Tag Archive for Steve Tilford

Morning Links: CD1 race gets dirtier, bike rider assaulted on LA River path, and fixing streets is Vision Zero, too

As predicted, incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo is getting down and dirty as he fights to retain his seat in the face of a strong challenge from outsider Joe Bray-Ali.

Today’s attack from the city’s most anti-bike councilmember comes in the form of repeated accusations that Bray-Ali is just a Republican in Democrat clothing. And that he only switched parties to run for office — fighting words in the strongly Democratic and independent district.

Except he isn’t. And didn’t.

Bray-Ali is the first to admit he was, briefly, registered as a Republican several years ago as he searched for his place in the political landscape, before landing in the Democratic party after equally brief stints as a Green and an independent.

And never mind that Los Angeles local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, so whatever the hell party he belongs to shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

More amusing is Cedillo’s claim that he’s running a grassroots campaign.

Which is absurd coming from a career politician who gets the overwhelming majority of his donations from outside the district. And who has been in bed with mega donors like Chevron and Walmart for years, leading to questions whether their donations have influenced his votes.

After Saturday’s bizarre Lyin’ Joe episode, and today’s overblown tweetstorm attacks, it’s starting to look like Gil has been studying at Trump U.

And learning all the wrong lessons about how to conduct a campaign.

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A bike rider reports he was the victim of an assault on the LA River bike path at the Los Feliz overpass when he was punched by one of two men partially blocking the pathway.

Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of his bike, and didn’t stick around to find out what they wanted.

While incidents like this are relatively rare, it’s a reminder to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings when you ride, especially on bike paths or anywhere else out of direct public view. He did the smart thing by getting out of harms way as quickly as possible before stopping to call the police.

He doesn’t give the date or time of the attack, but it makes me wonder if that’s why I saw a CHP cruiser turn onto the bike path as I passed by on Los Feliz Monday afternoon.

LA bicyclists have long called for regular police patrols on the bike paths in the city and county, to little effect; incidents like this sometimes result in an increase in patrols, which die down after awhile as other hotspots take precedence.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

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I may not have made myself clear the other day.

While I am a strong believer in the need to fund Vision Zero projects in Los Angeles, and feel that it should take precedence over repaving streets and filling potholes, that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important, as well.

As yesterday’s tragic news reminded us, bad roads can be an expensive annoyance to people on four wheels. But they can be deadly to those of us on two.

Vision Zero should not attempt to improve safety at the expense of our streets, but in conjunction with repaving efforts to ensure a safe riding, driving and walking environment for everyone. We have to somehow find room in the budget to pay for both.

Because it doesn’t matter whether our streets are dangerous because of aggressive drivers, bad road design or crumbling street surfaces. The results are the same.

And human lives are at stake.

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This is seriously one of the scariest close passes I’ve ever seen, as a driver for a British market buzzes within inches of a cyclist. But says it’s okay since he didn’t cross into the extremely narrow bike lane.

Just as scary is the response from the company, which was basically “We didn’t hit him, so who cares?”

Thanks to Jon for the link.

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I’ve never had a lot of heroes.

Willie Mays when I was younger, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King as I got older, though both were gone before I reached my teens. But there are a lot of people I’ve admired; a few I’ve tried to emulate.

And one of the best and brightest of those was killed in crash early Wednesday morning.

Steve Tilford was everything I wanted to be as a young rider. A passionate cyclist who was among the first wave of American riders to storm Europe and show that we could compete on equal terms with the best names in the sport, he made it all seem effortless, competing on the road and winning in mountain biking and cyclocross.

According to various press reports, Tilford was driving on I-70 just west of the Colorado – Utah border when his van crashed into an overturned semi. He and his passenger were standing outside of the van, injured but okay, when a second semi plowed into the overturned truck, striking Tilford.

He died a few hours later at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.

His passenger, Vincent Davis, was injured, and the driver of the second truck was killed as well.

VeloNews sums up the reaction in the cycling world, while the BMC Racing Team’s Jim Ochowicz remembers him and offers his condolences to Tilford’s partner Trudi Rebsamen, a soigneur with the team.

And Bicycling revives a 1998 profile of Tilford, saying he is why we ride.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

 

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Another of those young riders from the 80s, American cycling great Andy Hampsten, is happy to share his love of cycling with young riders in Sonoma County.

Scientists are trying to take the hell of riding cobbles out of the Hell of the North.

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Local

The jury’s still out on the 2024 Olympics, but LA will be hosting the 2017 Police & Fire Games.

Sunday marks the return of the Brompton Urban Bike Challenge scavenger hunt in DTLA.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the opening of the Jeff Seymour Family Center on Monday.

Topanga Canyon Blvd will be closed this weekend to repair storm damage and remove that big rock blocking the roadway.

