Tag Archive for pro cycling

Weekend Links: HB hit-and-run scum, a busy bike weekend and upcoming events, and Amgen ToC stages set

It takes a major piece of walking — or in this case, driving — human scum to run down a nine-year old boy riding his bike in Huntington Beach, stop just long enough to look at him, then drive off, leaving the kid lying in the street.

Fortunately, the boy is okay.

The driver, on the other hand, isn’t. There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who could do that to a little kid.

Thanks to Lois for the link.

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It’s long past time we caught up on coming events, with a number rolling this weekend. Hopefully before the rain starts.

Join a group ride to tonight’s Night on Broadway celebration in DTLA, departing from Eagle Rock at 3 pm.

Empact Long Beach hosts a number of bike safety workshops throughout the city in the coming weeks, starting today.

Walk Bike Glendale will kick off 2016 with a pizza party at Pizza Rev in Glendale this Sunday.

Pizza seems to be the theme of the day on Sunday, as LA Bike Trains is hosting the first of their monthly Biking ‘til Snack Time rides, with stops at a number of local pizza spots along the way.

Bike SGV is going pizza-free for Sunday’s ride celebrating the fourth anniversary of their monthly bike train. They note the ride will go on with light rain; heavy rain will mean a switch to a Bike Commuting Class, presumably indoors.

The Temple City council will hold a final vote on the proposed complete street redesign of Las Tunas Drive on February 11th.

Also on the 11th, the LA Planning Commission will consider amendments to the city’s recently passed Mobility Plan, including the possible removal of some bike lanes from the plan. Glad to see city staff has recommended keeping the proposed Westwood Blvd bike lanes in the plan over the objection of Councilmember Koretz and some homeowner’s groups.

CZ-2pFmUYAEDMu8The East Side Riders Bike Club is hosting the 7th Annual Ride 4 Love 2016 through LA’s Southside on February 13th.

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council invites you to explore the area with the LACBC-led Tour de Van Nuys on February 20th, and stay after to help reimagine Van Nuys Blvd as a bike-friendly, green complete street.

Flying Pigeon is sponsoring a NELA Kidical Mass on February 21st.

Mark you calendar for the annual Malibu Gran Fondo March 6th and 7th.

Looking further ahead, this year’s Ride of Silence will roll on May 18th to honor fallen cyclists.

And the Eastside Bike Club is holding a Riff Raff Ride into Monrovia on June 26th as an unofficial adjunct to the 626 Golden Streets Ride through seven communities in the San Gabriel Valley. Most of which are more welcoming to riders than Monrovia seems to be.

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The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride will be hosted by none other that Mr. CiclaValley himself, as he channels his inner Daniel LaRusso to show riders how to get to the March 6th CicLAvia in the northern reaches of the San Fernando Valley.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia continues to grow as it spreads out to Los Angeles, Lynwood, South Gate, Huntington Park and Southeast LA County on May 15th.

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Been seeing lots of complaints from cyclists the past several days over this commercial for the new Audi plug-in hybrid, in which the owner of said car wins the admiring gaze of a bike-riding woman for driving like a total jackass.

Thanks to Alice Strong for the heads-up.

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Route details are released for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, including a start and finish in San Diego’s Mission Bay to begin the race, followed stages from South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, and Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara.

If France’s one-day Paris-Roubaix race isn’t tough enough, they’re adding an uphill, cobbled section for this year.

Pro cyclist Chad Haga describes what it’s like to fight an SUV with his face; Haga was the most seriously injured member of his Giant-Alpecin teammates, who were hit head-on by a wrong way driver while training in Spain. And voices his commitment to keep riding so she doesn’t get the final say on his racing career.

And in the cycling conspiracy theory that won’t die, Italy will hold yet another hearing looking into allegations that the great Marco Pantini was murdered rather than overdosing on coke.

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Local

An OpEd in the Times says Metro’s bikeshare is set up to fail. Although I’d question the assumption that low-income residents are the most likely users of bikeshare, which hasn’t been the case in any other city I’m aware of. And while systems are planned for Long Beach and UCLA, they are not currently in place.

The city council has approved funding to install gates to keep cars off the LA River bike path, in hopes of stopping things like this from last year.

The Hollywood Reporter says allegations of preferential treatment for a former American Gladiators star accused of spousal rape is just the latest scandal involving the Malibu/Lost Hills sheriff’s station, including the death of cyclist Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted deputy using his patrol car’s onboard computer.

Good news from Burbank, as police recovered the $5,300 customized bike that was stolen from a boy with cerebral palsy earlier this week; the bike was found on the side of a Silverlake street Wednesday night.

Speaking of CiclaValley, he say’s Glendale will be stepping up enforcement of traffic laws laws involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists today. Like the similar enforcement efforts in Santa Monica, make a point to obey all the laws today so whoever they ticket, it won’t be you.

 

State

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton responds to an OpEd from a Brown administration official, saying that doing better than Schwarzenegger when it comes to funding active transportation is not exactly the bar we set for the current governor.

Streetsblog also looks at the Death to Cyclists and Pedestrians Bill, which would slash fines for drivers who run red lights when making right turns. Okay, so maybe that’s not the official title of the bill. And the authors have the good taste to quote me in the story.

