Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Lowrider bikes on Whittier Blvd, Rapley memorial bike, and banning bikes in Palos Verdes

Lowriders have always brought a smile to my face.

Especially when they’re not cars.

Photographer and blogger Aurelio Jose Barrera recently did a photo essay on the rebirth of an Eastside tradition as the lowriders return to Whittier Blvd.

But he also captured a family riding their grownup and child-sized lowrider bicycles to take in, and be a part of, the scene unfolding on the street.

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

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Apparently, the memorial for fallen cyclist James Rapley on Temescal Canyon Park is getting noticed.

The editor of the Palisades news writes about the white, bicycle-shaped bike rack that was placed in the park earlier this year. It was designed to look like a ghost bike, in addition to serving as a functional bike rack, as a reminder to everyone to bike and drive safely.

And sober, unlike the stoned driver who took his life.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been on a roll lately as he works to stay on top of the rapidly changing developments affecting bicyclists in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This time, he reports on a group of over-privileged homeowners attempting, illegally, to ban bicycles from their street.

Under California law, bicycles are allowed to use any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of most limited access highways.

So they’re more than welcome to ban bikes.

They just have to ban their own cars and SUVs, as well.

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As soon as you drive a stake through the heart of one bike-hating Facebook group, another one pops up.

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Reuters says Chris Froome’s third victory seals his status as one of the greats of the Tour de France, while he’s finally getting some respect from the crowds. Meanwhile, a British writer says the only way to save the Tour is to get fans to back off.

A Hollywood website offers five things to know about the repeat winner, while the Guardian says Froome is a role model for clean cycling in a sport that needed one.

Then again, doping wasn’t always frowned on; some people still don’t think it’s that big a deal.

An English cycling club founded by suffragettes celebrates one of their own, as 23-year old Adam Yates claims the white jersey as the Tour’s best young rider.

Rivals riders consider points winner Peter Sagan one of the best cyclists in the peloton.

And a writer for women’s magazine Marie Claire says it’s time for women to compete equally with men at the Tour, either in a parallel race on the same routes, or allowing them to actually compete in the race.

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Local

Evidently, they feel our pain. CiclaValley captures a pair of motorcycle cops who finally give up on getting a traffic light to change for them, and blow the light.

CicLAvia is hosting a $100 Play Day in LA fundraiser on September 17th.

Stephen Corwin offers nine things game-changing things you won’t understand about the new Metro Bike bikeshare until you try it.

A 20-year old UCLA student from Chico is riding nearly 4,000 miles across the US with the Bike and Build program.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to a free block party on South Beverly Drive this Saturday. In other words, taking the city’s virtually non-existent bike lanes to get to the virtually non-existent bike parking.

 

State

A San Diego website says the San Diego Bicycle Coalition will host a discussion of the Coastal Rail Trail at a Bikes on Tap bike-in happy hour. But fails to mention when and where it will take place.

Brilliant idea, as the owner of several San Francisco ice cream bikes collects donations to pay for ice cream for kids who can’t afford it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Someone vandalized Portland’s new bikeshare bikes as soon as they hit the ground, possibly because they were seen as a symbol of gentrification.

A Colorado cyclist continues to ride up to 50 miles a day, seven days a week, despite being in his 26th round of chemo for stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs.

Iowa’s annual RAGBRAI ride started Sunday with a Mile of Silence in honor of bicyclists injured or killed in the state; sadly, they added one more name to that list before the memorial ride even got started.

An Op-Ed in an Iowa paper says it’s time to build protected bike lanes in the state.

Pittsburgh appears to be bucking the safety in numbers trend, as bicycling collisions increase along with ridership.

An analyst for right-wing think tank says bike lanes in Raleigh NC are social engineering at expense of those poor drivers, and accuses elected leaders of arrogance for thinking they know better than the people they’re elected to represent. Which, of course, is exactly why they were elected in the first place. Meanwhile, a local rider refutes her arguments; thanks to DOORZONE for the link.

 

International

Canada Bikes is hiring a new executive director. Just in case you plan to leave the country if the wrong candidate wins this fall’s election.

Support has been pouring in for a Canadian Paralympic cyclist after both of her bikes were stolen.

Two British brothers save their overweight, diabetic father’s life through bicycling.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider uses his helmet cam to catch a man playing Pokémon GO as he drove his BMW.

Police in one English town ban bike riders from the central city due to incidents of an “anti-social manner” from a few cyclists, which pose a danger to pedestrians. By that standard, all drivers would be banned from every road, everywhere.

 

Finally…

Wearing a hoodie when you ride is okay, but put some pants on, too. The approved used for bike locks does not include attacking taxis for no apparent reason.

And if you’re going to ride with a loaded rifle on your back, make sure you’re legally allowed to own one.

Although that’s one way to make sure drivers give you some space.

 

Morning Links: Actor doors bike rider, PCH cyclist seriously injured in Malibu crash, and the science of bicycling

Did an actor get special treatment from the LAPD?

In a story that seems to have made news everywhere — except right here in Los Angeles — actor Jeremy Piven allegedly doored a bike rider when he flung his car door open without looking after parking his Cadillac near the Grove.

Yet despite the rider suffering a serious chest injury, Piven escaped without so much as a ticket because the police didn’t see it happen.

Even though CVC 22517 makes it clear that it is the driver’s responsibility to open a door only when it is safe to do so.

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Which means that if the rider was hit by the door, the driver was at fault.

Whether or not anyone saw it.

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A bicyclist suffered major injuries in a crash on PCH in West Malibu Wednesday afternoon; the rider reportedly lost control and swerved into the path of a pickup in the northbound traffic lane. Thanks to James Johnson for the heads-up.

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Great piece from Scientific American relates the story of the researcher who finally unlocked the secrets of why a bicycle remains upright and able to balance itself even without a rider; next on his agenda is trying to solve the terrifying speed wobble.

Meanwhile, physics suggests that stopping and starting with both feet on the pedals is more efficient than pushing off with your foot.

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A Chinese bike rider somehow miraculously dodges a barrel-rolling van.

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Twenty-four-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe is making an impact at the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana is unexpectedly struggling. Five riders could still make the podium in Paris, but no matter what happens behind him, Froome seems to keep his hold on the yellow jersey.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says claims that Froome’s Team Sky is dominating the race thanks to marginal gains is “bollocks.”

Peter Sagan will be the world’s best paid pro cyclist after jumping teams next year; he’s reportedly earn $6.6 million. He’s worth it in movie take-off videos alone.

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Local

Investing in Place calls Metro’s upcoming transportation ballot measure a huge leap for walking and biking in Los Angeles County, while recapping just what advocates were able to win in negotiations over the measure.

Streetsblog interviews CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

KPCC examines whether it’s better to ride a bike or drive in polluted air.

CiclaValley reminds us that the annual Tour de Laemmle rolls this Sunday.

An employee with the LADOT Bikeways Program describes her multimodal commute to work.

LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Strava’s Thorfinn-Sassquatch, was due to be sentenced Wednesday to up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for peddling performance-enhancing drugs, just days after receiving a lifetime ban from US cycling’s governing body.

The Daily News says you’re a step closer to being able to ride your bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park. Only one of which actually is one.

 

State

Bikeshare and ebikes factor into California’s aggressive zero emissions goals.

New bike lanes are planned for West Newport Beach, along with improvements to sidewalks and landscaping to encourage people to walk and bike.

Garden Grove’s draft Active Transportation Plan envisions a city where cars, bikes and pedestrians can move in harmony.

