Tag Archive for Central Avenue

Morning Links: Arrest made in beating of Beverly Hills doctor, and more on bike lanes removed from Mobility Plan

They got one of them, anyway.

KABC-7 reports a 19-year old Whittier man has been arrested for allegedly pistol whipping a prominent Beverly Hills doctor after demanding $150 dollars, and claiming he had somehow damaged his bicycle.

Jerome Ingram was booked on charges of attempted robbery, battery, assault, and false imprisonment by violence.

No word on whether police are closing in on the woman and another man suspected of involvement in the attack.

The Hollywood Reporter offers the definitive story on the assault.

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Both KPCC and Curbed report on last week’s city council vote to removed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, shunting riders off onto problematic side streets.

The best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where others want people ride, instead of where the people on bikes want to.

Or already do.

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You’re invited to ride with East LA’s own four-time national road race champ “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez in the free Powered by Pink Taco Event this Sunday; Compton’s national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati will be there as well, along with LA native Justin Williams, a two-time national champ.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from this year’s Vuelta a España.

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Local

A great Op-Ed in the Times says traffic crashes disproportionately affect people walking or biking, and LA can no longer afford to prioritize the movement of vehicles at the expense of safety.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a return of their popular Ice Cream Ride on the 24th.

CicLAvia is hosting a Play Day in LA this Saturday to raise funds for the city’s iconic open streets event.

 

State

A bike riding San Francisco mugger grabbed a woman by the hair and dragged her before riding off with her cellphone and ID.

Streetsblog asks if San Francisco cyclists are guilty until proven innocent, after a bike rider is blamed for the crash that left him seriously injured, based strictly on the testimony of the motorists that hit him, even though that would have been physically impossible. In other words, just like cyclists everywhere else.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco is about to get still more protected bike lanes; meanwhile, Calbike reminds cities that protected lanes are not only legal, but actually encouraged.

 

National

Business Insider looks at 13 “amazing” bike accessories it says will make your ride smarter and safer. Amazing being a relative term, of course.

A Las Vegas cyclist was the victim of a drunk driver, even though he was riding on the sidewalk when the driver jumped the curb, fatally striking him before crashing through a wall and fleeing the scene on foot; the driver was taken into custody at his home, still showing signs of impairment.

Inspirational story, as a Denver lawyer has walked or biked up 58 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot high mountains and 47 peaks over 13,800 feet, as well as riding or walking from one climb to the next — despite being told as a teenager his severe asthma would confine him to an oxygen tank by the time he was 30.

A Chicago protected bike lane has helped improve the appeal of surrounding neighborhoods, leading to new construction that blocks the bike lane.

Chicago’s Streetsblog responds to the latest anti-bike diatribe from a Tribune columnist.

A Kentucky driver says the sun was in her eyes after plowing into five cyclists; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

New York sets a new record by building 18 miles of fully protected bike lanes, beating the city’s goal of 15 miles.

The best part of the Wall Street Journal’s story about a 57-year old female bodybuilder who balances working out in the ring with long distance bike rides is the headline.

Actor Damian Lewis is one of us, as he rides his mountain bike through the streets of Gotham.

No bias here. A black Brooklyn bike rider says the road raging passenger of a passing car called him a racial slur and spat on him, before he was intentionally doored by the driver after catching up to the car, then repeatedly punched and his bike run over. Yet somehow he was the one who spent a night in jail.

Atlanta is building a 22 mile rail-to-trail bike and pedestrian beltline around the city.

 

International

The head of a Canadian truck association says trucks are bigger than bikes and should have the right-of-way, dammit. And bikes should be forced to stop prior to an intersection so we won’t interfere with turning trucks by making them run over us.

A Montreal website asks what it will take to make it bike friendly, saying they just want the city on their side so they can get to their destination safely. Which is pretty much what bike riders everywhere want, and seldom get.

A new line of women’s bikewear currently raising funds on Kickstarter includes reflective patches to improve visibility at night; they have just 17 days to raise another $14,000.

Visit London’s Bamboo Bicycle Club for your very own bespoke bamboo bicycle.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine offers advice on how to beat back pain caused by bicycling.

A British paper talks with the TV sports personality who nearly died after contracting malaria on a 3,000 mile bike ride to the Rio Olympics.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a fast woman. If you’re going to break a man’s glasses in a road rage altercation, don’t brag about it online.

And workers score a waterlogged bike along with the scum at Echo Park Lake.

 

Morning Links: Westwood & Central out of LA Mobility Plan, SD bike lanes are no sweat, and more family biking

No surprise here.

The LACBC reports the LA City Council passed amendments removing Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the city Mobility Plan adopted earlier this year, as expected.

Photo from LACBC

Photo from LACBC

Rumors have circulated for some time that the removal was assured, as a result of a backroom deal of the sort we’re assured doesn’t happen here.

The only surprise is that two councilmembers voted against it, as opposed to the council’s near-constant unanimous agreements, which would seem to be virtually impossible without some sort of deal making going on behind closed doors.

So now Westwood and South LA cyclists can take comfort in knowing that the dangerous streets they ride are assured of remaining that way, at least as long as their current councilmembers are in office.

And here in Los Angeles, Vision Zero is just two meaningless words.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Diego Reader continues to post responses to their recent misguided Op-Ed calling for sacrificing planned bike lanes to continue the automotive hegemony on their streets.

Including this truly bizarre missive from Robert Burns of Ocean Beach, who should give one of the world’s great poets his name back.

I used to bike everywhere, and was known as “the bicycling barrister.” But, I eventually realized in my bicycling and in my representation of bicycling-accident victims, that it is unreasonably dangerous to bicycle with or without motor vehicles and that the workplace could not afford or appreciate generating profuse sweating.

