Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: The battle over Santa Paula cop’s anti-bike video is over, but we may have lost the war

And then it was over.

Less than 36 hours after the flap over a bike hating Santa Paula reserve police officer blew up online and in her face, she found herself unemployed by the department.

Apparently her own choice, much to the displeasure of countless riders who were out for blood. And not in a mood for ritual career hari-kari.

I first became aware of the video in question when Bike Snob tweeted about it on Saturday morning.

Meet Laura Weintraub, horrible person, incompetent videographer, and utter moron: 

Like countless others, I watched in varying degrees of horror and outrage as she laughingly expressed her hatred of bikes, bicyclists and spandex, as well as her desire to run us all off or into the road.

After tweeting about it a few times myself, I made plans to express my own outrage on here. Only to discover the video had been taken down before I could get to it, leaving nothing to link to and no copy to repost.

Meanwhile, the proverbial defecation had hit the fan.

It didn’t take long for someone to discover that she worked as reserve officer for the Santa Paula PD, compounding the outrage that a uniformed cop would express such offensive thoughts in a cheap and badly failed attempt at humor.

Although cop is stretching it; someone sent me a link to a page showing Weintraub had made less than $100 working for the department in recent weeks.

Countless riders — and others who simply didn’t like the idea of killing or maiming innocent people for giggles — inundated Weintraub’s Facebook page, as well as the SPPD, with calls, emails and online comments.

She responded by removing the offensive video without comment, followed by what seemed like a sincere apology. Or at least, a damn good job of faking one.

I would like to apologize to all those who have been offended by what was intended to be a satirical video on cyclists. It was never meant to be hurtful or harmful in anyway, I am a human being, I made a mistake, I have learned from this and ask for your forgiveness. The responses have shown me overwhelmingly just how hurtful my comments were to some and that is not at all what I intended. As soon as I knew, I removed the video immediately.

The response from the cycling community has made me aware of the sport and its safety issues and challenges with drivers on the road of which I was completely unaware. My heartfelt apologies to those that have been offended and to those who face these very real challenges.

Then again, you’d think any reasonably sentient being would get that calling for violence against anyone for the simple crime of riding a bike would likely be taken the wrong — or in this case, the right — way.

For some inexplicable reason, though, many drivers don’t seem the grasp the fact that people don’t just bounce back after being knocked down; what would be a simple fender bender if they hit another car could be catastrophic if they collided with a cyclist or pedestrian.

Although you’d certainly think a cop — even a lowly reserve officer — would grasp the damage motor vehicles can do in the wrong hands.

At the same time, we can only imagine Chief Steven McLean’s reaction, as whatever community relations he had managed to build up in his year on the job were seemingly undone in a single afternoon by someone who barely worked for him.

Once his head undoubtedly finished exploding, the long-time veteran of the LA County Sheriff’s Department responded by suspending Weintraub pending investigation. Along with another reserve officer who snarkily answered the criticism by complimenting her videos and suggesting cyclists need to obey the law.

At that point, the controversy appeared to be over. The video was down, the woman in question appeared to have learned her lesson, and the chief had done the right thing.

And then the media picked up the story, further fanning the justifiable outrage long after the fact, and leading to countless calls for Weintraub’s job, if not her head.

The final shoe dropped Sunday evening when Chief McLean posted on Facebook that he had accepted her resignation effective immediately — whether she volunteered it or he demanded it was left unstated.

So allow me to offer a contrary opinion.

I’m sorry to see her go.

Had she remained on the job — or even in limbo for awhile — we would have had a rare opportunity for a teachable moment.

If she truly got what she did wrong, and listened, as she said, to the many reasons why her attempt at humor wasn’t funny, she might have become more sympathetic to cyclists and a positive influence on her fellow officers. Or at the very least, unlikely to make a similar mistake a second time.

Not that she didn’t deserve to lose her job. But I’ve found that forgiveness is often more effective than vengeance in the long run.

Meanwhile, Santa Paula cyclists would have had a rare opportunity to demand a meeting with the chief and his officers to discuss the rights of riders and explain the risks we face in employing our legal and moral right to the road.

That door is probably closed now.

Chief McLean is likely to conclude that the matter has been concluded now that Weintraub is no longer a part of the department. And given the entirely justifiable vitriol dumped on him and his officers, he’s unlikely to open his door to our representatives anytime soon.

Which is not to say the anger wasn’t justified.

It was.

I was just as livid as anyone else when I viewed the video. However, we need to learn to direct that anger effectively, not just to get a young woman who did something incredibly stupid fired.

But to use it as an opportunity to build better relations with those charged with enforcing our rights. And achieve long-lasting changes that can and will improve safety and courtesy for everyone on the roads.

We won the battle.

But in doing so, we may have shot ourselves in the foot. And cost us an opportunity for dialogue that may not come again.

Thanks to everyone who reached out to me about this story; there are simply far too many to thank each of you individually.

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Local

The media seems to be coming down on the other side of Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa road diet — a veto that may or may not be legal.

Construction delays are keeping a new section of the LA River Greenway from opening.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride rolls through Lakewood on Sunday, August 3rd.

Neon Tommy looks at how bikes empower women.

 

State

New Seal Beach bike paths help close some of the final links in Orange County’s 66 mile OC Loop. Note to Press-Telegram: bike riders can actually ride anywhere they want in Downey, or anywhere else for that matter.

Caltrans will widen bike lanes through Chico to improve a dangerous section of roadway.

 

National

Google Maps now allows you to check elevations on your route, whether you want to seek out hills or avoid them.

Colorado Springs CO cyclists are tired of riding in the killing zone.

If you want to talk with the mayor of Fort Worth, you’d better get on your bike. Meanwhile, neighboring Dallas has a new bike czar.

New Orleans riders rally to demand safer streets.

 

International

A Montreal letter writer says cyclists aren’t a menace on the roads, comparing the one Canadian killed by a bike in 2010 with the 2,227 killed by cars. He’s got a point.

Indian army cyclists ride over 400 miles through the Himalayas, at altitudes up to 19,000 feet in an attempt to set a new record.

