-a-bike programs for at-risk youth, community education programs about the importance of bicycling, and share the road education for car drivers and cyclists. CalBike will remain involved as the program develops to make sure the funding supports powerful, effective programs that also lead to social change.

The DPH has to receive 7,500 orders by September 2020, or the DMV won’t issue this plate. Once the 7,500 pre-order threshold is met, the DMV will begin to promote this license plate and will continue to offer it to motorists.

The sooner you place your order, the greater our chances of being able to activate this important funding source for bicycle education.

Public Meetings Dec 5: Rosemead Blvd and East Fork San Gabriel Canyon

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

On Tuesday, December 5th there are two conflicting public meetings of interest to those who ride bicycles in the San Gabriel Mountains or the San Gabriel Valley.

San Gabriel River Confluence with Cattle Canyon Improvements Project

The other public meeting is to seek public input on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the San Gabriel River Confluence with Cattle Canyon Improvements Project. CORBA, through our involvement with the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative, have expressed our full support for the project as proposed.

Click to Enlarge

This project will add much-needed trailhead improvements, interpretive and scenic trails, parking, bike racks, shuttle stops, multilingual signage, river access points and habitat restoration to this heavily-impacted area of the Forest. While not heavily used by mountain bikers, all of us who care about our Forest are supportive of these improvements.

The project is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and is being developed in partnership with the Watershed Conservation Authority. The meeting will be held at the Angeles National Forest headquarters:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Angeles National Forest Headquarters
701 N Santa Anita Ave,
Arcadia, California 91006

Comments must be submitted by December 26, 2017, to:

EFSGR/Cattle Canyon Improvements Project
110 N. Wabash Ave.
Glendora, California 91741

or via email to:


LA County Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets Project

LA County’s Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets project proposes to add bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and other improvements to Rosemead Blvd through the Whittier Narrows area. This is the initial scoping meeting, where the County will be seeking public input on how to best improve this six-lane stretch of road to better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The meeting will be held at the More information can be found at:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course,
3260 Fairway Dr.,
Pico Rivera, CA 90660.

This project will have great value to our community, as it will improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists accessing the Whittier BMX track, Whittier Narrows recreation area, and existing bike paths along the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo. It is also close to the proposed Puente Hills Landfill, with its two planned and approved Bike Skills Parks.

We can’t be at both meetings, but want to encourage those with an interest in either to attend these meetings and be engaged in the process.

Physician convicted in bicycle crash case

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

November 3, 2009
from the Los Angeles Times

A physician accused of deliberately injuring two cyclists by slamming on his car’s brakes on a narrow Brentwood road was convicted Monday of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and other serious criminal charges.

Dr. Christopher Thompson is handcuffed by L.A. County Sheriffs after being found guilty on all 7 counts. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / November 2, 2009)

Dr. Christopher Thompson, 60, slumped forward and held his face in his hands after the verdicts were announced in a courtroom packed mostly with supporters and cyclists.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Stone, who prosecuted the case, asked for Thompson to be jailed immediately, calling him a flight risk and a safety threat to cyclists.

“There’s not a cyclist in Los Angeles who would feel comfortable with this defendant out on the road after this verdict,” Stone told the court.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington ordered that Thompson be taken into custody. Thompson, wearing a dark blue suit, grimaced and shook his head as a bailiff cuffed his hands behind his back.

The veteran emergency room doctor, who spent more than two decades working at Beverly Hospital in Montebello, was also convicted of battery with serious injury and reckless driving causing injury. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 3.

The three-week trial in the Superior Court’s airport branch was watched closely by bicycle riders around the country, many of whom viewed the case as a test of the justice system’s commitment to protecting cyclists. The July 4, 2008, crash also highlighted simmering tensions between cyclists and motorists on Mandeville Canyon Road, the winding five-mile residential street where the crash took place.

Prosecutors alleged that Thompson stopped his car after passing the two cyclists and shouting at them to ride single file. The cyclists testified that they began maneuvering to ride one after the other when they noticed Thompson’s car approaching fast behind them but that the driver passed dangerously close before abruptly stopping.

Ron Peterson, a coach for USC’s and UCLA’s cycling team, was flung face-first into the rear windshield of the doctor’s red Infiniti, breaking his front teeth and nose and lacerating his face. Christian Stoehr, the other cyclist, hurtled to the sidewalk and suffered a separated shoulder.

A police officer testified that Thompson told him soon after the accident that the cyclists had cursed at him and flipped him off, so he slammed on his brakes “to teach them a lesson.”

