Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Bike Index partners with VerifiR embedded chip maker; theft victim buys his own bike back

Let’s digress for a moment.

Although whether you can digress before you start might be questionable.

Veterinarians and animal rescue groups have long recommended having a small microchip embedded under the skin of your pet to identify it if it ever gets lost of stolen.

And there’s no shortage of stories about dogs and cats who’ve found their way back home after months, or even years, when a simple scan by a vet or shelter revealed where they belonged.

The Corgi has one.

As a rescue, she came with a chip in her shoulder, courtesy of her original owners. As well as one on her shoulder, after being unceremoniously booted from the only home she’d ever known.

Now your bike can have one, too.

Because Bike Index announced yesterday that they are partnering with VerifiR to add an extra level of security to their free bike registration program.

According to their press release,

VerifiR’s groundbreaking security tags let anyone with a smart phone quickly ‘scan’ a bike to check origin and verify ownership. Once molded into a bike’s frame or concealed under paint during manufacture, VerifiR’s technology is nearly impossible to remove or deface and much easier to scan than a traditional bicycle serial number.

Bike Index – the world’s largest and most successful bike registration and recovery system – will add VerifiR-protected bikes into its database of over 115,000 bicycles when the purchaser of a participating brand registers the bike through a scan. Stolen bikes embedded with VerifiR tags will also cross-list into the Bike Index upon theft, making the bike’s information immediately available to the thousands of partners who identify and recover stolen bikes every day.

Which means that your next bike could come with a VerifiR tag embedded in it. Or maybe you already have one, if you’ve purchased a new bike recently.

And you can add that information to any new or existing Bike Index registration to help ensure that your bike, like a lost puppy, can find its way back home.

Now let’s hope they’ll develop an aftermarket tag we can all add to our current bikes.

Full disclosure: While this site hosts the Bike Index bike registration and stolen bike reports, as well as a listing of bikes reported stolen in the LA area, neither it or its operators receive any form of compensation from Bike Index. Bicycle registration and reporting is offered as a free service to BikinginLA readers because we effing hate bike thieves, and look forward to the day when they have to find another line of work.

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Speaking of Bike Index, I was forwarded this good news/bad news online posting.

Good news, because they helped the owner get his bike back. Bad news, because the owner couldn’t get the time of day from the LAPD.

And frankly, we all deserve better than that.*

(Note: I’ve remove the name of the person who posted this since I haven’t been able to contact him.)

*Pro tip: When you report a stolen bike, include the value of everything you’ve added to it, including wheels, tires, racks, locks or bike computers. The higher the value, the more likely the police are to take it seriously — especially if the total exceeds the $1,000 threshold for felony theft.

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A new book remembers British cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

Love strikes out, as the Belgian cyclist who asked his dream date out by writing it on his chest at the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia time trial ends up in the dreaded friend zone.

A nationally ranked junior cyclist from Philadelphia is fighting back after surviving a rare form of bone cancer, discovered when he walked with a limp after finishing 18th at last year’s junior nationals.

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Local

KNBC-4 looks forward to this Sunday’s Glendale Meets Atwater Village CicLAvia. But it wouldn’t be a CicLAvia without the Militant’s guide.

If there’s more pressure on Long Beach bike thieves these days, it’s because they stole a city councilwoman’s bike.

A Long Beach letter writer says forget the bollards, because she seldom sees anyone using the green bike lanes they protect. Which is kind of like saying stop building sidewalks because there’s no one walking on them when you drive by.

 

State

A California bike rider waiting for X-rays describes being harassed and chased by a driver, while the driver ends up getting arrested.

A 69-year old Laguna Woods resident rode across the US this spring as part of a group ride, because he finds it relaxing. Bicycling has always been a form of moving meditation for me. Except when bad drivers intrude.

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree bike co-op will reopen in a new location this weekend.

Santa Barbara bicyclists can look forward to smoother riding in a couple weeks.

A San Francisco reporter says no, bikes aren’t express lanes for drivers trying to get around backed-up traffic — even if you’re driving a bus.

San Francisco approves parking protected bike lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Siskiyou County, where a 61-year old woman died after she lost control of her bike on a descent and crashed into a tree.

 

National

Mobility Lab says businesses can’t afford to ignore customers on two wheels.

Curbed writes that ebikes could be the key to getting drivers out of their cars.

Streetsblog suggests male cyclists need to stop the “macho nonsense” directed at female riders.

Plan your vacation around where to ride through this summer’s total solar eclipse. And no, we won’t see it here in LA, dammit.

Bicycling offers quotes about cycling they think every rider should know. Although there’s a lot more where that came from.

For the second time this week, a woman riding a bike in Chicago’s South Loop district has been attacked by someone trying to steal her bag.

A memorial mass and ride will be held today to honor the victims of the Kalamazoo crash, a year after an alleged drugged driver killed five cyclists and injured four others. The woman who led that ride says she can’t let evil take her joy away.

Five Cleveland bike riders were injured when they were struck by a car this past weekend; the driver was arrested on the scene for aggravated vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence.

A Boston survey says there are racial and cultural differences in how people see bikeways that should be taken into account in designing them.

A Connecticut town threatens to confiscate the bikes of scofflaw middle school students who have been terrorizing — or perhaps just infuriating — the populace.

 

International

An Op-Ed in the Toronto paper says unlike other disasters, traffic deaths have become normalized, with grave consequences.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour candidate for British prime minister in this week’s election, says owning more than one bicycle is extravagant.

Once again, a bike rider is hero. A London doctor was riding his bike home from work when he saw emergency vehicles rushing towards London Bridge, so he turned around and rode back to the Royal London Hospital, where he operated through the night trying to save 12 victims.

Statistically speaking, Britain’s roads are as safe today as they were a decade ago, despite a 23% increase in miles traveled by bicycle.

A writer for the Guardian says there’s something to be said for taking your time riding around the world.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding with coke and a concealed gun on your bike, stay off the damn sidewalk, and don’t make any illegal turns. Nothing like stealing own daughter’s bicycle, then recording her frantic search for it.

And was he blocked because he criticized the president, or because he rides a bike?

 

Morning Links: New bike lanes coming to South LA, and lawyer gets sidewalk riding law wrong, at least in CA

Los Angeles continues to rediscover — or maybe just discover, as in for the first time — that there’s life south of the 10 Freeway.

After years of not-so-benign neglect of the city’s Southside, it’s become a focus of LA’s Vision Zero efforts.

And now LADOT has submitted plans four road diets and bike lanes on four major north-south streets in South LA.

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Maybe the law’s different in Colorado.

A lawyer answers the question of who’s at fault when a driver pulls out of a driveway and hits a bike rider on the sidewalk, saying the rider could share some of the blame for a) riding on the sidewalk, and b) riding against traffic.

Except here in California, it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in many cities, though seldom advised. And sidewalks are bi-directional; bicyclists aren’t required to ride with traffic anymore than people are expected to walk that way.

Despite a misguided and very outdated opinion by the then-state attorney general.

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Bicycling considers the crazy things that happen to a cyclist’s body while competing in the Race Across America. I remember one of the early RAAM competitor warning his crew about the dinosaurs along the roadway in Missouri.

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Local

The Eastsider looks at the new and improved Spoke Bicycle Café in Frogtown.

If Sunday’s CicLAvia is too tame for you, Helen’s Cycling is hosting a women-only mountain bike ride the same day.

The West Covina city council will consider the city’s possible participation in the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network tomorrow.

Police stats show bike theft is down in Long Beach, but that may not really be the case.

The Long Beach Bikes bikeshare is offering free ride time for Friday’s Moonlight Mash Long Beach Mad Max Ride.