In a colder climate like Great Britain or San Francisco, bicycling has a greater chance of factoring into the workplace, but definitely not in Southern California. This is a frivolity seemingly perpetuated by brainwashed true-believers.

So evidently, bike lanes are a bad idea because you might sweat.

Got it.

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Good news from Riverside, as the 16-year old girl hit by a Dial-A-Ride bus remains in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

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Today’s common theme is biking with your family.

LA Bike Dad discovers the joys of the LACMA Jazz Night, where adults can enjoy the music while kids look at the cement mixers.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes a family bike tour along the central coast, and offers advice on how to do the same yourself.

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A challenging read from Surly’s Skip Bernet, who says he’s done riding his bike on the streets, where drivers have to be reminded that people on bikes are human, too. Thanks to Michael from Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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When Laugh Out Loud says don’t touch my car, it’s clearly a joke. Even though the commenters seem a tad touchy themselves.

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Local

Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren is one of us, riding 15 miles from his home in Pasadena to Dodger stadium before every home game.

The Ovarian Psychos will be honored with the Alex Baum Excellence in Advocacy Award at the LACBC’s Firefly Ball on October 27th. And speaking of the LACBC, Next City talks with the coalition’s Executive Director Tamika Butler.

A ride through Westlake Village reminds a writer to slow down and admire the Lantanas.

Southern California Bicyclist guides you on a 41 mile pier-to-pier ride from Santa Monica to Seal Beach.

Bike SGV invites you to ride to the LA County Fair tomorrow, with free tickets included.

 

State

The Advocacy Director of Bike East Bay says Berkeley’s draft bike plan may be good, but it’s not good enough.

Two San Francisco cyclists were the victims of brazen bike jackings, one a strong arm robbery and the other after being shown a gun.

People in Oakland’s Lake Merritt have been leaving tributes to a street salesman who disappeared without a trace in July and was feared dead; it turns out he was in a hospital after being beaten by two men who jumped him while he was riding his bike and stole his belongings.

A 67-year old bike rider was badly beaten when he asked a group of people to turn down their radio after he stopped to rest at Folsom’s Lake Natoma.

 

National

A real estate website looks at the next big-city meccas for cycling. None of which are Los Angeles, for reasons which should be painfully obvious given yesterday’s council vote.

An e-bike entrepreneur says once you get used to one, you won’t want to go back to a regular bicycle again.

A Portland bicyclist reports being attacked by a driver who got out of his car to punch him, yelling “I won’t have you impose your will on me with that fucking bike, I’m sick of you people.” Although how you can impose your will on someone in a car with your bike is a skill many of us would like to know.

An Idaho mountain biker learns he’s tougher than he thinks after competing in the 2,704 mile Tour Divide.

Denver plans to fill in the gaps on the city’s High Line Canal trail to create a bikeway 71 miles long through four counties.

A Cleveland bike lane is truncated to preserve parking for the downtown Hilton after being painted for the GOP convention.

A Florida letter writer insists Boston is, was and always shall be a city dominated by motor vehicles, and says he won’t “even touch on the pervasive arrogance and rule-bending of so many bicycle riders.” Which is, of course, is doing exactly that.

A New York cyclist says there are simply too many cars driven by stressed out, impatient drivers, putting cyclists in peril every time they push off from the curb.

A writer in the New York Times argues for keeping bikes out of wilderness areas, insisting that if they get in, it’s only a matter of time before ATV enthusiasts will push to let their motorized vehicles in. Even though there seems to be quite a difference between a human-powered bicycle and a gas-powered motor vehicle.

Evidently, bikes are a security risk when it comes to NYC presidential forums, but cars aren’t.

A Philadelphia writer says the best way to ensure you’re hated on every street in the city is to ride a bicycle, which seems to be personal affront to many drivers.

More anti-bike terrorism, as a Virginia university student was shot at close range with a BB gun by the passenger in a passing car as she was riding her bike home. Lets hope the police treat it like the crime it is, instead of writing it off as just a prank.

 

International

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider crashes into a road closure sign blocking a pathway with no warning.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver threatens to knock a bike rider off his effing bike after nearly doing exactly that.

The Telegraph travels Britain’s most beautiful bike route.

An Aussie-American TV producer quit her job to bike around Ireland, and wants a date to an Irish wedding.

It’s official. The world’s largest rideable bicycle is this 1.08 ton German behemoth.

 

Finally…

When you’re already awaiting sentencing on a previous burglary conviction, probably not the best idea to bust a bike lock with a hammer in public. If you’re going to crash your car while fleeing from the police after slapping a bike rider on the ass, at least try to dress more presentably.

And who needs backup musicians when you can perform Sia’s #1 hit on a bicycle?

No, literally on the bike.

Morning Links: Ventura DA gives form letter response, deadline to support candidates opposing Koretz and Cedillo

Evidently, the Ventura County District Attorney can’t be bothered to respond individually to complaints about how they do their job.

Or in this case, don’t do it.

Last week, we featured a heartbreaking guest post from Hailey Cushman, daughter of Jesse Cushman, who was one of the two people killed by an allegedly distracted driver in Moorpark last fall.

Several people were inspired to write the DA’s office to complain that the driver, Rachel Hill, was only charged with misdemeanors in their deaths, rather than the felony counts the CHP recommended. And isn’t expected to spend a single day behind bars.

On Tuesday, I heard from three separate people who received the exact same response from the DA’s office, identical in every word, space and comma.

And not only that, one that they couldn’t even be bothered to respond to personally; each was signed simply “Webmaster.”

RE: Ventura County District Attorney Contact: Refile People vs. Rachel Hill as a felony

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:03:47 +0000

DA Criminal <[email protected]>

Dear Ms. xxxxx

Thank you for contacting the District Attorney’s Office. While we appreciate your concerns regarding this case, we are required to make difficult decisions, which include filing only those criminal charges that we have legally sufficient, admissible evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court. The case was reviewed and filed by a veteran prosecutor in our Criminal Division. Please understand that the decision to file this case was not made lightly. The District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough review of the investigation done by the California Highway Patrol and our conclusion is reflected in our filing decision.

