Archive for February 29, 2012

Two killer drivers — one stays at the scene and gets four years, one flees and gets no jail time

So let me get this straight.

A woman with 16 previous tickets runs down a cyclist while texting and drunk, and gets off with just four years.

Evidently, Danae Marie Miller got an early birthday gift. Although I’m sure she doesn’t think so.

Miller plead guilty on Tuesday to a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated. She had been facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison; she accepted a plea deal for less than half of that.

Her victim, Amine Britel, a world-class triathlete as well as a popular local businessman, was riding in the bike lane on San Joaquin Road just east of Spyglass Hill Road in Newport Beach last February 21st when he was run down from behind by Miller’s car — just one year and one week from the day of her sentencing.

Why she was even on the road that night is question our lenient traffic courts will have to answer. Or would, if anyone was paying enough attention to ask the right questions.

In the six years between 2005 and 2011, Miller received six tickets for speeding or driving too fast for conditions, as well as tickets for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, failure to stop at the stop sign and two tickets for talking on a cell phone while driving.

A record like that should have been more than enough to get her off the road. If the courts had actually taken her obvious refusal to obey basic traffic laws seriously, a gifted athlete might still be alive today.

Instead, she was allowed to keep driving until she killed someone. Now her license has finally been revoked for three years as part of her sentence.

Just a tad too late, I’d say.

Despite initially claiming that she hadn’t been drinking, Miller had a BAC of over .10 nearly two hours after the collision after getting off work at the Zinc Café in Corona del Mar. And despite claiming that she never texts while driving, records showed that she had been texting just moments before killing Britel — though not, apparently, when she actually hit him.

Evidently, you’re not considered legally distracted unless you text WTF! at the exact moment you kill someone.

According to an anonymous source who attended the sentencing, the real surprise was that the two families seemed to be supportive of one another at the conclusion of the case, despite earlier anger.

The surprise in the Miller case is that the families, Miller’s and Britel’s, were amicable after the sentencing, talking with each other in the courthouse hallway. After the daggers I saw fly at Miller from the two members of the Britel’s family who had shown up at the prelim last December, I certainly would never have expected this, especially after the oral impact statements provided to the judge before sentencing. Miller’s family, however, had been very supportive of her, showing up at all her court appearances, so maybe this support will give her a shot at redemption, a chance to be a useful, productive, harmless member of society in the future; even Britel’s family seems to be hoping for this.

We can hope.

Danae Miller is just 23 years old, and spent Tuesday night in the Orange County Jail pending transfer to state prison. With good behavior, she could be back on the streets in a few years.

Whether she will have learned her lesson by then remains to be seen.

Her birthday is in a few weeks; she’ll celebrate it behind bars. Hopefully, she’ll appreciate the early gift she got in court on Tuesday.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Update: I neglected to mention that two civil suits have been filed against Miller for the death of Amine Britel; they were recently consolidated into a single case.

……..

In yet another example of our courts coddling killer drivers, the same anonymous source tells me that Renato Demartino entered a surprise guilty plea on Tuesday for the hit-and-run death of 22-year old Marco Acuapan.

Acuapan was also riding in a marked bike lane, on Walnut Avenue near Browning Avenue, on November 17, 2010 when he was rear-ended by red 2010 Mustang. The driver, later identified as Demartino, fled the scene, leaving his victim lying in the street with severe head injuries.

Acuapan was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he remained in a coma until his death last April.

According to my source, Demartino was sentenced to just two years in state prison. And even that was stayed, meaning he is unlikely to spend a single night in jail.

Thankfully, his license was revoked for three years, since the court saw fit to let him out.

Seriously, he killed a man and fled the scene. And didn’t even get a slap on the wrist for heartlessly leaving another human being to die in the streets.

May I politely ask what the f*** is wrong with our legal system?

……..

One brief bit of good news.

The County of Los Angeles now has a shiny new bike plan, as the Board of Supervisors passes it on a vote of four to zero; Supervisor Mike Antonovich abstained because of questions about funding the plan.

And a planned Altadena bike boulevard was given teeth when the Supervisors voted to require traffic calming measures, rather than merely allowing as called for in the plan.

Does it matter if you’re right when a wrong-headed legal system says you’re not?

A must-read from bike lawyer Bob Mionske on a failed legal case in Mississippi, in which a judge blames a cyclist for the negligence of the driver that hit her — simply because she was riding on the road.

Except it’s not just a problem down South. It’s one we all risk every time we ride.

You can do everything right on the roads, and still get blamed by a cop who thinks he knows the laws that govern bicycling, even though he’s never been trained in it.

Or failed by prosecutors or judges who misinterpret — or sometimes ignore — legal standards in place to protect all road users.

Even bike riders.

Granted, things have improved greatly in Los Angeles under Chief Beck, particularly through the efforts of bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer. We now have a voice within the department we never had before.

Although it’s still far from perfect, as it’s not hard to find officers who have seen or don’t remember the city’s highly praised bike training module.

But leave the city, and you can find yourself subject to sometimes absurd interpretations of the law.

Take last week, when I was threatened by a road-raging driver while riding on the sharrows on Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach.

The cop I flagged down was more than willing to tell the driver who tried to threaten me that I had every right to ride in the traffic lane. And was happy to explain that those little bike pictures on the street mean that’s where I’m supposed to ride, and he was required to share the lane whether he liked it or not.

So far so good.

But then he followed-up by incorrectly telling me that no violation had occurred — even though it’s against the law to threaten anyone with a motor vehicle, or to pass a rider in an unsafe manner. The truth was was that there was simply nothing he could do since he didn’t actually observe the violation.

Then he went on to add that I could have been arrested for following the driver into a public parking garage to take a photo of his license plate.

If that were the case, every paparazzo in North America would be behind bars.

But maybe the first amendment doesn’t apply in Hermosa Beach.

I’ve also gotten word that the CHP says it’s against the law to ride two or more abreast, even though that’s not mentioned anywhere in the vehicle code.

And I get regular reports from cyclists about officers telling them to get out of the traffic lanes we’re legally entitled to, or to ride in the door zone or amid the broken glass and gravel in the gutters in violation of our rights under CVC.

It’s a very sad comment that cyclists often know the law better than those who are charged with enforcing it. Let alone that we have to.

But that’s the world we live in.

