Archive for Bike Events

Weekend Links: Video highlights of next month’s CicLAvia, upcoming events, and advice on booze and biking

Caught on video: CicLAvia highlights the upcoming December 7th South LA route from Leimert Park to historic Central Avenue. In just 46 seconds, no less.

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A few upcoming events:

Cyclocross racing comes to Griffith Park on Saturday and Sunday with UCI CXLA Weekend at the Greek.

Helen’s Cycles and Think Cure! invite you to join in a training event for The Life Ride this Sunday.

The LACBC hosts their second annual Open House on December 4th. If you made it last year, you know not to miss this one; if not, you owe it to yourself to find out what you’re missing.

Bike the Vote LA is holding a strategy meeting for next year’s city elections on December 6th.

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Local

UCLA records nearly 39,000 bike trips into the campus over the last year; the bike-friendly university is the only college in the US to have an actively displayed bike counter.

Santa Monica’s planned bike share is scheduled to open next year; Los Angeles Magazine suggests where the hubs should be. And LADOT promises it really is in the works for LA County, or at least LA and Pasadena, to start.

 

State

Laguna Beach residents envision a downtown with bike lanes.

Closing arguments begin in the trial of a San Diego area driver who nearly killed a cyclist by trying to beat out another car when two lanes merged; prosecutors have evidently dropped accusations that it was a road rage incident.

A Coronado RN encourages bike riders to wear light colored and reflective clothing. But if riders in dark clothing are so hard to see, how is it that she manages to see them?

The Santa Cruz paper looks at Red Kite Prayer’s Patrick Brady and his new book in advance of a reading on Saturday.

 

National

I Am Traffic explains how to avoid getting right hooked by trucks.

A new Portland start-up promises to build affordable US-made custom bikes in just 10 days, starting at less than two grand.

A Texas rider demonstrates the hard way that intoxicated cyclists are a danger primarily to themselves, unlike drunk drivers who are a danger to everyone.

The rich get richer, as New York will continue building bike lanes at the same pace as when Janette Sadik-Khan was head of the city’s DOT.

New York drivers may kill seniors walking in crosswalks, but the cops focus on ticketing — and tackling —  cyclists instead.

WaPo looks at biking with your furry best friend. I’d take the Corgi on my bike, but she’d flip me the first time she saw a squirrel. Or a French fry.

Bikeyface questions what else people who question why cyclists don’t wear helmets question.

 

International

Copenhagenize says the time has come to give the elderly the right to feel the wind in their hair as they ride. And Copenhagenize author Mikael Colville-Andersen looks at the rise of bicycling in France.

Save money by buying a used pro bike, as long as you’re willing to tweak it and go without a warranty; doping optional.

In what sounds like a bad comedy routine, the UK’s roads minister refuses to build segregated bikeways that would encourage more cycling until there are more cyclists to use them. Got it?

London cyclists are fined over £1million in a crackdown intended to improve bike safety; no word on how much drivers, who pose the greater risk, were fined.

Turns out there’s no speed limit for cyclists in London’s Hyde Park, even though a BBC radio host was ticketed for breaking it.

A big-hearted Scot cyclist on a round-the-world tour picks up a four legged hitchhiker in Turkey, carrying the wounded dog over 200 miles to find a new home.

Ireland’s new road safety czar calls on drivers to be more careful and stop running down bike riders.

Rwanda hopes to become the heart of African bike racing.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: I’ve often felt like I was flying on my bike, but it never occurred to me to actually add a propeller. How to indulge in booze and still ride the next day.

And if you’re riding a bike in Huntington Beach with a loaded gun, ammunition and a handful of knives, don’t go off half-cocked without the right equipment on it.

 

Morning Links: Busy calendar, more on new Westwood bike lane proposal, and bike riding Hollywood thief is a Dick

Let’s start by opening up your calendar. Because there’s a lot going on in the wonderful world of LA bikes for the next few weeks.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting a group ride with the founders of Capo Cycling this Wednesday, November 13th, departing from Caffe Luxxe on San Vicente Blvd.

The Tour de Compton and Mini-Health Fair takes place on Saturday; here’s a map of the ride.

The Ghost Bike Foundation invites you to a bike light vigil and tour of ghost bikes in Downtown LA on Sunday, November 16th.

Also on Sunday, the Eastside Bike Club and GoBici are hosting an introductory ride for beginning mountain bikers.

A community meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 19th to discuss December’s South LA CicLAvia.

The LA Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the city’s updated Mobility Plan on Thursday the 20th at City Hall.

