Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: An early endorsement for state senate, registration gets bikes back, and OCTA swims upstream

Getting a jump on next year’s elections, the Speaker of the California Assembly has endorsed former representative Steven Bradford for the state senate in next year’s elections.

Toni Adkins joins former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Senator Robert Hertzberg and Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez in endorsing Bradford.

And me, too.

Bradford is a bicyclist himself, and has worked in the legislature to improve safety for cyclists. Including sponsoring the first two attempts at passing a stronger version of the new three-foot passing law, which cleared the legislature before being vetoed by Gov. Brown.

It’s early in the game. But Steven Bradford has my unqualified support, having already proven himself to be an effective legislator.

And one of the good guys.

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This is why I keep pushing the Bike Index bicycle registration and stolen bike reporting available at the top of this page.

In just the last two weeks, the site has helped 11 stolen bikes find their way back home to their owners.

It’s free, period. To register, report a theft, or check a bike against the list of ones reported stolen in the area.

And it could make all the difference if someone makes off with yours.

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Just a week before the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish hurts his shoulder when it’s whacked with a camera by a too-close fan. Victory could be in the cards for Aussie rider Nathan Haas — literally — while Chris Froome risks being upstaged by his cat.

 

London’s Mail looks at how to get away with doping these days. Although that may not be necessary, if you can just get a support vehicle to follow you; a new study says that can be enough to affect the outcome of a race.

And writer for ESPN says women’s sports are boring and not worth watching; not surprisingly, women’s cyclists disagree. As does anyone who has watched women’s cycling for more than five minutes, or plans to watch the US take on Germany in today’s Women’s World Cup match.

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Local

Ding dong, LaBonge is gone. LA’s most outgoing cheerleader led summer bike rides, but blocked planned bikeways on Lankershim Blvd, as well as 4th and 6th Streets, and was a driving force behind the unsafe and pedestrian-unfriendly design recently adopted for the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for a Westwood bikeshare hub to give students greater access to LA. Although they will still need safe places to ride.

CiclaValley looks at Sunday’s successful LA River Ride. I had planned to be there myself, but my health issues knocked me on my ass all day.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Richard McKinnon of Safe Streets Santa Monica about bringing data to street safety discussions. His group mapped 9,600 collisions over a 10-year period, and discovered less than fifty caused by cyclists.

Police bust a bike riding burglar perusing potentially purloin-able property in a subterranean SaMo garage.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered minor injuries after he’s accused of running a red light in an early morning crash. The question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw the victim go through the light. Because no driver would have an incentive to twist the facts, or anything.

A Santa Cruz cyclist really goes the extra mile — or more like a marathon — by riding back and getting his car to drive an injured bike-riding stranger to his home. Then replacing the man’s fluorescent lights and fixing his faucet and electric switches, as well as buying and mounting a new tire for his bike.

A San Francisco cyclist is on a one-woman mission to stop drivers from double parking in bike lanes. Maybe she could come down here next.

Bagdad by the Bay has become Bicyclists by the Bay, to the detriment of those poor, put upon drivers according one SF writer.

Streetsblog asks if a new bike lane in Orinda is the worst bike lane in the world; the lane directs bike riders to go straight between two right turn lanes, almost guaranteeing a high-speed right hook.

Remarkably, two mountain bikers are relatively okay after plunging 150 feet off a Marin County trail in separate incidents nearly seven hours apart, yet somehow landing in the same spot.

 

National

City Lab offers advice on how to hold onto your bike seat. And they take a look at that device developed by Chatanooga police to catch drivers violating the three-foot passing law.

A new bill in Congress would require the DOT to research new technology to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Las Vegas is fighting an epidemic of bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths this year compared to just one last year; four of those have been hit-and-runs. The story advises bicyclists to stay safe by walking across crosswalks, but has anyone ever done a study to determine if that really reduces risk?

Nice piece from Wichita KN, as cyclists surprise a riding buddy who suffered a massive stroke with a custom-made three-wheel ‘bent to get him back on the road. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

LA’s own Swrve is among the bike brands sponsoring musician Ben Weaver’s planned tour around Lake Superior next month.

A Connecticut driver faces a negligent homicide charge after left crossing a cyclist, even though the driver said he never saw him. Although the cops suspect the cyclist may have been speeding, based on nothing but speculation.

A new Delaware bill would encourage transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable economic development.

Boston may be the first proposed Olympic site without a velodrome, since no one seems to want it.

Athletes fight in every sport. But when bicyclists do it at the end of an Massachusetts race, it somehow becomes news.

As Philadelphia has become more bike friendly, surrounding counties have fallen behind.

New York’s Central Park goes partially car-free. Parks are for people, not cars — a lesson the people running Griffith Park still need to learn.

A New York cyclist shoots a TV quiz show, which could go national, from the seat of his bike.

New Orleans plans to narrow the massive neutral ground — aka median, to everyone else — on the city’s Napoleon Ave to make room for a walking path and bike lanes.

 

International

Two cyclists are competing against themselves and each other, riding a combined 150,000 miles in an attempt to break the year record.

An Ottawa writer gets it, saying there’s so much more to bike safety than just wearing a helmet. Note to Metro News: When you show a photo of a bike helmet, a caption saying it’s a bike helmet really isn’t necessary.

A handful of Canadian cities are building protected bike lanes; Montreal leads Saskatoon by 184 km to one.

The owners of a British trucking firm are banned from the business after an unlicensed and uninsured driver killed a cyclist while driving one of their trucks. Too bad we can’t hold business owners accountable like that over here.

A Brit bike rider is convicted of using “racially aggressive language” when a security guard tried to stop him from riding in a mall.

Bicycling could be the answer to providing care givers in rural areas in the UK.

France bans hands-free cell phone headsets, while Paris is making the massive roundabouts at seven major intersections safer for cyclists.

Burundi’s president may be controversial, but at least he bikes the vote. Even if his wife, soldiers and bodyguards had to walk behind him.

Injuries and fatalities blamed on Japanese bike riders have fallen dramatically, but authorities are cracking down on riders because the ratio of fatalities blamed on bicyclists has gone up. So it’s now illegal to hold an umbrella while you ride.

Instead of trying to make a car with two wheels, why not just build a better Korean e-bike?

 

Finally…

Why let facts get in the way, as Donald Trump evidently doesn’t understand the difference between a bike race and a bike ride, even though he used to sponsor one; the former, not the latter. A writer from my home state says bike lanes, potholes and marijuana are all part of a plot to force his city to go car-free; someone should tell him bikes need decent pavement, too.

And a seriously strange video from the Orange County Transportation Authority says don’t be a salmon.

 

Morning Links: Statewide hit-and-run alert bill in trouble; Gil Cedillo shares the outrage at tragedy he helped cause

As we noted last week, today is the last day to voice your support for the proposed California hit-and-run alert system before Tuesday’s vote in the state senate.

The bill faces unexpected opposition from the CHP, which evidently favors letting fleeing drivers get away with it.

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Boyonabike says the death of a bike rider in Friday’s Highland Park hit-and-run is another outrage. As was the cancellation of the road diet that might have saved him; Richard Risemberg blames city council overreach for keeping our streets dangerous.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was single-handedly responsible for that cancellation, says he shares the outrage over this tragedy, and suggests we have to make better choices.

Let’s hope he takes his own advice.

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Looks like LA had a big turnout for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride.

LAist offers all the NSFW photos you could want, although the best photo might just be a mirror image; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer describes what it’s like to ride buck naked, while Breitbart doesn’t seem to get it — or the difference between #pdx and #lax, for that matter.

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An Aussie site looks at the big four in the upcoming Tour de France, which kicks off on Independence Day. Ours, not theirs.

Vincenzo Nibali is on a mission to defend his title, while some seem to question Chris Froome’s mental fortitude. In the absence of sprinter Marcel Kittel, it should be Mark Cavendish’s time to shine. And a parcel service offers an infographic explaining the tour’s logistics.

A team of Baltimore cyclists bike like a girl over 3,000 miles across the US while setting a team RAAM record.

Thankfully, the Danish cyclist critically injured in a collision while competing in the Race Across America is showing some improvement. Something is seriously wrong when someone can’t come to this country to compete without an American driver putting his life in jeopardy.

And UCI, cycling’s governing body, is seriously out of control as they fine an amateur racer for tweeting his objections about a lack of water and neutral support at the amateur national championships, where several cyclists succumbed to heat stroke.

Maybe someone should fine UCI for risking the safety of their riders.

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Local

Evidently, California’s police chiefs don’t want you to see what really happened when Gardena police fatally shot an unarmed man whose brother’s bike had been stolen.

