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.

 

Update: Willowbrook bike rider killed by Blue Line train; first SoCal bike death in 2017

That didn’t take long.

Just six days into the new year, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro Blue Line train, marking the first SoCal bicycling fatality of 2017.

According to the LA Daily News, the victim was crossing the tracks at Willowbrook Avenue and El Segundo Boulevard in unincorporated Willowbrook when he was stuck by the northbound train around 6:55 this morning.

He died at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The Daily News describes him only as a man in his 50s, while a CHP spokesperson, in a video on the LA Times website, calls him a 35 to 45-year old Hispanic male.

There’s no word on whether he rode through the crossing gates, or if he was somehow caught on the tracks when the train came through. The Times video shows the crossing gates and warning lights were working after the crash.

This should be yet another warning to always wait until the crossing gates go up before attempting to cross train tracks, regardless of whether it appears to be safe.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 52-year old Downey resident Esequiel Flores.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esequiel Flores and his loved ones. 

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.

 

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, while victim holds on; 105-year man sets new hour record

There’s good news in last week’s Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider critically injured.

Detectives with the LAPD’s South Division held a press conference yesterday where they announced an arrest in the case, and reported the victim is still fighting for his life at County USC Medical Center.

Unfortunately, the Periscope video of the news conference is no longer online.

The driver, Javier Saravia, was taken into custody four days after the crash, following several anonymous tips after video of the crash was posted online. The suspect vehicle was impounded after being found in a carport at his home.

Despite rumors to the contrary, 36-year old Los Angeles resident Mikail Hasan remains in the ICU unit in critical condition following emergency surgery to repair a crushed aorta. His older brother Gabrail reports he is surrounded by family, responsive, but unable to communicate.

The father of nine children under the age of 15, Mikail Hasan is a popular member of the Hyde Park community. The tattoo artist was riding a customized motorized bicycle made by the LA DTM (Doing The Most Club), where he serves as vice president, when he smashed into Saravia’s car in a left-cross collision the day after Christmas.

Saravia immediately fled the scene, leaving Hasan injured in the street, where he was tended to by several bystanders.

“You should stop, that’s it,” his brother said towards the end of the press conference. “Nobody cares if you’re messed up, as long as you just stop. Just make sure that whoever it is, is alright before you continue on your journey.”

Saravia didn’t, and now faces a felony hit-and-run charge and a $100,000 bond. Police report there is no way to tell if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Unfortunately, he did not have insurance, which means the Hasan family will likely be saddled with massive medical bills before he’s released.

According to the LAPD, this was just one of over 5,800 hit-and-runs in the South bureau last year, and 27,000 in the city as a whole.

………

It’s official. Frenchman Robert Marchand set a new senior’s hour record, riding 22.547 kilometers — just over 14 miles — in a single hour.

At 105 years old.

Although his physiologist says Marchand could have gone even faster if he hadn’t given up meat.

He’s not the only older rider making news, though.

Texas rider Fred Schmid won his 21st national age group cyclocross title at 83 years old, despite not owning a bike until he was 61.

………

A former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency says cheating by Russian athletes is even worse than anything Lance did. Meanwhile, scientists are working on new ways to beat the dopers — if cycling authorities are willing to pay the price to use them.

Thirty-five year old Russian cyclist Alexander Kolobnev retires after 14 years in the pro peloton.

The first Israeli pro cycling team jumps to the second-tier Pro Continental level just three years after it was founded.

………

Local

The LAPD West Division has recovered a number of hot high-end bicycles; most appear to have been taken from a single individual in Irvine.

Work is scheduled to begin next Wednesday on the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills, which means the busy, dangerous and pothole-filled road may be virtually impassable on a bicycle for the next couple years. And there’s still no commitment to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will roll this Sunday with an easy-to-moderate ride exploring the history of the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Nice gesture from the cops with the Glendora Police Department, as kindhearted officers pitch in to buy a girl a new bike after the one she got for Christmas was stolen.

Santa Monica will host a community forum to discuss building out the eastern portion of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway, aka MANGo.