Speaking of big rocks, CiclaValley discovers Big Rock Canyon.

 

State

The OC Breeze estimates that 15,000 people attended Saturday’s Garden Grove open streets event.

San Clemente plans to provide a safer route to an elementary school by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Avenida del Presidente.

Indio is looking for public input on plans to install sidewalks and bike lanes. That’s easy. Yes. Please.

Sad news from the San Joaquin Valley, as a man was killed riding his bike in Southeast Bakersfield.

A Visalia man is scheduled to spend the next 34 years behind bars for shooting a bike rider from his moving car.

Bay Area bike riders will finally be able to ride halfway across the Bay Bridge on weekdays. Then turn around and ride back, since it will be several years before the bikeway goes all the way across, if then.

A UC Berkeley architecture professor wants you to bike along the big, not-so-beautiful wall already standing on the Mexico border with the US.

Folsom is planning to complete the Johnny Cash Trail near the prison where he recorded the best selling live album of all time.

Chico police bust an ebike thief who broke in from the shop next door to steal a $3,000 bike from a local dealer.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says bike helmet laws do more harm than good, and the idea that they improve overall safety for cyclists isn’t backed up by the evidence.

Someone vandalized over 200 of Portland’s 1,000 bikeshare bikes.

Great read. When a reader asks why bicyclists don’t have to carry insurance, an Oregon columnist responds “don’t be that guy.”

Alaskan fat bike riders are risking their lives by riding through railroad tunnels to get to a near-wilderness area that’s closed for the winter.

Prosecutors offer an undisclosed plea deal to a road raging Arizona driver who allegedly murdered a bike rider earlier this year; he faces up to 25 years if he’s convicted.

Someone walked out with $8,000 worth of bike clothes from a trio of Dallas bike shops.

A bike-riding Florida cop struggles to find answers in the wake of a recent tragedy, saying ultimately we must learn to care about others on the road, and encourage them to care about us.

 

International

Caught on video: A Canadian thief demonstrates just how fast a poorly secured bike can be stolen.

Four of London’s most dangerous intersections are scheduled to get bike and pedestrian friendly improvements. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

The Guardian asks if London’s cycling czar is tough enough to take on critics and bike-haters. On the other hand, at least they have one, unlike some cities I could name.

Sometimes they do come home. Australian police recover an American man’s bicycle two years after it was stolen from a laundromat.

Designer and cyclist Paul Smith is creating cycling jerseys for a bike race to help raise funds to rebuild a Japanese town devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Abandoned bikeshare bikes are crowding out humans in a Shenzhen, China park.

 

Finally…

No, popsicle bike is not a thing, but it should be. No, throwing your bike at an ex-friend who owes you money is not the correct way to use it.

And which of these things are you doing wrong in your cycling class?

That’s easy. Not riding a real bicycle outside, to start.

 

Morning Links: Former pro Steve Tilford seriously injured, Mercedes decides who to save, and retracing a rare bike

Hopefully we’ve finally got the problem with email notifications fixed. Let me know if you’re still not getting them.

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Former pro cyclist Steve Tilford, one of the first wave of American cyclists to enter the top levels of the sport, suffered a severe head injury in a fall last week.

Tilford was participating in a regular group ride when his bike struck a dog that had run into the street and he went over his handlebars, striking his head on the pavement; he was not wearing a helmet.

While the prognosis is positive, he is expected to take a year of intensive therapy to make a full recovery.

Another rider who crashed into him suffered a collapsed lung and four broken ribs.

And no, there’s no word on the dog.

For Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, it brings up the debate over whether or not to wear a helmet.

Meanwhile, BMX pro Scotty Cranmer is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after falling face-first when his front wheel got stuck in a hole; as of Sunday night, a crowdfunding site had raised over $25,000 for his medical expenses.

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In the ongoing debate over self-driving cars, Mercedes Benz decides the lives of its occupants are more important than the lives of others.

After all, they’re the ones paying for it, right?

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Nice piece from Peter Flax about tracking down the history of a rare Richard Sachs racing bike that won the collegiate cyclocross championship for Adam Myerson in 1997, after it found its way back to its original owner.

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Twenty-year old Dutch rider Amalie Dideriksen outsprints the favorites to take the women’s world championship. Meanwhile Peter Sagan repeats as the men’s champ and Mark Cavendish settles for second, while John Degenkolb gives another rider a squirt.

The head of UCI praises Qatar for developing a cycling culture, while saying with a straight face that there hasn’t been any cases of heat exhaustion in the extreme desert temperatures, despite the many riders who collapsed along the course.

Aussie cycling champ Anna Meares calls it a career after winning six Olympic medals.