 

State

The LA Times’ David Lazarus asks why bike riders aren’t entitled to free air at gas stations, like motorists are.

The Orange County Register explains how to report bad or hostile drivers to the DMV.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your stolen bike back, including reporting the theft for free with Bike Index. Which you can do right here; you can also register it before it’s stolen, which is a lot smarter.

One cyclist finds serenity riding the Columbia River Gorge outside Portland, while another loses his life there after losing control of his bike on a descent.

Apparently, Albuquerque bikes climb light poles.

Denver police say if you steal a bike, it just might be one of theirs; over 20 would-be thieves have taken their GPS-equipped bait so far. On the other hand, Georgia sheriff’s deputies go low tech by using scent dogs to track a 15-year old thief.

An Iowa City paper asks if removing traffic lanes can curb aggressive driving and promote bicycling. That would be, yes.

Hats off to a team of Houston cops riding to New York to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, who stopped along the way to save the life of an Alabama driver after he’d gone off the road.

Vermont’s transportation secretary says the recent deaths of three bike riders should be a catalyst to further safety in order to meet the state’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Boston gets a new bike counter. Not that we’re going to get one, but where would we put it if we did?

A Connecticut teen steals a $3,000 bike because he got tired of walking. On the other hand, what kind of idiot who leaves a bike like that unlocked on the porch at two in the morning?

A Bethlehem NY boy gets a new bike as a reward for quick thinking after his is destroyed in a collision where he could have been collateral damage.

 

International

A new Canadian study says those scary reports that bike riding can cause prostate cancer are probably wrong.

A Canadian recreational cyclist offers tips on bicycling etiquette — including advice to ride in the door zone.

A new bike light projects symbols on your back — like a stop sign, turn signals or a bicycle — while you ride; it can also be programed to project your own symbols. Yes, even that one.

Good article from London’s Telegraph, asking why serious bicycling injuries are increasing while fatalities are going down — and at a rate greater than the rise in ridership.

Brit bike riders go back to the future. Or maybe forward to the past.

Someone stole a $100 bike 20 minutes after it was donated to a British charity store. They seem to define racing bike a little oddly, though.

The Times of London looks at Dublin’s plans to ban cars from the city center and convert traffic lanes to segregated bike paths. Riots would break out if anyone suggested that here.

A New Zealand paper says if the country’s planned bikeways do what they’re supposed to, everyone wins.

 

Finally…

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers; six Florida cyclists were injured, one seriously, when his bike slipped on the remains of a roadkill gator. When you’re chasing a bike-riding suspect on foot, be sure to lock your patrol car first.

And when you’re riding with a digital scale, meth and heroin on your bike, put some damn lights on it. And don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And don’t crash into pole trying to get away.

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It has nothing to do with bicycling. But just thought I’d share the view out our window last night.

Dusk-6-28

 

Weekend Links: Bikeshare finally coming to LA, and fighting among ourselves won’t make bicycling to grow

It looks like bikeshare is finally coming to Los Angeles.

According to Streetsblog, Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved a contract for the first phase of the program, starting with 1,000 bikes in Downtown Los Angeles before hopefully spreading to other parts of the city.

Metro selected Bicycle Transit Systems, operator of Philadelphia’s Indego system. And they pinkie swear the system will be interoperable with the bikeshares in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

The LADOT Bike Blog says Metro’s goal is to allow rentals using a TAP card, so it becomes an extension of the transit system. And calls bikeshare an ideal fit for LA.

Which is true, as long as we have the infrastructure network in place to keep riders safe. And that currently exists only in DTLA.

Then again, this isn’t the first time it’s been promised.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica has announced their proposed rate structure, ranging from $6 for a one-hour rental to $25 a month for one hour per day of riding. Annual passes start at $119, or $79 for SaMo residents; Santa Monica College students get a discount at just $47 a year.

Looks like I may have to go back to college.

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Mobility Lab says if we want people to like bicyclists, we all need to slow down, lose our helmets and spandex and buy cruiser bikes.

Screw that.

Despite what some have to say, we won’t win any battles if we turn on ourselves, and say one way to ride a bike is right and every other way is wrong.

We should expect everyone to ride courteously and safely.

Beyond that, there is nothing inherently wrong with riding fast for sport, just as there is nothing wrong with a moderately paced ride to work or a leisurely cruise along the beach.

And there is nothing wrong with dressing for the kind of riding you do, whether that means Lycra, jeans, shorts or a dress.

Our strength comes from working together to support all forms of bicycling, by every kind of rider. Demonizing one form of riding and dividing bicycling into various camps is the best way to ensure we conquer ourselves.

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Long Beach-based bike advocate extraordinaire Charlie Gandy goes car free after his trusty Jeep dies.

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The National Brotherhood of Cyclists is attempting to band bike advocacy groups together to bring equity to the front of the movement.

Speaking of which, there will be a Ghost Bike Ride for Justice in South LA Saturday evening.

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The US amateur and junior cycling championships will come to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe next week.

VeloNews talks with Ian Crane, the pro rider who nearly died after a gut-wrenching crash through the window of a race vehicle during last year’s USA Pro Challenge.

Pro cyclist John Degenkolb says dopers are still thriving, and bike racing will never be 100% clean.

Or any other sport, for that matter.

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Local

Los Angeles residents continue to drive less.

LA’s Topanga Creek Bicycles is honored as the small business of the year for California’s 27th Senate District.

A Santa Monica traffic safety group says an analysis of traffic collisions over a 10-year period shows bikes aren’t to blame for road injuries, cars are.

A Manhattan Beach man plans to ride 3,800 miles from one Manhattan Beach to another,

 

State

San Diego cyclists may be down but not out after a kick in the pants by the local Association of Governments.

An Indio cop says he fatally shot a bike rider who hadn’t threatened him because he was mourning the death of a fellow officer. Oh, well okay, then.

Wealthy Rancho Mirage once again votes to block a planned 50-mile bike path around the Coachella Valley.

A hit-and-run cyclist flees the scene after crashing into an 81-year old woman in a San Francisco intersection. Jerk.

A Sacramento columnist calls for a ban on sidewalk riding after she and her husband are nearly hit by the sort of rider who probably wouldn’t obey it anyway. Meanwhile, a DC sidewalk rider asks why all the hate?

Davis is installing solar powered bike lockers to encourage cyclists to leave their bikes at the station.

 

National

ESPN discovers women’s bike polo. And yes, it is a badass sport.

Seven people suffering from Parkinson’s are riding 464 miles across the Rockies as part of a 30-member Davis Phinney Foundation team.

A Montana fixie-riding bike commuter experiences firsthand what it’s like to be hit by a stop sign-running driver.

A new Texas mom on her first outing after giving birth saves the life of a bike rider after noticing him slumped on the side of the road with a massive heart attack.

A local website asks how bike-friendly Louisville KY really is after the city gets bumped up to Silver status.

Evidently, aggressive cyclists are the biggest problem in the Twin Cities, as a writer offers up six ways to tell you’re a bike jerk. And London, too.

The family of a bike rider who was killed in a New Jersey amateur race settles a lawsuit against the organizers for $7.1 million; the victim collided with a race referee while riding at 30 mph.

Cute story from Philadelphia, as a young kid on a bike joins a couple of bike cops out on parole, then gets a tour of a fire station.

A bike rider once again beats a driver and a bus rider in a race to see who can commute faster in Savannah GA.

An LSU fan site says a football player should be banished from the program for beating a man and punching his girlfriend. But evidently, stealing a bike was okay.

 

International

McDonald’s introduces to-go packaging specially designed for use on bikes overseas. So what are we, chopped liver?

A Canadian boy suffering from a brain tumor gets a new bike after his was stolen.

Calgary’s new bike network comes in under budget after engineers scrap plans for bike signal lights; even so, ridership is already 25% above projections.

Caught on video: Sniggering Brit hooligans film themselves pushing a cyclist off his bike from a passing car. Hopefully authorities will show them just how stupid they were to post it online — let alone do it.

A London cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s mugged for his bike.

An English TV presenter says bike riding is London is too dangerous, and cars should be banned from the city center. Getting rid of the blind spot on large trucks could help, too.

A Brit rider making a comeback in racing after 16 years off the bike offers advice on how to stay married and ride your bike, too.

A 19-year old British bike rider is two-thirds of the way through his attempt to become the youngest person to ride around the world.

A Dublin bike rider is searching for the Good Samaritan who drove her in search of a bike shop after she double flatted in a fall.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A bike-riding London mayor tells an angry cabbie to “fuck off and die.” The London Press freaks out over a texting cyclist riding with no hands in relative safely.