Thompson testified that he never meant to hurt the riders. He said he and other residents were upset at unsafe cycling along the road, which has become an increasingly popular route for bicycle riders in recent years. But they had struggled to identify problem cyclists.

Thompson told jurors that the riders cursed at him and flipped him off when he yelled at them to ride single file. He stopped his car so that he could take a photo of the cyclists and believed he had left enough room for them.

But prosecutors alleged Thompson had a history of run-ins with bike riders, including a similar episode four months before the 2008 incident, when two cyclists told police that the doctor tried to run them off the road and braked hard in front of them. Neither of the riders was injured.

Outside court, the cyclists in the case said they were relieved at the outcome.

“Our hope is that this brings to light how vulnerable cyclists are out there,” Peterson, 41, told reporters. His face was permanently scarred from the crash and he underwent reconstructive surgery on his nose, which he said remains numb.

Stoehr, 30, said the crash left him unable to work for months and that he rarely rides his bike anymore. Nevertheless, Stoehr said he felt some sympathy for Thompson as he watched the physician being led away in handcuffs.

“It’s sad for both sides,” Stoehr said. “I lost a lot of my time and my life, and he’s losing a lot of his.”

Safer Streets for Cyclists – take action!

Friday, June 17th, 2011

We are mountain bikers but we too sometimes ride our bikes on the streets. Please help us to support California Bicycle Coalition 3-foot passing legislation.

Senate Bill 910, cosponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition and the City of Los Angeles, would require motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing from behind under most circumstances.

The California Senate approved SB 910 on June 1. On Monday, June 27, the bill will be up for a vote by the Assembly Transportation Committee. We need bicyclists like you to contact Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, the chair of the committee, by phone, email or fax to let her know why this bill is so important to the safety of all bicyclists on the road!  A file documenting all messages of support for SB 910 accompanies the bill as it moves through the legislative process. This information is read by legislators and their staff and helps make the case for the bill. Your voice definitely counts! The deadline for calling or sending a message is 5 PM Tuesday, June 21.

You can express your support for SB 910 by phone or by email or fax. Click here for more information.




Angeles Crest Highway Open to the Angeles National Forest

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Cyclist and others gather for the ACH highway 2 opening ceremony and press release This morning, June 3, 2011, at 10 a.m. the Angeles Crest Highway was opened to motor traffic, bicycles and pedestrians. It has been closed since the Station Fire of 2009, while numerous repairs were made to the highway. It had been scheduled to open last November, but one of last winter’s heavy storms brought down the hillside onto the newly repaired road. Repairs have been completed on the section between La Canada and Clear Creek. Construction continues on a few sections beyond the Mt. Wilson road junction, but traffic is being flagged through the construction zone.

Caltrans also removed the winter closure of the highway at Islip Saddle. ACH is now open all the way through to Wrightwood.

Dozens of cyclists were among the first to pass the ceremonially opened gate, just outside the Angeles National Forest border. CORBA volunteers Steve Messer, Mike and Robin McGuire were also on hand, and took the opportunity to do some trailwork along the Grizzly Flat fire road after climbing Mt. Lukens.

This has been a much-anticipated day, welcomed by hikers, mountain bikers, and everyone who just wants easier access to the forest.

Angeles Crest Highway 2 openingThe highway opening has come just a few weeks after the May 16 opening of many trails that had been closed due to the Station Fire. A complete list of opened trails can be found in our previous story.

LA Planning Commission Approves Bike Plan

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The City of Los Angeles Planning Commission passed the proposed bike plan yesterday December 15, 2010.  It now goes to the Mayor for 30 days, then to the Transportation Committee of City Council, then to the full Council.  Mark Langton and Steve Messer of CORBA, and Jim Hasenauer of IMBA attended.  Langton and Hasenauer spoke before the Commission.

Of particular interest to mountain bikers is section 3.3 of the plan which focuses on ongoing studies of off-pavement cycling in City parks. Langton and Hasenauer spoke in favor of the section and urged the Commission to keep it intact. Several people affiliated with equestrian or hiking groups spoke in opposition of section 3.3 of the plan. They cited similar, if not the same arguments as in the past—that it is a transportation not a recreation plan; bikes are a threat to public safety; bikes travel too fast; there are many injuries; bikes have adverse environmental impacts; allowing bikes will lead to motorized vehicles on the trails; etc.

