Tag Archive for Ride of Silence

Morning Links: A nearly forgotten Ride of Silence, and a deadly OC intersection nearly claims another victim

main_02How could I have forgotten the Ride of Silence?

With everything going on in the bike world and my own life, the annual worldwide memorial to fallen riders completely slipped my mind this year.

It takes place at 7 pm tomorrow at a number of locations throughout Southern California, including Fullerton, Gardena, Irvine, three separate rides in Long Beach, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Clemente, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

Unfortunately, once again, there’s no ride in Los Angeles.

There may be other SoCal Rides of Silence planned that aren’t on the website; if you know of any not listed above, let me know.

Thanks to David for the reminder.

Update: A comment below from riffic points out that there is a Los Angles Ride of Silence after all, thanks to the Midnight Ridazz group Knight Riders. 

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A deadly Newport Beach intersection nearly claims another victim, as an allegedly drunken hit-and-run driver is later taken into custody.

According to Corona del Mar Today, the collision occurred at East Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive, the same intersection where cyclist Debra Deem was killed by an 84-year old driver last August. Fortunately, the victim in this case suffered only minor injuries.

The cyclist and the driver were both headed west on East Coast Highway at 3:12 pm when the driver — who wasn’t publicly identified — hit the rider, then fled on Newport Coast. A witness followed the car, and the 23-year old suspect was taken into custody two miles away and an hour and 14 minutes later.

He faces possible charges of making an unsafe lane change, DUI causing bodily injury and hit-and-run with bodily injury, and is being held on $100,000 bond. No word on why it took so long after the collision to make the arrest.

Bike Newport Beach places at least part of the blame on surface streets designed like freeway interchanges.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the link.

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A salmon cyclist is in critical condition after getting hit by a driver who apparently turned into him on Hollywood Way in Burbank Sunday night. Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, despite suffering significant head trauma.

The driver was arrested for possession of cocaine, though he was not suspected of being under the influence at the time of the collision.

The closest I’ve ever come to hitting a bike rider while driving was when I turned a blind corner and unexpectedly found a ninja salmon rider just feet from my front bumper.

There may be all kinds of reasons why it may seem to make sense to ride against traffic, but it is seldom a good idea.

If ever.

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Local

Evidently, if you support road diets, you are an extremist elitist giving the middle finger to motorists and ignoring the overwhelming will of the majority. Uh, right. Nothing like demonizing anyone who might possible disagree with you before they ever get the chance.

Great photos from the March Pasadena Art Night Ride from Milestone Rides.

San Marino’s draft bike and pedestrian plan got its first public hearing on Monday; word is there were a lot of angry and elitist NIMBYs in attendance.

Celebrate Bike Month with a rare weekend bike train examining the history of the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River Trails this Sunday.

 

State

A new bill by Assembly Member Steve Bradford will prevent misdemeanor hit-and-run charges from being dismissed if the victim reaches a civil settlement with the driver before the case gets to court. The law, passed by the state Assembly, would ensure drivers face justice but could remove a powerful incentive to reach a civil settlement with the victim.

The Cycling Savvy training course is coming to Orange County for the first time; thanks to Serge Issakov for the heads-up.

 

National

A subtle new bike storage solution is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. I could use a handful of those suckers myself.

The eight most common beginner bicycling mistakes. Actually, signaling for a stop is a pretty big one, too, if it means taking your hand off the brake.

The driver who plowed into a crowd at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, killing two people — including a bike rider from the Netherlands — has been indicted on capital murder charges.

Not exactly the frat boy image you might have, as Western Kentucky fraternity brothers are riding across the country to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.

A careful and courteous driver confuses a Boston bike rider.

New Yorkers fight to lower the basic speed limit on city streets to 20 mph.

A Virginia psychopath deliberately forces a rider off the road at 30 mph; only the skill of the cyclist prevented serious injury.

A Florida driver gets 11 years for an allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the life of two bike riders; as often happens when drivers flee the scene, prosecutors were forced to drop DUI charges since they couldn’t prove how drunk he was at the time of the collision.

 

International

The recent CycloFemme ride held in DTLA on Mother’s Day was just one of 303 rides around the world.

