Tag Archive for bike racing

Morning Links: Even more bike racing news, fix LA traffic by biking to school, and FL gets serious about bikeways

Once again, there’s just too much bike racing in the news.

In a huge upset, Aussie journeyman domestique Mathew Hayman claims a surprise victory in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix classic; the 37-year old rider says he’s proof dreams can come true. And that he’s sorry he won.

Britain’s Ian Stannard becomes the first rider from his country to podium at Paris-Roubaix, while Cycloscross Magazine looks at how cross riders fared in the race. Deadspin calls it a day in hell, but Vavel says it was one of the best Roubaix races in modern times.

And you have to see Peter Sagan put those bike skills to work by simply riding over another rider’s bike after a mass crash.

On the other hand, another bike race, another cyclist injured by a race moto.

Meanwhile, Alberto Contador says not so fast on those retirement plans after winning his fourth Tour of the Basque Country title.

British Olympic cycling gold medalist Laura Trott says the growth in women’s cycling is incredible.

Speaking of which, 41-year old Kristin Armstrong won the women’s title in the Redlands Classic, finishing 33 seconds ahead of defending champ Mara Abbott, who was riding with a broken collarbone; Matteo Dal-Cin wins for the men.

The pros weren’t the only ones competing, as over 600 children got their chance to ride across the finish line. As part of the Classic, people with disabilities learned how to ride adaptive bicycles.

And hundreds of local families have to say goodbye to the riders they’ve been hosting for the last week.



An OpEd for the Times suggests four easy fixes for LA Traffic, including biking or walking to school. Which is now illegal at one Texas school.

New Echo Park Adult Literacy Coordinator Richard Risemberg complains about LA’s disconnected bike network, noting that bike riders have to keep going even when the bike lane ends. Which it usually does. And congrats to Rick on the new gig.

As if there wasn’t enough drama on the streets, a Beverly Hills play centers on the death of a London cyclist in 1958.

Metro CEO Phil Washington makes a surprise appearance at an El Monte workshop to explain plans for the new transportation tax.

Long Beach will hold an open house to discuss their new bike master plan on Thursday.



In a seriously cringe-worthy incident, a San Clement BMX rider was impaled in the abdomen when the seat came off his bike.

The Desert Sun says a planned Palm Springs road diet is likely to annoy the local anti-bike contingent, but isn’t likely to affect many drivers. And really, isn’t annoying the bike haters what it’s all about?

A local charity gives a 13-year old Cathedral City boy with cerebral palsy a new adaptive bicycle.

A San Francisco orthopedist says love your bike, but leave it more often, because crosstraining is vital for cyclists.



When his bike lock won’t open, a Spokane man learns you can use bolt cutters to free your bike with patrons from a crowded restaurant looking on, and no one will care. Somehow, this is not comforting.

No bias here. A Montana letter writer says the tiny minority of thrill seeking cyclists shouldn’t be allowed in wilderness areas, because mountain bikers are incapable of riding safely.

A New Hampshire driver is fined just $2,000 and loses her license for a whole 90 days for killing an 83-year old bike rider. And she can get that back if she just makes an equal donation to Safe Routes to Schools. Evidently, the life of an old man isn’t worth much in the Granite State. At least not if he rides a bike.

Gun control advocates are riding from Newtown to DC to honor the children and teachers killed in the Sandy Hook shooting; the governor of Delaware will join them on the ride to help deliver a petition to Congress.

Philadelphia will invest $300,000 in a network of protected bike lanes.

A Columbia University student learns it can be challenging to review a bikeshare system if you don’t know how to ride a bike

Now that’s more like it. Florida establishes a $25 million annual fund for building bicycle trails, financed by vehicle registration fees; the money will be used to complete a coast-to-coast trail across the state, possibly followed by twin 800 mile trails from Pensacola to Key West on either coast.



Next time you’re in Tijuana, be sure to show up at a bike delivery-based vegan taco shop by bicycle to get a 15% discount.

Caught on video: An English woman lets it rip on YouTube about being treated like a second-class citizen just because she rides a bike.

The leader of Britain’s Labour Party is captured riding his bike on Google Street View.

Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explains to motorists that the reason bike riders don’t always use bike paths is because they’re usually terrible. Which is often the case here, as well.

Local residents threaten disruption and possible violence in response to a bike event in the UK next weekend. The best way to tell you’re dealing with NIMBYs is when they assure you they’re not NIMBYs. And violence? Seriously?

An Irish mother refuses to ride a bike and won’t let her children ride on the streets after she was knocked off hers by an aggressive cyclist; maybe she should talk to some Aussie women about overcoming their fears.

