American Bicycle Girl


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Synchronicity

Strange synchronicities! (people, places or events that your soul attracts into your life to help you evolve to higher consciousness or to place emphasis on something going on in your life)

Listening to ‘Flutter’ by Bonobo on Pandora as I flip through Goddess Central’s stunning photos. Gosh I love goddesses. Beautiful. 

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Synchronicity

Strange synchronicities! (people, places or events that your soul attracts into your life to help you evolve to higher consciousness or to place emphasis on something going on in your life)

Listening to ‘Flutter’ by Bonobo on Pandora as I flip through Goddess Central’s stunning photos. Gosh I love goddesses. Beautiful. 

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To San Diego and back

with help of Amtrak northbound to LA!

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Just as crazed Christmas shoppers at REI had driven me mad, I was able to spontaneously escape LA last weekend. Phew! A facebook post informed friends I was taking off, and excitingly even my Burbank TDM engineer friend, Donald, decided to join (engineers sometimes have fun? what) We split up the 150ish miles between two days; 76 miles to Mission Viejo and then 81 miles to San Diego. My favorite vegan single speed cyclecrosser, Matt Rusigno, hosted us in SD. Thank you! Here’s a few pictures from the trip.

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A Christmas Gift: Andy!

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When you don’t have family to spend the holidays with, find an adventurous traveler.

Ok…well I guess the only reason Andy is in LA, is due to an injured knee. How lucky I am that Lily and Charlie would leave a gimp cyclist behind to look after Pixel! (a great warmshowers.org present)

Holiday Festivities

Christmas Eve was full of adventures to natural foods stores. We rented the Xtracycle Radish cargo bike from Santa Monica Bike Center and I hauled gimp cyclist and self around.

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Christmas Day was our feast!

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Since we were eating on Charlie and Lily’s boat, I had the opportunity to page over the bike couple’s wedding binder. And oh boy is their love beautiful. The spoke-gazed lovers met while simultaneously bike touring in Europe. To know the rest, you’ll have to read the fairytale.

Lightfoot Sustainable Post

Cheers!

Onwards to San Diego by bike tomorrow.


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It’s already December.

Darn you blog! You’ve fallen terribly behind on updating friends and family on Lyndsay’s life. How will Karen, Chuckie, Kev, coolies, schlampes, hokies and others ever know about Lyndsay’s traumatic 3 week bed-ridden recovery on a boat from virus/wisdom teeth surgery?   Or the famous Cranksgiving Alleycat, Taco Tuesday and underground Midnight Ridazz rides Lyndsay frequents? Or the incredible friends who’ve convinced Lyndsay to BMX and cross train at The Cove Skatepark? Or the parkour, acrobatics and fly rings workouts Lyndsay is obsessed with at the Santa Monica jungle gym? Or the brokered deal Lyndsay made with her parents for a MacBook Pro in exchange for a dust collecting Honda Civic on a Claychin Ct. driveway? Speaking of which, I am officially and proudly a car-FREE LA resident! And yes I did even change my voters registration to California (Thanks Green Party tablers at LA Green Festival!)

A November (and halfway December) recap is in order. And don’t forget to describe my wild bike tour plans for Pippi on 2 wheels project! Or fundraising to get to USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championship in Madison, Wisconsin with The Team

I know you can do it, blog. 

 

Sincerely,

Lyndsay

 

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Santa Cyclecross race in Griffith Park this past weekend. Came in 3rd place Womens B!


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Oh, the people I meet. Lunacy, west coast culture, foodie thoughts

I’ve just returned from Lunacy Music and Arts Festival in Santa Barbara. The weekend was beautiful and the people, were exceptionally inspiring! The festival centered around celebrating community and freedom of expression under the full moon.Why Lunacy?

Since time immemorial, the moon has been a timekeeper, allowing us to meter our journey through the universe.  It is nocturnal illumination, it brings us light when all is dark and guides our adventures in the night.  We celebrate it’s coming to fullness together as a community.