A British cyclist makes the news by riding in the only lane available to him.

Britain’s top cyclists explain why they want local authorities to do more to prioritize bicycling. Speaking of top Brit riders, evidently Bradley Wiggins’ son doesn’t like podium girls anymore than I do.

A new warning system promises to alert motorists to the presence of bike riders. As long as the driver has the $672 dollar monitor installed, and every bike rider on the road has a compatible tag on his or her bike. Otherwise, you’re on your own.

 

Finally…

Just as you suspected, your bike gets sad when you leave it at home. The war on cars enters a new phase as a chainmail-clad man attacks a woman’s BMW with a sword. And a three-year old leads the Giro d’Italia, however briefly.

 

Culver City’s bike friendly honorable mention, tonight’s Ride of Silence, & Blessing of the Bicycles

Yesterday we received the surprising news that Culver City was awarded an honorable mention as a bike-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists.

Something that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago.

Much of the credit goes to the members of the LACBC affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition, who’ve worked with city leaders to make it safer and more inviting to those of us on two wheels.

So while I don’t normally reprint press releases, we’ll let them take a bow this one time.

Culver City Bicycle Coalition Applauds Bicycle Friendly Community Honorable Mention Recognition

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition (CCBC) is proud to announce that Culver City has been recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community with an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists. The award is a product of the hard work of City staff, community members, and, of course, Culver City’s elected officials.  Since its adoption in 2010, the Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) has led to concrete improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the City, with more on the way.

Being recognized by the League is no small tasks. Many cities apply each year, but without a formal bike-friendly foundation and plan going forwardI, many are rejected. Culver City was recognized for many improvements, including new bike routes and lanes, improved bike parking, successful Safe Routes to School programs, the addition of Shared Lane Markings (a.k.a. sharrows), effective education and outreach program and a supportive community.

“Culver City has always had many great places to walk and bike. In fact we are already considered one of the top cities for walking in the country. The BPMP is about connecting these places together into a network that allows people to feel safe and comfortable getting around on two wheels, or with no wheels. Today the League of American Bicyclists recognized Culver City for those efforts,” CCBC co-founder Jim Shanman said.

In addition to recognizing communities for their achievements, the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program is a valuable resource that offers guidance to local governments looking to become even more bike-friendly.  As communities improve, they can be recognized with Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community status.  The League has identified specific policies and programs that will keep our local community moving in the right direction.  This Honorable Mention recognizes that Culver City is on the path to reach these higher levels.  CCBC looks forward to working with the City to take these next steps.

“We are genuinely appreciative of City staff who guided development of the Master Plan and are now working diligently on its implementation.  This award is primarily a recognition of their leadership,” Shanman continued.  CCBC thanks the League for recognizing the City’s many accomplishments in the past two years.

And don’t forget that Culver City is looking for volunteers for their annual bike count this Saturday and next Wednesday.

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Don’t forget tonight’s Ride of Silence in memory of riders killed in traffic.

The nearest ride for those of us in the L.A. area will be the Pasadena Ride of Silence, an easy 12 mile, moderately paced ride starting at 7 pm at the Rose Bowl. The nationally featured ride takes place in Oxnard in memory of 6-year old Anthony Martinez. Other rides will take place in Rancho Cucamonga, as well as other cities throughout California. (Note: in an earlier draft, I mistakenly located the Rancho Cucamonga ride in Claremont.)

I’m committed to attend the LACBC board meeting tonight. But my heart will be with all those who ride tonight, and everyone they’re riding for.

Wherever you are, I hope you’ll take part.

Both to remember those we’ve lost, and send a message calling for safer streets for cyclists.

And for everyone.

Update: If you really want to understand what the Ride of Silence is all about, read this from Chris Phelan, founder of the Ride. But fair warning, you can expect to have a tear in your eye before you’re finished.

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If you read this early enough, you can still celebrate Bike Week by riding the new Expo Line bikeway.

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The fine for using a hand-help cell phone could go up a whole $10 to a whopping $30; yeah, that will certainly act as a deterrent. How about making the penalty the same as DUI, since studies show hand-held cell use is the equivalent of drunk driving?