 

State

A curmudgeonly San Diego sports columnist has taken to calling Kevin Faulconer the city’s Bicycle Mayor. Funny thing is, he seems to think it’s an insult.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is kicking mountain bikers off trails near Carlsbad, where riding was apparently always illegal but no one knew it.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition prepares for the next round in the fight for parking-protected bike lanes in the SoMa district.

 

National

Things could get a little safer on the streets, as Apple introduces a “do not disturb while driving” setting for the iPhone. But probably not a lot, since its use is voluntary.

Boing Boing offers a video look at how bicycles boosted the women’s rights movement. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

A new Kickstarter project promises to turn any bicycle into a cargo bike, complete with removable two-wheeled trolley.

It slowly dawned on a Seattle writer that he’s been riding less after moving to a part of town with less safe bike infrastructure. Something I can relate to after moving to Hollywood.

Now you’ll be able to ride at least a portion of the infamous Trail of Tears as it follows through Arkansas, tracing the steps of the Cherokee Nation on their forced march to Oklahoma.

A year after five bike riders were killed by an alleged drugged driver in Kalamazoo MI, his trial is still at least three months off. The family of one of the Kalamazoo victims says life is uncertain, so enjoy the ride.

Baltimore’s mayor scratches plans for a protected bike lane as it was being built, settling for a narrow two-way door zone bikeway to appease local NIMBYs.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old Florida man is tackling the 2,745-mile Tour Divide down the full length of the Rockies; it’s his third attempt after failing when he was 63, and succeeding four years later.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. A Canadian coroner blames a bike rider’s death on not wearing a helmet. Never mind that she wouldn’t have needed one if a massive truck hadn’t made an illegal right hook directly into her.

Canada’s automobile association says the cost of treating bike injuries is probably going up there, too. But they don’t really know.

Toronto bicyclists complain the city is spending too much money on building out the easy parts of the city’s new bike plan, rather than the ones that would make riders safe.

Speaking of Toronto, 75% of city residents support what had been a controversial protected bike lane, and want it to be made permanent.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a cab driver was fined the equivalent of $387 for allowing a passenger to fatally door a bike rider, plus another $845 in fines. Which he can pay off in low installments of less than $26 a week.

Not surprisingly, new security barriers installed in bike lanes to protect pedestrians on London bridges may increase the risk for bike riders.

No, Taiwan’s Giant bike maker is not being purchased by a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

Not only we do we pay way, but bikes can help keep the tax rate down, too.

And seriously, don’t be that guy.

Just don’t.

 

Morning Links: Killer road rage driver cops plea for up to 12 years, and the war on bikes goes on. And on…

Maybe they’ll get it right this time.

In a case that horrified LA’s cycling community, a Los Angeles man could spend the next 12 years behind bars for the 2015 road rage murder of a man on a bike following an argument near USC.

According to KTLA-5, 33-year old Andrew Williams pled no contest on Friday to felony voluntary manslaughter and felony hit-and-run driving resulting in death for intentionally running down 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas.

The District Attorney’s office finally explained what happened in a case where very few details were released at the time.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Williams was driving his SUV in the 3900 block of South Vermont Avenue when he came across Ruben Wharton Vanegas, 35, who was on a bicycle, the prosecutor said.

The two men got into an argument over the cyclist being on the road and after exchanging words, Vanegas hit the defendant’s side view mirror and rode in front of the vehicle, according to court testimony. Williams then ran over the victim and dragged him for about 50 feet, the prosecutor added. Vanegas died at the scene.

Sentencing will take place on the 20th of this month.

Too many killer drivers get off with little or no significant jail time in LA County. Let’s hope that changes in a case where the driver clearly murdered his victim.

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The war cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Northern Irish bike rider was lucky to walk away after someone sabotaged a Belfast bikeshare bike by loosening the lug holding the front wheel in place.

A nine-year old Aussie boy was nearly decapitated when someone strung a rope across a pathway at neck level.

Horrifying story from Australia, where a driver deliberately mowed down a man on his bike, and shouted at him to get out of the road before driving away and critically injuring a pedestrian in a second crash. He later told police saying he only intended to knock the man off his bike, not hurt him, while claiming the pedestrian he hit was the devil.

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Thanks to Tim Rutt for forwarding this really cool collection of antique bicycle headbadges.

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The seven-stage Critérium du Dauphiné opened Sunday, serving largely as a tune-up for next month’s Tour de France; Napa’s Andrew Talansky will lead the Cannondale-Drapac team, while Alberto Contador has a new bike for the race.

The Vail CO paper talks with cyclocross legend Katie Compton, in town to give mountain biking a try.

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Local

LA’s Vision Zero is focusing on high rate of crashes in South LA. Nice to see city officials have finally ventured into the undiscovered country south of the 10 Freeway.

Los Angeles has opened the latest segment of the LA River Greenway Trail in Studio City, forming a four-mile trail along the river.

KPCC previews yesterday’s River Ride benefitting the LACBC; the Daily News says over 2,000 riders participated.

Bicycling profiles Silver Lake new and used bicycle emporium Coco’s Variety, which started as a variety shop before bicycles sales and studio rentals took over.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says teach students about bike regulations before they get a ticket, not after.

LA Bike Dad rides with the kids to a free art class at the Barnsdall Art Park — and his four-year old rides the two mile distance on his own bike.

Pasadena could see another 400 bikes on the streets when Metro Bike comes to town on Bastille Day.

A 13-year old South Carolina boy set off from Santa Monica Saturday on a 3,000 mile bike trip across the US; before he even set off, he’d raised $300,000 in donations for clean water and hopes to raise half a million by the time he gets back home. At his age, I was happy just to ride to band practice.

 

State

Orange County will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation tomorrow. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Coronado adds bicycle maintenance stations along the city’s Bayshore Bikeway.

Caught on video: A security camera captures a man burglarizing an El Cajon bike shop after shooting out a window.

Bixby, the dog who’s spent the last several years riding across country to promote pet adoption, will be staying in San Luis Obispo for the next few weeks after having emergency surgery.

A trans woman in San Francisco used a settlement she received after getting hit by a car while riding her bike to go from homeless to starting two successful businesses, including a bike shop.

Around 2,200 AIDS/LifeCycle riders left San Francisco yesterday for a 545-mile along the coast to Los Angeles; the riders have already raised $15.1 million for the fight against HIV.

 

National

A Las Vegas bike shop owner is riding across the state to campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of Nevada. More proof that traveling on two wheels does not automatically make you a liberal.

As bike sales slump, Boulder CO bike shop employees are being trained not to be jerks.

A Wisconsin man shares what he’s learned after vowing to run or bike through all 72 of the state’s counties.

Chicago Streetsblog sets out on a Black Power Ride through the city’s South Side.

The Akron, Ohio paper remembers a hospital administrator who endured stares riding his bike to work in the 1950s and 60s.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 84-year old upstate New York man still rides 30 or more miles three times a week.

A curmudgeonly New York columnist follows-up on his video rant insisting bike riders suck by taking offense that anyone would take offense at what he now says was a tongue-in-cheek comment. Because really, who doesn’t bust up laughing when someone says you suck?

Caught on video: A group of North Carolina cyclists can thank a bad driver for making the right choice, pulling onto the grass next to the left shoulder after getting caught in a bad pass, rather than pulling back into the soft and squishy people on bikes as so many other drivers have done. A local TV station asks why so many drivers lose their minds around cyclists. Good question.

The Charlotte Observer talks with NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr about his newfound love of bicycling. Even if he does refuse to wear spandex on the track.

 

International

Mexico City is the latest major city to have a bike mayor.

A Canadian man ties a pool noodle to the back of his bike to show the legal one-meter safe passing distance — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law — and gets hit anyway.

