Tag Archive for Josef Bray-Ali

Morning Links: Bray-Ali endorsed by Times in CD1, entitled driver behaving badly, and LA BAC meets tonight

Now this is big.

Former Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali’s candidacy to unseat incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo got a huge boost yesterday when he won the endorsement of the LA Times.

While Cedillo has a huge advantage in fundraising, much of it coming from developers and others seeking to influence City Hall, Bray-Ali’s upstart grassroots campaign has been making waves in the district, as he rides his cargo bike door-to-door to talk with local voters.

And the Times has noticed.

Many people in the district think of Bray-Ali, 37, as just a bike-shop owner and bike activist. Frustration over Cedillo’s part in stalling bike lanes on Figueroa Street propelled Bray-Ali into this race. But though he may be campaigning atop two wheels, he has educated himself way beyond bike and transit issues. In fact, his understanding of land-use policy is impressive for someone who has never worked in City Hall, and his experience running a small business in the city will make him a rare and important voice on the council.

They also seem to have a pretty good read on his opponent.

Cedillo has a reputation among community activists as someone hell-bent on helping developers build market-rate housing while paying little regard for the more prosaic concerns of the neighborhoods. This disinterest in the community is troubling; even more so is his indifference to the displacement of low-income constituents. (He called displacement in his district an “urban myth” in a meeting with the editorial board. The city’s own data show it is not.) Building more housing is a virtue — the city is in a housing crunch, and more market-rate housing means more housing, period. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of a neighborhood’s affordability and quality of life. A councilman’s job is to balance the interests of neighborhoods with those of the population as a whole, and Cedillo doesn’t seem to be interested in that task…

The winner of this race will have an extra long term (the recent change in city elections means the winner will hold office for 5½ years) during a building boom that could fundamentally change the district. It is imperative that the person making the decisions focus on the needs of the community, not just a personal vision. The candidate who is best prepared to do that for Council District 1 is Bray-Ali.

Meanwhile, he also won the endorsement of Joel Epstein, writing for the Huffington Post.

Fact: Joe Bray-Ali has been a tireless advocate for safer streets for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers. A key leader in the safe streets Figueroa for All movement, Joe’s advocacy is helping make North East L.A. a safer place to live and is improving the neighborhood’s connections to Pasadena and the Los Angeles River.

Joe’s vision for CD 1 and the entire city, includes zero deaths and injuries from irresponsible, dangerous drivers. This is just one more reason that Josef Bray-Ali should be CD 1’s next councilmenber.

It’s time that CD 1 was represented by a councilmember who cares about the district. It’s time to elect Joe Bray-Ali.

On a personal note, I’ve been encouraging Joe Bray-Ali to run for city council since I first met him nearly ten years ago.

I’ve never met anyone more passionate about improving safety on our streets — myself included. Or more committed to improving the quality of life for the people who live in Northeast LA.

And few people, in or out of government, are more knowledgeable about the way city government works, and how it can be made to work more efficiently and better serve the people of this city. Not to mention possessing a rare ability to dig through city budgets line by line to determine where the money is actually going, as opposed to where it should be.

Joe has been a longtime advocate for better streets and better government. It’s time that passion and commitment is put to work serving, not just the bicycling community, but all the residents of CD1 and the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a visual definition of real schmuck, Greg Heining sends us this video of a driver cutting off an elderly woman with a walker as she makes her way across a crosswalk.

Sadly, this sort of thing happens every day, almost everywhere.

And yet, they say bicyclists act entitled.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 7 pm tonight at Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue.

This is the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, yet three of the seats remain unfilled. If you’re a resident of council districts 9 (Curren Price), 10 (Herb Wesson) or 13 (Mitch O’Farrell), contact them today and politely ask your councilmember to get off his ass and appoint someone.

Then not so politely if they still don’t.

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Bike racing’s governing body issues new rules for support vehicles to improve safety in the peloton. Even though the only way to really improve safety would be to ban them entirely.

