Morning Links: Belgian cyclist killed in wreck with race moto; 7 of the 8 most dangerous Valley intersections

It’s finally happened.

After far too many pro cyclists have been hit by race motos and support vehicles the past few years, it seemed inevitable that someone would be killed if changes weren’t made.

They weren’t. And someone was.

Sadly, 25-year old Belgium rider Antoine Demoitie died after falling off his bicycle and being run over by a motorcycle in Sunday’s 2016 Gent-Wevelgem.

The tragedy overshadowed Peter Sagan’s first victory since winning the world champion’s rainbow jersey, after a string of second-place finishes.

Former Belgian national champion Jens Debusschere was also hospitalized after suffering a concussion during the race.

………

It was a very bad weekend for Belgian cyclists, as 22-year old pro Daan Myngheer was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while competing in a Corsican race.

It took Eritrean cyclist Mekseb Debesay 15 hours and 149 miles to complete Belgium’s 128 mile E3 Harelbeke race after getting lost along the course. But at least he arrived at the team hotel clean and feed, after a Good Samaritan took him home and offered him a shower and clean clothes.

Two Russian track cyclists were just the latest of their countrymen to test positive for the recently banned meldonium; 27 Russian athletes have failed drug tests since the first of the year.

Closer to home, the 32nd Redland’s Classic begins a week from Wednesday with over 300 men and women riders set to compete.

………

Local

The LAPD and LADOT are working to improve safety at the eight most dangerous intersections in the San Fernando Valley, but the Daily News only manages to list seven. Evidently, the eighth one is a secret. Or maybe a tie between every other intersection in the Valley.

Arcadia police bust a bike thief using a GPS-enabled bait bike.

 

State

El Centro puts in temporary bike lanes at the city’s the Le Tour de 8th to show riders what’s coming.

An Ohio cyclist pauses along the Central Coast on his ride around the perimeter of the US to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children; he’s ridden 7,300 miles so far with 24 states to go.

A passing bicyclist found a Merced-area bike rider lying injured on the side of the road after hearing the hit-and-run victim plead for help.

Traffic deaths in San Francisco haven’t gone down yet, two years after the city adopted a Vision Zero plan. As noted before, Vision Zero is a long process requiring a dramatic shift in infrastructure, attitudes and enforcement, making quick results highly unlikely.

A Marin columnist bizarrely suggests the billions spent on roadways is proportionately little compared to funding for bikes, and fails to grasp that bike commuting might increase, and roads get a little less gridlocked, if people had safer places to ride to work.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Sacramento bike rider gets hit by a driver, who then assaults him before driving off without exchanging license and insurance information. And the local police respond, in effect, “So?”

 

National

Cheyenne WY will start a seven-station pilot bikeshare program this Saturday; unlike virtually every other bikeshare system in the US, it will be free to use. Meanwhile, cyclists in nearby Laramie are raising funds to build a bike park.

A group of strangers pitch in to buy an Amarillo TX girl a new bike in response to a Facebook post after hers was stolen.

Oklahoma City will host a three day bike festival this summer, including a multi-day pro-am crit.

Chicago advocates think they can convince the city to build an elevated bike path connecting two branches of the Chicago River. Maybe something like that would work for some of the narrower sections of the LA River, as well.

Maybe he should stick to his specialty. A Michigan orthopedic surgeon says always wear your bike helmet to prevent concussions. Except most bike helmets don’t do that.

Writers for a paper in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley get it, saying the state needs to fund Complete Streets to improve safety and access for everyone.

Statistics show New York’s Citi Bike really is part of the city’s transit system, as commuters make up a large percentage of the bikeshare system’s users.

NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson and Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff will join People for Bikes in riding 400 miles to Atlanta starting this Wednesday; they’ll be joined by a pair of women from Trek and Specialized who’ll set their professional competition aside to advocate for safer streets.

A bighearted Florida man fixes up discarded bicycles and donates them to a homeless center; the program he started has given the shelter around 500 refurbished bikes since 2008.

 

International

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan tells a Canadian audience that bike and pedestrian friendly cities are worth fighting for. Meanwhile, Ottawa city councilors urge the city to take advantage of new federal funding to speed up construction of bicycling and pedestrian projects.

The Guardian complains that the UK’s new blueprint for cycling and walking is undermined by a laughably small investment in either one; former Olympic champ Chris Boardman agrees, saying he doesn’t feel safe riding in London.

A British sports physiologist says bicycling is the country’s best hope against obesity.

An Indian state plans to improve safety by installing a series of protected bike lanes, although a local cyclist says the only real solution would be fewer cars on the road.

Pakistani women fight back against harassment on the streets with a bike rally in Lahore, after a woman was hit by a group of men in a car while riding to the city’s Critical Mass.

Leaders of the South African metro area surrounding Pretoria call for more diversity in sport cycling after most of the competitors in a two-day mountain bike event were white.

Australian authorities are looking for a driver who deliberately swerved to run down a bike-riding father of two.

 

Finally…

Maybe you’re so slow because you’re too fast. If you chase down and kill the person who stole your bicycle, chances are you weren’t really friends to begin with.

And road raging drivers can now claim the cat made me do it.

 

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