Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in LA, meet a real American hero, win a free book and ride a tiny new bike lane

It’s Bike Week in LA.

I’m not going to list all the events here; many others already beat me to it. Which is a big — and welcome — change from years past.

CiclaValley offers a look at the scheduled events for the week, including my personal favorite, the Blessing of the Bicycles. Other highlights include today’s panel discussion on whether bikes are in your future, and Friday’s Bike Night at Union Station. Not to mention Thursday’s Bike to Work Day, with bike trains and pit stops all over the county.

KCRW says bike events are going to be all over the county this week; case in point, Santa Clarita celebrates the Tour of California and Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. KNBC-4 looks at Bike Week activities in Pasadena, while Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a 15% discount all week.

The LA Daily News provides a preview of the week’s events, though someone should explain to them that the point of bicycling is to keep the rubber side down.

And Performance Bike in Santa Monica, which recently moved into the old Wilshire Theater, is appropriately hosting a series of movies at 7 pm each Tuesday throughout May’s Bike Month.

  • 5/5 – Breaking Away
  • 5/12 – American Flyers
  • 5/19 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • 5/26 – The Bicycle Thief

Admission is free; bring a chair to sit on. Thanks to Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

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One more semi-Bike Week event this week.

This Friday, there will be fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank from 3 pm to 9 pm. The event is being held by 14-year old Michelle Morlock to raise $3000 in donations to the organization; the donation will allow her to ride 400 miles with wounded vets from West Point to Annapolis.

If you’re not familiar with Ride 2 Recovery, the group uses bicycling to help veterans, many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, heal from their wounds and come all the way home from the trauma of war.

The highlight of the event will be a chance to meet 94-year old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most legendary military units of World War II. He will be available for photos and autographs in the parking lot; a donation jar will be available, and if you present the flyer inside, Bob’s Big Boy will donate 15% of your meal ticket to Ride 2 Recovery.

The Airmen not only fought the Nazis, but had to fight discrimination in the army to defend a country where they were treated as second-class citizens. They arguably did as much as anyone to integrate the military and end legal discrimination in America, by proving that African Americans could not only be as good as any other flyers, but were among the best to fight on either side.

My father, who was in his 40’s when I was born, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. He often said he wanted to meet one of the Tuskegee Airmen just to shake his hand and thank him for what they did.

On Friday, I hope to do it for him.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve held a contest on here. So in honor of Bike Week, let’s do something about that right now.

Pilgrim Wheels - front coverLast week, I received a press release announcing a new book by Colorado author Neil Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

An inspirational story of journey, discovery, and place, Pilgrim Wheels describes Neil Hanson’s 2011 journey by bicycle across the United States. His bicycle ride becomes the canvas for an incredible adventure: a pilgrimage of wonder as he explores the people he meets along the path, the obstacles he faces, the pain he endures, and the boundless joy he achieves as he completes the first half of his journey to the humid farmland east of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. A beautifully written and reflective memoir, Pilgrim Wheels provides a glimpse into the sweetness of physical achievement, the inspired awe that comes from the sheer beauty of our country’s majestic back roads, and the warmth and love shared by the people who welcome Hanson into their lives along the way.

You can read more about the book and the author on his website.

Hanson has generously offered to give a copy of the book to a lucky BikinginLA reader. All you have to do is click the link below and enter with your Facebook account or email address by end of day Friday.

Win a copy of Pilgrim Wheels!

Good luck!

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Westwood has been famous in recent years for the ridiculous 275 foot long bike lane on Galey Avenue in Westwood.

Now Richard Rosenthal sends photographic evidence of an even more absurd bike lane on Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.

The lane channels bike riders to the left of right turning cars for a whopping 50 yards, if that, before throwing them back into traffic on the busy, high speed thoroughfare.

Sepulvrda Bike Lane

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The Amgen Tour of California is underway, as Mark Cavendish wins the first stage; allergies knocked California’s Andrew Talansky out of the race.

The LA Times says New Jersey native Carter Jones is excited to be back in the US racing on American soil. Before the race even started, though, a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros out on a training ride, including Peter Sagan.

The Sacramento Bee says pro cycling could use a showman or two, while anti-doping agencies team up to keep the race clean.

Sadly, the women’s race is over just as the men are getting started, after just three stages, although there will be a invitational time trial in Big Bear on Friday.

Lauren Komanski led the women’s race after two stages, but dropped to third as Trixi Worrack took the overall title; Leah Kirchman won the final stage to finish second. Meanwhile, a member of British royalty rode in the peloton after competing in the Paralympics.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Simon Gerrans looks pretty in pink after winning the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia. And don’t try this at home, kids — a fixie riding race fan gets the blame for crashing into the peloton at the end of the second stage of the.

