One tough cookie

November 10, 2016 § 17 Comments

So this was my first grand fondue, and it was a doozy. 18 billion feet of climbing, nothing but Santa Monica mountain roads, and a finishing kick on PCH.

It was the first ever Phil’s Gran Cookie Dough, a fondo that had lots of great stuff, but whose key feature was cookies. Not just any cookies. These cookies.

cookies1

They were so filled with butter and massive bombs of chocolate that when you held them to eat, the aftermath looked like you’d been digging in dirt up to your elbows. I’m not sure if they were chocolate chip cookies, or giant lumps of chocolate with a few crumbs of flour around the edges.

Whatever they were, I needed them, because I had signed up for the full 117-mile, 13,000 foot beatdown only to arrive and decide that as old and stupid and slow and crazy as I was, I wasn’t old and stupid and slow and crazy enough to throw down with Jesse Anthony, Phil Gaimon, Matt Wikstrom, James Cowan, Michael Smith, Katie Donovan, and all of the other etceteras who were doing the full route.

Instead I chose the easy route, 88 miles and 10k of climbing punctuated with lots of rest stops. Problem was, this. And I’m not talking about the underwear:

back_strips

The previous Tuesday on the NPR there had been a rather brisk pace and upon returning home I realized that it had been so brisk I could no longer walk. Naturally, this led to fears not of paralysis, but to fears that it would affect my cycling. So I went back out on Thursday and rode a bunch more. The good news was that my injury didn’t impair my riding as long as I never had to get off the bike.

So on Friday I rode some more, took Saturday off, and did the grand fondue with what can only be described as wrenching pain every time I had to get off the bike and stand. Fortunately, a bike makes a great cane!

The ride started with a parking lot flat tire, where I used my only tube. “No worries!” I thought. “I never get flats.”

Then we rode rather briskly up Potrero, which isn’t really a climb so much as it is a 1-mile physics problem. (I failed physics. Then and now.) Over the top I soft pedaled, having set my strategy for the day: Give up, go slow, and eat cookies.

Soon I was joined by Frankie, Delia, and Lloyd, and we gaily chatted, gaily pedaled, and fell like marauding Goths on the first feed stop which overfloweth-ed with cookies. You’d be amazed at how grand fondue math works. It’s like this:

500 kcal expended + 1,500 kcal of cookies = make sure to eat more cookies at the next stop

That’s a real formula, perhaps with the multiplier of gels/sugar drinks/energy bars so that you finish the ride like I did, three pounds heavier.

About halfway through, my ride mates began having technical problems that involved flat tires and broken spokes, which was no problem because there were a pair of Mavic support cars trolling the course, changing flats, and getting everyone going again. The problem was that even though I’d been going slowly and eating bigly, after several hours in the heat it became clear that if I didn’t hustle I’d be going home in the sag van.

So I hustled.

Alistair Fraser and Tom Buffington, two fellows who were in for the full 117-miler, caught up to me on PCH and we turned up Mulholland together, each of us cursing Trump in our own special way, denying that such a person could ever win the presidency. After about a mile we were overhauled by a group that included David Steinhafel, Katy D., and five or six other young people who were clearly in a big hurry to get to the next chocolate chip cookie station.

Unfortunately, the station was at the top of a six or seven mile climb, and the pace was brutal. One by one riders dropped off, however, being a hop-in wanker who had joined the group after resting and going slow whereas they’d already done 80 miles of bitterly hard riding, I was able to struggle to the nasty top, clinging to the wheel of a 20-something kid with big frizzy hair who shredded everyone else.

He pulled over for cookies at the top and I dropped down the Yerba Buena descent. Yerba Buena was last paved in the late Paleolithic, and there’s nothing that feels better when you’re exhausted and in fear for your life than having your front wheel hit giant crack after giant pothole for mile after mile on a harrowing descent.

Kind of like being unable to get away from “that guy” in a crit peloton, the guy who is weaving and guaranteed to crash you out, the guy who no matter how hard you try to avoid but is always in front of you, I was continually hitting massive gashes in the road that I saw, avoided, and smashed into anyway. My rear tire finally succumbed and there I was, flat and out.

This is where you notice there are three types of riders in a grand fondue, and in life generally.