The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition is working to bring back the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.

The U-23 development team run by Axel Merckx is providing talented young British riders with an alternative path to pro cycling.

Former cyclist Bridie O’Donnell discusses the sexual and emotional abuse women riders face in the sport, including the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former coach as a young triathlete.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the recent LA Great Streets Challenge winners, as well as Vision Zero grants.

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is riding to fight MS.

CiclaValley goes riding on the other road closed to motor vehicles in Griffith Park.

Time Out looks at 14 National Parks within driving distance of Los Angeles. Which means they’re in bicycling distance, too.

Long Beach is challenging residents to walk or ride their bikes on the Shoreline Pedestrian/Bicycle Path, as they try to reach one million trips on the path’s Eco-Counter.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition hosted a training session to teach people how to organize grassroots political advocacy efforts for safer, expanded access for bicycles.

In LA, they shut down bike paths to do freeway work; in San Diego County, they shut down freeway lanes, in part to install bike paths.

An alleged drunk driver was arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bakersfield bike rider with multiple broken bones.

Registration is now open for the 104-mile Tehachapi GranFondo, which will evidently take place sometime. Note to Bakersfield Now: One of those famous Five W’s stands for when. Just a hint. Update: Thanks to MTS, who points out the ride rolls on September 16th.

Now that’s more like it. San Francisco police are deploying extra officers to crack down on traffic violations by drivers at locations where bicyclists or pedestrians have been injured.

San Francisco scraps plans for a raised bike lane on Polk Street after concluding that it would also need to be parking protected. So what’s the point of raising the bike lane if it’s already protected?

 

National

Curbed says even with an auto-centric administration in DC, private car ownership could plummet in the US.

PeopleForBikes ignores the game, and watches the Super Bowl to count the number of bikes in the ads.

Redfin lists the best cities for living without a car; San Francisco takes the top spot, while cross-bay neighbor Oakland checks in at number ten. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list.

Lifehacker says there are few things dorkier than putting a bell on your bike, but insists you should do it anyway.

An Iowa letter writer says requiring bicycles to have lights at night won’t save lives because most of the state’s fatalities occurred during the day. Including the one that killed her boyfriend.

Bikeshare is coming to Roanoke VA, with 50 bike at stations scattered around the city.

 

International

Over 5,000 Costa Rican cyclists rode on Sunday to demand safer streets.

A new short film celebrates the success of Vancouver’s prescient multi-modal street design.

London’s Evening Standard explains why you should join a cycling club, and how to fuel your ride.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would push a 92-year old British woman off her bicycle to steal the equivalent of seven and a half bucks.

Now that’s more like it, too. Large trucks are banned from a narrow British lane where they weren’t supposed to be in the first place after a bike rider was injured in a collision.

The Brit press is up in arms over bicyclists filtering through traffic. Even though it’s legal. And even though it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

A new German project raising funds on Kickstarter promises to deliver a flexible, lightweight bike lock made up of five layers that are saw-resistant, cut-resistant, fire-resistant, waterproof, and dirt-repelling. Because really, who wants a dirty lock?

Today was national Go By Bike Day in New Zealand. Or yesterday, since it’s already tomorrow there.

Chinese app-based bikeshare comes to Singapore to rescue the city from its overly crowded streets.

Caught on video: Dozens of people team up to lift a van off a Chinese bicyclist following a collision; thanks to their efforts, the victim didn’t appear to have suffered any injuries.

 

Finally…

You only have to ride around the block to stay in shape, as long as you do it really, really hard. If you really want to make your point, say it again, and again.

And once again, a bike rider saves the day. Or the dog, as the case may be.

 

Morning Links: Bike berating truck driver, rescheduled Blumenfield ride, and Bray-Ali gets matching funds

This is getting old.

