Archive for Bike Events

Weekend Links: NBPD quickly corrects misguided cop, hope for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes, and bike events

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a cop to get bike laws wrong, especially when it comes to our right to the lane.

What is unusual is getting the issue straightened out in such a prompt and positive manner.

Hats off to Newport Beach Deputy Chief David McGill for resolving this one the right way. And right away.

Thanks to topomodesto for the heads-up.

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There may be unexpected light at the end of the Beverly Hills tunnel when it comes to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which appeared to be dead in the water earlier this year.

This comes from the LACBC:

LEgal-Progress-on-Santa-Monca-Blvd-Beverly-Hills-City-Council-this-Tuesday-1

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You may still have time to join CICLE for the Ring Around the Lotus ride around Echo Park Lake area this morning.

The Bicycle Drive-In screening of Wizard of Oz planned for today in Downtown Long Beach has been rescheduled for next week due to the power outage affecting the area.

Pedaler’s Fork hosts their 10-Speed Grinder Ride this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, South Pas is hosting a Green Living Expo and Clean Air Car Show. Someone should tell them bikes are a lot greener than even the cleanest car.

Celebrate the new improvements on LA’s first Great Street, including the new parking protected bike lanes at [Re]visit Reseda Blvd on the 30th.

Streetsblog will host a fundraising Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village on August 8th.

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Icebike.org offers what may be the ultimate infographic on the ultimate bike friendly city with a detailed look at Copenhagen.

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Peter Sagan just misses victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, for his fourth second place finish of the Tour, as Greg van Avermaet takes the win. But at least Sagan has a firm grasp on the sprinter’s jersey.

An Irish rider in his first Tour leads the battle for the lanterne rouge, if lead is the right word for it.

A website says the TdF has never looked so horrifying, thanks to on-bike footage of a crash. And GoPro says live on-bike footage could be broadcast from every rider in the peloton in just two years.

VeloNews previews the second edition of the women’s La Course by Le Tour de France, which will be broadcast on live TV before the men’s finish on the Champs-Élysées. Bicycling offers photos of the recently completed Giro Rosa, proving women really can survive a seven day stage race; many of those same racers will compete in La Course.

The New York Times says Lance may be a pain for cycling, but could turn out to be a sympathetic figure. And drop these phrases in into you daily conversation to make people think you really understand the bike racing.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman puts the police shooting death of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in context, saying streets can never be considered complete or livable when a large segment of the bike riding population has to ride in fear of the police.

Bike theft continues to rise in DTLA, as 11 bikes were stolen in a single week earlier this month; a $1,300 bike was ridden right out of Sports Chalet, while another was stolen when a Downtown security officer left it unattended.

The East Side Riders Bike Club has a new Gofundme page to raise $4,000 to help kids and the community through bicycling; thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

 

State

A Santa Rosa theater group travels to their bilingual stage performances by bike.

Sadly, a 63-year old Palo Alto cyclist died of injuries he suffered in a Mountain View collision last week, while another rider was killed near Tracy on Thursday.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranks worse than LA as one of the nation’s worst cities for drivers. Which makes bicycling an even better alternative, mais non?

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at plans to remove bike lanes and sharrows from one of the city’s streets without providing a safer alternative.

Tragically, a 12-year old boy has died of injuries he suffered in a bicycling collision on Monday. The news report notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fails to mention if he suffered a head injury, or if his injuries could have been survivable even with one.

 

National

If living near trees makes you feel younger, imagine how riding a bike through them would make you feel.

No press bias here. After an SUV driver flicks his cigarette in the face of a Vancouver WA bicyclist, he apparently run down her on purpose. And the local TV just calls it a hit-and-run.

A Denver thief entered through a doggie door to steal an expensive bike. Presumably, he didn’t leave the same way.

That’s more like it. A Nebraska man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a cyclist; two hours after the wreck, he was still twice the legal limit.

Big hearted strangers pitch in to buy a 79-year old Fargo woman a new three-wheeled bike after hers was stolen.

A Dallas paper asks if local texting bans really reduce traffic collisions; Texas is one of just six states that refuses to ban the practice statewide.

A Kentucky driver faces a long list of charges, including murder, for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he drove three miles with the dying rider in the bed of his pickup before police stopped him.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it’s time to scrap a bike lane because drivers can’t seem to figure it out.

A Rochester NY boy is under arrest for stealing 150 — yes, 150 — bikes from a community cycling group; some of the bikes were recovered, but were badly damaged. Big hearted community members donated over 400 bikes to replace them.

Boston’s Bikeyface asks who’s afraid of a little sweat.

 

International

Britain’s Prime Minister will consider banning big trucks from city centers at rush hour to protect bike riders.

A writer for the Guardian asks why the BBC is so anti-bicycling. Good question.

A UK triathlete is looking for the Good Samaritan who came to his aid after he passed out and woke up disoriented during the bicycling segment of a recent race.

Brit thieves steal the bicycle a woman rider used to raise the equivalent of over $17,000 for a hospice charity.

Cyclists aren’t even safe when they drive, as a 79-year old British bike club leader was stabbed to death by a road raging driver after a minor collision.

Police in The Netherlands have to borrow a bike to catch a bike thief.

Syrian refugees are bicycling 1,200 miles to Europe to escape their war-torn country.

A writer for the Guardian compares bicycling in The Netherlands with Australia to dispel the usual anti-bike arguments.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Deadspin can’t stop watching those “crazy assholes” play indoor soccer on bikes, saying the video will blow your f***ing dick off. Evidently, viewing it will have no effect on women, though. Then again, Bike Portland says all sports are better when played on a bike.

And if you’re going to tell police you bought the stolen bike you’re riding at Walmart, make sure they sell that brand first.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Weekend Links: 3 years for vehicular assault, LA’s Mobility Plan passes PlanComm, and CicLAvia Pasadena

Three years hardly seems long enough.

But it will have to do.

According to the Daily Breeze, William Thomas Kelly reached a plea deal that will keep him behind bars for the next three years for his drunken road rage rampage through the Palos Verdes area, in which he deliberately used his car to assault a cyclist and smash into parked cars.

Kelly reportedly hit one car, then backed up to hit it again and drove on to sideswipe a parked car. He then hit the pedal of a bicyclist; when the rider yelled at him, he backed up and used his car to knock the rider and his bike into the bushes, then drove back and forth over his bike. He was later found passed out with a BAC of at least 0.11 after crashing into a gated fence.

Hopefully, the plea will include a condition that he never drive again.

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The LA Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve the city’s mobility plan, including a slightly scaled back version of the 2010 bike plan and a commitment to Vision Zero.

