Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Dismal turnout but bike friendly results, and a new video says safer streets can make a big difference

Once again, a handful of Angelenos decide the future of the city, as less than 9% of registered voters bothered to cast a ballot on Tuesday.

Nine percent.

With a dismal turnout like that, bike riders could rule this city. Except most of us stayed home, too.

However, it looks like it will be bike friendly Carlolyn Ramsay vs David Ryu in a runoff to replace Tom LaBonge in CD4. Third place Tomas O’Grady, who finished just 61 votes behind Ryu, could still sneak in after outstanding ballots are counted.

And incumbent Jose Huizar rolls to an easy victory over Gloria “Where will we all park?” Molina.

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A new video from Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament illustrates how investing in safe spaces for bicycling can bring big changes for everyone.

Although the doctor who said Katie’s stick-thin father needs to lose weight should go back to medical school.

Thanks to my favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate for the heads-up.

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LA bike advocate, bikewear maker and bike blogger Richard Risemberg has released the e-book version of his first novel, The Dust Will Answer, described as an urban noir mystery. It’s available at Amazon and Smashwords; use the code PZ82G on Smashwords through March 28th to get a $1 discount.

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Local

Metro is expected to award a contract for LA’s long delayed bike share program in June, with the first bikes hitting the street a year later. Although for some reason, there won’t be any stations in Chinatown, the Fashion District or City West; no station on Skid Row makes a little more sense.

Just 2.8% of UCLA employees bike to the campus, a figure that could rise dramatically if they just had a safe way to get there.

Santa Monica’s California Incline connecting the city with PCH will close for one year for reconstruction beginning in April; the new ramp will include bike and pedestrian lanes for those willing to tackle the steep slope.

Helen’s Cycles host their monthly group ride for intermediate and advanced riders this Saturday.

The traditional Marathon Crash Ride looks like a go for Sunday, March 15th, though final approvals are still pending.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at bills affecting Livable Streets in the state legislature — including one stealth bill about bikeways.

The Oxnard Fire Department raises $34,000 to distribute new bike helmets to kids. That would be a far better approach than mandating them for adults, too.

Clearly, there’s more to this story than they’re telling us. Police investigate the case as an assault with a deadly weapon after a Porterville boy is struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Palo Alto approves the first two segments of the city’s new bike and pedestrian plan. Don’t hold your breath, though; it will take 30 years to build out the 24 planned projects.

Cupertino moves to improve bike safety near schools by restricting trucks and requiring early morning trash pickup.

A compromise plan is finally reached to place protected bike lanes on San Francisco’s Polk Street, though not to everyone’s satisfaction.

 

National

No surprise here, as fear of being hit by a vehicle is the biggest obstacle keeping Americans off their bikes.

A bill in the Oregon legislature would require cyclists to wear a reflective coat or vest after dark.

A DC writer explains why some bicyclists ride outside of the city’s bike lanes, such as the risk of being turned into a toad. He said it, not me.

 

International

CNN looks at London’s bike superhighway proposals — practical and otherwise — calling bicycles an old technology with a very bright future.

A UK TV station says every moment spent on a bike is a judgment call. And the consequences can be catastrophic when someone gets it wrong.

 

Finally…

Let’s hope it’s just a bad translation, as a Dutch cyclist on a stolen bike drove off after hitting a baby and her money; no really, that’s what it says. Levi’s finally gets around to making bikewear for women.

And it has nothing to do with bicycling, but this Kickstarter project for a film about African American cowboys in Compton looks too cool for words.

 

Morning Links: Cycling in the South Bay makes me blush, and what you — and drivers — don’t know about bike law

The Corgi assures me she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

The Corgi assures me that she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

I’m blushing.

No, really.

I’m not one to toot my own horn. Especially since the only horn I know how to play is a tuba, and the neighbors would have a serious problem with that.

As would the Corgi, I’m sure.

Fortunately, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has done it for me, with a piece I intend to have engraved in full on my tombstone.

Which will require either incredibly small type, or a shitload or marble.

Seriously, thanks Seth.

He also offers up a great report on leading by bad example. Which I have done more than once.

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Good report from KPCC public radio on what drivers — and cyclists – don’t know about bike law, including a handy quiz to check your own knowledge.

Although I’d take the stats showing bike riders are at fault in most collisions with a big grain of salt, since determination of fault depends on the training and, too often, windshield biases of the investigators.

Few, if any, California police officers receive adequate training in investigating the unique properties of bicycle collisions, which differ greatly from motor vehicles. And not nearly enough officers have a working understanding of the actual rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

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Local

The LA Times offers their full obituary for the late, great Alex Baum, while KCET provides a detailed remembrance.

The CSULA paper looks at the benefits of bike riding for the school’s students.

Look out for road construction on southbound PCH between Busch and Trancas for the next two days, as they prepare to install a six-foot wide parking adjacent bike lane alongside the highway.

 

State

A Bay Area triathlete describes the effects a traumatic brain injury had on her life after a fall, apparently while walking or running. But oddly, she calls for cyclists to wear helmets instead of pedestrians.

A Marin County hiker was hospitalized after a trail rage confrontation with a mountain biker. Seriously, no matter how justified you may feel, don’t ever hit a 65-year old woman. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A story from the CSU Sacramento paper says people who ride a bike for 30 minutes score higher on memory and reasoning tests than those who don’t. But we knew that, right?

This is why you always carry ID, as Fairfield police attempt to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision; the victim remains unconscious in a trauma center.

