Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

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Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

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Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

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Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

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Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

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An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

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The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

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Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

Morning Links: More funding for Vision Zero, City of Angels Ride, and saving NB cyclists by crashing into them

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a boost in Vision Zero funding, from a paltry $3 million up to $17 million.

Although that’s still a far cry from the $155 million New York spends on Vision Zero each year.

And as CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin made clear, it’s not nearly enough.

………

This one sounds like fun.

Adam Ginsberg reminds us that there’s still time to register for this Sunday’s City of Angels Charity/Fun Ride benefitting the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

After all, how often do you get a tour of LA with a police escort, and the intersections corked by cops?

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Newport Beach police don’t have to look very far in their quest to crack down on violations that threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, after one of their own officers collided with a bike rider Thursday afternoon.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when he was taken to a local hospital.

And unlike the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which insisted on investigating its own deputy in the crash that killed Milt Olin, the NBPD has wisely handed the investigation over to the CHP.

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In case you’ve forgotten, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo was for bike lanes before he was against them.

Then again, that’s when he was running for council the first time and thought he needed our votes.

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Apparently, aggressive riding is okay, but punching another rider isn’t, as Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko gets a 45 day ban for slugging Marcel Kittel during a race.

The probe into British Cycling continues, as an outside investigator delves into their medical records.

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Local

The long-delayed Los Angeles State Historic Park will open this Saturday on the east edge of Chinatown in DTLA.

The Metro Bike bikeshare has hit 134,000 rides through March since its launch July 7th, but is still far below their target goal of two rides a day per bike.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures what happens when Waze intersects with trash day on a narrow roadway.

West Covina police will patrol the city’s parks on bikes to address concerns over the homeless population.

A suspected bike thief apparently got away from sheriff’s deputies in Newhall by taking to the rooftops in his effort to escape, although they did recover three bicycles during the search. I just wish there was an armed response like that every time someone steals a bike.

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica to talk bikes May 3rd.

 

State

The San Diego Padres’ annual fundraising ride will cross the Coronado Bay Bridge for the first time this fall.

Palm Springs bicyclists rode to city hall in support of the proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path, in the face of opposition from the city’s mayor.

A Monterey woman describes how she won a Brompton bike race wearing a plaid skirt, while Monterey bike shop owners explain how they’re adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace.

A Stanford postdoctoral fellow considers the problem of distracted drivers, and how they can keep women from riding their bikes.

 

National

You may never have to carry a spare tube or patch kit again — if you can get used to the strange looks you’ll get.

The Today Show considers how to find the right bikes and accessories for any rider.

A government website looks at how technology can help eliminate traffic deaths.

A new Portland video asks people how many traffic deaths and injuries would be acceptable for their own families, then asks if that should be the goal for everyone.

A bighearted 11-year old Wyoming girl won a new bicycle at an Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But instead of riding it home, she turned around and gave it to another girl who needed one.

Three Michigan police agencies deny charges in a federal report that they could have done more to prevent the Kalamazoo massacre, despite failing to respond to three calls warning about the stoned driver as he careened down the road for 22 minutes before the fatal crash.

The rich get richer. New York continues to get safer for bicyclists, as Brooklyn’s busiest business corridor is about to get a bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover. And plans are underway to install 24 blocks of protected bike lanes along iconic 7th Avenue.

 

International

A British man shares the lessons he learned bicycling around the world for seven years, including that strangers will open their doors for you, and Iran is a much better place than people make it sound.

If you still aren’t convinced, London’s Telegraph offers eight stats that show why you should bike to work — like being less likely to need Viagra in your 50s. The Telegraph also gives a glowing review of the $35,000 Bugatti urban bike without actually bothering to ride it.

London cyclists complain that a study showing bike commuting cuts your risk of cancer by 41% doesn’t take into account the dirty air they have to breathe.

Caught on video too: A British bike advocate’s camera is stolen as he’s recording cars parking in a bike lane, then smashed to bits by the thief after a brief chase.

Belfast’s successful bikeshare system is being put at risk as more than one-third of the bikes have been stolen or put out of action by vandals.

An Aussie cyclist urges other riders not to react to aggressive or threatening drivers. Which may be good advice, but it’s a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had the crap scared out of you.

As China’s dockless bike bikeshare systems expand into new cities, bike abuse and vandalism follow.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your cruiser bike as a getaway vehicle after a double-barreled bank robbery, at least hide the damn thing afterwards. Before you headbutt someone who won’t loan you his bicycle, make sure he actually owns one.

And an Aussie writer says don’t do things that could kill you. Which pretty much eliminates everything other than staying in bed all day.

Except that can kill you, too.

 

Morning Links: Pablove Across America ride, campaign histrionics in CD1, and a worldwide rash of assaults on cyclists

I normally don’t repost press releases.

I usually don’t finish reading them, for that matter. Let alone share them on here. But I’m making an exception this time, to give you a chance to ride the Left Coast for a good cause.

Pablove Across America (PAA) is a pro-plus experience with a world-class support crew and the energy of 50 cyclists riding for a cause. Cyclists will have the opportunity to ride down the beautiful California Coast, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. This race was started a few years ago when Jeff Castelaz and Jo Ann Thrailkill lost their six year old son to a rare form of cancer. In order to cope with the pain Jeff rode his bike from Florida to LA and it started in 2009. When friends and family heard of this news a family friend set up a fund and began collecting donations for his ride and for the family. Before they knew it there had over $250K in their account and from there this ride turned into an annual fundraising event to celebrate the life of Pablo and the Pablove Foundation was created to raise money for pediatric cancer.

The Pablove Foundation helps kids with cancer live a love-filled life today, and a cancer-free life tomorrow. Pablove’s mission is to invest in under-funded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research and improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts.

The event takes place October 1-7 and is unlike the others – you can see all the 5-star details below. If riders want to participate in just one day of the race (either the sendoff in SF or arrival in LA) they can also do that.  And when riders arrive in LA there will be a special party for them at Trancas Country Mart — just north of Zuma/Malibu. The party will include a live musical performance (big name to be confirmed soon) with great food and drinks for all. Locals can also attend to participate in the festivities and welcome in the riders.

