Tag Archive for Stupid Driver Tricks

Morning Links: Riding with SaMo’s mayor, crazed California driver, and your next bike should have a bazooka

Evidently, Saturday’s ride with the mayor of Santa Monica was a successful affair.

David Drexler forwarded his thoughts afterwards.

Thanks for the “heads up” about the monthly ride with the Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer.

It was a lot of fun.  He is a great guy, and very approachable.

We chatted for a while before the ride, and rode together for a while. He likes to talk about cycling infrastructure and Santa Monica’s plans for the future including a fully protected bike lane from North to South coming up soon for construction that will feed into the East/West green lanes.

The Mayor told me that both he and his wife and 2 children all have bikes at home and ride together, and most days he cycles from his home to his city office in Santa Monica.

Also with us for the ride was the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole who likes cycling and was pointing out areas for Green Lane expansion and revision to the Mayor during the ride.

You don’t have to be a resident of Santa Monica to participate in the Monthly ride with Mayor, so everyone should consider coming out and chatting with him about cycling next time.

Photo attached of the Mayor (on the left) giving the group instructions before the ride.

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These are the people we share the roads with.

Somewhere in California, a crazed road raging driver harassed a bike rider, demanding that “all you little bastards” should get out of town, and threatened to come back with a shotgun.

Although any experienced road raging driver would know that using a gun is a crime, but using a car just makes it an accident.

Right?

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Members of the pro peloton name the most promising young riders; no North or Central Americans made the list, though one Columbian rider did.

So much for cleaning up the sport. An anti-doping organization claims no drug testing has been done at the last five international cyclocross events, and they haven’t checked for motor doping, either.

Alberto Contador says it’s more important to ride with style than to win. Something tells me his sponsors would disagree.

Flamboyant world road champ Peter Sagan likes Haribo candies more than post-race interviews; Bicycling Magazine compares his early season behavior to performance art.

VeloNews discusses Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day classic, where riders used a tactic employed by traffic-shy cyclists around the world by taking to the sidewalk. And it turns out the women Omlooped, too. Twice.

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Local

Road and Track says the future of Los Angeles transportation is full of possibilities, from trains and hydrogen-powered cars to, yes, bicycles.

A new bike-inspired coffee shop and bicycle accessory shop will be opening soon on York Blvd in Highland Park, where a successful road diet has helped bring life to the street. Though this being Los Angeles, not everyone approves.

CiclaValley explains how to take your bike on MetroLink.

There will be a feeder ride for people looking to get from Highland Park to Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event.

 

State

Bike co-op and advocacy group BikeVentura is officially launching with a party this Saturday.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike thief who assaulted the owner of a bike he was trying to steal.

 

National

Nice to know we’re still making life miserable for self-driving cars.

Mobility Lab asks how far is too far to ride to work, concluding that anything beyond 30 miles is just crazy. Although I once met one of the early RAAM competitors, who commuted 157 miles by bike from his home in Steamboat Spring CO through the mountains to Denver, and back again, everyday, even in the dead of winter.

Police in Oregon are searching for the identity of a drunken rider who was hit by a truck on Friday. This is why you should always carry ID. And ride sober.

Young riders of faster ebikes could be required to wear a helmet until they reach the age of 21 under proposed Utah legislation.

A Denver bicyclist claims he was repeatedly passed, then intentionally run down by a road raging street sweeper driver.

A former Wichita KS bike shop owner now runs a bike repair service out of his garage, while offering free bike rentals to anyone who wants to borrow one.

Even heartland cities are attempting to eliminate traffic fatalities, as Columbia MO commits to developing a Vision Zero plan.

Massachusetts is planning a network of bike lanes to keep up with rising demand.

Evidently, blocking bike lanes is nothing new; New York truck drivers have been doing it since at least 1899.

If anyone feels like moving to the deep South, the Georgia Bikes advocacy group is seeking a new executive director.

 

International

Road.cc presents the perfect bikes to buy when you have more dollars than sense.

A Nova Scotia columnist calls on the province to scrap its mandatory bike helmet law, saying that it will keep bikeshare from succeeding there without making riders any safer. Meanwhile, a writer for Forbes says bike helmets can be hazardous to your health by encouraging risky behavior.

British cycling champ Chris Hoy goes from Olympic gold medalist to children’s book author.

Caught on video: A Kiwi parent could face a police investigation after he knocks a BMX rider on his ass for colliding with his skateboarding son at a new skate park.

 

Finally…

Not even bike messengers are safe from automation. Forget a Swiss Army Knife; what you really need is a bazooka-toting Swiss Army Bicycle.

And seriously, cats should know better than to try mountain biking, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Petaluma punishment pass caught on video, and red light-running stupid driver tricks

Welcome back. Please accept my belated wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. And one filled with friends, family and bikes.

Lets hope this coming year is a safe and joyful one for all of us.

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This is who we share the roads with.

First a Petaluma pickup driver hauling a horse trailer makes what appears to be a punishment pass directed at a couple of bicyclists hugging the white line. Or possibly just a dangerous attempt to cut back in time following an ill-advised pass.

Then stops to have a profanity-laced chat with the riders, telling them to get off the road and onto a non-existent bike path.

Thanks to murphstahoe for the links.