A after joining a memorial ride for a cyclist killed by a distracted driver, Nevada County writer calls on drivers to try putting their cell phones in the glove box for the next 30 days. Great idea.

 

National

The Portland paper offers 10 tips on how to keep you bike from being stolen, and how to get it back if it is.

A Seattle writer questions whether bike advocacy is in decline in the city, especially since Seattle bike collisions are increasing.

A fat tire rider smashes the sled dog record for a 350-mile stretch of Alaska’s famed Iditarod trail. Of course, the warm weather that allows cyclists to ride fast also slows sled dogs down; my brother ended up with a cracked femur and wrenched shoulder trying to run his team on rocks one year.

Seriously? Even frigid Fargo gets bike share before the far more temperate City of Angels.

As if cars weren’t enough to worry about, an Allentown PA bar owner is on trial for allegedly walking out of his bar, then shooting and killing a random bicyclist riding a half block away.

A Hoboken man faces charges after being arrested for bike theft not once, not twice, but three times in the last nine months. Evidently, he’s both a prolific and crappy thief.

It shouldn’t take the death of a cyclist to call attention to a dangerous New Orleans intersection.

 

International

A Chilean mountain biker becomes the first professional athlete in her country to come out as gay. Clothes belong in closets, people don’t.

London’s mayor calls on bike riders to wave like a symphonic conductor to get drivers’ attention, which is far better than calling on motorists to actually pay attention.

An English firefighter testifies an angry driver buzzed him while he was riding to work, then got out of his car to yell at him, and buzzed him again, missing him by inches.

The UK extends their Think! Cycling safety campaign, despite evidence that it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Newly retired pro cyclist Andy Schleck plans to open a bike shop in Luxembourg.

Sad news from Belgium, as a spectator is killed when a racer loses control of his bike in the wind; the victim was the wife of a former Tour de France stage winner.

An American professor working in the United Arab Emirates was killed while riding with a friend.

A Japanese man sues the maker of his folding mountain bike after the frame breaks, throwing him to the pavement and smashing his teeth. Let’s hope the $190 cost of the bike was used, not full retail.

 

Finally…

A Cincinnati TV station freaks out over the $50 each cost of bollards marking a parking protected bike lane, the concept behind which they don’t seem to get. A casual Aussie bicyclist feels threatened by cars, but can’t help ridiculing anyone who takes riding more seriously.

And a Bulgarian tourist decides to ride his bike into London from Heathrow on a major highway, causing much consternation since it evidently never occurred to anyone to try riding from the airport, let alone offer directions on how to do so.

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A prior commitment will keep me from attending today’s memorial service for Alex Baum, but he and his loved ones will be in my heart and prayers.

And someone please ask the mayor and LADOT when we’ll see the well-deserved public memorial for one of the truly great Angelenos?

Morning Links: Endorsing Ramsay and O’Grady in CD4; and a blind bike rider needs your help to regain his sight

Today is election day in LA, as well as several surrounding communities.

I’d planned to write about the candidates running for the seat Tom LaBonge is vacating in Monday’s post, until the untimely death of Alex Baum — and yes, even at 92, he left us far too soon — took precedence.

So let me just offer an endorsement of sorts for the two candidates I’d most like to see make it into a runoff.

But let’s be clear on one thing first. I’m basing my choice strictly on those who bothered to respond to the LACBC’s candidate survey and participate in the recent Liveable Streets candidate forum.

Simply put, if a candidate doesn’t care enough to ask for our support, he or she doesn’t deserve it.

Of the 14 candidates in the race, only six meet both criteria. And of those, I prefer Tomas O’Grady and Carolyn Ramsay, with Sheila Irani coming in a not-so-distant third.

Either of those two would make a great choice; ideally, both will survive to compete against one another for the seat in the June general election, ensuring bicyclists will have a strong voice to replace a very weak one from the district in City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Times endorses Irani, while the Daily News picks O’Grady and Teddy Davis. And the LA Weekly calls the race total toss-up; with 14 candidates, the top two may only need a few thousand votes each to advance to the runoff.

As for the races in other districts, I’ve previously announced my unqualified endorsement of incumbent Jose Huizar in CD14.

For other races in LA and surrounding communities, check out the Bike the Vote LA voter guide. And the Times offers the rest of their endorsements, which for the most part don’t take bikes into account.

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LA cyclist and nutritionist Matt Ruscigno sends word of a friend of his who is still struggling to recover, physically and financially, from a devastating 2008 bike wreck that left him blind and with no sense of taste or smell. Mike Vincent is looking for donations to help pay massive medical bills and recover his sight.

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Local

The Times addresses the death of Alex Baum, focusing primarily on his bike advocacy, while promising a more complete obituary to come. Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a great remembrance of a great man.

Downtown building owners are offering free bike rentals to tenants.

A woman and her Schwinn were rescued from the LA River by Pasadena firefighters.

KCET looks at LA’s recent literary ride.

Traffic is only going to get worse in WeHo unless the city retools its streets for the future, including bike lanes.

CLR Effect mourns the ghost of a poorly maintained bike lane.

 

State

The California State Association of Counties endorses road diets; let’s hope our local electeds are paying attention.

That proposed bike helmet bill could put a damper on San Diego’s new bike share program.

Once again, Tour de Fat will bypass LA; the nearest stop is in San Diego. Seriously, they can have their damn football team if they’ll just give us Tour de Fat back.

