Archive for October 30, 2010

Your Halloween linkapalooza — PSC meeting Monday; free contest and screening of 127 Hours

Rise and shine early on Monday morning.

The City Council’s Public Safety Committee will be meeting at 9:30 am at Downtown’s City Hall to discuss the proposed bicycle anti-harassment ordinance, among other matters.

Attendance is mandatory. Or just this side of it, since the proposal previously got an unfriendly reading before the same committee.

Of course, that was before the City Attorney’s office came up with the first-in-the-nation solution of making the harassment of cyclists a civil violation.

So maybe it will be different this time. Maybe the members of the committee will recognize the danger we face on the streets, and finally give us a way to defend ourselves. Although that doesn’t seem likely, based on recent comments from committee chair Greig Smith.

But our chances will be a lot better if we can fill the room with bike riders.


Maybe you recall the amazing story of Aron Ralston, the hiker who was pinned by a boulder in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park until he took drastic action to escape and save his own life.

Now his story has been made into the movie 127 Hours by the director of 28 Days Later and Slumdog Millionaire. I’m told there’s some amazing singletrack riding in the film. But I wouldn’t count on any Bollywood numbers this time.

Or zombies for that matter.

127 HOURS is the new film from Danny Boyle, the Academy Award winning director of last year’s Best Picture, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. 127 HOURS is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.  Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued.  Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers (Clemence Poesy), family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident.  Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?  A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.

You’re invited to attend a free screening on Thursday, November 4th; just click here and enter the code ROCKR661. You can see a trailer on the film’s website.

You’re also invited to describe your own life changing moment for a contest sponsored by Outside Magazine in conjunction with the movie, called 127 Defining Moments. 126 winners will be selected, with Ralston’s story marking the final defining moment. Ten grand prize winners will be chosen, and all 126 finalists will receive prizes provided by Eddie Bauer First Ascent, Sierra Designs, Larabar and CamelBak.

Hey, it’s gotta be good. The publicist for the film is a fellow cyclist who attended Tour de Fat last weekend.

It’s like we’re all bonded now, right?


A very busy calendar for this week:

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

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside, exhibition continues through December 31st.

Sunday, October 31, celebrate Halloween in one of Southern California’s scariest cities for cyclists as Better Bike BH meets to discuss ways to improve bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills at 2 pm at Peets Coffee, 258 S. Beverly Drive.

The next public hearing for L.A.’s proposed bicycle anti-harassment ordinance takes place at the City Council Public Safety Committee at 9:30 am on Monday, November 1st in room 1010 of Downtown’s City Hall.

Tuesday, November 2nd is Election Day. So drop whatever you’re doing and go vote, because yes, it does matter.

Also on Tuesday — after you’ve voted, of course — Bicycle John’s in Agoura Hills invites you to ride with cycling legend Andy Hampsten. Just show up by 2 pm with your bike and proper riding attire at the intersection of Kanan Road and East Thousand Oaks Blvd. Or leave your bike at home and arrive by 1 pm to get fitted for a demo bike and try out the new Campy Revolution 11.

Tuesday evening, cyclists are encouraged to attend the Burbank City Council meeting to support the Verdugo Avenue road diet, currently under fire from disgruntled motorists angry that they now have to drive within the speed limit. The meeting takes place at 6 pm at the City Council Chambers, 275 East Olive Avenue in Burbank; the perfect way to celebrate after casting your ballot. You did vote, right?

At noon on November 3rd, the LACBC hosts the 2nd Ed Magos Ride for Justice, inviting cyclists to ride from the Bicycle Kitchen to Downtown’s LA County Superior Courthouse for the sentencing of the woman who ran Ed Magos down and left him lying in pain on the street. Remember, it was pressure from cyclists that got the police and City Attorney’s office to reconsider their original decision not to file charges.

Find out what’s happening with bike and pedestrian projects in Northern California, when Bike Long Beach hosts Jeremy Nelson of Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates Thursday, November 4th at 12 noon at Studio 111, 111 West Ocean Blvd, 20th Floor, in downtown Long Beach. RSVP at by 5 pm Wednesday, November 3rd.

