Tag Archive for LACBC

Morning Links: OC fire captain critical after DUI crash, Claremont cyclist murdered, and hit-and-run driver ID’d

Tragic news from Costa Mesa, where an 18-year veteran of the fire department is fighting for his life after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver.

Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza was riding on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo around 8 am when he was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp, who remained at the scene.

Scarp was being held on $100,000 bond after police found multiple prescription medications in his car.

Kreza remains unresponsive; the Costa Mesa Fire Department tweeted that the next several hours will be critical.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours, nearly triple the original $25,000 goal.

Let’s all say a prayer, or whatever you’re comfortable with, for Mike Kreza’s full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, there was more bad news from Claremont, where a bike rider was murdered by a driver who allegedly used her car as a weapon.

Police say that Leslie Pray, a 54-year old Claremont resident, was intentionally run down by 61-year old Sandra Wicksted, also from Claremont.

Wicksted reportedly had swerved in the direction of other bicyclists just moments before turning her wheel towards Pray, and swerving across the roadway to slam into her bike as Pray rode in the bike lane on North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive.

Police found several empty liquor bottles in Wicksted’s car after the crash. She was arrested on suspicion of murder, and being held on a $2 million bond.

Tragically, Pray had only started riding a few months earlier.

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The combative hit-and-run driver who killed a Van Nuys bike rider hours after Halloween, then fought with police who tried to take him into custody, has been identified as 20-year old Santa Monica resident Alexander Daniel Furtado.

No word yet whether he was actually in the military, as he claimed, or if the camo fatigues he was wearing were just a Halloween costume.

Furtado is being held on $50,000 bond for suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The victim still has not been publicly identified.

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The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly campaign, which hands out free bike lights to riders who need them, kicks off in San Pedro tonight.

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Lest ye forget, tomorrow is Election Day. And your chance to Bike the Vote for awhile.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA offers their indispensable voters guide for tomorrow’s election.

The LA Times provides their total list of 2018 election endorsements.

LAist has advice on how to pick a judge to vote for.

Los Angeles Magazine explains what all those confusing propositions actually mean. And has a list of businesses that will give you a deal if you come in with your I Voted sticker .

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Local

No surprise here. Bird has filed suit against Beverly Hills and their misguided total ban on dockless bikes and scooters. The only question is what took them so long?

The map has been released for next month’s CicLAvia as it returns to the Heart of LA.

California announced the latest round of Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Grants, including $550,000 to SCAG’s Go Human campaign, and a total of $375,000 to the City of LA; Pasadena and Long Beach received $175,000 and $150,00, respectively.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs into the lawsuit from self-appointed NIMBY activists Fix the City trying to halt desperately needed growth along the Expo Line. And apparently not grasping that more residential building means less traffic, not more.

 

State

Riverside has opened its first bikeshare system with 55 ped-assist ebikes.

Ride through the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 17th, and get rewarded with a cold beer.

Hundreds of bike riders rode through Ventura County in the annual fundraising ride in honor of Mike Nosco, 14 years to the day after he was killed when his truck collided with an unlighted farm vehicle.

A new $13 million bike and pedestrian bridge with provide Palo Alto residents with a crucial link over the massive Highway 101 for the first time in 60 years.

San Mateo County bicyclists now have a safer, green bike lane across a dangerous bridge. Even if the photo clearly shows an SUV driving in it.

Uber’s JUMP Bikes ped-assist dockless e-bikeshare system has expanded throughout the Sacramento area, including bike friendly Davis.

 

National

Good question. A drivers website asks why hit-and-runs are at an all-time high nationwide, but doesn’t really come up with an answer. Although someone should tell them hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

General Motors is getting into the ebike biz — and they want you to name it.

A Portland homeowner posted a huge sign in his or her window demanding that bike riders cut some slack when they try to access their own driveways.

The Houston Chronicle says walking and biking in the city can be way too dangerous. Meanwhile, a Houston bike advocacy group is increasing the frequency of their bike safety classes, including what to do in an emergency situation, in the wake of a deadly year for the city’s bicyclists.

Once again, Texas copies California — this time our hit-and-run drivers, and the low bail for the crime. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A Cincinnati TV station reminds us of the dangers to bike riders and pedestrians after yesterday’s time change. Speaking of which, this is what you look like to drivers in the dark without lights.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Wisconsin driver smashed into a group of girl scouts at they were picking up trash along the shoulder of a highway before fleeing the scene; three girls were killed along with a parent, and another girl is in critical condition.

A 57-year old New Hampshire man rode 5,000 miles across the US, accompanied by his eight-year old dog following behind in a trailer.

A New York resident tries various ways of getting around the city, giving ebike riding an A+ rating — if you can tolerate universal loathing.

A DC website says Philadelphia is kicking the district’s butt on Vision Zero, while a Philly magazine says the city is making progress, but still has a long way to goNever mind that they’re both miles ahead of LA.

A year after Hurricane Irma, a beachfront Hollywood FL bike path is still covered in sand.

One of the four Florida bicyclists run down by a 91-year old driver last week has been released; two others remain in serious/critical condition, while a fourth is in stable condition.

 

International

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in Canada. The father of an Ottawa crash victim called the verdict a disgrace as a driver was acquitted in the speeding, hit-and-run death of his bike riding son; the driver claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and had no idea he hit anything, despite awakening to a loud bang.

An English bike rider is snatching phones from unsuspecting women as he rides by.

Shocking yes, but not surprising. Six out of seven drivers who kill bike riders in the UK get off without any jail time. And only a third lose their licenses. It’s probably no different on this side of the Atlantic.

Horrible story from Britain, where an injured bike rider froze to death waiting for help in a cemetery, after police drove off when they didn’t find her when they responded to a call.

Great idea. An Irish politician proposes offering financial incentives to encourage kids to bike to school, similar to the country’s bike to work program.

No bias here. An Irish columnist calls for detente and cooler heads in the conflict between bicyclists and drivers — while painting bicyclists are crazed maniacs willing to go to war with the poor motorists, who have no choice but to drive.

How to plan your fall culinary tour of Copenhagen.

Caught on video: A 24-year old German artistic cyclist performs stunts Peter Sagan could only dream of.

Your spare parts could help keep riders on the road in Kampala, Uganda.

Logging the way to better Kiwi mountain biking.

Melbourne, Australia’s Green Party proposes a 10-mile, multi-lane bike superhighway as the centerpiece of the city’s nascent bicycle network.

The Australian version of Lifehacker considers weather you should get an ebike; among the downsides, they say, is people will hate you and you might hate yourself.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins defends his defense of Lance Armstrong, saying he’s “sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike.”

The Cannibal heads Rouleur’s inaugural Cycling Hall of Fame class, along with famed bike builder Ernesto Colnago and British icon Beryl Burton.

VeloNews debates the merits of next year’s Tour de France versus Giro d’Italia routes.

 

Finally…

Forget bike riders, golfers should be the ones wearing helmets. If you’ve wanted to see Lance suffer, you finally got your wish.

And Apple wants to copy cycling’s pelotons for their electric cars.

Hopefully they’ll avoid taking half of it down by crossing wheels.

 

Morning Links: LACBC responds to LA worst bike city nod, Englander bails, and who we share the roads with

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition offered a response yesterday to Los Angeles being named the worst bike city in America by Bicycling magazine.

Worst Bike City in America Another Mandate to Make LA’s Streets Safer

Reading Peter Flax’s article “Los Angeles is the worst bike city in America” is not a wake up call for LACBC, but we hope it serves as one for some of our leaders. For those that work, partner, and volunteer alongside us, we’re highly aware of the dangers of biking and walking in LA, and care deeply about making our streets safer for all road users. Since 1998, LACBC has steadily grown our advocacy and education efforts around safe streets, with a re-focused commitment to equity and inclusion for the most vulnerable road users over the past three years. And while Los Angeles has seen some progress over our two decade history, having to see our friends and neighbors continue to die on our streets while walking and biking is not something we take lightly.

