Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

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Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

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This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

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CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

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Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

Morning Links: TdF champ Froome run off the road, Cedillo remains unpopular, and dodging bears on your commute

It’s Morning Links lite today, as last night’s breaking news and a broken internet connection took up too much of the evening.

But we managed to save the most important stuff for you.

So give it a read, then ignore the threatened May gray and drizzle, and get out for a ride. Or the other way around.

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It’s not just us. Even Tour de France champs have to contend with angry drivers, as Chris Froome was run off the road by an impatient jerk while on a training ride in southern France; fortunately, he’s okay but his bike is toast.

If you’re jonesing for the Giro, which isn’t being carried on US TV, you can see it here if your willing to pay after the free seven-day trial ends. Thanks to Madeline Brozen for the tip.

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Local

CiclaValley says next week’s series of Vision Zero Roscoe meetings and workshops are an important step in changing the auto-focused nature of our streets.

Bike SGV continues their series of Bike Month profiles of riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

Pasadena bike riders can enjoy a luxury pit stop next Thursday at the Langham Hotel for Bike to Work Day.

According to the LA Times, CD1 incumbent Gil Cedillo remains deeply unpopular in the district, despite the problems with the Bray-Ali campaign. Meanwhile, CD1 resident Todd Munson observes the irony of being asked to vote for Cedillo while being blocked from his Twitter account.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider and her dog are both expected to be okay after they were hit by a driver as they crossed a City Heights street in a crosswalk.

A bike rider apologizes for being rude to a Sacramento cop who just tried to say hello.

 

National

Now that’s scary. A Houston study shows one in three bike riders and pedestrians reported at least one near-miss or other close calls with a motor vehicle in a single week, while several reported those close calls lead to physical intimidation and verbal assaults by drivers.

Gear Junkie goes undercover with the Minneapolis vigilante bringing bike thieves to justice.

The LAPD officers on the Hollywood to DC Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers passed through Cookeville TN on their way to Virginia.

Drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore ex-bishop Heather Cook was denied parole on Tuesday; the outright denial means Cook will have to serve her full sentence, though she could get out up to a year early with time off for good behavior.

A local TV station says there are fewer potholes in New Orleans bike lanes than then rest of the street because of the gas and water lines that lie underneath the traffic lanes. Or maybe it’s because bikes don’t cause wear and tear to the pavement like cars, SUVs and trucks.

 

International

A new report from the World Health Organization tells the world’s drivers to slow the f*** down. Although they might have phrased it a tad better.

A Vancouver commercial street is thriving, despite fears a road diet and separated cycle track would kill the businesses alongside it.

The BBC justifiably catches hell for asking who was to blame after a van driver used his vehicle as a weapon to force a bike rider off the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A British mother will have her baby behind bars after being convicted of intentionally running a bike rider off the road and into a tree because he had the audacity to complain about her use of a cell phone while driving.

A new Kickstarter campaign is under way to start the process of rescuing at least 80 neglected bikeways in the UK that were built with Dutch guidance in the 1930s.

A woman is running for city council in Tehran, Iran on a platform of creating bikes lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets that would allow women to walk safely. More evidence that cities around the world face similar problems due to overreliance on motor vehicles.

 

Finally…

Evidently, if you want to try bike commuting, you have to look the part. You also want to make sure no one else is riding your bicycle.

And try to avoid getting chased by a bear on the way.

Bike rider killed in Oxnard DUI collision; driver reportedly high on prescription drugs

More bad news.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 46-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a van in Oxnard.

Forty-six-year old Oxnard resident Amado Ray Johnson was riding on the dirt shoulder of southbound Victoria Avenue north of Gum Tree Street around 3 pm Tuesday when the driver drifted off the road and struck him from behind.

He died at the scene.

The driver, identified as Ventura County resident Sean Patrick Donovan, was arrested on site for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three southbound lanes and a left turn lane, with what appears to be a macadam shoulder.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amado Ray Johnson and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up. 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

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KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

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This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

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No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

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Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

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If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

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Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Morning Links: The good, bad and ugly in SD, screaming AL truckers busted, and the future belongs to bikes

It’s shaping up to be a video Monday.