Stan’s Bike shop invites you to join them for the Monrovia Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 4th.

And the next CicLAvia visits South LA on Sunday, December 7th, with a route that stretches from the legendary jazz sites on Central Avenue, down Martin Luther Blvd to the historic heart of the city’s African American community in Leimert Park. This could easily be the best one yet.

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More on the new proposal to place bike lanes on Westwood Blvd — without removing a single parking space or traffic lane.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is considering the plan, which may be overstating matters; all we know for certain is that he has been asked to consider it after ruthlessly killing the previous plan.

Meanwhile, the acting Dean of the UCLA School of Nursing and the Vice Chancellor of Health Services write in HuffPo that Westwood should be a Great Street — with bike lanes, thank you.

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Evidently, the name fits.

Comedian Andy Dick faces a grand theft charge for riding his bike up to man on Hollywood Blvd, and stealing his necklace before riding off.

I’m all in favor of celebrities on bikes.

But we can pass on this one, if you don’t mind.

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I Am Traffic tries to define bicycling courtesy in a very lengthy piece.

While I’m a firm believer in traffic courtesy, I have to disagree with the section on passing on the right. It’s usually safer to stop at the front of the intersection where you can be seen from any direction, rather than wait in line with traffic where you’re hidden from cars coming in other directions.

And in my book, safety trumps being nice every time.

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Local

A photographic display of Day of the Dead altars from the El Sereno Dia De Los Muertos Festival honors fallen LA County cyclists; very moving, but let’s hope there are a lot less to honor next year.

A self-proclaimed South Bay bike rider blames cyclists for pretty much everything; scroll down to the fifth letter. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

A Hermosa Beach man had no idea he’d end up being one of the South Bay’s leading bike advocates when he bought a bike after moving to the beach city 25 years ago. Thanks to Margaret for this one, too.

A Long Beach group opens a privately operated bike share for women who are victims of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, the Long Beach Post says maybe the LACBC’s new Executive Director should come from that bike-friendly city. Not a bad idea; I could think of a few people I’d like to see apply.

 

State

Laguna Beach receives a grant to target dangerous drivers.

Over 15,000 San Diegans celebrate CicloSDias.

San Diego’s Hermes Sports re-enters the retail market with wheels ranging from $995 for aluminum rims to $1995 for carbon.

An Indio bike rider faces a BUI charge after allegedly riding into the path of a car; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A Yucaipa cyclist described only as “elderly” is hospitalized following a collision.

Good news, as the state’s new three-foot passing law is already being used to prosecute drivers in the Bay Area.

 

National

The high-speed road designs typical of the US undermines attempts at improving safety. But you knew that already, right?

A Denver weekly interviews the man behind Bike Smut, which focuses on the intersection of bikes and porn, a subgenre I’m not sure I want to know about.

A drunk Texas driver faces serious charges after trying to run down several bike cops and pedestrians before crashing into a median some time later.

No bias here. A Chicago TV station observes an intersection for eight hours, and witnesses drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all breaking the law. Yet somehow still blames the people on bikes.

A proposed DC law would remove contributory negligence in cases involving bike riders and pedestrians, making it easier for them to receive damages in collisions.

 

International

A new website promises to give Vancouver cyclists detailed bike safety and crash data.

A British Kickstarter offers lightweight carbon, equestrian-style bike helmets in your choice of colors. Let me know when someone makes one that looks and feels like a beat up cowboy hat.

A drunken Brit gets 18 months for knocking a cyclist off his bike, then throwing it at him.

A UK business leader says plans for London’s cycle superhighway will cause traffic congestion, even though bikes already make up 24% of the city’s rush hour traffic.

A British bike rider is found dead following an apparent hit-and-run; a 47-year old woman was arrested later on charges of DUI and leaving the scene. Thanks to F3nugr33k for the link.

Scotland considers a strict liability law, which places greater responsibility to avoid collisions on the operator of the more dangerous vehicle. It will take laws like that here if we ever want to achieve Vision Zero anywhere in this country.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A rider on a rocket powered bicycle hits a world record 207 mph, just a tad faster than my best downhill speed. Before you go off in a road raging tantrum on a couple of bike riders, make sure they’re not off-duty cops — or better yet, just assume every cyclist you see is one.

And an Aussie paper says Katy Perry keeps fit riding to concert venues in her tour Down Under; evidently, her high-energy performance just doesn’t burn enough calories to stay in shape. Or maybe she and her crew just, you know, enjoy riding bikes.

