Morning Links: A brief visit to the Santa Monica Bike Expo, and bicycling loses a good friend over the weekend

SaMo Bike Expo 1For a first time event, it seemed to go pretty well.

I stopped by the Santa Monica Bike Expo on Sunday, wife and Corgi in tow, since neither seems inclined to let me out of their sight for too long for fear I’ll drop dead from my newly diagnosed disorder, and/or the multiple meds I’m on to treat it.

Not that I don’t appreciate their concern.

There was a good selection of bike shops and manufacturers represented, including Xtracycle, Tern and Linus, who had the classiest booth by far. And there was a heavy emphasis ebikes; evidently beachside biking no longer requires actually turning the pedals yourself.

While the turnout wasn’t huge, there were quite a few people strolling the booths in the pier parking lot where the Cirque de Soleil tents stood until recently. I’m told Sunday was busier than Saturday; then again, it’s hard to compete with the day-long Long Beach Bike Fest a relatively short ride to the south.

SaMo Bike Expo 2And the beachfront location seemed to work in their favor, as a number of riders stopped in as they were riding by on the bike path; one rider even purchasde new grips to cover the bare handlebars on his long-neglected cruiser.

All in all, it seemed to be a good start.

Hopefully organizers will bring the free event back again next year, and encourage greater participation from shops and groups beyond the Santa Monica borders. And maybe pick a date that doesn’t conflict with other major bike events next time.

This is something LA has needed for a very long time. Let’s hope it proves successful for everyone involved.

……..

Sad news, as the best friend bicycling ever had in the halls of Congress passed away on Saturday. Former Minnesota Representative Jim Oberstar died in his sleep at age 79, after serving 18 terms in the US House.

We owe him a round of thanks for all he did to promote bicycling and alternative transportation over the years. He will be sorely missed.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

……..

Okay, so it has nothing to do with bicycling. But this is probably the most breathtakingly beautiful video of Los Angeles you’ll see today. And make sure to click on the full-screen option for full effect.

……..

Local

A 53-year old North Hollywood bike rider is seriously injured in a Mission Hills hit-and-run on Sunday morning.

Orange 20 Bikes urges you to fight to save the North Figueroa bike lanes, and questions why bike riders who have a stake in the area are considered “outside interests.” Very good question.

The LAPD’s Rampart Division celebrates Star Wars Day, aka May the 4th, with a badly Photoshopped photo of cops wielding light sabers — lifted from a 2009 Bikeside post criticizing the department for not giving a damn about cyclists in the relatively recent bad old days.

A gossip website says celebrities are avoiding rising gas prices by riding their bikes. Yeah, that’s the reason they ride, because they can’t afford to fill the tanks on their Bentleys. Then again, we can all be glad Lindsey Lohan is choosing not to get behind the wheel these days, for whatever reason.

 

State

The CHP encourages everyone to be a Roll Model — get it? — on the streets. And thankfully, directs the message to motorists as well as bicyclists for a change.

Five women’s riders were injured in a crash just 100 feet from the finish line at Sunday’s Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling; three riders were transported to a local hospital.

Santa Cruz County held an open streets event — aka ciclovia — in Capitola Sunday.

Eureka is named a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.

 

National

The Centers for Disease Control calls on Americans to walk or bike instead of driving, in part due to the risk of car collisions.

Bicycling lists 50 rides of a lifetime around the world; PCH checks in at number four, while Mt. Baldy ranks 42nd.

That’s one way to stop a dangerous driver. After a Las Vegas motorist struck a 12-year old bike rider, a nearby man opens fire, claiming he shot to protect the boy and other neighborhood kids. Fortunately, no one was hit.

In 1897, one out of every five Chicago residents rode a bike. No wonder they call it the good old days.

The Washington Post conveys a bike-friendly safety message from AAA. Yet somehow overstates the number of bike riders killed each year by a factor of seven.

 

International

Injury rates are up for Montreal bike riders. So are traffic tickets. Then again, there’s no point in fixing dangerous streets when you can just tell cyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

A new video offers advice on how to be a gentleman cyclist. Evidently either women don’t ride, or they already follow the rules.

A record-setting Brit cyclist celebrates her 100th birthday; in 1938, she set out to ride every day of the year, eventually covering nearly 30,000 miles.

An Oxford, England cyclist is shocked! shocked! that the U-lock he swung at an angry driver actually hit him. Is it just me, or is the best way to ensure you don’t hit anyone is not to swing your effing lock at them in the first place?

An Aussie website says a government minister’s call to license cyclists is an “exceptionally silly idea,” noting a recent study found drivers at fault in 79% of cases.

 

Finally…

Must be one hell of an app. When a New York bike rider is arrested for — legally — filming a cop with his cell phone, the cop claims iPhones are being used as guns.

And a blogger says please stop blaming me for what other bike riders do.

Indeed.

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