Tag Archive for David Ryu

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

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Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

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Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

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Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

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A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

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Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

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This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

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If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

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The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

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Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Daily News spins bike news badly, not getting it San Pedro, and a local bike rider needs your help

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Sometimes, good news is bad news, depending on how you spin it.

The LA Daily News looks at the LA city council’s re-adoption of the new Mobility Plan last week, and the promise to consider proposed amendments after the first of the year.

Except they give it a very negative spin.

The story focuses on the possibility that bike lanes could be removed from the plan, likely or not. Along opposition to the plan from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and, disappointingly, David Ryu.

Koretz focuses his opposition to removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd in and near Westwood Village, just outside the UCLA campus, claiming it’s too dangerous for bike riders. Yet somehow, refuses to consider any plans to make it safer or propose any viable alternative.

His only solution is to keep it dangerous, while his search for a long-promised alternative route is seeming more and more like OJ’s search for the real killer.

Meanwhile Ryu, who promised to reconsider the decisions made by his predecessor Tom LaBonge, instead appears to be following in his anti-bike footsteps.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says at least the city isn’t stabbing us in the back anymore.

They’re aiming their knives directly at us.

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Apparently, parking causes less congestion than bike lanes.

A San Pedro letter writer complains that replacing parking spaces with bike lanes on Western Avenue would increase congestion and make it harder for emergency vehicles to get through.

Which seems highly unlikely, unless cars are currently able to pass through parked vehicles, which would appear to violate the laws of physics. And emergency vehicles usually find it easier to drive through bike lanes than parked cars.

He also complains that the Measure R funds that would be used to pay for the lanes weren’t supposed to be used for bike lanes, suggesting they should instead be funded by supporters of Calbike and CABO, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with them. And that funds should be raised by registering and taxing bicyclists, and imposing fines on law-breaking cyclists.

The first of which is impractical for many reasons, and the latter already happens, despite his protestations. And those fines go to the state, just like the fines paid by scofflaw drivers.

Never mind that bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads we ride.

Then again, that letter has nothing on this absurdly auto-centric writer from Santa Barbara.

Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a good cause this holiday season, you can’t do much better than World Bicycle Relief, which is using donated bicycles to change lives in less developed countries.

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Another good cause a lot closer to home.

Popular cyclist Egee Mabolis was badly injured during the monthly Ride With No Name, leaving him with no feeling in his arms and legs. A gofundme account established to help cover his medical costs has raised nearly $11,000 of the $25,000 goal — even though that won’t begin to cover the cost of his hospital care and rehabilitation, since he doesn’t have insurance.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Mabolis was profiled by the LA Weekly last year for his work taming the notorious Trader Joe’s parking lot in Silver Lake.

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Film fans take note.

The first film from famed British director Ridley Scott, the auteur responsible for Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was about a boy and bicycle, starring his late brother and future Top Gun director Tony.

The 27-minute student film is now available online.

While we’re on the subject of films, a writer for the Daily Beast kind of misses the point of the new documentary Bikes vs. Cars, which doesn’t really call for replacing all cars with bicycles, as tempting as that may seem at times.

If you want to see for yourself, Bikes vs. Cars opens this Friday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

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Local

CicLAvia staffer and LADOT commissioner Tafarai Bayne discusses what it’s like to grow up carless in LA and the perils of biking while black.

A cyclist in his 40s suffered moderate injuries when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy in Carson Thursday night.

Just one problem with LA’s 2024 Olympic bid: The BMX and mountain biking events projected for Griffith Park could be illegal.

Evidently, people really do walk in LA and Pasadena. And ride bikes, too.

 

State

An Escondido cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when she was the victim of a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Toyota Corolla.

A local hiking group voices their support for the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway around the Coachella Valley.

San Francisco follows an all-too-familiar pattern of fixing dangerous streets only after it’s too late. But at least they fix them, unlike some LA council districts we could name.

A transportation expert from UC Davis will make a presentation at this week’s Paris climate change conference touting the benefits of bicycling as a climate-friendly measure.

Family members and witnesses question the CHP’s investigation of a cyclist killed by a Sacramento judge, leading them to wonder if it’s just sloppy work or a cover-up.

 

National

America may not have hit peak car after all. Or maybe it did.

HuffPo says bikeshare is having a positive impact on city life throughout the US.

Life is cheap in Portland, where a truck driver faces a maximum $260 fine for dangerous left turn that took the life of a bike rider.

A Detroit man raised $15,000 to buy a new car for a man who rode a bike to work every day to save money to care for his sick wife.

The bike-hating New York Post blames scofflaw cyclists for the 4,463 bicyclists injured in the city last year, not the people in the big dangerous machines. And insists an Idaho stop law will only make things worse.

 

International

England’s last Plantagenet king is helping to lead the reclamation of Leicester from automobiles, over 500 years after Richard III famously failed to trade his kingdom for a horse.

British bike thieves get 12 years apiece for stabbing a man who was trying to reclaim his stolen bike.

Police in an English town are on the lookout for a cyclist — to thank her for lending them her hi-viz jacket so they could direct traffic.

A British man rides 400 miles to honor his late bike-riding mother.

Brit riders hold their third annual die-in to call for a stop to killing cyclists.

Caught on video: Apparently, being pregnant and wearing glasses is the latest excuse for left-hooking a British cyclist.

An injured cyclist says Maltese authorities are always on the driver’s side, concluding that his recent collision somehow broke the laws of physics.

Vogue says stylish cyclists are taking over Moscow.

Selling bikes by Bollywood.

A gold medal-winning Thai-American BMX rider is just as happy working in the rice paddy as competing against Asia’s best. No, really, that’s what it says.