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And here you thought only bike riders run red lights, right?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

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Sad news, as 1950 Tour de France champ Ferdy Kuebler passed away at a Zurich hospital Thursday; Kuebler won the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege classics on successive days in 1951 and 1952, as well as a 356-mile, single-day Bordeaux-to-Paris race in ’53.

More sad news, as rising Canadian pro cyclist Ellen Watters was killed in a collision on a training ride; New Brunswick riders are making a new push for a three-foot passing law in the wake of her death, and appear to be gaining support.

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins calls it a career at age 36, amid allegations of drug use masked by special medical exemptions.

American pro Andrew Talansky’s Grand Tour plans may have suffered a setback when he broke his thumb after hitting black ice on a Christmas Eve training ride.

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Local

The LAPD made an arrest in the Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider seriously injured.

Joe Linton says a recent hit-and-run that left a pedestrian injured shows the need to make NELA’s Fletcher Drive safe.

Debbie Reynolds was one of us, and rode her bike to her first screen test on the Warner Brothers lot from her home in Burbank when she was just 16.

CiclaValley recaps his best articles of the past year.

Pasadena’s Complete Streets Coalition will hold their January meeting next Monday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson justifiably calls out cyclists on an annual New Years Day ride, where hundreds of bicyclists reportedly blew through red lights on their high-speed tour down the coast, resulting in a crash that injured a pedestrian and a bike rider. And says some riders actually blocked paramedics from getting to them in their attempt to catch up to the peloton. Correction: I’ve heard from someone who was on that ride, who reports that as much of a mess as it was, the rider who collided with the pedestrian was on a different, earlier ride, and said the wreck happened when a pedestrian stepped off the curb while the sun was in his eyes.

 

State

Be careful when you order bikes and parts online. California’s Specialized is suing a number of internet-based bike dealers for selling counterfeit frames and accessories.

California motorists are now prohibited from even holding a mobile phone for any reason while they drive. Of course, it’s already illegal to text or use a handheld phone in the state, and we’ve seen how that worked out.

We may have to deal with bullheaded LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into Bay Area bulls.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero Coalition calls on the city to study its own traffic safety data.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed New Years Eve after allegedly riding through a red light.

 

National

States may have the traffic data the public needs to demand safer streets, but apparently, they’re under no obligation to share it, thanks to a little-known clause in federal law.

Two years ago there were no protected intersections in the US; now there are 12.

Now you can lock your bike up to a birth control device the next time you ride to Oregon’s Planned Parenthood headquarters.

A San Antonio driver hits a bike rider, takes her to a nearby bar, puts her damaged bike on her car, then drives away without identifying himself.

Great story. A homeless Escondido man rides a beach cruiser 1,640 miles to Wichita KS to build planes, because he says God told him to.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a driver without insurance gets a whole two days for paralyzing a cyclist. Two. Effing. Days.

A Georgia cop helps a DUI driver turn his life around by buying him a bike to ride to work and AA meetings.

New York City now has a nine-mile long protected bike lane crossing the city.

The New York Times reports on a prominent evangelical preacher who lost his faith following a 40 mph solo fall on his bike.

A Miami rider offers a full year of stupid driver tricks caught on bike cam video.

A Florida man has a new bike thanks to a kindhearted EMS supervisor, who bought him one after his was totaled in a crash.

 

International

A new Canadian study says you may end up in the ICU, but at least you don’t have to stop cycling. Meanwhile, A new Chinese study shows riding a bicycle can reduce depression in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Cycling Weekly offers essential commuting clothes for riding to work, not much of which actually is.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-seven year old English rider sets three world age group records.

1970’s glam rockers Slade will be cancelling their shows for the next few months after lead guitarist and founding member Dave Hill broke his elbow in a collision with a bike rider.

Dublin votes to cut speed limits to the equivalent of 18 mph throughout the city to improve safety. So when will California realize lives are more important than speed, and allow cities to set safer limits?

An Irish study says boys are ten times more likely to ride their bikes to school than girls.

An Indian tycoon plans to revitalize Great Britain’s declining bike-making industry.

A bicyclist rides 4,600 miles through nine Indian states on a solar-powered ebike.

A New Zealand man gets on his bike for the first time in five years. And gets knocked off by a road-raging driver who drove onto the sidewalk to deliberately ram into him.

A Tokyo pedestrian was killed by a lightless, distracted bike rider on a narrow, sloping passageway where bicyclists aren’t even supposed to ride.

Singapore is installing bikeways in neighborhoods around the island and encouraging the use of personal mobility devices in an attempt to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

This is why you hire an American PR firm to handle your US launch. Busted for driving under the influence of caffeine.

And Ricky Gervais is one of us. Even if he can’t figure out how to use a Presta valve.

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Thanks to George Wolfberg, Karen Karabell, Eric Lewis, Glen Schmuetz and Stephen Katz, and to everyone who gave to last month’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. The kindness and generosity of shown by the readers of this site has moved me more than I could possibly express.

I’d like to thank you all individually, but PayPal now keeps the email addresses of donors hidden. Which is probably a good thing, even if it means I have to thank you here, instead.