Webmaster

Ventura County District Attorney

Nice to see they take complaints — let alone the lives of traffic victims — so seriously over there.

Maybe the good people of Ventura County should ask themselves if this is really what they want from their DA.

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It’s time to put your money where your vote is.

Recently we reported that CD5’s Paul Koretz, who has taken it upon himself to singlehandedly set bicycling on the Westside back 20 years, will be facing a challenger in next year’s election.

Which means his opponent, Jesse Creed, already has my support before I even meet the guy.

However, the end of this month marks an important fundraising deadline for candidates for LA City Council.

So if you’re as pissed-off as I am about Koretz siding with wealthy homeowners at the expense of everyone else — let alone claiming to be an environmentalist while blocking bike lanes that would enable people to leave their cars at home — dig as deep as you can to make a contribution to his campaign.

And while you’re at it, send another one to Josef Bray-Ali; the owner of NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA bike shop is taking on Gil Cedillo in CD1, thanks in part to Cedillo’s ongoing efforts to keep North Figueroa dangerous.

Send your check to:

Bray-Ali for City Council 2017, 3346 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. Be sure to include your name, address and employer, which is required in order for his campaign to legally accept the contribution.

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Speaking of Koretz, the motions to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the Mobility Plan come back before the Planning Commission at 8:30 am tomorrow, on the 10th floor of City Hall in Downtown LA.

It’s not looking good at this point. So we need everyone to attend if you can, or if not, reach out to the commission to demand a safer, and more rideable Los Angeles.

Maybe if we show overwhelming support for keeping them in the plan, the commission — and more importantly, the city council, which will consider it next — may actually listen.

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If your plans for today included a ride along the upper reaches of the LA River Bike Path, you may want to reconsider.

The path will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm today between Glendale and Fletcher Blvds for major cleanup work following the removal of the flood control barriers.

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Caught on video: A Philadelphia bike rider is run off the road and threatened by a driver who fled the scene, then can’t get the police to give a damn.

Thanks to Thread Riot for the heads-up.

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The New Yorker offers photos from 75-years of bike racing. Which is not the same as cycling, despite the headline.

Six African riders are on track to compete in this year’s Tour de France, including Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot, who became the first black African to compete in the Tour last year.

A British amateur rider conquers the Tour de France’s famed Col du Tourmalet in just three and a half hours; even more impressive considering he’s just eight-years old.

If you want to hear Lance talk about cycling, skip his new podcast.

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Local

The LA Times endorses plans for a half-cent transportation sales tax, while calling bicycling and walking “a vital part of the transportation infrastructure that has been too often overlooked.” Meanwhile, Metro’s CEO calls it an opportunity to be bold, while a pair of Inglewood and West Hollywood leaders say speed up completion of the north-south train lines.

Kill four people who were walking in a Redondo Beach crosswalk, admit to taking pain killers before getting behind the wheel, and get off with time served.

Damien Newton discusses Metro’s open streets program, as well as Sunday’s 19-mile 626 Golden Streets.

While everyone else is offering advice on how to ride in the heat, contrarian CiclaValley tells you what not to do while cycling in it.

 

State

Caltrans’ survey for their first-ever draft bicycling and walking plan will close at the end of this month.

San Diego unanimously approves plans for nine miles of protected bike lanes in the downtown area, along with five miles of wider sidewalks.

Three San Diego area mayors call for approval of that county’s proposed $18 billion sales tax measure to fund transportation projects, including bicycle and pedestrians projects.

Monterey considers installing its own bikeshare system.

A new line of smart bikes from the Bay Area will come complete with built-in lights, turn signals, brake lights and an electronic shifting system, along with an open OS that will allow developers to add additional features.

The executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition hopes to have more time to ride his bike once he steps down at the end of this month.

 

National

People for Bikes considers how Kickstarter is kick-starting innovation in the bike industry.

Kryptonite increases the amount of optional anti-theft protection coverage they offer with their locks, while streamlining the registration process.

The Denver CO 2011 bike plan calls for investing $119 million to build an additional 270 miles of bike lanes; four years later, it had only spent $2.8 million to stripe 68 miles of new lanes. Sounds like another city I could name.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Austin TX makes safety improvements to an intersection just weeks after a 14-year old boy was killed riding his bike.

Houston adopts an ambitious new bike plan calling roughly 800 miles of new bike lanes within the next ten years.

The annual Remember the Removal ride will finish on Thursday, as members of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians retrace the infamous Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A Memphis woman is behind bars after threatening to shoot a bunch of kids in a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth dying for. And it’s sure as hell not worth killing anyone over, especially not a kid.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike network has expanded seamlessly into Northern Kentucky to form the country’s first multi-state bikeshare system.

Minneapolis makes plans to unseat Portland as America’s bicycling capitol.

Seriously? A Massachusetts driver is expected to be released on a whopping $1,000 bail after being charged with possession of heroin and cocaine, driving with an open container, driving to endanger and driving under the influence when he knocked a woman off her bike. Nice to see the court system taking DUI seriously. And yes, that is sarcasm, in case you weren’t sure.

More proof cyclists are tough. A New York man rode his bike home after getting shot in the stomach.

 

International

Caught on video 2: An Ottawa, Ontario bike rider’s rear-facing cam captures the driver who smashed into him from behind; fortunately, he walked away from the crash.

A bystander jumped into a London river to save the life of a 68-year old bike rider who had fallen in.

A British paper offers advice on how to ride in the rain. Which is not a problem we’re likely to have anytime soon.

A stoned driver in the UK gets seven years in prison — and a 10-year ban on driving — for killing a bicyclist after using heroin and prescription medication.