 

Finally…

The beauty of a bicycle is its simplicity, until designers get their hands on it. Why clutter your home with bikes when you can park them on the ceiling? Evidently, the color of his bike is enough to make a man a suspect in the UK — accurately, as it turned out.

And shirtless cyclist and actor Russell Crowe goes riding with his mates in the “middle of f**king nowhere.”

 

Morning Links: New El Monte Bike Hub opens, let CD4’s David Ryu know what you think, and sexist socks at Interbike

Today’s big news is the opening of Metro’s first Bike Hub in El Monte.

Similar to the Santa Monica Bike Center, it provides secure bike parking, along with basic parts, accessories and service to encourage riding the first and last mile, or more, when taking transit.

Plans are also in the works for additional Bike Hubs at Union Station, the Red Line Hollywood and Vine station, the Culver City Expo Line Station at Venice and Robertson, and the Lankershim Depot in North Hollywood.

The Hollywood Bike Hub has been promised for a long time, with an empty storefront marking the location in the W Hotel on Vine Street. Nice to see it’s finally happening.

And this is what Metro’s new bikeshare bikes will look like when they hit the street next year. Although I was kind of hoping they’d be in color.

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New LA CD4 Councilmember David Ryu wants to hear from people in the district. So if you live or work in CD4, take a minute to complete the survey and let him know we need safe spaces to ride and walk.

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Surly’s Marketing Manager address sexism in the bicycling industry — including within her own company — in the wake of the Sockgate blunder at Interbike.

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First Chris Froome, now Geraint Thomas pulls out of the world championships; last year’s champ is out, as well.

In the wake of Tom Dumoulin’s epic fold in the penultimate stage of the Vuelta, VeloNews lists the top five cycling implosions. And yet, they also list him as one of five riders to watch.

Today’s CrossVegas will be the first ever US stop on the cyclocross World Cup.

And the Hollywood Reporter reviews the new Lance biopic, and finds it could have used a little something itself. Maybe a short film about two homeless LA BMXers will hit the spot, instead.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman strongly argues with Fix the City’s assertion that the bike and bus lanes contained in the new Mobility Plan are an attempt to steal their precious traffic lanes by people who have the luxury of riding a bike or taking the bus; she suggests that bikes and buses aren’t a luxury for underprivileged people in South LA. The problem with Fix the City and other similar groups is that they seem unable to look past their own convenience to consider the needs of others.

KPCC looks at the LA bike and pedestrian count conducted by the LACBC and Los Angeles Walks, which starts today, although the rain could adversely affect the results. It shouldn’t be up to volunteer organizations to keep stats the city and county should be collecting; hopefully the city is serious about keeping their own stats moving forward.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses fighting the bikelash with Modalcity’s Chris and Melissa Bruntlett.

CiclaValley rides far from home in the Coachella Valley. But it’s still a valley, right?

 

State

A section of the 405 Freeway will be named in honor of former Westminster police chief and city manager Mitch Waller, who was killed riding his bike somewhere else.

An OpEd in the Desert Sun says plans for a 50+ mile bikeway looping around the Coachella Valley are silly, and instead of reducing pollution, it will increase it during construction.

A Palm Springs police officer is honored for attempting to save the life of a 60-year cyclist who had collapsed from a heart attack. Sadly, while the officer may have saved the victim’s life that day, he died six days later in the hospital.

An informal survey from the local paper suggests most people in Tehachapi support bicycling; however, the CHP once again gets it wrong, saying it’s illegal to ride two or more abreast because bikes are required to ride far to the right. Actually, state law doesn’t even address the question of riding abreast, and the requirement to ride as far as practicable to the right doesn’t apply if the lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. And once that standard is met, it doesn’t matter if you ride four abreast, as long as you all stay in the same lane.

Cupertino makes changes to improve safety after a 15-year old student was fatally right hooked by a semi last year.

That mustachioed San Fran Critical Mass cyclist who — allegedly — bashed a car with his U-lock has pleaded not guilty to a plethora of charges. The car was undoubtedly bashed; what’s alleged is that he’s the one who did it.

San Francisco gets its first parking-protected bike lane.

A suspicious looking man with muttonchops was busted with a pair of bolt cutters near a CSU Sacramento bike rack. Although if the police had just waited until he actually used them, they might have had a stronger case.

 

National

Evidently, you have a biological need to ride your bike. And it can heal a broken heart, too.

Even in bike friendly Portland, not everyone gets it. The Portland paper questions whether the city really needs bikeshare in advance of the system planned for next year, despite the success of similar systems elsewhere. Meanwhile, New York business owners say a three-week old bikeshare station is causing traffic jams and driving away business. No point in giving people time to get used to it or anything.

Two Milwaukee men rode 1,400 miles from New Orleans to Minneapolis to have a beer with a friend suffering from ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, and meet with other sufferers along the way. The same incurable disease recently took the life of LA bike attorney Howard Krepack.

How can we expect most drivers to pass bikes safely when the police can’t even seem to manage it? A St. Louis cop plowed into a cyclist from behind, despite flashers on the rider’s bike and backpack.

Illinois cyclists object to plans for an unprotected bike lane.

Elkhart IN considers a road diet to improve their downtown shopping district. Naturally, an auto repair shop, which apparently doesn’t have a parking lot, objects.

There are many good ways to use a bike. Throwing one onto a New York train track isn’t one of them.

New York’s boulevard of death gets a new protected bike lane, and hopefully, a new name soon.

No need to be on your best behavior once you leave elected office. A former North Carolina city councilman was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run after crashing into a bike rider.

