Tag Archive for Vuelta a Espana

Monday morning links — more bike complaints, Vuelta wraps and youth triumphs in the U.S.

There seems to have been a common theme to online bike stories over the weekend.

As in, some people just don’t seem to like us.

For instance, a Boston writer who took up biking again as an adult criticizes the behavior of his fellow cyclists; while he may have some legitimate complaints, these sound like the rants of a gutter bunny who hasn’t yet learned the rights of cyclists.  Another Massachusetts writer takes a far more objective look at maintaining the delicate balance on the roads.

Then there’s this hopefully there’s this attack from a Victoria BC columnist who blames cyclists for terrorizing all those law-abiding motorists in their Bentleys. Maybe if they stepped out of their multi-ton cars and spent a little time in a more vulnerable road state, they might understand who’s really being terrorized.

In recently bike friendly New York, complaints rise about the rapidly rising number of cyclists and seemingly inevitable conflicts with pedestrians that results. Meanwhile, the patron saint of New York cycling, NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, may be getting a little blowback from a new less than bike friendly boss.

Meanwhile, a Minnesota cyclist responds to bike-baiting columnists in the local paper, while Dave Moulton drives and rides to the letter of the law, Baltimore Spokes uncovers a 13-year old paper in which a psychology professor says road rage is a culturally acquired habit and Portland Tea Partiers complain about bike Nazis initiatives.

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The final mountain stage of this year’s Vuelta features a climb steeper than the legendary Mont Ventoux, as hometown favorite Ezequiel Mosquera wins the stage while Vicenzo Nibali clinches the race. Tyler Farrar wins the final sprint, while Cavendish wins the points championship. Bicycling offers video highlights.

Here in the states, rising star Taylor Phinney edges Levi Leipheimer to win the U.S. time trial championship, while 21-year old Ben King wins the road title and announced he’s the newest member of Team RadioShack. Bicycling says youth was served in a Trek-Livestrong sweep.

And Floyd Landis finds himself banned from the upcoming World Championships, and doesn’t like it.

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Bicycle Fixation offers a detailed guide to bike tires. Gary offers images from the Santa Monica Spoke’s Park(ing) Day site; LAist looks at sites in East Hollywood and Silver Lake. Kate Hudson, her celeb parents and musician boyfriend bike by the Santa Monica Pier. Long Beach’s cycling expats publish Panniers and Peanut Butter, an ebook on bike touring gear and tips with a great title. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood says people aren’t dying in distraction crashes, they’re being killed by distracted drivers. A Massachusetts cyclist takes construction blocking the bike lane in stride, saying sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. A look at the popular Minuteman Bikeway. Cycling missionaries and the bike of Mormon. The New York times looks at Critical Mass in Prague. A look at the world’s fastest human-powered bikes; I dare you to try one of this at your next crit. A Brit rider plans to attempt a world speed record on an all-wood bike. Sussez police receive over 20,000 complaints about anti-social drivers.

Finally, Zeke discovers the downside of a cycling tan, returning from the beach with a tricolor complexion. And his L.A.-based biking brother David points us to an attempt to build a bike powered washing machine; as the designated laundry specialist for my household, I think I’ll pass.

Your weekend links: the Vuelta nears completion, volunteers wanted, a busy bikingweek

It’s here.

No, it's not from Specialized, despite the box.

Coming soon, my first ever product review.

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Phillippe Gilbert holds off Tyler Farrar to win stage 19 of the Vuelta; Cavendish looks to cement his points victory over the American sprinter. Fabian Cancellara drops out of the Vuelta just days before the finish, claiming he’s exhausted, and may not compete in next month’s World Championships. The legendary Eagle of Toledo says Gilbert is the one to watch in the Worlds.

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Here’s your chance to make a real difference on local streets as West Hollywood is looking for volunteers to join their new Bicycle Task Force. If you’re looking for a less demanding option, Glendale needs volunteers for next week’s bike count, while Long Beach needs volunteers for their bike count next month.