The proposed law would also ban texting and hand-held cell use while biking, with a $20 fine.

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Peter Sagan makes it three in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, while Heinrich Haussler finishes second — also for the third time. Tommy Duggan has been spending more than his share of time leading the peloton in the Tour of California. And the race is even making news in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez takes the Giro d’Italia’s pink leader’s jersey on the streets of Assisi.

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Clif Bar invites you to celebrate their 20th anniversary by sharing your life-changing moment; five winners will have $5,000 donated to the non-profit of their choice, while all contestants will be entered in a drawing for a month’s supply of Clif Bars.

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Alex Baum gets a well-deserved Golden Spike award for a lifetime of bike advocacy; photo courtesy of George Wolfberg.

LADOT Bike Blog offers a look at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, which honored L.A.’s original bike advocate Alex Baum with a very well-deserved Golden Spoke Award. One of my favorite writers for the Times offers her take, as well. More much-needed bike lanes sprout in long-neglected South L.A. Examined Spoke says sharrows schmarrows, and points out L.A. seems to pay more attention to shrubbery than bikeways. LAPD Central offers tips on how to protect your bike; instead of just saying “Learn how to lock your bike,” though, maybe they could explain how to do that. If you’re a member of the LACBC, you’re automatically entered in the Coalition’s May member appreciation raffle. Santa Clara County proposes spending $2 million to complete a key bikeway.

Electric and hybrid cars are 66% more likely to collide with cyclists than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The League of American Bicyclists says a quarter of all bike collisions are hit-from-behind wrecks, a far higher percentage than we’ve been told in the past. Hammacher Schlemmer promises to address that with a real-time rearview camera for bikes; I’d much rather have a three-foot passing law. People for Bikes invites you to meet their Western U.S. crew. Even Sitka AK earns a bronze level bike-friendly city nod; maybe someday, L.A., maybe someday.

Bike unfriendly Toronto claims yet another victim, as the mayor continues to rip out bike lanes. The UK seriously considers lowering speed limits to 20 mph in residential areas; something we should consider ever though current limits are universally ignored. Instead of bitching that cyclists don’t pay our own way, maybe it’s time drivers had to pay the full cost for the roads they use.

Finally, worse than the claim that over half of all cyclists run red lights is an unscientific survey showing nearly half of all cyclists have upset a kitten, the heartless bastards. Even though some of us claim to do it so they don’t get killed.

Jump red lights, that is.

Not upset kittens.

A ride to honor a friend, a fatal hit-and-run and a loyal dog; Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday

Forgive my lack of updates.

I’m still trying to catch up on work, which has kept me tied up this week. But I don’t want to let the day pass without a couple quick notes.

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First, I’ve been following this case all week, which just gets more heartbreaking with every new turn.

The story started with a cryptic report last Saturday that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run on PCH north of Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz late Thursday night or early Friday morning. The story mentioned in passing that the man’s dog was unharmed despite riding in a crate on the bike at the time of the crash.

By the next day, the story had spread around the world of the loyal Cairn Terrier mix who had stayed by his master’s body for as long as 12 hours after he was killed. The dog was taken to a shelter for evaluation while police searched for his master’s killer.

Before long the victim was identified as a 39-year old homeless man, Joshua Laven of Massachusetts. Except he wasn’t homeless; he was riding across country from Florida to San Francisco in honor of a lifelong friend who had died while visiting Cambodia. In fact, he had been riding the friend’s bike until just days before he was killed, his dog his only companion on the trip.

According to some reports, it was the dog’s mournful howling that alerted a pair of passing riders on a tandem; Laven was just one day San Francisco when he was run down from behind.

Police are still looking for the driver of the truck that hit Laven and left him on the side of the road to die.

His five-year old dog, Ozziet, has been adopted — at least temporarily — by a family friend who had known Laven since he was 15 years old. She hopes to return the dog to his family soon.

The Mercury News says Ozziet whimpered as the shelter workers handed the dog over to his new owner.

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I received an email today from Thomas Cassidy asking me to help get the word out about the Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday.