If you’re stopped by a cop who doesn’t know the law, don’t argue with him. You’re far better off accepting a ticket you can fight later than ending up in cuffs. You can take it up with his supervisor when you get home. Or take it up with the judge.

And hope you get a better one than the one in Mississippi.

……..

A letter writer says the Time’s recent endorsement of bikes doesn’t reflect reality. This explains why you may be more likely to be run off the road by a jerk in an expensive car; actually, I tend to have more problems with jerks in trucks and muscle cars. Workshops continue for wayfinding signage on future Bike Friendly Streets. Simple observations says more people are riding more in L.A. Gary says high gas prices could drive a further increase in bicycling. Another look at Silver Lake’s Dr. Suess-designed pedestrian plaza. That bike musical we mentioned the other day may be a good one, but not the first after all. Can fashion lead the way for bike advocacy — and am I wrong to be offended when ghost bikes are used to sell clothes? Limited closure of the San Gabriel trail for repaving has been delayed. The Claremont Cyclist gets mistaken for Lance Armstrong.

Streetsblog says it’s round two for the three-foot passing law, similar to the one vetoed by our sadly misguided governor last year. San Diego’s leading bike website will soon extend coverage throughout the county and to all kinds of bicycling. The importance of bike advocacy. A Coronado man plans to ride across the country to call attention to traumatic brain injuries. CHP in El Centro blame a suicidal cyclist for turning into a truck that desperately tried to avoid him; yeah, right. The Coachella Valley plans to spend $80 million for a 54-mile paved pathway for golf carts, e-vehicles and bikes too. A Ventura County mountain biker thanks the people who helped save his life. Four members of Lance Armstrong’s developmental team were injured in a crash at their Santa Ynez training camp. CHP stats for the County of Santa Cruz show cyclists at fault in more collisions than drivers; of course, they’re the ones assigning blame. And I doubt rumbles strip will help. Caltrain proposes assuming responsibility for a free, volunteer bike valet. A Bay Area columnist goes from hating bikes to thinking they’re the future to hating bikes, or at least the people on them. Sacramento cyclists — and unwilling drivers — enjoy the benefits of back-in angled parking.

How to go hard anywhere. Helmet hair is no longer an excuse for not riding. Bikes aren’t the reason for Portland’s transportation problems. Eight years in prison for a repeat drunk driver convicted in the hit-and-run death of a Colorado cyclist. Press reports blame the victim of a fatal collision for riding in the traffic lane rather than on the shoulder, yet fail to mention that bikes are allowed in the lane in all 50 states, and offers no further explanation for why an Atlantic City cop ran him down. New York makes improvements to Prospect Park that actually benefit riders for a change. The New York Times continues the debate over making cities safer for cyclists and pedestrians, including a remarkable claim in the comments from John Forster, the father of Vehicular Cycling, that no one has ever created a safe bike lanes; thanks to Evan G for the heads-up. Selling vintage bikes in Boston. If you’re going to ride against traffic, don’t collide with a cop.

A Canadian study shows cycle tracks and local streets mean fewer injuries for cyclists. A UK letter writer calls cyclist behavior disgusting. A bronze statue is planned for a singer killed while riding her bike in London. Far too many Irish cyclists have been killed or injured on Dublin Streets. A Dutch study says bike helmets offer virtually no benefit in moving collisions; instead of opposing helmet use, why not call for better helmets? Park your bike in the wrong Copenhagen spot, and you may find it moved — albeit very politely. What cyclist wouldn’t want to ride the Chuck Norris bike and pedestrian bridge? Breathtaking bike sculpture from China’s Ai Weiwei. Australian authorities target cyclists in an attempt to reduce trauma on the roads, rather than focus on the ones actually causing it. Brisbane bike couriers are told to stop making small talk with receptionists. A suggestion from Down Under that all car mirrors should have warnings to look out for cyclists to prevent doorings. An Aussie man is ticketed for doing 35 in a school zone — on a bike.

Finally, a pantsless woman was arrested for shoplifting at an OC bike shop, reportedly jamming parts and accessories into her somewhat lacking attire. It’s a wonder any of our bike-riding forebears survived the ‘40s, though they seem to have had a different definition of head-on in those days.

And George Wolfberg forwards a warning that the bees that tried to kill me on the bike path may be bringing in robotic reinforcements.

Put your week off for awhile with a long list of Monday bike links

It’s Monday. Or it soon will be, by the time I get this online.

Which means you can hit the ground running and get the week off to a great start. Or settle in, click a few links and put the week off for awhile.

I know which one I’d choose.

……..

Once again, no one arrived at the Oscars by bike. Roadblock says it’s time to end the epidemic of hit-and-runs in Los Angeles; I couldn’t agree more. KCET looks at the Arroyo Seco Bike Path. The L.A. Times suggests bicycling as an alternative to $4 gas; CNN says that’s already happening. Silver Lake gets a new, apparently Dr. Seuss-designed pedestrian plaza. Better Bike correctly calls for a traffic culture change in Beverly Hills. Now that’s what I call a bike lane. Pro tip: If you’re going to steal a bike after dark, bring lights with you so you don’t get stopped by police. Walk Eagle Rock offers a safer and saner alternative to traffic-heavy Colorado Blvd. A South Pasadena police officer plans to ride 300 miles to honor a fallen comrade. The Claremont Cyclist offers a look at the Fortune 700 Fixed-Gear Stage Race at the Rose Bowl. The Santa Clarita Valley will get 158 miles of bikeways under the county’s new bike plan. Long Beach cyclists could soon get a ciclovia of their own. You can now nominate your favorite Long Beach bike shop.

The California Bicycle Coalition and City of Los Angeles are co-sponsoring a reintroduction of the state’s proposed three-foot passing law; hopefully the governor will sign it this time. Bike Newport Beach offer their endorsements — and the opposite — for the city’s Bike Safety Committee. San Diego authorities ask for help solving the murder of cyclist Jordan Hickey; his brother calls the killer a coward. Ventura County cyclists have a new free smartphone app to map out the county’s bikeways. In yet another incredibly wrong-headed move, the anti-bike folks at Caltrans plan to place rumble strips on coastal Highway 1, one of the state’s most popular and scenic riding routes. Family members want to honor the 80th birthday of a man noted for giving away bikes by giving him 80 more to give away. Cyclelicious honors the woman behind Palo Alto’s bikeway system. Facebook has their own Menlo Park bike plan.