Morning Links: SaMo stupid driver trick triptych fixed, jogging up Mt. Ventoux, and WeHo bikeshare opens next month

If you tried to click on the link to Steve Herbert’s triptych of videos showing stupid Santa Monica driver tricks yesterday, only to be told by Facebook that the page doesn’t exist, the problem’s been fixed.

So just give it another try.

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A bizarre finish to the climb up Mont Ventoux, with winds up to 80 mph, found Tour de France leader Chris Froome running up the mountain — without a bike — after yet another crash caused by a race moto and overly aggressive fans.

This is what the crash looked like up close. LA’s Peter Flax describes the madness leading up to the final scrum, calling the Tour an absurd, beautiful circus.

And Australia’s Simon Gerrans is out of the race after breaking his collarbone when he crashed on a fast descent.

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Local

Streetsblog offers an update on the state of bikeshare in the LA area; West Hollywood’s system will have a soft launch with just four stations on August 9th, with the full system opening by the end of next month.

Downtown stakeholders are fighting a new development at Fourth and Hill, arguing it’s too tall and modern for the area; on the plus side, the 428-unit apartment building would have more parking for bikes than cars.

A 95-year old bike rider suffered a broken leg and minor head injuries when he was hit by a car just outside West Covina yesterday morning. But the driver said she didn’t see him, so it’s okay, right? And how exactly did kneepads help save his life?

CiclaValley climbs Stough Canyon and the Verdugo Mountains.

 

State

New state rules will allow bikeshare programs to apply for funding to expand into low-income areas.

Happy birthday to Ventura County’s Newberry Park Bicycle Shop, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, as a woman riding on an Edna Valley highway was killed when a driver drifted onto the shoulder and ran her down from behind.

Fresno unveils a new safety campaign warning drivers to slow down for people.

A Petaluma website says don’t fear the road diet.

A Modesto man faces vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and car theft charges in the death of a bike rider last month.

 

National

How to turn your bike into the ultimate Pokemon Go machine.

Bicycling explains how to protect your manly bits and pieces.

A bike-riding boy was not seriously injured when a suspected Nevada bomber blew himself up; the family who lived in the home he targeted somehow escaped before the blast.

Denver’s B-Cycle system illustrates how to not succeed in bikeshare.

A 22-year old Virginia woman riding cross-country with the Bike & Build program was killed when she and another rider were rear-ended by a driver in Idaho; the second victim remains in critical condition.

Two Good Samaritans are honored for saving the life of a bike-riding Texas triathlete who was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver.

A ghost bike for a Michigan hit-and-run victim has been removed from storage in the hope that it will help solve the case.

Boston takes a tiny, tentative step toward traffic safety by installing a parking protected bike lane on the city’s famed Beacon Street. For one whole block.

DC votes unanimously to change a policy that kept bicycles and pedestrians from receiving any settlement at all in most crashes.

Bighearted Georgia police step up to help a young homeless man after learning he’d just ridden a bicycle six hours to register for college.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist calls for making cycling a priority on Prince Edward Island.

Motor vehicles will be banned entirely from London’s busy Oxford Street shopping district within the next four years. I doubt LA leaders would ever have the guts to make a bold move like that; we can’t even get bike lanes on Westwood and North Figueroa.

A boy from the UK saved up for months to buy a second-hand bike, only to have it stolen just two days later. Then got it back — with a letter of apology — after his mother recognized the thieves on security camera footage.

Yet another British bike rider was nearly decapitated by a wire strung over a bike path in what police call a premeditated attack.

There’s more than one way to get a parked bike out of the way.

Caught on video: It takes a kindhearted bike rider to rescue a kitten from a busy Russian intersection.

 

Finally…

Forget carbon; your next bike frame could be made of graphene and weigh less than a pound, or it could be made of wood and full of holes. Or look like something out of Tron.

And this is your brain. This is your brain exercising in the heat.

 

Morning Links: Energizer Bunny says upgrade your bike for a motorcycle, and a SaMo bad driver triptych

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton justifiably takes Energizer Batteries to task for a badly off-base ad in which the Bunny magically converts bicycles into high-powered motorcycles.

In the Energizer commercial’s world, there are lots of cyclists, but all their bikes are old and crappy. One bike, at o:02, has a derailleur but no chain. Few of the bikes actually fit their riders, so the cyclists look cramped and uncomfortable.

Secondly, how does electricity help cyclists? Does transforming a bicycle – a truly environmentally-friendly human-powered vehicle – into a petroleum-burning motorcycle really serve the environment? Do urban cyclists really want to ditch their trusty steeds?

Seriously, the takeaway from Energizer’s misguided ad isn’t that their batteries are good for the environment, but that motorcycles are better than bicycles.

Which is a load of crap.

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Now that’s more like it.

A Niagara-area town supervisor makes a video supporting his vision of converting an eight-mile parkway into a bikeway.

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While we’re on a video kick, bike commuter and KCRW sound engineer Steve Herbert posts series of Facebook videos depicting a triptych of Santa Monica drivers who insisted on making his ride to work far more dangerous than it needed to be.

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The AP says Chris Froome is turning into a master tactician on the bike, although he was outsprinted on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France. But seriously, don’t film Mark Cavendish when he’s taking a leak.