And London’s Telegraph offers a tongue-in-cheek test to see just how much of a cycling psycho you really are.

Apparently, if I’m not a bike messenger, I should be.

 

Morning Links: LA City Council does the wrong thing, Metro picks a bike share vendor, and Sir Bradley didn’t cheat

As expected, the LA City Council voted unanimously to do the wrong thing.

The council voted on Tuesday to approve a deadly one-sidewalk design for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which is scheduled to be remade in a seismic upgrade.

Needless to say, bike, pedestrian and safety advocates haven’t exactly welcomed the decision.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton asks who we should blame for the next death on the bridge — and proceeds to name names — while CiclaValley looks at Tuesday’s wrong-headed decision to throw children crossing the bridge under the bus.

Perhaps literally.

Richard Risemberg calls the council the city’s own death panel for acting to preserve deadly streets and our auto-centric past. The LACBC says the city failed to live up to its ideals of a safe and sustainable future with the council’s unanimous vote.

Then again, after councilmembers quashed bikeways on Westwood Blvd, North Figueroa, Lankershim and 6th and 4th Streets, just to name a few, what else is new?

And MyNewsLA says bike activists booed the decision. Because no one would ever advocate for walking, right?

My take is that the city council has knowingly voted in a dangerous, and possibly illegal, design that will needlessly put Angelenos at risk for decades to come.

Illegal because it may violate the Americans With Disabilities Act by preventing people with handicaps from being able to cross the bridge without using the bike lanes. And because the unanimous vote — after the Public Works Committee sent the design to the full council without a recommendation — suggests that the decision was made in a backroom deal before the public session, in violation of state law.

The vote was rushed through, largely on false pretenses, before outgoing Councilmember Tom LaBonge leaves the council at the end of the month. And before David Ryu, who publicly supported sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, could come in.

It’s a shameful decision.

One that will undoubtedly cause future generations to curse those who left them with a dangerous design they may not be able to fix. And one that flies in the face of the city’s Vision Zero goals contained in the soon-to-be-adopted Mobility Plan.

The question is, where was our supposedly progressive mayor and our new rock star LADOT general manager, who both seemed to vanish just as strong leadership was called for?

Our civic leaders seem to be good at talking when it comes to improving safety and livability.

Just not so good at actually doing it.

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The LACBC’s Central LA Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors are meeting at 6:30 tonight at the Hollywood Branch Library, 1623 N. Ivar Ave.

Among the topics up for discussion,

  • Hollywood Great Streets Challenge Grants– Up to $20,000 Grant to pilot creative projects on Hollywood Blvd between La Brea and Gower
  • Citywide Action Alerts for Mobility Plan 2035 #MobilityMonday – The City’s Mobilty Plan 2035 is going to be on vote at the full Council very soon. LACBC is launching a citywide campaign to support the plan. We need your help to spread the word out! Learn more about the campaign at the meeting and get involved!!

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Looks like there’s white smoke in Metro’s search for a vendor for the planned LA bike share system. And no, it’s no one you’ve ever heard of.

And no, it won’t be compatible with systems being installed in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

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In today’s cheating racing news, charges that Sir Bradley cheated in setting the new hour record last Sunday have been soundly rejected, while Italy’s Southeast cycling team faces a death sentence after a fourth failed doping test linked to the Giro.

Dell says the US Olympic women’s cycling team competes with data, not doping, while an on-bike mid-race shoe change saved the day in the women’s Amgen ToC.

Lance questions critics who question his welcome as he returns to France next month to raise funds to fight leukemia; he risks financial ruin when Floyd Landis’ whistleblower case goes to trial.

And sadly, a Kansas racer was killed in a collision while warming up for the state time trial championships; she was a bronze age group winner in the national cyclocross championships.

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Local

The Boulevard Sentinel’s bike lane hating Tom Topping just can’t resist. After listing all the improvements that have made Eagle Rock more livable, he blames bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard for creating largely imaginary traffic snarls, even though the road diet that created those bike lanes is one of the primary reasons behind that better livability.

Santa Monica Forward says our streets are for everyone. I wish they’d tell that to the LA City Council.

Hats off to Pasadena for the city’s first green bike lane across an intersection, one of the first in the LA area. Meanwhile, Pasadena-based bike lawyer Thomas Forsyth has a spiffy new website.

The new Redondo Beach bikeways on Harbor and Herondo will have their official grand opening on Saturday, although not everyone is happy that bikes are still allowed on the street next to them. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

 

State

BikeSD says human lives should not be the cost of doing business.

Carlsbad police post a trove of recovered bikes online. With a little luck, yours might be one of them.

A 72-year old La Jolla resident is riding in the Race Across America, more commonly known as RAAM, as part of a four-rider relay team.

This is what happens when city officials actually give a damn. San Francisco will limit turns onto busy Market Street to protect cyclists and pedestrians, as well as those in motor vehicles.

Folsom residents call for improvements in a dangerous intersection, too late for an 11-year old boy who was killed trying to cross it on his bike. Why does someone usually have to die before anything gets done?

 

National

The Bike League announces their latest list of Bike Friendly Communities; Rancho Cordova is the only California city added to the list.

Bike Magazine says designer Roxy Lo changed the mountain bike industry. For the better.

In another study from the University of Duh, it turns out lighted streets help reduce severe bike vs car collisions. Who knew being more visible could make a difference?

Good idea. The Spinlister bike rental service allows bike riders to try out bikes on an extended basis before making a buying decision.

The sons of a Las Vegas man killed in a hit-and-run by a suspected drunk driver talk about their loss; it was just the second of the 22-year old driver’s three hit-and-run wrecks that night.

Evidently, Leonardo DiCaprio is one of us; a celeb website recounts his love of blondes and bikes, including New York’s Citi Bikes.

It looks like bike lanes are disappearing in bike friendly NYC.

Caught on video: A Delaware trooper just a tad out of his jurisdiction threatens a bike rider with his badge and gun when the governor’s car blocks a DC bike lane.

Twenty-three firefighters and police officers are riding 650 miles through Florida to honor first-responders who have fallen in the line of duty.

Seriously, slowing traffic in Cape Canaveral isn’t rocket science.

 

International

Toronto also waited until it was too late for a bike riding architect. Meanwhile, the city’s airport says a $2,500 cargo bike should never have been tossed in the trash. Seriously, would they have thrown away a car, even if they thought might have been abandoned?

A woman is offering a reward for the hit-and-run bike rider who knocked her down on a London sidewalk.

Eco-friendly cargo bike delivery firms are popping up all over Great Britain.

Dublin suggests a “most radical” plan to evict cars from the city center, while the mayor of Paris ups the ante by proposing a car-free city center and 100-million Euros for new bike lanes.

Hit-and-run is a worldwide plague, as a cowardly SUV driver sped away after killing a 15-year old Mumbai bike rider.

Afghanistan is experiencing a gender revolution, two wheels at a time.

 

Finally…

A writer says only minivan-driving moms should decide whether bike lanes get built, evidently because families would never, ever ride bikes. Somehow, Bellingham police decided one naked bike rider was apparently more naked than the other 279 naked bike riders.

And if your dog trips up a bike rider in New York, it’s not your fault. But if you’re the bike rider, you’re screwed.

 

Weekend Links: Koretz keeps fighting Westwood bike lanes, while Ryu fights for Glendale-Hyperion sidewalks

At least Daily Bruin is on the story.

While the rest of the media ignores the city’s Mobility Plan — let alone Councilmember Paul Koretz’ attempt to wrest Westwood Blvd from it — UCLA’s student newspaper reports on Koretz’ unceasing efforts to remove bike lanes, if not bikes, from the boulevard.

After singlehandedly killing planned bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — along with the study that insiders say would have shown no additional risk or traffic delays — Koretz has now confirmed to the Daily Bruin that he wants to remove plans for a protected bike lane between the UCLA campus and Wellworth Ave, one block below Wilshire.

To justify his efforts, he sites fears that bike lanes in this area would remove parking spaces and turn lanes. Even though current plans don’t call for removing a single lane or traffic spot.

Is that smoke rising from his Dockers?

He also expresses fear that emergency response times could be delayed by the imaginary removal of those parking spots and turn lanes. But without a single traffic study or input from the fire or police departments to support it.

Or anyone else other than the wealthy Westwood homeowners and struggling business owners who seem determined to keep bikes from besmirching the city-owned street they seem to claim ownership to.

Never mind that people on bikes will continue to ride the boulevard in ever increasing numbers as long as it remains the only direct route between the Westwood offices, the UCLA campus and the coming Westwood Expo Line State.