The cycling community wants to ban the narcotic painkiller Tramadol, which is popular in the pro peloton to help riders bounce back from the pain of racing. Meanwhile, former world champ David Millar explains how the therapeutic use exemption allows riders to get away with doping; thanks to Ralph Durham and George Wolfberg for the link.

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Local

A homeless Santa Monica man was found with bike parts and a nine-inch bolt cutter, admitted to being a meth addict, and told investigators how to bust a U-lock by twisting the bike frame. And was let go with a citation, along with his companion, for medical reasons. Homeless people need help, not jail. But writing a damn ticket to a confessed bike thief isn’t going to stop anyone.

Santa Monica will host a Kiddical Mass Halloween costume ride on the 29th.

Santa Clarita is the site of a Gran Fondo next Saturday to benefit the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Long Beach is looking for volunteers for their annual bike count this Thursday.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from a Long Beach man who had passed out from a diabetic incident.

 

State

A 15-mile stretch of bike path along the Santa Ana River due to be completed by 2019 would bring long-standing plans for a continuous 100-mile bike and equestrian trail reaching from the San Bernardino Mountains to Huntington Beach one step closer to completion.

A San Diego bicyclist was injured Sunday when her bike hit a steel plate in the road covering repair work. Which is a reminder that raised plates can knock you off your bike, while the plates themselves can provide little or no traction, especially if there’s moisture present.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you don’t come to a complete, foot-on-the-ground stop at stop signs. Actually, there’s no requirement that bike riders have to put a foot down when coming to a stop. And it can actually increase the risk, while being guaranteed to piss off the drivers around you if you insist on putting a foot down at every stop.

 

National

The Feds have finally concluded that bike boxes really do reduce conflicts between bike riders and motorists at intersections.

A writer looks at why cyclists and drivers don’t get along, explaining that insurance is a better option than trying to get even with someone. Although it’s a false premise; the overwhelming majority bicyclists and drivers do get along; it’s the exceptions that are the problem.

A former Hawaii police officer has been indicted for negligent homicide, tampering with evidence and filing a false report in the hit-and-run death of a vacationing bike rider; he was fired from the force as a result of his actions.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where the death of a mother of five who was riding in a crosswalk marked with flashers merits a lousy $150 fine. Although it will result in a change in the state’s driver’s manual requiring motorists to stop for a crosswalk warning signal until pedestrians and bicyclists have safely crossed the road. Because evidently common sense is not a requirement for a license, there or anywhere else.

A Chattanooga writer says bike riders shouldn’t be licensed and aren’t the real problem, but bike lanes don’t belong on busy streets. But what the hell is a “California-type politician”?

A 15-year old Pennsylvania boy was sentenced to spend the next 35 years behind bars for shooting another teenager while attempting to steal his bicycle.

Most drunk drivers get off with a slap on the wrist. A Delaware bicyclist busted for biking under the influence following a crash got 32 days in county jail, plus 90 days house arrest, a $1,500 fine and lost her driver’s license for 18 months. In California, that would merit just a $250 fine, with no points on your license.

NPR takes a look at sidewalk cycling in DC, making the point that, legal or not, you’re usually safer on the street — which is exactly where pedestrians want you. Thanks to Joni Yung for the tip.

 

International

Bike Radar offers 11 ways to be a greener cyclist. Like don’t drop your damn trash on the side of the road — and that includes gel packs and CO2 cartridges.

Canadian cyclists are outraged at Orange Theory Fitness for co-opting ghost bikes for their marketing campaign. Apparently, the chain gets enough benefit from the publicity that they don’t care about offending bike riders, since they keep doing it, despite the complaints.

A front page editorial in the Times of London blames segregated bike lanes for helping to increase traffic congestion, but hides most of the story behind a pay wall. Bike Biz points out just .02% of London roads even have them, never mind that the real cause of increased congestion is the millions of additional cars on the road.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a group of passing bicyclists save the life of a British woman who drove into a lake.

An Irish writer complains about the moral ambiguity of inviting Lance Armstrong to speak at a public event in Dublin, while imagining him being wheeled out in a mask like Hannibal Lector.

Two Indian cyclists rode 2,700 miles to raise awareness of the need for girls’ education.

A group of 30 cyclists plowed into a 95-year old Aussie man, then just left him lying on the side of the road. Although, despite what the article initially says, one rider identifying himself as a doctor did stop briefly to check the victim out before rejoining the other riders. Regardless, there’s simply no excuse to leave an injured person like that, young or old.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t peddle ice cream while pedaling in Victoria, BC. If you’re going to ride your bike over the roof of a car, make sure it’s your car.

And it’s no surprise that drivers who accidently run down cyclists just get a slap on the wrist when doing it on purpose only gets a year in jail.

 

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