Archive for Bike Events

Morning Links: CicLAvia coverage, cyclist injured in bike-on-bike wreck, benefits of protected bike lanes

The news coverage of Sunday’s CicLAvia continues to trickle in.

The LA Times offers video and a handful of photos. Curbed LA does the same while the Source serves up still more photos as well as tweets.

Orange 20 calls the new Echo Park to East LA route another great success. The CSUN Sundial says cyclists ruled the road for a day. And Takepart calls it the biggest public open space event in America.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog questions the relative lack of news stories about Sunday’s 10th CicLAvia since the first one rolled through Downtown on 10/10/10.

But maybe that’s a good thing.

CicLAvia may be huge in our world, but it’s not new anymore. It’s proven itself to be a huge success, and now has the funding and support to continue and grow beyond the confining limits of Los Angeles itself.

In a way, the lack of the breathless news stories we’ve seen in the past is a tacit acknowledgement that the event has become part of the fabric of the city.

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A Manhattan Beach bike rider suffered serious injuries when she was hit head-on by another cyclist where the Marvin Braude and Ballona Creek bike paths meet in Marina del Rey. To make matters worse, Ana Beatriz Cholo had no insurance since she was just starting a new job, so a fund has been created to help her pay her five-figure medical bills.

Let this be a reminder to never pass slower riders unless it’s safe to do so.

Which means never, ever passing if there’s a rider coming in the opposite direction. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to swerve suddenly — if not bail off the bike path entirely — to avoid someone who seemed to think he had a supreme right to the pathway.

Or maybe just lacked sufficient common sense to realize that the same safety rules that govern passing slower vehicles when driving apply on the bikeway, as well.

And if you’re ever involved in a collision with another cyclist, always give your name and contact information. Your car insurance should cover liability on your bike, as well.

It’s no less hit-and-run when a bike rider or pedestrian leaves the scene without identifying themselves after causing a collision than it is when a driver does it.

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A new study reconfirms the benefits of protected bike lanes. According to the study, ridership increased anywhere from 21% to 171% after protected lanes were installed, with 24% of the increase coming from other routes and a full 10% actually switching from other modes of transportation.

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The route for next year’s Giro d’Italia is unveiled, with an eye towards a possible rare sweep of the Giro and Tour de France.

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Local

Bike riders are urged to attend tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee to help elect new bike friendly members.

Milestone Rides’ Johnny Lam explains why he volunteers with bike organizations, and why you should, too.

PV Bike hosts a perfectly alliterative Pomona Pumpkin Patch Pedal on October 19th.

A bike rider was seriously injured in a collision on PCH in Long Beach Sunday night.

 

State

A Santa Barbara cyclist says the Milt Olin case shows the dangers of distracted driving.

A San Luis Obispo woman charged in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist had three prior convictions for driving under the influence. Somehow, though, she was still allowed to remain on the road until she finally killed someone; too bad the judges and other authorities who helped keep her behind the wheel can’t be forced to serve some of her sentence with her.

 

National

City Lab makes the case for banning traffic lanes wider than 10 feet.

Bicycling’s Elly Blue says motherhood is one of the biggest obstacles preventing women from biking.

Different types of bike riding requires different muscle use. But you knew that, right?

Kansas City is just the latest municipality to prohibit the harassment of bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Chicago writer calls for banning bikes for a single day to give pedestrians a break. Not an entirely bad idea; maybe it would help the relatively few overly aggressive cyclists realize the risk they pose to others. But probably not.

How rare is this? A Pittsburgh cartoonist offers a mea culpa for an anti-bike diatribe after riders convince him he was wrong.

A Richmond VA writer says yes, cyclists break the law, but so does everyone else; and if bikes bug you, maybe you’re the problem.

 

International

Members of a cancer charity ride 800 km — roughly 500 miles — to deliver a custom made ebike to Pope Francis.

Be a more successful cyclist in just seven simple steps.

Yet another ridiculous pie-in-the-sky plan is floated — literally — for a London bikeway.

A New Zealand editorial writer says a visit to DC shows separating bikes and cars is the best way to go, while an email writer says the Kiwi equivalent of a three-foot passing law is ridiculous because cyclists do bad things.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A first-person bike cam view of an Aussie cyclist attacked by a magpie. A daredevil squirrel tries to pass through the spokes of a Sonoma County Gran Fondo rider; not surprisingly, the rider doesn’t fare well, though the squirrel fares worse.

And after a six-year old bumps his head at CicLAvia, a big-hearted cop buys helmets for him and his three brothers. Let’s hope he gets a commendation for that.

 

Morning Links: A better Gran Fondo, why women really don’t ride, and the deadly dangers of distracted cops

It’s a Gran Fondo for a better cause.

And in a more bike friendly place.

Unlike the recent Gran Fondo held in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, the upcoming El Grande Fondo de Los Angeles Crest is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the National Forest Foundation. And rolls through some of the area’s most scenic and challenging countryside.

It’s a better ride, for a better cause.

So what are you waiting for? Register, already.

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Nice insightful piece in the Guardian — co-written by our own Herbie Huff — explains why fewer women bike in the US than in the Netherlands. And it’s probably not what you think.

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Local

Caught on video: Across LA offers views of Sunday’s CicLAvia.

In the wake of the DA’s decision not to file charges in the Milt Olin case, the Daily News looks at the rising toll caused by inattentive emergency vehicle operators.

Meanwhile the paper cites a study conducted by a Washington State University criminology professor — and former LA County sheriff’s deputy — that shows cops are apparently no better at distracted driving than anyone else.

 

State

Over 200 wounded vets are touring the California coast with Ride 2 Recovery; they should arrive at the Westwood VA Center next weekend.