Yahoo offers a offers a bizarre report that blames cycling’s doping culture of the of the ‘80s and ‘90s for corrupting East European cyclists — like East Germany’s Jan Ullrich — after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Never mind that the former Soviet Block countries maintained extensive systematic doping programs, which undoubtedly included many, if not all, of their top cyclists. Something that clearly continues today.

As for that doping culture, at least some of it may have been a placebo effect. Although cyclists aren’t the only ones doing it.

And it’s been 49 years since Britain’s Tommy Simpson died while riding up Mont Ventoux, possibly as a result of chasing amphetamines with brandy before the race; the peloton will likely pause to remember him when they climb Ventoux in today’s stage.

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Local

The Milt Olin Foundation, started by the wife of the fallen cyclist, has launched the #HandsOff app to encourage drivers to pledge not to use their phones behind the wheel. The sheriff’s deputy who killed Olin on Mulholland Highway in 2013 had been texting with his wife, and was using the patrol car’s onboard computer at the time of the crash.

KCET rides the LA River bike path with the Senior Lead Officers from the LAPD’s Northeast Division, helping bust a bike thief in the process.

New Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte is promising to improve safety on PCH, such as implementing some of the 130 suggested improvements listed in the recently completed the PCH Safety Study, including proposed bike lanes.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports from Tuesday’s Palos Verdes Estates council session, where bicyclists turned out en masse to call for improved signage in the not-so-bike-friendly community.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a white man who rode up on a bicycle before yelling racial slurs and throwing a rock through the door of a black family.

Another homeless man was attacked in San Diego, the fifth in the last few weeks; the hammer-wielding attacker was riding a blue mountain bike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will ride to remember a local man who lost his life while riding in Chicago recently.

Menlo Park is planning to remove up to 18 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. Although the torches and pitchforks will likely come out once the affected homeowners get wind of it.

How do Bay Area chefs love cycling? Let me count the ways…

A Santa Rosa cyclist is 90% of the way through his campaign to ride up the top 100 climbs in the US; he’s now planning to ride up Mt. Whitney — starting from Death Valley — then climb the last 6,000 feet of elevation on foot.

A Truckee woman passed away in her sleep, just hours after she was involved in a bicycling collision. No matter how you feel after a wreck, always assume you’re injured. And if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, get to an emergency room immediately.

 

National

The BBC looks at how the “humble” bicycle is making a comeback in US cities, including a visit to LA’s own newly renamed Pure Cycles.

Portland’s transportation chief talks bikeshare, and explains why women seem to like it.

Nevada cyclists question the lack of serious penalties for drivers who injure or kill bike riders. Which is pretty much the same concerns held by bike riders everywhere.

Nice story from Kansas, as a father works with students at a local community college to develop a 3D-printed device to allow his three-year old son, who was born without his left hand, to ride a bicycle.

A Chicago weekly wonders what’s behind the recent rash of serious bicycling collisions.

The Michigan driver who ran down nine cyclists in Kalamazoo reportedly downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxants before getting behind the wheel; police also found marijuana, meth, more pills and a pipe in his car.

Bloomberg looks at Detroit Bikes, which specializes in making bikeshare bikes, including assembling bicycles for New York’s Citi Bike.

A Pennsylvania cyclist helps save the life of a woman who drove off the road, after he found her unconscious in a stream.

A Florida bike rider was killed when he rode over a live power line that had fallen on a bridge; the line may have been down for as long as seven hours. Never, ever cross or touch a downed power line, even if that means finding another way to get where you’re going.

 

International

A Montreal study shows building bike lanes really does get a few people out of their cars.

Peru reopens a historic outdoor velodrome that had been closed for nearly 30 years.

A Canadian columnist calls for bicycling training, and asks why encourage people to ride their bikes if they’re just going to break the law anyway? After all, licensing drivers has worked so well to discourage any form of scofflaw behavior, right?

Toronto puts its money where it’s mouth is, considering a $12.2 million boost in spending for bikeway construction over the next five years, on top of the $68.1 million already approved.

A London bicyclist says it was like hitting a brick wall when he slammed into a distracted man who stepped into a bike lane without looking.

“Despicable” is the right word for whoever stole an ambulance bicycle from a London paramedic as he was treating a patient.

Bicycling levels remain flat in the UK over the past year.

Scottish authorities are looking for a driver who made a U-turn to deliberately crash into a cyclist after they had exchanged gestures following a close pass.

 

Finally…

Pedal your way to cleaner clothes. Evidently, it’s not considered self-defense if you slap the driver who almost ran you over.

And if you’re thinking about commenting on a woman’s body, just… don’t.

Whether you’re on a bike. Or anywhere else.

 

Morning Links: Effing around on the Orange Line, JSK at the Hammer, and LA cyclist guilty of pimping PEDs

When is a bike path not a bike path?

Apparently, when there’s a truck driving on it.

The video was forwarded by kdbhiker, who recently shared his Describe Your Ride video with us. He says it was taken Tuesday on the Orange Line Bike Path at Haskell Ave and the 405 Fwy.

If, like me, you can’t quite make out the reason the driver gives for driving on the bike path, the response was “Honestly, we’re just fucking around.” Which is probably as good a reason as any for doing something stupid.

And kdbhiker reports he’s already contacted Councilwomen Nury Martinez office about installing removable bollards to keep other idiots drivers off the bikeway.