An Indian randonneur says cycling is an addiction for him; he owns a world record for riding across eleven Himalayan passes. Meanwhile, a small but growing group of women take up recreational riding in Mumbai.



Practice is good, even if it means a bike cop face plant. If you’re going to run down a cyclist and chase him with a metal bar, try not to do it directly in front of the cops.

And don’t you dare take your hands off the handlebars in Cyprus.


Morning Links: A very sad weekend in bike racing, and bikesplaining from a windshield perspective

You think?

The head of the Professional Cyclists Association says lessons have to be learned from the death of Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié, who was killed in a collision with a race moto on Sunday, and that rider safety must come first.

Then again, those lessons should have been learned by the collisions with race vehicles that left Taylor Phinney, Ian Crane and Matt Brammeier seriously injured, as well as mid-race collisions with motor vehicles that injured Sergio Paulinho, Peter Sagan and Jesse Sergent and Sébastien Chavanel.

And those are just in the last two years.

Meanwhile, Demoitié’s Wanty-Gobert team has withdrawn from its upcoming races, while pro cyclist Marcel Kittel argues that safety in the peloton should be as high a priority as doping.


More bad news from the world of bike racing.

Twenty-two year old Belgian rider Daan Myngheer died of a heart attack while competing in the Criterium International in Corsica.

And 29-year old Oregon rider Randall Fox was killed when he hit a guardrail during a race in Washington on Saturday; he was a Ph.D. candidate competing for the Oregon State University cycling team.


A Clovis letter writer tries to explain bike safety and the law to bike riders from a decidedly windshield perspective, and gets it almost all wrong.

So just to clarify, there is nothing in California law requiring bicyclists to ride single file, nor is there any requirement that cyclists separate themselves by a few seconds distance.

In fact, bike riders are legally allowed to ride two or more abreast in any lane that can’t be safely shared with a motor vehicle — and it’s often safer to do so to increase visibility and control the lane to prevent unsafe passing. It’s also safer and more efficient for groups of cyclists to ride close together, rather than spaced out.

Despite his protestations, no passing zones prohibit drivers from crossing the center line to pass another vehicle; they are not intended to keep bicyclists from passing one another, or even slower cars, as long as they don’t cross the center line. There is also no requirement that cyclists enter the traffic lane to pass anyone if there is room to do it on the shoulder.

And someone should tell him who poses the real danger on our streets.

Because it ain’t the ones on bikes.



A Santa Monica writer says if you’re traveling through the city at rush hour, you either need to walk, skate board or ride a bike, or find a new age CD to keep calm in your car.

A proposed Metrolink station near Rio Hondo College in Whittier would connect to the San Gabriel River bike path, giving Eastsiders an alternative to driving the freeway. Or driving, period.

A Lancaster family is trying to win a $5,000 adaptive bike for their 17-year old special needs daughter; she’s currently in first place in the voting with over 13,000 votes.



A San Bernardino man was shot while riding his bike following an argument with two men in a black Acura; no word on his condition.

Sad news from Fresno, as a 16-year old bike rider was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run. And a 15-year old Benecia boy died when he lost control of his bicycle and crashed into a street sign.

Modesto special needs kids learn to ride a bicycle at a five-day adapted bike camp.

San Francisco safety advocates question whether the city’s commitment to Vision Zero is being watered down to preserve parking.



IBM is helping the US women’s track cycling team gain an edge as they prepare for the Rio Olympics.

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid fading during a long ride. Tip #7: To avoid fading during your ride, don’t get faded before it.

In between races, Vermont-based cross-country pro cyclist Lea Davison mentors the next generation of female riders.

A local TV station looks at the lack of equity in Boston bikeways, as some neighborhoods have benefitted from decades of bike lane construction, while others remain virtually untouched. And you can probably guess which ones.

New Jersey officials are quarreling over bikeshare, as Jersey City complains that Hoboken’s Hudson Bike Share is hogging all the public bike racks that could be used by its own Citi Bike system.



A Brit octogenarian offers advice on how to keep riding into your 80s.

A 67-year old Sri Lankan cycling champ looks back on his 50 year racing career.

Recreational riding is growing on the quiet, remote roads of China, as locals say spring is the perfect time to ride.

Aussie advocates point out that a bike lane without any signage or pavement markings is nothing more than a confusing line of paint on the street.



Now you, too, can emulate motorists by turning your bike into a rolling ad. As if there wasn’t enough drama already in the relationship between drivers and cyclists.

And when you’re trying to make your getaway by bicycle, try to keep out of patrol car bumper range.


Morning Links: A moving look at Dave Mirra and the need to succeed, and bike racers get blown and disinvited

Let’s just jump right in today.

