Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Creed, possible SaMo heartbreak, and San Fran fights Chinese bikeshare

The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.

Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.

For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.

It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.

Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.

His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.

And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.

So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.

You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.

But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.

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Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.

Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.

In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.

But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.

And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.

On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.

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Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.

Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.

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Local

The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.

The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.

The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.

 

State

Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.

A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.

San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.

No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.

A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.

Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.

 

National

Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.

A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.

A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.

The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.

A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.

Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.

Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.

Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.

President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.

 

International

Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.

Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.

London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”

A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.

Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.

 

Finally…

Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.

Morning Links: BMUFL protest in PVE, Ottowa rider say au contraire, and Chinese cyclist says go full Superman

Welcome back from what was a three-day weekend for some, and just another Monday for others. Either way, I hope you took advantage of the weather, maybe took in the parade, and spent a little time on your bike.

Or maybe a lot.

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Local

KPCC reports on plans for a protected bike lane in Culver City; there will be a meeting to discuss the plan at 8 pm Thursday in the City Hall Patacchia Conference Room, 9770 Culver Blvd.

The LAPD is looking for whoever who rode a bike up to a man in a Panorama City parking lot and shot him multiple times.

Cycling in the South Bay reports on the weekend protest in Palos Verdes Estates where bicyclists held the same Bikes May Use Full Lane signs the city refuses to post.

 

State

Work starts today on improvements to the I-5 corridor through Solano Beach, including ten miles of new bike and pedestrians trails.

A man in Antelope is known for riding his motorized bike with Russian music booming from the speakers mounted on his handlebars.

 

National

Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King was one of us.

Bicycling Magazine tells you how to make a left turn.

Maui’s mayor demonstrates he sort of understands bike law, explaining that there are exemptions to the law requiring bicyclists to ride to the right, but leaving out the right to take the lane on streets too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, even if you do have to ride single file there.

Volunteers pitch in to bring an Oklahoma mountain bike trail back to life after it had fallen into disrepair.

A Minnesota man competed in the 200-mile Fat Pursuit fat bike race through Eastern Idaho, in whiteout conditions with temperatures down to 39 degrees below zero.

The head of Detroit’s Planning Department wants to make bicycling an important consideration in the Motor City’s infrastructure.

An Ohio woman rode 1,000 miles around Oahu to honor twelve Marines who were killed in a helicopter crash off last year, despite being born with just one hand.

The wife of a New Jersey chef has filed suit after he was killed riding his bike into a sewer excavation trench that was left unmarked and uncovered by workers.

It’s now illegal to park in a Massachusetts bike lane, although stopping in one is still legal. So the question is when does stopping becomes parking?

A Philly writer says bike lanes are key to the city’s plans for safer streets, even if some residents don’t like them. Although a spokesman for a motorist group says people are going to drive at whatever speeds they feel comfortable with, regardless of any efforts to slow them down.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider says he feels like an urban archeologist as he sifts through the litter on the side of the road, saying “what is deplorable is countered by what is captivating.”

A Florida county has to decide whether to cancel plans for a $100 million, 75 miles bike path from Naples to Miami.

 

International

The Biking Expert website lists their ranking of the 75 most bike friendly cities in the world; San Francisco and Davis are the only California cities on the list.

Why settle for three must-have cycling apps, like we linked to yesterday, when you could have ten? And not just for iPhones, either.

Yesterday we linked to video of an Ottawa bike rider blocking a driver who kept lurching into him; the rider says the incident started when the driver kept tailgating him. And yes, he wants the driver prosecuted, despite what the police said.

You’ve got to be kidding. Police in England’s South Yorkshire say it’s not worth the effort to enforce the law against passing bicyclists too closely because not enough riders get killed to justify the cost.

The girlfriend of the bike rider doored by Britain’s transportation minister says yes, cyclists do count as road users.

Starting in March, you’ll have to wear a helmet when you ride in France — if you’re under 12, anyway.

Mannheim, Germany is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the forerunner to the bicycle.

A Chinese cyclist wants to get you out of the saddle and go full Superman on a frame-mounted fitness ball instead.

The 62-year old chief information officer of a global electronics firm is working to make Singapore more bikeable; he says the island nation needs another five years to catch up to Japan’s bicycling culture.

 

Finally…

Post-EPO Lance is still pretty good on a bike. Don’t bother riding your bike to Friday’s presidential inauguration.

And yes, we may have to deal with too many red lights and stop signs, but we hardly ever have to stop to help a pregnant cow deliver a calf.

Morning Links: The joys of winter riding, no jail for French motor dopers, and a $150 Bluetooth bike coffee cup

It was a slow weekend on the local front, but there’s plenty of bike news from around the world for your entertainment and edification.