If you’re not familiar with the Ride of Silence, it’s a world-wide moving memorial in honor of fallen cyclists, to remember those who have died while riding their bike and call attention to the need for road safety. And it’s something I support wholeheartedly.

There are other rides nearby in Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Irvine and Temecula, just to name a few, but this is the only ride in the immediate L.A. area.

Cassidy says the Pasadena Ride of Silence has attracted around 100 riders in the past, but he’s hoping for a big increase this year, with a goal of 250 riders.

Personally, I’d like to see a thousand or more riders rounding the Rose Bowl this Wednesday to remember those who can no longer ride with us. And God knows, there are far too many of those.

The ride will start at 7 pm next Wednesday, May 16th, at the Rose Bowl. It’s an easy, slow-paced ride open to anyone, from beginning bicyclists to experienced riders. Or anyone and everyone in between — even if that means dusting off that old bike that’s been sitting in the garage covered in dust.

Yes, it’s that important.

I’m committed to attending the LACBC board meeting that same night, or I’d be there myself. So I hope you’ll do me the honor of taking my place.

And give real meaning to Bike Week by riding in the Ride of Silence, in Pasadena or whatever ride is closest to you.

Thanks to Thomas Cassidy  for the heads-up — and more importantly, for putting this ride together.

A random mediation on blessed bikes, Bike Week and the Ride of Silence

Some random thoughts as I catch up from the first few wet days of L.A. Bike Week.

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Bishop Jon Bruno, who clearly dressed for the occasion, though I suspect he didn't ride in that.

Despite my firm belief that the human body is incapable of sustaining life prior to 7 am, I found myself rising just after 6 yesterday to for the one hour ride downtown for the Blessing of the Bicycles.

It only took a few minutes of walking the corgi, who was none too pleased to be awakened at that hour — let alone dragged out into the rain — to decide that driving would be a much better option.

So I strapped my bike onto the back of my 17-year old car, which finally chugged past the 105,000 mile mark on the way, and made the drive to Good Samaritan Hospital.

Despite the rain, I  saw a surprising number of cyclists there, with more arriving throughout the hour-long event. Most of whom had the bedraggled look of someone who had braved the elements to get there.

The Buddhist representative warned children to stop doing dangerous tricks on their bikes, or he'd tell the Kung Fu Panda.

I’ll let the CicLAvia blog tell the story, as they were clearly taking much better notes than I was, focused as I was on sucking down some hot coffee and scarfing from the wide array of pastries and fresh fruit.

If the spread they put out for cyclists is any indication of the quality of care patients receive at Good Sam, I may need to switch my medical allegiance from the Jews to the Episcopalians.

Being of a very ecumenical bent, I don’t think God really cares which team you choose, as long as you choose one.

Our newly bike-friendly and apparently fragile mayor arrived with his foot in a cast — not, as might be guessed, the result of another cycling accident, but from wandering through a strange hotel room after dark.

(Insert joke here.)

DWP Employee Chris Bolivar is honored for his heroics in stopping a bike theft by bike owner and Good Sam VP Dan McLaughlin.

For me, though, the highlight was seeing DWP employee Chris Bolivar honored for his heroics in rushing off a Metro bus to stop a thief from stealing a new Trek Madone belonging to Good Sam VP Dan McLaughlin. And then watching him ride off with his wife on a newly-purchased red and white Schwinn tandem.

After listening to an array of Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish prayers for our safety — nice work on the shofar, Rabbi — I took my place in a long line of cyclists to be blessed by Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno, walking my bike since the other half of my cleats were still in my car along with the shoes they’re attached to.

Frankly, I’ll take all the help I can get to safely navigate these city streets.

Evidently, I’m not the only one, as Will Campbell’s blessed ass made the front page of the Times’ Late Extra section.

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Councilmember Bill Rosendahl invites all to participate in Bike Week. KCRW’s Shortcuts blog reports on a soggy start to the week. Metro offers an interactive map to help you plan your route for Bike to Work Day. The afore mentioned Mr. Campbell looks forward to Thursday’s Bike from Work Happy Hour, which also takes place at Pourtal Wine Bar, among other bike-friendly taverns.