Sports Illustrated remembers the 7-Eleven Racing Team that lead the U.S. into the world of bike racing. The Atlantic Cities asks if bike paths really promote bike riding. In a remarkable attack on bicycling, officials in Colorado’s Larimer County propose relaxing restrictions on everything but cycling events; evidently, blocking streets by running, walking or driving is okay, but not by pedaling. Could this be the first bike musical? The Spanish rider paralyzed in a Kansas collision during the 201 Race Across America is riding again, using a hand-crank bike. The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin says riding in traffic can be scary, but if you obey the law, bicycling is safe. An Ohio woman gets 9-1/2 years for running down a judge while drunk. A former military base commander dies nine months after being injured in a bike accident. A new book looks at the history of fast bikes. Miami cyclists issue a call for safer streets for everyone. Orlando streets are getting safer for everyone except cyclists and pedestrians. Jacksonville area residents oppose a plan for sidewalks because it could keep streets from being expanded from three lanes to four; no wonder the state leads the nation in bike and pedestrian deaths.

Canadians are urged to stop resisting bike lanes and start embracing them. Canadian Mounties blame a cyclist’s death on the lack of a helmet — never mind that he ran a red light or got hit by a truck. The debate on bicycling by the UK Parliament shows that bike safety has crossed the Rubicon, while another writer says talk is cheap. A UK rider says hi-viz and helmets aren’t the solution to bike safety, they’re what you have to wear when you don’t have one. Brits are actually more likely to die on a motorcycle — or on their feet — than on a bike; improving safety means increasing investment. “You must be this old to ride a Brisbane bike share bike.”

Finally, a Georgia legislator introduced a bill to ban side-by-side riding because of concerns about bicycle traffic on the “curvy and increasingly mountainous roads in the state;” evidently, they must be becoming less mountainous, since he’s reached a compromise with cyclists.

And leading Dutch bike blogger David Hembrow says that’s it, I quit and I’m taking my blog with me.

A long list of upcoming events — including the first ever Tour de Taste in just one week

Next weekend marks the LACBC’s first ever Tour de Taste.

And even though I’ll be working the event as a volunteer, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So I reached out to JJ Hoffman, the mastermind behind the growing popularity of the River Ride, as well as the planner behind Tour de Taste, for a little more information.

I’ll let her explain what we can expect to experience on Sunday, March 4th.

Tour de Taste is a biking and eating adventure unlike any other!

Participants will gather at 9300 Culver Blvd, which is adjacent to the Historic Culver Hotel, the official hotel of the Tour de Taste, at 9:00am. At 9:30am those who wish may enjoy a pre-ride stretch courtesy of Goda Yoga. A light breakfast will be served courtesy of the Culver Hotel.

Riders will then be guided down the beautiful and newly revitalized Ballona Creek path in small groups. At the halfway point, riders will enjoy a snack then head on back to downtown Culver City to really indulge!

Back at Culver City, LACBC will watch your bike at our bike valet and all participants will be given a passport to all the restaurants.

Some delights will be enjoyed at the site; our sponsors on site are some of the best in town and known for their fresh organic food and cozy atmosphere. They include Pace, an OpenTable Award winner, as well as Larchmont Grill, Pete’s Cafe and AMMO.

In Culver City, explore the local eateries such as Roccos Tavern, Sake House by Hikari, Rush Street, Chipotle and LaRoccos Pizza.

New Belgium beer and multiple Gold winning winery Rosenthal and Surfrider will be there — taste wine made from grapes grown here in Malibu!

There will be plenty of choices for vegetarians and vegans.  It really will be a great day of cycling and eating.

Space is limited.  Get your ticket now www.la-bike.org.

My understanding is only a few hundred tickets will be sold — and a lot of those are already gone.

So order your tickets today while there are still some left.

……..

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.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition invites you for an easy ride with the city’s mayor at 8 am every Monday, starting at Syd Kronenthal Park, 3459 McManus Ave, at the east end of the Ballona Creek bike path.

Discover your local Bike Co-Op with an open house at Bici Libre this Saturday, February 25th, from 2 – 5 pm at 1205 W. 6th Street.

The City of Los Angeles will be hosting a series of four Mobility Think Lab Workshops to help solve the city’s mobility problems, on Saturday, February 25th and Saturday, March 3rd in Van Nuys, L.A. and Pacoima.

If you find yourself in San Diego this weekend, it sounds like you could do a lot worse than attending Bike the Boulevard starting at noon on Saturday, February 24th, with seven full hours of food and drink specials, games, art and music for cyclists on the city’s El Cajon Blvd.

The draft bike plan for the County of Los Angeles will face a hearing by the county Board of Supervisors in a public session at 9:30 am on February 28th, in Room 381B of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street Downtown.

Also on the 28th, The LA Chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation holds its kickoff event at 634 S. Spring Street, starting at 7 pm. Guest speaker Alexis Lantz of the LACBC will discuss bike and pedestrian advocacy in Los Angeles — and few know the topic better — followed by an informal reception at Spring Street Bar.

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability invites you to participate in Creating a Bikeable UCLA: A Vision for a Healthy & Vibrant Future on Wednesday, February 29th from noon to 2:00 pm at the California NanoSystems Institute Auditorium on the UCLA campus. Registration is free, but limited to people affiliated with the University, and space is limited.

You’re invited to train with the Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling team at their official winter training camp March 2nd through 4th in Paso Robles; the cost is a mere $3,000.

Sunday, March 4th, the LACBC rolls out it’s first Tour de Taste, offering an easy, guided 12 mile bike ride along Ballona Creek, as well as food and drinks from some of the area’s best restaurants. The event kicks off at Media Park at the corner of Culver and Venice Blvds starting at 10 am, with rides departing every hour. Cost is $65 for LACBC members and $95 for non-members, with discounted membership and ticket available for $120 (pro tip — become an LACBC member before the 4th and save $20); all proceeds go to create a more bikable Los Angeles. But don’t wait to register, because only 200 tickets will be sold.

Also on the 4th, the OC to LA Dream Ride 2012 will roll from El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana to Lincoln Heights, with a welcoming celebration at Solidarity Ink. The ride celebrates the passage of the California Dream Act while connecting the immigration rights movement with the cycling community.

