Tag Archive for USC Cycling Team

Morning Links: Help fund prize money for women cyclists, no Redhook Crit, and getting Vision Zero wrong

The USC Cycling Team needs your help to do the right thing.

The cycling team is hosting its first bike race in six years, and wants to offer equal prize money to both men and women.

Which is the way every race should be run. But usually isn’t.

As a result, they need your help to crowdfund just $1,500 to make up the difference in purses mandated by the sport’s arcane rules.

Here’s how they explain it.

Why are the women paid less? That is an existential question plaguing professional cycling, and it trickles down to amateur and collegiate cycling. There are fewer female riders, fewer female teams and promoters are less likely to provide big money for a race that can potentially only draw 12 women. At most races, if the number of registrants surpasses a given threshold, then the prize money doubles. This is how we first modeled our prize structure.

However, this traditional model misses the point. If women knew that equal prize money were up for grabs, teams would show up in full force.  But many racers, both men and women, often wait until the week before a race to register, especially if they are local and don’t have to plan travel. So, women are checking the registration page in the days leading up to a race, weighing the costs of registering against the possibility of their winnings. Field-contingent prize money holds many back from registering.

The event takes place the first weekend in March, with the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race for collegiate cycling teams on Saturday, March 2nd, and the first ever USC Brackett Grand Prix on Sunday the 3rd.

As of this writing, they’ve raised $271 of the modest $1,500 goal, leaving a gap of just over $1,200.

Which we should be able to help them raise without breaking a sweat. Or maybe someone with slightly deeper pockets would like to sponsor the women’s races.

Because frankly, they race just as hard as the men do.

And deserve every bit as much.

Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would require sporting events that take place on state-owned land to provide equal prize money for men and women.

About damn time.

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You can cancel those plans for New York this year.

In a surprising announcement, the Red Hook Criterium has been cancelled for 2019 due to rising costs and insufficient sponsorship funding.

Organizers promise the popular fixed-gear race will be back next year after they reorganize.

Although past experience tells us not to hold our breath, as races that are cancelled over funding too often don’t come back.

Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

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Huh?

An Alexandria, Virginia woman says Vision Zero isn’t working in the US because people are choosing cars over public transportation.

Which has little, if anything, to do with reducing traffic deaths.

She cites as proof the factually incorrect, traffic safety-denying Wall Street Journal op-ed recently penned by a Los Angeles lawyer.

And dissected and discredited right here.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of op-eds and letters to the editor on the subject is starting to raise questions over whether this is concerted effort to spread misinformation about Vision Zero and road diets across the US.

And we can probably guess who’s behind it.

………

Local

Watts-based Grammy award winning rapper Jay Rock is one of us, saying he was supposed to perform on the awards show three years ago, but couldn’t because he was laid up in the hospital following a bike crash.

Long Beach says e-scooters are here to stay, as they decide to expand the pilot program while imposing new fees and regulations on scooter companies.

State

The Voice of San Diego says the city can’t meet its state transportation goals without an entirely new vision dictating major changes in transportation. The same goes for Los Angeles, which will have to make wholesale changes in how people get around as part of its LA version of a Green New Deal. But don’t count on it anytime soon.

That’s more like it. Encinitas voted to lower the speed limit on the northern section of the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders.

A 32-mile Santa Cruz rail-to-trail conversion that’s been in the works for decades finally got underway with work to widen a railway trestle to make room for a bikeway.

The victim of Sunday’s fatal bike crash in Stockton is described as a talented sushi chef who was riding his bike to work after loaning his car to a friend with a new baby; sadly, he never got there.

National

We already knew NASCAR favorite Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he says he loves the suffering that’s part of long runs and bike rides.

Bicycling tells the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost her fiancé when he was killed in 2015 competing in just his fifth mountain bike race. And restarted her life by moving to the Colorado town where he died, founding a company to help first responders deal with backcountry bike crashes like the one that took his life.

Riding a tandem can make your riding and your relationship stronger. Or it could end it. Or so I’m told.

More ridiculous jurisdictional issues in Colorado, where the state brings ebike classifications up to the national standards established in California, but leaves the actual regulations up to each community. Which one again means what’s legal in one city could be illegal across the street — without riders ever knowing that they had crossed into a different community, let alone one with different rules.

Common sense wins the day in North Dakota, where legislators overwhelmingly defeated a bill to require bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night. Not that wearing reflective gear is a bad idea, but mandating it is.

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists shows Oklahoma City is the deadliest city in the US for bike commuters.

Lime continues its retrenchment on bikeshare, turning what used to be a fleet of dockless bike into a pile of trash after pulling out of St. Louis.

A Michigan man confessed to the 70 mph, hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after police found his damaged car hidden in a field under a tarp and a sheet of snow.

Nashville is close to approving an ordinance that would lower speed limits from 30 to 25 mph.