Authorities say 25-year old Zachariah Doll was wearing dark clothing, had no lights or reflectors on his bike and was riding salmon when he was killed in an early morning collision in the Riverside County town of Winchester last week.

A San Francisco survey shows most drivers want protected bike lanes, too.

Calbike is hiring a Communications Director to work in their Oakland office.

Pleasanton cyclists call on the city to improve a dangerous intersection where a 72-year old woman was killed recently while riding in the crosswalk.

Redding police arrest a junkie bank robber who tried to make his escape by BMX bike.

 

National

A new report from NACTO says that as cities build bike infrastructure, the rate of bicycling goes up while the risk to riders goes down.

If you build it, they will come. A real estate website says the belief that Millennials are eschewing suburbs ain’t necessarily so — as long as those suburbs have good sidewalks and bike lanes.

An 81-year old Denver driver who kept driving after fatally striking a 14-year old boy standing in a bike lane was still allowed to behind the wheel despite a previous hit-and-run last year — even though family members promised she wouldn’t drive anymore. It’s up to family members to keep older drivers off the road when they can no longer drive safely, since the government is unable, or unwilling, to do it.

Apparently, a Dallas bank was robbed by a bike-riding pirate.

Apparently taking a cue from Donald Trump, Skokie IL will allow residents to build fences up to ten feet high along a new bike path. No word on whether Mexico will pay for it, however.

Atlantic City police arrested an alleged serial hit-and-run driver for DUI after he crashed into a street sign, followed by a cyclist, followed by a car, before finally coming to rest after striking a toll booth. Fortunately, the bike rider only suffered bruises; no word on whether the sign, car and toll booth survived.

A New York driver faces 136 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring two others when he smashed into a business at 50 mph while high on meth; a bike rider was also injured by flying debris.

When Charleston SC approves a controversial bike lane over a local bridge, the local paper approves of their approval.

Bighearted Alabama cops buy a new bicycle for a child after he unintentionally bought a stolen bike with his $7 allowance.

Only 850 miles of the planned 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway are currently ready to ride; plans are for 95% of the off-road bike path to be completed by 2030.

 

International

Bikes are enjoying a renaissance and bridging class barriers in Santiago, Chile.

Vancouver finally rolls out a delayed and truncated bikeshare system, with just 260 of the promised 1,500 bikes currently ready to ride.

Like bikes that pass in the night, a single speed cyclist seeks a fixie rider she met under the Thames.

More anti-bike sabotage in the UK, as someone strung fishing wire neck high over a popular Belfast bike trail.

An Indian computer professor was forced to abandon a long-distance bike tour across the country due to illness after riding 2,200 miles in 23 days.

Singapore becomes the next city to embrace bikeshare with a 1,000-bike system using 100 docking stations.

 

Finally…

Call it Fifty Shades of Bicycles. Don’t ride your bike off a cliff into the ocean, bro.

And if you’re carrying stolen credit cards and a meth pipe on your bike, ride your damn bike on the right side of the road.

Seriously.

Morning Links: LA River Greenway to expand through the Valley, Louisiana lawmaker says don’t play in the street

Good news on the LA River front.

A design firm has been selected to build a bike and pedestrian path along a 12-mile segment of the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, from Vanalden in the West Valley to Forest Lawn and Zoo Drives in Griffith Park.

Which means, if the seemingly endless series of closures and construction projects finally wrap up, you’ll be able to ride uninterrupted from the West Valley through Elysian Park.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any word on when we can expect an extension of the bike path through DTLA and points south, to connect with the pathway leading up from Long Beach.

Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to combine bikes, bagels and beer on the newly re-opened segment of the LA River bike path in Frogtown.

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This is the sort of attitude we have to deal with.

A Louisiana state legislator actually said “If you don’t want to overdose, don’t do drugs. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, don’t play in the street,” in quashing the state’s proposed vulnerable user law, out of fear his constituents could go to jail for “accidently” killing someone.

‘Cause you know, these things just happen, right?

Then again, this is the same public servant who tried to pass a law prohibiting strippers from being too fat or too old, then claimed it was just a joke.

Apparently, so is he.

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Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France in order to focus on the Rio Olympics.

Two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana faces his last chance to overtake leader Chris Froome as the race enters the Alps, while second-place Nairo Quintana has been in this position before.

If you can’t shave any more weight off the bike, shave a few seconds off your time with a 3D-printed skinsuit.

And women’s cycling is taking a big step forward with the creation of the first all-black African women’s cycling team.

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Local

The Source’s Steve Hyman demonstrates remarkable restraint when an impatient driver tells him to get on the sidewalk as he rides on Cordova Street — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

Downtown News says DTLA’s new Metro Bike bikeshare system is better late than never; over 1,600 people bought passes by the end of the first week.

KPCC wants to know what traffic laws should be enforced more vigorously, including violations by those darn scofflaw cyclists. Remarkably, they include cars driving below the speed limit, which isn’t against the law, but fail to include speeding, which is.

 

State

Eighty-five year old Apple Valley cyclist and community advocate Chuck Hanson passed away from cancer over the weekend; he had ridden nearly half a million miles over his lifetime.

Apparently, the San Francisco DA takes traffic crime seriously. A 19-year old man has been charged with murder in the hit-and run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car last month. He faces additional charges of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and auto burglary, and is being held on $1 million bail.

A new bike shop, café and social club is due to open in downtown Oakland, serving beer and advocacy without the pressures of a “jerk bike shop.”

A Redding man was able to hold onto his bike when he was attacked by two teenagers while riding on a bike path.

 

National

Portland joins the bikeshare revolution, unveiling a new system with 1,000 smart bikes at 100 stations.

Great idea. A Wichita KS program will donate bikes recovered by the police to provide homeless people with a form of transportation.

Life is cheap in Nebraska, where a careless driver gets a whopping 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for killing a bike rider.

Cleveland is using bike cops to keep the peace at this week’s Republican National Convention.

A Wisconsin writer learns the hard way that no one is impervious to injury, as he describes firsthand what it’s like to break your collarbone falling off your bike.

A Minnesota family finally finds closure as the hit-and-run driver who killed a 24-year old woman as she rode a bike has been sentenced to 39 months in prison.

Michigan proposes a five-foot passing law in the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre.

Massachusetts considers a bill that would make it illegal to park in bike lanes statewide.

Philadelphia police are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who has violently attacked three prostitutes, killing one.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to tell if you’re addicted to cycling.

A new Brazilian study says 72 hours may not be long enough for your body to recover from an 80-mile race. And yet professional cyclists are expect to compete on much longer routes every day, with no recovery time.

A Vancouver planning consultant says the way to reign in those annoying scofflaw cyclists is to make bike couriers ride three-speed upright bikes. No, really.

Also in Vancouver, a writer says it doesn’t look right when a Nigerian-Canadian bike rider is detained by six police officers for over an hour, apparently for the crime of riding on the sidewalk while black.

A ten-year old British hit-and-run victim asks how anyone could just leave him lying in the street.

Caught on video: A London cyclist suffers the equivalent of a left cross, hit-and-run crash the first time he used his new GoPro.

A proposed five and a half mile protected bike lane would run under a bridge to connect East and West Berlin.

Now that’s more like it. An Aussie telecom company is offering employees $1,000 to buy the bicycle of their choice and ride it to work. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

The General-Secretary of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who also serves as chair of the Japan Cycling Association, was injured while riding his bicycle on Saturday; official reports are he was just slightly injured, but other sources say his injuries may be serious.