Streetsblog reports the planned Westwood Blvd bike lane survived an attack by a representative of Councilmember Paul Koretz, while Commissioner Richard Katz questioned whether bike facilities belong on the street at all.

Katz said he supported expanding the bicycle network, but “we will never be Boulder or Davis.”

Not with thinking like that, anyway.

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CicLAvia offers a list of activities along Sunday’s Pasadena route, while KNBC-4, KCET and the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to it. Note to Star-News: Unless the director of Walden School is selling something as he rides to work, the word you want is pedals, not peddles.

Feeder rides — and a walk — are available from throughout the area. The Militant Angeleno provides his must-read guide to the Rose City route; seriously, never go to any CicLAvia without reading the Militant’s detailed and insightful guides first. Time Out gives their thoughts on Sunday’s event, while CiclaValley provides a handful of tips and a handy checklist of everything you need to bring.

And yes, bikes are optional; this should be the most walkable CicLAvia yet.

In honor of CicLAvia, KPCC will broadcast a one-hour show all about bikes at 10 am today and again on Sunday; you can listen live online.

And the San Gabriel Tribune says every weekend should be like CicLAvia in every downtown in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas. Or maybe just everywhere.

I’m not going to be able to make this one, so let us all know how it goes.

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I’m hearing nothing but good things about the new green separated bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which includes some of the area’s first bicycle traffic signals.

But the smartest thing they did was put sharrows on the roadway next to it for riders who want to go faster or avoid the bikeway crowds on busy weekends.

Both Ted Faber and Jim Lyle sent photos.

Photo by Ted Faber

Photo by Ted Faber; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

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LGBT site Frontiers Media looks at the bike scene in the City of Angeles, with brief overview of bicycling in the city.

They go on to list five places every LA bike enthusiast should know, along with seven gadgets and gizmos for geared-up Angelenos. Although I wouldn’t call a $3,750 Cervelo a gadget. And I sure as hell wouldn’t call it a mountain bike.

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The latest bike racing rumors involve mini-motors in the pro pelaton, as Ryder Hesjedal takes offense at having his bike checked to make sure he’s not motor doping.

Former Giro champ Damiano Cunego is out of this years race with a broken collarbone, while Contador continues to hold the leader’s jersey. And no, he didn’t have a motor in his bike, either, but he did command some respect on Thursday.

Meanwhile, former pro and ’97 TdF winner Jan Ulrich faces up to three years in prison for a DUI collision that injured two people.

Closer to home, next year’s US pro cycling championship will move from Chattanooga to Winston-Salem NC.

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New bicycle maker Brilliant will ship you a steel frame bike for $300, as long as you’re willing to assemble it yourself. And don’t expect your LBS to fix it for you if you screw it up.

Then again, it might be easier to just print your next ti bike, or at least the handlebars.

Or maybe you’d prefer a steam powered bike.

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Local

Streetsblog gives us part two of their interview with retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

The LACBC interviews super bike volunteer Wayne “Ridetime” Howard, while Bicycling profiles Coolass Mike Bowers and his efforts to put 1,000 bikes in the hands of foster kids.

Malibu city council committees approve the 850-page PCH Safety Study, which calls for 130 safety improvements along the dangerous coast highway, including bike lanes where they don’t conflict with street parking. God forbid a parking space should be sacrificed in the name of safety.

The LA Weekly profiles an Oakland-based theater company that’s traveling across the country by bike; they’ll perform at the Santa Monica Pier on the 1st, before moving on the San Diego and eventually making their way to New York.

A new proposal to replace the much-hated plans to complete the 710 Freeway includes light rail and a multi-lane boulevard complete with busways and a separated bike path.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo neighborhood greenway officially opens today.

Long Beach is officially opening the new pedestrian walkway on the beach today, which promises to improve safety on the beachfront bike path by separating bikes from people on foot. Something Santa Monica desperately needs to do.

Your last chance to weigh in on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge could come this Wednesday before the Public Works Committee; the full city council often doesn’t allow public comments before taking a vote, especially if someone is likely to disagree with their pre-determined decisions.

 

State

A Tustin man is under arrest for breaking the window of a bike shop and stealing an adult-sized tricycle; he was in the process of stealing another bike a mile away when caught.

San Diego held their rain-delayed Bike to Work Day Friday.

San Diego’s North County is sprouting new sharrows; the story reports that sharrows on the Coast Highway in Solano Beach dropped average speeds by 10 mph without increasing congestion. Nice that they’re using us for rolling speed bumps, though.

A Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan will set off from San Diego Monday for a 65-day ride across the US on a hand-cranked ‘bent.

A legal opinion concludes that the planned 50-mile multi-use path through the Coachella Valley qualifies for tax funds as a roadway because electric golf carts will be allowed to use it.

A gang member is under arrest for stabbing a bike riding Redlands art student in the face.

San Francisco’s bike share system is expanding from 700 to 7,000 bikes throughout the Bay Area.

As if the internet isn’t killing enough of their business, now Bay Area bike messengers are being targeted by bike thieves.

The new Marin bicycling museum opens to the public on Saturday, June 6th, with nearly 200 years of bike history, including the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame; a local group celebrates by calling for a crackdown on Marin off-road riders.

Modesto is working to convert itself to model bike-friendly city for everyone on two wheels.

 

National

A new infographic from People for Bikes shows many of the assumptions about women and bicycling are wrong, while Bicycling suggests 10 ways bike shops can be more welcoming to women. But the biggest barrier to greater diversity on bikes may be access to safer infrastructure.

Four cities are racing to build the first working protected intersection in the US. And no, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Portland parents launch a national PAC to force apologists for traffic violence out of office. About damn time.

A local motorcycle club plans to throw volleyballs at speeding Spokane sheriff’s deputies to protest the death of a 15-year old bicycle rider, after investigators conclude their patrol car didn’t hit the teen’s bike. Note to Spokane County Sheriff’s Department: It’s not unusual for bike riders to go over the handlebars in a panic stop without anyone actually hitting them; that doesn’t mean the driver who forced the panic stop isn’t responsible.

Proof bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Colorado state police are looking for a bicyclist who caused a motorcycle rider to wipeout near my hometown; a witness reports the rider veered in front of the motorbike and slowed down, causing the victim to lose control and be thrown from his bike, then just turned around and rode away without stopping to help. Jerk.

To no one’s surprise, the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist has officially been linked to the random shooting of a driver on the nearby I-25.

Albuquerque becomes the latest city to get bike share before LA; officials hope the program will help revitalize the downtown area.

A Texas bike rider discovers a casket, presumably with the body still inside, along a bike path after the recent floods.