A bike rider in the South Bay gets passed by the road raging driver of a large pickup, who then steps out of his truck to berate him and tell him to get off the fucking road.

LAPD officers have told me that a driver can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his vehicle, since merely exiting the vehicle can be seen as a threat.

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LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s bike ride along the LA River and through the West Valley has been rescheduled for the 26th of this month.

Considering how some members of the council don’t seem to give a damn about us, you should take advantage of a chance to ride and talk with one who does.

Speaking of which, one of those bike-unfriendly councilmembers has raised nearly 10 times the funds of Josef Bray-Ali, his Bike the Vote-endorsed challenger in CD1, who qualified for matching funds by raising $49,000 in mostly small contributions.

Clearly, Bray-Ali’s route to victory will depend on volunteer efforts and word-of-mouth, rather than trying to outspend his opponent.

Which means we have to do everything we can to get a more bike and safety-friendly voice on the council, in a district that desperately needs it.

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If your bike flats on Mandeville and you don’t have any tubes left, maybe you can catch a ride with some helpful cops.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson sort of reviews LA-based ex-pro cyclist and cookie lover Phil Gaimon’s new book, and says it’s subversive, insightful, and really, really funny.

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Apropos of nothing, and nothing to do with bikes, but this totally cracks me up.

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Pro cyclist Andriy Grivko has been kicked out of the Tour of Dubai after punching race leader Marcel Kittel in the face; a very pissed off Kittel says he deserves a six month ban.

Cycling Weekly highlights the best bike punches caught on camera.

Two Aussie cyclists are riding the exact route of the 1928 Tour de France to honor a four man team from Down Under who competed in the race.

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Local

Streetsblog says Los Angeles has striped new bike lanes on Heliotrope Drive in what used to be known as the Bicycle District, replacing sharrows that should have been bike lanes to begin with.

The LACBC looks at three things they learned during the recent Ask An Officer panel discussion with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass, including that there aren’t enough cops on the street, and the ones who are too often don’t have enough resources or receive adequate training. Which is something we’ve been pushing for since this site was founded.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy. I’d take it, but I refuse to wear a badge.

Help distribute books to free street libraries on Saturday’s Street Librarians Ride.

A Claremont paper looks at the last, sad days of 82-year old Coates Cyclery.

The mayor of Santa Clarita invites residents to get in shape by using the city’s 115-mile bike network, including 85 miles of natural and paved pathways.

CiclaValley goes bike lane shaming in Solvang and Santa Paula.

 

State

People in San Diego’s La Mesa neighborhood are being frightened by a bike-riding man with a gun. Or maybe not.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old Pauma Valley man plans to ride across Canada with a hundred other bicyclists next summer.

A road improvement project in Victorville will include six miles of new bike lanes.

A Fresno letter writer says the city needs to embrace bicycling to clean the air and defeat asthma.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane through the city’s McLaren Park this Saturday. Plans are also in the works for protected lanes on the Embarcadero, where traffic has reached “brutal” levels.

Marin mountain bikers band together to demand better access to the county’s trails, saying they represent up to 45% of all trail users, but are allowed on only 10% of them.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time to pump up your bike tires and join the city’s Bike Party.

 

National

Outside Magazine asks if gravel bikes are marketing hype or the future of cycling. Short answer, probably neither.

A Chicago paper says the judge missed an opportunity to send a strong message on DUIs when he sentenced a drunk driver to just 10 days in jail for killing a bike rider. Gee, you think?

You can now legally ride your bike in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

Tennessee’s Bike Elf fixes up bikes and gives them to kids who get straight A’s, after signing an agreement to do their best.

A 2002 New York public access TV show offers a look at how bad bicycling was back in the city’s dark ages before Janet Sadik-Khan.

A DC rider creates a simplified, easy-to-read bike map based on transit maps. If someone did that here in LA, all they’d get is a bunch of disconnected lines looking like someone spilled a box of matches. And almost as useful.