A Fresno cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a car Monday afternoon; the out-of-control driver continued on to crash into a garage.

A cyclist in San Mateo County is killed in an apparent solo crash.

A Stanford blogger relates what it’s like to be hit by a car. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A San Francisco bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was hit by a car on Monday. Sheriffs deputies performed CPR for at least eight minutes until paramedics arrived; the victim was injured when the driver reportedly blew through a red light.

 

National

One third of all Americans over the age of three rode a bicycle last year; 57% of the 103.7 million US cyclists rode for recreation.

Hawaii police arrest one of their own for the on-duty hit-and-run crash that took the life of a Michigan bicyclist.

Once again, a bike rider saves the day, as an Alaska cyclist rescues a blind dog who had been lost for two weeks on -40 degree weather; he also turned the reward over to a local animal shelter.

Now that’s more like it, as a Casper WY man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a bike rider.

A 76-year old Texas man bikes 300 miles for Planned Parenthood.

It’s not that New York safety advocates want harsher penalties for killer drivers, as the NY Times says; it’s more like they want them to be charged at all.

No apology from a New York truck driver three years after the death of a cyclist. Then again, any good lawyer would tell his client not to apologize, as it could be seen as an admission of guilt.

 

International

The BBC profiles Britain’s Beryl Burton, arguably the country’s greatest female cyclist.

Sad to see racial animosity rear its ugly head in South African cycling, although I have no idea what it was that the country’s first international pro cyclist was called.

Aussie authorities reject calls to increase penalties for dooring in the wake of a cyclist killed after he was knocked into the path of a truck, while a writer calls for giving bicyclists greater rights on some roads.

A Brisbane man is fed up with rude bike riders after one leaves him lying injured on a pathway. Seriously, there’s no more excuse for a hit-and-run cyclist than there is for a hit-and-run driver.

A Vietnamese motorbike rider is killed escorting a women’s international bike race.

 

Finally…

Ford introduces two new e-bike prototypes that do not look like anything I would want to ride. I wonder if coating your bike in reflective sign paint would meet the state requirement for reflectors in all directions?

And repeat after me: If you’re carrying two meth pipes and a stolen credit card on the $2000 bike you allegedly stole, don’t hang out in front of a cop shop.

 

Weekend Links: Better safety means more riders or vice versa, caught on video 3x, and a hit-and-run AZ cyclist

A new report raises kind of a chicken and egg question, finding cycling is safer in nations with the most people on bikes.

So is it safer because more people ride or do more people ride because it’s safer?

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Caught on video:

After a San Francisco cyclist slaps the back of a minivan when he gets cut off, the driver gets out and goes ballistic. With his kid in the car, no less.

Chilling security cam video catches an Australian rider getting doored seconds before he’s killed by a passing truck.

And pro cyclist Peter Sagan pulls yet another bike trick by playing bicycle golf with a teammate.

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I think most of us would agree that hit-and-run drivers are heartless assholes.

So what does that make hit-and-run bike riders like the Arizona cyclist who left an 81-year old man fighting for his life?

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Local

Better Bike questions whether the Biking Black Hole will ever update the 1977 Beverly Hills bike master plan, the one that called for routing bike riders through the city’s downtown alleys.

The very busy and prolific CiclaValley reports on the recent San Fernando Valley Transit Summit.

A Malibu entrepreneur with Asbergers raises $3.6 million on Indiegogo to build a more affordable e-bike.

It looks like Harrison Ford is one of us. And he flies a pretty nifty plane, too.

 

State

A coalition of advocacy groups calls for California to nearly double funding for active transportation.

Retired pro Jens Voigt has been selected as ambassador for this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

A survey asks if Santa Ana cyclists feel invisible while riding in the city. The correct answer is probably yes.

A Fresno bike rider is lucky to escape with minor injuries after he’s rear-ended when a pickup driver took his eyes off the road for an undisclosed reason.

San Francisco police shoot and kill a bike thief who was using a knife to jack a rider’s ride.

A Marin Eagle Scout’s plan to put out emergency supplies for mountain bikers comes under attack from conservationists, evidently because patching a flat is worse for the environment than walking your bike out.

A Sausalito bike thief armed with a remote steals a $15,000 Cervelo from inside a parked car.

Someone should give him a time out. A Vacaville editor says cyclists who oppose California’s proposed mandatory helmet law are acting like children and should be treated that way.

 

National

Sports Illustrated discovers America’s first black world champion and one of the greatest bike racers of all time.

Bike riders report more errors on Google Maps than anyone else. Maybe because Google makes more mistakes routing riders.

The Apple watch isn’t even out yet, and already there’s a handlebar mount for it.

A Seattle cyclist reclaims his stolen bike after spotting it for sale online.

A Provo UT writer gets it, explaining why car lovers should embrace the city’s coming bike lanes.

A Chicago advice columnist applauds a woman for threatening to divorce her husband for not wearing a bike helmet if he ever gets hurt.

Minneapolis will get ten new protected bike lanes this year, which is nine or ten more than LA has, depending on your definition of protected.

A St. Petersburg writer says if you don’t want your bike stolen, don’t be like her.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers up 13 things your friends don’t understand about cycling; actually, they really mean pro bike racing.

That supposedly unstealable bike developed by Chilean college students goes from concept to Indiegogo campaign this week.

Despite the bike boom, Brit riders are still disproportionately young and male, maybe in part because London cyclists aren’t getting the separated bike lanes they were promised. Then again, who is?