Talk about a good cause. A cyclist is planning to spend a full year riding across Ghana to meet 25,000 people and raise funds to provide shelter and healthcare for the county’s homeless street kids.

A young Kiwi rider overcomes diabetes to compete in the Commonwealth Games.

Cyclist deaths expose a culture clash on the congested streets of Sydney, Australia; thanks to New Colonist for the heads-up.

The best way to see Beijing is by bike.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Before you build that bike jump, put a little thought into how you’re going to land. A Dutch pro miraculously avoids death on both Malaysian Airlines disasters.

And a special thanks to Cycling in the Southbay’s Seth Davidson for his very kind words and high praise.

 

Weekend Links: Our anonymous correspondent visits the Frog Spot, and a busy weekend for SoCal cyclists

Note: I am aware of the bike-hating video posted by a reserve Santa Paula police officer. I saw the video shortly after it went online when Bike Snob tweeted about it, and had originally intended to include it as part of this post.

However, the video had been taken down before I was able to link to it. Since then, the woman responsible for it has apologized, and been suspended by the SPPD pending review. 

Since it’s no longer an urgent matter, I’ll offer my thoughts when I post again on Monday. Thanks to everyone who has reached to me about the story. 

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We’ve mentioned the new Frog Spot on the LA River bike path a few times already, as the Friends of the Los Angeles River open a new gateway welcoming walkers, riders and visitors to the Elysian Valley.

This week, I received an email from a regular correspondent, who prefers to remain anonymous, and who stopped by last week to check things out.

There’s a new pit stop on the LA River Path in Elysian Valley! I’ve missed all the soft hours they’ve had, but Friday afternoon, I saw peeps still there finalizing things, so I swung around and got to speak with none other than FoLAR’s Director of Development Jennifer Kang, as well as Edgar, the handsome young man who’ll be supervising the workers hired from the City’s HIRE LA’s Youth. Elsa’s Bakery is providing coffee and Antigua is providing coffee containers. There’s ice water, coffee, snacks, popsicles, WiFi, sunblock, simple emergency bike repair stuff available. And seating under pretty shade banners, so you don’t have to plunk your butt on the revetment.

http://folar.org/frogspot/

Excitingly, there are RESTROOMS!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation marks for this. The ladies cannot just duck into the willows like some brakebeam tourist. And parents will no longer have their youngster’s nature walks cut short. It’s no exaggeration that my heart nearly leapt out of my chest to hear that there’ll be a clean, reliable, safe place to answer the call of nature, without miles of detour off the path. This is groundbreaking, because despite its new mantle as a public recreation area, the river has lacked this simple, necessary amenity.

Incidentally (sorry in advance for oversharing) I did once, in fact, dive behind the arundo to pee, because I never would’ve made it over that horrid, violently bumpy Riv-Fig bridge without flooding the roadway. Oh, the pain that day. Too much pain to even cuss at the many tree-root bumps on the path. I believe I speak for all the ladies when I express overwhelming gratitude for this simple dignity we’ve been denied for too way too long.

When I returned Saturday morning, I chugged coffee & ice water, but it was so warm & humid, I sweated out any chance of trying the new porta-potties. While waiting, I stood at the entrance by the river path yelling “Free ice water! Come on in!” with the two multi-talented, all-purpose hired hands on duty, who took turns luring in passers-by. The great assortment of visitors included spandex guys, fixie trash (me included), walkers, super friendly canine guests, and families who invariably had difficulty convincing the younger members it was time to leave.

There’s a bocce court. There’s cornholes (that’s what it’s called; it’s a very Midwestern bean-bag toss game, properly played with little sacks of popcorn kernels), which were very popular with the younger visitors. Art supplies are handy for budding young artists to enjoy under a shade tree. There are friendly, knowledgeable folks who’ll answer every question you could possibly have about our beautiful river. And the pups weren’t forgotten, either! Fido can rehydrate, and if you left the poo bags at home, they’re available at the Frog Spot!

Did I mention the restrooms? In addition to comfort and dignity, there’ll be music and poetry and history and bikes all summer, right next to the mortally dangerous concrete-smothered flood control channel we’ve been “protected” from for so long.

The only thing I don’t care for is the Frog Spot’s lovely, blinding, sparkly, alabaster gravel, but this is just personal preference, and I’m still totally willing to brave snow blindness for a safe restroom.

Anyway, it’s worth checking out even though you’re not in that neck of the woods very often. Corgis love rivers. Maybe Ballona will get something similarly awesome someday.

Check it out for yourself when the Frog Spot hosts a Sunset at the Oasis fundraiser for FoLAR from 5 pm to 8 pm tonight, and every Saturday. A minimum $15 donation will get you live music, two drinks — beer, wine or soda — and light snacks; Palmdale band Vista Point will be playing tonight.

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Haven’t had a chance to update the Calendar for awhile, but there’s a lot going on with Bike LA this weekend.

First up, it’s late notice, but if you’re up early, you may still have time to join the LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles for a 45-mile round-trip tour of the world-famous beach and surf communities of Orange County on Saturday morning.

Visit some of Downtown’s most famous and hidden film locations, as Metro, CICLE and Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles sponsor an LA film history ride on Saturday evening.

The newly formed LA Explorers Club leads a ride to explore the origins and history of Downtown LA, also on Sunday.

Mark your calendar for Long Beach’s Bicycle Drive-In on August 2nd, part of the city’s Summer and Music series.

The Gran Fondo Italia returns to bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills on September 28th. Evidently, the city wants to bask in the prestige cycling brings, as long as they don’t actually have to deal with the great unwashed masses on bikes. Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up. 

And after a return to DTLA and a new foray into South LA, you can look forward to CicLAvia coming to Pasadena and the Valley next year.

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Nibali takes Friday’s stage of the Tour de France, extending his lead to 3:37 and positioning himself to become just the sixth rider to win all three major tours. Tejay van Garderen gets a big confidence boost. The Telegraph examines the life of a domestique.

And some guy named Lance, who claims to have won a few Tours himself, is reportedly cooperating with doping investigators.

