Morning Links: Life is cheap, as killer Palm Desert and Paso Roble drivers get off with gently slapped wrists

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is up to nine new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. But we really need to pick up the pace if we’re going to reach 100 new or renewing members before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

Even if you’re already a member, you can renew to extend your membership to support biking in the City of Angeles, and get some great bike swag courtesy of the LACBC.

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s joined so far.

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Once again, the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card worked its magic, as an 81-year old Palm Desert woman walked after admitting to killing a 73-year old handcyclist last year.

Judy Mae Purcell pled guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the January, 2015 death of Rose Peters, just as her trial was set to begin.

And as usual, she got off on probation by claiming she just didn’t see Peters before she left-crossed her, even though Peters, who was in a bike lane, was riding with the right-of-way.

Purcell received three years probation, and may lose her driver’s license; she also says it’s had a big impact on her life.

Purcell elected to speak at her sentencing, tearfully telling Lee and Peters (Peter’s daughters), “There’s nothing I can really say, I’m just so sorry.” She said the crash was “truly an accident. I just didn’t see her. I’ve lost a lot of friends over this,” Purcell told them. “I relive that minute every day of my life. Every night, you’re in my prayers.”

At least she’s been held accountable in other ways. Oceanside lawyer Richard Duquette, a cyclist himself, forwards word that Peters’ family has reached a substantial, but undisclosed, settlement in the case.

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A 20-year old Paso Robles driver got off almost as easy, as he’s sentenced to just 75 days in jail and 50 hours of community service for killing an LA cyclist and severely injuring a second rider in a 2014 collision.

That’s despite a long history of traffic violations, and being on probation for a speeding conviction at the time of the crash.

Joseph Mondo was driving a massive GMC Yukon when his phone slipped off his lap, where it shouldn’t have been to begin with. When he looked down to retrieve it, he nearly struck a vehicle stopped to make a left turn, barely avoiding it by swerving onto the right shoulder at 60 mph.

Then, in an astounding display of carelessness and stupidity, he once again took his eyes off the road to find his phone, this time killing 62-year old Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, as well as leaving her riding companion, 59-year old Newport Beach surgeon Lawrence Chong, with life-changing injuries.

As Chong said,

“What hurts the most is that I lost (Craig) because of the negligence on the part of someone else,” Chong said, according to the report. “All he had to do was pull over after he nearly rear-ended a car while reaching for his phone. If he had done so, my life would still be good and I would still have Lee. Instead my life is now a mess.”

Granted, Mondo seems to get it.

When he was interviewed by a probation officer following his no-contest pleas, Mondo reportedly said: “What happened has happened. If I could change places, I would. It has changed my life. Someone’s life was lost. I do not need to argue my innocence. I am guilty. I want to move on with my life. I will deal with the repercussions as they come.”

Then again, Craig will never get to move on with her life and Chong may never regain the life he had, while Mondo may have a sore wrist for a few days from the slap the judge gave it.

This is what happens when traffic crimes and prior tickets aren’t taken seriously.

………

Grand Rapids MI unveils a new $600,000 bike safety campaign, urging motorists and bicyclists to obey the law and look out for one another.

Although the TV spot does look kind of familiar.

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Local

A 0.8-mile stretch of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima will get a road diet, with a buffered bike lane on one side and a parking-protected lane on the other, connecting to the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path on the north end. Part of the city’s Great Streets Initiative, the Complete Streets makeover is intended to reduce speeding and improve safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino argues that part of the Metro R2 transportation funds should be used to repair LA’s crumbing streets since they form the foundation for all other elements of the transportation system, including bicycles. One of the city’s most bike friendly elected officials, Buscaino will be honored with the Golden Spoke Award at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Speaking of Good Samaritan, Downtown News profiles Good Sam CEO and dedicated bike commuter Andy Leeka. And a pretty nice guy too, if I say so myself; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

The LA Weekly lists Sunday’s semi-inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival at Grand Park as one of their 21 things to do this week. Although it’s not on Metro’s list of Bike Month events.

Bicycling recommends the annual 30-mile Stan’s Bike Shop/Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos as one of the 27 best places to find tacos in the US. But they somehow failed to include the Trump Towers taco bowl.

Ride with Metro and Bike SGV to the Huntington Library and Gardens this afternoon.

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual Shortline Crit rolls tomorrow in Long Beach.

Also on Saturday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio will host a free Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride tomorrow, heading up Glendora Mountain Road before visiting The Donut Man on the return leg.

 

State

Laguna Beach mountain bikers get to ride with their heroes.

Fortunately, an Apple Valley bike rider was sitting upright and talking after being hit by a pickup Wednesday night.

As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, Turlock police are looking for a man who stabbed a bike rider in the chest in an apparently random and unprovoked attack.

The Menlo Park city council votes to keep El Camino Real dangerous by sending plans for bike lanes back for further study until neighboring cities agree on a common design. “Sending plans back for further studies” usually means they don’t want to piss off motorists by approving it, but don’t want to piss off bike riders by saying no, either.

Sacramento police are looking for the owners of 60 stolen bikes that were recovered when a bike thief was busted.

 

National

Bike riders may be the only ones enjoying the closure of a Seattle viaduct. Meanwhile, you know Seattle’s bikeshare program is in trouble when the people responsible for running it aren’t even members, despite a discount for city employees.

After a cyclist competing in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila broke his bike crashing into a pile of riders who collided with a dog, he traded bikes with a fan and finished the race on an ‘80s era Specialized stump jumper. No word on how the dog made out, though.

Des Moines IA police are looking for two men who attacked a 65-year old bike rider for no apparent reason.

