Bicycling: So Hot Right Now

Bikes are sooooo hot!

In Long Beach, they are hot in the stolen property sense.

More on that in a bit.

First, we turn more positively to Orange County's LB.

That's LB as in Laguna Beach, where Bike-On Laguna Beach presents another drop-in, community-wide bicycle ride beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Bicycling: So Hot Right Now

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As organizers note, "Spandex not required."

The ride begins at the corner of Park Avenue and Legion Street and passes the Farmers Market, the Transition Laguna Beach Garden Party, the U.S. Post Office and Laguna Coffee.

So, if locals pedal fast enough ahead of the pack, they can rush in and take care of most of their weekend errands on the route.

Actually, fast-pedaling is also not required. The level of difficulty of this ride is rated at: "Easy Pedaling."

Ride-On peddles the following to justify bicycling:

  • "Our transportation system requires 70 percent of the oil we consume. Help break our national addiction to fossil fuels, ride a bike."
  • "Obesity is the second leading cause of death after tobacco use."
  • "Fifty percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work."
  • "Eighty-two percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle."

Ride-On peddles the following to justify Saturday's ride:

  • "Discover safe bike routes through Laguna neighborhoods."

They left out the fact that you'll meet some cool, committed people.

Speaking of committed, we've discovered Long Beach Police are committed to stemming the rise of bike thefts in town.

Bicycling: So Hot Right Now

Long Beach has been committed as a city to increasing bike ridership. But, along with that, police and the Long Beach Press-Telegram are tracking a 75 percent increase in reported bicycle thefts.

And subsequent arrests.

The latest was last Saturday's arrest of Matthew Sutcliffe, a 32-year-old Long Beach transient.

City detectives investigating a rash of thefts were emailed a photo two weeks ago of a man using bolt cutters to steal a bike from a parking stand at Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue.

One detective recognized the man in the photo as Sutcliffe, who was held wihtout bail on suspicion of residential burglary, petty theft and a parole violation.

Because it was unclear at the time of the Press-Telegram coverage whether the bike had been reported stolen, police were urging residents to register their bicycles so they can more easily be reunited with their riders if recovered.

Cyclists have also been urged to invest in "U" style bike locks.

Finally, we ride on over to Riverside, where Tyler Stallings invites his Orange County fans and friends to his latest gig on the University of California campus there.

Stallings, who was chief curator of the Laguna Art Museum, director of programs at Huntington Beach Art Center and an art faculty member at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, is now director of UC Riverside's Sweeney Art Gallery and artistic director of UCR's Culver Center of the Arts.

The gallery celebrates its grand opening inside the art center with an Oct. 7 reception for the new exhibit "Re:Cycle--Bike Culture in Southern California," which will include the work of 28 artists and collectives that "use the bicycle as both a metaphor and a realization for restructuring the urban environment."

From Stallings' announcement:

In the past few years, bicycle activists, advocates, and aficionados have proven to be vociferous in their desire for reimagining city landscapes in the U.S., such as Los Angeles, that have been built around the automobile as the primary mode of transportation. However, contrary to this view, significant "bike cultures" have developed throughout the Southern California region in the past few years. It is a reflection of a shifting value system that looks towards alternate means of transportation, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and a cultural shift from consumption to sustainability.

The roster of artists represent a range from recent graduates to those in mid-career, and have been selected from Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

The exhibition, which runs through Dec. 31, also coincides with Riverside's inaugural 2010 Riverside Citrus Classic Bike Run on Oct. 17 and other initiatives in the inland city to generate a regional bike culture.

The Thursday, Oct. 7, reception runs from 6-10 p.m. and coincides with Riverside's First Thursday ArtsWalk.

More info:

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