Ten deals and freebies for Bike Week. Bike-friendly UCLA observes Bike to Campus Week. More commuters are getting there by bike. Sensible gear for biking to work, and how to dress — or pack — for it.

Even, courtesy of Tucson Velo, if you’re a drag queen.

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Long Beach wraps up Bike Week with the Grand Opening of a new Performance Bicycle shop on Friday, their 100th nationwide. To celebrate, the first 100 people in line will have chance to win one of seven new bikes valued at a total of over $7,000. The store is located at Long Beach Town Center, 7611 East Carson Blvd in Long Beach; distribution of keys for the contest will take place at 8 am, with the doors opening at 9.

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Tonight marks the world-wide observance of the Ride of Silence, a slow paced memorial ride to honor cyclists killed or injured on the roads, raise awareness of cycling and ask that we all share the road safely.

And once again, it won’t be officially observed here in Los Angeles.

There will be ROS rides in other parts of Southern California, though, including Fullerton, Irvine, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, San Diego, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, if you live in those areas or can make the trip.

It will also be observed at the L.A. Velodrome tonight, as cyclists will ride 40 silent laps in honor of fallen riders. And we do have a long and tragically growing list of local riders to honor, including James Laing, Jim Swarzman, Danny Marin and Alex Romero, just to name a few.

I tried, and failed, to get an L.A. ride started this year, mostly because I’ve never organized a ride and had no idea what the hell I was doing.

However, I’m committed to getting one off the ground next year, and will start earlier to organize it and get the cooperation of local authorities and advocacy groups.

If anyone wants to help, just let me know.

And thanks to Kieron at the Velodrome for stepping up to make sure local riders won’t be forgotten this year.

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A fascinating look at the rich and powerful former New York DOT commissioner who may or may not be behind the backlash against the city’s successful and popular Prospect Park West bike lanes — despite being married to a leading, and presumably pro-cycling, Senator Chuck Schumer.

HuffPo’s Joel Epstein also offers his typically insightful thoughts on the subject.

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After Sunday’s hard charge up Mt. Etna, Contador still holds the leader’s jersey in the Giro; Bike Snob says he looks pretty in pink. In the wake of Wouter Wayland’s death in Stage 3 of the Giro, organizers have added extra safety measures for a difficult descent on Saturday’s Stage 14.

Colorado bike prodigy Taylor Phinney rides his first AToC. Team Sky’s Greg Henderson takes the overall lead after winning Stage 3 of the AToC; Phinney is currently the top American at 8th. Bicycling profiles the top young Americans in the race.

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LACBC gets a shiny new website, and unveils their latest video with Austin Nichols looking forward to the upcoming River Ride on June 5th. The Coalition also reminds cyclists that comments on the proposed L.A. County bike plan are due by June 3rd, and says it could be a lot better.

And don’t forget you can get a discount for River Ride through BikingInLA, and enter a contest to win a free River Ride.

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LADOT Bike Blog recaps the recent BAC Planning Subcommittee meeting, including implementation of the Bike Plan, extending the crappy, door zone Westwood Blvd bike lanes south to the planned Expo Line station, and bike lane projects around the planned Universal Studios expansion.

The last of which will happen over my dead body unless they allow the L.A. River Bike Path to extend through their property.

The expansion, that is. Not the bike lanes.