Triathlete Jordan Rapp writes movingly about the suicide of BMX legend Dave Mirra, and the emptiness that comes with a constant need to excel at the highest level.

Rapp himself was nearly killed in a collision with a Camarillo hit-and-run driver in 2010, and survived only because a passing stranger saved his life. Yet came back just eight months later to nearly podium in the Ironman Arizona triathlon.


Even in the off season, it’s hard to get away from racing news.

Let’s start with word that motor doping may have been going on a lot longer than anyone realized, as a video surfaces of an electric motor hidden in a 1970’s era road bike.

American cycling great Evelyn Stevens will attempt to set a new women’s hour record at the Olympic training center velodrome in Colorado Springs CO at the end of this month.

Russia, which appears to have returned to its Soviet-era state-sponsored doping, takes a page from the Lance/Lloyd playbook by denying any problems in its cycling program.

The world’s number one ranked cycling team gets treated like number two, as they’re disinvited from the Tour of Qatar for demonstrating a lack of respect — by taking too long to get dressed and walk to the podium.

And sometimes bike racing blows, as wind knocks cyclists competing in a Spanish race off their bikes. Thanks to joninsocal for the link



Here’s a warning for anyone riding Mulholland Highway, as a motorcycle site reports someone may be sabotaging the roadway by pouring oil on curves. That could pose a real danger for bicyclists as well, especially on fast descents.

Glendale residents discuss what changes they want for local parks; one calls for a bikeway along the Verdugo Wash.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses Pasadena parklets and Complete Streets on Las Tunas Drive in Temple City.

Metro suggests 16 places you’ll be able to explore once the Gold Line extension opens, including the Duarte Bike Path and Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area. Or spice up your ride with a visit to the Sriracha factory.



You only have until end of business day today to offer comments on Caltrans plans to close eight miles of Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County to bicyclists, cutting off a key route for bike tourists without providing any alternative.

When paving engineers work in a different department from city planners, the result can be dangerous for cyclists, as a recent Berkeley collision shows.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was killed by a driver heading back to a Super Bowl party; somehow, the victim “came out of nowhere” despite being in the roadway. Seriously, no one, ever, comes out of nowhere; the question is why the driver failed to see him.



A Seattle writer tries to connect the dots to say there’s a vast bikeshare conspiracy in the city.

A Las Vegas paper looks at the city’s coming bikeshare program in the downtown area.

Tres shock! An El Paso TV station catches a pair of cyclists running a red light to catch up to their riding partner, who made it through on the green. Although you have to wonder how many scofflaw drivers they might have caught by leaving their camera running at the same location.

A $9,000 investment in enclosed showers and a camping area for cyclists helped save a Montana town at the crossroads of two major bike touring routes.

A Cincinnati protected bike lane comes under attack before it can even be finished, despite support from neighborhood councils.

Wisconsin legislators nix a plan for a contraflow bike lane through the Capital Square in Madison; instead, bike riders have to keeping going all the way around the square and up a hill.

Over 20% of residents in three DC districts commute by bike, pointing the out the need for better bikeways through the city.

A Virginia epilepsy foundation wants to eliminate bicycle collisions resulting in death or serious brain injury. So naturally, they tell kids to wear helmets, rather than urging people to drive safely.

Just weeks after a man rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the US, a former Spice Girl evidently rode one all the way to Miami Beach. Or maybe the Daily Mail just has no idea what city they’re actually in.



London businesses overwhelmingly support a proposed new cycle superhighway through the city. Meanwhile, a London cop is caught on video taking advantage of one of the city’s cycle superhighways to bypass traffic with his emergency lights flashing. Which could be an argument for bikeways, since people often raise imaginary fears of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic to argue against them.

A British bicycling website sings the praises of bananas, calling them a superfood that proves God is a cyclist.

Not even the mayor of London can bike past security at a top secret high-end fundraiser ball for Britain’s Conservative Party.

Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt when a speeding Irish driver tried to pass a group of cyclists on a training ride, only to realize too late there was an island in the middle of the road and cut back in, hitting several riders; one rider was reportedly thrown 75 feet through the air.

South African police stress that bikes are not allowed on a freeway after a drunk driver plows into a group of 30 cyclists on a training ride, killing two.

Australian police issue 806 tickets in a three-week bicycle safety crackdown, only 89 of which went to motorists. And even then, mostly for driving or parking in a bike lane. If half of all safety violations involve riding without a helmet, maybe it’s the law, not the behavior, that has to change.

More proof bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a cyclist in the Philippines regrets her reaction but refuses to apologize to the driver who harassed her for riding in the traffic lane.