Riders are asked to raise at least $7,500 to receive a professional-grade experience, including:

  • Pro-race support to roll behind the peloton and perform daily maintenance on your bike
  • Soigneur services to keep your body in good working order through massage
  • Nutritious meals and on-bike food and drink
  • A double-occupancy hotel room (upgrades to single rooms available for $100/night, dependent on availability)
  • A training plan and individualized coaching
  • Pablove cycling kit with short-sleeved jersey and bib shorts

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KPCC looks at Monday’s “raucous” debate between CD1 candidates Joe Bray-Ali and incumbent Gil Cedillo, which was lowlighted by a racist call for the LA-born Bray-Ali to “go back to India;” the LA Weekly calls it the all-time craziest debate in LA.

Meanwhile, Bray-Ali apologized for a nine-year old YouTube video in which he repeats a George Lopez joke about Mexicans; needless to say, it was sent to reporters by the Cedillo campaign, who’ve clearly done their opposition research.

Bray-Ali will host a campaign block party tonight.

And with all the histrionics in CD1, it’s easy to forget there’s another runoff going on in CD7, between bike-friendly Monica Rodriguez and even more bike-friendly Karo Torossian, who will both participate in a debate a week from Saturday.

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Unfortunately, today’s common theme is violent attacks on bike riders.

A San Francisco cyclist was attacked by two men who attempted to knock him off his bike, then punched him and stole his bag when he managed to stay upright.

A New York man suffered a broken arm and jaw after he was knocked off his bike and jumped by a road raging driver and his passengers, because he wouldn’t get the hell out of their way so they could go around a double-parked car; no arrests have been made, even though police got their license number from two separate sources.

Four Brooklyn gang members will serve life in prison for fatally stabbing a man after he refused to hand over his bicycle and backpack.

Two British teens were arrested for attacking a man with a machete as he rode his bicycle home from his girlfriend’s house.

Another British rider was saved by a passerby after being attacked by four men armed with golf clubs and a crowbar.

A Yugoslav Ironman competitor was knocked off his bike and robbed by a gang in South Africa, less than a month after similar attacks on two other riders.

Then there’s the road raging driver who pulled his car over to harass a group a cyclists, then provoked an altercation with a second group and apparently pepper sprayed them — then was stupid enough to post the video on Facebook. I don’t know where this occurred, but this appears to be damn good evidence of felony assault; regardless of who attacked whom, he pulled his car over in order to provoke a confrontation. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for sharing the link.

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Then there are the bike riders behaving badly.

A 73-year old Bay Area driver was reportedly punched by three different bicyclists, and his classic Camaro damaged, after he allegedly bumped a rider participating in the East Bay Bike Party Monday night.

A Brit bicyclist reached in to snatch the keys from a driver’s car and rode off after a roadway argument.

Seriously, just don’t. As tempting as the last one may be sometimes.

………

Czech-based Team Elkov-Author Cycling faces a suspension from competition after two team members received four year bans for doping.

A pair of HuffPo writers discuss the pressure on professional athletes to dope, and the consequences they face, physical and otherwise.

Members of the Cylance Pro Cycling team met with Big Bear elementary school students, as they trained in the area for this weekend’s Tour of the Gila.

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Local

Streetsblog takes an initial look at LA’s new interactive Vision Zero map, which appears to be still working the bugs out. What’s missing from the map is any word on what happened in response to the fatality; whether the driver was charged or if any changes were made to the roadway following the crash.

The Bike Metro bikeshare will be free this Saturday for Earth Day.

CiclaValley checks out Little Tujunga’s recovery from the massive Sand Fire.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who reviews The Guardian bike scribe Peter Walker’s new book How Cycling Can Save the World.

Don’t plan on using the Chandler Bike Path through Burbank on Saturday.

A 46-year old man was fatally shot while riding his bike in El Monte Tuesday night.

A Santa Monica bike rider is expected to recover after he was hit by an 80-year old driver, who sideswiped a car before hitting him, then crashed into at least one more vehicle.

Ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

LA County is now offering a $10,000 reward for information on the murder of a Compton man as he sat in his parked car last June by someone who rode up on a bicycle; two other men in the car were wounded in the shooting.

While you’re jonesing for the June CicLAvia, take advantage of the Beach Streets University open streets event in East Long Beach at the end of the month.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation through Monday; as with similar programs in other cities, ride to the letter of the law as long as you’re in the city so you’re not the one ticketed.

A San Diego man who took off with a Border Patrol agent hanging on for dear life in the back of his truck after the agent tried to stop him from stealing a bicycle was sentenced to five years in prison.

Congratulations to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which saved 14 bike riders from themselves in a crackdown aimed at preventing crashes involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, but could only manage to find a single scofflaw driver to ticket.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters will take part in June’s Race Across America to support a pair of fellow firefighters who are battling cancer.

The country’s largest bike expo starts tomorrow in Monterey, as the Sea Otter Classic takes place at the famed Laguna Seco raceway.

Watsonville police recover five bikes believed to be stolen while conducting a probation search, including a $7,500 bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider was the hero, as a Dublin cyclist spotted a Pleasanton boy who’d been missing from his elementary school for three hours.

San Francisco approved protected bile lanes on 13th Street, and proposed replacing sharrows with painted bike lanes on another while realigning parking to make room for them. Unlike LA, where parking spaces are more sacred than cows in India.

A San Francisco Op-Ed from the head of the city’s transportation agency says it’s time to make traffic deaths a thing of the past.

An alleged drunk driver has been arrested for critically injuring a five-year old Sacramento boy as he rode his bike Tuesday evening. There’s something seriously wrong when a little kid can’t ride his bike without being endangered by some jackass who can’t manage to stay the hell out of his car after drinking.

 

National

Streetsblog considers the human toll of normalizing distracted driving.

People for Bikes offers a half dozen first person accounts to show the only thing that’s just like riding a bike is riding a bike.

Bicycling offers advice on how to pass an alligator in the road. Which is not a problem we normally have here in sunny Southern California.

Apple Maps now includes bikeshare docks, but only in New York, London and Paris. After all, the LA area is so unimportant in the greater scheme of things, right?

NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr beat fellow racer Jimmie Johnson, at least when it came to bragging rights for putting in the most miles on his bike.

The Guardian asks if Seattle’s mandatory helmet law killed their bikeshare system, or if it was the hills, rain and lack of infrastructure. In short, yes.

No bias here. A Las Vegas cyclist allegedly lost control and made a suicide swerve into the side of a tour bus.

A Colorado state senator wants to ban coal-rolling drivers; if you live in Colorado, the bill could use your support. Although it’s questionable whether a $100 fine will deter them, when an existing $3,750 federal fine doesn’t.