Friday, March 9th, the recently reinvigorated C.I.C.L.E. sponsors its free ArtNight Ride, including visits to the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Side Street Projects, Pasadena Museum of History and the Armory for the Arts. Meet at Memorial Park Pasadena at the intersection of Raymond Ave and Holly Street at 6:30 pm, with the ride leaving promptly at 7 pm.

Thursday, March 15th, support cycling on the Westside with Bikes – Ballads – Beers: A Benefit for the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition from 7 pm to midnight at the Little Bar, 757 S. La Brea.

The 28th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic will take place on March 22nd through 25th in Redlands, offering one of the state’s most intense cycling competitions, as well as a joyful celebration of bicycling for cyclists of all ages.

If you’re looking for a serious challenge, consider the CORPScamp Death Valley, five days of biking in Death Valley National Park featuring 300 miles or more of riding, including the Hell’s Gate Hundred, March 27th through 31st.

If you enjoyed the last CicLAvia, you’ll love the next one on Tax Day, April 15th from 10 am to 3 pm; the route will follow the same expanded course as last October’s.

It might be worth the long drive to Davis CA for the first ever Legends Gran Fondo sponsored by the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame on May 6th, featuring America’s first Tour de France winner Greg LeMond — the man whose name is on my bike —  as well as former World Champion Ruthie Mathes, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, and other members of the Hall of Fame.

May is Bike Month. The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th, with National Bike to Work Week taking place on May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County; save $10 if you register by May 15th.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Extra caution required as construction projects raise risk on PCH and Temescal Canyon

A couple of quick notes from Wednesday’s PCH Taskforce meeting that could affect your rides along the coast.

First up is a stormwater treatment program on Temescal Canyon Road that will block the right turn lane off PCH, as well as intermittently blocking the uphill bike lane on Temescal itself.

The project is designed to capture the first ¾ inch of rainwater, which contains the most pollutants, allowing it to be diverted for treatment once the storm is over.

However, it could pose a risk to riders on PCH, who will be forced to share the right through lane with right-turning drivers, as well as drivers going straight. The bigger problem, though, is the blockages of the bike lane planned for the uphill side of Temescal.

Construction under the center divider will force temporary closures of one uphill lane as well as the bike lane, requiring riders to share a single lane with motorists on a road where many drivers race through far above the speed limit. And where the steep uphill means riders travel at far lower speeds than they would otherwise, creating a potentially deadly combination.

However, the solution could be as simple as the wide sidewalk on the right, if the city just invests in a few dollars worth of asphalt to build curb ramps that would allowing riders to safely bypass the construction.

Downhill traffic won’t be affected.

The second, and potentially more dangerous, problem lies a little further south on PCH at Potrero Canyon.

A project to stabilize the canyon will mean as many as 200 heavy trucks loaded with soil will soon be traveling northbound PCH every day, adding more — and more dangerous — traffic to one of the area’s most popular riding routes. Then after dumping their loads, they will turn around at the temporary traffic signal that you may have noticed being installed in that area this week, and return back down PCH towards Santa Monica.

This, in an area where the lack of an adequate shoulder means riders have to take the lane in front of frequently speeding drivers — as well as traffic that can grind to a stop due to heavy congestion.

That section is scheduled to be widened, and a shoulder added, by 2017.

But in the meantime, you should ride with extra caution and keep a wide eye open for truck drivers unfamiliar with the road, and who may not be looking for you.

On the other hand, major work on the sewer project that has affected southbound cyclists on PCH around West Channel Road for the last year, and forced a bypass to the beachfront bike path, should be finished by May; the full job is expected to be done by fall.

……..

In a surprising move, the nation’s three leading bike advocacy organizations have decided to merge their efforts.  The League of American Bicyclists, industry trade group Bikes Belong and the Alliance for Biking and Walking announced that they will join together to form a new unified organization.

What exactly that means remains to be determined.

They could unite at the top, while keeping the existing structure of the three organizations intact. Or they could merge into a single organization — though how they make that work when one is membership driven, one composed of local bike organizations from across the nation, and one made up of the nation’s largest bicycle and components manufacturers is beyond me.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. But as Richard Masoner points out on Cyclelicious, a number of questions remain.

Done right, this could give us the political clout we need to avoid future disasters like the current House Transportation bill, which effectively eliminates all bike and pedestrian funding.

Or it could end up weakening — or eliminating — three organizations that have served us well over the years, and leaving us with something less responsive to the needs of average riders.

This proposed merger bears the possibility of greatness. But it’s something we’ll all want to keep a close eye on.

……..

Speaking in Los Angeles, bike racing boss Pat McQuaid finally acknowledges that women riders deserve better. Commute by Bike offers another perspective on L.A.’s green bike lane, while Flying Pigeon shows there’s a little overlap in that new agreement allowing film production trucks to park next to them. A Cypress Park middle school falls in love with bikes; while an L.A. riders says it’s okay for roadies to be friendly, too. New bike lanes land on Aviation Blvd near LAX. While L.A. works on pilot projects, Santa Monica thrives by catering to bikes. UCLA gets a new bike repair stand. Malibu moves forward with a PCH safety study. Solving bike clutter in Redondo Beach. A Redondo Beach bike sting nets career criminals. Diversifying transportation in Glendale is a necessity, not a luxury. Montrose Search and Rescue come to the aid of two stranded mountain bikers near Crescenta Valley. Welcome to the newly formed Pomona Valley Bike Coalition, the latest local chapter of the LACBC. Bikes and beer always go together, so how about velos e vino?

Following the death of a teenage cyclist, San Diego’s press belatedly discover the existence of fixies. San Diego cyclists have to deal with trash cans in the bike lanes, too. Riding on the sidewalk isn’t enough to keep a Stockton cyclist safe from out of control trucks. Texas Governor Rick Perry — the only other governor fool enough to veto a three-foot passing law besides our own Jerry Brown — will have surgery for an old bicycling injury in San Diego. Evidently, sidewalks in Atascadero have right and wrong directions, unlike sidewalks everywhere else — and seriously, even a local cop should know that riding on the sidewalk in either direction isn’t illegal under state law.