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Local

KCET offers the definitive examination of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa Fig4All project. Seriously, nice work by Krista Carlson.

Instead of increasing funding for active transportation, Metro agrees to come up with a funding strategy after studying the matter.

Culver City police are looking for the owners of some hot bikes and Razor scooters after busting a bike thief.

 

State

A new study from the University of Colorado says wrecks didn’t decrease in the first six months after California banned hand-held cell phone use. Maybe because the law is still almost universally ignored.

Newport Beach moves forward with the city’s proposed bike plan.

More on bike riders storming the Laguna Beach City Council session earlier this week.

Two hundred days in jail for the Santa Cruz County Tesla driver who lost control and killed a cyclist, then blamed the new car smell for making him fall asleep.

 

National

A new app could be the best way to track actual trips, whether by bike, foot, transit or car.

Buffered bike lanes and contraflow lanes finally get approval from NACTO for inclusion in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the standard guidebook for traffic planners.

Iowa is becoming a bicycling destination as RAGBRAI kicks off next week.

When you’re vomiting blood the morning after a bike collision, it’s probably a sign you might have been injured, after all.

 

International

Fewer than half of UK drivers convicted of killing cyclists ever see the inside of a jail.

British ministers say taxpayers should fund improvements for bicycling.

A Brit woman gets four years for killing a cyclist as she attempted to chase down the lover who dumped her.

 

Finally…

Bikeyface examines the real bicycle face. And the Daily Show offers an insightful and entertaining look at Washington’s failure to increase the gas tax.

 

Morning Links: LA Times catches up on Fig4All, Timbuk2 opening on Venice’s bike-friendly Abbot Kinney

The LA Times finally picks up the story of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s single-handed decision to kill the already approved, funded and shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa.

They get most of it right in what reads like an attempt to be overly even-handed. Although they incorrectly frame the debate as being over bike lanes, when the lanes themselves are just one tool in a plan to reduce the roadway’s overcapacity in an attempt to slow traffic and improve safety.

They also fail to challenge Cedillo’s unsupported claim that the road diet would increase emergency response times, even though that is not the position of either the LAPD or LA Fire Department. Or his bizarre claim that the city’s bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council — before Cedillo sat on it — was developed by just 1,000 people, despite numerous public meetings and presentations, as well as months of online comment.

And since when are bike riders who simply want a safe route through Northeast LA considered “activists” — a loaded word most likely to be used in a disparaging manner by those opposing the project?

But it’s a lot better than the Boulevard Sentinel’s labeling them “extremists,” I suppose.

Meanwhile, LA Biz offers their own look at the controversy, while the Times provides an interactive map demonstrating just how dangerous the area is for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Popular custom bike bag manufacturer Timbuk2 opens their first SoCal store next week, across from Linus Bike on increasingly bike friendly Abbot Kinney.

The store has a soft opening next Saturday, July 26th, at 1410 Abbot Kinney, with an official Grand Opening celebration scheduled for the weekend of August 16th and 17th.

Designed by award-winning design and architecture firm Gensler, the new store will include features such as

  • Custom design workshop with over 60 fabrics options.
  • Floor to ceiling street-facing glass wall, bicycle and product design art installation and custom-crafted display tables and fixtures.
  • A designated hub for community events and group bike rides.
  • San Francisco-inspired indoor parklet for relaxing and refueling.
  • Access to bike tools, bike pumps, bike maps and extra tubes for community cyclists.

Sounds like they’ll fit right in on the trendy street. And be a great addition to the LA bike scene.

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Nibali continues to hold the yellow jersey as the Tour de France heads into the Alps, with a lead of more than two minutes over his nearest competitor.

Meanwhile, Brit rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is banned for two years and fired from Team Sky for doping. Nice to know the sport has cleaned itself up and no one would ever dream of cheating anymore, right?

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Local

Advocates — not “activists,” thank you — gather to learn about CicLAvia coming to Leimert Park.

Neon Tommy looks at three local groups supporting LA’s “fearless” cyclists.

Bike riders and pedestrian advocates make a statement in calling for fair funding for active transportation from Metro.

 

State

One hundred cyclists storm the Laguna Beach City Council to demand safer streets.

Caltrans surprisingly invites cyclists to consult on a realignment project for Highway 1 in Cambria.

Catch up on everything Calbike is working on in their latest report.

 

National

Bixi’s bankruptcy means no expansion for Alta-operated bike share programs this year.

Caught on video: A Texas rider captures the hit-and-run truck driver who Jerry Browned him and left him lying on the side of the road.

Trek president John Burke calls on Wisconsin’s governor to take down a campaign ad that allegedly defames the company; the governor is running for re-election against Burke’s sister.

Pro cyclist Ted King introduces pure maple syrup energy gels, promising natural vitamins and minerals with a lower glycemic index than other gels.

An Atlanta man faces charges including attempted murder for intentionally running down a bike rider; his girlfriend is charged with evidence tampering.

 

International

Canadian letter carrier goes postal on a woman who stopped to complain about his parking in a bike lane.

In a bizarre accident, a British cyclist barely survives getting impaled with her brake lever.

Three-quarters of Scot cyclists report a near miss on the roads.

Italy honors legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, aka Gino the Pius, for his role in saving hundreds of Jews from the Nazis in WWII. Isn’t it time the Vatican honored the devout Catholic?

German cyclists lost over 300,000 bikes to thieves last year; naturally, police blame the victims.

To encourage more cycling, Qatar’s bicycle master plan requires dedicated bike infrastructure, including separated bikeways, on all major roads when possible.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying hash oil and marijuana on your bike, and already wanted on multiple active warrants, put a damn light on it, already. And amazingly, a very lucky 17-year old Russian bike rider walks away after being run over by a large truck in a terrifying video.

 

Morning Links: Olin lawsuit filed; deputy was texting on private phone in apparent violation of LASD policy

As expected, the family of fallen cyclist and former Napster executive Milt Olin filed a lawsuit against the LA County Sheriff’s department.