Topeka KS native Steve Tilford will be honored with a four hour celebration of his life on Sunday; the cycling legend was killed in a Colorado car crash earlier this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Kalamazoo massacre might have been avoided if there had been better communication between the three police agencies in the area; the initial call warning about the stoned driver came 22 minutes before the crash that killed five riders.

The NYPD has shifted gears and will recommend charges against a truck driver who killed a bike rider, just days after attempting to blame the victim, who had the right-of-way.

The Daily News mostly gets it, calling on the NYPD to stop confiscating ebikes and target reckless cars, instead. Although Disney movies aside, most cars are only as reckless as the drivers in them.

New York state gets serious about active transportation, investing $112 million in federal funding to pay for several dozen bike and pedestrian projects.

A New Jersey study shows barriers to bicycling go far beyond infrastructure for people of color.

 

International

An Austrian endurance cyclist plans to ride 900 miles across Cuba in 37 hours. Although the hardest part of the journey may be listening to a single song on endless repeat.

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of us, too. Or was five years ago, anyway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Brit driver who threatened BBC presenter Jeremy Vine as he rode his bike has lost her appeal, and will spend nine months behind bars.

A very popular London bike safety advocate has been killed in a collision with an allegedly drunk and stoned driver in Mallorca, Spain.

A 35-year old English man is returning home after a 43,000 mile journey by bike around the world; he was only 28 when he set off in 2010.

A new study from the University of Glasgow shows that bicycling to work can cut your risk of cancer and heart disease nearly in half, and your risk of premature death by any cause by 41%. Which means that after 37 years of adult riding, I should live forever.

India’s Army Chief General “felicitated” a retired general for riding over 6,800 miles in 183 days to honor the nation’s 21,000 fallen soldiers.

Someone stole 20 track bikes worth the equivalent of over $15,000 from a Durbin, South Africa velodrome.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything on a bicycle — even a body. Probably not the best idea to bike away from a known drug house if you’ve got outstanding warrants, and drug paraphernalia and meth in your backpack.

And nothing like crapping in your own hands and throwing it at the driver who honked at you.

Clearly, someone has spent way too much time watching the monkeys at the zoo.

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I know firsthand how hard it is to ask for money to support a site like this. So when Seth Davidson asks for your help to support his work at Cycling in the South Bay, it should mean something.

 

Morning Links: Blumenfield community ride, the fur is starting to fly in CD1, and interactive Vision Zero map

Bike-friendly LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s long-delayed community bike ride will finally roll this Saturday, after a rainout earlier this year.

………

It’s starting to get rough in LA’s 1st Council District.

A columnist for Downtown News says it’s just a matter of time before the mud starts to fly in the CD1 council race. Although he confuses Gil Cedillo’s massive lead in fundraising with community support, since most of his money has come from outside the district.

Meanwhile, the LA Times raises questions about an endorsement agreement Cedillo’s challenger, Joe Bray-Ali, signed with former candidate Jesse Rosas, who lost in the primary election.

However, it appears to be much ado about nothing; agreements like this are made in virtually every runoff election to gain the support of a former rival. And the agreement not to build bike lanes on North Figueroa without community consensus is a non-issue, since there was community consensus in favor of the bike lanes before Cedillo pulled the plug.

Correction: I originally identified the former candidate as Jesse Rojas, not Rosas. Thanks to Walt! for the correction.

………

A new Vision Zero LA interactive map allows you to explore where and how people were killed in traffic collisions in the city, and your neighborhood, in recent years.

………

Don’t forget that bike lanes are on the agenda of tonight’s meeting of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee, 6 pm at the Hollywood Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Avenue.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area — or would like to if it felt safer — you owe it to yourself to attend.

………

Dutch cyclist Stephen Blom discusses the unexpected kidney failure that nearly cost him his life.

An 18-year old high school senior from Fayetteville AR with Type 1 diabetes is training with the Team Novo Nordisk junior team as he tries to break into the pro ranks.

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Local

It sounds like a response to Vision Zero, but it’s not. A traffic signal is being installed on Central Ave where Jorge Alvarez was killed in a hit-and-run last December; however, the light had been approved just days before Alvarez was killed.

The Source released renderings of the extensively named Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station, which will offer a people mover connection to LAX, along with a Bike Hub and street bicycle access.

Los Angeles is taking applications for new plazas and parklets to encourage bicycling and walking, calm traffic and improve safety and economic vitality.

The Glendale city council approves funding for the city’s first CicLAvia, just in time for June’s Glendale Meets Atwater event.

Bike SGV is looking for bicyclists who want to be featured on their blog to show the diversity of cycling in the San Gabriel Valley.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

 

State

A man and his dog are passing through San Diego a second time in the midst of their record-setting ebike ride throughout the US; they’ve currently covered over 9,300 miles through 31 states, triple the old record.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

The proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 would run from the Canadian border to Tecate, Mexico, and pass through Truckee as it roughly follows the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

National

A new study confirms what many bike riders already suspected: Most smartphone-equipped drivers use them virtually every time they drive.

The LA Times recommends riding a bicycle to see the lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano up close.

A Wyoming mayor opposes a bike lane in his city because he doesn’t know whether a right-turning driver or a cyclist would have the right-of-way at an intersection. Never mind that question has been settled for about as long as there has been a right-of-way.

A Wisconsin bike advocate and former cop is promoting the use of an ultrasound device that measures an exact three-foot passing distance, and records the results on a Go Pro camera for evidence in court.

The commitment of St. Paul MN to making itself a more bikeable, walkable city is being questioned after city officials nixed two bike and pedestrian-friendly traffic circles from a planned street makeover.

Nashville TN has opened a new protected bike lane in the downtown area, the first of 186 miles of new bike lanes planned for the next 20 years.

A Connecticut bike rider has become the latest bicyclist to be struck by a police car, as the officer was responding to a call with lights and siren. Meanwhile, another rider was struck by a private security officer in North Carolina.

Once again, the NYPD bends over backwards to blame the victim in a bicycling fatality. Never mind that the driver made what should have been an illegal left turn from the right lane.

Philadelphia remembers a literature critic, vampire expert and “warrior bicyclist” who passed away recently at 73.

Once again, they get it wrong. Rather than focusing on the people in the big, dangerous machines, Jacksonville FL cops will be cracking down on their potential victims, instead.

 

International

An adventurer from the Cayman Islands will tackle the Race Across America as a follow-up to climbing Denali and Mt. Everest.

Cornwall, England bike cops are getting helmet cams to help protect vulnerable road users.