Help the very active South Bay Bicycle Coalition conduct vital a bike count to help prepare for the upcoming South Bay Bike Master Plan on Thursday, November 4th from 3 pm to 6 pm, and again on Saturday the 6th from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm; volunteers are still neededThanks to Steve Montalto for the heads-up.

Also on November 4th, the LACBC hosts a meeting to discuss the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard Campaign at 7 pm at Halal Tandoori Restaurant, 401 S. Vermont Ave.

See the Events page for more upcoming events.


Gary Kavanagh has long offered one of the area’s most intelligent and insightful looks at cycling on his blog Gary Rides Bikes. However, the area’s transportation issues go far beyond bicycling alone, so he’s started a new blog called Bay City Urbanist to cover the full spectrum of local transportation. But don’t worry, he promises he’ll keep writing about bikes on the old blog, too. Follow him on Twitter @BayCityUrbanist.


Stephen Box offers a great examination of how local cities are breaking bike laws; must reading for local cyclists. Brayj says the new draft bike plan is the best looking pile of horse shit he’s seen. Streetsblog offers a voter’s guide for Tuesday’s election. Bikeside reports on the first court appearance for Shawn Fields, the alleged drunk hit-and-run driver who killed Danny Marin. Work begins to improve bike signal detection on 4th Street, a first step in creating the long-awaited 4th Street Bike Boulevard. LADOT unveils a new map of recent bike racks. Riding in search of fall color in the mountains of Southern California. KPCC looks at the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative and the LACBC’s Alexis Lantz. A woman rides from Chicago to Santa Monica to fight breast cancer. Sophia Vergara rides a bike on the set of Modern Family — complete with elbow and knee pads. Long Beach’s biking expats offer a new 2011 Path Less Pedaled Calendar featuring Russ Roca’s typically breathtaking photography.

Bob Mionske writes about the improvement in Portland cycling following the deaths of two cyclists three years ago. Famed framebuilder Dave Moulton reviews the new book The Custom Road Bike. Turn your bike into a paintbrush. Bicycling’s Bill Strickland asks if we should always wear our helmets? Separated cycle tracks reduce the among of smog cyclists are exposed to, which evidently is a very good thing. Advice on riding around buses, from a bike-riding bus driver. Tausha Borland, the Oklahoma driver who plowed down three cyclists — killing two — in a drunken collision was sentenced to 24 years in prison. A Minneapolis cyclist is killed riding the bike he had just stolen. Advice from Chicago on how to ride in the wind, something that may come in handy here judging by the forecast. New York declares war on salmon cyclists. After her daughter is killed in an NYC dooring incident, a grieving mother calls for bike-safety training for motorists; and yes, even in New York, dooring is against the law. A writer from NYU says it’s just disgruntled motorists and old people who oppose bike lanes in the city. A New York photographer focuses on a backside view of cyclists; I’d probably get arrested for that.

Drug testing at next year’s Tour de France could get a lot more intrusive — that’s if the agencies responsible can stop fighting with each other. Saxo Bank promises to back Alberto Contador even if he’s banned for eating tainted meat doping. A London police officer won’t face charges for killing a teenage cyclist while on an emergency call. A Cambridge bike lane is marked with signs prohibiting cycling. Copenhagen says you’re safer on a bike than on a sofa. Reminiscing about biking along the Berlin Wall. A race proves the fastest way to commute in Warsaw is by bike. A Delhi bike rider barely survives a collision with a Blueline bus, renewing calls for the buses to be put out of business. In Africa, a bike can change a life, or save it.

Finally, I’d like to see an NFL team try to pull off an end zone celebration like this. And in case you missed it, a New York judge rules that a four year old can be sued by the estate of an 87-year old woman who was fatally injured by the child riding her training-wheeled bike on the sidewalk; thanks to everyone who sent this one to me.

Ride with Agoura Hills with Campy & racing legend Andy Hampsten on Tuesday

Andy Hampsten during his racing days; photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I’m not easily impressed.