Michigan traffic engineers take road diet to the extreme, proposing a street with a single lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions, and bike lanes on either side; drivers are supposed to safely merge into the bike lanes when they meet a car coming in the opposite direction. Anyone want to guess how that will work in real life?

Nice story from Ohio, as a 5th Grader saved the rewards he got in school for good behavior to buy his younger brother a bike — even though he didn’t have one himself. When teachers and administrators found out, they took up a collection to buy him one, too.

A Notre Dame dean and physics professor has ridden across the country every summer for the last five years to raise funds for rare disorders.

While the rest of New York’s media was focused on a bike riding neurological researcher killed by a hit-and-run driver who was fleeing the police, the Post saved its front page for a scofflaw cyclist out for a ride with his son.

Virginia’s Bicycle Bandit faces up to 100 years in prison for robbing a series of banks before pedaling — not peddling — to make his getaway.

A Baton Rouge driver turns himself in five days after he fatally stuck a bike rider. Which presumably would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

 

International

Bike Score ranks the least bike friendly cities in Canada.

A new Canadian study show wide traffic lanes make for more dangerous streets.

Five years after Vancouver merchants fought separated bike lanes, they’d now fight if anyone tried to remove them, according to the leader of a local business association.

A cyclist from the UK will attempt to break the seven day record by riding over 1,800 miles in a single week.

Yes, the UK’s new 20 mph speed limits can reduce injury collisions, but only if drivers actually observe them; a study shows the lower limit reduced speeds by just 1 mph in one city.

The acting leader of the British Labour party calls for a ban on large trucks during peak traffic hours to protect bike riders. Meanwhile, rear- and side-facing cameras on those same trucks could save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, if they’d actually use them.

Somewhere between 50 to 100 bystanders teamed together to lift a double decker bus — yes, a bus — off a critically injured Brit unicycle rider.

Scottish lawyers warn about the danger to cyclists crossing Edinburgh’s tram tracks; one firm alone claims to represent nearly 100 such cases.

An Irish Paralympic cyclist is raising funds for a new leg in hopes of making the podium in Rio next year.

A New Zealand cyclist is attempting to circumnavigate the country in just three months, riding over 6,000 miles to raise funds for an ambulance company.

Sydney, Australia officials go the wrong way, making the city more dangerous for cyclists by reneging on a promise to replace a bike lane scheduled for removal.

A Bangkok bike commuter says he’s tired of weak support for bicycling, as well as suggestions that bike riders belong on an off-road recreational path instead of commuting.

 

Finally…

Actor Matthew Modine got his start with a bike left behind when someone smashed his grownup lemonade stand. The battle between cars and bikes has been going on a long time; the first recorded collision between two vehicles was between a bike and a car back in 1896.

And be sure to look up every now and then when you ride.

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One last note.

Recently, I mentioned a moving piece from Zócalo Public Square in which Aurelio Jose Berrera wrote of getting up early a few days a week to ride out in search of homeless people huddled in the doorways and alleys of our city, his bike loaded down with donated food to hand out to those in need.

His story reminded me of a saint whose heart was similarly filled with compassion for a homeless stranger.

So I was surprised to open my laptop the other day, and discover an email from Berrera thanking me. According to his message, what I wrote, along with a handful of other stories about his efforts, helped inspire Petaluma-based Yuba Bicycles to donate a Mundo cargo bike to make his volunteer work a little easier.

According to a Yuba press release he attached, 

“Jose is an honorable, kind and humble man whose generous spirit and desire to help others is an example for all of us,” says Benjamin Sarrazin, founder and owner of Yuba Bicycles. “Yuba is proud to help Jose by providing a cargo bike that will hopefully enable him to more easily carry out his mission. He is truly a hero.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But there’s more than one hero here.

Yuba deserves a round of thanks for caring enough to give a bike to help those so many of us don’t even seem to see. As does everyone who contributes to help Berrera help them.

I’m not sure how big a role I really played in helping him get the new bike.

But his email made my week.

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia comes to Pas, PCH hugs it out, and SoCal has one of the world’s best bike lanes

Excitement is building for Sunday’s CicLAvia Pasadena.

The Source lists dog friendly places to visit during the open streets event. Flying Pigeon unveils plans for a feeder ride from NELA, which another feeder plans to join from Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

Although the cops may be on the lookout since the city is being plagued by one or more bike riding robbers.

And Richard Risemberg comments that Pasadena didn’t make much of a commitment by offering just 3.5 miles for the truncated route. But you can will follow the short ride with a reading from his new book at The Battery Books and Music in South Pas.

………

Here’s that PCH safety video we mentioned awhile back, wherein an anthropomorphic Pacific Coast Highway comes to life and hugs it out with a commuter, cyclist, pedestrian and resident in a group therapy session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0IXIqEUXtM

It’s worth a look.

Though I’m not sure this will change any attitudes on the too often contested roadway.

What so you think? Will this make you want to change your ways?

………

Men’s Journal looks at the world’s 10 best bike lanes, including one on the coast highway in our relative back yard.

………

Apparently humorless Minneapolis cops take down a bunch of bike riders for a series of water gun attacks on the city’s brew bikes. Good to know America is safe from getting soaked by bike-born terrorists.

Pending legislation looks likely to legalize them here — brew bikes, not terrorists — although the current drought should keep them safe from a similar assault.

Thanks to JustAnotherCyclist for the heads-up.

………

Turns out the so-called professional bike race that resulted in a collision between two riders in Lompoc, critically injuring one, was actually a club ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara benefitting the EOD Warriors Foundation.

Sadly, the victim did not make it.

………

Megan Guarnier and Matthew Busche are your new national road cycling champs; Guarnier won in a final sprint, while it’s the second title for a rain soaked Busche.

Meanwhile, cycling scion Taylor Phinney looks back on the crash that nearly ended his pro career at last year’s nats, and how it helped him grow as a person.

Kristin Armstrong won the women’s time trial title, securing a spot in the word championships after getting dumped from the US team a few weeks earlier. Andrew Talansky looks forward to taking the winner’s jersey back to Europe after winning the men’s championship.

Pre-race favorite Richie Porte abandons the Giro after getting hurt in a crash and receiving a two-minute penalty for accepting a wheel from a competitor following a flat. Greipel, Boonen and Matthews drop out as well.

And a Vancouver cyclist loses the lead in a local race when he’s body-checked by a deer. On his birthday, no less.

………

Local

The Rail to River Active Transportation Corridor — aka multi-use bike path — proposed for South LA could be approved to seek funding at the end of the month.

