Amine Britel killer faces 10 years; lots of links and a crowded weekend bike calendar

Danae Miller faces up to 10 year in prison for the death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel last February.

Miller is charged with a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, and was allegedly texting when she plowed into the rear of Britel’s bike as he road in a Newport Beach bike lane.

The question is why she was even on the road after receiving 16 tickets in just 6 years, including six tickets for speeding or driving too fast for conditions in just a three-year period.

Now Britel is dead and Miller faces serious prison time simply because, as Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, too hard to lose.

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Sgt. Krumer sends word that after speaking to the driver in the most recent Mandeville Canyon case, it wasn’t a case of road rage, as it seemed, but merely another driver who didn’t understand that cyclists have a right to ride in the roadway. And don’t have to move over when an expensive, high-performance Italian luxury car comes up from behind.

I don’t know what’s worse. A single road raging driver, or a state full of motorists who don’t know the law.

Fortunately, Sgt. Krumer says the driver now understands his mistake, and it’s not likely to happen again.

Now if we could just get him to speak with every other driver on the road.

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A minor Santa Clarita hit-and-run brings out the usual comments, ranging from apparent gutter bunnies who criticize other riders to drivers who think bikes don’t belong on the road — and even a few informed comments.

Note to Santa Clarita Signal — once a motorist drives off after hitting a someone, you can stop referring to it as a “possible” hit-and-run.

Thanks to John for the heads-up.

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Good advice: if you really care about the people who care about you, you’ll take the burden of making life’s most difficult medical decisions off their shoulders; I’ve put off completing my own advance healthcare directive far too long.

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Artists are invited to submit their bike-related work for Bikers Rule, an exhibition of bicycle art opening on December 8th. The deadline to deliver artworks for the exhibition has been extended, artwork may be delivered through December 6th; Submit a letter of intent and or a low res jpg to JohnnyMilwaukee@earthlink.net.

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Chances are, you’ve come across the famous Mark Twain quote “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.” But you’ve probably never read the full piece it came from.

Maybe you should.

It might just be the best smile you have all day.

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LADOT plans to redo the already damaged Spring Street green bike lane, and asks your help in staying off it until it’s ready. Streetsblog reports on Santa Monica’s bike signal detectors that have been popping up all over town the last few weeks. New solar lights now adorn the L.A. River bike path. Rethinking York and Colorado Blvds in NELA. After being sent back to the drawing board, the county promises a creative, visionary bike plan; then again, they could have done that the first time around. Remarkably, Malibu considers becoming bike friendly; thanks to the LACBC’s Alexis Lantz for forwarding the story. Riding in Riverside writes why he loves riding his bike. An interview with Sam Ollinger, a San Diego bike advocate and an author of one of SoCal’s best bike sites. A bike riding bank robber gets 14 years.

They seem to confuse the hell out of American drivers, but roundabouts reduce all crashes 37% and injury crashes by 75%, though poorly designed ones can put cyclists and drivers on a collision course. Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid eight common road hazards. Biking to break the cycle of obesity and bad finances. Regrettably, the always excellent Eco Velo will be calling it quits at the end of the year. People for Bikes says give other cyclists a smile or a wave when you pass; if you’ve encountered me on the road, chances are you’ve gotten at least a nod, anyway. Lovely Bicycle asks why women cyclists can’t discuss their bodies the way the guys do. A fascinating chart showing the muscles used when cycling. Seize the moment and live better through bicycling.

Tucson Velo reports on the sad non-cycling death of a popular local rider and bike shop owner; he sounds like someone we all would liked to have known. University of Oregon cyclists are surprised by the first bike traffic signal on campus. Olympic gold medalist Alexi Grewal abandons his improbable comeback attempt at age 50. When I linked to the absurdly anti-bike op-ed piece from Chicago columnist John McCarron the other day, I neglected to include a link to Steve Vance’s excellent point-by-point smackdown. A New Jersey cyclist is killed in a physically impossible crash, as the local paper reports he crossed on the wrong side of the road at high speed and hit the rear of an oncoming truck before caroming off into a tree.