 

International

A new Canadian Ti foldie has become the most successful bike-related Kickstarter ever, raising nearly $1 million US with 16 days to go; they only asked for $90,000. Or you could just get a folding cargo bike.

Evidently, Simon and Garfunkel were ahead of their time. A new British study of bicycling efficiency says slow down, you move too fast.

Looks like they don’t take vehicular assault much more seriously in the UK than in the US, as a road raging driver who attempted to back into a bike rider loses his license for a whole year. At least he lost his license; even that seldom happens here.

Brit motorcyclists are up in arms over raised armadillos installed to protect bicyclists, suggesting they pose a risk to that other kind of cyclists.

Try on Levi’s Commuter series of bike clothes in Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, and send a selfie of yourself riding in San Francisco.

A Canadian couple bring coffee culture to bike-mad Catalonia.

A new study from Spain says male cyclists between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to be killed in collisions than adults, possibly because there are more of them on bikes and younger riders are more likely to take chances. And in other news, sangria is wet.

Thailand is starting to take bikes seriously, with an additional 42 bike lanes planned for rural areas of the country, including a 115 mile bikeway.

 

Finally…

A tree falls on a car in Brooklyn because a sanitation truck ran into it, and they still manage to blame bike lanes. Bad enough we have to watch out for cars, now we have to lookout for boats, too; thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

And a Buenos Aires bikeshare ad campaign wins advertising’s top award.

buenos-aires-bikeshare ad

Morning Links: LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 passes the council, but the fight isn’t over yet; cyclist critically injured in OC

Fours years after the 2010 bike plan passed, the media seems to have finally discovered it when the Mobility Plan wins approval from the city council.

And does their best to panic easily frightened autocentric Angelenos into thinking we’re coming for their precious traffic lanes.

As predicted, the LA City Council passed the Mobility Plan, but not by the usual unanimous vote; in an unexpected move, Council President Herb Wesson allowed both debate and public comment before calling a vote.

That turned out to be 12 in favor and two against. Just enough to secure passage on the first reading, though several contentious amendments were deferred for later consideration.

Which means we may have won the day, but the key battles remain to be fought.

According to Streetsblog, still to be considered are motions to remove various bikeways, including:

  • Notoriously anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s motion to remove virtually every bike lane in his district from the plan;
  • Councilmember Curren Price’s request to remove a protected bike lane planned for Central Avenue, apparently because he thinks it doesn’t solve the 8 to 80 problem, even though it does;
  • And newly elected Councilmember David Ryu’s call for removal of the long-promised 4th Street bike friendly street — even though such bikeways have been shown to increase property values, reduce speeding and cut-through traffic, cut crime and improve safety and livability.

Yeah, who would want that?

Meanwhile, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz may have shot himself in the foot by pressing for a vote on his motion to remove Westwood Blvd from the plan, which promptly lost with just three votes in favor.

And you can probably guess which three votes those were.

In an interview with KABC-7 — which includes a highly truncated interview with yours truly — Koretz explains his opposition by saying there’s too much traffic, bus and otherwise, on Westwood for bicyclists to ride safely.

So instead of doing something to improve it, he opts to keep the street dangerous for everyone. Smart.

Most disappointing was Ryu’s support for removing Westwood and 4th Street from the plan.

While most bicyclists supported his opponent in the recent election, many had high hopes that he would turn out to be good second choice, and earn the support of the bicycling community. But if his actions Tuesday are any indication, it could be a very long four years for bike riders in his district.

And needless to say in overly litigious LA, opponents to the plan are already planning a legal challenge based on the worst-case projections that it might lead to increased congestion.

Never mind that it could actually relieve congestion by giving people an alternative to driving. Or that a key component of the plan is a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2035, in part by slowing traffic.

Evidently, those opponents are willing to accept a little collateral damage if they can get to their jobs just a few seconds sooner.

And let’s not forget that even LADOT describes the plan as “aspirational,” meaning there’s no actual commitment to build any of it.

Meanwhile, Cedillo once again trotted out his argument that he has to represent his entire district, not just the 1% that ride bikes.

Even though that 1% figure only counts those who commute to work, and fails to consider anyone who rides to school, for errands or any other reason. As well as a number of immigrants for whom a bike is their only form of transportation — many of whom live in Cedillo’s district.

And it fails to consider the overwhelming proportion of people who say they would like to ride a bike if they had a safe place to do it.

BAC President Jeff Jacoberger put that 1% figure in perspective — and I’m told, brought tears to some who heard his comments — when he said that as a gay man, he used to be considered one of the 2%, but see how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Hopefully, this plan will overcome the challenges that still lie ahead, and in 20 years, we’ll all be able to look back and say the same thing.

See how far we’ve come.

………

The Times gets it, saying “the old vision of widening streets and accelerating car traffic isn’t possible or practical anymore.”

LA Curbed gets it, too, calling it a “big-time plan to make it easier for everyone to get around the city.”

Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein says it’s the opponents, not supporters of the plan, “who are putting up roadblocks to a Los Angeles that recognizes that every bike rider, pedestrian and transit rider is one less car on the road.”

And the LABC thanks everyone who wrote, called and attended council sessions in support of the Mobility Plan.

………

Sad news from Orange County, as a man from Bell isn’t expected to survive after he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike in Anaheim.

And a 14-year old girl was hit by a Mercedes while riding her bike in Newport Beach Tuesday night. The car may have been accompanied by two motorcycles, suggesting it might have been part of a motorcade, or the bikes could have been chasing the driver as he fled the scene.

Update: The girl, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of friends, was apparently hit head-on by the driver of a silver or white Mercedes. The victim is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries; she was not wearing a helmet, though it’s unclear from the description whether that could have made a difference.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

………

Disc brakes are coming to the peloton for a two-month trial.