San Diego cyclists have to dodge motorists driving in the bike lane to avoid the crappy road conditions in Tecolote Canyon. One of the rare cases where road conditions are better in the bike lane than in the rest of the roadway.

Santa Barbara City College tries to encourage alternative transportation by providing a free breakfast for those who leave their cars at home.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a pair of Bay Area brothers are marketing a streamlined US-made bike bell designed for road bikes.

Sad news from NorCal, as a bike rider was found dead on the side of the road, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run. And a bicyclist was killed in Eureka after allegedly running a stop sign.

 

National

Seattle’s underfunded bikeshare system is on the brink, while bikeshare will come to my hometown before it does DTLA.

A New Mexico man starts a petition calling for tougher penalties for drivers who injure bicyclists.

A Boulder CO writer says drivers will get used to safety improvements if you give them enough time, rather than pulling out prematurely in response to complaints.

Brilliant police work in San Antonio, as police somehow conclude that a man riding a bicycle with two purses may have stolen them. Although riding with one purse might be a different matter.

Evidently, there are wiser heads in South Dakota, where a bill that would have required bike riders to pull over and stop so cars and trucks could pass has justifiably died in committee; it was opposed by the state transportation, public safety and tourism agencies, as well as cyclists. And anyone else with a modicum of sense.

A writer for the Wisconsin Bike Fed says slow down and save lives. And compares drivers to the Simpson’s Montgomery Burns careening towards people in a crosswalk, shouting, “Out of my way, I’m a motorist!”

An Ohio man faces up to eight years in prison for shooting a 72-year old man in the eye with a paintball gun from a passing car; the rider lost all the vision in his right eye as a result. One more reason to always ride with shatterproof glasses.

 

International

A Toronto paper calls this a pivotal time for cycling in the city.

London is the latest city where a marketing campaign from Orangetheory Fitness attempted to rip off ghost bikes by locking orange-painted bikes around town. But unlike other cities, complaints in London forced the bikes’ removal.

Caught on video: A London cyclist gets caught in a right hook squeeze play. As the story notes, the rider should have either pulled up to where the driver could see him, or held back behind the Porsche rather than riding next to it.

Fines for riding on the sidewalk in England and Wales have dropped 70% over the past five years.

It’s another round of road rage in the UK, as a London cabbie picked up a man riding his bike and threw him down onto the pavement, a bike rider was punched in the face by a driver who got out of his car to confront him, and an English cyclist pushed a pedestrian and threatened to punch him, apparently for no reason.

Owen Wilson is one of us, as he takes a spin around Paris. Note to the Daily Mail: There’s a big difference between a mini bike and a “quirky” foldie.

A German man has worn out six bicycles riding through the streets of Berlin calling for voting rights for non-European Union citizens.

Caught on video 2: A Singapore driver gets an earful — in English — when he tells a cyclist he’s riding on the wrong side of the road.

 

Finally…

Left in the street by a hit-and-run driver, but at least she got to meet the Bieb. Evidently, Brit bike cops only need a cup of tea to bounce back from the bumper of a distracted driver.

And it seems Specialized takes a whimsical, if painful looking, approach to a page not found page. Thanks to the BAC’s David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Come back Monday, when we’ll announce the winner of our recent bike giveaway courtesy of Beachbikes.net.

And don’t forget — you’ve got just three more days to take advantage of the special BikinginLA offer on a new Invincible bike from Fortified.

 

Morning Links: Bad weekend for pro cyclists, a crib sheet on protected bike lanes, and OCR’s David Whiting nails it

It was a bad weekend for pro cyclists.

Movistar rider Adriano Malori was hospitalized in intensive care after a massive crash due to a pothole in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina; he was the second place finisher in the time trial at last year’s Worlds.

Meanwhile, six members of the Giant-Alpecin team were injured when they were hit by a wrong-way driver while training in Spain; riders Chad Haga and John Degenkolb were the most seriously injured. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

And former French pro and world track champion Robert Sassone died far too young at age 37.

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I usually avoid linking to items sent to me by businesses, let alone embedding them, since they’re often nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at SEO marketing.

However, this infographic offers some great information about physically separated bike lanes, gathered from a number of studies. And clearly shows that protected bike lanes increase ridership while reducing crashes and injuries.

Consider it a crib sheet for your next public meeting.

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Local

A “crowd” of people turned out for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s third annual Community Bike Ride on Saturday, followed by a workshop to highlight the Sherman Way Concept Plan.

Burglaries and bike thefts are up in LA’s upscale Brentwood neighborhood; the LAPD’s senior lead officer for the area urges residents to keep their bikes inside, and lock them up even if you keep yours inside a garage.

Richard Risemberg offers a noir tale involving private dicks, a nasty crack and an injured cyclist. All that’s missing is a femme fatale.

A Long Beach woman plans to raise funds and awareness by biking and walking the LA River from the coast to the tributaries in the San Gabriel Mountains.

 

State

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting nails it with a column saying too many bicyclists have died on the county’s streets, and it only takes two seconds off your life to help ensure a longer one for someone on a bike. Although we’ve got to get him back on his own bike after the loss of a friend.