The most popular and successful Critical Mass rides are the ones that avoid confrontation. Does it matter what you wear when you ride a bike? Uh, no. Attention Kiwis, Long Beach’s biking expats — aka Russ and Laura of the Path Less Pedaled — are headed your way. A 66-year old Borneo cyclist is killed just meters from her home. South African cyclists demand justice. And speaking of South Africa, I recently received the following email from Stan Englebrecht of Day One Publishing in South Africa:

I thought you might enjoy a project myself and a good friend have been working on for the last 2 years, called ‘Bicycle Portraits’. Our 6000 kilometer journey aimed to be a photographic study of South African commuter culture (something that is nearly non-existent here), but it’s turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day, revealing all manner of social, historical, class and cultural nuances never imagined. We are about to publish the best 165 portraits (from over 500 photographed) in book form, accompanied by 6 essays and beautiful watercolor maps for each portrait indicating where it was photographed. We are currently in the last phase of fundraising through pre-sales of the books (plus great extras like prints and special editions) on the wonderful Kickstarter platform.

Please have a look at www.bicycleportraits.co.za/kickstarter for our Kickstarter page, or visit www.bicycleportraits.co.za to see the project online – and please spread the word!

Finally, Rex Reese sends word of a mind-reading bike; if my bike could read my mind, it would probably refuse to carry me anymore. And a Chico CHP officer is injured just days from retirement in one of the strangest bike collisions I’ve read about, as he stops to aid a drunken rider.

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

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

Flying Pigeon’s popular Brewery Ride is on tap for Saturday, December 3rd. Riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park at 3 pm, and depart at 3:30; this month’s ride will go to the Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassel Park.

The Claremont/Pomona area hosts its own toy ride on Saturday, December 3rd, sponsored by the Kevin Unck Foundation, with support from Coates Cyclery and the Back Abbey. Thanks to Michael at the Claremont Cyclist for the heads-up.

Walk Bike Glendale invites riders to join them in the Montrose Christmas Parade on Saturday the 3rd. Meet at 6 pm between La Crescenta and Rosemont Ave. on Honolulu in Montrose; contact Rye Baerg (rbaerg (at) gmail (dot) com) to RSVP.

The CXLA cyclocross takes place this weekend at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, with events rolling from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday the 3rd, and continuing through the same times on Sunday the 4th.

Sunday, December 4th, the LACBC is hosting its first ever evening Sunday Funday ride to celebrate the holidays. Meet at the Rotary Club Christmas Tree Lot, 568 N. Larchmont Blvd, at 4:30 pm. The easy two-mile family-friendly ride will stop to admire decorations, sing some carols and enjoy cocoa and cookies afterwards.

Join the Bike Oven in riding in the 67th NELA Holiday Parade on Sunday, December 4th. Wear festive clothing and meet at the Bike Oven, 3706 N. Figueroa St, at 11:30 to decorate your bike for the parade.

Monday, December 5th join the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for a ride and rally before the WeHo City Council meeting in support of the recommendations by city’s Bicycle Task Force for a more bikable West Hollywood. Meet in front of the community center at Plummer Park at 4:30 pm, rolling at 5 pm sharp.

December 6th through 10th, Antenna Magazine’s Re:mix Lab will hit L.A. after a semi-national tour, featuring two urban Bad Boy bikes designed by Cannondale in cooperation with Junk Food Clothing. The art, music, fashion and cultural festival will unfold at 401 S. Main Street.

The West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force presents An Evening of Moving Beyond the Automobile: West Hollywood’s Commitment to Active Transportation (scroll to bottom) on Wednesday, December 7 from 7 to 9 pm in the Community Room of the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

LA Streetsblog is hosting an End of the Year Party on Thursday, December 8 from 7 pm to 10 pm at St. Andrews West Los Angeles, 11555 National Blvd. Streetsblog parties are always a good time, and well worth the suggested $25 donation; however, head Streetsblogger Damien Newton promises no one will be turned away if you can’t afford it. Chances are, you’ll see me there.

Friday, December 9th, the Midnight Ridazz host what may be the most important ride of the year, when they ensure that thousands of L.A. children will have a happy holiday with the 6th Annual All-City Toy Ride. Routes will begin from points throughout the city, converging on Downtown L.A. to collect the toys and celebrate the season. If you can’t make it, try to donate a few toys somewhere; every child deserves a toy for the holidays.

Santa Monica Spoke invites you to ride some of the streets included in the city’s new Bike Action Plan on Sunday, December 11th starting at 9:30 am; details to follow.

Tuesday, December 15th, Women on Bikes SoCal will host an Evening with Mia Birk, national bike advocate and head of Alta Planning. The evening begins with a bike ride starting at the downtown Bikestation in Long Beach at 5 pm, followed by appetizers, mingling and Birk’s talk at Open Bookstore, 2226 E. 4th Street.

Tuesday, December 27th, the LACBC returns to Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse for the 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Merriment, 2911 Main Street. Good beer, good friends, bike valet and a portion of all sales goes to support cycling in the great L.A. area. What’s not to like?

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