The sister of fallen Newport Beach cyclist Debra Deem says justice was not done in the failed case against the driver who killed her.

After spending most of his column ridiculing the new three-foot passing law, a columnist for the Orange County Register concludes that three feet isn’t enough, and we should all ride and drive safely.

 

National

The rich get richer, as bike-friendly Boulder CO tweaks city codes to allow protected bike lanes, as well as shared streets where drivers have to yield to cyclists and pedestrians.

New Jersey’s acting governor broke her wrist and elbow when she fell off her bike trying to avoid a vehicle; she’s filling in while Governor Chris Christie campaigns in other states.

The NYPD is famous for concluding “no criminality involved” when bike riders are victims of collisions, so maybe it’s only fair they reached the same conclusion when a cyclist hit a cop.

A clueless Maryland cop harasses, brake checks and manhandles a cyclist even though he was riding legally in the traffic lane — and despite signs saying bicyclists may take the full lane.

Once again, a sheriff’s deputy kills a cyclist in a traffic collision, this time in Florida’s Santa Rosa County.

 

International

Caught on video: A kamikaze Chilean cyclist captures a first-person view of weaving dangerously through traffic before predictably crashing into a pedestrian.

Yet another reminder to ride safely around pedestrians, as a 71-year old Vancouver man is killed in a collision with a cyclist.

A Toronto writer says stop trying to nudge her into riding a bike.

Three years and nine months in jail for a speeding, tailgating and texting Brit driver who careened off the road and killed a cyclist riding on a separated bike path; doesn’t seem like nearly enough to me.

Someone sabotaged a Welsh sportive route by spreading drawing pins across the roadway; over 70 bikes suffered flats but thankfully, no one was injured.

New Zealand’s Green Party says the country is underfunding bicycling by about half; meanwhile, a Kiwi driver says cyclists don’t deserve a safe passing distance because some riders do bad things.

 

Finally…

Evidently, someone has a crappy opinion of New York’s Citi Bike bike share program; some people reportedly rented the bikes after the seats were smeared with shit. Amanda Bynes wobbles her Citi Bike into traffic and pedestrians.

And the world’s loudest bike horn should come with a money back guarantee that everyone who hears it will think you’re an obnoxious a**hole.

But they’d probably get out of your way, anyway.

 

Don’t miss this weekend’s most exciting bike event — the Huntington Park Gran Prix

Luchador-flyer-650

The first time Wolfpack Hustle organized a race, they beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach.

Since then, they’ve grown to become the organizers behind of one of Southern California’s most dramatic racing campaigns, the Unified Title Series, drawing top racers from throughout the US and overseas.

Two races are already in the can, the Shoreline Crit in Long Beach and the Civic Center Crit in Downtown LA. Now the final race in the series, the HP Gran Prix, is gearing up for single-speed battle this Saturday in Huntington Park.

I’ll let Wolfpack Hustle explain the race itself.

This scenic sprint race finale on Pacific Ave in Huntington Park is where the Fixed Gear and Freewheel categories merge and compete as one division Men’s and Women’s. This race is single speed only. Individually qualified competitors will go head to head in top 16 bracketed elimination rounds until a winner is determined. First place Mens / Womens will receive Wolfpack Hustle Dog Tags.

But this is so much more than just a bike race.

While most cities merely accommodate racing — if they allow it at all — Huntington Park is pulling out all the stops for a Lucha Libre themed bike party this Saturday.

In addition to the all-out racing, you’ll find giveaways including a Samsung tablet, Beats headphones, three Sole Bikes, three Bern bike helmets and HP Gran Prix T-shirts, just to name a few. And all you have to do to get a raffle ticket is to show up on a bike.

You’ll also find some of the area’s best food trucks, including:

  •             The Grilled Cheese Truck
  •             Slanging Corean Food Truck
  •             El Gallo Giro
  •             Dino’s Chicken

As well as an expo featuring find top vendors and organizations:

  •             Everton Bikes
  •             Herbalife
  •             Metro
  •             Eco Rapid Transit
  •             Chamber of Commerce
  •             LA County Department of Public Health
hpgrandprix2014floorplan-01

Click to expand

It all adds up to one of the most exciting and entertaining spectator events of year, taking place from 5 to 9 pm this Saturday, on Pacific Blvd between Florence and Zoe in Huntington Park.

Be there for some epic racing and a serious good time. Or wish you had.

Don’t believe me? Check out last year’s action, which went down as one of the best bike events of the year.

 

Weekend Links: Free ice cream when you Bike to the Bowl; KY cyclist arrested, and Jens shatters the hour

Looking for somewhere to ride this weekend?

The LACBC invites you to Bike to the Bowl the next two Sundays, the 21st and the 28th, with free bike valet once you arrive at the Hollywood Bowl and free ice cream from Peddler’s Creamery.

Here’s the lineup for this Sunday.

Legendary Brazilian superstar/poet/activist Caetano Veloso, “one of the greatest songwriters of the century” (NY Times), makes his Bowl debut with his Tropicália grooves. Andrew Bird forms delicately layered pop from troubadour folk, gypsy swing and refined rock. Devendra Banhart returns with his mischievous, musical ideas. DJ Frosty (dublab) opens

And the LACBC invites you to celebrate Car-Free Day in the San Fernando Valley this Sunday with a ride along the Orange Line, finishing at MacLeod Ale Brewing Company, where you’ll get a tour of the brewery and 15% off drinks and merchandise for LACBC members.

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More on the arrest of Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist busted for the simple crime of riding — legally — in the street.

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A New York woman is in critical condition after she’s hit by a cyclist in Central Park. Initial reports indicated the rider was reportedly traveling in excess of the park’s 25 mph speed limit; however, those comments have been removed.

