Pleitez literally runs — and bikes — for mayor; WA Representative blames bikes for global warming

After a busy and needlessly heartbreaking week, I finally have a chance to catch up on all the latest bike news.

So put your feet up and get comfortable.

This could take awhile.

………

Pleitez riding to Venice on Saturday; note his helmet cam.

Pleitez riding to Venice Saturday; note helmet cam.

Mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez is running for office this weekend.

No, literally.

Long considered the fifth place candidate in Tuesday’s mayoral election, the 30-year old Pleitez is running and biking 100 miles across the city to promote his campaign and connect with voters.

He rode 22 miles from Boyle Heights to Venice with a group of supporters on Saturday, mostly along Venice Blvd. Sunday you’ll find him walking from LMU to the Watts Towers, while Monday takes him down to San Pedro.

Is it working?

We won’t know until Tuesday night — or most likely, sometime Wednesday — when the votes come in. But in a five-way race, it doesn’t take a lot of support to work your way into a top-two runoff.

While it may be a stunt, it’s the best one I’ve seen in the 20-plus years I’ve called this city home. It also beats the hell out of the mudslinging his fellow candidates have substituted for actual campaigning in recent days.

And it’s making me take a second look at a campaign I’d dismissed weeks ago.

Pleitez team setting off; Emanuel Pleitez is in the center.

Pleitez team setting off; Emmanuel Pleitez is in the center.

………

The LACBC isn’t just getting L.A. candidates on the record these days.

Local affiliate chapter South Bay Bicycle Coalition deserves major credit for getting responses from several candidates for that city’s council.

Although I’d like to think one of those who responded could offer a tad more detail than the 43 words he submitted.

………

If you want to see a clear example of why you should cast your vote carefully, consider this exchange between a bike shop owner and a Washington state representative.

Republican Representative Ed Orcutt says he’s not a fan of most tax plans, but supports a proposal to slap a $25 tax on all bike sales over $500.

Because of the greenhouse gases emitted by breathing bicyclists.

Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists (sic) has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider.  Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.

Yes, far better to put all those riders back in cars where they’ll do less harm to the environment, right?

And don’t even get me started on that same old — and long disproven — argument that drivers pay for the roads and we don’t.

Let alone that most bike riders are drivers.

………

A 72-year old San Diego area cyclist suffered a life-threatening head injury Saturday morning when he fell from his bike in Torrey Pines State Preserve north of La Jolla.

And a Lakewood bike rider is collateral damage in a collision between an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy and another driver on Friday.

………

The Glendale News-Press offers the most in-depth coverage yet of the hit-and-run collision that cost cyclist Damian Kevitt his leg after he was dragged onto the freeway near the L.A. Zoo. Kevitt was riding with his wife on their way from the L.A. River bike path to the zoo when he was struck.

It’s frightening how quickly a pleasant bike ride can turn to horror at the hands of a heartless human being — if you can use that word to describe someone who could do this to another person.

A letter writer says the overpass where Kevitt was hit is a potential death trap for cyclists and pedestrians.

Meanwhile, friends and fellow students of fallen Cal Poly Pomona bike rider Ivan Aguilar mourn his death.

………

Bike blogger and wreck survivor Opus the Poet is having a rather unusual contest on his blog: design a tattoo to cover up a large scar on his leg and you could win $500. The appendage in question goes up on his website Sunday.

………

Streetsblog says kiss your buffered bike lane in front of formerly bike-friendly LAPD headquarters goodbye. An interactive guide to the last 139 years of Los Angeles transportation. Evidently, you can carry anything on a bike, even a cello. Flying Pigeon considers the argument that bike lanes might delay drivers ever so slightly, and finds it sadly lacking. LA Weekly reviews the new Spring Street parklets, and concludes they need more bike parking. CD5 city council candidate Mark Herd threatens to shoot someone with his antique gun if they try to put a bike lane on Westwood Blvd; load up, dude, while I paint a target on my ass. Santa Monica students will track their car-free miles as they pledge to bike or walk to school. Culver City-based Walk and Rollers needs your support to win a $5000 grant from the Lakers Youth Foundation. CLR Effect says just open the new tunnel on the San Gabriel River Trail already. Women on Bikes wants you to take their spring survey even if you’re not a woman; you could win a handcrafted bracelet, again, even if you’re not a woman.

Are drivers in Corona del Mar speeding through previously quiet neighborhoods just to avoid sharrows on the Coast Highway? An Orange County writer says drug testing should be eliminated in professional sports. San Diego will enjoy its first ciclovia — make that CicloSDias — in August. Riverside considers a road diet, including bike lanes. Just Another Cyclist says knock off the fear mongering already. A San Francisco writer offers advice on how to drive around cyclists, including instructions to stay the f*** out of the bike lane. BART will give bikes another test run. A Merced cyclist is killed in a rear-end collision after the driver saw him riding on the side of the road, but hit him anyway. How to take photos of bike racing.

