Tag Archive for Memorial Day

Morning Links: Remember what Memorial Day is all about, Calendar update, and 2 new National Champs

My father fought in World War II, in both Europe and the Pacific.

In fact, he was training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended; his unit had been told to expect a 100% casualty rate. If Japan hadn’t surrendered when it did, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

Or be, period.

My grandfather was a doughboy in World War I; exposure to poison gasses probably contributed to the emphysema that eventually took his life, along with a lifetime of smoking.

My brother served in Vietnam, thankfully without serious incident.

They all made it back home. A lot of the men and women they served with didn’t. Along with countless others who fought in earlier and later wars.

Several of the kids just few years ahead of me in school went to Vietnam and never came back, while a Marine friend of mine — the husband of a co-worker — was one of the few Americans to die in the first Gulf War.

And we’ve lost too damn many good men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So please, take just a moment amid the bike rides and barbeques and sales going on today to remember what Memorial Day is really all about. And say a prayer for all those who have given their lives for their country, if you’re so inclined.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to ride today, allow me to make a suggestion.

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You can find this week’s upcoming events on the updated Calendar page.

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Cycling scion Davis Phinney takes his second US national time trial title in Chattanooga; Allison Powers wins the women’s championship. Next up for both is Monday’s road race.

Meanwhile, Velo News proclaims 23-year old rider Fabio Aru, winner of Sunday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, is Italy’s next big thing.

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Local

Richard Risemberg goes multi-modal meandering.

Downtown Garden Grove will go car-free on October 12th for the city’s first open streets event.

Cycling in the South Bay asks if Stava is killing bike racing. If you ask me, it ain’t helping.

 

State

San Clemente’s bike plan wins an American Planning award.

San Diego gets its first road diets.

San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow tells drivers how to avoid right-hooking cyclists. And offers the heartbreaking tale of a priest who comforted a teenage cyclist as she lay dying following a traffic collision, only to lose his own life in a cycling collision years later.

Palo Alto residents agree changes to a contentious roadway should include measures to alter human behavior.

 

National

Tucson’s new street car tracks have caused over 80 bicycling collisions.

Cyclists take over Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive for a few short hours.

Writing for the New York Times, Eben Weis — aka Bike Snob NYC — argues that if Citibank got a bailout, Citi Bike should, too.

 

International

After a Toronto cyclist is screwed over by the insurance company of the driver who hit him, the local paper rides to his rescue.

A new French 360-degree helmet cam can take immersive video of your ride. Or capture dangerous drivers on video no matter what direction they come from.

You know you want to. Three inexpensive ways to tour Italy by bike.

Aussie roundabouts are responsible for one in every ten bicycling collisions in the state of Victoria.

 

Finally…

Several cyclists riding with the bicycling Australian prime minister are taken out by an oil slick. Somehow, I can’t imagine any American president riding in a peloton.

And the LA Weekly says never pick a fight with a cyclist because you’ll lose, and they — we — get mad; looks like they’re finally learning. Thanks to Serge Issakov for the heads-up.

 

Sometimes, no news really is good news

New 2xU store at 15th and Montana in Santa Monica

New 2xU store at 15th and Montana in Santa Monica

Just a few quick notes before I head out for my first, and last, spandex-clad non-transportational ride of the week.

I was hoping for a lengthier update this morning, but after three days in Damien Newton’s shoes as guest editor of LA Streetsblog, combined with an LACBC panel discussion on the Rules of the Road and a grand opening party for the new 2xu store in Santa Monica — the first US retail outlet for the Aussie performance wear brand — I found sleep far more appealing than writing last night.

I’m just glad I didn’t break Damien’s website. And I learned just how hard a job he has — and was reminded what an amazing job he does with it.

As far as riding goes, it looks like about as perfect a day as you can experience here in SoCal. Which means about as perfect a day as you’ll experience anywhere.

Just remember, it’s also the day before a three-day weekend.

Which means that traffic will be exceptionally heavy this afternoon and evening, as L.A. drivers rush to get home and/or out of town. They will be frustrated by the heavy traffic, possibly angry and looking for any advantage they can get on the roads.

And they won’t be looking for you.

Which means it’s up to you to ride carefully and defensively.

