Tag Archive for blocked bike lanes

A ride through the Westside, in eight parts

Cars blocking bike lanes. Doors blocking bike lanes. Trucks blocking bike lanes. Nannies blocking bike lanes. Elderly drivers ignoring right of way. New sharrows in front of Catholic churches. Missing sharrows. Useless sharrows. Decrepit Victorian VA churches. Last second left cross drivers.

Or as I like to call it, Thursday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a video from my helmet cam.

It’s not that I haven’t captured anything worth sharing. It’s just that by the time I usually get around to editing the video, the limited storage left on my ancient Mac means I’ve usually had to delete the footage before I can do anything with it.

So I wanted to get this one out while it’s fresh.

This is footage I captured on yesterday’s ride through L.A.’s Westside and Santa Monica. The sad thing is, there’s absolutely nothing unusual about it. Other than discovering new sharrows on my usual route through Westwood, things like this happen virtually every time I get out on my bike.

Maybe just not so many on the same ride.

And this wasn’t even everything I saw, good or bad.

There were a couple of Jerry Browns that the camera didn’t pick up – it seems that the fisheye lens on the cam means that a driver has to virtually brush me before the video looks anywhere as close as it feels in person. And I also have to avoid flinching, since the helmet mount means I miss the whole thing if I turn my head away.

I also noticed the county has been busy with the sharrow stencils, as well, adding a single symbol on Washington between the beachfront bike path and where the bike lane picks up on the next block. They also put in a few behind the Marina library, where riders on the Marina bike path have to share a brief roadway with drivers using the parking lot or moving their boats.

And in a nod to the Cycle Chic crowd, I wanted to offer a look at a well-dressed woman I encountered who looked about as good as anyone could on her bike. But when I saw the video, it felt a lot more like Creepy Stalker Guy than an honest appreciation of a fellow cyclist.

Delete.

As for those newfound sharrows on Ohio, maybe someone can explain to me why they skip the two blocks between Selby and Glendon on the westbound side, but not on the east.

Did they just forget? Or is there some incomprehensible reason why those two blocks on that side of the street, where they’re most needed, don’t qualify for sharrows?

Because it’s right there, in that direction, where I feel most pressured by drivers when I take the lane, since it’s far to narrow to safely share.

A little pavement-based support from the city for the proper road position would have gone a long way towards telling impatient drivers that’s exactly where I belong. And encourage more timid riders to use the street and move out of the door zone, despite pressure from drivers coming up behind them.

There seems to be no reason to omit them from the street.

But omitted, they are.

And don’t get me started on the oddly placed sharrow further west that forces riders to duck beneath a low tree branch as they hug the curb.

Or the oddly undulating placement that may keep riders out of the way of vehicular in places without parking, but encourages them to weave in and out of the traffic flow in a dangerous manner, as some motorists may not be willing to cede the road space to let them back into the traffic lane.

Look, I’m not complaining. Much.

I’d glad to have sharrows on a street that needed them.

But these need some serious improvement before they meet the apparent goals of encouraging more ridership and keeping riders safer on the street.

The winners of our Mojo Bar giveaway, updates on recent bike crashes, and UPS blocks the bike lane

Let’s catch up on what turned out to be a far too busy week.

………

First up are the winners of last weekend’s contest to give away some CLIF Mojo bars by revealing your own favorite means of performance enhancement for when you ride.

The winners were chosen in a totally biased and arbitrary manner by yours truly, based strictly on how much I liked the response.

And from my perspective, it looks like Brian was clear winner.

I ride with http://www.ride2recovery.com My enhancer is seeing a fellow Wounded Soldier Amputee passing me, or just not giving up!!

Seriously, how could I not reward a Wounded Warrior who just flat refuses to quit? Let alone one who uses his fellow riders for inspiration.

But we also had several runners-up who gave great responses as well.

Like Joe B, who struck a similar note.

I’ve found that the best way to enhance my performance is to have my slightly-faster buddy riding about fifteen or twenty feet in front of me.

I’ve got to admit, few things motivate me more than trying to catch and pass that rider just up the road.

Then there’s Lois Rubin, who deserves to win if she can ride a mountain bike without blowing chunks after eating this. Or maybe she didn’t mean at the same time.

For mountain biking – Pickles! and peanut butter, bananas and honey in a small whole wheat pita. For the road – hammer gel and mojo bars. Really.

Opus the Poet struck a similar note.

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat. I can run for miles on them. I did a century on a 24 oz. loaf and small jars of honey and peanut butter. And a few Gatorades.

Anyone who can go a hundred miles on a loaf of whole wheat bread has my respect.

Several people noted the value of a little — or a lot — of caffeine. But Mike Caputo threw in some music and a little lubrication.

My favorite performance enhancers (in no particular order) are a Starbucks Tall White Chocolate Mocha, a little ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2 (still works) and a quick squirt of bike lube on the chain (I know this is supposed to be done after but it feels so good)…of course the stretchy paints don’t hurt.

Finishing just out of the money, since CLIF’s agency limited me to five winners, was this response from Ben Calderwood.

Sherpa blood. No, I may have dreamed that. Plain ol’ Clif bars and gels, typically. The Mojo bars are too good; I tend to eat my stash long before I get on the bike.

I can think of more than a few riders who wouldn’t hesitate to ingest or inject Sherpa blood if they thought it would shave a few seconds off their time, or maybe win them a Tour de France title. But let’s think of Ben as first runner-up, and not just because he put in a plug for the product.

If for some reason we can’t ship a set of Mojo bars to one of the winners — like if someone doesn’t respond with a valid address — maybe we can slip him into the mix. At least now he knows how Taylor Phinney feels.

I’ve already emailed the winners, who have until this Monday to respond with a mailing address.

And thanks to everyone who entered. There were a lot of great responses, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t win.

It wasn’t an easy decision.

………

A representative of the LAPD has confirmed that Jerico Culata, the 18-year old cyclist killed on the UCLA campus during last week’s Critical Mass ride, was riding a brakeless fixed gear bike, as many have speculated.

It appears that Culata was unable to control his bike on the moderately steep downhill; he didn’t have the strength or skill to slow down without brakes, lost control and struck a concrete wall head on, suffering non-survivable brain injuries.

Go ahead.

Make every argument against helmet use you want to make.