A federal judge ruled that Trump’s call to execute the driver who killed eight people in a terrorist attack on a New York bike path did not taint the case, leaving the driver eligible for the death penalty.

DC considers building a three mile bike and pedestrian path along the Potomac.

A DC policy site considers how bikeshare can be made more family friendly.

International

The LA Times says love is in the air when you ride a bicycle in Santiago, Chile.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers the pros and cons of traveling with your bike as opposed to renting one once you get there.

Nice guy. A Toronto letter writer says if you can afford a bicycle, you can afford to buy a license for it. And if you can’t, you can just walk.

Advocates call for more tolerance between Kiwi bicyclists and drivers; one rider says “just chill out and relax.”

The former world leader in dockless bikeshare continues its rapid decline, as Ofo gets the boot from Singapore after its license was suspended.

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay joins in on a fat tire race through the snowy Rockies in Crested Butte CO, complete with a brief video. As always, the Journal’s usual paywall issues apply.

A top Scottish mountain biker was none too pleased when she had to borrow a bike to compete in Spain, blasting British Airways for losing hers.

Cycling Weekly looks back at the rollercoaster career of the late, great Marco Pantani.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won’t be prosecuted on corruption charges by Belgian authorities — not because he didn’t do it, but because the statute of limitations has expired.

Finally…

Finding true love, if not your stolen bikes. Your next ebike could come from General Motors — but only if you live in Europe.

And your next dockless bikeshare bike could have lasers.

But not the kind that will let you singe distracted, angry or aggressive drivers.

Damn it.

Update: Bike rider killed in Indio police shooting; Redondo Beach rider seriously hurt in left cross collision

There’s been another fatal shooting of a bike rider, this time in Indio.

And this time, it definitely wasn’t gang related.

Because the police did it.

According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, 23-year old Alejandro Renden was riding in the 82400 block of Miles Avenue in Indio around 11:30 Thursday night when a police officer attempted to stop him.

Renden attempted to flee by riding between two buildings, then got into an altercation with the same officer when he returned to Miles Ave. Somehow, the altercation escalated into an officer-involved shooting; there’s no explanation why the officer fired his gun, or any suggestion that Renden was armed.

And without that, there’s no way to judge whether the shooting was justified, though his family says he wasn’t the type to resist.

Renden was transported to a local hospital, where he died about an hour after the shooting.

He is the second SoCal bike rider to be killed as a result of gunfire this year, and the second this week.

………

A Redondo Beach bike rider was severely injured in a left cross collision on Friday.

The rider, who was not publicly identified, was travelling north on Catalina Avenue at 7:55 am when he broadsided a car turning left from southbound Catalina onto eastbound Carnelian Street.

According to the Easy Reader, the 40-something male rider suffered numerous broken bones and a severe head injury, despite wearing a helmet. The victim was reportedly riding at a high rate of speed, and hit the car with enough force to shatter his racing bike into multiple pieces.

As a police spokesperson noted, a helmet offers protection at slower speeds, but is of little use in a high speed collision. However, assuming he does survive, it may be thanks to whatever protection his helmet did provide under the circumstances.

It sounds like prayers, or whatever good thoughts you’re comfortable with, may be in order.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: Jim Lyle forwards what looks like good news on the condition of victim. He’s now in stable condition, and thankfully appears to have avoided any significant brain injury. 

His body is another matter, however. Lyle reports the man — whose name I’m withholding unless I receive permission from the victim or his family or it appears in the press — suffered six to nine broken ribs, a broken femur, broken tibia, breaks to both wrists and hands, broken collar bone, broken clavicle, a gash to his cheek and significant road rash to his left ear.

I’m told the damage to his wrists and hands is the most serious problem, with the potential to be life changing. He’s already had several surgeries to his femur and wrists, and faces more in the morning.

I hope you’ll join me in offering prayers and best wishes for a fast and full recovery.

………

The USC cycling team hosts its first ever crit in Culver City this Sunday, along with a bike expo, children’s bike rodeo and gourmet lunch trucks from 7 am to 12:30 pm. The course will run along a route formed by Steller Drive, Warner Drive, Hayden Ave and Eastham Drive, with easy access from the Expo Line and Ballona Creek bike path.

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SSJersey_Together-300x300The LACBC offers a stylish new kit for the spandex crowd. Having gotten my hands on last year’s edition, these come highly recommended; it’s one of the few jerseys I actually look good in.

And the bright black color is surprisingly visible during daylight hours, while the white back and colored inserts should stand out in low light situations.

The kit includes everything from men’s and women’s shorts to socks, jacket and arm and leg warmers, all priced to be as affordable as possible. But don’t wait, orders are due by March 1st.

