Have you ever worked hard on something, and after a few years of long nights and struggle, seen the tide of events turn? This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning were very special for the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.
On Friday, February 18, 2011, our friends Matt and Anya Schodorf gathered the entire community together in front of Cafe de Leche to cut the ribbon on Los Angeles’ first bike parking corral. The corral represents the first taking of an on-street car parking space for ten bike parking spaces in LA. A brand-new bike lane runs in front of the new corral, and activists that have worked on a campaign to install both can feel that things are finally changing in LA.
We can thank Councilman Jose Huizar, now running for re-election and looking to score political points with any interest group that will vote for him. We can thank Michelle Mowery and her squad of fresh young interns at the LADOT. We can thank the efforts of community leaders and bike advocates. We helped a little bit too! As a result, finally, life is a little bit better for bike riders in North East LA.
On Saturday, February 19, 2011, I woke up early and rode my bakfiets cargo bike to the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market. I wasn’t going to shop for veggies. My cargo bike was loaded down with over 100 lbs. of tools and equipment to perform free bike repair!
I was there to fix bikes, for free, to promote my friend, Stephen Box, in his bid to unseat Councilman Tom Labonge in the upcoming March 8, 2011 election. Stephen Box is the kind of candidate that signals a cultural shift in local politics. He has worked tirelessly over the years as an advocate for standards-based governance, fiscal transparency and responsibility (catching a $7.3 million calculation error live in City Council that sent that money to bike projects and pedestrian projects), and livable streets.
His campaign has raised enough to qualify for matching funds from the government, and we’re going to do all we can to make sure he has a fair shake at the 4th Council District seat.
Finally, on Sunday, February 20, 2011, I led a group of Flying Pigeon friends and devotees on a short ride to Golden Dragon in LA’s Chinatown to grab some Dim Sum and enjoy the morning. We’ve been doing these Dim Sum Rides since we opened in August of 2008, and as we round the corner on year three of both Dim Sum Rides and being open for business, it is good to know that we’ve had an impact – bringing people together to celebrate our city, bicycling, and eating great Dim Sum!