But before we start, let’s take a moment to remember the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, with words as appropriate now as they were fifty years ago.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

A message as meaningful for our streets as for our nation, and our world.

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Local

Once again, no news is good news. Right?

 

State

High desert cities are working to keep up with road repair on their crumbling streets; a new project in Victorville will add bike lanes along with pavement improvements — whatever that means — on La Mesa Road.

Santa Rosa lost its battle to allow people to ride their bikes on a popular pathway through a private subdivision.

 

National

Vogue discusses the joys of wintertime riding and the problems of dressing for it.

Bicycling introduces you to the only female mechanic on the US pro cycling tour.

An app website lists the three best cycling apps all cyclists must have on their iPhones. Assuming they have iPhones. And for some reason, they filed it under “Hobby.”

In an update to the story of the homeless man who rode his bike from California to Wichita to build planes, because he said God told him to, a local bike shop talked him into letting them fix his bike and gave him new tires so he can ride on ice this winter.

A Madison WI columnist is surprised that motorists accept pedestrian-crossing improvements, but get mad about improvements for bike riders.

Florida’s Space Coast is working to encourage bicycle tourism through the area.

 

International

How to throw a rooster dirt spray for the camera.

A former Canadian pro cyclist is lucky to be alive after suffering sudden paralysis from the neck down when a blood vessel burst between two vertebrae; he was able to drag himself to his phone using only his chin, then had Siri call 911.

A Vancouver letter writer says there’s no need for business owners to worry about the loss of parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, because people on bikes will more than make up for it.

Caught on video: Ottawa police say no charges will be filed after video surfaces of a bike rider using his bicycle as a shield to block the path of a driver, who continually lurches into it. No word on what triggered the confrontation.

London’s mayor clarifies his recent remarks, saying he didn’t mean cycle superhighways cause pollution, but that badly planned construction of them causes congestion, which does cause pollution. That clears up everything, right?

A London cyclist discovers the joys of track cycling.

Cardiff, Wales releases a plan to double the number of bike riders on the city’s streets.

Motor doping may get you disqualified, but it won’t get you thrown into a French jail.

Donations are pouring in to buy new hearing aids for 105-year old, age-group hour record holder Robert Marchand.

A group of 21 male and female randonneurs ride 900 miles across India in five days in a spirit of junoon, which translates to an all immersive passion. Which should be something most bike riders can relate to.

The state of South Australia will pick up the tab for medical expenses after a 15-year old cyclist hits a pothole caused by a leaky fire hydrant.

A Singapore cyclist says he actually wants to pay registration and display a set of license plates just so he can get a little respect on the roads — and so they’ll know who his is when he gets run over by a truck.

China’s ongoing app-based bikeshare boom may result in oversupply, as two leading companies battle for dominance. Not to mention the bikes are getting in the way.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re carrying a loaded handgun in your waistband, don’t ride recklessly — and put some damn lights on your bike. Don’t be surprised when a road bike website chooses a road bike as their commuter bike of the year.

And honestly, who doesn’t need a $150 Bluetooth-enabled coffee cup for your bike?

 

Weekend Links: North Dakota could legalize killing peds, kid antichrist from The Omen convicted of road rage

Unbelievable.

In response to the ongoing pipeline protests, a North Dakota lawmaker introduces legislation making it legal for drivers to injure or kill a pedestrian blocking the roadway.

Yes, you read that right.

The bill would create an exemption under state law for drivers who crash into people in the roadway, whether they’re holding protest signs or, presumably, standing in a deserted roadway after their car breaks down.

It’s not hard to imagine the law being applied to bike riders who have the audacity to take the lane or ride two abreast, if someone concludes they were in the way.

Hopefully, the rest of the legislators will have a little more sense.

Credit Gary Kavanagh with the link.

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Maybe the Devil made him do it.

The road-raging former child star of The Omen walked on a charge of assaulting cyclists. And on Friday the 13th, no less.

A British court sentenced Harvey Spencer Stephens, now 46, to a suspended 12-month sentence for getting out of his car and repeatedly punching two cyclists; he was also fined the equivalent of $2,500.

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That’s one way to guarantee a legendary bike race — make it part of the name.

Singapore forms its first-ever road cycling team.

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Local

The LA County Coroner ruled that mountain biker Evan Bruce Sisson died of heart disease, rather than crashing, after being found with injuries consistent with a fall above Altadena last January; results of the autopsy were delayed nearly a full year for additional forensic testing.

If you hurry, you may still have time to join Walk Bike Burbank’s New Year’s Ride today. Or you could join the LACBC Team at next month’s Chinatown Firecracker Ride and Run.