………

LA County Supervisors adopt a new ordinance promoting bicycling, walking, exercise and access to healthy foods to promote a healthier county. An LADOT report suggests uncalming city streets; more on that next week. LAist looks at next weekend’s Bike Prom. Westwood bike lanes get a mixed response from the Westside Neighborhood Council. Better Bike endorses John Mirisch for Beverly Hills City Council. A Santa Monica letter writer complains about those damn raging cyclists, criticizing riders who use the sidewalks and the ones who don’t with equal venom; thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the link. SaMo High is getting a new state-of-the art building — and a 125 space bike parking lot. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a session on Weight Training for Cyclists this Wednesday. New dad Steve Martin takes to his bike to get in shape; someone needs to work on his knock-kneed, hunched-over riding form, though.

A San Diego rider on a motorized bike suffers a serious head injury after falling as a result of a sudden stop. San Diego County considers a two-mile bike and pedestrian tube suspended from the Coronado Bay Bridge, where bikes are banned. San Diego’s Union-Tribune offers a photographic look at the Ramona High School mountain bike team. A Simi Valley cyclist with cerebral palsy gets a new bike from his friends at Ride 2 Recovery. A San Francisco writer asks what’s more practical, a ban on bikes or a ban on dangerous streets? BART considers letting bikes on their trains all day, every day.

Atlantic Cites says cars and robust cities are fundamentally incompatible. A 69-year old Provo, Utah cyclist is killed in a horrible collision as he’s hit from behind at a train crossing and pushed into the path of an oncoming train. The state also considers a vulnerable users law. Winter bike commuting can be challenging in the 49th state. Austin TX offers a new bike map with genuine road information to guide users. New Orleans begins testing a new bike share program. Hartford CT legislators want to ban riding two abreast, while Toronto moves to remove their requirement to ride single file. Boston cyclists demand justice after a grand jury fails to indict a hit-and-run truck driver who killed a cyclist. Work begins on restoring a Brooklyn bike path destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Merchants in New York’s Crown Heights neighborhood are up in arms because a bike corral is attracting the mustachioed fixie-riding menace. An Annapolis man plans to bike to all 30 major league baseball stadiums. President Obama’s “Fix it First” approach could be good for cyclists. A Virginia writer says the state’s failed attempt to ban dooring is an ignorant vote on a good bicycling bill.

An unnamed cyclist comes to the rescue after Victoria BC police are unable to capture a fleeing driver. London’s Guardian says cities need to be less about cars and more about people to fight climate change; same goes for livability. A new device offers a better way to get traffic lights to respond to bikes. Russia’s Katusha cycling team wins its appeal after being banished from pro cycling’s top tier. After she’s hit by a car, a New Zealand mayor wants the driver who hit her to pay for a new bike and helmet. New Zealand cyclists reject a call to make hi-viz clothing mandatory for all riders.

Finally, just because you’re drunk doesn’t mean you aren’t good to drive, right? Meanwhile, the UK offers a devastating four minute video to drive home the dangers of texting; I wish someone had the courage to do something like that over here. Thanks to Dave H for the tip.

Let me add a special thanks to Nick at the Westwood Helen’s for going above and beyond by dropping what he was doing to fix my brakes on Friday. Not only did he save my opportunity to ride on a perfect day, but he may have saved my ass from  particularly nasty right hook.

Evidence-hiding father Stephen Rush already out of jail; trade in your car for a bike in Woodland Hills

Dj Wheels offers a few legal updates, which I’ll try to catch up on in the next few days.

But one thing sure to get a lot of cyclists’ blood boiling is the news that Steven Rush, sentenced to a wrist-caressing 10 days in jail for helping his daughter Dominique hide evidence in the heartless hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero, is already out from behind bars.

According to Wheels, Rush was taken into custody around noon on March 6th, the day he and Dominique were both sentenced. And released less than two days later, at 6 am on March 8th.

Forty-two hours.

A virtually consequence-free Lindsey Lohan-ish spin through the judicial system.

Yeah, that will certainly send a message to anyone else considering hiding evidence of a crime.

As in go ahead. It’s no big deal. Just another dead cyclist lying in the road.

Shameful.

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I love this photo from UK bike blogger Karl McCracken, aka KarlOnSea, clearly demonstrating the harmful environmental effects of bicycling.

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Gas prices have you thinking about trading your car for a bike? Now you can.

Literally.

In a brilliant bit of guerilla marketing, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery is partnering with a nearby car dealer to let you trade your car for a new bike. Just pick out your bike, and go across the street to have your vehicle evaluated for its trade-in value. Then pop back to the bike shop to finish the transaction and ride off on your new bike.

The offer is good next week, starting Monday the 18th and running through Sunday the 25th.

It will be interesting to see if anyone takes advantage of it. And if any of those are new to bicycling.

But either way, the shop deserves credit for using current market conditions to put their name on the map in a big way.