An Irish soccer fan rides nearly 375 miles to the Euro championships to raise money for cancer charities, only to get mugged on arrival in Paris; fortunately, women working at the Gare du Nord train station chased off the men who tried to steal his bike.

An Aussie cyclist says riding 2,600 miles across the continent in just 32 days can change your life, especially if you almost die twice, get bitten by a snake and caught in a cyclone.

A Singapore women’s non-profit group rode through Cambodia to raise awareness and funds for a hotel and restaurant training school trying to stop human trafficking.

Caught on video 3: A Chinese sidewalk cyclist barely avoids being run down by an out-of-control driver who smashed into a clothing shop.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle, maybe you should only steal one box of frozen chicken at a time. It’s not a bike helmet, it’s a speaker with a hockey puck on top.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a contraflow traffic lane, of course. Thanks to kdbhiker for the video.

Morning Links: Last stand for Westwood and Central Ave bike lanes, and Elly Blue comes to town

Mark your calendar.

The LA Planning Commission is scheduled to take up plans to remove the much-needed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave bike lanes from the Mobility Plan a week from Thursday.

Both at the whim of local councilmembers, without any studies or statistics to back up the decisions.

Even though that means shunting riders away from businesses that could benefit from their support, while keeping dangerous city streets riskier for everyone.

And even though the best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where bike riders don’t want to go.

Bicyclists have been fighting to keep these streets in the bike plan, with little or no support from city officials, elected or otherwise, other than the Planning Commission and its staff. This is likely to be our last stand, as the city council will either vote to accept or override the Commission’s decision, probably without any public discussion.

After all, why listen to us when they’ve already made up their minds?

The meeting is scheduled to start around 8:30am in the John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

If you can’t attend in person, written comments can be submitted to the City Planning Commission, Room 532, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or emailed to James Williams, [email protected].

Thanks to Danila for the heads-up.

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Popular Portland bike writer and advocate Elly Blue is very busy these days.

First up, she’ll make a stop at the Wheelhouse in DTLA on Thursday to discuss her new book Bikenomics, sponsored by Metro.

That will be followed by a visit with the Santa Monica Spoke this Friday for Dinner & Bikes + Cupcakes, along with producer/director Joe Biel and vegan chef Joshua Ploeg.

And finally, she offers advice in Bicycling on how not to get your bike stolen.

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That explains it.

Last week we linked to security video of a bike rider being run down by a hit-and-run driver, as an automotive website speculated that it appeared to be on purpose.

It was.

It turns out the driver was the man’s girlfriend, who had just found out he’s HIV-positive.

She now faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a collision.

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The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay visits Kalamazoo, and writes movingly about the crash that left five riders dead last week, and another four injured; the driver faces five counts of second degree murder.

The ghost bikes for the five victims are turning into beautiful flower sculptures as mourning community members cover them with love notes and mementos.

A Taiko drum group performed at the funeral of one of the victims, who was a member of the group.

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Vavel previews the five stage women’s Tour of Britain.

Cycling News reminds us of some of the pioneers of women’s cycling, from a 16-year old world record holder in the 1890s to the first female vice president of UCI. And it turns out women can compete on equal terms with men — and did at the Giro d’Italia over 90 years ago.

Men’s Journal offers a brief history of the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which kicked off in Oceanside this morning.

A British whistleblower says doping is endemic in cycling.

Look for still more doping scandals, as a judge has ordered blood bags linked to Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as part of the ten-year old Operation Puerto turned over to anti-doping authorities.

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Local

Great news, as CiclaValley reports the LA River bike path has finally been reopened through Elysian Valley after being closed most of the winter and spring for flood control efforts that went unneeded when El Niño fizzled.

The LA Weekly visits The Cannibal, the new bike and meat centric restaurant in Culver City, where bicyclists get their second beer free. Am I the only one who never heard of a free second anything referred to as a kit, though? Or did the Weekly confuse it with what riders have to wear to get one?

 

State

A Medicare Advance program allows Seal Beach seniors to borrow a Pedego ebike every Tuesday for a free spin along the beach. Speaking of Pedego, they’re trying to set a world record for the most ebike riders in a parade when they move to a new headquarters in Fountain Valley.

San Diego’s Uptown District once again demonstrates they prefer parking to business from bike riders.

Oxnard police give new bicycles to two elementary school students with perfect attendance.

Merced authorities double down on the violent arrest of a bike rider that was caught on cell phone video, by charging the man with resisting arrest. They may be prosecuting in hopes that a plea deal will derail the inevitable civil suit.

Sad news from Modesto, as a bike rider has died after being hit by a train yesterday.

Specialized partners with Stanford researchers in hopes of demonstrating that bicycling provides a natural remedy for ADHD.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of us, as the Facebook CEO breaks his arm training for a triathlon in Menlo Park.

 

National

A 13-year old Utah girl rides a bike for the first time after being blinded in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.

A Wisconsin professor studies bike and pedestrian crashes in hopes of creating safer streets and reducing traffic fatalities to zero.

An Indiana city proposes requiring new buildings to have at least two covered bike parking spaces, and showers for the people who use them.

The NYPD cop who pulled a gun on a bike messenger and taunted him after cutting a group of cyclists off in a bike lane is a decorated 23-year veteran of the department; the rider, who was arrested on criminal mischief, weapons and menacing charges — despite being the apparent victim — considers it a case of Biking While Black and plans to file a civil suit.

Philadelphia cyclists call on the city to finally get started on a network of fully funded protected bike lanes.

Contrary to the bizarre claims of a pro-car Pennsylvania writer, speed cameras — which are not currently legal in California — reduce injury crashes up to 25 percent, while red light cameras cut injury crashes anywhere from 21 to 51 percent, according to stats from the NHTSA.