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Looks like a very busy week in the local bike world:

Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Saturday, September 18th, decorate your bike for the Bicycle Beauty Pageant, 8 pm to midnight, at 3191 Casitas in Atwater Village; $10 admission benefits CicLAvia and includes one free beer, free admission and one beer if you enter the pageant.

Also on Saturday the 18th, join the LACBC and Bicidigna for a Vuelta de la Bici Digna, a free ride with the Bicidignarias from MacArthur Park to Pan Pacific Park from noon to three, followed by food and soccer.

Flying Pigeon hosts a fundraiser for bike activist and CD 4 City Council candidate Stephen Box on Saturday the 18th from 7 – 9 pm at 3714 N. Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

Celebrate the third anniversary of C.R.A.N.K. MOB at C.R.A.N.K.MAS III, 9 pm on Saturday, September 18th and 7 am Sunday, September 19th; costumes mandatory.

On Sunday the 19th, the Los Angeles Wheelmen celebrate their 65th anniversary with century and half-century rides; $5 of the $30 ride fee will go to the LACBC.

LACBC Planning and Advocacy Committee discusses the bike plan on Tuesday, September 21st at Downtown’s Pitfire Pizza.

Hearings for the proposed bike are scheduled for September 29, 30 and October 2, with a noontime Webinar scheduled for Wednesday the 29th; click here for times and locations.

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A look at the invisible riders of Los Angeles. The L.A. bike community’s new BFF hosts a press conference on Wednesday to promote CicLAvia. More on the lawsuit against the Expo Line Bikeway from USC’s Neon Tommy. LABC calls for cyclists to attend the November 3rd sentencing of Angelina Everett in the Ed Magos hit-and-run. Bikeside looks at the upcoming hearings for the new bike plan. UCLA looks to replace their balky bike lockers. Green LA Girl visits the Santa Monica Spoke’s Park(ing) Day park. Even experienced riders can be dangerous idiots. Metro honors Caltech’s bike-to-work and bike-to-school programs. Biking DJ Benny Benassi tours the West Coast on two wheels.

According to a bike-riding member of Fresno’s finest, bike riders are almost always at fault in collisions; yeah, no hint of bias there. Bicycling says American cyclocross is at a crossroads. An angry driver admits he didn’t know the law and apologizes to a cyclist, but won’t shake her hand. Tall girls need cute bikes, too. It only takes a driver two seconds to turn off a cell phone. Changing the lives of addicts and ex-cons through bike therapy; link courtesy of San Diego cyclist and attorney Amanda Benedict.

A Fairbanks AK driver faces felony manslaughter and first-degree assault charges for hitting three teenage cyclists, killing one, after running a red light. An AK college student starts his own campus bike lending program. It might be Kansas, but it looks a lot like the roads I used to ride through the farmlands of Eastern Colorado; maybe now you know why I miss it so much. An Atlanta woman says she’s terrified of her bike, or more precisely, riding it in city traffic. Another day, another case of bike rage as an angry cyclist pulls a knife on driver who cut him off. Did Janette Sadik-Khan’s NYDOT really call cyclists jerks or are they just being overly sensitive?

Not surprisingly, British ORUs — aka, other road users — don’t think highly of bike riders; like “Oi! Cyclist! Get off the road!” for instance. Bikes Belong goes riding bikes with the Dutch. A teenage prison break by bike. More lust-inducing high-end bike porn from Eurobike, along with the new bikes from Cinelli. Coming soon, new ways to be seen on your bike. A British court awards a record-breaking £14 million — $21 million U.S. — to a cyclist permanently injured in a collision. A Zimbabwe boy and his new bicycle, courtesy of World Bicycle Relief. A new world record for circumnavigating the Earth by bike. China’s formerly bike friendly roads take a turn for the worse. Nicosia, Cyprus celebrates No Car Day.