Israel opens a 186 mile mountain bike path through the southern part of the country.

 

Finally…

This is not the proper use of a bicycle wheel, as a reckless driver in the Netherlands jumps out and uses one to beat the pedestrian he nearly ran over. Proof that crime doesn’t pay —  a Brit bike thief is fined £1,800 for making off with the titanium mountain bike he sold for just £20.

And evidently, they have bike riding dogs in Santa Cruz. But they don’t seem to be any safer on the streets than the rest of us.

 

Weekend Links: Own your own bicycle coffee café, slower driving works in Scotland, and WeHo candidate surveys

Ever want to just chuck your damn job and become self-unemployed self-employed like me?

Now you can become a bike-born coffee entrepreneur with your very own Wheelys.

No, not those kid’s shoes with a wheel in the heel.

But a full service café on wheels that folds out in just minutes to put you in the business of serving caffeine aficionados anywhere you can pedal. And it folds back down to store in the shipping container it came in, which doubles as a garage.

Think of it as your very own food truck. Without the truck.

Better yet, at just $3450, it costs less than a lot of road bikes. And less than 1% of the cost of opening your own Starbucks.

For that price, an enterprising cyclist could park one along PCH, and make enough to retire just from the riders who pass by.

Heck, I even want one.

If only to make sure I’ll have fresh coffee and Danish on my next ride.

Wheelys graphic

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As slower traffic speeds spread through Scotland, attitudes that bicycling is unsafe are changing, and more children are riding to school — jumping from 3% to 22% among older children in Edinburgh.

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Harelbeke posterThat ridiculous E3 Harelbeke poster has been banned.

As much as I hate censorship, this isn’t the way to promote bike riding to women. Or anyone but than teenage boys, for that matter.

Then again, it’s nothing new for the folks at Harelbeke.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition has received candidate surveys from 10 of the 12 candidates for the city’s three at-large seats in next week’s city council election.

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Still more bike events coming up this weekend and beyond.

Los Angeles Magazine recommends Saturday’s Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk & Bike Ride, as does commenter Brian Nilsen.

Culver City Walk and Rollers will host a Family Fun Ride and Smart Gardening Workshop on Saturday.

UCLA’s Fowler Museum invites you to celebrate all things bicycle at the Bike Day Family Festival this Sunday.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is hosting a women-only Ladies Bike Ride for International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th.

Zócalo and Metro host a discussion on whether Car Culture is Dead on Wednesday, March 11th at MOCA. We don’t actually have to kill car culture, just tame it.

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Local

Streetsblog asks what DTLA needs to do to get ready for bike share.

Tori Spelling teaches her unicorn-helmeted daughter how to ride a bike.

That gargantuan six-way Los Feliz mess where Hollywood Blvd, Hillhurst Ave, Sunset Blvd and Virgil Ave connect remains a challenge for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

Maybe it really is a new era at Caltrans, as the notoriously auto-centric state transportation agency releases an annual report focusing on non-motorized travel. Although, as Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry points out, calling bicycling and walking non-motorized transportation is “like calling women nonmen.”

More confirmation of a change in attitude at the agency, as the Adventure Cycling Association looks at Caltrans’ agreement to allow bike tourists to legally ride through the high desert, completing the Bike Route 66 through the state. The ACA thanks Calbike and CABO, among others, for their help in finding a solution.

The San Diego Untion-Tribune says California’s proposed mandatory helmet law doesn’t make sense on the boardwalk, while BikeSD spells out the reasons a helmet law doesn’t make sense. And Pedal Love says requiring helmets is a step in the wrong direction; better to remember it’s another person out there, whether on a bike or behind the wheel.

A Sacramento bike shop doubles as a pedal-powered delivery service for farm-to-table restaurants.

A new city report says San Francisco is dangerous but not deadly for bike riders.

 

National

A trucking website suggests bikes could be the next wave in cargo hauling.

Clean Technica says the US has built as many protected bike lanes in the last two years as it had in the previous 140 years. But what exactly did bikes have to be protected from in 1875, except maybe outraged equestrians?

Maybe the LAPD should follow Portland’s lead and establish a bike theft task force.

A Colorado House committee votes to encourage dangerous driving by banning red light and speed cameras over the objections of law enforcement agencies.

Kentucky’s best known liability lawyer is back at work after a near-fatal bicycling collision; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by saying he was blinded by the sun.

A Boston doctor says bicycling can help provide relief from migraine symptoms. Having blown chunks home more than once trying to make it back home home after developing one while riding, I can truthfully say it didn’t help me.

Credit fellow bike blogger the Witch on a Bicycle for pointing out a New York site that keeps track of cops who park in bike lanes, including here in LA.

Parking wins out over bike lanes in Princeton NJ.

 

International

Saskatoon gets its first protected bike lane this spring.

London introduces bike-friendly construction trucks loaded with safety features in an attempt to reduce bike fatalities, while a UK cyclist argues it’s safer to jump red lights, even if the cops ticket you for it.

A British woman posts a public sign demanding the return of her stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider jumps a railroad barricade as a train bears down on him.

A Chinese man set out on a bike ride in 1997 to explore different cultures. And he’s been cycling around the world ever since.

 

Finally…

Here’s your chance to be a star, as a British TV show is looking for a “speed freak” bicyclist to travel the world competing in local racing events, including Mongolian yak racing. You could own your very own Transformer as Ford patents plans for a car that reassembles into a bicycle.