The LA Times looks at the recent crackdown on mountain bikers at Miramar.

Oceanside approves a road diet, complete with wider bike lanes and buffers along the Coast Highway. Calling safety improvements a pilot study is a great way to overcome initial opposition and give it a chance to prove it works.

Nearly 7,000 bike riders took part in Sunday’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Bakersfield cyclists host a monthly full moon ride.

San Francisco police arrest one suspect and search for another following a brief pursuit when an officer saw the driver flee after hitting a bicyclist; however, the rider was gone when police went back to look for him.

A bighearted Stockton driver — yes, that’s sarcastic — checks his car for damage after rear-ending a 15-year old bike rider, asks if he’s okay, then just drives off after agreeing the bike was seriously messed up in the wreck.

The Chico newspaper calls for banning bikes from the city’s Esplanade and its frontage roads, apparently unaware that would be illegal. CA state law allows bicycles on any public roadway where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited-access highways. So if they want to ban bikes, they’d have to ban cars, too.

 

National

A Denver writer says bike lanes serve to improve safety and livability for everyone, not just bike riders.

Now that’s a bike-friendly university. My hometown college is boosting campus bike parking to 18,000 spaces, as well as offering showers for bike riders in the new chemistry and biology buildings and the soon-to-be-built on-campus stadium.

A Buffalo NY couple open a year-round cargo bike delivery service.

Plain white rapper Vanilla Ice dodges jail for burglary and bike theft by completing 100 hours of community service in Florida.

 

International

Here’s another reason to register your bike. An English rider who was unable to tell rescuers who he was following a collision was identified through the registration on his bicycle. You should always carry multiple forms of ID when you ride; unscrupulous people have been known to steal wallets from cyclists after collisions or solo falls. Personally, I never leave the house without my Road ID, whether or not I’m on my bike.

Belfast embarks on a “radical” plan to remake the city’s streets by improving existing infrastructure, building a bike-only street, and replacing car parking with cycle tracks.

In the ongoing saga of bike-riding Syrian refugees who exploited a loophole to cross the border into Norway from Russia, the latter country refuses to take them back after the former decided to boot them out. Nice to see so much human compassion for people fleeing the proxy wars in their battle-scared county.

Now that’s a bikeshare program. Hangzhou, China’s eight-year old program offers over 3,500 stations with 84,000 bikes.

 

Finally…

Sure, it was cycling commentator Phil Liggett who made Lance a star; evidently, winning all those bike races had nothing to do with it. Talk about windshield bias; even on a cycle track, it’s the cyclist’s responsibility to avoid the drivers using it.

And it’s better to have people think you’re a Trump supporter than let them know you only have one bike.

 

Morning Links: Survey asks what residents really think about Westwood bike lanes; cars vs. cyclists in Flanders

Enough with the posturing.

A new group called Westwood for All wants to know what local residents really think about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

This is from the press release announcing the questionnaire.

A community group called Westwood4all has released an online questionnaire to advance the discussion about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. The aim is to provide accurate numbers about local support for bicycle facilities on Westwood Blvd. Results will be shared with elected officials so that they can make an informed decision.

When planning a transportation network, the opinion of local residents is just one factor in a very complex equation. An informed decision by elected officials will also consider the network as a whole, the effects on the neighborhood, on business, safety, parking, environment, congestion, public health, etc. But if the general attitude of the local community towards bicycle infrastructure is known, then a controversial issue can be settled more easily.

So far, the cycling community has posted a petition with 500 signatories. A number of UCLA stakeholders have also called for bike lanes. The Business Improvement District in the Westwood Village has recently voted for bike lanes in the village. One the other hand, the leadership of some local homeowner groups and of the Westwood Neighborhood Council have objected to the plan. Our effort may help to resolve this conflict by documenting local attitudes for or against bicycle infrastructure on Westwood Blvd.

You can take the short survey here.

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The first LA bike has been reported stolen using our new Bike Index stolen bike notice. So be on the lookout for a gold Rocky Mountain Bicycles full suspension mountain bike.

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Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Tour of Flanders, while Alexander Kristoff took the men’s title. And an Irish rider won his weight in beer.

Although in the aftermath of the race, the story is more about who didn’t win than who did.

The real story, though, is that Shimano service cars took out two riders, one in a collision with another race vehicle; evidently, you’re not even safe from hit-and-run drivers in a bike race, as the video below shows.

Injured New Zealand cyclist Jesse Sergent is expected to be out about a month after successful surgery for a broken collarbone.

Meanwhile, American pro Peter Stetina will be out for the foreseeable future after he breaks his leg, kneecap and four ribs in a peloton pile-up in Bilbao, Spain.

And Jaguar and Pinarello came up with a unique suspension system to ease the discomfort of riding the cobbles, reducing road vibration 50% without adding significantly to the bike’s ultralight frame.

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Local

KCBS-2 looks at Reseda Blvd’s new protected bike lanes.

Evidently, close bicycle access to Mulholland Drive is now an amenity for new housing developments.

WeHo council candidates discuss whether bikes should be kicked off the city’s sidewalks.

A Pasadena mansion up for sale originally belonged to a man who made his fortune by inventing a more comfortable leather bike seat in 1892.

