Archive for August 31, 2012

Get your Mojo on with Lance Armstrong-inspired contest for some free CLIF Mojo Bars

Get your Mojo on and tell use your favorite performance enhancers.

Let’s have a little fun.

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a contest on here. But I was recently approached by the makers of CLIF Bars with an offer to give away some of their Mojo Bars in honor of national Trail Mix Day.

And yes, there really is such a thing.

Not only that, as it turns out, Friday was it.

And as it happens, Mojo Bars are made from… wait for it… trail mix.

Or as they put it, a crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty mostly organic blend of nuts, pretzel pieces and other healthy things, with no processed sugars or trans fats.

Works for me.

The question is, who to give them to?

And that’s where our old buddy Lance comes in.

As you may recall, Lance was recently stripped of his titles for using performance-enhancing drugs. And yet, as cyclists, we all use performance enhancers of some sort.

Though most of them are legal.

Mine run the gamut from broccoli, spinach, berry and banana smoothies — and yes, it takes a lot of berries to kill the taste of the first two — to blasting just the right song before setting out.

Oddly, the one that seems to work best for me is the Theme from the Magnificent Seven. Maybe I still want to be a cowboy when I grow up.

And yes, I am partial to CLIF Bars, though I lean more towards the White Chocolate Macadamia and Peanut Toffee Buzz flavors. And their Peanut Butter Crunch bars are like crack to me.

So what’s your favorite performance enhancer?

Just leave a comment below, or email me at bikinginla at hotmail dot com. Or tweet me, for that matter, @bikinginla.

Just tell me what you use to enhance your performance before or during a ride, and why. And be sure to include a valid email address or Twitter account so I can contact you if you win.

I’ll pick the winners Monday night, so you have a few days to think it over. And I’ll post the best entries on here next week.

Update: 2012 SoCal bike deaths reach an even 50, as 52-year old Moorpark cyclist killed Thursday

This is not the story I wanted to write today.

I’d promised you a contest for the holiday weekend, sponsored by Clif Mojo bars to celebrate national Trail Mix Day.

But that will have to wait, as I’ve just gotten word of a fatal bicycling collision that took the life of a Moorpark man on Thursday.

According to Moorpark Patch, the victim, identified only as a 52-year old man pending notification of next-of-kin, was riding south on Moorpark Avenue at Poindexter Ave at around 9:55 am when he was struck by a car traveling in the same direction.

Details are sparse. It could have been a hit-from-behind collision; however, the fact that it occurred in the intersection would suggest a possible right hook. Or the rider could have been attempting to make a left turn, and either crossed into the driver’s path, or been struck when the driver failed to see him.

The victim was taken to Los Robles Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The 44-year old driver, a resident of Sylmar, remained at the scene.

It’s sad that hit-and-run has become so common that something like that even needs to be mentioned.

This is the 50th fatal bike collision in Southern California this year, and the third in Ventura County, compared to four in the county last year. And eight months into the year, it puts us on a pace for 75 fatalities in the seven-county SoCal region this year, not counting shooting victims, compared to 71 in 2011.

My heartfelt sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Out of respect for the victim, I’ll wait until later this evening to put the contest online. I hope you’ll come back then or over the weekend; especially after news like this, we all need to have a little fun.

Update: The Ventura County Star has identified the victim as 52-year old Moorpark resident Kenneth Guthrie, who was hit by a car driven by 44-year old Jaime Tijero Ibarra of Sylmar. Still no word on how the collision occurred; Ibarra was not cited at the scene, and the case remains under investigation. 

Stupid Driver Tricks — bizarrely impatient Brentwood driver; and knee-jerk Hollywood anti-bike hatred

Maybe it was something in the water.

Or maybe it was a little lunar lunacy in anticipation of tomorrow’s Blue Moon.

But Thursday’s ride to Manhattan Beach and back was marked with more Stupid Driver Tricks — and not just drivers, as a few cyclists and pedestrians insisted on getting into the act — than I usually see in a month.

But this one takes the cake.

All this woman had to do was wait a few seconds until the light changed, and she could have easily gotten out of that parking lot with her dry cleaning.

Instead, she pulled out directly towards the car in front of her. When that didn’t work, as he failed to magically disappear from her way, she backed up, pausing as I pulled up next to her. Then looked directly at me, and cut me off anyway — as the driver next to me and I both shook our heads, arms extended in the universal WTF gesture.

And yes, I may have made another gesture that didn’t show up on camera as I pulled up next to her.

No, not that one.


Streetsblog offers a good look at what you should do if you encounter my pet peeve — bike lanes needlessly blocked by Hollywood production crews.

Even though experience has taught me that Corgis make much better pets than peeves.

As they note, film crews are required to have a permit before they’re allowed to block a bike lane, or any other traffic lane, for that matter.