An Aussie writer calls for legislation to end the war on cyclists after a 23-year old triathlete is sprayed with industrial lubricant from a passing car. Although the one-meter passing distance he calls for — the equivalent of our three-foot laws — would do little or nothing to prevent harassment like that.

 

Finally…

A new city never really feels like home until you ride naked through the streets. Testing bike lane bollards since people can’t seem to stop driving over them.

And nothing unusual here, just a bike-riding, 125 million-year old dinosaur-loving accused killer from the Planet Argon.

 

Morning Links: An interview with yours truly, San Diego gets serious about bicycling, and new bike advocacy jobs

The first decision I made when I started this site was that it’s not about me.

It’s about bicycling.

Today is the rare exception, as my friend Chris Klibowitz interviewed me for Bicycle Times.

And did a better job of capturing why I do what I do than anyone else has. Myself included.

………

San Diego is getting serious about bicycling, with a 32-point proposal to improve cycling in the city.

The plan includes appointment of a bike czar, creation of bicycle traffic ticket diversion schools, and bike education for all fourth graders. As well as requiring that 6% of all transportation funds be spent on bicycle projects.

All of which would be great ideas for LA. And none of which are currently under consideration.

………

The LACBC is looking for a new Communications Director. Sad to see Carol Feucht leave after doing such a great job in the position for the last several years.

Safe Routes to Schools California is looking for a Senior California Policy Manager.

………

A bike rider in a pedal powered velomobile has to pull the statutes out to school the cops who pulled him over about bike law. And who then decide maybe they have better things to do. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Local

Metro wants your input on where Metro’s bikeshare should go next in LA County.

Help design the Pico Blvd Great Street this coming Sunday.

A graphic from a UCLA student helps show why LA’s Byzantine bureaucracy makes it nearly impossible to take a holistic approach to LA streets.

Santa Monica unveiled its new development plan for a more walkable, bikeable downtown area.

LA Bike Dad considers how to go bicycling with a new baby.

 

State

UC Irvine police bust three bike thieves in less than 24 hours.

A Newport Beach resident calls for Mariner’s Mile to be transformed into a coastal village welcoming bike riders and pedestrians, without sacrificing parking.

The mayor of Palm Springs calls for reducing the city’s share of the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway circling the Coachella Valley from 16 miles to six. Which would leave a ten mile gap in the bikeway, possibly big enough to ultimately derail it.

After months of delays, Bay Area bicyclists will be able to ride on the Bay Bridge bike path seven days a week. But only half way.

A Marin columnist predicts disaster if a car should happen to break down on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge once bike lanes are installed.

 

National

BuzzFeed offers a list of eleven towns that are best explored by bicycle, starting with my hometown. Although that’s a false premise — every town is best explored by bike or on foot.

CNN says bad road design helps explain why Florida and Delaware lead the nation in pedestrian fatalities. It’s not so great for bike riders, either.

Venture Capitalists are betting on Chinese-style dockless bikeshare systems as they prepare to invade American cities.

A new kid’s bike promises to solve braking problems with a system similar to anti-lock brakes for cars.

A disabled Washington veteran is planning to ride the 2,700 mile Tour Divide to raise awareness of disabled vets, and regain control of his life after becoming homeless. Meanwhile, another homeless vet is riding with his dog from Los Angeles to Georgia and back to call attention to Veterans and Their Pets.

Make a quick $500 apiece designing bike racks for Carson City NV.

A stoned Utah driver gets just five years for killing a bike rider while high on dope and meth, despite seven previous convictions, most involving drugs.

Call it a six week, 12,000 foot high ciclovía, as Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road opens to bicycles through Rocky Mountain National Park; the road will remain closed to vehicles until the end of May.

For $45 a month, a Texas man will deliver 30 days of fresh, personalized poems to your home by bicycle every morning.

A bill to increase the bike passing distance in Oklahoma from three to five feet and raise the penalty for killing a bicyclist to $10,000 has stalled in the state Senate. Meanwhile, an Iowa bill requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bicyclists didn’t fare any better.

A Minnesota letter writer takes a local paper to task for its bicycle safety suggestions while getting nearly everything wrong; he argues that bike riders are safer on the sidewalk, and that sharrows don’t indicate where people are supposed to ride.

Once again, New York police respond to the death of a bike-riding woman, who was doing nothing wrong, by cracking down on bicyclists.

A Philly horse owner gives chase to a runaway steed across much of the city by bicycle before police finally corralled it.

 

International

A bighearted Calgary woman has turned her kitchen into a bike repair shop, buying and fixing 60 kids bikes to donate to kids in need.

A Toronto website asks how much bike lanes cost. And concludes “not much.”

An 89-year old Brit woman suffers her first bike theft after 85 years of riding. And offers pour in to replace it.

Caught on video: An English bike thief needs less than 60 seconds to make off with a locked bicycle, responding to a challenge from the person recording him by saying it was his bike and telling the man to mind his own business.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a British kid’s bike after he passes out in a diabetic coma while riding in a playground.

An expat describes becoming a ciclista in Florence, Italy.

Following the route taken by Hannibal through Europe by bicycle, instead of elephants.

It’s been almost 99 years since then 18-year old Earnest Hemingway was nearly killed by a mortar round after riding a bicycle to deliver chocolate and cigarettes to the Italian trenches in WWI.

Bike lanes in Johannesburg go largely unused due to lack of an interconnected network and blocked or poorly maintained lanes, as well as safety concerns. The story could be about Los Angeles — including the argument that bike lanes are a benefit for the wealthy, which was one reason given by CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo for blocking bike lanes in his largely working class and immigrant district. Never mind that lower income students and workers often rely on their bikes for transportation.

Australia’s Queensland state will spend $162 million over four years to improve bicycling facilities.

A Japanese university has developed an ebike that recharges wirelessly using microwaves. And can make popcorn, too.

A Malaysian news site looks at the reasons people ride bikes, and what needs to be done to keep them safe on the roads.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a skateboard. A new video says ride your bike, or we’ll all be extinct in 13 years.

And apparently, riding a time trial is even better than chocolate.

 

Morning Links: Calbike hosts bike traffic school webinar, and celebrating history’s first two-wheeled acid trip

The California Bicycle Coalition will hold a webinar tomorrow morning to discuss how to set up a bike traffic school, similar to the traffic schools that allow drivers to take classes in lieu of paying fines.

While the schools were approved by the state legislature in concept in 2015, they have been slow to catch on with the courts in the state. Hopefully this will help change that.