  1. The ones who pretend they don’t see you on the side of the road in your orange outfit holding a tube in your hand, helplessly.
  2. The ones who zoom by at 35 and say, “You okay, dude?” and are gone before you can sob, “No!”
  3. The ones who stop and help.

The great thing about cycling is that no matter how many times YOU may have been a 1 or a 2, there is always a number 3 because, yo, bike riders!

Peter Nesmith was my angel. He stopped, gave me his last tube, waited until I was sure the stem would fit through my all-carbon rims which were made of pure 100% carbon, and then continued on. However, I had misjudged the stem length and was soon standing with a properly mounted tire and tube and a fizzled C02 cartridge. My last one, natch.

Katie D. saw me, slowed, and did a number 3. Why yes, she did happen to have a valve extender. Why yes, she did happen to have an extra C02. Why yes, she would certainly help me get going again. Why yes, she would certainly show me how a pro descends. Why no, she would never see the fear smears in my shorts from following her wheel all the way down to PCH.

Once we got onto flattish, tailwindish roads, within smelling distance of the parking lot, we both got bumper fever, that sudden infusion of power and strength that comes from knowing the misery is almost over. None of the power and strength came from the tailwind. None. We were briefly joined by Patrick Barrett and Chris Miller, and some dude who had come down from Vancouver.

Back in the beer garden and barbecue park I wandered, dazed, eating the best pulled-pork sandwich ever, marveling at the people who had ridden 30 miles farther and finished two hours earlier, and wondering why I was having so much trouble standing. Must have been the cookies.

END

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For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and support people who support cycling, on and off the bike. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. You can also visit my store on Shopify, which sells socks and patches and bar tape and stuff.

 

Compassion and prayers, but PLEASE SHOW UP

November 7, 2016 § 23 Comments

The Palos Verdes Estates City Council meets Tuesday night, 11/8, at 5:30 PM. They have moved their regular meeting time back from 7:30 in order to wrap things up so they can be home to watch the live election results.

With your help that’s not going to happen. Yesterday another cyclist was horrifically injured when struck by a car on PV Drive near (where else?) Trump National Golf Club.

Although it would be gosh-darn fun for the city council to wrap up its business, adjourn, and get home to the couch and the wide screen, we’re going to insist instead that they do their job. In this case, that will mean dealing with those of us who have gone from slow burn to outraged regarding the council’s refusal to install Bikes May Use Full Lane signage, overriding their previous 5-0 approval of the signage, and overriding the recommendations of their traffic engineer, an outside consultant, and their own Traffic Safety Committee.

Please attend this meeting. There will also be a 4:00 PM peaceful protest at Malaga Cove Plaza. Signs have been prepared to hold up for passing motorists, and some people will be riding bikes as well. The collision yesterday, which involved a Torrance resident who has in the past advocated for BMUFL signage, must not be ignored, and the council must be held responsible for its complete failure to protect cyclists.

After the protest, at 5:30 PM we will convene at the city council chambers located at 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Suite C, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274. At the meeting we will again demand that the city council place the BMUFL signage on its agenda and immediately vote at its next regularly scheduled meeting to install the signs.

The meeting will last until very late and there will be free pizza, snacks, and drinks. If you get off work late, don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to still show up and have your voice heard. Since the council shot down BMUFL signage, there has been a hit-and-run, a case of road rage against an entire peloton, a bicyclist hit by a drunk driver on Crest, a young rider jerked off his bike and punched in the face, and now a horrific injury that occurred on one of the busiest and most popular cycling routes on the Peninsula.

This isn’t the time for platitudes, offerings of compassion, prayer, or positive thoughts, although those things are appreciated. This is the time to put aside whatever you had planned and voice your outrage.

Democracy only happens when people show up.

END

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I’ve set up a store on Shopify where you can buy South Bay Cycling items, the purchase of which will help pay for food/drinks/snacks at the Nov. 8 PVE City Council protest and pizza party, as well as for advocacy to fight the evil of people like the Unnos, Cynthia Bianchi, Shannon Zaragoza, Frank Ponce, and the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch who zealously oppose bicycle signage.

And for $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and support people who support cycling, on and off the bike. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

Stop signs must stop

November 5, 2016 § 16 Comments

After hearing Garrett Unno’s impassioned plea to remove 3-Feet-It’s-The-Law signage from Palos Verdes Estates, I was emailed this guest blog by long-time friend Don W.