And yes, a bike lane is a legal traffic lane, albeit one reserved for bikes, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with more than one occupant. Or people willing to pay for the privilege of driving alone.

Which means that, without a permit from the city — which is remarkably easy to get — film crews have no more right to block a bike lane than they do the center lane on Wilshire Blvd. Though that never seems to stop them from doing it anyway.

The story also notes, correctly, that you have every right to demand to see that permit, whether they like it or not. And that if they don’t have one, you’re entitled to call the police — or Film LA — and demand that they move the offending cones to reopen the bike lane.

Although getting someone to actually care enough to do something about it can be another matter.

Then there are the seemingly inevitable comments from film crew workers unwilling to even attempt to obey the law.

Including this one from a self-described Assistant Location Manager who threatens to have anyone who asks to see the permit arrested on false charges.

As an Assistant Location Manager, the guy whom you will probably be approaching for a film permit, which will then be followed by your venting hippie diatribe about why my working trucks are blocking your bike lane here’s what I am going to do….Ask to see my permit, which I will produce for you. Then it will be I who will call the cops and claim that you threatened my production company with extortion, which I will be able to produce witnesses for. I will also suggest to the officer who responds that we spotted you taking illicit drugs not far away from my set, which I will also produce witnesses for. Being that most bikers I know engage in the occasional to regular use of drugs, I will most likely be right. When your being cuffed and taken to jail, I will then sell your bike on ebay….I may even use the funds to put gas in my Ford F-150 (not a Prius). You guys want a fight, your going to get one…

Point is, we are losing production jobs everyday to other states and cities because of BS like this. My methodology may seem machiavellian but I will do whatever it takes to keep filming in Los Angeles, keep food on my family’s table, and not be forced to move to keep working in film industry which provides a much needed paycheck and health benefits to family and I. Be warned, if the working trucks are parked in a bike lane, bike around us and go on your merry way…

Nice way to put a good face on Hollywood, dude.

And summing up exactly why many people in this town are fed up with self-entitled production crews, regardless of the jobs they create.

Yes, we all want to put an end to runaway productions, and keep those high-paying jobs right here at home.

But Hollywood needs to take a long, hard look at itself, and accept that other people in this city have rights, as well.


Joe Devito forwards a photo of the ghost bike for Michael Vega, the 25-year old cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier this week in Rancho Cucamonga.

And judging by the comments, it sounds like we’ve lost a great guy.


A few other quick notes:

Flying Pigeon looks at Tuesday’s meeting of the LACBC Civic Engagement Committee. Downtown is rapidly being redrawn to support bicycling. Glendale letter writer doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that bike lanes make streets safer, not the other way around. Three San Diego firefighters are on trial for beating the crap out of two bike riding brothers after calling one a bicycle faggot. A rocket scientist Ventura motorcyclist hates on California’s new three-foot passing law, missing the concept that it is actually possible to drive safely; and that emergency vehicles get an entire lane, while bicyclists only get three feet.

Trial has begun in the case of the driver who killed tandem cyclists Greg and Alexandra Bruehler, resulting in the single saddest photo I’ve ever seen. Here’s a good reason not the be an idiot, as a road-raging Detroit cyclist runs a red light, hits a truck, punches the driver — and gets fatally shot as a result. A PA cyclist is the victim of an early season drive-by pumpkining. Maybe cyclists should be licensed — and paid to ride. Ex-framebuilder Dave Moulton notes that doping has been around as long as competitive cycling.

Finally, I’ve always like fast women, as Bikeyface nails it once again. And it’s so hot, Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali is fixing bikes in his tightie whities reds.

Come back a little later in the day Friday, when we’ll have a giveaway contest to celebrate National Trail Mix Day. No, really, there actually is one. And I’ll see if the video came out on some of those other Stupid Driver Tricks over the next few days.

Update — Rancho Cucamonga cyclist latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run; 2nd in last two months

KCBS-2 reports that yet another cyclist has been killed in a Southern California hit-and-run.

According to the station, 25-year old Michael Vega was riding west on Foothill Blvd near Ramona Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga around 6:40 pm Tuesday, when he was run down from behind by a white truck, which fled the scene.

A fire captain reports the impact was hard enough to knock Vega out of his shoes. The station also notes that Vega was wearing a helmet, but the force of impact was too great for it to be of benefit.

And yet a police spokesperson suggests that unless the driver was drunk — which will probably never be determined, since he fled the scene — it will amount to nothing more than a simple traffic accident.

Thanks for having our back, dude.

Hint to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department — killing another human being with a motor vehicle is a serious matter. Or at least, it should be.

Whether or not the driver was drunk.