An Atlanta paper gives advice on how to ride safely with your dog in tow. Or better yet, just take it out for a hike after you get back.

 

International

CNN talks with Tim Bridgeman, the British cyclist who is continuing the round-the-world bike tour he started with his wife before she was killed in a collision while riding through Bolivia.

London’s new bicycle superhighways have brought a surge in ridership, boosting rates an average of 60%. Meanwhile, the city opened the first of seven planned Quietways running on pathways and quieter backstreets.

A British fashion site lists seven mistakes you don’t want to make if you’re a total newbie on a bike. Even though countless people do at least some of them, like riding in heels or using a bike basket, every day.

A Dubai-based travel consultant explains how to bike while fasting for Ramadan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a meth pipe and just broke into an elementary school, maybe you should ride in the bike lane — and on the right side of the street. If you’re going to steal a mountain bike from a local bike shop, take the shop sticker off it, and hide the meth.

And if you’re planning to empty your handgun into a fellow cyclist before riding away, probably best not to do it in broad daylight while wearing hi-viz.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan suffers setback, Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guide, and more Bike Week news

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive is slowly climbing, now up to 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — which means we’ve got just two and a half weeks to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

Few things are more important that adding your voice to Southern California’s leading bike advocacy organization. Because individually, we can’t accomplish much, but together, we can move mountains. And maybe even councilmembers.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now. Consider it a personal favor for me, you, and countless other bike riders in the LA area.

And a special thank you to everyone who has already signed up already!

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Looks like the fix is in.

And Westwood and Central could be out.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to support a pair of anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan.

After the Planning Commission voted to keep the city’s Mobility Plan intact earlier this year, rejecting proposals to remove bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, the plan came back to the Transportation Committee yesterday, where Councilmember Paul Koretz pulled a fast one.

Rather than arguing once again for removal of the streets from the plan, he proposed a quartet of alternate streets: Gayley Avenue and Midvale Avenue in Westwood, and Avalon Boulevard and San Pedro Street in South LA.

None of which provide direct routes, while shunting bike riders off commercial corridors and onto back streets — even though studies have repeatedly shown bike lanes are good for local businesses. And even though many riders, especially women, are less likely to ride routes out of public view after dark.

Not to mention that those streets would require extensive signalization and improved crossings, dramatically increasing costs.

Surprisingly, the usually bike friendly Jose Huizar joined Koretz and David Ryu in supporting the proposal, despite near unanimous calls from speakers to keep the plan intact. As a result, Koretz’ proposal will now go before the full council on Friday; if they vote to support it, it will go back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration.

But regardless of what the commission rules, the full council can, and possibly will, override their recommendations with a three-quarters vote.

Which is more likely than not in a city where councilmembers usually vote in lockstep out of a deathly fear of alienating one another. With the result that they rule as virtual kings in their own districts, with virtually no checks or balances on their decisions.

Not to mention an ostensibly bike-friendly mayor who professes to support safer streets, yet doesn’t seem willing to take on individual councilmembers to make it happen. Thus making LA’s weak mayor system that much weaker.

And demonstrating once again that the seven-year public process that went into developing the Mobility Plan means nothing compared to the whims of a councilman.

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It’s here!

The Militant Angeleno has released his long-awaited, personally researched guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia through the cities of Southeast LA County.

His guides are always fascinating, so don’t ride without giving it a read first.

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Still more news leading up to next week’s Bike Week.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during Bike Week.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Bike Week Camp Coffee Wednesday on the jetty at the end of Ballona Creek.

And Pasadena invites bicyclists to stop by city hall on Bike to Work Day next Thursday.

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More sad news, as Canadian pro downhill champ Stevie Smith was killed in an enduro motorcycle crash on Tuesday.

Women’s pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo is back in her home state of Colorado as she continues to recover from a devastating head injury suffered in the San Dimas Stage Race; her memory is slowly returning after initially being unable to even recognize her own parents or teammates. A gofundme account has raised over $46,000 to help defray her medical expenses.

And seriously, what’s a little tow between friends?

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Local

Just a tad late. The LA Times finally catches up with BMX pro Nigel Sylvester’s high speed, law defying tour of LA, a month after the video was featured here and on other media sites.

The LACBC talks with the bike-riding Gangsta Gardner of South LA.

Bikeshare has officially opened in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. That chill you feel is Hell freezing over.

Walk or ride your bike to the station when Metro opens the Expo line next week; otherwise it will cost you a whole $2 a day to park at the station.

The Canyon News looks forward to Santa Monica’s first open streets event next month.

The Glendale driver caught on video trying to run a cyclist off road, then lying about it to authorities, has pled not guilty to three misdemeanor counts.

A Santa Clarita mountain biker was airlifted to safety after falling and apparently dislocating his shoulder. Rescuers rescued his bike, as well.

A man who may have been riding a bicycle was shot to death in an alley in Bell Tuesday night; two bikes were found in the alley along with the victim after the shooter fled.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider was struck by a big rig truck on an onramp to the 805 Freeway Wednesday morning; the 62-year old victim escaped with a broken leg.

A columnist for the Riverside Press-Enterprise is back to riding after breaking his wrist in a mountain biking race.

A British man has been arrested hiding on bike path on the Central Coast after he allegedly killed his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, then fled on a stolen bicycle.

A San Jose paper looks at the growth in bicycling and efforts to improve safety and infrastructure in the Bay Area. Although the headline could use some improvement. Cyclists don’t “trump” cars; bicycles simply provide an alternative to driving, which benefits everyone.

Sacramento begins construction on bike lanes on a city street, six years after high school students produced a video demonstrating the need for them.

 

National

Some pastors are extending their parishes to bike lanes and the riders who use them, recognizing that cyclists know the risks of the roads and choose to ride anyway. Nothing like making bicycling seem more dangerous than it really is.