Seriously, don’t go off on someone in a wheelchair when she asks you to move into the street so she can get by. If you really want to see that video of a Brit cab driver whacking off while he reads a porn magazine, feel free. Or you can just read about it, which seems like a much better alternative.

And for the equivalent of just $56,000, you can own a 92-year old British bike shop once bombed by the Luftwaffe.


Don’t miss this weekend’s most exciting bike event — the Huntington Park Gran Prix


The first time Wolfpack Hustle organized a race, they beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach.

Since then, they’ve grown to become the organizers behind of one of Southern California’s most dramatic racing campaigns, the Unified Title Series, drawing top racers from throughout the US and overseas.

Two races are already in the can, the Shoreline Crit in Long Beach and the Civic Center Crit in Downtown LA. Now the final race in the series, the HP Gran Prix, is gearing up for single-speed battle this Saturday in Huntington Park.

I’ll let Wolfpack Hustle explain the race itself.

This scenic sprint race finale on Pacific Ave in Huntington Park is where the Fixed Gear and Freewheel categories merge and compete as one division Men’s and Women’s. This race is single speed only. Individually qualified competitors will go head to head in top 16 bracketed elimination rounds until a winner is determined. First place Mens / Womens will receive Wolfpack Hustle Dog Tags.

But this is so much more than just a bike race.

While most cities merely accommodate racing — if they allow it at all — Huntington Park is pulling out all the stops for a Lucha Libre themed bike party this Saturday.

In addition to the all-out racing, you’ll find giveaways including a Samsung tablet, Beats headphones, three Sole Bikes, three Bern bike helmets and HP Gran Prix T-shirts, just to name a few. And all you have to do to get a raffle ticket is to show up on a bike.

You’ll also find some of the area’s best food trucks, including:

  •             The Grilled Cheese Truck
  •             Slanging Corean Food Truck
  •             El Gallo Giro
  •             Dino’s Chicken

As well as an expo featuring find top vendors and organizations:

  •             Everton Bikes
  •             Herbalife
  •             Metro
  •             Eco Rapid Transit
  •             Chamber of Commerce
  •             LA County Department of Public Health

Click to expand

It all adds up to one of the most exciting and entertaining spectator events of year, taking place from 5 to 9 pm this Saturday, on Pacific Blvd between Florence and Zoe in Huntington Park.

Be there for some epic racing and a serious good time. Or wish you had.

Don’t believe me? Check out last year’s action, which went down as one of the best bike events of the year.


LA’s hit-and-run bike body count climbs; Lakewood Sunday Funday and Brentwood Grand Prix

Add another name to SoCal’s climbing bike body count.

It made the news all over town when 18-year old Inglewood High School star athlete Markeis Vonreece Parish was killed in a hit-and-run while crossing the street at Crenshaw and 78th Place last month.

What I missed at the time, or the stories I read failed to mention, was that he was walking his bike in an unmarked crosswalk when he was hit by a speeding Mercedes with enough force to send his body sliding a full block to 79th Street, and stripping him of his clothes as he skidded across the pavement.

And even though he was identified as a pedestrian at the time, that makes him more than just another notch in the seemingly endless epidemic of hit-and-runs plaguing Los Angeles and other Southern California cities.

It makes him one of us.

And I apologize for the delay in acknowledging that.

The collision occurred at 6:15 pm on Saturday, July 20th; the car was found less than an hour later, roughly two miles away at Imperial Highway and Spinning Avenue. To the best of my knowledge, no arrest has been made, despite reports that the identity of the driver is common knowledge within the community.

This is the 55th bike-related fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County; that compares to 23 in LA County for all of last year.

It’s also the 9th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles, compared to five in each of the previous two years. And it’s the 13th fatal hit-and-run involving a bike rider in Southern California since the first of the year; eight of those have occurred in LA County — seven in the City of LA.

My sympathy and prayers for Markeis Parish and all his family and loved ones.


Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

CD4 Council Member Tom LaBonge hosts his annual Tour LaBonge each Wednesday through August 17th.

Metro continues to offer a series of free bike safety classes throughout the LA area, including classes this weekend in Downey, Hacienda Heights and Culver City, as well as a Spanish language class Monday in Azusa.

There will be a memorial ride for San Diego cycling legend Gordie Shields today at 9 am, starting at Pepper Park, 3299 Tidelands Ave in National City.

The next edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday Rides takes place this Sunday, August 4th, with a Lakewood Family ride led by board member Steve Boyd. The easy ride along the San Gabriel River Bike Path offers options of six and 18 miles, returning along PCH. The ride is free for LACBC members and a guest; meet at Del Valle Park, 5939 Henrilee Street at 9:30 am, rolling at 12:30 pm.