But this is exactly the sort of injury bike helmets were designed to protect against. And while no one can say Culata would have survived if he’d been wearing one, his chances clearly would have been better if he’d had one.

………

A spokesman for the CHP reports that Willis Veluz-Abraham may not have died as a result of rumble strips on Stunt Road, after all.

According to the officer, Veluz-Abraham was riding with a group of other riders who were filming him with a bike cam; he reportedly looked back at them just before taking a corner too fast, losing control and going off the side of the road.

The CHP investigation places no blame on the rumble strips that had recently been installed.

I might question that, myself.

Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve disagreed with the CHP.

Even if they didn’t contribute directly to his crash, the rumble strips could — repeat, could — have destabilized his bike enough that it was impossible to regain control. And even if they didn’t play a role in this case, it should be obvious to everyone that rumble strips and bikes don’t mix.

But I freely admit I may have gotten it wrong this time.

And let’s hope that video, if it still exists, never sees the light of day.

………

Still no news on last Saturday’s Topanga Canyon hit-and-run in which a Land Rover-driving coward left a cyclist seriously injured on the side of the road.

The CHP reports that the investigation is still ongoing, and no further details are available at this time.

However, they may need volunteers to distribute posters this weekend; I’ll let you know if they reach out for help.

………

Maybe you’ll recall the prompt response I got from UPS a couple months back, promising not to block any more Santa Monica bike lanes.

So much for that.

This was taken Tuesday on northbound San Vicente Blvd, just around the corner and a few blocks from the previous incident.

………

Finally, California gets another dangerous driver off the streets. And enough with the damn earthquakes, Beverly Hills. It’s just a desperate plea for attention, and we’re not falling for it.

Stupid Driver Tricks — bizarrely impatient Brentwood driver; and knee-jerk Hollywood anti-bike hatred

Maybe it was something in the water.

Or maybe it was a little lunar lunacy in anticipation of tomorrow’s Blue Moon.

But Thursday’s ride to Manhattan Beach and back was marked with more Stupid Driver Tricks — and not just drivers, as a few cyclists and pedestrians insisted on getting into the act — than I usually see in a month.

But this one takes the cake.

All this woman had to do was wait a few seconds until the light changed, and she could have easily gotten out of that parking lot with her dry cleaning.

Instead, she pulled out directly towards the car in front of her. When that didn’t work, as he failed to magically disappear from her way, she backed up, pausing as I pulled up next to her. Then looked directly at me, and cut me off anyway — as the driver next to me and I both shook our heads, arms extended in the universal WTF gesture.

And yes, I may have made another gesture that didn’t show up on camera as I pulled up next to her.

No, not that one.

………

Streetsblog offers a good look at what you should do if you encounter my pet peeve — bike lanes needlessly blocked by Hollywood production crews.

Even though experience has taught me that Corgis make much better pets than peeves.

As they note, film crews are required to have a permit before they’re allowed to block a bike lane, or any other traffic lane, for that matter.

And yes, a bike lane is a legal traffic lane, albeit one reserved for bikes, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with more than one occupant. Or people willing to pay for the privilege of driving alone.

Which means that, without a permit from the city — which is remarkably easy to get — film crews have no more right to block a bike lane than they do the center lane on Wilshire Blvd. Though that never seems to stop them from doing it anyway.

The story also notes, correctly, that you have every right to demand to see that permit, whether they like it or not. And that if they don’t have one, you’re entitled to call the police — or Film LA — and demand that they move the offending cones to reopen the bike lane.

Although getting someone to actually care enough to do something about it can be another matter.

Then there are the seemingly inevitable comments from film crew workers unwilling to even attempt to obey the law.

Including this one from a self-described Assistant Location Manager who threatens to have anyone who asks to see the permit arrested on false charges.

As an Assistant Location Manager, the guy whom you will probably be approaching for a film permit, which will then be followed by your venting hippie diatribe about why my working trucks are blocking your bike lane here’s what I am going to do….Ask to see my permit, which I will produce for you. Then it will be I who will call the cops and claim that you threatened my production company with extortion, which I will be able to produce witnesses for. I will also suggest to the officer who responds that we spotted you taking illicit drugs not far away from my set, which I will also produce witnesses for. Being that most bikers I know engage in the occasional to regular use of drugs, I will most likely be right. When your being cuffed and taken to jail, I will then sell your bike on ebay….I may even use the funds to put gas in my Ford F-150 (not a Prius). You guys want a fight, your going to get one…

Point is, we are losing production jobs everyday to other states and cities because of BS like this. My methodology may seem machiavellian but I will do whatever it takes to keep filming in Los Angeles, keep food on my family’s table, and not be forced to move to keep working in film industry which provides a much needed paycheck and health benefits to family and I. Be warned, if the working trucks are parked in a bike lane, bike around us and go on your merry way…

Nice way to put a good face on Hollywood, dude.

And summing up exactly why many people in this town are fed up with self-entitled production crews, regardless of the jobs they create.

Yes, we all want to put an end to runaway productions, and keep those high-paying jobs right here at home.

But Hollywood needs to take a long, hard look at itself, and accept that other people in this city have rights, as well.

………

Joe Devito forwards a photo of the ghost bike for Michael Vega, the 25-year old cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier this week in Rancho Cucamonga.

And judging by the comments, it sounds like we’ve lost a great guy.

………

A few other quick notes:

Flying Pigeon looks at Tuesday’s meeting of the LACBC Civic Engagement Committee. Downtown is rapidly being redrawn to support bicycling. Glendale letter writer doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that bike lanes make streets safer, not the other way around. Three San Diego firefighters are on trial for beating the crap out of two bike riding brothers after calling one a bicycle faggot. A rocket scientist Ventura motorcyclist hates on California’s new three-foot passing law, missing the concept that it is actually possible to drive safely; and that emergency vehicles get an entire lane, while bicyclists only get three feet.

Trial has begun in the case of the driver who killed tandem cyclists Greg and Alexandra Bruehler, resulting in the single saddest photo I’ve ever seen. Here’s a good reason not the be an idiot, as a road-raging Detroit cyclist runs a red light, hits a truck, punches the driver — and gets fatally shot as a result. A PA cyclist is the victim of an early season drive-by pumpkining. Maybe cyclists should be licensed — and paid to ride. Ex-framebuilder Dave Moulton notes that doping has been around as long as competitive cycling.