Nearly 500 US retailers are participating in the BikeExchange, an online marketplace for bikes and equipment.

Momentum Magazine makes the business case for public bikeshare systems.

A black teenage girl is suing a white police officer for a brutal assault when she tried to ride off after he stopped her and her brother as they biked through a Tacoma WA parking lot; security camera footage shows the cop repeatedly pushing her up against an SUV and throwing her to the ground before using his Taser on her, while later claiming that she had attacked him.

San Antonio residents get out their torches and pitchforks after sharrows unexpectedly appear on their street, successfully demanding their removal. Seriously people, they’re just sharrows; it’s not like they actually mean anything.

Chicago police allege a group of gangbangers in an SUV made a U-turn to deliberately run down a bike rider, dragging him for blocks in an apparent random attack; yet so far the driver only faces misdemeanor charges.

A writer for the New York Times says combining intense intervals with longer rides could offer the greatest health and fitness rewards.

New York’s mayor overrides objections from a local community board to build protected bike lanes on Queens’ Boulevard of Death. Which shows what can happen in a city where leaders have the political will to support bicycling.

A Virginia woman was killed in a hit-and-run after she and her boyfriend met with a young woman, assaulted her and stole her phone before the pair fled by bicycle.

Louisiana moves forward with a vulnerable user law to increase penalties for drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians. How about just keeping them from hitting us in the first place?

 

International

A Canadian writer says he pities long distance hikers and cyclists; but once the pain wears off, the vivid memories remain and he wants to do it all again.

A philosophy professor asks why so few black people ride bikes in Toronto, while the local paper says the city needs the political will to make its bold bike plan happen. Sounds familiar.

A British man ditched his job to ride 35,000 miles through 44 countries, raising $7,700 for charity. Which works out to 22 cents a mile.

The Guardian offers advice on how to ride in a group, while Bike Radar provides good tips on safer city cycling.

Bicycling offers four reasons by Budapest is great for bicycling.

 

Finally…

Now all you thrash rocker fans can own your very own Slayer BMX bike. A British inventor wants to secure your bike with a big bang.

And give your fellow riders a wave. But only if you deem them worthy.

 

Morning Links: Planning Comm preserves Mobility Plan, PV bike lanes threatened, and register for River Ride

It looks like cooler and wiser heads prevailed.

Despite calls from representatives of three city councilmembers — Koretz, Price and Cedillo — for removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, the city Planning Commission voted against removing them Thursday morning.

Or as LAist put it, bike haters failed to stop bike lanes from coming to Westwood and South LA.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they will actually be built.

As the head of the commission explained, the plan is an “aspirational document,” and there will be many public processes that will have to be completed before anything is painted on the streets. Which means those bike haters will have plenty more opportunities to derail them, starting with a hearing before the city council, on a date to be determined, which will consider the same amendments voted down by the commission.

But it’s a big win. And one that could mean safer streets, and a more complete bike network.

Someday.

Meanwhile, a writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin came out strongly in favor of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, saying ignorance is unsafe, irresponsible and completely inappropriate when forming transportation policy in Los Angeles; the paper also asks students whether the street is safe for cyclists.

However, Councilmember Paul Koretz vowed the day before the meeting to keep on fighting against bike lanes on the boulevard, promising to move them to some other, undetermined safer street. Which, like OJ and the hunt for the real killers, he apparently still hasn’t been able to find, despite years of searching.

Councilmember Curren Price explained his opposition to bike lanes on Central Ave, even though people in South LA demanded he change his mind.

And BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a detailed and insightful letter calling on the Planning Commission to keep the Mobility Plan intact; even though the vote is over, it’s worth taking a few moments to read.

………

Next Tuesday, Rancho Palos Verdes will consider a request by the Terranea resort to replace the required bike lanes with sharrows.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Hesse Park Community Building, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, to consider Terranea’s request to amend the Council-adopted Conditions of Approval to:

1) Restripe the entry driveway to create two inbound lanes and one outbound lane by replacing the required bicycle lanes with sharrow lanes (shared vehicle and bicycle lane) with no modification to the required parking spaces along the outbound lane; and,

2) Replace the turf at the Meadow Lawn area (adjacent to the ballroom facilities) with permeable pavers to facilitate the current practice of installing temporary tents in this area in connection with the ballrooms.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

………

Registration is now open for this year’s 16th Annual LA River Ride, which remains one of the most popular rides in the LA area. The ride raises funds to support the LACBC, which in turn, benefits everyone who rides in LA County.

………

When you’re the stoker on a tandem — or maybe the Rear Admiral, of you prefer — you spend the whole ride staring at the butt ahead of you. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Evidently, that hasn’t been a problem for Melba and Aubrey Provost, though, since they’ve been riding together since 1959.

………

Pro riders says more invasive testing is warranted to detect motor-doping.

………

Local

An Eastside community activist says we need to know how the demographics of bike riders who commute on North Figueroa compare with the demographics of the neighborhood before making a decision on whether bike lanes belong on the street. Even though I’ve never heard of that being taken into account before any traffic lane gets built, anywhere.

CiclaValley says the Marathon Crash Ride is back once again this year before Sunday’s LA Marathon; a Facebook page says keep the pace at a slow cruise and watch out for cars, people and equipment on the course.

Hermosa Beach plans to install bollards to keep cars off the bike and pedestrian-only Strand, after discovering Google sometimes directs motorists onto it; however, they note the bollards may not be enough to keep drunk drivers off the walkway.

 

State

A father and son severely beat a Huntington Beach cop who tried to stop the younger man on suspicion of biking under the influence, and was ambushed by the father. Fortunately, the officer is okay; both father and son have had previous run-ins with the police.

San Diego police recover the Vietnamese pedicab that was stolen just before the lunar New Year.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against an accused drunk driver four years after he killed a neurosurgeon who was riding his bike in Indian Wells; prosecutors reportedly plan to refile the charges after they had been unable to amend them.