Always, always, always ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are on the streets.

And turn off your damn Strava for a change.

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Jens Voigt caps his nearly two-decade pro career by smashing the one-hour record. And naturally, made it look easy.

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Nice recap of this year’s Tour de France by Ed Rubinstein in the current issue of Southern California Bicyclist magazine, along with a shout out to your’s truly for coverage of SoCal bike issues.

Unfortunately, the story hasn’t been posted online, but you can pick up a free copy at your local bike shop. As if you needed another excuse to drop in over the weekend.

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Local

Help clean up along the Ballona Creek bike path this Saturday.

A Streetsblog writer is a finalist for a major journalism award for her story on protected bike lanes.

At least one suspect is under arrest after an Azusa teenager’s bike is stolen when he’s beaten with a baseball bat.

 

State

The OC Register offers more information on the lawsuit filed by bike shop owner Paul Deem in the death of his wife Debra.

Riverside could have a bike share program next year.

San Jose is moving forward with a ban on sidewalk riding, rather than tackling the big, dangerous machines that actually kill most pedestrians.

Caught on video: A San Francisco cyclist is caught in a collateral damage collision after blowing through a stop sign next to an SUV that gets T-boned by a car.

Maybe it’s time to take up smoking — or at least pack a pack — as a Stockton cyclist is assaulted and robbed after telling two men he didn’t have a cigarette to give them.

 

National

A new police radar gun could tell if drivers are texting behind the wheel; who knows how many lives could be saved if it could help catch more distracted drivers?

Vox offers a guide to the endless debate between vehicular cyclists and those who prefer separated infrastructure. The seemingly obvious answer is that VC is an effective tool for streets without safe infrastructure, but not a substitute for it.

Raised bike lanes separate cyclists from motor vehicle traffic without the problems of protected bike lanes; they’re starting to appear in San Francisco and Chicago.

A Boston cyclist makes the case for an Idaho stop law.

An OpEd writer for the NY Times says getting on a bike in the city is an act of faith in a flawed urban contract; you may not want to read the comments, though. Thanks to Pete Kaufman for the heads-up.

As New York has built protected bike lanes, injuries have gone down while traffic flow has improved. Meanwhile, NY Streetsblog says don’t believe the local news when they say that’s not true.

Caught on video: A time-lapse commute through New York City.

Miami stages a two-wheeled play as audience members bike from scene to scene at different locations.

 

International

One UK town allows cyclists to treat red lights as yields.

A British bike manufacturer cites declining sales to declare the country’s bike boom a myth; there may be some truth to that, at least as far as black and Asian riders in the peloton are concerned.

A Norwegian town pays people to walk and bike for a week.

Too creepy. A serial cat killer is arrested in Tokyo when he’s found with four dead cats in his bike basket; authorities have found the bodies of 45 cats in the neighborhood since April.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: An LA cyclist take the “Every Lane is a Bike Lane” campaign a little too seriously, splitting lanes and passing stalled traffic on the 110 Freeway; thanks to Susanna Dooley Boney for the tip. The Orange County Transportation Authority offers an effective PSA pointing out the benefits of California’s new three-foot law; thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

And maim a dog while fleeing police in a stolen van, get two years in jail; kill a cyclist and you probably won’t even have to post bail.

 

All hands on deck: Ride and vigil tonight for justice in Milt Olin case; is the DA’s office involved in a cover-up?

Let’s be honest.

When a prosecutor really wants to file charges in a traffic case, they’ll tear the vehicle code apart until they find something that sticks.

So when the DA’s office examines a case and concludes there’s nothing there, it’s more often an indication that they don’t want to prosecute, for whatever reason.

Like when it’s a cop who ran down a cyclist, for instance.

When the LA County DA’s office announced last week they weren’t filing charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, they concluded (pdf) that he had not violated the state prohibition against texting while driving because police officers in the course of their duty are exempted from the law. Never mind that he’d also been texting — illegally — with his wife as recently as one minute prior to the wreck.

And yet, I’ve repeatedly been told by officers from a number of different police agencies that it’s not just the act of texting behind the wheel that’s against the law, but simply being distracted while driving. For whatever reason.

From putting on makeup or eating, to simply changing the stations on the radio. And yes, some people still listen to the radio when they drive.

Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is distracted driving. Or as cited by the LA Times, “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

By that standard, Deputy Wood was clearly distracted when he ran down Olin’s bike from behind.

In fact, by his own admission, he never even saw Olin or knew he was driving in the bike lane when he hit him at somewhere around 48 mph, which was his last recorded speed prior to the impact.

He could just as well have been charged with making an illegal lane change. Or driving in a bike lane.

Or even the catch-all violation when police can’t come up with anything else to charge a driver — or too often, a bike rider — with, violating CVC 22350, the state’s basic speed law.

After all, no speed is safe when you have no idea where you’re driving or what’s in the road directly in front of you.

And any or all of which could be used to support the sheriff’s investigator’s recommended charge of vehicular manslaughter.

So the question becomes one of why they’re not willing to file charges. Any charges.

It could, as many have speculated, be a case of looking out for their own; the District Attorney relies on police officers to build their cases, and may be reluctant to prosecute an officer as a result.

Or it could simply be that the death of a cyclist — even one as prominent as entertainment lawyer and former Napster executive Milt Olin — just isn’t worth their time.

Or it could be a cover-up.

By prosecuting Wood, the deputy could be forced to testify in his defense that, even though using the onboard computer while driving is officially against sheriff’s department policy, the unofficial policy encourages officers to do just the opposite.

Which would make higher-ups in the department complicit in Olin’s death. And could have led them to pressure the DA not to file.