Metro, Bike SGV and CICLE invite you to take a tour of art, bikes and history in El Monte on April 26th.

 

State

In California, bicycling is somehow seen as a greater risk than polio and measles. Yet the state’s mandatory helmet law for kids, unlike voluntary vaccinations, shows no obvious benefit.

San Diego advocates call on the city to emphasize bicycling, pedestrian and mass transit infrastructure in the next budget. Meanwhile, the city gave approval a new retail development catering to cyclists and pedestrians.

Not exactly instant karma, but close. A San Diego County shooting victim was arrested, but evidently not convicted, in a 2006 head-on hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist.

A new three-mile stretch of the Coyote Creek Bikeway adds another link to the 66-mile OC Loop.

The popular Tour de Palm Springs could move to January.

This is why you always carry your cell phone when you ride. A Loma Linda mountain biker is rescued after injuring his head; a call to his wife following the fall triggered the search effort.

Santa Barbara will open a new bicycle skills park on April 19th.

Porterville residents pitch-in to buy a new bike for a Navy vet after the bike his great-grandson gave him was stolen.

A San Jose road diet gets mixed reviews, even though it seems to be working. I love this quote from a local resident, which should be recited at every public meeting to discuss one: “I suspect that folks truly wanting to speed are simply finding alternate routes, but who cares about them anyway?”

The Easter Bunny brought bicycles to 24 Suisun City kids at the annual egg hunt.

 

National

The right on red law, which was pioneered here in California, may make life easier for motorists but it raises the risks for everyone else.

The biggest thing keeping Americans from bicycling more is a fear of being hit by a car.

The Department of DIY gets to work in Salem OR as cyclists post their own homemade Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A Minneapolis writer says Pittsburgh should embrace bicycling because it makes a city more welcoming. Even though he won’t get on one for fear of being killed.

A Detroit man was killed when he was run over by a bus as he was trying to remove his bike from its rack.

A Muncie IN bike shop celebrates its 150th anniversary, although the shop has changed names, locations and owners. But other than that, it’s exactly the same, right?

Seriously? A Pennsylvania letter writer says bike lanes are a bad idea because they have to be maintained — unlike the rest of the roadway, evidently.

Florida police are ticketing drivers for violating the state’s three-foot passing law, but the courts are letting them off.

 

International

Bicycling looks at the race to the year record.

Two UK candidates blame immigrants for clogging the country’s bike lanes.

Two women are riding from London to Hong Kong to call attention to global food waste.

City Lab looks at the steps Paris is taking to become the world capital of cycling.

A new Spanish collapsible bike helmet appears to flatten down to the size of a large dog dish.

Indian villagers riot after police kill a cyclist while chasing down a driver who failed to stop for a DUI checkpoint.

An Aussie study says riding a bike at least once a week will lead to a higher quality of life. As long as you’re a man.

Bicycle sidecars remain a popular mode of transit in Myanmar.

China’s Flying Pigeon bike maker collaborates with a video website to introduce a “super” smart bike, which will incorporate a music player, navigation, social networking, health monitoring, anti-theft lock and turn signals. Or you could, you know, just ride a bike.

 

Finally…

Seven very tongue-in-cheek tips for urban cyclists, from always strapping a baby onto your bike, to politely taking up as little space as possible when you’re sprawled on the pavement. A Kiwi cyclist pedals to work in a giraffe-print onesie to calm aggressive driving; a requirement for adult animal-print onesies is no doubt being added to California’s proposed helmet and reflective clothing law as we speak.

And before you impatiently honk your horn and buzz a group of cyclists while shouting obscenities out the window, make sure it’s not a group of bike cops on a training ride.

Just a suggestion.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to help support this site. If the mood strikes, you can contribute here

Morning Links: UCI doping report on the dopes running UCI, photos of Paralympic cyclists and Dr. Oz on bikes

A long awaited report on doping in pro cycling says the sport’s leaders aren’t corrupt, just incompetent and too willing to look the other way to protect a certain Texan.

Oh. Well okay, then.

And doping hasn’t ended, today’s riders have just gotten smarter about it.

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An Italian photographer offers breathtaking photographs from the Spanish Paralympic Track Championships, noting “It’s crazy how ‘handicaps’ can easily disappear on a bike.”

No, seriously, take a look, it’s worth it.

I’ll wait.

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TV’s Dr. Oz says riding to work is a good thing, though he overestimates the number of bicycling fatalities and says they don’t occur in designated bike lanes, which evidently posses magic properties to keep cars from crossing those little lines of paint.

He also says to only ride single file — even though riding abreast increases visibility and helps control narrow lanes to prevent unsafe passing — always wear reflective hi-viz, and that only less-experienced or less-intelligent cyclists ever ride without a helmet and protective eyewear.

Maybe there’s a reason he’s a TV doctor and not a bike safety expert.

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Local

Sounds like there’s a story there, as the LAPD tweets that Newton Division officers replaced a child’s stolen bike.

Santa Monica plans to have their new Breeze bike share up and running by the time the new Expo Line extension begins operations, possibly by the end of this year.

Santa Monica streets evidently can’t be wide enough for one architect, who evidently never heard of induced demand. Let’s be honest — the only solution for congested traffic is getting more cars off the streets, not making more room for them.