The October 10 article in Bicycling Magazine makes some excellent points, and speaks to the urgency regarding the state of our county’s streets and sidewalks. Working to advocate for livable streets in all 88 cities in LA County is a difficult task, but one from which LACBC does not shy away. Our team is proud of the framework our Interim Executive Director Janet Schulman and our Board of Directors are providing to the organization, and looks forward to ever-increasing our presence in making Los Angeles a better place to bike. During this time of transition, staff continues to focus on critical mobility justice issues.

As a 501(c)3, the LA County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to helping our community identify and implement complete street changes that would make our streets safer for people walking and biking. Much of our non-profit’s time is focused on base-building and advocating for policies and practices that encourage safer street design and improve the community engagement process. This is work that takes years to develop and grow, and the programs are transforming Los Angeles’s landscape into one that supports a culture of complete streets.

Like you, we take great pride in being an Angeleno, and we’ll never tire in trying to make tomorrow better than today. We invite you to become a part of the movement for safer streets in Los Angeles, and to volunteer with us in making our streets safer for those traveling around LA County.

It’s not exactly the hard-hitting response we might have wanted. But it may be the best we can hope for as the coalition struggles without permanent leadership after losing two executive directors in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, there’s still no hint of a response from the mayor’s office, or any member of the city council.

Today’s photo, like yesterday, represents the massive fail of being named America’s worst bike city. And the repeated failures on behalf of city leaders that brought us to this point.

Maybe we’ll just keep using it every day until they finally do something about it.

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Speaking of the city council, the only Republican on the panel, CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, announced he’s leaving the city council at the end of the year.

He becomes the second councilmember in recent years to blow off the people who elected him in favor of a higher paying job in the private sector.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Florida man was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into another car and sent it into a man walking his dogs on the sidewalk.

And was so drunk he didn’t even realize he’d suffered a compound wrist fracture, with the fractured bone breaking through the skin.

Blood tests afterward showed he had an alcohol level of .28, three and a half times the legal limit.

He had two previous arrests for DUI in Florida, as well as four DUI convictions in a ten year period in Virginia, along with another three for driving with a suspended license, earning him a whopping one year of probation.

He’s now facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving.

Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous drunk driver on the roads until it’s too late.

And on the other side of the world, the passenger in a New Zealand contractor’s truck can be heard on video urging the driver to run over a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway.

The owner of the company responded by calling it “extremely embarrassing.”

Never mind how embarrassed he should be that his employees were stupid enough to post it online.

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Local

L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar officially opened the new left-side Spring Street parking protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting in DTLA.

The LA Daily News reports on the ghost bike installation for Roberto Perez, the victim in Sunday’s Sun Valley hit-and-run. Now if we can just find the heartless coward who left him to die in the street.

North Hollywood residents will have more time to weigh in on the planned widening of Magnolia Blvd through the NoHo Arts district after people questioned whether it meets LA’s Vision Zero goals; you now have until November 26th to comment.

CiclaValley looks back at the recent NACTO convention in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County rapper Innate followed up last year’s solo album with a 5,000-mile bike ride across the US.

The California Coastal Commission has given its blessing to plans for a lane reduction, bike lanes and Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia.

San Francisco’s new mayor shows what can happen when the mayor isn’t running for president, moving to speed up work on a pair of safety projects on Market Street. Maybe LA’s mayor could take notes the next time he has a layover at LAX.

JUMP is looking to hire a Market Entry Project Manager in San Francisco.

 

National

Bicycling repeats what we’ve been talking about all week. If you want to fight climate change, leave your car in the garage and ride a bike.

Three bike riders tell Bicycling what Coming Out Day means to them, and why it matters. I’ve had a number of deeply closeted friends over the years, and have seen close up the damage living a double life can do. And the relief that comes with coming out.

Singletacks talks with the executive director of Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to mentoring young girls on mountain bikes.

Outside talks with the professional race car driver who helped Denise Mueller-Korenek shatter the land speed record for a human-powered bicycle.

An Oregon FedEx driver is going on trial for failing to yield in the death of a bike rider; the case hinges on whether a bike lane continues through an intersection. But it’s still just a traffic citation, rather than a criminal case.

A Seattle TV station questions whether it’s really the best bike city in the US. On the other hand, a Seattle weekly doesn’t mince words, saying Bicycling is dead wrong about the city’s first place finish.

My hometown is just one of four Colorado cities that made Bicycling’s list of the 50 best bike towns in the US.

A Denver TV reporter bikes to work live on camera, then learns from angry viewers that the state didn’t actually legalize the Idaho stop, they just made it so individual cities could if they want. And so far, Denver doesn’t.

Residents of an Ohio city are unhappy with plans to relocate a bike path in front of their homesEven though studies show it will make their property values go up.

Akron, Ohio is right sizing the city’s streets by removing lanes and installing bike lanes. And without the near riots that accompanied LA’s attempts to do the same thing on the Westside.

Support is growing for a two-way protected bike lane on New York’s Central Park West.

The NYPD responds to Streetblog’s Freedom of Information request on its decision to “close critical Manhattan bike lanes” during last month’s United Nations General Assembly by telling them, in effect, to mind their own business.

He gets it. A Maryland university professor says the cities of the future should be built for people on two wheels.

 

International

A Canadian writer explains that there are good reasons why you don’t need a license to ride a bike.

European bike makers, bicycle tourism companies and nonprofit organizations have banded together to form an organization representing 650,000 workers to “unite all the private sector voices in cycling, behind one vision, in one structure.”

If you build it, they will come. London opened three new quiet ways across the city, as newly released figures show bicycling in the UK capital increased 8% last year. Los Angeles has no idea how much bicycling went up or down last year because they’ve never bothered to measure it.

Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says traffic planners should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people to improve safety.

British bike hero Sir Chris Hoy says it’s time to end the “us versus them” attitude between drivers and bicyclists. No shit. Especially since most of the latter are also the former.

A writer from the UK suggests that the 30-mile Sellaronda in Italy’s Dolomites may be the most beautiful bike route in the world.

 

Finally…

Why mountain bikers should be glad summer is over. And the forgotten era of women’s bike racing in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

Morning Links: May Bike Month, LimeBike ebikes in SaMo, Aviation road diet fight, and LACBC ED leaving

It’s Bike Month Eve in LA.

Both the LACBC and Bike SGV offer their own calendars of activities in the one month of the year dedicated to bicycling.

As always, the highlight of the month is Bike to Work Day, which takes place on May 17th, with Bike Night at Union Station the following night.

The international Ride of Silence rolls on May 16th to honor fallen bicyclists, including a ride through the San Fernando Valley.

My favorite event, the annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital near DTLA on May 15th.

And you can ride the Metro Bike bike share for just one dollar for the month of May when you sign up using the code BIKEMONTH2018; after the first one, it will cost $20 for each additional month.

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Just in time for Bike Month, LimeBike has started dockless ebike service in Santa Monica.

According to a press release from the company, the bikes will cost $1 to unlock using your smartphone, and 15¢ per minute of riding.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid the problems that have developed in some other cities with abandoned or illegally parked bikes.

Because this could be a huge step forward for personal mobility in the LA area if they can avoid the usual bikelash.

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Plans for a lane reduction and bike lanes to improve safety on Aviation Blvd face an uphill battle after opponents turned out at a meeting in Hermosa Beach to discuss the project.

As seems to happen in any public discussion of bicycles, at least one person insisted “When bikes start paying the registration fees that fund our streets, then they can start sharing our lanes.”

Which demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both who the streets are for and how local streets are paid for.

So let’s be very clear. Neither gas taxes or registration fees pay for more than a small portion of the building and maintenance of local streets; the overwhelming portion comes from local taxes, which we all pay.

Although that may change to some degree with the state’s recent gas tax increase — if it survives an attempt to have it repealed this fall.

And our streets have never been the property of fee-paying motorists; streets are for the movement of people and goods, some of whom will be on foot, some on bikes, some using transit, and some in motor vehicles. Usually alone.

Funny how so many LA drivers seem to feel they have a God-given right to the road.

And aren’t willing to concede a single inch of it to anyone else.

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The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is back in the market for a new Executive Director.