Our cultural crowd is the convergence of brilliant and progressive hearts and minds from the near and far corners of humanity.  Artists, thinkers, creators, dissenters, debaters, movers, and shakers; a myriad of groups converge to create the techno-savvy tapestry of modern humanity.

This October, we will converge to celebrate the full moon and it’s light.  We will dance under the purest light to crisp cool beats echoing in the night.  We believe in the celebration of life.  We’re bringing together creative technology and innovative minds to celebrate the power of humanity, and we want all of YOU to come together and help bring this to life.

Nicholas and I climbed to the top of the Lunacy main stage jungle gym and doubled hula hooped. Yes we are both spider monkeys.

From camping with a wild, wonderful lady of a Burning Man friend to meeting a solar-power van spiffing, hang-gliding, parkour acrobat to hitching a ride back to LA with earthy, dready Lunacy musician, The Genie, the weekend was full of beautiful people. I find more and more, west coasters are passionate about their hobbies, and often times turn them into careers. People here also have a great sense of place and feel deeply connected with the environment they live in. They frequently travel to Yosemite, Zion, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone, Catalina Island, Joshua Tree and other national parks destinations of extreme beauty. Hence, they love the outdoors on an intense spiritual level. And with unbeatable So Cal weather, people are able to recreate outdoors all the time!

Californians are also much more conscious of the food that feeds their bodies. Super raw foods and fruit shakes with cactus and celery are not uncommon. I had the best festival food I’ve ever eaten at Lydia’s. Their quinoa burger and vegan yogurt paste was unbelievable. There are also unique vegan restaurants like Euphoria Loves Rawvolution in Santa Monica with mind-blowing raw foods creativity. In addition to their environmental business commitment of composting food scraps for fertilizer and fuel, ELR is big on building activist communities (see mission statement below). I first learned about California’s push for ‘Yes on Prop 37‘, a label on food that’s been genetically engineered, while eating ELR chilled pad thai kelp noodles one afternoon.

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The strong slow food movement out here always reminds me of the great work my two favorite foodies, Elena and Liza, are doing out east! Elena is now working on her Sustainable Agriculture Food Masters at Michigan State University while Liza recently took on an AmeriCorps Farm to School position in Marlinton, West Virginia. (Farm to school initiatives involve connecting schools with local farms by bringing fresh, nutritious foods from local farms into school cafeterias. Such initiatives serve both to help support local farmers and keep food dollars in local economies, and to help create a generation of informed food consumers)

Keep up the great work amazing friends! I miss you.


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Girl Bike Power in LA

I LOVE all the women bike empowerment I keep learning of in LA. And the most exciting piece is how we’ll soon be able to connect all these groups through the League’s Women Bike Program. Here’s a short list of wonderful women bike groups I’ve become acquainted with from the four weeks I’ve lived in LA + my fresh off the boat perspective.

1. Ovarian Psyco-Cycles – “Sometimes our ovarian cycles make us turn into ovarian psycosAs such, we invite you to ride off the stress and get a workout and connect with other wombyn on the streets of Los Angeles”

Yes! A cycling sisterhood. These gals organize fun rides like Clitoral (Critical) Mass and Luna Rides every full moon! They’re also incredibly active with Take Back The Night and womens rights. While I’m not the kind of lady to sport a cog-ovary handkerchief over my face, I cannot wait to connect with this close-knit female collective. Why? The Ovas offer a space for women and raise awareness about the difficulties of riding in the city as a woman.

I’ve already mentioned moving to LA has been a huge struggle, and finally I can expand. When I’m out on the streets, I’m a target. Riding a bike as a young woman here is scary, as is riding any public transit! Men catcall and moan at me from the sidewalks, under bridges, or their cars, approach me as I’m locking or unlocking my bike emphasizing that they’re single or just stare at me when on the bus/metro. I love being car-free here, I hate the sexualized attention. It makes me feel vulnerable, and that’s crap! I’ll have to share these experiences with the Ovas soon. That’ll help me feel more comfortable here on my bike!