Sometimes an endorsement of cycling isn’t as glowing as it seems. Wisconsin cyclists rally for a vulnerable user law. Despite fatally dooring a cyclist, a New York driver faces just 30 days or $500 for driving with a suspended license; no, really, the NYPD takes fatal bike collisions seriously, honest. Gotham defense attorney’s love it when drivers leave the scene of a collision. A Carolina bike shop owner says cars and bikes really can get along. A Georgia bill would ban riding side by side. Why Miami is a deathtrap for cyclists; it’s not just Miami — Florida continues to be the most dangerous place in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s not the UCI that’s stifling bike frame innovation.

A Canadian cyclist is killed in a collision after running a red light, yet the Mounties insist on blaming his death on the lack of a helmet; I’d say risk factors were a) running a red light, b) getting hit by a truck, and c) not wearing a helmet, in that order. In a remarkable display, the UK’s Parliament gathered Thursday to debate bike safety — something our Congress desperately needs to do, yet which I doubt we will ever see. Two thousand cyclists ride for bike safety in London. In a rare display of Fleet Street comity, London’s Guardian endorses the Times’ Cycle Safe campaign. The risk of death is 10 times higher for cyclists in the UK’s rural areas. A British cyclist dies even though the car that hit him was only doing 10 mph. Safer cycling makes cities safer for everyone. A Scot cyclist punches a driver in the nose after getting knocked off his bike; guess which one got punished? For such a seemingly freak accident, there seem to be a lot of new stories about children killed or injured by falling on their handlebars; is this a bigger problem than we realize? Copenhagen police target cyclists for fun and profit. An Aussie cyclist explains why they’re so angry. According to Reuters, Indonesian cyclists risk their lives every day to ride to work.

Finally, another typically insightful and entertainingly artistic look at cycling from Boston’s Bikeyface. And a cyclist leaves a note for a driver ticketed for parking in the bike lane.

Green bike lanes aren’t worth a damn if they’re blocked by Hollywood production trucks

This is me, post nuclear.

I went just this side of ballistic this afternoon, when news broke on the KCET blog that an agreement had been reached that would allow Hollywood productions to continue shooting on Spring and Main Streets in Downtown L.A.

Those pretty green bike lanes were already as good as gone, victim of a claim that they would prevent the twinned streets, which had previously been among the most popular filming locations in the city, from continuing to pass for Anytown, USA.

In fact, the story quoted Paul Audley, President of FilmLA, saying that filming was already down 10% to 15% since the green lane was installed. Even though green is the color most easily removed in post-production.

But not this particular shade of green, evidently. At least not according to the filmmakers.

And even though the green lane was already doing a pretty good job of removing itself.

Still, it had become quite clear in recent days that the color-testing LADOT had promised us to ensure the green paint would last for more than a few days was not going to happen anytime soon. And while the bike lanes would remain, the green paint would soon be a thing of the past.

Of course, as the late, great Dale Carnegie once wrote, there are two reasons for anything a man — or a film industry, for that matter — does. One that sounds good, and the real reason.

And in this case, it didn’t take long for the bike-hating LA Weekly to ferret out the reason behind the reason.

While they weren’t happy with the city’s choice of USDOT-dictated green, the studios were actually upset that they’d lost their access to free curbside parking. Because, you know, all those Hollywood studios and production companies can’t manage to find offstreet parking for their massive production trucks.

Or afford to pay for it out of their mutli-multi-million dollar budgets.

Even though Downtown L.A. has more parking per acre than anywhere else on earth, according to UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

So having already won the Great Downtown Green War, there was only one battle left to fight.

According to the KCET story, Hollywood declared victory with an agreement permitting film crews to park those trucks on our beloved bike lanes. And nothing in that article suggested that it was limited to Spring and Main, implying that film crews could now park anywhere they damn well pleased, on any bike lane in the city.

And that, my friends, is when my head exploded.

For a change, though, I didn’t go ballistic. Instead I reached out to the people who should actually know what was really going on before going off on here. And used all my self control not to go off on them, either.

First to respond — in a matter of just minutes, in fact — was LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery, who assured me that permits would still be required to block any traffic lane, bike or otherwise. And that lane closures for film shoots should be limited to the minimal amount required for actual shooting, and not simply to provide parking for cast and crew.

I could feel my blood pressure dropping already.

A few hours later, I got a response from Paul Audley himself, who said the article got it wrong.

Dear Ted,
The article headline is incorrect.
The DOT is allowing film vehicles in the parking lane next to the bike lanes.
Nobody wants to injure bikers!  :)

Good to know. Although my own experience on the roads might suggest that at least some L.A. drivers might disagree with that last line.

Personally, though, as nice as they were, I don’t really give a damn whether the bike lanes are green, blue, black or pink. As long as they’re clear from obstructions and safe to ride.

But the problem is, a blocked bike lane is worse than no lane at all. Because drivers will expect you to ride in it regardless of whether or not it’s actually ridable. And aren’t likely to give you an inch if you dare to venture outside the lines.

So if Hollywood needs to change the color scheme, be my guest.

Just don’t park your trucks where they block our bike lanes.

And that goes for your little orange cones, too.

Indiana cyclist wins in court, loses on the streets; a lavish load of midweek links

Simply heartbreaking.

Yesterday I mentioned that an Indiana cyclist had his ticket for passing a school bus reversed after a judge ruled the law doesn’t apply to bikes; today, we learned that the rider was killed over the weekend.

Sixty-two year old Steven Carey was hit from behind and killed while riding on Sunday morning; he was described as a gentle soul who rode 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year.

Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

……..

Flying Pigeon documents a cargo bike move from Highland Park to Echo Park. The L.A. chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation is kicking off their inaugural meeting on Tuesday the 28th with a talk by LACBC’s Alexis Lantz. The March edition of Los Angeles Magazine features the best rides in the city, although the story doesn’t seem to be online. L.A. City Council discovers they don’t have authority to ban cell phone use by drivers, handheld or otherwise; I could have told them that. Bike-friendly Santa Monica Assemblywoman Julia Brownley throws her hat in the ring for a congressional seat. Baldwin Park youths advocate for safer streets. The Claremont Cyclist offers another of his typically great ride reviews, this time off-road to Frankish Peak. Streetsblog is raising funds on Kickstarter to document the protest ride against Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the three-foot passing law; meanwhile, NBC-4 interviews Streetsblog’s Damien Newton about transit use.