Over the years, I’ve met governors, senators and presidential candidates — including one who went on to spend eight years in the oval office. I’ve met award-wining actors and multi-platinum musicians, superstar athletes and religious leaders.

What I’ve found is that they’re pretty much the same as anyone else. And often — more often than you might think, actually — just as screwed up.

Andy Hampsten impresses the hell out of me.

Maybe it’s because I had the good fortune of living in Colorado during the heyday of the late great Coors Classic, when it attracted the world’s best riders and leading teams, including the legendary 7-11 pro team — the first American pro team to compete at the top level internationally.

And yes, I spent hours standing on the roadside for hours just to watch Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, Davis Phinney and Raúl Alcalá ride by for a few seconds.

And right there with them was my personal favorite, a man who competed with world’s best on an equal basis — and often as not, beat them.

Andy Hampsten.

Granted, he never won the Tour de France. He never even won the Coors Classic, though he did finish 2nd twice behind LeMond and Phinney, respectively.

In fact, the same year he finished on slot behind Phinney,he also became the first — and only — American to win the Giro d’Italia.

Then there were his two victories in the Tour de Suisse, along with two other podium finishes. And he ranks with legends such as Fausto Coppi, Hinault, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong as one of just 22 riders to claim a stage victory on the Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France.

He also took time to talk to fans, sign autographs and encourage budding riders when many of the other pros would disappear to their team trailers after a hard stage.

And like many of the greats, he’s stayed active in the bike industry with his own line of custom bikes.

So when I got an email the other day offering me a chance to ride with Andy, I took notice. And as it turns out, you’re invited to join in, as well.

The Agoura Hills outlet of the Bicycle John’s chain — found throughout the Valley and points north — is hosting a free ride with Andy Hampsten on Tuesday, November 2nd starting at 2 pm., and sponsored by Campagnolo and

The event is open to riders off all levels; all you have to do is show up at the store, located at the intersection of Kanan Road and E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, ready to ride and wearing “proper riding attire.”

Which means spandex, I assume.

Better yet, get there by 1 pm and you’ll not only get to ride with Andy, you can also get fitted for a demo bike and try out the Campy Revolution 11 — the new state-of-the art gruppo that goes to 11.

After the ride, you’re invited to stick around or come back later for the store’s Men’s Night from 7 – 9 pm and learn how to make quick fixes on the fly.

If any women riders want to learn how to fix on the fly, you’ll have to take it up with them.

I admit it.

I’m seriously considering blowing off my other obligations, leaving my bike at home and trying out the new Campys with Andy Hampsten.

For more information, call the shop at 818/597-8330.


You’ll also have another chance to ride with Hampsten — as well as former pros Roy Knickman and Steve Hegg — the next day.

Because the real reason he’s in town is to support Andreas Knickman, son of fellow 7-11 rider Roy, in his battle against cancer at the 2nd Annual Mike Nosco Memorial Ride. The ride starts at 9 am on Wednesday, November 3rd, with an 8 am check-in, at 250 Reino Road in Newbury Park.


While we’re on the subject of Agoura Hills, I’ve received advanced notice that the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club will hold a memorial ride for James Laing on Saturday, November 20th.

As you may recall, Laing was the cyclist killed recently by an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver, leaving devastated friends and family behind — the second such case in recent weeks. And if you’re not pissed off about that, maybe you should be.

More information later when the details are firmed up.


I’m still catching up from a busy work week, so come back late tonight or over the weekend when I’ll have a boatload of links for your perusal, including a contest from Outside Magazine and preview movie passes for a semi-bike related major motion picture.

Transportation Committee moves forward with anti-harassment ordinance

I’m buried with work today.

And I’m damned if I’m going to let an 84 degree sunny SoCal day pass without at least a quick spin down the coast.

But I don’t want to let this morning pass without catching up on yesterday’s news from the City Council Transportation Committee. Because it marked one of those vital quantum leap moments — a seemingly small shift that could result in a dramatic change down the road.