Speeding in DC will cost you a cool $500, but running over a bike rider is a relative bargain at just $150.

A new Virginia law would prohibit drivers from using bike lanes to pass stopped cars on the right, while another would create a vulnerable user law.

Sometimes, all it takes to form a band is riding your bike past another New Orleans musician.

 

International

The Canadian driver caught on video forcing his car into a bike rider who was trying to block his path has finally been charged with assault, among other charges, after police falsely claimed the victim didn’t want file charges.

Caught on video: Doesn’t look like much; just a guy riding his bike on the sidewalk. Except it’s a London cop’s official police bike, which he just stole from a rack after cutting the lock.

London’s Heathrow Airport actually wants people to bike there, calling for one of the city’s bicycle superhighways to be extended to the airport to make it easier for passengers to leave their cars at home.

Eight Welsh midwives will ride from London to Paris in hopes of delivering £14,000 — the equivalent of over $17,400 — for women’s cancer research

Stealing one or two bikes is bad enough; taking 22 from an English bike shop is unforgivable.

Irish police investigating a jewelry store heist are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed the crime.

Horrifying story from India, as onlookers filmed a teenage bike rider for 30 minutes after he was hit by a bus, rather than helping him or offering comfort as he lay dying. A newspaper asks if the country needs a “Duty to Help” law.

Caught on video too: A South African website freaks out over footage of a woman happily riding her bike in the middle of a busy highway sans helmet.

A group of Taiwanese and Tibetan cyclists demonstrate in Taipei to call attention to the 60th anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising Day next month.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re going to carry cocaine on your bike, don’t ride salmon — and put some damn reflectors on it. For once, you can count roadkill on the highway, rather than risk being it.

And bicycling doesn’t require a co-pay.

 

Morning Links: Bike commute rates in LA area, Bike the Vote endorses Bray-Ali, and LACBC’s take on Vision Zero

Today is the last day for local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry to get deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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So much of the oft-cited figure that one percent of Angelenos commute by bicycle.

Instead, it clearly depends on where you are.

Bike wonk Dennis Hindman took a deep dive into the latest ACS data released by the Census Bureau last December to examine bike commuting by LA-area zip code.

What he discovered was that the rate of bike commuters ranged from a whopping 10% for DTLA and 9% for the USC area, to a lowly .8% for Wilmington. Meanwhile, bike-friendly Santa Monica checks in at 3.8%, while Culver City comes in at a surprising 2.2%.

He also notes that the heaviest rates of bike commuting follow the route of the Expo Line, which had a wait list for bike lockers a week after the new extension to Santa Monica opened.

And which once again demonstrates the need for safe bike lane connections to the Expo Line, especially on Westwood Blvd leading to the UCLA campus.

You can see his full examination of bike commuters per zip code here.

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To the shock of no one, Bike the Vote LA has endorsed community advocate and former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali for LA’s 1st council district over anti-bike incumbent and professional politician Gil Cedillo.

The only surprise is that a second candidate in the race, Giovany Hernandez, offered some very good responses to their candidate survey, while Jesse Rosas did not.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cedillo evidently decided it was more prudent to simply not respond to the survey, rather than lie about his support for bike lanes like he did last time around.

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The LACBC released their response to LA’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, saying while it’s a positive development, it “lacks a clear vision for making the streets safer for people who ride bicycles.”

The coalition also has concerns about the city’s commitment to unbiased policing and equity when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.

You can read their full response here.

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Apparently unhappy with being cut off by someone who actually belonged there while riding illegally in a San Francisco bike lane, a motorcyclist attempts to intimidate a bicyclist. And discovers he should work on his own riding skills first.

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More on the 60 Minutes motor doping report. Team Sky stands accused of having heavier bikes than normal during Tour de France time trials, which could be evidence of hidden motors. Or not.

A British sprinter won a race in Mallorca on Sunday, but was unable to avoid a photographer at the finish line who refused to get out of the way.

