Tag Archive for women’s bike racing

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.

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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.

Morning Links: Counting distracted drivers, join Team LACBC for Climate Ride, and SoCal women’s bike racing

If you’ve ever wondered if distracted driving is really a problem, don’t.

A Florida ad agency filmed 20 minutes of rush hour traffic on a local freeway to count how many drivers were doing something other than focusing on the road ahead of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBBVHzHV0c

Something tells me they could find even more by pointing their camera at LA surface streets.

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Team LACBC is holding a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride on Saturday.

They’re still looking for more riders who want to support the environment and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition while enjoying what could be the ride of your life. Or you can support some of the people already committed to riding it.

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We’ve featured a lot of news stories about bike racing the past few days.

Benjamin Goyette says there’s plenty of action right here at home, forwarding video of last weekend’s Pro Women US Cup race #1 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2y2NCrVtdA

He adds,

Despite her fresh injury after crashing hard last week, local favorite Larissa Connors collected precious UCI points with her 10th place finish in a strong field of Olympic athletes.

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Keeping up that theme, a rider for the Movistar team was injured by a rival rider’s disc brake during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, while the rider stuck by a race motorcycle suffered only minor injuries. Road.cc sums up the madness of the race.

And American legend Davis Phinney lists his dream cycling team from back in the day. While he includes a lot of great riders, my favorite would have to be Raul Alcala, one of the most exciting riders I’ve had the pleasure of seeing race in person.

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Local

The Times offers a great graphic explaining why it’s so hard to get bike lanes built in California.

Momentum Magazine looks at next month’s inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival; you can support the event and get your tickets by clicking on the ad to your right.

CicLAvia is giving away a case for your iPhone 6 to celebrate their 10,000th Instagram follower.

Santa Monica is hosting a bike swap on May Day.

Arcadia will host a meeting tonight to discuss June’s 626 Golden Streets festival featuring 17 miles of open streets in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has partnered with Caltrans to identify problem areas on PCH, including several that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk. As anyone who rides the highway probably could have told them.

The OC Register’s David Whiting says Orange County is missing out on millions of dollars in revenue it could earn as a mecca for mountain biking. Nice to see Whiting is still hanging in there with all the changes at the paper; while I may have disagreed with him at times, he’s definitely one of the good guys.

Someone tossed a basketball-sized rock through the window of a Costa Mesa bike shop and made off with a $2,900 mountain bike.

San Diego’s ability to meet it’s climate plan goals will depend on increasing density and convincing people to bike, walk or take transit to work.

A Coachella Valley writer says au contraire, bikes do belong in the wilderness.

The lawyer for a Yolo County driver accused of intentionally running down three bicyclists withdrew his plea of mental incompetency after it was pointed out the man has a documented history of feigning mental illness to avoid criminal charges.

 

National

Great idea. A Seattle couple operate a business instructing people how to incorporate bicycling into their lives, including how to ride to work.

That bike-hating Seattle radio guy is at it again, finding a city councilmember to support his contention that the city shouldn’t kowtow to “the more extreme elements of the bicycle community” by repealing its ridiculous mandatory helmet law. Even though Seattle is one of the few cities in the country that forces grownups to wear a skid lid every time they get on a bike.

Yes, bike riders are required to stop for school buses just like drivers, whether in Washington or anywhere else.

Texas police identify the schmuck who ran away after pinning two children in a bike trailer under his car. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Missouri legislators join cyclists for an annual ride around the capital to call attention to bike legislation and the benefits of bicycling.

Chicago is in the midst of a protected bike lane boom, with plans to build nine miles this year and another 50 within three years; they currently have 290 miles of bike lanes, protected and otherwise, throughout the city.

Indiana University’s annual Little 500, made famous in everyone’s favorite bike movie, will roll for the 66th time this weekend.

Better late than never. Tennessee finally gets around to banning cars from bike lanes.

A DC paper seems surprised to find there’s actually a lawyer specializing in bicycle personal injury cases. You can thank the two great attorneys on the right who sponsor this site, and find a bunch more on the Resources page.

Caught on video: A Florida bicyclist suffered a broken orbital bone when he was sucker punched by teens in a Jeep.