I’ll try to fill you in with more details later, but here’s the key point. After eloquent comments by Ross Hirsch — the attorney for hit-and-run victim Ed Magos — and BAC chair Glenn Bailey, the Transportation Committee voted unanimously to move forward with drafting a first-of-its-kind ordinance to ban harassment of cyclists.

While other cities and states have passed anti-harassment laws, this ordinance would be the first to allow cyclists to file suit themselves for violent or aggressive actions directed towards them, whether it’s committed by drivers, bystanders or even other riders.

As the representative from the City Attorney’s office stressed, it would not prohibit anything that is not already against the law, and it would not prevent criminal prosecution for any incident where there’s sufficient evidence to prosecute.

It would simply, finally, give cyclists the opportunity to protect themselves on the streets of L.A. And possibly prevent the kind of harassment that we’ve all experienced at one time or another.

And mark L.A.’s growth from a bicycling backwater to a world leader in protecting the rights of cyclists.

Yes, it really is that big.

The next test comes on Monday when the proposal will be taken up by the Council’s Public Safety Committee, which has been significantly less friendly to cyclists in the past.

The more riders we can get in that room, the better our chances to keep it moving forward.

Herding cyclists, and L.A.’s proposed first-of-its kind anti-harassment ordinance

Evidently, at least one driver took lessons from a Corgi.

I knew I’d seen that technique before.

But it took me awhile to put my finger on just where I’d seen it until it finally dawned on me.

When I lived in Denver a few decades back, I shared a house with a good friend of mine, who showed up one day with a Welsh Corgi he’d just adopted from the pound. And it didn’t take long to realize that it was his herding instincts were fully intact.

The dog, not my friend.

First he tried to herd my roommate’s cats, with limited success.

But we came to appreciate his skills when my friend hosted a party for his co-workers. When we let the dog outside to play with the dozen or so children in the backyard, he stood for a moment watching them scatter throughout the yard. Then he quickly set out to bring order to the chaos.

He started by running rapidly around the yard, drawing ever smaller circles around the kids. We watched in amazement as he guided them into a group; if any child tried to stray from his impromptu herd, he nosed in front and gently guided them back into the pack.

And that, in effect, is exactly what a driver tried to do to me on Saturday as I rode home from Tour de Fat.

I’d taken my place firmly in the center of the lane on a busy Koreatown street, where a line of parked cars made it too narrow to safely share. And I was riding at the same speed as the cars ahead of me, which meant that I could legally ride anywhere I wanted on the road.

But clearly, the law — and common sense — just isn’t good enough for some people.

The woman behind me evidently decided that I didn’t belong there. Or maybe, just didn’t belong in front of her.

So she pulled into the left lane as if she was going to pass, even though the backed-up traffic meant there wasn’t anywhere to go.

Then she slowly started nosing her humongous older Lincoln over into the exact space I was occupying. Just like that Corgi did in forcing the children to go where he wanted, she deliberately angled her car to move me out of the way, until she finally left me with no choice but to surrender my place on the road by braking and dropping behind her, or get hit.

I chose the latter.

She didn’t seem to acting in anger. In fact, she never once looked my way during the entire process. She just seemed to think that she belonged in there, and I didn’t.

I probably should have taken her license number and reported it. Or better yet, pulled out my cell phone and snapped a quick photo of it.

But I was too stunned to think that quickly.

In three decades of riding, I’ve pissed off more than a few drivers by taking the lane. I’ve been yelled and honked at, passed too close and had things thrown at me. But I never once encountered a driver who simply wouldn’t allow me to ride in the lane, and was willing to use her car as a wedge to force me out of it.

Until now.

Of course, even if I had reported her, there’s nothing the police could have done except take a report.

Without any physical evidence — like my blood on her car — an officer would have had to actually see her do it to take any action. Otherwise, it’s my word against hers.

But that may change soon.

This afternoon, the L.A. City Council’s Transportation Committee will take up a proposed bicycle anti-harassment ordinance that goes far beyond any similar law anywhere in the country.