A Cat 3 rider in a Santa Barbara road race was lucky to avoid serious injury when he flipped over a retaining wall, and had to hang on for dear life to keep from slipping down a 30-foot drop; his bike was not so lucky. Thanks to CiclaValley for the video.

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Local

The new Riverside Drive Bridge officially opened today, with a protected bike lane offering a vital connection to the LA River bike path, as well as the city’s first modern roundabout. However, not everyone approves, particularly regarding the lost opportunity to use the old bridge as a High Line-style park.

The LAPD is looking for a Los Angeles man who allegedly stabbed a Sylmar man to death before fleeing on a bicycle.

Construction finally kicks off on the long-awaited My Figueroa project, with work starting on 11th Street next month, and moving to Figueroa itself in March.

No, this is not recommended bike behavior. A homeless man on a bicycle attacked a car with a machete at a Pasadena intersection. Seriously, there’s been times I’ve wanted to, but still. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who got a hearty “eff you, asshole” from the driver who gave him a dangerous punishment pass, telling him he belonged on the side of the road.

Nice move from Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club, as they gave new adaptive tricycles to 14 special needs kids.

 

State

Anaheim is looking to add nine acres to the Anaheim Coves, including a new mile-long bike path.

The 62-year old victim of a Simi Valley hit-and-run last month remains bedridden following a coma, numerous injuries and three weeks in intensive care, but is gradually becoming more aware of her surroundings; the stoned driver faces felony DUI and hit-and-run charges.

The editor of San Francisco Streetsblog decides to take his own advice and put a camera on his bike.

Oakland’s parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lanes are a success, reducing speeding and cutting crashes overall crashes by 40% in the first year, even though bicycling is up 78% and walking has doubled.

A NorCal cyclist climbed one million feet in total elevation last year, according to his Strava records.

 

National

Wired discusses how to not screw up Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. But doesn’t even mention bikeways until the last paragraph.

Bicycling offers advice on how to survive group ride mishaps.

A Boston bike rider says winter bicycling in like boiling a frog; if you ease into it slowly, you don’t notice how cold and wet you are until you’re in the middle of it.

Talk about a lack of perspective. An investigative story by a New York TV station reports that at least 2,330 Manhattan parking spaces have been taken away to make room for bike lanes and bikeshare stations. Except New York added nearly 10,000 spaces from 2006 to 2010, for a net gain — not loss — of over 7,000 spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the 3.4 to 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in the city.

A Philadelphia bike advocate makes the case against mandatory helmet laws.

A bike-riding Florida man faces kidnapping charges after demanding that a mother hand over her toddler.

 

International

Canada considers a National Cycling Strategy that would fund a nationwide expansion of bicycling infrastructure and support the bike industry, although not everyone seems happy about it.

Caught on video: A Brit teen driver on a five hour reckless driving rampage slams into a man on a bicycle, flipping him over the car. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, while the driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars and an eight and a half year ban on driving. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Not surprisingly, a new German study says people are more accepting of bicycling under the influence than drunk driving.

A Canadian newspaper says bicycling through Cambodia offers an experience like no other.

Bike Shop Hub offers a fascinating history of how the bicycle won the Vietnam war.

 

Finally…

Bad enough we have to deal with LA drivers, at least we don’t have to worry about a ‘roo to the head; then again, we don’t have to worry about loose bulls on a bike path, either. Really, who doesn’t go for a bike ride carrying brass knuckles, bolt cutters, syringes and yes, bear spray?

And Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch goes for a Skittles bike ride in the other Houston. The one in Scotland.

Morning Links: Fundraiser for Joe4CD1, traveling LA by bike and Metro, and taking auto-eroticism a tad too literally

Josef Bray-Ali, who’s taking on anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in the race for Los Angeles’ 1st Council District, is hosting a fundraiser at NELA’s Café de Leche on Sunday.