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Writing for Streetsblog, Mark Elliot of Better Bike Beverly Hills updates the status of the Westside’s black hole for cyclists; the LACBC’s Marissa Christiansen reports on the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the area’s new Bike Master Plan. A UCLA student invites you to log your commute times by bike and car to prove bikes are faster for shorter trips. Richard Risemberg calls for a separated cycle track on Washington Blvd to close the gap in the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through the Marina area. CicLAvia shares a photo from Sunday’s South L.A. ride; word is that July’s scheduled CicLAvia will be cancelled, but October’s will go forward with an expanded route into Boyle Heights. Eco-Village looks at the new bike lanes on Expo and MLK. Learn the art of track racing at the L.A. Velodrome. L.A. Creek Freak objects to “improvements” to the North Spring Street Bridge that would just allow more cars to go faster. Long Beachers are invited to participate in a bike safety study. Long Beach’s biking expats get an unplanned delay in starting their latest cross county adventure. A bike cam catches a car speeding through the Santa Cruz Mountains, only to come upon the same car upside down on the side of the road moments later.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood calls on cyclists to join the 2 Mile Challenge to replace short cars trips with bikes and raise funds for three worthy organizations. The League of American Bicyclists lists events throughout May’s Bike Month, and partners with AAA to promote bike safety. Examining the myth that gas taxes pay for the roads motorists drive. Amazon discovers bike commuters. Momentum magazine jumps into the great helmet debate, while yet another study shows mandating helmet use is counterproductive; however, Brit James Cracknell credits his with saving his life. Sharrows make their way to small town Oregon. Bike Portland takes the local paper to task for biased reporting. A Tempe cyclist finds his bike on Craigslist the day after it’s stolen, A Denver cyclist is killed by a hit-and-run driver just weeks before participating in the 412-mile Ride the Rockies. Minneapolis cyclists could soon find bike supply vending machines along popular bike trails. Zeke puts his recent first aid training to use, determining that a tourniquet is probably not necessary for minor road rash.

Why even experienced cyclists sometimes ride on the sidewalk; Carlton Reid looks at the legalities of UK sidewalk riding, as well as confusion between cycle tracks and sidewalks. London cyclists win an important victory to keep bike lanes on a bridge with heavy bike commuter use. An around-the-world adventurer starts a campaign to give Scot children more space to ride to school. Even in rural Scotland, cyclists get honked at by drivers who could easily pass. British design and Chinese manufacturing — as if any western country makes much of anything these days — combine to build a cheap, colorful single-speed bike. For the second time in three years, someone has tried to sabotage the Etape Caledonia. Debuting at Cannes, a gritty, bike-centric modern fairy tale from Belgium; thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up.

Finally, Pittsburgh police take different sides on citing a cyclist for Biking Under the Influence.

The problem with Glendale and riding on the sidewalk; more on Bike Week

Clearly, there’s more to the Glendale bike death wrist slap than there appeared last week.

According to the Glendale News Press, Naira Margaryan was charged with a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter for the death of Gerardo Ramos, who died 13 months after she ran a stop sign and struck his bicycle as he rode through a Glendale crosswalk.

Infuriating cyclists in the middle of the city’s Bike Month, Glendale authorities assigned equal blame for the death on both parties; to make matters worse, a police spokesman incorrectly said that Ramos shared the blame because riding on a sidewalk is a violation of California vehicle codes.

But as Damien Newton pointed out on Streetsblog, California delegates the decision on whether to allow or ban riding on the sidewalk to local jurisdictions — despite what the DMV’s Driver Handbook says.

So that everyone is clear about the law, here is the relevant section from the California Vehicle Code:

21100. Local authorities may adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution regarding the following matters:…
… (h) Operation of bicycles, and, as specified in Section 21114.5, electric carts by physically disabled persons, or persons 50 years of age or older, on the public sidewalks.

Ok, but that doesn’t mean anything without knowing Glendale’s laws.  Here is the section on sidewalk riding in Glendale:

Glendale Municipal code 10.64.025 Bicycle riding on sidewalks. No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any public sidewalk in any business district within the city except where such sidewalk is officially designated as part of an established bicycle route. Pedestrians shall have the right-of-way on sidewalks. The prohibition in this section shall not apply to peace officers on bicycle patrol. (Ord. 5116 § 1, 1996)

As Dj Wheels pointed out, the intersection where Ramos was struck looks very residential.

And that’s exactly the problem. Because section C of CVC 240 defines a business district as virtually anything that isn’t made up of exclusively of single family homes.

(c) All churches, apartments, hotels, multiple dwelling houses, clubs, and public buildings, other than schools, shall be deemed to be business structures.

In other words, a definition so broad that it brings into question the enforceability of any ordinance based on it, since it would be almost impossible for a rider to know whether or not he could legally ride on the sidewalk in any given spot. What would be legal on one block might be illegal on the next — or even on different sections of the same block, as he rides past single family homes and apartment buildings, schools and churches.