It shouldn’t be that way; everyone on the road should be expected to be aware of their surroundings and others on the roads at all times, and drive accordingly. But that doesn’t happen on the best day, and it certainly won’t happen today. So it’s up to you, even more than usual, to ensure that you get home in one piece.

One other holiday note. If you ride on the beach bike path anytime after noon today, you can expect the pathway to be overrun with bike riders, skaters, pedestrians and tourists, many of whom will be drunk, clueless or both, to the point that it will be virtually impassible at times.

Just deal with it, and get on with your life.

Either find another place to ride, or accept that you will have to ride slowly — very slowly — and watch out for others who aren’t likely to be watching out for themselves. Let alone you.

In many places, non-bike riders have as much right to be on the bike path as you do, since any off-road path without an alternative pedestrian walkway nearby is legally considered a multi-use path.

And even where it’s clearly marked bikes only, it’s a lost cause to think that anyone will even attempt to enforce it.

But don’t worry, the situation will improve.

The day after Labor Day.

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It’s a quiet news day on the bike front, which is almost always a good thing.

If you don’t count the latest doping bust. Even Lance thinks he’s an idiot.

@lancearmstrong Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue – I still can’t help but think, “really Di Luca? Are you that fucking stupid??”

Good news from the Eastside, as police make a pair of arrests in the recent assault on a bike rider on the L.A. River bike path.

And sad news as the famed bike-sexual Scotsman caught attempting intercourse with his bicycle passed away over the last weekend.

I’ll try to catch up as time allows over the weekend, and will keep up you with any breaking news. So check back when you get the chance.

And try to remember that Monday’s holiday is about more than sales and barbecues.

Let’s stay safe out there.

There’s a reason for this weekend — and oddly, it’s not biking or shopping

When I was a boy, I used to love watching war movies with my Dad.

I hadn’t yet developed any sense of the terrible toll that war inflicts; of the lives taken and torn, both on the battlefield and at home. I was far too young for that. All I knew was that he had fought in the second world war, both in Europe and the Pacific, and to me, he was a much of a hero as any of the brave men who battled across our TV screen.

Why he enjoyed those movies, I don’t really know. But I think he took pride in having been part of a struggle that, quite literally, saved the world — and that his sacrifice, and the greater sacrifice of those who didn’t come home, was worth the cost.

Yet it was also clear that, as much as he tried, he could never forget the things that he’d seen, and done. Or the fellow soldiers who didn’t come back home with him.

One moment in particular stands out in my mind.

We were watching a scene in which an American soldier was being tortured by the enemy. In my naïveté, I turned and asked if the Americans ever tortured anyone.

“No,” he said. “We wouldn’t do that. We were the good guys.”

Maybe that’s why I get so upset when I hear Dick Cheney defend the torture of terror suspects. It feels like a betrayal of everything this country has stood for, and everything my father and hundreds of thousands of his fellow men and women fought for.

This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day.

Most Americans will spend it at the beach or outdoor barbeques; at the mall or any of the countless sales that encourage us to mark the occasion by going further into debt. Meanwhile, those of us in the two-wheeled set are likely to take advantage of the three-day weekend and mark the unofficial start of summer with the year’s first big ride.

All I ask is that you take just a moment this weekend to remember those who gave their lives for this country, as well as those who, like my father, surrendered too much their lives to battles they could never forget.

And don’t forget those who are serving their country as we speak — and the sacrifices their loved ones make worrying about, and living without, them.

We’ll have plenty of time to talk about biking next week.

 

Gary provides an insightful analysis of the failure of Class III bike routes. Seriously, read it. In the comments, Scott directs readers to this criticism of the LAB’s Bike Friendly Cities program. Streetsblog provides insight into the Hummer incident by interviewing the victim, Andres Tena. The new Secretary of Transportation notes that biking is healthy when you do it safely, while OHS reminds drivers that we share the road, too. The Tucson Bike Lawyer asks why the Pima County sheriff is entrapping cyclists, and the Safe Passing Bill moves forward in Texas. San Francisco moves forward with a plan to phase out cars and phase in bikes on Market Street, while a Toronto writer notes that bikes are good for business. And finally, the Brooklyn Eagle notes that sharing the road has never come easy.

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