The piece itself is authored by Jarrett Ohno, and it makes a lot of sense. Jarrett is a scientific researcher on climate change and works for the Donald J. Trump campaign in what is about to be a whole lot of spare time:

If you would like the “STOP” signs removed, please attend and let the committee know during public comments. No one would argue that these signs are the most important thing going on in our city (check out http://www.noflatlandersinpve.org/!) but they were a bad decision that is worth fixing. Some of my thoughts:

1) “STOP” signs were a piecemeal solution. The PVE City Council voted against installation of the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” sign because they felt it was a piecemeal solution. “STOP” signs fall into the same category.

2) The “STOP” sign is too consistent with our neighboring cities. We are an important city built upon a hill. We should not seek to emulate our neighboring flatland communities by copying their signage. The city is moving towards a master roadway plan to make up its own signage that will be unique and specific to our wonderful city, and maintain our high property values. This sign was a step in the opposite direction and should be removed until other effective signage can be determined.

3) Unusual and ineffective design. The “STOP” sign is unusual in its design and wording. First, it’s an octagon. This is unique amongst street signs in that it is a complicated eight-sided shape that could confuse hill-dwelling residents. Second, the word STOP, in all capital letters, seems to be yelling a command at the users of our narrow roads. Again, this could be confusing, or even frightening to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and even horses as to why they are being yelled at and being given a command to do something. The “STOP” sign was first used in Detroit, Michigan in 1915.

Detroit! Do we want people from Detroit deciding what type of signs we use in PVE? I can just imagine how this is affecting our property values. Between 1915 and 1935, “STOP” signs were changed several times because of uncertainty and confusion of drivers. Do we want to perpetuate the uncertainty and confusion of drivers in PVE? The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) “STOP” sign has been altered eight times between 1935 and 1971. It seems to me that when you change something eight times, you aren’t very uniform. Maybe they should change it to the Manual of Uncertain Traffic Control Devices? PVE should remove all “STOP” signs until the MUTCD can make up its mind and come up with a standard, less shape-challenged sign that is less demanding of drivers, cyclists, horses, and pedestrians.

4) “STOP” signs invented during period of anarchy. The “STOP” sign was conceived during a revolutionary time, in the early automobile age. According to a quote that I found while hastily confirming my knowledge on this subject, a person named William Phelps Eno wrote in a 1900 article “Reforming Our Street Traffic Urgently Needed,” for Rider and Driver magazine. He proposed placing “STOP” signs at intersections. The article continues to say that “It was a civilizing notion. That was a new concept and really did introduce the idea that you had to watch out for other people.” Watching out for other people? That’s socialism. We don’t need socialism in PVE. That would affect our quality of life.

5) Size and height blocking view of surrounding beauty. The “STOP” sign size and height, although uniform as described in the MUTCD (for now, amiright?), blocks the view of the surrounding beauty as drivers, cyclist, runners, and horses approach, decreasing the quality of life of residents whose field of vision is blighted by these signs. Many PVE residents are able to see “STOP” signs when looking out of the windows of their homes. People in their homes are stationary. They don’t need to be yelled at by a “STOP” sign to stop. Maybe the placement of “STOP” signs should be considered so that no PVE resident is able to see one if they happen to look out any of the windows in their homes.

6) “STOP” signs imposing to some residents. The “STOP” sign could be seen as imposing or threatening to some residents. When I was younger, I adopted a dog from the pound that must have had some trauma prior to being adopted by me. Whenever I would walk her past a fire hydrant, her hackles would rise up as we passed by and she wouldn’t turn her back on the hydrant as a precaution from being attacked. Some residents could have a similar visceral reaction to “STOP” signs, similar to what other residents have reported from being surprised by the “3 FEET IT’S THE LAW” signs. What is that, a child on a pogo stick? A construction worker with a jackhammer? A clown? I can’t even.

7) No one takes action based on command from “STOP” signs. The “STOP” sign is issuing a command, in too stern a fashion, and drivers, cyclists, runners, pedestrians, and horses aren’t paying attention. No one stops because there is a “STOP” sign. This has been proven by the PVE City Police, during a routine “random” observation of drivers and cyclists at a few different intersections that coincidentally took place during a time when a known quantity of cyclists would be social cycling through the city. Coincidentally, the majority of PVE residents who drive cars were still snuggled in their beds with their blinds closed so that they could not see “STOP” signs. This proves that “STOP” signs are ineffective and should be removed immediately.