With the Vuelta and the USA Pro Challenge just days away, does anyone really care about the Eneco Tour? TdF winner Chris Froome apparently doesn’t, setting his sights on the Spanish tour.

Anyone can win the Tour de France; a new book looks at the riders who finished dead last.

………

Local

SaMo police bust a homeless man for bike theft after tracking a bait bike by GPS.

 

State

Pacific Beach planners are plenty peeved to find San Diego’s bikeshare on the boardwalk. Might as well leave it there; they’ll need something to do on Sundays after their football team moves to LA.

Still more San Diego bike lanes are under attack by misguided business owners who seem to think all customers arrive by car, even though studies repeatedly show bikes boost business.

Cars are now prevented from turning onto San Francisco’s Market Street, though police fear drivers will anyway because their GPS units tell them to.

Caught on video: A Bay Area B-baller makes a half-court shot while riding a bike. Allowing bikes on the court could make the NBA a lot more interesting.

Mountain View bicyclists get their first protected bike lane.

 

National

A new peer-reviewed study looks at how drag affects time trial performance. Though why anyone would dress in drag for a speed competition is beyond me. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Eating your probiotics will lead to better gut bacteria diversity and make you a better bike rider.

Fodor’s ranks the nation’s top 10 urban bike paths. None of which are within 300 miles of Los Angeles.

Fortune says bikeshare is reshaping American cities, even if it’s not making any money.

Honolulu cyclists won’t have to hold their noses anymore as they ride past an illegal dump site.

A New York cyclist has a magical two-hour ride around the city after just setting out to get air in his tires. Things like that simply don’t happen when you drive.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists take to Facebook to fight bike theft.

Once again, a wire has been strung across Brit bike trail. And once again, a deliberate attempt to maim bike riders is inexplicably written off as a prank.

The BBC looks at how Paris allows cyclists to ride through red lights, but only where there is no crossroad.

Good news from the UK, as a 16-year old bike rider is miraculously brought back to life 30 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest during a cycling competition.

Bicycling asks if anyone really needs that Japanese Breathalyzer bike lock. That would be, no.

 

Finally…

No matter who you think had the right-of-way, don’t push another bike rider into an aqueduct. British police haven’t banned bike racing, just cancelled all the upcoming races.

And the Chicago Tribune is frightened by bicycles, and worried sick about where everyone will park.

 

Weekend Links: Koretz keeps fighting Westwood bike lanes, while Ryu fights for Glendale-Hyperion sidewalks

At least Daily Bruin is on the story.

While the rest of the media ignores the city’s Mobility Plan — let alone Councilmember Paul Koretz’ attempt to wrest Westwood Blvd from it — UCLA’s student newspaper reports on Koretz’ unceasing efforts to remove bike lanes, if not bikes, from the boulevard.

After singlehandedly killing planned bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — along with the study that insiders say would have shown no additional risk or traffic delays — Koretz has now confirmed to the Daily Bruin that he wants to remove plans for a protected bike lane between the UCLA campus and Wellworth Ave, one block below Wilshire.

To justify his efforts, he sites fears that bike lanes in this area would remove parking spaces and turn lanes. Even though current plans don’t call for removing a single lane or traffic spot.

Is that smoke rising from his Dockers?

He also expresses fear that emergency response times could be delayed by the imaginary removal of those parking spots and turn lanes. But without a single traffic study or input from the fire or police departments to support it.

Or anyone else other than the wealthy Westwood homeowners and struggling business owners who seem determined to keep bikes from besmirching the city-owned street they seem to claim ownership to.

Never mind that people on bikes will continue to ride the boulevard in ever increasing numbers as long as it remains the only direct route between the Westwood offices, the UCLA campus and the coming Westwood Expo Line State.

“For the sake of the quality of life of that part of Westwood Village, and the safety of those who travel to and through it, that section should be removed from the plan,” Koretz said in the statement.

This despite numerous studies showing that protected bike lanes improve the quality of life, are good for business, result in higher property values and increase safety for everyone on the roadway as much as 58% — or up to 90% for riders on the type of lanes he’s trying to squash.

Koretz concludes that he continues to work for “safer and less disruptive” routes for the over 3,000 people who bike to campus everyday.

Just like OJ continues to search for the real killer.

And with the same results.

……..

Newly elected City Councilmember David Ryu comes out strongly in favor of a walkable and bikeable Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in a letter to the Public Works Committee.

Of course, the question is whether his opinion will matter in the apparent effort to rush a flawed designed through the council before he can take office.

The matter is scheduled to go before the full council at 10 am Tuesday, before Ryu takes office at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, KPCC picks up the story.

They caused a brief Twitter flap by reporting LADOT Executive Officer Bruce Gillman’s comment that Vision Zero is “not a citywide initiative.” Which left many to wonder, myself included, just what level of death was acceptable in which neighborhoods.

The @LADOTofficial Twitter account later explained that what Gilman meant was that the Strategic Plan’s Vision Zero policy did in fact cover all of Los Angeles, but has not been formally adopted yet.

Well okay, then.

……..

At least one LA visionary isn’t very visionary when it comes to bike lanes.

The founder of Zócalo Public Square says building a bike lane to the farmers’ market won’t build a great city, preferring a focus on ports and jobs. Never mind that many low-income workers rely on bikes to get to those jobs.

And evidently, the mayor’s Great Streets program is a secret plot to forever ruin the City of Angels by installing bike lanes.

……..

Maybe John Kerry’s bike riding skills have been unfairly maligned. Iranian news outlets claim that instead of clipping a curb while riding his bike, Kerry was actually injured in an assassination attempt during a secret meeting with ISIS.