Finally, the best line I’ve seen in months: Q. What’s the difference between an arrogant jerk in an SUV and an arrogant jerk on a bicycle?

A. 4,000 pounds, and not a damn thing else.

Speaking of which, you gotta watch out for those dangerous bicycle gangs.

Best wishes for a blessed Yom Kippur, g’mar chatimah tovah.

Your weekend links: this week’s events, a Vuelta victory bunny hop & a Brit bike-hating twit

Upcoming events for this week:

Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

The Spoke’n’art ride rolls on Saturday the 11th, visiting five galleries along the route.

On Sunday, September 12, attend a free screening of the film Bogotá Change at Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles; screening starts at 4 pm, with discussion to follow at 5 pm. RSVP via EventBrite.

Sunday also features the LA Tamale Throwdown at 3 pm, complete with bike valet, and again at 7 pm on the 14th; locations to be announced.

Bikeside will hold its third organizing session for their Life Before License campaign on Sunday the 12th, as well.

Make your plans for Parking Day LA on Sept. 17th.

Saturday, September 18th, decorate your bike for the Bicycle Beauty Pageant, 8 pm to midnight, at 3191 Casitas in Atwater Village; $10 admission benefits CicLAvia and includes one free beer, free admission and one beer if you enter the pageant.

Celebrate the third anniversary of C.R.A.N.K. MOB at C.R.A.N.K.MAS III, 9 pm on Saturday, September 18th and 7 am Sunday, September 19th; costumes mandatory.

Also on Sunday the 19th, the Los Angeles Wheelmen celebrate their 65th anniversary with century and half-century rides; $5 of the $30 ride fee will go to the LACBC.

Click on the Events page for more events beyond this week.

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After winning his first stage of the Vuelta yesterday, Mark Cavendish repeats on Stage 13 — and does a bunny hop over the finish line to celebrate. The Manx Missile — aka Cavendish — is now positioned to win the overall points classification, which is different from the general classification, still lead by Igor Anton.

Meanwhile, the Tour of Britain kicks off on Saturday; BikeRadar looks at the contenders. And Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack is snubbed by next month’s Tour of Lombardy.

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LADOT Bike Blog continues its excellent series on local laws on sidewalk riding throughout L.A. County; if you get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk after this, it’s your fault — although a little local signage would be nice. LACBC shares a listing of the city’s upcoming bike plan meetings. Glendale needs volunteers for this month’s bike count. More on Councilmember Grieg Smith’s proposal to let Neighborhood Councils veto review biking infrastructure. Now appearing in Hollywood, ice cream, $295 cargo shorts, $158 pink sweatpants and pre-assembled fixies. Claremont Cyclist shares another of his favorite rides. Bike valets hit the City by the Bay. Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says if a police officer tells you to stop, stop — and if he’s wrong, then deal with it in court. Sauced cycling is legal in Illinois; but don’t try it in California. Is that your bike seat or are you just happy to see her? A Vancouver driver uses his dash cam to record law-breaking bicyclists. Bicycling looks at trends from EuroBike you could seeing in your LBS soon. How to become a better hill climber. Bike share comes to Dumphries, Scotland; well, maybe not quite yet. Evidently, London’s Boris Bikes are increasing property values; maybe because some riders are being seriously overcharged. British university professor Dr. Ian Walker says bike helmets are a “red herring.” All I know is I’ll never ride without mine; it’s been two years and 364 days since it saved my life. Speaking of which, Just Another Cyclist wants to know what you think about them.

Finally, a local UK official says “bikes are more dangerous than any car” and “should be paying road tax” — which hasn’t existed since 1937 — “and have insurance.”

I say we give him a choice between getting hit by a car or a bike, and see which one he actually picks.

Labor Day links: Palm Springs cyclist killed; witness the birth of ciclovía

A cyclist was struck and killed near Palm Springs on Saturday.