According to an email announcement from the organization, Executive Director Erik Jansen, who replaced former ED Tamika Butler less than a year ago, will be leaving at the end of May.

Erik is leaving the organization after two years of working with LACBC, first as its Development Director, then as its Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, and finally as its Executive Director. A father of two, Erik will be moving with his family to Australia, where his wife accepted a position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney…

As LACBC enters its 20th year and begins a strategic planning process to outline the next five years, staff remains committed, more than ever, to making streets safer for those biking and walking in Los Angeles County. It is an exciting time for the organization, and the team is looking for an Executive Director to lead the team, LACBC members, and bicycle advocates across the county, to create safer streets in Los Angeles County. If you have an amazing candidate in mind, please send us an email.

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Get a whole body workout by using walking canes when you ride.

No, really.

Unless you’d rather play indoor fixie soccer.

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Local

A Forbes writer says there are holes in Elon Musk’s plans to colonize underground Los Angeles with high speed transportation tunnels, with a professor reasonably noting that most people would rather walk or bike above ground.

The Talking Headways podcast chats with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds, while the New York Times looks at her efforts to bring Play Streets to the City of Angels.

Metro has released a first-of-its-kind First/Last Mile Plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the Blue Line, calling for “better sidewalks, more and safer crosswalks, more lighting for pedestrians, better and safer bike lanes and facilities.”

Speaking of Metro, comments are now being accepted on the transportation agency’s Vision 2028 strategic plan.

 

State

The next time some NIMBY tries to tell you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, tell them about Jenn Ramsey, who’s ridden the eight-day, 575-mile California Coast Classic a dozen times, even though her crippling arthritis prevents her from standing for more than 30 minutes.

An Op-Ed from San Luis Obispo, where NIMBYs have risen up to fight a proposed bikeway, insists that bike riders aren’t the enemy.

A writer for the SF Gate calls out what he calls Car Blindness, the double standard in which people easily see the relatively minor problems caused by bikes, scooters and pedestrians, but can’t see the major problems caused by motor vehicles.

Redding officials consider closing a roadway entirely to allow for a safe crossing for a new bike and pedestrian trail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials won’t even remove a single traffic lane to improve safety for everyone.

 

National

Good piece from Slate, saying no one teaches ebike buyers how to ride them, which is a problem when some bikes can go up to 30 mph; Bicycling offers tips on how to do it safely.

The Wall Street Journal considers the next generation of bike helmets, which may be hidden behind their damn paywall.

There is something terribly wrong with any society where anyone feels the need to give advice on how to properly survive getting hit by a car. Never mind that most cars actually have drivers, which the article fails to mention. Thanks to Steven Messer and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Strava’s CEO explains why the app keeps gaining a million users every 40 days, and where he wants to go from here.

Lawrence, Kansas, population 93,000, could soon have more bike boulevards than Los Angeles.

A Houston Op-Ed says the city doesn’t have to be deadly for cyclists. Then again, neither does any other city, even though most of them are.

The pedaling priests of Peoria have finished their 275-mile ride across their Illinois diocese to call attention to religious vocations. I might have considered the priesthood if they’d told me you get to ride bikes all day.

After a reader complains to a Michigan paper, saying someone needs to teach bicyclists the rules of the road, a columnist responds “Whoever does the training, I’m hoping they do a better job than they did with the car and pickup drivers.”

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an Indiana man dying in the street — and may have stolen his bike, wallet and mobil phone.

After Columbus OH opened a new two-way cycle track, bike collisions nearly tripled; authorities blamed a jump in ridership, combined with a break-in period for people to get used to the new lanes.

A Virginia couple is planning to bike across the US with their three young kids riding a tandem and a three-person bike.

Nice story about a Charlottesville SC cop who started a new community bike program after fixing kids bikes, then returning to ride with them every week.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling rates jump in Victoria, British Columbia, after the opening of a new, safer bridge with bike lanes in each direction.

Heartbreaking news from Canada’s northern Manitoba province, where three boys were killed by a suspected drunk driver while walking and riding their bikes with a group of friends.

The Guardian says smart exercise will keep you young longer.

A writer for the Financial Times says London cyclists are abominable, and she knows because she’s one of them — and she’ll continue to break the law until streets are made with bikes in mind.

An English letter writer says she doesn’t ride a bike in her home town, but would like to if she felt safer. Surveys consistently show that roughly two-thirds of the people in the US feel the same way — including here in Los Angeles.

A British father and son planned to ride Penny Farthings 50 miles in top hats and tails yesterday to raise funds for the Aston Villa soccer team’s charity foundation.

This is who we share the roads with. A man in the UK learns the hard way that if you’re going to put your Tesla on autopilot, at least stay in the driver’s seat.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walks on charges of killing a bicyclist, despite attempting — and failing — to overtake the rider on a blind curve.

The Telegraph says the best way to see the Netherlands is by boat and bicycle.

No bias here. An Aussie paper says “bike riders are still dicing with death.” Even though the article is really about dangerous drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

New British pro discusses how his dream of making a WorldTour team nearly hit the rocks.

Yahoo previews Friday’s Jerusalem start of the Giro d’Italia. Tainted pro Chris Froome clearly intends to allow his alleged doing case to overshadow the Giro.

Organizers are confident that the Cascade Cycling Classic stage race will be back next year, despite its cancellation for 2018. Which is what bike event organizers usually say just before you never hear from them again.

 

Finally…

When spending $15,000 for bespoke bike is a relative bargain. If you’re going to drive in the bike lane while drunk and with a suspended license, at least stay closer to the speed limit.

And you haven’t got bike skills until you can flip pancakes while riding.

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Thanks to Stephen K for his generous donation to help support this site. I am constantly blown away by the kindness and generosity of our supporters. 

 

Guest Posts: An attack on children and mountain biking, and LACBC response to last week’s FedEx bike death

Sorry to disappear on you this week. 

My St. Patrick’s Day was interrupted by a sudden sharp pain, a panicked trip to the emergency room, and an unplanned stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Where their firewall somehow prevented me from logging into this site. Not that I was capable of doing much in my morphine-induced haze, anyway.

Now I’m finally back home, a handful of kidney stones, a few pounds and a couple thousand bucks lighter.

I’m still trying to shake the last of that drug fog and make up for some lost sleep, so let’s skip the Morning Links one more day, and catch up on a couple of recent guest posts.

First up is a one from Mike Vandeman arguing against allowing kids to take up mountain biking. While it’s not something I agree with in any way, I’ll let him make his case. As he said in an email to me, you can’t argue with facts. We’ll let you decide just what those facts are.

Next, I had planned to share the LACBC’s press release on the tragic death of Elisa Gomez in Monday’s post, so we’ll finish with that today. As you’ll recall, Gomez was killed by a FedEx driver who pulled out from a stop sign while she was directly in front of his truck, then run over after he failed to stop, and fled the scene. A suspect was taken into custody, but no word on an arrest.

Then barring any unexpected setbacks, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Morning Links tomorrow.

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Children and Mountain Biking

by Mike Vandeman, [email protected]

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking,
besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is
extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very
first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13!
Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told,
mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1)
they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural
areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand
and object to this activity. For 600+ examples of serious accidents
and deaths caused by mountain biking, see
http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996:
http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm. It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to
say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have
EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that
good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more
harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and
that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle
the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited,
and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see
http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm). I found that of the seven studies
they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every
case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to
the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided
mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not
favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches
kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s
good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm.

Note: It’s the policy of this site not to post personal contact information; however, Mike Vandeman’s email address has been included at his request.

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LACBC CALLS ON OFFICIALS TO ACT FOR SAFER STREETS: 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON BICYCLE KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday morning, Elisa Gomez was hit by a delivery truck southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and left to die in the middle of the street. The 54-year-old bicyclist was riding Eastbound on Washington Avenue at around 8:30 in the morning and was struck from behind by a FedEx delivery truck, which then sped away. This tragedy is indicative of the grim realities faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on our county’s streets.