Finally, I’ve always like fast women, as Bikeyface nails it once again. And it’s so hot, Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali is fixing bikes in his tightie whities reds.

Come back a little later in the day Friday, when we’ll have a giveaway contest to celebrate National Trail Mix Day. No, really, there actually is one. And I’ll see if the video came out on some of those other Stupid Driver Tricks over the next few days.

Newly installed Fiji Way buffered bike lane already blocked by Friday

That didn’t take long.

Just two days after the new buffered bike lane on Fiji Way in Marina del Rey was completed, it was already blocked on Friday by a semi-trailer illegally parked in the bike lane — in an area that had been designated as a no-parking zone long before the lanes were even contemplated.

And close enough to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Marina station that they could undoubtedly see it just by looking their windows. Let alone drive right past it every time a squad car leaves the station.

So what good does it do to install bike lanes if authorities don’t care enough to keep people from parking in them?

If that’s the way it’s going to be, the county should have just saved the money. Because the only thing worse than no bike lane is one we can’t safely use.

A UPS SaMo minor bike lane miracle, and Sunday Funday Beverly Thrills fun was had by all

I’m a firm believer in miracles.

I’ve learned over the years that they tend not to occur with a parting of the skies and a booming voice from above, but in small ways that you might not even notice at the time.

Like the Venice Blvd cab driver who pulled out from the curb too quickly, and set Mayor Villaraigosa on the path to unexpected bicycle advocate.

But I never expected one to come in the form of a Twitter comment from UPS.

Recently, I’ve had my fill of UPS drivers parking their big ass brown trucks in the bike lanes on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. Something that seems to be happening with increasing frequency in recent weeks, forcing riders to share a lane with dangerously distracted, beach-air addled drivers.

So when it happened once again on Friday, I stopped to take a photo. And when I got home, tweeted my frustration to the world, never expecting a response.

Yet that’s exactly what I got just moments later from UPS Customer Support. So at their request, I followed up with an email, including a close-up of the truck’s license plate.

About an hour later, I was on the phone with a local representative, who promised me that the problem would be dealt with promptly. And that they would speak with local supervisors and dispatchers to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

We’ll see.

But UPS earned some real respect for genuine customer service. And to a non-customer, no less.

It may not be a real miracle, even if it seems that way. But if more companies dealt with complaints that promptly and efficiently — or even just gave a damn — it would be a much better world.

And that really would be a miracle.

………

Will Campbell and John Wayne at the beginning of the ride; Will is the one on the bottom.

Allow me to offer my personal thanks to Will Campbell and special guest Mark Elliot for a truly thrilling Beverly Thrills Sunday Funday ride this past weekend.

Along with Greg Laemmle, Colin Bogart, Eric Weinstein, Niall Huffman, Carol Feucht and designated Tweeter Joni Yung for their contributions to ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone.

Not mention everyone who showed up to ride.

Or rather, especially everyone who showed up to ride.

Will offered a fun, insightful and entertaining tour of the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, starting with the very street where he learned to ride a bike (mumble mumble) years ago. And extended past the soon-to-be exploding Beverly Hills High School to sites such as the homes where gangster and Las Vegas founder Bugsy Siegel met his ignoble end, and Marilyn Monroe and Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio shared a whole nine months of connubial bliss.

The only downside was the Beverly Hills cop who decided to welcome us to their fair city by using his loudspeaker to order everyone to ride single file — which not only isn’t required under California law, but would have inconvenienced the exceptionally light vehicular traffic even more by stretching the 40 – 50 riders out over several blocks.

On the other hand, even though we were cruised by several other patrol cars over the course of the ride, the only other contact we had with the BHPD was a friendly wave in passing.

Mark Elliot shares his remarkably in-depth recap of the ride, and Hap Dougherty offers his typically great photos of the day.

And Will himself offers an exceptional timelapse video cutting the four hour ride down to a very fast and entertaining 11 minutes; don’t miss the rapid-fire notations in the upper right.

Seriously, it’s more than worth the click.

………

A preliminary hearing opened Monday for the two men charged with killing developmentally disabled cyclist Jordan Hickey in National City last year. According to testimony from a friend, Humberto Galvez and Juan Gomez bragged about murdering Hickey, reportedly picking their victim at random and shooting him three times with a shotgun as he rode.

Just for the fun of it.

Hickey’s mother understandingly lost control during the testimony and had to be escorted from the courtroom.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for these two alleged psychopaths.

………

LADOT General Manager Jaime de la Vega reports on what he calls L.A.’s best year ever for bicycles.

The 2011 – 2012 fiscal year saw 76 miles of new bikeways, nearly double the number the city committed to in the bike plan adopted last year. That includes 51 miles of bikeways, 21 miles of sharrows and 4 miles added to the Orange Line bikeway, as the city starts to see the beginnings of an actual bike network.

The most intriguing part, for me at least, was acknowledgement that LADOT is shifting from a historic focus on maximizing automotive throughput to a more complete focus on all forms of transportation.

Can the former department of automobiles really help the city of Angels evolve into the type of metropolis that embraces cyclists, pedestrians, and transit?

We think the answer is an unequivocal “yes”.

LADOT is committed to making Los Angeles a place where cyclists are safe and city streets make room for bicycles.

We’ll wait for Joe Linton’s analysis of just how accurate the city’s claimed mileage actually is. But just looking at L.A.’s new and improved streets suggests that LADOT is more than fulfilling their promise.

And that things really have changed in the department local cyclists have long loved to hate.

Meanwhile, the department presents their progress to the City Council Transportation Committee, and improves signage to help cyclists stay alive during the Riverside Dr. bridge reconstruction.

………

Mark Cavendish pulls another Tour de France stage win out of his hat, while Spartacus keeps the yellow jersey. World time trial champ Tony Martin steps up to stage 2 despite a broken hand. And evidently, 22-year old Peter Sagan really is that good, the youngest stage winner in nearly 20 years.

Once again, however, we should note that only Americans with names that start with L — LeMond, Lance and, briefly, Landis — have won le Tour.

Which means Levi Leipheimer remains our best hope for victory.

………

People for Bikes reports on the new federal transportation bill that dramatically cuts funding for bike and pedestrian projects. They won’t say it, but let’s remember which of our elected officials attacked cycling and/or sold us out, and cast our votes accordingly in the fall.