Toronto finally installs barriers separating a bikeway from a major roadway after a five-year old boy was killed after falling in front of traffic. Yes, this is the way Vision Zero is supposed to work, but why do authorities always seem to wait until it’s too late to fix problems they already know about?

English police told a former cycling champ to go away when he tried to report a dangerous near-miss by a driver.

The Telegraph says middle aged men are trading in their roadie Lycra for mountain bike baggies.

A bike-born British acting troupe has traveled over 6,000 miles performing Shakespeare across the UK.

A Philadelphia writer goes walking amid the bikes of Copenhagen.

A new report finds drivers are at fault in most crashes with bike riders in Adelaide, Australia.

 

Finally…

If you build it, they won’t come if the bike lane is only 27 inches wide. If you’re going to ride home drunk, put a damn light on your bike and try to hold your line.

And you no longer have to struggle to carry your bicycles on your private helicopter.

 

Morning Links: Opponents call for removal of Venice Great Streets project; Ride the Colt next weekend

The paint is barely dry on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Yet already a petition is urging Councilmember Mike Bonin to rip it out, projecting — apparently based on nothing but their own fears — that it will exponentially increase traffic congestion, along with cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood.

And that it is already causing a calamitous decrease in business, as drivers who most likely seldom, if ever, stopped to shop in the area will now avoid it entirely.

Never mind that, as we noted yesterday, the people who actually study such things, based on genuine research rather than mere NIMBY supposition, say the living hell opponents fear is unlikely to actually come to pass.

In fact, a more likely outcome is that the road diet will have little or no effect on travel times, and may actually improve traffic flow, while a more walkable and bikeable street could have a positive effect on local businesses.

But why wait and give it a chance when you can just throw a massive online temper tantrum now?

After all, who cares about little things like greater safety, improved livability, higher property values, fewer commercial vacancies and increased retail sales if it means adding a few more seconds to your commute?

As of this writing, the petition has already seen 630 signatures in six days. A counter petition in support of the project has received 157 signatures since it went online two days ago.

How sad that it’s even necessary.

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If you can’t make it to CicLAvia a week from Sunday, consider riding the COLT in Chatsworth.

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Nice piece from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson confirming that bike riders are indeed the best people.

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Local

Los Angeles is testing a reflective street surface in Canoga Park designed to reduce the heat island effect caused by traditional blacktop. Which could mean a more comfortable ride on hot days if it’s successful.

Stay alert when you ride: A woman was attacked by a knife-wielding man while jogging on the bike path along Burbank Blvd near Lake Balboa.

A man was in critical condition after he was shot in the neck yesterday morning while riding his bike near the Lincoln Heights Recreation Center.

Streetsblog reports the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is refusing to commit to funding active transportation, despite the efforts of an environmental justice group and the vulnerability of many of their lower-income residents.

Apparently, the California Coastal Commission would rather keep PCH dangerous than eliminate 675 Malibu parking spaces to improve safety.

A Manhattan Beach city councilman is complaining that Los Angeles should have consulted with his city before trying to save lives on deadly Vista del Mar. Because really, who cares if people die in LA as long as traffic flows smoothly in the South Bay?

Hats off to the South Bay’s Beach Cities Cycling Club for organizing bike safety classes at local grade schools. Although it shouldn’t be left up to bike clubs to do what the school district should already be doing.

Long Beach is set to embark on plans to re-envision the PCH corridor as the city’s new Main Street, including a Complete Streets makeover of the deadly highway.

 

State

Imperial County border town Calexico is working on the first update to its bicycle master plan since 2003.

Ford’s new GoBike bikeshare program is set to expand and replace the existing Bay Area Bike Share, with a 10x increase from 700 to 7,000 bikes, and over 500 docks throughout the area.

San Francisco police say if you see a bike theft in progress, don’t try to intervene, but call the police instead.

Streetsblog takes an anti-bike Marin columnist to task for wrongly asserting that bikes can’t play a roll in solving the county’s transportation issues.

 

National

A new UC San Francisco study shows medical costs from bicycling injuries were over $24.4 billion in 2013, and increasing at a rate of $789 million a year. Which Treehugger says is yet another reason to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a used bike. Presumably without buying someone else’s stolen bike off Craigslist.

Despite international complaints, Orange Theory Fitness continues their orange ghost bike rip-off ad campaign, confusing and angering people in Bend OR.

This is who we share the roads with. A 20-year old Washington father is dead, and his friend injured, after the two Native American tribe members were intentionally run down by a pickup driver in what appears to be a hate attack

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a stoned driver got just 33 days in jail for killing a man on his bike, after pleading down from vehicular homicide and DUI charges. Naturally, he claimed it wasn’t his fault because the sun was in his eyes.

Massachusetts police blame the 78-year old victim in a bike crash for not wearing a helmet. Which wouldn’t have mattered if the speeding driver hadn’t hit him.

A town in Massachusetts installs a new sculpture celebrating cyclists.

Baltimore may halt work on a protected bikeway network after opponents of one bike lane complained that it made the street too narrow for fire trucks.

Nice story about an armless man riding a specially adapted bike and pulling a quadriplegic woman in a trailer behind him as they competed in a 50-mile Florida race.

Nearly 17,000 New Orleans bicyclists signed a petition demanding better protection from the police after a bike rider was nearly paralyzed when he was shot with a pellet gun; five other riders were shot with a paint gun in two separate incidents last month.

 

International

A new study found no link between the use of headphones or talking on a mobile phone and crashes by teenage bicyclists, though it did note a drop in the perception of sounds considered crucial for safe bicycling by riders of all ages.

A Toronto columnist says maybe he should pay more attention to angry drivers when he rides his bike, whether or not they’re right.

Another unintended Brexit consequence — British cyclists may lose their easy access to European bikeways.

Two hundred English cyclists rode 96 kilometers to raise funds in honor of the 96 soccer fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.

A nine-year old girl in the UK raised the equivalent of over $1,500 by riding 20 miles in memory of her little sister, who was born without a windpipe. Did I mention she’s just nine years old?

You’ve got to be kidding, part 2. A British judge told a man who stole a bait bike he just needed to get a job — despite 17 previous convictions, including one for bike theft.

The Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team had ten bikes stolen from the team truck parked outside of their hotel in the Netherlands.

A New Zealand bicyclist says overly courteous drivers are killing her with kindness. Almost literally.

Oddly, when you ride your bike drunk, with no lights or reflectors, and only a cowboy hat (scroll down) in violation of Australia’s mandatory helmet law, a judge may hold you responsible for whatever happens next. Even if your lawyer says cars are “a juggernaut of death.”

 

Finally…

Beware of bike cops if you plan to burgle stripper wear in your undies. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, take a shower, drink their milk and leave a load in their toilet, try not to leave your bicycle behind.

And it’s National Donut Day, which is as good a reason as any to stop for a snack on today’s ride.

 

Morning Links: A profile in political cowardice on Lankershim Blvd, and biking while your spouse shops

Call it a profile without courage.

The Daily News looks at CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s last-minute decision to pull the plug on the long-discussed Lankershim Blvd bike lanes in North Hollywood, as he hides under the political fig leaf of claiming more outreach needed to be done.

Because evidently, five years worth of Lankershim meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes just isn’t enough. Maybe what he really wants is to keep talking until he’s termed out in 2024, so it can be someone else’s problem.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley questions Krekorian’s leadership on the issue, and sounds pretty damned pissed off about it. And justifiably so.

Krekorian’s rejection of the project may be at least partially related to the defeat of bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali in last month’s CD1 council race, which may have sent a mistaken signal that LA’s politicians have nothing to fear from bike riders.