Let’s start with a clip from Frank Lehnerz, who offers a first-hand perspective on why San Diego bicyclists are frustrated that starts out good, but gets ugly fast.

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An Alabama father and son were arrested after turning themselves in for the screaming road rage assault on a charity cyclist that went viral last week.

Then there was this one from the UK, where a British van driver deliberately ran a bicyclist off the road. And was fired as soon as the video became public.

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The future is ours. A prominent disruptive technologies analyst says bicycles will eventually rule the roads, and cars will be the big losers.

And forget ebikes. Here’s what we’ll all be riding.

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Nice new ad from Go Human in honor of bike month.

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With just over a week left in the campaign, CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali has replaced both his campaign manager and communications director with professionals, taking the place of two people described as “essentially neighborhood volunteers.”

Speaking of Bray-Ali, Todd Munson forwards a mailer from incumbent Gil Cedillo that targets the bike-riding challenger directly.

 

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Former American pro Tyler Hamilton says there’s still doping in the pro peloton. Which should come as a shock to absolutely no one.

It was not a good day for Australia’s Rohan Dennis at the Giro; Geraint Thomas had the legs, but not the luck. Here’s Sunday’s spoiler-free standings.

The Sacramento Bee wants to know why women cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour of California make less money than men when they work just as hard. Why, indeed?

Make your TV watching plans for the AToC. Or be there in person when the race comes to the LA area for the last four stages.

BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz says fans will be surprised by the next generation of cycling talent coming from the US in the next few years; a new group of Canadian riders is on the rise, as well.

ESPN introduces the women of New York’s Red Hook Crit. And for a change, it’s not all glamour pics. Or any, for that matter.

New champions were crowned in the Redlands Bicycle Classic men’s and women’s crits.

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Before we move on, let’s throw in a quick sponsored post from our friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, Co-Authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Don’t let National Bike Month slip by without adding Where to Bike Los Angeles to your cycling library. It’s by far the best riding guide for LA by far and you can pick it up during the ongoing one-month sale — this May only — for less than twenty bucks a copy directly from the authors’ Amazon store.

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Local

The LA Times says it’s time to give the Idaho Stop Law a try in California.

The LACBC is hosting a Bicycle Commuting Essentials workshop tonight at Just Ride LA in DTLA to help get you ready for next week’s Bike to Work Day.

Streetsblog checks out the new protected bike lanes on Monterey Road in Northeast LA.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune rides the San Gabriel River Trail and encounters several homeless encampments on the way, including what looks like a bicycle chop shop.

A writer on Facebook says his mother tracked down her stolen bicycle in El Monte, but can’t get police to take it seriously.

 

State

Newport Beach considers a road diet on Bayside Drive to slow speeding drivers, after resistance to plans for a roundabout.

A San Diego city councilmember rides with 100 bicyclists through his Barrio Logan district, while promising money for bicycling.

San Bernardino County accepts a $200,000 SCAG grant to develop an Active Transportation Plan for the High Dessert’s Morongo Basin.

Why blame all those people in cars for causing traffic congestion, when a bike-riding Santa Cruz councilmember and his supporters make such convenient scapegoats?

A Sacramento bike rider was attacked by a pair of pit bulls from a homeless encampment along a riverfront bike path, suffering severe bite wounds on his legs.

 

National

Despite the failure of Seattle’s bikeshare program — largely blamed on the city’s mandatory bike helmet law — two dockless, app-based bikeshare companies have set their sights on the city.

Caught on video: If you’ve ever wondered how bike thieves go about their business, check out this Boise ID security video.

Bighearted members of an Iowa organization provided five special needs kids with adaptive bicycles.

Texas toddlers complete in a strider bike race around the streets of Fort Worth in the cutest story you’ll read today.

A Memphis cop has joined past and current officers from the LAPD on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers.

Several hundred New York riders take part in the annual Blessing of the Bicycles. LA’s Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital a week from tomorrow.

New York riders says a perpetually clogged Williamsburg bike lane is a fatal crash waiting to happen.