“For the sake of the quality of life of that part of Westwood Village, and the safety of those who travel to and through it, that section should be removed from the plan,” Koretz said in the statement.

This despite numerous studies showing that protected bike lanes improve the quality of life, are good for business, result in higher property values and increase safety for everyone on the roadway as much as 58% — or up to 90% for riders on the type of lanes he’s trying to squash.

Koretz concludes that he continues to work for “safer and less disruptive” routes for the over 3,000 people who bike to campus everyday.

Just like OJ continues to search for the real killer.

And with the same results.

……..

Newly elected City Councilmember David Ryu comes out strongly in favor of a walkable and bikeable Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in a letter to the Public Works Committee.

Of course, the question is whether his opinion will matter in the apparent effort to rush a flawed designed through the council before he can take office.

The matter is scheduled to go before the full council at 10 am Tuesday, before Ryu takes office at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, KPCC picks up the story.

They caused a brief Twitter flap by reporting LADOT Executive Officer Bruce Gillman’s comment that Vision Zero is “not a citywide initiative.” Which left many to wonder, myself included, just what level of death was acceptable in which neighborhoods.

The @LADOTofficial Twitter account later explained that what Gilman meant was that the Strategic Plan’s Vision Zero policy did in fact cover all of Los Angeles, but has not been formally adopted yet.

Well okay, then.

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At least one LA visionary isn’t very visionary when it comes to bike lanes.

The founder of Zócalo Public Square says building a bike lane to the farmers’ market won’t build a great city, preferring a focus on ports and jobs. Never mind that many low-income workers rely on bikes to get to those jobs.

And evidently, the mayor’s Great Streets program is a secret plot to forever ruin the City of Angels by installing bike lanes.

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Maybe John Kerry’s bike riding skills have been unfairly maligned. Iranian news outlets claim that instead of clipping a curb while riding his bike, Kerry was actually injured in an assassination attempt during a secret meeting with ISIS.

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Britain’s Bradley Wiggins takes on the hour record on Sunday.

Business Insider takes a look at the bike he’ll use, while a brief video from the Guardian looks back at the history of the hour record.

Wiggo’s effort is scheduled to be carried live on YouTube — though perhaps available in the UK only — while the Cycling Fan website promises to stream it online.

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2015-COLT-Flyer-smallThere’s a lot going on this weekend in our local bike world.

Long Beach host’s it’s first ciclovía on Saturday, including free shuttle buses; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers advice for first timers, while the Militant Angeleno reprises his guide to the city.

Glendale’s Jewel City Ride rolls this Sunday.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride visits Carson on the 7th.

And Sunday marks the return of Ride the Colt, the Chatsworth Orange Line Tour offering family friendly walks and rides up to 19 miles.

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Local

LA Street Services tests out a mini-street sweeper to clean the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

Joel Epstein looks at how and why CicLAvia works.

Amazing how the neighborhoods north and west of traditionally bike-unfriendly USC have a 20% bike mode share. Imagine how high that could go around bike-friendly UCLA if a certain councilmember who claims to support bicycling actually did.

Concerns are rising that the bike share program in Santa Monica — and Long Beach — will be incompatible with Metro’s planned program projected to eventually spread countywide. That can has been kicked down the road since discussion of the SaMo and Long Beach plans first began.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is hosting a series of bike skills workshops every Thursday and Saturday through August 1st. And they want your feedback on how they can be more involved in the cycling community. Be sure to tell ‘em you found the survey on BikinginLA.

 

State

More on the Ventura County Grand Jury saying more needs to be done to improve bike safety, while pointing the finger at drivers who don’t understand bike laws.

Santa Barbara’s Sonos pays its employees to bike to work; 60 – 80 rides earns a new $600 bike, with $5 a day after that.

A San Francisco cop fights bike theft via Twitter.

Google now has their own bike plan.

 

National

Now you can get a heads-up display on your sunglasses telling you when and how much to eat. Because apparently, we’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 100 or so years.

A writer for Vice offers advice on how to be a cyclist without being a dick. Although it usually seems to take one to write about how to not be one.

The shooting of a popular cyclist near my hometown could be the work of a serial sniper.

A conservative Canadian cyclist says Wisconsin’s governor isn’t waging war on bicyclists, and we should all just ride on the damn sidewalk like he does.

Clean Technica says bike commuting makes you healthy and happy. I’m still waiting on the wealthy and wise part, though.

Life is cheap in Texas, as a teenage driver gets deferred adjudication for killing a cyclist after allegedly blowing through a stop light at twice the speed limit; if he completes probation, he won’t even have a conviction on his record. His victim, on the other hand, will still be dead.

Nice story from Illinois, as a cop raises $1,700 through a crowdfunding site to buy a cyclist a new bike after his was destroyed in the collision that nearly took the rider’s life. Meanwhile, a New York rider gets a used bike from a Daily News reader after hers was stolen.

A Michigan judge makes the punishment fit the crime, banning a woman from owning or using a cell phone for two years for killing a bike-riding mother of two while driving distracted; however, she only gets 90 days in jail. Something tells me the cell phone ban will be the tougher punishment.

New protected bike lanes in Pittsburgh recorded over 24,000 trips in May. Just imagine how many trips a safe route through Westwood could record.

A suspected Philadelphia-area robber was killed when he fell off his getaway bicycle and was hit by a pursuing police car.

A bike-riding Miami boy was collateral damage when three gunmen fired on a crowded basket ball court. The 10-year old victim was shot in the leg; fortunately, no one else was hurt.

 

International

Before you dress for your next spandex-clad ride, considers these eight bike kit fashion faux pas.

In a story that is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, an 80-year old Montreal man will ride the same route he walked as a child looking for his parents after surviving Auschwitz.

The safety in numbers effect seems to be working in London as injuries fall while ridership climbs; the city tests smart bike lanes to help protect riders from dumb drivers.

The founder of a London start-up explains why she made a laserlight projection to make bikes more visible, while a candidate for London mayor says he doesn’t feel safe riding through the city at rush hour.

This is why more women don’t ride. When a Brit TV host promotes women’s bicycling, a London paper focuses on her ass. Literally.

A new UK study from the University of Duh shows skipping breakfast can affect your athletic performance later in the day.

A cyclist rides a 1910 Tour de France route through five Pyrenees passes, fixed and brakeless.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Bay are teaming up to make a movie about the Rwandan national bike team founded by Jock Boyer, the first American to ride in the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Wait, you mean bike riders aren’t the only ones who blow through red lights? Now cars aren’t the only ones with air bags. It can only be a matter of time before newspapers report on bike riders who failed to don an inflatable vest.

And an Olympic track cyclist manages to make toast with just the power of his legs. If he can make bacon and coffee to go with it, we’ll be on to something.

 

 

Morning Links: Public Works says don’t ask us on Glendale-Hyperion; Ventura Grand Jury says cars are dangerous

Chances are, the fix is in.

The city council Public Work’s committee votes to send the one-sided sidewalk plan for the Glendale-Hyperion bridge to the full city council without a recommendation, as committee members complain about the rush to approve the plan before outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge leaves office at the end of the month.

As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton notes in the article above, the council’s history of deferring to councilmembers’ whims preferences for items in their district means we’ll probably see yet another unanimous vote of the council in favor of the auto-centric design, while members pay lip service to the need to protect and serve the non-driving public.

If the council leadership has any real integrity, it will move to delay a vote until David Ryu, the new 4th District representative, takes office.

Ryu is on record as preferring a road diet on the bridge, with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides, rather then the unsafe design currently being rushed through.

………

The Ventura County Grand Jury looked into bike safety, and concluded what we already know — most bike fatalities are the result of driver errors, and that the public needs to be educated on bike law.

Oh, and helmets.

Speaking of which, Bell has introduced the first sub-$100 helmet designed to protect against rotational injuries.

………

Contador says accusations that he used a hidden motor in his wheel to win the Giro are ridiculous. ‘Cause he’d never cheat or anything, right?

Pro cyclist Roman Kreuziger denies the doping charges that could lead to a four year ban if he loses his appeal. And Brit cycling champ Nicole Cooke says there’s a moral vacuum in sports administration, as Lance and the current FIFA scandal shows, but women’s bike racing doesn’t have to follow suit.

On the other hand, Eater says coffee is cycling’s new performance-enhancing drug.

Wait, new? Seriously?

………

Local

The LA Mobility Plan moves on to city council committee hearings this month, after surviving attempts to have the Westwood bike lanes removed at the Planning Commission.

The LA River bike path continues to grow in the San Fernando Valley, piece by short piece.