Thirty-six year old Palm Springs resident Milen Dimitrov was hit by a full-sized pickup truck traveling the same direction on Highway 111 northwest of Overture Drive at 6:30 am. He died at the scene less than half an hour later.

The driver stopped at the scene, and police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

Kind of a sad commentary when it’s news that a driver didn’t flee after a crash.

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On Sunday, September 12, attend a free screening of the film Bogotá Change, including the birth of ciclovía, at Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles; screening starts at 4 pm, with discussion to follow at 5 pm. RSVP via EventBrite.

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In Saturday’s 8th stage of the Vuelta, Cofidis mountain specialist David Moncoutié takes the stage win, while Anton Igor moves into the leader’s jersey. David Lopez, a domestique for the now-banned Alejandro Valverde, wins stage 9 in a solo breakaway. Britain’s Team Sky withdraws from the race following the death of soigneur Txema González; the peloton observes a moment of silence in his honor.

Lance Armstrong faces yet another investigation, as arch-nemesis Floyd Landis files a federal whistlebower lawsuit; he isn’t the only one, as Italian authorities widen an investigation into sprinter Alessandro Petacchi.

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Three LAPD bike officers are involved in the shooting death of a knife wielding man in Westlake. Johnny Knoxville at the L.A. Bicycle File Festival, on one of Flying Pigeon’s Nihola bikes. L.A. Observed writer Kevin Roderick spots Arnold and Maria, aka Gov. and Mrs. Schwarzenegger, biking on Santa Monica’s Main Street; maybe they were checking out the route for that city’s ciclovia. A writer for the Daily Beast says stylish women lead the increase in bike ridership across the U.S. A Colorado trucker is cited for violating the state’s three-foot passing rule after striking a cyclist; yet when a Massachusetts cyclist is grazed by a passing car, it somehow does not violate that state’s three-foot law. Doing Denver by bike, even if local police are targeting cyclists riding on the sidewalk. A ghost bike is installed for a 19-year old cyclist killed in New Mexico while on a cross county ride to raise money for cancer research. A Utah mountain biker is critically injured when he loses his front wheel. BikeRadar talks with Keith Bontrager; yes, that Bontrager. NYC backs off on a plan to remove ghost bikes. A retired priest rides 5,000 miles from the Pacific Northwest to Key West. Over a million cyclists have crossed a Vancouver bike bridge, but a safety expert says that isn’t enough. The mother of a woman who rode into a truck while listening to headphones urges cyclist to learn from her mistake. Building a bike lane from Denmark to Deutschland. British Olympian James Cracknell gets back on his bike six weeks after nearly being killed in an Arizona collision — and just one day after being released from the hospital. London prepares for escorted bike rides as Tube workers plan a strike for Monday. Britain’s heir to the throne is criticized for taking a train to promote biking as green transportation. Singapore police arrest a serial molester who stalked his victims by bike.

Finally, London Mayor BoJo, Olympic Champion Chris Hoy and model Kelly Brook lead 85,000 cyclists on a 15 kilometer tour of the City, though the tabloids note the biking Brook seemed a little wobbly, despite her high heels and high visibility top.

Advice from a pimp on making PCH safer and more livable for everyone

I’ve met some interesting people over the years.

I once had a long philosophical discussion with a drug dealer when my car happened to break down on his corner, and talked with a Super Bowl-bound football star about his premonition of scoring the winning touchdown — one that fell just inches short of coming true.

Then again, a lot of championships have been lost on almost.

I’ve shared drinks with future rock stars before they made it big, and chatted with others who should have made it but didn’t. I’ve known powerbrokers and paupers, pimps and politicians. Not that there’s a lot of difference between the last two.

In fact, it was a pimp who offered some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

I was working in a jewelry store at the time; he walked through the door, just an ordinary looking guy in a business suit — if you ignored the fur hat, flashy jewelry and even flashier women on either arm.

