Fear mongering at its finest, events & weekend links

Seriously, they should know better.

On KABC Channel-7’s 5 pm Friday news broadcast, they teased a report on the then-upcoming L.A. Critical Mass by urging viewers to find out “what police are doing to keep it from becoming violent.”

So let me get this straight.

After a week of police and cycling community leader’s efforts to get CM riders to stay on the right side of road, not block intersections and stop for stop signals, the take away for one of the city’s leading news stations was that the LAPD was concerned about the ride becoming violent.

And with one 5 second tease, they managed to plant the suggestion that L.A. cyclists are aggressive thugs hell bent on rioting and/or assaulting innocent motorists.

So the next time a motorist cuts you off or runs you off the road, just remember he’s only acting in pre-emptive self-defense.

And you have KABC to thank for that.

The actual news report — which wasn’t available online as of midnight — was only slightly less biased, focusing on asking drivers if it was okay for cyclists to block intersections. And goading them into a negative response when most didn’t seem too concerned about it.

I have no idea what they said after the ride, or if they even covered it at all on the 11 pm news, since I decided to opt for a little less fear mongering with my nightly news. And switched to KNBC Channel 4, who said it turned out to be a smooth ride, after all.

And evidently, one without violence.

Despite what some other channels might have implied.

Update: Thanks to Aaron for providing a link to KABC’s 11 pm story on Critical Mass; to their credit, it was a much better report than their earlier efforts to frighten the driving public.

………

LADOT Bike Blog interviews two of the driving — or in this case, non-driving — forces behind the upcoming CicLAvia on 10/10/10.

And the L.A. Weekly makes clear that their days as a credible alternative publication are long past, as they demonstrate a surprising windshield bias against the upcoming CicLAvia. As a number of the comments point out, an event held on secondary streets — on a Sunday, no less — is highly unlikely to contribute to the city’s gridlock, despite the Weekly’s exceptionally negative take on it.

Maybe fear mongering is contagious.

………

Jure Robič, five-time winner of the ultra-endurance Race Across America, was killed in a collision with a car on Friday while on a training ride in his native Slovenia. The 45-year old rider was the winner of this year’s RAAM, as well as other ultra-endurance events and a holder of the world 24-hour endurance record. Thanks to Zeke for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, Riverside County officials released the name of the rider killed in Wildomar on Wednesday; 53-year old Lake Elsinore resident Peter Anthony Zupan died at the scene after being hit by a pickup while crossing Mission Trail.

And still no official confirmation on the rider who died after a collision on Mulholland Highway and Cornell Road in Agoura Hills last weekend.

………

In upcoming events:

Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Volunteers are needed for the Glendale bike count on Saturday the 25th.

The annual Abbot Kinney Festival takes place on Abbot Kinney Blvd between Venice Blvd and Main Street this Sunday; expect massive crowds and scarce parking, so take advantage of the bike valet.

Hearings for the proposed bike plan are scheduled for September 25, 29, 30 and October 2, with a noontime Webinar scheduled for Wednesday the 29th.

The second Folk Art Bike Ride rolls on Sunday, October 3rd at 12:30 pm, starting and ending at the Craft and Folk Art Museum at 5814 Wilshire Blvd. The easy, 6.5 mile route stops at several restaurants, galleries and cultural centers along the way; the first one got rave reviews, so don’t miss this one.

The Long Beach Green Port Fest takes place on Saturday, October 2, with bike valet and guided rides to the event departing every 45 minutes, as well as a guided pre-event bike tour beginning at 9 am.

Visit the Events page for more upcoming happenings, including CicLAvia and Santa Monica’s ciclovía on 10/10/10 and Tour da Fat on Oct. 23rd.

………

Gary says ridership is up 11% in Santa Monica, but bike collisions are up 78% — even though other cities tend to show a corresponding decrease as more people ride bikes. Tim Robbins bikes through Venice. Must be some kind of trend — Berkeley police crack down on stop sign running cyclists, Boston cracks down on rule breakers and Park City police let a stop-sign running rider off with a warning. Forgiving distracted drivers won’t keep anyone safe. Bike Snob says it’s okay to keep riding in the off-season. Salem OR removes a traffic lane to improve congestion. Independence MO bans harassment of cyclists, runners, pedestrians and roadway wheelchair users. It’s not the press who oppose the first Critical Mass in Aurora IL, it’s other riders. Kentucky authorities are looking for a driver intentionally targeting cyclists with his pickup truck. A Flying Pigeon spotting in Boston. An arrest has been made in the murder of a DC cyclist last month; the shooter — just 16-years old at the time — shot Eric Foreman as he rode by, then walked over and shot him twice more after he fell from his bike. Five reasons why your neighborhood cyclist hates you. A Google contest donates $1 million for a recumbent operated monorail system; Reuters says there must have been 149,996 stupid ideas if that was one of the five winning suggestions. The Department of DIY Toronto branch strikes again, graphically asking where’s our bike lane? Fixie-riding cyclists introduce polo vélo to Parisiens. Evidently, Barclay’s isn’t winning many friends for sponsoring London’s bike share program. Cycling England, the agency behind the Bikeability program to teach British children to ride safely, is rumored to be on the chopping block; instead of cutting it, how about exporting it? A promising young Belize cyclist is killed in an apparent hit-from-behind collision.

Finally, courtesy of our Kiwi correspondent the Trickster, comes a two part video tour of Australia’s World Championships course hosted by Robbie McEwen. And Aussie police tell cyclists not to run red lights or ride four abreast — even if they are training for next week’s World Championships.

Think they’ll enforce that during the race, too?

………

In case you were wondering what was in that big box last week...

10 comments

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Looks like a spiffy commuter bike, nice!

    The more sensational they can make the news sound, the more likely they will pull in viewers. They knew exactly what they were doing. Accuracy be damned, it’s all about ratings.

  2. [...] Fear mon­ger­ing at its finest, events & week­end links (bikinginla.wordpress.com) [...]

  3. [...] Fear mon­ger­ing at its finest, events & week­end links (bikinginla.wordpress.com) [...]

  4. Aaron says:

    Despite all the fear mongering in advance, in the end there wasn’t much negative that they could say so their final report wound up being fairly decent, including some actual cyclist voices (mine, Box’s, and my fiancee’s as a matter of fact).

    I didn’t see the earlier reports, but I think my take-away is that, no matter how much the local media wants to sensationalize, if we don’t give them anything to run with, they’ll have no choice but to be (more or less) fair.

  5. roarofthefour says:

    A Berkeley policeman gave me a $15 ticket in the mid-70’s for failure to stop. At the time it struck me as “same rights, same responsibilities”, a sign of pro-bike policy.

  6. [...] Mass Reviews (NBC4, Biking In L.A., ABC7, LA [...]

  7. Have fun with that Urbana bike! It does come in a big box, and is big fun to ride on and off road.

    Best,
    Rob

  8. I was happy with last month’s CM. One thought is that the mass needs to ride even slower, since corking isn’t allowed. If we ride slower, the mass will stay tight and compact. I think LAPD should continue to cork for us, or let us cork ourselves, since a continuous moving mass moves faster thru town and is less disruptive to city traffic.

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