Los Angeles County is known as the “hit-and-run capital of the nation” with 50% of all traffic crashes categorized as “hit-and-run.” The national average is 11%. In 2015, over 28,000 hit-and-run crashes were reported across the county. That averages out to one hit-and-run crash every 18 minutes in Los Angeles County, a number that glaringly shows the risks faced by those walking or biking in our county.

Making streets safer for all road users has to be a priority for the City of Los Angeles,” stated LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen. “Simple steps can be taken to calm traffic and make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking. We know how it do it — other cities have shown immense progress building infrastructure to decrease speeds, make turns safer, and build a city at a human scale. Angelenos deserve safe streets and they deserve elected officials willing to show real leadership to make it happen.

Elisa was killed a block away from the Washington Blue Line Metro station southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. In 2017, LACBC partnered with other community organizations and Metro to conduct community engagement along the Blue Line to assess the safety and access needs for people walking and biking to stations. LACBC chose to focus on Washington Station, an area surrounded by the High Injury Network, to work to prevent tragedies such as these. Currently, Metro is using the data collected through this process to apply for funding to make infrastructure improvements identified by the community.

The widely-accepted belief that people dying on our streets is inevitable is a false one. These tragedies are wholly preventable, and that’s why we call them “crashes” and not “accidents.” LACBC calls upon our city and elected officials to be leaders for safe streets and commit to adequately funding and implementing initiatives like Vision Zero. Without their leadership, Elisa Gomez will not be the last bicyclist who will be killed on Los Angeles streets.

I reached out to Jansen for further comment, and received the following response.

Elisa Gomez didn’t have to die. While the driver is ultimately responsible for running her down and leaving her to die on the pavement, her death could have been prevented by ensuring Angelenos have access to safe streets. We know how to make streets safe, and Elisa Gomez deserved elected officials willing to show real leadership to end traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. We need action, and not just another plan sitting on a shelf.

It’s good to see the LACBC take an active lead in fighting for safer streets. Because if there’s any good that can come from this senseless tragedy, it will be keeping it from happening to someone else.

Morning Links: Justice for Deborah Gresham, bike settlements soar due to bad LA streets, and BAC meets tomorrow

Finally, there’s justice for a fallen bike rider.

It’s been 16 months since Walking Dead fan page author Deborah Gresham was hit by a driver while riding her bike in Stanton.

And left to die in the street, literally within site of her own home.

The driver, Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, was arrested less than an hour later after horrified witnesses followed him to his home. He was booked on charges of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Now I’ve been informed that he was sentenced on Friday to four years for vehicular manslaughter under the influence, and five years for the fatal hit-and-run, to be served consecutively.

In other words, nine years total, along with fines and restitution.

I’m also told the assistant DA had to wipe tears from his eyes when Gresham’s children gave their witness statements.

It won’t bring Deborah Gresham back. But for once, a fallen SoCal cyclist got justice from the courts.

If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read Peter Flax’s moving, must-read story about this tragedy. Photo from Ghost Bikes LA.

………

Great story in the LA Times about the soaring cost of settlements involving bike riders who were injured due to the city’s failing streets.

According to the story, the City of Los Angeles settled with 17 bicyclists last year for a total of $19 million, over four times more than in any previous year.

That’s $19 million that could have gone to fixing the streets before anyone got hurt, rather than waiting until it was too late.

It was those settlements that inspired Councilmember Mitch Englander’s misguided proposal to ban the striping of bike lanes on any streets with less than an A pavement grade, and removing any existing ones from streets with a B or less.

Which would leave few, if any, bike lanes anywhere in Los Angeles.

And only serve to increase the city’s liability when bike riders continue to get injured on streets that used to have bikeways.

The story quotes me on that, as well as talking with BikinginLA sponsor and Calbike board member Josh Cohen.

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night in Hollywood; the BAC is the only official voice for bike riders in the City of LA.

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The LACBC has unveiled a new video explaining who they are and what they do as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebration.

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Local

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ridden a bike through there to learn that the intersection of Devonshire Street and Reseda Blvd is the most dangerous one in the state.

LA2050 is offering a total of $1 million in grants to five organizations for projects designed to make Los Angeles, “the best place to learn, create, play, connect and live.” Applications will start being accepted on March 1st.

A bike rider was hit by a car in Pacific Palisades last Wednesday; no word on how the victim is doing. The driver somehow claimed to be driving just 15 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Tomorrow the UCLA Bicycle Academy intends to confront the members of the Regents Health Services Committee to demand that the statewide UC Health system lose its automotive bias and recognize the health benefits of bicycling.

LA celebrated the official opening of a one-block long Green Street in the Del Rey neighborhood, connecting Westlawn Ave with the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Sad news from Hesperia, where a father drowned rescuing his nine-year old son from the California Aqueduct, after the boy slipped in as they rode their bicycles along the canal.

Caltrans is warning about construction delays on the the coastal bike path north of Ventura through the month of February, though the path will remain open.

A decision could be made this week on the proposed San Luis Obispo bike boulevard that has brought the anti-bikeway NIMBYs out of the woodwork.

For the first time, you won’t need a vintage bicycle to participate in the Eroica California in Paso Robles.

More sad news, this time from Oakland, where a man on a bike was killed in a collision with a big rig truck.

 

National

Slate says requiring bicyclists to wear sensors so self-driving cars don’t crash into them is cheating, and autonomous vehicles should be able to spot people riding bicycles on their own, without outside help.

Details have been released for this year’s Ride the Rockies bike tour through the Colorado high country; it will cover 418 miles and nearly 26,000 feet of vertical climbing in six days. And it will visit the tiny lakefront town where my mother worked as a waitress when she was just 18.

Seriously? The death of a Kansas cyclist competing in the state time trial in 2015 was the catalyst for a proposed state law prohibiting negligent driving. Except the penalty would be a whopping $45, which isn’t likely to change anyone’s driving habits.

Michigan is doubling the width of a four-foot bike lane and adding other safety improvements, after two women were killed there two years ago. Maybe they could try making improvements like that before someone gets killed. Which goes for Los Angeles, and everywhere else, as well.

New York news media goes berserk after mobs of “crazed, angry cyclists” swarm drivers, smashing a car window and punching a driver. Although it turns out it was really just 16 teenagers on bicycles, and the cop who was injured was hit by a car making a U-turn to go after them.

 

International

Canadian cross-country ski clubs are slowly opening their trails to fat bikes.

Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to London, as the Guardian says it will be to cycling what Uber is to taxis.

LA bike riders aren’t the only ones who have to deal with crappy pavement.

The economic impact of bicycling adds the equivalent of nearly $1 billion to the Scottish economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie Compton had to settle for second place in the women’s world cyclocross championships, finishing behind Belgian Sanne Cant.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert won the men’s world cyclocross title for the third consecutive year.

 

Finally…

Buy a bike, bore your dinner companions. UFC champ Connor McGregor is one of us.

And yes, you just got dropped by a priest on a folding bike.

No doubt staged, but still fun.

Morning Links: Erik Jansen replaces Tamika Butler as LACBC ED; Delaware could adopt Idaho Stop

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has decided to promote from within, turning to interim Executive Director Erik Jansen to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler as head of the coalition.

Jansen, the Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, stepped up to fill the void after Butler announced her resignation last June. And was selected to remain as head of the organization by the coalition’s board of directors, following a nationwide search.

Building upon the national reputation the LACBC enjoyed under previous ED Jennifer Klausner for its groundbreaking efforts to reach out to LA’s immigrant community, Tamika Butler led the organization in refocusing its efforts on building equity in underserved communities.

And in doing so, became a leading voice for the underprivileged and people of color within the bicycling community nationwide.

Now it will be interesting to see if Jansen continues those efforts, or moves the LACBC back to a more mainstream form of bicycle advocacy.

He comes at a time of unprecedented bikelash in the City of Angels, with bike lanes and safety projects under fire in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. And as a lawsuit against the city, and a recall campaign to unseat Councilmember Mike Bonin, attempt to derail LA’s Vision Zero program and intimidate councilmembers to prevent any future lane reductions.

The LACBC has grown to become a mature advocacy group over the past several years. And will need strong leadership to help LA become the bikeable, livable community it must become.