Richard Risemberg hopes newly elected CD4 Councilmember David Ryu meant it when he said he supported bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. Let’s hope Ryu replaces outgoing Tom LaBonge before he can do anymore harm to the city.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks to retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking.

Santa Monica continues their crackdown on traffic violations that endanger cyclists and pedestrians; the next will come this Friday. Which means observe the letter of the law when riding in the city.

BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein warns drivers to watch for cyclists when turning left, after a teenaged boy is left crossed while riding home from school.

 

State

Scot bike advocate and blogger Town Mouse, aka author Sally Hinchcliffe, visits San Diego and finds riding there not to her liking. Although she is impressed with the massive Share the Road sign nowhere near one.

San Diego’s Uptown News provides a look at Hinchcliffe’s riding partner, BikeSD co-founder Sam Ollinger, and her efforts to turn our neighbor to the south into a world-class bicycling city.

Community organizers in Fresno propose a system of bike freeways to improve safety. A concept that no one has even mentioned, let alone suggested yet, in LA.

Someone stole San Francisco’s pupcycle.

We had Bike to Work Day earlier this month; the Bay Area had Bike to Shop Day on Saturday.

Heartbreaking story from Sonoma, as an 18-year old woman confronts the imprisoned drunk driver who killed her bike riding father 11 years earlier.

 

National

CityLab offers advice on what to do if you’re hit by a car. You can read my take on the subject here and here.

Portlanders raise over $90,000 to help a bike rider who lost his leg in a collision get back in the saddle again.

A Seattle writer accuses the city’s mayor and DOT chief of having an anti-car ideology and driving up rents, for the crime of proposing a road diet and putting bike lanes next to the monorail.

A cycling instructor from my hometown offers advice on how to stay safe, noting over 80% of bike crashes are solo falls or a collision with another rider, or a cat or dog.

A 73-year old Texas recumbent rider was killed earlier this month; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim because he was checking his rearview mirror. The article also notes Texas authorities are now required to report whether the driver was using a cell phone in any collision, which is a good idea anywhere. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

Tragic irony from Houston, as a bike rider is killed in a collision while on his way to a memorial for another rider, who was also killed in a traffic collision.

Producers for an A&E reality show shove a broadcast waiver at a New Orleans bike rider as she’s being loaded into an ambulance after a collision. And show the footage anyway despite her refusal to sign.

Bike valets park 300 bikes at the Indy 500, up from just 64 five years ago.

After the local police chief writes that a teenage Vermont driver would have been charged with murder for the high-speed crash that took both his life and the cyclist he smashed into, family and friends rush to his defense. ‘Cause, you know, boys will be boys, and we all feel the need for speed, and other than that he was a good kid, right?

A seven-year old Boston boy is hit by a stray bullet while riding his bike on the sidewalk; fortunately, he’s expected to be okay.

Caught on video: A Philly bike rider is dragged onto the sidewalk by a road raging driver after allegedly getting bumped, then punched in the face; even after viewing the video, police fail to file charges against his attacker. Evidently, punching and dragging a cyclist is perfectly okay in PA.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists 11 types of cyclists we all know. Well, some of them, anyway.

A Canadian man is busted for trying to steal a bike from a garage, just three hours after he crashed his car into the same garage.

Toronto bike riders want the provincial government to adopt an Idaho stop law, while a Menlo Park cyclist reminds us we don’t have that law here, either.

A British sidewalk cyclist keeps riding after colliding with a toddler and swearing at the child’s mother. But says it’s his life that’s been ruined, apparently with a straight face.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider blows through a red light, and smacks into the side of a bus.

A bike rider in the UK leaves an angry note after his bicycle is stolen. And gets a response telling him not to block wheelchair access next time.

A world-traveling French cyclist has been killed while riding in Turkey.

The maker of that Swedish bike non-helmet says his head-eveloping airbags will make standard helmets obsolete.

An Aussie mountain biker is helicoptered to safety after spending a night in a cave when she got lost in the bush.

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur urges his city to fully accept a bicycling culture.

A Thai cyclist says bicycling in Bangkok is to die for. Literally.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding your bike with a hot laptop in your messenger bag, stay the hell off SaMo sidewalks. A Napa writer says we’re a society of arrogant fools, then proves his point by demonstrating his complete misunderstanding of bike laws.

And Style tells women to go out for a casual weekend ride in your $620 shoes and $1,050 skirt.

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in LA, meet a real American hero, win a free book and ride a tiny new bike lane

It’s Bike Week in LA.

I’m not going to list all the events here; many others already beat me to it. Which is a big — and welcome — change from years past.

CiclaValley offers a look at the scheduled events for the week, including my personal favorite, the Blessing of the Bicycles. Other highlights include today’s panel discussion on whether bikes are in your future, and Friday’s Bike Night at Union Station. Not to mention Thursday’s Bike to Work Day, with bike trains and pit stops all over the county.

KCRW says bike events are going to be all over the county this week; case in point, Santa Clarita celebrates the Tour of California and Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. KNBC-4 looks at Bike Week activities in Pasadena, while Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a 15% discount all week.

The LA Daily News provides a preview of the week’s events, though someone should explain to them that the point of bicycling is to keep the rubber side down.

And Performance Bike in Santa Monica, which recently moved into the old Wilshire Theater, is appropriately hosting a series of movies at 7 pm each Tuesday throughout May’s Bike Month.

  • 5/5 – Breaking Away
  • 5/12 – American Flyers
  • 5/19 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • 5/26 – The Bicycle Thief

Admission is free; bring a chair to sit on. Thanks to Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

……..

One more semi-Bike Week event this week.

This Friday, there will be fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank from 3 pm to 9 pm. The event is being held by 14-year old Michelle Morlock to raise $3000 in donations to the organization; the donation will allow her to ride 400 miles with wounded vets from West Point to Annapolis.

If you’re not familiar with Ride 2 Recovery, the group uses bicycling to help veterans, many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, heal from their wounds and come all the way home from the trauma of war.

The highlight of the event will be a chance to meet 94-year old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most legendary military units of World War II. He will be available for photos and autographs in the parking lot; a donation jar will be available, and if you present the flyer inside, Bob’s Big Boy will donate 15% of your meal ticket to Ride 2 Recovery.

The Airmen not only fought the Nazis, but had to fight discrimination in the army to defend a country where they were treated as second-class citizens. They arguably did as much as anyone to integrate the military and end legal discrimination in America, by proving that African Americans could not only be as good as any other flyers, but were among the best to fight on either side.

My father, who was in his 40’s when I was born, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. He often said he wanted to meet one of the Tuskegee Airmen just to shake his hand and thank him for what they did.

