Consider this my attempt to eliminate any Tuesday productivity.
I’ve been saving these links up since last Friday; this was actually going to be last night’s post until breaking news got in the way.
And yes, no matter how long I’ve been working on something, word of a fallen rider will always take precedence over everything else.
So grab a cup, sit back and limber up your clicking finger. Because I can’t be responsible for any missed rides due to strained trackpad finger.
First up, a quick reminder that the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee will meet at 6:45 pm tonight at the Pitfire Pizza at 2nd and Main Downtown, across from the new LAPD headquarters, to discuss electing more bike-friendly political leaders.
And please accept my personal apology for scheduling this meeting on Yom Kippur. The committee regularly meets on the last Tuesday of every month, and like an idiot, I failed to check the calendar until it was too late to reschedule.
Which I guess gives me something to atone for the next time I go to confession.
If you haven’t read this one already, take a look at this must-read Slate article, as a self-admitted scofflaw jerk cyclist looks at the psychology of why so many drivers hate us.
No, really. I’ll wait.
The back-to-back cycling deaths shine a light on Newport Beach’s deadly track record. Collision statistics suggest the city is a risky place to ride; despite what the story says, 45 collisions through the first nine months of 2012 does not represent a decrease from 57 in 2011 — it actually projects out to a sizable increase for the full year. Orange County’s cdmCyclist says we’re facing a cycling tsunami and it’s time to do something.
UK bike scribe Carlton Reid nails it in asking why some misguided politicians and paid pontificators demand that cyclists behave before we get bike paths.
The demonisation of cyclists needs to end. It would help if politicians and journalists recognised that cyclists are not one homogenous group and the sins of one should not be reason to impugn all.*
On the other hand, a writer for the Guardian, which is usually very supportive of cycling, takes a back-handed slap at cyclists in discussing a government minister who went off on security police officers who wouldn’t let him ride his bike through the gates of 10 Downing Street.
Braying at the police may go down well among those fellow cyclists who think the rules do not apply to them, but it is at odds with the requirement for whips to put leader and party first at all times.
Another writer asks if you’ve experienced absurd, self-righteous anger, even if you didn’t take it out on a cop.
And UCI reveals long past due plans to sort of boost women’s professional cycling. But really, they’re mostly serious about actually kind of doing something this time.
LADOT posts the agenda for next month’s BPIT meeting. Bike lanes come to Grand Avenue. Christin Zeisler says goodbye to her bike, but not to riding, after being hit by a shuttle van last week; police are still looking for a suspect, but don’t seem to be too hopeful given the limited evidence. Santa Monica and Malibu schools celebrate non-motorized transportation with Bike It! Walk It! Day on October 3rd and 5th; wouldn’t that make it Days, then? Writing for Orange 20, Richard Risemberg says L.A.-area cycling is building momentum; Beverly Hills, not so much. The Source asks if bike escalators should come to Los Angeles; only if we want to stop treating bike riders like second-class citizens, and why would anyone want to do that? Arnold and daughter ride in Santa Monica, where a planned replacement bridge promises better access to the pier. According to the CHP, there’s been a “slight” 48% increase in Topanga Canyon traffic collisions over the last three years. Boyonabike continues his look at the Pasadena bike plan. Carson is home to the 2012 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships starting this Thursday. The rich get richer as Long Beach cyclists will soon get three new bike boulevards. Bike Talk talks ProWalk ProBike, while Streetsblog’s Streetfilms looks at the associated National Women’s Bicycling Summit.
The Orange County Register names the county’s top three bike shops, as well as the county’s three best bike paths. A San Diego cyclist looks back on a year of car-free commuting after trading her car for a bike at last year’s Tour de Fat. San Diego cyclists get their first green lane. A 103-year old Ontario bike shop is still going strong. A Santa Barbara man gets about seven months for embezzling 13 bikes worth $42,000 as a former employee of Bicycle Bobs. San Francisco cyclists celebrate the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass. A 79-year old Sacramento cyclist dies four days after he was hit by a car after allegedly failing to yield the right-of-way, which I’m sure has been confirmed by witnesses other than the driver, who could have an inherent interest in blaming the victim; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.
So if USADA’s case against Lance Armstrong is so strong, why aren’t they sharing the evidence with the UCI? Speaking of which, Congress considers reforming USADA, but claims that has nothing to do with Lance. American cyclists have gone from no bike insurance to actually having real options. Former Long Beachers The Path Less Pedaled look back at last week’s Interbike show in Las Vegas, while the national Streetsblog Network says maybe it’s time to say vaya con dios to Las Vegas. A Portland study suggests cyclists make better customers in the long run. An unusually honest Portland man buys a stolen bike for $40, then returns it to its rightful owner. Colorado endurance athlete survives a lightening strike while riding — with a heart rate 30 points higher than usually fatal. Nearside street signals could cut down on those idiots who stop in the middle of the intersection, let alone the crosswalk. Gisele Bundchen bikes in Beantown. New York opens its first Bike Friendly Business District. The Wall Street Journal offers a field guide to spotting cyclists; and yes, it’s been done before — repeatedly. Texas cyclist rides 10 miles with a kitty on her tits. A Baton Rouge writer says bikes should be banned from a busy main road, rather than expecting drivers to use it safely.
A panel of British MPs considers ways to get more people biking, while Brit bike advocates debate whether the country’s roads are too dangerous for cyclists; the nation’s Transport Minister says fear of cycling is holding them back. UK authorities seize parked bikes in anticipation of a political convention; actually, they might have a good reason for that. An Irish county considers banning bicycles from public parks, evidently willing to force toddlers to learn how to ride their bikes on busy streets. The afore mentioned George Wolfberg also sends a link to this story about a three day, 100 mile tour of Luxembourg; and yes, I want to ride it. Hong Kong frowns on bike commuting; you’d think they’d realize that encouraging cycling gets cars off their crowded streets. New Zealand cyclists ask for a little space and tolerance from motorists.
Finally, a truly big-hearted UK driver tells the seriously injured 12-year old cyclist he just ran over “I hope you haven’t dented my car” before driving off and leaving him to bleed in the street; the schmuck later turned himself in.
And you might enjoy these photos of the fountain that suddenly sprouted next to my building this afternoon. As someone else pointed out, bikes seldom lose control and sheer off fire hydrants.
Although to be fair, the car pictured above didn’t hit the hydrant; the driver just had the misfortune of running over it after someone else ran off the road and knocked it into the street.
*For reasons that have never been adequately explained, the apparent misspelling are correct on the other side of the Atlantic — two countries divided by a common language and all that, which doesn’t actually appear to have been said by anyone. So feel free to claim it for yourself if you’re so inclined.