Just the links — the Tour takes off, an unexpected heart attack, child endangerment in London

Lots of leftover links after a banging 4th of July weekend. So settle in to start your work week — or continue it for you unfortunate ones who had to work on Monday — with a little light bike reading.

But be sure to do your reading before or after you ride.

Not during, like the guy I saw surfing sites on his iPhone as he rode down Santa Monica Blvd over the weekend.

………

In Tour de France news, Sunday’s crowds and banging in the peloton took down several riders; Monday it was the slippery descents that brought down riders including Lance Armstrong and the Schleck brothers. Meanwhile, Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi wins Stage 1, and Frenchmen Sylvain Chavanel wins Stage 2 to claim the leader’ jersey. Armstrong’s crash drops him to 5th place over 3 minutes behind, 5 seconds ahead of chief rival Alberto Contador in 7th.

Ten things to watch for in this year’s Tour. Before Giro could build Lance a helmet, they had to build a better Lance; or at least another one. NPR looks at the first weekend of the Tour, with Armstrong predicting there will be carnage.

Evidently he was right, as top sprinter Tyler Farrar of the Garmin-Transitions team broke his wrist Monday, while team leader Christian Vande Velde is out with two broken ribs; Irvine’s Felt is their bike sponsor for le Tour.

………

An L.A. cyclist and bike blogger who could ride just about any of us under the table ruminates on the aftereffects of an unexpected heart attack that woke him from a sound sleep about 10 days ago. Take it as fair warning — if something like this could happen to a serious and seriously in-shape rider like GT, it could happen to any one of us.

This is one of those rare times when I really have no idea what to say — except to offer my prayers and best wishes to a great guy. Hang in there and keep getting stronger, GT, and we’ll look forward to reading all about getting on your feet and back on that bike soon.

………

If you think somewhere is too far to bike, you’re probably wrong. A bike-centric photo tour of the 4th in Claremont. L.A.’s KABC7 reviews Consumer Reports search for the top two bikes, while the L.A. Times discovers the new sharrows in Santa Monica. Another day, another bike-riding bank robber is caught, this time in Santa Cruz; thanks to TC for the heads up. A Reno cyclist is critically injured after being rear-ended by a Sheriff’s SUV. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood looks at the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Does a website that allows you compare stats with other riders encourage dangerous behavior that led to a rider’s death? It was a rough day for riders in Western Colorado, as two bicyclists are injured in separate hit-and-run incidents. A pair of 16-year old riders look back on a crash last month, caused when a distracted driver looked away to reach for a cigarette. The mayor of Elk Grove, IL takes a header while training for a race, and credits his helmet for his survival. Illinois celebrates the 4th with a new bike safety law, including penalties for driving recklessly or too close to cyclists. Commuting by bike since 1969. With no bike lanes in the current plan, it’s no wonder Memphis is one of the three worst cities in the nation for cycling. A Florida pedestrian is killed in a collision with a bike; very rare but it does happen. An Aussie rider looks back on being dragged under the car that hit him. Debating New Zealand’s mandatory bike helmet law. A peer-reviewed study shows that the health benefits of riding outweigh the risks — and it’s good for the community, too. Cyclists are raising donations for the Benin National Team. Israel is becoming a nation of peddlers.

Finally, a London couple could face action from Children’s Services for the “irresponsible” crime of letting their children bike to school, allegedly putting them at risk from traffic and other children. London Mayor Boris Johnson more than weighs in on the subject:

They have taken the sword of common sense to the great bloated encephalopathic sacred cow of elf (Ed: self?) and safety. And for this effrontery they are, of course, being persecuted by the authorities…. Their vision of urban life is profoundly attractive – a city so well policed, and with so strong a sense of community, that children can walk or cycle on their own to school. Instead of hounding the Schonrocks we should be doing everything we can to make their dream come true – in every part of the city.

Update: A reader from the UK corrected my guess at the word “elf” in Boris Johnson’s statements above, indicating that it refers to health, as in “health and safety.” Just another example of two great countries divided by a common language.

6 comments

  1. Mark B says:

    Just a note, when Boris says ‘elf’ in the quote above, it is really the word ‘health’ as in ‘health and safety’. Here in the UK, we had a government body called the Health and Safety Executive – the source of the term I guess – which was set up to tackle safety in the workplace when people still suffered industrial accidents and employers were unwilling to consider trifles like providing adequate eye protection.

  2. Digital Dame says:

    Scary about GT’s heart attack, but since he has a family history of it it’s not really that shocking. He admits to being a salt freak (not in so many words, but…) and liking his food and wine so who knows? My mother had her first heart attack when she was 50, but her diet and lifestyle were major factors in it. And frankly I think all the medications she was on for the rest of her life did her more harm than good, but I can’t tell GT that (’cause a: I don’t know him so it’s none of my business, and b: everyone has to decide for him/herself what course to take).

  3. gtinla says:

    I appreciate the shout out, thank you for your concern. Making good progress, and the way it looks I will be back on my bike this weekend for the first easy ride. I will keep my blog updated on my progress. In the meantime, I always return here for the most accurate, timely and correct bike realted Los Angeles info…thanks

    • bikinginla says:

      Glad to hear you’re doing well. You scared the crap out of me — both out of concern for you, and because my own father had heart problems, and I thought riding was guarantee that I wouldn’t.

      Clearly, there are no guarantees in this life.

      I do almost all my riding on weekdays, but if you find yourself with a day off, let me know and we’ll see if we can’t finally get that ride together. Maybe now I’ll be able to keep up with you.

      • gtinla says:

        I love the idea and I will do that once I am back in the saddle and allowed to ride above a 120 bpm heart rate. Besides you would have never had a problem to keep up with me in the first place.

  4. Hello,
    This is Laura. I came acrros your site. I love it.

    I live and cycle around Santa Monica all teh time but never whislt using my iphone!

    I am bookmarking it to come back to it again.

    Thanks a million,
    Laura

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