Maybe there’s a more innocent explanation for the failure to charge the driver with something.

Anything.

But the official explanation doesn’t hold water.

And the fact that they’ve left themselves open to this kind of speculation shows just how wrong that decision was.

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If this case pisses you off as much as it does me, you’ll have your chance to demand justice for Milt Olin, and all of us, tonight.

The LACBC, Yield to Life and Ghost Bikes LA are hosting a ride and vigil for Milt Olin to call on the DA to revisit the case and press charges.

This is an all-hands-on-deck demand for justice.

If there’s any way you can be there for all or part of it, you owe it to yourself to attend. Because the more people who participate, and the more varied the riders who attend, the better our message will penetrate the insulated offices of the District Attorney.

I’m going to do my best to attend the vigil, at least. If you don’t see me there, it means my health has knocked me on my ass once again.

From the LACBC website:

When: Wednesday, September 3

Schedule:

  • 4:00 p.m. Meet at crash site (around 22532 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302)
  • 4:15 p.m. Moment of silence
  • 4:30 p.m. Start ride
  • 6:30 p.m. Leave from the L.A. Zoo parking lot (5333 Zoo Dr, Griffith Park, CA 90027). Other riders can meet up here.
  • 7:30-8:00 p.m. Arrive at District Attorney’s office (210 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012)
  • 8:00 p.m. Candlelight vigil

The public is invited to join us at the beginning, ride with us, join us for the vigil, or meet us at any point along the way (exact route to be determined).

Route: https://goo.gl/maps/Y4xFh

The route follows major streets through the San Fernando Valley and Griffith Park to Downtown Los Angeles. Riders will be expected to stay alert and follow all traffic laws. The ride is scheduled to arrive in Downtown just after sunset, therefore lights are required by law.

The route is 30 miles. Riders should come prepared with water and snacks to stay fueled.

Shorter options:

  • Start at the L.A. Zoo parking lot (5333 Zoo Dr, Griffith Park, CA 90027) for an approximately 10-mile ride into Downtown. Please arrive no later than 6:15 and be ready to ride by 6:30 p.m.
  • Start in Calabasas, ride 17 miles to the Universal City Red Line station (located at Lankershim Blvd and Campo de Cahuenga), and take the Red Line to Civic Center, where the D.A.’s office is located (210 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Riders who lag behind the main group will be asked to take this option.
  • Join us for the vigil. People are welcome to skip the ride and meet us at the D.A.’s office. The ride is expected to arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.
  • Meet us along the way. We will do our best to live-tweet our location with the hashtag #rideformilt. Follow us @lacbc.

Getting to the ride:

  • The start is on a suburban section of Mulholland Highway with little to no on-street parking (approximate address: 22532 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302). We recommend taking the Metro Orange Line or Orange Line Bike Path to De Soto or Canoga and riding from there. Free park-and-rides are available along the Orange Line.
  • Check out the Facebook event and feel free to post feeder rides there.

Getting from the ride:

  • The best option is always riding (with lights!) or taking transit.
  • If you parked at a Metro Orange Line park-and-ride, take the Red Line from Civic Center to North Hollywood. Then either transfer to the Orange Line (limit 3 bikes per bus) or ride along the Orange Line Bike Path to your car.

Questions? Post them in the Facebook event or call the office at 213-629-2142 and we’ll do our best to respond before the ride.

 

A big bike weekend, with the Grand Opening of Timbuk2 and Aika Trading, and Amoeba’s Hot August Bikes

Timbuk2 WindowBig bike events are on tap for the weekend, starting with the Grand Opening of the new Timbuk2 store in Venice.

After unofficially opening on Abbot Kinney a few weeks back, the new Timbuk2 store is celebrating its arrival in LA this Saturday and Sunday.

The popular bike bag maker was founded 25 years ago by a San Francisco bike messenger who was frustrated that he couldn’t find a decent messenger bag to meet his needs. His designs proved so popular, he soon found himself with a new career making custom bags for cyclists throughout the Bay Area.

Today, they’re one of the leading makers of custom and off-shelf messenger bags, bike packs, camera pouches, seat packs, backpacks, laptop bags and panniers. Even a new line of suitcases made to their own exacting standards.

All still made in San Francisco’s Mission District. And each complete with a lifetime warrantee.

Appropriately located almost directly across from the Linus bike store, at 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd, the store is just the company’s sixth brick and mortar location, in a chain that stretches from Singapore to Toronto.

Despite the Venice store’s relatively small size, they hope to become a hangout for bike riders, just like the other locations.

As soon as you walk in — past the usually full bike rack on the sidewalk out front — you’ll see a small nook on your left, with seating, bike maps and other assorted materials, as well as a charging station and free WiFi. You’re welcome to hangout there as long as you want, whether or not you ever buy anything.

You’ll also find a free bike repair station with tools and floor pump for minor work, and friendly employees with basic wrenching skills who can probably show you how to do it.

Timbuk2 signAnd soon, they plan to offer their own bike share program, with a pair of bikes to loan on a first come, first serve basis. And yours free for a full day, if you can get there before someone else grabs them.

Step in a little further, and you’ll find a full selection of their offerings, including a smartly designed women’s line that goes far beyond “shrink it and pink it.” Like a pannier that converts to an attractive shoulder bag once you get to your destination.

Along with ultra-lightweight backpacks for both sexes, specifically designed for comfort on a bike. Water-resistant messenger bags with built-in laptop protection and straps that adjust for either shoulder. And rolling TSA-complaint backpacks to ease your transition from bike to airport.

Timbuk2 SwatchesThen there’s an entire back wall devoted to customizing your bag your way, with a near endless variety of swatches and patterns to create a true one-of-a-kind piece. And best of all, custom orders are delivered — not shipped, but actually in your hands — within three to five days.

