Tag Archive for National Blood Donor Month

Morning Links: Justice denied and threats against cyclists, and it’s time to give up some of that good bike blood

Sometimes there seems to be a common thread in the day’s news.

This time, it’s a tale of threats and justice denied. At least, if you’re on a bike.

In a must read from Colorado, a cyclist describes the collision that totaled his bike — and nearly totaled him — when he was rear-ended by a driver doing an estimated 35 mph.

Yet when an officer from the highway patrol showed up, he had apparently decided what had happened before he even got out of his car. And gave the rider a $24 ticket for not getting the hell out of the way of the truck that hit him.

Then there’s the case of a Virginia driver who was convicted on two misdemeanor counts after buzzing a group of cyclists, then threatening them with a gun.

Yet despite threatening the lives of five innocent people, he walks away without even a single day behind bars.

And don’t even get me started on the schmuck who robbed an Oakland bike rider as he lay unconscious in the street after being hit by a truck; the victim’s mother says a heart defect has compounded his injuries and left her son clinging to life.

Hopefully they’ll catch the thief, lock him up and shove the key where the sun don’t shine.

Then there’s the idiot who tossed tacks on a busy Portland bridge popular with bike riders for the second time this week.

It may not sound like a big deal.

But a sudden flat can cause a cyclist to lose control and fall, possibly resulting in a serious injury. Or worse, if it causes him or her to fall in front of oncoming traffic. And even a sudden swerve after spotting the tacks in the roadway could be dangerous.

Police tend to treat incidents like this as a simple prank. When they should be investigated as an assault. Or at least an attempt to intimidate — if not terrorize — people exercising their legal right to ride a bike.

But at least authorities are taking the case of the drunken hit-and-run Baltimore Bishop seriously, holding her on $2.5 million bond.

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Red Kite Prayer urges you to perform a life saving act by donating blood, and putting those bulging bike riding veins to good use during National Blood Donor Month.

I couldn’t agree more.

I used to donate on a regular basis until health issues forced me to stop, losing count at somewhere north of five gallons of my own high test A-positive over the years.

Way north. Because after awhile, how much just didn’t matter anymore.

What did matter was that it was, perhaps, the only entirely selfless thing most of us will ever do; all you’re likely to get out of it is a good feeling and a cookie or two.

I have no idea what happened to that blood, who might have gotten it or why; I can only trust that it went to people who needed it. And hopefully made a difference.

With the exception, that is, of a single pint that went to my own wife before her own major surgery.

Thankfully, she came through with flying colors.

But showed no more interest in riding a bike than she had before.

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San Francisco bike bag and clothing maker Mission Workshop is opening up on Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake.

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No. Just no.

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A new website and Twitter account promises to cover all things bike in the San Fernando Valley.

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Local

Richard Risemberg looks at the proposal for five blocks of complete streets on North Figueroa.

KCET will air a report on last December’s South LA CicLAvia next Wednesday.

Been awhile since we’ve heard from the Department of DIY, which took it upon itself to remove sand blocking the usually bikable shoulder on Lincoln Blvd. Seriously, it shouldn’t be up to bike riders to keep our streets safe to ride.

Congratulations to Cindy Decker of Performance Bike in Long Beach on winning one of ten Women’s Bicycle Mechanic Scholarships; the winners were selected from over 800 applicants nationwide.

 

State

Orange County pulls the plug on Fullerton’s less than successful bikeshare program, which cost taxpayers $800 a ride.

Apple could be planning to take on GoPro with a more aero cam that can be mounted on a bike helmet. And would undoubtedly connect to your other Apple gear.

How slow can you go? Marin County is reducing the speed limit on a popular bike path to just 10 mph to cut down on conflicts with pedestrians.

 

National

Note to world: Racism ain’t funny. And yes, “jokingly” accusing black people of riding stolen bikes is racist. Especially when biking while black is still a problem in this country.

You may be able to tour Mesa Verde National Park on a rented bike next time you go.

Nice story from my home town, as two bike shop owners pitch in to replace a little girl’s stolen bike.

Four Texans are under arrest for running a high-end bike theft ring; one member stole $70,000 worth of bikes in seven cities.

VeloNews calls Sunday’s rain-delayed national cyclocross championships a disaster.

If you build it, they will ride. Bike traffic is up 81% in a single year after a protected bike lane was installed on a Minneapolis bridge.

New York is reworking streets and intersections, and adding 50 miles of protected bikeways, as part of its push to reduce traffic deaths — something LA will have to do if the city’s newfound commitment to Vision Zero will ever be more than a vague promise.

 

International

British authorities search in vain for a cyclist who may have been swept out to sea by a rogue wave.

An Irish writer says it shouldn’t be a matter of us versus them when 80% of cyclists have a drivers license and one in five drivers ride a bike.

Italian soccer team Cesena will wear pink this Sunday to honor legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

More progress, as an African team will compete in the Tour de France for the first time this year, after participating in last year’s Vuelta.

An Aussie columnist says bike licenses are worth trying to curb bike-born bullies; after all, it’s worked so well to stop bad behavior by motorists. Or maybe it’s the drivers who really are arrogant.

 

Finally…

The bikelash is alive and well in Down Under, even popping up on the Aussie version of Family Feud. Your new Bern could bear the mark of Wu Tang.

And caught on video: Probably not the best idea to steal an unattended Philadelphia police bike; they tend to take that shit seriously.

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