The recent road rage epidemic moves to the Bay Area, as a hit-and-run driver dragged a screaming cyclist down the street with the bike trapped under the car.

Advice on how to bike in the rain in San Francisco works just as well in LA. El Niño is still lurking out there somewhere, and this pseudo-summer weather won’t last forever.

Berkeley advocates call on the city to extend bike lanes another two blocks after a UC professor riding her bike was nearly killed by an allegedly stoned driver.

 

National

Turns out Millennials aren’t the only ones driving less.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles fare in President Obama’s final proposed budget.

Bicycling says you probably don’t have to worry about the degenerative brain condition CTE, even if you’ve had multiple concussions. Which is good news for my beat-up skull and contents.

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske looks at group ride etiquette, admonishing riders to behave lest they give further fuel to the anti-bike forces out there. South Bay bike lawyer Seth Davidson would seem to disagree, though it’s hard to tell with his understated prose.

The Weekly Standard says Oregon’s “bike obsessed” Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to force local governments to consider the effects their transportation projects would have on greenhouse gas emissions; evidently, they think that’s a bad thing.

Speaking of Oregon, the state legislature considers a bill that would allow drivers to be charged with third degree assault if they injure a vulnerable user while negligently operating a motor vehicle.

A Seattle writer asks if it’s time for the city to ditch its helmet requirement for bike riders. Considering it never should have had one, that would probably be yes; see Canadian study below.

A Colorado mountain biker receives a $1 million settlement after she was attacked by two Great Pyrenees sheep dogs during a race.

Topeka KS one ups LA with a two-day ciclovía beginning with a glow ride, pub crawl and concerts the first night.

A New Hampshire driver complains that bicyclists have a disproportionate influence on city government, even though they appear to be on the losing side in this case. Funny how many drivers seem to think they really do own the streets, and that bike riders should have to pay even more than we already do just for the privilege of using them.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Even if it feels more like summer here in SoCal.

A new Canadian study shows mandatory bike helmet laws have no effect on hospitalization rates; if they worked, you would have lower rates in areas with them than those without, which isn’t the case.

A Vancouver realtor finds it’s easier to get around the city to show homes by bike.

Evidently, aluminum frames are nothing new; the first ones appeared in the 1890s, and a British site called it the frame of the future over 70 years ago.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks why drivers get away with attempted murderWhy, indeed? Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A paper from the UK asks who’s at fault when a van left hooks a bicyclist riding in a marked bike lane— the equivalent of a right hook in this country.

A Brit cyclist offers seven things you learn when you ride around the world.

A Singapore writer compares bike riders to litterers and scofflaw gum chewers in calling for licensing cyclists because one might possibly hurt someone someday.

 

Finally…

Who needs hi-viz when your clothes light up? If your bike has been stolen six times in four months, maybe it’s time to buy an alarm. Or a dog.

And if you’ve ever felt like a crash test dummy while riding the streets, Toyota may have an opening for you.

 

An open letter to the LA Planning Commission about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave

Dear Commissioners,

It was a little over five years ago that this commission rejected the city’s first attempt to update it’s bike plan, demanding a more robust network that would protect the safety of people riding bikes and encourage more people to get on their bicycles instead of driving.

That led to the city council’s unanimous adoption of the 2010 bike plan. A well-designed network that established three levels of bikeways to encourage and protect riders of all types, from families and recreational riders to bike commuters on their way to school or work — many of whom have no other viable means of transportation.

One that was again approved by the Planning Commission, and later the full city council, as part of LA’s Mobility Plan 2035.

Now you are being asked to weaken that plan.

The Mobility Plan that was adopted by the city is the result of at least six years of public process, including dozens of public meetings and countless comments and emails. The streets which were selected for bikeways weren’t chosen on whim, but because the public demanded them and city planners and engineers concluded they were the best routes to enable bike riders to travel to and from key locations in the city.

Yet you are being asked to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave without any public process whatsoever. Somehow, the desires of the relative few opposing bike lanes on these two streets are expected to outweigh the needs of all those who participated in developing these plans.

We’re told that the reason for removing these bike lanes from the plan is that the streets are too dangerous for bicycles. But you can’t improve safety by keeping them dangerous.

Numerous studies have shown that bike lanes both increase ridership, and improve safety for all road users — pedestrians and motorists, as well as people riding bicycles. Yet not one single study has been conducted to determine whether bike lanes on these streets would increase the danger to bicyclists or anyone else, as their opponents claim.

In other words, you’re being asked to remove these streets from the plan based on the suppositions and prejudices of a handful of people, with no factual basis to support them.

Studies also show that bike lanes are good for business, which would benefit the many commercial establishments along these corridors.

Westwood Blvd currently carries an average of 800 bike riders a day, a number that will only increase when the Expo Line extension opens in May, and the boulevard forms the first mile/last mile connection between the Westwood Expo Station, and the UCLA campus, VA and job centers along the Wilshire Corridor.

Meanwhile, Central Ave already carries approximately 60 bike riders per hour at peak times, despite a reputation as one of the city’s most dangerous streets. A bike lane there can only improve safety by giving people on bicycles a safe place to ride, while slowing traffic and reducing risk to pedestrians.

While alternate routes may eventually be identified that would be more enjoyable to recreational riders, they would not meet the demands of those who need to get to work or school.

Removing these streets from the Mobility Plan would continue to expose these people to needless risk, and continue the degradation of what should be two of the city’s finest and most livable streets.

I strongly urge you to support the recommendations of your staff, and the desires of the people of Los Angeles who participated in this process, and keep both Westwood Boulevard and Central Avenue in the Mobility Plan 2035.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan battle isn’t over yet, new ARTCRANK website, and rear-end wrecks are most deadly

We may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the bikelash is spreading to some neighborhood councils, particularly in Silver Lake, which voted to reconsider its support for the new Mobility Plan 2035.