But in yet another twist in the case, it turns out the deputy behind the wheel sent over 100 text messages in the hours preceding the collision, including six in the last four minutes prior to fatally rear-ending Olin in the bike lane.

As KTLA-5 points out in the link above, state law exempts emergency personnel operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the course their duties from the law prohibiting texting or handheld cell phones while driving.

However, The Acorn reports the deputy had been using his own personal cell phone to text an undisclosed number in Camarillo. And according to KTLA, sheriff’s department policy prohibits the use of cell phones in a county-owned vehicle “absent extenuating circumstances.”

KNBC-4 says the department has still not made the mobile digital computer records public that would show whether the deputy was using his onboard computer at the time of the collision.

Meanwhile, Olin’s family has started a new foundation honoring his memory and dedicated to eliminating cycling-related fatalities and serious injuries.

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Galloping Tony Gallopin takes stage 11 of the Tour de France, just days after spending one day in the yellow jersey. Major gut check, as Andrew Talansky suffers his worst day yet in this year’s Tour after yet another crash, but courageously holds on to finish the stage and beat the cut-off time.

And what the Tour de France looks like from the bike’s point of view.

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Local

Downtown News talks with new LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds.

Flying Pigeon says thanks for nothing to Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who ignored safety studies to kill the long-planned North Figueroa road diet.

Despite what LAist says, CicLAvia is not a bike festival, it’s a people festival; the route is open to anyone who wants to enjoy the streets without a motor, and with or without a bike.

The LA Register looks at Santa Monica’s month-long crackdown on scofflaw bike riders.

Empact LB leads a bike tour of Long Beach farms and community gardens this Sunday.

The conflict between cars and bikes escalated as a U-Haul truck tries to single-handedly take out a Redondo Beach triathlon shop; thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

 

State

BikeSD examines how failed regional transportation plans erode public trust.

Bike riders get more room on a Chico roadway following the death of a cyclist last year.

This is why DUI and hit-and-run drivers need to have their vehicles impounded; too many continue to drive even after their licenses are revoked.

A coalition of unrepentant motorists, NIMBY’s and conservatives qualifies a ballot measure to maintain automotive hegemony and undo San Francisco’s progress in promoting alternative transportation. They’d probably start by killing this bikeway along the Embarcadero.

 

National

Five ways to carry pets by bike.

The former mayor of Wisconsin’s Mad City says it’s time to cool the bike rage. And questions whether the amount of irresponsible riding outweighs all the irresponsible driving.

Road raging Illinois driver beats up a bike rider who flipped him off. My rule of thumb: Never flip off the driver behind you.

Sympathy for the much maligned Chicago sidewalk cyclist.

After a Georgia bike rider is the victim of a hit-and-run, he spots the car the next day — with part of his pedal still stuck in the grill.

Florida gets tough on hit-and-run with a new law imposing a minimum four years in prison for fleeing the scene of a deadly collision.

 

International

UK police ram a BMX rider after he’s seen waving a gun.

Victim-blaming Brit seems to confuse the risks faced by bike riders with the dangers they don’t pose to others.

New Zealand researchers determine the best way to encourage bicycling is to build protected bike lanes on arterials, and traffic calming measures on quieter side streets.

 

Finally…

The Onion get the TdF scoop of the day, reporting an unexpected delay occurred when the peloton paused to throw rocks at some bugs. And Boyonabike says bicycles could help meet UN sustainability goals, which should come as no surprise to Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists.

 

Morning Links: New CicLAvia maps unveiled, Orange County memorial ride, and Olin family sues LASD

New routes were unveiled today for the next two CicLAvias.

First up, if we can wait that long, is the Heart of LA route on Sunday, October 6th, extending from Echo Park, past Mariachi Plaza and into East LA along Cesar Chavez, with a second leg along Downtown’s newly pedestrian-friendly Broadway.

CicLAvia Heart of LA

Then Sunday, December 7th, CicLAvia comes to South LA for the first time, touring Martin Luther King Blvd between Central and Crenshaw, with forays along both iconic boulevards to visit vibrant Leimert Park and historic Central Ave, the birthplace of West Coast Jazz.

120714_map_5

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April Morris sends word of a memorial ride for fallen Orange County cyclists John Colvin and Debra Deem this Sunday.

On the morning of Sunday, July 20th we will take a short bike ride in the memory of John Colvin and Debra Deem.

Remembering the Fallen.  John was killed in June on a training ride in preparation for what would have been his first Ironman Triathlon later this summer. He was struck by a car on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, California and succumbed to his injuries the same evening.

Debra was killed last August on her daily ride from home to Corona del Mar.

All are welcome to attend. We will meet at Heisler Park, (1 block west of PCH, on Cliff Dr. between Myrtle and Jasmine. ) in Laguna Beach.  Meet at 8:00 AM. A short  invocation will be given in memory of Debra and John at 8:15.

Following the invocation we will ride north on Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Coast Drive, retracing both Debra and John’s last ride. We will continue past the site of his death at Emerald Bay, turn off PCH at the site of Debra’s collision, and climb that hill for them.

John would have likely finished each hill repeat at Pelican Hill Road, so we will call that the official “end” of the memorial ride. However, we hope everyone will continue on, completing a wonderful ride of your own, keeping John and Debra in your hearts.

To remember, and to make a difference. The families of John and Debra both wish that the ride serve to elevate the profile of cyclists in the eyes and minds of drivers, too many of whom are not aware of the our rights on the road, do not expect to see us on the road, and pass too closely when we ride to the right.  With this in mind please stay visible on Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach, especially on the part of the road where John was killed. Ideally, ride solo or no more than two abreast. If you can, please leave a gap of 15-20 seconds between riders.

We do not anticipate stopping at the place of John’s death; with no bike lane and a narrow shoulder, there is just no safe place for any size group to stop. Instead, you may request a single flower at the start of the ride to drop along the road – at that location or anywhere you choose.

John’s family has asked that donations in his honor be made to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition ocbike.org via the “DONATE” tab (right hand side of the home page), or by sending a check to “O.C.B.C.” at 405 E. Wilson Avenue, Orange CA 92867-4832.  501 c.) 3.) EIN 33-0623176

Please consider riding to the start of the ride. But for those driving to the start, there is likely to be available street parking in downtown Laguna Beach or at Heisler Park.