And LA’s notorious bike thieves take it too damn far by snatching one of those new bicycle-shaped Echo Park bike racks.

I wonder if they realize it’s not really a bike.

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Not only was Leonard Nimoy one of us, but William Shatner stole his bike.

 

Morning Links: Bike helmets alone don’t prevent injuries, scofflaw cops in bike lanes, and upcoming bike events

Someone please forward this to state Senator Carol Liu, author of SB 192 that would mandate helmet use by all bicycle riders.

A new medical study concludes that bike helmets alone can’t prevent serious bicycling injuries, and the solution may lie in separating cyclists from motor vehicles.

Because just trying to tame traffic and get motorists to drive safely would never work.

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Great piece on risk communcation from Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, who says yes, bicycling may be dangerous, but no more than driving. And so is walking, bathing and shopping.

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CiclaValley discovers scofflaw cops parking in downtown bike lanes, forcing riders to protect and swerve.

He said it, not me.

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Lots of great bike events coming up.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting their first fundraising event this Saturday, with the South Bay Bike Night and Bike City Awards, honoring Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Lawndale for their efforts to become safer and friendlier for bike riders. The proceeds will be used will be used to pay for the SBBC’s bike helmets for kids program,  bike education classes for elementary school students and adults, and advocacy for safe biking practices, infrastructure and enforcement.

More on this weekend’s bike and hike-a-thon to raise funds to provide orphans throughout Africa with bikes; the charity was founded by a La Canada high school student.

Don’t forget this Sunday’s Pastrami Ride, which sounds like the tastiest LACBC Sunday Funday ride yet.

Mark your calendar for March 14th, when the LACBC will host a two-hour women-only bike safety workshop.

San Diego’s St. Paddy’s Palomar Punishment, billed as the city’s most fun cycling event, rolls on March 7th to benefit the San Diego Humane Society, with rides from 10 to 97 miles.

Looking further ahead, Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual non-sectarian Blessing of the Bicycles will be held on Tuesday, May 12th as part of Bike Week/Month. Because a little divine intervention couldn’t hurt.

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Local

Streetsblog reports the highlights from Monday’s Live Ride Share Conference to discuss shared mobility, including bike share.

Richard Risemberg says nobody bikes in LA. Except for all the people who do.

LA Magazine is waiting impatiently for the MyFigueroa project, noting the much-needed changes can’t come soon enough.

Good news for PCH riders, as the highway is expected to reopen this week after a nine-mile section was closed down to repair storm damage.

KCBS-2 reports on last Sunday’s Milt Olin ride.

Long Beach officials hosted the LACBC’s Operation Firefly bike light giveaway Tuesday night.

 

State

For once, bike lanes win out over parking, as the Vista city council votes to remove parking spaces on Civic Center Drive to make room for bikes. Motorists are undoubtedly getting out the torches and pitchforks as we speak.

Carlsbad police are looking for witnesses to a Valentines Day hit-and-run that left a bike rider injured.

Bad news from Oakland, as a 60-year old bike rider is killed in a collision with a pickup truck.

Oakland bike riders get secure bike parking at the new Bike Station; parking your bike will be free during the day and just $5 overnight.

San Francisco considers closing down streets in popular entertainment districts on weekends, something that should be seriously explored here.

 

National

The Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway will provide bicycles for hundreds of special needs kids.

Denver considers a two-way protected bike lane on one of the city’s busiest streets.

Evidently ignorance is bliss, as Wyoming legislators vote not to collect data on bicycle safety or explore building a statewide bikeway.

Iowa considers changing the law to require a rear-facing light on bikes after dark, rather than allowing reflectors; that’s also under consideration here in California.

An Indiana cycling instructor calls for ticketing irresponsible bike riders, while acknowledging that cyclists are much less likely to cause harm than motorists.

A Cincinnati letter writer says let’s develop a network of bike paths for recreational riders, but keep those crazy transportation cyclists off the damn roads, already.

A Baltimore bicyclist clearly explains the vigilance cyclists have to maintain, and what it’s like to share the road with motorists.

 

International

Bike Radar offers up five reasons mountain bikers should try skinny tired bikes.

London authorities list the city’s most dangerous intersections for cyclists, as the city sets aside the equivalent of $140 million to re-envision bicycling in the suburbs.

Judging by these letter writers, bicycling in Ireland isn’t any better than it is here.

Good problem to have, as Amsterdam plans an underwater bike parking garage because they’re running out of spaces for bikes.

Unbelievable. A New Zealand cyclist may have died because a truck company placed advertising on the passenger side window of their vehicles.

Thai cyclists demand changes in the country’s laws to protect people on bikes.

 

Finally…

Okay, so it’s got three wheels, but you could hit 100 mph with this pedal powered electric-assist car. Speaking of assists, if your bike doesn’t fly, just add a few fans.

And this is so not the way to promote a bike race to women. Or anyone, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Unfortunate irony on the Milt Olin Ride, and still more on the proposed helmet law

Unfortunate irony, indeed.

A bike rider is hit by an apparently distracted driver on a ride to remember a bike rider killed by a distracted-driving sheriff’s deputy.

Fortunately, the cyclist should be okay, despite being pretty banged up.

………

It’s starting to look like this story isn’t going to go away.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle says bike advocates are splitting hairs in opposition to SB 192, the bill that would mandate helmet use for all riders. Although someone should tell him that the law requiring helmets for minors, which he calls a success, is often blamed for why so few California children ride bikes, which is a major contributor to the obesity crisis in our youth.