Meanwhile, PfB staffer Kate Powlison is among the five women riding the entire Tour de France course one day ahead of the men. Their stated goal is to inspire women to ride more often, and encourage people everywhere to tackle dreams that seem impossible.

Maybe so.

But hopefully they’ll also inspire professional cycling to open more doors for women, either by a vastly improved women’s tour or by opening top level professional teams to female riders.

You can’t tell me that the best women aren’t as good or better than many of the men who fill out the support roles.

And might even kick some ass if given the chance.

………

Tomorrow marks L.A.’s can’t miss bike sale with the annual 4th of July Blowout Sale at Helen’s in Santa Monica and Arcadia. And just a few blocks away, Cynergy Cycles is extending their No Tax sale through the 4th.

Any other big bike sales we should know about this week?

………

Flying Pigeon offers tongue-in-cheek advice — at least I hope it’s tongue-in-cheek — on how to take your vehicular cycling to the next level. Sunday’s Peace, Love and Family ride catches the eyes of local residents. Richard Risemberg reviews the Bromptons they took to Denver. LADOT kicks off the environment impact reviews that will determine if 43 miles of projected bikeways will ever be built. The LAPD reports on a four-month old biking under the influence arrest that left a 50-year old rider injured; something tells me there’s more to the story if they’re bringing this up after so long. Beverly Hills police let a road raging driver off the hook. New bike lanes appear in El Sereno. East Side Bike Club is hosting a 4th of July Ride to see the fireworks in Alhambra. Over at CLR Effect, Michael encounters an unpleasant odor that isn’t the rider next to him, and notes that Glendora Mountain Road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic on the 4th of July, allowing for an unofficial high country ciclovía.

Readers respond to OC Register columnist David Whiting’s recent column calling for more courtesy on multi-use trails. An Orange County florist gets attention with a bicycle through the store’s front window. More on La Mesa cyclist Nicola Grossi, who lost 120 pounds in just two years of riding before dying in a solo collision on Saturday during the Climb to Kaiser ride. San Francisco bike corrals transform 30 parking spaces into 336 spaces for bikes. The Santa Rose Press Democrat says patient, defensive riding is the key to bike safety; they’re right, of course, but only because too many motorists can’t be bothered to do the same.

American cyclist and former model Dotsie Bausch overcomes anorexia to complete for the U.S. cycling team in the London Olympics. You can now get bike insurance if you live in the Portland area. A Utah man stabs a cyclist and a steals his bike; police find the bike in the laundry room of the thief’s building. Denver authorities crack down on scofflaw cyclists — including ticketing a rider for not putting his foot down on a stop, which isn’t illegal. A 90-year old Eau Claire driver kills a cyclist while driving on an off-road bike path; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link. A Lancaster NY cyclist is killed by a dump truck; I usually pull off the road when I find one behind me, since they scare me as much as anything else on the road.

In shocking news, a Canadian study finds off-road mountain biking can be dangerous, and that bears often defecate in forested areas. Evidently, cowardly, murderous hit-and-run bastards aren’t just an American phenomenon — which is one word I have never spelled correctly in my life. Irish authorities consider a plan to fine parents if their children don’t wear helmets. A London lawyer is left with life-changing injuries after his skull is fractured when he’s hit in a crosswalk by a serial red light running cyclist, proving that not all bastards are on four wheels. While other traffic casualties have dropped, serious cycling casualties and pedestrian deaths have spiked in London. A new sign design warns cyclists about the dangers of big trucks. What if roads were designed the same way bikeways are? David Hembrow says the right to ride on any roads may not always be in cyclists’ best interests. Dutch police commandeer a tractor to chase down three bike thieves.

Finally, a deeply offended neighborhood watch group calls on L.A. to ban the annual Naked Bike Ride. Maybe if they didn’t watch so closely, they wouldn’t be so offended.

And just in time for the 4th, here’s your new bike anthem for the summer.

Let’s be careful out there this week. The period around the 4th is traditionally one of the most dangerous times for SoCal cyclists. Ride safely and defensively, so you can enjoy a lifetime of Independence Day riding.

A little this, a little that — thank you LADOT, a SaMo bike corral and a new oldest living cyclist

As you may be aware, one of my pet peeves is people who park in bike lanes.

As in, they really piss me off.

And yes, peeves make lousy pets.

So I was far from happy as I was riding on San Vicente Blvd the other day, and spotted this Mercedes parked so badly the rear of the car was sticking out into the bike lane.

I signaled the cars coming up from behind that I was moving to my left — most of whom seemed to be blissfully ignoring the speed limit as well as my presence. And had to wait until a half dozen or so cars passed before I could safely move around this its jutting ass.

So imagine my delight as I rounded the front of the car and saw a parking ticket tucked under the wiper.

Of course, chances are, the ticket was for violating the daytime no parking restrictions, rather than illegally blocking the bike lane.

But either way, it felt damn good to see.

So thank you to LADOT — or maybe LAPD — for writing it.

……..

Later that same day, I found myself riding up Main Street in Santa Monica the other day on my way back from the Marina. And noticed that a new bike corral had sprouted alongside the northbound bike lane.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I received an email inviting me — and yes, you too — to the Grand Unofficial Opening of the city’s first on-street bike corral.

Join in on Saturday morning at the bike corrals between 11 and 12 for coffee, muffins, balloons, music, ribbon cutting, speeches, politicians, drum rolls, bike type activities, media coverage, lights, cameras. And more. Much more!  It’s a party!  Be there.

Spoke, a sponsor of the Opening and Santa Monica’s Bike organization have organized a group bike ride from the Bike Center at 10.30 to arrive in time for the opening.

Santa Monica Bike Corrals
Grand Unofficial Opening
Saturday 11 am
2439 Main StreetOutside Peets at the Edgemar Center
(on the Main Street bike lanes)

……..

Looks like West Hollywood bike touring and rental company Bikes and Hikes LA is going to have a reality show on Bravo. And they need to find a cyclist who ended up on film in Hancock Park.

If that’s you, or you know who it is, let them know.

They want to make you a star.

……..

This has been a busy week for emails. So if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, be patient.

One that disappointed me, though, was the news that Culver City women’s sports apparel and equipment retailer Sports for Eve is going out of business at the end of the month.