Jarrett Ohno

Mr. Anonymous loses again

November 4, 2016 § 16 Comments

On Wednesday, Garrett Unno of Raytheon sought to get the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee to add removal of the “3-Feet It’s The Law” signs they recently installed as one of the city council’s new agenda items. Garrett, his wife Zoe who appears to work in the Engineering Library at USC, Cynthia Bianchi, Frank Ponce, and Shannon Zaragoza have all opposed the installation of BMUFL signage in PVE over the recommendations of the city’s traffic engineer, the city’s traffic safety committee, and the city’s outside consultant.

When the city council voted not to install the BMUFL signs, Unno and some of his like-minded residents thought the time was ripe to get the 3-Feet signs taken down.

ltr_from_unno

When the cyclist gang that has been terrorizing PVE by begging for signage that will make the city safer for vulnerable road users showed up to speak at the TSC meeting, they were pleasantly surprised to hear the squishing sound of the committee as it ground a boot heel on Unno’s absurd and evil attempt to have the signs removed.

You can hear the incredible concatenation of nonsense here, starting at about 54:07, when, after the somewhat baffled TSC takes up this silly proposal, Camp Unno begins to immortalize its stupidity on livestreaming video. Even more priceless is the “reading” of the Unno Manifesto. All I can say is that I hope we’re not sending up anything of value on the rockets designed by this guy.

What was most fascinating, though, was that Unno himself and his wife Zoe were absent, as were the other people who have been stalwarts in the fight to keep PVE from installing BMUFL signs that cyclists and studies argue make the roads safer for vulnerable road users. Instead, someone read Garrett’s prepared remarks, to which inquiring minds asked, “To hell with Waldo! Where was Unno?”

Well, one thought is that Garrett Unno’s employer, Raytheon was none too pleased by his attempts to shoot down BMUFL signage. Why? Because Raytheon sponsors a massive support ride–that’s on bicycles, folks–for wounded service women and servicemen.

I can almost hear the conversation now. “Excuse me, Mr. Vice-President Stumpkins, you know that engineer over in cubicle No. 2,333,018?”

“No.”

“Dude who eats lunch by himself all the time and doesn’t talk to anyone?”

“No.”

“Unno. Like the card game with a misspelling.”

“Oh, that guy. ‘Scowler’ I’ve heard him called. Yeah. What about him?”

“Can you believe that after all the time and money we pour into the veterans’ support bike ride, that fucker is out telling the city of Palos Verdes Estates to take down 3-feet-it’s-the-law signs.”

“What? The bike signs?”

“Yep. And get this. He and some other whackadoodles have consistently opposed installation of those Bikes May Use Full Lane signs that protect cyclists.”

“You are fucking kidding me.”

“I’m not.”

“We’re spending all this fucking time and money to help wounded veterans by encouraging cycling and that sonofabitch is trying to remove bike safety signage? For fuck’s sake. Get that bastard into my office.”

“Yes, sir.”

So it’s my wild guess that as word spreads at Raytheon that Garrett Unno’s contribution to the wounded warriors project consists of opposing signage that will prevent people from getting wounded, he is starting to feel some of the consequences of his convictions–convictions that are probably wilting as I write. Same for his wife Zoe. How does someone who works at bike-friendly USC, surrounded by students on bicycles, and in the engineering department no less, explain herself as an opponent of BMUFL and 3-Feet-It’s-The-Law signage?

Answer: Feebly.

And of course PVE’s advocate for the Lunada Bay Boys, Coldwell-Banker’s Mr. Frank Ponce, is likely fielding a phone call or two from people who have heard he’s a residential realtor who opposes bike signage. Yeah … that’s gotta be good for business. “Come live in beautiful Palos Verdes Estates and get run over.” Sounds like a winning tag line to me.

But none of these gnats really matter. They are already sagging under the glare of public perception and will soon go back to what they do best, which is fuming on antisocial media. Saddest of all is Mr. Anonymous, the fellow who makes videos, maintains hate web sites, and spams recipients with hate mail. He’s now lost 3 out of 4 contests and is about to lose the BMUFL signage issue as well, which will make it four out of four. Cycling advocates, er, bicycle gangsters, have only just gotten their motors, er, pedals, revved up for signage, whereas the mouthpieces of Mr. Anonymous are dropping like flies.