Whether or not that played a role in the decision to blame to Ramos for the collision that killed him has yet to be determined — as is whether anything can be done about it.

What is clear is that Glendale cyclists are stuck with a bad law that is almost impossible to obey; and that legal authorities continue to hold cyclists and drivers equality responsible for actions that contribute to collisions — even though careless drivers pose a risk to everyone around them, while even the most careless cyclists pose a risk predominantly to themselves.

Meanwhile, master framebuilder Dave Moulton weighs in on the Gerardo Ramos case, noting that cyclists have to take responsibility for our own safety and stay off the sidewalk.

He’s right.

Studies show there’s a significantly higher risk to bicyclists riding on the sidewalk compared to street — with or without bike lanes or other infrastructure.

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Another day, another fatal hit-and-run in LA; this one involving a pedestrian in Koreatown.

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More Bike Week news:

Will Campbell proves himself a better man than I am by attending the Blessing of the Bicycles, and credits it to protecting him during a perfect unplanned sliding dismount; I let an hour long rush hour ride from the Westside in a cold, steady drizzle dissuade me. So if anyone knows any freelance bike-friendly priests, ministers and/or rabbis on the Westside, my bike is still in serious need of blessing.

LAPD provides a podcast of Chief Beck’s Bike Week remarks. Green LA Girl continues her excellent coverage of Bike Week throughout the LA area. The Source calls attention to Wednesday’s Downtown L.A. Ride; better hurry, because it starts at 8 am. Stephen Box astutely looks forward to the day when Bike to Work Week won’t be necessary anymore. Bicycling offers a no-excuse guide to bike commuting, while UCLA Transportation provides a five minute video look at the same subject.

Announcing a major victory for bike commuters timed for Bike Week, Metro plans to drop the rush hour ban on bikes on trains, replacing it with unlimited bikes in the articulated sections between cars, and releases a pretty new map of local bikeways, busways and train lines — though more street-level detail would help. And you can finish off the week by taking Metro to the L.A. stage of the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday; then again, you could just ride there.

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American Tyler Farrar wins his second stage in the Giro; Vinokourov keeps the leader’s maglia rosa. On the left edge of America, Dave Zabriskie wins Tuesday’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California and takes the overall lead; Brett Lancaster won yesterday’s rain soaked stage.

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On the political front, Claremont Cyclist endorses the LBVLA, while Damien takes an in-depth look at transportation issues in the 36th Congressional District. LACBC recruits cyclists to test ride LA’s soon-to-be-sharrowed streets; meanwhile, volunteers are wanted to make snowballs in…well, you get it. A UCLA survey question about biking and driving distances could have been phrased a lot better, and offered a better prize as well. LA Cycle Chic reports on a small but successful Mom’s Ride. Gary updates the state of cycling in semi-bike friendly Santa Monica, including a softening on bike licensing and the need for city agencies to work together; meanwhile, you’ll find more bike parking on the Promenade and throughout Downtown. George Wolfberg forwards a story from the NY Times about the ever-present fear of crashing among pro cyclists. Your word for the day: Aggromuter. An East Coast blogger asks if Boston is the new Portland; didn’t Long Beach already beat them to it? Tucson Bike Lawyer trades rings with a trike-riding toddler. A New Jersey cyclist barely avoids injury when she’s knocked off her bike by cups of ice thrown from a passing car; Texas high school students could have faced charges for assaulting cyclists with bananas. Springfield Cyclist celebrates the city’s newfound status as a bike-friendly community. Transport for London turns down an offer of help from the founder of 3FeetPlease; evidently, they have that rash of London cyclists killed by large trucks under control. Fashionable clothes, a toned bum and a tanned face equal cycle chic. Will 2010 be the Summer of Cycling? A Montreal paper says cyclists should be banned from regular roads because we’re all scofflaws — even though less than 20% ran red lights in their own study. And it wasn’t a cyclist who killed three riders in Quebec last week.