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Harv, who shared a Describe Your Ride of his own earlier this year, sends a link to yesterday’s chat between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne at the Hammer Museum, which I had the misfortune of missing.

But which I’ll look forward to viewing later.

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The Daily News reports former LA-based pro cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson pled guilty Tuesday to federal charges of selling performance enhancing drugs imported from overseas.

He reportedly sold EPO online, as well as a medication derived from calves blood that isn’t approved for human use.

He faces a maximum of one year behind bars and a fine up to $100,000 for a single misdemeanor count of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. Which sounds like they’re letting him off easy.

Brandt-Sorenson retired from racing after accepting a two-year ban for doping in 2012.

An earlier version of the story got one major detail wrong, reporting that Brandt-Sorenson helped “pioneer” LA’s popular Midnight Ridazz. However, a tweet from the Ridazz says he was never an organizer, founder or pioneer of the group.

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Speaking of the Daily News, they take a look at the new World Cycling League and your hometown California Wave, premiering at Carson’s Velo Sports Center this weekend.

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As long as we’re on the subject…

Evidently, the supposed curse of the rainbow jersey doesn’t apply to English reigning world champion Lizzie Armistead.

Maybe the late Italian great Marco Pantani didn’t dope in the 1999 Giro after all; evidence has surfaced that the Mafia may have tampered with his blood samples to ensure he didn’t win, which would have cost them millions in gambling payouts.

And a writer for Cycling Tips says it’s regrettable that the 19-year old Dutch rider accused of motor doping walked away from the sport without defending herself, because it’s unlikely that she acted alone.

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Zipp is recalling nearly 57,000 high-end aluminum wheel hubs; they could be at risk of failing, causing your wheel to collapse. Which is a very bad thing.

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Local

KCET looks at the Ovarian Psychos radical feminist bicycle brigade, subject of a new documentary that premiered at South by Southwest earlier this week.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom built motorized bicycle from a disabled North Hollywood vet, who was selling it to pay his bills.

Councilmember Paul Krekorian will hold a traffic safety summit at Colfax Elementary School in Valley Village, co-hosted by LADOT and Vision Zero LA.

Chris Brown is one of us, as he rides single speed with no hands while filming his latest music video along the beach in Santa Monica.

Congratulations to the owners of Long Beach’s Rossmoor Pastries, who are selling the company and retiring after nearly 30 years. At 80 years old, departing owner Charles Feder still rocks the spandex, with plans to ride the Tour de France route this summer, as well as riding across the country; he also founded the annual Tour of Long Beach fundraising bike ride along with partner Janice Ahlgren.

The next editions of Finish the Ride are coming up on April 12th in Griffith Park, and April 30th in Santa Clarita.

 

State

You can find a lot of things while riding a bicycle. Like a rubber boot with a severed leg bone on a Carlsbad beach, for instance.

Jury selection begins in the trial of a San Jacinto driver in the death of Menifee cyclist Matthew Carp.

 

National

Former pro Phil Zajicek reportedly crossed the center line at a high rate of speed before colliding with a truck in the Boulder CO crash that severed his arm this week.

WaPo says the new bike-friendly SRAM headquarters in Chicago should be the norm, not the exception.

A proposal to ban the use of gas taxes for bike and pedestrian projects is moving forward in the Tennessee legislature, over the strenuous objections of bike advocates.

Cyclists in DC organize group rides to help commuters stranded by an emergency shut-down of the city’s train system Wednesday.

Baltimore’s planned bikeshare system will offer the largest fleet of e-bikes in the Western Hemisphere; 200 of the 500 bikes will feature a pedelec electric pedal assistance system.

 

International

Vancouver might check in higher than the third best place in Canada to ride a bike if it wasn’t for those damn hills; Montreal and Saskatoon are the first and second place Canadian Bike Score finishers.

A British driver is charged with deliberately running down a Chinese cyclist who she says flipped her off, leaving him in a ditch to die of hypothermia. Evidently just because she hates Asians.

A new study from the UK says that bicycle training at schools does nothing to boost child riding rates.

Tres shock! Twitter goes into an uproar when a BBC radio host rides a London bikeshare bike without a helmet.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bus driver loses his license for six months for aggressively tailgating and deliberately bumping a bike rider.

 

Finally…

Your next $3,000 smart bike might be made by a Chinese cell phone maker. Could the Apple iBike be far behind? Or maybe you’d prefer a world record setting bike that checks in at nearly 1,896 pounds.

And sweet revenge, as Columbian bus drivers learn first hand what it’s like to be passed by a honking bus that doesn’t slow down or move over. Thanks to Joel Sabillon for the heads-up.

 

Weekend Links: Scary head-on GMR driver, bikes for the zombie apocalypse, and a beer keg messenger bag

Halloween is just a week away. So let’s start with something scary.

Like an SUV driver coming around a blind curve on the wrong side of the road on Glendora Mountain Road after an ill-advised pass, courtesy of Ron.

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Washington Bikes spells out what I’ve been saying for years, with 13 reasons why you’re going to need a bike when the zombie apocalypse starts.

You can practice for the days of flesh-eating doom with Walk Bike Glendale’s 4th Annual Zombie Walk tonight.

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Forget a messenger bag. What you really need is this Timbuk2 keg-carrying backpack.