You can meet Erik Jansen when the LACBC hosts a Handlebar Happy Hour at Pure Cycles in Burbank tonight, with free food and drink courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass.

Photo from LACBC.

………

Delaware could become just the second state in the country to legalize the Idaho Stop.

Hopefully California won’t be too far behind.

………

Male pro cyclists get a boost in the minimum wage, but women riders still don’t even have a guarantee of getting paid.

Britain governing body for cycling hopes to create a women’s cycling team patterned on the successful Team Sky.

A reminder to always cover-up or wear sunscreen when you ride, as retired Columbian racer Lucho Herrera blames cycling for his skin cancer. Something I can relate to, and more than once.

Sometimes a wicked time trial crash is the best form of advertising.

……….

Local

KPCC reports on the bike and pedestrian count conducted over the weekend by Los Angeles Walks and the LACBC.

The MyFigueroa project is just one of the projects changing the face of DTLA’s Figueroa corridor.

UCLA will launch an on-campus bikeshare program next week.

KNBC-4 looks at the COAST Open Streets Festival coming to Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is looking for public input on plans for the pre-Halloween CicloSDias open streets event to be held next month.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old North San Diego County man rode 4,200 miles across Canada in 56 days as part of a church group ride.

San Francisco moves forward with plans to sort of crack down on bicycle chop shops without actually making them illegal; a homeless advocate argues that they’re just an entrepreneurial way to for homeless people to make a living recycling bike parts that they happen to find. Except too often, they happen to find bikes that belong to other people.

A 63-year old Napa woman is back home after riding solo 5,000 miles across the US.

 

National

The Denver Post lists Colorado’s best mountain bike trails for your next trip to the Centennial State.

Police in Colorado arrested a man accused of threatening mountain bike riders with a hatchet, on the same trail where a rider was fatally shot a week earlier.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever ambushed a 13-year old Colorado boy in a park to steal his bicycle.

A 19-year old Fargo SD man was killed in a bicycle collision over the weekend, three years after he was deliberately run down in a dispute with a breakaway Mormon religious sect while riding his bike in Utah.

Bike lanes get the blame for traffic congestion in Minneapolis, even though construction projects are likely the real culprits. Never mind that the local TV station couldn’t seem to find any traffic backups to show in the report, despite taking the time to count bikes and cars during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Today Show’s Al Roker is one of us, making room on his daily bike commute for new co-star Megyn Kelly.

No bias here. When a bikeshare rider was hit by a New York Uber driver, the NYPD went out of its way to blame the victim, even though a witness said the driver was at fault.

 

International

Mexico City residents are using bicycles to deliver emergency supplies and help victims of last week’s earthquake.

The war on bikes continues. A Montreal man was seriously injured when he fell off his bike trying to avoid fishing line that had been strung at neck level across a bridge on a bike path.

A Toronto bike rider says the city’s car-first policies create a war on people, as a backlash results in the removal of stop signs that had gone through a community-driven public approval process.

Kindhearted Brits contribute the equivalent of $4,000 to replace the custom-made trike that allowed a man with cerebral palsy to ride, after his was stolen.

The Guardian says government efforts to criminalize reckless bicycling in the UK are ignoring the cause of 99% of the country’s fatal crashes to focus on just 0.12% of them, calling it headline grabbing hypocrisy.

Amsterdam is cracking down on unauthorized dockless bikeshare systems.

An Istanbul man fights his own depression by documenting his journeys around Turkey on his 1960s bicycle with photos and inspiring messages, earning 130,000 Instagram followers in the process.

An Israeli website takes a two-wheeled tor through bicycle history in the county.

Someone is dumping dockless bikeshare bikes into an Australian river; contractors pulled out 40 bicycles in just four hours. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

China’s Mobike and Ofo are battling for world domination in the dockless bikeshare market.

 

Finally…

Next time you sign up for a bike race, make sure it’s in the right country. Your next jean jacket could be more connected than a mafia hitman.

And now you, too, can live like America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million.

 

Morning Links: LACBC steps up for safer streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, and looks to replace Tamika Butler

The LACBC is joining the fight over streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Which is good news for everyone who’s been trying to hold their own against the onslaught of angry drivers in the fight for safer streets.

Especially the beleaguered Peter Flax, who has been leading the fight on Twitter and Facebook — at least until they blocked him — as well as in the opinion pages of the LA Times.

But it is the roll of the LACBC, aka Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to step up and organize the opposition to the opposition, and help keep these much needed safety improvements in place.

Street safety projects on the Westside have come under attack. If opposition to safe streets succeeds in getting these projects removed, it could stifle similar projects across the city…

Some drivers using these corridors have grown impatient because they are unable to travel at the same unsafe high speeds as they previously could. However, LADOT continues working to improve the synchronization of signal lights to help improve traffic flow, while also keeping streets safe for all who use the corridor throughout their day, including drivers.

Despite the great public benefit, these projects unfortunately have come under attack amid a flurry of misinformation being circulated about the projects. There is some concern that they will be removed, but there are actions you can take to make sure that the streets are safer for the communities of Mar Vista and Playa Del Rey.

They share these tips for how you can get more involved.

Want to take action? 

Help make sure these street safety projects are a success and show your support by:

JOINING our Sunday Funday Ride on the Westside this Sunday, July 2nd at 9:30am. We’ll tour the safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. The ride will roll-out at 10am and be approximately 14 miles at an easy-moderate pace. We’ll also make a stop at Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

SHARING on social media! Tweet and post photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive on the new bike lanes!

Use #SaferVeniceBlvd#SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr to share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

VOLUNTEERING for our LACBC phone bank on Wednesday, July 5th anytime between 4:00pm and 8:00pm at our Headquarters. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! RSVP by email to [email protected].

ATTENDING the Wednesday, July 5th Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

ATTENDING the Tuesday, July 11th Mar Vista Community Council(MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

SUPPORTING all of LACBC’s work on advocating for safer streets by becoming a memberrenewing your membership, or making a donation.

EMAILING the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd.

You can find a sample email on the LACBC’s call to action (scroll down to the bottom).

Meanwhile, a Manhattan Beach resident says people from out of town who use Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard should have been consulted before any changes were made.

You know, just like they consulted LA before calming all those streets in Manhattan Beach.

And offering to pay the legal settlement the next time someone gets killed.

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Speaking of the LACBC, they’re looking for a new executive director to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler, who helped lift the organization onto the national stage, and into the debate over bikes and equity.

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How’s this for irony? Lance Armstrong lost his seven Tour de France title for doping with EPO. Now it turns out it probably didn’t do anything to boost his performance. And could give you a heart attack.

Belgian rider Jan Bakelants apologized for suggestive remarks about female hostesses — aka podium girls — at the Tour de France, saying he was just trying to be funny. And not really suggesting they were easy, and probably diseased, which is basically what he said.

No Autobahn here. German time trial specialist Tony Martin will ride a bike designed to pay homage to electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk in Saturday’s Dusseldorf TdF prologue.

Forget all that racing in the Tour de France, ABC would rather just talk about the specter of doping.

Three prominent Irish cycling figures have joined the protest over women racers competing in the country’s national championships being told to get the hell off the course to make way for the men before their race was over.

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Local

Metro Bike is celebrating its first birthday at the Wheelhouse next Thursday.

Maybe you should ride through Eagle Rock or Burbank instead. Glendale has ranked near the bottom of the list of America’s worst drivers for 12 years in a row; needless to say, city officials disagree.

West Covina is looking for input on a new Active Transportation Master Plan, aka Pedestrian and Bike Plan; you can respond through the online survey, or attend an open house workshop July 26th.

 

State

The town council in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood is seriously considering turning Bacon Street into a bicycle boulevard. Oddly, no one there seems to have any problem with the term bike boulevard, which bike advocates and DOTs are loath to use these days.

San Diego police are using bait bikes to combat bike thieves in Pacific Beach. Something we still haven’t been able to talk the LAPD into trying.

The Desert Sun offers a tutorial on the oddly controversial CV Link multi-use path through the Coachella Valley.