The best of California bike racing comes to LA on Sunday, August 4th when the Brentwood Grand Prix rolls through the streets of the Westside with the SCNCA Elite State Criterium Championships. The racing starts at 7 am and continues through the Women’s Cat 1 – 3 and Men’s Cat 1 – 2 at 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm, respectively. And you won’t want to miss the kid’s races at 12:45 pm.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 7 pm on the first Tuesday of each even-numbered month; the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6th at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

The USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships returns to the bike-unfriendly StubHub Center in Carson next weekend, with events starting Friday, August 9th and continuing through Sunday the 11th.

Downtown Long Beach will host its inaugural Bike Drive-In starting at 6 pm on Saturday, August 10th in the parking lot across from Fingerprints Music at the intersection of Fourth and Elm streets. The evening will feature live music from three bands, followed by the bike-centric animated feature, The Triplets of Belleville.

The Planning Committee of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition hosts a panel discussion on What Do Elected Officials Want to Hear on Thursday, August 22nd at 7 pm in the Edison Room on the 1st Floor of LACBC Headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street. Free for LACBC members, $10 for non-members.

The second annual Clitoral Mass — yes, you read that right — women’s ride rolls on Saturday, August 24th from 4 pm to midnight. Riders assemble at Watts Towers, 1765 E. 107th Street.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month to discuss how to elect and influence bike-friendly politicians. The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 27th, site TBD. The meetings are open to everyone, and you don’t have to be an LACBC member to participate; email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the discussion list.

Here’s your chance to bike the famed Las Vegas strip and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley, with the 6th Annual RTC Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello on Saturday, September 21st. The event will offer routes for riders of all levels, from a 17-mile ride to 60-mile Metric Century and a 103-mile Gran Fondo; the longer rides will visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead.

Bike SGV invites you to join them for their 2013 Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser on Saturday, September 28th from 5 pm to 11 pm at the San Gabriel Mission Grapevine Arbor, 320 South Mission Drive in San Gabriel.

CicLAvia returns to an expanded version of the original Heart of LA route on Sunday, October 6th.

Update: San Diego bike racer killed in velodrome fall

For the second time in less than a month, a Southern California bike racer has died — a reminder of just how dangerous it is to compete at the higher levels of our sport.

I began getting reports yesterday that a bike racer had died, but couldn’t find any confirmation. However, San Diego’s  Fox 5 now reports that Jackie Price Dunn has died following a fall at the San Diego Velodrome Tuesday evening.

Reports are she was left brain dead after touching wheels with another rider and hitting her head hard on the riding surface. According to the Fox report, she was kept on life support until her organs could be harvested for transplant.

She was 33 years old.

According to the Crank Cycling website, Dunn only recently began bike racing, rapidly rising to Cat 3 in less than two years after taking up the sport in 2012. The site reports she took up boxing after her naval officer husband was transferred to San Diego in 2008, losing over 80 pounds.

As she continued to get in shape, she discovered bicycling through competing triathlons, and started track racing in recent months. She was a member of the Catalyst Racing Cycling team, which offered a brief memorial on their Facebook page.

Her death comes less than a month after Chris Cono was killed during a criterium in Rancho Dominguez, leaving the tight knit racing community doubly shaken.

The San Diego Reader reports the San Diego Velodrome Association is currently being sued, along with the City of San Diego, by a cyclist who suffered a fractured skull and collarbone when the rider next to him hit a rough spot on the track and swerved into him.

The suit alleges that the group governing the Velodrome knowing allows cyclists to ride a dangerous and defective track. The outdoor track was last resurfaced in 2010.

This is the 37th cycling fatality in Southern California since the first of the year, and the fifth in San Diego County. She is also the 6th cyclist to die in the past week.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jackie Dunn and her family.

Thanks to David Huntsman and Stefan and jg for the heads-up.

Update: In a comment below, Matt Ruscigno says he was there on Tuesday night, and that there seemed to be nothing about the relatively slow-speed fall that seemed out of the ordinary at the time. And he notes there will be a memorial ride in Coronado this Saturday.

There has also been a memorial fund set up to help defer expenses for her family. 

Update 2: VeloNews offers a look at what happened, and who Jackie Dunn was. Then there’s this from the Catalyst Facebook page I linked to above:

In the past year Jackie decided that cycling was going to be her newest and greatest adventure. In that short amount of time Jackie made a huge impact in SoCal women’s cycling, quickly catting up from the 4s to the 3s, racing as much as she possibly could on the road & on the track. Along the way she recruited a ton of women into the sport with her contagious passion and positive attitude. This season almost every local women’s Cat 3/4 race podium has either been graced by Jackie’s presence or by someone who was encouraged into the sport by her. 