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Local

DTLA’s new and still unnamed bikeshare system needs a General Manager. Why shouldn’t it be you?

Frogtown’s Spoke Bicycle Café wants your help to expand into a full-fledged restaurant, microbrewery and coffee roaster along the LA River bike path; they’re trying to raise $25,000 via Indiegogo

Talk about not getting it. A Santa Monica coffee shop owner strikes gold by having a Breeze bikeshare station placed directly in front of her business, and freaks out over the loss of one or two parking spaces. If people aren’t using the bike racks next to her business, despite the city’s boom in bicycling, that should tell her something. But probably won’t. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Santa Monica moves towards its own Vision Zero plan.

The Ride 2 Recovery will be wheeling into SaMo today if you want to help welcome the wounded vets at the end of their week-long ride down the coast.

Say goodbye to the iconic Sixth Street Viaduct today from 2 to 10 pm, with free bike valet courtesy of the LACBC.

Don’t forget the Grand Opening of the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center, complete with costume bike train, on Sunday.

 

State

There may still be time to get to Santa Barbara for its third annual Open Streets event today, offering two miles of beachfront boulevard free from cars.

An Oakland bike rider gets a $2.5 million settlement after she was hit by a left-turning bus just after escaping from another one.

 

National

Can a little green paint improve the lowly and much maligned sharrow? Probably not.

A website on governing looks at the Complete Streets movement spreading across the country.

A Spokane city councilman claims it costs $63,500 to paint one mile of bike lanes; he’s right, as long as you include all engineering costs and expenses to repaint the entire roadway after repaving. In other words, it’s impossible to break out the relatively minor cost of bike lanes from roadwork that would have been done anyway.

A member of the Denver Broncos is raffling an autographed, custom Broncos Trek to help make Colorado children better readers.

Nice. A 98-year old Wisconsin man gets one last bike ride on a three-wheeled rickshaw.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Boston researcher killed while riding her bike this past August was part of a team that just announced a major breakthrough in using stem cells to grow a new thyroid.

Boston bike advocates are ambivalent about the possibility of an Idaho stop law.

Streetfilms looks at DC’s protected bike lanes, while African American churches in DC are joining in a fight to preserve 75 street parking spaces used primarily on Sunday. Instead of bike lanes that would be used every day, and could help fight obesity in the community.

A League Cycling Instructor in Virginia — not a Licensed Cycling Instructor, thank you — says forget better lights, electronic turns signals and bike lanes, just learn how to ride more safely.

A New Orleans man is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider he suspected of trying to break into his car.

 

International

Let’s face it. Pro cyclists are just flat out better riders than the rest of us.

A group of international scientists will run and bike to Paris from both poles to demand action on climate change; although people coming from the South Pole have a hell of a lot further to go.

Even drivers are more comfortable on streets with protected bike lanes, as a Toronto survey shows.

Caught on video: This one is tough to watch, as a UK cyclist shares a first-person helmet cam view of his epileptic fit while riding a mountain bike.

Despite the headline, a British lawyer’s comments about Chinese President Xi Jinping had absolutely nothing to do with his two-wheeled mode of transportation.

A 19-year old Brit career criminal stole a car, blocked the path of a bike rider, then get out and attacked him before intentionally ramming two taxis as he made his getaway; he got three years for his efforts.

Perth, Australia is about to get its first bike boulevards. Although for some reason, the rendering still shows cars tailgating the bikes.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a speeding taxi driver gets a whopping two weeks behind bars for killing a slow-speed salmon cyclist; at least he’s banned from driving for the next three years.

 

Finally…

Maybe the answer is bike therapy, or it could be better riding through hypnosis. You don’t have to understand Spanish — or maybe Portuguese, despite what the story says — to enjoy seeing bike thieves get punked; thanks  to Brian Dotson for today’s language lesson.

And now you too can buy your very own ice bike from Hammacher Schlemmer for just $2,500, plus shipping and handling.

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver harasses cyclist; curb-jumping drivers don’t get Redondo bike lanes

The problem with sharrows is that they put you right in the path of drivers.

Impatient, road-raging and brake-checking drivers, at times, as cyclist Michael Schinderling learned out the hard way while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

The driver first honks, then repeatedly slams on his brakes in front of him. Even though Schinderling was riding exactly where the sharrows indicate he should be.

The big problem with LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance is that it’s so hard to get proof that a driver deliberately antagonized a rider.

But this looks like an open-and-shut case.

……..

Caught on video: Those new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes seem to be working well. Except for curb-jumping drivers who can’t seem to figure out why the traffic lane is green and there are so many bikes in it.

……..

American cyclist Tyler Farrar is heading back to the Tour de France as part of the first African-based pro team, while Tejay van Garderen is older and wiser and says he’s ready for the challenge. The Wall Street Journal asks why no Latin American rider has won the Tour de France, as Nairo Quintana attempts to become the first.

Meanwhile, former pro team leader Bjarne Riis chose to ignore doping by his riders. Or more likely, tacitly encouraged it, if not openly.

Cycling Weekly looks at the best bike tans in the peloton. Dutch police evidently feel the best way to get a new collective bargaining agreement is to delay riders in the Tour de France, thus ensuring it won’t besmirch their country again.