It’s well worth checking out any day. But especially this weekend.

To commemorate the store’s opening, a Grand Opening Weekend Celebration will take place on Saturday, August 16 from 11AM – 7PM and Sunday, August 17 from 11AM – 7PM. In true Timbuk2 fashion, Timbuk2 Venice Beach will not only celebrate their opening, but also embrace their new community by partnering with nearby businesses to offer complimentary libations and bites. Timbuk2 will also offer $5 Miir stainless steel “tall boy” cups to raise funds for a Los Angeles bike advocacy non-profit.

Other Grand Opening Weekend Celebration highlights include:

  • Local craft beer + tasty bites from local food trucks.
  • Complimentary photobooth.
  • Live music.
  • Surprise giveaways and discounts.
  • Limited-edition Made in San Francisco shopping tote as a gift with every bag purchase.
  • Exclusive access to the Timbuk2 Republic of California Classic Messenger bag, available for purchase in-store only. Only 50 were made and they are available in two sizes.

RSVP on Timbuk2’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/events/1433582100259747/.

I hope to make it there myself this weekend. Even if I’ll have to pass on the Jack Daniels.

Meanwhile, they sent me home with one of those heavy-duty, laptop-specific messenger bags to review. Something I’ll look forward to once I get back on my bike.

But I can already tell you it’s the smartest designed bike bag I’ve had the pleasure of using, and tough enough to survive just about anything you or I can throw at it.

If they didn’t think of everything, they came damn close.

SAMSUNG

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Aika-Grand-Opening-662x1024On Saturday, you’re invited to the Grand Opening Aika Trading, a new urban cycling shop in Santa Monica.

The store, located at the intersection of Lincoln and Pearl, promises the best European brands and designs, including Dutch bikes, Bromptons and other unique brands and manufacturers.

The event runs all day Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm.

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Then on Sunday, Hollywood’s Amoeba Records hosts Hot August Bikes.

HOTaugustBIKESposterThe free event celebrating bike culture takes place in the store’s outdoor parking lot behind the Sunset Blvd store on Ivar from noon to 5 pm. Sponsored by Converse, Bern, Sole Bicycles, the LA Weekly and public radio station KCRW, the event benefits the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and features a complimentary bike valet hosted by the LACBC.

You’ll find DJ’s — after all, there’s no shortage of great vinyl inside — bike workshops, prizes and raffles, as well as a limited edition T-shirt from Golden Saddle Cyclery. Not to mention free food and drinks from Hubert’s Lemonade, Roots Hummus, Ice Cream Ian, Hollywood Farmer’s Market, Pure Luck Vegan and Bicycle Coffee.

Sounds like a great time for a great cause.

 

Weekend Links: A handful of bike events, coffee and bikes go together, and if you can’t bike jack a friend…?

First up, a quick update on this week’s bike events:

Long Beach bicyclists can enjoy live music and a screening of Moonrise Kingdom at this year’s Bicycle Drive-In on Saturday.

Update: Somehow, I left off the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride, which rolls through Lakewood with a family ride this Sunday. 

Somehow, I missed Brooke Shields at last year’s Brentwood Grand Prix; maybe she’ll take part in the family friendly Expo Line ride connected with this year’s race on Sunday.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a Family Bike Ride on Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club hosts a family friendly ride for National Night Out on Tuesday.

The Levi’s Commuter bike pop-up shop opens in Downtown LA on Tuesday.

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Turns out coffee and cycling really do go together. A little caffeine can boost your performance — without cheating. However, too much can be a bad thing.

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Local

USC students consider how improving the city for bicycling could make LA more livable.

Santa Monica’s City Manager, who oversaw the city’s rise to become a local leader in bike friendliness, will retire in January.

Decent bike lanes could solve a lot of problems in Glendale.

 

State

After a judge dismissed a cyclist’s ticket for not licensing his bike on constitutional grounds, bike licenses could be on their way out in Santa Ana.

A Laguna Beach bike rider suggests its our own fault if a bike rider gets hit by a car — even though most of the recent OC cycling victims didn’t do a damn thing wrong. And despite his ill-informed proclamation, there are people who can afford cars that choose to bike commute, anyway.

The Desert Sun says it’s time to get a Palm Springs-area bike share rolling.

If you’re going to ride into the back of a parked car, try to make sure it’s not a CHP patrol car.

A 65-year old Bay Area bike rider explains that cycling gear is designed for comfort and protection, not fashion.

The suspect in a San Francisco hit-and-run that injured five people on Monday — including a bike rider who remains in critical condition — now faces 10 felony counts and $350,000 bail.

 

National

Next City offers a brief history of baseless pro-car, anti-bike movements.

A Portland cyclist sues Zipcar after he’s struck by a mattress that flew off the bed of one of their rental trucks.

Still no charges in the death of an Anchorage AK bike rider after 210 days; we can beat that, as it’s been nearly eight months since Milt Olin was killed by a sheriff’s deputy with no word on charges.

A writer for Red Kite Prayer questions the value of painted bike lanes, while a Des Moines letter writer says caving into driver pressure to remove them would be a mistake.

The investigation into that allegedly road raging Missouri mayor has been turned over to outside investigators. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

A bike riding doctor for the famed Cleveland Clinic offers tips on becoming a cyclist.

The Times looks at Richmond Virginia in advance of next year’s UCI Road World Championships.

 

International

A writer for London’s Telegraph says what’s stopping women riders is a lack of confidence.

An LA Times writer rides a rental bike through France’s Loire Valley.

Norwegian police charge an 82-year old man with having a bomb on his bike; turns out it was the battery pack on his homemade e-bike.