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Wired looks at the physics of Olympic BMX, while the US took a different approach to training for the BMX events this year.

A Dutch rider managed to qualify for the next round despite smashing his bike on the BMX course and carrying it across the finish line.

Velonews says the Olympics have forced mountain biking into shorter race formats, which one rider describes as more like a long BMX race.

Colorado considers creating a major event to replace the USA Pro Challenge, which went belly up after six years of bringing top pro cyclists to the state.

Outside examines how to motor dope your own bike, while Cycling Weekly looks at what it’s like to ride one.

And a Russian soccer player insists all cyclists dope, saying cycling is “simply impossible without doping.”

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Local

An administrator for a Century City financial management firm touts the benefits of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare.

When a Chatsworth actor’s car needed major repairs, he took to his bike and Metro. And found he actually liked being able to get around the city without a car, especially for the senior off-peak rate of just 35¢.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says his heroes are the ones who show up for meetings about bike safety.

Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a serial bike-riding groper in Cerritos.

The Long Beach Gazettes looks at the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd in North Long Beach. But why, pray tell, did they file it under “Entertainment?”

 

State

Good news from Salinas, as a teenager who was broadsided by a car is recovering from serious injuries.

Bad news from Palo Alto, as a 73-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a stop sign. Funny how often bicyclists are blamed for crashes when they aren’t around to tell their side of the story.

San Francisco advocates fight the removal of ghost bikes; city policy calls for any memorial to be removed after just two weeks.

A candidate for the San Francisco board of supervisors responds to a fellow candidate’s call to register bikes and license their riders, saying bike licenses make good crankbait, but bad policy. Is it too late to move to the Bay just so we can all vote for him?

San Francisco launches a pair of 15-second radio spots promoting the Vision Zero program in English and Spanish, without really saying anything.

 

National

A writer for science website PLOS examines the problems with painted bike lanes that are squeezed onto the side of the road, saying if a car can park there it’s not a bike lane, it’s just the side of the road.

A writer for a left-leaning website goes on an extensive anti-mountain bike diatribe, insisting they have no place in national parks, and are “inbred with a culture of lawlessness and aggression.” And we all know inbreeding is a bad thing, right?

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske calls on bike riders to show a little courtesy to other users on multi-use paths, noting that the way we treat pedestrians could influence the way they treat us when they get behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a young woman was released after spending just 74 days behind bars for running down a cyclist and leaving him to die in the street, after a night of partying.

A Colorado letter writer points out that it’s not just bike riders who break the law, noting how rare it is to see a motorist who’s not illegally putting others at risk in some way.

Football players at a Texas university tackle a bike thief — literally — as he was riding off with a super fan’s bicycle.

An Illinois shop owner calls for action after his wife was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she stepped out of a restaurant. We all have an obligation to ride safely around pedestrians. But instead of calling for enforcement to keep cyclists off the sidewalk, why not call for making the streets safer so people on bikes don’t feel compelled to ride there?

The Chicago Tribune harvests honey with the city’s bicycling beekeeper.

In the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre, city officials consider a three-foot passing law. Which would have done nothing to prevent the drunk and stoned driver from plowing into any of the nine victims.

A New York actress was barred from driving in the state after killing a cyclist while driving distracted last year, even though a botched police investigation allowed her to escape charges. However, she can still drive in New Jersey, where she holds her license, despite four previous moving violations.

Virginia Tech researchers work on creating a rating system for bike helmets.

Atlanta cyclists let their money do the talking by holding a cash mob event to call for protected bike lanes and demonstrate that bike riders make good customers.

A former Air Force colonel is riding 2,500 miles down the East Coast to raise funds for families of fallen soldiers.

 

International

The World Health Organization has named former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg global ambassador for road safety, with a portfolio that includes preventing deaths from traffic collisions.

A British TV sports reporter is in a coma after contracting a rare form of malaria while bicycling 3,000 miles on a charity bike ride from London to Rio.