Update: Popular Pasadena bike racer killed in Rancho Dominguez

More bad news.

Word is slowly spreading that local rider Christopher Cono was killed while racing in the Carson area Sunday afternoon.

Other reports, including one from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, identify him as Christopher Contreras of Velo Pasadena; he says the death occurred at the CBR Memorial Day Criterium in Dominguez Hills.

No word yet on why the discrepancy in identifying the victim; condolence messages are appearing under both names.

According Wagner, Contreras was injured when he hit a light standard at full speed in the pro race, and died after being transported to a hospital.

Sadly, H&S Bicycles reports Cono/Contreras leaves behind a wife and small child.

There is always an assumed risk in racing; we hope the worst will never happen, while knowing it can at any time. It is the chance we all take when we push the limits, and the loved ones we leave behind who pay the price.

So far, there has been no report of the death in the media.

Once confirmed, this will be the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, over half of which have occurred in L.A. County.

My prayers and sympathy for Christopher (Cono) Contretras and all his family and loved ones.

Update: The confusion over the victim’s name has been cleared up; Christopher Contreras went by the name Cono. The H&S Facebook page reports he raced for Gruppo Velo, where he served as Race Director; plans are in the works for a ride to benefit his family. 

In addition, Michael Wagner has added more to his post, writing movingly about a fallen racer he did not know, but who was a member of the local racing family; he also identifies him as the founder of the popular Fortune 700 stage race.

Unless someone captured him during the race, this photo of Contreras and his son, along with L.A. Olympic legend Nelson Vails, may have been among the last ever taken of him.

Photo by Lynn Ingram, via Facebook

Photo by Lynn Ingram, via Facebook

Update 2: Kryxtanicole offers a touching tribute to a rider who touched her life, if only briefly, and inspired her to ride without fear.

I remember the night we met; when my first impression of him was that he was intense, in a good way. When you live with conviction it’s infectious, and that’s how he was. Cycling was not just a big part of his own life, it was something he was passionate about sharing with others.

It’s definitely worth clicking on the link and reading the full piece; thanks to H&S Bicycles for the link.

While I didn’t know Chris, his death hit me hard, as it clearly has many others. And the more I learn about him, the harder it hits.

By all accounts, we lost a very good man yesterday.

Update 3: Writing on the Wolfpack Hustle blog, L.A. cycling icon Roadblock describes watching the ambulance slowly round the final turn, not knowing his friend was inside. And the lesson learned to make time for the people and things that really matter in life.

Make time to ride with your friends and with future friends. You never know when someone will no longer be here especially with a sport as dangerous as competitive cycling. I feel like a pillar of LA cycling has collapsed. It’s just not real… it’s like looking at the familiar downtown skyline and seeing one of the skyscrapers now gone.

And Christy Nicholson writes on SoCalCycling that there will be a Memorial Service for Contreras next week, and that a previously scheduled criterium will be turned into a benefit for his family.

Memorial Service
There will be a Memorial Service for Chris at Cabot & Sons Mortuary in Pasadena on June 7th at 6pm.

Cabot & Sons Mortuary
300 Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA

3rd Annual Kool ‘N Fit Criterium Benefit Race
On June 9th, the 3rd Annual Kool ‘N Fit Criterium will donate all proceeds to benefit the Chris Contreras family. This is a great opportunity for the SoCal Cycling Community to come together and lend their support and help Chris’ family during this sad time. Race Flyer >

Update 4: A fund has been established to raise money for Contreras’ family.

Cheering on Brentwood Cat 1 racers, SaMo police catch a bike thief, and a weekend’s worth of links

Congratulations to Velo Club La Grange on another successful Brentwood Grand Prix on Sunday.

Even my non-biking wife, whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of bicycling, was highly entertained. As was the Corgi, who can be heard cheering the riders on in this brief clip from the from the Cat 1 and 2 crit.

At least, I think she’s cheering.


When Santa Monica police saw a man using a bolt cutters to remove a lock from a $1500 Trek, he told them he had lost his key. However, using their Sherlockian powers of deduction, they quickly noticed it was a combination lock.

Needless to say, he is now under arrest.

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


The UCI, the agency governing international cycling, insists that USADA has no authority to pursue charges against Lance Armstrong; the question is, do they want to prosecute him themselves, or derail the charges?

Meanwhile, ex-Tour de France winner Alberto Contador says he’s grown up during his doping ban.