……..

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins takes on the hour record on Sunday.

Business Insider takes a look at the bike he’ll use, while a brief video from the Guardian looks back at the history of the hour record.

Wiggo’s effort is scheduled to be carried live on YouTube — though perhaps available in the UK only — while the Cycling Fan website promises to stream it online.

……..

2015-COLT-Flyer-smallThere’s a lot going on this weekend in our local bike world.

Long Beach host’s it’s first ciclovía on Saturday, including free shuttle buses; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers advice for first timers, while the Militant Angeleno reprises his guide to the city.

Glendale’s Jewel City Ride rolls this Sunday.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride visits Carson on the 7th.

And Sunday marks the return of Ride the Colt, the Chatsworth Orange Line Tour offering family friendly walks and rides up to 19 miles.

……..

Local

LA Street Services tests out a mini-street sweeper to clean the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

Joel Epstein looks at how and why CicLAvia works.

Amazing how the neighborhoods north and west of traditionally bike-unfriendly USC have a 20% bike mode share. Imagine how high that could go around bike-friendly UCLA if a certain councilmember who claims to support bicycling actually did.

Concerns are rising that the bike share program in Santa Monica — and Long Beach — will be incompatible with Metro’s planned program projected to eventually spread countywide. That can has been kicked down the road since discussion of the SaMo and Long Beach plans first began.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is hosting a series of bike skills workshops every Thursday and Saturday through August 1st. And they want your feedback on how they can be more involved in the cycling community. Be sure to tell ‘em you found the survey on BikinginLA.

 

State

More on the Ventura County Grand Jury saying more needs to be done to improve bike safety, while pointing the finger at drivers who don’t understand bike laws.

Santa Barbara’s Sonos pays its employees to bike to work; 60 – 80 rides earns a new $600 bike, with $5 a day after that.

A San Francisco cop fights bike theft via Twitter.

Google now has their own bike plan.

 

National

Now you can get a heads-up display on your sunglasses telling you when and how much to eat. Because apparently, we’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 100 or so years.

A writer for Vice offers advice on how to be a cyclist without being a dick. Although it usually seems to take one to write about how to not be one.

The shooting of a popular cyclist near my hometown could be the work of a serial sniper.

A conservative Canadian cyclist says Wisconsin’s governor isn’t waging war on bicyclists, and we should all just ride on the damn sidewalk like he does.

Clean Technica says bike commuting makes you healthy and happy. I’m still waiting on the wealthy and wise part, though.

Life is cheap in Texas, as a teenage driver gets deferred adjudication for killing a cyclist after allegedly blowing through a stop light at twice the speed limit; if he completes probation, he won’t even have a conviction on his record. His victim, on the other hand, will still be dead.

Nice story from Illinois, as a cop raises $1,700 through a crowdfunding site to buy a cyclist a new bike after his was destroyed in the collision that nearly took the rider’s life. Meanwhile, a New York rider gets a used bike from a Daily News reader after hers was stolen.

A Michigan judge makes the punishment fit the crime, banning a woman from owning or using a cell phone for two years for killing a bike-riding mother of two while driving distracted; however, she only gets 90 days in jail. Something tells me the cell phone ban will be the tougher punishment.

New protected bike lanes in Pittsburgh recorded over 24,000 trips in May. Just imagine how many trips a safe route through Westwood could record.

A suspected Philadelphia-area robber was killed when he fell off his getaway bicycle and was hit by a pursuing police car.

A bike-riding Miami boy was collateral damage when three gunmen fired on a crowded basket ball court. The 10-year old victim was shot in the leg; fortunately, no one else was hurt.

 

International

Before you dress for your next spandex-clad ride, considers these eight bike kit fashion faux pas.

In a story that is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, an 80-year old Montreal man will ride the same route he walked as a child looking for his parents after surviving Auschwitz.

The safety in numbers effect seems to be working in London as injuries fall while ridership climbs; the city tests smart bike lanes to help protect riders from dumb drivers.

The founder of a London start-up explains why she made a laserlight projection to make bikes more visible, while a candidate for London mayor says he doesn’t feel safe riding through the city at rush hour.

This is why more women don’t ride. When a Brit TV host promotes women’s bicycling, a London paper focuses on her ass. Literally.

A new UK study from the University of Duh shows skipping breakfast can affect your athletic performance later in the day.

A cyclist rides a 1910 Tour de France route through five Pyrenees passes, fixed and brakeless.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Bay are teaming up to make a movie about the Rwandan national bike team founded by Jock Boyer, the first American to ride in the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Wait, you mean bike riders aren’t the only ones who blow through red lights? Now cars aren’t the only ones with air bags. It can only be a matter of time before newspapers report on bike riders who failed to don an inflatable vest.

And an Olympic track cyclist manages to make toast with just the power of his legs. If he can make bacon and coffee to go with it, we’ll be on to something.

 

 

Morning Links: Public Works says don’t ask us on Glendale-Hyperion; Ventura Grand Jury says cars are dangerous

Chances are, the fix is in.

The city council Public Work’s committee votes to send the one-sided sidewalk plan for the Glendale-Hyperion bridge to the full city council without a recommendation, as committee members complain about the rush to approve the plan before outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge leaves office at the end of the month.

As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton notes in the article above, the council’s history of deferring to councilmembers’ whims preferences for items in their district means we’ll probably see yet another unanimous vote of the council in favor of the auto-centric design, while members pay lip service to the need to protect and serve the non-driving public.

If the council leadership has any real integrity, it will move to delay a vote until David Ryu, the new 4th District representative, takes office.

Ryu is on record as preferring a road diet on the bridge, with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides, rather then the unsafe design currently being rushed through.