A new report says bicycling is booming in New York City, up a whopping 320% since 1990, even though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to protect cyclists and keep up with demand. Which just goes to show what can happen when you build an actual bicycling network rather than a few nice lanes here and there.

Count Woody Allen, who used to be funny, among those who think New York has done too much to accommodate bike riders and that bike lanes don’t belong anywhere in his upscale Upper East Side neighborhood. But he’s likely to get them whether he likes it or not.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is charged with stabbing a man who he claims stole his bike.

 

International

A new international study confirms that the health benefits of bicycling and walking far outweigh the risks from pollution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A British man gets seven years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he initially told police his car had been stolen and someone else was driving it, leading to the false arrest of an innocent man.

If you build it, they will come. This tweet really says it all about a new London bikeway in the shadow of Big Ben.

Researchers hope da Vinci’s DNA can explain his genius, which included sketching out a bicycle centuries before they were invented.

Bikes are the star of a planned Oslo office building.

An Indian man got a bizarre 10-petaled flower-shaped cataract in one eye following a helmetless collision with a car.

A Taiwan proposal would classify ebikes as scooters, requiring riders to have a helmet and a license.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a $341 40-mile ride in the rain. I don’t care what they say, it’s not a bike friendly town if kids are barred from riding bikes to school.

And luxury hotels may be fascinating, but you’re better off watching the road.

 

Morning Links: Introducing LA’s Peace Bicycles, Giro starts today, and don’t ride with a pellet gun in your pants

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is now up to eight new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, with just 92 more to go before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

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I’m a firm believer in supporting SoCal bike businesses.

Which is why I want to take a moment to introduce you to LA-based Peace Bicycles, makers of some pretty good looking seven-speed Dutch-style city bikes, in both step through and straight bar models.

The step through is available in your choice of colors, while the non-step through version, like the Model T, appears to come in any color you want, as long as it’s black.

Although I particularly like the fact that you can get it in a fully loaded commuter package, complete with panniers, lights and a cup holder.

european-commuter-bikes-1

peace-bicycles-buy-bikes-4-

And a portion of every sale goes towards buying a bike for someone in need.

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Sad news, as 21-year old Dutch cyclist Gijs Verdick suffered a pair of heart attacks while in Poland for a race, leading to brain damage from a lack of oxygen.

Bleacher Report previews the Giro d’Italia, which starts today with a time trial, while a Canadian sportswriter calls it bike racing’s ultimate test. Unfortunately, the Amgen Tour of California starts just one week later, weakening the field for both races.

Bicycling Magazine highlights six tour packages to see the Tour de France.

Ironman will now start checking triathletes’ bikes for signs of motor doping. When they find hidden motors in their Speedos, it will really be time to worry.

A German Paralympic cyclist hopes to compete in Rio using a 3D-printed prosthetic leg.

And maybe race motos have a purpose after all; a new study shows three of them following ten inches off your wheel cuts drag as much as 14 per cent.

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Local

Caught on video: CiclaValley and friends get buzzed on Nichols Canyon.

Richard Risemberg says LA doesn’t need a bike month when we can ride the other eleven months as well, but as long as we have one, you might as well enjoy it.

Evidently, it’s a crime to ride your bike in Sherman Oaks with a pellet gun stuffed in your pants. Or maybe just really stupid.

Culver City Walk ‘n Rollers will host a Kidical Mass Fun Ride on May 15th. Isn’t there something else happening that day?

Pasadena police bust a thief after reports of a suspicious person stealing a bicycle, catching him with the stolen bike in a stolen car filled with stolen property.

More than 50 Glendale elementary school students rode their bikes on Bike to School Day, accompanied by members of Bike Walk Glendale.

 

State

Like Santa Monica’s recent crackdowns, Newport Beach police will be on the lookout for traffic violations that threaten the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on Saturday and Wednesday.

It takes a real schmuck to flee the scene after running down a Goleta teenager riding his bike to school — on Bike to School Day, no less; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

San Francisco installs a new bike barometer to count cyclists on Valencia Street, to go with one already installed on Market Street, and two more on the way.

Oakland drivers can’t seem to figure out the new parking protected bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue. Then again, Cincinnati drivers still haven’t caught on after two years.

UC Davis students vote bicycling as the best form of transportation.

Oroville police are able to bust a bike thief off Craigslist because the victim’s parents had recorded the serial number. You can register your bike for free with Bike Index right here, including serial number and photos.

 

National

No surprise here. A new study shows bike riders absorb up to twice as much pollutants when riding in urban traffic than in low traffic or off-street routes.

Lifehacker offers a practical guide to biking in the city, while saying being too cautious on the road can be dangerous.

People for Bikes says the overly graphic Phoenix bike safety novels and Playmobil bike crash play set send the wrong message to kids. Gee, you think?

A much smaller Livestrong adjusts to life without Lance.

Forget riding across the US; an Ohio man ended his 8,300 mile ride around the perimeter of the US in Portland on Tuesday, raising over $16,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

Equestrians often blame bike riders for damaging trails; a group of Oregon horse riders prove it goes both ways.

No charges in the Boulder CO crash that seriously injured former pro cyclist Phil Zajicek this past March, as police determine the driver wasn’t at fault and decline to ticket Zajicek for crossing onto the wrong side of the road while descending. Evidently, they think the loss of his arm is punishment enough.

Denver will get new bike lanes and upgrades to existing ones, including a three-mile buffered bike lane and a green wave to keep riders from having to stop at red lights. Meanwhile, a Denver bike rider’s helmet is crushed when a bus door closes on it; he’s just grateful his head wasn’t in it.

A Cincinnati civil rights attorney rides his bike as a way of life.

Caught on video: A Tennessee bike rider can thank a 911 caller for saving his life; the caller was already on the phone with the 911 operator to report a near miss when a jerk in a pickup plowed into the rider and just kept going.