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Santa Monica Spoke reminds us of tonight’s Bikes – Ballads – Beers benefit for fellow LACBC affiliate chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition at Little Bar. I won’t be able to make it, but it sounds like a damn fun — and very affordable — bike night.

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The USC Cycling Team invites you to join them for a benefit ride on Sunday, March 25th, offering your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty, all starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. The suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

Meanwhile, bike-friendly KCET looks at this weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race.

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American Cyclist offers a remarkably one-sided look at helmet use, relying on a largely discredited study citing an 85% reduction in head injuries for riders wearing helmets.

While I am a firm believer in helmet use, they are not magic devices that will miraculously protect the wearer against all harm. They’re most effective for relatively slow speed collisions, since their design standards only dictate protection at impact speeds up to 12.5 mph. And even the best helmet will do nothing to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Don’t get me wrong.

In over 30 years of riding, I’ve only needed my helmet once. And in that case, I’m damn glad I had it.

But let’s be honest about their limitations, and not pretend they can perform miracles.

……..

The great VC debate continues, as former advocate for Vehicular Cycling Rick Risemberg says cyclists should at least operate like vehicles around other riders. The Department of DIY strikes again, as Except Bikes placards suddenly appear on No Parking signs. Gary Kavanagh becomes an official Streetblogger. LADOT offers initial results on wayfinding input, and wants your take on biking through the Sepulveda tunnel under LAX; personally, I don’t even like driving through it. A pink bike may be the key to a murder investigation. Beverly Hills moves forward with a bike route pilot program with no discussion, at least not yet. Cal State Northridge police bust a pair of juvenile bike thieves; they must have really sucked at it to even get noticed. Lincoln Heights bike shop owners consider building a Velodrome for Eastside fixie riders. Altadena gets a five-mile bike boulevard in the new county bike plan. Women on Bikes SoCal interviews Steven Rea, author of Hollywood Rides a Bike. Long Beach will celebrate April Fools Day with a bike scavenger hunt; the city also offers the nation’s largest city-wide discount program for cyclists. Happy 104th birthday to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduno, who may be the worlds oldest living cyclist. Claremont Cyclist looks at last weekend’s Bonelli Park Pro Triple Crown, the U.S. Cup of mountain bike racing. The popular San Gabriel River bike path is getting an upgrade.

Newport Beach police with celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a crackdown on bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicle operators to promote bike safety, followed by another on the 24th; I have no problem with it as long as they focus on all violators, and not just cyclists; thanks to David Huntsman for the tip. San Diego gets a new Bayshore Bikeway, and SD riders are encouraged to help rebuild a beloved children’s bike park. The first leg of the 2012 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will take place next week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic; nice to see women riders finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. Work has begun on a new bike path to connect North and South Camarillo under the 101 Freeway. San Francisco police ignore witnesses and insist a cyclist intentionally crashed into the back of a road raging driver, evidently believing we bike riders are so insane we often crash into cars to get the driver in trouble; maybe this is how they see us. The field is announced for this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Atlantic Cities asks if the bikers’ rights movement is gaining momentum, quoting both L.A. attorney Ross Hirsch and former LADOT Bike Blogger Christopher Kidd. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske compares the lack of cycling support among U.S. officials with the newly found backing from UK MPs. Will Levi’s still be in the bikewear business in two years? A Scottsdale cyclist does everything right, and still gets killed by a possibly inattentive driver. Oregon loses a bike-friendly Republican legislator. Idaho considers a three-foot passing law, while banning two-abreast riding. The hazards of biking in the Chicago suburbs. Sports Illustrated looks at rising BMG cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

After a Canadian cyclist is apparently right hooked, police blame the rider for travelling too fast on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet; good thing drivers don’t have to take any responsibility in the Great White North. An 85-year old cyclist is critically injured by an unmarked police cruiser in bike-unfriendly Toronto; any guess how long they will take to place all the blame on the rider? A 93-year old Scot driver is charged with killing a cyclist celebrating her first anniversary. Scottish cyclists plan a mass ride on Parliament April 28th. UK rabbis declare this the Big Green Jewish Year of the Bicycle, and in an ecumenical gesture, drop in on the Archbishop of Canterbury to say hi. The Guardian asks if British bikes are worth buying — aside from Bromptons and Pashleys, of course; thanks to Evan G for the heads-up. A British solicitor says the common drivers’ excuse that a cyclist came out of nowhere is unacceptable. Surprisingly even-handed advice on how to make the road safer for Australian cyclists. Proposed stickers would warn Aussie drivers to look out for cyclists when opening their doors.

Finally, Volvo introduces a new outside airbag to protect cyclists and pedestrians; it won’t stop a distracted driver from hitting you, but it may hurt a little less. Then again, it will probably only be the most careful drivers who buy it, anyway.

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