Hasenauer commented that the plan didn’t go far enough and that planning staff should have treated mountain bike advocates with the same engagement they gave road advocates.  He asked to also restore the pilot program language of the 1996 plan.  Langton said that the recreation vs. transportation dualism is a false dichotomy and talked about The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency’s (COSCA) 20-plus years of shared use success. Several members of the LACBC also took time to argue in favor of section 3.3 (click here to see their report).

After the public hearing, staff responded that the plan does not advocate for opening trails to bikes: It advocates for study, inventory, an identification of standards so that a decision about off-pavement cycling in parks would be comprehensive and well-informed; that studies around the country indicate that some trails are feasible for bikes; and that illegal riding was a function of not having any legal places to ride.  Staff concluded that ultimately 3.3 is a “step in the right direction.”

Barbara Romero and Diego Cardoso of the Planning Commission supported keeping section 3.3 in the plan.  Romero asked why the pilot programs were removed and was told “at the request of City Parks.”  Cardoso said the city has a diverse population, including families who ride bikes.  He said that not everyone can afford horses, and for many people “a bicycle is an affordable horse.”

Michael Woo of Planning Commission said he was initially worried about section 3.3, but after hearing staff’s recommendations is now more comfortable with it.

The Plan including section 3.3 passed unanimously.

The Mayor’s office will now have 30 days to review the plan before it is passed to the transportation committee, and ultimately the full City Council.

Off-pavement advocates’ next steps are to ensure that section 3.3 stays in the plan. When the plan is passed, it will be imperative that the Department of Recreation and Parks includes the study process in their work plan.

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Aug. 16 As Date For City ‘Bike Summit’

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

From LAWeekly

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on Tuesday that his aforementioned “Bike Summit” would happen Aug. 16 (from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the board room of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, One Gateway Plaza, downtown).

Bike activists, city officials, transportation planners and police will discuss a 1,600-mile city bike path plan, police enforcement of traffic laws as it concerns cyclists and integration of “bike ways” with the area’s bus and rail network, according to the mayor’s office. Mountain biking is illegal on unpaved roads and trails in all LA City parks.

“Let’s get together and talk about what we need to do to make the streets safer for cyclists,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Whether you depend on your bike for commuting or just take it out for fun, I invite you to come to the Bike Summit to talk about your experiences and learn about what we’re doing in Los Angeles to make streets safer for everyone.

Mayor Villaraigosa first announced his plans for the Bike Summit in July.

Villaraigosa was famously involved in a bike-versus-cab accident earlier this month that left him with a broken elbow and newfound respect for cyclists’ rights.

Angeles Crest Highway closures cause confusion and frustration

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

From the Los Angeles Times  

Hundreds of hikers and bicyclists have been spotted in areas closed for construction. Some are genuinely unaware of the roadblocks along the popular trails, while others trespass out of defiance.  

With a small day pack strapped to his back, Scott Groves set out from his home in Pasadena to the foot of the Mt. Wilson Trail in Sierra Madre. He climbed seven miles to the top of the mountain and then proceeded down Mt. Wilson Road before happening upon the closed portion of Angeles Crest Highway.  

About 20 miles of the 66-mile Angeles Crest Highway is closed for construction. The $16.5 million in road repairs is expected to be completed in November. (Raul Roa, La Canada / July 6, 2010)

“It wasn’t even on my radar that this was closed,” Groves said as he stopped to fill his water pouch near the intersection of Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest highways. “I had read that it was clear to come up from the Palmdale side, so I figured everything here was cool.” 

About 20 miles of the 66-mile Angeles Crest Highway, from La Cañada Flintridge to Mt. Wilson Road and 25% of the Angeles National Forest remain off-limits to the public as construction crews rebuild pieces of the route that winter storms caused to wash out. The $16.5 million in repairs, contracted out to Thousand Oaks-based Burns Pacific Construction, is expected to be completed in November.  

Meanwhile, the closures continue to frustrate and confuse those seeking to access some of the most popular portions of the San Gabriel Mountains. Hundreds of motorcyclists, bicyclists and hikers have been spotted in restricted areas, according to officials from the California Department of Transportation and U.S. Forest Service. Some of the trespassing seems to be due to genuine misunderstanding about the status of different portions of the road and forest.  

In late June, Caltrans Public Information Officer Patrick Chandler intercepted a dozen members of a family setting off on a hike.  

“They parked at Angeles Forest Highway where it meets Angeles Crest and walked up to the closure and were going to go down to Switzer Falls,” Chandler said.  