And this of course is the curse of every anonymous troll. When there are no more real humans to take the positions they feed their surrogates, they quickly find that “anonymous” doesn’t get them air time at the meetings where the decisions get made. And they can’t suddenly take ownership of all their spew because it’s impossible to defend the indefensible. So that leaves them alone.

At home.

In front of their keyboard.

And ignored.

END

 

 

Schoolyard bike

November 3, 2016 § 21 Comments

After finishing up the NPR I carefully parked my full carbon bike, which is 100% carbon and made entirely of carbon, up against the steel bike pole. I leaned it just so to keep it from getting dinged.

My pal Greg Leibert was watching me.

“Don’t scratch that bike,” he said. “She’s a beauty.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

“Remember how we used to park our bikes in elementary school?”

We looked at each other and laughed. “Parked!”

“Yeah, you’d get to school and jump off your bike and let it fall in the dirt.”

“Plop!”

“Or klunk if it was on pavement.”

“Nothing ever broke either.”

“There was nothing to break. They were made of steel and heavy stuff that didn’t know how to break. Just the rubber ends of the handlebars got all torn from always falling down on the side.”

“And all you needed to fix a schoolyard bike was a crescent wrench.”

“Yeah! Same size bolt for the stem, the wheels, and the seat.”

“And you changed a flat with a screwdriver!”

“Two or three times per flat!”

“But that was okay because you just patched it and poked it some more with the screwdriver.”

“Plus they never flatted anyway.”

“How could they? Those tubes were a mile thick and the tires were thicker.”

“Except for all the spots where you wore ’em down from skidding.”

We laughed and gazed for a minute at our full carbon bikes, which were made of carbon, the pure, 100% kind, bikes that we didn’t even know how to adjust the brakes on. Greg looked at my derailleur and lights. “Pretty sure we never had to plug in our bikes before we rode them,” he mused.

“And if you were such a sissy you had to have a light when it was pitch black outside you wired it to your fork and a generator thingy rubbed against the wheel to make the light shine. And it only shone about ten feet and slowed your forty-pound bike with fat tires down even slower.”

“You know,” Greg said, “I remember riding up to school everyday and sometimes I’d be so eager to start playing that I’d halfway jump off my bike while it was still going and just let it roll until it fell. Those schoolyard games were legendary.”

“They were indeed,” I agreed.

“Something happened on the playground, man, it stuck with you all the way to high school and beyond.”

“Way beyond,” I said.

“There was this new kid came to town one day and he was a big old kid. Every day we played sockball at recess, and this kid, he was huge. It came his turn to bat and the pitcher got the sockball ready and looked out at the bases and the outfield and everybody moved back. Way back. Way, way, way back because he was a big dude and we knew what that meant.”

“So what happened?”

“Billy Wayne did his wind-up and let the sockball fly, I was playing second base but was way back in center field. That kid took one look at us spread out like a warm breakfast and he just went *peep* and plunked the sockball about six inches in front of home plate. Easy double and he made it halfway to third before they got him out by beaning him upside the head. And from then on you know what we called him?”

“What?”

“Big Bunt. I still don’t remember his name if I ever even knew it. He was just Big Bunt.”

“Legend.”

“Oh, yeah. You did something like that you were Big Bunt and you were gonna stay Big Bunt. Your grandkids’d be asking you, ‘Grampa, how come your friends call you Big Bunt?’ That’s how it was. You know there was another time I was rounding third and somehow the pitcher had got the sockball and he threw it at me as hard as he could, so of course I jumped high, I was a good jumper, and that sockball came flying by where my chest should have been but instead was my shoes and *wham* that sockball knocked off my shoe.”

“Your shoe?”

“Yep. And you know what?”

“What?”

“I swear, ten years later I’d be talking with some friends in high school and somebody I hadn’t seen in a while would come up and after a few minutes he’d say, ‘You remember that time in third grade we were playing sockball and you got your shoe knocked off?’ and I’d say ‘Yep!’ and we’d have a good laugh about it. People never forgot that stuff.”