The new semi-green bike lanes on Westwood Blvd on the UCLA campus have plenty of markings, but don’t go very far. Councilmember Paul Koretz is bravely leading the fight to keep those bike lanes from besmirching any pavement off campus.

The 57-year old grandfather riding cross-country to honor his wife, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, and raise funds for cancer research rolls into Santa Monica.

A letter to the SGV Tribune shows there’s always some indignorant grouch who just doesn’t get CicLAvia, no matter how popular it is with the people who actually get off their ass and go.

Rick Risemberg says taking the train from CicLAvia on Sunday shows how easily bikes can solve the first mile/last mile problem.

Long Beach approves $2 million to buy bikes for the city’s upcoming bike share program.

The Daily News reviews the bicycle-themed Pedalers Fork in Calabasas.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Tamika Butler writes about the 545-mile journey that lead her to become the Executive Director of SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group. Meanwhile, the LACBC offers more information on those free bike safety classes being offered around the county this summer. Did I mention the classes are free?

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update on the state of bike advocacy in California.

Just Another Cyclist reviews Neil Hanson’s Pilgrim Wheels, subject of our recent Bike Week giveaway.

A Santa Ana city councilperson helps lead the push for active transportation improvements in Orange County; she says she won’t ride on the streets after being hit by cars twice.

San Diego cyclists are urged to speak up on Friday to preserve plans for protected bike lanes on the city’s most dangerous corridor.

Ralph Durham forwards word that Sunnyvale has released a draft feasibility study for the proposed Four City Steven’s Creek Trail; comments are due by the 10th. And let’s all wish Ralph auf wiedersehen for his move to Munich next month.

A Bay Area lawyer says bike riders who hit pedestrians could be covered for liability by their homeowners (or renters) insurance.

A Truckee driver was cited for injuring a bike rider in a left cross. As he should be, for a change.

 

National

A website lists seven high-tech inventions for modern cyclists. Including the Camelback Podium Ice water bottle, which I can personally vouch for; just add a little ice and it keeps water cold for hours on hot summer day.

An Oregon cop responding to an emergency call hit a bike rider, who was not seriously injured; the officer admitted going through a red light, but somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist despite going just five mph. Really?

Turns out Alaskans don’t need an expensive new bike to compete in a triathlon. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A salmon cyclist gets the death penalty in Phoenix, as the arrest of a wrong way bike rider on outstanding warrants starts a chain of events that leads to his death behind bars.

Cleveland gets a library book bike of its own this summer.

Life is cheap in Michigan, as a 23-year old driver plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge for killing a cyclist while driving distracted. So what the hell does it take to make it a felony?

The New Orleans edition of the World Naked Bike Ride rolls through Bourbon Street next weekend. The only place where a line of naked bike riders isn’t likely to seem odd.

A Louisiana man is in critical condition after falling off his bike while riding next to train tracks; he was unable to completely roll off the tracks before a train came.

 

International

A UK town builds a new cycle path to improve safety; a local official riding it immediately falls into a ditch.

A Scottish woman is convicted of killing an experienced cyclist while driving distracted; she deleted the record of her cell phone call in an attempt to hide the evidence. Meanwhile, fellow countrywoman Town Mouse writes about how good it feels to be back on her own bike after a visit to the States.

A drunk father of six is killed when he mistakenly rode his bike onto a busy Irish freeway; a sign warning cyclists not to enter may have been removed for construction work.

A Norwegian study shows e-bikes encourage people to ride more, but cost more than most people are willing to pay.

A writer for the Guardian takes part in a boozy, costumed mountain bike ride through the south of France.

A South African court rules a electric company is liable for the injuries suffered by a cyclist who rode into a low-hanging power line. Warning, the description of his fellow riders trying to save him from electrocution is simply horrifying.

 

Finally…

Apparently, newspapers can drive cars Down Under, but have trouble seeing darkly dressed bike riders. A Czech mountain bike maker says women don’t want to push their limits or feel that adrenalin rush; this is what happens when a company fails to understand their target market.

And evidently, Hillary Clinton is after the bike vote.

 

Morning Links: KPCC calls LaBonge a bike advocate, CicLAvia rolls, Kerry breaks a leg and Hövding sort of works

KPCC offered an hour long show to celebrate bicycling in Los Angeles over the weekend.

Okay, 45 minutes without station breaks.

It’s worth a listen; Cyclelicious breaks down the program, and archives the full hour if you’d rather hear the whole thing.

But in a major WTF moment, they interviewed outgoing Councilmember Tom LaBonge, discussing his support for bicycling, while acknowledging in passing that some bike advocates would disagree with that assessment.

Or how about, virtually all bike advocates would disagree.

While LaBonge has been a supporter of recreational riding, including completion of the LA River path, he seems unable to comprehend that some people have an actual need to get from here to there on the streets of LA, on two wheels and in one piece.

Like Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo before him, LaBonge has personally halted plans for vital bikeways contained in the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council.

Which means he was for it before he was against it.

For instance, Lankershim Blvd was supposed to have a bike lane by now.

But LaBonge agreed with at least one neighborhood group that bikes belong on nearby Vineland instead, a quieter street that parallels Lankershim. Although the real issue isn’t giving cyclists a more serene street to ride, but rather, preserving traffic lanes and street parking along the dangerous boulevard.

Never mind bike riders need to go to the same places drivers do, and that shunting them aside merely forces them to ride further and bypass places where they might otherwise do business.

Or that bike lanes have been shown to help calm traffic and improve safety for everyone. And that businesses usually benefit by having a calmer, more walkable and rideable street passing by their storefronts, encouraging people to stop in rather than speed by.

LaBonge is also responsible for the death of the long-planned bike boulevard — excuse me, bike friendly street neighborhood greenway — on 4th Street.

Local residents objected, not to plans for a bike boulevard, but the idea of traffic lights at Highland and Rossmore that would allow riders to cross the busy streets safely, fearing that drivers would use the quiet side street to bypass busier streets on either side.

Instead of explaining that the planned traffic lights would be a demand lights that would only work if someone pushed a button on the side of the road, or that traffic diverters would keep motorists from driving more than a few blocks on 4th — or any of the other options that would have improved safety and livability for everyone along the corridor — LaBonge simply killed the whole thing.

Leaving both bike riders and local residents worse off.

As the program touched on, he’s also one of the prime movers trying to force a pedestrian-unfriendly Glendale-Hyperion bridge through the city council before he leaves office.

And before the less auto-centric David Ryu can replace him.

That’s not to say LaBonge isn’t a likable person, or that he’s not the closest thing to a cheerleader the City of Angels has had in years. In fact, he’d be the perfect choice to replace the late Johnny Grant as the honorary mayor of Hollywood.

But he’s been a mediocre and unpopular councilmember at best, which is one of the primary reasons his protégé Carolyn Ramsay lost to Ryu in the recent council race to replace him.

And he has been the enemy of anyone forced to ride the unwelcoming streets in his district. Something KPCC should have considered before allowing LaBonge to celebrate himself on the air.

Let’s hope Ryu will revive some of those projects LaBonge sent to an early death.

And that KPCC will do something like this again. But talk to a few more real bike advocates first.

……..

Pasadena police estimate attendance at Sunday’s CicLAvia at just 40,000, which would make it the lowest attended of any CicLAvia.

However, as Henry Fung points out, that’s most likely an estimate of the crowd at any given time, rather than the attendance for the full day, as people came and went throughout the day. The actual attendance was probably two or three times that.

The Source offers some truly great photos of the day, as does the Times, although the responses to the Time’s piece are sadly predictable. And while Boyonabike proclaimed the day potentially subversive, his son termed it awesome-tacular.

The next official CicLAvia will take place August 9th with a route along Venice and Washington Boulevards from Culver City to the coast. Hopefully, the redesigned and shortened route will avoid the problems with 2013’s CicLAvia to the Sea, which resulted in bike traffic jams that rivaled the 405 at rush hour.

But if you can’t wait that long, you’re in luck. Because Long Beach is hosting its first ciclovía on Atlantic Avenue this Saturday.

……..

Calbike calls on everyone to call your state legislators to urge support for more active transportation funding.

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Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg while riding in France. Kerry is said to be an exceptional cyclist, even if some people who clearly don’t have a clue say he’s too old to ride a bike; I know some people who might disagree.

The question is what effect his injury will have on current international negotiations, including efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

On the other hand, who goes out for a bike ride with a motorcade, including physician, in tow?

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the second link.

……..

Bike Radar tries out that Hövding inflatable bike non-helmet, which surprisingly enough, seems to actually work.

Although if you watch carefully, the side of her head impacts the mattress before the helmet moves around to protect it. Which could result in serious injury if you don’t happen to fall on bedding.