………

The Ventura County Grand Jury looked into bike safety, and concluded what we already know — most bike fatalities are the result of driver errors, and that the public needs to be educated on bike law.

Oh, and helmets.

Speaking of which, Bell has introduced the first sub-$100 helmet designed to protect against rotational injuries.

………

Contador says accusations that he used a hidden motor in his wheel to win the Giro are ridiculous. ‘Cause he’d never cheat or anything, right?

Pro cyclist Roman Kreuziger denies the doping charges that could lead to a four year ban if he loses his appeal. And Brit cycling champ Nicole Cooke says there’s a moral vacuum in sports administration, as Lance and the current FIFA scandal shows, but women’s bike racing doesn’t have to follow suit.

On the other hand, Eater says coffee is cycling’s new performance-enhancing drug.

Wait, new? Seriously?

………

Local

The LA Mobility Plan moves on to city council committee hearings this month, after surviving attempts to have the Westwood bike lanes removed at the Planning Commission.

The LA River bike path continues to grow in the San Fernando Valley, piece by short piece.

The new semi-green bike lanes on Westwood Blvd on the UCLA campus have plenty of markings, but don’t go very far. Councilmember Paul Koretz is bravely leading the fight to keep those bike lanes from besmirching any pavement off campus.

The 57-year old grandfather riding cross-country to honor his wife, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, and raise funds for cancer research rolls into Santa Monica.

A letter to the SGV Tribune shows there’s always some indignorant grouch who just doesn’t get CicLAvia, no matter how popular it is with the people who actually get off their ass and go.

Rick Risemberg says taking the train from CicLAvia on Sunday shows how easily bikes can solve the first mile/last mile problem.

Long Beach approves $2 million to buy bikes for the city’s upcoming bike share program.

The Daily News reviews the bicycle-themed Pedalers Fork in Calabasas.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Tamika Butler writes about the 545-mile journey that lead her to become the Executive Director of SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group. Meanwhile, the LACBC offers more information on those free bike safety classes being offered around the county this summer. Did I mention the classes are free?

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update on the state of bike advocacy in California.

Just Another Cyclist reviews Neil Hanson’s Pilgrim Wheels, subject of our recent Bike Week giveaway.

A Santa Ana city councilperson helps lead the push for active transportation improvements in Orange County; she says she won’t ride on the streets after being hit by cars twice.

San Diego cyclists are urged to speak up on Friday to preserve plans for protected bike lanes on the city’s most dangerous corridor.

Ralph Durham forwards word that Sunnyvale has released a draft feasibility study for the proposed Four City Steven’s Creek Trail; comments are due by the 10th. And let’s all wish Ralph auf wiedersehen for his move to Munich next month.

A Bay Area lawyer says bike riders who hit pedestrians could be covered for liability by their homeowners (or renters) insurance.

A Truckee driver was cited for injuring a bike rider in a left cross. As he should be, for a change.

 

National

A website lists seven high-tech inventions for modern cyclists. Including the Camelback Podium Ice water bottle, which I can personally vouch for; just add a little ice and it keeps water cold for hours on hot summer day.

An Oregon cop responding to an emergency call hit a bike rider, who was not seriously injured; the officer admitted going through a red light, but somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist despite going just five mph. Really?

Turns out Alaskans don’t need an expensive new bike to compete in a triathlon. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A salmon cyclist gets the death penalty in Phoenix, as the arrest of a wrong way bike rider on outstanding warrants starts a chain of events that leads to his death behind bars.

Cleveland gets a library book bike of its own this summer.

Life is cheap in Michigan, as a 23-year old driver plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge for killing a cyclist while driving distracted. So what the hell does it take to make it a felony?

The New Orleans edition of the World Naked Bike Ride rolls through Bourbon Street next weekend. The only place where a line of naked bike riders isn’t likely to seem odd.

A Louisiana man is in critical condition after falling off his bike while riding next to train tracks; he was unable to completely roll off the tracks before a train came.

 

International

A UK town builds a new cycle path to improve safety; a local official riding it immediately falls into a ditch.

A Scottish woman is convicted of killing an experienced cyclist while driving distracted; she deleted the record of her cell phone call in an attempt to hide the evidence. Meanwhile, fellow countrywoman Town Mouse writes about how good it feels to be back on her own bike after a visit to the States.

A drunk father of six is killed when he mistakenly rode his bike onto a busy Irish freeway; a sign warning cyclists not to enter may have been removed for construction work.

A Norwegian study shows e-bikes encourage people to ride more, but cost more than most people are willing to pay.

A writer for the Guardian takes part in a boozy, costumed mountain bike ride through the south of France.

A South African court rules a electric company is liable for the injuries suffered by a cyclist who rode into a low-hanging power line. Warning, the description of his fellow riders trying to save him from electrocution is simply horrifying.

 

Finally…

Apparently, newspapers can drive cars Down Under, but have trouble seeing darkly dressed bike riders. A Czech mountain bike maker says women don’t want to push their limits or feel that adrenalin rush; this is what happens when a company fails to understand their target market.

And evidently, Hillary Clinton is after the bike vote.

 

Morning Links: Ramsay endorsement, a way to measure 3-foot violations, and Sagan takes the AToC by 3 seconds

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote in tomorrow’s election if, like me, you live in LA’s 4th council district.

I’m casting my vote for Carolyn Ramsay.

Then again, so is every other bike rider I know who has publicly expressed an opinion. Endorsements for Ramsay range from Bike the Vote LA to the LA Times, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the candidate previously favored by many cyclists, Tomas O’Grady.

If anyone in the cycling community has endorsed David Ryu, I’m not aware of it.