That’s the wrong lesson to take away from that election, however.

Bray-Ali appeared to be on the verge of an upset victory over incumbent Gil Cedillo when he lost many of his supporters as his comments on a racist website came to light.

It should be seen instead as a sign of what the bicycling community can do when they’re truly motivated, when a sitting councilmember was forced to fight dirty just to hold onto his seat in a city where incumbent members of the city council virtually never lose.

And that’s something Krekorian may want to remember as 2020 approaches.

Krekorian cited fears of lost business along the Lankershim corridor, even though numerous studies have shown that bike lanes are good for business, and creating a more walkable, bikeable corridor could more than make up for the loss of any parking spaces. Which LADOT must have undoubtedly pointed out in discussing the project with him.

And fears of unending traffic jams are usually unfounded, as well, as road diets have been shown to actually improve traffic flow in some cases.

The simple fact is that Krekorian’s decision to keep Lankershim solely dependent on dangerous and unhealthy automotive traffic is far more likely to hinder the success of the district than to benefit it, or the people and businesses in it, in any way.

What it really comes down to is what former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan discussed in her book Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

…An important observation that I share from my years as commissioner is that when you push the status quo, the status quo pushes back — hard. Six years after we rolled the first barrels into place, closing Broadway to cars, the plazas at Times Square became the new status quo…

The Times Square saga is a reminder that in New York and other cities, changing the streets is a blood sport at all levels. Projects that alter streetscapes upset people who naturally cling to stability, even if that stability is unsafe or inefficient. The flip side is that once change is in place, it becomes the new norm and frames expectations of citizens.

The most important lesson is that safer streets work, and that they can be executed quickly and cheaply… Sustainable streets make sense for safety, traffic, and long-term planning, and they make sense for the economy.

Maybe we should buy him the book.

Or maybe we should all send him copies of Profiles in Courage and Do the Right Thing, because he seems to have missed the point of both.

The real problem, with Krekorian and the rest of LA’s city government, is that they live in constant fear of angering the electorate in their districts — never mind that they probably hold some of the most secure council seats in the country. And so they’re afraid to do anything that might upset anyone, which makes doing nothing seem to be the safer choice.

Which is why the city’s streets are crumbling underneath us, and why they will likely remain dangerous long after our current leaders are gone.

There are exceptions, of course. Mike Bonin in CD11, CD14’s Jose Huizar, and Joe Buscaino in CD15, in particular, have shown genuine leadership and courage in transforming the streets of their districts.

But let’s be honest.

However he chooses to frame it, Krekorian’s decision to pull the plug on Lankershim was less an example of leadership than plain, old fashioned cover-your-ass cowardice.

And the people of Los Angeles deserve better.

If you’re as angry about this as I am, you can let Paul Krekorian know how you feel at an ice cream social today at noon in North Hollywood.

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Mike Wilkinson forwards this photo captured by his wife Argelia in a Walmart parking lot yesterday.

Photo by Argelia Wilkinson

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Another young bike racer has been killed on a training ride, as promising junior time trial specialist Joe Guy died when he was struck by a van in the UK.

A European website suggests Giro winner Tom Dumoulin’s bowels may have saved the 100th edition of the race from an epic flop.

The 2019 edition of the Tour de France will honor the legendary Eddy Merckx in the five-time winner’s homeland by departing from Brussels.

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Local

Unlike NoHo, road diets and bike lanes will be coming to a number of Playa del Rey streets in an attempt to slow traffic, improve safety and reduce cut-through driving. Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the area, gets it right, pointing out the need for improvements while overcoming the usual kneejerk NIMBY objections by suggesting that the changes aren’t necessarily permanent.

Barrio.LA takes a field trip to Atwater Village in advance of the Glendale – Atwater Village CicLAvia on the 11th.

 

State

The Orange County Register says the county is the mecca of the ebike craze.

The New York Times looks at Berkeley-based Monkeylectric and nearby Revolights wheel lights, noting the former is nearly required at Burning Man.

Sad news from Yuba County, where a 50 year-old Marysville woman was killed from behind as she rode her bike without lights at 1 am. Seriously, if you’re going to ride at night, put some damn lights on your bike. And carry a spare set with you during the day in case you get caught out after dark.

 

National

Streetsblog says blaming dangerous streets on people wearing black, as the Seattle Times did on Sunday, wins the prize for anti-pedestrian — and anti-bike — idiocy.

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is training to ride the 2,800-mile Tour Divide.

The father of a killer hit-and-run driver brought gasps to a Colorado courtroom when he blamed the victim for simply riding his bicycle on the street — even though his daughter had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit three hours after the crash, as well as trace amounts of cocaine and THC.

A Tennessee woman who took up ebike riding in her 40s says ride big in every way. Thanks to Karen Karabell for the link.

This is who we share the roads with. After tearing up a ball field by cutting doughnuts on the grass, a Connecticut pickup driver apparently targeted a bike rider, forcing him to dive off his bicycle to avoid getting hit.

Syracuse NY offers a $2.25 million settlement to a bike rider injured when he was struck by an off-duty police officer driving a city police car; the officer played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, saying he was blinded by glare on his windshield.

It took the NYPD just four days to piece together security camera footage to catch the hit-and-run driver who killed a bicyclist, even though it took them four months to make an arrest in the case.

 

International

The BBC looks at how the privately funded ciclovías in Santiago, Chile are transforming the streets.

A Canadian paper says your epic fundraising bike journey across the Great White North probably won’t actually make any money, and isn’t really a great idea.

In a change from just two years ago, all three major British political parties support bicycling in their manifestos, the equivalent of American political platforms; Brit cycling great Chis Boardman says that represents progress.

A London bike project fixes old bikes to give to refugees, providing around 90 bikes a month to people in need.

An Irish judge rules an ebike rider was highly negligent in riding without lights after dark, denying him any damages from the driver who hit him.

The Telegraph asks if Italy’s Alta Badia is the world’s greatest cycling destination. Actually, the best cycling destination is wherever you happen to be going today.

A new Spanish study shows the amount of bikeways boosts the number of bike riders, while improved safety depends on connecting them into an actual network.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist was lucky to survive when a rope attached to a truck got caught in his spokes, dragging him for 70 feet.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when a stray dog steals a GoPro and accidently films a Russian bike ride, along with the inside of its mouth. When you’re named after a bird, you can probably expect to be attacked by one.

And if you miss your brother, just dig him up and take him for a bike ride.

Literally.

 

Morning Links: Driver busted in fatal Winnetka hit-and-run, and Krekorian kills Lankershim Great Street

As we noted last week, an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Winnetka.

Forty-seven year old Victor Mainwal Jr. was arrested Friday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, and is being held on $50,000 bail, with his utility truck impounded as evidence.

Police have not confirmed whether the crash was intentional, as a witness alleged.

The name of the victim has still not been released, pending notification of next of kin; the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

News of the arrest was first announced right here on Friday, and on the BikinginLA Twitter account.

………

Following in the footsteps of former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Councilmember Paul Krekorian snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last week.

Announcing his decision on the Friday before a three-day weekend — a longstanding public relations ploy to ensure whatever you do doesn’t make the next news cycle — Krekorian pulled his support from the nearly shovel-ready plan to remake dangerous Lankershim Blvd into a safer Complete Street that would meet the needs of all road users.

The LACBC reports that he blocked the plan, like LaBonge before him, saying it had to go back to the drawing board because of inadequate public outreach.

Apparently, the countless well-attended public meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes held over the past year don’t count. Never mind all the previous meetings going back nearly a decade.

Instead, Krekorian inexplicably threw his hat in with street safety opponents Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz and Curren Price, all of whom blocked much-needed safety projects supported by large segments of the community.