 

Finally…

The way to improve safety is to tame motor vehicle traffic, not helmets that turn bicyclists into hi-viz mini-cars. The Tron-inspired spokeless bicycle has met its Kickstarter goal, but no, it is not the future of bicycling.

And it’s one thing to promote veganism by riding your bike, another to break all the rules doing it. Seriously, Strava only encourages you to ride like a jackass; it’s your fault if you actually do.

 

Morning Links: Energizer Bunny says upgrade your bike for a motorcycle, and a SaMo bad driver triptych

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton justifiably takes Energizer Batteries to task for a badly off-base ad in which the Bunny magically converts bicycles into high-powered motorcycles.

In the Energizer commercial’s world, there are lots of cyclists, but all their bikes are old and crappy. One bike, at o:02, has a derailleur but no chain. Few of the bikes actually fit their riders, so the cyclists look cramped and uncomfortable.

Secondly, how does electricity help cyclists? Does transforming a bicycle – a truly environmentally-friendly human-powered vehicle – into a petroleum-burning motorcycle really serve the environment? Do urban cyclists really want to ditch their trusty steeds?

Seriously, the takeaway from Energizer’s misguided ad isn’t that their batteries are good for the environment, but that motorcycles are better than bicycles.

Which is a load of crap.

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Now that’s more like it.

A Niagara-area town supervisor makes a video supporting his vision of converting an eight-mile parkway into a bikeway.

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While we’re on a video kick, bike commuter and KCRW sound engineer Steve Herbert posts series of Facebook videos depicting a triptych of Santa Monica drivers who insisted on making his ride to work far more dangerous than it needed to be.

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The AP says Chris Froome is turning into a master tactician on the bike, although he was outsprinted on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France. But seriously, don’t film Mark Cavendish when he’s taking a leak.

Yahoo offers a offers a bizarre report that blames cycling’s doping culture of the of the ‘80s and ‘90s for corrupting East European cyclists — like East Germany’s Jan Ullrich — after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Never mind that the former Soviet Block countries maintained extensive systematic doping programs, which undoubtedly included many, if not all, of their top cyclists. Something that clearly continues today.

As for that doping culture, at least some of it may have been a placebo effect. Although cyclists aren’t the only ones doing it.

And it’s been 49 years since Britain’s Tommy Simpson died while riding up Mont Ventoux, possibly as a result of chasing amphetamines with brandy before the race; the peloton will likely pause to remember him when they climb Ventoux in today’s stage.

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Local

The Milt Olin Foundation, started by the wife of the fallen cyclist, has launched the #HandsOff app to encourage drivers to pledge not to use their phones behind the wheel. The sheriff’s deputy who killed Olin on Mulholland Highway in 2013 had been texting with his wife, and was using the patrol car’s onboard computer at the time of the crash.

KCET rides the LA River bike path with the Senior Lead Officers from the LAPD’s Northeast Division, helping bust a bike thief in the process.

New Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte is promising to improve safety on PCH, such as implementing some of the 130 suggested improvements listed in the recently completed the PCH Safety Study, including proposed bike lanes.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports from Tuesday’s Palos Verdes Estates council session, where bicyclists turned out en masse to call for improved signage in the not-so-bike-friendly community.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a white man who rode up on a bicycle before yelling racial slurs and throwing a rock through the door of a black family.

Another homeless man was attacked in San Diego, the fifth in the last few weeks; the hammer-wielding attacker was riding a blue mountain bike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will ride to remember a local man who lost his life while riding in Chicago recently.

Menlo Park is planning to remove up to 18 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. Although the torches and pitchforks will likely come out once the affected homeowners get wind of it.

How do Bay Area chefs love cycling? Let me count the ways…

A Santa Rosa cyclist is 90% of the way through his campaign to ride up the top 100 climbs in the US; he’s now planning to ride up Mt. Whitney — starting from Death Valley — then climb the last 6,000 feet of elevation on foot.

A Truckee woman passed away in her sleep, just hours after she was involved in a bicycling collision. No matter how you feel after a wreck, always assume you’re injured. And if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, get to an emergency room immediately.

 

National

The BBC looks at how the “humble” bicycle is making a comeback in US cities, including a visit to LA’s own newly renamed Pure Cycles.

Portland’s transportation chief talks bikeshare, and explains why women seem to like it.

Nevada cyclists question the lack of serious penalties for drivers who injure or kill bike riders. Which is pretty much the same concerns held by bike riders everywhere.

Nice story from Kansas, as a father works with students at a local community college to develop a 3D-printed device to allow his three-year old son, who was born without his left hand, to ride a bicycle.

A Chicago weekly wonders what’s behind the recent rash of serious bicycling collisions.

The Michigan driver who ran down nine cyclists in Kalamazoo reportedly downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxants before getting behind the wheel; police also found marijuana, meth, more pills and a pipe in his car.

Bloomberg looks at Detroit Bikes, which specializes in making bikeshare bikes, including assembling bicycles for New York’s Citi Bike.

A Pennsylvania cyclist helps save the life of a woman who drove off the road, after he found her unconscious in a stream.

A Florida bike rider was killed when he rode over a live power line that had fallen on a bridge; the line may have been down for as long as seven hours. Never, ever cross or touch a downed power line, even if that means finding another way to get where you’re going.

 

International

A Montreal study shows building bike lanes really does get a few people out of their cars.

Peru reopens a historic outdoor velodrome that had been closed for nearly 30 years.

A Canadian columnist calls for bicycling training, and asks why encourage people to ride their bikes if they’re just going to break the law anyway? After all, licensing drivers has worked so well to discourage any form of scofflaw behavior, right?

Toronto puts its money where it’s mouth is, considering a $12.2 million boost in spending for bikeway construction over the next five years, on top of the $68.1 million already approved.

A London bicyclist says it was like hitting a brick wall when he slammed into a distracted man who stepped into a bike lane without looking.

“Despicable” is the right word for whoever stole an ambulance bicycle from a London paramedic as he was treating a patient.

Bicycling levels remain flat in the UK over the past year.

Scottish authorities are looking for a driver who made a U-turn to deliberately crash into a cyclist after they had exchanged gestures following a close pass.

 

Finally…

Pedal your way to cleaner clothes. Evidently, it’s not considered self-defense if you slap the driver who almost ran you over.

And if you’re thinking about commenting on a woman’s body, just… don’t.

Whether you’re on a bike. Or anywhere else.

 

Morning Links: Anti-bike PVE strikes back, from freeway to bikeway, and ridiculously road raging Ramona driver

Just days after the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee voted to improve bike safety signage, local residents rose up with their metaphorical pitchforks and torches to demand that bikes be banned from some public roads in the seaside community.

Never mind that it would be illegal.

Under state law, bicycles are allowed on any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited access freeways.

So they’re welcome to have bicycles banned.

As long as they’re willing to ban their own cars, trucks and SUVs while they’re at it.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson notes that it’s surely just a coincidence that days after the cyclists’ victory at the committee meeting, a PVE police officer lurked on a side street waiting for a popular group ride to blow a stop sign. Then drove his squad car directly into the middle of the riders to stop them — needlessly risking their safety when he could have just as easily pulled them over with a red light and siren.

Maybe someone should tell him civilians can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for doing the virtually the same thing (see road raging Ramona driver, below).

Davidson urges everyone who can make it to attend this evening’s Palos Verdes Estates city council meeting to show your support for bike safety and the improved signage. Because the anti-bike forces have already made it known they will come out in farce.

Excuse me, force.