It’s not that there aren’t a few questions marks surrounding Ramsay.

Like the fact that her boss and mentor, outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge, has publicly supported bicycling for years, while quietly stabbing us in the back time and again. LaBonge was personally responsible for the death of the long-planned 4th Street bike boulevard, as well as killing bike lanes on 6th Street and Lankershim Blvd, at least until he leaves office.

Which can’t happen soon enough.

She has also publicly questioned current plans to put bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd, preferring crowded, high traffic and high speed Sunset Blvd as an alternative.

Yet Ramsay has tried to make it clear she is not LaBonge, and thinks for herself.

When I spoke to her after a debate, she seemed stricken to learn just how poorly her boss was perceived by cyclists. And said her support would go beyond words and an occasional bike ride.

She also said that she would keep an open door and an open mind. And was willing to be convinced in cases like Hollywood Blvd.

Unlike her former boss, who turned a deaf ear to pleas from bike riders if they conflicted with demands from home or business owners. And would often cave in at the first sign of objection, rather than trying to find a workable compromise.

The one advantage I can credit Ryu with is that, unlike Ramsay, who has spent years working in LA’s less than democratic city hall, he would bring a much-needed outside perspective to the office.

But as Ramsay points out, there are advantages to knowing how to get things done on the council, without having to learn on the job.

You can read the responses from both candidates to bicycling issues on the LACBC’s detailed candidate survey.

But whatever you do, get out there and vote.

Because your right to vote doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

And with turnout expected to barely reach the double digits, every vote matters; this election could be determined as much by who doesn’t vote as by who does.

LA bike riders are depending on you to make the right choice.

……..

In what could be a huge step towards enforcing three-foot passing laws around the country, Chattanooga police develop a radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car.

The LAPD, LA Sheriff’s Department and CHP need to get their hands on this ASAP.

……..

You don’t have to understand French to get the message behind this beautiful TV spot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smREcqxm6D0&sns=tw

……..

Now that’s more like it. The Amgen Tour of California comes down to mere millimeters in the final stage from LA to Pasadena, as Peter Sagan wins by just three seconds. VeloNews looks at the winding road that put him atop the podium.

Meanwhile, Contador continues to lead the Giro whil taking nothing but over-the-counter pain killers for his dislocated shoulder; a writer for the Guardian says his toughness puts a lie to all-too-frequent homophobic slurs against cyclists. Cycling Weekly looks at what a solo breakaway feels like.

Former pro Jens Voigt settles into life off the bike as a race ambassador and quasi philanthropist, while Wiggo calls for mandatory bike helmets.

And women’s racing has a long way to go to catch up to the men; pay is so low some riders can’t afford to join a pro team even if they get the invitation.

……..

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the decision to keep traffic lanes over sidewalks on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was based on outdated Level of Service metrics.

KCET’s Krista Carlson looks at how local resources and social rides can help turn every week into Bike Week.

The Westwood Business Improvement District applies for a Great Streets grant. And considers using the funds for parking improvements. No, really. This is the kind of thinking that has helped keep storefronts empty in what should be one of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo Neighborhood Greenway opens May 30th.

 

State

Not surprisingly, Governor Brown once again ignores active transportation in his proposed state budget.

Writing for Bike Newport Beach, David Huntsman says bicycling would look less dangerous if you’d just take your helmet off when you get off the bike.

The San Diego Association of Governments goes back to the drawing board after an auto-centric regional transit plan was rejected by the courts.

A planned 50-mile Coachella bike path is threatened by a dispute over funding for maintenance.

Writing for the Fresno paper, a CHP officer says cyclists and pedestrians can be discourteous, just like law-breaking drivers. I’d call breaking the law in a dangerous, multi-ton machine more than mere discourtesy. But hey, that’s just me.

Fresno riders take over a local freeway. Hopefully, courteously.

The cyclist who crashed into an 80-year old woman on a Marin County pathway tells his side of the story, insisting she stepped into his path as he tried to avoid her; the CHP is investigating the crash.

Instead of embracing a socially and environmentally friendly form of tourism, the Sausalito city council continues to complain about the up to 1,000 bikes and riders who visit the city each day. Maybe the town should find a way to accommodate bikes instead of fining the people on them. Or bike riding tourists may decide to spend their money somewhere they’re actually wanted.

A 50-year old cyclist is killed in a collision with a truck during a double century race in Solano County; witnesses report he went through a stop sign.

The Turlock newspaper apparently believes a bike helmet could have kept an 11-year old bike rider from suffering a leg injury in a collision.

 

National

A planned Montana bike path is rerouted to preserve a century-old landmark tree.

Three upstate New Yorkers face charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; the driver was on the phone when she veered off the road, and her sister and boyfriend allegedly helped cover up the crime.

Today Show host Matt Lauer will be riding 250 miles from New York to Boston, in support of NBC’s Red Nose Day to call attention to children living in poverty.

New Jersey has the nation’s second highest percentage of fatal bicycle and pedestrian deaths; a proposed four-foot passing law has stalled in committee.

The DC area’s Bicycle Bandit is busted after a series of two-wheeled getaways following bank robberies; thanks to Nancy Duley for the heads-up.

Instead of saying a bank robber used a bike to make his getaway, a Florida paper writes that a local bank was robbed a bicyclist. No bias there. Has anyone ever said that a bank was robbed by a car driver?

 

International

Famed theologians, including Albert Schweitzer and C.S. Lewis, rode bikes; the story quotes Schweitzer saying he used his “abundantly and with delight.”

Sad news from Mexico, as a 17-year old BMX rider is killed in a fall attempting to qualify for the national Olympics.