And never mind that this was exactly the sort of lifesaving project he claims to support, judging by this quote from Yo! Venice.

“Reducing pedestrian and traffic fatalities is something we urgently need to work toward,” said Krekorian, who serves as the Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.

Evidently, like Cedillo, Koretz and Price, he’s all for projects designed to save lives. As long as they’re in someone else’s district.

Which means businesses on Lankershim will continue to suffer, and people will continue to risk their lives, however they chose to travel.

And they’ll have their councilmember to blame.

The LACBC offered this call to action in response to Krekorian’s misguided decision:

We firmly believe that this is not an approach that is consistent with Vision Zero’s goal of saving lives.  Want to help? Join us in calling Councilmember Krekorian (818-755-7676) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (213-972-8470) today to tell them you don’t think this project needs to go back to the drawing board.

………

In today’s edition of how to lose your job as a pro cyclist, Daniel Summerhill, a rider on the United Healthcare Pro Cycling team, is charged with firing his gun at a Colorado hillside near occupied homes on a February training ride; he says he did it because he was having a bad day.

Never mind why he had a gun in his jersey pocket to begin with.

Needless to say, once word got out, he immediately resigned from the team.

Which is PR speak for they fired his ass.

………

Bid on a bike tour with cyclist and KPCC political and infrastructure reporter Sharon McNary — one of LA’s most insightful and knowledgeable members of the media — while you help support Southern California Public Radio.

………

The war on bikes continues, as a tire bounds across a roadway to attack a helpless bike before leaping into the arms of a man inside an office. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Local

Construction is nearing completion on the Venice Blvd Great Streets protected bike lanes in Mar Vista, which are already being used by bike riders, although local residents worry the loss of a traffic lane will cause more cut-through traffic. Which shows you what can happen when a councilmember — Mike Bonin, in this case — actually has the courage of his convictions.

LA’s Metro Bike will be expanding this summer, with new branches opening in Pasadena on July 14th, and along the LA Waterfront in San Pedro and Wilmington on July 31st.

The presumed death of the 710 Freeway extension means there’s now $600 million available to spend on transportation projects in the area, in addition to $100 million already budgeted for improvements including synchronized traffic lights, sound walls and bike lanes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Cal Poly Pomona student newspaper looks at the impact the loss of fallen cyclist and Cal Poly student Ivan Aguilar had on his family and fellow students, four years after his death.

If you lost a red Specialized Allez recently, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station could be looking for you after recovering one they believe was stolen.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune gets it right after a worrisome start, concluding that bike lanes have little or no negative effect on business. And are often good for local businesses, even if that means a loss of parking spaces.

 

National

A new video series explores the allure of tall bikes.

A Colorado woman will spend the next 12 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man on his bicycle.

The national Little Bellas organization helps empower young girls through mountain biking; the Denver Post looks at how a local chapter helps make a difference.

Massachusetts is adding a section on bike safety to their driver’s training manual, as well as posting a video on the Dutch Reach to avoid doorings.

Here’s another reason to ride a real bicycle. A former VP with Peloton was arrested at his Manhattan home for allegedly looting the indoor cycling company of $400,000 to support his lavish lifestyle.

GQ spots actor Justin Theroux riding his fixie through the streets of New York with a $3,000 Tom Ford bag on his back. Note to Theroux: Next time you have an extra three grand lying around, spend it on the bike, not the bag.

The New York Times offers a pretty good beginner’s guide to biking to work.

Evidently having run out of kids to order off his lawn, a columnist with the New York Post takes time out of his busy day to tell cyclists just how much they suck. Mike Wilkinson reminds up this is how it’s really done.

 

International

Toronto has a 10-year plan to build out a complete bicycling network to coax nervous riders onto the roads, though polite Canadian bicyclists want it built sooner, if possible. LA has a 25-year plan to create a safe bicycling network, but we’re told it’s only “aspirational.

A writer for Forbes recommends luxury self-guided European bike tours. Or you could just buy a good guide book, make some reservations, and start riding.

Treehugger goes in search of the lost British bike lanes.

A driver decided to use a new raised, separated bike lane as a convenient and traffic-free way to bypass all those other cars on an Irish highway.

A 73-year old German woman was killed by lightning as she rode her bike. A tragic reminder to find the nearest shelter if you get caught in a thunderstorm while riding; the National Weather Service advises waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before resuming your ride.

A Spanish art project shows the dangers of disappearing bike lanes by placing bicycles that disappear into blank walls, titling one “Cycle Lane 9 ¾ to Hogwarts.”

After a Bollywood actress is criticized for falsely claiming she was so poor she had to ride a bicycle to school, others point out her fellow students were so poor they couldn’t afford one.

A Billings, Montana non-profit collected 260 bicycles to deliver to impoverished villages in Jordan.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone who drives a 233 mph race car for a living is afraid to ride his bike because the streets are too dangerous.

 

Finally…

When you’re pedaling with plans to peddle the crystal meth you’re carrying, just put a light on your bike, already. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it — and leave the machete at home.

And your next bike could be made like a bamboo wicker basket.

 

Morning Links: Tesla driving blind to bikes, LASD doesn’t get it, and Justin and Jimmy go tandem riding

Maybe you want to get off the road if you see a Tesla behind you.

Especially if the driver isn’t holding the steering wheel.

According to a review of the Tesla Autopilot feature, it recognized less than one percent of the bicyclists it encountered as a person on a bicycle.

Which means that 99% of the time, it might just run over your ass.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Once again, the LA County Sheriff’s Department demonstrates that their deputies just don’t understand bike laws, passing too close and giving a rider a warning for not hugging the gutter.

I don't understand why I need to be pull over by L.A. Sheriff officer there a sign somewhere I may take full lane and I can't be in right shoulder all the time there's glass, small pieces of woods and other small debris that I could get hurt. Just a warning without warning ticket ……. there a bicyclist on the sidewalk I don't get it !!!! Sheriff officer didn't gave me 3-4 feet dangerous passing me and did not indicated going to turn right at the intersection. #bike #bikeCommute #compton #bicycle #ShareTheRoad #cycling #cars #street #cyclinglife #bikeroute #bicycles #GoPro #biking #bikenight #road #rideyourbike #cyclists #bicycling #bikes #mountainbike #cyclist #police #dumb #sheriff #wtf Be safe out there and I'm always against the winds not against the law.

A post shared by Héctor Daniel González (@mobiler19) on

It’s a very sad commentary when people on bikes know the law better than the people charged with enforcing it.

The LAPD put together a bicycle training module for their officers six years ago, and made it required viewing for every street level officer. It’s long past time that the LASD did the same.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

………

Evidently, Justin Timberlake is one of us. And so is Jimmy Fallon.

On the same bike, no less.

Bro-biking. @jimmyfallon 🚲 #memorialdayweekend

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

………

David Huntsman shares video of juniors Madison racing, which he describes like this:

Bike racing is chess on wheels; track racing is 3-D chess on wheels; Madison is Quidditch.

………

A writer asks if the decision for other riders to attack when Tom Duloulin stopped for an emergency bowel movement was poor sportsmanship; in the end, it didn’t seem to matter. Although the star of Saturday’s penultimate stage was a man carrying a stuffed fox wearing a pink scarf — the fox, not the man.

An Italian cyclist is just the latest pro to be hit by a car while training.

Ella Cycling Tips looks at the good, the bad and the ugly rivalries driving women’s cycling.

You can now own a piece of the Team RadioShack cycling team, which has gone belly-up along with its primary sponsor. Thanks again to Erik Griswold.