He had to explain to the family that the popular trail was closed. But hikers have not been alone in their confusion: Road repair workers reported that Los Angeles County public safety personnel have attempted to respond to emergency calls by traveling north on Angeles Crest Highway, only to hit roadblocks.  

Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Mitch Brookhyser confirmed one such incident. On May 31, units from La Cañada Flintridge’s Station No. 82 responded to a call of a motorcycle that had gone off the side of Angeles Crest, Brookhyser said. The responders were forced to stop at a locked gate. The call was canceled minutes later, he said.  

Many of those entering closed portions of the highway and forest, however, are doing so with overt disregard for clearly posted signs, Chandler said. A Las Vegas motorcycle crew posted on its blog a dozen photos of members circumventing closures and being cited by the California Highway Patrol during an outing in May.  

And on a recent afternoon, Jim Blake, a Lake View Terrace resident and avid bicyclist, stopped to watch workers repair a 200-foot-deep washout near Brown Canyon — the largest of the two dozen damaged spots. He had pedaled 27 miles, traveling on Big Tujunga Canyon Road, Angeles Forest Highway and Angeles Crest Highway.  

“Big Tujunga Canyon was open,” Blake said. “Then they had some signs on Angeles Forest Highway that it was closed ahead, but cars could go through. At Angeles Crest Highway they had a gate, but I could get through there.”  

He enjoyed having the road to himself, Blake said, although he did have to steer clear of a couple of dump trucks.

New Thousand Oaks bike path will create a shortcut under 23 freeway

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

From the Thousand Oaks Acorn

A new 1.2-mile bike path in Thousand Oaks is slowly taking shape.

The contractor has until March 2011 to finish the $1 million Conejo Creek Park Bicycle Path but may get it done by the end of the year, said city public works engineer Christopher Lynch. It will take three months to have a 20-foot-long by 10-foot-wide pedestrian footbridge made.

“The construction is 100 percent funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds,” Lynch said.

The 12-foot-wide bike path will begin at the intersection of Janss Road on Conejo Valley Unified School District headquarters’ property and proceed south through Conejo Creek Park South.

That park is usually for soccer and is the location of Conejo Valley Days in the spring.

The path will continue under the 23 Freeway, carving a shortcut to where Gainsborough Road dead ends.

Getting from the beginning of the path where it terminates at the end of the path by city streets would cover 2.5 miles, Lynch said.

The shortcut will help active people get to the teen center, the senior center, the library and Conejo Creek Parks north and south more easily. The path will be made of asphalt, the same material found on many city streets.

“It’s a bike path, but in reality people will be walking on it too, and pushing strollers, using (inline skates) or jogging,” Lynch said.

Conejo Recreation and Park District and the school district are partnering with the city by allowing the path to be on their property. The city is paying the costs and managing the construction, Lynch said.

The park district may someday add a horse path beside the bike path.

Currently the city has a total of 1.2 miles of bike paths, so the new route will double that figure. There are a long-range plans to build more paths, Lynch said.

A future bike path could be constructed from Willow Lane to Haaland Drive, near the city’s transportation center on Rolling Oaks Drive off Rancho Road. That path would be hilly, as it cuts through the California Department of Transportation right of way, but it would shorten the distance for bicycle riders.

The $148,000 design costs for the Conejo Creek Park Bicycle Path were paid with city funds and $16,000 from a federal Congestion Management and Air Quality grant.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant was for $1.3 million. Total costs for construction are $1.07 million The remaining $229,641 of the grant will be used for street repair.

“Ride of Silence” to be May 19th

Friday, May 14th, 2010

From the Thousand Oaks Acorn

The Conejo Valley Cyclists and the city of Thousand Oaks invite all concerned cyclists to participate in the third annual memorial “Ride of Silence” on Wed., May 19.

Preparation begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Bank of America parking lot, west of Sears and Janss Marketplace at the northwest corner of Hillcrest Drive and Wilbur Road.

The ride begins at 7 p.m. The local ride is in memory of bicyclists Glenn Garvin, who was killed two years ago, and Mike Mikel, who was killed last year, both in Thousand Oaks.

The Ride of Silence acknowledges the deaths or injuries of cyclists involving bikes and motor vehicles. It involves a short 10- mile ride at a slow 12-mph pace to honor more than 600 cyclists who die each year on public streets.

The Ride of Silence is also occurring throughout North America and internationally. Helmets are mandatory and lights are recommended.

For details, see the official Ride of Silence webpage,, or the CVC page at