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A Harvard landscape architecture professor takes the LA Time’s Christopher Hawthorne up on his challenge to envision a new use for the currently useless mile-long spur of the 5 Freeway that ends in Silver Lake and Echo Park.

The plan would include features to clean the air and replenish groundwater, while providing parks, elevated bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

New Zealand took a similar approach in converting an unused offramp into an award-winning, Pepto Bismol pink bikeway.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Ramona SUV driver faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor battery and vandalism for a bizarre confrontation filmed by a professional photographer.

Even though they were doing a photo shoot on quiet, pubic road in San Diego’s sparsely populated East County, the man claimed they were on a private road and blocking his non-existent driveway, and repeatedly tried to run them over.

He ordered them to leave in an expletive-filled tirade, culminating in the driver knocking the photographer’s phone out of his hand to stop him from filming the confrontation.

When the photographer demanded $200 for his broken phone, the man dropped his pants and said “Suck the $200 out of my d**k.”

Real classy.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Not only does the US have the highest rate of traffic fatalities compared to other high-income countries — whether measured per capita or by vehicle ownership — it has also shown the slowest rate of improvement over the last 13 years, as much of the world has gotten significantly safer.

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Chris Froome grabbed the leader’s jersey at the Tour de France on Saturday with an awkward, high-speed decent that looked he was humping his handlebar stem, just one day after he was fined for punching an overly aggressive fan who probably deserved it. Bicycling questions the tactics of Froome’s Team Sky, but no one seems to question bike art made entirely of tractors.

Alberto Contador blamed a virus for pulling out of the race, while Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez announced his retirement from pro cycling at the end of this season.

American Megan Guarnier edged teammate Evelyn Stevens to claim the biggest win of her career at Italy’s Giro Rosa; the two women dominated the race, along with fellow American Mara Abbott. Meanwhile, Stevens describes her journey from investment broker to the Rio Olympics.

A group of German cyclists call for safety improvements in pro cycling, such as replacing motorcycles with mopeds and banning them from overtaking riders.

And Los Angeles cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Thorfinn-Sassquatch, owner of many of the area’s Strava KOMs — as well as a now defunct performance-enhancing dope dealing website — accepts a lifetime cycling ban.

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Local

Flying Pigeon owner and LA city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali explains how he got his stolen bakfiets back.

CiclaValley displays his not-insignificant bicycling photography skills.

Santa Clarita offers a complimentary bike valet service at the city’s summer Concert in the Park program.

Santa Monica lowers rates for pass holders for its Breeze bikeshare program, while raising pay-as-you-go rates to $7 to match fees for the Beverly Hills, WeHo, UCLA and Long Beach bikeshares.

Bike-friendly Long Beach Councilmember and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal is stepping down after ten years; she was a driving force in making the city a leader in SoCal bicycling.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Cantrans’ new Chief of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, who says the organization needs a shift in thinking. The state DOT has committed to tripling bicycling levels and doubling pedestrian and transit trips by 2020, while calling for an underwhelming 10% decrease in fatalities. Think small and you get small results; think big and you might actually accomplish something.

A San Bernardino woman was badly mauled by an unleashed German shepherd accompanying a woman on a bicycle; authorities are presumably looking for the bike-riding dog owner, despite failing to respond when the victim was bitten.

A Redlands couple reach Minnesota on the first leg of a 10,000-mile tandem journey around the US.

A Palm Springs writer says residents will come to appreciate the 50-mile CV Link bikeway circling the Coachella Valley if they just let them build it.

Needless to say, auto-centric Atascadero residents question the need and advisability for a Complete Streets makeover along a busy highway.

When San Francisco police learned the bike a man relied on for work had been stolen, they immediately took up a collection to buy him a new one. Then took him to Target, where the store managers gave it to him, allowing the cops to spend their money on a lock and helmet.

A two-year experiment will convert half of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Boulevard to bikes and pedestrians only, while leaving the other half for cars.

A Sonoma paper says the county’s roads have something for every kind of bike rider.

The law enforcement exemption from California’s distracted driving law has claimed yet another life, as a CHP officer failed to notice the cars ahead had slowed while he looked down at his computer screen, killing a 15-year old boy. Thanks to Colin Bogart for the link.

 

National

A new project on Kickstarter will allow you to convert your bike to a Dutch-style cargo bike in just minutes. And for just $725 if you order now.

Tom Hanks is one of us, as he celebrates his 60th birthday with an offroad ride. Life is like a mountain bike; you never know where it’s going to take you.

My hometown continues to make the streets I used to ride safer decades after I left.

Sad news from Colorado, as a Good Samaritan who stopped to help a motorist retrieve a bicycle that fell off his car was killed when his own car was rear-ended.

Montana public radio talks with the editor of a new book about the cross-country TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.

Davide Martello, the piano-towing bike rider who performed in Paris following the terrorist attacks, plays Imagine outside the Dallas police headquarters.

Indiana police officers will join others in riding 1000 miles around the state over the next 13 days to honor fallen officers and raise funds for their families.

A Boston bicyclist tells the story of the road rage assault that left him with serious facial injuries, and probably could have been avoided if the street had a protected bike lane instead of a painted lane.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York is considering safety improvements to an intersection where a woman was killed riding on a bike path.

Relax, New Yorkers. Hordes of bike riders will not be invading Queens cemeteries.

 

International

Toronto will consider a Vision Zero plan, after initially proposing to reduce causalities just 20%. Which was already double what Caltrans is aiming for.

The Toronto paper gets it, saying it’s time to kill the pointless idea of bike licenses once and for all.

It’s against the law to ride your bike on the sidewalk in one Ontario city. Unless you can pass the small-wheeled bicycle exemption.

Bike-riding London paramedics rush in to save local residents from minor emergencies.

If you build it, they will come. A new Cambridge study attributes 85% of the increase in bicycling to the use of new infrastructure.

The Telegraph asks if Andorra is cycling’s best kept secret.

A Singapore ebike rider gets five weeks in jail for running down a woman while illegally riding on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

Please don’t urinate on historical landmarks. Bikes may take the full lane, so keep your horn to yourself.

And if you’re going to carry a gun on your bike, put the damn safety on.

 

Weekend Links: Killer drunk driver cops a plea, PVE gets a little bike-friendlier, and your road share is pocket change

That was fast.

Just eleven weeks after Tomas Brewer was killed by a drunk driver, the man who killed him has pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

Twenty-three-year old Cruz Tzoc was driving at an estimated 60 mph on Burlington Ave in LA’s Rampart District on April 23rd when he struck a parked car and spun around, sliding into Brewer as he rode on Temple Street, before slamming into a tree.

Tzoc was arrested at the scene with an alcohol level over two times the legal limit. A police sergeant had spotted Tzoc’s speeding car prior to the crash, but was unable to stop him before it was too late.

He had faced up to ten years in state prison, but was sentenced to just six years after pleading to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

He’s likely to get out in half that time.

But his decision to get behind the wheel after drinking ended the life of a budding screenwriter, and sentenced Brewer’s loved ones to a lifetime without him.

………

Formerly bike-unfriendly Palos Verdes Estates continues its surprising turnaround, as the city’s Traffic Safety Committee voted to replace the hated signs reading “Bike Laws Strictly Enforced” with “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” and signs promoting the three-foot passing law.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson describes the meeting in his own inimitable style.

Meanwhile, a Tustin councilmember explains four reasons why bicycles may use the full lane. But forgets the primary reason — bike riders are allowed to take the lane anytime the lane itself is too narrow to be safely shared with a motor vehicle.