Santa Monica votes to convert unused tarmac at the Santa Monica Airport into a six-acre park suitable for bicycling, among other uses.

 

State

San Diego’s latest plan for bike lanes in the popular Hillcrest nightclub district will actually result in more parking, not the loss of parking business owners had feared, although the lanes will now be unprotected.

An apparent ninja cyclist was hit by a car shortly after dark in San Jacinto Friday.

Ventura will install bike lanes and other traffic calming measures to improve safety on dangerous Ventura Avenue, where most collisions involve a bicyclist or pedestrian.

San Francisco police are looking for a bike-riding mugger who attacked a 79-year old man.

Here’s another reason to do your riding outside. Patrons of a Marin County SoulCycle were placed on antibiotics after one of the regular customers died of meningitis.

It’s more like bad karma, as Willow Glen’s Good Karma Bikes suffers two break-ins in just two hours, losing at least $3,000 worth of merchandise.

 

National

Seattle drives a stake through the heart of its troubled bikeshare system, reallocating the last $3 million budgeted for the program to pay for other bike and pedestrian safety improvements.

The Fort Wayne IN newspaper says drivers need to stop for red lights. Clearly, it’s not just bike riders who go through traffic signals, despite what some drivers seem to think.

Ohio’s Bike Lady has raised over $600,000 to buy nearly 8,200 bicycles for at-risk kids across the state; last year, every kid who asked for a bike got one.

 

International

Three London teenagers face prison terms up to 13 years for fatally stabbing an aspiring rapper in a dispute over a stolen bicycle.

After BBC presenter Jeremy Vine recorded a road-raging driver attempting to run her down, her lawyer claims he exaggerated the whole thing to boost his online presence; she reportedly made a gun gesture pointed at his head.

Welsh ambulance authorities were forced to apologize after leaving an injured bike rider lying in the street for two hours; they blamed people needlessly calling the UK’s equivalent of 911.

A British radio station says the Dutch reach is the one thing we can all do to save cyclists lives. Other than slowing down and driving safely, of course.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine offers fifty tips to make you a better one. A cyclist, that is, not a magazine.

A study in a Malta medical journal calls for mandatory bike helmets for kids under 18, but not for adults, in order to avoid discouraging potential cyclists.

An Aussie writer goes on a half-day ride through Johannesburg’s Soweto district.

 

Finally…

No pandas for Peter Sagan in Australia. If you try to assault an elderly man, at least keep your wheels under you.

And seriously, don’t throw volleyballs at bike cops.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lanes in Culver City, DIY BMUFL signs in PVE, and strategically placed cycling caps

Happy Friday the 13th.

You could be one of those unlikely people trapped in their cars today. Or you can improve your day just by getting out on your bike.

Seems like that makes this a lucky day for all of us.

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Local

Los Feliz Neighborhood Council President Luke Klipp explains why neighborhood councils matter if you care about walkability, bikeability and safer streets.

Culver City considers building protected bike lanes to link the Expo station with the city’s downtown half a mile away, as well as connecting the Helms District with Culver Blvd.

The Downey Bicycle Coalition will hold a Family Bike ride tomorrow.

The Department of DIY is ready to strike in Palos Verdes Estates, as South Bay cyclists buy their own Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, and will hold them up at entrances and exits to the city this weekend.

 

State

San Diego’s CCSD is hosting two women-only cycling training camps this March in Solana Beach, and April in Temecula.

Once again a bike rider is a hero, rescuing another rider from the rushing waters of rain-swelled Los Gatos Creek, even if he couldn’t save the man’s bike.

A determined San Ramon detective tracks down a stolen bicycle that was a woman’s only means of transportation, and returns it to her in less than a week.

Richmond is asking for public input on plans to build a tiny .3 mile bike path that would connect to a planned 500 mile network of bikeways around the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco is the latest California city to increase enforcement of traffic violations that can put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk. The question is whether they will actually enforce the laws equally, or if it’s just an excuse for yet another crackdown on the people on two wheels.

A 71-year old Anderson Valley cyclist questions whether he should stop riding on the roads and stick to bike trails — not because he’s aging, but because of the carelessness and ineptitude of many drivers.

 

National

In a victory for alternative transportation, new federal transportation rules will measure people instead of cars.

A new study shows that the availability of bikeways encourages people to ride their bikes; it also shows that women prefer low stress routes, suggesting one way to reduce cycling’s gender gap is to build more bicycle boulevards.

Maine cyclists says the state’s three-foot passing law is an effective deterrent, even if enforcement is a challenge; unlike California, riders there can use bike cam video as proof of a violation.

New York traffic fatalities hit a historic low, even as bicycling and pedestrian deaths increase.