Another option is to park at the Newport Coast Community Center (6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657), at the top of Newport Coast Drive up hill from the official ride will end, and bike down to the start from there.

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To no one’s surprise, the family of fallen cyclist Milt Olin plans to file suit against the LA County Sheriff’s Department today.

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The toll taken on leading riders in this year’s Tour de France serves as a reminder of the human side of the race. Turns out it was a pothole and an energy bar that took down Alberto Contador. And after two crashes in two days, American favorite Andrew Talansky drops more than 10 minutes behind the leaders, while Ted King writes what it’s like to crash out after the 10th stage.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with new CICLE director Vanessa Gray; sounds like the group is in good hands.

More on today’s showdown over the missing bike and pedestrian funding in Metro’s short-range plans.

USC’s Neon Tommy looks at the Bike Oven.

A Burbank letter writer says safety efforts on the Chandler bike path are wasted when cyclists and pedestrians are still at risk on the streets.

 

State

San Diego’s 10 News reports on the proposed law to create Amber Alert-style notices for hit-and-runs.

Kill a cyclist in Napa County, get off with probation and community service.

 

National

Outside Magazine looks at post-doping-ban Levi Leipheimer, and the future of an entire drug-tainted generation of riders.

A new IndieGoGo project is raising funds for a new website to report on women’s pro bike racing.

New bike manufacturer Priority promises a three-speed, maintenance-free belt-drive commuter for under $400.

Indiana TV station attaches a camera to cyclists’ bikes, and catches motorists driving safely.

Boston Red Sox fans get a free bike valet at Fenway Park.

 

International

A collision with another rider — and an Icelandic volcano — change a Vancouver cyclist’s life in an instant.

The Guardian rides Team Sky’s £12,000 — or $20,500 — Pinarello Dogma F8. And likes it.

Someone pushed a Welsh cyclist into a ditch as he stopped to fix a flat, and stole his Pinarella Dogma before he could get back up. But his was only worth a measly £3,000.

 

Finally…

Any city can have a Bike to Work Day, but how many can Tube to Work?

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Morning Links: LA bike lawyer examines anti-harassment ordinance; shoes starting to drop in Milt Olin case

Los Angeles attorney Josh Cohen writes about LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance for Plaintiff Magazine.

In it, Cohen — a BikinginLA sponsor — explains that the ordinance may not be the panacea we had hoped, since California law relieves insurance companies of responsibility for intentional acts — making it difficult to collect anything other than a small judgment in a harassment case, unless the driver has unusually deep pockets.

His suggestion is that most victims may be better off filing a case in small claims court for a flat $1000 judgment, rather than struggling to get an attorney to take the case when there’s little chance of a recovery.

He goes on to explain that you can file a form with the DMV to identify the driver. And even if you never see a dime, winning your case means you can get the DMV to suspend the driver’s license if he or she can’t — or won’t — pay.

Then again, getting a dangerous driver off the road is a victory in itself.

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The shoes are finally starting to drop in the Milt Olin case.

According to the Daily News, court papers show the sheriff’s deputy who killed him was texting moments before the collision, and may have been using the patrol car’s onboard computer.

However, it’s my understanding that police officers are exempt from the California law banning the use of handheld devices, which means he’s unlikely to be charged with texting while driving. Although he still could face charges for careless or distracted driving.

Of course, the real question is whether the deputy was texting a private number while on duty, or someone within the sheriff’s department. And whether, as many have suggested, that it is department policy — official or otherwise — for officers to use the onboard computer while driving.

If so, it could exonerate the deputy, but leave the department itself on the hook for Olin’s death.

Which may be why the DA’s office is taking so long to decide what, if any, charges to file. Or what laws may even apply in this increasingly bizarre case.

Thanks to Lois, John McBrearty, Mike Kim and Lisa Buckland for the link.

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Bike riders are being urged to attend tonight’s Laguna Beach City Council session to call for safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians following the death of John Colvin last month.

To the best of my knowledge, the 19-year old driver still hasn’t been charged, despite stopping over a mile away.

Just a reminder to please join us tomorrow night on the City Hall lawn to express our solidarity and support for urgent change to our transportation grid. We demand safe passage for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Laguna has a long way to go, but if our City Council sees how many of us care about this issue, and understand how we fear for our lives every time we mount a bike, perhaps we can spur some action.

Please spread the word and urge your cycle buddies to join us.

Livable Streets Laguna Rally
5:30-6:30
Tuesday, July 15
City Hall
505 Forest Ave

Bring your bike if possible.

Thanks to Jeffery for the heads-up.

……..

You’re invited to show up on Wednesday to protest Metro’s short-sighted plan to give mere crumbs to active transportation.

……..

And then there were none.

The last remaining former winner of the Tour de France abandoned the race today when Alberto Contador injured his knee in a solo fall. Despite a broken tibia, Contador did his best to finish the mountain stage.

Which means yellow-jersey bearer Vincenzo Nibali becomes the instant favorite, with a wide-open field behind him.

Meanwhile, to no one’s surprise, former Russian pro Denis Menchov — two-time winner of the Vuelta and one-time Giro winner — gets a two-year ban for doping.

And the great Marianne Vos wins her third Giro de Rosa, as Emma Pooley takes the final stage. In a show of total domination, Vos’ Rabobank-Liv teammates Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anna van der Breggen round out the podium.

……..

Local

More on CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s Orwellian decision to halt the road safety project slated for North Figueroa. Maybe someone should tell Cedillo that increasing traffic congestion — as West Hollywood did in remaking Santa Monica Blvd — can be a good thing, leading to a vibrant and popular neighborhood.

In another loss for LA bicyclists, new buffered bike lanes on Vineland could mean the death of long fought-for lanes on nearby Lankershim.

Another link opens in the eventual 51-mile LA River bikeway with the opening of the Los Angeles River Headwaters greenway in the San Fernando Valley.