An author says the bicycle has become a tool for radical activism in Afghanistan, as he flies into the country to photograph the women’s national cycling team.

The Wall Street Journal says a luxury cycling tour of Japan with a pro racer as your guide will make you a better rider.

Take a bike tour of the remote Ha Giang region of Vietnam, which was recently opened to visitors. Unlike previous fully supported tours of the county operated by Uncle Sam, this one will set you back over three grand. But no one will be shooting at you.

 

Finally…

Why choose between bicycling and yoga when you can do both at the same time? If you’re going to use your bike to steal a cellphone from a car passenger, try to stay upright long enough to get away.

And an Iowa man is under arrest for having sex with a parked van.

Note that it says with, not in.

 

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

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

Or in this case, don’t do it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DA Criminal <DA.Criminal@ventura.org>

Dear Ms. xxxxx

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

Webmaster

Ventura County District Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send your check to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

Thanks to Thread Riot for the heads-up.

………

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

Monterey considers installing its own bikeshare system.

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Morning Links: Universal bike path on a five-year plan, and Koretz and Cedillo face challengers for LA Council in 2017

Good news, as the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive now has resulted in a lucky 13 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which means we still have 87 to go to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now to lend your support to the leading voice for bicyclists in the LA area. Not to mention you’ll get free bike swag when you sign up, through a special arrangement with the LACBC just for BikinginLA readers.

And my deepest thanks to all those who have signed up already!

………

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that new bike path to open along the LA River through Universal Studios.

After I received an email asking about the path, which was promised by Universal in exchange for approval to open the new Harry Potterville, I contacted the LA County Department of Public Works.

And eventually, after the email was passed from person to person until it finally found someone who could answer my query, I got the following response.

A condition of the development agreement between NBC Universal and the County requires NBC Universal to provide funding to the County for the design and construction of a bike path along the Los Angeles River that will connect Lankershim Boulevard/Cahuenga Boulevard to Barham Boulevard.  The bike path requires a bridge crossing and ramps at either end in order to connect to the roadways; this requires coordination with and approval from multiple agencies, such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Los Angeles.

Because the project is complex, construction will probably occur in stages as plan approvals and permits are secured.  The bike path will not be open to the public until all project components are constructed, which could take at least 5 years.

So yes, it’s moving forward.

And no, you won’t be riding it anytime soon.

Then again, considering Universal had long fought any suggestion of a pathway behind the studio lot for fear aspiring writers would sue them after tossing their screenplays over the fence, this is progress.

………

It looks like CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz will get some competition as he runs for his final term on the city council, as a 30-year old lawyer representing homeless veterans has thrown his hat in the ring. No word on whether he’ll offer more support for bicyclists than Koretz, who has dedicated his time in office to stamping out bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The same story also mentions that Josef Bray-Ali, a long-time community advocate and owner of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop, has taken out papers to challenge CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who singlehandedly killed shovel-ready plans for a much needed road diet on North Figueroa.

I’ve known Bray-Ali for nearly a decade, and found him to be a tireless advocate for safety for all on our streets, regardless of how you travel, with a deep concern for the entire NELA community.

He also has a detailed knowledge and understanding of city spending that few can match, with an uncanny ability to ferret out where the money really goes, as opposed to where it’s supposed to.

Which is why he’ll have my unqualified support in next year’s city election.

………

More big hearts in the news.

The Santa Ana police association and a non-profit community service program pitched in to buy a new adult tricycle for a man with cerebral palsy after his only source of transportation was stolen. The Orange Cycle bike shop provided the new bike at a sizable discount, while also pitching in a new helmet, bell and bike lock.

And a young Birmingham AL boy is so grateful when a cop stops to fix the chain on his bike, he gave the officer a pat on the head.

………

Sad news, as 21-year old Dutch cyclist Gijs Verdick died a week after suffering twin heart attacks while competing in an under-23 race in Poland.

Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin takes the pink jersey away from Germany’s Marcel Kittel in the Giro.

The first stage of the Amgen Tour of California will cover 106 miles through East San Diego County, while CiclaValley looks at Stage 2 through the iconic roads of the San Fernando Valley.

Bicycling talks with UC Berkeley law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, who briefly held the women’s hour record last year.

………

Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee meets today to discuss proposed anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan. I can’t make it due to prior commitments, so speak loudly on my behalf if you go.

The Eastside’s Ovarian Psychos have become LA’s unapologetic two-wheeled feminist powerhouse.

Santa Monica Spoke invites everyone to discuss women’s biking issues over donuts Tuesday morning.

 

State

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with the newest member of Calbike’s board of directors.

A Santa Barbara family takes a weekend road trip by bike.

An Olympic road cyclist from San Mateo urges people to join her for the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day this Thursday. Meanwhile, Cyclelicious asks if we focus too much on bike commuting to promote bicycling at the expense of other trips that can be taken by bicycle. Short answer, yes.

Caltrain and BART are adding more capacity for bikes by the Bay.

A cyclist in Calaveras County thanks the 99% of considerate motorists who pass safely, and reminds the other 1% why they need to.

A Sacramento writer says plans for a bike-friendly new development have turned out to be just the opposite as city budget problems cause cutbacks in promised bikeways.

A Chico letter writer complains about cyclists with their “smug biker gang mentality” who refuse to get out of her damn way no matter how much she honks. Even though the cyclists in question were riding to remember a much loved rider who died following a brief illness, after a 2007 collision left him paralyzed when the group he was riding with swerved to avoid a pedestrian. Big effing heart she’s got there.

 

National

A graphic from NACTO shows just how inefficient private motor vehicles are if you want to move more people without widening streets; a two-way protected bike lane can move nearly five times as many people per hour.

Remarkably, Anchorage AK police don’t keep stats on hit-and-runs, and have no idea how many drivers have fled the scene after hitting bike riders.

A 65-year old Des Moines bike rider has died after being assaulted by two men earlier this month.

An 18-year old Wisconsin bike rider gets just a $187 ticket for crashing into a woman while riding on the sidewalk, even though the victim died later as a result of hitting her head on the pavement. If we expect drivers to be held accountable for their actions behind the wheel, we have to expect bike riders to be, as well.

A New York man pleads not guilty to felony charges for failing to secure the boat he was towing after the trailer broke lose, fatally striking a young woman riding her bike last fall.

Sad news from the Police Unity Tour, as a retired New Jersey cop was critically injured on the ride to honor fallen police officers, and isn’t expected to survive.

Baltimore chefs get on their bikes to support a program that brings meals to patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

 

International

Nice piece from the Register’s Dan Whiting on Saturday’s 50-mile Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride, and a bike-riding East LA native who refuses to give up.

An Argentinian man traded his backpack for panniers 10 years ago, and hasn’t looked back since; he’s currently touring Africa after visiting 85 countries.

A pair of teenage salmon cyclists bring a major British highway to a complete halt, but slip away before they can be stopped.

A Manchester UK bike lane has been paved over just seven weeks after it opened, following complaints from bicyclists that it actually made the road more dangerous.

 

Finally…

If you want to go faster on your bike, just hang onto a car, only ride downhill or go through really scary neighborhoods. Bone up on excuses for your next failed drug test.

And when you’re riding Down Under, it’s bad form to punch the cops if they try to stop you for riding without a helmet.

………

Don’t miss today’s guest post about Team LACBC and the 2016 edition of the California Climate Ride. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

……..

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

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

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

Hello motorist,

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

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

2) Tailgating a cyclist

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

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

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

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

edwardskizer at 3:50 PM July 23, 2011

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

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

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

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

……..

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

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

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

……..

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

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

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

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

……..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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