They ride among us. Actor Josh Duhamel rides with his son in SaMo, while supermodel Cindy Crawford pedals with her husband in Malibu.

Maybe they were out of bullets. Two accused gang members are under arrest for allegedly intentionally running down a West Covina bike rider; a hunt is under way for the third person in the car.

 

State

A San Francisco cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a fire truck returning from a call.

San Raphael police conducted a bike and pedestrian safety operation on Friday, ticketing 16 motorists, 14 pedestrians and just three people on bikes.

A 65-year old Marin County woman reports being terrorized, then attacked and seriously injured by a trail raging mountain biker. And yes, it sounds horrible, but let’s remember we’re only hearing one side of the story.

 

National

An editorial in the Spokane WA paper endorses road diets for all the right reasons.

Wyoming becomes the latest state to pass a three-foot passing law, though there are no penalties for violating it.

Minnesota Public Radio reports on six Minnesotans who rode their fat bikes in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Invitational.

New Mexico’s annual Tour of the Gila is in serious financial difficulty; next month’s race could be canceled if a title sponsor can’t be found.

The hot new thing at a Buffalo NY ice rink is a bicycle on ice skates.

A recent bike ride from Selma to Montgomery AL to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march raised nearly $20,000 to preserve the parsonage where Dr. King lived in Montgomery. As someone who grew up in the civil rights era, it’s amazing to look back on how far we’ve come, and yet how far we still have to go.

An editorial in a Florida paper says cyclists deserve to be safe and protected, while a reporter for the same paper says she stopped riding her bike because she’s afraid of cars. Or more precisely, the people in them.

 

International

A writer for London’s Guardian declares the mythical war on the motorist is over, somehow forgetting that motor vehicles continue to enjoy hegemony over the streets; he also insists that any reduction of speeds on surface streets should be met with a commensurate increase in highway speeds. Uh, no.

The Afghan women’s cycling team pedals on despite family pressures, patchy public support and a lack of paychecks.

Bike riders rally in Mumbai to protest the planned destruction and relocation of nearly 2,300 trees to make room for a garage, among other projects.

Aussie bike riders get naked to show how vulnerable cyclists are and to promote road safety. And show off their skills with body paint.

A Canberra newspaper says faulty components are putting Australian bike riders at risk, while acknowledging in passing that such cases are rare.

A motor writer from Down Under gets it, pointing out the benefits to drivers of having more bikes on the streets, while saying he really can’t think of a downside to a cycling-based society.

A new report on restoring Christchurch, New Zealand to its former status as a bicycling city says every dollar spent on over a dozen proposed bikeways should yield $5 to $8 in return — as much as $1.2 billion back to the city over a 40-year period.

 

Finally…

An Aussie city spends nearly $10,000 for bike racks that are too thick to lock to. If you see a $6,000 Cervelo P5 for sale on Craigslist for $50, contact the Northamptonshire UK police.

And while they’re phone, tell ‘em what you think about the UK cop who threatened to confiscate a four-year old’s bike for riding on the sidewalk. With training wheels, no less.

 

Today’s post, in which I party with the Cannondale pros at Paramount, and link to my heart’s content

To be honest, I was wondering what the heck I was doing there.

Not that I was complaining, mind you.

The official rollout of the 2013 Cannondale Pro Cycling team at Paramount Studios last Saturday was a hell of a party.

Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan discuss the team's prospects for this year.

Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan discuss the team’s prospects for this year.

As well as a chance to rub elbows with one of the best cyclists of the last decade, one of the few to give a certain disgraced ex-multiple Tour de France winner a run for his money; as a matter of fact, Ivan Basso is now the top finisher — though not officially the winner — of the 2005 Tour.

Not to mention the rider who could be one of the dominant cyclists of this decade. In fact, while Peter Sagan said his goal for this year was winning one or more of the classics, like Milan-San Remo or the Tour of Flanders, Basso said the young pro is capable of winning every race he enters, and he wouldn’t be surprised to see him win the Tour one day.

And he should know. Or almost, anyway.

Bored Sagan & Bike

Although Sagan seems a little bored with all the high praise.

Although that was something that bothered me a bit. Aside from Baso, the team — which also includes Bicycling magazine columnist Ted King, cycling scion Moreno Moser and rare Japanese pro Nariyuki Masada, who said he was riding to honor his hometown, which was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tidal wave — seemed a tad too modest.

Maybe I’m just too used to the brashness of American athletes, who seldom seem to downplay their abilities or ambitions.

Take this quote from Willie Mays, who had the skills to back it up:

“If it comes down, I’m going to catch it.”

Like the saying goes, it’s not bragging if you can do it.

I would have liked to have seen more of that confidence from the men on the stage. But maybe their quiet modesty belies bigger goals than they cared to admit.

At the very least, with Basso and Sagan on the team, they’ll always be entertaining. And have a legitimate shot at victory in every stage.

Cannondale Supersix Evo Hi-Mod Team

Want. Period.

And they’ll ride some very cool bikes.

On the other hand, I found myself surrounded by real reporters from the industry’s top publications — not that I knew who anyone was, since no one had name tags.