Santa Monica Museum of Art’s popular bike-centric Tour da Arts rolls August 26th; RSVP early because the bike ride always fills up.

Meetings are planned to integrate bikes into the new Expo Line extension in Santa Monica.

Five hundred women take part in Long Beach’s Beach Babe Bicycling Classic; the event also marked the announcement of an all-women’s Gran Fondo in Napa Valley next spring. Meanwhile, a writer says the city can and should take the lead in encouraging more women to ride.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is injured after he’s cut off by a car exiting a parking lot.

The San Diego victim’s family is justifiably furious when the DUI driver who killed their father is let back out on the streets just over two years into a six-year sentence.

A Riverside man rides his bike back home. From Montana.

Despite finding more than 130 stolen bikes and frames, the Marin County DA drops bike theft charges against a woman suspected of buying hot bikes.

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue compares abusive drivers to internet trolls. Sounds about right.

Great advice to support the ones who support you at your local bike shop.

Good for her. A transgender rider fights discrimination while taking the BMX world by storm.

An editorial writer for the Denver Post is nearly as sarcastic as I am in ridiculing the slap on the wrist given a killer hit-and-run driver from my hometown.

Does it really matter if drivers understand that bike riders have a right to ride in the middle of the lane? Aren’t they supposed to somehow avoid running over anyone directly in front of them anyway?

It takes a real schmuck to shove a five-year old Cleveland boy off his bike and steal his nine-year old brother’s Schwinn at gunpoint.

 

International

The typical Calgary bike rider is helmet-wearing man who prefers to ride on a bike path.

A Toronto writer says maybe drivers and cyclists could achieve some sort of détente on the road if we all tried thinking like the other guy.

A Brit cyclist celebrates World Naked Bike Ride Day with a bare solo ride on a major highway.

A UK man is pushed into a river when his bike is stolen in a strong arm robbery.

Team Rwanda is headed to the British Commonwealth Games.

Rants in the Australian media help fuel anger against bike riders.

 

Finally…

I don’t care how drunk you are, how on earth does anyone mistake the cyclist she just killed for a badger? And seriously, no matter how pissed off you are about the truck driver who nearly hit you, don’t lie and say he threatened you with a gun; it won’t end well for you.

 

Weekend Links: An Orwellian death to Fig4All, TV news is all over Olin case delay, and a South Bay bike theft bust

“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”

— George Orwell, 1984

I thought I’d seen the height of hypocrisy a few weeks ago when Westside city councilmember Paul Koretz called on the city to slash greenhouse gasses just months after he unceremoniously killed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd that would have helped do just that.

But I was wrong.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo did him one better with a textbook example of Orwellian doublethink by killing the road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa Blvd, citing the need to ensure safety for everyone as his justification.

Cedillo Fig4All Letter

Scan courtesy of Northeast L.A. Bikes

The only problem is, the long-planned, funded and shovel-ready road diet is a safety improvement project designed to make one of LA’s more dangerous streets significantly safer for everyone — pedestrians, drivers and bike riders included.

And even though a New Zealand study shows a combination of traffic calming and separated bike lanes — in other words, a road diet — cut car use 40% while increasing cycling rates a matching 40%. And brought in a whopping $24 return on investment for every dollar spent.

A benefit that, along with improving safety, will now bypass all those who live or work along the boulevard, as well as traverse it. As Cedillo ensures that the street will remain dangerous for everyone, despite modest improvements, while speeding traffic past local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Boulevard Sentinel celebrates the victory over bike riding extremists like you and me.

And LADOT, which proposed it.

And the city council that unanimously approved the bike plan that includes the North Fig road diet.

Yeah, those are what I’d call extremists, all right.

……..

Evidently, we’re not the only ones asking what’s going on with the investigation into the death of cyclist Milt Olin, killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Mulholland Highway last December.

Fox-11 asks why it’s taking so long to find out the results of the investigation, while KCAL-9 questions whether the DA will press charges.

Actually, I think we’d all like to know that.

Meanwhile, Olin’s ghost bike has gone missing a second time, just a week after a new one was installed.

……..

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to update the Calendar. But meanwhile, here are a few quick bike events coming up this week.

The streets around the civic center turn into a crit course with an international field Saturday when Wolfpack Hustle brings brakeless bike racing to DTLA, with the blessing of city officials.

Sunday morning you’re invited on a slow paced urban expedition and community bike ride through West Long Beach sponsored by Empact LB.

And Metro proposes taking a giant leap into the past by failing to provide a reasonable level of funding for bike and pedestrian projects in their 10-Year Short Sighted Short Range Transportation Plan. Santa Monica Spoke invites you to show up at a Metro committee meeting next Wednesday to point out the error of their ways.

……..

A Redondo Beach man has been arrested with 11 high-end stolen bikes after being turned in by someone who discovered he had purchased a hot bike from him.

Turns out there’s more to the story.

Starting with a friend of a friend who recognized the thief in the story as the same guy he caught “admiring” his locked-up bike last weekend, before driving away in a van after being confronted.

But that’s just the start.

Come back next week for the real scoop from the inside.

……..

Local

Sunset Blvd could get a 3.2 mile green bike lane; thanks to new LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

The LA Bike Explorers Club journeys into the forgotten eras of LA’s past, starting with a ride in Downtown LA on Sunday the 20th.

Community stakeholders discuss the possibility of bike lanes on Boyle and Soto with city planners.

Cynergy Cycles wants your unwanted spandex for the Antigua Cycling Association.

The Argonaut offers a detailed look at the growth of bicycling on the Westside.

A Glendale letter writer says if bike riders are demanding equal rights, we need to be held accountable. Problem is, he gets most of it wrong. And we already have equal rights under the law; we just need the people we share the roads with to recognize that.

A Pomona bike rider is seriously injured in a collision on Thursday.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer calls on the city to improve safety by building out the bike improvements that were already approved.

An eighth grader could identify the Newport Beach intersections that need improvement, says Bike Newport Beach’s Frank Peters. The real question is what to do about it.

San Francisco supervisors commend LADOT’s new mobility maven.

A Sacramento area cyclist is killed by a suspected drunk driver.

