Founded in 1998, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to make our local communities fun, safe, and healthy places to ride a bike.
News and Events
Last December, we announced that Tamika Butler had been named the new Executive Director of LACBC. Over a month after she first began, Tamika has spent time putting her new office in order, meeting our members and partners, and getting acclimated to life at LACBC. A native of Bellevue, Nebraska, Tamika now lives in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood of Monterey Hills. She answered a few fun questions to help you get to know her a little better.
How did you fall in love with riding a bike?
I fell in love with riding a bike as a kid when I used to hang out with all the neighborhood boys and ride BMX trick bikes. I loved tackling hills, ramps, anything. A couple of broken wrists later, I switched to using my bike for getting around the small island I lived on growing up (Okinawa, Japan). I fell back in love as an adult when I moved to LA and didn’t love it-- until I got out of the car and started exploring this beautiful city and its hidden treasures by bike as I trained for the AIDS/LifeCycle.
How did you first hear about LACBC?
A friend, who was a member and my ALC trainer, started telling me about LACBC and all the good work they did and all of the great benefits they offered. I wanted to learn more and signed up to receive the newsletter and was blown away by all of the amazing stuff LACBC was doing across the county.
Tell us about your bike(s):
Unlike with kids, I think it’s okay to say I have a favorite. It’s my first road bike, a black and pink Fuji. I road the whole state of CA with that bike and it’s seen my ups and downs--literally. It’s the bike I learned to clip in on and I never thought when I bought it to ride around my neighborhood that it would have so dramatically changed my life.
What is your favorite place to ride?
The beach. I’m from Nebraska. We’re landlocked with no water. Come on, how could I say anything else?
Describe your bike style.
Sophisticated chic? Is that a thing? I like ties. I like to ride in a tie, looking good and being on my bike so that I can hop off into any situation is fun. People don’t except the tie when they see the helmet...I like to keep you guessing. Also, I love to match.
What song best works as your bike commute theme song?
Right now--Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off." Don’t hate. All time classic. Anything by Eminem or any '90s Boy band. Again...stop with the judging.
Do you have a bicycling role/roll model, and if so, who?
It’s hard not to say Shayla Myers, an LACBC member and the friend that first got me on my bike in LA and showed me how to be confident without being crazy and find a peace in riding the streets in LA that I never thought was possible.
Role model would be my older sister. She’s a first grade teacher back in Nebraska and has literally taught me everything I know. She’s the one who taught me to believe in myself and never put a limit on what I can accomplish. I bring that same spirit and work ethic to all I do and it’ll be a big part of my time at LACBC.
What's your favorite place to eat in L.A.?
Here’s the thing. I love food. If there is a place. And it has food. I will like it. I can’t pick favorites. Remember the thing about kids earlier? I feel the same about food.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start riding a bike?
Just do it. You’ll fall. But you will get back up. You will get better, faster, and stronger and you’ll love yourself for it.
The two-time defending champion Team LACBC now has 12 riders on board to participate in Climate Ride California this May. These all stars will be riding and raising money for LACBC and other environmental causes! Today we begin to profile some of our Team LACBC riders so that you can learn more about them and what motivates them to ride
First up is Ryan Jones. A resident of Downtown L.A. for almost a decade, Ryan has minimized his car use by opting to ride his bike. He first became involved with LACBC when he joined our Neighborhood Bike Ambassador Central group and is looking to make a larger impact. For his fundraising efforts, Ryan started it off by donating $1,400 of his own money to cover the costs or ride support, so that anything raised beyond that will directly benefit LACBC and environmental groups. Here Ryan answers questions about how he started riding, why he chose Team LACBC and Climate Ride, and more.
When and why did you start riding a bike?