But the people with camera lenses longer than my, uh, arm seemed to know what they were doing, while I did my best snapping a few photos with my phone and an ancient first-generation digital camera.

Why they thought the author of this humble blog belonged there with the real professionals is beyond me. And no, I’m not being modest.

But as long as someone wants to invite me hang out with people like that — let alone ply me with free food and beer — I’m there.

And I’ll feel a little personal connection when I see the team roll past at the Amgen Tour of California this year.

Maybe Sagan will even top last year’s success of four stage wins in a row.

And maybe, just maybe, the young riders on this team will help us move past the disgrace and disappointment brought on by other riders this past year.

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Speaking of our disgraced former Tour winner, Lance apologizes to the Livestrong staff, without offering a confession. An Aussie paper insists a Lance confession would challenge pro cycling’s credibility, which presupposes it has much to begin with. Reports are Lance confessed to doping after a full decade of denials in a two-and-a-half-hour interview with Oprah, and will agree to testify against those who facilitated it; the Times says he picked the wrong venue to come clean. The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. Justice Department has decided to join a whistleblower suit allegedly filed by Floyd Landis. The NY Post asks why Lance thought he could get away with it when doping has been common in cycling since the ‘80s, but how is he going to make up for what he did to LeMond?

Meanwhile, Italy relaxes its restrictions on formerly banned cyclists, which could allow Cannondale’s Ivan Basso — who refuses to look back at Lance —  to compete in the world championships on his home turf.

And retiring world and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke lets dopers have it with both barrels.

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The LACBC is looking for volunteers for the Firecracker Ride bike valet and the city’s first Bike Prom next month, as well as the Operation Firefly light distribution program each Wednesday and Thursday.

And in case you missed it, you can still listen to the podcast of LACBC-affiliate chapter Culver City Bicycle Coalition as they host Bike Talk last Saturday, discussing all things bike in Culver City.

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Huell Howser explains the history of bicycling in Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, that proposed $3 billion street repair bond is put on hold for now; Flying Pigeon calls it a bad bet. Flying Pigeon’s Josef politely takes the author of Pearls Before Swine to task for an admittedly amusing anti-bike cartoon. The Culver City street where an allegedly drunk, distracted driver injured 13 cyclists has been redesigned to be safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Bike, bus or carpool to grand opening of the new Patagonia store in Santa Monica on Thursday, Jan. 24th and get a free raffle ticket. Santa Monica’s Ocean Park Blvd goes green — and not just the bike lanes. Cycling in the South Bay writes beautifully about last week’s memorial ride for bike shop owner Steve Bowen. Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls host a Kidical Mass Tweed Ride this Sunday. No bias here, as a cyclist in Monrovia is accused of sideswiping the driver’s side of a minivan exiting a freeway; both driver and bike rider claim to have had the green light.

Newport Beach follows a deadly 2012 with a commitment to develop a new bicycle master plan. Actually, a more bikable Hwy 101 in Leucadia is a good thing. Meet a future 2020 BMX Olympian from Poway. The Sacramento Bee asks if changes should be made to CEQA so it can’t be used to stop projects like bike lanes. Why doesn’t anyone make bicycling jeans for women? Ripping a page from the LADOT/Street Services playbook, tiny Manteca bizarrely insists a new crosswalk would make a street more dangerous for pedestrians. Healdsburg CA becomes the latest city to consider an L.A.-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Katie Compton wins the national cyclocross championship once again, and heads the US roster for the world championships. A new petition asks the feds to charge equally for admission to National Parks whether visitors arrive by car or bike. An Oregon woman leads police on a chase after stealing a car, then tries to make her getaway by bike after they use a spike strip. Portland landlords decide the financial advantages of bikeways outweighs the disadvantages of reducing auto capacity. An Arizona rider documents why cyclists often ride to the left of the line. A writer in my hometown says always call it out when you pass; good advice. Once again, a life is saved because a cyclist could see the crashed car that passing motorists couldn’t. Champaign and Urbana IL work on becoming even more bike-friendly. Four century rides team up to form the new Kentucky Century Challenge. A New York AAA spokesperson says if drivers acted as carelessly as cyclists, there’d be carnage on the streets; unlike now, I suppose. Safe Routes to Schools cuts NYC child injuries over 40%. Now that’s chutzpah — when two Philly bike cops take a break, a thief steals their bikes and tries to make his getaway by bus. Be careful when you carry loose objects on your bike; a DC cyclist is killed when an object he was carrying — which turned out to be a barbeque grill — got caught in his spokes. A rider calls a new Florida bike lane a suicide lane, while another says bikes must be more dangerous than guns. A Florida cyclist is killed by a driver fleeing an unrelated hit-and-run.

