Morning Links: Bike beats car in race to beach, Calbike wants your take on bike politics, and BMX legend dies

No surprise, really.

KPCC challenged three staffers to race from Union Station to the Santa Monica Pier in Monday morning rush hour traffic, travelling by bike, bus and car. Or rather, a funky three-wheeled motorcycle equivalent.

But whatever.

And just as has happened in other cities that have run similar races, the bike came out on top. Even though the rider failed to plan out his route, and dropped down to pothole-ridden Venice Blvd for his journey to the pier.

Had he planned it better, he could have cut a big chunk of time off his commute by taking Wilshire Blvd, which runs directly to the coast, and where bikes are allowed in the Bus Only lanes that operate during morning and evening rush hours. Even though the lanes skip Beverly Hills and the condo corridor in Westwood.

A simple jump over to the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Century City, then cut over to the Broadway bike lanes in Santa Monica and coast down to the coast.

He might have even been able to slow down a little.

And wear something other than spandex.

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Calbike wants your input on candidates and issues that affect bicyclists, to help develop their endorsement strategy for the coming year; you can take the survey here.

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Sad news from Greenville NC, as BMX legend and X Games star Dave Mirra died of an apparent suicide on Thursday.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, talk to someone. Anyone. There are people who care and want to help, no matter how bad things may seem now.

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Local

Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches, depicting CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo as the carpetbagger-in-chief while calling for a movement to draft Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali to run against him. Somehow I missed this one when it was originally posted. And yes, Councilmember Bray-Ali does have a certain ring to it.

The Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights areas receive nearly $18 million in Complete Streets funding, including bike and pedestrian improvements.

Great piece from LAist, as they talk to the guy who rode a New York bikeshare bike across the US, ending in Santa Monica last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the Ride Report app for iOS has gone national; the app is designed to run in the background, allowing riders to track and rate their trips while crowdsourcing riding data.

 

State

San Diego’s KPBS discusses women’s professional bike racing, saying women riders are making progress, but there’s still a way to go.

Last year, we discussed the mobile bike repair shops from Beeline Bikes; now one is rolling into the Conejo Valley to serve cyclists in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills.

A Salinas writer observes our streets are safe for everyone but people.

A writer from Modesto is up in arms that the city is paying $75,000 to house and feed riders in the Amgen Tour of California for one night. Never mind that the race will likely bring in a lot more that to local businesses.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is barring bikes — and trees — from a proposed public park in Mountain View, apparently because other parks elsewhere have had problems with connectivity. Which is sort of like blaming all bike riders because you saw one run a red light once.

 

National

Horrible story of road rage from Portland. As usual, the police refuse to do anything about it unless the rider ends up bleeding in the street.

The Chicago Trib says riding a bike on the Las Vegas strip is just too damn scary. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been there.

Why does my Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly hometown have to keep making bicycling improvements decades after I left? What, they couldn’t have done any of this while I was still there?

Forget three feet, an Iowa legislator proposes a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider. Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Caught on video: A Michigan bike rider beats a ticket for obstructing traffic when a state trooper gets the law wrong, using the cop’s own dash cam video to make his case.

Not all DC churches think bike lanes infringe upon their freedom of religion; an African American church in the same neighborhood as the one fighting tooth and nail against a bike lane says protected bike lanes make the streets safer for everyone.

 

International

The owner of the UK’s Vulpine bikewear company says the great helmet debate only serves to put people off bicycling, while concluding: “Cycling is not a major killer. Putting people off cycling is.”

A British website says more needs to be done to make bicycling a safe and normal activity.

Let’s hope it was a damn good bike. A Brit entrepreneur traded his stake in the Swiftkey mobile phone app for a bike, only to watch his former partners sell it to Microsoft for $252 million.

Russian women’s track cycling champ Elena Brezhniva gets a four-year ban for an unspecified doping offense; her coach naturally writes it off as a case of mere negligence. Because no cyclist would ever intentionally cheat, right?

A Philippine bicyclist takes a thrilling and scary ride through Manilla’s Quezon City.

An Aussie driver talks to the mother of a teenage boy who rode out in front of her car.

 

Finally…

Someday, every bike with come with its own mushroom knife and fire pit. Now you can get a pedal-assist motor doping bike of your very own; meanwhile, Dutch researchers will pay you to dope as you climb Mr. Ventoux.

And how to discover if anyone on your club ride is motor doping.

It’s easy to tell if I have a hidden motor on my bike. Just watch to see if I pass someone. Anyone.

No, really.

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