KCBS reports the witnesses tried to comfort Vega where they found him crumpled in the gutter; he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police are looking for a white work truck with a ladder or lumber rack in the back. Anyone with information should contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s Rancho Cucamonga station at 800/477-2800.

Vega is the 49th cyclist to die on Southern California streets this year, excluding gunshot victims, and the eighth in San Bernardino County.

This is also the third cycling death in Rancho Cucamonga — a frighteningly high total for a city of less than 168,000 — and the second fatal hit-and-run involving a cyclist in that city in just the last two months.

My prayers and deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.

Update: Michael of CLR Effect offers his thoughts, which are always insightful and always worth reading, including this:

Almost as troubling is the initial reaction from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. I don’t normally like to knock law enforcement, they are only charged with enforcing existing laws, not making them, not prosecuting them. But tied into the process of enforcement is the act of interpretation. When a department spokesperson says “unless the driver is intoxicated, nothing other than having a traffic accident taken is going to come out of this” has to leave me wondering what ever happened to the serve and protect code (granted that is the LAPD motto, but have always believed it should apply to all in the public service sector). 

Update 2: The Press-Enterprise says Vega was a resident of Norco, and died at the hospital less than an hour after being hit.

Update 3: KCBS offers a good follow-up on their original story, noting a ghost bike has already been installed, and that Vega worked at the Apple Store in Victoria Gardens. 

He was on his way to his girlfriend’s home when he was killed; his mother thanked those who comforted her son as he lay dying, and said she saw a double rainbow that night, taking a picture of it at the same time he passed away.

Update 4: An arrest has been made in this case

Three-foot passing law passes, along with bike lane exemption to CEQA; Jensie wins Colorado KoM

The state Assembly voted today to pass SB1461, the latest version of the state’s three-foot passing law.

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, the bill passed overwhelmingly, 50 – 16 — despite opposition from Republican legislators such as Diana Harkey of Dana Point, who insisted bicycling is getting out of control, and the responsibility for safety should be on cyclists.

As if it’s our responsibility to get the hell out of the way of dangerous drivers.

I hope Dana Point cyclists remember that when she comes up for reelection.

Then there was 59th District Assembley Member Tim Donnelly — yes, the guy who tried to take a loaded gun onto a plane — who asked if we couldn’t just trust the judgment of the California people and stop passing law after law.

Evidently, no one told him just who exactly elected the state legislature. And just what exactly they were elected to do.

Besides walk around with loaded pistols in their briefcases, that is.

The next step for the bill is a brief trip back to the Senate to reconcile a few technical amendments, then on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

Of course, this is the same Jerry Brown who vetoed a similar bill last year, joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only governors to veto safe passing distance legislation. And making Jerry Browned a synonym for getting dangerously buzzed by a too close driver.

No, seriously Jerry. You earned that one.

Word is that he intends to sign it this time, as virtually no one, other than a few sadly misguided legislators, opposed it this time.

On a related note, legislation to exempt painted bike lanes from CEQA review passed the state legislature today, as well.

This one could ultimately prove the more important of the two, as it removes a roadblock that has been used to block bike lane projects in San Francisco. And that has caused LADOT to proceed with extreme caution — and expensive environmental reviews — for fear the same thing could happen here.

Thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike for shepherding the three-foot bill through the legislature.


In a thrilling finish, Christian Vande Velde comes from behind to clinch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge by finishing second in the final stage time trial won by cycling scion Taylor Phinney. George Hincapie wraps up his long and storied career at the end of the Denver time trial. And in an unanticipated victory guaranteed to warm the heart of any aging long time bike race fans, the ageless Jens Voigt wins the King of the Mountain title.

The Guardian asks if professional cycling really wants to clean up its act. Surprisingly, Alberto Contador has good things to say about former arch-rival Lance Armstrong, even as he struggles to make a comeback in the Vuelta. A mathematician dissects the wording of the charges against Armstrong, and finds them fully consistent with being false. The French anti-doping agency says Lance was regularly tipped off about pending drug tests; thanks to CLR Effect for the link. Former framebuilder Dave Moulton says Landis and LeMond got screwed as part of the doping scandal.


Friends and family speculate Mt. Washington bike victim Jean Carlos Galaviz may have been a hit-and-run victim, despite drinking two beers before riding and leaving with a third; note to Highland Park Patch, getting doored or riding without a helmet is not the hallmark of a risk taker. If you missed it Saturday, you can still listen to Where to Bike Los Angeles authors Sarah Amelar and Jon Riddle on Bike Talk. Examined Spoke examines the city council’s backward bike thinking in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. The LACBC rides to the rescue when a film crew blocks a Hollywood bike lane. A 70-year old cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s hit by a bus in a Baldwin Park crosswalk. Evidently, Amanda Bynes really is the new Lindsey Lohan, as the City Attorney’s office re-examines her second hit-and-run in four months, along with a previous DUI. Glendale officials hope a revised bike plan results in a five-fold increase in ridership, while a Glendale Riverwalk project faces a one month delay. A Long Beach teenager chases down her stolen bike with the help of some strangers.