Great idea. Charlottesville VA bicyclists will deliver scones by bike on Valentines Day as a fundraiser for a local bike advocacy group.

North Carolina drivers can’t seem to figure out what sharrows mean.

A hit-and-run driver who ran down a Florida bicyclist on New Year’s Day drank for eight hours before the crash and still smelled of alcohol when he was arrested, but hasn’t been charged with DUI.

Federal marshals seize the property of a Florida deputy, including his clothing, golf clubs and fishing poles, to satisfy a fraction of the $22.4 million judgment against him for shooting an unarmed bike rider, who is now permanently paralyzed.

A Florida bike club makes its own video to promote the state’s new three-foot passing law. Although they could have shown someone who wasn’t wrapped in spandex or riding in a paceline.

 

International

A unique new foldie raising funds on Kickstarter claims to fold small enough to fit in a carry-on bag.

A London writer explains plans to ban cars from a busy junction in the heart of the city’s financial district to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians; cyclists already make up half of all traffic at the intersection during peak hours. Needless to say, taxi drivers are against it, though advocates call their protests misguided.

New raised bike lanes in Cambridge, England resulted in a doubling of ridership.

Talk about not getting it. The British Transport Minister who failed to give his contact info after dooring a cyclist now says bike riders are not road users; former Olympian and Tour de France cyclist Chris Boardman says his “comments demonstrate an astonishing lack of knowledge.”

The UK’s Cyclist website offers the good cyclist’s guide to riding in bad weather. Although the advice would seem to apply to bad riders, as well.

Very moving piece from the Guardian, as a physician thanks all those who came to her daughter’s aid after bad fall while riding on a bike path, from the strangers who stopped to help and offered her what little money they had, to the surgeon who saved her and the nurses who cared for her afterwards.

Just days after authorities said all Russian athletes should be banned from international competition for systematic doping, a Russian website attempts a little deflection with accusations that cycling continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

 

Finally…

Today’s lesson: Mess with a cyclist, even a former one, and you could get shot in the scrotum. And if you’re going to pose naked to raise money for a new kit, remember, it’s caps, not hats.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to help support this site. Even though the holiday fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated.

 

 

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

Morning Links: Meditations on a ghost bike, raising funds for a hit-and-run victim, and new bike jobs in Pasadena

Last year, 72 people died riding their bicycles in Southern California, just one less than the year before.

The last person killed was a 17-year old Norwalk high school student, Chandler Ray, who lost his life just three days before Christmas.

Yesterday I received the following email, from someone moved by the memorial to a young man who deserved to be more than the punctuation point to another year of needless tragedy on our streets.

When my coworker arrived at work Christmas morning, she mentioned “at least a hundred candles” at an intersection down the road. “Like when someone gets killed on the street.” So on the way home, I made a detour.

It’s on the northeast corner. With the sun in my eyes, I might’ve missed it if I hadn’t been looking for a roadside memorial specifically, despite its size. “At least a hundred candles” was a vague and yet extremely accurate estimate.

Westbound Firestone has four lanes of fuckyou, including a designated right turn lane where a homicidally impatient pick-up truck driver with zero intention of stopping at that oblique angle nevertheless braked fast when he realized the crosswalk was occupied by a goddamn cyclist. My swerve left me too terrified to yell, and nearly sent me to the asphalt.

A handsome young man stood on the ADA ramp on the narrow sidewalk, taking a picture. I spoke with him. He had missed the memorial service, but promised his school friends he would come Christmas morning. And so here he stood, alone, at half past seven on a chilly Sunday morning, looking at the memorial for his classmate: the candles, the cross, the Christmas tree, the donuts, the white painted bike frame. From a second, much more polished (I’m tempted to say “professional looking”) bike hung a sign with Chandler’s name painted on it.

The young man told me he didn’t know Chandler well, but has friends who did. He expressed disbelief that a classmate would be killed the day before winter break started. The young man indicated that Chandler had been killed just east of the intersection; I squinted towards the blind vertical curve (an overpass crosses above the train tracks there) and considered how suicidal it would be to take the lane here, given the arbitrarily high (45mph) posted speed limit allowed despite the impaired line of sight. For the record, it is illegal in the City of Norwalk to ride on the sidewalk. At this location, the insane choice to obey the law puts a cyclist in mortal danger.

Before the young man left his house that morning, he said, Chandler’s GoFundMe page had raised over $20,000.