After briefly cruising through the store, he asked me to show him a very expensive ring — for himself, of course. But stopped me when I started to tell him the price.

“Don’t matter,” he said.

When I seemed surprised, he explained. “If I want it, the price don’t matter ‘cause I’ll pay whatever it costs. If I don’t want it, don’t matter ’cause I won’t buy it.”

“Only matters is if I don’t know what I want. And then I’d be a damn fool to let the price talk me into it.”

The current situation in Malibu is kind of like that.

If they truly want to make PCH safer, they’ll find a way to do it, whatever it takes. And come up with policies and infrastructure solutions that will benefit everyone — cyclists and drivers, residents and visitors.

If they don’t, then nothing will really change. They’ll ticket a few riders for running red lights, pull over some speeders and bust a handful of drunk drivers. And people will continue to die on a highway that doesn’t work for anyone — least of all the people who live and work there.

The real problem is if they don’t know what they want. Like if they want to improve things, but consider the problems they face insurmountable, the costs too high. Or if the obvious solutions, such as traffic calming and reduced speed limits, increased enforcement and on-road bike lanes — or an off-road bike path that bypasses PCH entirely — are rejected out of hand, whether because of the cost or a lack of will.

Or just rampant NIMBY-ism, because they don’t want to encourage cyclists to ride on PCH. And intend to continue letting conditions deteriorate until we stop riding past those high-end homes that line the beach on the eastern part of the city.

Note to Malibu: Ain’t gonna happen.

So our job, as cyclists, is not to fight with the city until we convince them to do nothing because it’s not worth the aggravation of dealing with us.

But to convince them to work with us to improve safety and take a Complete Streets approach to PCH, because it’s in everyone’s best interest. And the law.

And will make Malibu a safer and more livable city.

For all of us.

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And then there were five. Or maybe five-and-a-half.

As Damien noted on Streetsblog Tuesday, the long awaited sharrows on Westholme Ave. have disappeared without warning, victim of a slurry-sealing project that has been underway in the Westwood area for the past few weeks.

I discovered it on Tuesday when I set off to ride some hills, starting with the long step climb up Westholme. About a block or so after crossing Wilshire Blvd, the tell-tale jet-black pavement appeared and the sharrows disappeared, lost beneath the thin veneer of slurry until just before Hilgard.

According to Damien, LADOT seemed to be as surprised as the rest of us; evidently, the Bureau of Street Services evidently failed to notify them of the plans. Or noted the strange hieroglyphics on the pavement, and never thought to ask if maybe they happened to be something important before covering them over.

LADOT Bike Blog indicates that getting those sharrows back will be a top priority for the department.

But maybe next time, biking’s new BFF, Mayor Villaraigosa, might want to make sure the people who work for him talk to each other before they do something stupid.

Again.

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Vuelta stage 4 winner Igor Anton suggests Joaquim Rodriguez has the best chance of winning among the home-turf Spanish riders. Alberto Contador, who’s sitting out the Vuelta, injures his knee in training. And more tributes pour in for cycling great Laurent Fignon, dead at age 50.

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Metro says fire officials consider groups of cyclists on trains a fire hazard. Important meeting Wednesday night on the Santa Monica Agensys bike path-blocking project. Speaking of Santa Monica, LA Creek Freak looks at the planned conversion of lower Ocean Park Blvd into a green Complete Street; if you happen to be a Malibu city official, click on the link. Please. LADOT Bike Blog examines sidewalk riding laws in the San Gabriel Valley. Ride with the Ovarian Psychos/Cycle Bicycle Brigade. San Diego considers making the central plaza in Balboa Park car free. A cyclist hits a trolley in East San Diego County. Several California bike clubs risk losing their non-profit status, including some in the L.A. area. San Francisco finishes its first new bike lane since the injunction was lifted. Bicycling suggests 15 proven ways to get faster, and offers tips on how to teach your child to ride to school. New York continues to lead the way to safer streets, with a planned experiment to reduce speeds to 20 mph. A small Texas town now requires a permit for groups of 10 or more cyclists; no word on whether groups of cars will now require permits, as well. A driver picks up his dropped cell phone, and find himself in the bike lane when he looks up — just before hitting a cyclist. A Kansas cyclist leaves a message in chalk to thank the woman who saved his life. Connecticut starts a 3-foot law bike safety campaign. Brit model Kelly Brock rides her bike at the Tower of London, and looks a lot more comfortable on two wheels than London’s biking Mayor BoJo.