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Somehow I missed this one from last week.

A Georgia father of three was killed when the driver of a pickup crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve to illegally pass another truck, slamming into a group of riders. The driver faces charges of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

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Local

A counter-press conference will be held at 8 am tomorrow at Red Car River Park to protest plans to rebuild the Hyperion bridge without a sidewalk. Everyone who supports Option 3 to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge is urged to attend.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Valencia.

About 3,000 riders turn out for the Tour of Long Beach, raising $350,000 for juvenile cancer research.

 

State

A Riverside county supervisor defends the troubled plan for a 50-mile bike and pedestrian path from Desert Hot Springs to the Salton Sea.

Hats off to tiny Guadalupe (population 7225), which closed down three miles of streets for the town’s first ciclovía.

The bike riding managing editor of the Stockton Record says we all need to share the road; a windshield-addled commenter says why not share railroad tracks and airport runways, too.

A San Francisco college instructor says a road raging driver repeatedly tried to run him down as he rode his bike; the final assault was captured on video.

 

National

Tucson cyclists get a new two-way separated bike lane. For one whole block, before dumping riders into traffic on the left side of a three lane one-way street.

The Colorado Rockies radio announcer will take a sabbatical to compete in RAAM as part of a two-person team to raise funds for a Haitian orphanage.

Remarkably, cyclists have no legal right-of-way when riding through Nebraska intersections; state lawmakers vote to keep it that way.

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at the state’s Complete Streets law by removing the requirement to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, claiming it’s merely an attempt to remove a regulatory burden. Right.

A bike path sparked a $200 million redevelopment in Minneapolis. Yes, a bike path; let’s hope Wisconsin’s governor is listening.

Ohio could require children up to 16 to wear helmets.

Sad news from Philadelphia, as a local filmmaker is killed while riding his bike. Note to Philly.com: There is nothing inevitable about traffic collisions; they can actually be avoided if people care enough to pay attention and obey the law.

Nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers ride from New York’s Ground Zero to Washington DC to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty; 300 cops from Southern California took part.

A Virginia cyclist reportedly swerved into the path of a driver who had safely moved over to pass. Sure, let’s go with that. Note to WYDaily.com: A bike rider is a human being, not an “it.”

 

International

A new Australian electric bicycle professes to fix what’s wrong with other e-bikes.

Evidently, requiring helmets hasn’t done enough to force riders off the road, so an unworkable requirement is in the works as an Aussie state considers yet another step to stifle the growth in bicycling by requiring bikes to be licensed to curb “lunatic” cyclists.

Thai cyclists say drunk drivers who kill should be charged with premeditated murder instead of reckless driving. Couldn’t agree more; drunks who merely injure or maim someone should be charged with attempted murder.

Another good idea from Thailand — drivers on shared lanes should be limited to 30 kmh, the equivalent of just 18 mph.

 

Finally…

A writer for London’s Telegraph can’t seem to grasp that different people enjoy different styles of bike riding — including, yes, riding in Lycra. Another new study from the University of Duh says it’s pretty much useless to ride with a hangover.

And more proof bike riders are tough, as a San Diego man rides to a friend’s house for help after being stabbed at a 7-11.

 

4 comments

  1. Margaret says:

    Ugh, that 50 ft bike lane in El Segundo is pathetic. I sometimes ride that stretch to get to the shopping center. Prior to this new bike lane, there were temporary Jersey barriers put up during local construction. At least with the barriers, I could safely get to the shopping center and then return the wrong way to get to Rosecrans.

  2. teacherlady says:

    You wrote, “a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros” training on the American River Trail for the Tour of California. Unless the trail was closed for the pros, with barriers at all the entrances, the pros were in the wrong for training on a MUP, where one should expect and be prepared for everything from an adult taking a wide turn to 4 year olds on training wheels to Granma in a wheel chair out for a stroll. It’s a wonderful place to ride, but not an appropriate place train.

  3. JD says:

    Were any laws broken? It seems like from the article that it was the lady rider’s error which caused the accident. I would rather share the trail/road with pros who are highly skilled than an out of control casual cyclist/motorist who lacks cornering judgement and experience for the given velocity attained while riding/driving. 😉

  4. Ralph says:

    One of the reasons I avoid MUT riding if I want to get somewhere fast midday. Trails are for recreational riding. Now replace that woman on the trail with the truck driver in Georgia and……

    THe electric bike does seem interesting even if the article is self serving. I think the whole bike is unsprung weight unless you have a suspension system. I would like to see a belt drive and fenders. Having the motor at the bottom bracket helps with wiring pr0blems going to a hub.

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