A Sault Ste. Marie man is arrested for a) driving a vehicle into a deck, b) damaging a vehicle parked in the driveway, and c) throwing a bike at the garage door; I can forgive him the first two. A UK constable says young riders are “dicing with death” by riding ninja after dark. In a bizarre assault, UK teenagers stretch barbed wire across a roadway, which does little harm to motor vehicles — but could have killed a cyclist, motor or otherwise. Even cyclists in rural Scotland can come this close to getting run over, twice. A Dublin man is awarded 20,000 Euros when he’s hit by a car, despite repeatedly falling off his borrowed bike after “enthusiastically celebrating” St. Patrick’s Day. Evidently, bicycling is so powerful it can transform Thailand into a single bike-friendly city. Instead of making the streets safe for cyclists, Adelaide police crack down on riders violating Australia’s helmet laws. A car full of thugs attempts to knock an Australian woman off her bike. An Aussie study concludes that because more men bike, investing more money in bikeways is sexist — but not as sexist as trying to knock a woman off her bike. A writer says make the death of South African Olympic cyclist Burry Stander matter by improving the country’s infrastructure; a foundation has been founded in his name to do just that, while a tiny-hearted driver says don’t exploit his death if it inconveniences motorists.

Finally, a Virginia columnist can’t comprehend why the state needs a law making dooring illegal, while the state’s House Speaker seems to find it funny. Cleveland cyclists contend with crappy bike lanes — in the most literal sense. And if you think it’s been cold in L.A. lately, you were right.

No, really right.

Seriously, say it ain’t so, Floyd

By now, it shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Still, there are those who believed Floyd Landis when he adamantly denied doping during the 2006 Tour de France. And went to bat for him when he started an online Wiki doping defense movement to clear his name before ultimately losing in the Court of Arbitration.

I really wanted to believe him.

But I remember watching him bounce back from an epic bonk in the Tour, only to devastate the field and clinch the Tour the following day. And sitting in front of the TV thinking he had to be on something.

He was.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal, of all places, broke the news that Landis had sent a number of emails admitting to doping during the 2006 Tour and much of his riding career.

The lying sack of disgraced rider said that longtime Lance Armstrong coach Johan Bruyneel introduced him to doping techniques such as steroid patches, EPO, blood doping and human growth hormone, beginning when he first started riding for Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Team in 2002. And he accuses Bruyneel of coaching him on how to use them without getting caught.

Maybe he should have paid more attention.

As might be expected after placing the blame on Armstrong’s coach, he also accuses Armstrong and fellow teammate George Hincapie of being complicit in the doping, with the clear implication that Lance was doing it, too.

Not surprisingly, Lance denies everything. Then again, so did Floyd for the past four years.

Landis, who signed with the Bahati Foundation team earlier this year in a comeback attempt, claims that former Phonak team owner Andy Rihs — the team he rode for in 2006, which was disbanded after his disqualification — knowingly picked up the tab for his doping program after he signed with the team.

And he says that he helped current Amgen Tour of California leaders Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer take EPO before a previous ToC race.

It shouldn’t shock anyone to discover that there is doping in pro cycling. Or that Floyd is every bit as dirty as the authorities claimed.

But seriously. Why do you think they call it dope, Floyd?

………

On a soggy day in Italy, the Giro leaders get caught by a devastating breakaway, possibly killing their chances on the podium. The new leader, Saxo Bank’s Richie Porte, now holds an almost 10 minute lead over former leader Vinokourov, whose best chance to climb back up in the standings might be to give Dr. Christopher Thompson an Italian drivers license.

In the ToC, Landis-accused Dave Zabriskie retains the lead with a slim advantage of just 6 seconds or less over Michael Rogers and co-accused Levi Leipheimer; unless something dramatic happens in the next couple days, it looks like the race will be determined at the Downtown L.A. time trial on Saturday.

The general conclusion is that the coverage on Versus this year has sucked, to put it mildly. Hopefully, they’ll get their act together before Le Tour.

………

Saboteurs attack cyclists in a local Maryland criterium by scattering thumb tacks at various points along the course, resulting in crashes and damaged bikes, with a number of minor injuries and at least one broken bone.

Hopefully, local authorities will recognize the seriousness of the crime and respond appropriately; while bike haters may giggle about it, this is no less a violent assault than the Christopher Thompson case.

………

By the time you read this, it will be too late to grab free food and bike swag on Bike to Work Day. Riders who could make it Downtown on Wednesday had a chance to roll through the streets with a police bike escort. And there’s still a few Bike Week events later in the week.

But has it ever occurred to anyone that people who ride to work ride home, too? Why not make a real day of it next year and set up some of those pit stops in the evening, instead?

Meanwhile, Metro’s The Source, which as done a great job of covering Bike to Work Week, is looking for recommendations for the best blogs that focus on bikes as transportation, rather than recreation. You can find some of my favorites over there on the right; email your suggestions to thesource@metro.net or leave a comment on their Facebook page.

………

L.A. County announces the second round of hearings on the new county bike plan; how about putting some sharrows on PCH? Glendale will invest a $150,000 grant in upgrading bicycle infrastructure; Stephen Box examines the Glendale Police Department’s understanding of their own laws regarding riding on the sidewalk. Bikerowave speaks on Saturday with 7 bike activists talking for 7 minutes each on 7 subjects. Bicycle Fixation considers the proposed 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard and the potholes of L.A. With the publisher in L.A. for a workshop, Tucson Velo looks at the Bikerowave., after discovering our notoriously cracked pavement and lack of infrastructure. I wonder if the ToC podium girls are doping, too. A look at the return on investment for years of bike advocacy. Chicago observes the Ride of Silence, while a Detroit bike blog says the Ride of Silence comes with good intentions but sends the wrong message. A Maryland cyclist gets doored, and police ticket him in the hospital in violation of local laws. In DC, a cop orders a cyclist to use a new bike lane before it’s opened. Dogs and bikes don’t always get along. Ten cents used to get your bike across New York’s Triborough bridge. A look at bicycling in Tokyo. Five motorists go on trial for a roadway dispute that ended in the death of a London cyclist. British cyclists ride to honor Alfred the Great. The Guardian asks why British women are so vulnerable to collisions with big trucks; the conclusion is get away from the curb.