An Indian cyclist with an artificial leg accepts a challenge to ride across the world’s highest drivable road.

 

Finally…

In a case of real street justice, three Michigan judges help reclaim the bike stolen from one of them while he signed a search warrant a few days earlier. Missoula MT residents are up in arms over a planned local equivalent to the World Naked Bike Ride, with one father comparing it to allowing pornography in the schools.

And it’s bad enough to be bike jacked by a stranger, let alone someone you know; thanks to Bike SGV for the link.

 

Morning Links: Two months later, still no word from DA on Olin Case; Amoeba plans Hot August Bikes celebration

Sometimes, no news is no news.

More than two months after the Sheriff’s Department turned their investigation of their own officer who fatally ran down cyclist Milt Olin over to the District Attorney’s office, the DA has announced absolutely nothing.

According to the Daily News, there is still no word, official or otherwise, on whether the officer will face charges. Or even when or if a decision will be made.

Even though the DA’s own website promises a decision on filing within 60 days on any case, barring unusual circumstances.

I guess a texting on-duty cop running down a rider in a bike lane, then being investigated by his own department, rather than an independent agency such as the Highway Patrol — which normally investigates traffic fatalities in the county’s jurisdiction — could qualify as somewhat unusual.

Although the near-total news blackout on the results of the six-month investigation, followed by a total lack of comment from the DA’s office after more than two months, might make someone wonder just what the hell is or isn’t going on.

This case has stunk from day one.

And eight months later, the stench isn’t getting any better.

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Sounds like fun. Amoeba Records, along with a long list of co-sponsors, will celebrate Hollywood bike culture with Hot August Bikes in their parking lot behind store on Sunday, August 17th. The event, which runs from noon to 5 pm, will benefit the LACBC.

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Forgive the late notice.

The Bikeway’s Subcommittee of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bicyclists — will meet from 1 – 3 pm today at LADOT Headquarters, 100 Main Street.

BACBikewaysAgendaJuly302014

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Local

Been awhile since we’ve heard from bike lawyer Daniel F. Jimenez, better known here by his nom de bike Dj Wheels. He writes that cyclists are turning to tech products to improve safety.

Planning is underway for next month’s third annual Clitoral Mass ride; as the name suggests, men need not apply. Meanwhile, Culver City will get its own CicLAvia next July.

The Westside’s favorite bike race, the annual Brentwood Grand Prix, rolls this Sunday; always a great time offering exciting men’s and women’s racing.

Metro honors CICLE’s new executive director, Vanessa Gray.

Seriously? A Glendale museum director insists that cyclists — except for his law-abiding friends, of course — are crazed lawbreakers who speed downhill at 40 mph in spandex and without brakes, unlike all those rational, law-abiding motorists out there. Proving you can be really smart, and still say some really stupid things.

And a Palos Verdes letter writer (second letter) complains about bicyclists getting their own private space, plus being allowed to use every lane on the public roadways, unlike all those law-abiding motorists who would never dream of driving in a bike lane. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

 

State

A San Francisco cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by the driver of a stolen minivan fleeing from police; six other people were less seriously injured.

After a young New York woman is killed while riding in Chico, her parents vow to live out her bucket list.

A Stockton man sics his dog on a bike rider for the unconscionable crime of using a hose without permission.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how better laws can promote bicycling, and invites you to order their new Smart Cycling Quick Guide.

Despite what the NY Times says, Bicycling insists there’s no proof carbon fiber is making bikes more dangerous. And the magazine’s Test Director can barely control his anger at the Times piece.

I’ve been ignoring multiple stories lately about a competition to design the urban bike of the future; Bike Snob explains in his own inimitable way why that was the right choice.

A Chicago study shows only buffered bike lanes keep riders outside the door zone.

An upstate New York woman was high on crack when she hit a cyclist not once, but twice before fleeing the scene — and despite her 23rd license suspension. You’d thing after the first dozen or so, someone would permanently revoke her license and forbid her from owning a car.

A proposed change in DC law would end contributory negligence in car vs bike collisions.

When Ft. Lauderdale police lead Critical Mass riders uphill at a dangerously slow pace — 3 mph, for chrissake — a ride leader asks them to speed up so people won’t fall. And is nearly forced into a collision by a cop, then arrested for his trouble.

 

International

A local Yorkshire official who called cyclists lawless menaces who speed through the village at a remarkable 50 mph is convicted of drunk driving at nearly twice the legal limit. But we’re the dangerous ones, right?

Now that’s class. When the Malawi bike team competing in the Commonwealth Games brought a pair of bikes to a Glasgow bike shop for repairs, the staff decided they deserved better. And loaned them two high-end bikes for the competition.

British rider Emma Pooley announces she’ll retire after the Commonwealth Games.

After pedestrians call an Irish bike rider an idiot for riding on a footpath, he proves them right by attacking them with a key and screwdriver.

 

Finally…

A Houston burglar uses a doggy door to steal a bike, then leaves it behind when he can’t ride it. And Long Beach police respond when a six-year old tries to use a toy gun to jack another boy’s bike.

Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

 

Weekend Links: Our anonymous correspondent visits the Frog Spot, and a busy weekend for SoCal cyclists

Note: I am aware of the bike-hating video posted by a reserve Santa Paula police officer. I saw the video shortly after it went online when Bike Snob tweeted about it, and had originally intended to include it as part of this post.

However, the video had been taken down before I was able to link to it. Since then, the woman responsible for it has apologized, and been suspended by the SPPD pending review. 

Since it’s no longer an urgent matter, I’ll offer my thoughts when I post again on Monday. Thanks to everyone who has reached to me about the story. 