I’ve long thought it was a great idea to have a sporting goods store just for women. And the store always felt comfortable and inviting, with a great selection and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Even if I wasn’t exactly the target market.

So I’m very sad to see it go.

On the other hand, you now have an opportunity to get a great deal on top quality cycling, running, yoga and workout gear. And as they reminded me, bike bags, lights and other bike accessories are unisex, so guys can take advantage of the clearance sale as well; I already got a great deal on a chain cleaner.

You’ll find them 3849 Main Street in Culver City.

But hurry, because they’re closing the doors — permanently — at the end of this month.

……..

Another email I received on Thursday offers a new way to carry a companion on your bike.

Half the Wheels, Twice the Fun: Companion Bike Seats creates the first ever rear mounted bike seat.  Featured at SXSW, the Companion Team was in full force giving FREE rides to popular hotspots. The simple yet strong design can safely carry an adult, while comfortably enjoying the ride on a padded seat and foot rests.  The optional locking stashbox has many uses not to mention perfectly holds a 6-pack with ice.  The Companion is available now on Kickstarter for a reduced pre-order price, http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm.

Companion Bike Seats was created by two best friends who share a deep love and appreciation for biking.  Always having friends over but never having enough bikes, they wanted to share the joy and benefits of riding with everyone.  The solution was to create the world’s first commercial rear mounted bike seat that allows one bike to safely and comfortably carry two people.  Companion believes that biking is not only beneficial but also a ton of FUN!  Biking is more than a mode of transportation… it’s a lifestyle and now you can share that lifestyle with a Companion.

Through Kickstarter, Companion hopes to raise the necessary funds to begin manufacturing.  In appreciation for helping to reach the goal, Kickstarter backers enjoy reduced rates: Companion $85 (Retail $100), Companion with “Stashbox” $115 (Retail $150).  Thanks for helping to make this product a reality!

Kickstarter – http://kck.st/zLQ2Pm
@CompanionSeats
https://www.facebook.com/CompanionBikeSeat
http://www.thebikeseat.com/

Think I could get them to send me a prototype in time to take the Corgi to CicLAvia next month?

……..

Maybe the courts are finally starting to take traffic crimes against cyclists seriously, as an Illinois woman is sentenced to 10 years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist. And a Florida man gets 15 years for a similar crime.

When even Florida, the most dangerous state in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians, treats killing a bike rider treats like the crime it is, things are really starting to change.

On the other hand, maybe not so much, as a 72-year old Sonoma County woman is arrested for DUI for the sixth time in just nine years; thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have killed anyone.

Yet.

……..

Surprisingly enough, it looks like Long Beach’s Octavio Orduño isn’t the oldest living cyclist after all — or even the oldest in Southern California. Victorville’s 108-year old Charlie Barcio has him beat by four years.

And yes, I want to be like them when I grow up.

……..

Great quote from Chicago bike and transportation blogger Steve Vance, who Tweeted that Volvo making kid’s bike helmets is like Smith & Wesson making bulletproof kid’s vests.

……..

A 63-year old Brooklyn cyclist is critically injured in a horrific collision, as an 80-year old driver first hit a school bus, then crashed into the rider and a parked SUV trying to flee the scene.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was tell my father-in-law he was never going to drive again; after a lifetime of mobility and self-sufficiency, losing the privilege to drive meant a major change in lifestyle and self image.

But as this story shows, there comes a time for most drivers when someone needs to take the keys away. For their good, and the safety of everyone around them.

……..

Former multi-sport star athlete Bo Jackson will team with Lance Armstrong to ride across Alabama to raise funds for last year’s devastating series of tornadoes. If you can’t ride, you can still donate.

……..

Bike journalist Carlton Reid examines the document that lead to paved roads in the United States. And no, it didn’t come from motorists.

……..

It’s a return to form for Will Campbell, who gained fame for devastatingly entertaining reports from his experiences as a bike commuter, until he started working from home.

Now he’s commuting again, this time as a volunteer with the local branch of the SPCA; one thing that’s long been clear about Will is that he has a humongous heart and has seldom, if ever, met an animal he didn’t like.

The other thing is that he doesn’t put up with a lot of crap from the idiots he meets on the road. Like the distracted driver who flipped him off, and a honey badger of a red light running bicyclist.

Welcome back, Will.

……..

Finally, local San Gabriel Valley councilmembers seem to feel justified in standing in the way of bike projects because they say nobody bikes there.

So if you ride anywhere in SGV, send a photo of you on your bike, or other riders on theirs, along with the location of the photo, to LACBC affiliate chapter BikeSGV — aka @bikeSGV on Twitter.

Let’s prove ‘em wrong.

……..

Update: Erik Griswold reminds me of a story I had meant to include today, as an Irish driver will miss out on the first five years of his soon-to-be-born child’s life, after being convicted of running down — the deliberately running over — a cyclist in a jealous rage.

……..

The good news is, my sister and her family are coming to L.A. for a visit over the next several days. The bad news is, that may mean my posting on here could be a little sparse until after midweek. So let me apologize in advance if I’m not able to keep up. Then again, this could be a good time to send in a guest post if you’ve got anything you want to say on the subject of bikes or bicycling. Or even Corgis, for that matter.

Just a hint.

Giving credit for L.A.’s anti-harassment ordinance, the backlash begins & fighting blocked bike lanes

Catching up from last week, it seems the successful passage of L.A.’s anti-harassment ordinance is making waves, though not necessarily the way we might have hoped.

Despite a number of council and committee hearings as it glacially made its way through the development process leading up to unanimous approval by the city council, many motorists seemed to be blindsided by the new ordinance.

Which is what tends to happen when you don’t pay any attention to your own government.

One thing that seems to have been forgotten in the cycling community’s celebration over the passage of the anti-harassment ordinance is the role the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition played in seeing this law through from the very beginning.

It’s true that Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and his aide Paul Backstrom deserve the lion’s share of credit, along with Judith Reel — who had the stroke of genius to make this a civil, rather than criminal, law — and LADOT’s Michele Mowery. No one can understate the important roll attorneys Ross Hirsch and Daniel Jimenez played in vetting the wording, or the vital support of Bicycle Advisory Committee President Jay Slater and other members of the BAC in getting it passed.

And let’s not forget the work of LADOT Bike Blog’s Chris Kidd in explaining and carrying the torch for this bill.