That same bikelash could also be reflected in the Silver Lake NC’s decision to hold a public meeting to discuss the Rowena Avenue road diet on Monday the 12th.

Rowena was the subject of a recent story in the LA Times, which showed it had significantly improved safety by cutting crashes over 50%. However, some people complained about increased congestion on the street and the surrounding neighborhood, even though average speeds were still equal to the posted speed limit or higher, depending on direction of travel.

That’s in addition to defending the Mobility Plan against motions by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Curren Price to remove planned bikeways on Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the plan. Let alone anti-bike Gil Cedillo’s scorched-earth motion to remove his entire council district from it.

Apparently, he never got over not getting that shiny red Schwinn he wanted from Santa.

Newton says those motions will most likely rear their ugly heads in committee sometime next month. When they do, we’ll have to be prepared for all out war to save the Mobility Plan from piecemeal destruction.

Because if opponents see it’s possible to remove one street from the plan, we’ll end up having to defend nearly every street in it. And it will go from a unified, well-thought out network designed to improve safety and mobility for everyone, to the same fractured system of unconnected bike lanes and virtually unrideable routes we have now.

Clearly, the recent passage of the plan doesn’t mean the fight is over. We still face a lot of battles to defend it before any paint hits the street.

………

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

I’ve long been a fan of the annual ARTCRANK poster exhibitions, offering local artists a chance to sell their limited edition bike-related designs to fellow fans of two-wheeled travel.

But if you missed the show, as I did the last few times it came around, you were out of luck.

But now they’ve — finally — developed a website, allowing you to order original bike art from the comfort of your own home or office, whenever the mood strikes.

As the press release says,

The new online store will be structured similar to ARTCRANK’s live shows, offering 30 different poster designs by 30 different artists in limited edition runs of — you guessed it — 30 prints, all priced at $45. Posters will be sold on the site for 30 days or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

The biggest difference is that, where ARTCRANK’s events feature local artists exclusively, the new online poster shop will feature artists from all over the U.S. and beyond. And of course, buying posters won’t require being physically present at one-night pop-up show.

……..

Evidently, rear-end collisions are more dangerous than we’ve been lead to believe.

Research from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety shows 45% of bicycling fatalities were hit from behind, while 22% were the result of side impacts at intersections.

The report adds that currently existing technology could be modified to enable car anti-collision systems to identify cyclists and help prevent wrecks with bike riders.

……..

Dutch rider Danny van Poppel took stage 12 of the Vuelta in a sprint finish.

Turns out Tour de France champ Chris Froome had a good reason for cracking in Wednesday’s stage, as he withdrew Thursday with a broken foot. And American Larry Warbasse isn’t just looking for a stage victory in the Vuelta, he’s looking for a riding contract for next year.

……..

Local

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear says LA’s coming bikeshare program could end up being a leader by incorporating it into Metro’s transit system, as well as LA’s city bureaucracy.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the documentary Bikes Vs Cars, which focuses in part on riding in LA.

The Spoke Bicycle Café located along the LA River bike path in Frogtown plans to add a full service restaurant, complete with coffee roaster and microbrewery. Go ahead and load up on coffee before you ride, but save the beer for the end.

Cynergy Cycles shares a favorite ride from Santa Monica to the Palos Verdes switchbacks.

A $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor has helped supply Glendale bike cops with twelve new police bikes.

 

State

Evidently, Santa Ana has never heard of a road diet, as the city approves an environmental impact statement for a roadway widening that will require the demolition of 37 residential and 15 commercial properties in order to install bike lanes and a third traffic lane in each direction.

An Encinitas man plans to walk a 10k this weekend, just nine months after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision.

A Fresno boy somehow jumped off his bike moments before it was crushed under a packed school bus.

Bicyclists offer their recommendations for the best bike rides in San Joaquin County.

A candidate for San Francisco supervisor says he supports bike lanes on Polk Street, despite consulting with the group suing to prevent them.

A San Francisco writer offers what he calls an honest guide to startup life in the city, which includes this misguided paragraph:

Those with a death wish cycle to work. It is easy to spot a cyclist. If you see a guy with one side of his jeans rolled up to the shin, he is a moron; if you see a guy on a bicycle, he is a cyclist.

 

National

The editorial editor of a Milwaukee paper says bike safety is a shared responsibility.

This could be a glimpse into LA’s future, as Minneapolis invests heavily in protected bikeways.

Bono says his chances of playing guitar again aren’t looking good following last year’s solo bike wreck in New York’s Central Park.

A Virginia bike rider receives a $300,000 jury award after colliding with a runner who turned around without warning on a shared path. I try to avoid similar situations by passing others with as much space as possible on shared paths, and always calling it out before I pass. Although if they’re wearing ear buds, chances are they won’t hear you anyway.

 

International

A British Columbia bike rider somehow survives a collision with a semi-truck when he grabs the truck’s brake line and holds on for dear life — literally.

The widow of a fallen cyclist calls for more dedicated bike lanes in London.

A writer gives a different perspective on what it’s like to be a female cyclist in London, saying the city is your oyster. Unless you’re allergic to shellfish, of course, or Vegan, in which case it’s your semi-firm tofu.

A British man thanks a recent fall from his bike for uncovering an aggressive malignant tumor that could have killed him.

A woman plans to ride solo across India to raise awareness for women’s safety; she’s raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for the trip.

 

Finally…

A news smartphone app not only reports any potholes you hit, it marks the offending pavement with paint to alert other riders. That new derailleur you’re lusting after is electric, so why not your sunglasses?

And there’s still a place for bike messengers in today’s e-world. As long as you’re willing to move to Jakarta.

 

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