Things are getting better for Atlanta bike riders, though the city still has a long way to go.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Vancouver has already exceeded it’s goal of a 7% mode share for bicycling by 2020 after building a network of protected bike lanes. Which shows what could happen here if LA ever gets serious about building a safe, connected network to get riders where they need to go.

After much debate, Toronto votes to install physically separated cycle tracks on a major street on a trial basis.

The head of Great Britain’s cycling organization resigns following accusations of sexism. Meanwhile, a writer for the Telegraph says without greater transparency, the scandal risks spreading to the country’s cycling team. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

A new theft-resistant bike light currently raising funds on Kickstarter is built into the handlebars, requiring someone to dismantle your bike to steal it. Which never stopped any committed thief before.

A London writer says ditch the Lycra because it’s bad for the soul and almost no one looks good in it. No one says you have to wear spandex, just as no one should tell you not to; what works for one rider and one type of riding doesn’t make it right or wrong for anyone else. So get over it, already.

Evidently not satisfied with merely running bike riders over, the head of Britain’s Ryanair says cyclists should be taken out and shot because bike lane construction interferes with parking his car. No, really. And at a conference sponsored by the US Embassy, no less. I’d say more, but I can’t figure out how to react to his comments without using words like “f***ing,” “twit” and “jackass.” Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

 

Finally…

Seriously, no matter how pissed off you get, don’t beat a driver and his car with your U-lock. Evidently, you can forget how to ride a bike, after all.

And if you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you wear shoes that will stay on — and leave the cocaine at home.

 

Update: Cyclist killed riding wrong way in Lincoln Heights collision

Once again, riding on the wrong side of the road has claimed the life of a Los Angeles bike rider.

The Eastsider reports a bike rider identified only as a Latino man in his early thirties was hit and killed in Lincoln Heights early this morning.

The victim was riding south on Humboldt Street on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by a driver traveling north on Avenue 26 at 1:30 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information is available at this time. The site notes the investigation is ongoing.

A street view shows an intersection with four lanes on 26th, with an offset crossing at Humboldt controlled by a stop sign.

While some people believe riding against traffic is safer because they can see cars coming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to the LAPD, riding salmon is leading cause of serious bicycling collisions in many parts of Los Angeles.

In this case, the victim would have been hidden from view by the upholstery shop on the right side of the street, as well as any cars parked on the lot until the last moment — particularly if the vehicle was traveling at speed, which is likely given the hour. And the vehicle would have been hidden from his sight, as well.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has updated its story to identify the victim as 22-year old Los Angeles resident Giovanni Cali.

He was riding with a companion who saw the car and was able to avoid it; unfortunately, Cali did not see it in time. The driver remained at the scene, and was not under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Giovanni Cali and his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

Morning Links: LA County pays $1.3 million in death of bike rider, and SD sailor faces hit-and-run charges

We’re now up to six new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition after day three of the BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive, with just 94 more to go to reach our goal by the end of this month.

So tell your friends, family and fellow riders to sign up now to give bike riders a greater voice in our local communities, and help make LA County a better place to ride a bike for all of us.

And get some great bike swag, too.

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LA County approves a $1.3 million settlement in the death of Alfonso Cerda, who was run down on his bike by overzealous sheriff’s deputies who mistakenly thought he might have a gun.

As Cerda’s son put it, “If he was on his bike he had a flashlight, his wallet, and that’s it — and his happiness.”

Note: The original story from KNBC-4 said the settlement was for $1.7 million, but later revised it to show the amount as $1.3 million. I have revised this piece to reflect that. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the correction.

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A Camp Pendleton sailor will face trial on felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges in the 2014 death of bike rider Philip White.

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Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says most cops are motorists and many see the world from a windshield perspective, which is why they often get the law wrong and blame the bicycling victims.

In a similar vein, New York bike advocates justifiably demand the NYPD stop automatically blaming the person on two wheels.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman rides along with last Sunday’s third annual Unity Ride from Little Tokyo to Watts.

The publisher of the Jewish Journal says ebikes could be the best way to beat LA traffic.

The West Hollywood city council says no go to WeHoGo as the name for the city’s coming bikeshare system.

Alex de Cordoba shares photographic proof that people really are riding bikes in LA. Although someone appears to left their child locked to a Trader Joe’s bike rack.

Seriously, how stupidly car addicted do you have to be to drive away from a Van Nuys probation hearing about your double DUI license suspension?

 

State

The OC Register offers truncated results from Sunday’s Dana Point Gran Prix.

An Oceanside teenager was injured when he crashed into a truck while riding down a steep hill on a bike he’d just gotten hours earlier.

CiclaValley shares details of a recent ride through San Luis Obispo.

 

National

It’s National Bike to School Day. Bicycling Magazine offers advice on how to get your kid’s bike ready for the ride.

Portland’s Oregonian offers a beginner’s guide on how to ride to work. Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

There’s something seriously wrong when a Seattle bike rider isn’t even safe on the sidewalk from man driving while high. Or maybe low, since he says he was on a depressant.

An Iowa driver faces up to 25 years in prison for running down a cyclist while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Ohio AAA now offers road service for bike riders. So when will SoCal AAA get around to realizing that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too?

Is a possible $500 fine enough to stop Connecticut drivers from carelessly crashing into bicyclists and pedestrians? I didn’t think so.

What are New York bike lanes for? Evidently not bicycles.

A DC writer describes the life-changing magic of riding your bike to work. It’s worth the click just for the amazing illustration that accompanies the story.

A New Orleans man faces life in prison for shooting two teenage brothers after they allegedly pushed him off his bicycle; he called a friend to deliver the murder weapon he used in the shooting.