But I remember committee meetings where the only cyclists present were myself and representatives from the LACBC.

I don’t mention this because I’m on the board of the coalition.

But because it was the hard work of Aurisha Smolarsky, Dorothy Le, Jen Klausner and Allison Mannos in fighting for this bill that convinced me to join the LACBC and become a board member in the first place. As well as Alexis Lantz, who later took over for Aurisha in fighting behind the scenes to make this law as strong as it could be and help ensure its passage.

Without their hard work, this law might not exist today. And it certainly wouldn’t be as strong as it turned out to be.

……..

Road.cc looks at L.A.’s bicycle anti-harassment ordinance, while KPCC says L.A. cyclists get the toughest protections in the U.S.; personally, I might question that since this is a civil, rather than criminal, law. The C-Blog offers a well-written and thoughtful response to KABC radio in defense of the ordinance. Writing for Orange 20, Rick Risemberg says common decency now has some teeth, while a conservative writer calls it a terrible law that will lead to legal motorist shakedowns. And our neighbors to the south don’t seem too interested in following our lead.

The L.A. Times calls it a smart law; unfortunately, some of their readers don’t get it, despite intercession by Sgt. Krumer to explain what the law does and doesn’t do.

Sgt. David Krumer at 12:34 AM July 22, 2011

Hello motorist,

It appears that some folks are not exactly sure what harassment means within the context of the ordinance.  You can still yell at a cyclist who engages in bad behavior.  You can not however threaten a cyclist with physical harm or make comments like “I am going to run you over.”  You also can not engage in conduct that is likely to put a cyclist in harms way such as:

1) Revving your engine multiple times as it is an implied threat that they may get run over if they don’t move out of the way.

2) Tailgating a cyclist

3) Passing a cyclist at too high a speed or to close a distance so as to scare or intimidate them off the road.

4) Riding up at a high rate of speed and honking at a cyclist (this has caused cyclists to get scared and fall of their bikes).

Hope this sheds light on what “harassment” means.  In short it is an ordinance that prohibits threats (explicit and implied) as well as behavior likely to cause injury.

Meanwhile, one reader suggests, in what we can only hope is a failed attempt at humor, that drivers should eliminate anyone who might be able to testify against them:

edwardskizer at 3:50 PM July 23, 2011

Drivers frustrated by this law have to remember just one rule: leave no witnesses.

Yes, very funny indeed. And that Dr. Thompson thing in Mandeville Canyon was a real knee-slapper, too.

Or if you want to waste an hour of your life and churn your stomach after realizing the sort of people we have to share the streets with, read the comments to this Times story.

Then again, L.A. isn’t the only place that needs a law like this.

……..

After years of effort from countless cyclists — myself included — Flying Pigeon finally tracks down the people who are responsible for doing something about blocked bike lanes, including all those damn trash cans.

And AAA responds to Will Campbell’s complaint about opposing California’s proposed three-foot passing law; not surprisingly, they don’t apologize or change their minds.

Which makes me think it may be time for cyclists to consider an auto club that doesn’t support a driver’s right to pass dangerously close.

……..

Congratulations to Cadel Evans for an unexpected victory in the Tour de France, and the first ever victory for the land down under, as his countrymen rejoice but don’t get a day off. He now tops the UCI rankings, as well.

The Schleck brothers finish second and third, while Mark Cavendish takes the points prize, noting that it didn’t come easy. Andy Schleck, or possibly his brother Frank, appeared to have the race won until they cracked and Cadel crashed through to victory.

Michael from Claremont Cyclist offers some great final thoughts. The Wall Street Journal looks at the Jackie Robinson of cycling. Thomas Voeckler fought the good fight to hold the yellow jersey longer than anyone thought he could.

Unfortunately, the North American contingent didn’t exactly impress.

……..

Will offers suggestions to improve that scary tunnel at the top of Sepulveda Blvd. A local cyclist had his bike confiscated after riding on the 405 during Carmegeddon, and asks you to buy a t-shirt to help get it back. With little luck and effort, Bicycle Priority Zones could soon spread across the county. Better Bike complains about politicians low-balling bikes at the last Westside COG meeting. The Times looks at the tweet that lead to a $7000 donation to the LACBC; in a final note to the story, the guy who sold his own car to make that donation had his bike stolen over the weekend. Working to make Beverly Hills more bike friendly; who knew they actually have bike racks? Gary Kavanagh writes about the lessons learned from the recent Carmageddon. Local Linus bikes are featured in a new fashion video. Six SoCal firefighters ride cross-country to honor 9/11 victims.

Long Beach starts a new bike safety campaign to remind cyclists to stay off the sidewalk. Complaints that cyclists don’t stop for a Newport Beach stop sign lead to the observation that hardly anyone does. Joe Linton rides the bike path along San Diego County’s San Luis Rey River. A Redding writer says he doesn’t see how a 3-foor passing law could make a lick of difference. The fight over San Francisco bike lanes moves to crosstown streets.

Levis unveils their new Commuter Jeans, complete with a U-lock loop. Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club wants more women riders on the road. After winning a new Trek Madone, Springfield Cyclist puts his old bike up for sale, and will donate the sale price — plus an additional $100 — to support victims of the devastating Joplin tornado earlier this year. A pair of blind riders take on RAGBRAI. Advice on how to deal with riding to work on a hot day. New York drivers turn a sidewalk and bike path into a DIY shortcut. The bike wars go on in Virginia Beach VA, where cyclists were recently treated to tacks on a popular riding route. The Tallahassee Democrat says cyclists have rights on the road, too.

Mexico considers investing the equivalent of $120 million in bikes and infrastructure. Do wobbly cyclists calm traffic? A UK man and woman are sentenced for severely beating a cyclist for no apparent reason. The 10 worst gyratories in London; and yes, I had to look it up myself. Fifty-four percent of English children want to ride their bikes more. A driver says he’d rather kill a cyclist and possibly himself than hit a family in a car; good response from bike writer Carlton Reid. Great bike illustrations from a Dublin artist. Town Mouse visits France and falls in love with a local bike. An Aussie cyclist is critically injured in a collision with possible U.S. Navy personnel.

Finally, while the UK is taking posties off their Pashleys, the USPS is putting bikes on their stamps. And a Florida judge ignores the law to blame the victim of a road rage assault for riding too far from the curb; let’s hope L.A. jurists are more enlightened when the first cases under the new anti-harassment ordinance come to court.