 

National

CNN looks at Mark Beaumont’s attempt to bike around the world in just 80 days, nine years after he set a record by doing it in 115 days more.

Bicycling crosses an advertorial line, posting what’s nothing more than an ad for Performance Bike in the guise of an article. Which could get them in serious trouble if they were compensated for it.

It should come as no surprise that traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users ranks as the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the US.

A Seattle woman has filed a pair of $300,000 claims against the city and its transit agency after falling on trolley tracks, exactly one year to the day after another woman was killed in the same spot.

You may lose your ass inside a Las Vegas casino, but you can save half off the price of pedaling it to the next one on a bikeshare bike this summer.

A Utah man is alleging that a cop deliberately kneed him in the back, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lung, after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop on his bicycle; the officers say they initially tried to stop him because he was riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. Unless the law is different in Utah — which I doubt — sidewalks are considered bi-directional, so there is no wrong way. Which would mean there was no probable cause for the stop, or anything that followed.

A South Carolina man is visiting Las Cruces NM on a cross-country bike ride, 50 years after he saved a boy’s life on a similar trek. And met Clint Eastwood, too.

Good news from Austin TX, where kindhearted strangers have raised $13,000 for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a teenager in a passing car, who told police he was just looking to blow off some steam. Instead he nearly blew Alonso Solis’ face off, as well as the next several years of his own life. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

After making it big via Shark Tank, a Dallas entrepreneur is sharing the wealth by giving away custom bikes to pediatric cancer patients.

Chicago city trucks will be retrofitted with side guards to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from getting run over by the trucks’ rear wheels. Something that should be done here in LA. And everywhere else, for that matter.

You could be the proud owner of the 40-acre Minnesota estate currently owned by America’s last remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million. Which is pretty much the price of a tear-down in Manhattan Beach.

If you’re going to pile all of your belongings on your van before hitting a New Hampshire highway, at least use a bike rack.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding jerk who punched a disabled man who was using a walker covered with LGBTQ stickers; they’re investigating the attack as a hate crime. Proof that people on bikes can be bigoted assholes, just like anyone else.

New York chef Daniel Humm is one of us, going from competitive Swiss cyclist to arguably the world’s best chef.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider was murdered in an apparently random attack after being approached by the suspects as he was riding on the street.

 

International

Apparently, bike cams have been around since at least the ‘80s. No, the 1880s.

After a bike-riding Montreal purse thief snatched a handbag from a woman visiting a cemetery, she chased after him with her SUV, ending up with her car against a tree with the thief under it.

A London travel writer visits the German hometown of the bicycle on the 200th anniversary of the first Draisine, which was basically a wooden adult balance bike.

Before launching in soggy Manchester, England, a dockless bikeshare company tested their bikes in a Chinese river to make sure they could stand up to the weather.

Swansea soccer player Fernando Llorente is one of us, too, as he suffered a broken arm while riding his bike, and may not be ready for the August start of the Premier League season.

Caught on video: A British bike rider was taken down by a dog that lunged at him as he rode by, then tried to attack him as the dog’s owner tried to help.

Caught on video too: A “secret” cyclist in the UK offers evidence of just how badly bike riders are treated on the streets.

Ten years after an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, a British man is using a handcycle to ride 2,250 miles around the coast of England and Wales.

A Rwandan writer gets it, calling for the country to promote bicycling as a sport, as well as a means of transportation, and a strategy for health intervention.

A South African newspaper offers advice for the fashion conscious cyclist. Which is really has nothing to do with fashion, and more to do with comfort and practicality.

Bicycling has become an integral part of women’s lives in Malaysia.

 

Finally…

No, your bike is not the proper tool to halt a pair of tools having sex in public. Repeat after me: If you’re going to use a bike as your bank robbing getaway vehicle, get your hair done first.

And if you’re riding your bike with dope, a stolen gun and outstanding warrants, signal your effing turns.

Thanks to Niall Huffman for the featured photo of the Mar Vista road diet on Venice Blvd.

Morning Links: Tamika Butler leaves LACBC, anti-bike NIMBYs sue LA, and Peter Flax nearly needs his own obit

When I was asked to join the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition in 2010, I set out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish as a board member.

Chief among those was extending the reach of the LACBC beyond its mostly white, mostly Westside base to serve the too often ignored communities south of the 10 Freeway, and east of the LA River.

Tamika Butler made that happen.

In her nearly three years heading the coalition, she brought a degree of professionalism that the mostly volunteer organization had never known, building a solid organizational structure and hiring an experienced professional staff to serve the bicyclists of LA County.

But more than that, she built upon efforts that had already been underway — some successful, some not — to make the LACBC a national leader in addressing equity in bicycling, and in using bikes as tools for social justice. And in the process, started a conversation on race and bias that has reverberated throughout the US.

Since stepping down from the board last year, I’ve watched as the stature of the bike coalition has continued to grow, not in her shadow, but on her shoulders.

And it had become obvious that she had outgrown her position with the LACBC, and would inevitably soon move on to a more prominent role.

That day has come.

The LACBC announced yesterday that Tamika Butler will be leaving her position as Executive Director as of July 14th. Streetsblog reports she’ll be moving on to head the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

They’ll be lucky to have her.

Normally, that would be their gain and the LACBC’s loss. But in this case, that doesn’t fit.

In her short time with the coalition, she has lifted it to heights no one could have predicted when the board voted unanimously to hire her. And left it positioned for even greater growth and success in the years to come.

I hate to see her go.

But it’s time to take her fight beyond the world of bicycling, where she can make a bigger impact on the greater society.

And help make this a better, fairer and more equitable city for all us.

You can read the messages of Tamika Butler and LACBC Board Chair Doug John announcing her departure here.

………

The City of Los Angeles is being sued by the guardians of LA past, who think it’s their self-appointed duty to stop any forward momentum in the City of Angeles.

Like the nearly completed Target store that’s been sitting vacant and unfinished at Sunset and Western for several years, keeping the neighborhood blighted, depressing local businesses and denying residents the jobs it would create.

Not because it violates city zoning rules, as they claim. But because they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood.

In other words, the worst kind of NIMBYs, willing to screw over an entire neighborhood — or city — in an attempt to maintain the status quo for the privileged few.

Now these same people are suing the city for — get this — exposing children to dangerous levels of smog by placing bike lanes on major streets.

Not that kids are likely to use those arterial commuter lanes. Or that they give a rat’s ass about kids with asthma.

And never mind that the studies they insist the mayor is refusing to conduct have been done repeatedly around the world, and show that the benefits of bicycling far outweigh any risk from auto exhaust or otherwise polluted air.

They just don’t want bikes besmirching their fair boulevards. Or to sacrifice one inch of pavement that could be devoted to their cars.

And they’re willing to rest their case on bogus fears about the dangers to kids to do it.

If they win, LA’s hard-fought bike plan will be out the window. Which has been their real intent all along.

Meaning that you’ll be forced onto side streets, if you choose to use what few bike lanes they deem appropriate, requiring longer, circuitous routes to get where you’re going. Or continue to mix it up with motor vehicles on streets that will remain dangerous in deference to LA’s automotive hegemony.

Let’s hope the courts see through this one and show them the door.

Preferably with a foot firmly attached to their collective ass.

You have to hand it to any attorney who would be willing to publicly display such a complete and total lack of understanding of bike lanes and road diets.

………

Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax writes his own obituary following a chilling close call with the driver of a Porsche on Olympic Blvd.

………

Manhattan Beach residents are going to war over the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, preparing to sue the city for their God-given right to drive from the South Bay to their offices in Santa Monica and Century City without setting wheels on a roadway actually designed for that purpose.

Because evidently, it’s worth killing a few strangers every year so they can keep commuting in their single-occupant SUVs from their multimillion dollar beachfront homes. And LA is supposed to just bend over and let them.

Regardless of the harm they do to the people and communities along their way.

You can see what those road diet opponents have to say on the subject by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

………

A British woman has started a petition to protect the roads — or rather, those poor, put-upon drivers — from dangerous cyclists who play chicken with cars and hurl abuse at the people in them.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be drivers who pass too close to bikes or do anything that might inspire that anger.