Finally, the definition of irony, as bike-banning Black Hawk, Colorado invites the League of American Bicyclists to come gamble at their casinos.

But, uh, leave your bikes at home.

Two-time Tour de France champ Lauren Fignon dies

Biking great Laurent Fignon passed away from cancer today.

Fignon was a two-time Tour de France winner, taking back-to-back yellow jerseys in 1983 and 1984; he could have easily won a third, losing to Greg LeMond in one of the most memorable races in Tour history.

In 1989, LeMond was attempting to make a comeback after a nearly fatal hunting accident, racing with 37 shotgun pellets in his body — including two in the lining of his heart. Fignon held a seemingly insurmountable 50-second lead heading into a final individual time trial; yet LeMond used an early aero bar to finish improbable 58 ahead of Fignon, winning the tour by the closest margin in TdF history.

BikeRadar quotes LeMond honoring Fignon as a great champion.

“It’s a really sad day. I see him as one of the great riders who was hampered by injuries. He had a very, very big talent — much more than anyone recognized,” LeMond told France 24 television.

“We were also team-mates, competitors, but also friends. When he lost the Tour de France in 1989 it was one of the few where I felt we both won,” said the three-time Tour de France champion.

“The saddest thing for me is that for the rest of his career he said he won two Tours de France, when in reality we both could have won that race.”

Lance Armstrong honored Fignon, the winner of 76 races over his career, as a “dear friend and a legendary cyclist,” and goes on to add “We will miss you. RIP LF.”

Fignon admitted to doping during his career, but did not know if they may have contributed to his illness.

He was just 50-years old.

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Philippe Gilbert wins stage three of the Vuelta to claim the leader’s jersey; Joaquin Rodriguez moves to second as riders struggle with the heat of Andalucia. Temperatures cool slightly in stage four, as Igor Anton wins Spain’s first home-field stage victory and moves into second overall.

Thor Hushvold is the first of the former Cervelo riders to move to the new Garmin-Cervelo team.

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Join the LACBC and get a free ticket to the Bicycle Film Festival. Gary offers a schedule of upcoming meetings about the Agensys bike path debate in Santa Monica; the first one is tomorrow night. The newly revitalized Streetsblog looks at the issue of bikes — folding and otherwise — on Metro trains. Ten places of worship along the CicLAvia route; identify the 10 11 mystery photos along the route and win CicLAvia T-shirt. An Examiner writer tells drivers we don’t block traffic, we’re part of it; thanks to @LosAngelesCM for the link. Giovanni Ribisi bikes on PCH in Malibu; I wonder if he jumped the lights? Someone steals a teenager’s bike while he’s trying to pawn a stolen violin. A frightening encounter with a knife-wielding man points out another risk riders face on the streets. A Chicago cyclist is killed riding the wrong way on a busy expressway where bikes aren’t allowed. Kailua HI begins the islands’ first year-round bike share. In an apparent repeat of the New York Critical Mass incident, a Boston CM rider is knocked off his bike by a cop, but may not pursue charges. Portland police offer insights on why stronger charges aren’t filed in some cases. A driver charged in a DC-area vehicular assault case is allowed to leave town and enroll in college, then charges are dismissed because authorities seemingly can’t find her. A Denton TX cyclist is intentionally assaulted by a hit-and-run driver. A Brit rider says she wouldn’t mind being a podium girl, as long as she gets a hot guy to kiss when she wins — and her sport gets the attention it deserves. Is a new congestion-free ad campaign to promote London cycling worth the £441,000 ($679,400) it cost? Seven mistakes cyclists make while riding. BikeRadar offers advice on the importance of avoiding skin cancer, something I can attest to.