Come back later tonight when I’ll post a harrowing first-person account of the collision that left cyclist Adam Rybicki fighting for his life, and a call for justice from the riders who barely avoided serious injury along with him

Hollywood blocked bikeways may be common, but not legal; moving story on fallen cyclist Alex Romero

It something we’ve all gotten used to living here in the greater metaphorical Hollywood.

And something we shouldn’t have to.

If you’ve ridden much around this city, chances are, you’ve found your way blocked by a movie crew, TV set or a commercial photo shoot at some point, forcing you to wait until the scene or shoot is over.

Or maybe you’ve run into my pet peeve — movie crews parked along the side of the road, with orange safety cones placed in the middle of the bike lane to protect their precious trucks from passing cyclists, forcing you out into traffic with little or no warning.

And often as not, with no legal basis.

Take the photo shoot Todd Munson encountered on his way home last week on the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

They were set up near the eastern end. When I rolled up they had a scrim set up that was a good 10 feet high and as wide as the path. Because of it, I had to come to a full stop and announce my presence before they even noticed I was there. Based on how “fashionable” they all were I’m guessing they came from the nearby Smashbox Studio.

When I realized how much I was “hassling” them by having to move their equipment to make some room, I asked if they had a permit for the shoot. Everyone just sort looked at each other and mumbled incomplete sentences. The guy who was apparently in charge was the one covering his face in the first photo. The amazing thing to me was that nobody including him was at all apologetic. The best they could do was “Hey man, we didn’t think anyone would be here.” And a couple of them even tried getting tough.

The other funny part was that girl in the red shirt in photo number 3 asked that I not take anyone’s picture.

Good times.

Problem is, unless they did have a permit, what they were doing was completely illegal. Section 21211 of the California Vehicle Code reads:

21211.   (a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist.

But it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to prohibit parking or placing anything on the bike path that would block it, as well.

(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

Of course, there are additional subsections specifying a handful exceptions, none of which apply in the situation Munson encountered. Or to the overwhelming majority of cases you might encounter that would delay your ride more than a few moments.

Then there’s the matter of blocked bike lanes.

As we’ve discussed before, bike lanes are considered traffic lanes by the LAPD, just like the larger lanes to their left. And just as it’s illegal to block any other traffic lane, it’s against the law to block a bike lane — whether with trash cans, orange cones or double parked vehicles.

The question is whether L.A.’s favorite industry enjoys a special exemption when it comes to their trucks.

The afore mentioned Mr. Munson, who seems to be having a rash of bad luck with this sort of thing lately, reached out to myself and Tony Arranaga, who works in the office of 11th District Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, after a recent encounter with bike lanes blocked by a movie crew on San Vicente Blvd in the Brentwood area.

Tony was kind enough to connect us with Geoffrey Smith, Director of Community Relations with FilmLA Inc, the agency responsible for overseeing the massive amount of filming that takes place in this city on a daily basis.

Once again, I’ll let Todd explain the situation:

The specific incident I encountered occurred in Brentwood along San Vicente last Thursday morning (3/24). A film production had vehicles parked on both sides of San Vicente near the golf course and had laid out large cones along the respective bike lanes.

The cones were placed on the outer edge of the bike line cutting down its width to the point that it was no longer safe to use. Any cyclist who chose to stay in the bike lane was faced with a lose-lose situation as they were forced to ride dangerously close to parked vehicles. Should a door swing open or a crew member walk out from between the vehicles, the tightly spaced cones to the immediate left eliminated any chance for a safe escape.

The only option for a cyclist wishing to avoid this mess would be to exit the bike lane and ride in traffic. This option was equally undesirable and dangerous as motorists tend to treat San Vicente as a mini freeway- especially during the morning rush hour.

Attached is quick diagram I made with the help of Google Street View illustrating the dangerousness of the situation.

To reiterate what Ted stated, those cones served no functional purpose other than creating a life-threatening situation for cyclists. Should the status quo be allowed to remain, it’s not a matter of if but when a deadly accident will occur.

That drew the following response from Smith, who answered promptly the next morning:

1)      No, the company should not have put cones in the bike path. It seems that the Transportation Captain was perhaps a little overzealous in trying to let everyone know that there was a trailer parked on the street. Why he felt that the general public would fail to see a trailer 8’ wide by 7’ high will undoubtedly remain a mystery.

2)      Yes, a company can close a bike path BUT, it requires submitting a traffic plan to DOT, showing what alternate route(s) are being created, via cones, barricades, signage, so that bicyclists are not forced into traffic. DOT has to approve of the closure before it will be allowed.

3)      As an FYI, FilmL.A. is 24/7. If you should run into this situation again, PLEASE call us 213/977.8600 ASAP. Let us check and see a) if there is a permit and b) if they have a closure of the bike path.

4)      I am also annoyed if they were parking on both side of San Vicente. Parking on the north side is not allowed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m putting that phone number in my speed dial.

.………

Dj Wheels, who has been very busy keeping up with local bike-related criminal cases lately, shares the news that 19-year olds Patrick Roraff and Brett Morin will face trial for the death of rising pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado in Highland one year ago.

Roraff and Morin were allegedly street racing at around 70 mph when Roraff lost control and hit Alvarado, who died on the side of the road, far from his family and friends in Mexico.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the two will be arraigned on May 12th on a single count each of vehicular manslaughter.

.………

Chances are, you’ve never heard of the San Fernando Valley Sun. But maybe you should.

Once again, they’ve written movingly about the death of yet another teenage Valley cyclist murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

Just six months ago, it was Danny Marin*; this time, it’s Alex Romero, run down by a speeding driver on De Soto Avenue in Canoga Park last week.

Consider the heart-rending pathos in the first paragraph alone:

Tomorrow, April 29, Maria De La Paz “Pacita” Romero will have to find the strength to bury her teenaged son. “Empty. I feel empty,” Maria said as she attempts to describe the loss of her son, German Alex Romero, a 17-year-old promising soccer player whose life was tragically cut short last week when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Canoga Park.

Remarkably, Romero’s family doesn’t bear any animosity towards the still unidentified driver; his mother saying “God bless him” of the man who killed her son.