I passed the memorial on New Year’s Eve, too. The velodoras’ wicks were submerged under an inch of water. Amidst the bushes nestled two big white plastic lumps, trash bags stuffed with the plush animals left by those who came to the memorial. The sight was just temporarily unsightly; it meant somebody cared enough to stop by and protect the offerings. The sun returned, and when I passed by the next evening, the plush critters were lovingly propped up against the candles and the bikes. As I stood there, a woman who had been sitting in a car in the parking lot approached. She asked if I had known Chandler. I explained I was just passing by. The woman had never met Chandler either; she learned from her 15-year-old daughter that her classmate had been killed, and then they found out that Chandler had also been their neighbor, living only two blocks away. Her daughter has a bike that she never uses because she (the daughter) is scared to. This mom is glad her daughter doesn’t ride around their residential neighborhood.

There is something very wrong with the world when infrastructure is set up to terrify mothers and children.

………

As of last night, the GoFundMe page for Chandler Ray had raised nearly $24,000 in just 17 days.

Contrast that with $840 in donations to another GoFundMe account opened the same day, intended to funds to replace the front teeth a bike rider lost in yet another hit-and-run collision.

Here’s a portion of what that page, set up by the staff of Streets Are For Everyone, has to say.

On Sunday, December 4th, Capitan Arreola was riding home after having spent the morning volunteering and instructing new cyclists how to ride safe during a group ride. Just a few blocks from his home, Capitan was hit by a speeding car.  Landing on the hood, the driver sped away, tossing Capitan face down onto the asphalt — bleeding and barely conscious. 20 minutes went by before he received aid from a passerby.

Capitan suffered a concussion, the loss of his two front teeth, as well as other injuries to his face and body.  Despite his pain and suffering, one week later, Capitan (who always keeps his word) showed up to fulfill his volunteer agreement to Streets Are For Everyone at our event, Finish The Ride.

………

Wes at Bike SGV forwards word that Around the Cycle bike shop is hiring for their newly expanded Pasadena location.

Anyone interested in applying should email them at hello@aroundthecycle.com.

………

Local

Los Angeles has been selected as the host of the 2017 UCI Para-Cycling Track Championships at the VELO Sports Center in Carson in March.

CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting his 4th annual community bike ride through the west San Fernando Valley on January 21st.

Santa Clarita is moving forward with plans to widen the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge over San Francisquito Creek, including new barrier-protected sidewalks and a shared-use pathway.

 

State

San Diego is being sued for removing plans for a bridge, which was included in the city’s bicycle master plan, from a neighborhood community plan.

Dueling surveys reflect conflict over whether to build protected bike lanes in San Francisco’s Panhandle area.

A Davis cyclist has published a book about his 2,300 mile journey along entire length of the legendary Route 66.

 

National

A new study says it’s okay to be a weekend warrior, at least as far as your health is concerned, while another shows that exercise really does make you happier.

A group of bike campanies announce the winners of the 2017 Women’s Bicycle Mechanics Scholarship.

A writer for Bicycling discusses things she wished she’d known before biking across the country.

A growing number of states are diverting federal funds intended for biking and walking projects to build infrastructure for motor vehicles.

No surprise here. Charges won’t be filed against a Spokane cop who killed a 15-year old bike rider in 2014, even though he failed to use his lights and siren despite driving 70 mph on surface streets. Until new evidence came to light, authorities had denied the car even struck the boy.

Evidently, it’s okay to kill someone in your sleep, as an Idaho woman gets a slap on the wrist for running down a bike-riding firefighter after dozing off at the wheel.

Kindhearted strangers pitch in to by a new three-wheeled bike for a partially paralyzed Texas man who has become a local role model for overcoming disabilities.

A neighborhood group is offering free women’s self-defense classes following a series of attacks on a Madison WI bike path. Too many bike paths are hidden from public view and often deserted after dark, making them poor alternatives to on-street bikeways, especially for women.

A Chicago writer calls for a change in the law to allow police to automatically check phone records after serious crashes, which currently requires a warrant.

A woman from Chicago recounts riding from Key Largo to Key West with her husband.

The CEO of Ford says the future does not belong to cars alone, and suggests taking traffic lanes away from automobiles to create Complete Streets.

A new study shows DC’s bikeshare system cut local congestion by four percent, which projects to a savings of $182 million.

A Reston VA bike shop is threatening to leave the downtown area because they don’t think their customers should have to pay for parking.

 

International

A Cuban cyclist earns a living selling ad space on his tall bike.

Caught on video: A pair of professional triathletes biking across South America get dropped by a Columbian campesino on a heavy single-speed bike.

It’s now legal to ride side-by-side in at least one region of Ontario, Canada.

London’s subway system is shut down by a strike, encouraging thousands of commuters to take to their bicycles; Cycling Weekly offers nine reasons that’s surprisingly brilliant.