2. Iron Unicorns – Female activists dedicated to creating equality for women cyclists, both on the streets and in society; to create an environment of togetherness and comradery among women and other cyclists regardless of gender.

With a focus on multi-culturalism, feminist ideology and riding in solidarity with people of different backgrounds, these gals are all about helping women in our communities feel confident to get on a bike and ride. Thanks to Last Nights Ride (promoting fun on 2 wheels; photography of LA’s vibrant bike festivals, rides, parties and tours) and the Bike Oven’s monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride, I had the opportunity to meet founder Michelle Padilla!
               

3. Bodacious Bike Babes – Another girl bike group! The BBBs are wildly fun and popular. When they’re not working CicLAvia as hub volunteers or route angels, they’re riding their traditional route to Golden Road Brewery for drinks, gathering ladies for a new monthly Womens Bike Brunch, or just plainly building energy for the next crazy biker party. They work closely with the LA County Bicycle Coalition on growing the current 16% of cyclists who are women (stats from last year’s bicycle count). They also work hard at breaking down the ‘too dangerous’ feeling most women have when thinking about street cycling (advocates are increasingly pointing to women riders’ safety concerns as a way of advancing a broader agenda of making streets better for all cyclists and pedestrians, of all ages).

I met Mama B, or Andrea last Friday at the Treats and Beats/BBB/Monday Night Rehab biker’s castle bash last Friday. We clicked. She gave me a BBB button. Now I’m a BBB! Done. Can’t wait to attend upcoming ladies only sleepover + fix a flat party.

4. Team Luna Chix – A national competitive and recreational women cycling club! There’s a local chapter in LA. LUNA Chix Local Teams bring together women interested in learning new sports, staying active and inspiring others to do the same. “We are a team of women who love to ride our bikes and are dedicated to getting more women into the sport that we’re passionate about.  Join us between April and October for free weekly rides every Tuesday out of Pasadena Cyclery.  Our rides are geared toward beginners who want to improve their cycling skills.”

I’d like to join Team Luna Chix! Even more inspiring, a Luna lady won this past weekend’s UCI Elite Women Spooky Kross race. And she’s a redhead!

5. Swirl Scouts – a bike art girl activism + skill trade group. They make patches! more info soon.

6. Bicycle Bitchen – Monday nights are reserved for women at the Bicycle Kitchen Co-Op. I’ve yet to go, but can’t wait to check it! Straight from the website:

Bicycle Bitchen is a weekly women and transgendered-only night at the Bicycle Kitchen. We encourage women of all skill levels to experiment and explore while learning bike mechanics and maintenance in a comfortable atmosphere. Come experience the satisfaction and joy of building, fixing or souping up your own bike with a group of women who love bicycling. Monday nights, from 6:30-9:30 pm we open up the space to make it more welcoming to women and transgendered folks by staffing the shop by women and trans cooks for women and trans only. We ask that men respect this by coming back during our other open hours. We’re open to doing special workshops for women’s, feminist, or LGBTI groups. If you are interested contact us at: kitchen@bicyclekitchen.com, LA Times article

7. Women in Bike Polo! There’s a team, close to Gorilla, but Girilla? More info soon! There’s even a push for more women in this punky sport of hitting a ball around with a mallet while balancing on a bike. I attended Tuesday Rookie night the other day and it was a blast! LA Bike Polo is quite the movement here. Everyone is very encouraging of new people getting into the sport. I never gave Blacksburg Bike Polo a shot, but here there’s a huge culture around the sport with weekly pick-up games.

8. Women on Bikes SoCal – primarily based in Long Beach, I met Melissa Balmer while at Pro Walk Pro Bike 2012. more info coming!

Ok people, what other women bike groups/events am I missing in LA? I’m posting this blog now, and will add more before I send off to League of American Bicyclists and others who will be amazed! There is incredible energy here for encouraging women to bike. I love it.

Lastly, here’s a great article on why all these women-focused grassroots groups could mean a safer, healthier, more livable LA: Sisterhood of the traveling bikes