On Friday, I hope to do it for him.

……..

It’s been awhile since we’ve held a contest on here. So in honor of Bike Week, let’s do something about that right now.

Pilgrim Wheels - front coverLast week, I received a press release announcing a new book by Colorado author Neil Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

An inspirational story of journey, discovery, and place, Pilgrim Wheels describes Neil Hanson’s 2011 journey by bicycle across the United States. His bicycle ride becomes the canvas for an incredible adventure: a pilgrimage of wonder as he explores the people he meets along the path, the obstacles he faces, the pain he endures, and the boundless joy he achieves as he completes the first half of his journey to the humid farmland east of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. A beautifully written and reflective memoir, Pilgrim Wheels provides a glimpse into the sweetness of physical achievement, the inspired awe that comes from the sheer beauty of our country’s majestic back roads, and the warmth and love shared by the people who welcome Hanson into their lives along the way.

You can read more about the book and the author on his website.

Hanson has generously offered to give a copy of the book to a lucky BikinginLA reader. All you have to do is click the link below and enter with your Facebook account or email address by end of day Friday.

Win a copy of Pilgrim Wheels!

Good luck!

……..

Westwood has been famous in recent years for the ridiculous 275 foot long bike lane on Galey Avenue in Westwood.

Now Richard Rosenthal sends photographic evidence of an even more absurd bike lane on Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.

The lane channels bike riders to the left of right turning cars for a whopping 50 yards, if that, before throwing them back into traffic on the busy, high speed thoroughfare.

Sepulvrda Bike Lane

……..

The Amgen Tour of California is underway, as Mark Cavendish wins the first stage; allergies knocked California’s Andrew Talansky out of the race.

The LA Times says New Jersey native Carter Jones is excited to be back in the US racing on American soil. Before the race even started, though, a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros out on a training ride, including Peter Sagan.

The Sacramento Bee says pro cycling could use a showman or two, while anti-doping agencies team up to keep the race clean.

Sadly, the women’s race is over just as the men are getting started, after just three stages, although there will be a invitational time trial in Big Bear on Friday.

Lauren Komanski led the women’s race after two stages, but dropped to third as Trixi Worrack took the overall title; Leah Kirchman won the final stage to finish second. Meanwhile, a member of British royalty rode in the peloton after competing in the Paralympics.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Simon Gerrans looks pretty in pink after winning the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia. And don’t try this at home, kids — a fixie riding race fan gets the blame for crashing into the peloton at the end of the second stage of the.

……..

Somehow I missed this one from last week.

A Georgia father of three was killed when the driver of a pickup crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve to illegally pass another truck, slamming into a group of riders. The driver faces charges of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

……..

Local

A counter-press conference will be held at 8 am tomorrow at Red Car River Park to protest plans to rebuild the Hyperion bridge without a sidewalk. Everyone who supports Option 3 to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge is urged to attend.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Valencia.

About 3,000 riders turn out for the Tour of Long Beach, raising $350,000 for juvenile cancer research.

 

State

A Riverside county supervisor defends the troubled plan for a 50-mile bike and pedestrian path from Desert Hot Springs to the Salton Sea.

Hats off to tiny Guadalupe (population 7225), which closed down three miles of streets for the town’s first ciclovía.

The bike riding managing editor of the Stockton Record says we all need to share the road; a windshield-addled commenter says why not share railroad tracks and airport runways, too.

A San Francisco college instructor says a road raging driver repeatedly tried to run him down as he rode his bike; the final assault was captured on video.

 

National

Tucson cyclists get a new two-way separated bike lane. For one whole block, before dumping riders into traffic on the left side of a three lane one-way street.

The Colorado Rockies radio announcer will take a sabbatical to compete in RAAM as part of a two-person team to raise funds for a Haitian orphanage.

Remarkably, cyclists have no legal right-of-way when riding through Nebraska intersections; state lawmakers vote to keep it that way.

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at the state’s Complete Streets law by removing the requirement to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, claiming it’s merely an attempt to remove a regulatory burden. Right.

A bike path sparked a $200 million redevelopment in Minneapolis. Yes, a bike path; let’s hope Wisconsin’s governor is listening.

Ohio could require children up to 16 to wear helmets.

Sad news from Philadelphia, as a local filmmaker is killed while riding his bike. Note to Philly.com: There is nothing inevitable about traffic collisions; they can actually be avoided if people care enough to pay attention and obey the law.

Nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers ride from New York’s Ground Zero to Washington DC to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty; 300 cops from Southern California took part.

A Virginia cyclist reportedly swerved into the path of a driver who had safely moved over to pass. Sure, let’s go with that. Note to WYDaily.com: A bike rider is a human being, not an “it.”

 

International

A new Australian electric bicycle professes to fix what’s wrong with other e-bikes.

Evidently, requiring helmets hasn’t done enough to force riders off the road, so an unworkable requirement is in the works as an Aussie state considers yet another step to stifle the growth in bicycling by requiring bikes to be licensed to curb “lunatic” cyclists.

Thai cyclists say drunk drivers who kill should be charged with premeditated murder instead of reckless driving. Couldn’t agree more; drunks who merely injure or maim someone should be charged with attempted murder.

Another good idea from Thailand — drivers on shared lanes should be limited to 30 kmh, the equivalent of just 18 mph.

 

Finally…

A writer for London’s Telegraph can’t seem to grasp that different people enjoy different styles of bike riding — including, yes, riding in Lycra. Another new study from the University of Duh says it’s pretty much useless to ride with a hangover.

And more proof bike riders are tough, as a San Diego man rides to a friend’s house for help after being stabbed at a 7-11.

 

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, new sustainability webisode, and a driver beats a bike rider with a bat

Let’s start with a long list of upcoming bike events.

DTLA’s pedal-powered Peddler’s Creamery celebrates its 2nd Anniversary on Saturday, from 4 to 8 pm.

Pico Rivera will host a bike festival from 9 am to 1 pm this Saturday, including bike tune-ups, obstacle coarse and a group ride.

The LACBC is hosting a ride this Sunday as part of the Car Free SFV Earth Day Event as Valley residents are urged to go without a car from just one day. The ride assembles at 9:30 am along the LA River at Fulton and Valleyheart in Sherman Oaks.

Also on Sunday, the Volkswagen City of Angels Fun Ride rolls out from the UCLA campus to benefit the UCLA Hospital’s Blood & Platelet Donor Center; nice to see a kid’s ride honoring the late Alex Baum as part of the event. Thanks to Peter for the heads-up in a comment below.