……..

No surprise from the Giro d’Italia as Contador cruises to an easy victory, setting up a chance to try for rare back-to-back victories in the Giro and Tour de France. The breakout star of the tour has been Astana’s Fabio Aru, who may get a shot at the TdF as a result.

And VeloNews looks at how the young American contingent faired.

……..

Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tonight at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave; you can find tonight’s agenda here. The BAC is the only official voice in the city government for bike riders, even if most LA cyclists don’t even know it exists. Correction: earlier I misidentified the location of the meeting; the address above is the correct location.

Streetsblog is the latest to complain about scofflaw cops parking in the bike lane near the old Parker Center police headquarters.

Architect Michael Maltzan’s squiggle is turning into a new 6th Street Viaduct, complete with circular bike ramps to lift riders up to the crossing while providing views of LA.

Caught on video: The first green-backed sharrows come to Venice.

David Beckham teaches his three-year old daughter how to ride a bike. And without training wheels, no less.

 

State

Orange County rescue teams had a busy day on Sunday, as they came to the aid of three mountain bike riders injured in separate incidents.

A 68-year old Los Angeles woman suffered a serious head injury when she was hit by a cyclist while crossing a street in Del Mar. Let’s hope she makes a full and fast recovery. And always give pedestrians the right-of-way; they’re the only ones on the street more vulnerable than we are.

An Oceanside road diet and roundabout designed to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians has received a third engineering design award. Awards are nice, but the real test is whether it reduces conflicts and collisions.

Competitive mountain biking is spreading throughout California high schools; the Union-Tribune offers a nice look at a budding team from an Escondido high school.

Goldenvoice, the company behind the Coachella music festival, has offered to pay the maintenance costs for the Coachella Valley’s planned 50-mile bike and pedestrian path.

San Luis Obispo police bust a bike burglar in a stolen van after a brief chase; inside they found six high-end bicycles valued at over $40,000 stolen in a break-in at a local bike shop.

San Francisco officials hope to get a change in state law to allow speed cameras to automatically ticket speeding drivers. LA should get behind the bill, as well; we’ll never meet Vision Zero goals if LA drivers continue to be allowed, if not expected, to speed with impunity.

 

National

Okay, so don’t try to fix potholes yourself.

Next City asks when the US will embrace truck side guards to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safer.

Bicycling’s Elly Blue discusses the potentially burning question of how to drink coffee while you ride.

Vox discusses how to get more people biking and walking to work.

Portland cyclists ride to demand no more ghost bikes, while a local website asks if biking in the bike friendly city is getting more dangerous.

Yes, it’s upsetting to get into an argument after crashing into jaywalking pedestrian. But don’t pull out a knife and stab the other man multiple times; a Seattle man faces assault charges for doing exactly that.

A Colorado woman is riding from Denver to Anchorage to raise funds for Nepal earthquake victims.

Wyoming police are on the lookout for a suspected hit-and-run driver who injured a bike rider, but that doesn’t stop him from venting on Facebook. Seriously, anything you say on social media can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Houston cyclists were involved in at least 950 vehicle collisions in a 12-month period since the city approved a three-foot passing law; at least 213 of those were hit-and-run. Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA problem.

A Minnesota driver warns about the dangers of distracted driving, after serving a whole six months for the death of a bike riding mother pulling her two daughters in a bicycle trailer; he’ll serve another three months in each of the next two years.

This is why so-called pranks aren’t funny. A 72-year old Ohio bicyclist was blinded in one eye when he was shot with a paintball gun by a passenger in a passing car; a 20-year old man faces a felony assault charge in the case. This is also one more example why you should always wear eye protection when you ride.

In a bizarre twist of fate, a North Carolina cyclist considers giving up bicycling after he’s the victim of a hit-and-run, five years to the day after he was severely injured in another hit-and-run while riding.

 

International

Sad news from up north, as an impaired British Columbia driver plowed into a group of three cyclists, killing two, as well as a passenger in his own vehicle.

Vancouver’s move to better bike infrastructure has resulted in a doubling in ridership since 2008.

An Edmonton man gets his knickers in a twist after he’s denied entry to a bike co-op on a women and transgender night.

Prepare to get pissed off. An Ottawa judge rules a driver not guilty of hit-and-run because he was… wait for it… too drunk to know he’d hit a bike rider. He also got off on a separate drunk driving charge because police allegedly violated his rights when he was arrested.

English police warn about yet another attempt to injure cyclists by stringing wires at neck level across a bikeway.

A British group is raising funds to put women’s bike racing on TV on a weekly basis.

Caught on video: A road raging Brit driver has a foul mouthed meltdown, threatening to eat a bike rider for breakfast for failing to use a nearly unrideable bikeway. Somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Or maybe lived it.

Apparently not caught on video was the road raging British Brompton rider who grabbed another bicyclist by the throat and pushed him into the bushes.

Maybe it’s time to take a bike tour through the heel of Italy’s boot. Or perhaps you’d prefer to ride along the Danube. Or just retire to ride around the world.

On the other hand, this is the risk we face in today’s world, as a Chinese bike tourist is being held hostage by a Taliban group in Pakistan.

Who knew Dubai was becoming bike friendly? The emirate has constructed 110 miles of cycle tracks spanning the country.

An Aussie woman writes about what it’s like to live with a cyclist and worry about her partner’s safe return. Which is why my wife doesn’t want to know what happens on my rides anymore.

A Japanese prefecture now requires bike riders to carry liability insurance.

Hong Kong cyclists push to make the city bike friendly, while the city seems to move in the opposite direction.

 

Finally…

When a Toronto man left his $2,500 Dutch cargo bike at the airport, a maintenance crew tossed it in the trash; fortunately, a worker rescued it and returned it to its owner. Does a wrist-held smartwatch come under the ban for using hand-held devices while driving?

And yes, riding a bike can be very exciting, as a participant in a UK edition of the World Naked Bike Ride was removed by police for becoming a little too aroused during the event.

 

Morning Links: Koretz reportedly kills Great Streets bike lanes in Westwood Village; new Redondo bike lanes paved

So much for Great Streets.

According to UCLA’s Daily Bruin, the Westwood Community Council discussed removing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the city’s Mobility Plan, despite being unanimously approved by the full city council as part of the 2010 bike plan.

And yes, CD5’s Paul Koretz was one of those councilmembers who voted to adopt the plan.

Yet Koretz has already single-handedly killed bike lanes on Westwood south of Santa Monica Blvd, and now the Daily Bruin reports he’s agreed not to allow the much-needed bike lanes to be painted in Westwood Village, which is scheduled to be part of the Great Streets program.

Even though the plan currently under consideration doesn’t remove a single traffic lane or parking spot from UCLA south to the Expo Line.

Thanks to Koretz, Westwood will continue to fail the thousands of students and faculty who ride to the campus every day, as well as the countless more who will come when the Expo Line opens next year. Not to mention anyone wishing to visit the area’s shops and restaurants by any means other than motor vehicles.

All this from someone who claimed to support implementing the bike plan in his own district. But who has, through his actions, become one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of bicycling and the safety of cyclists on the Westside.

Clearly, the bike plan, which LA bicyclists had to fight for, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

And evidently, neither is a formal approval by the city council.

Maybe what we need is a good lawyer.

……..

VeloNews says pro cycling once again shot itself in the foot by penalizing Richie Porte for accepting a wheel from a member of a competing team when he punctured in the Giro. There’s something wrong when the rules stand in the way of genuine sportsmanship.

Meanwhile, the director of Team Sky wants you to be able to hear radio communications between team directors and riders.

And the Feds say Lance continues to obfuscate, as Olympic champion Nicole Cooke blames the “Cult of Lance Armstrong” for continued doping problems in cycling. Note to Cooke: Pro cyclists doped long before Lance joined the peloton, and many will continue to as long as they think they can get away with it.

……..

Ted Faber reports the new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes have been paved and painted green; at last report was they’re still scheduled to open by Memorial Day.

Redondo Bike Lane

……..

Local

Streetsblog explains what the misguided decision to include just one sidewalk on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge really means. Hopefully new CD4 Councilmember David Ryu will keep his promise to hold out for bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides.

Santa Monica students take part in the Bike It Walk It program, which is now part of the Safe Routes to Schools Initiative.

The LACBC, CICLE and Metro host the last in their series of family friendly Southeast LA rides this Saturday, with a six-mile route through Bell Gardens.

 

State

The California Bicycle Coalition offers their monthly report, and urges action to increase funding for the state’s Active Transportation Program.