………

Britain’s governing body for sports either missed or willfully ignored problems with the cycling program.

Greg LeMond once again calls for banning race radios in the Tour de France to make the race more unpredictable and exciting. An idea I wholeheartedly endorse. Just put the riders on their bikes and let them race.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s public meeting to discuss changes to deadly Fletcher Drive though Atwater Village, which writer Joe Linton describes as a necessary route for bicyclists through the area, despite the dangers of high speed traffic. Needless to say, most drivers at the meeting seemed to prefer the option that didn’t include a road diet or bike lanes, and wouldn’t do much to improve safety for anyone.

Six streets in the San Fernando Valley are scheduled for Vision Zero safety improvements, including Sepulveda Blvd and Lankershim Blvd — where Councilmember Paul Krekorian has already decided to keep the street dangerous instead of installing a road diet with bike lanes. The misleading headline implies bike lanes are planned for all of the streets, which is contradicted by the story.

Bike SGV reports Pasadena is planning to make the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station more walkable and bikeable.

The new superintendent of the La Habra city school district rode a bicycle across the US when she was in her 20s. I like her already.

 

State

That bike-riding rhino replica will complete its tour of the left coast in San Diego this weekend.

A UC Riverside man will ride from LA to DC this summer to spread a message of diversity and tolerance.

It’s safe to get back on your bike again. The Sacramento man who was convicted of deliberately running down three bike riders is back behind bars after being released on a clerical error.

 

National

Wired looks at the movement of women’s bike makers to finally go beyond shrink it and pink it.

An Austin TX teenager says he was “just blowing off steam” when he shot a bike rider in the face with a shotgun, nearly killing him. Hopefully, he’ll be in prison long enough to permanently lose that smug look on his face; thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Must be something in the water. In another Austin case, a 26-year old man was arrested after trying to ride salmon on an Interstate highway in an effort to elude police.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News calls on the NYPD to stop automatically blaming bike riders for crashes where they weren’t at fault, and stop cracking down on people on bikes as a result. Like in the case of the Israeli man killed riding a New York bikeshare bike, who didn’t swerve into a bus after all.

Philadelphia steps up plans for Vision Zero after a longtime transportation advocate was killed when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he and another person were walking.

A Baltimore lawyer and the head of the city’s bike advocacy group explain why they successfully sued to prevent the mayor from ripping out a protected bike lane.

What the fuck is wrong with people? A Baltimore mother was murdered in a dispute over her son’s bike seat.

Jamie McMurray is one of us, part of the brigade of NASCAR drivers who’ve taken up bicycling, including a recent 102 mile ride up a South Carolina mountain.

 

International

Treehugger reviews Carlton Reid’s new book Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling. Which I hope to have in my own hot little hands in the near future.

The Guardian asks if you can pick out cities from just their naked bikeway networks. Even without looking at the multiple choice answers, Los Angeles is obvious from its disconnected non-network and over-reliance on river and beachfront bike paths.

Evidently, it’s perfectly okay to kill a bike-riding woman with your truck in the UK, then decide there’s no point hanging around once the paramedics arrive, and continue with your deliveries.

A Welsh website explains why participants in the World Naked Bike Ride aren’t likely to be arrested; apparently, public nudity is legal as long as you aren’t offensive. Which pretty much rules me out.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Record-setting, 105-year old Robert Marchand helps kick off a French cycling event he competed in several times in years past.

A Berlin bicyclist was fatally doored by a diplomat, apparently from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Thanks to again to Steve Katz.

Denmark focuses on building streets where children can bike to school alone, resulting in happier, healthier kids. And adults.

ZDNet looks at the smart internet-connected Estonian bike lock being installed in the Bay Area BART stations.

A 26-year old Indian man will spend the next three years bicycling around the country to share the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with school children. I want to be like him, too.

A bike group paints murals around Beirut, Lebanon to promote riding over driving.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to be invaded by Chinese dockless bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Your next bike light could help fill potholes. Bike racing comes to Beverly Hills; no, not that Beverly Hills.

And no, hurling it off a seven-story building is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike.

 

Morning Links: Drunk cyclists and pedestrians, bike lanes benefit public health, and support bikes in Hollywood

More victim blaming from the governors.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says one-third of pedestrians killed in 2014 traffic collisions, and 20% of bike riders, were legally drunk at the time of the crash.

Which, like most of their reports, sounds damning but lacks any real context.

Like whether the victims’ intoxicated state had anything whatsoever to do with the crashes that killed them.

The report implies pedestrians stumbling drunk into the path of oncoming motor vehicles, or weaving bike riders blowing red lights to meet their demise.

Yet it’s just as likely that a drunk pedestrian could have been hit while walking legally in a crosswalk, or that a bike rider may have been rear-ended while riding in a bike lane, despite having a couple beers.

As LAPD officers have repeatedly drilled into my head, intoxication is never the proximate cause of a collision. A driver may run a red light or veer onto the wrong side of the road because she’s drunk, but the cause of the crash is the traffic violation, not the DUI, which is considered a separate offense.

And never mind that a drunken bike rider or pedestrian is a danger to him or herself, while drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone around them.

So yes, the public should be made aware that walking or riding a bike after drinking can put you at serious risk. And taking transit or ordering a Lyft may be a better idea if you’ve had too much.

But seriously, everyone will be better off if you do anything except get behind the wheel.

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Another new study shows building bike lanes compares extremely well to other interventions designed to protect health, resulting in significant health cost savings and benefits to society at minimal expense.

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The LACBC is asking you to turn out next Tuesday to support bike lanes in Hollywood, which currently has none.

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee will be discussing transportation issues including cycling. A public show of support for bike infrastructure is needed so that the committee will prioritize bike safety issues. In particular it would be helpful if cyclists were able to speak about The Hollywood Boulevard commercial district/corridor, Vine Street, Cahuenga Blvd, and/or Highland Avenue as they are all heavily trafficked and precarious for daily cyclists.

When: 6 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Where: Hollywood Methodist Church located at 6817 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90028

Parking: Plenty at the church itself

Closest Metro Stop: Hollywood/Highland

Please RSVP at if you plan to attend.

As someone who lives and rides in the area, I can attest to the need for major changes, since there’s currently no safe way in or out of Hollywood in any direction.

Let alone that we’ll be throwing tourists to the wolves once Metro’s bikeshare comes here in the next few years.

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Mark Cavendish’s plans to catch the Cannibal’s record for Tour de France stage wins suffers a setback as he’s sidelined with infectious mononucleosis.

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Local

The Daily News says any public sign of friction on the LA City Council is a good thing, such as CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s endorsement of challenger Joe Bray-Ali in CD1 over incumbent Gil Cedillo.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman talks about the LACBC’s Tamika Butler talking about bikes, equity, and tokenization on the Bike Nerds Podcast.

An Alhambra man was critically injured when he was hit by a car while walking his bicycle across the street; for a change, the driver stayed at the scene.

The 61-year old self-proclaimed UniGeezer spends six days a week mountain unicycling along off-road trails in Agoura Hills, Simi Valley and Santa Barbara.

 

State

Oceanside puts a planned crosswalk on hold as the city questions plans to install a road diet that would protect the lives of kids walking and biking to school.

The second phase of San Diego’s Torrey Pines Corridor project will begin this fall, including buffered bike lanes on both sides.

Professional BMX riders take an anti-bullying message to a Rancho Bernardo high school.

The Big Bear Grizzly says it’s time to ride bikes in Big Bear. I assume that’s the local newspaper, rather than, you know, an actual bear.

A San Francisco bike shop will take your old car in trade for a new ebike. Throw in a sidecar for the Corgi, and I’m in.

 

National

The new Copenhagen Wheel, which promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike, is finally available for purchase. With starting price of $1499, it costs more than most bikes it might be used on.

Denver paramedics are training to ride their bikes to the rescue. Meanwhile, a coalition of bike and safety groups is calling on the city to dedicate $40 million a year for sidewalks, bikeways and access to transit.