Laguna Beach punts on their commitment to Complete Streets, forming yet another committee to study it — and maybe buy lunch for City Council. A Laguna Beach firm offers the nation’s first insurance program for bike riders. Early registration opens for San Diego’s 5th Annual Bike the Bay; the Bike the Boulevard sounds like fun, too. San Diego bank robber makes his getaway by mountain bike. I can’t really tell if the Daily Californian likes Berkeley’s new cyclist anti-harassment ordinance or not. San Francisco bike advocates dispute claims they ride recklessly. South Lake Tahoe residents fight plans to maximize speed limits through town. The Sacramento Bee hates the House anti-bike transportation bill; Car Talk hates it too.

Bicycling updates their blogroll; sadly, I didn’t make the cut. A Honolulu petition gathers over 1000 signatures for bike lanes on a popular street. An Oregon cyclist has his conviction on a drug charge upheld following a stop for not having a headlight. Is Boulder CO the nation’s epicenter of cycling? Maybe my hometown doesn’t need a bike coordinator after all; no seriously, I’ll take the job anyway. Meanwhile, my hometown university anticipates a good year for their college cycling team. Once again, Commute by Bike challenges Oscar attendees to arrive by bike; I wouldn’t hold my breath. New York’s City Council takes the NYPD to task for failing to take bike fatalities seriously. That New Jersey man charged with attempted murder for running down a cyclist evidently targeted his victim, using his car instead of a gun; oddly, he didn’t get away with it. A Florida man says three feet, please; so does a Miami rider after getting run down and seriously injured. A Gainesville city commissioner says he’s really not anti-bike. Fuji recalls their women’s Saratoga cruiser bikes because the downtube can snap in half; Shimano recalls their Pro Atherton stem.

Oxford cyclists say a redesigned junction will almost certainly lead to fatalities. French designer Philippe Stark teams with Peugeot to create a hybrid bike/scooter; can we say enough with all the concept bikes from car makers, already? Are helmets really necessary if Aussie cyclists have to ride an hour a day for over 3,500 years before they could expect to be killed on a bike? A New Zealand woman buys her way out of responsibility for a cyclist’s death for $37,000, while a Kiwi cyclist is run off the road just one week after taking up cycling to work; the Smithsonian asks if New Zealand is too dangerous to ride. Not all Japanese bike thefts are intentional. In an usual case, a cyclist is banned from operating any kind of vehicle for five years after causing the death of a motorcyclist.

Finally, a Texas man gets what he deserves after he honks and tries to force a couple of cyclists off the road, only to discover they’re bike cops. And a Philadelphia hit-and-run driver turns herself in — again — after she was turned away by police the first time.

A jerk driver nearly takes off a cyclist’s arm, and shows the need to change the law

The other night, I watched from behind as a cyclist did everything right. And still was nearly run down by an impatient driver.

I’d already watched as the driver of a Porsche run a red light at Ohio and Veteran, making his right turn without stopping — or barely slowing down for that matter — to end up heading north on Veteran directly in front of me.

He also ended up directly behind another cyclist on the narrow, parking-choked two-lane street.

The rider had already taken the lane, since there was no room for a car and a bike to safely share a lane. Then he put out his left hand to indicate a turn into a driveway — only to find the Porsche already whipping past on his left, on the wrong side of the road, nearly taking his arm off in the process.

Not surprisingly, that hand quickly moved up from its leftward extension into a single-fingered wave in the rapidly disappearing car’s rearview mirror. And couldn’t blame him in the slightest; in fact, it seemed like a rather restrained gesture under the circumstances.

As usual, there was nothing that could be done about it. The driver was long gone before there was any possibility of getting a license number.

And even if either of us had managed to, there would have been absolutely nothing the police could have done. State law bans them from writing tickets or making an arrest for a misdemeanor — which this would have been, given the lack of injury — unless they actually witness the infraction.

Even though they likely would have had at least two witnesses willing to testify.

Like the 85th percentile speed law, which forces cities to raise speed limits to the level dictated by speeding drivers, it’s a bad law. One originally intended to protect motorists from police abuse, but which actually serves to keep dangerous drivers on the street.

And jeopardize everyone else around them.

Then again, jerks like that sometimes get what they deserve; thanks to Rex Reese for the link.

……..

I had to miss Will Campbell’s Watts Happening Ride last weekend.

I’ve found the key to a happy marriage is spending my weekends home with my wife and dog, even when there are other things I’d like to be doing. Like riding my bike while I learned about one of L.A.’s most fascinating and sadly neglected neighborhoods.

Fortunately, Will offers a timelapse recap for those of us who couldn’t be there.

……..

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that L.A. has lessons to learn from cities near and far. Work has started on the new Sunset Triangle Plaza at the former intersection of Sunset and Griffith Park Blvds. Riverside police shoot a bike riding fugitive. Frank Peters offers a very nice look at his son getting a driver’s license and demonstrating his skills by safely passing a cyclist; definitely worth reading. Family and friends remember the 17-year old cyclist killed last week after riding through a red light. A San Diego professor argues that federal transportation policy can affect public health. A San Diego mayoral candidate wants to make it the nation’s most innovative city — and yes, he supports cycling, even if he is a Republican, Traffic fatalities in Ventura County nearly doubled last year, while cycling fatalities went from zero in 2010 to four in 2011. Lake Tahoe may soon be ringed with bike paths. The author of Boston’s Lovely Bicycle will be riding through Death Valley this March.

Lots of presidents have ridden bikes, dating all the way back to Lincoln, sort of. An interview with bike lawyer and former competitive cyclist Bob Mionske. The rate of Seattle bike crashes hold steady even as ridership rises. The makers of Fat Tire beer team with a local bike trailer maker to help a Boulder food rescue feed the hungry. The rich get richer, as Colorado is building a 63-mile off-road bikeway from Glenwood Canyon to Vail Pass. A Wyoming man is facing three to seven years after pleading No Contest to killing a cyclist while under the influence. Does building a bike culture in Chicago mean things have to get worse before they get better? A Minneapolis bike and pedestrian bridge is out of commission after a cable breaks. Evidently, life is cheap in Wisconsin as a college hockey player gets just 90 days for killing a cyclist by pushing him off his bike, resulting in his death. An Indiana judge reverses a ticket after discovering that bikes aren’t legally considered vehicles in the Hoosier state. A New Jersey driver is under arrest on a charge of attempted murder after hitting a cyclist; no reasons given for the charges yet. Pennsylvania drivers now have to give cyclists a four-foot passing margin — one foot more than the law CA Governor Jerry Brown vetoed. Philadelphia police actually justify putting cyclists at risk by double parking in bike lanes. A look at newly bike-friendly New Orleans; it certainly wasn’t friendly spot to ride when I lived in Louisiana. A Georgia man sues over a dangerous bike path after his mother is killed in a head-on collision with two other riders.