 

International

HuffPo Canada says fewer children are biking and walking to school, and that hurts everyone.

A British grass track bike race was first held in the 1860s. But there won’t be a 125th edition this year.

Unbelievable. An Aussie man gets just 19 months behind bars for a fatal hit-and-run, despite not having a license — and despite a previous conviction for hit-and-run. And despite facing charges involving dishonesty 26 previous times. More proof that the failure to take traffic crimes seriously isn’t just an American problem. Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

A New Zealand man fixes hundreds of bikes to give away to children each year.

 

Finally…

A new wireless speaker fits in your water bottle holder for when you want to annoy everyone else with your taste in music. And the 12 most ridiculous bicycling accessories.

Or bikes, for that matter.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site.

It’s contributions like his that help keep this site going.

Morning Links: Tour of California finally opens up to women, women’s bike mechanic scholarships available

Now that’s more like it.

Not only does next year’s Amgen Tour of California finish with a stage from LA Live to Pasadena, it also feature three — count ‘em, three — women’s stage races in addition to a women’s time trial.

If all goes well — and it will — maybe women will finally be allowed to compete on equal terms with the men in a few years. Or at least have a full eight-stage tour of their own next to the men’s tour.

Now if we can just get rid of those anachronistic podium girls.

Note: The original story in the Daily News said the final stage would finish at the Rose Bowl, however that has since been changed to a more generic Pasadena finish. So I have revised this section to reflect that.

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Attention wannabe women wrenches.

And yes, that’s wrench, with an R, before anyone gets overly offended.

A collection of bicycling companies have teamed together to offer 10 full-ride scholarships for women to attend the United Bicycle Institute’s Professional Shop Repair and Operations Workshop.

The scholarships are open to both experienced and aspiring bike mechanics over the age of 18 who are US residents and employed by a bike shop, and will cover the full cost of tuition and lodging for the two-week course.

Better find a bike shop job quick before the November 20th deadline.

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Local

Steetsblog’s Joe Linton analyzes the LA Times Sunday editorial calling on the city to avoid a war on cars.

Cycling Weekly looks at LA’s own Stoopidtall bike.

El Segundo police bust a pair of burglars and recover three “distinctive” bicycles in the process.

Bad news from Norwalk, as a bike rider in his 50s was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting.

 

State

Riding in Big Bear can give you a serious workout combined with great views.

Seriously? The people in charge of the Golden Gate Bridge want to charge cyclists and pedestrians just to use the crosswalk.

The local Sonoma paper says goodbye to Michael Torckler, the Kiwi cyclist who was nearly killed while riding in the area two years ago, as he moves back home after losing his sponsorship.

 

National

Outside Magazine says self-driving cars will be the best thing that ever happened to cyclists. We can only hope.

A salmon cyclist and the driver who hit him could both face citations in St. George UT.

A local TV station says Cleveland cyclists fear for their lives amid a growing bikelash from drivers.

Illegal Central Park bike vendors battle in New York.

A Richmond VA writer responds with surprising reasonableness to anti-bike complaints from motorists.

In a tragedy that mirrors the Milt Olin case, a Florida sheriff’s deputy was found at fault after drifting out of his lane while using his patrol car’s onboard computer and killed a 15-year old cyclist. No word on whether he’ll face charges, unlike the driver who killed Olin.

 

International

Jared Leto goes for a bike ride in Rio.

What a waste. A British student is stabbed to death in a dispute over a bike worth the equivalent of just $145. Although I suppose it would be every bit as sad if the bike was worth ten times that amount.

A Brit bike rider comes within an inch of severing her femoral artery after she’s impaled by her brake lever.

Kiwi bike advocates protest as a driver walks free despite being convicted of killing a cyclist.

The mayor of Seoul, Korea calls for more bike-only roads after the city sees 13,000 bike collisions over a five-year period.

 

Finally…

Someone in a British town posted signs warning “Lycra louts” aren’t welcome there. Bike Snob offers his typical practical yet cynical advise on how to keep your bike from being stolen.

And a letter writer in Alexandria VA bizarrely compares a new city ordinance allowing bikes on the sidewalk to the infamous Reichstag fire that helped Hitler consolidate power in Nazi Germany.