Sign up here. And maybe you’ll learn how to set up that topless comedy bike traffic school you’ve always dreamed of.

………

It turns out Bicycle Day is less about honoring bicycles than the trips taken on them. Or rather, one in particular, inadvertently taken by LSD inventor Albert Hoffman.

So how are you going to celebrate next Wednesday’s anniversary of the first two-wheeled acid trip?

………

Evidently, it’s been online for awhile. But I just discovered I’m officially part of the history of the LA bike movement.

Albeit a very small part. And appropriately so.

………

Once again, British Cycling postpones release of a report on bullying of the county’s top cyclists — especially women racers — that’s widely expected to paint an extremely unflattering picture of the organization; it’s working on a new code of conduct to avoid future problems.

The new head of the Australian cycling team promises a compassionate approach that puts riders first.

The Outer Line looks at the future of women’s cycling, and says female riders must form their own union and move to take control of the sport.

The Twenty20 bike team lost nine high-end racing bikes valued at a combined $60,000 when someone broke into their storage trailer in Corte Madera; a team sponsor is offering a $10,000 reward.

………

A fellow competitor remembers Mike Hall, the endurance cyclist killed near the finish of Australia’s 3,400-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race, calling him the man who inspired a world of cyclists.

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Roscoe Blvd gets a road diet and LA’s first pavement-embedded crossing lights in West Hills, at an intersection where two women were killed, along with their dog, crossing the street last year. Now if they could just figure out how to do it before someone gets killed.

Riding across the US from Los Angeles to New York on a heavy single speed bike, chained to the frame on a bet by silent film star Fatty Arbuckle. And back. And back again.

An Aussie bike magazine compares a bike coffee shop in Melbourne with our own Arts District favorite The Wheelhouse. Speaking of which, The Wheelhouse will sponsor the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on May 7th.

 

State

A meeting will be held tonight to discuss plans to renovate the Mariner’s Mile along the Coast Highway in Newport Beach, including possible bike lanes.

Overstating the obvious, the Coronado newspaper says there’s not much chance the $210 million bike and pedestrian tube under the Coronado Bay Bridge will actually be built. Although citing induced demand creating bike and pedestrian congestion as a argument against it seems pretty ridiculous.

A Santa Barbara writer says if you think the proposed Idaho Stop law unfairly favors bicyclists, get out on your bike to add some data points to your thinking.

Around 750 cyclist from 40 different countries turned out on vintage bikes for last weekend’s Eroica in Paso Robles.

A group of up to ten teenagers swarmed and pepper sprayed a San Francisco man as he was unlocking his bicycle, taking it along with his cell phone.

 

National

Bicycling says go ahead and patch that tube again. And again.

Here’s your tutorial on simple mountain bike tricks anyone can do. Assuming you have a mountain bike, that is.

Turn any bicycle into an ebike with a conversion kit.

A bighearted Las Vegas cop buys a new bicycle for an eight-year old boy after his was stolen about six weeks ago; the kid had to get up early to walk to school since he couldn’t ride there anymore after his bike was taken.

BYU students create a special adaptive pedal allowing a boy with one leg longer than the other to ride his bike using both legs for the first time.

Bikeshare is moving into middle America, as Wichita KS votes to install a 20-station system in the downtown area.

Now living in New York, Amsterdam’s bike mayor says the city has possibilities for bicycling if it would build more infrastructure and fix the holes in the street.

A New York ebike shop owner employs the lessons he learned riding a bike towards running his business.

Famke Janssen is one of us, riding in New York with her boyfriend and dog.

An NYC councilmember calls for safety improvements when a bicyclist is critically injured at the same intersection where another rider was killed less than two weeks earlier.

A Virginia man riding his bike to Canada faces a murder charge for allegedly beating a Pennsylvania man to death with a shovel after breaking into his home to steal $8.75 and some canned goods, telling the judge he was starving and just trying to survive. He could get three meals a day now, for the next 40 years to life.

 

International

Vancouver considers investing a quarter of a million dollars to jumpstart a pair of community bike rides expected to draw 10,000 people each.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is still one of us, going shopping in London fashionably dressed on her city bike, complete with wicker basket.

Cambridge, England residents are up in arms over floating bus stops, saying they may protect bike riders but put older people at risk; one person says people who ride a bike on the sidewalk should be fined for possessing an offensive weapon.

I want to be like him when I grow up. The 85-year old head of a British bike club stars in a commercial promoting TV coverage of the Tour of Yorkshire.

A British man was swarmed and attacked by a group of teens who stabbed him in the head with the frame of his own bike.

Two Dutch companies are talking merger to create the world’s largest bicycle company, combining Cervelo, Gazelle, Union, Santa Cruz, Diamondback, Raleigh, Redline, XLC and Lapierre under one roof.

A Ugandan cycling club trains for the Olympics 2020 doing double duty as a Kampala bicycle courier service.

So much for atoning for his sins. The head of an African faith group is asking for his conviction to be overturned for fatally running down a Zimbabwean bike rider while speeding and driving negligently.

If you really want to see Eastern Taiwan, you need to go by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Before you show kids how to ride a bike down a flight of stairs, make sure you can ride a bike down a flight of stairs. Ride 20 miles on Friday, 20 miles on Saturday, and drive a few hundred miles around a big oval on Sunday.

And if you’re going to take an illegal ride in a tunnel to deliver a pizza, at least take the damn lane.

 

Morning Links: Trade your bike or bag at Timbuk2, O’Farrell endorses Bray-Ali, and Montana bike tax an unfunny joke

Here’s your chance to get a new bike or bike bag and support a good cause at the same time, as Timbuk2 and Pure Cycles host a special trade-in event this weekend at the Timbuk2 store on Abbott Kinney in Venice.

During store hours, visitors will have the chance to bring in any worn bag or bike in exchange for a 30% off discount on any Timbuk2 product or Pure Cycles Bike. On top of that, all donated items will go to Bikerowave, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that will be on-site to discuss with donators on how their contributions will help the community of Los Angeles.

………

Big news in the CD1 race, as 13th District Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has endorsed challenger Joe Bray-Ali over incumbent Gil Cedillo. According to the LA Times,

“Joe Bray-Ali understands the issues facing Los Angeles and demonstrates a sense of urgency in addressing the affordable housing crises, safety in our neighborhoods, and responsiveness to constituent needs,” O’Farrell said in a prepared statement. “His positive grassroots campaign has motivated more people to participate in the democratic process at the local level and become engaged in the pressing issues that affect Angelenos. This city faces daunting challenges and we need someone like Joe to bring a fresh perspective, new ideas, and an open mind to decision making for our city.”