A new northern terminus for the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route tracing the path taken to freedom by escaped slaves during the dark days of American history, now ends in Ontario. Nine cyclists set out from the UK on an unsupported race around the world. Britain’s Prime Minister will hear “radical” ideas for making the country’s streets safer for cyclists; the question is, will he listen? Meanwhile, more than half of all UK residents think the county’s urban areas are too dangerous for cyclists. It certainly was for a former aide-de-camp to the Queen, who was run down by a driver blinded by the sun. A UK driver gets just 18 months for deliberately running into a cyclist and fleeing the scene, leaving the rider in a coma for over six months with two broken legs, a broken arm, cracked ribs, a temporary loss of sight in one eye, and permanent brain damage; call me crazy, but the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. A driver escapes jail for killing a cyclist by barely brushing him; a reminder that any contact by a careless driver can be dangerous. A look at Liverpool’s Ten Minutes of Hell underground time trial. The Belfast Telegraph says it time we learned to love the bike; some of us are already ahead of the curve. The first no-emission vehicle from Porsche has just two wheels. An Indian cyclist is probably paralyzed after a Lamborghini driver loses control at high speed, killing himself and seriously injuring the rider. Chances are your bike wasn’t actually made by the company whose name is on it.

Finally, bike haters have always suspected the bicycle was a tool of the devil; maybe they were right. Or maybe early cyclists only seemed possessed because they suffered from bicycle face. But maybe this is how we really look.

A long and ever growing list of biking events, from a Dim Sum ride to bike lanes on a grand L.A. boulevard

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.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition invites you for an easy ride with the city’s mayor at 8 am every Monday, starting at Syd Kronenthal Park, 3459 McManus Ave, at the east end of the Ballona Creek bike path.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular Get Sum Dim Sum ride on Sunday, February 19th. Riders assemble at 10 am at Flying Pigeon, 3714 N. Figueroa ST in Highland Park, with a 10:30 departure time. Single speed beach cruisers are available to rent for $20.

The Slauson Avenue Public Improvements Taskforce will meet on Wednesday, February 22nd to consider a Complete Streets update to one of L.A.’s iconic boulevards — including one option including bike lanes. The meeting will take place at the Exposition Park Constituent Services Center, Administrative Offices East Building, 700 Exposition Park Drive.

Thursday, February 23rd, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership hosts an easy, under five mile ride around Downtown L.A., with a stop for lunch along the way. The ride will assemble at Angel’s Knoll Park at the base of Angel’s Flight in Downtown L.A.; click the link to RSVP.

Also on the 23rd, Cynergy Cycles teams with the Santa Monica Bicycle Center to present a one-night Commuter Clinic to help you learn everything you need to know to bike to work or school. The clinic starts at 7 pm at 2300 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

The City of Los Angeles will be hosting a series of four Mobility Think Lab Workshops to help solve the city’s mobility problems, on Saturday, February 25th and Saturday, March 3rd in Van Nuys, L.A. and Pacoima.

The draft bike plan for the County of Los Angeles will face a hearing by the county Board of Supervisors in a public session at 9:30 am on February 28th, in Room 381B of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street Downtown.

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability invites you to participate in Creating a Bikeable UCLA: A Vision for a Healthy & Vibrant Future on Wednesday, February 29th from noon to 2:00 pm at the California NanoSystems Institute Auditorium on the UCLA campus. Registration is free, but limited to people affiliated with the University, and space is limited.

You’re invited to train with the Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling team at their official winter training camp March 2nd through 4th in Paso Robles; the cost is a mere $3,000.

Sunday, March 4th, the LACBC rolls out it’s first Tour de Taste, offering an easy, guided 12 mile bike ride along Ballona Creek, as well as food and drinks from some of the area’s best restaurants. The event kicks off at Media Park at the corner of Culver and Venice Blvds starting at 10 am, with rides departing every hour. Cost is $65 for LACBC members and $95 for non-members, with discounted membership and ticket available for $120 (pro tip — become an LACBC member before the 4th and save $20); all proceeds go to create a more bikable Los Angeles. But don’t wait to register, because only 200 tickets will be sold.

Also on the 4th, the OC to LA Dream Ride 2012 will roll from El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana to Lincoln Heights, with a welcoming celebration at Solidarity Ink. The ride celebrates the passage of the California Dream Act while connecting the immigration rights movement with the cycling community.

Thursday, March 15th, support cycling on the Westside with Bikes – Ballads – Beers: A Benefit for the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition from 7 pm to midnight at the Little Bar, 757 S. La Brea.

The 28th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic will take place on March 22nd through 25th in Redlands, offering one of the state’s most intense cycling competitions, as well as a joyful celebration of bicycling for cyclists of all ages.

If you’re looking for a serious challenge, consider the CORPScamp Death Valley, five days of biking in Death Valley National Park featuring 300 miles or more of riding, including the Hell’s Gate Hundred, March 27th through 31st.

If you enjoyed the last CicLAvia, you’ll love the next one on Tax Day, April 15th from 10 am to 3 pm; the route will follow the same expanded course as last October’s.

It might be worth the long drive to Davis CA for the first ever Legends Gran Fondo sponsored by the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame on May 6th, featuring America’s first Tour de France winner Greg LeMond — the man whose name is on my bike —  as well as former World Champion Ruthie Mathes, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, and other members of the Hall of Fame.

May is Bike Month. The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th, with National Bike to Work Week taking place on May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century; more details to come.

It’s our first ever Presidential Weekend bike link clearance — all links must go!

Haven’t been able to keep up with this week’s massive amount of bike news. So here’s a hot, steaming mound of delicious bike links to see you through the weekend.

……..

Let’s start with today’s most popular item.

A French cyclist set a new age-group record for one hour cycling. No big deal, except it came 86 years after he lied about his age to enter his first cycling event — at the tender age of 14.