 

National

Bike haters are a sign of bicycling’s success. Then again, you can ride legally 100% of the time and still be hated by some drivers.

The amount of protected bike lanes doubles since 2011 as cities attempt to attract younger residents.

The simple act of getting on a bike opens women up to unwanted comments, sexual advances and possible violence.

CNN’s Miles O’Brien leaves today on a 300-mile fundraising ride to fight cancer, less than five months after losing his arm in an accident.

 

International

A Toronto writer who doesn’t even like bicycling explains five things he’s learned by bike commuting.

The popular Cannondale Pro Cycling team is reportedly merging with Garmin-Sharp after this season.

The week of July 20th is officially Women’s Cycling Week.

New Delhi is India’s leading city for bikes. And its most deadly.

 

Finally…

Apparently, women in stock photos don’t know how to ride their bikes. And People for Bikes offers up nine reasons to date a bike advocate; sorry ladies, but my heart belongs to another.

Attentive Sienna

Morning Links: Biking backlash to misguided WaPo bikelash, and a fund for injured Manhattan Beach racer

Nice.

The transportation beat reporter for the Washington Post responds to yesterday’s anti-bike screed from a fellow WaPo writer.

Here’s my bias: No matter how you go — bike, car, bus, train, boat or plane — I want you to get there safely.

I’m sick to death of people who take risks with other people’s lives.

And lately I’ve become disgusted with all the venom aimed at cyclists.

It’s a great piece. Take a few moments to read it.

I’ll wait.

Back already?

A writer for the Washingtonian offers his own response. The editor of Greater Greater Washington — the site that innocently set off the misguided screed — suggests letting understanding win over hatred. The Brooklyn Spoke says embracing the crazy is the best way to stop the bikelash.

And Streetsblog USA cites still more sources giving the misguided rant the smackdown it deserves.

……..

Great Le Tour coverage from VeloNews.

Defending champ Chris Froome is out after falling on rain-soaked cobbles, his third crash in two days; Team Sky’s decision to leave Wiggins at home is looking pretty foolish, despite what the team manager says. Then again, things aren’t looking so good for the Spaniards, either. American Tejay van Garderen is growing into his role as team leader for BMC.

And China’s first Tour de France rider is hanging in there, while Garmin-Sharp domestique Jack Bauer says in a Bicycling video that Wednesday’s Stage Five was as bad as it gets.

……..

A fund has been set up for SoCalCycling.com Team rider Ronnie Toth, who was severely injured in the final sprint of the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix this past Sunday.

……..

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton adds to the discussion of the OC cyclist threatened with arrest for swearing at the road raging driver who tried to run him off the road.

……..

Local

Bike liability lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Procrass answers an intriguing question on Streetsblog: Can city council members be held liable after killing bike safety improvements?

PCH remains a dangerous place, as a 58-year old rider is injured in a collision in Pacific Palisades; thanks to Barry Goch for the heads-up. Meanwhile, a writer for the Weekly says riding a bike in LA can be deadlier than Mumbai or Shanghai.

Protesters march on Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s office to demand a safer North Figueroa.

Levi’s will open a pop-up bike commuter hub in Los Angeles next month; other hubs will open in Brooklyn and London.

Bike in to the Frog Spot on the LA River bike path in Elysian Valley.

Santa Monica police insist their announced July crackdown on bike riders is about education, not writing tickets. So remind them about that if they pull you over; I’m sure they won’t mind.

Long Beach police catch a thief with a taste for $1000 bikes.

Santa Clarita will add more off-road bike trails to their existing 76-mile network.

Westlake Village resident and former pro rider Dave Zabriskie, aka Captain America, calls on everyone to use common sense to improve safety for cyclists.

 

State

A Newport Beach bike rider goes from collision victim to wanted criminal after whacking the driver with a bottle.

Turns out that USA Today report listing San Diego as one of America’s top 10 bicycling cities was based on a single bike path across the bay in Coronado. But admittedly, it’s a nice path.

A writer for Wired takes a three-day, 77-mile journey through the Mojave Desert.

When you’re a known Ukiah meth user on probation with a recent firearm arrest, stop for the damn police car already. Or at least, don’t ride in front of it.

 

National

An NPR producer describes the lessons learned from her high-speed solo cycling fall. Like know your limits and stop when your body says enough.

A Portland rider discovers the risks of falling of your bike include contracting flesh eating bacteria.

Nice to see some businesses get it. Instead of fighting bike lanes, a group of Portland business owners ask for a protected bike lane in front of their storefronts.

Lance gets props from cops for trying to help catch a notorious Austin bike thief.

Instant Karma? An Atlanta thief is severely injured doing a faceplant while trying to ride off with a purloined bike.

 

International

Caught on video: After a speeding motorist nearly runs down a Brit cyclist, he tries again. In reverse.

Scotland’s Town Mouse takes the long way home through the rural countryside. Looks like a lovely ride; maybe she can show me the way someday.

Corking intersections may be controversial, but a network of new bike lanes in Cork, Ireland should be reason to celebrate.

 

Finally…

Don’t get drunk and ride through the middle of a police investigation. Just don’t. Bikeyface says it’s hard to talk to a machine, let alone understand what it’s trying to say.

And bike friendly Beverly Hills toasts their 12th annual Cycling Classic with a special brew. No, sadly, not that Beverly Hills.

……..

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Your donation to BikinginLA or advertisement on the site will help to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every day.

In fact, if your business had an ad on here, it would have been seen by over 10,000 people yesterday alone.

OC Sheriff threatens to victimize an Orange County cyclist a second time; road raging driver allowed to walk

Prepare to get mad.

Or maybe livid is a better word.

Just a day after a widely circulated open letter called on the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to charge a truck driver who used his vehicle as a weapon to threaten a cyclist, the department recommended that charges be filed.

Against the victim.

According to the LA Times, Bryan Larsen was riding his bike on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point on May 31st when he captured video of a truck driver attempting to run him off the road before the passenger — who turned out to be the driver’s wife — hits him with a thrown Gatorade bottle; they then try to smoke him out as they took off.

