Keepin’ It Real on LA’s Bike Talk

Bike Talk at work in studioKeeping it real on Kill Radio found me last week in a too-small space in a seen-better-days Koreatown building with Nicholas Richart, putting on tape another weekly installment of Bike Talk – the global platform for engaged bike folks here in the Southland. It’s required listening whether you listen live via Kill Radio on the web or catch the podcast later.

Kill Radio can trace its ten-year history to a venerable legacy of pirate broadcast by outlaw wags. And it shows. It’s the kind of outfit that you read about in hardcore radio media: tuffed to the gills with old tapes and electronic detritus and all manner of semi-operable hardware.

Kill Radio in studio with Nicholas Richert

The setting perfectly befits a radio discussion about “the biking lifestyle” in the Los Angeles area. As the blurb for the show says:

“Bike Talk! celebrates bike rides, bicycle collectives, activists, artists, commuters, enthusiasts, professional cyclists, inventors and repairers and, of course, the bicycle itself as an alternative human-powered mode of transportation.”

I joined Richart that Saturday morning to talk about active transportation and the bike lifestyle and, in particular, about our work in Beverly Hills to bring bike-friendly plans and programs to the people (whether they know they want it or not!). Past shows include such diverse topics as the Bicycle Film Festival, Cycle Messenger World Championships, the 4th St. Bike Boulevard, and Spoke n Art Ride. If there’s an issue you follow, chances are that it’s aired on Bike Talk.

My ulterior motive that morning was to try to connect with the larger universe of advocates and bloggers that move our active transportation movement forward. We know change won’t spring from policymakers and transportation officials (I can see that in Beverly Hills) but will emerge from visions from the good folks who ply the streets in worn saddles and well-lubed cranks & hubs.

Our challenge is clear: we’re a population of advocates that’s too geographically-dispersed to come together on a regular basis. Not least, we have our outside-the-bike lives too that suck the time. But we do have issues of mutual concern and local causes that  benefit from support from our larger community. So forge ahead we must!

Richart made plenty of time for me as we looked out over a very busy Vermont & Beverly intersection. It was the perfect perch to contemplate a future with less motoring and more cycling. And it was also a great opportunity to see where the radio magic happens.

Bike Talk actually adds value to the public airwaves rather than merely juice them for megaprofits like so many commercial stations. You can also listen live on Saturdays from 10 am – Noon (PST) and even call in live at (213) 252-0998 as you listen along. Catch the archives at KPFK. (It’s absolutely fitting that Bike Talk finds a home at our region’s most diehard public service station. Volunteer or donate today.) Have a question or a comment? Contact Bike Talk at

Until we meet on Bike Talk, keep the rubber side down!