 

International

The Guardian gives tips on how to fix a flat, even if you don’t have tire levers. Or a spare tube. Or a patch kit.

An Amsterdam man invented bikeshare in the 1960s, even though it took decades to catch on, and his own city never embraced it.

Apparently not having injured enough cyclists, the disk brake trial may return to the pro peloton next month.

Add daydreaming to the list of motorists’ Get Out of Jail Free cards, as an Aussie driver walks after killing a cyclist because she just wasn’t paying attention.

China appears to have a love-hate relationship with ebikes.

 

Finally…

Nothing like coming wheelie close to a moving bus. If you can’t jack a bike, might as well steal a car instead.

And seriously, don’t head-butt the cop if you get stopped for reckless riding.

 

Morning Links: Adventures in crappy bike parking, and a plethora of open streets events coming your way

We already have five shiny new members of the LACBC on just the first full day of the first ever BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive. Which means there’s only 95 more to go to reach our goal of 100 new or renewing members by the end of this month.

So stop what you’re doing, and click on this link to join Southern California’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, and help make LA County a better place to ride a bike for all of us.

Not to mention you’ll get some great bike swag while you’re at it.

And a special thank you to those who have already joined. Or are about to.

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Thanks for the effort, but seriously.

Few things are more important to encouraging bike riding than finding a safe place to park your bike once you get where you’re going.

And few things are so often neglected.

As much as I’d like to, I won’t ride my bike to my doctor’s office because the only bike parking to be found in a several block radius is an old wheelbender rack hidden deep within the parking garage, where a thief would have time to pitch a tent as he leisurely sawed through my lock.

So I drive the three and a half miles, in as much time and with far more aggravation than it would take me to ride it.

I’m reminded of that because David Butler-Cole sent a photo of a series of relatively flimsy staple racks in the underground parking garage at the Target at Santa Monica and La Brea in West Hollywood. Which not only are hidden away where no one is likely to use them, but have clearly been converted to shopping cart parking.

bike parking

Then again, at least a developer a little further down La Brea had his heart in the right place.

In preparing a retail space on the trendy boutique-lined corridor for rent, they apparently considered the current boom in bicycling, as well as studies showing bike riders spend more at retail establishments over the long run than motorists do, while taking up far less space.

And so, invested in a trio of brand new staple racks before the unit is even occupied.

Unfortunately, they located them so close to the storefront that they’re virtually useless to any cyclists over the age of five.

La Brea bike racks 2

But I’m sure we all appreciate the gesture.

Right?

………

Today’s common theme is open streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton recaps Sunday’s sparsely attended open streets event in Downey, calling it a great event overall.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune examines next month’s massive 626 Golden Streets, an 18-mile ciclovía winding through seven SGV cities.

Yet another event in the San Gabriel Valley, as El Monte and South El Monte team up to host their own event on Sunday, June12th.

Of course, let’s not forget the granddaddy of them all, as CicLAvia visits LA’s Southeast Cities in less than two weeks.

And while it may not be an open streets event, Monrovia’s bike friendly music and beer-filled festival on the same day doesn’t sound bad, either.

MDMF FLYER

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Local

TV’s Inside Edition puts a GPS device in a $2,500 bait bike borrowed from Helen’s to see how long it would take someone to steal it. Short answer: not very.

The Eastsider says the removal of flood control barriers on the LA River bike path will take several weeks. And even then, only the west side of the river along Griffith Park will be cleared. Barriers will remain on the east side of the river and only be cleared enough to allow access to an equestrian crossing and pedestrian bridge, apparently leaving the bike path closed indefinitely.

CiclaValley offers a jam-packed calendar of Bike Month events, two of which we’ve already missed. Although he somehow neglected to include the BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive; just an oversight, I’m sure, especially since I neglected to tell him about it.

Speaking of the LACBC, they talk with Valley bike rider Erika Moreno as part of a new Bike Month series profiling people from around LA County.

The Echo Park Improvement Association will host a panel discussion this Thursday on Bicycling in LA “from the multiheaded bike god transforming civic politics in LA;” the speaker list reads like a who’s who of LA urban bike advocacy.

Santa Clarita is challenging businesses to get their employees to ride to work on Bike to Work Day on the 19th; the city is also looking for volunteers to help out at the finish of Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California on the 16th.

 

State

Over 400 Southern California police officers will ride in this year’s three-day, 280 mile Police Unity Tour to remember fallen law enforcement personnel. If any SoCal officers sill need to raise funds, send me a link to your fundraising page and I’ll give you a shoutout.

Writing for the Examiner, Edward Rubinstein says the Amgen Tour of California is coming, so batten down the hatches and prepare for severe weather.

The Times looks at the recent PCH safety study calling for significant improvements for the 37-mile segment of highway through Orange County. And it touches on the real problem; as long as we approach the highway from a city by city basis, rather than improving safety on the entire 37 miles, it will continue to be dangerous and dysfunctional.

Nearly 1,300 Orange County mountain bikers took part in the 50-mile offroad Ride for Rwanda to raise money to buy transportation bikes for people in Africa.

The Dana Point Times offers a look at last weekend’s Gran Prix.

Palm Desert provides a pop-up to show what San Pablo Ave could look like as a Complete Street.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Bike Month with Tony Molina of the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition. Meanwhile, a Fresno man lost 40 pounds after he took up bicycling, and reversed his Type 2 diabetes in the process.

A driver who commutes into San Francisco calls it the car-hating capital of the Bay Area, and says cyclists on busy streets are either road hazards or have a death wish. Although “very few” is not the right answer to his question of whether there are restrictions on what streets cyclists can ride; the correct answer is bikes are allowed on any public streets where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of limited access highways where there are alternate riding routes.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine wants to know how much you know about riding uphill.