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We’ve mentioned the new Frog Spot on the LA River bike path a few times already, as the Friends of the Los Angeles River open a new gateway welcoming walkers, riders and visitors to the Elysian Valley.

This week, I received an email from a regular correspondent, who prefers to remain anonymous, and who stopped by last week to check things out.

There’s a new pit stop on the LA River Path in Elysian Valley! I’ve missed all the soft hours they’ve had, but Friday afternoon, I saw peeps still there finalizing things, so I swung around and got to speak with none other than FoLAR’s Director of Development Jennifer Kang, as well as Edgar, the handsome young man who’ll be supervising the workers hired from the City’s HIRE LA’s Youth. Elsa’s Bakery is providing coffee and Antigua is providing coffee containers. There’s ice water, coffee, snacks, popsicles, WiFi, sunblock, simple emergency bike repair stuff available. And seating under pretty shade banners, so you don’t have to plunk your butt on the revetment.

http://folar.org/frogspot/

Excitingly, there are RESTROOMS!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation marks for this. The ladies cannot just duck into the willows like some brakebeam tourist. And parents will no longer have their youngster’s nature walks cut short. It’s no exaggeration that my heart nearly leapt out of my chest to hear that there’ll be a clean, reliable, safe place to answer the call of nature, without miles of detour off the path. This is groundbreaking, because despite its new mantle as a public recreation area, the river has lacked this simple, necessary amenity.

Incidentally (sorry in advance for oversharing) I did once, in fact, dive behind the arundo to pee, because I never would’ve made it over that horrid, violently bumpy Riv-Fig bridge without flooding the roadway. Oh, the pain that day. Too much pain to even cuss at the many tree-root bumps on the path. I believe I speak for all the ladies when I express overwhelming gratitude for this simple dignity we’ve been denied for too way too long.

When I returned Saturday morning, I chugged coffee & ice water, but it was so warm & humid, I sweated out any chance of trying the new porta-potties. While waiting, I stood at the entrance by the river path yelling “Free ice water! Come on in!” with the two multi-talented, all-purpose hired hands on duty, who took turns luring in passers-by. The great assortment of visitors included spandex guys, fixie trash (me included), walkers, super friendly canine guests, and families who invariably had difficulty convincing the younger members it was time to leave.

There’s a bocce court. There’s cornholes (that’s what it’s called; it’s a very Midwestern bean-bag toss game, properly played with little sacks of popcorn kernels), which were very popular with the younger visitors. Art supplies are handy for budding young artists to enjoy under a shade tree. There are friendly, knowledgeable folks who’ll answer every question you could possibly have about our beautiful river. And the pups weren’t forgotten, either! Fido can rehydrate, and if you left the poo bags at home, they’re available at the Frog Spot!

Did I mention the restrooms? In addition to comfort and dignity, there’ll be music and poetry and history and bikes all summer, right next to the mortally dangerous concrete-smothered flood control channel we’ve been “protected” from for so long.

The only thing I don’t care for is the Frog Spot’s lovely, blinding, sparkly, alabaster gravel, but this is just personal preference, and I’m still totally willing to brave snow blindness for a safe restroom.

Anyway, it’s worth checking out even though you’re not in that neck of the woods very often. Corgis love rivers. Maybe Ballona will get something similarly awesome someday.

Check it out for yourself when the Frog Spot hosts a Sunset at the Oasis fundraiser for FoLAR from 5 pm to 8 pm tonight, and every Saturday. A minimum $15 donation will get you live music, two drinks — beer, wine or soda — and light snacks; Palmdale band Vista Point will be playing tonight.

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Haven’t had a chance to update the Calendar for awhile, but there’s a lot going on with Bike LA this weekend.

First up, it’s late notice, but if you’re up early, you may still have time to join the LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles for a 45-mile round-trip tour of the world-famous beach and surf communities of Orange County on Saturday morning.

Visit some of Downtown’s most famous and hidden film locations, as Metro, CICLE and Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles sponsor an LA film history ride on Saturday evening.

The newly formed LA Explorers Club leads a ride to explore the origins and history of Downtown LA, also on Sunday.

Mark your calendar for Long Beach’s Bicycle Drive-In on August 2nd, part of the city’s Summer and Music series.

The Gran Fondo Italia returns to bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills on September 28th. Evidently, the city wants to bask in the prestige cycling brings, as long as they don’t actually have to deal with the great unwashed masses on bikes. Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up. 

And after a return to DTLA and a new foray into South LA, you can look forward to CicLAvia coming to Pasadena and the Valley next year.

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Nibali takes Friday’s stage of the Tour de France, extending his lead to 3:37 and positioning himself to become just the sixth rider to win all three major tours. Tejay van Garderen gets a big confidence boost. The Telegraph examines the life of a domestique.

And some guy named Lance, who claims to have won a few Tours himself, is reportedly cooperating with doping investigators.

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Local

KCET offers the definitive examination of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa Fig4All project. Seriously, nice work by Krista Carlson.

Instead of increasing funding for active transportation, Metro agrees to come up with a funding strategy after studying the matter.

Culver City police are looking for the owners of some hot bikes and Razor scooters after busting a bike thief.

 

State

A new study from the University of Colorado says wrecks didn’t decrease in the first six months after California banned hand-held cell phone use. Maybe because the law is still almost universally ignored.

Newport Beach moves forward with the city’s proposed bike plan.

More on bike riders storming the Laguna Beach City Council session earlier this week.

Two hundred days in jail for the Santa Cruz County Tesla driver who lost control and killed a cyclist, then blamed the new car smell for making him fall asleep.

 

National

A new app could be the best way to track actual trips, whether by bike, foot, transit or car.