Evidently, Aziz Ansari is one of us, riding his bicycle to promote an upcoming show at New York’s Paley Center. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Twenty-six riders stopped in Philadelphia on their way to DC on a 400-mile ride from Newton, Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

No surprise here. Bicyclists in Maryland oppose the release of the drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore bishop; if you live in Maryland, you’re urged to sign the petition to keep Heather Cook behind bars.

A Virginia writer says everything he knows about bicycling he learned from his father, and hopes to pass it on to his own kids one day.

Kindhearted cops in Georgia help 17 kids build their own bicycles donated by a food company.

 

International

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers conclude that the success of bikeshare programs depends on safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bike Radar offers six essential roadie skills, along with nine things you can do on a bike, but probably shouldn’t do off one.

Calgary police recover a stolen bicycle and return it to the owner 18 years after it was taken.

Despite support for cycling from Parliament, the UK’s Cyclist Magazine worries that cycling will get squeezed out of political party manifestos in the rush to the country’s new election.

A writer for the Guardian considers the lesson he learned from his dad about how to be a good father, courtesy of a used purple chopper bike.

Popular five-year old British bikewear maker Vulpine has gone belly-up.

An award-winning inventor in the UK has developed an incredible shrinking bike helmet designed to fit into a small pouch.

A five-year old girl will be tackling the full length of a 55-mile Welsh trail, along with her father and seven-year old brother. At that age, I was happy when my parents let me ride around the block. On the sidewalk.

Sad news from Spain, where a drunk and stoned driver — at 8:30 on Sunday morning — plowed into six members of a triathlon team on a training ride, killing two and seriously injuring three others.

Melbourne, Australia authorities clear a bike rider in the death of an elderly man who stepped in front of him as he rode in a bike lane.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, don’t ride salmon. Unless headline is missing a comma, this could be the most popular bikeway in the state.

And the next time you’re struggling to make it up a hill, just &%$^! the #&O%! out of it.

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Thanks to Danila Oder for her generous donation to support BikinginLA, and help keep Southern California’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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And another post comes to  close, as the support staff has petered out after hard day fetching all the latest news.

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Killer Baltimore bishop already up for parole; LAPD Hollywood Memorial Riders reach Arkansas

Some things are just too awful to understand.

Peter Flax does his best to do just that, and to explain to us, the incomparable loss to family and friends when someone doesn’t come home a ride.

In this case, a husband and father. A Baltimore bike builder named Tom Palermo.

It was a case that made news around the world. Not because of who he was, but because of who took his life.

The assistant Episcopal bishop of Maryland.

Heather Cook had previously been convicted of DUI, at over three times the legal limit, but was still on the road after convincing the court she had completed rehab and installed an interlock device.

She ran Palermo down from behind, fleeing the scene as a bicyclist gave chase before returning to turn herself in, long after her lifeless victim had been taken away.

Despite being charged with a litany of crimes that could have added up to nearly four decades behind bars — including DUI, hit-and-run and distracted driving — she accepted a plea to just four charges, the most serious of which was vehicular homicide.

She was sentenced to seven years.

Now she could be out in just 18 months.

Because of a quirk in Maryland law, which says that people convicted of violent crimes have to serve at least half of their sentence before being considered for parole.

But in Maryland, vehicular homicide isn’t considered a violent crime. Not even when the driver was nearly three times the legal limit, texting, and fled the scene.

Or when two little kids will have to grow up without their father.

It’s not fair. It’s not right.

But Heather Cook will have a hearing next week that could let her back out on the streets. And maybe kill someone else’s husband or father. Or wife, mother, sister, brother or child.

It’s a heartbreaking story. One that will probably leave you outraged.

And one that Flax tells very well.

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Seven LAPD officers and one retired officer riding from LA to DC on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride have reached Fort Smith Arkansas, pausing to honor fallen officers along the way.

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Congratulations to the University of Colorado, the new collegiate road cycling champions.