Maybe she thought he looked thirsty.

Larsen was originally told that no charges could be filed because sheriff’s deputies did not actually witness the assault themselves.

Which is not true, of course.

Police are required to witness an event in order to file a traffic violation or misdemeanor charge; however, there’s no such requirement for felony charges. And using a large truck to intimidate a vulnerable road user should certainly qualify.

I’ve also been told by members of other departments that video footage can be used as evidence, as well as eye witness testimony. At the time, Larsen was riding with another cyclist who could verify everything seen on the video.

After the video went viral and was picked up by local news stations, the sheriff’s department reconsidered and conducted an investigation. Though based on the results, not much of one.

Even though the driver reportedly used his massive truck as a weapon to threaten the rider and attempt to force him off the road, they declined to charge him with anything. At all.

Instead, the Orange County Register reports they recommended that the OC District Attorney file an assault and battery charge against the driver’s wife.

And that charges be filed against the victim for apparently inciting the attack through his use of obscene language directed at the couple.

Charges are also being recommended against the bicyclist, he said, who is suspected of using “offensive words in public, likely to provoke a violent reaction.” Officials suspect the cyclist made “rude, disparaging comments” before the incident was recorded on his cellphone, (Lt. Jeff) Hallock said.

This, despite the fact the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that offensive language and gestures are protected as free speech under the 1st Amendment. And even though Hallock makes it clear investigators are only assuming that Larson said something so offensive as to justify a violent attack with a deadly weapon.

As if anything could.

Would they still feel the driver was justified if he had pulled out a gun and started shooting at the cyclist? Legally, there’s no difference; only the choice of weapon used.

And never mind what actually precipitated the event. Unless Larsen suffers from a rare form of Tourette’s Syndrome or mental illness that forced him to swear without any provocation, he was clearly responding to something the driver had done before the camera started recording.

What, we may never know, since the threat of criminal charges will now force him to remain silent. Which is probably the real intent.

Legally, there’s no valid case against him. So the question becomes, why is the OCSD trying so hard to intimidate the victim of a violent crime — while letting the primary perpetrator off scott-free?

And what does it say to every other bike rider south of the Orange Curtain when even video evidence isn’t good enough to get the authorities to give a damn about our safety — let alone threaten us for reporting it?

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and her department are sending a clear message to everyone who travels by two wheels that we remain second-class citizens in her jurisdiction.

And if something bad happens on her watch, just keep your mouth shut about it.

Or else.

Morning Links: Bike rider collateral damage in Compton drive-by, moving memorial to fallen cyclist Milt Olin

Sad news from Compton, as a woman riding her bike was killed in a drive-by shooting on the 800 block of West Cherry Street around 1 pm Monday.

LAist suggests she may not have been the intended target, but just happened to be riding by when the shooter(s) targeted a group of people standing in a driveway.

……..

After the ghost bike for fallen cyclist and former Napster CEO Milt Olin was removed recently — over the wishes of local officials — family members install a new one with a moving message for all of us.

……..

Former winner Andy Schleck is out of the Tour de France after crashing into a spectator, while Chris Froome may have dodged a bullet and the peloton rides through the ghostly remnants of the Great War.

Just thinking the other day I was thinking the Tour should ride through the Channel Tunnel — aka Chunnel — from the UK to France. Now it turns out Froome just did.

Meanwhile, the world’s best women are racing, too, as Marianne Vos wins stage four of the Giro Rosa and retains the leader’s jersey.

A little closer to home, Erica Allar and Ken Hanson win the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, as Rahsaan Bahati puts you right in the middle of the last three laps; thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

……..

Local

The LACBC offers free ride marshal training this Saturday.

The third annual Clitoral Mass — yes, you read that right — rolls on August 16th.

What a difference two feet make, as Pasadena gets a new buffered bike lane.

Long Beach’s Third Street needs a facelift to improve safety for cyclists and motorists.

The Beach Babe Bicycling Classic comes back to Long Beach this weekend.

Pedal Love and Women Talk Bikes talk bikes on Bike Talk.

 

State

A Saratoga drunken hit-and-run driver gets out of prison with orders to never drive again for leaving a bike rider with permanent injuries. And immediately goes back to driving drunk and fleeing the scene.

A San Francisco supervisor considers lowering speed limits in the City by the Bay.

We’ve mentioned this one before. But if you haven’t yet, sign the petition to support Andy’s Law to increase penalties for hit-and-run; thanks to Mario Gastelum for the reminder.

 

National

How to pay for innovative bicycling infrastructure (pdf).

Bike share programs reduce the risk for all riders, despite a misleading study suggesting the opposite.

Off-duty Albuquerque fireman uses the inner tube from an injured rider’s bike to save her life, if not her leg.

Louisiana prison inmates fix bikes seized by New Orleans police to donate to children.

New Jersey considers a $500 fine for any motorist who commits a traffic violation resulting in a collision with a bike rider.

Jerry Seinfeld rides a bike in New York, but the Mail can’t get over his toned arms.

Evidently, any DC bike rider who doesn’t want to get killed — or needs a boost up a steep hill — is a bully.

Confused — or maybe just confusing — Athens GA writer says there must be some truth to the scofflaw cyclist trope, even though he’s never seen one. And even then, not all bike riders should be held responsible for the actions of a few, unless maybe they should.

 

International

Ghost bikes come to Uruguay.

A British Columbia bike thief returns a boys stolen bike with a note apologizing for being such a drunken fool.

Toronto gets serious about parking in bike lanes.

A London bike rider says hell isn’t other people, it’s other bike riders. Especially the ones on Boris bikes. Then again, maybe other bike riders aren’t really the problem after all.

Caught on video: Gut-wrenching first-person view of a head-on cycling collision; fortunately, the rider survived with broken bones.

Dressing up in spandex beats sleeping with the secretary. Then again, who says you can’t do both?

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying homemade bombs on your bike to celebrate the 4th, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk. Esquire says Lance may not be in hell, but at least he’s in Purgatory.

And ride without fear; it turns out bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction or infertility after all.

 

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