A teenage Irish bike thief allegedly had his leg broken when he was forced into a van by vigilantes; police can’t investigate because the victim hasn’t filed a complaint, for obvious reasons.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from a crash, don’t get killed by another fleeing coward. Evidently, cycling can hurt your penis. Assuming you have one.

And even a three-year old can ride rollers better than you.

Or me, anyway.

 

Morning Links: No surprise in women’s ‘cross title, fewer Expo Line bike thefts, and ebike non-bombs in OC

It was a quiet weekend on the bike news front, as most riders appeared content to sit out the storms sweeping the nation.

Except for those crazy ‘cross riders competing in snowy Connecticut.

Cannondale’s Stephen Hyde overcame a bad start and last-lap flat to win the men’s national cyclocross championship. It was a good day for people named Stephens, as Colorado’s Denzel Stephenson takes the US men’s junior cyclocross championship.

And needless to say, the unbeatable Katie Compton took the women’s title, winning her lucky 13th consecutive national ‘cross crown.

………

Brit sports site Rouleur has posted their entire 12-part 2014 interview with Lance Armstrong, America’s most famous disgraced athlete since Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Chris Froome says he rejected a medical exemption to use a banned drug during the 2015 Tour de France on moral grounds.

A pair of Irish cyclists hope to become the first duo from that country to finish the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

………

Local

A funeral will be held on Thursday for an LAPD officer killed in an off-duty collision last week; she was one of us, serving as a bike cop before being promoted to field training officer last year.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s says they’ve stopped the problem of bike thefts at Expo Line stations in Santa Monica.

 

State

Bike theft is down slightly in Seal Beach, even as it goes up statewide, making up 5.6 percent of all larceny-theft.

A Palm Springs charity radiothon raised $77,000 to buy and assemble 400 bicycles for fourth grade children.

A SoCal cyclist drops the first of her three-part series on riding three bikes one three iconic rides over three years, starting with a solo climb on Gibraltar above Santa Barbara.

Fresno will pay $675,000 to settle with the family of a bike rider killed in a collision with a police cruiser while fleeing from a traffic stop; the lawsuit claimed the officer intentionally bumped his bike, then ran over him when he fell in front of the patrol car.

Now that’s more like it. The driver who intentionally ran down three Sacramento cyclists during a daylong crime spree gets a well-deserved 35 years in prison; he also struck one motorcycle rider and tried to hit another.

 

National

Ann Arbor, Michigan approves a five-foot passing law, requiring motorists to give at least five feet, not the usual three, when passing a bicyclist, pedestrian or wheelchair user.

Boston takes Vision Zero seriously, dropping its basic speed limit to 25 mph today in an effort to save lives. Now compare that to Los Angeles, where our nascent Vision Zero will have to address much higher speed limits and drivers who feel free to ignore them.

Baltimore opens a new bikeshare system in which four out of ten bicycles are ebikes.

A Charlotte NC writer tells the auto-centric county to butt out on plans for a bike lane on the Ashley River bridge that has already been approved by the city, noting that they could expect to be sued the next time someone gets hurt there.

 

International

A new Canadian study shows that walkable — and by extension, bikeable — neighborhoods result in lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Which means that safer bicycling infrastructure is a public health issue.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a drunk driver gets just 45 days for a wreck that left a bike rider with near-fatal injuries.

The Guardian offers a look inside the secret world of a London bicycle courier.

A British cyclist wants to apologize after taking her anger out on the Good Samaritan who tried to help her following a crash.

A Brit business site says self-driving cars could spark a cycling revolution, but only if they can overcome problems recognizing people on bikes. Then again, others have predicted a far more dystopian future for bicyclists in a world of driverless cars.

Paris will make a major investment in bicycling infrastructure, declaring 2017 the year of the bike; the city’s mayor pledges to cut the number of cars in the city center by half.

Nice. A Swedish woman spent Christmas Day and the day after riding just under 400 miles to raise the equivalent of over $2,400 for UNICEF.

Five-thousand Russian cyclists were expected to turn out in 13° below zero weather for a five mile ride along the Moscow River; however, only around 500 actually showed up.

 

Finally…

Most bike thieves at least have the decency to wait until the bike goes into production. Ebikes may offer some advantages, but calling out the bomb squad isn’t one of them.

And if you hear the bell, it may be just a tad premature to celebrate your victory.

 

Weekend Links: Risk of rain puts off Resolution Ride for another month, and legal dope may make roads safer

Cancel those plans for today’s Resolution Ride. This message came in yesterday’s email:

The Resolution Ride has been postponed due to inclement weather! But don’t worry, you’ll still get a chance to continue your resolutions on our rescheduled date of February 12th! Same time, same place – and with the added bonus of happening alongside our annual Expo! This means more chances to win, more fun, more resolutions, and even more reason to come out and ride with us.

