It was one of those things that just wouldn’t happen if I’d been driving a car.
Last week, I was on my way back home from a long ride when I stopped at a red light across from Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica. Next to me was a frozen yogurt store than had opened recently in what had been an empty space.
The tables outside were filled with an eclectic assortment of people enjoying the sunny afternoon. At the one closest to me, a couple of well-dressed children sat enjoying their desserts.
“Excuse me sir,” said the young African American gentleman at the table, waving as his female companion concentrated on her yogurt. “Nice day, isn’t?”
I nodded in agreement.
“I just graduated from 5th grade,” he continued. “It was hard work, but I made it.”
“Well, congratulations. You should be very proud,” I said. “That’s quite an accomplishment.”
“I am!” he answered cheerfully. “Thank you!”
Just then the light changed, so I wished him well as I clipped back into my pedal and started up the road.
“You too,” shouted the voice from behind. “Enjoy your ride!”
A wrong-way cyclist was killed in Palm Springs Saturday night.
The rider, identified as 46-year old Indio resident Eric Mendoza, was headed north in the southbound lanes of North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs when he was struck by an unidentified driver at about 11:24 PM.
Riding facing traffic greatly raises your risk of a collision while increasing the potential severity of injuries due to higher relative speeds. In fact, LAPD statistics show that 30% of cyclists killed in Los Angeles in 2008, and 20% of those severely injured, were riding on the wrong side of the road.
“They’ve got to stop being so arrogant about what they’re doing. They’ve got to obey the rules. They have to do the right thing or else they’re going to get killed.”
Funny how the people who hate bicyclists profess to be so concerned about our safety while simultaneously professing their desire to frighten, injure, maim and/or kill us for the heinous crime of riding a bike in the street. Or maybe just being in their way.
And maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the real arrogant ones are the people who insist that the roads belong to them, rather than acknowledging that others have a right to be there, too.
Bike Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey reports that LADOT has taken the initial steps to install 2.3 miles of bike lanes on Winnetka Ave between Gault and Nordhoff Streets, 14 years after they were included in the 1996 bike plan — and after another 1.75 miles included in the plan were replaced with curb-to-curb traffic lanes without consulting the bike community.
Bailey urges LADOT to extend the bike lanes two miles to the south, which is also called for in the bike plan, allowing riders to connect with the Orange Line and Pierce College.
Update: LADOT Bike Blog offered clarification in the comments that the bike lane only needs to be extended .8 mile to connect to the Orange Line and the Pierce College Station. He also notes that a couple of road narrowings, including a crossing over the L.A. River, would have to be addressed before the bike lanes can be extended to their planned terminus at Ventura Blvd — something Glenn Bailey had mentioned as well, but which I left out.
Meanwhile, Stephen Box takes LADOT to task for failing to attend last weekend’s Caltrans workshops on Understanding Bicycle Transportation, where they could have learned how to install sharrows correctly.
And speaking of Box, he will be honored, along with Sgt. David Krumer of the LAPD’s Bike Task Force, as the winners of the Eastside Bike Club’s 1st Annual Golden Crank Award for their outstanding contributions to the cycling community in Los Angeles over the past year. The awards will be given at the bike club’s second anniversary celebration this Saturday, June 26.
We will be making the presentation at the EASTSIDE BIKE CLUB 2nd Gear Anniversary Celebration which will be held atLINCOLN PARK 3501 Valley Blvd, LA CA 90031 PARK PHONE # 213/847.1726
We will begin our day at 2pm to gather, meet and relax at Lincoln Park. Our presentation will begin at 5pm followed by a community bike ride We will contain our ride to the LAPD Hollenbeck Division. We are asking everyone to decorate your bikes in RED WHITE AND BLUE and wear clothing of the same colors if possible. Bring Bells, Whistles and Horns!
Lance Armstrong almost — but not quite — pulled off a big upset by jumping up from seventh place in the final stage of the Tour of Switzerland to finish 2nd, 12 seconds behind winner Frank Schleck; the previous day’s leader, Robert Gesink, dropped back to 5th.
However, the race was overshadowed by the heart attack suffered by 31-year old former Luxembourg national champion Kim Kirchen, who had been in 48th place after the seventh stage. Kirchen was reportedly in stable condition after being placed in medically induced coma.
Bike Girl advises women riders how to gracefully dismount. Adult drivers are every bit as distracted as their teenage counterparts, which should come as no surprise to those who share the road with them. Into every bike commuter’s life a little rain must fall — along with hail and hurricane force winds, at times. Preview the upcoming movie about America’s first black bike hero. A Chicago man reminisces about his father walking the walk and biking the bike. CNN discovers naked bicycling in St. Louis; Pittsburgh rides naked while DC dons seersucker. In Colorado, even ski towns strive to be bike-friendly. Three to eight years in prison for an Idaho drunk driver convicted of killing a cyclist. Pylon-protected bike lanes on DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue. BMX racers from around the world will be headed to Allegany County, PA for the Stars-N-Stripes Nationals this weekend. Interview with a cam-wearing car-dodging cyclist in Annapolis. A Huntsville, AL bicyclist provides inspiration for Complete Streets in her hometown following her death while riding in another state. A triathlete gives up riding the roads of Israel after the latest of 12 fellow triathletes, the son of a former Israel Supreme Court justice, is killed in a hit-and-run collision. Cyclists in India may soon be required to paint their black bikes bright orange for the sake of safety. A UK cyclist has his new custom-made bike stolen just minutes into his first ride. A distracted Brit bus driver who killed a cyclist walks free.
Finally, an injured non-car-owning cyclist is banned from driving — but not riding — after running a red light and colliding with a car. And Missouri unveils bicycling commemorative license plates, so you can show your support for cyclists while you run them off the road.