………

Let’s pause for a moment for a quick sponsored message from our friend Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Don’t let National Bike Month slip by without adding Where to Bike Los Angeles to your cycling library. It’s the best riding guide for LA by far, and you can pick it up during the ongoing one-month sale — this May only — for less than twenty bucks a copy directly from the authors’ Amazon store.

………

Local

The LA Times examines how that free bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village turned into a $16.1 million expense, mostly born by LA taxpayers.

CicLAvia has released its interactive map of the Glendale Meets Atwater Village route on June 11th. Now we just have to wait for the Militant Angeleno to release his guide. Or will CiclaValley once again try to beat the Militant at his own guide game?

Speaking of CicLAvia, next April’s event will roll seven miles through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

Metro says the bikeshare dock at 7th and Fig is on the move to the other side of the street.

Bike SGV continues their series of Bike Month profiles.

The City of Vernon wants your input on plans to finally extend the LA River bike path through the city.

A new documentary premiering in Long Beach on June 8th follows two friends as they rode over 4,000 miles from New York to Long Beach.

Long Beach continues its efforts to restore a human scale to the streets with a 1.5 mile Complete Streets makeover of Broadway, reducing it to two lanes and adding bike lanes and walkways. Maybe LA could take notes.

 

State

Over 100 people turned out to honor fallen Fallbrook cyclist Paul Burke after he was killed by a suspected stoned driver last week.

An Antioch police officer restores a 12-year old disabled girl’s faith in cops after he recovered her $4,000 adaptive bicycle and arrested the man who stole it.

The San Francisco Examiner talks with folk-rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill as she attempts a comeback ten years after her first album came out, after spending seven years caring for her husband during his slow decent into dementia following a bicycling crash.

Once again, Bay Area bike riders protest the lack of a protected bike lane by forming a human barrier between bikes and cars.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a man was riding to his new job when he was run down from behind and left lying in the street; his body wasn’t found until four hours after the crash. His sister notes that it’s possible he might have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help. Which means his killer should face a murder charge once he or she is found.

The Bike Fairy has been giving out free lights to Davis bike riders for the past month.

A local newspaper offers advice on how and when to make the challenging 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe.

 

National

A professor says the problem with painted bike lanes is that drivers don’t realize they’re bike lanes, saying there needs to be some sort of physical barrier separating the bike lanes from traffic lanes. I’d have to disagree with that assessment; I don’t think drivers are unaware of bike lanes, I think many just don’t care.

A New Mexico jury rules it was a triathlete’s own fault that she crashed into a blob of tar apparently pushed into a bike lane by state highway contractor. Which of course wouldn’t have been there to crash into if the contractor hadn’t put it there.

The family of Texas firefighter received a $39 million judgment three years after he was killed riding his bike when a landscaping truck stopped in traffic with no warning cones or flags, and no lookouts to redirect traffic.

Bicycling says Chicago’s Bloomington Trail is the world’s best bike path.

Ella Cycling Tips profiles the great Sky Yeager, who destroyed the myth of the male dominated bicycling industry by designing some of the world’s most iconic bikes; she’s now working for Detroit’s Shinola.

Life is cheap in Indiana, where a 19-year old man won’t spend a single day behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a cyclist while driving distracted.

The war on bikes goes on. A Memphis man was critically injured when he was shot twice while riding his bike. Thanks to Bob Young for the link.

Bicycles are more than just tools for transportation; in upstate New York, they’re tools for fighting addiction.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot four men outside a West Village Deli.

New York Streetsblog says reducing traffic fatalities isn’t enough if conditions for bicycling and transit riders don’t improve, as well.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old WWII vet rode his bicycle 350 miles to Washington DC to promote peace, after surviving the 1944 battles for Peleliu and Okinawa.

Vice President Pence kicked off the 10th annual Project Hero Memorial Day Bike Ride calling attention to PTSD among veterans.

NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson led a group of fellow drivers and cyclists in a 69-mile ride from the Charlotte NC Speedway to honor fallen motorcycling world champ Nicky Hayden, after he died last week following a bicycling crash.

A North Carolina father and son are facing murder charges after a bike rider died two weeks after they allegedly beat him; they reportedly followed him and another rider prior to the unexplained attack.

A South Carolina newspaper explains the history and meaning of ghost bikes, noting there’s a growing number in the area, which ranks as one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists.

 

International

Toronto will conduct a safety review of the city’s entire 300 mile trail system after a five year old boy fell off his bike on a trail and landed in the roadway in front of ongoing traffic; a simple barrier separating the trail from the street might have saved his life.

A London woman was the innocent victim of a shooting, as she was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between gunmen on bicycles.

London’s Telegraph asks if bike-based delivery service is the next tech bubble.

A London bicycle rider was the victim of a road-raging motorcyclist who got off his bike and attacked the other man, apparently because he jumped a red light.

An Irish ped-assist bike rider was banned from the streets entirely for three years for riding drunk, and under the mistaken belief that his gas-powered bicycle didn’t require a license, which he’d already lost for ten years for driving drunk without insurance.

Caught on video: A Scottish cyclist catches up to Labour leader Jeremy Corbin’s car and shouts a few words of encouragement. Any bets on whether Trump would roll down his window for someone on a bicycle — even before he became president?

Maltese bicyclists are complaining about the dangers posed by haphazardly parked cars.

An Israeli reporter took a ride along the border that once divided Jerusalem to see if the city is truly united now, taking his GoPro along for the journey.

An Aussie woman describes nearly dying of heat stroke after going for a short morning ride in Saudi Arabia that turned out to be much hotter than she expected.

 

Finally…

Don’t try to pay the toll in France. Or decide to ride the entire left coast towing a rhino.

And your helmet may not protect you against cars, but it could come in handy for bears.

 

Morning Links: Donald Trump the bike-riding bully; Bike Night at Union Station, and new bike stuff

We finally have proof that Donald Trump used to be one of us, as reporters for the Washington Post talk to people who knew him as a child.

Steven Nachtigall, now a 66-year-old doctor, recalled the time Trump, the “loudmouth bully,” jumped off his bike and pummeled another boy.

As long as we’re on the subject bike-riding celebrities, Cindy Crawford is one of us, as she goes for a ride in the ‘Bu with her fat bike-riding husband.

Gerard Butler is one of us, too, looking none too pleased to be stalked by paparazzi as he rides and dines in New York.

………

Metro wraps up the official Bike Month activities with tonight’s Bike Night at Union Station.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica Spoke closes out the month next Wednesday with a presentation by Chris Morfas on his work in Bogota, Columbia, home to 600,000 daily bike trips. Tickets are available here.

………

Today’s common theme is new bike stuff.

A new bike bell promises to make itself heard inside nearby motor vehicles. And not necessarily politely.

Your next ebike could fit in a backpack, right next to your collapsible folding helmet.

Wired says a new bike from California-based Yuba means we should all ditch our cars and start riding cargo bikes.

………

Cycling Weekly offers five talking points from stage 18 of the Giro.

Thursday’s stage could have relieved the pressure on Teejay van Garderen, or increased it.

And the Wall Street Journal asks if Tom Dumoulin can stay No. 1 after the No. 2 heard ‘round the world.

………

Local

Part of the money Metro saves by not finishing the 710 Freeway could go to street improvements, including bike lanes.

LA is testing low-cost pedestrian safety improvements in South LA, but may be complicating matters for people on bikes.

The attn: website picks up the story the LAPD’s tone-deaf Vision Zero tweet encouraging bike riders to use lights and helmets in response to a possibly homicidal driver.

Time Out LA looks forward to the coming bike, foot and horse bridge over the LA River connecting Griffith Park to Atwater Village.

Taking time out from an increasingly busy advocacy schedule, LA Bike Dad bikes the kids to the La Brea Tar Pits.