We gazed at the bikes for a minute. “Those were the days, man,” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “Yes, they were.”

END

A name you can trust!

November 2, 2016 § 18 Comments

I want to take a minute to introduce you to a real estate professional named Frank Ponce. Mr. Ponce has recently been active in protecting his city from ugly, useless, poorly planned bicycle signage in his community.

Mr. Ponce operates in Palos Verdes Estates and is one of the great real estate professionals of our time, a man who can help you achieve your dreams. One of the recommendations on his web site is the purchase of this amazing book:

Matthew A. Martinez has come out with yet another incredible book with no gimmicks on how to make money in real estate in the new economy. Matthew is truly
the Warren Buffett of real estate investing. I urge you purchase this book if your are a real estate professional or an investor.

Those get rich quick schemes like flipping houses is for the birds. There is no speculation here. These are sure ways to building your real estate empire within this book.  Click on the image to find out more.

In addition to recommending this incredible book with no gimmicks, and his unconventional grammatical use of “your are,” Mr. Ponce also dabbles in subject-verb disagreement, another cutting edge writing technique that is sure to get your attention and keep you focused on the excellent services he provides. (Disclaimer: I have bought a copy of this book and it is really incredible, with no gimmicks. I expect that, with the amazing tips from this book, I will soon be able to buy the apartment building in which I currently live. Thank you, Mr. Ponce!!!)

“But who is Frank Ponce?” you may be asking. I know I did. It turns out that he is one of those true success stories in PVE who hales from just north of Dodger Stadium, a guy who started with nothing and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to be the realtor he is today. As Mr. Ponce tells it in the “About Me” section of his web site:

 I got my first taste of income properties when I was still in Junior High School working for my father and helping him manage his motels.

There’s nothing tougher than working for your dad and helping him manage his motels, plural. The hours are long and the boss is really tough on you because you have to make your bed and keep your room clean. Plus, you start at the bottom and remain there for weeks. From these humble beginnings, Mr. Ponce developed a truly humanitarian approach to life and success, an appreciation of couches, and an approach that has served him well. In Mr. Ponce’s own inimitable words:

Landlording is perhaps the single most important service anyone can provide because you are providing a roof over a family’s head. Landlording is probably the world’s second oldest profession and certainly the most lucrative. Properly managed, a good piece of income property is the closest thing you will ever come to a real live, self-propelled, self-generating money machine.

Well, who doesn’t like a self-generating money machine? Probably the same stupid people who don’t like made-up words like “landlording.” And any salesman who can juxtapose his profession with prostitution and do it with a smile, well, that’s the guy you want to entrust with the sale of your attractive, one-of-a-kind bridge in Brooklyn. Trust me.

However, Mr. Frank Ponce isn’t just a practitioner of the oldest profession after the oldest profession and the owner of a real, live, money machine. He’s also a community guy who cares about the little people he owns. Listen to Mr. Frank Ponce:

But, I am not just a landlord. I get involved in the city that I buy in. I am a member in the Chamber of Commerce, and help create Landlord clubs to help eliminate crime in certain neighborhoods. In being a landlord one needs to remember that you are the owner of a small community, and you have the power to make that little community a better place for people to live in.

It is pretty awesome that Mr. Frank Ponce never forgets, even for a moment, that he is the owner of a small community, and that making communities safer is job number one. Of course sometimes when you are landlording you have to sell the little community you own and care for, but life can sometimes be harsh. Mr. Ponce has some good advice for how to go about dealing with the little people who you own. e.g “tenants.”

Doing a thorough inspection of the exterior and interior of the property will afford you the opportunity to potentially find anything in disrepair and fix it. Of course, you don’t want to alarm or alert tenants to the fact that you will be selling the property. Just tell them that you are doing an annual inspection and give them 24 hours notice.

It may seem cruel to lie to the little people community that you own and to leave off apostrophes, but sometimes this is necessary. In addition to helping people as a landlorder, Mr. Ponce has been very active defending the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch. Some members of this group of upstanding citizens have been sued for criminal gang activity that involves allegations of decades-long harassment and violence against non-resident surfers at Lunada Bay.

Mr. Ponce wants you to know that Palos Verdes Estates is a family friendly place, and that these allegations are ridiculous. Mr. Ponce, in a wide-ranging, intelligent, and reflective interview about the allegations of gang activity directed against outsiders, notes that as a local resident “I have NEVER had any problems with any of the surfers there.” Of course there are two sides to every story, even if the other one is completely wrong, like this one.