A former Santa Ana College student makes bike theft a family affair at her alma mater. Authorities seek a man who attempted to sexually assault a Murrieta cyclist. Paso Robles commits to becoming a bike friendly community. Seventeen-year old Concord driver pleads not guilty in deaths of a bike riding father and daughter; he faces less than four years in juvenile hall. Guilty plea from the driver who ran down a cyclist because he was wearing plaid — the cyclist, not the driver.

People for Bikes offers six ways to ride more; the most effective way is just get fired for riding when you should be working and you’ll have all the time in the world. A look at Evan Schneider, editor the bicycling literary review Boneshaker in my hometown. A road raging Michigan man is arrested for brutally assaulting a cyclist, but only charged with misdemeanor assault on just $5,000 bail; nice to know how lightly authorities take a violent attack on a bike rider. Gothamist effectively dismantles an anti-bike review of bike messenger movie Premium Rush. New York cyclists and pedestrians complain about a rough bikeway surface installed to slow down speeding riders. Suri Cruise is rapidly becoming one of us. A DC-area cyclist says it’s time to hold other cyclists accountable — besides him, that is. A Bethesda MD hit-and-run victim is unsure if she’ll ever ride again.

A Nova Scotia cyclist is threatened with a knife after getting hit by a road-raging driver. A UK cyclist is badly injured after he’s pushed off his bike by passing motorists. A one-handed Paralympic cyclist hopes to add to her seven gold medals. Urban cycling is getting more popular in Prague, though not without problems.

Finally, in a remarkably wrong-headed move, manufacturers of a new pill want to empower drunk drivers to kill more people by masking breathalyzer results.

Friday’s ride, on which I seemed to be invisible

One of the biggest problems we face as cyclists is being seen by today’s too-often distracted drivers, who seem to take the simple act of driving far too casually.

We wear bright colors, and position ourselves in ways that force anyone paying the slightest attention to see us. Yet too often, motorists seem oblivious to our presence.

Let alone anything else on the road with them.

I saw that yesterday as we were driving home from the market, and watched as the driver ahead of us looked as though he was going to stop for a red light — then proceeded to roll through the light without ever braking and T-bone an SUV on the cross street, knocking it into another SUV waiting in the opposing turn lane.

The impact was hard enough to deploy both airbags in the car that ran the light. And send the driver of the first SUV storming out of his vehicle to berate the man who hit him.

Why he went through the light, I have no idea; he could have been drunk, distracted or just not paying attention.

But it was an odd perspective to watch it all unfold from behind and be unable to do anything about it. And realizing that the airbags and armor plating of the vehicles involved had combined to protect everyone involved from serious harm.

Yet if it had been a bike in the driver’s path, the outcome would had been far different, as the rider would have been severely injured by the initial impact. And most likely would have helplessly fallen into the path of other motorists in the busy intersection.

How the driver failed to see the red light and massive SUV directly in front of him is beyond me. Let alone the bus directly behind it, which avoided the wreck only through a combination of slow speed and the skill and attention of the driver.

And if a driver can’t see something that massive directly in front of him, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of us who present a far smaller profile as we travel on two wheels.

Something I experienced for myself as I rode home on Friday.

I was coming up busy Montana Blvd in Santa Monica on the last leg of a 40 mile ride to the South Bay.

Usually I take San Vicente back from the beach. But every now and then I take Montana just to see something different — even though that means riding even more defensively than usual to dodge the many drivers who turn into or out of driveways and alleys without looking, or dart across the street, oblivious to the presence of anything traveling on less than four wheels.

Like the guy who cut me off as he made his left onto Montana from the side street on my right. And flipped me off when, after braking hard to a stop, I spread my arms in the universal “WTF?” gesture.

Unfortunately, the video didn’t come out for that one.

Then there are the drivers who cut quickly into the bike lane, using it as a staging area to enter or wait for a parking space, without ever looking for a bike that may already be occupying that space.

Or even caring, for that matter.

Like the woman who drove past me just a block or two later, then cut directly into the bike path mere feet in front of my bike. And sparing me from rear-ending her only because she slid forward to wait for a space a little further up the street.

At first I thought she moved up because she heard my shouted warning.

But as I pulled up next to her, it became clear that she couldn’t hear me or anything else in the hermetically sealed automotive bubble in which she was driving.

I was going to say something, but it quickly became clear that she had no idea I was there. And probably never saw me at all as she passed just feet from where I rode in the bike lane.

So I rode off, a little shaken, but grateful I’d been prepared for a dangerous driver like her.