Instead of making harassment of cyclists a crime, it would make it a civil offense. Which means you’d be able to file a case yourself, rather than rely on the actions of the police and the DA or City Attorney. And because it would be heard in civil court, where the burden of proof is much lower, it would only require the agreement of a majority of jurors, rather than the unanimous verdict required in a criminal case.

You also wouldn’t need physical evidence or an officer to witness the infraction to file charges. Video of the incident or statements from people who witnessed it could be enough to win your case.

And it would include a provision for lawyers fees if you win your case, so it would be easier to get an attorney to represent you in a matter that might not otherwise be worth their time and expertise.

More importantly, though, it would finally give cyclist the ability to defend ourselves on the streets. And take action on our own against dangerous, threatening and aggressive drivers, without resorting to a U-lock or risking a violent confrontation.

Even just the existence of the law could be enough to change driver’s behavior on the streets, once they realize that they could finally be held accountable for their actions.

It wouldn’t have helped me in my encounter with the woman who tried to herd me off the road. I was riding alone, with no potential witnesses and no way to document the event as it happened. And  I escaped with no injuries or damage to my bike.

Then again, if she knew she could face a civil case, she might not have tried it to begin with.

The hearing takes place today at 2pm in room 1010 of Downtown’s City Hall. I know it’s short notice, but every voice that can be there to support this measure will help. If you can’t make it, you should be able to listen to the session live on the city’s website, or download it later.

And there will be another — and potentially more important — hearing on Monday in front of the far less bike-friendly Public Safety Committee, at a session that still hasn’t made the city’s calendar even though it’s just five days away.

Maybe they just don’t want to give us any advance notice.


With eight mountain stages and three time trials, next year’s Giro looks near-impossible. Italian cyclist Peitrio Cucchioli will challenge the UCI biological passport that got him banned. Lance says there will be no riding in Aspen today.


Streetsblog looks at this Friday’s Critical Mass. LACBC sponsors its second Ed Magos Ride for Justice to attend the sentencing of the driver who fled the scene after hitting him and left him lying in the street; more cyclists in the courtroom could effect the sentence the judge imposes. C.I.C.L.E. invites cyclists to a Bike Parking Party on Saturday to support the installation of the city’s first bike corral. The Daily News finally discovers the tragic death of Danny Marin, reporting on a nighttime ride in his honor. The Examined Spoke looks at the state of bicycling after 40 years of Vehicular Cycling, while the Daily Trojan says L.A.’s bike co-ops show the city’s cycling scene has finally hit adolescence. San Francisco may be challenging Portland for bike-friendliness.

In light of the recent stolen bike alert on here, 10 things you can do to get your bike back. An $8 million settlement for a cyclist paralyzed when his tire got caught on bridge gates. Motorists and cyclists “will obey traffic rules when they have no other choice and ignore them when they can.” Living in the Bike Lane looks at belt-drive bikes. A look at the debate between vehicular and segregated cyclists. New Colorado road signs instruct cyclists to ride single file on curves so motorists can pass, even though passing on curves isn’t safe or legal, while OKC cyclists get new signs saying they can — and should — use the full lane. Mad City cyclists are told to get off the sidewalk. A Louisiana consultant recommends a Mississippi levee bikeway from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Can bikes and buses co-exist? Specialized will give a kid a free bike for every 1,000 “likes” on their Facebook page; nothing like a little manipulative marketing for a good cause.

A bike-hating Canadian website wants to get rid of bike lanes, but doesn’t want cyclists on the sidewalk, either — and equates cycling with aggressive panhandling. Stay in the right London hotel, and you, too, can ride a Boris Bike. In L.A., biking has it’s challenges, but at least it’s legal; in Iran, it’s not for women. Shanghai’s Forever bike brand attempts to spark a rebirth of the city’s bike culture.

Finally, why pump air into your tires when you can steal it from parked cars? Or maybe get it from the ones who harass you when they’re stopped at red lights if you’re fast. And brave.

Be on the lookout: Updated information on stolen Orange Salsa Las Cruces

Frame on stolen bike is identical to this one.