Police in Santa Monica will be conducting their semi-regular bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday and Monday, so ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Although someone could explain to me why the story is illustrated with a photo of bicyclists outside Langer’s Deli in MacArthur Park.

 

State

Laguna Woods votes to spend $2,200 on mountain bikes and accessories for their security officers, noting that they’re not intended as a replacement for their patrol golf carts.

The environmental impact report has been released for the proposed 50-mile lone CV Link bike, pedestrian, and yes, golf cart trail through the Coachella Valley.

A Woodside bike club discovers it’s not easy to clear trash off a highway when Caltrans is involved.

 

National

A robotics expert predicts children born today will never drive a car. Especially if we can get them hooked on bikes first — and provide them with safe places to ride. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Portland’s new mayor rode his bike to work on his first day on the job, even though it was just 25 degrees out.

The Guardian looks at the growing number of ghost bikes and hit-and-runs in America’s fourth largest city. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Apple is being sued for the death of a Texas girl for not making it impossible to use its FaceTime app while driving. Because apparently, just telling drivers not to be idiots and use their damn mobile phones just isn’t good enough. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a hit-and-run driver won’t spend a day behind bars for a crash that left a bike rider with serious, long-term injuries.

A teenage Texas cyclist won’t let a Christmas Day crash deter her from her goal of riding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Arkansas and Tennessee open a new bike and pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis, connected to an existing freight railway bridge; Arkansas hopes to become the bicycling hub of the South.

A Pittsburgh city councilwoman proposes creating a bike lane advisory committee to review bike lanes and allow the public to weigh in on them, because she wants to ensure they’re safe. And because she thinks they’re ugly. The bike lanes, not the public.

Massachusetts drivers could now face a fine of $50 for stopping in a bike lane.

The bike-riding victim’s family is outraged, as Florida authorities negotiate a plea deal giving a killer driver just one day short of a year in jail. Or at least they think he was the driver; three years later, they’re still not sure, despite the conviction.

A Florida cyclist was shot in the butt at least three times with a pellet gun as he was riding his bike.

 

International

A new study in the prestigious Lancet medical journal suggests people living near major roadways have a higher risk of dementia. Although apparently not as high as those driving on them.

Bike Radar says it’s time to stop mocking MAMILs, offering eight reasons they were right all along. Meanwhile, a college professor says he’s a MAMIL and very happy about it, thank you.

Now that’s more like it. A 23-year old repeat drunk driver gets seven years for killing a Canadian bike rider and fleeing from police at 124 mph; she also gets a well-deserved ten year ban on driving, which hopefully won’t start until after she gets out.

Edmonton, Canada’s new downtown bike lane network should improve safety for pedestrians, as well.

Halifax, Nova Scotia made it through 2016 without a single bicycle or pedestrian death; local bike advocates credit better infrastructure, education and enforcement.

The LA Times suggests riding Ireland’s rugged west coast and crossing the country’s highest mountain range for just $1,900 a person; more if you need to rent a bike.

A New Zealand man is bicycling around the country to put on a one man science show.

 

Finally…

Now even toddlers can pedal inside without actually going anywhere. No, seriously, who the hell would steal a tall bike?

And if you can’t avoid a DUI, just buy all the copies of the local newspaper so no one will find out about it.

 

Morning Links: 4th Annual Resolution Ride this Saturday, local advocates nominated for Streetsblog awards

Update: The Resolution Ride has been cancelled for this weekend: 

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!

I’m a sucker for a good cause.

This Saturday, AIDS/LifeCycle is hosting their 4th Annual Resolution Ride in Griffith Park to raise funds the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

With rides of 15 and 35 miles, the very reasonable $30 pre-registration fee — $35 for day-of registration — is even more reasonable when you consider it includes lunch and music.

If the name sounds familiar, AIDS/LifeCycle hosts the hugely popular 600-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles ride each year, benefitting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.

Here’s what they have to say about the day’s events.