A Burbank letter writer says the city’s bike lanes don’t really inconvenience anyone, and could save lives.

The La Verne Bicycle Coalition is using GoFundMe to raise money for bicycling improvements. Thanks to Lester Walters for the heads-up.

A Malibu paper talks with a man who’s bicycling an estimated 11,729.17 miles to visit every major league baseball stadium in the US this summer.

 

State

A homeless Orange County man swears he’s not running a bike chop shop, and all the bikes he sells were collected from sidewalks, trash bins and junk yards; local authorities — and people who’ve had bikes stolen — aren’t so sure.

A Newport Beach elementary school paused to remember Brock McCann, the eight-year old third grader killed by a garbage truck while riding his bike home from school one year ago.

No surprise here. The Fallbrook teenager accused of killing a bike rider while under the influence of a controlled substance has pled not guilty. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit the victim’s family.

A Santa Barbara writer describes how he cracked his pelvis falling off his bike on wet cobblestones on an underpass maintained by Caltrans — and met another rider who was injured at the exact same spot. Caltrans’ warning sign telling cyclists to walk their bikes is probably not sufficient for the agency to avoid liability.

A Sacramento writer says the city may finally be becoming more bike-friendly, but it needs to pedal faster towards that future.

 

National

People For Bikes wants you to just say no to the Trump budget, which says no to bicycling.

A physically disabled eight-year old will be able to ride a bike with his family for the first time, thanks to the efforts of volunteers from Utah State University.

There could soon by a protected bike lane on Nashville’s famed Music Row.

A Florida woman rejects a call for bicyclists to pay their fair share, saying we already do. In more ways than one.

 

International

Bicycling is helping a Syrian refugee adapt to his new home in Canada. This is the kind of scary person our government wants to bar from the country.

Toronto discovers the hard way that a bike path with no barriers separating it from the roadway doesn’t pass the 8 to 80 test; a regular bike commuter says nothing prepared him for the crash he witnessed.

A London writer says “smug” cyclists are the key to a fume-free future. And bike riders might not be so paranoid if drivers would stop knocking them over.

The Guardian considers which British political party will do the most for bicycling in the country; not looking good for the major parties.

A new survey from the UK shows exactly what you probably already knew. Most drivers don’t understand the law when it comes to bicycling.

 

Finally…

Every cyclist needs mom to coach them up the hard parts. If you’re going to make a run for it on your bike after stealing tools, try not to carry so many purses with you.

And if you’re going to ride drunk, try to pee facing away from traffic.

Then again, that holds true for taking a dump while leading a Grand Tour, as well.

   

Morning Links: Culver City TOD study, putting immigration before injuries, and a comprehensive look at bike locks

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass. So come back later this morning, when he’ll be back with a new guest post discussing the problems with police reports after a crash.

………

Things are changing in Culver City.

What used to be a bike-unfriendly city where the police would line up to turn back nighttime group rides has made great strides in recent years to become a safer and more inviting place to ride.

And that focus continues with a Transit Oriented District (TOD) Visioning Study to establish “an innovative Transit Oriented Development framework that could become a model for the larger Los Angeles region,” according to an email I received from David Alpaugh of Johnson Fain urban design and planning.

According to Alpaugh, Culver City’s planning efforts have already resulted in a higher-density, transit-served neighborhood that is improving both regional mobility and air quality. The goal of the study is to understand how to evolve the City into a “Transit Oriented Community” where people continue to drive less and walk, bike, and take transit more.

From now until August 2017, the Culver City TOD Visioning Study team is helping stakeholders collaborate through a series of workshops and an interactive website. Our aim is to explore measures and interventions that would lead to sustained alternative transit and mobility improvements. The primary study area is defined as the area within the half-mile walk and 3-mile biking radiuses from the Culver City Expo Station.

As of this writing, there are three more public workshops left:

  1. Thursday,May 25 – Workshop VI: Design Charrette (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) – Rotunda Room, Veterans Memorial Building – 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 9023
  2. Thursday,June 15 – Workshop VII: Review of Preliminary Recommendations (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) – Multipurpose Room, VeteransMemorial Building – 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
  3. Thursday,July 6 – Workshop VIII: Presentation of Final Recommendations (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) – Location TBA

………

In a horrifying example of just how bad things have gotten in this country, a Honduran immigrant was struck by a pickup while riding his bike to work in Key West FL.

But instead of calling for help or asking if he was okay, the first words out of the responding cop’s mouth were to question his immigration status.

So much for only going after the bad guys.

Basic police work, let alone common human decency, would dictate that investigating the crash and tending to the victim’s injuries should take precedence over any questions of immigration status.

It’s not a question of right or left.

Just right and wrong.

………

Mike Wilkinson forwards a lengthy bike lock review from The Sweethome, in which they tried break to 27 locks using every method they could come up with.

And come up with this conclusion.

So why bother to lock a bike? That’s the question most people ask once they realize the general disregard most pedestrians show toward a bike being stolen and what modern cordless power tools have done to bicycle security. Why bother securing your bike with a better lock if it means only an extra minute at most, maybe even mere seconds, to a thief? It unfortunately comes down to beating the people around you—after all, you don’t need to outrun a bear, only the person next to you. If you can ride a less expensive bike and lock it up properly with a better lock in a safer location, you can remove the temptation for a thief to pick your bike over an easier target.

In some situations even the cheapest lock can provide this amount of security, but we believe that a small upgrade to the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 allows you to eliminate more methods of attack over the competition at this price—and as a result, in most cities your bike will be targeted only by very determined thieves. Most thieves don’t want to steal your bike, they want only to steal a bike. If one is easier to steal and valued more, that’s the one they want. If you can persuade them to pick another target, that’s all you need, but if they still decide to target your bike, we think you should at least give yourself a chance of catching them, by using a lock that needs to be cut with a grinder.

It’s worth a read if you’re concerned about protecting your bike from thieves.

And if you’re not, you should be.

As Wilkinson points out, it’s also a good reminder to register your bike, particularly since they were able to eventually defeat every lock they tested.

………

And while we’re on the subject —

Culver City police uncovered a bicycle chop shop at a homeless encampment under a bridge over Ballona Creek. On the other hand, about the only reason police wouldn’t find a bike chop shop at a homeless camp is if they’re not looking.

Santa Cruz police bust a bike thief after he stole a $5,000 mountain bike and was photographed and chased by a witness; police suspect he also stole a $3,000 bicycle they found hidden in some bushes nearby.

A Dallas TV station sets out their own bait bikes to see how fast they’d get stolen, and where they’d end up. Neither of which should surprise anyone.

………

Wednesday’s spoiler-free mountain stage of the Giro ended in a solo breakaway, while a Danish rider won 100 bottles of beer for being the heaviest cyclist to make it over the Stelvia pass in Tuesday’s stage of the Giro. Which should make him even heavier next time.

Teams were announced for the new four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, including four WorldTour teams.

Good thing the doping era is over. A pair of Russian and Azerbaijan cyclists have been banned for using prohibited substances. And a Brazilian cycling team has been suspended for the second time due to doping violations.

Speaking of which, Lance just got engaged to his live-in girlfriend of ten years.

………

Local

After one bike rider was killed and another injured in what a witness described as a deliberate attack, the LAPD offered a tone-deaf suggestion to use helmets and lights.

 

State

Newport Beach considers restricting ebikes on the boardwalk.

Ride without a light in Sacramento, and you could get ticketed by a state Alcohol Beverage Control agent. Even if you haven’t been drinking.

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has been a popular site for mountain biking and MTB racing for decades — never mind that it happens to be illegal. National Park officials are trying to change that.

 

National

Streetsblog says Trump’s proposed budget would be a disaster for transit, walking and bicycling.