Finally, a Colorado man faces trial for attacking a group of riders with a baseball bat; the driver claims self-defense, claiming one of the cyclists threw a bicycle at his car. Yeah, we cyclists are so crazy that we often get off our expensive bikes and heave them unprovoked at passing motorists.

Riding with a Greasy Wiener, Manhattan non-cyclists ticketed, the Vuelta rolls in España

Only in L.A. could a quick spin along the coast lead result in a Greasy Weiner, getting chased by a Balrog and discovering a badly malfunctioning calendar.

Let’s take that in reverse order.

Seriously, August skies should not look like this in Southern California.

On an otherwise hot and sunny August day, I rolled into Venice and stopped near the pier to scarf down a quick snack. And found myself suddenly transported into mid-January, as the fog rolled in and the temperature dropped a dozen or so degrees in a matter of minutes.

Maybe it’s just me, but I want a do-over on this summer. While the rest of the country has sweltered in record-breaking heat, L.A. cyclists have been donning cold weather gear when we head to the beach.

In August, no less.

Fortunately, the skies cleared a few hundred yards north as I continued on my way, even if it didn’t warm up all that much. Then as I approached Santa Monica, a work crew was setting up the stage for that evening’s concert on the pier.

Evidently, they were doing a sound check, using a bass drum to tap out a steady rhythm so they could check out the levels.

Maybe I’ve read the Lord of the Rings too many times over the years. But as soon as I entered the tunnel under the pier, the boom of the drum reverberating through the timbers, I was instantly transported to the Mines of Moria, with an angry Balrog hot on my trail.

Doom. Doom. Doom…

Fortunately, I managed to escape out the other side, without the assistance of Gandalf the Grey. And found myself surrounded with something far more frightening — a path clogged with tourists as far as the eye could see.

I’ll take Balrogs and Orcs over tourists any day. Nothing personal.

Somehow, though, after numerous stops and starts, swerves and shouted warnings, I managed to make it past the pier area and continued north to where the path ends, dumping riders who want to continue just a little further into the parking lot above Temescal Canyon.

A Greasy Wiener on the beach. Damn, that just cracks me up.

And as I rounded the curve into the final lot, I spotted one of the leading celebrities in L.A.’s food truck boom.

It could just be me. But there was something funny as hell in the idea of stumbling upon a Greasy Weiner on the beach.

Maybe I just need a little more sleep.

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In the most shocking news since the Mayor’s conversion to bike activist, a rollerblader is actually ticketed for skating on the Marvin Bruade bike path in Manhattan Beach — despite years of nearly universally ignored “bike only” markings. According to the Beach Reporter,

But the juxtaposition of bicycles, joggers, skateboarders and rollerbladers can lead to disaster on the bike path, according to city police, and bike path violations lead to an infraction and court date.

“It’s dangerous,” said Manhattan Beach Traffic Lt. Andy Harrod. “Bicycles and skaters and joggers just don’t mix.”

Note to Santa Monica: Evidently, it’s actually possible to enforce that restriction, after all. Who knew, huh? Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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The media jumps in on the helmet debate, as an ER physician says wearing a helmet is “the single most important thing you can do to determine whether you live or die” in a bike accident, while the BBC notes it may not offer as much protection as you think. A Chicago writer and bike commuter says she didn’t know the subject was up for debate, but Obama has decided to wear one after all; I wonder if the GOP will call that a flip-flop. And bike injuries and deaths cost the country over $5 billion a year.