Culver City will celebrate active transportation on Sunday, May 3rd with the Walk and Roll Festival at El Marino Language School.

BikeSGV will hold their monthly meeting on May 5th at Mulhall Elementary School.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path. And yes, men are welcome as well.

The annual Bike Week LA runs May 10th through the 16th, with events every day from Sunday through Friday; Bike to Work Day — aka the adult equivalent of Trick or Treat for commuter cyclists — is on Thursday the 15th, with pit stops throughout the city.

One of the highlights of Bike Week every year is the non-denominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday, May 12th. A little divine intervention can’t hurt on the mean streets of LA.

Once again, Metro is hosting Bike Night at Union Station after work on Friday, May 15th to celebrate the end of LA Bike Week.

The Eastside Mural Ride will roll through Boyle Heights on May 16th to explore the area’s iconic public art.

………

In honor of Earth Day, LA filmmaker Erica M. Hart unveils her new web series Mindful American.

The pilot episode focuses on Angelenos who are working to build community and reduce dependence on cars, from teenage cargo bike builders in Boyle Heights, to CicLAvia and a talk with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

Hart used the insurance payment from when her car was totaled to fund the episode, and says she can’t imagine ever owning a car again after experiencing LA without one.

You can see the trailer here, or watch the full 20-minute episode online.

Lets hope she gets the funding to keep the series going. Without having to wreck another car.

………

Local

CiclaValley explains why Thursday’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board matters; the answer is more than just the ill-advised opening of Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars. A mass ride to attend the meeting will set out from Sunset Triangle Plaza at 5:30 pm Thursday.

Santa Monica police will conduct another bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown this coming Friday and Monday. Try to observe the letter of the law when riding in the city, so it’s only the dangerous drivers who get ticketed, not you.

Here’s your chance to work for a more bikeable LA, as the LACBC is hiring a new fulltime membership manager and a part-time volunteer and education coordinator.

 

State

In case you missed it, Sommer Nicole Gonzales was sentenced to 11 years in state prison after pleading guilty in the meth-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Joey Robinson in Orange last year.

Cyclelicious calls on members of underserved cycling communities to represent at Calbike’s street-level advocacy days in Sacramento on April 28th and 29th.

A Sacramento bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane or on the shoulder of the roadway; the investigation is ongoing, but how the driver could not be at fault in that situation is beyond me.

A Belmont bike rider is injured when he’s left hooked by an elderly motorist, yet for some reason, the story focuses on his lack of a helmet and that he was talking on a cell phone while he rode. Both of which are legal, if not always smart, in California.

 

National

Strava and Competitive Cyclist team up to pay people a dollar an hour to ride their bikes. Or maybe not.

A close call with a red light-running truck that totaled a Portland bike rider’s bicycle sparked the movement to downgrade the city’s platinum bike-friendly status.

A Bozeman MT paper calls on motorists to just put down the phone and drive. Amen, brother.

Already bike-friendly Minneapolis will build 30-miles of protected bike lanes in the next five years.

Pedestrian injuries drop 61% following a New York road diet, but making it permanent will make it more difficult to add bike lanes later.

 

International

The Windsor, Ontario city council votes to put in bike lanes called for in the bike master plan over the objection of local residents, who will lose street parking.

Caught on video: A British bike rider records a driver reading a book — yes, reading — while driving.

Mazda is the latest car mark to get into the vapor ware concept bike business, unveiling a track bike in Milan featuring a frame forged from a single piece of metal.

A new Korean study says bike lanes should be at least 2 meters — or 6.5 feet — wide in each direction.

 

Finally…

A new wind-powered bike bell makes constant noise when you ride, for when you want to annoy the crap out of yourself and everyone around you. Now that’s a collapsible bike helmet, folding flat enough to stuff into a laptop bag.

And this is why you don’t want to retaliate against drivers. A Bridgeport CT driver is accused of chasing down a bike rider who threw a rock at her car during a roadway dispute, running over his bike and beating him with a baseball bat.

Maybe she was a Ramones fan.

 

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Weekend Update: CA bike helmet bill dead for now, LA council votes on hit-and-run rewards Wednesday

Just a quick update to catch up on some of the more important news this weekend.

First up, good news from Sacramento, as the proposed law to require all bike riders to wear a helmet is dead for now.

Faced with almost universal opposition, Sen. Carol Liu has amended SB 192 to require a study of bike helmet use instead. Also gone is the silly requirement for all riders to wear reflective hi-viz after dark, which would have criminalized commuting in normal street clothes during the winter months.

Let’s hope the study, if the revised bill is passed, goes beyond the junk science we usually see on the subject. And considers not just whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet, but whether the victim actually suffered a head injury and if wearing a helmet could have made a difference.

Thanks to Calbike and CABO for their opposition to the bill.

………

The LA City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal to establish a standing reward for hit-and-runs this Wednesday.

The program would start at a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for property damage, rising to $50,000 if someone flees a fatal collision.

Anyone who has experienced hit-and-run first-hand — not just bike riders — is urged to attend the council session to tell your story in support of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, a press conference will be held at LA City Hall prior to the council session, starting at approximately 9 am; anyone who supports the proposal is urged to attend, whether or not you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run. This will also tie into the Finish the Ride event the following Sunday to call attention to the epidemic of hit-and-run on our streets.

If you can make it, email Damian Kevitt at damiankevitt@finishtheride.org to let him know you plan to attend, and give him a brief summary of your personal experience with a hit-and-run driver.

………

Word is that the people pushing to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive open to cars are keeping the pressure on city officials to make the temporary opening permanent — converting the treasured hiking, biking and horse riding trail into just another car-jammed street.

Which means we have to keep the pressure up, as well.

Swrve offers a sample email you can personalize and send to the following people:

I’d suggest adding your own city council member to the list, as well.

As a cyclist and hiker who regularly rides and hikes Mt Hollywood I urge you all to not open the Mt Hollywood gates, on the Valley and Observatory sides, to private vehicle or City tram traffic. It will create a hazard for cyclists, hikers and equestrians on the Mt Hollywood road, will disturb the serenity of one of the most popular trails and areas of GP, and needlessly congest a wild area.

Tram, private vehicle transit or parking on Mt Hollywood will crowd the road too greatly, be a new source of air pollution and will add to the safety hazards cyclists, hikers and equestrians already face in other areas of the park such as Fern Dell.

Thank you,

(your name)

You might also consider adding a line or two about the added risk of wildfires started by hot car engines parked over tinder-dry brush, or cigarette butts carelessly tossed by tourists who may be unaware of our current severe drought conditions — creating exactly the risk proponents say they’re trying to prevent.