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Local

Los Angeles police are looking for a man rode his bike up behind another man near Crescent Heights and Wilshire Blvd, got off and whacked him in the back of the head with a hard object in an apparent random attack; the victim is currently in a coma.

Streetsblog says Councilmember Mike Bonin nailed the response when he was challenged about his support for Vision Zero.

The Santa Monica city council will discuss bike and pedestrian safety at their next meeting this Tuesday, including calls for a full-time pedestrian safety coordinator.

The LACBC continues their Bike Month member profiles with ride marshal Treva Moore.

 

State

The Idaho Stop Law is scheduled to go before the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday, along with a bill that would clarify that pedestrians are allowed to cross in a crosswalk while the signal is counting down — something the LAPD tickets pedestrians for in DTLA.

Costa Mesa will pay out $250,000 to a man who was injured falling off his bicycle when he struck protruding wooden post on the sidewalk on Harbor Blvd.

An Escondido mom used social media to track down and confront the man who stole her son’s bicycle.

San Diego bicyclists are losing patience with progress on the city’s bike plan, even though the city has built out 15% of the new lanes in the 2013 plan, as well as improving 22% of the existing lanes.

The Ventura County Fire Department is unveiling their first public bike repair stand, attached to a fire station in Newbery Park. Great idea; attaching it to a fire station could help prevent the vandalism that is common with stands like that.

San Francisco’s transportation agency comes in just under the wire, completing the last of three protected bike lanes on the final day allowed under the mayor’s executive order.

A Sonoma County man finished a 13-day, 550-mile ride around the entire Bay Area, climbing a total of 68,000 feet along the way.

 

National

This is who we share the streets with. A Seattle pedestrian was harassed by a group of men in a car before one got out, pointed a gun at her as she tried to get a photo of the car’s plates, and shot at her. Hopefully they’ll find the guy and lock him up for a very long time. But it’s a reminder to always be careful, because you never know who you’re dealing with.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Kansas man was arrested for reckless driving, after serving just 60 days for killing a bike rider two years ago; he was out on a three-year suspended sentence.

A Kansas woman is riding her bicycle to follow the 10,000 mile migration of the monarch butterflies from Mexico to Canada and back again.

Bikeshare continues to spread through the American heartland, as Wichita KS opens a program with 100 bicycles at 19 stations in the downtown area.

Kindhearted employees of a Toledo, Ohio bike shop will replace the bike that was stolen from an 11-year old boy at knifepoint.

Twenty-six bike riders set off on a 400-mile annual ride from Newton CT to DC to honor victims of gun violence, including the 26 children and adults killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

That’s one way to get votes. A Pittsburgh councilwoman — and current candidate for mayor — was caught on video honking at a bike rider and yelling at him to get in the bike lane. Even though there wasn’t one.

Something else you’d never spot from a car: A Philadelphia woman recognizes wooden pipes from a two-century old water system after workers piled them in the bike lane.

A DC-area man says not stopping is the best way to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

Caught on video: A road raging passenger got out of a van and chased a British bike rider after he banged on the van’s window following a too-close pass.

No bias here. The UK’s Daily Mail says a bike rider rode into a car and headbutted the windshield after failing to see the car stopped directly in front of him. Or maybe the rider came around a blind curve and was unable to stop in time to avoid the car.

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes bike riding in Paris, and celebrity photobombs tourists at the Eiffel Tower.

An African website says Namibian cycling star Raul Costa Seibeb died mysteriously. Which is only mysterious if that’s what you’d call a car crash.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee the scene of a fatal crash, take your license plate with you. If you’re going to brake check a pair of bike riders, make sure they’re not cops.

And if you’re going to install bike racks at a shopping center, make sure you can actually lock a bike to them.

 

Morning Links: LA Weekly profiles bike stars, ongoing Bray-Ali saga, and help a 15-year old girl with Ride 2 Recovery

The LA Weekly has released their 2017 People Issue, including profiles of CicLAvia chief strategist Tafari Bayne, and bike-punk band leader and lowrider bike builder Gnarly Charly.

And apparently, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend actress Rachel Bloom is a magnet for drunk bike riders.