Finally, Wednesday night marks the annual Ride of Silence honoring cyclists who have died on America’s streets. Memorial rides will take place in cities throughout the country; local events will take place in Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, Ventura, Rancho Cucamonga, Irvine and Temecula. I have other obligations, or I’d join the ride in Santa Monica, maybe someone can take my place. And lets make sure there’s a ride in Los Angeles next year.

Santa Clarita to honor fallen cyclist with silent ride

novotny-2Every cycling death is tragic. And unnecessary.

And this year, there have been far too many around here.

Whether it’s a father taking his son on a grand adventure. A local handyman who took up riding after losing part of his vision in an accident. A day laborer from Sonora, Mexico, who rode everywhere. A woman police blame for causing her own death by riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. Or a man in Orange County just trying to get home from work.

And then there’s Joseph Novotny.

Like Rod Armas and Jesus Castillo, he was killed by an accused drunk driver who fled the scene — a driver who had already been arrested multiple times, despite being too young to legally drink.

And it was preventable.

His killer was driving with a suspended license, and passing motorists had already reported him to the authorities. But despite their best efforts, sheriff’s deputies arrived just moments after he’d plowed his truck into a group of oncoming cyclists riding on the opposite shoulder of the road, and continued down the road.

Four cyclists were injured, two seriously. And Novotny was killed.

It could have been anyone of us.

Adding to the tragedy, he was on one of his first rides with the Santa Clarita Velo Club, having just moved to the area with his wife. Now she, and all those who knew and loved him, have to find a way to go on without him.

Next Saturday, October 3rd, the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Velo Club are sponsoring a Memorial Ride of Silence in memory of Robert Novotny, and other cyclists who have been killed on the roads.

I’ll let Jeff Wilson explain:

Los Angeles cyclists and Biking in LA readers, we could use your help!

On July 11, 2009, 43 year old cyclist Joseph Novotny was struck and killed by an underaged drunk driver while riding his bike in the Bouquet Canyon area of Santa Clarita.

On October 3, Santa Clarita cyclists will ride silently in memory of Joe Novotny and all other cyclists who have been killed while riding. Please consider joining us to raise awareness of bicyclists and our right to use roads.

The 12 mile ride begins at 8am in Santa Clarita. A Sheriff’s escort will be provided as we ride into Newhall, then Stevenson Ranch, and finally back to Valencia. Most of the route is flat; other parts are somewhat hilly (but brief). Cyclists are asked to ride in silence and at around 12mph.

From Los Angeles, Santa Clarita is just minutes north of the San Fernando Valley. Take Interstate 5 north and exit at Valencia Blvd. Proceed east on Valencia until you reach Citrus Avenue. Turn left on Citrus Avenue. Free parking is available.

Unfortunately, while Metrolink service is available to Santa Clarita, the earliest northbound train will arrive after the ride has started.

I know it’s short notice, and you may have other commitments already. But if you’re planning to ride next weekend, I can’t think of a better place to do it.

Or a better reason.

And please, be careful out there this weekend. I want to see you all back here on Monday.

For more information, contact IreneTJohnson@yahoo.com, or click here to visit the Facebook page.

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Submitted for your approval: LADOT has finally released the full draft bicycle plan and scheduled dates and locations for public comment; Bike Girl calls the deadline for comments “infeasible,” while Dr. Alex notes that it excludes input from Neighborhood Councils. Pasadena has a meeting scheduled to discuss its new Bicycle Master Plan. Mark your calendar for the Festival of Rights to protest the illegal exclusion of bikes from the DWP’s annual Holiday Light Festival. We could have had bike lanes on Topanga Boulevard by now, no thanks to the Department of Currently Unfeasible, aka LADOT. L.A.’s leading bike wonk makes the case for making the case for active transportation. The only thing missing from Santa Monica’s new green maintenance facility is bike racks. Long Beach’s cycling expats offer a report from the road. An Arizona cyclist was killed riding with a group of other cyclists; he leaves behind a wife and three children, including a newborn. Evidently, cars really do make Americans fat. Proof there’s more than one way to park a bike. I don’t know what’s worse — that they put up speed bumps in a cemetery without warning cyclists, or that a few rude cyclists made it necessary. San Francisco police take a report of harassing a cyclist seriously. Finally, your word for the day is Traumadinejad.

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