Just got a little more information on the bike that was stolen in Santa Monica last night. Keep you eyes open — someone will either ride it or sell it soon. Every stolen bike matters, but this one belongs to a friend. Let’s get it back.

Based off of the way this bike was built up, repairing and removing many components is extremely difficult without proper tools, or simply near impossible. Because of this there is a chance that the thief will try to take it into a local shop and/or workshop to ‘get help’ in removing the wheels (or saddle). If you spot this bike, or perhaps a sign of someone coming into a shop trying to remove the saddle from the seatpost, please either alert myself or the SMPD. The police report # is 10-112875.

I’ve been asked to provide a photo of the bike… and unfortunately I’m unable to find one. What I could do, instead, was provide a photo of the exact same frame model (and paint job) found off the ‘net, as well as a very thorough description of the bike’s characteristics which is below.
Reward available.

Basically there are only two main colors for the bike: a bright orange frame surrounded by all black components. No fancy flames or color fades, just a few simple double black stripes around the tubes with silver in the middle.
Quite hard to miss.

This is the parts list:

. Frame Salsa Las Cruces, 53cm, Orange Aluminum, very subtle indentation on underside of downtube.
. Handlebars Salsa Bell Lap Drops flare outwards 27.2mm size
. Stem Bontrager black
. Brakes Avid Shorty 4 black cantilever brakes
. Fork Winwood Carbon Cantilever bosses, carbon fork aluminum steerer
. Seatpost Real Design Carbon 31.6mm size. Titanium Bolt for seat clamp is severely damaged, the head is cracked & split, making seat removal near impossible.
. Seat/Saddle Specialized Toupe 130mm size, no padding
. Shifters Shimano 105 Right-shifter is missing dustcap
. Front DR Shimano 105 Silver cage
. Rear DR Shimano Deore Long cage mtb derailleur
. Crankset FSA Gossamer Cyclocross gearing
. Pedals Shimano A530 have small ‘protoype’ stickers on interior of binding mechanism.
. Wheelset “Leo” Rims are black, approx 28mm deep, bladed spokes. Hubs etched with “Leo Wheels.”
. Tires Michelin Pro Race 2 Very, very used tires. I’ve basically been riding them until I get down to the kevlar layer or a blowout, which ever comes first. Still hope I can get to that point.
. Skewers Pitlock The pitlock system uses a special encoded CNC milled key to open the locks, and it is impossible to open the skewers with any other tool. Since the thieves do not have the key nor know which code# would be used for a replacement key (which takes 2-3 months in replacement), the wheels are not able to be removed from the frame nor fork. This makes tire changes, flat repairs, or any thing wheel-related impossible.
. Lock/Chain Abus Steel-O-Chain 880 A really heavy and thick chain covered by a burly fabric sleeve, labeled with “Abus” all around. Chain was through frame & front wheel. It may or may not still be on the bike.


Catching up — UCLA’s new Bike Library, photos from the Agoura Road crash site, lots of links

Click to enlarge

While L.A. and other local cities are talking about bike share programs, UCLA is actually doing something about it through an innovative Bike Library program.

Rather than the typical short term rental programs found in a typical bike share, students can rent a bike on a daily, weekend or weekly basis — or for an entire quarter.

UCLA Transportation and UCLA Recreation, through funding provided for by The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), recently launched a campus bicycle library. The UCLA Bike Library provides bicycles for rent to UCLA students for only $35 for the entire quarter. The bicycle rentals are available through the UCLA Bike Shop, located in the John Wooden Center’s Office of Outdoor Adventures. The bicycles available for rent are Felt Café Series hybrid city-style, 8-speed cruisers, which come equipped with front and rear fenders, front and rear lights, a rear rack, and even a cup holder mounted on the handlebar. Students also have the option of renting a combination cable and u-lock, and a helmet to go along with their bicycle.

At $35 a quarter, the Bike Library may be the last affordable aspect of a UC education. And one of the smartest.

Speaking of UCLA, UCLA Transportation’s short film Bike-U-Mentary was named Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.