The Daily News prints letters on both sides of the issue; once again, licensing people on bikes rears its ugly head even though it has nothing to do with the question at hand.

San Diego’s KPBS public radio station discusses both sides of the question, as well, while Santa Monica Spoke comes out in opposition to the bill. Digital Slurry echoes Copehangenize with a tongue-in-cheek call for walking helmets.

And if you still have any doubt whether the proposed helmet law is a bad idea, Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry nails it.

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Local

USC’s Neon Tommy says a watered down MyFigueroa won’t be finished until the end of next year.

Next City is suitably impressed that Ed Begley, Jr. biked the Oscars in the rain Sunday night. So I am.

Move LA and the SFV Council of Governments are hosting a San Fernando Valley Town Hall on Thursday to imagine our transportation future in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.

Westwood’s Hammer Museum invites you to design your own bike to suit the environment in a family friendly workshop this Sunday.

 

State

A Santa Ana coalition wants to empower local residents to transform the streets to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Bakersfield driver faces four charges, including two felony counts, in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

A Modesto letter writer insists there will never be safety for bicyclists as long as we’re required to ride with traffic; someone should show him the safety stats for salmon cyclists.

The new director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition intends to push the fight for Vision Zero.

 

National

Kids added their voices to bike advocacy at the national Youth Bike Summit in Seattle.

Now here’s an idea LA should steal copy, as Houston opens a Bicycle Museum this week. I’d gladly pay to see Connie Carpenter’s gold medal-winning bike from the ’84 LA Olympics, along with one of the bikes that beat a JetBlue jet to Long Beach and made Wolfpack Hustle a household name among local cyclists.

An Omaha flying saucer-shaped building is set to become a new bike shop operated by a non-profit group. Actually, most local bike shops are unintentional non-profits these days.

A Minnesota man prepares to ride next week’s 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational along a portion of the famed sled dog trail.

An Ohio fat bike rider doesn’t let freezing temperatures — or a frozen beard — stop him.

Bike riders recreate the legendary Selma to Montgomery civil rights march on two wheels.

New York’s CitiBike workers want the raises they were promised by the bike share’s former owners.

 

International

Must be something in the water, as a racist UK jerk hurls abuse at a bike rider and threatens to set his dogs on him, and a big hearted Londoner is caught on video saying bike riders are their own worst enemy and deserve to die.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British WWII vet still rides up to 5,000 miles a year; last year he notched 3,500, which is a lot more than I managed.

A Brit thief steals a bike, and uses it to break through the window of a toy store.

 

Finally…

Roseville bike thieves simply ride off with bikes being sold through Craigslist. An apparently anti-bike OKC city councilmember follows up on his failed attempt to force bike riders to keep three feet from cars with an ordinance allowing police to ticket lane splitting cyclists.

And if you’re drunk off your ass and get caught trying to take a shortcut through a fenced-off business lot, don’t ride salmon and crash into the police car trying to stop you from getting killed by riding into the path of a truck.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: Biking the Oscars, challenging helmet stats and a big jump in Santa Monica bike commuting

Even the threat of rain couldn’t keep a handful of Angelenos from biking to the Oscars on Sunday.

Actor Ed Begley, Jr. lived up to his promise to bike into the Academy Awards over the Cahuenga pass, donning rain gear on the ride before switching to his tux for the ceremony.

Laemmle Theater president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle also rode in, wearing his tux on his folding bike despite the threatening weather.

And even the LAPD biked the Oscars as part of the massive security presence protecting the event.

LAPD bike cops at the Oscars

……..

Somehow I missed this one earlier this month.

The Examined Spoke examined that highly flawed stat behind SB 192, Glendale state Senator Carol Liu’s proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, as well as reflective hi-viz after dark.

Liu cites a statistic from the National Conference of State Legislatures that says 91% of bicyclists killed in 2009 weren’t wearing helmets. Never mind that it fails to addresse how many bike riders actually suffered head injuries, or whether their injuries would have been survivable with one.

ES looks at it another way, revealing that the 91% figure may questionable, since it appears the authors may have combined the figures for victims who weren’t wearing a helmet with those where it’s unknown whether or not a helmet was used.

As he points out, that’s a big no-no, statistically speaking.

And it’s definitely not true in California.

Separating out the unknowns from the cases where it’s known if the victim was wearing a helmet, the figure drops to just 63% of bike riders killed in California in 2009 were without helmets.

And it drops even further in recent years, as just 53% — barely over half — of cyclists killed in the state in 2012 weren’t wearing one.

Hardly the overwhelming statistic that would justify forcing every rider to wear a helmet under every circumstance.

……..

Local

Built it and they will come. Afternoon rush hour biking in Santa Monica is up 67% between 2011 and 2013, while overall bike commuting rose from 2.3% to 3.7% from 2010 to 2013. That corresponds with the city’s efforts to improve conditions for cyclists, with 45 miles of new bike lanes and sharrows since 2011.

Writing for HuPo, Joel Epstein reports on a panel discussion questioning whether LA has embarked on a bicycling revolution that will bring about post-car dominated city embracing transit, biking and walking. We can only hope.

Bicyclists get new bike racks in Echo Park. Which should come in handy since bikes are forbidden from the pathways around it.

Two UCLA alums will ride from San Francisco to New York to promote science education, especially for girls.