Bike Portland looks at a new ad for Stromer ebikes, which uses the time-tested car ad model to sell a far greener form of transportation.

My hometown paper talks with local mountain biker Georgia Gould, who took bronze in the 2012 Olympics.

Forget riding to work; Providence RI will celebrate bike week with the H.P. Lovecraft-themed Tour de Tentacle. Cthulhu would undoubtedly approve.

Long Island cyclists call on the NYPD to start enforcing laws against blocking bike lanes, which motorists seem to do with impunity.

Pennsylvania cyclists will soon get a new 14-foot wide bike and pedestrian bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Once again, a bicyclist has been killed while riding on I-10, this time 1,900 miles away in New Orleans.

 

International

David Wolfberg sends word that the British Library is now posting one million copyright-free images online, including a treasure trove of classic bicycling images.

If current trends continue, bike commuters will outnumber car commuters in central London in just two more years.

A British charity ride has raised nearly $1.5 million to support over 14,000 Palestinian families.

A UK mountain biker wants to find the Good Samaritan who stayed with him and looked after his sons when he broke his neck in three places after a jump went bad.

A Glascow writer says she wants to cycle without being a cyclist. Which is sort of like saying you want to drive a car without being a driver.

Tel Aviv cyclists just got banned from the sidewalk, especially anyone on an ebike.

Singapore will now require developers to submit plans considering safety, convenience and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists in any new development design.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the NYPD is now offering a flat repair service, not that that’s a bad thing. You may not be able to afford a titanium frame, but at least you can have a ti bike lock.

And when you’re carrying a loaded flare gun in your waistband, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk, let alone with no regard for pedestrians.

And hope like hell it doesn’t accidentally go off.

 

Morning Links: Kick off Bike Month — and get bike swag — with the first ever BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive

Bike month officially started yesterday with the beginning of the National Bike Challenge.

And to celebrate, I’ve started my own bike challenge.

I’m challenging you — yes, you — to become a member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition this month. Or if you’re already a member, to renew your membership through this site before the month is over.

Because this marks the beginning of the first ever BikinginLA LACBC membership drive, with a goal of 100 new or renewing members during the month of May.

That’s just over three people a day.

In other words, you and two others.

Or looking at it another way, less than 1% of the people who will visit this site this month. Okay, a lot less.

Get your friends to join. Your co-workers. Your sister. Your brother-in-law. Anyone who rides a bike in LA County, whether you’re a bike commuter, a committed roadie, an offroad rider or someone who cruises along the beach every now and then.

You don’t even have to own a bike, or live here in LA. Just support a better, more livable and bikeable community for all us.

Simply put, the LACBC is the leading voice for bike riders in the City and County of Angels, advocating for safety, equity and justice for cyclists in the halls of government, with elected leaders and before boards like Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments.

As well as with cities and universities throughout the county through the LACBC’s local chapters and Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program, giving you a far more powerful voice in your own community.

Of course, it’s not all about fighting the good fight.

The LACBC is also about doing the right thing. Like handing out over 2,000 free bike lights through their Operation Firefly. Creating a free pocket guide to the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Doing the job the city should do by conducting bi-annual bike counts. And working tirelessly to pass and defend LA’s new bike-friendly Mobility Plan.

It’s also about having fun, with monthly Sunday Funday rides. The annual Open House and Firefly Ball. As well as various other activities throughout the year, including the upcoming, hugely popular LA River Ride.

Not to mention discounts at bike shops, restaurants and retailers throughout the LA area.

Better yet, sign up as part of this membership drive, and you’ll get cool bike swag through an exclusive arrangement with the LACBC, with memberships starting at an ultra-low $20.

So what are you waiting for?

Show your support for the LACBC — and BikinginLA — and sign up today.

Full disclosure: After six and a half years as an LACBC board member, I’ll be leaving the board after the June meeting due to my ongoing health issues; I’m simply not able to devote the time and effort I feel the position deserves. However, I continue to support the LACBC, and will remain a member for as long as I’m able to ride a bike in this city, and maybe longer; in fact, I just renewed my own membership.

This membership drive will be my last official act as a board member before I step down. So please, let’s make it a successful one.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a senior programs director and an organizer, both full-time, as well as a policy and outreach intern.

They’ve also opened up the search for new members of the Board of Directors.

And no, not just to replace me.

………

LA gets its first permanent ghost bike memorial to honor Australian tourist James Rapley, who was killed by a stoned driver while riding in the uphill bike lane on Temescal Canyon.

ghost bike

………

The Daily Breeze offers an update on the condition of Palos Verdes muralist Steve Shriver, who was critically injured when he was hit by two cars while riding on PCH in Malibu as he was heading home as part of a club century ride.

The paper reports he’s out of the ICU, but no word yet on whether he will suffer lasting injuries.

So far, a fund to help cover his medical expenses has raise nearly $82,000 out of a requested $250,000.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson is always funny. But some days, he also offers important information for anyone who rides a bike.

Today is one of those days, as he tells you how to file a police report about a threatening driver.

And why you have to.

………

South Pasadena is gearing up to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California on the 17th; Cycling Weekly offers a stage-by-stage breakdown of the race.

Pro cyclist Simon Yates escapes punishment, at least for now, as British Cycling says the banned substance he was busted for was an inhaler for his documented asthma problems. And yes, many elite cyclists really do have exercise-induced asthma.

Pro cycling’s governing body is using a specialized scanner they say is highly effective in examining bikes for hidden motors. On the other hand, if they haven’t uncovered any motor doping after examining over 500 bicycles, is it because no one is cheating or because the scanner’s not as effective as they think?