And well aware that it was only a matter of luck that kept me from being rear-ended or sideswiped; had she seen another parking space a few seconds earlier, she would undoubtedly have driven directly into me.

It’s scary as hell to realize that someone could completely miss a six-foot tall cyclist in a bright red and blue Fat Tire jersey.

And riding in a space which should, by its mere existence, suggest the presence of bikes.


One other quick note.

If you haven’t read it yet, take a few moments to digest Mark Elliot’s excellent wrap-up of cyclists descending on the recent Beverly Hills City Council session to demand fair treatment on the streets of their city.

Because right now, we’re far less than second-class citizens in a city many of us have no choice but to ride through. And which doesn’t seem to give a damn about whether we live or die.

Or receive justice either way.

Catching up on a long list of biking events

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.

If you’re reading this Sunday morning, you still have time to get out to Golden Road Brewery for Rider Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 26th, to watch the final stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge from 11 am to 1 pm, at 5410 W. San Fernando Road. Complementary bike valet will be available, along with spar parts donation and raffle to benefit the Bicycle Kitchen.

Meetings continue around the city of Los Angeles for the LACBC’s new Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program to empower cyclists to represent the Coalition in their own neighborhood. The next meeting takes place at 7 pm on Monday, August 27th at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, 651 Charles E. Young Drive. Another meeting will be held at 7 pm Wednesday, August 29th at the USC Gerontology (GER) Building Room 230, 3715 McClintock Ave.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, August 28th, at Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. This month’s agenda includes finalizing a questionnaire for the candidates for L.A. County District Attorney, and developing questions for candidates in local races. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.

Also on Tuesday the 28th, the final draft of the Glendale Bicycle Transportation Plan goes before the city council for final approval at 6 pm at Glendale City Hall, 613 East Broadway.

Where to Bike Los Angeles authors Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar will participate in a bike ride and book signing on Thursday, August 30th at {pages} Bookstore, 904 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach. The bike ride rolls from {pages} at 5 pm, co-sponsored by the LACBC, followed by a presentation, book signing and wine & cheese reception at 7 pm.

Get your bike washed at L.A. Eco-Village on Saturday, September 1st to raise funds for Westside Invite L.A., a bike messenger-organized race open to all cyclists. The event takes place from 10 am to 5 pm at 117 Bimini Place in Los Angeles; bike washes are available on a sliding scale, and food and drink will be available for purchase.

The Eastside Bike Club invites you to join them on the Dodgertown Bike Ride on Saturday, September 1st. The ride begins with a rally starting at 3 pm at El Arca, 3839 Selig Place before riding to see the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks, with game time starting at 6:10 pm. Buy your tickets in advance on the Dodgers website.

The next edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday rides rolls on Sunday, September 2nd with the Sunday FunGay Ride, hosted by board member Herbie Huff. The relaxed 12 – 15 mile ride starts at Downtown’s Pershing Square and ends with brunch at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood, exploring local gay history along the way.

Sunday, September 2nd marks your chance for fixed gear glory with the Lord of Griffith IV, a climbing, three lap track bike/fixed gear race in and around Griffith Park.

Bike Metro hosts a free bike ride through East L.A. on Saturday, September 8th, starting from 4801 E. 3rd Street in Los Angeles. Check in starts at 8:30 am, with the ride rolling at 10 am, with a 1.8 mile family ride and a 4.3 mile East LA Bicycle Ride.

The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic invites you to ride down Highway 1 to raise funds for a cure. The ride rolls 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles from Sunday, September 9th to Sunday the 16th; a two-day option is also available on Saturday, the 15th and Sunday the 16th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

Long Beach will host the country’s first National Women’s Bicycling Summit, as well as a Cycle Chic: Past, Present and Future fashion show on Thursday, September 13th in conjunction with the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference; tickets for both are $35.

Friday, September 14th marks the opening night reception of the Bike Love Art Show at Society — A Vayden Roi Gallery at 635 North Pine Ave in Long Beach. The exhibit features artwork by members of the Southern California cycling community; the reception opens at 6 pm.

Also on Friday the 14th, the incomparable bike scribe Elly Blue returns to the L.A. area for a evening of Dinner & Bikes (& Cupcakes), hosted by LACBC affiliate chapter Santa Spoke; Joel Biel will screen his new short film One Less Truck, with dinner prepared by celebrity vegan chef Josh Ploeg. Doors open at 6 pm, with dinner served at 7; 502 Colorado Blvd.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Celebrate the return of Carmagedon on Saturday, September 29th as Wolfpack Hustle — yes, the cyclists who beat a Jet Blue jet from Burbank to Long Beach — invite you to ride your bikes from every point in the city to meet on the L.A. River bike path for the biggest ride ever with the All City LA River Ride; details to follow.