Meanwhile, a bill requiring mandatory helmet use for underage snowboarders awaits the governors signature, a mandatory bike helmet law for adults could be next; thanks to Brent for the tip.

(For anyone who’s not clear on the subject, I’m for helmet use but against making them mandatory, with all due apologies to our new mayoral BFF.)

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The last of the year’s Grand Tours kicks off this weekend, as the legendary Vuelta a España — aka, Tour of Spain — starts with a team time trial; Contador is out, which means the field is wide open. My money is on Andy Schleck, but I’d like to see what a healthy Christian Vande Velde can do.

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In upcoming events:

Chinatown Summer Nights hosts its final weekend in Downtown’s Chinatown District from 5 pm to midnight, with DJs, food trucks, and cultural and cooking demonstrations, among other activities; free bike valet courtesy of LACBC.

Sunday, August 29th, LACBC hosts a breakfast and brainstorming session for River Ride volunteers; RSVP by email for more information and location.

Sunday must be volunteer day; CicLAvia is looking for volunteers for outreach canvassing along the CicLAvia route, starting at 3:30 pm on the 29th at Shatto Park; other volunteer opportunities will take place over the coming weeks. Email CicLAviaVolunteer [at] gmail.com if you’d like to pitch in.

LACBC hosts their second monthly mixer from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, September 1st at LACBC’s Downtown headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street. It’s a great chance to meet the staff, learn what the organization is doing and maybe even join up yourself or bring in a prospective member.

The curtain parts on the L.A. Bicycle Film Festival this Wednesday, September 1st and runs through the 5th; check the website for schedule and locations.

Flying Pigeon hosts a book signing with photographer and former D.A. Gil Garcetti (you may also know his son Eric) for his book Paris: Women and Bicycles on Thursday, September 9 at 7:30 pm. I had a chance to look it over at this year’s River Ride; if you love beautiful photographs of beautiful women on beautiful bikes in one of the world’s most beautiful cities — and who doesn’t? — this is a beautiful opportunity to meet the man behind the lens.

Make your plans for Parking Day LA on Sept. 17th.

Celebrate the third anniversary of C.R.A.N.K. MOB at C.R.A.N.K.MAS III, 9 pm on Saturday, September 18th and 7 am Sunday, September 19th; costumes mandatory.

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at the Grand Opening of Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, October 7th – 9th, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside. A reception will be held from 6 – 10 pm Thursday, October 7th; the exhibition continues through December 31st.

New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat makes its first L.A. stop on Saturday, October 23rd. The following day, Sony sponsors their bikeless Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

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Streetsblog reports on Wednesday’s fundraiser. Gary looks back at last Sunday’s successful Tour da Arts. A San Diego cyclist rides 15 miles to celebrate surviving a near fatal head-on collision one year earlier. Courtesy of Cyclelicious, a common sense guide for fat cyclists; one thing I’ve noticed about overweight riders, if you keep at it, you probably won’t be overweight very long. Your next bike jersey could be made from coffee beans; that should perk you up on those early morning rides. An Iowa cycling champion is seriously injured in a collision with a car. An NYC cyclist is critically injured in a hit-and-run. An OKC writer says the roads are crowded with bad and inexperienced drivers, so bikes don’t belong on there; it’s been a long time since I studied Logic in college, but something just doesn’t seem right with that argument. Yet another misguided bike ban, as a Texas town bans bikes from any roads under construction; seriously, they swear it’s for our own safety. Baltimore bikers are getting beaten up by teenagers; maybe they should ban bikes there so we’ll be protected from B-town beat downs. The Onion says Lance has something to tell us, but you have to promise not to get mad (remember, it’s satire, folks). Should London’s bike share program provide helmets for riders who want them? A tip for lazy riders: pick a route with lots of hills. One more reason to ride — you won’t have to drive a car that runs on fecal matter.

Finally, now Copenhagen cyclists get bike butlers to pamper their illegally parked bikes; I need to live a good life so I can go there when I die.

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