It’s almost unheard of for a sitting councilmember to endorse a challenger, especially one in the adjoining district.

Although, as several people reminded me today, Cedillo endorsed termed-out county Supervisor Gloria Molina over Jose Huizar just two years ago. In other words, LA’s most anti-bike councilmember was opposing one of the city’s best in the district next door.

It will be interesting to see if Huizar returns the favor.

………

The City of Vernon wants your input on filling a major gap in the LA River bike path through the city.

And Metro wants your input on three proposed Long Beach bike paths within the I-710 corridor.

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It turns out that proposal to charge a $25 fee for out-of-state bike riders using Montana roadways was just a very big, and very bad, April Fools joke.

I’m glad they think it was funny, even though it brought an incredible amount of bad publicity to the state, and caused bike riders around the world to rethink their plans to visit there.

………

More remembrances of the late great Steve Tilford, who was killed in a Utah car crash early Wednesday morning:

Meanwhile, VeloNews offers a guide to the cobbles of this weekend’s Paris – Roubaix. And Cycling Weekly says you don’t need a rule book for cycling, because you should just know all this stuff already.

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Local

Horrible news from Firestone Park in unincorporated South LA County, where the occupants of a car got out and swarmed a man on a bike before stabbing him several times; he died at a nearby hospital.

Former Glendale state Assembly Member Mike Gatto is one of us, penning a great Op-Ed in the Times about the carfree lifestyle he’s maintained since 2012.

Los Angeles Magazine’s Neal Broverman calls out four LA area streets in desperate need of a pedestrian-friendly makeover. What’s good for pedestrians is usually good for bike riders, too.

Metro is now offering discounted Metro Bike memberships to businesses to encourage their employees to use the bikeshare service, in hopes of doubling its ridership rates by the end of next year.

Bike SGV takes issue with a recent story that blamed a Glendale bike rider for a crash.

We already knew chef Gordon Ramsay was one of us, getting up at 4 am every Sunday to put in 112 miles on his bike.

 

State

Calbike still has concerns following the passage of the state transportation bill that would double spending on active transportation projects, while significantly boosting funding for public transportation.

Streetsblog looks back favorably on last weekend’s successful Garden Grove open streets event.

San Diego’s Campagnolo GranFondo rolls this Sunday.

There’s something seriously wrong when a bike path becomes the most divisive issue in a community, as the proposed and long argued CV Link through the Coachella Valley appears to have become.

A Santa Barbara man is recovering from serious injuries after his bike was hit head-on while descending the famed Gibralter climb.

Bakersfield police recommend DUI and hit-and-run charges against a member of a prominent local family in the death of a bike rider earlier this year, even though he could have been charged with second degree murder due to a pervious DUI conviction.

A San Luis Obispo elementary school has been named the most bike friendly school in the US by the League of American Bicyclists.

 

National

While the rest of the country envies bike friendly Portland, Portland bicyclists push for more safety improvements.

Las Vegas police are looking for a suspect who rode his bicycle up to man outside a liquor store and shot him twice in the chest before riding away.

Colorado becomes the fourth state to pass a law classifying ebikes used on the roadways; California led the way by creating three classes of ebikes, based on their maximum speed, that took effect in 2016.

Family members have filed suit against the Ohio man accused of murdering a 20-year old college student after she went for a bike ride.

Arkansas rejects a bill that would have allowed children to play outside — and ride their bikes — without the supervision of a parent or guardian. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Shreveport LA promises cyclists they’re getting a real bike plan, but gives them sharrows instead.

New Orleans delays consideration of an ordinance that would update existing bike laws, some of which haven’t been changed since the 1950s; the delay is so they can add penalties to the prohibition against drivers harassing bicyclists. Most of the changes make sense, except for a requirement that every bike have a bell; apparently there’s a backlog of Angels in need of wings.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition offers to help drivers hack their commutes by taking to bicycles following the collapse of the I-85 freeway through the city.

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan tells an appreciative Charlotte NC audience it’s time the city stopped focusing on cars.

There’s a new world record for the most miles ridden in a single year, as 24-year old Florida resident Amanda Coker shattered the old record of 76,076 with over five weeks left to go, averaging over 288 miles a day on her bike.

 

International

The Cuban cyclist attempting to build the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder, has his attempt halted by the police. Literally.

London’s former cycling commissioner is keeping tabs on his successor, and doesn’t seem too happy about the lack of progress.

It only took a London jury 17 minutes to acquit a driver who killed a 70-year old man on a bicycle in Britain’s first crowdfunded private prosecution. So maybe there was a reason why the police declined to file, after all.

A Malaysian newspaper calls for providing safe places for kids to ride their bikes, and emulating a program from a neighboring state that guided teenagers away from illegally modified bikes and onto regular bicycles, while providing the training to become professional cyclists.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least know why you did it.

And apparently, a British driver really didn’t want to know his brake light wasn’t working.

Morning Links: CD1 race gets dirtier, bike rider assaulted on LA River path, and fixing streets is Vision Zero, too

As predicted, incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo is getting down and dirty as he fights to retain his seat in the face of a strong challenge from outsider Joe Bray-Ali.

Today’s attack from the city’s most anti-bike councilmember comes in the form of repeated accusations that Bray-Ali is just a Republican in Democrat clothing. And that he only switched parties to run for office — fighting words in the strongly Democratic and independent district.

Except he isn’t. And didn’t.

Bray-Ali is the first to admit he was, briefly, registered as a Republican several years ago as he searched for his place in the political landscape, before landing in the Democratic party after equally brief stints as a Green and an independent.

And never mind that Los Angeles local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, so whatever the hell party he belongs to shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

More amusing is Cedillo’s claim that he’s running a grassroots campaign.

Which is absurd coming from a career politician who gets the overwhelming majority of his donations from outside the district. And who has been in bed with mega donors like Chevron and Walmart for years, leading to questions whether their donations have influenced his votes.

After Saturday’s bizarre Lyin’ Joe episode, and today’s overblown tweetstorm attacks, it’s starting to look like Gil has been studying at Trump U.

And learning all the wrong lessons about how to conduct a campaign.

………

A bike rider reports he was the victim of an assault on the LA River bike path at the Los Feliz overpass when he was punched by one of two men partially blocking the pathway.

Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of his bike, and didn’t stick around to find out what they wanted.