There’s a new date for the next CicLAvia, which has been moved up one week from October 14th to 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday, October 7th. The route has also been changed, with new spurs extending from Expo Park  in South L.A. to East L.A. and Boyle Heights.

The Bicycle Film Festival returns to Los Angeles this October, with a kick-off party at historic El Cid in Silver Lake on the 11th, followed by the debut of The Contender, the first BFF-produced film at Cinefamily on the 12th. Other screenings will take place at the Downtown Independent theater from 11 am to 10 pm on Saturday the 13th, with an all-ages DTLA block party the next day from 10 am to 6 pm. Convergence rides are planned for the various events. Email for more information or to volunteer.

Now here’s a great idea for a ride. The Arthritis Foundation is teaming with one of the L.A. area’s favorite Cuban bakeries and cafés to offer the first ever Tour de Porto’s starting at 8:30 am on Sunday, October 28th. The ride starts at Porto’s in Glendale, travels a short distance to the Burbank Porto’s, then down the L.A. River Bike Path to the restaurant’s Downey location. If the entry fee includes a Cubano or Medianoche, count me in.

Big news in the local bike world that has nothing to do with stripping a certain cyclist of his titles

For once, cycling is the top news story around the world.

But not for reasons any of us would have wanted.

So before we get to the sad tale of yet another former Tour de France winner, let’s catch up on some bicycling announcements that have made their way to my inbox over the last few days.


First up is what sounds like a very fun afternoon at Golden Road Brewing. And a chance to work on those 16 ounce curls in preparation for next month’s Tour de Fat.

The Pub at Golden Road Brewing is pulling out all the stops for Rider Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 26th – a finish line of sorts for their week-long celebration of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with New Belgium Brewery. Cycling enthusiasts are invited to swing by The Pub, park their wheels at the complementary bike valet and grab a pint of Golden Road or New Belgium beer to watch the last leg of the race from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The first 100 riders to show up will receive New Belgium bike bells, and a New Belgium Fat Tire beach cruiser will be raffled off at the conclusion of the race.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $5, the proceeds of which will benefit the Bicycle Kitchen. A donation bin for spare bike parts for Bicycle Kitchen will be on site as well, with each spare part donated resulting in a free raffle ticket.


Culver City announces that a section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance next week.

We want to advise you that the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed starting Monday, August 27 through Friday, August 31 from 7 AM to 4 PM between the National Boulevard and Overland Avenue entrances. During this temporary closure, maintenance will be conducted including: tree trimming, graffiti removal, concrete repair, and the addition of trail markings using thermoplastic. Signage will be posted at the Overland, Duquesne and National entrances to alert path users about this closure.

Meanwhile, the L.A. River bike path will be closed for maintenance next week as well, from PCH to Anaheim Street.

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District will be performing environmental clean-up activities adjacent to the Los Angeles River Bike Path between Pacific Coast Highway and Ocean Boulevard from August 27 to September 7.

The Bike Path from Pacific Coast Highway to Anaheim Street will be closed from approximately 8 AM to 3 PM weekdays beginning August 27 and lasting until approximately August 31.  Riders will be detoured onto San Francisco Avenue, one block east of the path.

From Anaheim Street to Ocean Boulevard there will be intermittent delays due to these activities.

For information contact Mr. Dan Sharp, Flood Maintenance Division at (562) 861-0316 or visit


Testimony in the murder trial of Anthony Ray Lopez indicates passenger Christopher Isenhower got out of the vehicle to yell at cyclist Armando Villalobos, and urged Lopez to hit him with his truck.

So why the hell isn’t Isenhower facing murder charges as well?

As I understand it, anyone who incites another person to violence shares full culpability for the crime under the law.

Unless the victim is a cyclist, evidently.


Almost 41-year old Jens Voight wins the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge in a four-hour solo breakaway. Did I mention that he rode alone for four hours — and won by three minutes? Meanwhile, cycling prodigy Taylor Phinney hangs in there, despite a painful fall in the first stage.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Joaquim Rodriguez increases his lead over Chris Froome in the Vuelta by a factor of 10, from one second to a whopping 10 — despite gaining just five seconds on the day. And no, I can’t explain that.


Lance Armstrong throws in the towel in the US Anti-Doping Agency witch hunt, and will be stripped of his titles; you can read his full statement here. World cycling body UCI is waiting for details before acting; it would be interesting if USADA strips Lance of his titles but they don’t. As usual, Red Kite Player nails it, while this simple chart puts it all in perspective.

Fellow ex-Tour de France doper Floyd Landis — remember him? — settles with prosecutors to avoid fraud charges for lying to all of us to raise funds for his defense.

