LA Cyclists Take to the Streets
The Los Angeles Times profiled a group of urban cyclist in "Blazing Trails to Urban Freedom" in the Calendar section on November 27, 2004.Reporter John Balzar even joined Ben Guzman, Jimmy Lizama and others for a midmorning ride one Sunday. Guzman and Lizama have opened a community workshop called the Bicycle Kitchen in an empty apartment off of Vermont Boulevard, not far from the 101 freeway.
We're excited to learn that there's a Critical Mass chapter in Los Angeles. On the last Friday of every month, cyclists take to the streets from various meeting points around the city. Don't expect too mellow of a group if you join folks for a ride.
Want to stir up an argument? Raise the question of traffic laws and road etiquette with cyclists. Include motorists in the conversation if you dare. The fact is, savvy urban cyclists disagree among themselves, often strongly, about the need to stop at all red lights, about the efficacy of threading traffic, about riding on sidewalks, about when to share lanes with cars and when to "take" lanes, about helmets. These same riders also inevitably recognize that the city is home to legions of unthinking, oblivious, inexperienced and barely competent cyclists. No wonder motorists are bewildered and sometimes angry. Cyclists are apt to do anything --because they do.