While incidents like this are relatively rare, it’s a reminder to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings when you ride, especially on bike paths or anywhere else out of direct public view. He did the smart thing by getting out of harms way as quickly as possible before stopping to call the police.

He doesn’t give the date or time of the attack, but it makes me wonder if that’s why I saw a CHP cruiser turn onto the bike path as I passed by on Los Feliz Monday afternoon.

LA bicyclists have long called for regular police patrols on the bike paths in the city and county, to little effect; incidents like this sometimes result in an increase in patrols, which die down after awhile as other hotspots take precedence.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

………

I may not have made myself clear the other day.

While I am a strong believer in the need to fund Vision Zero projects in Los Angeles, and feel that it should take precedence over repaving streets and filling potholes, that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important, as well.

As yesterday’s tragic news reminded us, bad roads can be an expensive annoyance to people on four wheels. But they can be deadly to those of us on two.

Vision Zero should not attempt to improve safety at the expense of our streets, but in conjunction with repaving efforts to ensure a safe riding, driving and walking environment for everyone. We have to somehow find room in the budget to pay for both.

Because it doesn’t matter whether our streets are dangerous because of aggressive drivers, bad road design or crumbling street surfaces. The results are the same.

And human lives are at stake.

………

This is seriously one of the scariest close passes I’ve ever seen, as a driver for a British market buzzes within inches of a cyclist. But says it’s okay since he didn’t cross into the extremely narrow bike lane.

Just as scary is the response from the company, which was basically “We didn’t hit him, so who cares?”

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

I’ve never had a lot of heroes.

Willie Mays when I was younger, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King as I got older, though both were gone before I reached my teens. But there are a lot of people I’ve admired; a few I’ve tried to emulate.

And one of the best and brightest of those was killed in crash early Wednesday morning.

Steve Tilford was everything I wanted to be as a young rider. A passionate cyclist who was among the first wave of American riders to storm Europe and show that we could compete on equal terms with the best names in the sport, he made it all seem effortless, competing on the road and winning in mountain biking and cyclocross.

According to various press reports, Tilford was driving on I-70 just west of the Colorado – Utah border when his van crashed into an overturned semi. He and his passenger were standing outside of the van, injured but okay, when a second semi plowed into the overturned truck, striking Tilford.

He died a few hours later at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.

His passenger, Vincent Davis, was injured, and the driver of the second truck was killed as well.

VeloNews sums up the reaction in the cycling world, while the BMC Racing Team’s Jim Ochowicz remembers him and offers his condolences to Tilford’s partner Trudi Rebsamen, a soigneur with the team.

And Bicycling revives a 1998 profile of Tilford, saying he is why we ride.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

 

………

Another of those young riders from the 80s, American cycling great Andy Hampsten, is happy to share his love of cycling with young riders in Sonoma County.

Scientists are trying to take the hell of riding cobbles out of the Hell of the North.

………

Local

The jury’s still out on the 2024 Olympics, but LA will be hosting the 2017 Police & Fire Games.

Sunday marks the return of the Brompton Urban Bike Challenge scavenger hunt in DTLA.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the opening of the Jeff Seymour Family Center on Monday.

Topanga Canyon Blvd will be closed this weekend to repair storm damage and remove that big rock blocking the roadway.

Speaking of big rocks, CiclaValley discovers Big Rock Canyon.

 

State

The OC Breeze estimates that 15,000 people attended Saturday’s Garden Grove open streets event.

San Clemente plans to provide a safer route to an elementary school by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Avenida del Presidente.

Indio is looking for public input on plans to install sidewalks and bike lanes. That’s easy. Yes. Please.

Sad news from the San Joaquin Valley, as a man was killed riding his bike in Southeast Bakersfield.

A Visalia man is scheduled to spend the next 34 years behind bars for shooting a bike rider from his moving car.

Bay Area bike riders will finally be able to ride halfway across the Bay Bridge on weekdays. Then turn around and ride back, since it will be several years before the bikeway goes all the way across, if then.

A UC Berkeley architecture professor wants you to bike along the big, not-so-beautiful wall already standing on the Mexico border with the US.

Folsom is planning to complete the Johnny Cash Trail near the prison where he recorded the best selling live album of all time.

Chico police bust an ebike thief who broke in from the shop next door to steal a $3,000 bike from a local dealer.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says bike helmet laws do more harm than good, and the idea that they improve overall safety for cyclists isn’t backed up by the evidence.

Someone vandalized over 200 of Portland’s 1,000 bikeshare bikes.

Great read. When a reader asks why bicyclists don’t have to carry insurance, an Oregon columnist responds “don’t be that guy.”

Alaskan fat bike riders are risking their lives by riding through railroad tunnels to get to a near-wilderness area that’s closed for the winter.

Prosecutors offer an undisclosed plea deal to a road raging Arizona driver who allegedly murdered a bike rider earlier this year; he faces up to 25 years if he’s convicted.

Someone walked out with $8,000 worth of bike clothes from a trio of Dallas bike shops.

A bike-riding Florida cop struggles to find answers in the wake of a recent tragedy, saying ultimately we must learn to care about others on the road, and encourage them to care about us.

 

International

Caught on video: A Canadian thief demonstrates just how fast a poorly secured bike can be stolen.

Four of London’s most dangerous intersections are scheduled to get bike and pedestrian friendly improvements. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

The Guardian asks if London’s cycling czar is tough enough to take on critics and bike-haters. On the other hand, at least they have one, unlike some cities I could name.

Sometimes they do come home. Australian police recover an American man’s bicycle two years after it was stolen from a laundromat.

Designer and cyclist Paul Smith is creating cycling jerseys for a bike race to help raise funds to rebuild a Japanese town devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Abandoned bikeshare bikes are crowding out humans in a Shenzhen, China park.

 

Finally…

No, popsicle bike is not a thing, but it should be. No, throwing your bike at an ex-friend who owes you money is not the correct way to use it.

And which of these things are you doing wrong in your cycling class?

That’s easy. Not riding a real bicycle outside, to start.

 

Morning Links: Dirty tricks from Cedillo campaign, riding 4,000 miles for love, and 1,800 through the frozen Yukon

Not surprisingly, things are getting dirty in CD1.

Now that bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali has forced incumbent Councilmember Gil Cedillo into a runoff, it’s been anticipated that Cedillo would pull out all the stops to hold onto his seat.

Including, apparently, trolling Bray-Ali with a parody Twitter account run directly by Cedillo’s campaign. If not the man himself.