The family would also like Romero’s death to serve a positive purpose. Their desire is for new bicycle markings to be placed on the street where he was killed, as well as additional lighting, a traffic light and cameras.

“We would like Alex’s sacrifice to be worth something,” Fuentes said. “He came to this earth for 17 years to give light to everybody, motorists and bicyclists, so that we may be more careful to make ourselves aware of everybody who’s on the road.”

Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take just a few minutes to read a very well-written story about the massive hole a heartless driver has left in what appears to be a remarkable, and remarkably forgiving, family.

But don’t be surprised if you find a few tears in your eyes before you’re done.

*Unfortunately, the original Sun story is no longer available online.

.………

Finally, the LACBC reports that the peak hour restrictions limiting bikes on Metro trains have been lifted, effective immediately. While the bike ban has been widely ignored in recent months, the action of the Metro Board means you can now take your bike on any Metro train, any time, to any destination.

As train cars come in for servicing, they will have seats removed to create additional standing and storage room to provide more space for bikes, as well as other large objects such as strollers and shopping bags.

Yet another L.A. bikeway fail; CHP steps up to catch a hit-and-run driver

Los Angeles recently approved a widely praised bike plan; now the county is holding a series of workshops on their new plan.

And countless other cities around the greater L.A. area are currently somewhere in the development or approval process on plans of their own. Yet one thing that often seems to be forgotten is the need to maintain those bikeways once they’re built.

We’ve discussed it before, from Westwood’s long abandoned and barely ridable bike path, to bikeways blocked by everything from sand to trash cans.

Yesterday, Margaret Wehbi copied me on an email she sent to County Bikeway Coordinator Abu Yusuf, complaining about the condition of bike lanes on Imperial Highway just south of LAX.

In it, Webhi describes her typical ride, in which she pedals up the beachfront Marvin Braude bikeway from Manhattan Beach to Dockweiler, then heads east on the bike lane along Imperial Highway.

And that’s where the problem starts.

Aside from the same broken and pitted pavement faced by riders throughout the L.A. area, she reports that the lane has never been swept, resulting in lots of broken glass, as well as ice plant growing into the bike lane.

Then there’s this:

As you can see, sand has washed out from the embankment onto the bike lane, blocking it entirely and forcing riders out into often unforgiving traffic. According to Wehbi, it’s not a new problem; the photo she took in January would look the same as one taken today — and the same as it would have last year.

Yet it wouldn’t take much to fix the problem.

Just a few scoops from a front loader, and a passby from a street sweeper — making sure to move all the way to the right to get the full bike lane, rather than just cleaning the motor vehicle lanes and leaving cyclists on their own. Then doing it again on a semi-regular basis to keep it that way.

My experience working with Yusuf tells me he’s one of the good ones — an all-too-rare government official who genuinely cares and is committed to doing what he can to improve bicycling in the county. Even if he is sometimes hamstrung by limited budgets and government bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, though, the problem isn’t in his jurisdiction. As I was writing this, I received a response from Yusuf indicating that he had forwarded Webhi’s email to Tim Fremaux and Nate Baird at LADOT Bicycle Services.

Hopefully, they can track down whoever is responsible for not maintaining the bike path into its present condition.

And that’s a big part of the problem, because it’s often almost impossible to discover who is responsible for any given street in the jumbled mishmash of city and county jurisdictions that make up the greater L.A. area. Webhi reports being bounced from the City of El Segundo, to the City of Los Angeles, to L.A. County, and now back to the city in a so far vain attempt to get someone, anyone, to just fix it, already.

But it also serves as a reminder to all of us.

It doesn’t matter what’s in the bike plan, or how many bike paths, lanes and bike friendly streets end up being built, if we can’t ride the ones we’ve got.

.………

I can’t say I’m always a fan of the California Highway Patrol’s investigation of bicycle collisions.

Too often, they’ve appeared to show a bias against cyclists, concluding that we’re at fault in most wrecks involving cyclists.

Even though many other authorities disagree with that conclusion.

Of course, who is at fault too often depends on who is investigating, and the quality of training they received.

However, Lois points us to a recent case in which the CHP appears to have gotten it right, and went out of their way to capture a hit-and-run driver.

A writer on the SoCal Trail Riders forum related the story of a recent hit-and-run in which he was rear-ended by a passing car on Live Oak Canyon Road near Cooks Corner. At first he thought the car clipped his bike beneath the seat. But once he got home and removed his bike shorts, he discovered the clear imprint of a car mirror on his ass.

And as it turned out, the mirror from a gold Nissan was left at the scene after the driver fled.

The CHP arrived, took the report and collected the mirror.

But rather than just file it away, as too often happens when a rider isn’t seriously injured, the CHP officer who took the report went back the next day to look for the driver. And just happened to spot a gold Infinity — made by Nissan — which was missing its right mirror.

Of course, the driver denied any knowledge of hitting a cyclist, claiming that he had been in a collision with an unidentified truck the previous day. But all the authorities have to do to make their case is to match the mirror to the car, and match the bruise on the rider’s butt to the mirror.

Case closed.

The cyclist reports that the officer will be forwarding details to the DA. And that he’s now a big fan of the CHP.

.………

Just a few more quick notes:

A new organization claims to represent the Beleaguered British Driver, politely and automatically  — if involuntarily — enrolling all 30,000,000 of the nation’s drivers. And claims that politicians who support cycling are mentally ill, offering as proof the “fact” that riding a bike requires putting “oneself in the path of rather heavy fast moving machinery,” and asks “Would any sane and right minded person do that?”

The RACF has really commissioned an anti car anti driver report and that is because there is no level playing field. Cycling is done by a tiny minority RACF. Whereas everyone depends on the 30 million drivers of this country and the economy would collapse without them, no-one would miss cyclists at all. The push bike is a political menace simply because any politician who rides one is in a minority and as I have demonstrated, has to be mad.

Someone seems crazy alright. But something tells me it’s not the ones he’s complaining about.

.………

The UCLA Bicycle Academy points out that the school may have been honored as a Bike Friendly University, but there’s still a lot of work to do. And invites you to join them tomorrow at their monthly lunchtime meeting.

And in light of yesterday’s post touching on the Mary Poppins Effect, Travelin’ Local’s Lisa Newton forwards a link to an older study showing a blonde wig could do more to keep you safe than a helmet.

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