WHAT:  4th Annual Resolution Ride

Join AIDS/LifeCycle for a fun bike ride to keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions going! Roll into the new year with two fully-supported bike rides (15-mile or 35-mile) and festival in beautiful Griffith Park. This annual event is for riders of all skill and fitness levels. The day includes a bike skills and safety clinic for new riders, a fitness festival with local businesses, nutritious food, and great music! Participants will have a chance to win a new bike from Just Ride LA.

Register at resolutionride.org.

The 4th Annual Resolution Ride is produced by AIDS/LifeCycle and benefits the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

WHEN:  Saturday, January 7, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.                             

WHERE:  Griffith Park – Crystal Springs Picnic Area, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.

COST:  $30 Registration Fee until January 6. (Registration fee increases to $35 on-site on January 7.)

Lunch is included.


Each rider is required to bring a bicycle, identification, and a Consumer Produced Safety Commission-approved helmet.

A limited number of loaner bikes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis courtesy of Just Ride LA. To reserve a bike, email chris.v@justridela.com.

For more information, visit resolutionride.org.

………

Congratulations to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew on his nomination for Streetsblog’s 2016 Journalist/Writer of the Year; as of this writing, he’s leading with over half the vote.

You’ll also see familiar faces among the candidates for Advocate of the Year, including Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald and CicLAvia’s Romel Pascual, and Advocacy Group of the Year, where Bike SGV leads Investing in Place with LACBC.

Voting ends at noon tomorrow.

………

Thirty-one-year old Belgian pro Gianni Meersman is forced to retire after discovering he has a heart condition, blocking his transfer to a new team.

Newly retired Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins attempts to follow in the tracks of Britain’s Eddie the Eagle by competing in ski jumping TV show.

American Olympic cyclist Missy Erickson talks about being sexually abused by someone close to her when she was 17.

I want to be like him when I grow up. France’s Robert Marchand will attempt to break the world senior hour record he set five years ago when he was just a wee lad of 100 years old.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Colin Bogart is raising funds to go on this year’s Climate Ride, asking 200 people to donate $20.17 apiece.

Boyonabike looks back at year’s developments in car-free transportation in the San Gabriel Valley.

Time is running out to tell Metro where to put their bikeshare stations in Pasadena and Venice. Although we desperately need to come with a good nickname for them.

Ride smart in Hawthorne today, where police are conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation, focusing on violations by drivers, cyclists and people on foot that can lead to crashes.

Chris Brown is one of us, even if he’s just riding past his fleet of luxury sports cars at his Tarzana home.

Caught on Video: Long Beach expats and famed bike travelers the Path Less Pedaled return to SoCal for a ride to the Tree of Life in the Verdugo Mountains.

 

State

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog gets a horn-blaring punishment pass from an Uber and Lyft driver while riding in San Diego, for the crime of riding a bicycle — legally — on the street.

A suspected drunk driver faces charges after crashing into a Concord bike rider on New Years Eve.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by one driver, then struck by another; and yes, he was riding with lights and a helmet.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their annual bike buyers guide, with bikes ranging from $950 to $10,000.

That’s one way to get a ride home on New Year’s Eve. Oregon state police drop a bike rider off at his home after citing him for bicycling under the influence.

A Washington drunk driver will spend more than three years behind bars for killing a lightless, intoxicated bike rider.

China’s massive LeEco electronics conglomerate unveils two new smart bikes at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; both have a built-in four-inch screen with an Android operating system.

Wichita KS will spend $1.6 million to expand three bike paths this year.

Missouri police shoot and kill an armed bike rider who they suspect of being mentally ill.

A popular Indianapolis charity ride loses its booty.

A New York TV station looks at the perennial complaints about NYPD officers jeopardizing the safety of bicyclists by parking in the city’s bike lanes. So naturally, they focus on the people who think cyclists should just get over it.

Even though Savannah GA leads the state in bike commuting, the city has just two bike lanes to serve over 150,000 residents.

 

International

How to be a weight weenie.

Montreal residents are fighting a bike path behind their back yards as a symbol of densification and the direction the city is headed.

A London politician calls on the city to put plain clothes bike cops on the street to watch for bad drivers who put cyclists at risk.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver’s phone magically drops his phone from his hand when he realizes his texting is being filmed by a cyclist.