According to a post by Jon Leibowitz, the Lyin’ Joe Twitter account began tweeting early Saturday morning — April Fools Day — and continued throughout the day.

That is, until someone noticed a tweet featuring a screenshot from a Facebook Live post by Bray-Ali, which appears to have been taken from Cedillo’s own Facebook account.

Notice the small avatar photo in the right corner. Screenshot from Jon Leibowitz

A close-up view shows a photo of Gil Cedillo. Screenshot from Jon Leibowitz

That suggests the parody account was either run by Cedillo himself, or by his campaign with his direct involvement. Which would seem to violate all kinds of ethics rules, city and otherwise.

Not to mention devolving into the kind of dirty tricks that would make Nixon proud. Or maybe Donald Trump, given the resemblance between Lyin’ Joe moniker, and Trump’s use of the Lyin’ Ted nickname in reference to Ted Cruz.

Needless to say, once the ruse was exposed, the account was quickly taken down.

But it only makes you wonder what will come next, with a full month to go before the election.

Full disclosure: I was one of the first people followed by the parody account. And quickly blocked it because I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with that kind of crap.

………

This may be the best two stories you read today.

National Geographic talks with Pradyumna Kumar “PK” Mahanandia, the Indian man who rode his bicycle 4,000 miles to be with the woman he loves.

And a British reporter discusses riding 4,000 miles from London through the Middle East to show it’s “…far from the volatile hub of violence and fanaticism people believe. And that a woman could cycle through it safely.”

………

Former women’s world road champ Lizzie Armistead is the latest British woman to complain about sexism in pro cycling; she says she could kick herself for the three missed drug tests that put a cloud over her career. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Men’s world road champ Peter Sagan says the key to dealing with the pressure of winning a championship is just don’t think about. And that anyone who dopes is stupid.

Spoiler alert: If you still have yesterday’s Tour of Flanders on your playlist, skip to the next section.

………

Local

LA County sheriff’s deputies discover an apparent suicide victim while searching for an injured bike rider; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.

Over 3,000 USC students have signed a petition calling for keeping a bike repair shop on campus; Lil Bill’s repair shop is getting the boot due to a non-compete clause with a new bike shop moving into a college-owned building.

The new WeHo sheriff’s captain wants to increase bike and foot patrols.

 

State

Environmentalists oppose the proposed state transportation bill that would raise money to repair roadways and fund active transportation projects while allowing truckers to keep polluting.

The lead engineer behind the transformation of New York’s streets is moving on to become the first head of Oakland’s recently created Department of Transportation. Which means there’s now an opening in New York if you want to get your application in.

Apparently, bike-friendly Davis isn’t so interested in ebikes.

 

National

A veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division is nearing the end of a 2,300 mile ride across the US to call attention to the Mission 22 campaign to end veteran suicide.

That’s more like it. A Wisconsin driver gets 15-years for the heroin-fueled crash that killed an Oregon cyclist.

Apparently, lowrider bicycles are a gateway drug to Hispanic culture for Phoenix kids.

A columnist for the Denver Post says cyclists are collateral damage for careless drivers.

The bike-hating president of the Montana senate has tacked an amendment onto a bill to fight invasive species that would charge out-of-state bicyclists $25 to ride on Montana roadways. Aside from driving a stake through the heart of the state’s thriving bike tourism industry, it’s probably unconstitutional.

NPR goes for a bike ride through a carfree Yellowstone.

An Iowa bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bicyclist stalls after a legislator attached an amendment that would have forced riders to wear neon colors over 50% of their body. Which would prohibit riding in street clothes without a neon jacket; even a hi-viz vest would fail to qualify under that standard.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is accused of caring more about flowers and bike lanes than combating violence in the city.

The mother of one of the victims in the Kalamazoo massacre says the killer’s insanity plea is just a ploy; she now wears a tattoo memorializing all of the victims.

The Village Voice takes a tongue-in-cheek look at NIMBY outrage over the bicycle lobby, as New York’s mayor overrules a local community board to overhaul a street in Queens for Vision Zero.

The head of ad agency J. Walter Thompson is one of us, commuting to her New York office by bicycle.

A South Carolina teacher was successful in her efforts to raise enough money to buy a new bicycle for every student in her school, raising $80,000 for 650 bikes.

A recently returned New Orleans man started riding his bike because of a DUI; now he’s the head of a Black-owned riding club that that draws as many as 500 people.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar asks why people are afraid of bicycles, noting you’re more likely to be struck by lightening than killed in a crash with a cyclist.

A drunk driver who killed two Canadian cyclists, as well as the passenger in his own car, made a tearful apology in court; he was three times the legal blood alcohol limit hours after the crash. No matter how bad he feels, the friends and relatives of the victims feel a hell of a lot worse.

A new London study shows speed cameras save lives, reducing crashes by 30%. Unfortunately, they’re currently banned under California law, something that will have to change if Vision Zero is to succeed; there aren’t enough cops in the entire state to stop California drivers from speeding.

Caught on video: A Brit bike raider snatches the keys from a distracted motorcyclist who was busy vlogging instead of signaling; needless to say, the motorcycle rider was not pleased.

Police in a British town decide to spend their time fighting actual crimes instead of ticketing people on bicycles, resulting in a drop from 103 cycling tickets in 2014 to just two last year.

The 11-year old son of bike-riding former UK Prime Minister David Cameron was praised for coming to the aid of a bicyclist following a crash, along with three of his schoolmates.

Taking a page from Jules Verne’s playbook, a Scottish man is attempting to bike around the world in just 80 days, which would beat the current record by 43 days.

Pakistani women stage a number of bike races across the country to reclaim their place on the road in response to harassment and abuse.

An online petition apparently derails a parliamentary proposal to ban bicyclists and pedestrians from Indian highways.

A new 1.5 mile elevated bikeway is planned to allow bike commuters to bypass traffic signals and motor vehicles on their way into downtown Melbourne, Australia.

Two men are under arrest in China for scamming bikeshare users out of their money by attaching fake barcodes on the bikes that sent the money to the wrong bank, without unlocking the bikes.

Twenty teenage cyclists were detained by Malaysian police for racing at 3 am in the same location where eight riders were killed during a similar gathering in February.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: If you’re going to ride home after drinking, make sure you can stay upright on two wheels — or two feet, for that matter. If you’re going to intentionally sideswipe a cyclist, try not to leave your side mirror behind. Or get caught on bike cam.

And nothing like taking a little 1,818 mile ride through the frozen Yukon.

The again, he could have just taken a nice hot bath.

 

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