The Bike Blog, It Is A’changing: Christopher Kidd Out, Jojo Pewsawang In

It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? As I prepare to pass the LADOT Bike Blog torch to the capable hands of current intern (and soon-to-be Student Professional Worker) Jojo Pewsawang, I can’t help but reflect on everything that’s happened during my time at the LADOT Bike Blog.

See you later, Los Angeles

It was about a year and a half ago that the LADOT Bike Blog launched, and was promptly greeted with much skepticism and a small amount of guarded enthusiasm.  At the time, I had worked as a part-time unpaid intern at LADOT for a grand total of 4 months; to say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into could be characterized as a fairly massive understatement.

Since those first salad days, the LADOT Bike Blog has blossomed into a resource center for bike information & bike projects in LA, an outreach tool to the public, and a line of communication between the Los Angeles bicycle community & the LADOT Bike Program.  Earlier this year, that commitment to outreach and cooperative discussion manifested in the launch of a facebook page and twitter feed for the Bike Program.  I can’t say that I envisioned back in March of 2010 everything that the Bike Blog has become, but I’ll take it.

Throughout a year and a half of fits and starts, controversy and calumny, triumph and disappointment, the LADOT Bike Blog became more than an outreach tool for me; it became a labor of love.  It has afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most dedicated and talented people I have ever met.  It has allowed me to work at the cresting of what I truly believe is an unstoppable movement for safer streets and more livable communities.  It has, in short, been quite a ride.

It Takes a Village to Write a Blog

I have to give special thanks to Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery, to Bicycle Coordinator Nate Baird, and to Carlos Morales, currently the Bike/Ped Coordinator for the City of Omaha and formerly my boss in my first year at LADOT.  It was Michelle’s & Carlos’ vision for online engagement with the bicycle community which made the LADOT Bike Blog possible, and it was their stalwart support of my work that kept it going and growing.  Nate has been nothing short of godsend at the Bike Program, helping me shoulder the burden of a growing social media strategy and constantly challenging me to up the quality of content I write week in and week out.

Within LADOT, thanks goes to Rita Robinson, Amir Sedadi, and Jaime de la Vega for supporting the blog from the General Managers’ office.  Thanks also goes to Bruce Gillman, the Director of Public Information, who was always willing to support my fledgling project.  I must also thank all the engineers in the Bikeways group who gamely put up with my constant pestering for technical information.  Finally, I was lucky to work with a fantastic set of fellow interns and Student Professional Workers.  Brendan, Oliver, Emily, JoJo, Derek, Hannah, Cullen, Ricardo, Jose, and Darren: thanks.

Within the extended City family, thanks go out to Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council, to City Planning’s Claire Bowin, Jane Choi & Jordann Turner for their tireless work on the LA Bike Plan, to CM Bill Rosendahl’s Communications Deputy Tony Arranaga for working with me on the Anti-Harassment Ordinance, to LAPD’s Sergeant Krumer for facilitating a sea-change in the relationship between bicyclists and police in LA, SCAG’s Alan Thompson, and to the Bike Metro team.

Finally, I owe countless thanks to the Los Angeles bicycle community, whose fearless and innovative activism necessitated the LADOT Bike Blog’s creation.  Specifically, I would like to thank the LACBC‘s Alexis Lantz and Allison Mannos, Biking in LA‘s Ted Rogers, Bicycle Fixation‘s Rick Risemberg, Flying Pigeon‘s Josef Bray-Ali, Streetblog LA‘s Damien Newton, C.I.C.L.E.‘s Dan Dabeck, Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, Bikeside LA‘s Max Berson and Rach Stevenson, and the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Commitee’s Kent Strumpell, Alex Baum, Jay Slater, Jonathan Weiss, and Jeff Jacobberger.  Thanks also to Herbie Huff, Madeline Brozen, Niall Huffman, Ross Hirsch,  Joe Anthony, and Dennis Hindman.  I even owe a debt of gratitude to my erstwhile critics Joe Linton, Glenn Bailey, Stephen Box, and Alex Thompson.  It was their sharp eyes and sharp wit that challenged me to create a truly responsive and professional product.

Welcome New Head Author Jojo Pewsawang

As mentioned at the top of this post, fellow USC graduate student Jojo Pewsawang will take the head author position at the LADOT Bike Blog.  Jojo has been on board since December of last year and has already provided a wealth of content for the blog over the last few months.  I can’t think of any more capable hands to which I could entrust the future of the LADOT Bike Blog.

There are a few backlogged posts that still have my name on them, but Jojo’s running the ship from here on out.  I look forward to reading about new developments in the LA bicycle community on the LADOT Bike Blog for years to come.

And, hey: Thanks for reading.

0 replies
  1. C-More
    C-More says:

    Ahh, sad to read about the passing of the torch, excited to see what is ahead for LADOT Bike Blog, even more so to hear what Chris will be doing! Looking back at all the hard work and energy that Chris put into this blog it is no wonder why it is so successful. Chris would dedicate countless unpaid hours at meetings/rides/events/ and research to make sure he would have content for his loyal readers. His fan base blossomed from a few loyal fans to countless numbers of people and hits!

    In an effort to celebrate Chris I would like to submit my favorite entries from the blog including the series on sidewalk riding in LA county that demystified where people ride, the anatomy of bike friendly streets, and the sharrows posts!

    Chris will surely be missed but I expect to hear great things from him in the very near future! Good work and good luck Chris!

    Reply
  2. Evan
    Evan says:

    Three cheers for Chris! I remember when this first started there was a lot of skepticism, and a little bit hostility, towards the LADOT Bike Blog. I know I was skeptical. You’ve done a great job becoming part of the conversation and improving cycling in LA.

    Hoping for the best with Jojo at the helm!

    Reply
  3. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Chris, sorry about the late response. I was working on putting together a dream I had of having a parade for you with a full 28 piece marching band riding bicycles. Just imagine, men in suits and women with long flowing dresses playing large saxophones and trumpets, a few trombones, symbols, snares, tom-toms, a large bass drum and a couple of sousaphones. It seems people thought I was a bit daff on that one.

    Well, it seems that this has already been done in the Netherlands and here’s a video to prove it. Just imagine that their circling at the beginning of the video is to complete the letter ‘d’ for Kidd and you’ll get the idea of how the parade would have looked for you here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X8pF0GBjn44#at=42

    I’ll bet that doing this website sometimes felt like trying to play a musical instrument and bicycling at the same time. You hung in there and pulled it off remarkably well.

    Chris, you set the bar very high and I’m hoping that it continues here. Good luck and keep popping in on some of these websites in L.A. occassionally.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Chris rides off into the sunset from LADOT in 2011. Image: LADOT Bike Blog […]

  2. […] his farewell blog: Since those first salad days, the LADOT Bike Blog has blossomed into a resource center for bike […]

  3. […] first took shape and we are proud of the many accomplishments that this blog and its creator, Christopher Kidd have achieved. Rest assured, Chris’ grand vision is still here to guide us as we move […]

  4. […] Comments « The Bike Blog, It Is A’changing: Christopher Kidd Out, Jojo Pewsawang In […]

  5. […] it’s time for a shift change at LADOT Bike Blog, as Christopher Kidd makes way for Jojo Pewsawang; Chris has been an amazing resource for L.A. […]

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