Giro kicks off, The Lancet calls for road safety, on-road portion of the Expo bikeway takes shape

The racing season starts for real as the legendary Giro d’Italia kicks off with a team time trial, which was won by HTC-Highroad.

Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti wears the pink jersey — the Giro’s equivalent of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. Bike Snob covers the race for Bicycling in his own inimitable style, while the magazine offers 10 riders to watch, including Contador, Sastre, Nibali, Cavendish and Petacchi.

Unfortunately, the field is weakened as a number of top teams have opted to take part in the competing Amgen Tour of California, which will roll during the Giro’s second week.

.………

An editorial in the respected medical journal The Lancet calls for reducing road dangers, both from collision and disease caused by over-reliance on automobiles.

3000 people die each day in accidents on the roads worldwide—nearly 1·3 million people a year. In addition, 20—50 million people are injured each year, many of whom end up with lifelong disabilities. 90% of road-traffic deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, despite fewer vehicles in these countries. Without concerted action, road-traffic injuries are predicted to be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030 (after ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lower respiratory infections)—a leap from being the ninth ranked cause of death in 2004. In those aged 15—29 years, road-traffic injuries are the leading cause of death. Just over half of all deaths on the roads are in those not travelling in a car.

These numbers are stark, but do not take into account the epidemic of chronic disease and obesity, or the effects on air pollution and climate change, which result from increasing reliance on motorised vehicles. Conversion of a road-traffic injury epidemic to one of obesity or heart disease needs to be avoided.

They conclude with a common-sense call to action I can back wholeheartedly.

Making towns and cities safer for pedestrians and cyclists, or promoting use of seat belts or helmets, might not be as cutting edge as stem-cell research but will save more lives this decade.

.………

The opening of Metro’s new Expo Line may be delayed once again — until next year this time — but the accompanying bike lanes are hitting the pavement on Expo Blvd now. And yes, we all hoped for an off-road bike path like the Valley’s Orange Line, but they’ve been saying for months we weren’t going to get it for the full length.

Evidently, they were right.

And I’m told that the eastbound lane transitions from asphalt to concrete in the middle of the lane; nothing like an uneven riding surface on a brand new bikeway.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the heads-up.

.………

LACBC celebrates Bike Month by giving away a new IZIP electric bike; any new or renewing members are eligible. Cyclists tell the Source why they ride. Flying Pigeon calls on cyclists to support the bike advocacy group of their choice. Recent City Council candidate Stephen Box suggests LADOT’s acting head may have warn out his welcome. An anonymous writer for Bikeside says if you really want to understand planning, ride a bike. Matthew Ruscigno looks back at last month’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer. West Hollywood considers the possibility of a road diet and bike lanes on Fountain Avenue. The Santa Monica Daily Press says yes, you do have to stop for stop signs and traffic signals. Beverly Hills will host a bike workshop on Thursday, May 12th to get ready for Bike Week LA; Ron Durgin will be teaching, so count on expert instruction. Glendale will host a series of events for Bike Month. A look at Saturday’s L’Tape du California.

A San Diego writer looks back at his first week of bike commuting in the merry Bike Month of May; results so far, he’s tired. The SF Gate answers the concerns that keep women from commuting by bike. Five commuting tips to make every day Bike to Work Day. Three Bay Area counties are tracking cyclists through smartphone apps to collect data for future planning purposes. Benicia banishes downtown bike racks for being unsightly and diminishing the area’s historic character; something tells me they didn’t get rid of car parking for the same reasons. Those sporty spoilers can direct exhaust fumes directly to your head.

Lovely Bicycle reviews the Urbana bike; I offered my thoughts back in December. Nine years after his nephew is killed in a car crash, a Minot ND man honors his memory by giving away nearly 600 bikes to local children. A Detroit-area patrolman knew the cyclist he killed in a collision. Circling the heart of New York on the unfinished Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. A suspicious cyclist causes a scare at Ground Zero. Three Buffalo NY cyclists set out to complete the cross county bike ride they abandoned following a collision 25 years earlier.

A writer in VeloNews says it may be time to take on competitive cycling’s governing body; a new time trial shoe banned by the UCI fights back. CNN lists 15 bike-friendly cities around the world. Oxford’s new Lord Mayor vows to bike to work. One of the most gut-wrenching bike PSAs I’ve ever seen. Interrupting a bike ride to save a baby bunny. Bike-mounted cameras reveal the abuse Aussie drivers dish out.

Finally, an alleged drunk driver keeps going after killing a pedestrian in San Francisco, then smashes into a series of parked cars before coming to rest against a concrete planter. And Orange County authorities arrest an underage driver with a blood alcohol level of .30; so high, it causes police to say they’ve never seen anyone that drunk.

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My apologies for not updating the upcoming bike events this week; I was tied up preparing for a surprisingly successful Saturday morning workshop biking issues in the ‘Bu. Thanks to the Malibu Public Safety Commission for bringing open minds and truly listening to our ideas and concerns; hopefully this is the beginning of a new relationship with the City of Malibu and better safety for everyone on PCH.

Stranger things have happened.

I’ll try to update the Events page over the next few days. There’s a lot going on this month you won’t want to miss.

Meanwhile, Damien Newton offers a comprehensive listing of Bike Month events on Streetsblog.

2 comments

  1. bikinginla says:

    Thanks, my friend. I’ll offer my own thoughts in a few minutes.

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