Turns out the National Highway Safety Board hasn’t made a single bike safety recommendation since I graduated from junior high; trust me, that was a long damn time ago. NPR looks at the benefits of bicycling as part of a healthy lifestyle and smarter transportation. Shouldn’t pedestrians at least be safe from cars on the sidewalk? Women rise to the forefront of the bicycling movement at next week’s National Women’s Bicycling Forum; so wait, we’re a movement now? A first hand, or rather helmet, view of a white tail deer cyclocross collision. An Austin planned community goes green, as in bike lanes. Now why couldn’t Baton Rouge have gotten bike friendly when I lived down there, instead of making me dodge doors and flying beer cans? A hero Louisiana bike shop owner waddles into a burning house in bike shoes to save a woman’s life. After a Chicago cyclist is doored, then run over by a second driver who fled the scene, the original driver is cited — not for carelessly opening his door, but for failing to yield to a horseback rider. The New York DMV correctly determines that collisions aren’t accidents. Two New York men decide they, not you, own the sidewalk, offering penalty cards for anyone who doesn’t use it the right way, or rather, their way. New York wants to put speed cameras on the streets; a few of those on my street could balance L.A.’s city budget in a couple weeks. A Massachusetts driver gets out of his car and slaps a cyclist after Jerry Browning him. A proposed Maryland mandatory helmet law could make streets less safe. Charlotte streets are growing progressively less safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Every city should have it’s own Lucha Libre superhero defender of the public pedestrian right-of-way. Should Vancouver cyclists be allowed to roll stop signs? The local press says hell no. A bike riding UK father survives a hit-and-run road rage attack. Edinburgh surgeons cross scalpels over the benefits of helmet use. A Scot writer demonstrates his massive heart by wishing he’d thought sooner to shove a pipe through a rude cyclist’s spokes, or elsewhere; note to writer, violence isn’t witty. Turns out Scarlett Johansson enjoys drunken bike bar hopping in Amsterdam. Strasbourg plans a spider web of bikeways, guaranteeing a minimum cruising speed of 12.4 mph. An Aussie triathlete says most drivers would give cyclists a meter of space — or roughly three feet — if they saw them as real people. New Zealanders call for calm in the wake of a road rage attack that left a triathlete seriously injured. A driver and cyclist debate the battle on New Zealand streets; a Christchurch pathologist says you can’t just look for bikes, you actually have to see them.

Finally, when one helmet cam just isn’t enough, how about seven cameras recording in every possible direction. It turns out that massive crocodile a cyclist spotted in the River Thames was a prop from a Bond film.

And a masturbating seat stalker proves that even bike paradise has its sick f***s deeply disturbed individuals.

4 comments

  1. ValleyBall1 says:

    Orcutt is RIDICULOUS! Wow, I’m speechless…

  2. Los Angeles needs a mayor who will insist that the DOT start installing barrier protected bike lanes on arterial streets so that bicyclists can ride side-by-side without fearing for their lives, instead of two paint stripes that are only wide enough to ride single file while dodging swinging doors from parked vehicles. Transit users and private vehicle passengers are given enough space to sit side-by-side. Why are people riding a bicycle denied an equal opportunity to comfortably have a conversation with someone else while they ride next to them?

    According to the 2011 Census bureau American Community Survey Los Angeles has a 1% bicycle commuting modal share. Most of the 719 miles of bike lanes in the 2010 bike plan will be installed on slightly more than half of the 1,400 miles of arterial streets. There is an average of at least four lanes per mile of arterial streets. If two parking lanes are calculated as one lane, then that is an average of five lanes per mile, or 7,000 miles of lanes. Bicycling deserves an amount of lanes taken away from motor vehicles that is equal to the bicycling modal share. Currently, that would be 70 miles of arterial street lanes, and yet less than 10 miles of lanes have been taken away from motor vehicles to put in bike lanes.

    Fast and heavy motor traffic restricts cyclists’ ability to get places safely. In many European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, cyclists’ need for separation from fast, heavy traffic is considered a fundamental principle of road safety.

    The imperative of separating cyclists from fast and heavy motor traffic seems obvious in light of their vulnerability and their large speed and mass differential from motor traffic. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles do not beneift from cage construction, crumple zones, or airbags. Pedestrians are given grade separated sidewalks to protect them from motor vehicles, along with crosswalks and walk sigals. Separating people from danger is a fundamental principle of industrial safety.

    Yet, the motoring public is allowed to deny safety improvements on a street for bicycling. They are not allowed to do this against pedestrians or motorists. Its as if these decisions are being made like we are in a coliseum in ancient Rome, with the public voting thumbs up or thumbs down on who gets maimed or killed and the final decision maker (councilmember) is going with which ever way the majority of the public votes.

    The combined concerns of safety and comfort make separation from traffic stress a critical factor in attracting people to cycling.

  3. Opus the Poet says:

    Hey Ted, here is the link to the contest post: http://opusthepoet.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/art-contest-and-rules-wreck-free-sunday/

    Thanks for mentioning me.

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