Morning Links: Shooting on LA River bike path, Emerald Necklace opens, and write your own anti-bike screed

In case you missed it over the weekend, two bike riders were shot on the LA River bike path Friday night when they refused to give up their bikes to suspected gang bangers.

Let that be a reminder to always be careful riding through unlit areas after dark, especially when you’re out of view from the street and can’t be seen by other people.

And it can’t stressed it enough. If someone tries to take your bike, let them have it — especially if they’re armed.

No bike is worth your life, no matter what it cost or how much you need it.

………

The first phase of the San Gabriel Valley’s Emerald Necklace bike path officially opens this Thursday.

emerald-neckace

………

Great interactive piece from Chicago magazine on how to write an anti-bike diatribe without the inconvenience of actual thought.

It’s more than worth a few seconds of your time to write one of your own.

Here’s mine.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-59-25-am

………

Speaking of great pieces, a British cop explains the real problems on the roads — hint, it ain’t the people on two wheels. And offers advice that includes don’t bother looking drivers in the eye and don’t count on hi-viz to make you seen.

Although it can be challenging to muddle through for those of us on this side of the Atlantic, where English isn’t the English the English use.

………

A 56-year old man went out for a bike ride, and accidently ended up leading the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain.

Caught on video: A fan steps out in front of the Peloton at the Vuelta, knocking a rider off his bike.

The head of the International Cycling Union swears that cycling is on top of the doping problem, unlike other sports. Maybe they should be checking the fans, too.

Semi-banned Lance Armstrong is keeping a hand in cycling anyway by creating a new Aspen CO mountain bike event.

………

Local

Los Angeles unveils a vision of the city’s transportation future that relies heavily on self-driving vehicles, making street parking obsolete and opening space for bicycles. Before you hold your breath, make sure you have an oxygen tank on hand.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures the bumpy pavement on the 7th Street bike lane in DTLA. Having ridden that one several times, I can attest that it was one of the most desperately needed bike lanes in town, yet is usually blocked by cars and delivery trucks, with pavement that would be rejected in most third-world countries.

The wife of fallen cyclist Rod Bennett has sued LA Fitness, alleging that they knew or should have known that hit-and-run driver Lucas James Guidroz was addicted to heroin; he was sent home from work early on the day he killed Bennett because he appeared to be under the influence, putting him behind the wheel without a chance to come down first.

Good news from Playa Vista, as Councilmember Mike Bonin announces a bike plan for the area, including a new bridge on Lincoln and a bike bridge over Ballona Creek; Bonin was one of just two councilmembers to vote against removing Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan.

Cycling in the South Bay says, to paraphrase in as few words as possible, don’t be such a dick when you ride.

The contribution page is now up for city council candidate and bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who is running to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo. Bray-Ali is hosting a fundraiser at the Good Girl Dinette Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Francisco bike riders continue to push for safer infrastructure.

Ford is looking beyond the private car by buying a San Francisco crowdsourced shuttle bus company and investing in the city’s bikeshare system.

The Bay Area’s BART system comes up with a brilliantly simple idea, installing straps on train cars to help keep bicycles upright.

Napa is working to improve plans for roundabouts to make them safer for bicyclists.

A Sebastopol cyclist was killed during a police fundraising ride when the driver of an oversized pickup allegedly insisted on passing without room to get by, sideswiping her boyfriend before killing her.

More kind hearts, as a Lodi pub gives away 13 bicycles to children under 13.

A Davis columnist says the solution to dropping gas tax revenues is to raise the gas tax, rather than charge a vehicle mileage fee, then complains that cyclists don’t pay for the roads they ride. By that standard, neither do the owners of $75,000 Teslas or other e-cars, who still won’t pay a gas tax no matter how much you increase it.

 

National

The Christian Science Monitor says a bicycle is one of the things you should never go too cheap on, but says you can get a decent commuter bike for $300 to $400 — pretty good savings over the $8,698 average cost of operating a car.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa driver gets 35 years — yes, three and a half decades — for the drunken crash that killed two motorists while driving over twice the speed limit. Now if we could just get them to take crashes involving bike riders seriously. Or better yet, keep people like this off the roads to prevent them in the first place.

Evanston IL officials respond to complaints about a new protected bike lane by saying it would cost nearly $1 million to rip them out, while noting that the lane is improving safety just like it’s supposed to.

NPR looks at bicycling in Reading PA, where it says most people ride out of necessity, despite a lack of infrastructure.

A North Carolina columnist gets it, saying drivers need to by hyper-vigilant on the roads, and expect to see cyclists any time of the day.

 

International

Ten laughably bad bikeways from around the world.

I want to be like her when I grow up. Reuters talks with a 90-year old Chilean grandmother who still rides regularly, calling her bike her compadre and the reason for her longevity.

A Canadian bicyclist gets a speeding ticket for riding too fast in a school zone.

An editor for London’s Express gets it, saying all hit-and-run cases should be treated as manslaughter.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Brit bicyclist saves the life of another rider who was trapped up to her waist in mud after falling into a ditch.

Someone is sabotaging Welsh mountain bike trails, yet a regional land manager just says they’re aware of a dispute between riders and local residents. More like an act of terrorism that could get someone seriously hurt. Or worse.

Nice piece from Ireland’s Lovely Bicycle on the many different meanings of cycling and cyclists.

A news columnist takes to the streets of Berlin, where he says everyone rides a bike, but the dangers on the streets demand more and better bike lanes. Which sounds a lot like LA, except for the first part.

A New Zealand bike shop chain got busted for charging full freight for bikes that were supposed to be on a half price clearance.

Singapore residents still view bicycling as a leisurely pursuit rather than a means of transportation, complicating government efforts to create a car-lite society.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t get mistaken for road kill. Another reason to wear a helmet — it protects against getting bashed in the head with a skateboard.

And your next bike could be a shapeshifter, which you could ride in your lovely new glow-in-the-dark knitted vest.

………

On a personal note, today is the anniversary of the worst bike wreck of my life, when a massive swarm of bees didn’t lay a stinger on me, but I ended up in the ICU with a tube up my you-know-what and a massive blood bump on my hip anyway. 

I may have my problems these days, but I’m glad as hell to still be here. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: