Tag Archive for ghost bikes

Morning Links: Meditations on a ghost bike, raising funds for a hit-and-run victim, and new bike jobs in Pasadena

Last year, 72 people died riding their bicycles in Southern California, just one less than the year before.

The last person killed was a 17-year old Norwalk high school student, Chandler Ray, who lost his life just three days before Christmas.

Yesterday I received the following email, from someone moved by the memorial to a young man who deserved to be more than the punctuation point to another year of needless tragedy on our streets.

When my coworker arrived at work Christmas morning, she mentioned “at least a hundred candles” at an intersection down the road. “Like when someone gets killed on the street.” So on the way home, I made a detour.

It’s on the northeast corner. With the sun in my eyes, I might’ve missed it if I hadn’t been looking for a roadside memorial specifically, despite its size. “At least a hundred candles” was a vague and yet extremely accurate estimate.

Westbound Firestone has four lanes of fuckyou, including a designated right turn lane where a homicidally impatient pick-up truck driver with zero intention of stopping at that oblique angle nevertheless braked fast when he realized the crosswalk was occupied by a goddamn cyclist. My swerve left me too terrified to yell, and nearly sent me to the asphalt.

A handsome young man stood on the ADA ramp on the narrow sidewalk, taking a picture. I spoke with him. He had missed the memorial service, but promised his school friends he would come Christmas morning. And so here he stood, alone, at half past seven on a chilly Sunday morning, looking at the memorial for his classmate: the candles, the cross, the Christmas tree, the donuts, the white painted bike frame. From a second, much more polished (I’m tempted to say “professional looking”) bike hung a sign with Chandler’s name painted on it.

The young man told me he didn’t know Chandler well, but has friends who did. He expressed disbelief that a classmate would be killed the day before winter break started. The young man indicated that Chandler had been killed just east of the intersection; I squinted towards the blind vertical curve (an overpass crosses above the train tracks there) and considered how suicidal it would be to take the lane here, given the arbitrarily high (45mph) posted speed limit allowed despite the impaired line of sight. For the record, it is illegal in the City of Norwalk to ride on the sidewalk. At this location, the insane choice to obey the law puts a cyclist in mortal danger.

Before the young man left his house that morning, he said, Chandler’s GoFundMe page had raised over $20,000.

I passed the memorial on New Year’s Eve, too. The velodoras’ wicks were submerged under an inch of water. Amidst the bushes nestled two big white plastic lumps, trash bags stuffed with the plush animals left by those who came to the memorial. The sight was just temporarily unsightly; it meant somebody cared enough to stop by and protect the offerings. The sun returned, and when I passed by the next evening, the plush critters were lovingly propped up against the candles and the bikes. As I stood there, a woman who had been sitting in a car in the parking lot approached. She asked if I had known Chandler. I explained I was just passing by. The woman had never met Chandler either; she learned from her 15-year-old daughter that her classmate had been killed, and then they found out that Chandler had also been their neighbor, living only two blocks away. Her daughter has a bike that she never uses because she (the daughter) is scared to. This mom is glad her daughter doesn’t ride around their residential neighborhood.

There is something very wrong with the world when infrastructure is set up to terrify mothers and children.

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As of last night, the GoFundMe page for Chandler Ray had raised nearly $24,000 in just 17 days.

Contrast that with $840 in donations to another GoFundMe account opened the same day, intended to funds to replace the front teeth a bike rider lost in yet another hit-and-run collision.

Here’s a portion of what that page, set up by the staff of Streets Are For Everyone, has to say.

On Sunday, December 4th, Capitan Arreola was riding home after having spent the morning volunteering and instructing new cyclists how to ride safe during a group ride. Just a few blocks from his home, Capitan was hit by a speeding car.  Landing on the hood, the driver sped away, tossing Capitan face down onto the asphalt — bleeding and barely conscious. 20 minutes went by before he received aid from a passerby.

Capitan suffered a concussion, the loss of his two front teeth, as well as other injuries to his face and body.  Despite his pain and suffering, one week later, Capitan (who always keeps his word) showed up to fulfill his volunteer agreement to Streets Are For Everyone at our event, Finish The Ride.

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Wes at Bike SGV forwards word that Around the Cycle bike shop is hiring for their newly expanded Pasadena location.

Anyone interested in applying should email them at [email protected].

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Local

Los Angeles has been selected as the host of the 2017 UCI Para-Cycling Track Championships at the VELO Sports Center in Carson in March.

CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting his 4th annual community bike ride through the west San Fernando Valley on January 21st.

Santa Clarita is moving forward with plans to widen the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge over San Francisquito Creek, including new barrier-protected sidewalks and a shared-use pathway.

 

State

San Diego is being sued for removing plans for a bridge, which was included in the city’s bicycle master plan, from a neighborhood community plan.

Dueling surveys reflect conflict over whether to build protected bike lanes in San Francisco’s Panhandle area.

A Davis cyclist has published a book about his 2,300 mile journey along entire length of the legendary Route 66.

 

National

A new study says it’s okay to be a weekend warrior, at least as far as your health is concerned, while another shows that exercise really does make you happier.

A group of bike campanies announce the winners of the 2017 Women’s Bicycle Mechanics Scholarship.

A writer for Bicycling discusses things she wished she’d known before biking across the country.

A growing number of states are diverting federal funds intended for biking and walking projects to build infrastructure for motor vehicles.

No surprise here. Charges won’t be filed against a Spokane cop who killed a 15-year old bike rider in 2014, even though he failed to use his lights and siren despite driving 70 mph on surface streets. Until new evidence came to light, authorities had denied the car even struck the boy.

Evidently, it’s okay to kill someone in your sleep, as an Idaho woman gets a slap on the wrist for running down a bike-riding firefighter after dozing off at the wheel.

Kindhearted strangers pitch in to by a new three-wheeled bike for a partially paralyzed Texas man who has become a local role model for overcoming disabilities.

A neighborhood group is offering free women’s self-defense classes following a series of attacks on a Madison WI bike path. Too many bike paths are hidden from public view and often deserted after dark, making them poor alternatives to on-street bikeways, especially for women.

A Chicago writer calls for a change in the law to allow police to automatically check phone records after serious crashes, which currently requires a warrant.

A woman from Chicago recounts riding from Key Largo to Key West with her husband.

The CEO of Ford says the future does not belong to cars alone, and suggests taking traffic lanes away from automobiles to create Complete Streets.

A new study shows DC’s bikeshare system cut local congestion by four percent, which projects to a savings of $182 million.

A Reston VA bike shop is threatening to leave the downtown area because they don’t think their customers should have to pay for parking.

 

International

A Cuban cyclist earns a living selling ad space on his tall bike.

Caught on video: A pair of professional triathletes biking across South America get dropped by a Columbian campesino on a heavy single-speed bike.

It’s now legal to ride side-by-side in at least one region of Ontario, Canada.

London’s subway system is shut down by a strike, encouraging thousands of commuters to take to their bicycles; Cycling Weekly offers nine reasons that’s surprisingly brilliant.

A teenage Irish bike thief allegedly had his leg broken when he was forced into a van by vigilantes; police can’t investigate because the victim hasn’t filed a complaint, for obvious reasons.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from a crash, don’t get killed by another fleeing coward. Evidently, cycling can hurt your penis. Assuming you have one.

And even a three-year old can ride rollers better than you.

Or me, anyway.

 

Morning Links: The tragic story of a ghost bike, and pre-holiday coffee and carb loading in the South Bay

It’s the final day of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give now to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every morning!

One quick note before we start.

Unless there’s breaking news, this will be the last new post until after the New Year, as we take the next week off for a little well-deserved rest and the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes improvements.

So please accept my best wishes for joyful holiday, whatever and however you celebrate. And for a very healthful, happy and prosperous year to come.

May we all have peace, if not on the Earth, at least in our hearts.

Ride safely, and we’ll see you back here bright and early on January 3rd.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, Hollywood Reporter editor — and former Bicycling editor-in-chief — Peter Flax follows a ghost bike from being stripped down and painted, to installation as a memorial to fallen bike rider Deborah Gresham.

As you may recall, Gresham was the victim of a drunken hit-and-run just seconds from her Stanton home this past October; she’s recalled as the giving, generous and caring founder of a popular Walking Dead fan site.

Flax traces the history of the ghost bike movement from its beginnings in San Francisco and St. Louis, and talks with local ghost bike organizer Danny Gamboa.

It’s a moving long read that reminds us of the horrible, needless waste on our streets, and the unbearable loss suffered over and over throughout the country on a daily basis.

And one that brought tears to my eyes before he was done.

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Delia Park forwards news of a good excuse to load up on coffee and sweets tomorrow for a Christmas Eve and pre-Chanukah celebration.

Join for some post Donut Ride carb loading!

WHERE: St. Honore Bakery in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates.

WHEN: This Saturday, December 24th from 10am to 12pm. Come anytime- we will be there!

WHY: Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer and Cyclists For PV and So Cal Bike Safety will be picking up the tab for coffee and sugary bakery items in order to support local businesses.

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‘Tis the season.

Kindhearted employees of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office pitch in to buy a tandem bike for an El Rio man after thieves stole the money he’d been saving for two years so his medically challenged son could ride with him. Bad enough if thieves steal your bike; worse if they take your money before you can even buy it.

Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri rounded up bikes, helmets and other fun gifts for distribution to various NorCal children’s organizations.

Sacramento police give out bikes, helmets and toys to children. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office donated over 100 refurbished bicycles as part of its 17th annual Christmas Bike Giveaway.

An Ohio non-profit donates eleven new bicycles for children with a history of abuse, neglect and abandonment; since 2008, they’ve given new bicycles to nearly 6,500 children in foster care.

British cycling legend Brian Robinson dresses like Santa to give away 50 refurbished bikes for a UK charity.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV advocates David Diaz and Wes Reutimann, as well as South Pasadena Mayor Mike Cacciotti and Transit Coalition executive director Bart Reed about the years biggest stories, and what we can look forward to in 2017. Meanwhile, Joe Linton calls on readers to support the non-profit news organization.

West Hollywood’s Community Development Department says the lamely named WeHo Pedals bikeshare is off to a strong start, with 545 people completing 3,919 trips since it was launched at the end of August.

One Santa Monica paper says it’s been a great year for bikeshare in the city, while another looks at Santa Monica’s new bike counter.

Long Beach bike and pedestrian deaths are increasing, which reflects the larger national trend.

 

State

The family of fallen San Luis Obispo triathlete Bridget Dawson files a lawsuit alleging that the driver was on the phone with her employer at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, a pair of SLO bike advocates says it’s possible to halt the increase in bicycling fatalities in the county.

Richmond votes to conduct a road diet to create a four-mile Complete Street, including bike lanes.

A Marin County writer says the world isn’t going to come to an end when an existing trail is opened to mountain bikers, and that concerns over safety are just an excuse to try blocking bike access.

After an accused drunken, underage hit-and-run driver killed a bike rider in a Fairfield collision, he came back to ask a bystander what happened.

Redding police recover a 7-year old girl’s stolen lime green BMX after a month-long investigation.

 

National

Finally, a use for your hi-viz. Other that trying to not get run over, that is.

Streetsblog looks at how states are standing in the way of cities’ efforts to lower speed limits. California’s deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law is to blame for our state’s constant increase in speed limits and the inability to reign them in.

No, seriously. As much as some of us would like to bring back hanging for bike rustling, it’s really not worth having a shootout with Tucson AZ police to escape after stealing a child’s bicycle.

An Austin TX bike rider settles with the city for $3,000, two years after he was hit by a police detective in an unmarked car who was unfamiliar with the rider’s right to the road.

The hit-and-run epidemic is really getting bad when even the cops are doing it. A Massachusetts police officer was charged with leaving the scene of an off-duty collision with a bike rider, as well as negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

An Alexandria VA writer discusses what his bicycle has taught him about local politics, noting “it remains socially acceptable to stereotype people riding bicycles as ‘scofflaws’, while people driving cars are given a pass on speeding.”

 

International

After a Calgary man tried to sell his bicycle to raise money for Christmas presents, he ended up in the back of a patrol car suspected of bike theft — even though he still had the original receipt.

Things are looking up for people-powered transportation in Winnipeg.

New Delhi drivers may soon have to prove they have a place to park it before they’re allowed to register a motor vehicle.

A letter writer says Rwanda must leverage its success in cycling, like other African nations have in marathons and soccer. And apparently, domestique translates to house-helper.

A 26-year old Eritrean man has been named African Cyclist of the Year.

Fifty Malaysian civil servants have been given foldies and instructions to bike to work.

A Singapore writer asks if tougher sentencing would reduce collisions — not accidents, please — before concluding that dangerous drivers need to be stopped before they kill.

 

Finally…

Now you can stick Peter Sagan on your next envelope. It’s one thing to take the lane on a busy highway, another to ride with no hands so you can give a cop the double bird.

And if you’re riding after dark with four grams of coke on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk.

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Thanks to Samuel Kurutz for his generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And to everyone who contributed their hard-earned money to keep this site coming your way every day.

I can’t begin to tell you how much your support means to me.

And if you have given yet, there’s still time.

Morning Links: Lowrider bikes on Whittier Blvd, Rapley memorial bike, and banning bikes in Palos Verdes

Lowriders have always brought a smile to my face.

Especially when they’re not cars.

Photographer and blogger Aurelio Jose Barrera recently did a photo essay on the rebirth of an Eastside tradition as the lowriders return to Whittier Blvd.

But he also captured a family riding their grownup and child-sized lowrider bicycles to take in, and be a part of, the scene unfolding on the street.

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

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Apparently, the memorial for fallen cyclist James Rapley on Temescal Canyon Park is getting noticed.

The editor of the Palisades news writes about the white, bicycle-shaped bike rack that was placed in the park earlier this year. It was designed to look like a ghost bike, in addition to serving as a functional bike rack, as a reminder to everyone to bike and drive safely.

And sober, unlike the stoned driver who took his life.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been on a roll lately as he works to stay on top of the rapidly changing developments affecting bicyclists in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This time, he reports on a group of over-privileged homeowners attempting, illegally, to ban bicycles from their street.

Under California law, bicycles are allowed to use any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of most limited access highways.

So they’re more than welcome to ban bikes.

They just have to ban their own cars and SUVs, as well.

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As soon as you drive a stake through the heart of one bike-hating Facebook group, another one pops up.

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Reuters says Chris Froome’s third victory seals his status as one of the greats of the Tour de France, while he’s finally getting some respect from the crowds. Meanwhile, a British writer says the only way to save the Tour is to get fans to back off.

A Hollywood website offers five things to know about the repeat winner, while the Guardian says Froome is a role model for clean cycling in a sport that needed one.

Then again, doping wasn’t always frowned on; some people still don’t think it’s that big a deal.

An English cycling club founded by suffragettes celebrates one of their own, as 23-year old Adam Yates claims the white jersey as the Tour’s best young rider.

Rivals riders consider points winner Peter Sagan one of the best cyclists in the peloton.

And a writer for women’s magazine Marie Claire says it’s time for women to compete equally with men at the Tour, either in a parallel race on the same routes, or allowing them to actually compete in the race.

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Local

Evidently, they feel our pain. CiclaValley captures a pair of motorcycle cops who finally give up on getting a traffic light to change for them, and blow the light.

CicLAvia is hosting a $100 Play Day in LA fundraiser on September 17th.

Stephen Corwin offers nine things game-changing things you won’t understand about the new Metro Bike bikeshare until you try it.

A 20-year old UCLA student from Chico is riding nearly 4,000 miles across the US with the Bike and Build program.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to a free block party on South Beverly Drive this Saturday. In other words, taking the city’s virtually non-existent bike lanes to get to the virtually non-existent bike parking.

 

State

A San Diego website says the San Diego Bicycle Coalition will host a discussion of the Coastal Rail Trail at a Bikes on Tap bike-in happy hour. But fails to mention when and where it will take place.

Brilliant idea, as the owner of several San Francisco ice cream bikes collects donations to pay for ice cream for kids who can’t afford it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Someone vandalized Portland’s new bikeshare bikes as soon as they hit the ground, possibly because they were seen as a symbol of gentrification.

A Colorado cyclist continues to ride up to 50 miles a day, seven days a week, despite being in his 26th round of chemo for stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs.

Iowa’s annual RAGBRAI ride started Sunday with a Mile of Silence in honor of bicyclists injured or killed in the state; sadly, they added one more name to that list before the memorial ride even got started.

An Op-Ed in an Iowa paper says it’s time to build protected bike lanes in the state.

Pittsburgh appears to be bucking the safety in numbers trend, as bicycling collisions increase along with ridership.

An analyst for right-wing think tank says bike lanes in Raleigh NC are social engineering at expense of those poor drivers, and accuses elected leaders of arrogance for thinking they know better than the people they’re elected to represent. Which, of course, is exactly why they were elected in the first place. Meanwhile, a local rider refutes her arguments; thanks to DOORZONE for the link.

 

International

Canada Bikes is hiring a new executive director. Just in case you plan to leave the country if the wrong candidate wins this fall’s election.

Support has been pouring in for a Canadian Paralympic cyclist after both of her bikes were stolen.

Two British brothers save their overweight, diabetic father’s life through bicycling.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider uses his helmet cam to catch a man playing Pokémon GO as he drove his BMW.

Police in one English town ban bike riders from the central city due to incidents of an “anti-social manner” from a few cyclists, which pose a danger to pedestrians. By that standard, all drivers would be banned from every road, everywhere.

 

Finally…

Wearing a hoodie when you ride is okay, but put some pants on, too. The approved used for bike locks does not include attacking taxis for no apparent reason.

And if you’re going to ride with a loaded rifle on your back, make sure you’re legally allowed to own one.

Although that’s one way to make sure drivers give you some space.

 

Morning Links: OC Register writer shows ignorance on road diets, and a look at ghost bikes and bicycle safety

This is the final day of our first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive. And your last chance to get some great bike swag when you sign up or renew your membership with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

We’re up to 29 members who’ve signed up as part of the drive. So we just need two more to make it one a day for the month of May, with 31 members by the end of the month. Or better yet, get your entire riding club to sign up today to help make our original goal of 100 new members by the end of this month.

So don’t wait. Join or renew now to help make this a more livable, bikeable city and county.

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Let’s keep things short today — relatively, anyway — to kick off the week after a far too busy three day weekend. We’ll get back to our regular link-filled format tomorrow.

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This is what happens when someone doesn’t have a clue what he’s writing about.

But doesn’t let that stop him.

Fifty-two years after Bob Dylan warned “don’t criticize what you don’t understand,” indignorant Orange County Register columnist Joel Kotkin attempts to create a public panic over road diets, without apparently bothering to understand what they are or how they’re used.

Kotkin warns that Governor Brown has a secret plan to reduce greenhouse gases by making traffic congestion so bad that it will force Californians out of their cars. And into a “high-density, transit-oriented future.”

And the tool to accomplish this “Soviet-style social engineering?”

Road diets.

That’s right, comrades. He’s onto us.

Never mind that road diets have absolutely nothing to do with reducing global warming or getting people to leave their supposedly non-polluting electric cars at home. (Note to Joel Kotkin: Electric cars cause pollution, too. That power has to come from somewhere, like coal and gas-fueled power plants in most cases.)

Despite his extremely off-base protestations, road diets are performed on streets with excess capacity in order to reduce speeding and improve safety. And in many, if not most cases, can actually improve traffic flow, while making the street safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and, yes, motorists. They can even increase property values by improving livability along the street.

In other words, everyone benefits. Even the bourgeois capitalists in their motor vehicles.

Making matters worse, Kotkin apparently thinks the state’s plan to encourage road diets will a) prevent the widening of freeways, and b) actually be used to narrow said freeways. Although it’s hard to tell with his jumbled, nearly incoherent mixing and mangling of unrelated subject matters.

So just to clarify, road diets are used on surface streets. Period.

They have absolutely nothing to do with freeway projects, nor do they in any way increase freeway congestion. Although they may reduce congestion in the surrounding area by providing people with viable alternatives to driving.

All of which he could have discovered with a simple 30-second Google search.

If he cared enough to actually understand what the hell he’s talking about.

Thanks to Mike Wilkerson for the heads-up.

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Mike also forwards this piece about Southern California Ghost Bikes founder Danny Gamboa.

It tells the story of how Gamboa, a photographer and filmmaker, became involved in the ghost bike movement when his neighbor’s six-year old son was killed while riding his bike.

And how the purpose of the bikes is to call attention to the need to ride safely, and drive carefully around bike riders.

Vincent Chang, who started Bike San Gabriel Valley, remembers two ghost bikes he helped place in Pasadena.

“It’s to honor the individual who passed,” Chang said. “Also, there’s hope that it brings to light the need for safety improvements. They act as a reminder to vehicles that we have to share the road.”

Gamboa’s been asked if he has a morbid fixation. It’s a question he quickly shrugs off.

“Our goal is to be put out of business so we don’t ever have to do this again,” he answered.

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The author of that story, Steve Scauzillo of the Los Angeles News Group, also wrote a piece about bicycling fatalities in Southern California, in which he quoted me extensively, along with Danny Gamboa and the LACBC’s Colin Bogart.

And got it right.

Despite the scary headline, he offers a fair and balanced piece, making it clear that while too many people die on our streets, the rate of bicycling deaths is actually going down as ridership goes up.

And that the odds of returning safely from a ride are overwhelmingly in your favor.

It’s worth noting that Scauzillo, a bike rider himself, spent over an hour on the phone with me to get the story straight. Unlike, say, his colleague above.

I spend a lot of time talking with reporters about bicycling and bike safety, on and off the record. And it’s nice when a reporter goes to the effort to make sure he quotes me accurately and in context.

So whether or not you like what I said, I said it. And meant it.

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Hopefully it’s not a spoiler at this point. But if you still have the last few stages of the Giro or the Nats on your DVR, skip this section.

Still here?

It was a big upset in Friday’s stage 19, as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali won the stage — and eventually, the tour itself — after Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, who seemed to have an insurmountable lead, hit a snow bank and wiped out in spectacular fashion.

Back on our shores, the US National road title was taken by virtually unknown 21-year old Greg Daniel. Megan Guarnier cemented her position as America’s leading women’s roadie by winning her second US road championship, and her third in five years.

And Taylor Phinney completed a nearly impossible comeback from a devastating crash caused by a race moto in the 2014 road championships by winning his second national crit title; doctors weren’t sure he would ever walk again, let alone ride a bike. Carmen Small won the women’s title.

………

Sad news from Spain, as former pro David Cañada died after colliding with another rider in a sportiv, just six years after retiring from racing.

And race motos cause yet another massive crash, as two lead motorcycles collided in a Belgium race, causing dozens of riders to go down and leading to the cancellation of the stage. At last report, Belgian rider Stig Broeckx was still in a coma after suffering a skull fracture in the crash; it was Broeckx’ second wreck involving a race moto just this year.

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Over the weekend, my wife and I happened to stumble on another new bicycle-themed coffee shop when we stopped to check out a restaurant in West Hollywood.

The Black Bicycle Café opened two months ago on Havenhurst Drive and Santa Monica Blvd; the name comes from the idea that just like bicycles get you where you’re going, coffee fuels you to your destination.

Black Bicycle Cafe

Black Bicycle Cafe Interior

And they make a pretty good cup of joe.

Tell ‘em I said hi if you stop by.

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Finally…

Your next bike could be a blimp, if they can actually get it off the ground. Or maybe a lawnmower.

And it’s bad enough when a kangaroo knocks you off your bike; worse when it ruptures both your breast implants.

 

Weekend Links: Act now for complete streets and more bike funding; Metro releases bikeshare timetable

Calbike says your help is needed to secure funding for bikeways before the state legislature calls it quits for the year next Friday.

Your California Bicycle Coalition has two hugely important bills that will transform how California funds bikeway projects. Now we need your help to show that we have enormous grassroots support for world class #CompleteStreets policies and increased funding for bikeway networks. Here’s what these laws would do:

  1. Implement a Complete Streets policy for state funding: SBX 1-1 will require “new bicycle and pedestrian safety, access, and mobility improvements” in every state-funded road maintenance project. It calls for sidewalks and protected bike lanes or bike paths in transit-dense areas on most roads with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour. Thank you, Senator Jim Beall for proposing sensible complete streets policies.
  2. Increase dedicated funding for biking and walking: ABX 1-23 doubles the size of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) with a $125 million increase. The ATP is the sole source of state funding dedicated to biking, walking and Safe Routes to School projects. Last year, the ATP was underfunded by nearly $800 million—many shovel-ready walking, bicycling and safe school access projects were denied funding. This bill also includes an innovative grant program that will fund complete bikeway networks connecting every destination in communities like yours with unbroken webs of bike paths, protected bike lanes, and quiet bicycle boulevards. Thank you, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia, Autumn Burke, and David Chiu!

Contact your state Senator and Assemblymember now to let them know that you support implementing strong “complete streets” policies and increasing funding for biking and walking.

Streetsblog has more information on the second bill, which would double funding for the Active Transportation Program.

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Looks like Metro has a five-year plan for building out bikeshare in the LA area, starting with Downtown, then expanding to Pasadena, Central LA and University Park. If they stick to the schedule, it will reach Hollywood and WeHo in 2019-20, and most other areas the next year.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica Spoke is recruiting volunteers to do outreach and spread the word about Santa Monica’s new Breeze bikeshare system. They also invite you to become a founding member of LA County’s first bikeshare system.

And the debate goes on over whether helmets are needed for bikeshare bikes.

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I received the following email earlier this week from the author of a new book about ghost bikes.

I have finally finished a project that I have been working on the last few years that is near to my heart. I traveled the country photographing ghost bikes (white bikes places as memorials for cyclist fatalities) and have self published a book called: Don’t Forget Me; Ghost Bikes-A Photographic Memorial by Genea Barnes. I would appreciate if you took a few minutes to check it out and if you like it, share it with those you think might appreciate it. This project has taken a long time, and I really wanted to share the final product with all those that I have reached out to along the way.

The book is divided into 2 sections. The first, the journal of my travels while searching Ghost Bikes, including small photographs that document who the bike was for, and where it was located. The next section includes images that were created from the photographs that I took. The book is hard cover, 148 pages, and measures 10.25in x 10.25in x 0.75in (thick).

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Portugal’s Nelson Oliveira wins stage 13 of the Vuelta in a breakaway from the breakaway group, while American rider Larry Warbasse discusses what it’s like to suffer in a challenging mountain stage.

The editors of Australia’s Ella Cycling Tips respond to the comment by Oleg Tinkov, owner of the Tinkov Saxo team, that Chris Froome was riding like girl as he fought to rejoin the peloton despite a broken foot; they agree, but not the way he meant it.

Cycling News talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney about his long road back from a devastating injury at last year’s nationals, and looks forward to the coming world championships in Richmond VA. He says the Americans will be on the offensive, while the US men’s and women’s teams were unveiled Friday.

No surprise here, as the Astana team has been booted from the anti-doping Movement for Credible Cycling after letting teammate Lars Boom compete with an un-credible cortisone level, not to mention the five Astana riders busted for doping. And it wasn’t just my imagination; four riders in the pro peloton have been taken out by race motorcycles this year.

The Guardian says cycling shouldn’t forget its rich history and tradition, despite a proposal to develop a “season-long narrative” to produce a single champion at the end of the year.

………

Local

The Guardian offers a pretty good look at LA’s underground bike racing scene. If you can look past describing riding groups as “tribes” and “gangs.” Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Calling all planners. Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office is looking for a “seasoned” professional to join their staff as Senior Planner. After last night’s curry, I’m pretty seasoned myself.

CicLAvia introduces the people behind the scenes who bring you the world’s largest open streets event.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike a Long Beach family who uses it as therapy for their two-year old autistic kid.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the parks of Long Beach this Sunday.

The Grand Opening of Metro’s first Bike Hub is scheduled for 10 am to noon on Monday, the 14th at the El Monte Metro Bus Station. Show up with your bike and get a free 30-day Metro Bike Hub Pass.

 

State

A Dana Point woman faces a second degree murder charge for killing a woman who was walking in a bike lane with her blind grandson, after knocking back at least a dozen drinks before she got behind the wheel.

This is what the air rescue of an injured cyclist looks like from the perspective of a Contra Costa County rescue team.

Modesto residents pitch in to replace a 75-year old man’s recumbent bike after it was stolen; the bike was the only form of transportation for him and his wife, both of whom are being treated for cancer.

An 11-year old Hollister boy killed in a collision five weeks ago was riding brakeless, though police aren’t sure if that was why he apparently rode out in front of a bus.

 

National

Someone’s assaulting cyclists in Portland to enforce their own vigilante rules about who should ride on a bike path, and how.

Protected bike lanes are coming to Provo UT.

Accidently start an Idaho wildfire while on a mountain bike poop break, and get a bill of up to $75,000 to put it out.

Two-thirds of the bike collisions in Sioux Falls SD involve people riding on the sidewalk.

Boston Magazine responds to that anti-bike screed in the Boston Globe earlier this week, while the local public radio station says bicycling remains a relatively safe way to get around the city, but could be made safer.

The NYPD’s 19th precinct cracks down on cyclists while virtually ignoring people in the big dangerous machines; they ticketed more cyclists in three hours than they did speeding drivers in seven months.

Evidently, they get right on it if you steal a bike from a B-list New York celeb, though.

A writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution complains about proposed bike lanes on Peachtree Street, saying it might increase the 1% who ride bikes to 2%.

 

International

The head of Canada’s Green Party can’t ride a bike. Personally, I’d rather see a politician who doesn’t ride a bike but supports bicycling than someone who can but doesn’t.

The Economist says there’s a worldwide shift under way from keeping cars moving to making it easier to walk, cycle and play on city streets.

In yet another piece from the Guardian, a former bike courier explains why he rode 150 miles to donate his bike the people in a French refugee camp.

A London bike safety campaign puts candidates for mayor on the spot, asking them to commit to a 10-point plan to Stop Killing Cyclists.

In China, if a driver hits someone, it pays for them to make sure their victim is dead. Even if that means backing up to run over them again. Thanks to Alan Thompson and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Don’t drive drunk on an Iowa bike path at 4:30 in the morning. Don’t shoot your boss if he tells you not to ride your bike to your second floor office, and don’t beat your neighbor to death if he complains about how a boy is riding his bike.

And once again, Bikeyface nails it.

………

Get out there and enjoy the great SoCal weather this weekend. But don’t forget that three day weekends mean more drunk and distracted drivers on the roads, especially with both UCLA and USC opening their football seasons at home on Saturday. So ride safely and defensively, wherever you ride. I want to see you back here next week.

………

Barring any breaking news, BikinginLA will be off Monday for Labor Day. We’ll see you bright and early Tuesday morning.

 

Morning Links: Feeding the homeless by bike, a damaged OC Ghost Bike, and the LA Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride

You can learn a lot on a bike.

It was on a ride through tiny town of St. Martinville, Louisiana, on the edge of the massive Atchafalaya swamp, that I stumbled up a beautiful little church, one of the first built in the state.

And first learned the story of St. Martin de Tours who, as an officer in the Roman army, used his sword to cut his own cloak in two so he could give half to a tattered beggar.

That image has stuck with me ever since, gnawing on the back of my mind as I wonder whether I do enough for others in need.

That’s why I was struck by this first person report from the Eastside’s Aurelio Jose Barrera, who gets up early a few times a week, loads up his bike with donated food, and rides out to feed those in need while the city is still sleeping.

I don’t know if that makes him a saint.

But in my book, it makes him a hero.

……..

I received the following report from an Orange County rider this morning, and thought it was worth sharing.

On Friday night, going southbound on Bolsa Chica, I noticed a length of purple ribbon lying in the gutter. I thought: Is that the purple ribbon from Michael Bastien’s memorial? And on approach, I noticed that the bike was kind of awry. It also looked unchained, but without time to check it out, I was left wondering all weekend. On Sunday morning I investigated, and sure enough… the purple ribbon wrapped around the power pole was drooping and the purple flowers were atilt. I tied a bow as best I could and started tidying up. The flowers in the hollow saddle had been flung to the ground, so I replaced them. The reflector had fallen from its conspicuous perch next to the cross nailed into the pole, and I couldn’t affix it so I just angled it between a spoke & the seat stay so it would catch headlights.

And then I just kind of stared. Because the busted lock and chain are just lying on the sidewalk. Dunno how long they’ve been there, or whether there’d been a theft attempt or what, but the ghost bike’s been unlocked & unmolested for at least the past three days.

Meanwhile, still no action by the DA against Bastien’s killer.

………

HR-Los-Angeles_15-PosterBy now, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of Ride 2 Recovery, a program that uses bikes to help wounded vets recover and make it all the way back after their service overseas, physically and emotionally.

On March 28th, you’ll have a chance to help out while enjoying some of the most scenic and challenging roads in Southern California when the first ever 103-mile Bear Claw Classic — aka Seven Canyon Climb — rolls through the Santa Monica Mountains.

There will also be a 55-mile route, and a much easier 25-mile Honor Ride Los Angeles, or Cub Route, through Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks.

Sounds like a good ride for a great cause.

………

Local

CiclaValley reports there will be two CicLAvia meetings in the San Fernando Valley tomorrow; motivated riders could make both.

Getting around the Hollywood and Highland area will be a challenge for the next week as they gear up for Sunday’s Oscar celebration — even blocking LA’s one and only Bike Friendly Street.

Speaking of which, will any of the many bike riding celebrities have the courage to ditch their limos and #biketheOscars? With all the street closures, they could have their own mini-CicLAvia.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is hospitalized after he was hit while allegedly running a red light; as always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw him go through it.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero group maps out where you’re most likely to be hit by a car while walking or riding.

Petaluma cyclists are split over the proposed law that would require all bike riders to wear a helmet; so are Sacramento area riders.

 

National

Next City looks at what the last four presidents have done for bicycling, while the Atlantic points out Washington’s birthday used to be celebrated by bike. And Streetsblog offers photographic proof that most of the recent presidents rode, too.

Lance is ordered to repay $10 million of the $12 million he received from a promotions company.

Residents of a low-income Baton Rouge neighborhood will finally get sidewalks along a dangerous street, with a multi-use bikeway on one side. And yes, that street was pretty hair-raising when I lived down there a few decades back.

The hit-and-run epidemic has hit Florida, doubling the number of incidents in Pensacola over the last three years.

Nice. After a 12-year old Florida girl’s bike is badly damaged in a collision, sheriff’s deputies not only ticket the driver, one arranges to get the girl a new bike from Walmart.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. A Brit teenager gets a year in jail for injuring a bike rider by throwing a bottle at him from a moving car. Note to US police: he only pled guilty after his DNA was found on the bottle, proving it is possible to actually investigate assaults against cyclists like you would any other hate crime.

Alberto Contador plans to hang it up after the 2016 season; interesting that so many journalists conveniently forget he was stripped of one of his titles, just like Lloyd and Lance.

In LA, you’re lucky if you can even find a bike rack; in Japan, cyclists get fully automated underground bike storage systems.

 

Finally…

Evidently, DC bike lanes are even a hit with street walkers. A London flashmob cheers on bike commuters as if they were in the Tour de France; not the first time we’ve seen something like that.

And a new kind of steel promises stronger, lighter bike frames, replacing titanium for high-end bikes at a fraction of the cost.

……..

On a personal note, many thanks to C.S. Meszler. Your note made my day.

Guest Post: A view from the courtroom

It’s one of the more heartbreaking cases in recent history.

It was just two days before Christmas last year, when a young Australian man working in Chicago was flying back home for the holidays, leaving his girlfriend of five years behind. Faced with an extended layover at LAX, James Rapley decided to rent a bike on a sunny Sunday morning for a ride along the beach.

He never made his flight home.

Rapley was riding in the uphill bike lane on Temescal Canyon Blvd when he was run down from behind by another young man, who was allegedly under the influence at 9 am, and reportedly admitted to texting behind the wheel when he drifted into the bike lane, taking the Aussie’s life in an instant.

I’ve often wondered what James Rapley’s thoughts were in those last few moments as his life drifted away. Whether he thought of the woman he loved, or the family he would never see again.

Or just wondered why.

Mohammed Kadri, the driver who took his life, was recently charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent volunteered to be in the courtroom for Kadri’s Preliminary Setting on Thursday. Here’s her report.

……..

This morning, Mohammed Kadri was actually present in court. I didn’t see anyone in the tiny courtroom who looks 20 years old, because Kadri is kind of hirsute, so he looks older; the kid probably has a 5 o’clock shadow by noon. He’s not very tall, but his suit fit well, and posture is good and it indicated that he understands the gravity of his situation.

The Deputy DA assigned to the case requested a continuance. The judge asked a little impatiently why they shouldn’t proceed today. The prosecutor stated that she needs time to speak with the victim’s family. (Because what better time than the holidays?!?) The next court date is Friday, January 16th.

Incidentally, the prosecutor is Danette Meyers. She’ll prosecute viciously. The victim impact statements will be absolutely integral to the case, though. Even if the family can only provide written statements.

From the glass elevators at the courthouse, you can see planes coming in to LAX. I looked at those tubes of tin and thought of all the souls on board. James had flown into LAX a day early because he was worried that bad weather would delay his flight home to Australia. I wondered if any of today’s arrivals had chosen an early flight for the same reason, to play it safe so they can get home to their families for the holidays. And then I prayed every single one of them will be on their connecting flights. Because James Rapley never got the chance.

Just as an aside, and I could be wrong, but… In the hallway outside the courtroom, an older guy intercepted Kadri’s lawyer as we (me & the guy who turned out to be the lawyer) reached for the courtroom door at just about the same moment. This older guy may be a relative. Right after Kadri’s appearance, I went into the hallway to type some quick notes on my laptop. This same older guy walked by, very clearly looking down at the screen. I scowled at him and he pivoted away. I think he noticed the LACBC sticker on the front and suspects I’m some agent of theirs. Well, let the defense worry that so many eyes are on them.

I’d love to see Kadri quake beneath the gaze of an angry guardian angel the size of the Bike Coalition.

The Airport courthouse has no bike parking, but the security at the garage entrance suggested locking up to the handicap parking sign. The courthouse is conveniently nestled in the armpit of the 105/405 interchange, and miserable to reach by any way but car. If you look at Google Maps, it’s right there by the Green Line station, but you can’t access it by 116th street (unless you scale two chain link fences, and people clearly do this.) Nope, you have to go down to 120th and head back north. If you’re on a bike on 120th & La Cienega, it’s terrifying to wait in the eastbound left turn lane (whose sensor doesn’t register bikes), because the westbound traffic shooting out from the freeway underpass seems to be COMING RIGHT AT YOU thanks to the wacky angle at the intersection. By the time that oncoming wall of FedEx truck zoomed at me like Jaws, my heart rate was about 160. It’s not much lower right now, what with the rage about how we practically require vehicular manslaughter defendants to arrive at the courthouse by automobile.

……..

After I got her report, I emailed a member of Rapley’s family in Australia to let them know about the January 16th court date.

The response I received broke my heart.

The next court date will be just days after the one year anniversary of his funeral. And six years to the day that he’d been with his girlfriend. 

……..

The ghost bike for James Rapley is still there, 355 days later.

Maybe you’ve seen it at the corner of Temescal and PCH, and wondered who it was for, or stopped to read the inscription.

It’s been maintained all this time by a grieving father from Oxnard, whose own six-year old son was killed while riding his bike. Since then, Anthony Novarro has dedicated his life to remembering other bike riding sons and daughters who have lost theirs.

He stops by every few weeks to clean the site, and remember a young man none of us ever knew.

But all ghost bikes are removed or stolen sooner or later; it’s unusual that one lasts this long.

There’s a discussion currently underway to make the memorial permanent by installing a bike rack in the shape of a bicycle in Rapley’s honor.

So far it hasn’t gotten past the discussion stage.

But its another reminder that James Rapley hasn’t been forgotten in the City of Angels, even if he died a stranger to us all.

……..

Something else that hasn’t gotten past the discussion stage yet is a proposal to build the city’s first parking-protected bike lane on that uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley lost his life.

Such protected bikeways were just approved by the state legislature earlier this year, and signed into law by Governor Brown. This would be the ideal location for one, with no conflicting intersections or cross traffic for nearly mile from PCH to Palisades High School.

Whether it would have saved Rapley’s life at that early hour is impossible to say; there may not have been enough beachgoers parking their cars to form a protective barrier so early on a winter weekend.

But it might help prevent a similar tragedy in the future.

And if there’s a better way to honor someone who needlessly lost his life in the few short hours he spent in our city, I don’t know what that would be.

……..

Update: A comment below from Jeffrey reminds us that a memorial fund in Rapley’s name has raised over $15,000 for Australia’s Amy Gillett Foundation to improve bike safety, with a goal of eliminating bicycling deaths. And it tells his all-too-brief life story, letting us know just who this man we never knew was.

More impressively, his family donated his life insurance and joined with friends to contribute over $250,000 to establish a scholarship at Whitley College for a Rural Student studying either Engineering or Science at Melbourne University.

But more funds are needed to increase the amount of the annual award, and help make a difference in the world that James Rapley never got the chance to make.

 

A moving look at local ghost bikes, Pico Blvd cyclist threatened with knife, and your weekend reading list

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike photo by Danny Gamboa

I’ve long been a fan of LA Times columnist Steve Lopez.

And not just because he’s been a long standing supporter of safer bicycling, on the mean streets of LA or the seemingly serene Santa Monica bike path.

Today, he offers a moving look at the local ghost bike movement. It’s a must read. And one in which he quotes me extensively, as well as ghost bike builder Anthony Novarro, who lost his own 6-year old bike-riding son, and documentary maker and ghost bike photographer Danny Gamboa.

The comments that follow, not so much.

And while we’re visiting the Times, after writing last year about braving LA traffic as a bike commuter, writer Ben Poston calls it quits after getting right hooked by a pickup; not everyone approves.

……….

A cyclist says a road raging driver threatened him with a knife for riding on the street on Pico Blvd Friday afternoon.

Hopefully he reported the incident to the police; just brandishing the weapon should be enough for an assault with a deadly weapon charge. It’s bad enough when they threaten us with their cars.

And if he has witnesses to the threat — or other evidence, like an arrest or criminal charge — it could allow him to file suit under the city’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

……….

The Amgen Tour of California begins May 11th, with three SoCal stages — Santa Clarita to Mountain High on May 16th, Santa Clarita to Pasadena City Hall on May 17th, and a final Thousand Oaks stage on May 18th that offers four ascents of the famed Rock Store Climb.

The full roster of teams is announced. And for the first time, this year’s race also includes two women’s races; hopefully, a full women’s stage race won’t be far behind. Cycling in the South Bay says you can help that happen.

……….

The case against the sheriff’s deputy who killed entertainment lawyer Milt Olin on Mulholland Highway last December goes to the DA to determine if charges will be filed.

Meanwhile, a bike rider suffered severe injuries when he was hit from behind in South LA Friday night.

And a Santa Ana man who may have been on a bicycle was the victim of what may have been a gang shooting.

……….

Great article on the non-spandexed women cyclists and riders of color who make up a large but largely unnoticed part of the LA cycling community. Better Bike says Beverly Hills is making little progress on traffic safety, and may have the most dangerous streets for any city of its size in the state. Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg looks at last weekend’s successful Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit. LA County Supervisor candidate Sheila Kuehl calls for bike valets at Expo stops; I like it, but it will take more than that to win my vote. Streetsblog maps out the upcoming 20 miles of new sharrows recently promised by LADOT. Outside looks at LA’s upcoming NELA Bike-Friendly District. If you’re an early riser, you may still have time to ride for dim sum with Flying Pigeon. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune applauds connecting the Rio Hondo river trail to the El Monte bus station. Redondo Beach will get a new bike sculpture over the bike path.

Cyclelicious offers a look at bike-related bills before the state legislature, including a plan to tax new bike sales to fund bike path repairs and appease motorists who mistakenly claim we don’t pay our way. I don’t feel it’s my place to criticize a guest post on here, but I can always count on others to have my back. San Diego’s North Park — my old neighborhood when I lived down that way — could become a better place to ride a bike. On the other hand, a bike lane could spell the death of the Hillcrest entertainment district by removing up to 91 parking spaces; cause, you know, no one would ever ride a bike to go out or anything. A participant in the recent fatality-marred Tour of Palm Springs looks at the event and finds it lacking. The Man in Black’s daughter offers her blessings to the new Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom.  If you see someone riding your stolen bike, try not brandishing a knife to get it back. A San Francisco Good Samaritan ends up behind bars after attempting to help and injured bike rider; thanks to my friends at the new and improved Altadena Point for the heads-up.

The long forgotten protected bikeway boom of 1905. Even Las Vegas is getting bike friendlier. The next step in better bike infrastructure could be protected intersections for cyclists. A cyclist is seriously injured attempting to ride through a tunnel in Zion National Park. My hometown newspaper says it’s time we all got along on the roads; not getting along may create conflict, but it’s seldom the cause of traffic collisions. Once again a bike wins, beating two buses, a pedestrian and a driver in rush hour traffic, this time in Austin TX. Dallas bike rider brawls with police after being stopped for not wearing a helmet. A Chicago rider says the cycling community can — and must — do better when it comes to including women and treating them fairly. A remarkably big-hearted Indiana family forgives the drunk driver who killed a cyclist. New York’s new mayor pushes for a 25 mph speed limit to save lives; I wonder if LA will ever have the courage to slow drivers down to safer levels.

A British Columbia bike rider is ordered to pay over a quarter million dollars for running down a walker on an off-road trail. British driver gets two years for leaving a cyclist for dead after hitting him at 80 mph; thankfully, the rider survived, but lost an arm. A UK van driver gets a lousy six months for laughing while deliberately attempting to run down a group of cyclists; a rider tells the story from the victims’ perspective. A Brit truck driver walks after claiming he couldn’t stop or swerve to avoid killing a cyclist, so he just ran him over. Amsterdam struggles to accommodate an ever increasing number of bike riders. An Aussie anti-bike group says keep to the right because you own a bike, not a Mack truck.

Finally, adding insult to injury, a Seattle man finds his bike stolen on Valentines Day, with a pile of crap left in its place. No, literally.

And a rider on the Santa Monica bike path has seemingly solved the problem of riding with your best friend.

Dog-Bike-2

Possible justice, and justice delayed, in OC; CPP students and faculty remember Ivan Aguilar

A couple quick updates on legal cases from behind the Orange Curtain.

I’m told that Joel Alexander Murphy, the driver accused of slaughtering cyclist Roger Lippmann in a high speed PCH hit-and-run last June, has pleaded guilty to all charges against him, which at one time included felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses.

Sentencing is scheduled for next month; my source says the prosecutor in the case is tough as nails, so we should be able to expect some significant jail time.

Meanwhile, the same source tells me that lawyers for Juli Ann Brown, the driver charged with running down three cyclists in a drunken Seal Beach hit-and-run last February, have had a lot of meetings in chambers, which suggests they may be working out a plea deal. She already has at least two prior DUI convictions, so anything less than actual jail time — and permanent loss of her license — would be a significant miscarriage of justice.

And still no charges against Becki Lee James, who was arrested last July on suspicion of felony DUI causing great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of cyclist Kenneth Prevatte. Kind of makes you wonder what the OC DA is waiting on.

………

That petition calling on Governor Brown to sign a three-foot passing law after screwing cyclists vetoing similar bills twice was up to 78 signatures in less than one day the last I checked. If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign now and send a message that it’s long past time to protect our safety; not everyone agrees, though.

………

A ghost bike was installed for fallen Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar Thursday. LACBC-affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition calls on the university to create a safer and more bike-friendly campus, while CLR Effect offers moving photos of the tribute.

Meanwhile, a writer for several Inland Empire publications somehow managed to capture the moment beautifully, in just 140 characters:

The silence among the hundreds of those left behind at the memorial after the bicyclists ride off is broken only by frequent sniffling.

………

The Times looks at the idea of taxing bikes; I’ve said before I wouldn’t object to a reasonable fee if all the funds raised went to improving bikeways and safety. DTLA Bikes invites you to ride with them on the last Sunday of each month. Hopefully, the rain will stop in time for ArtNight Pasadena Friday night. The Culver City police team with Target to give a 10-year old girl a new bike after hers is wrecked in a collision.

Once again, police crack down on the victims of our auto-centric streets rather than the ones who place them at risk, this time in San Diego. Now’s your chance to make La Jolla more bike friendly; it wasn’t very when I lived down that way. A Sacramento-area high school coach is killed in a bizarre bicycling accident when he’s impaled on a metal gate after he looks back to wave at a student; thanks to Louie Garcia for the heads-up. San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere will stand trial for felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian last year; if we expect to hold drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel, we should expect cyclists to be held to the same standard. A Chico man may have ridden his bike to a highway overpass at 2:30 am, leaned it against the railing and jumped to his death. Teams are announced for the Amgen Tour of California.

Elly Blue explains how to bike to the airport. A marketing specialist says it’s time to tone down the bike evangelism. Commuter Age offers a big FU to Opel for their blatant attempt to sell cars using bikes. Portland businesses seek out spaces next to bike lanes. The new healthcare plan pisses an Iowa cyclist off so much he’s riding 7,000 miles at age 70 to protest it; no, I don’t really get it either. A proposed 924 mile off-road hiking and biking route would connect Michigan and Wisconsin. Bikeyface suggests bike shops are ignoring the future of bicycling. A Boston-area woman is 61, deaf and rides her bike everywhere. Bikes mean business on Capital Hill.

UK cyclists saved their country’s economy tens of million of pounds and kept hundreds of thousands of tonnes, uh, tons of carbon emissions out of the air; no wonder Brit drivers hate them. Even cardinals on their way to elect a new pope ride bikes. An Aussie car passenger warned the driver about a cyclist five seconds before he hit the rider. A dooring could silence a New Zealand string quartet for three months.

Finally, an Israeli town plans an innovative elevated bikeway to allow cyclists to U-turn without crossing the road. Nice, but somehow I can’t picture anyone actually using it, especially since it only works for people who don’t want to ride past the city limits; seems much easier to just turn around.

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

Maybe it was something in the water.

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

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

But this one takes the cake.

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

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

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

No, not that one.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

A few other quick notes:

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

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

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

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

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