The Tour of California — a second tier tour or a better alternative?

Over the weekend, the Amgen Tour of California concluded with a final circuit race through the Thousand Oaks area, as Michael Rogers clinched the overall title by just nine seconds over Dave Zabriskie and former champ Levi Leipheimer.

The prior day featured the Downtown L.A. time trial, which failed to live up to predictions as the deciding stage when no one took control of the race. Will got there just in time to catch Leipheimer leaping past, while others focused on the bikes that weren’t in the race and the Daily News looked at the more extreme bike race fanatics. And some complained that it was just too bad that all those bikes blocked access to the action inside the Staples Center.

But the real action was further off the course, of course.

After destroying what little was left of his own credibility, admitted doper Floyd Landis attended the L.A. time trail, but didn’t talk to reporters about his accusations against Lance Armstrong, Zabriskie, Leipheimer and George Hincapie, as the Times suggested he has nothing left to lose and disappointment abounded in his hometown.

On the other hand, he may soon have company as reports indicate that at least two of the riders Landis pointed his drug-stained finger at have been offered leniency in exchange for cooperating with investigators. And not everyone loves or believes Lance Armstrong, despite his denial of Landis’ charges.

Meanwhile, in the race that carries a much higher profile among most serious cycling fans outside of California, Ivan Basso bounced back from a suspension for the Operation Puerto doping scandal — notice a theme here? — to win Sunday’s stage of the Giro D’Italia and swears he’s now clean, while David Arroyo kept the leader’s pink jersey.

And that’s the problem.

The Tour of California has the potential to be a great race — something the Coors Classic only briefly managed and the Tour of Georgia never quite achieved.

But it will never be more than a second tier tour until it can find a place on the cycling calendar that doesn’t conflict with the great classics. Most European based pro teams, and most high-level riders, would rather compete in the Giro than make the trip here for the relatively short, low profile and only modestly challenging ToC.

And given a choice, I would have much rather have watched Vinokourov, Basso, Wiggins, Evans, Sastre, et al, battle it out, if only Time Warner carried it.

On the other hand, while the men’s pro calendar is crowded, the women’s schedule is desperately in need of an American grand tour of its own. And to the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been a high-profile multi-stage women’s tour in the U.S. since I watched Jeanie Longo, Maria Canins and Connie Carpenter battle it out in the Coors Classic before the ’84 Olympics.

So maybe it’s time for the people behind the Tour of California to consider a second race, either in conjunction with the men’s tour or on a date of its own later in the year. Because the men’s race will never be more than an alternative for the top pro teams until it can find its own space on the calendar.

But there’s a real opportunity to create the world’s most important, high profile women’s race.

And in a state that would readily embrace it.

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The Source names their 10 Essential Bikes as Transportation Blogs, eight of which are already on my daily reading list. There was a time when L.A. bike planners actually thought big. Long Beach’s bike-touring expats make their way from Denton TX — home of the world’s greatest nuevo polka band — to Shreveport LA. The struggle to strike a balance between bikes and motorists on one of the nation’s best roads for riding. Several cyclists are injured — two seriously — in an amateur race in New Hampshire; at least one of the commenters fails to grasp the concept of racing. Cincinnati requires bike parking in any motor vehicle parking facility with 60 or more spaces. Toronto considers switching to a complete streets model. A Montreal rider offers an extensive list of safety tips, yet oddly seems to consider a bell a life-saving safety device. A Brit woman claims to have lost eight dress sizes riding in her sleep under hypnosis. A London truck driver who killed a female cyclist last year admits to being on his cell phone at the time, as the prosecutor presses for stiffer charges. Jakarta cyclists get a Bike to Work Center, not just a day. In an ecumenical approach to peace, 120 Bedouin children join 10,000 Israeli cyclists on bikes donated by a fellowship of Christians and Jews. A Cervélo rider who crashed out of the ToC crashes again, this time while driving drunk in Germany .

Finally, Australia turns into a battleground as an Aussie rider is severely beaten by a driver after flipping him off, and a cyclist provides tragic proof that cyclists can be homicidal assholes, too, by fatally pushing the 71-year old mother of a former rugby star; he told a bystander “the bitch was in my way” before pedaling anonymously away.

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