August 10th, 2007
I’ve been a Pasadena, California resident since birth, and for the most part I have enjoyed life in the city of roses. We don’t have to look far to find places to play, great shops, tons of diversity, and tasty food.
As a cyclist, I especially enjoy the many bike routes and legendary group rides such as Montrose and the Rose Bowl. Adding to the excitement, it was recently announced that the Amgen Tour of California (one of the premier pro cycling events in the US) will finish with a criterium in our town.
Which is why it was so strange that a week later a new ordinance was passed by the city council to outlaw the peloton. That term refers to a group of cyclists riding together in a free formation, such as you’ll see during any of the grand tours, like the Tour de France. So, let me get this straight: The pro peloton is coming to town, and you want to OUTLAW that style of riding for all the local cycling fans? Brilliant!
The Rose Bowl ride, which happens on Tues & Thurs evenings during daylight savings time, is well known by riders everywhere, and has been going on for over sixty years. The new law that will be placed into effect limits cyclists to riding no more than two abreast. That means a mother, father, and child can’t even ride together, let alone teams. Local cyclists are doing their best to fight for their rights.
Earlier this week I joined them at the weekly city council meeting, to make public statements against the ordinance. The meeting started at 6:30 pm and when they saw that more than forty cyclists had shown up to speak, they pushed off public discussion on the topic. They might have hoped we’d all give up and go home, but most of us were still there when they finally took up the peloton issue at 12:30 am.
Due to the lateness of the hour, they slashed the usual three-minute allotments for personal statements down to 60 seconds. Every single public official on the city council seemed annoyed with our objections, and although one or two tried to pay some lip service to our concerns, they still voted to read the ordinance into law.
Although there’s still hope that ongoing negotiations could delay the adoption of the new rule, group rides in Pasadena could become illegal as soon as November. Nobody seems to care much about that whole “safety in numbers” thing, I guess. Pasadena touts itself as one of the most bike-friendly city in Southern California… What a joke.
Entry Filed under: Outer Spaces