The Daily News talks to the wife of James Laing, the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver in Agoura Hills on Saturday; don’t read it if you don’t want to wipe away a tear when you’re finished.

Former LACBC board member Chris Willig sends along photos of the spot on Agoura Hills where Laing was killed. Clearly, the roadway was not a contributing factor, although a better design would place the bike lane along the curb with a wide buffer between it and the traffic lane.

He also notes the presence of a wine tasting club in the area as a possible explanation for why the driver may have been drunk behind the wheel at 3:45 in the afternoon.

A view of Agoura Road where James Laing was killed on Saturday.

Chalk marks faded by recent rains show the scene of the collision.

On a related subject, Chris reports that the cyclist in the previous Agoura Hills collision at Cornell Road and Mulholland Highway was injured, rather than killed. I had been told by a back-channel source with access to police reports that still-unidentified rider had died several days after the collision; I’ll reach out to the authorities once again to try and get the accurate information.

Nothing would make me happier than to know I was wrong about something like that.


I had to leave early, but by all reports, Tour de Fat was a huge hit and I had fun while I was there. I got some good photos, but an usually busy week has kept me from putting them online yet. In the meantime, Ohai Joe has some great videos of the event to keep you entertained — and for those of you who didn’t go, let you know what you missed so you won’t make the same mistake next year.

And Madeline Brozen notes that the entire event ran on solar power and resulted in only eight pounds of trash, while raising $13,000 for LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and Bicycle Kitchen.


The father of Rabobank rider Robert Gesink died Saturday, two weeks after crashing in a mountain bike race. BMX cyclist and MTV host TJ Lavin is showing signs of improvement after being critically injured as a result of missing a landing. Lance isn’t quite done racing yet. Just one month after having a baby, Olympic gold medalist Kristin “No Relation to Lance” Armstrong announces her comeback.


Stephen Box looks at the planned Hollywood Bike Hub nearing approval from the Metro Board. West Hollywood may be on the verge of becoming more walkable and bikeable. Damien Newton reminds the press that “crash” and “accident” are not interchangeable; I try to avoid using “accident” on here since so few of them actually are. The architecture critic for the Times calls for a better-connected L.A., from better bike lanes and sidewalks to buses and subways. Claremont Cyclist offers a meditation on the biking derriere. LADOT Bike Blog looks at the traffic diverters that make a Bicycle Friendly Street bike friendly. An OC bike advocate says every issue in bike safety has already been solved; you just have to match the problems to the solutions in recent bike plans from Portland and, yes, Los Angeles.

Tucson forms a new Living Streets group. Arizona’s biking congresswoman doesn’t hesitate to yell at drivers. Why is it that no one ever says we won’t build any more highways if some drivers refuse to obey the speed limit — or that there are too many cars driven by out-of-control motorists? Three questions to ask your congressional candidates before you cast your vote. Slap a $5 sticker on your helmet, and get a discount at participating businesses. Advice on winter riding for those in more cold-weather climes. A Chicago cyclist is doored and run over by a bus, but will survive; needless to say, the driver who doored him left the scene. The NYC cyclist killed in a dooring last week had moved to the city to help the disadvantaged. A New York limo driver comes to the rescue of an L.A. tourist attacked by a cyclist with a long rap sheet. Yes, there are scofflaws in New York bike lanes, and no, they’re not the cyclists; thanks to Stanley for the heads up. Charleston police search for a hit-and-run driver who hit a pedestrian riding a bicycle; is it just me, or is there something wrong with that description?

Campagnolo unveils a new electronic gruppo. Toronto cyclists have to live with a new bike-hating mayor who said it’s your own fault if you get killed. The Guardian looks at the Bike Snob’s guide to cycling tribes. Town Mouse gives London’s Boris Bikes a go. Cyclists may have a persecution complex, but we really could use segregated bikeways. The 2011 Giro will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. A year in jail and no driving for three years after a road raging motorist viscously beats a cyclist who flipped him off. An Indonesian cycling group calls for bike lanes in every city throughout the country and life insurance for cyclists.