The hit-and-run epidemic has become so severe even cops are victims. Beverly Hills may or may not discuss proposed bikeways, and may actually get bike racks in the hopefully soon-to-be-former biking black hole; thanks to Mark Elliott of Better Bike for the heads-up. La Cañada Flintridge becomes the latest local city to develop a new bike plan; link courtesy of Erik Griswold. A La Puente man suffers serious injuries in a fall on the San Gabriel Canyon Road after losing control on a descent and crashing into the mountain. A Bakersfield firefighter takes on the quarterfinals of Olympic sprint cycling, while a Temecula woman wins silver in team pursuit. A Bay Area cyclist faces deportation for riding on the wrong side of the street. Sonoma cyclists confront a summer of sorrow.

Bicycling looks at seven fast, fun and affordable road bikes; affordability being a relative term, of course. UCONN basketball coach Jim Calhoun breaks his hip falling off his bike, surgery was successful. Rochester-area cyclists gather to honor a pair of cyclists, one killed and one seriously injured. Lights, reflective clothes and a helmet aren’t enough to save an Ohio rider. A New York ethicist tries to justify running stop signals on a bike. Thirty years after graduating, a former Baton Rouge resident takes her first ride to school. A fleeing Florida criminal kills two cyclists in an attempt to get away from police; that would be two counts of felony murder, right? Is a Florida bikeway a bike path to nowhere, or a key link in a future bike system?

The family of the cyclist killed by an Olympic media bus asks that his death not be used for political point-scoring by pro-bike advocates. The next generation of British bike racers suffered a tragic loss as an 18-year old member of their developmental squad dies after crashing into a wall. Is this really a safe junction? British success in Olympic cycling has lead to an explosion in the MAMIL population. Brit riders are kicking ass in the velodrome. Bald, beautiful and an Olympic gold medal winner in track cycling. Once again, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a list of links that puts my modest efforts to shame. Salzburg, Austria suffers an increase in cycling deaths. David Hembrow demonstrates how to get parked cars off the streets.

Finally, in a breathtaking attack of rationality, Caltrans proposes lowering the speed limit — yes, lowering — on the Pasadena Freeway to 45 mph. Now if they can figure out a way to drop the limit on a few other roads. And a motorist chases down a hit-and-run driver who fled after hitting a bike rider, and captures it all on video; Cyclelicious speculates that it may have been shot here.


Best wishes to Rick Risemberg, aka Mr. Bicycle Fixation, for a full and fast recovery; thankfully, he’s living proof that even serious cyclists like you and me need to take care of ourselves. And with luck, he’ll be around a long time to remind us all.

Bakersfield bike racer dies in Sunday stage race crash; Culver City gets an honorable mention

Bad news from Bakersfield, as top local bike racer Suzanne Rivera was killed in a Mariposa County stage race on Sunday.

Apparently, she rear-ended a support van that had stopped on the shoulder during a steep downhill. Rivera will be honored on Wednesday’s Bakersfield Ride of Silence.


The League of American Bicyclists releases their latest list of new bike-friendly cities; congratulations to Culver City for getting an honorable mention.

And nice work to the hard work put in by LACBC-affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition to help make it possible. Thanks to CCBC member Steve Herbert for the heads-up.


Peter Sagan keeps the leader’s jersey in the Amgen Tour of California, despite a spill and a flat; Cyclelicious captures his shadow crossing the finish line. Maybe Levi Leipheimer is just playing possum. And Sunday’s final stage finish at L.A. Live may lead to Sportsageddon as the Kings, Dodgers, Clippers and the ToC collide in DTLA.

Can we just call a time out on all the blank-ageddons for awhile?


There are plenty of people who live car free in L.A. every day, so why plan a day around it? LADOT is hiring a Pedestrian Coordinator as well as an Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator. The 10 busiest bike intersections in L.A.; I ride four of them on a regular basis. Better Bike recaps the meeting that lead Beverly Hill’s Traffic & Parking Commission to reject two of the city’s five proposed underwhelming bike pilot projects. As if Bike to Work Day wasn’t enough, you can join in on Bike from Work happy hours, as well. A 50-something cyclist is injured after getting rear-ended by a car in Pasadena. A recap of last weekend’s Montrose Historical Bike Ride. New bike racks in Redondo Beach thanks to the Chamber of Commerce.

The California Department of Transportation offers advice on bike safety for Bike Week. San Diego endorses Scott Peters for Congress. A four-year old Palm Desert boy is hit by a red light running schmuck truck driver while crossing the street in the crosswalk with his mom. Santa Maria police question whether a cyclist was really hit by a car, as he claims. How cars should turn right when bikes are around.