Northern Ireland’s police service says bike theft is the new car theft.

A German collector is selling his entire collection of 75 steel road bikes and frames on eBay for $35,000.

An Aussie rider describes what he saw on a 2,800 mile ride along the South Australian coast.

Another app-based Chinese bikeshare company hits the streets, putting 70,000 bicycles to work in just one month; unlike the dock-based American bikeshares, the Chinese systems use GPS to locate a nearby bike, allowing bikes to be picked up and left anywhere.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about e-rickshaws. You can see a lot of things on a bike — like an alligator engaging in a death match with a Burmese Python.

And just stick it in your ear, already.

Morning Links: Petaluma punishment pass caught on video, and red light-running stupid driver tricks

Welcome back. Please accept my belated wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. And one filled with friends, family and bikes.

Lets hope this coming year is a safe and joyful one for all of us.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

First a Petaluma pickup driver hauling a horse trailer makes what appears to be a punishment pass directed at a couple of bicyclists hugging the white line. Or possibly just a dangerous attempt to cut back in time following an ill-advised pass.

Then stops to have a profanity-laced chat with the riders, telling them to get off the road and onto a non-existent bike path.

Thanks to murphstahoe for the links.

………

And here you thought only bike riders run red lights, right?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

………

Sad news, as 1950 Tour de France champ Ferdy Kuebler passed away at a Zurich hospital Thursday; Kuebler won the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege classics on successive days in 1951 and 1952, as well as a 356-mile, single-day Bordeaux-to-Paris race in ’53.

More sad news, as rising Canadian pro cyclist Ellen Watters was killed in a collision on a training ride; New Brunswick riders are making a new push for a three-foot passing law in the wake of her death, and appear to be gaining support.

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins calls it a career at age 36, amid allegations of drug use masked by special medical exemptions.

American pro Andrew Talansky’s Grand Tour plans may have suffered a setback when he broke his thumb after hitting black ice on a Christmas Eve training ride.

………

Local

The LAPD made an arrest in the Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider seriously injured.

Joe Linton says a recent hit-and-run that left a pedestrian injured shows the need to make NELA’s Fletcher Drive safe.

Debbie Reynolds was one of us, and rode her bike to her first screen test on the Warner Brothers lot from her home in Burbank when she was just 16.

CiclaValley recaps his best articles of the past year.

Pasadena’s Complete Streets Coalition will hold their January meeting next Monday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson justifiably calls out cyclists on an annual New Years Day ride, where hundreds of bicyclists reportedly blew through red lights on their high-speed tour down the coast, resulting in a crash that injured a pedestrian and a bike rider. And says some riders actually blocked paramedics from getting to them in their attempt to catch up to the peloton. Correction: I’ve heard from someone who was on that ride, who reports that as much of a mess as it was, the rider who collided with the pedestrian was on a different, earlier ride, and said the wreck happened when a pedestrian stepped off the curb while the sun was in his eyes.

 

State

Be careful when you order bikes and parts online. California’s Specialized is suing a number of internet-based bike dealers for selling counterfeit frames and accessories.

California motorists are now prohibited from even holding a mobile phone for any reason while they drive. Of course, it’s already illegal to text or use a handheld phone in the state, and we’ve seen how that worked out.

We may have to deal with bullheaded LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into Bay Area bulls.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero Coalition calls on the city to study its own traffic safety data.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed New Years Eve after allegedly riding through a red light.

 

National

States may have the traffic data the public needs to demand safer streets, but apparently, they’re under no obligation to share it, thanks to a little-known clause in federal law.

Two years ago there were no protected intersections in the US; now there are 12.

Now you can lock your bike up to a birth control device the next time you ride to Oregon’s Planned Parenthood headquarters.

A San Antonio driver hits a bike rider, takes her to a nearby bar, puts her damaged bike on her car, then drives away without identifying himself.

Great story. A homeless Escondido man rides a beach cruiser 1,640 miles to Wichita KS to build planes, because he says God told him to.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a driver without insurance gets a whole two days for paralyzing a cyclist. Two. Effing. Days.