Speaking of Calbike, Damien Newton talks to board member Chris Kidd, who also serves on the boards of Walk/Bike Oakland and Bike East Bay. Chris has come a long way since he founded the LADOT Bike Blog while serving as an intern with the agency.

Thirty-seven Orange County kids got to take home a new bike as part of the national Build-A-Bike program for military families.

Yet another bike rider was shot and killed this week, this time in a Santa Ana drive-by late Tuesday night.

Bike cops return to Costa Mesa for the first time since the 1990s.

A local TV station says a cyclist is in critical condition after colliding with another rider in a Lompoc pro race on Wednesday. However, there doesn’t appear to have been a pro race in the area; maybe it was a group or training ride.

Heartbreaking profile of a San Francisco bike rider who lost his life following an “amazing renaissance” in the last few years. This is the price of our dangerous streets, even though most victims never receive more than a few inches in the local paper. If that.

Eureka decides not to ban bikes from the sidewalk to combat bike-born burglars. Note to Eureka: Not everyone who rides on the sidewalk is a criminal, especially where safe bikeways are lacking.

 

National

Yet another study shows bike riders and pedestrians overpay for their share of the road, while imposing almost no costs for wear and tear.

The Bike League says if bicycling is going to continue to grow, bike shops need to welcome everyone.

Forget just biking to work; the office of the future will allow you to ride up to your desk.

Tucson agrees to pay a bike rider $1.8 million, without admitting guilt in the case, after he was run over by one of the city’s garbage trucks while riding in a bike lane. Although it looks like they’ve admitted responsibility about 1.8 million times.

Investigators are questioning whether the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist could be linked to a series of shootings on nearby I-25; a triathlon planned for this weekend has been canceled because of the shooting.

Formerly bike friendly Wisconsin continues its attack on bicycling, proposing a $25 tax on every new bicycle sold; this comes after the governor’s proposal to eliminate the state’s Complete Streets requirement. I don’t have a problem with taxing bike sales as long as 100% of the fund go to pay for bike infrastructure. However, the amount of the tax should be tied to the value of the bike; a $25 tax is more likely to discourage someone from buying a $250 bike than it would a $2,500 one.

Chicago business leaders stand behind efforts to preserve one of the city’s most heavily used protected bikeways during a construction project.

A Nashville bike club gives away 25 bicycles to honor a member who was killed in a robbery Monday night, in an attempt prevent more violence by getting kids on bikes.

Bicycling reports on a Philadelphia company where all 114 employee commute by bike.

The widow of a cyclist sues to force improvements to a Maryland highway where her husband was killed five years earlier.

 

International

A cyclist and a jogger team up to save the life of an Ottawa bike rider after he fell into a canal next to a bike path; he was still clipped into his pedals as he sank into the water.

An anonymous 90-year old Montreal man has given free bikes worth over $600,000 to local kids for the past three decades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Newfoundland city councilors want to rip out a lightly used bike lane so local residents can park in front of their houses again. Never mind that ridership might increase if they waited until the city’s bike plan was actually completed.

A couple riding across South America with their dog launches a crowd-funding campaign to pay for cataract surgery after the Westie goes blind.

London bike-jackings are on the rise; over 550 people were mugged for their bikes while riding last year.

Scientific American reports on several cities where it’s faster to ride a bike than drive during rush hour. Not surprisingly, that includes LA, where traffic averages 8 mph on one unidentified corridor.

 

Finally…

Yes, a New York man is stealing purses and iPhones, but at least he does it while riding a Citi Bike. A Portland cyclist who helps bike theft victims recover their bikes had his own stolen while he was watching a news report about his efforts.

And if your bike isn’t safe inside a medical marijuana dispensary, where is it?

 

Morning Links: Ramsay endorsement, a way to measure 3-foot violations, and Sagan takes the AToC by 3 seconds

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote in tomorrow’s election if, like me, you live in LA’s 4th council district.

I’m casting my vote for Carolyn Ramsay.

Then again, so is every other bike rider I know who has publicly expressed an opinion. Endorsements for Ramsay range from Bike the Vote LA to the LA Times, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the candidate previously favored by many cyclists, Tomas O’Grady.

If anyone in the cycling community has endorsed David Ryu, I’m not aware of it.

It’s not that there aren’t a few questions marks surrounding Ramsay.

Like the fact that her boss and mentor, outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge, has publicly supported bicycling for years, while quietly stabbing us in the back time and again. LaBonge was personally responsible for the death of the long-planned 4th Street bike boulevard, as well as killing bike lanes on 6th Street and Lankershim Blvd, at least until he leaves office.

Which can’t happen soon enough.

She has also publicly questioned current plans to put bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd, preferring crowded, high traffic and high speed Sunset Blvd as an alternative.

Yet Ramsay has tried to make it clear she is not LaBonge, and thinks for herself.

When I spoke to her after a debate, she seemed stricken to learn just how poorly her boss was perceived by cyclists. And said her support would go beyond words and an occasional bike ride.

She also said that she would keep an open door and an open mind. And was willing to be convinced in cases like Hollywood Blvd.

Unlike her former boss, who turned a deaf ear to pleas from bike riders if they conflicted with demands from home or business owners. And would often cave in at the first sign of objection, rather than trying to find a workable compromise.

The one advantage I can credit Ryu with is that, unlike Ramsay, who has spent years working in LA’s less than democratic city hall, he would bring a much-needed outside perspective to the office.

But as Ramsay points out, there are advantages to knowing how to get things done on the council, without having to learn on the job.

You can read the responses from both candidates to bicycling issues on the LACBC’s detailed candidate survey.

But whatever you do, get out there and vote.

Because your right to vote doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

And with turnout expected to barely reach the double digits, every vote matters; this election could be determined as much by who doesn’t vote as by who does.

LA bike riders are depending on you to make the right choice.

……..

In what could be a huge step towards enforcing three-foot passing laws around the country, Chattanooga police develop a radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car.

The LAPD, LA Sheriff’s Department and CHP need to get their hands on this ASAP.

……..

You don’t have to understand French to get the message behind this beautiful TV spot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smREcqxm6D0&sns=tw

……..

Now that’s more like it. The Amgen Tour of California comes down to mere millimeters in the final stage from LA to Pasadena, as Peter Sagan wins by just three seconds. VeloNews looks at the winding road that put him atop the podium.

Meanwhile, Contador continues to lead the Giro whil taking nothing but over-the-counter pain killers for his dislocated shoulder; a writer for the Guardian says his toughness puts a lie to all-too-frequent homophobic slurs against cyclists. Cycling Weekly looks at what a solo breakaway feels like.

Former pro Jens Voigt settles into life off the bike as a race ambassador and quasi philanthropist, while Wiggo calls for mandatory bike helmets.

And women’s racing has a long way to go to catch up to the men; pay is so low some riders can’t afford to join a pro team even if they get the invitation.

……..

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the decision to keep traffic lanes over sidewalks on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was based on outdated Level of Service metrics.

KCET’s Krista Carlson looks at how local resources and social rides can help turn every week into Bike Week.

The Westwood Business Improvement District applies for a Great Streets grant. And considers using the funds for parking improvements. No, really. This is the kind of thinking that has helped keep storefronts empty in what should be one of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo Neighborhood Greenway opens May 30th.

 

State

Not surprisingly, Governor Brown once again ignores active transportation in his proposed state budget.

Writing for Bike Newport Beach, David Huntsman says bicycling would look less dangerous if you’d just take your helmet off when you get off the bike.

The San Diego Association of Governments goes back to the drawing board after an auto-centric regional transit plan was rejected by the courts.

A planned 50-mile Coachella bike path is threatened by a dispute over funding for maintenance.

Writing for the Fresno paper, a CHP officer says cyclists and pedestrians can be discourteous, just like law-breaking drivers. I’d call breaking the law in a dangerous, multi-ton machine more than mere discourtesy. But hey, that’s just me.

Fresno riders take over a local freeway. Hopefully, courteously.

The cyclist who crashed into an 80-year old woman on a Marin County pathway tells his side of the story, insisting she stepped into his path as he tried to avoid her; the CHP is investigating the crash.

Instead of embracing a socially and environmentally friendly form of tourism, the Sausalito city council continues to complain about the up to 1,000 bikes and riders who visit the city each day. Maybe the town should find a way to accommodate bikes instead of fining the people on them. Or bike riding tourists may decide to spend their money somewhere they’re actually wanted.

A 50-year old cyclist is killed in a collision with a truck during a double century race in Solano County; witnesses report he went through a stop sign.

The Turlock newspaper apparently believes a bike helmet could have kept an 11-year old bike rider from suffering a leg injury in a collision.

 

National

A planned Montana bike path is rerouted to preserve a century-old landmark tree.