………

Finally, a handful of events you won’t want to miss this weekend.

We’ve already mentioned Saturday’s unveiling of the work done as phase one of the Reseda Blvd Great Streets, and the workshop for phase 2 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Anyone attending this weekend’s Redlands Classic is invited to join in a social ride and bike parade hosted by the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance at 3 pm this afternoon.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Tour tonight, including an exhibit in the shop by Highland Park-based artist and musician Timothy Sellers.

Sunday evening, the LACBC is hosting a Pre-Climate Ride Party at the Angel City Brewery from 5 to 8 pm to raise funds for members of their climate ride team. The party is free to attend, but includes incentives for donating to your favorite Climate Rider:

  • $25 = 1 Beer Ticket
  • $50 = Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $75 = LACBC Membership + Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $100 = LACBC Membership + 2 Beer Tickets in souvenir pint glass + 3 Raffle Tickets
  • Raffle prizes include a Tern folding bike, a Laemmle Theatres private screening for 13, George Lopez tickets, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, a Timbuk2 messenger bag and more.

And if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Corgi Beach Day at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday morning. Unfortunately, our Corgi sends her regrets, since she’s not terribly fond of other dogs, particularly not ones as cute as she is.

Sienna-on-bed2

Morning Links: Another successful CicLAvia, Seleta and Sadik-Khan chat, and 15-to-life in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Another successful CicLAvia is in the books.

And according to everyone I spoke with, it was one of the most successful, and least spandexed, ones yet.

The LA Times offers an early report on the day, along with some great photos. The Daily News also reports on the Valley’s first open streets event — although I hope it was a typo when a police sergeant estimated the crowd at an absurdly low 20,000.

Even the New York Times discovered the Valley CicLAvia.

KABC-7 estimates the number in attendance at 50,000, which is about how many bikes were parked in front of Ventura beer and burger bar Stout. KNBC-4 says it could have been as high as 75,000, which still seems low by at least half.

KCBS-2 was worried about the effect on businesses, although from what I saw, many of the businesses that reached out to CicLAvia participants did well.

Some — especially food and drink purveyors — seemed far busier than they would be on a normal Sunday. Others wisely took the opportunity to promote their businesses in hopes the passing riders and walkers would come back another day; one pet shop may have a new customer after their sidewalk table caught my eye.

Then there were those who chose to close down for the day, effectively offering an FU to the countless thousands passing by.

Meanwhile, my favorite overheard comment was from the rider who was surprised to discover that the Valley is just like LA.

And that, more than anything else, is what I love about CicLAvia.

It gives us a chance to rediscover our own city, in a way we never could by car. And visit parts of this expansive city that some may have never seen before.

It also draws a crowd that looks like us. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse event in what may be the world’s most ethnically diverse city, allowing us to meet and interact with people we might never otherwise come in contact with.

You see, it’s not just that CicLAvia is changing our streets.

It’s changing our city.

And how we see ourselves.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting with their riders for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These two speed demons kept trying to pass me on my right, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

These two speed demons kept passing me on my right, and nearly dropping me, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn't be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn’t be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

And more bikes...

And more bikes…

...and still more bikes.

…and still more bikes.

Leave it to me to spot the lone Corgi in attendance.

Leave it to me to spot what may have been the lone Corgi in attendance.

There's no better sign of a successful event that a bunch of bored cops watching the crowds go by. Because that means they didn't have to respond to calls for help.

There’s no better sign of a successful event than bored bike cops watching the crowds, waiting patiently in case they were needed.

……..

This looks like a great talk, as LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds chats with former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Hammer Museum on Thursday.

The event is free — though tickets are required, and only available at the box office one hour before the talk — and bike parking is available at no charge. A live feed will be available online if you can’t make it in person.

……..

Convicted hit-and-run driver William Donald Johnson gets 15 to life for second degree murder in the drunken head-on collision that took the life of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in December, 2013.

The judge also tacked on an additional three years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury collision.

……..

Local

Streetsblog’s Joel Epstein says this is not your parent’s LADOT; nice to hear how much the department has changed, but we’re still waiting for those changes to show up on our streets.

LA Times readers react to the paper’s editorial calling for more study instead of a California bike helmet law. Meanwhile, Calbike pens an open letter to state Senator Carol Liu suggesting what she can do with her proposed bike helmet law. No, not that.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune explains what it’s like to ride a pedal-assist electric bike.

 

State

Speaking of Calbike, now you can own your very own shaft-drive bicycle company, lock, stock and trademark.

San Diego’s Mission Beach wants bike riders to slow down on the boardwalk.

A cyclist is seriously injured going over his handlebars after hitting a rock on a La Jolla roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

Morgan Hill gets its first complete street on a trial basis, which appears to be working despite misinformation in the community.

A San Francisco street will get special bike-only traffic signals to protect riders from right turning cars, the second street in the city to get that configuration. Which compares favorably to LA, having exactly zero.

The 25-year old Oakland bike rider who had his wallet stolen while he lay unconscious following a collision is finally awake from his coma and talking; a fund has raised $11,000 to help pay his medical expenses.

 

National

A review of medical journal articles shows what we already knew: bike lanes and bike share programs help fight obesity.

A Seattle thief was arrested after trying to sell the bike he stole back to its owner, who had posted a stolen bike notice on Craigslist.

Efforts are underway to make Anchorage AK a more bike-friendly city.

Cincinnati is rethinking a protected bike lane that no one can seem to figure out.

A New York man is suing the city’s bike share program for $3 million after a faulty fender caused him to face plant after flying over the handlebars.

Claiming New York’s bike lanes and pedestrian plazas cause environmental damage, a former New York Libertarian candidate files suit to stop them; a similar suit in San Francisco held up the city’s bike lanes for several years. Then again, maybe he’s got a point.

Former Olympic Bronze medalist and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney — father of pro cyclist Taylor Phinney — is honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work battling Parkinson’s Disease.

A Baltimore group designs and builds bikes for people with special needs.

 

International

Britain’s House of Commons will debate stricter sentences for dangerous drivers following the deaths of two cyclists. Maybe they should also consider tougher penalties for bar patrons, after one attacks a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk.

Scottish bike riders will soon see another 30 long distance bikeways totaling 500 miles.

German imams and rabbis will ride tandems together, accompanied by 1,000 Berlin residents, in a unity ride for tolerance. Maybe tandems could finally pave the way to peace.

Three-time RAAM champion Christoph Strasser sets a new 24-hour record, riding 556.856 miles in a single day at a former Berlin airport.

Turns out Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is one of us.