Apart from learning to ride as a kid (and breaking my nose in the process--it's still well out of alignment thanks to that first good fall), it was a childhood friend who reintroduced me to cycling when it really stuck. He was up at UCSB and had the slightly over-ambitious idea to ride from his apartment in Isla Vista to his parents' house in Palos Verdes (the "IV to PV" ride), so I bought an entry-level road bike and joined him for the adventure. We did that ride the year following, too, and it was during the time in between that I started to really get into a riding routine (so I wouldn't slow him down on trip #2 -- and I didn't!). Then, years later, living in Echo Park, I got into the hipster fixie craze and taught myself basic bike mechanics for a few restoration projects. It's that combination of exercise/enjoyment riding and having projects to work on that will keep me into cycling for the rest of my life.
How did you get involved with LACBC?
Law school made me want to participate in local public policy, and LACBC's Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program seemed like a great way to start. I didn't keep up with my ambassador duties (I'll blame the bar exam), but I'm hoping to participate a little more now that that's behind me.
Why are you joining Team LACBC for Climate Ride?
I love the idea of supporting local sustainability and active transportation efforts, and there's no group that does more around here than LACBC. And I trust that Alek [Bartrosouf] will be a great team captain.
Have you ever done a long-distance ride before?
I've never done back-to-back long days on the saddle, but I've done a handful of centuries over the years (my favorite was a fundraising ride outside of Boston). Individually the days on this ride don't sound that hard, but the lack of that lazy, lounging rest day is going to be tough!
What are you doing to prepare for Climate Ride?
I've a pretty good schedule of short, hill-climbing weekday rides through Elysian Park and longer, more adventurous rides on weekends already, so as long as I can stick to that program for the next few months I should be in shape for Climate Ride.
Do you have any goals for Climate Ride? If so, what are they?
I'd really like Day 3's century to be my personal fastest, but that's about it for goals--the whole experience is a goal enough.
After years of outreach, stakeholder education, meetings, rides and rallies, we are delighted to report that Councilman Gil Cedillo is seriously considering project options that will create a safe and inclusive North Figueroa that include bike lanes. Focusing on the historic core of Highland Park from Avenue 55 to Avenue 60, Cedillo’s staff worked with LADOT to produce a series of options that include essential safety elements, such as a road diet, better sidewalks and crosswalks, transit enhancements, and physically protected or buffered bike lanes. These options will be presented for community review in the coming weeks. We call on Northeast LA advocates to participate in this process with positivity and respect to foster community dialogue about the importance of making Figueroa safe for all. Although only five blocks, this project opens the door to safety improvements along the whole Figueroa corridor that are consistent with local advocates’ longstanding vision of a Figueroa that respects all travelers--people driving, taking transit, biking and, most importantly, walking.
If you would like to get more involved in the campaign and discuss strategies, we urge your participation at our next Northeast LA Bike Ambassador meeting on Wednesday, February 4, at 6 p.m. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org expressing interest, and we’ll let you know when a venue is secured.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Beverly Hills City Council continued its discussion of the Santa Monica Boulevard Reconstruction Project, including whether the rebuilt boulevard would accommodate bike lanes. Since the December meeting, LACBC worked with Better Bike Beverly Hills and a committee of local advocates to develop a compromise solution, dubbed the Beverly Hills Greenway, that creatively adds bike lanes with no net loss of landscaped area. Grassroots organizers collected over 400 signatures in less than two weeks and turned out over 30 speakers at Tuesday’s council meeting to support the greenway--and the council listened. Mayor Lili Bosse summed up the council’s sentiment by calling the new proposal “fair and balanced” and saying, “We can get there.” While the council stopped short of approving the bike lanes, they directed staff to analyze the Beverly Hills Greenway proposal and expressed their intent to resolve outstanding issues at a future date. We are cautiously optimistic that the reconstructed Santa Monica Boulevard will include bike lanes.
Attention all Metro Bike Locker Renters! The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will be transferring the administration of the locker program back to Metro, effective January 31, 2015. We are in a transition period now through the end of January 2015. The locker hotline, (213) 922-2660, will remain active.
For details, read an updated letter (January 5, 2015) from Metro and LACBC here.