If you can’t attend the rescheduled date and would like a refund, please contact Gonzalo Garcia (gogarcia@aidslifecycle.org) to do so. Keep those resolutions going in the new year and come ride with us February 12th!

On the other hand, it should be great weather for the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride through the historic San Fernando Valley.

………

Maybe legalization will be safer than people think.

According to a new study, states that allow medical marijuana use average 11% fewer traffic collisions and 26% fewer traffic fatalities, possibly due to a reduction in the rate of drunk driving.

………

Local

The election of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to the Metro Board should be good news for bike riders, as well as the entire South Bay area.

An LA-area cyclist explains everything you need to know to Everest.

Congratulations to SCAG, whose Go Human Campaign was featured in the newsletter of the Federal Highway Association.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

A new drop-in e-wheel promises to turn your existing bike into an ebike with a 100 mile range, while doubling as an indoor trainer. Meanwhile, a new wheel hub for fat bikes is designed to keep your tires inflated to the ideal level.

All bike thieves suck. But especially the thief who stole an Arizona boy’s Christmas bike on Christmas Day.

The Wall Street Journal profiles Denise Mueller as she attempts to set a new speed record for an auto-assisted bicycle on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, and finds peace at 140 mph.

A graduate student from my home town is the only American man selected to this year’s 5,700-mile Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme Race across Russia.

Des Moines IA bike riders are flexing their political muscle to fight plans to reroute a popular rural bike trail.

An Iowa City IA volunteer has refurbished and distributed over 400 bicycles for people in need.

A Pittsburgh paper reminds bike lane opponents that they can actually reduce traffic congestion, but bicycles only improve traffic flow when they have actual bike lanes to ride in.

 

International

A Montreal Uber food messenger is posting his mileage and earnings online to open a window on the delivery industry.

A Brit bicycle courier wins a court case reclassifying her as an employee of the company she works for, which could have implications for other members of the gig economy.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 83-year old British lord was fined just £5,000 — the equivalent of $6150 — for seriously injuring a bike rider by driving his Jaguar carelessly.

Madrid follows the lead of Paris, and makes plans to ban cars from its main street within three years. Does that mean we could actually see a carfree Wilshire Blvd someday?

 

Finally…

Road bikes are slowly turning into mountain bikes. Finally, scientific proof bicycling is better than running.

And we only have to deal with LA drivers; German bicyclists have to worry about unexploded WWII bombs.

 

Morning Links: Valley newspaper invents disapproval of Van Nuys bike lanes, and early congrats to CiclaValley

It never fails.

Less than a month after the newly redesigned Van Nuys Blvd was officially opened, a local paper is already insisting residents are unhappy with the makeover.

And actually found one to back it up.

According to the San Fernando Valley Sun, the chief complaint is the parking-protected bike lane on the southbound side — even though it was developed with public input at a series of workshops, something they fail to mention.

And even though, of the three people they quote, only one didn’t like the project. Although one bike rider, who liked the protected lane, was concerned that it was too narrow to be able to pass the hopefully nonexistent salmon cyclists who might ride in it the wrong way.

But according to one woman, no one wants to go there anymore because of conflicts with cyclists as they cross the bike lane to get to their cars.

Because it’s just so hard to look for someone riding a bicycle before you step off the curb.

To be fair, though, the same story could be written in any city, anywhere, after a street has undergone any kind of makeover. And probably has.

It’s human nature to resist change. Even change for the better.

So initially, it’s easy to find people who will complain, for whatever reason. Then within a few months, the complaints go away as most people grow accustomed to the changes.

And often grow to like it.

That is inevitably what will happen here, if they’d bothered to give it more than a few weeks.

But that doesn’t make for good headlines.

Especially when you can extrapolate the complaints of one woman into an entire angry community that probably isn’t there.

………

Congratulations to our friend Zachary Rynew, author of the frequently cited CiclaValley, on his apparent selection as Streetsblog’s 2016 Journalist/Writer of the Year.

While results won’t be announced until today, Rynew was in the lead with an overwhelming 77% of the vote.

………

Make plans to spend Saturday glued to the electronic device of your choice, when VeloNews will live stream the national cyclocross championships, beginning at 6 am Pacific time.

………

Local

DTLA’s free Night on Broadway celebration enters its third year, with festivities scheduled for the end of this month, on January 28th. Let’s hope they remember to set up a bike valet this time around.