A Georgia cop helps a DUI driver turn his life around by buying him a bike to ride to work and AA meetings.

New York City now has a nine-mile long protected bike lane crossing the city.

The New York Times reports on a prominent evangelical preacher who lost his faith following a 40 mph solo fall on his bike.

A Miami rider offers a full year of stupid driver tricks caught on bike cam video.

A Florida man has a new bike thanks to a kindhearted EMS supervisor, who bought him one after his was totaled in a crash.

 

International

A new Canadian study says you may end up in the ICU, but at least you don’t have to stop cycling. Meanwhile, A new Chinese study shows riding a bicycle can reduce depression in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Cycling Weekly offers essential commuting clothes for riding to work, not much of which actually is.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-seven year old English rider sets three world age group records.

1970’s glam rockers Slade will be cancelling their shows for the next few months after lead guitarist and founding member Dave Hill broke his elbow in a collision with a bike rider.

Dublin votes to cut speed limits to the equivalent of 18 mph throughout the city to improve safety. So when will California realize lives are more important than speed, and allow cities to set safer limits?

An Irish study says boys are ten times more likely to ride their bikes to school than girls.

An Indian tycoon plans to revitalize Great Britain’s declining bike-making industry.

A bicyclist rides 4,600 miles through nine Indian states on a solar-powered ebike.

A New Zealand man gets on his bike for the first time in five years. And gets knocked off by a road-raging driver who drove onto the sidewalk to deliberately ram into him.

A Tokyo pedestrian was killed by a lightless, distracted bike rider on a narrow, sloping passageway where bicyclists aren’t even supposed to ride.

Singapore is installing bikeways in neighborhoods around the island and encouraging the use of personal mobility devices in an attempt to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

This is why you hire an American PR firm to handle your US launch. Busted for driving under the influence of caffeine.

And Ricky Gervais is one of us. Even if he can’t figure out how to use a Presta valve.

………

Thanks to George Wolfberg, Karen Karabell, Eric Lewis, Glen Schmuetz and Stephen Katz, and to everyone who gave to last month’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. The kindness and generosity of shown by the readers of this site has moved me more than I could possibly express.

I’d like to thank you all individually, but PayPal now keeps the email addresses of donors hidden. Which is probably a good thing, even if it means I have to thank you here, instead.

Update: Hit-and-run driver critically injures Hyde Park bike rider; LAPD fails to send hit-and-run alert or mention reward

Once again, a heartless coward has left a South LA bike rider bleeding in the street.

According to press release from the LAPD, a 35-year old man was riding some sort of motorized bicycle on 48th Street at Ninth Ave in the Hype Park neighborhood around 3:40 Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car driven by an unidentified driver.

The driver had been parked at the eastbound curb when he suddenly pulled out, turning left across the traffic lanes and into the path of the westbound bike rider, in a crash captured by a security cam.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

There are bike lanes in both direction on 48th, though it appears he was traveling in the through lane at or near the speed of traffic.

Police are looking for a burgundy or red late 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass four door sedan. The department reports the two people in the car had just left Kenny’s Liquor, where they were captured on security footage.

The driver is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with dark hair. He was seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

The passenger is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.

Anyone with information urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500.

Oddly, the press release does not mention the city’s standing reward program providing up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers; in this case, it provides an automatic $25,000 reward for a collision resulting in a severe injury.

It’s also strange that the LAPD did not use LA’s hit-and-run alert system that was approved by the city council early last year alerting the public to be on the lookout for suspect vehicles. For some reason, the department seems reluctant to use the program, even though it was created for cases exactly like this.

There is also a statewide program that was signed into law last year allowing hit-and-run alerts on state highway signs.

Maybe someday the LAPD will actually use some of the tools available to them to enlist the public’s help to catch people like this.

We can dream, right?

Update: Police have made an arrest in the case.

Update 2: In an LAPD press conference, South LA detectives identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Gabrail Hasan, the father of nine kids under 15. 

The tattoo artist and vice president of the LA DTM (Doing the Most) Motorized Bike Club remains in critical condition in the ICU following emergency surgery for a crushed aorta.

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