Bryan Dotson forwards word that BikeHouston, which just helped guide approval of the city’s ambitious new bike plan, is looking for a new advocacy director. On the plus side, you’ll get to help reshape one of the country’s most notoriously auto-centric cities. On the other hand, you’ll have to live in Texas.

Caught on video: An Ohio driver appears to target one of three kids riding their bikes, running over his bicycle and up onto a lawn as the victim jumps out of the way.

A Massachusetts town votes to remove two whole parking spaces to sort of make way for a bike lane, because removing the four spaces that were actually needed was just too much to ask.

The drunken hit-and-run Baltimore bishop who left a bike rider to die in the street is now eligible for parole, despite serving just 18 months of her seven-year sentence, because Maryland doesn’t consider vehicular manslaughter a violent offense. I’m sure her victim would beg to differ.

A Georgia driver faces multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault and hit-and-run, for turning around and intentionally clipping a cyclist after honking and yelling at the group of riders as he passed moments earlier.

 

International

Caught on video too: The BBC’s Jeremy Vine is once again the victim of a near miss as he rides his bike through the streets of London.

London bike commuters want more showers. And someplace to dry their sweaty clothes.

Dublin’s lord mayor says he doesn’t know anyone who takes bags of shopping home on their bicycles. Maybe he needs to expand his circle of acquaintances since countless people do just that every day.

Irish police sergeants and inspectors say the country’s streets are too dangerous, so they call for making helmets and hi-viz mandatory for bike riders instead of making the streets safer. At least wiser heads prevailed on a plan to force pedestrians to wear fluorescent clothing.

Not even Copenhagen gets bike infrastructure right all the time.

Shanghai tries to halt China’s bike boom, banning bicycles — ridden or parked — from certain downtown districts, as well as a number of roads without bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bicycle, inside a police station is probably not the best place to start. Or at least wait until the rider gets off.

And if you’re going to jump your bike across a pond, try stay on until you hit the ramp, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Support Lankershim bike lanes, new buffered lanes in Sunland, and killer driver warns others

The LACBC is asking for people to come out on Wednesday to support plans to install bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd between Magnolia Blvd and Vanowen Street.

The meeting of the Mid-Town NoHo Neighborhood Council starts at 7 PM, at the Senior Citizen Center at 5301 Tujunga Blvd. RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend.

These are the same bike lanes former Councilmember Tom LaBonge blocked while he was in office; now that he’s gone, maybe we can finally make the street a little safer for everyone.

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Maybe there really is hope.

Michael Sullivan forwards photos of new buffered bike lanes going in on Foothill Blvd in Sunland, where Jeffrey Knopp was killed when his bike was struck from behind while riding on the narrow shoulder.

Looking west from Foothill and Riderwood towards Wentworth

Looking east from the same spot towards Sunland, next to the barriers that previously trapped riders next to fast-moving traffic

The road diet should slow traffic, while giving people on bicycles a safer and more comfortable piece of the roadway. Sullivan calls it a very welcome change on a street he regularly rides as part of his commute.

My understanding is that these plans were in the works long before Knopp’s death. But it’s good to see a dangerous road made a little safer.

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The 22-year old driver who killed Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar four years ago is now speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted driving, his probationary penance for what he calls the worst day of his life.

Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar says the appearances mandated as part of his five-year probation have allowed him to help heal himself.

I sincerely hope he’s able to peace, and live with the knowledge that he needlessly destroyed an innocent life.

But I’m far more concerned that Aguilar’s loved ones are able to come to terms with his loss, and the fact that his killer wasn’t sentenced to a single day behind bars.

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Very sad news, as Peter Flax reports the husband of fallen OC cyclist Deborah Gresham — the subject of his moving piece on the creation of a ghost bike — has died unexpectedly, leaving their four kids without a mother or father.

Let’s hope there’s someone to take them in and comfort them. Because that’s just too much tragedy for any child to bear.

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A driver buzzes a bicyclist as he’s filming a trailer for a documentary. And proves once again that too many drivers don’t have a clue when it comes to the rights of cyclists, or how to drive safely around people on bikes.

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Spoiler alert: If you still haven’t seen Sunday’s Paris – Roubaix, skip to the next section. Or watch streaming video of the race courtesy of SoCal Cycling, then come back for the rest.

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Local

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin call for using Measure M return funds to save lives through Vision Zero, noting that New York is spending $174 million on Vision Zero projects this year, while Los Angeles has committed to spending a paltry $3 million.

A writer for The Source notes that she feels safer on a Metro Bike than a regular bike, and that bikeshare has made her feel more comfortable riding around DTLA.

Help clean up the Ballona Creek for Earth Day on the 22nd.

A mountain bike rider had to be evacuated from the Lower Monroe Truck Trail in Angeles Forest following a crash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica is set to unveil the final draft of the city’s Downtown Community Plan on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will include a heavy reliance on bicycling, transit and walking over motor vehicles.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the tale of a cycling wedding.

 

State

The LA Times recommends getting fit and doing good by joining one of several charity bike rides around the state, as well as one in Tucson.

A Huntington Beach event allowed people with disabilities to experience the freedom of handcycling for the first time.

A helmetless La Jolla woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a solo fall after losing control of her bicycle going downhill. Sadly, crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Apparently, it was worth it to a San Diego driver to risk injuring a bicyclist to snag a prime beachside parking space; the rider slammed into the back of her car after she cut him off.

A Riverside driver turned herself in Sunday morning for fleeing the scene after crashing into two bike riders Saturday night. Which would have given her time to sober up if she’d been drinking.

Two Stockton teenagers were killed fleeing from police following a robbery after crashing into a bike rider and several cars; fortunately, the bicyclist and the people in the other cars weren’t seriously injured.

Seven months later, Sebastopol authorities still can’t prove — or disprove — that a fatal crash between two cyclists on an organized ride was caused by a careless driver.

Over 30 triathletes suffered hypothermia after swimming in a Napa County lake before getting on their bikes.

 

National

A new book from a Colorado woman describes her victory in the frozen 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race.

The Montana bill that included a tax on out-of-state bicyclists — which sponsors later said was a joke — passed out of committee without the provision attached.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a hit-and-run driver gets a whole 18 months in prison for killing a bike rider, then claiming he hit a deer.

The New York Post questions why the city should spend $12 million to expand the Citi Bank bikeshare to outlying areas, when the coming dockless, app-based bikeshare systems could do it for them.

A writer for the Guardian describes his single week as an Uber courier, which ended when he discovered the hard way that Uber doesn’t ensure couriers’ bicycles against theft.

The World Cycling League will team with a Reading PA college to build a world-class, $20 million velodrome.

A kindhearted friend of a Virginia McDonald’s customer bought a new bicycle for one of the store’s employees after learning he was walking 10 miles each way to get to and from his job after his old bicycle gave out. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The Tampa Bay Times offers a strongly worded editorial calling for better safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, saying it’s time to stop accepting injuries and deaths as “collateral damage in a culture focused on cars.”

 

International

Here’s video of the Cuban cyclist stopped by police in his attempt to set a record for the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder; builder Félix Ramón Guirola Cepero says he’s going to try it again. Got to hand it to Trimble; it’s a total class act to help the guy trying to beat your own record.

An 82-year old Brit man had the chutzpa to apply for a new driver’s license, just days after knocking a man off his bike, then driving over him at 3 mph.

The UK is about to be invaded by Chinese app-based bikeshare providers, extending their battle from the Middle Kingdom to foreign shores.

Caught on video: A British driver tweets that a bike rider should be prosecuted for riding through a red light when there was no traffic coming in any direction.

A Bollywood filmmaker plans several additional rides after finishing a 1,500 mile ride across India to promote mental health; he has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Australian police are closing in on a suspect in the 15-year old cold case murder of a man who was gunned down in his home weeks after finishing an eight-month tour of the country that ended when his bike was stolen.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, try not to drop the cash you just stole. Your next bike helmet could fit in a water bottle, not that it would do a lot of good there.

And your latest bicycling jam comes courtesy of Frank Ocean, with an assist from Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator.

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Chag Sameach!

 

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