And sad news from the UK, as a British bike racer was killed in a collision with another rider last weekend.

……..

Local

The LA-area’s Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a new regional transportation plan.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom and two Westside councilmembers say Metro is going the wrong way with plans for a bike share system that will be incompatible with systems opening soon in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and as well as systems planned for West Hollywood, UCLA and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

San Gabriel gets a new bike lane on Las Tunas Drive.

Santa Clarita opens a new 1.5 mile stretch of the Santa Clarita River Trail, including a bike bridge over the Los Angeles aqueduct.

A Long Beach councilwoman will host a bike safety program for kids from 9 to 17 years old next week.

The second Tour de Laemmle will roll on July 19th, as Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on all or part of a 125+ mile tour of all the Laemmle Theaters.

 

State

Santa Ana conducts a reverse road diet, forcing long-time residents out of their homes to make room for an added lane and bike lanes on Warner Ave, as the OC Register says evicted residents will have to be made whole.

A bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision with a pickup in Anaheim on Tuesday; a comment on Bike Forums suggests the victim was riding in the crosswalk over the onramp to the 57. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Big oops from the Bay, as San Francisco retracts a report that a new bikeway saw a 651% jump in bike traffic; the actual figures ranged from a 12% to 62% increase depending on time of day. You’d think someone would have noticed that those numbers seemed just a tad high before sending out the press release.

Oakland is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes, with twelve road diets proposed for the next three years; needless to say, bike riders are thrilled while motorists are worried. Maybe Oakland could explain how the process works to Santa Ana.

The Marin tech exec who viciously beat a driver who clipped him with his mirror has been found guilty of felony battery and misdemeanor assault; he faces up to four years in prison. Seriously, never resort to violence. Period.

 

National

Tragic news from Las Vegas, as a 16-year old boy riding without ID was hit by a car last week; he died the next day before family members learned about the wreck and he could be identified.

A Utah driver has plead guilty to intentionally running down a bike rider with whom he had an adversarial relationship.

Evidently, the penalty in Texas for riding a bike without lights is to get Tased, then beaten after falling off your bike. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Iowa man is back on his bike six months after losing a leg to complications from diabetes; he’ll be riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend.

Needless to say, Chicago business owners are worried about the loss of parking with the city’s first curb-protected bike lane; Chicagoist asks if it will be good for business. Bikes are usually good for business. And there’s something seriously wrong if your customers won’t walk a few extra feet to do business with you.

A Maine driver is accused of intentionally running down a 10-year old boy on a bike over a dispute with the kid’s mother; unbelievably, the man was released on just $1,000 bail — despite using his car as a weapon to attack a child.

Just days after an LA bike rider was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a machete-swinging road-raging PA teenager attacked a cyclist and his fiancée, who used his bike to defend themselves.

The Baltimore Sun says bike helmets aren’t ugly anymore, while The Week offers a look at six bike helmets of the future. Can we just get one that actually protects against concussions and other serious brain injuries in real world collisions?

A Georgia website offers advice on how to get a red light to change for your bike.

A cyclist rides 1,400 miles up the East Coast while towing his dog and a cargo trailer.

 

International

Here we go again, as a Facebook page devoted to shaming law-breaking Victoria BC cyclists devolves into a hotbed of anti-bike hatred.

Two Edmonton councilors call for ripping out bike lanes on three streets, calling them unsafe and underutilized.

Cyclists halt London traffic to protest the death of yet another young woman killed by a truck while riding to work. Although not everyone was willing to show a little respect.

Caught on video: The UK’s “vigilante cyclist” catches a woman texting behind the wheel with two kids in her car. I see something similar almost every time I ride. Like a woman who was steering with her knees as she texted with her kids in the back seat.

A pair of Good Samaritans pitch in to replace a British nurse’s bike after it was stolen from outside her apartment.

A Brit bike rider gets a year in jail for killing a 73-year old woman in a collision while riding a brakeless BMX.

Switzerland is telling e-bike riders to slow down, following a rise in single-vehicle bike wrecks due to riders misjudging their speed and stopping times.

India gets its first cycling café in the “Detroit of India” even though the city doesn’t have a single bike lane.

Australian bike riders may soon be allowed to ride on sidewalks in the state of Victoria, but could face on-the-spot fines for using a handheld phone. So what happens if they can’t pay? Are they arrested on the spot?

“Selfish” Aussie cyclists are accused of illegally riding in high-speed bus-only lanes to avoid slower bikeways.

Don’t ride under the influence in Japan, don’t report a falling down drunk bike rider to the police, and don’t ride with groceries on your handlebars.

 

Finally…

It takes a bold thief to ride off with a bike cop’s bike as she stood just a few feet away. Caught on video: an Ohio bird defends his territory against a cyclist. Or maybe he just doesn’t like they guy’s taste in bike helmets.

And a new study from the University of Duh confirms that marijuana use impairs driving. Next up, a study confirming that it gives people the munchies, too.

……..

I need to find a better name for the Morning Links, since I seem to be temporally challenged these days. Chain Links is too cutsie, while Bike News seems a little dull.

Any suggestions?

Morning Links: LA Weekly supports distracted driving; drunk driver kills bike riding reformed drunk driver

What the hell are they thinking at the LA Weekly?