 

Weekend Links: Bike crowdfunding, Bike Day at New Urbanism Film Fest, and a bike riding king of Bhutan

Let’s start by catching up with world of crowdfunding.

A new Kickstarter project promises to deliver a carbon frame, belt-driven urban bike with integrated LED lights and GPS tracking for as low as $950.

A San Francisco cyclist currently living in Brooklyn is looking for Kickstarter backers to help fund the new book Ghost Bike: A Photographic Journey.

And Denver attempts to crowdfund part of a protected bike lane.

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A ghost bike will be installed at 5 pm today to honor fallen Newport Beach cyclist Shaun Eagleson.

The New Urbanism Film Festival screens November 6th through the 9th at the ACME Comedy Theater, 135 N. La Brea, featuring a Bike Day on Saturday the 8th — including a live podcast of the Pedal Love show — followed by a group bike ride on Sunday to help promote a bike friendly streets proposal from the Mid City West Community Council.

North Long Beach is hosting a Kidical Mass Ride on Saturday, November 15th.

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Local

The Times talks with cyclist, nail polish heir and Pedalers Fork owner Robbie Schaeffer.

Marina del Rey is getting a much needed makeover, including new bike paths.

Santa Clarita cuts the ribbon on a new bridge and bike path.

Long Beach begins work on a new pedestrian path to move walkers off what is now a multi-use path, as well as a bike route and roundabouts through Bixby Knolls and Los Cerritos.

 

State

This is what they take away from the highly flawed Governors Highway Safety Administration report? A website on California government blames drunk, helmetless cyclists for the apparent rise in bicycling fatalities; evidently, the drivers who hit them are totally blameless.

Newport Beach gets a grant for a year-long traffic safety enforcement program — including bike and pedestrian enforcement efforts.

Chula Vista extends bike access to the bay.

Now that’s more like it. Riverside County prosecutors re-file a murder charge against William Donald Johnson for the death of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in Calimesa last December. Jurors convicted Johnson of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence and hit-and-run causing injury or death, but deadlocked on the murder charge.

This is just too sad. A San Luis Obispo cyclist is killed while riding with her fiancé, just three weeks before their wedding day.

A Vacaville letter writer urges cyclists to think of themselves as cars and stop for red lights; of course, when we do, drivers get mad because we’re in the lane in front of them.

 

National

Bicycling’s Bob Mionske notes that cyclist anti-harassment laws are spreading across the country, and the political will to change intimidating behavior by motorists may soon follow.

Caught on video: An anti-bike motorist is challenged to bike to work for a full week.

Bike the Vote seems to be spreading, as the Denver city clerk declared Saturday “Bike in Your Ballot” day.

Dallas proves it is in fact possible to indict a cop for killing a bike rider while on duty. Maybe we can trade DA’s with them.

Grist looks at Mary Burke, who could become the next, bike-loving governor of Wisconsin.

Bike lanes are blamed for deepening inequality in Memphis; evidently, only the wealthier creative class benefits from bike riding in Tennessee.

A New York cop crashes his patrol car into a truck; needless to say, a bike rider gets the blame.

A New Orleans judge blocks a road diet and bike lanes on behalf of a church school that evidently doesn’t want to improve safety for its students.

 

International

So much for LA’s status as the hit-and-run capital of the world, as nearly 80 Londoners are injured or killed in hit-and-runs each week.

Now that’s a jerk. A British cyclist breaks both arms and a foot in a crash with another rider who just rode away without a word; an Aussie cyclist is awarded $1.7 million for another bike-on-bike collision.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. A Brit teenager is stabbed in the back in an argument over bike brakes.

The Netherlands institutes a bike safety exam for seniors; we can’t even get safety exams to get dangerous older motorists off the road.

In Bhutan, even the king rides a bike in a country that has become the latest improbable bastion of bicycling.

An Aussie state considers fining motorists who violate a proposed 1-meter law, the equivalent of California’s three-foot passing law.

There’s a new hour record holder already, as Australian Matthias Brandle breaks the record Jens Voigt set just a few weeks ago. No disrespect, but am I the only one who’s disappointed Jensie’s record is already off the books?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re carrying illegal drugs on your bike, don’t crash into the back of police cruiser while texting — and don’t rack your nuts in the process. A British inventor creates an ice bike; no, not a bike designed to ride on ice, one with tires made of it.

And now you, too, can have a two-wheeled Ferrari of your very own, with walnut wood coating and woven leather for a cool $7,500 — or $11,300 with electric assist.

 

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

……..

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.

……..

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.

 

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