………

Today’s common theme is bikeshare, in LA and elsewhere.

Downtown News explains everything you need to know about LA’s new bikeshare program, while CiclaValley crashes the launch party. And the LACBC, which was instrumental in bringing bikeshare to LA, celebrates with photos.

San Diego’s bikeshare system is struggling, as the city’s transit officials refuse to cooperate.

Palo Alto plans to replace its failing bikeshare system with a new smart bike program. But it will still likely fail if they don’t install more than five docking stations.

And Portland informs bike owners that those handy little docks at convenient locations around town are not bike racks.

………

Drivers often argue that cyclists don’t pay for the roads, but if road users were charged for the damage they actually cause, we could pay our share with pocket change.

………

London Bridge is falling down, and so is the inflatable arch cyclists are supposed to ride under, not into, at the Tour de France.

Belgian race leader Greg Van Avermaet holds a nearly six minute lead in the race, but will probably fall back in the standings when they reach the mountain stages. British riders dominated the first week of the Tour, while Mark Cavendish says Africa will produce a TdF contender in ten years.

Specialized says you don’t know Jacques about the Tour de France. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bicycling takes a look at how the race takes a toll on even the fittest riders.

And the peloton came up clean in the Tour’s first unannounced thermal imaging scan for hidden motors; former Lance whistleblower Frankie Andreu says cycling has come a long way, but the sport may never be fully clean.

………

Local

Marina del Rey’s stinky Oxford Basin gets a much needed makeover, including a new bikeway connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

CiclaValley looks at the movement to fix LA’s crumbling Forest Lawn Drive, which we mentioned here — and misspelled as Forrest Lawn — the other day.

A moving company wants tips on how to avoid LA traffic. Everyone who says “use a bicycle” please raise your hand.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are asking for the public’s help to identify a bike and barbeque thief.

As expected, the parents of a 12-year old Oceanside boy killed while riding his bicycle to school last October have filed suit against the driver, as well as two businesses alleged to have contributed to the crash; a lawsuit is expected against the city, as well.

Sixty-six cyclists from the University of Texas rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on their way to Anchorage AK to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

San Francisco’s new bicycling state Assembly member keeps a bike at home by the Bay, and another in Sacramento.

 

National

Not surprisingly, the US is falling behind other countries when it comes to traffic safety.

Bicycling says you’ve been pumping your tires all wrong. Wait. You mean I have to take that little cap off first?

Vogue lists five surprising ways bicycling is good for your mind and body.

A Portland bike rider is suing after being clotheslined by a Comcast cable that was strung over a roadway.

Hats off to my alma mater, which became the nation’s first high school to be honored as a Bike-Friendly Business.

That former Illinois congressman who tweeted what sounded like a threat to the president and the Black Lives Matter movement after the Dallas shootings is one of us; he successfully campaigned for his only term in office by riding his bicycle.

In a widely watched case, a Michigan driver faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fleeing the scene after plowing into a cyclist on an organized group ride.

A bike-riding writer for the Columbus Dispatch offers a well-reasoned analysis of the SUV driver in last week’s Doo Dah Parade who, in effect, threatened to kill cyclists unless they obey the law; he says what concerns him most is the public’s lack of concern.

A Massachusetts boy was impaled with a branch after veering off a trail and slamming into a tree; fortunately, he appeared to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

Bicycling under the influence is legal in Massachusetts, though not always the best idea. I know some may argue, but I’d still much rather see a drunk on a bike than behind the wheel. Although the best choice is neither.

New York police find the murder weapon used to intentionally run down a bike rider.

 

International

A Toronto paper offers advice on how to get over your fears and bike to work.

A Canadian Steely Dan fan nearly missed their Detroit show after paying the toll, then illegally riding through a tunnel across the border; US custom agents were amused, but searched and detained him for two hours anyway.

A mentally ill driver who fatally stabbed a popular British bike advocate following a minor traffic collision has been sentenced to ten years to life in a medium security mental hospital.

Friends and family remember a 75-year old London time-trialing legend who passed away following a May bicycling collision.

Caught on video: A jerk cyclist clips a London bike rider with a far too-close pass, nearly sending him under the wheels of a large truck. Pass another rider at the same distance you’d expect from a motor vehicle, or at arms-length at the very least; if that’s not possible, slow down and announce your presence before passing. Or you could just wait until it is safe.

An Irish business executive pleaded guilty to knocking a cyclist off his bike, then beating and strangling him, for the heinous crime of riding on the sidewalk.

Hiding under your jacket after stealing a pair of bikes will not make you invisible to Chinese police.

 

Finally…

Suddenly, your bike shorts are fashionable — assuming you’re a woman; guys, not so much. Why walk on water when you can pedal?

And you can thank a mountain pine beetle for your next wall-mounted bike rack.

………

As an added bonus to get your weekend started off right, David Wolfberg forwards the latest video from Colombian superstars Shakira and Carlos Vives, for their new song La Bicicleta (Or The Bicycle, for the Spanish-challenged, like me).

Morning Links: Bikeshare finally comes to DTLA, and bike-friendly LA city council candidate Jesse Creed

Just a short update today, as my diabetes seems compelled to knock me on my ass following a busy day.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a full report for the weekend.

………

It’s true.

Los Angeles finally has a bikeshare system.

LA Downtown News takes an early Metro Bike test ride, and finds the bikes comfortable, but with a shortage of safe places to ride them.

A $75,000 grant, matched by $25,000 from Metro, will help make bike sharing more accessible to underserved communities. Note to LA Weekly: That photo from CicLAvia has nothing to do bikeshare; it’s like using a photo of private cars to illustrate a story about taxis.

The LA Times questions whether Los Angeles will embrace bikeshare, while Mayor Eric Garcetti mimics William Mulholland by saying “Here they are. Use them.”

The Times also provides a detailed explanation of how the Metro Bike system works, along with a nifty little bikeshare music video.

The Daily News says Los Angeles has big plans for the bikeshare system to expand to nine regions, starting next year with Pasadena, Venice and the Port of LA.

LAist offers a full report from the kickoff event, while noting riders proceeding along Grand Avenue were greeted by multiple signs reading “Bike Lane Closed.”

KTLA-5 offers a video report, including a brief interview with the mayor, in which he says he looks forward to taking one of the bikes out to go for lunch.

KPCC explains how to use the bikeshare system, which is currently only available to pass holders; walk-up users can rent a bike using their TAP card beginning August 1st.

It's (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

It’s (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis looks forward to eastward expansion

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the ride off from Grand Park

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the rideoff from Grand Park

Riders roll out with LA City Hall as a backdrop

Riders like this should be a common sight at LA City Hall and throughout the Downtown area

The loneliest Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

The loneliest little Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

………

If you need a place to ride your new Metro Bike, the LAPD invites you to attend a People and Pets Safety Fair tomorrow at the still-unnamed LAPD Headquarters in DTLA.

LAPD People and Pets

………

Following the Metro Bike event, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th Council District.

Before I even met him, he had my qualified support under the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine.

But after talking with him, I can remove that “qualified” and say he now has my full support.

I found him to be youthful, energetic, personable and highly engaged, with a clear understanding of the problems facing Los Angeles, and the belief that we can and should do better.

A bike rider himself, his commitment to sustainable transportation goes beyond mere words, including riding his bike for short trips instead of taking the car. And working to represent the entire community to build Complete Streets that benefit everyone, as opposed to arbitrarily blocking them as his opponent has done.