And it’s two down, one to go, as USADA is undoubtedly preparing to go after the last remaining American Tour de France winner, accusing Greg LeMond of gaining an unfair advantage from the shotgun pellets in his ass.

Don’t get me wrong.

It’s not that I’m defending Lance. I’m just sick of the whole damn thing.

And something tells me this will cause more harm to USADA — and anti-doping efforts in general — than Lance in the long run.


L.A. Sheriff’s Detectives recover a stolen custom-built bike nearly three months after it was stolen, and sold to another man. USC students get portable separated bike lanes. Glendale’s Bicycle Transportation Plan goes before the city council for final approval on Tuesday. San Diego’s Union-Tribune asks if CEQA is bad for the environment; as long as environmental regulations can be used to stop bikeways, the answer is yes. A Visalia cyclist is severely injured in what appears to be a classic SWSS (single witness suicide swerve); police should be banned from considering the testimony of drivers who kill someone if they’re the only witnesses, since they have a clear motive to lie.

After Portland closes a street to save cyclists from too-frequent right hooks, a vindictive business owner responds with a state-wide ballot initiative to require licensing for cyclists because some run stops; when you can get drivers — who are already licensed — to obey the law, let me know. Cyclists have a rare opportunity to ride Colorado’s Pikes Peak on a trial basis next month; if you ride it, be on your best behavior, since we all know bikes and not cars are the real problem, right? It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with the Springfield Cyclist, who notes bikeways sprouting up around town. A Chicago bike blogger dissects that anti-bike Chicago Tribune column I mentioned here Thursday. New Orleans police have a bike-a-day quota. Two New York cyclists chase down a strong arm thief to recover a stolen bike. Our NC buddy Zeke discusses the recent visit of Long Beach biking expats Russ and Laura.

Saskatoon police point speed guns at cyclists on a bike path in anticipation of a possible speed limit. A British police officer is found guilty of dangerous driving after rear-ending a cyclist at twice the speed limit. A UK woman is killed after falling from her bike as a bus passed; I would point the finger at a too-close pass, one more reason for a minimum three-foot passing law, which comes up for a vote in the California Assembly today. An African school principal accidently kills a cyclist; nice to know he didn’t do it on purpose.

Finally, Torrance opens a new extension to Del Amo Blvd — and bans cyclists and pedestrians in apparent violation of state law, which allows cyclists on all roads open to motor vehicles with the exception of some freeways and expressways; thanks to JG for the heads-up

Note to the Law Office of Daniel W. Dunbar — if you’re going to use so much of my work, it might be nice if you gave me credit. I’m just saying.

Fatal bike assault finally explained as case goes to trial; anti-bike Chicago columnist goes off deep end

The Valley News finally offers an explanation for why police believe the death of a Riverside County cyclist earlier this year was an intentional act.

Anaheim resident Anthony Ray Lopez was charged with deliberately running down and killing 68-year old Herman Armando Villalobos of Home Gardens. Now Lopez faces trial for first degree murder with great bodily injury allegations for the January 15th death; a jury was empanelled on Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, Lopez had spent the afternoon drinking with a friend while watching a football game at a Corona bar before driving home; on the way, he crossed paths with Villalobos, who was riding home after shopping with grocery bags on his handlebars.

Villalobos reportedly rode in front of Lopez, forcing him to brake sharply. After exchanging glares, Villalobos rode off, with an enraged Lopez following behind and cursing at the cyclist.

When that failed to get a response, Lopez bumped the rider’s bike; witnesses say his bike jumped but Villalobos was somehow able to maintain control. Lopez then floored his pickup and slammed into Villalobos, running him over and dragging him and his bike 30 feet before fleeing the scene.

He is currently being held jail on $1 million bond. We can only hope he’s been there since he was arrested, and will never again see the light of day.

Frankly, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do something like that.


Oh please.

In an absolutely idiotic proposal, a self-proclaimed visionary newspaper columnist proposes that a) cyclists pay tolls to use bikeways, b) stop sign cameras be installed to automatically ticket scofflaw cyclists, c) cyclists be required to pay hefty fees to use city-owned bike racks, and d) that cyclists buy a handlebar-mounted transponder that would allow them to bypass toll booths.


As long as your plan is to discourage bike use, with the resulting increase in vehicular traffic, traffic congestion, more traffic collisions and a decrease in air quality, as well as a jump in obesity and other related health problems.

But other than that, his plan is pure genius.

Visionary, indeed.

And by the way, Chicago Tribune, do I really need to tell you where you can put your pay wall?


Century City bankruptcy attorney Stanley E. Goldich reports an all too typical interaction with an elderly driver while riding on PCH.

