Chances are, you didn’t notice it.
It was just a comment that appeared on here Monday, on a story I wrote a couple weeks ago. But who wrote it, and what she had to say, speaks volumes.
It seems like such small and insignificant gestures to install a ghost bike or hold a ride in memory of a fallen cyclist. Not nearly enough to ease our overwhelming sadness and anger, or bring comfort to the families of the victims.
Let alone result in real change on our roads to keep it from happening again.
Then I read this comment from Peggy Laing-Krause, the sister of James Laing — the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk driver in Agoura Hills last month:
What a beautiful tribute to my brother to ride in his honor and visit the accident site. I have come down from Sacramento 3 times since Jim’s death and each time I visit the site, it has grown larger than the last. So touching to me, and to my family who live in So. Cal., to see the compassion from all the riders. Being an avid cyclist myself, I know of the close unity that exists in the bicycling community… no matter where you live. Thank you for your tremendous support and thoughtful coverage of Jim’s accident. You ARE making a difference.
I must have read that a dozen times over the past couple days. And it’s brought a tear to my eye every time.
And yes, it makes me feel even more guilty that I wasn’t able to be there for the memorial ride.
So to the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club, who sponsored the ride in memory of James Laing, and the Bicycle Johns Agoura Hills, who went out of their way to accommodate the riders and make it happen — thank you.
And to everyone who has taken the time to remember James, Danny Marin, Michael Nine or any of the far too many other riders who’ve fallen on SoCal streets in recent months, in whatever way, take just a moment to take Peggy’s comment in.
You are making a difference.
For the families of the victims. And for all of us.
After his eponymous bike team imploded in a disastrous year with the death of team member Jorge Alvarado and the very public confession of Floyd Landis, who was hired to join the team this year, Compton’s own national criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati rebounds by joining the SoCal-based SKLZ-Pista Palace team.
Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara joins the Schleck brothers in the new Luxembourg-based team. And UCI president Pat McQuaid calls Landis a liar; after Floyd denied doping for so long before finally coming clean — and pointing a finger at virtually the entire peloton — doesn’t that go without saying?
LACBC helps put more bike racks in Pico Union, and offers advice on how to find the right frame size. Metro’s bike program is now under new management. The 4th Street Bike Boulevard comes another step closer to reality as LADOT doubles the sharrows on the street and adjusts signal detectors to recognize bikes. CicLAvia invites you to help bring the event to South L.A. Gary reminds everyone about the open house for the Santa Monica bike action plan, and as he reported last week, riding on the sidewalk in Santa Monica will now be an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. A call for better buses and bikes in L.A. instead of expensive trains. GT takes a shine to his trainer. UCLA will screen The Triplets of Bellevue on Friday. Long Beach’s Hub co-op invites you to recycle your bicycle. Claremont Cyclist looks at the Gene Galindo Memorial Turkey Trot Cross; so does the Glendale News-Press.
San Jose is just the latest California city to drop bike licensing. Is there really a conflict between lycra and tweed? Cyclelicious offers his own bike routing map, so see if it works better for you than Google’s bike directions — it did for me. A Redding cyclist dies after a Monday hit-and-run (3rd item), and police identify the victim by his keys; another reminder to always, always carry ID when you ride.
People for Bikes reaches 150,000. NPR looks at the bike commuting phenomenon. Unlike our counterparts overseas, Americans aren’t stealing and trashing bike share bikes. Turning campaign signs into bike fenders, among other things. A 72-year old Missoula woman rides 3,000 miles this year alone. Madison WI police arrest the city’s notorious Bike Path Flasher. A 71-year old cyclist is found dead from a bullet wound in a deer hunting area near Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at ghost bikes. An Op Ed in the NY Daily News examines why New York needs to make room for cyclists, while the city passes a law forcing the NYDOT to explain why streets are chosen for “rampant” bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. A cyclist breaks her collar bone, and questions why cycling accidents are different from other injuries; thanks to Stanley for the heads-up. Residents fight a bike bridge because it could bring outsiders and crime from the other side of the river. A Louisiana sheriff continues a two-decade tradition of giving donated bikes to area children.
An Ontario hockey team honors their teammate killed while riding his bike. A Toronto cyclist says drivers must love bike lanes, since they use them so often to pick up their cleaning or make a call. In a case of the rich getting richer, the Dutch government commits to spending €80 million on new bike routes. How to avoid buying a stolen bike. Road.cc offers a gift list for discerning cyclists. The London Assembly questions the safety and value of the city’s new cycle superhighways. Danny MacAskill rides the streets of London as only he can. Someone is causing flats by spreading metal screws on the streets of a UK town. A New Zealand teen accepts the blame after a riding collision leaves him “broken.” Presenting the hubless, belt-drive bike of the future. Now that’s what I call a bike calendar.
Finally, Commute by Bike examines four myths about helmets and safety, and discovers that the subject is more controversial than they thought. And bike lawyer Bob Mionske nails it when he says people who ask if a cyclist was wearing a helmet in a collision might as well ask if he was wearing a magic talisman.