Finally, you don’t have to know the language to get this bloody cartoon about bike helmets. But if you really want to know, Copenhagenize is happy to translate it for you.

And thank goodness we don’t have to worry about Trek’s advanced technology falling into the hands of terrorists.

Hot bike alert: Orange Salsa Las Cruces stolen in Santa Monica Monday night

Just got word from a friend and fellow LACBC board member that his bike was stolen tonight in Santa Monica:

My Salsa Las Cruces was stolen this evening in Santa Monica, at some point between 8:00pm and 10pm. It was parked & locked on the south side of the street between 6th and 5th streets.

Description: Orange Salsa Las Cruces cyclocross frame. 105 Drivetrain, XTR long cage rear dérailleur, Avid Shorty 4 brakes, Leo wheels. The wheels were locked using the Pitlock system, so the thieves will have a hard time removing the wheels at all. The bolt on the seat was also stripped & split, so it is impossible to remove the seat. If they didn’t cut the heavy-ass German Abus chain & lock on it, the bike is also unridable.

If you see it, contact the Santa Monica police department at 310/458-8491.

Breaking news: One dead in Boyle Heights school bus collision; victim may have been a cyclist

Approximately 3:22 this evening, a BMW reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of Soto Street at 1st, and collided with a school bus. There is one dead at the scene; KABC-7 reports that he or she was either a pedestrian or riding a bicycle. There were injuries on the bus, but none are reported to be life threatening.

The occupants of the car fled the scene on foot, but were apprehended by a nearby construction worker.

Update: Despite a statement from a witness that the person killed had been riding a bicycle, it appears that the victim was a pedestrian, rather than a bicyclist. The bad news is, an innocent person is dead because some jackass felt a need to run a red light fast enough to knock over a school bus.

Update: Cyclist killed in Agoura Hills DUI hit-and-run

It’s bad enough when someone is injured or killed on the streets because of what we euphemistically call accidents.

If everyone obeyed the law and used the roads safely, there wouldn’t be any accidents.

But worse still is when someone gets behind the wheel of motor vehicle after drinking or using drugs — or willing operates their vehicle in any other impaired or distracted manner — and takes the life of another human being as a result. And worse still, flees the scene, leaving a total stranger to die in the street.

According to the Ventura County Star, S.D. Whitmansegal did exactly that when she collided with a bike being ridden by 46-year old James Laing of West Hills; earlier reports indicated the then-unidentified victim was 30 years old.

The Star reports that Whitmansegal was followed by witnesses to a nearby parking lot where she was arrested on charges of hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

My prayers and condolences go out to James Laing’s family, friends and loved ones.

And don’t ask me what I think about someone who could do something like this. I wouldn’t like the answer I’d give right now.

Then again, she may find the real punishment will be trying to live with herself after this.

Thanks to the Ventura County Star for following up as more information became available.

Update: A few other details are slowly coming in. According to the L.A. Times, both Laing and Whitmansegal were both traveling east on Agoura Hills Road.

Meanwhile, the Star reports that Laing struck the side of Whitmansegal’s car and was thrown onto the road. When the case goes to court, the defense will undoubtedly claim it was a SWSS and that Laing swerved into the car for no apparent reason; hopefully the witnesses who tracked the driver down saw what happened.

And the Agoura Hills Patch inexplicably identifies the driver as Stephanie Segal of Woodland Hills, despite a police report identifying the driver as Whitmansegal.

Update 2: Bob points us towards a report on KCBS-2 that identifies the driver as Stephanie Segal, and says she is currently being held on $250,000 bail. The Associated Press confirms that S. D. Whitmansegal is also known as Stephanie Segal.

Laing is the 13th cyclist killed in Southern California in the last five weeks, and the 13th since the beginning of August.

Breaking News: Cyclist killed in Agoura Hills Saturday afternoon

According to the Ventura County Star, a 30-year old cyclist was killed in a collision with a vehicle at approximately 3:45 pm this afternoon on Agoura Road just east of Liberty Canyon Road. The paper reports that the victim’s identity and city of residence have not been released at this time.

More information when it becomes available.

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