Finally, The League of American Bicyclists announces their ranking of bike-friendly states; California is dropping like a rock (pdf), having fallen from 7th in 2008 to 14th in 2009 to 19th in 2010. Washington leads the list, while Alabama takes up the rear.

Cyclist killed in Orange County, weekend rides, pro doping and a lot of links

A woman in La Habra was killed by a bus while riding her bike across the crosswalk.

Annette Ferrin-Rodgers, 49, was killed at approximately 8:28 pm last night at the intersection of Beach Blvd and La Habra Blvd in La Habra, when a bus turning left onto La Habra from Beach struck her. The driver reported seeing something in the crosswalk, but was unable to stop despite traveling at an estimated 15 to 20 mph.

A mail processing clerk at the Santa Ana USPS processing center, Ferrin-Rodgers was reportedly riding without lights an hour after sunset. Police also stated that riders are required to dismount and walk across a crosswalk. However, that’s only true where riding on the sidewalk in prohibited, since the crosswalk is considered an extension of the sidewalk, or where DOT-conforming signage requires it; according to comments, riding on the sidewalk is legal in that area.

The driver has been tested for drugs and alcohol, as per USDOT guidelines, and will be on administrative leave while the investigation proceeds.

………

C.I.C.L.E.’s Urban Expeditions celebrates Earth Day with the Lorax Ride on Saturday, April 24, beginning at 10 am at Memorial Park in Pasadena.

Sunday the 25th marks the monthly Black kids on bikes – Freedom Ride in South L.A., a fun, medium-paced ride that rolls at 1 pm the last Sunday of each month. If you were at the Streetsblog fundraiser at Eco-Village earlier this month, you saw the premier of the great new StreetsFilm about the Freedom Ride by Ivy London; if not, look for it when it goes online next month.

On the other hand, Will Campbell’s Bike Every Satur(Day) In May rides don’t kick off for another week.

………

Twenty-four-year old pro cyclist Leonardo Grullon was killed in the Domican Republic when he and four other riders were hit by a truck while training for the Pan American Championships.

Lance’s new Team RadioShack takes a hit as Chinese rider Li Fuyu tests positive for Clembuterol. BMC Racing Team’s Thomas Frei is suspended after testing positive for EPO, while BMC riders Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio are suspended as part of an ongoing drug probe. Meanwhile, CSF rider Mattia Gavazzi tested positive for cocaine and ex-pro Cristof Kerschbaum faces trial for dealing EPO and other performance enhancing drugs.

In non-doping pro news, the legendary Eddy Merckx is honored with a stamp by his native Belgium on his 65th birthday, while Lance is named the most influential athlete in the U.S.; oddly, Tiger Woods is no longer on the list.

Cyclelicious reports that a movie is in the works about Major Taylor, the nation’s first black athletic superstar and bike hero a century before Lance.

………

A Midnight Ridazz art exhibition opens in Long Beach’s Exhibit [A] Gallery. Metro Chair Ara Najarian says there will be bike lockers and racks at the new Westlake/MacArthur Park development after all; maybe they planned it all along, maybe they’re just responding to Stephen Box unnamed bloggers. A new coalition called Living Streets wants to know what local streets should become Living Streets. Who tickets the Parking Enforcement officers when they’re the ones blocking the bike lane? L.A. Cycle Chic looks at the bikes of Coachella. A road diet, including diagonal parking — and yes, bike lanes — is being considered for Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey. Need a job? Green LA Transportation Working Group is looking for a Living Streets Project Coordinator.

Long Beach celebrates Earth Day with two miles of new bike lanes; L.A. celebrates Earth Day with, uh…. Claremont gets cool new bike racks, I like the multi-colored ones; Claremont Cyclist shares my philosophy of supporting your local bike shop. The new U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame opens Saturday in Davis. A Sonoma cyclist offers drivers a little courtesy and asks for the same in return.

Why do they always talk about unsafe cycling and not unsafe driving? Giant unveils what may be the world’s first female-specific fixie. A Tucson writer suggests banning all cars to make the city’s streets safe for cyclists. Boston Biker discovers the joys of going slow. A look at Emily Kreisa, Denver’s street-smart bike planner, while the Mile High City debuts the nation’s largest bike share program. The presidential motorcade through New York results in the confiscation of countless bikes for fear of bike bombs along the route. A Pennsylvania police officer hits a cyclist while responding to a call; the officer is not suspended. Indiana’s Little 500 bike race — made famous in the best bike movie ever — rolls this weekend; a Kappa Delta sophomore is the third member of her family to compete.

Finally, in case you wondered what the hell the New York Critical Mass cyclist-bashing cop was thinking, it turns out he thought he was the one being assaulted. No, seriously.

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