In a remarkably wrong-headed piece, Weekly writer Hillel Aron writes that he texts while driving and doesn’t see a damn thing wrong with it.

First, effective July 1, 2008, came the bans on talking on your cell phone while driving – an act about as dangerous as drinking a cup of coffee whilst talking to a passenger.

Six months later came the drive-texting bans. Never mind the fact that we’d been changing the music on our iPods for years, and before that we were switching out CDs, and tapes and eight-tracks and lighting our cigarettes and God knows what else.

Now sending a text message, no matter how brief, or how slow the traffic, is a crime.

As well it should be.

Never mind that texting at highway speeds can take your eyes off the road for the length of a football field. Or that studies have shown texting is more dangerous than drunk driving, which Aron evidently would approve of, as well.

And never mind that nearly one in five injury collisions involve distracted driving. Or that even using a hands-free device to make a call dramatically increases the risk of collision; evidently, Aron is a very risky coffee drinker.

But he says he can do it, so it must be okay.

I’m sure his insurance company would disagree. As would his seemingly inevitable future victims.

The remarkable thing is he has confessed, in public and in advance, for any collisions he may be involved in for the rest of his life. Because any prosecutor or civil attorney will jump on this as proof of a cavalier attitude behind the wheel, at best. And search for evidence that he was doing exactly what he claims.

As cyclists, we see the effects of distracted driving on a daily basis.

Virtually every close call I’ve had on the roads in recent years, and most of the vehicular idiocy I’ve witnessed, has come from drivers whose eyes were glued to their cell phones instead of the road. Or at the very least, had a hand-held cell phone illegally plastered to their ears.

It’s bad enough that Aron is a tragedy waiting to happen; worse that he irresponsibly encourages other fools to follow his lead.

Because only a fool, and a dangerous one at that, would fail to grasp the dangers of distracted driving clearly demonstrates.

But worst of all is the irresponsibility of a formerly respected alternative weekly that has long since given up any hint of relevancy putting the lives of innocent people at risk as link bait to boost their sagging fortunes.

I don’t want my life — or that of anyone else — to be in jeopardy because the paper’s editors lack any ethical standards and encourage their readers to drive in a dangerous and distracted manner.

They owe us all a retraction and an apology.

And if you happen to see Hillel Aron on the road, grab his fucking cell phone out of his hands and throw the damn thing as far as you can.

Oh, and as for his assertion that we all text while driving, I have never, ever texted, tweeted or otherwise used a handheld device while driving. And never will.

Perhaps because I’ve written too many times about the needless heartbreak and devastation caused by those who do.

………

In a case of tragic irony, Haitham Gamal, the 38-year old bike rider killed in Dana Point last week, was a three-time convicted drunk driver who had completed rehab, sold his car and taken up bicycling in an attempt to turn his life around.

Only to be killed by a 19-year old drunk driver.

………

Local

The LACBC announces their Bike to Work Day pit stops, as well as post B2WD happy hours.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky profiles Danny Gamboa and Ghost Bikes LA, noting the group will receive the Golden Spoke award at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles.

San Marino releases their proposed bikeways map, including a possible Class 1 bike path; thanks to BikeSGV for the heads-up.

The Tour of Long Beach rolls this Sunday to benefit pediatric cancer research at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

 

State

The Orange County Register ranks the county’s eight most dangerous intersections; the killer conjunction of Jamboree Road and Santiago Canyon Road tops the list.

A letter writer says we all can coexist on Newport Beach’s Back Bay Trail.

Not surprisingly, San Diego’s bike share stations are going in the usual tourist areas rather than places with the greatest need.

 

National

American bike commuting has increased 60% in the last 14 years; not surprisingly, low-income Americans walk and bike the most.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske discusses how to fight back with a civil suit against motorists who hit or harass you.

Ms. Magazine looks at how bicycles influenced women’s rights.

Tucson gets its first protected bike lanes.

A New York bike share rack is called a death trap that could block access to an emergency room — even though it’s around the corner and on a different block.

A Florida man is caught on video drinking heavily before he got in his truck and killed a couple on their tandem bike.

 

International

Remembering 1970s Irish cycling champ Billy Kerr.

On the eve of the Giro d’Italia, the BBC profiles three-time winner Gino Bartali, who risked his life to save Jews and aid the resistance in WWII. And who should be the first cyclist on a very short list for sainthood.

Interesting Norwegian share the road public service campaign; you don’t have to speak the language to get the idea.

A big-hearted Kiwi cyclist forgives the driver who hit him and asks the court to waive her $11,000 reparation fee.

Bicycle advocacy goes worldwide.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. When you’re carrying drug paraphernalia and an ounce of cocaine on your bike at 1:30 in the morning, put a damn light on it, already. And a new foldable bike helmet allows you to carry it anywhere; personally, I’d rather have a clunky one if it’s built to a better safety standard.

 

Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.

……….

A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.

……….

The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.

……….

Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

Just another right hook — from the left lane

After awhile, you get to know the streets you ride.

Like this intersection on eastbound Ohio Ave, one block west of Sepulveda. I’ve learned to slow down there in anticipation of right hooks, as drivers stuck in traffic make a sudden decision to turn right without checking the bike lane first.

But I’ve never been right hooked from the left lane before.

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