He’s also open to new perspectives. When I recommended a book on how to make government work better, he pulled out his phone and bought it on the spot.

We still face four months of nasty campaigning leading up to this fall’s presidential election, and the inevitable voter fatigue that will follow before LA’s city election finally rolls around in the spring.

But we could do a lot worse than electing Creed to represent the people of the 5th District.

In fact, we already have. And we’re paying the price for it.

………

On a related, and belated, note, I’ve been remiss in my failure to note that Josef Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop in Northeast LA, now has a fundraising website set up.

If we can elect Creed and Bray-Ali next spring, we’ll be well on our way to making this the livable city it can and should be.

And if #bikeLA finally gets off its collective ass and gets out to vote, we will.

………

Once again, construction closes a section of the LA River Bike Path. And for the next three years, no less.

But at least this time, they’re doing it for our benefit, in order to lengthen the path and improve access at Riverside Drive.

LA River bike path closure at Riverside Drive

………

The LAPD has captured a suspect in the string of bike-riding Hollywood parking lot robberies.

………

Reuters looks at the South LA lowrider bicycle scene, including a talk with Manny Silva of Manny’s Bike Shop, considered the godfather of lowrider bikes.

………

Finally…

Leo Tolstoy was one of us.

 

Morning Links: Bike race-inspired wallpaper, and bikelash begins to newly bike friendly Caltrans

Just in time for today’s start of Italy’s Giro Rosa and tomorrow’s Tour de France kickoff, a Brit company wants to paper your walls with Tour de France-inspired images.

Great Britain’s Murals Wallpaper offers images of classic bicycles with the headings Grand Tour, Vélo and Peloton.

All that’s missing is Le Doping. Motor and otherwise.

Tour-De-France-Grand-Tour-Web

Tour-De-France-Pelaton-Web

Tour-De-France-Velo-Web

Seriously, if I still had an office, one or more of these would go up as soon as I could have them shipped overseas.

………

Now that Caltrans has finally embraced bicycling and walking, the inevitable bikelash has begun.

A writer for the Spectator calls the agency’s 2040 transportation plan more of a social-engineering than transportation-engineering document, complaining that we need to fix the “roads, freeways, and bridges that most of us actually rely on to get places” instead of building bike lanes.

………

The Santa Monica Spoke says your voice is needed to get the Feds to count bikes when determining performance measures for our national transportation system.

………

Mark your calendar for Bike With Your Dog Day on July 10th.

Seriously, the Corgi would flip my bike the first time she saw a squirrel or motorcycle. Let alone a sandwich lying in the street.

………

On the eve of the Tour de France, the Wall Street Journal calls Peter Sagan the rock star of cycling.

French rider Nacer Bouhanni will miss the tour after injuring his hand punching out some loud drunks in the next hotel room.

Nineteen-year old Roseville CA cyclist Neilson Powless is being compared favorably to Lance and LeMond as the future of American cycling. Hopefully more like the drug-free latter than the former.

American BMX rider Amanda Carr will be competing in the Rio Olympics. Just not for the US.

And Cycling Tips remembers a time when Donald Trump didn’t ridicule government officials for riding a bike, but actually sponsored a bike race back when he still had hair.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine provides an in-depth profile of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti; unfortunately, it barely touches on transportation, let alone bicycling.

Los Angeles offers a $50,000 reward for the person who mistakenly shot a ten-year old girl in the head while aiming for a man on a bicycle in Boyle Heights last month.

LAist wants to know if you live car-free in LA.

Discover Los Angeles rides from Playa del Rey to Torrance Beach along the beachfront Marvin Bruade bike path.

The LACBC is hosting a pre-4th of July Sunday Funday Ride through the Westside this weekend.

Palos Verdes Estates officials promise they’re already working on plans to improve safety for cyclists in the community.

 

State

Bike-friendly Newport Beach city councilmember Tony Petros will step down at the end of his first term.

KPBS asks how blocking bike lanes is good for the environment, as plans for San Diego’s North Park neighborhood call for widening roads to alleviate congestion.

Celebrate the 4th with a little Mammoth Mountain downhill, on skis and two wheels.

An off-duty Santa Barbara cop interrupts his bike ride home from work to stop a racially charged knife attack on a homeless man.

A Fresno bike shop relocates to nearby Hanford after the owner gets fed up with break-ins at the former downtown location.

No bias here, as a San Jose paper says Atherton is about to be invaded by hundreds of bike riders.

San Francisco cyclists call for safer streets at a meeting of the city’s Vision Zero committee, after two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; one of the victims was remembered as a rising star in the tech world.

In the wake of the deaths, San Francisco’s mayor announces 57 new high priority Vision Zero projects.

CamelBak teams with local groups to give away 80 kid’s bikes and helmets in Petaluma.

 

National

People for Bikes is taking applications for a new program to double or triple bike ridership in select city neighborhoods while reducing crashes. I’d like to nominate Hollywood, thank you. That leaves nine others.

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington DC, still have contributory negligence laws that keep cyclists from recovering any damages in a crash if they’re found just one percent responsible.

Portland’s bikeshare system will offer adaptive bikes for disabled riders starting next year.

A Washington appeals court rules that bicycles are an integral part of the state’s multimodal transportation plan, so cities must make streets safe for bike riders. Now if we can only get California courts to follow their precedence.

More bighearted cops, as Fairbanks AK police replace an autistic man’s stolen bike.

Colorado authorities widen the shoulder of a highway after a cyclist was critically injured while riding on the fog line; fortunately, the victim is slowly recovering.

A 15-year old Nebraska boy tows his lawn mowing business in a trailer behind his bike.

San Antonio TX is facing a lawsuit for diverting funds from a transportation sales tax to build sidewalks and bikeways.

Good news from Kalamazoo, as the most seriously injured survivor of the hit-and-run DUI wreck that killed five riders and injured four others is released from the hospital.

The Boston Globe looks at the ritual of installing ghost bike memorials. Which are needed far too often, there and here.

Caught on video: New York’s 8th Street bike lane is consistently filled with everything and everyone but bike riders.

Pastors of Black churches in DC’s Shaw neighborhood continue to fight plans for bike lanes. Evidently, African Americans must not ride bikes to church in DC. Then again, they might if they had a safe way to get there.

A CNN reporter samples the coffee-infused business bikewear from the Ministry of Supply.

Santa Monica’s CycleHop is one of three companies still in the running to build the planned New Orleans bikeshare system.

 

International

This is why you have to lock up a ghost bike. A Canadian man simply walks off with one, claiming he didn’t know its significance. On the other hand, he probably did know it didn’t belong to him.

Windsor, Ontario’s mayor enjoys his first bike ride to work so much he promises to keep riding over the summer.

Former Brit pro David Millar ranks the world’s ten best places for a bicycling vacation. Surprisingly, he puts Boulder and Aspen CO number two, ahead of Tuscany and anywhere in France, while Maui checks in at number ten.

UK fashion designer Paul Smith discusses his lifelong love of cycling, as well as his new line of bikewear.

Bike riders aren’t always the good guys. A BBC presenter is the victim of a racist attack after she intervenes with a bicyclist who was telling an Asian man to go home. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the UK these days?

Vice offers photos of Berlin’s brutal Bike Wars competition, which one of the founders describes as a destruction derby with bicycles.

The Guardian asks if inter-city bikeways like Germany’s coming bicycle autobahn could revolutionize our daily commute. I’d settle for a decent bikeway connecting Los Angeles with itself. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Aussie woman is in critical condition after colliding with a bicyclist.