On PCH last week, heading South on PCH near Cross Creek a car coming from the Malibu Sea Colony street on the west merged into PCH without any regard to me – I was not going fast so it was not dangerous. He hit the light and I knocked on his window and could see it was an elderly man. I nicely said that he needed to yield to cyclists as well as cars – he responded that he would need to see the cyclist first.


Tom Danielson won stage three of the USA Pro Challenge in a bold breakaway, riding the last 20 miles alone after cresting Independence Pass; Christian Vande Velde and Tejay van Garderen are tied for the lead. Danielson and Vende Velde give credit to Dave Zabriskie. Italian rider Daniele Callegarin is back riding with Team Type-1 a year after suffering a serious crash when he hit a cattle guard in last year’s inaugural Pro Challenge.

Meanwhile, Simon Clarke edges Tony Martin following a long breakaway to win the fourth stage of the Vuelta; Joaquin Rodriguez holds the overall lead, with Chris Froome second.

And CNN offers a recap of the witch hunt case against Lance Armstrong.


September’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will be the group’s first Sunday FunGay ride. Flying Pigeon urges cyclists to give their tires a little love. Long Beach votes to establish a $12 million bike share program with Bike Nation; combined with the Anaheim and upcoming L.A. programs, we could be on the verge of a pan-SoCal bike share network. Solana Beach residents and visitors are urged to leave their cars at home this Saturday. A 16-year old San Diego cyclist is injured in a hit-and-run; his brother reports hearing the truck rev its engine just before the collision. Local bike advocates look at what it will take to make Sacramento even more bike friendly. The 81-year old road raging driver who ran down a cyclist on a Santa Rosa golf course is out on bail, and people who’ve encountered him say he has a hair-trigger temper; anyone want to bet he gets rearrested before his case even goes to court? The Santa Rosa paper calls on drivers to share the road. A helmetless Santa Rosa cyclist pulls an endo trying to avoid a head-on collision; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link. Tahoe police throw the book at a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a cyclist before fleeing the scene, leading them on a dangerous chase and crashing her car.

Safer cars may mean reduced safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Oregon police try to circumvent state law in order to ticket cyclists for leaving bike lanes. An OR woman seeks the hit-and-run driver who killed her bike-riding friend. A Colorado woman is charged with DUI, hit-and-run and other crimes when she turns herself in after seriously injuring a cyclist. Now that’s what I call a good looking Denver off road bikeway. A Pueblo CO girl is impaled on the gooseneck of her handlebars; for something described as a freak accident, this sort of thing seems to happen far too often. A Missoula MT detective commandeers a bike to capture a fleeing suspect; the Sheriff’s department paid to repair “significant” damages to the bike. A Wisconsin Catholic priest is killed while riding his bike. Chicago cyclists will soon enjoy a protected bike lane and special bike red lights on the city’s famed Loop. An Ohio man credited with developing the bike helmet mirror has passed away. A recumbent racer bounces back from a near-death infection to set a world record. After a Rochester NY BMX rider is hit by a car, police ticket him for riding on the sidewalk. A Kentucky cyclist suffers repeated attacks from an aggressive owl. A North Carolina cyclist captures the national crit championship in the 75 and older group. If you’re fleeing by bike after stealing a TV, keep your eyes on the road so you don’t crash into a police car.

Yesterday, a protected bike lane made of red Solo cups; today, a bike lane made from garbage — and both work. Popular UK bike website pulls support for an insurance company-backed plan that would require cyclists to pass a proficiency test before being allowed on the roads. The rich get richer: Dutch cyclists get a floating bike roundabout to avoid a busy intersection. In the wake of a recent cycling death, Singapore officials warn cyclists to be careful on the roads, rather than urging drivers not to kill them; drivers say it’s not their fault, while a cyclist(?) says we don’t belong on roads with speed limits over 31 mph. Vietnam turns back to bikes.

Finally, after she’s stuck in traffic, a Baton Rouge surgeon borrows a child’s bike to ride to a scheduled operation. A Russian cyclist rides the world’s smallest bike. And a Florida cyclist can’t stay off — or on — his, after police warn him not to ride while drunk.

Teenage Moreno Valley cyclist killed Monday

Somehow I missed this story yesterday; thankfully, Witch on a Bicycle didn’t.

The Press-Enterprise and Southwest Riverside News Network report that a 16-year old cyclist was killed in Moreno Valley earlier this week.

According to the SRNN, Moreno Valley resident Stephen Espinoza was hit by a van while riding at the intersection of Graham Street and Zoe Drive around 2:30 pm Monday; the Press-Enterprise reports that he hit the van, instead.

He suffered severe head injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene. As usual, the driver was uninjured.

No word on how the collision occurred.

This is the 48th cycling fatality in Southern California so far this year, and the ninth in Riverside County; that compares with 12 bike fatalities in the county last year.

My prayers and sympathy for Espinoza and his family and loved ones.

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