That makes Robert Marchand 100 years old when he rode 15.1 miles in 60 minutes on a track in Aigle, Switzerland recently.

As Velonews points out, it does not threaten the record of 30.1 miles set by Ondrej Sosenka in 2005. But it did motivate the UCI to establish a new 100-plus age category.

And yes, I want to be just like him when I grow up.

Thanks to Evan G. for the heads-up.

……..

Satnam Singh, the driver charged with the murder of Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland, entered a plea of not guilty to second-degree murder, felony drunken driving, felony hit and run, and misdemeanor hit and run, as well as two counts of inflicting great bodily injury.

……..

A British bus driver is sentenced to 17 months in jail for using his bus as a weapon when he deliberately ran down a cyclist he’d argued with moments earlier, in a horrifying wreck captured on a nearby security camera; his victim credits his helmet for saving his life. Thanks to Erik Griswald, Richard Risemberg and Stanley E. Goldich for the tip.

……..

A couple of noteworthy CHP reports today courtesy of Cyclelicious, as a bike rider reported a car stuck in the trees after seeing it come off the 405 near Carson — not off the exit ramp, but over the side of the freeway.

And a classic definition of a SWSS (Single Witness Suicide Swerve), as a Riverside cyclist is accused of intentionally turning into a vehicle in order to get hit.

Yes, they’re finally on to our evil plan to get ourselves killed in order to collect the insurance money.

……..

An Occupy 90210 rider is hit by a car in Beverly Hills; the aftermath is caught on video as fellow protesters press for information and flirt with the police. Downtown’s Spring Street green bike lane gets extended to Venice Blvd, but may lose it’s hue, which turns out to be not so Hollywood friendly; the LA Weekly never misses a chance to unfairly bash bicyclists. Here’s your chance to influence the city’s new Transportation Master Plan. LAist looks at the LACBC’s upcoming Tour de Taste; if you’re thinking about going, move fast because only 200 lucky ticket holders will get to attend — and once it’s sold out, you’re SOL. Santa Monica may roll out new bikeways sooner than planned. If you’re hit by a car while riding drunk, don’t try to fight with the paramedics who are trying to help you. Rolling Hills Estates considers a 1.3 mile bike lane along Palos Verdes Drive, as residents rail about the risks posed by out-of-town bicyclists; thanks to Jim Lyle for the link. A recent Long Beach transplant offers a video love letter to her new bike-friendly hometown. Alhambra’s proposed bike plan moves forward. SF Gate reviews the new book Hollywood Rides a Bike by Steven Rea; you can meet the author in Pasadena on Saturday.

Bicycling offers their take on the 100+ best rides in California. Frank Peters predicts the future in Newport Beach. A former Orange County postman and Klan member once held a bike speed record; maybe that robe and pointy hat were surprisingly aero. OC residents prematurely protest a planned expansion of the Santiago Creek Bike Trial. The 13-year old cyclist seriously injured in a Santa Ana hit-and-run has forgiven the driver who hit her; at 13 she’s already a better person than I will ever be. A bad week for San Diego cyclists continues with a Thursday hit-and-run that left a rider severely injured. Bicyclists in San Diego can Ride the Boulevard on Saturday. A 73-year old cyclist rear-ends a CHP patrol car in Cambria. Berkeley bicyclists are now part of the second city protected by an L.A.-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance; we’re still waiting for that first test case here.

War vets plan a nearly 4,200 mile cross country bike ride to draw attention to veterans issues. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposes requiring automakers to stop electronic distractions from working while the car is moving; with a platform like that. why isn’t he running for President instead of those other guys? Did a federal prosecutor whitewash the Lance Armstrong case, or is Lance just too big to fail? Fat Cyclist features a guest writer who lost a whopping 364 pounds on his bike. Maybe it’s time to rebrand bikes and buses. A car site offers drivers 10 rules for coexisting with bicycles. Is big oil afraid of bikes?

Someone tries to nail Oregon bikes, literally. If you already have two outstanding warrants, maybe you shouldn’t ride your bike with meth in your sock. A world-class women’s bike race will be revived in Idaho. If you’re riding with drug paraphernalia, maybe you should replace your burned out headlight after the first six times you get stopped. Your next bike could have an automatic transmission, courtesy of students at my hometown university. Chicago’s WGN claims more than 1,000 people died in Illinois in the last year as a result of distracted driving; a little odd, since only 927 people died as a result of traffic collisions in that state in 2010. A New York driver who fatally doored a cyclist, then left the scene, will face charges — for driving with a suspended license, with a maximum sentence of 30 days; this is what passes for justice in Gotham? Then again, there’s no justice for pedestrians in NYC, either; what the hell is wrong with the NYPD? Maybe the reason is New York police will only investigate collisions if someone is killed or likely to die — and issues more summonses to cyclists than truck drivers. Ex-framebuilder Dave Moulton suggests killing someone shouldn’t be just a whoops-a-daisy. Writing for The Atlantic Cities, Sarah Goodyear says the city needs a version of their famed “Broken Windows” approach for traffic crimes. A 70-year old cyclist looks back on a lifetime of riding; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. When you’re riding with cocaine in your wallet, make sure you have a light on your bike — and don’t fight the cop who stops you.

Vancouver vigilantes battle bike theft with GPS-enabled bait bikes. A writer for London’s Independent writes about ghost bikes, but clearly doesn’t get it. Cyclists will be riding ‘round Parliament in protest on Wednesday. How cycling went mainstream in today’s London. Do bike safety campaigns do more harm than good? Uh, no. Make that hell no. A road raging driver head-butts a bicyclist in Bristol. Edinburgh cyclists get on-street bike lockers. Biking is just a little different in the Scottish countryside. An Indian court rules that dangerous drivers should see no mercy in case involving a bus driver who ran down a cyclist; is it too late to move to Delhi? The bike movement continues to spread as Jakarta plans 50 kilometers of new bike lanes.

Finally, a Gainesville City Commissioner evidently fears the local police will be threatened by Spandex-clad cyclists with plastic tire levers. And courtesy of frequent contributor George Wolfberg, why drivers may not see you; George was also — quite deservedly — named Pacific Palisades Citizen of the Year for 2011, and should be every other year, as well.

And in non-bike news, my dogsled racing brother and his team get stomped by an angry moose; fortunately, neither man no beast was seriously injured.

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