 

Finally…

Maybe if you didn’t call it the Loop of Doom it might go better next time. Probably not the best idea to throw a knife at — let alone try to shoot — the bike-riding acquaintance you owe money to.

And whatever you do, don’t slap a fireman if he tells you to stop your bike.

Just… don’t.

Thanks to Helper for the link.

 

Morning Links: Planning Comm says Westwood and Central are out; 626 Golden Streets postponed due to fires

Something stinks in City Hall.

As expected, the LA City Planning Commission gritted its teeth and went along with amendments to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, clearly against their better judgment.

This, after rumors have circulated that councilmembers have made an agreement to throw bike riders on those streets under the bus. Perhaps literally.

I’m told the commissioners seemed to get the absurdity arguments that the best way to deal with the dangers along those corridors is to keep them dangerous, while making an attempt at social engineering by trying to shunt cyclist onto side streets where they clearly don’t want to go.

Which is the best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway.

And that, of course, leads to the same old circular thinking that says “see, we gave cyclists a bike lane and they didn’t use it, so clearly bike lanes don’t work and there’s no reason to build any more.”

Fortunately, the commissioners had the sense to make sure the removal of these lanes from the Mobility Plan doesn’t preclude studying, and perhaps building, them at a later date.

Like when Paul Koretz is out of office, which can’t happen soon enough.

Now the amendments go back to city hall, where they will be rubber stamped by the council, though we can hope at least a few councilmember have the courage to vote no.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a great report from commission meeting.

……….

626 Golden StreetsDisappointing news, as the long-planned 626 Golden Streets open streets event scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed to due to smoke from a pair of fires in the San Gabriels, as well as the need to keep streets clear for firefighters.

The event, which would have been the longest ciclovía in the US, is expected be rescheduled for another date, although the logistics of working out a schedule with seven cities may make that challenging.

Sorry, Gabe.

………

Let’s catch up with some other upcoming events.

Dine for a great cause today, when Burbank’s Bob’s Big Boy is the site of a fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery; the restaurant will donate 20% of your meal ticket if you present the flyer you can pick up at the fundraiser booth outside. Fifteen-year old Michelle Morlock is raising $3,000 in donations to take part in next year’s ride, which helps veterans and active duty military personnel recover from emotional and physical wounds through bicycling. If you can’t make it, send ‘em a few bucks — or maybe a lot of bucks — at the address on the link.

This is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for LA Critical Mass, billed as the largest community bike ride in the US.

The LA Design Festival is teaming with Flying Pigeon LA for the eighth annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is holding their Monthly Group Ride next Saturday, complete with an optional dirt section to kick off your 4th of July weekend.

Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding on Sunday, July 3rd.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop will host the second annual Tour de Tacos on Saturday, July 16th; the 25-mile family friendly ride promises at least four taco breaks along the way.

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on the third annual Tour de Laemmle on Sunday, July 24th. Greg will ride 125 miles to visit all nine Laemmle Theaters in a single day; you can register to join him for all or part of the ride.

………

Yesterday we shared a photo of what was left after thieves pried open a U-lock securing a bicycle on my block; today, the other bike locked up on my block suffered the same fate.

This is all that was left.

SAMSUNG

………

Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter will represent the US for road cycling in the Olympic games, along with Megan Guarnier, Kristin Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott on the women’s side.

………

Local

Metro votes to put a transportation sales tax extension on the November ballot, which would including bicycling and walking projects along with transit and highway work.

East Long Beach is dealing with the same increase in homelessness being seen throughout Southern California; residents are warned to secure their bikes to protect them from chop shops popping up in the area.

 

State

Menlo Park backpedals on plans to install bike lanes and make other needed safety improvements on El Camino Real.

Facebook’s new Frank Gehry-designed Menlo Park headquarters will also include a bicycle bridge designed in Gehry’s typically asymmetrical style. Although it looks more like it was designed by Picasso. Or maybe just someone who has never ridden a bicycle before.

The mayor of San Francisco was outraged by Wednesday’s twin hit-and-runs that left two cyclists dead; however, the SF Bicycle Coalition called his words hollow. Meanwhile, there was a third fatal bike crash in the Bay Area on Thursday morning, this time in Pleasanton.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a beginners guide to picking the perfect first bike.

A new reflective, neon-colored bike safety triangle is now raising funds on Kickstarter. It will probably make you more visible, but shouldn’t the onus be on drivers to look where they’re going, rather than on cyclists to light themselves up with virtual neon signs to get their damn attention?

Denver cyclists were welcomed to that city’s Bike to Work Day with a series of blocked bike lanes.

Even though Ohio allows bicyclists to ride two abreast, a Cincinnati suburb considers requiring them to ride single file.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to convert your existing ride into an ebike.

New bike path surfaces could help you bounce back from a fall. No, literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says a tourist guide is right that bicyclists will be “challenged and amazed” riding on a local highway — challenged to stay on it in the heavy traffic, and amazed they survived the experience.

A writer in the UK says she used to be one of the good ones back when everyone obeyed the law, but now that she doesn’t ride a bike anymore, people on bicycles have somehow morphed into a horrifying menace that threatens all those poor, bike-afflicted motorists and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in Ireland. A speeding, unlicensed driver gets a whole two and a half years in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist he struck while attempting a four-wheel drift around a turn; the 27-year old driver, who never bothered to get a driver’s license, had been barred from driving three times in the previous five years, but still managed to stay behind the wheel until he killed someone.

China’s Xiaomi unveils a $450 folding ebike, which you can get there, but not here.

 

Finally…

Who needs a kite eating tree when Idaho has a bike eating one? Anyone can carry groceries home on a bike; try towing a sofa.

And make your getaway on the back of a bicycle after robbing a donut shop, and you could end up in the trash.

And then behind bars.

 

Morning Links: Homeowner opposition to Westwood bike lanes may be a lie, and the CHP gets it wrong again

As I write this, the LA City Planning Commission is just hours away from a vote that could lead to the removal of Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, over the strenuous objections of virtually everyone who rides a bike on those streets.

Westwood resident Calla Wiemer has written a detailed, insightful and highly persuasive letter to the Commission arguing for keeping Westwood in the plan, which she has kindly agreed to let me share with you.

Regardless of how the commission votes, you should forward this to your councilmember before the city council takes up the matter in a few weeks.

Especially since only 42 of the roughly 3,000 homeowners in the area were concerned enough to oppose removing parking or traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes.

But those 42 are the only ones Paul Koretz seems to care about.

Dear LA CPC,

The proposed amendment to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility 2035 Plan and to replace it with a Gayley-Midvale route is ill-conceived. The argument in favor of such a change to the plan was articulated in a 6/22 email “Blast” from the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association. The flaws in the case presented in this email Blast, however, are numerous. First, the claim that the alternative route “both maintains and respects the connectivity of the Bicycle Enhanced Network” is false. Westwood Blvd provides a through connection directly from UCLA to Westwood Station on the Expo Line and on to points south. Midvale, by contrast, truncates with a T-intersection at Santa Monica Blvd from which point riders moving in a north-south direction would need to make their way to or from Westwood Blvd to continue on course.

Second, the suggestion that a “growing presence of bicycle commuters on Westwood”, which will “slow traffic” and “create added conflicts”, can be averted by designating an inconvenient alternative route is a fantasy. A growing presence of bicycle riders on Westwood Blvd is the reality. Bike riders choose Westwood Blvd because it’s the most direct route to their destinations – destinations which are often located on Westwood Blvd for the many who shop, work, or live there. As much as non-cyclists might wish to impose an alternative route on those who ride, they simply do not have the authority to do so. The best way to avoid the conflicts the WSSM leadership is so concerned about is to provide accommodation for bike riders.