The Sierra Club, which hasn’t always support cycling, seems to be coming around. AAA endorses a more bike-friendly America; does that mean they’ll stop fighting bike safety measures in California? Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at drunk biking laws. Walk Score rates the most bikeable cities; maybe L.A. can get a bike score of its own soon. Maybe they need an L.A.-style anti-harassment ordinance in my old hometown. Then again, maybe bike education would make for safer cycling and driving. Turns out riding a bike is the fastest way to get around Boston. New York uses liquor licenses to fight back again scofflaw bike delivery people.

Turns out that bike-unfriendly Toronto is even less bikeable than Saskatoon. A British motoring organization claims over half of all cyclists run red lights; turns out it ain’t necessarily so once you get the facts. An Aussie city considers a proposal to waive the country’s mandatory helmet law for riders on separated bikeways.

Finally, Alabama film maker Katie Rogers talks about her in-process film about going carless in L.A., which just got funded on Kickstarter today. And if this car runs you over, at least you’ll know why.

A press conference to celebrate bike racing in bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills

A high-end location for a bike race — or a press conference for one.

Maybe it wouldn’t seem as strange to anyone outside the L.A. area.

Yet somehow, I found myself on a sunny SoCal morning in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, listening to some of this country’s best pro cyclists describe the city’s Tiffanyed streets as the ideal starting point for the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

Yes, that Beverly Hills, with not one inch of bike lane within its jewel encrusted borders.

The day's guest stars make their way one very short block up Rodeo Drive.

The Bulgari burgh where West Hollywood and Los Angeles bikeways roll within blocks of its city limits. Then stop almost without warning, leaving riders to fight for road space with Ferraris, Bentleys and massive high-end SUVs of every make and measure.

Not to mention the midrange rentals of countless tourists, and low-end rides of locals just passing through.

A city that hasn’t updated its bike plan since the 1970s. And even then, proposed routing riders through the alleys of the Golden Triangle to keep us from impeding the progress of their many impatient drivers.

To their credit, Beverly Hills has formed an ad hoc committee to finally update that plan. Yet seem to be throwing up so many roadblocks and limitations that the final result is almost guaranteed to fail.

City Manager Jeff Kolin, Tom Danielson, defending champ Chris Horner, David Zabriskie, Patrick Dempsey and some guy with a camera.

Or at least likely result in something of little value to the everyday riders who mostly pass through on their way to somewhere else. Like sharrows on Charleville, which is already a relatively easy road to ride, and where shared lane markings would merely mark the space we already use.

And which wouldn’t have done a damn thing to protect me last week when I nearly did a face plant on the back of an SUV, courtesy of a door-flinging driver.

Yet there they were, biking and Hollywood royalty alike promoting the Tour of California, and announcing the route of this year’s multistage race.

Don’t get me wrong.

The ToC has made great strides in recent years, with last year’s race the most competitive and exciting yet.

And this year’s edition promises to be better yet, as it meanders its way through the late, great Golden State by way of Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Livermore and Bakersfield, et al, with mountaintop finishes on Mt. Baldy and Big Bear Lake.

Amgen Tour of California Executive Director Kristin Bachochin at the podium.

And followed by a final route that will start on Rodeo Drive before following Santa Monica Blvd — where Beverly Hills officials have been dragging their feet on a commitment to make the boulevard bike-friendly when it finally gets a makeover in a few years.

Then it’s up Doheny and off to Hollywood, reverse engineering the route of the L.A. Marathon before winding down to finish at L.A. Live.

As I, and a couple of other cyclists listened to the press conference, surrounded by confused tourists wondering who the hell these spandex-clad celebrities were — though they did seem to recognize Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey — it was hard not to get excited.

After all, what’s not to like about a race that will bring some of the world’s best male pro cyclists — though sadly, still no women — within walking distance of my own home. Even if it is a long walk. And one that leads to an alternate and much richer reality.

Hollywood star, cancer fundraiser, serious cyclist and bike advocate Patrick Dempsey.

And one that would be followed by a race through the same mean streets we all ride on a regular basis. Although it would be more exciting if the Amgen riders had to contend with the same careless, distracted and angry drivers we do.

Now that would be a race.

It’s also long past time that the top women’s racers were allowed to compete on an equal stage alongside the men, just as the late, great Coors Classic did with great success decades earlier.

But it didn’t take long to be reminded that we were in Beverly Hills. And that cyclists aren’t exactly welcome there.

As the press conference was winding down, a gentleman came out of the exclusive haute couture store next to where we were standing, and firmly but politely asked us to move the bikes we’d leaned against the wall since there didn’t seem to be any bike racks around.

According to him, they were blocking the store windows — even though the seats and handlebars barely reached the window’s bottom ledge.

It is Beverly Hills, after all.

And they’re just not that into us.

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