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More in the ongoing Joe Bray-Ali story, as he vows to stay in the race despite a call from the LA Democratic Party, which was already supporting incumbent Gil Cedillo, to drop out of the race.

KCRW talks with Bray-Ali about his comments and campaign, while KPCC says the skeletons that are no longer in his closet aren’t likely to help his campaign.

And a veterans group also calls for him to step down, after an old post in which he opposes a constitution amendment to ban flag burning was taken out of context.

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Help 15-year old Michelle Morlock support injured vets and raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery with a fundraising dinner at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank on Friday. Or you can click here to donate directly to her fundraising efforts.

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The organizers of the Giro d’Italia have backed off on plans for a new descent competition that riders called life-threatening. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali will be riding the Giro on a gold-inlaid bike.

A former British soccer star will lead a team of cyclists riding the routes of all three Grand Tours — the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana — one day ahead of the pros, covering over 6,500 miles in 63 days.

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Local

An editorial in the LA Times calls on city officials to fight for more access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, not less.

Fast Company says LA’s Vision Zero map shows you what streets to avoid on your bike commute.

CiclaValley recommends coming out to the BMX Bike Show and Swap Meet at the Valley Relics Museum this Sunday.

Culver City gets its first green turn lane for bicycles.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are looking for the owner of a red and white Bianchi Via Nirone. But not the one in the picture, evidently.

Long Beach will celebrate Bike Month throughout May, including a new lower fare structure for the city’s bikeshare program.

 

State

A writer for the Orange County Register says be mindful when riding on the Aliso and Wood Canyon wilderness park trails. And if you see a snake, stay away from it.

Your next ride on the Santa Ana River trail through Colton could be a little burnt.

The proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path gets a lot of love from the Palm Springs city council, except for the mayor.

A local man has started a bike drive for Conejo Valley High School students, some of whom walk over three miles to get to class.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run early Wednesday morning.

The carnage continues in NorCal, as a 16-year old San Lorenzo honor student was killed by a train while riding to school.

San Francisco votes to move forward with a protected bike lane on Market Street, despite concerns from the fire department that it will make it harder to respond to calls.

Cupertino is moving forward with plans to build a number of bicycle boulevards throughout the city. Unlike Los Angeles, which has apparently abandoned plans to build the network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the all but forgotten bike plan.

Berkeley adopts a “visionary” $62.5 million bike plan connecting the entire city.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says BMX bikes are getting kids back on two wheels, even if that means popping wheelies and riding on freeways.

An Anchorage AK program to get 7th grade girls bicycling suffers a serious setback when half of their bikes are stolen.

The Colorado legislature has voted to ban truck drivers from rolling coal. Which was already illegal under federal law, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

AAA will now come to your rescue if you have a problem with your bike in Wisconsin and Georgia. SoCal, not so much.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from an 11-year old Ohio boy at knifepoint.

A Florida sheriff takes the blame for damaging three vehicles when his bike fell off his car on an Interstate highway.

 

International

Cycling Weekly asks if technology helps cycling or gets in the way of enjoyment. Yes.

A Brazilian man’s effort to set a new world record for the longest bike journey has been put on hold after his bike was stolen while he took a nap in Veracruz, Mexico; he was just 6,200 miles short of his 310,000 mile goal after being on the road for the last 18 years.

A Brit radio host says arguing against bicycling is arguing in favor of death from health problems, adding that cycling will make London a “cleaner, greener, more pleasant place.”

British multiple gold medal winning Paralympian Sarah Storey relishes her new role as a bike policy advocate because she wants her children to be able to ride safely when they grow up.

English drivers are warned that the bicyclist they pass on the road could be a cop filming them for passing too close.

A nearly 500-mile Middle East Peace Tour will take amateur riders through Jordon, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-five year old Kiwi cyclist Peter Grandiek is still setting records at the World Master Games.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: In case you were wondering why some drivers hate us. Now you, too, can have a heads-up display just like a jet pilot.

And no, spin class is not the same as riding outside.

Oh, hell no.

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Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous donation to support this site

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

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Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

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The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

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In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

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The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

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Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

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Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

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