Cyclists rally around four-time national champion Mark Scott at this past weekend’s Dana Point Gran Prix, organizing a bone marrow drive for Scott, who needs a transplant to live.

And once again, a race moto caused a major cycling crash, as nearly the entire peloton competing in New York’s Red Hook Classic piled into the lead motorcycle after it stalled on the course just seconds after the start of the race.

………

Local

Work will finally begin on removing the flood control barriers blocking the LA River bike path, although there’s no timetable for completion.

The head of the LA County Health Agency reacts to being called a faggot while riding his bike. Although it’s unlikely the jerk called him that because he somehow intuited that he was gay; for a subset of indignorant drivers, that’s the term for anyone who rides a bike. Because “real men” drive cars, of course.

Richard Risemberg got cut off by an SUV driver who was clearly in the wrong, but chose not to respond in kind after the driver took it out on him anyway. As he says, it’s an old story, and one we’ve all seen too many times.

Santa Monica will host its first ciclovía on June 5th, with a two-mile route along Ocean, Colorado and Main through downtown SaMo.

Glendora will host a family bike safety rally next Saturday.

Unmapped utility lines and other objects are causing unexpected delays in remaking Carson’s eponymous main street into a Complete Street, adversely affecting businesses along the route.

 

State

A bill in the state legislature, AB 516, would require temporary plates on all new vehicles. The lack of temporary plates makes it nearly impossible to identify hit-and-run drivers, which is one reason they’re required in many other states.

A Hesperia cyclist suffered major injuries when he was rear-ended by the driver of an SUV.

Santa Barbara appears ready to choose parking over bike lanes, shunting riders off to a side street and away from the businesses that could use their patronage.

A San Jose columnist explains what sharrows are all about, and actually gets it right.

A 29-year old Texas man was fatally shot while riding in a bike lane in Oakland; no motive has been established, but police don’t believe it was robbery.

Sacramento police bust a bike thief and recover 60 stolen bikes.

 

National

A pair of British Bobbies biking down the full length of the left coast make a stop in Oregon.

Denver installs a bollard-protected gutter, unwittingly turning the painted bike lane to its left into a loading zone.

A team at the University of Colorado is crowdfunding a bicycle designed for people who weigh up to 450 pounds; the leader of the team lost 160 pounds himself.

Thirty thousand bike riders turn out for New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour.

Black Girls Do Bike is expanding with chapters around the US after starting with a Pittsburgh woman’s Facebook group.

Amtrak adds carry-on bike service on the Vermonter from DC through New England.

A New Orleans man is found guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting the man who was stealing his bicycle; his ex-girlfriend testified that he beat her with a shotgun while she was pregnant.

 

International

A cyclist raced a transit user and a driver to downtown Calgary during the morning commute. And as usual, the bike rider won — even though he was just 11 years old.

Call it Lili’s Secret, as a woman in the UK makes padded women’s cycling underwear that looks more like lingerie.

Caught on video: Usually police look for hit-and-run drivers; a London cop was one as he drove off after hitting a Critical Mass cyclist and destroying his bike.

Paris continues to restrict the use of motor vehicles in order to fight toxic smog levels.

A Swiss canton will install fences to protect bike riders and hikers from killer cows. Yes, cows. Now try not to have nightmares about that one.

Even members of India’s Parliament face speeding drivers, harassment from police and risk having their tires punctured when they ride to work.

An Australian bike rider is threatened with a fine for a law that doesn’t even take effect until next year; meanwhile an Aussie cyclist makes a very tongue-in-cheek call for licensing kangaroos, insisting the animals act like they own the road.

A track cyclist and bike commuter says she’s had it with riding Down Under after she’s punched by a pedestrian, who said he wouldn’t respect her until she got a license and paid road tax.

A Kiwi driver deliberately runs down a cyclist to recover the mountain bike the other man had stolen from him.

Five hundred people applied to take part in last year’s Tibet Challenge, a 10-day ride through the snow-covered peaks of China and Tibet; just 31 were selected. And only nine finished.

A two-year old girl is dead after a speeding driver plows into two separate bicycles in a Bangkok serial hit-and-run; the owner of the car is under arrest on drug charges after turning himself in several hours later, but claims he wasn’t behind the wheel. Don’t watch the video on that link. Trust me.

A Hong Kong man is riding nearly 12,000 miles to Norway on a homemade bamboo bike.

 

Finally…

Get hit by a car while riding your bike, and have a miracle post-menopause baby — and wake up speaking French with a South African accent. Probably not the best idea to steal a bike in front of a martial arts class.

And not even horses are safe in bike lanes.

 

South El Monte bike rider killed crossing Rosemead Blvd

A man was killed in a collision while riding his bike near South El Monte Wednesday.

According to the San Gabriel Tribune, 39-year old South El Monte resident Jose Antonio Resendez was crossing Rosemead Blvd at Rush St at 9:35 pm when he was struck by a car headed north on Rosemead in unincorporated LA County.

No word on which direction Resendez going or who had the right-of-way; he died at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The driver remained at the scene.

The story notes both the bicycle and the car suffered moderate damage; as usual, the victim fared worst in the impact.

This is the 35th bicycling collision in Southern California, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year, and eight in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Antonio Resendez and his family. 

Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

………

It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

………

At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

………

Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

………

Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

………

Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Morning Links: Local DUI bicycling death reverberates on the East Coast, and PCH study says OC’s got problems

This is the harm that traffic crimes cause.

The pain of Saturday’s drunken high-speed crash that took the life of 26-year old Tomas Brewer reverberates through his hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The budding screenwriter came to LA to break into the business; next week his family will come to take him home.

Correction: This piece initially misidentified Brewer’s hometown as Gloucester, England, rather than Gloucester, MA. I apologize for the error; thanks to Phillip, Jay, Sean and Yawfle for the correction. 