Third, the premise that “Most local residents do not feel comfortable riding through Westwood Village on Westwood Blvd” is true enough but serves better as an argument for bike lanes than against them. Westwood Blvd in its present form is a dangerous and scary place to ride a bike. Making it safer will raise the comfort level of local residents. Consider as well that most local residents similarly do not feel comfortable riding a bike on Midvale or Gayley as those streets are currently constituted. The concept in designating these alternative streets as bike routes would be to make them more inviting for bike riding. But we are better off applying such effort to Westwood Blvd which already has the cycling presence to justify it.

Fourth, continuing to speak for “most local residents” the WSSM leadership’s presumption that our ranks “have looked to our City’s planning and transportation experts to fashion” a biking alternative to Westwood Blvd is not borne out by the Association’s own survey research. The survey was conducted in June of 2014 and garnered 135 responses from the roughly 3000 homeowners in the neighborhood. Asked to express opposition to or support for “Removal of traffic or parking lanes on busy arterials for dedicated bike lanes”, only 42 respondents ticked opposition to the degree of “important” or “very important”. The number in support of removal was 18 while 59 declined to respond to such a broadly worded question and 16 others who opposed removal did not see the issue as “important” or “very important”. A more telling manifestation of local opinion on bike lanes for Westwood Blvd has been the consistently large turnout of advocates at public hearings conducted by government and civic organizations over the last few years. Of particular note, the Westwood Village Improvement Association (BID) held a series of three public hearings drawing packed houses of supporters and only a few opponents. As a result of that consultation with the community, the BID submitted a request to the city government and Councilmember Koretz that a study be conducted of bike lane designs for Westwood Blvd.

What in truth can be said about most local residents is that we are exasperated by the traffic, and yes, we look to the city’s planning and transportation experts to come up with strategies to mitigate it and to improve safety. Please let us not exclude Westwood Blvd from that process. If any street is in need of a re-envisioning, it is Westwood Blvd. Do let us keep it in the Bicycle Enhanced Network so that the planners can give us a vision of a street that works for people and businesses, not just one that is clogged with motor vehicles.

Respectfully,

Calla Wiemer

Homeowner, Westwood South of Santa Monica

………

Once again, the CHP gets bike law wrong when a San Luis Obispo driver asks for advice on whether to cross the yellow line or slow down to obey the three foot passing law, forgetting that drivers are allowed to pass closer than three feet as long as they slow down and pass safely.

And despite the officer’s assertions, there is no requirement under California law that cyclists have to ride single file — especially not in a bike lane.

Nor are they required to ride to the right in a bike lane under any circumstances, ever.

………

Not surprisingly, the Kalamazoo driver who ran down nine bicyclists has been charged with five counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as four counts of causing serious injury while intoxicated; blood tests showed he was under the influence of an undisclosed substance.

Meanwhile, another survivor has been released from the hospital; two other victims remain hospitalized.

………

Now that’s a close pass. Credit the rider for staying upright rather than overreacting to it.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; unfortunately, I’ve lost any record of who that was.

………

A driver of one of London’s famous black cabs records himself chasing down and apprehending a hit-and-run driver who knocked a cyclist off his bike. Although he must have scared the crap out of all the other riders as he cut in and out of a bike lane to catch up to the fleeing driver.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

………

Yesterday there was a bike attached to this lock on Hollywood Blvd; today there isn’t. A reminder to buy a quality lock, and lock your bike securely.

And register the damn thing, already.

SAMSUNG

………

Lael Wilcox smashes the women’s record to win the Trans Am race across the US. The Alaskan cyclist becomes the first woman and the first American to win the solo, unsupported 4,200 mile race, finishing in 18 days.

Not to be confused with the better known, fully supported RAAM, going on now.

………

Local

Organizers of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets event say it may have to be postponed if unhealthy air quality caused by the San Gabriel Complex fire doesn’t improve. Let’s hope not; the logistics of arranging another date with seven separate cities could prove challenging.

Universal announces plans to reorient their production facilities, including making way for a park and the previously announced extension of the LA River bike path through their property.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says city council committee meetings are Dante’s tenth circle of hell; but in this case, a successful one, as the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Committee votes to formulate a bike plan to improve safety and connect with other cities in the area.

LADOT reminds everyone to submit their rides and other activities to the department’s calendar of upcoming bike events. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have our own list of bike events.

A British cyclist takes a “blockbuster” ride through the San Gabriels before making his way up Mt. Baldy.

 

State

Now that’s more like it. Orange police impound 16 high-end cars for street racing after a GoPro shows one that hit a bike rider was traveling at 50 mph, rather than 25 mph as the driver claimed. It’s also a reminder to always assume you’re injured following a collision; the cyclist initially said he wasn’t hurt, but later found out he had a broken clavicle and finger, as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

A bighearted Tustin cop buys a new adult tricycle for a woman with cerebral palsy after hers was stolen last month.

San Clemente plans a number of changes to improve bike safety, including a two-way bikeway on El Camino Real, sharrows on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and buffered bike lanes on Avenida Pico.

Palm Springs police are trying to identify a thief who stole an $1,800 bicycle; fortunately, the bike was eventually recovered.

The family of Ventura teenager Jonathan Hernandez files a wrongful death suit against the tow truck driver who kept going after hitting him as he rode his bike last February, leaving him in the road to be struck by another driver, who also fled the scene. The Ventura County DA still hasn’t filed any charges against the driver, who has close business ties with city and county, and the Ventura PD. Leaving us to wonder once again if the DA is justice challenged when it comes to traffic victims.

Tragic news from San Francisco, as two bike riders were killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents. A suspect was arrested in one crash in which a driver ran a red light before striking the rider, while a woman was killed by a speeding driver who hit her bike head-on in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Davis approves 36 housing units to provide funding for a bike path, even though the city is having trouble negotiating a necessary easement.

A Sacramento paper offers suggestions on taking the train to ride Bay Area bike trails.

 

National

VeloNews looks at a form of arterial disease that is increasingly affecting cyclists, including pro racer Joe Dombrowsky.

HuffPo offers five tips for better bicycling.

Bicycling provides nine tips from readers on how to get your family and friends hooked on bike riding.

An Illinois teacher and her husband were killed when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year old boy, who turned out to be one of her former students.

An unlicensed and uninsured Louisville KY driver faces two murder charges for running down three girls who were standing in a bike lane; he had a BAC two and a half times the legal limit following the crash.

It’s back to the drawing board for New York’s DOT, as the debate over bike lanes in the city’s Clinton Hill neighborhood was won by the side that yelled the most. And needless to say, it wasn’t the bike riders.

A $4,200 e-cargo bike races a New York subway.

A pair of medical professionals say a contentious bike lane on a Charleston SC bridge would enhance livability and health; evidently, you don’t have to convince local bicyclists.

 

International

A Montreal writer says vehicular cycling is dead, even if it isn’t.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the research behind bike helmets, concluding that whether you wear one or not is up to you.

Australia’s Canberra region finally makes it illegal to throw things at bike riders. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone here.

An Aussie writer discovers bicycling can help with grief and depression after his own father died of cancer.

 

Finally…

Evidently, not even the dead are safe from bike thieves. Who needs wheels when your bike can have spider legs?

And no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the bicycle.

But he probably wishes he did.

 

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