A Dutch traffic engineer calls on Aussie drivers to get a new attitude, while a cyclists’ political party aims to give riders more clout at the ballot box.

Singapore cyclists are accused of road hogging.

 

Finally…

It takes a real schmuck to strong arm a five-year old kid by pushing him off his bike to steal it; big-hearted Sacramento cops and clergy pitch in to get him a new one. A Polish cyclist rode up all 3139 steps to the top of Taiwan’s 101 story Taipei 101 building, the world’s tallest building until just five years ago.

And former pro football player Kellen Winslow Jr. is determined to dominate pro cycling; he’ll need to ride a lot more than 60 miles a day, and weigh a lot less than 215 pounds, just to make the peloton. Let alone win.

 

Weekend Links: Marathon Crash non-Race is back on for Sunday, along with a long list of upcoming bike events

The popular event formerly known as the Marathon Crash Race is back on for this Sunday.

After being cancelled by city officials last year, the officially unofficial ride — now renamed the Marathon Hustle Ride —  will follow the LA Marathon route on closed streets hours before the runners take to the course.

Meanwhile, KPCC profiles Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt as he prepares to run the marathon this Sunday, two years after he lost his leg in a horrific and still unsolved hit-and-run.

He may have lost a leg, but clearly, his heart is fully intact.

……..

An open house will be held this Saturday to discuss the complete street makeover of Western Avenue through San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes; opposition is anticipated to bike lanes planned for the street so bicyclists are encouraged to attend.

Bike the Vote LA hosts an organizing meeting this coming Monday, March 16th. The new group has taken the lead in getting Los Angeles-area bike riders involved in this year’s election process.

Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia is hosting a Taco Night on Saturday, March 21st to raise funds for the shop’s Tour de Cure team.

A new app will allow you to soak in the sounds of next Sunday’s Valley CicLAvia, providing walkers with an “interactive soundscape” of the San Fernando Valley for the March 22nd open streets event. And yes, I’ll be there on my bike.

Kickstand-Kids-flyerKickstand Kids will host a Family Bike Event in Fullerton on Sunday, April 12th to raise funds to buy bikes for the children of New Alternatives. They’re asking for donations of kids and adult bikes, as well as helmets or other gear in good shape; contact daniswid@gmail.com, or donate online through their GoFundMe site.

Don’t forget LA Bike Week starting May 11th through 15th, including the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday the 12th.

The Eastside Bike Club celebrates Bike Month with their annual Dodgertown Bike Ride on Saturday, May 16th, riding from El Sereno to take in a game at Dodger Stadium.

And the 15th annual LA River Ride rolls on Sunday, June 28th; the River Ride just keeps getting bigger and better every year.

……..

Local

LA Times readers react to the paper’s story about the proposed California bike helmet law; the Orange County Bicycle Coalition’s Pete van Nuys gets it right.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin calls on the Westwood Neighborhood Council to approve the much-needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd; the new Remove Nothing plan would do exactly that, adding bike lanes to the busy street without removing a single lane or parking space. So what’s the problem?

The LAPD explains the story behind that Tweet we linked to earlier in the week about a Newton division officer pitching in to help replace a 4th grader’s stolen bike.

Manhattan Beach residents want more money for bicycling in the city budget.

Glendale police respond to a fatal hit-and-run by targeting traffic violations, including headphone wearing and sidewalk riding cyclists.

 

State

The Bike League has issued a report card showing why California has jumped into the top 10 bike friendly states, and what we still need to work on. Personally, I’d much rather see modified strict liability, placing greater responsibility for avoiding a collision on the larger and more dangerous vehicle, than the vulnerable user law they suggest.

Laguna Beach will host a bike rodeo on Sunday, March 22nd.

Seal Beach’s Main Street Cyclery celebrates its grand opening under new ownership this Saturday.

San Diego is working on solutions to roadblocks facing the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway.

A Merced elementary school principal is said to be improving after he was critically injured in a collision with a pickup.

A San Francisco TV station’s People Behaving Badly segment looks at brazen bike thieves in the city’s Bayview District.

A Sausalito councilwoman wants to limit the number of rental bikes allowed into the city; evidently, all those rental cars, and non-rental cars, are okay, though.

 

National

A cabal of elder engineers is apparently dedicated to stamping out what they perceive as deviant bikeway designs.

A new Bluetooth bike lock unlocks automatically through your phone and shrieks at potential thieves.

New Mexico’s annual Tour of the Gila is back on after an anonymous Colorado cyclist steps forward to sponsor the event.

A Wisconsin man is combining his love of biking and baseball by riding to all 30 major league stadiums this summer.

New York police are looking for a cyclist who wacked a motorist with his U-lock during a dispute. Seriously, no matter what the other guys says or does, never resort to violence.

New York’s MTA isn’t even interested in testing a rear wheel guard that could prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being crushed under the rear wheels of a bus.

Baltimore bike riders can get a full year of free, secure parking.

Atlanta police apparently aren’t interested when a driver A) leaves the scene after hitting a bike rider, and B) pulls a gun and threatens to kill the cyclist after the rider follows him home to talk about it.

Good Samaritans, including a corrections officer, save the life of a Florida cyclist when he collapses while riding his bike.

A Florida bike rider continues her fight for a 76-mile bikeway from Naples to Miami, although some Native American’s aren’t so sure it’s a good idea.

 

International

Good offers a good explanation of Vision Zero and why it matters, while City Fix says if you want a cycling city, design for traffic safety.

A 39-year old British soldier with early-onset Alzheimer’s embarks on a nearly 10,000 mile ride around the US and Canada.

London’s Evening Standard says the city’s new 20 mph speed limit will save lives, and drivers will just have to deal with it.

Scottish cyclists call for a version of Strict Liability, which assumes drivers are at fault in any collision with cyclists or pedestrians; thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A new Dutch bike shakes its handlebars to warn of potential danger from the front, and its seat to warn of danger coming from behind. With our traffic, it could become the worlds first publicly rideable vibrator.

Caught on video: Bike racing becomes a full-contact sport — as if it wasn’t already — as a spectator grabs the handlebars of Australian rider Loren Rowney during a race in the Netherlands, resulting in a major endo and a broken collarbone as she sprints for the finish.

German carbon wheel and frame maker Lightweight combines with Audi to create the latest overpriced, high-tech racing bike from a carmaker dabbling in bikes.

A sidewalk riding New Zealand cyclist faces charges for running down a pedestrian and breaking his hip.

 

Finally…

As if LA drivers aren’t bad enough, now we have to worry about killer cows. A Florida bike rider somehow shot himself in the chest when the gun in his pocket discharged.

And no. Just…no.

 

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