London’s Telegraph says one way to make London better would be bike lanes that don’t make riding more dangerous. Busting more bike thieves, as London police did at the famed Brick Lane Market, would help, too.

The owner of a UK trucking firm who called bike riders the worst of all road users joins with a bike shop owner to metaphorically sing Kumbaya and call for détente on the streets.

A European study says traveling by car instead of bike costs society six times more. And yes, bike riding really is environmentally friendly.

Nigerian cyclists threaten to give up the sport if there aren’t more races.

A Kiwi cyclist gets a two-year ban for doping.

 

Finally…

Brooklyn’s love affair with the bicycle goes back nearly 150 years; even before a certain baseball team threw its first pitch. An Alaska truck driver somehow manages to see a salmon cyclist sneer at him as she blows through a stop.

And both discredited American former Tour de France winners continue their legal pissing match. If anyone other than their lawyers still care.

 

Morning Links: Justice for San Diego thrill kill victim, Griffith Park feeder ride, and CD4’s Ryu finally responds

Sometimes there’s justice after all.

Even if it takes awhile.

When a bike rider gets shot, it’s almost always gang involved in some way. The 2011 death of San Diego cyclist Jordan Hickey was the exception.

The developmentally disabled man was just minutes from his home while riding back after visiting his girlfriend when he was gunned down for no reason.

Or more precisely, just for the hell of it.

Two men were allegedly driving around just looking for someone to kill when they spotted Hickey on his bike, and one leaned out of the car window to fire the fatal blast from a shotgun.

On Wednesday, the driver, Juan Ignacio Gomez, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder; he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Humberto Emanuel Galvez, the accused shooter, faces a possible death sentence when he goes on trial in May.

Which is exactly what he’s accused of sentencing Hickey to, without a trial.

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A feeder rider to tonight’s Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting will roll out from Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake to protest plans to open Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars to placate Beechwood Canyon homeowners, who are tired of being overrun by tourists looking for the Hollywood Sign.

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While I wasn’t looking, CD4 city council candidate David Ryu finally responded to the LACBC’s candidate survey; turns out like most bike riders, his remains in the garage most of the time. Carolyn Ramsay, his opponent to replace Tom LaBonge in the May 19th runoff, submitted her response back in February.

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Local

LADOT offers up a Pico Blvd bike love story with a happy ending.

Hollywood’s Amoeba Records is holding a charity auction hosted by comedian Kurt Braunohler on April 4th; proceeds will benefit the kids ride and activities at the LACBC’s River Ride in June.

Expect rolling closures on PCH in western Malibu for the next two days as work continues on the highway’s Bike Route Improvements project.

A Burbank writer looks back on Sunday’s Valley CicLAvia and asks what effect a similar event would have on the city.

Ride for a great cause, as the Bear Claw Classic rolls this Saturday in Westlake Village to raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery.

 

State

Clear registration stickers from California’s Anti-Theft Dots could help recover your bike if it’s stolen.

Once again, the CHP rules harm, but no foul, as a driver escapes responsibility for taking his eyes off the road and seriously injuring a cyclist when his vehicle drifted to the right. Evidently, drivers are no longer required to pay attention and maintain control of their cars and trucks in California.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider becomes the latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run.

A San Jose writer provides a first-person account of simple solo fall with a not so simple result — multiple broken bones, collapsed lung and nearly a half million dollars in medical bills.

San Francisco supervisors want more bike education classes in their districts.

 

National

AAA Distracted DrivingDashcam video in a new PSA shows texting teen drivers swerving off the road; as the BAC’s David Wolfberg asks, how much of teens’ distracted driving behaviors did they learn from watching their parents?

Denver prosecutors throw the book at a driver who nearly killed a bike cop while having a seizure; he faces up to 32 years in jail for crashing into the officer after hiding his medical condition when applying for driver’s license.

A Houston website says it’s open season on bike riders in the Texas city following a horrific hit-and-run that left a cyclist critically injured.

Good news from North Dakota, as bike collisions are down 50% in Rapid City.

A 70-year old man who collapsed on the street can credit his life to the quick actions of a couple of Chicago bike cops.

Whether a protected bike lane on a busy Boston street is a good thing or a bad thing depends on who’s telling the tale. Meanwhile, a Boston city councilor bemoans the loss of revenue from the 73 parking spaces that will be removed to make room for the cycle track, evidently valuing money over the lives of people on bikes.

Baltimore plans to add up to 100 miles of bike lanes over the next 15 years; the question, as always, is whether the plan will be funded.

A Florida driver faces up to 30 years in prison for the death of a bike rider; he was reportedly doing at least 102 mph at the time of the impact.

 

International

The UK’s Cycling Weekly reminds us all why we got on a bike to begin with; however, they forgot to mention the most important reason. It’s fun.

Formerly anti-bike Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson rides off on one after being fired by the BBC for punching a producer; he faces possible criminal charges, as well.

Caught on video: A first person view from the hero cyclist who chased down three British bike thieves.

Dubai develops a specialized six-wheel ambulance — including bike rack on the front — to rescue cyclists injured while riding in the desert.

An Indian official sets out on a “bicycle march” to end injustice, lawlessness and corruption in the country. Although he disappointed his mother, who wanted him to get married first.

A Bangkok writer calls for his countrymen to stop using the term accident to refer to crashes, saying most, if not all, are preventable. You’re preaching to the choir, dude.

 

Finally…

After riding 5,000 from Los Angeles to Miami, then up to Charleston, a cyclist gets a ticket for unlawful passing — just one hundred yards from his final destination. That silly looking German adult balance bike is now a real thing, for no apparent reason.

And how many times has this happened to you?

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