Don’t miss tonight’s Town Hall Meeting of the Westwood Village Improvement Association to discuss the Remove Nothing Plan for much-needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

CICLE’s Tweed, Moxie and Mustaches Ride rolls on Sunday.

 

State

The editor of the Stockton paper says yes, helmets are important, but mandating them is the wrong answer. The Woodland newspaper disagrees, though they could do without the tasteless and highly offensive cartoon that accompanies the editorial — which also appeared down here in the Daily Breeze, though they don’t seem to have posted it online.

The Times looks at the route for this year’s Tour of California.

A San Diego woman suffers major head injuries despite wearing a helmet after touching wheels with her husband’s bike.

Signs warning drivers about the state’s new three-foot passing law go up outside of Napa.

 

National

Salon looks at why it’s so hard to punish killer drivers.

A Seattle rider travels all of the city’s protected bike lanes in a single day. That would be a lot easier here in LA.

A Wyoming paper calls for a statewide bike path, calling it a visionary proposal. Depending on the route, it could pas through some breathtaking scenery and be a huge draw for bike tourism, as well as long-distance recreational riding.

When life gives you snow, build a 40-foot long bike tunnel to get through it like they did in Boston. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

International

A Dutch bike team has to go home after thieves steal all their bikes and equipment from the team truck.

Rising American rider Teejay van Garderen misses a chance to win the Tour of Oman after the fifth stage was cancelled due to sandstorms and extreme temperatures.

Another attempt to ride around the world has ended in tragedy in Thailand, as a Chilean cyclist attempting to set a record by riding 155,350 miles across five continents in five years is killed in a collision, less than two years after a British couple on a similar quest lost their lives in the country. Tragically, the wreck happened right in front of the victim’s wife, who was riding separately with their two-year old son.

 

Finally…

San Francisco police recover a stolen bike, but release the suspect because the bike hadn’t been reported stolen yet, except it had. Let’s get one thing straight: It’s not a bicycle if it has more than two wheels, electric or not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And Bicycling says if you want to lose weight and improve your performance, put butter in your coffee. No, seriously.

You first.

 

Weekend Links: More helmets and hi-viz, setting the record straight on Colorado Blvd & clearing out the inbox

Still more on helmets and hi-viz.

You know you’ve been waiting for Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson to check in with a typically tongue-in-cheek take on SB 192, the proposed mandatory helmet and hi-viz law.

Well, I have, anyway.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s Bike Advocate weighs in with why the law would be a bad idea. But the Contra Costa Times says cycling is dangerous, and the answer is to force riders to wear helmets, rather than attempt to tame dangerous traffic.

You did sign the petition to oppose it, right?

……..

Great turnout for last weekend’s Love Ride through South LA; the photos make it look like a mini-CicLAvia.

Aside from all those cars, of course.

……..

The candidates opposing incumbent councilmember Jose Huizar in LA’s 14th council district — particularly termed-out County Supervisor Gloria Molina — have attacked Huizar over a perceived lack of outreach, especially regarding bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

So the president of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council has responded by detailing the lengthy process and numerous meetings that led to approval of the project.

As usual, it looks like if anyone wasn’t informed in advance it’s because they didn’t care enough to get involved.

……..

Let’s clear out the latest press releases clogging my inbox.

First up, LA’s Pure Fix Cycles has unveiled the upgraded Wallace single speed/fixie.

You’ve got one week left to sign up for a new membership or renew an existing membership with Gold’s Gym, and maybe win a special edition gold bike from Martone Cycling Co. Martone is also providing the consolation prizes for Academy Award nominees; I think I deserve one just for listening to the endless news helicopters filming installation of the red carpet this week.

And for anyone who dreams of riding in a genuine Italian gran fondo, here’s your chance with the 45th annual Granfondo Milan-San Remo Cicloturistica.

……..

Local

The Source is looking for nominations for Metro’s Golden Pedal Award, for “individuals who take the bicycle, deny perceived limitations and demonstrate the true potential of riders and their machine.” Or how about those who just write about it?

Work begins on the new 6th Street bridge as the old viaduct prepares for demolition, forcing bike riders onto less-than-bike-friendly alternatives during construction.

The Venice Neighborhood Council calls on the county to widen and illuminate the excessively popular beachfront bike path.

Santa Monica’s Main Street is quickly becoming e-bike central.

CiclaValley somehow manages to attend two Valley CicLAvia meetings being held at the same time; somehow, there always seems to be at least one business owner who fails to grasp the opportunity.

StreetsblogLA looks back on seven stupid things that might have happened if they hadn’t been here; then again, if they hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have my name on an LA Press Club Award. And there’s still time to sign up for their 7th birthday party tonight.

The man behind London’s newly bikeable future will be speaking at a Monday conference on shared mobility.

 

State

LA-based Bike Shield promises to help prevent bike collisions, if the driver has the app installed and if the riders do, too. Or people could, you know, just pay attention when they drive.

An Eastvale hit-and-run driver leaves a 15-year old bike rider lying in the street.

Good news from Caltrans on finally completing the high desert gap in the Bike Route 66.

A 16-year old Fresno driver plays the universal Get Out of Jail Free card after killing a cyclist while driving up to 70 mph, as police say he just didn’t see the victim due to minimal lighting. Oh, well okay then. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A multi-millionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur says cycling is the sport of choice for young professionals. Seems to be pretty popular with the older ones, too.

A red light-running San Francisco driver sends a bike riding mother and toddler daughter to the hospital, thankfully with non-life threatening injuries. But bikes are the problem, right?