………

A newly published $400,000 safety study points out the many safety problems for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on PCH through Orange County.

And needless to say, the possible solutions — and the willingness to actually do something about it — vary from one town to another.

Like Laguna Beach, where the city manager questions removing or reducing lanes or parking; nice to know a parked car could have more value than a human life.

………

Maybe it’s yours.

Amid the steady drumbeat of stolen bikes registered through this site, news popped up yesterday afternoon about a bike that had been recovered during an arrest in Westwood.

According to the report, it’s a black, 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.5; the serial number has been removed, so they’re asking for distinguishing characteristics to identify the owner.

If you know someone whose bike has been stolen recently, pass the word along. It would be nice to see the owner get their bike back for a change.

………

Even the judge is mad as a 19-year old Michigan driver is somehow allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor for killing a cyclist while high on drugs, resulting in a maximum six months in jail.

His comments are worth considering, since they apply to so many people who injure or kill others while driving impaired, distracted or aggressively.

“You don’t get it,” Alexander said. “You destroyed a life, you destroyed a family and you destroyed another life, yours. You don’t care. You just don’t care.”.

“You just think this is a little inconvenience,” Alexander said. “I don’t think you have any understanding of what you did. You took a life, you took a life and I don’t think you care.”

Maybe it will sink in for someone, somewhere.

………

Still more bighearted people, as a Portland bike shop owner receives a $5,000 carbon bike after being selected as National Retailer of the Year. And promptly gives it to a 15-year old autistic kid.

………

Local

CiclaValley recaps Tuesday’s meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable. Which I can attest was actually more of a semi-circular arrangement.

Richard Risemberg catches the Ballona Wetlands in full bloom, and says ride out to see it yourself for the good of your soul.

The LA Weekly previews the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival coming to Grand Park on May 8th.

Vin Diesel gives his latest co-star a BMX dirt bike for her 30th birthday. Then takes her ax-tossing.

The annual Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association rolls through Long Beach this Sunday. As a diabetic American, I’ll have to take part myself one of these days.

 

State

Coronado plans to reward bike riders of all ages with gift certificates and theater tickets for riding safely and following the law. Although they might improve safety a lot more if they rewarded motorists for driving safely around bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Tulare, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a big rig truck; police insist the rider somehow crashed into the truck’s trailer.

After suffering serious injuries in a Fresno hit-and-run, a physician and life-long cyclist says bicyclists have a right to the road, and asks if we can all just get along.

A Berkeley bike rider is suing the city and several civic employees, alleging they were aware of dangerous road conditions that led to his injuries when he hit a pothole.

 

National

Men’s Journal explains why you should take your next camping trip by bicycle.

Portland biketavists are joining the Department of DIY to get their point across, from dropping orange cones to mark bikeways, to shaming drivers and posting signs to slow them down.

After supporting a billion dollar transportation tax last year, Seattle cyclists are understandably pissed off that promised bike lanes through the downtown area have disappeared from the implementation plan.

A New Mexico private security guard is charged with intentionally running down a bike rider with his car, then beating the crap out of him.

Fargo ND police take to a tandem to promote bike security.

Bob Mionske looks at the case of the Michigan rider illegally convicted of impeding traffic, and the $10,000 pro bono legal brief that got the $200 ticket dismissed on appeal.

After a witness proves them wrong, the NYPD finally gets around to correcting their report that said a woman was riding her bike against traffic when she was struck by a car; the witness also says the driver lied about the victim running a red light.

A North Carolina TV station offers a reality check for calls to license, register and tax cyclists; one commenter says riding a bike on the road “is dangerous, not too logical, actually disrespectful to every auto driver the roads were designed for.” But really, it’s bike riders who think they’re entitled, right?

A Florida mom is raising awareness of bike helmets for kids after her son suffered a skull fracture and brain hematoma that went undiscovered for two days, nearly costing him his life.

 

International

Experts say the Rio bike path that collapsed recently, killing three people, was destined to fail and should never have been built in the first place.

Vancouver disability advocates say plans to remove parking spaces near the city’s General Hospital to make room for protected bike lanes would make it too difficult for people to access healthcare services. Evidently, it’s the only major hospital in North America without onsite parking or drop-of zones.

The new law school dean at the University of Windsor, Canada walks the walk by riding his bike to work and meetings at the courthouse, year round. Shouldn’t that be pedals the pedals?

A Toronto columnist aptly observes that traffic tie-ups due to road construction are just a fact of life, but a project to test bike lanes on a busy street has everyone up in arms.

An Oxford, England bookseller returns home after a two-year, 20,000 bike trip around the world, motivated by the cyclists’ travel diaries he sold in the shop.

Evidently, telling a British women’s track cyclist to give up riding and go have babies can be detrimental to your career.

Afghanistan’s Nobel Prize-nominated women’s cycling team falls victim to the country’s notorious corruption; along with the loss of 40-newly purchased bicycles worth $100,000, the team’s recently dismissed coach was accused of using it as his “personal piggy bank and love playground,” marrying — and divorcing — three of the team members.

Aussie police urge bike riders to carry liability insurance in case they crash into someone.

 

Finally…

If your SUV has a blind spot so big it keeps you from seeing a five-year old riding her bike with training wheels, maybe you shouldn’t be driving it. Your long wait for fresh bicycle anime may soon be over.

And it’s about damn time we had a bike riding saint.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA offers their endorsements, and CicLAvia wants to give you a bandana

If you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming.

Bike the Vote LA unveiled their endorsements for the upcoming June primary, when you’ll have a chance to vote against the presidential candidate(s) of your choice and have it actually mean something for a change.