The brother of a Seattle bicyclist files suit against the city and the transit agency, claiming streetcar tracks were responsible for her death.

A Montana man got a well-deserved 15 to 25 years behind bars for deliberately running down a man on a bicycle with his car so he could rifle through the man’s backpack and steal his wallet; his victim is still recovering from his injuries.

Denver Streetsblog suggests that maybe the Colorado Department of Transportation should focus on building safe streets instead of looking for exotic safety concepts.

An Oklahoma paper talks with a man who’s been riding across the US for 26 years to raise funds and attention for multiple sclerosis, covering 287,000 miles and raising $148,740, inspired by a fellow cyclist who died of the disease.

Michigan offers more bike trails than any other state, with over 12,500 miles of state–designated trails and 2,600 miles of rail trails.

A Boston columnist says bike crashes are down, so what are all these enraged cyclists — and politicians who cater to them — complaining about? Meanwhile, a writer for the Globe says it’s up to everyone to learn how to share the streets safely, and pitting one side against the other doesn’t help anyone.

Caught on video: A handcuffed bike thief performs a pretty impressive flying faceplant fleeing from police in Florida.

 

International

How about a fat bike ride along the Northwest Passage, 500 miles above the Arctic Circle?

A Montreal parking enforcement officer has taken to posting photos on Twitter of trucks that park in bike lanes.

The war on bikes continues, as a British driver followed a pair of bicyclists onto the grass to run one down before fleeing the scene.

Tired of hearing there’s no room for bike lanes on the streets of the Latvian capital, Riga bike advocates paint their own to prove city officials wrong.

A BBC TV host discusses her participation in Tour d’Afrique, the world’s longest bike race, which runs nearly 7,500 miles from Cairo to Capetown. And getting chased by elephants and pelted with rocks and a whip along the way.

A new Myanmar bike tour follows the route of a 16th Century king, while showing off the countryside, and the people.

 

Finally…

Evidently, summer cyclists are edible. It takes a village to make a kid wear his bike helmet.

And seriously, if you’re carrying meth, marijuana, syringes and other drug paraphernalia on your bike, just put a damn light on it, already.

 

Morning Links: LAPD cop walks on bike rider beating, get paid to ride a bike, and how not to wash one

I’m not a fan of jailing cops.

As far as I’m concerned, police officers should be disciplined, retrained or fired. Except in the most egregious cases, where their actions go far beyond a mistake in judgment or failing to follow policy.

Like this one, for instance.

Because there’s something seriously wrong when an LAPD cop can kick a black bike rider in the head like he was lining up a field goal, and get away without spending a single day behind bars.

Despite a video recording of the beating Clinton Alford received after he fled from the cops, first on his bike, then on foot, Officer Richard Garcia got off with far less than a slap on the wrist.

Garcia pled no contest to felony assault in exchange for a sentence of 300 hours of community service and a paltry $500 fine to be paid an unnamed charity, along with two years probation. After which time he could have his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

Which is exactly what happened on Wednesday.

According to the LA Times, Garcia is on unpaid leave pending a disciplinary hearing that could result in a well-deserved firing.

However, that also means he could end up keeping his job. Which would just compound the incredible injustice in this case.

And disgrace all the officers who struggle to do the job right and win the trust of the people they serve.

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The free Biko app is now available in Los Angeles, as well as San Diego and San Francisco; the app allows riders to collect credits for each kilometer they ride, which can be redeemed at participating businesses and charities.

So where the hell was this when I was still riding a few hundred miles a week?

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A reminder to always pull over when you have five or more vehicles backed up behind you and unable to pass.

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Apparently, there’s a never-ending supply of sexist stupidity within the bike industry.

Never mind that women ride bikes, as well as fix them. And damn few dress like that to do it.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the image.

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Local

Nutcase Helmets features a ghost bike art display as part of LA’s Vision Zero Roscoe.

Eater looks at the newly re-opened Spoke Bicycle Café along the LA River bike path, offering an expanded menu including local craft beers and California wines.

USC’s popular Lil Bill’s bike repair shop has officially been given the boot despite a widespread student outcry to save it, thanks to a non-compete clause with a new bike shop opening in the soon-to-be-completed USC Village.

Pasadena wants developers to pay more to fund transportation improvements, including bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

Brea invites you to check out the new Tracks at Brea shared use path this Saturday, complete with bike rodeo courtesy of Walk ‘n Rollers.

 

State

Republican legislators are complaining that Governor Brown is diverting gas tax funds for non-transportation projects, which fails to recognize that bike paths and public transportation are transportation projects.

Caltrans has adopted the California’s first statewide active transportation plan, calling for people of all ages to be able to comfortably walk and bike safely and conveniently by 2040. Now the question is whether they’ll actually follow through, or if it will sit on the shelf like most bike/ped plans do.

Bay Area bike riders are pushing back after Caltrans proposes improving safety at a dangerous intersection by banning bikes from one of the primary bike routes connecting the Pacific Coast side of San Francisco with the peninsula. Maybe that’s what Caltrans means by being able to walk and bike safely and comfortably — somewhere else.

The annual AIDS/LifeCycle will depart from San Francisco a week from Sunday, arriving in Los Angeles the following Saturday to raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

An Oakland bike rider gets a surprise bill for rear-ending a cop car nine months later, even though he was not ticketed and there was no apparent damage to the bike or patrol car at the time.

Sacramento is beginning a $1.7 million project to fix a deadly intersection, including better bike lanes and bike boxes.

 

National

A Seattle bicyclist says he’s okay, but it’s all those other bike riders who piss drivers off; a pair of anti-bike talk radio jocks use his letter to try to stir up a little controversy.

Salt Lake City will move forward with more bike lanes, but no more curb-protected lanes after complaints from merchants.

A Colorado woman says she learned about business by riding her mountain bike. Evidently, she failed to gain any major insights. Or stock tips, for that matter.

Colorado will try out a trio of tech concepts submitted in response to a competition to come up with safety solutions for bicyclists and pedestrians, including lighted bike lanes and an LED light that follows as a rider approaches an intersection.

The founder of both Colorado’s Oskar Blues craft brewery and a handmade bike maker offers his tips on mountain biking.

Houston is just the latest city where police have set up safe bike passing stings using an ultrasound device that measures an exact three-foot passing distance. Now if only we could get the LAPD, LASD and CHP to give it a try.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Relatives of a San Antonio TX bike rider are struggling to find answers after he was left to die in the street by a pair of hit-and-run drivers, one of whom stopped just long enough to remove his bike from the car’s bumper. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

A New York woman is out of work for eight weeks and facing $25,000 in medical expenses after she was run down by a cyclist who blew through a red light, claiming he couldn’t stop in time. She says law-breaking cyclists should be treated like drivers; unfortunately, that’s exactly how the NYPD usually treats drivers who kill or injure bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains how to deal with wrist pain when you ride.

London’s Independent considers the tragic irony in the bicycling death of pro cyclist Nicky Hayden.

An English county’s chief constable plans to tour the county on two wheels after his retirement, stopping at every police station along the way.

About damn time. Sydney, Australia is backing a plan that would require student drivers to learn how to ride a bike safely before qualifying for a driver’s license. Now if we can only convince the rest of the world to go along.

A user white paper from China’s Mobike bikeshare company offers insights to the country’s emerging cycling demographic; the company says it’s taken the emissions equivalent of 170,000 cars off the roads and out of the air.

 

Finally…

How to do #2 when you’re trying to stay #1. If you’re going to promote Bike Month, try to do it before the events are over.

And David Wolfberg forwards video of how not to wash your bike.

View post on imgur.com

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On a personal note, the Corgi was once again a hit at Amoeba Music.

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