Successful ThinkBike with the Dutch, a touch of racing news and lots of links to start your week

The ThinkBike LA workshops presented by the Dutch consulate reached a successful conclusion last Friday, with stunning suggestions to remake key sections of the city to be more like the bike-friendly Netherlands.

By all — or nearly all — accounts, it was an unqualified success. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate because the Dutch neglected to check with my wife’s plans for my birthday before scheduling the event.

And speaking of the Netherlands, experience in some Dutch cities shows that removing traffic signals from intersections can actually make them safer.

……..

Italian Giorgia Bronzini successfully defends her women’s world road championship, while Marianne Vos of The Netherlands finished second for the fifth  — yes, fifth — year in a row, cementing her status as the Susan Lucci of pro cycling; the UK’s Mark Cavendish tops the podium for the men. Alexandre Vinokourov unretires for the second time. As professional bike racing has become more popular, it has also become more dangerous; thanks to Georg Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, a little closer to home, Cameron Dye and Lisa Norden win their respective divisions in the L.A. Triathlon.

And a 93-year old San Diego cyclist sets an age record in the 90+ category that didn’t even exist until he created it; I swear, I want to be just like him when I grow up.

……..

A Chicago cyclist, who claims riding an average of less than 40 miles a week makes him an expert on urban cycling, is highly critical of Critical Mass while plugging his book at least three times on a single web page.

Unless you count plugging his book’s Facebook page, which makes it five.

Personally, I’ve known more than a few bike commuters who do over 40 miles a day. Not a week.

……..

Work is starting on rehabilitating a five-mile stretch of the Marvin Braude Bike Trail in the Southbay. The top eight bike commuting major cities please raise your hand; not so fast Los Angeles. The Eastside is about to get the city’s first green bike lane. Santa Monica Spoke writes about Tuesday’s successful vote by the Venice Neighborhood Council to support the Main Street road diet. Bikeside’s Mihai Peteu says he supports the road diet, but it could — and should — be a lot better, and criticizes the LACBC for calling for better cyclist education instead of fighting for better infrastructure. Santa Monica prepares to observe Bike It! Day on October 5th, as participation continues to grow. Bike Beverly Hills updates the limited progress on making that city safer and more inviting for cyclists. The Source asks if getting around L.A. without a car is easier than it was 10 years ago; I can say that cycling is significantly better than it was just a few years ago, while bus transit is worse. Tourists — and local residents — can now enjoy a one-day bike tour of L.A. Bike theft is up nearly 80% at Cal State Northridge.

The second annual OC Gran Fondo rolls October 8th. An Orange County pedestrian says she was injured by a distracted hit-and-run Huntington Beach cop; not surprisingly, the police claim it never happened. Cool new bike racks sprout in Escondido. Two cyclists are injured after being hit by a car on San Diego’s Mission Bay; just how hard is it to negotiate a simple curve along the beach? The new state Attorney General rejects the San Diego Association of Government’s proposed transportation plan as inadequate. A San Francisco bus driver is accused of rolling over a cyclist’s arm after passing her too close, then just driving away. A Chico teenager is in a coma after he’s deliberately hit by a truck while trying to stab the driver’s friend following a failed bike-jacking. An SF neighborhood group with a history of prevarication targets a three block link in a cross city bikeway. An Oakland cyclist is killed after losing control of his bike and hitting an oncoming car head-on. Once again, state law fails to support the victim in a fatal DUI case; thank God we’re protecting the rights of dangerous drivers to go out and do it again. And again.

In case you missed it, this is what dooring looks like — and why it’s so dangerous. How to bike in heels; not normally a problem I have to deal with, though now that I shave my legs, who knows? A new rear-view camera projects the images behind you onto a handlebar-mounted LCD screen so you can watch in real time as a driver runs you over. Hawaii cyclists push for a vulnerable user law. A cyclist in my home town witnesses a fatal hit-and-run; the victim this time was a female bear cub. That New York study showing 1,000 pedestrians are injured by cyclists every year is called “pretty thin” by a colleague of the authors, while an NYC woman asks the cyclist who hit her to contact her to pay for a new pair of pants and a doctor’s visit; good luck with that, unfortunately. An all-night bike ride by hundreds of cyclists is part of a Columbia class on the history of New York City. Reports are that D.C. police are being urged to fight crime by stopping cyclists in largely minority areas and impounding their bikes if they can’t prove ownership. Nine DC council members introduce a proposed anti-assault law based on L.A.’s new bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance. NPR reports that biking infrastructure has hit some speed bumps on Capital Hill.

Ottawa police charge the victim for not having rear reflectors after an 18-year old rider is hit by a car. A British Columbia rider wants to thank the cyclist who cared for him and his young son after he blacked out following a bad fall in an off-road park. A British cop is killed while riding drunk after downing a few pints with his fellow officers.

Finally, ever feel like flying when you ride? No, I mean really flying; thanks to KCRW’s always charming and elucidating Kajon Cermak for the link. Though I don’t know if these DIY kitty liter panniers would work with that bike.

And a Downey reporter follows a cyclist being recorded riding naked in Long Beach; though if the rider was in fact wearing a cape and helmet, I don’t think he was technically naked.

6 comments

  1. Maggie says:

    Happy Birthday, Ted. I, too, missed the Dutch workshops due to conflicts with my birthday plans. But with all the great coverage on the internet, I didn’t feel entirely left out.

  2. Mike says:

    I was riding the L.A. River bike path this weekend for the first time in about a month. South of Fletcher, the words “bike path” on the pavement have all been painted over (though you can still see the words through the paint). Is there reason behind this?

    • bikinginla says:

      I can’t say for certain, but I suspect the reason is that local residents in the area have been complaining that cyclists don’t respect the rights of pedestrians on the pathway.

      Technically, it is a multi-use path, rather than a bike path. I know they have asked that markers saying it is a bike path be removed or replaced to indicate that others be allowed to use it as well. This could just be the first step in that.

  3. I think the best contribution to the workshop was the idea of using an alternate street – one that parallels a major artery – and making that a bicycle-friendly route. The example was using Pierce as a biking/walking alternative to Van Nuys.

    • bikinginla says:

      That is a great suggestion; however, I have also heard women say they won’t use a secondary street after dark because of security fears unrelated to cycling. In order to be successful, any bike-friendly street will have to ensure that all riders feel safe outside of the public view afforded by a public street.

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