And as long as you’re in the voting booth, you can Bike the Vote by casting a ballot for these bike-friendly candidates for state Senate and Assembly from the LA area.

bikethevote2016-ca_primary

A couple names on that list jump out at me.

A long-time cyclist, Steven Bradford was the father of the state’s three-foot passing law when he was in the state Assembly, and has long worked to make our streets safer for everyone. Which is why he had my endorsement the minute he announced his candidacy for state Senate.

Former Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman has been one of the most consistent voices for safer bicycling in any city government, and would make the ideal replacement for outgoing Assemblyman Mike Gatto — who will also have my support for any office he runs for in the future.

And Richard Bloom, my own state Senator now that I live in Hollywood, is up for a well-deserved third and final term.

I can’t say I’m familiar with the others on the list.

But knowing the people who make up the Bike the Vote LA team, I trust their judgment. They’re one of the few organizations whose recommendation could get me to mark my ballot.

………

Next month’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia just got a little more interesting.

Pick up a stamp card and get it stamped at all five hubs, and you’ll get a free bandana to mark the occasion. As well as the satisfaction of riding all 10 miles.

Let’s hope they have a lot of them.

I need to get one for the Corgi, who, like most redheads, looks good in black.

………

Surprisingly, the 19-year old Belgian motor doper gets just a six year suspension and a $20,000 fine; most observers predicted she’d get a lifetime ban for cheating. As usual, though, it’s unlikely she was the only one cheating; just the only one who got caught.

A year after a key report on reforming bike racing’s governing body was submitted, not enough has been done to make it an “independent, self-governing and more economically-sustainable premier league sport.”

British Cycling suspends the technical director who told a track cyclist to go have babies instead of competing for the Rio Olympics.

The Amgen Tour of California will continue to be the Amgen Tour of California, as the race’s title sponsor renews its sponsorship, along with co-sponsors Coke and United Healthcare. Good thing, since it’s now America’s only UCI Men’s WorldTour race.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at how Mayor Garcetti’s ambitious sustainability plan has done after the first year. They’ll have to step up bikeway installation in a big way to meet the goal of 35% active transportation and transit by 2025.

A new LA startup wants to put your bike bag between your legs; the company has surpassed their $10,000 Kickstarter goal by over $6,000 with four days to go.

Aussie singer Cody Simpson is one of us, riding his bike barefoot along the sidewalks of Abbott Kinney in front of the new Shinola store.

CiclaValley edges his way around Strawberry Peak, wearing a Raspberry Beret. Okay, maybe not the last part; I may have been hearing too much Prince lately.

 

State

Calbike says the state Assembly Transportation Committee let us down by choosing bigger, faster, wider roads and highways over the needs of underserved Californians who have no choice but to ride the bus, walk and bike. Except making those roads bigger and wider seldom makes them any faster. Or safer.

Once again, a killer drunk driver gets off with a slap on the wrist, as a Bakersfield man gets one year in jail, with six years suspended, for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014. People will continue to die on our streets as long as judges refuse to take traffic crime seriously.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly looks at badly behaving people in the bike lane who don’t belong there.

Napa Valley bike riders complain about dangerous road conditions around the tracks for the Napa Valley Wine Train.

 

National

The bikeshare director for NACTO says we’ll know we’re getting bike equity right when bikeshare systems, and bikeways, adequately serve low income neighborhoods and create jobs. See state Assembly fail above.

HuffPo says making cities less dangerous and more livable for women makes them better for everyone. That includes making our streets safe and welcoming for women riding their bikes alone, day or night.

As usual, LA expat Bikeyface nails it, saying it’s not about bicycling, it’s about creating neighborhoods where people will stop bicycling and stay awhile.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus — the guy who rode a New York Citi Bike across the US — explains why riding one was the best way to see the US.

City Lab is the latest to question Phoenix’s “incredibly gruesome” anti-bike bike safety graphic novels.

Colorado authorities confirm that human remains found earlier this year belonged to Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Mike Rust, who disappeared without a trace in 2009.

A year later, police identify two suspect vehicles, but still no suspect, in a series of random roadway shootings that began with the murder of a cyclist near my hometown.

Where to ride your bike the next time you’re in Brooklyn.

A Charleston SC columnist investigates complaints that a trial bike and pedestrian path over a key bridge is creating massive traffic tie-ups, and finds not a single congestion in sight.

The US Department of Justice says Tampa Bay’s policy of ticketing black bike riders to reduce crime and improve safety only succeeded in unduly burdening black bicyclists; eight out of every ten bicycling tickets went to black riders. But despite the findings, the city insists it wasn’t discriminating. Of course not.

 

International

Momentum Magazine asks if banning biking under the influence is really the right answer. Both are dangerous, but I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel.

A writer for the Guardian says don’t assume people with disabilities aren’t interested in riding their bikes, and won’t benefit from quick, safe bicycle routes.

Dublin plans to swap its door lane bike lanes for parking protected lanes.

Paris will now ban motor vehicles from the famed Champs-Élysées the first Sunday of every month. Maybe we can see their bet and shut down Hollywood Blvd once a month, as well.

Amsterdam will select the world’s first bike mayor in June, but plans to export the position to cities around the world. If they get around to LA, I’m available. Just saying.

This laser-welded aluminum Dutch bike doesn’t look a thing like a Dutch bike.

A Swiss laboratory uses a full-body model to study why your head gets hot when you wear a bike helmet; they estimate better ventilation could encourage more helmet use, potentially reducing over 1000 avoidable head injuries per year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to wear a hoody to ride your bike on a chilly night, you might want to throw some pants on, too. If you’re going to get loaded and ride your bike, try not to crash into a loaded school bus.

And we all love our bikes. But gutting your stepson with a knife for messing with your bicycle is going a tad too far.

 

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