Mr. Ponce is similarly dismissive of the oldest profession, which it turns out includes the media. He vigorously defends the family-friendly nature of Lunada Bay in this interview with LA Weekly:

“I’m really disgusted with the media,” says Frank Ponce, who’s lived in Lunada Bay since 1998. “They’re a bunch of prostitutes. There are no gangs down there, I can tell you that right now. You get a couple idiots who cause trouble. But for the most part, everyone there, they’re older people, they just have fun and surf.”

Of course the fun-loving may include a bit of rock throwing, a touch of vehicle vandalism, a few punch ’em ups, the occasional rape threat, and the privatization of public land. However, as a valued customer you should understand that this will not happen if, like Mr. Ponce, you are a local resident of PVE. In fact, once you purchase your home you will get to know and love these fun-filled defendants. According to Mr. Ponce, “They loan me their kayaks. They are really nice people. They are business owners.”

As a real estate professional, Mr. Ponce appreciates the illegal surfer patio built by the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, usurping public land for private, unpermitted use. “I go down there with my kids,” Ponce said. “I use that shack to barbecue.” Although it’s unclear whether little apartment people in the communities he owns can also use the patio, as a landlorder in PVE you probably can.

As Mr. Ponce, along with Garrett Unno, Zoe Unno, Cynthia Bianchi, and Shannon Zaragoza stand up against the real gangsters in Palos Verdes Estates–the bicycling gangsters–I hope you support him with your patronage by buying a home from him. If your children enjoy riding bicycles, Mr. Ponce can explain to them that PVE is really not a very good place for that.

They can, however, take up surfing.

END

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I’ve set up a store on Shopify where you can buy South Bay Cycling items, the purchase of which will help pay for food/drinks/snacks at the Nov. 8  PVE City Council Bike Ride and Pizza Party, as well as for advocacy to fight the evil of people like the Unnos, Cynthia Bianchi, Shannon Zaragoza, Frank Ponce, and the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch who zealously oppose bicycle signage.

And for $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and support people who support cycling, on and off the bike. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

The best defense …

November 1, 2016 § 22 Comments

Props to Garret Unno, anti-bike signage NIMBY dude from Palos Verdes Estates, for this gem:

ltr_from_unno

Yes, after leading the charge to shoot down the Bikes May Use Full Lane signage, which signage was approved by the Traffic Safety Committee, the city engineer, an outside consultant, the city attorney, and over a hundred cyclist advocates, Garrett has now targeted the 3-Feet signage recently installed in PVE to advise drivers that they have to, you know, give cyclists three feet when they pass.

Nothing like being in the vanguard to protect your idyllic community at the expense of lives!!

Still, Garrett, who is reputedly an engineer at Raytheon, deserves mad props. Dude gets R done. Quiet, head down, consistent, and relentless, his hatred of cyclists has effectively beaten back a broad-based coalition of cyclists that includes actual PVE residents. To me that’s kind of weird, because a lot of people at Raytheon cycle. Do they know that their colleague is all-in when it comes to opposing signage that protects cyclists? If I had someone like that in my office, I’d read him the riot act.

Anway, One Unno > 200 Freaks in Lycra, at least according to PVE City Council math. And he’s no dummy, either: Don’t sit around waiting for the enemy, hit them as hard as you can when and where they least expect it, and press the hell out of your advantage. Momentum doesn’t come often, and a good strategist knows to roll with the tide.

It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how the Traffic Safety Committee responds to Unno’s plea, especially since they’ve already voted for the signs, recommended that the signs be installed, and worked with the city engineer to place the signs and oversee their installation. It will be even more awesome to see how the city council, if the TSC caves to Unno, votes regarding the new signage they just installed.

Stay tuned for the shit show …

In the meantime, I’ve set up a store on Shopify where you can buy South Bay Cycling items, the purchase of which will help pay for food/drinks/snacks at our next City Council Bike Ride and Pizza Party, as well as for advocacy to fight the evil of people like Unno, his wife Zoe, Shannon Zaragoza, Frank Ponce, and the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch who zealously oppose bicycle signage in PV Estates.

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