Buffered bike lanes and contraflow lanes finally get approval from NACTO for inclusion in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the standard guidebook for traffic planners.

Iowa is becoming a bicycling destination as RAGBRAI kicks off next week.

When you’re vomiting blood the morning after a bike collision, it’s probably a sign you might have been injured, after all.

 

International

Fewer than half of UK drivers convicted of killing cyclists ever see the inside of a jail.

British ministers say taxpayers should fund improvements for bicycling.

A Brit woman gets four years for killing a cyclist as she attempted to chase down the lover who dumped her.

 

Finally…

Bikeyface examines the real bicycle face. And the Daily Show offers an insightful and entertaining look at Washington’s failure to increase the gas tax.

 

Morning Links: New CicLAvia maps unveiled, Orange County memorial ride, and Olin family sues LASD

New routes were unveiled today for the next two CicLAvias.

First up, if we can wait that long, is the Heart of LA route on Sunday, October 6th, extending from Echo Park, past Mariachi Plaza and into East LA along Cesar Chavez, with a second leg along Downtown’s newly pedestrian-friendly Broadway.

CicLAvia Heart of LA

Then Sunday, December 7th, CicLAvia comes to South LA for the first time, touring Martin Luther King Blvd between Central and Crenshaw, with forays along both iconic boulevards to visit vibrant Leimert Park and historic Central Ave, the birthplace of West Coast Jazz.

120714_map_5

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April Morris sends word of a memorial ride for fallen Orange County cyclists John Colvin and Debra Deem this Sunday.

On the morning of Sunday, July 20th we will take a short bike ride in the memory of John Colvin and Debra Deem.

Remembering the Fallen.  John was killed in June on a training ride in preparation for what would have been his first Ironman Triathlon later this summer. He was struck by a car on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, California and succumbed to his injuries the same evening.

Debra was killed last August on her daily ride from home to Corona del Mar.

All are welcome to attend. We will meet at Heisler Park, (1 block west of PCH, on Cliff Dr. between Myrtle and Jasmine. ) in Laguna Beach.  Meet at 8:00 AM. A short  invocation will be given in memory of Debra and John at 8:15.

Following the invocation we will ride north on Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Coast Drive, retracing both Debra and John’s last ride. We will continue past the site of his death at Emerald Bay, turn off PCH at the site of Debra’s collision, and climb that hill for them.

John would have likely finished each hill repeat at Pelican Hill Road, so we will call that the official “end” of the memorial ride. However, we hope everyone will continue on, completing a wonderful ride of your own, keeping John and Debra in your hearts.

To remember, and to make a difference. The families of John and Debra both wish that the ride serve to elevate the profile of cyclists in the eyes and minds of drivers, too many of whom are not aware of the our rights on the road, do not expect to see us on the road, and pass too closely when we ride to the right.  With this in mind please stay visible on Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach, especially on the part of the road where John was killed. Ideally, ride solo or no more than two abreast. If you can, please leave a gap of 15-20 seconds between riders.

We do not anticipate stopping at the place of John’s death; with no bike lane and a narrow shoulder, there is just no safe place for any size group to stop. Instead, you may request a single flower at the start of the ride to drop along the road – at that location or anywhere you choose.

John’s family has asked that donations in his honor be made to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition ocbike.org via the “DONATE” tab (right hand side of the home page), or by sending a check to “O.C.B.C.” at 405 E. Wilson Avenue, Orange CA 92867-4832.  501 c.) 3.) EIN 33-0623176

Please consider riding to the start of the ride. But for those driving to the start, there is likely to be available street parking in downtown Laguna Beach or at Heisler Park.

Another option is to park at the Newport Coast Community Center (6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657), at the top of Newport Coast Drive up hill from the official ride will end, and bike down to the start from there.

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To no one’s surprise, the family of fallen cyclist Milt Olin plans to file suit against the LA County Sheriff’s Department today.

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The toll taken on leading riders in this year’s Tour de France serves as a reminder of the human side of the race. Turns out it was a pothole and an energy bar that took down Alberto Contador. And after two crashes in two days, American favorite Andrew Talansky drops more than 10 minutes behind the leaders, while Ted King writes what it’s like to crash out after the 10th stage.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with new CICLE director Vanessa Gray; sounds like the group is in good hands.

More on today’s showdown over the missing bike and pedestrian funding in Metro’s short-range plans.

USC’s Neon Tommy looks at the Bike Oven.

A Burbank letter writer says safety efforts on the Chandler bike path are wasted when cyclists and pedestrians are still at risk on the streets.

 

State

San Diego’s 10 News reports on the proposed law to create Amber Alert-style notices for hit-and-runs.

Kill a cyclist in Napa County, get off with probation and community service.

 

National

Outside Magazine looks at post-doping-ban Levi Leipheimer, and the future of an entire drug-tainted generation of riders.

A new IndieGoGo project is raising funds for a new website to report on women’s pro bike racing.

New bike manufacturer Priority promises a three-speed, maintenance-free belt-drive commuter for under $400.

Indiana TV station attaches a camera to cyclists’ bikes, and catches motorists driving safely.

Boston Red Sox fans get a free bike valet at Fenway Park.

 

International

A collision with another rider — and an Icelandic volcano — change a Vancouver cyclist’s life in an instant.

The Guardian rides Team Sky’s £12,000 — or $20,500 — Pinarello Dogma F8. And likes it.

Someone pushed a Welsh cyclist into a ditch as he stopped to fix a flat, and stole his Pinarella Dogma before he could get back up. But his was only worth a measly £3,000.

 

Finally…

Any city can have a Bike to Work Day, but how many can Tube to Work?

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Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to support BikinginLA. Click here to contribute or advertise, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every day.

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