LAist lists Saturday’s Resolution Ride as one of their 20 coolest things happening in LA this weekend.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is looking for focus group volunteers willing to try out DTLA’s Metro Bike bikeshare system for a full month at no charge.

Culver City is hosting a public workshop tomorrow to discuss a planned protected bike lane through the downtown area.

Pasadena considers adopting Vision Zero, but fears it would mean defunding some existing traffic projects to pay for new safety work.

Police blame the driver for broadsiding a bike rider in Stevenson Ranch; the woman on the bike was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Once again, a bike rider has been injured in a collision with an LA County sheriff’s deputy, as a 16-year old Palmdale boy was seriously injured when he allegedly ran a red light in front of the patrol car; the victim reportedly didn’t have lights on his bike and wasn’t wearing a helmet, as required under California law for anyone under 18. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the officers involved saw him run the red light. Thanks to dammannjohnnj for the heads-up.

 

State

Seriously? A new Palm Springs safety campaign places responsibility firmly on potential traffic victims by promoting a new custom-made reflective vest for bike riders and pedestrians, and another for their dogs. Because there’s evidently no point in asking drivers to slow down and actually look for people and animals on the road with them, without making them dress like glow-in-the-dark clowns.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole several high-end bicycles from non-profit in San Francisco’s South Bay that helps people who can’t afford a bike. Although I’d hardly call least five bikes valued at a total of $3,000 high-end.

Lodi residents want to know why a promised bike path disappeared from plans for a proposed subdivision.

 

National

Gucci Mane is one of us, as the rap star quit weed and sizzurp, got out of prison and into spandex. Now the only question is whether 36 is too young to be a MAMIL.

The Wall Street Journal looks at Zagster’s strategy of pursuing bikeshare contracts in smaller cities.

Forbes recognizes the bike industry, honoring the founders of Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes in its 2017 30 under 30 listing.

A Washington bicyclist is foiled by ice, snow, driving rain and logging trucks in his attempt to complete a week-long, 400-mile cycling challenge in a single 40-hour ride.

A Texas mother has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to hand out free bike lights in memory of her son, who was killed while riding last year; so far it’s raised less than $450 of the $5,000 goal.

An Illinois cyclist is training to ride through the wilds of Siberia in next year’s 5,700 mile Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race.

A Detroit coalition envisions a radically remade street system incorporating bicycle throughways, to make the city the greenway capital of the world by 2067. Meanwhile, a bike ride through the city will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 Walk for Freedom, though rail construction prevents them from following his actual path in the civil rights march.

A new survey shows Tennessee residents overwhelmingly support increased funding for biking and walking infrastructure, as well as multimodal transportation projects.

The Massachusetts DOT is shifting its focus from promoting bicycling by building bike trails to making everyday streets more accommodating to cyclists.

In a bold ruling that could mark a big advance for traffic safety, New York’s highest court ruled that cities can be held liable for failing to redesign streets with a history of traffic injuries and reckless driving.

A first-ever Georgia bike drive brought in 800 bicycles to be repaired and donated to kids in need.

Florida residents worry that a new bike path along a canal will hurt property values by giving access to bad guys, ATVs and motorbikes, leaving path users at the mercy of thugs. Maybe someone should tell them about these things called streets that bad people can also use to get places.

 

International

Bike Radar says drivers owe a big thanks to bicycles for everything from ball bearings to good roads.

A Canadian man has abandoned his effort to ride a fat bike 700 miles across Antarctica, saying the frozen continent kicked his ass.

The head of Canada’s Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says seven years behind bars is not enough for a killer repeat drunk driver who joked about it on social media.

A Brit bicycle rider will spend the next three years and four months behind bars for pushing a 69-year old pedestrian, who died after hitting his head on the curb; considering this was his 18th conviction for various crimes, including violent assaults, 40 months hardly seems sufficient.

A British woman rode 50 miles to raise the equivalent of nearly $20,000 for the children’s hospital that cared for her nephew.

Caught on video: The BBC’s Jeremy Vine catches a passive aggressive cyclist on dash cam video, who rides slowly in front of a driver after getting cut off.

Caught on video too: A UK driver brake checks a cyclist on a wide open roadway, for the crime of failing to signal when the rider went around a parked car.

A Pakistani CEO beats traffic and religious protests in Lahore by riding his bike and following Google maps on his smartphone.

No overreach here. The parents of a Chinese motorcycle rider who was killed in a collision are suing 20 people, including the bike rider she was trying to pass, the bus driver who hit her, and the owners of the cars parked alongside the street.

 

Finally…

Apparently, even French presidents ride salmon. Who needs ear buds when you have a helmet?

And throwing your bike at someone on a horse is not a recommended use of it. Especially not when accompanied by a poodle-type dog.

 

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