 

National

The Times talks with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

Seattle becomes the latest major US city to adopt a Vision Zero plan; LA is also on that list, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at our streets.

A Utah driver faces trial for intentionally running down a man on a bike following a dispute, then ramming him again when the victim tried to run away.

The Wall Street Journal goes fat biking through the Colorado ski country.

Wisconsin’s governor kills funding for bicycling and pedestrian projects in an apparent attempt to maintain automotive hegemony in the state.

A Virginia writer says improving safety for bikes is good for drivers, too.

 

International

Grist offers six reasons why cargo bikes are the next big thing.

Caught on video: A Brit driver repeatedly tells a bike rider to F-off after a dangerous pass.

New Zealand can’t seem to keep a killer driver off the roads, license or not.

 

Finally…

I don’t care how rude or unwilling to share the road he might be, don’t punch a 78-year old driver in nose. Looks like you can forget bike-through fast food service in Utah.

And a drunk Yuba County man carrying a loaded shotgun on his e-bike shoots himself in the ass when he falls off his bike.

But hopefully, he was wearing a helmet.

 

Morning Links: The Tour of California comes back to LA; Calbike petition opposes mandatory bike helmet law

The Amgen Tour of California announces the stages for this year’s race.

The courses include another ride up Mt. Baldy, along with a final stage from LA Live through NELA to the Rose Bowl. Maybe they can make the argument for bike lanes on North Figueroa while they’re passing through.

But former Tour of California winner Chris Horner’s team is snubbed this year.

Meanwhile, a North Carolina writer calls for an American Tour de France-style stage race, evidently never having heard of the Tour of California or Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge.

Then again, wouldn’t it be great if they combined the two into a single two week race running from the Rockies to the coast?

……..

HuffPo offers a pretty balanced look at SB 192, which would require all bike riders, including adults, to wear helmets and reflective hi-viz. Bakersfield cyclists are split on the issue.

Calbike has an online petition to oppose it. And yes, I’ve signed it.

Then again, more riders might voluntarily wear helmets if it would improve their Strava times.

……..

Local

A good job for a great organization. CICLE is looking for a Web Developer/SEO Engineer. And yes, I know CICLE is an acronym, but I got tired of typing all those periods all the time.

An LA cyclist lists the top 20 questions he gets asked as a bike commuter. I’ve gotten every one of those myself in one form or another.

LADOT wants your input on redesigning their website, which will include a new version of the agency’s bike blog.

KCET looks at the LA River bike path, and how it could be affected by plans to expand the I-710 Corridor.

The Hispanic-owned EGP newspaper chain becomes the latest to endorse Jose Huizar for re-election in CD14.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig makes a call for brighter colored bikewear to keep from getting run over.

A Santa Ana bike rider suffers non-life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a car.

San Luis Obispo residents rise up against a utility box adorned with a brightly colored painting of a bike rider; I’m not sure if it’s the bright colors or the bike they find most offensive.

Turlock cyclists want safe, connected routes; then again, don’t we all?

More tragedy from the Bay Area, as a 14-year old bike rider is killed in Concord. As usual, the teenage victim gets the blame. Thanks to Anthony Ryan for the heads-up.

A hearing is set for next week for the San Francisco 49ers player charged with hit-and-run after striking a cyclist with his car, as well as possessing brass knuckles; he was driving on a suspended license at the time.

Two thousand Berkley bike riders have been hit by cars in the last 14 years, not counting the collisions that haven’t been reported.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske moves back to VeloNews after writing for Bicycling magazine for the past several years.

Bike riders fear for their safety on Vegas roads.

People for Bikes says the lesson from Denver’s crowdfunded bikeway isn’t about raising money, it’s about raising a movement.

Even Wyoming is considering how to build a network of protected bikeways.

Montana considers scrapping the requirement for cyclists to ride to the right, replacing it with a standard allowing them to ride where they feel safest. The bill would also allow drivers to cross the center line to pass a bike when safe to do so, something our misguided governor vetoed a few years back.

Auto-centric Houston will get its first new bike master plan in 20 years.

One of the architects of New York’s Citibike bike share program says splitting a bike share network up into separate nodes — like how LA is planning to roll out its plan — is a recipe for failure.

 

International

The British Columbia woman charged with booby trapping a popular mountain bike trail now faces trial on a single count, after two other charges were dropped.

The Department of DIY is hard at work in Canada, where Halifax bicyclists designed their own network of protected bike lanes.

London advocates say cyclists are an afterthought when it comes to road safety standards.

A London cyclist suffers a broken pelvis when he’s shoved off his bike by another rider. Seriously, the last thing we need is road raging bike riding jerks; violently pissed off drivers are bad enough.

A UK van driver tells bike riders to stay awesome.

An Irish model is a bundle of nerves when she rides through Dublin; she may have reason for concern.

An Amsterdam designer builds a wood and aluminum bike using 3D printing, but that’s not nearly as cool as building a Louisville Slugger bike.

An Aussie writer questions whether parking adjacent bike lanes are havens or door zones of death.

Bangkok builds a new bike path under an expressway.

 

Finally…

Okay, so it’s not bike related. But Curbed has created a pretty good bingo card for when the New York Times — or pretty much any out of town newspaper — writes about LA. Win an Oscar, and get a statue of a little naked guy; lose, and you’ll get a new bike from Martone Cycling so you can #biketheOscars next year.

And a Brit cow evidently decides if it can’t ride a bike, it might as well wear one.

 

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