Three upstate New Yorkers face charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; the driver was on the phone when she veered off the road, and her sister and boyfriend allegedly helped cover up the crime.

Today Show host Matt Lauer will be riding 250 miles from New York to Boston, in support of NBC’s Red Nose Day to call attention to children living in poverty.

New Jersey has the nation’s second highest percentage of fatal bicycle and pedestrian deaths; a proposed four-foot passing law has stalled in committee.

The DC area’s Bicycle Bandit is busted after a series of two-wheeled getaways following bank robberies; thanks to Nancy Duley for the heads-up.

Instead of saying a bank robber used a bike to make his getaway, a Florida paper writes that a local bank was robbed a bicyclist. No bias there. Has anyone ever said that a bank was robbed by a car driver?

 

International

Famed theologians, including Albert Schweitzer and C.S. Lewis, rode bikes; the story quotes Schweitzer saying he used his “abundantly and with delight.”

Sad news from Mexico, as a 17-year old BMX rider is killed in a fall attempting to qualify for the national Olympics.

London’s Telegraph says one way to make London better would be bike lanes that don’t make riding more dangerous. Busting more bike thieves, as London police did at the famed Brick Lane Market, would help, too.

The owner of a UK trucking firm who called bike riders the worst of all road users joins with a bike shop owner to metaphorically sing Kumbaya and call for détente on the streets.

A European study says traveling by car instead of bike costs society six times more. And yes, bike riding really is environmentally friendly.

Nigerian cyclists threaten to give up the sport if there aren’t more races.

A Kiwi cyclist gets a two-year ban for doping.

 

Finally…

Brooklyn’s love affair with the bicycle goes back nearly 150 years; even before a certain baseball team threw its first pitch. An Alaska truck driver somehow manages to see a salmon cyclist sneer at him as she blows through a stop.

And both discredited American former Tour de France winners continue their legal pissing match. If anyone other than their lawyers still care.

 

Morning Links: LA’s DPW goes forward to the past, the Bike Week beat goes on, we’re #8, and a pretty bike painting

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

……..

LA’s Department of Public Works continues to plan for the city’s auto-centric past.

Evidently thinking the word Public refers only to the motoring public, the department is recommending that the reconstructed Glendale-Hyperion Bridge should have even fewer crosswalks than the current unsafe crossing.

But hey, we will get a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, using existing structures left over from the old Red Car trains, right?

The City Council’s Public Works Committee will consider the DPW’s recommendation for the much-hated Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Friday morning. CiclaValley offers a good look at why that’s a bad thing.

The speedy hearing looks like an attempt to rush the plan to approval before the new CD4 representative has a chance to oppose it; both candidates in next week’s election prefer the third option, which would remove a lane to create space for pedestrians and bike riders, resulting in a projected 10 second delay for motorists.

Yes, 10 seconds.

Seriously, how much more harm can Tom LaBonge do before he finally leaves office?

………

Tuesday's non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

Tuesday’s non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

More Bike Week news, as Monday’s kickoff press conference makes self-professed cynic Joe Linton smile.

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, along with Monday’s panel discussion on the future of bicycling. And a reporter for KABC-7 bikes to work, partly on the LA River bike path.

WeHo will host a pit stop on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, while Burbank will have four stops. You can find other pit stops on Metro’s jumbled one-size-fits-all Bike Week map. Is it just me, or is 50-plus pit stops kind of pathetic for a county this size? Seriously, any business that does business with bike riders and doesn’t host a pit stop needs to take Marketing 101 over again.

While you’re at it, bike to the library; the Central Library in DTLA is hosting a free class in bike maintenance Thursday evening.

Bike Snob says the problem with Bike Week is it encourages inexperienced riders to take to their bikes for a few days before they get back in their cars.

On the other hand, people who bike or walk to work are 40% less likely to be tense in the first hour at work.

……..

Washington leads the list in the Bike League’s latest ranking of bike-friendly states, while ‘Bama checks in dead last; California moves up a notch to number eight.

……..

Cav makes it two in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, but Latvian rider Toms Skujins takes the leader’s jersey in stage three. And no, I never heard of either of him, either.

The only rider to compete in every Tour of California unfortunately exits his 10th and last one in an ambulance after a crash. The Lodi paper is impressed with how fast pro cycling is.

And you have one more chance to see the world’s top women riders in action at Friday’s Big Bear time trial. You’ll have to be there in person, though, since women’s racing isn’t deemed worthy of TV coverage.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Simon Clarke takes the pink jersey after a “tempestuous” stage in the Giro. That massive crash caused by a fixie-riding fan in stage two is caught on video, as is a vicious face plant during a descent by Italian rider Domenico Pozzovivo.

And Giro officials are on the lookout for bike doping, inspecting pro riders bikes for hidden motors.

……..

Local

Bike theft continues to soar in Los Angeles, up nearly 60% in DTLA; a police spokesperson says there’s no real consequences for property crimes since the passage of Prop 47, which reclassified some crimes as misdemeanors to reduce jail overcrowding. As my friend Eric W. pointed out, rising rates of bike theft could also be a result of rising riding rates; more bikes on the road means more poorly protected bikes and more bikes to steal.

The first Finish the Ride hit-and-run billboard goes up in Pasadena. Let’s hope we soon see these everywhere.

UCLA will paint new bike lanes in Westwood Plaza in less than two weeks.

The Malibu Surfside News reports on Friday’s Bike Rodeo and unveiling of the new PCH safety video.

 

State

Outside rides Eroica California.

The U-T San Diego says hopping on a bike can start a lifetime of fitness, and the best place to ride is your own neighborhood.

Runners and cyclists feed abandoned kitties in Ocean Beach.

Rancho Mirage rejects participating in the planned 50-mile CV Link through the Coachella Valley, preferring to keep bike riders on a dangerous highway.

A 72-year old Saratoga cyclist passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack; he was found on the side of the road with no evidence of a hit-and-run.

Sacramento’s Department of Public Works recommends a goal of converting all the roadways in the city to complete streets — including bike lanes — within 20 years. Hello, LA? Hello?

NorCal’s AAA offers Watch For Bikes mirror stickers to encourage motorists to do just that.

 

National

Six reasons why bicycling is the fastest growing form of transportation. The seventh is because driving is already maxed out.

Biking and waking studies get barely more Fed funding than chicken trucks.

The new biopic about Lance Armstrong could be released in the US later this year.

A new Portland app will automatically count bike riders as they pass through select intersections, while a cyclist in the city catches a confrontation with a car prowler on his helmet cam.

An Alaska cyclist says bike lanes will just be a myth until everyone believes in them.

Someone is sabotaging Arizona mountain bike trails by placing rocks in the path of riders. Whoever is doing it should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; anyone hitting those rocks without warning could be seriously injured. Or worse.

Proof there are good people in the world. After two Missouri boys steal a bike from a special needs girl, an anonymous Good Samaritan buys her a new one.

 

International

The Mounties offer advice on how to keep your bike safe from thieves, including the suggestion that secure condo bike parking usually isn’t. They also recommend registering your bike so it can be identified if it’s stolen. I’m just saying.

A Brit hit-and-run driver gets seven years for killing a cyclist after claiming he thought he’d hit a wheeled trash bin. So what kind of idiot hits anything without stopping to check?

The Netherland’s 230-foot long solar cell bike path has already generated enough electricity to power a single home for an entire year. Now if we can just build them into every highway and surface street, we might be onto something.

 

Finally…

When bicycles die, their wheels live on as a host to cucumbers and rap battles. A fake water bottle converts your ride to an e-assist bike.

And a new bike ID won’t just identify you if anything happens, it can also open a beer bottle.

……..

One last note.

In one of those only in LA things, I found myself talking with the woman next to me as we waited for a our laptops to be repaired the other day.

Yes, my little Macbook Pro — not a Powerbook, as the folks at ReaniMac in Hollywood repeatedly corrected me — will be fine, thanks to a new hard drive. In fact, it runs better than ever, which seems like a fair exchange for leaving me a little poorer.

But as we chatted, it turned out that in addition to a successful acting career, Tessie Santiago is also an artist who recently had her first showing.

She started out showing me her paintings of dogs, since I was there with a very bored Corgi. But as she flipped through the images on her phone, she quickly became one of my favorite undiscovered LA artists.

So if you’re feeling artistically inclined, take a look at her work. And if you know someone who owns a gallery, tell ‘em to give her a call, already.

Tessie-Santiago-Bike-Painting

Unfortunately, this is her only painting of a bicycle. And she doesn’t have any paintings of Corgis.

We’ll have to work on her on both counts.

 

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