The winners of our Mojo Bar giveaway, updates on recent bike crashes, and UPS blocks the bike lane

Let’s catch up on what turned out to be a far too busy week.


First up are the winners of last weekend’s contest to give away some CLIF Mojo bars by revealing your own favorite means of performance enhancement for when you ride.

The winners were chosen in a totally biased and arbitrary manner by yours truly, based strictly on how much I liked the response.

And from my perspective, it looks like Brian was clear winner.

I ride with My enhancer is seeing a fellow Wounded Soldier Amputee passing me, or just not giving up!!

Seriously, how could I not reward a Wounded Warrior who just flat refuses to quit? Let alone one who uses his fellow riders for inspiration.

But we also had several runners-up who gave great responses as well.

Like Joe B, who struck a similar note.

I’ve found that the best way to enhance my performance is to have my slightly-faster buddy riding about fifteen or twenty feet in front of me.

I’ve got to admit, few things motivate me more than trying to catch and pass that rider just up the road.

Then there’s Lois Rubin, who deserves to win if she can ride a mountain bike without blowing chunks after eating this. Or maybe she didn’t mean at the same time.

For mountain biking – Pickles! and peanut butter, bananas and honey in a small whole wheat pita. For the road – hammer gel and mojo bars. Really.

Opus the Poet struck a similar note.

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat. I can run for miles on them. I did a century on a 24 oz. loaf and small jars of honey and peanut butter. And a few Gatorades.

Anyone who can go a hundred miles on a loaf of whole wheat bread has my respect.

Several people noted the value of a little — or a lot — of caffeine. But Mike Caputo threw in some music and a little lubrication.

My favorite performance enhancers (in no particular order) are a Starbucks Tall White Chocolate Mocha, a little ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2 (still works) and a quick squirt of bike lube on the chain (I know this is supposed to be done after but it feels so good)…of course the stretchy paints don’t hurt.

Finishing just out of the money, since CLIF’s agency limited me to five winners, was this response from Ben Calderwood.

Sherpa blood. No, I may have dreamed that. Plain ol’ Clif bars and gels, typically. The Mojo bars are too good; I tend to eat my stash long before I get on the bike.

I can think of more than a few riders who wouldn’t hesitate to ingest or inject Sherpa blood if they thought it would shave a few seconds off their time, or maybe win them a Tour de France title. But let’s think of Ben as first runner-up, and not just because he put in a plug for the product.

If for some reason we can’t ship a set of Mojo bars to one of the winners — like if someone doesn’t respond with a valid address — maybe we can slip him into the mix. At least now he knows how Taylor Phinney feels.

I’ve already emailed the winners, who have until this Monday to respond with a mailing address.

And thanks to everyone who entered. There were a lot of great responses, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t win.

It wasn’t an easy decision.


A representative of the LAPD has confirmed that Jerico Culata, the 18-year old cyclist killed on the UCLA campus during last week’s Critical Mass ride, was riding a brakeless fixed gear bike, as many have speculated.

It appears that Culata was unable to control his bike on the moderately steep downhill; he didn’t have the strength or skill to slow down without brakes, lost control and struck a concrete wall head on, suffering non-survivable brain injuries.

Go ahead.

Make every argument against helmet use you want to make.

But this is exactly the sort of injury bike helmets were designed to protect against. And while no one can say Culata would have survived if he’d been wearing one, his chances clearly would have been better if he’d had one.


A spokesman for the CHP reports that Willis Veluz-Abraham may not have died as a result of rumble strips on Stunt Road, after all.

According to the officer, Veluz-Abraham was riding with a group of other riders who were filming him with a bike cam; he reportedly looked back at them just before taking a corner too fast, losing control and going off the side of the road.

The CHP investigation places no blame on the rumble strips that had recently been installed.

I might question that, myself.

Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve disagreed with the CHP.

Even if they didn’t contribute directly to his crash, the rumble strips could — repeat, could — have destabilized his bike enough that it was impossible to regain control. And even if they didn’t play a role in this case, it should be obvious to everyone that rumble strips and bikes don’t mix.

But I freely admit I may have gotten it wrong this time.

And let’s hope that video, if it still exists, never sees the light of day.


Still no news on last Saturday’s Topanga Canyon hit-and-run in which a Land Rover-driving coward left a cyclist seriously injured on the side of the road.

The CHP reports that the investigation is still ongoing, and no further details are available at this time.

However, they may need volunteers to distribute posters this weekend; I’ll let you know if they reach out for help.


Maybe you’ll recall the prompt response I got from UPS a couple months back, promising not to block any more Santa Monica bike lanes.

So much for that.

This was taken Tuesday on northbound San Vicente Blvd, just around the corner and a few blocks from the previous incident.


Finally, California gets another dangerous driver off the streets. And enough with the damn earthquakes, Beverly Hills. It’s just a desperate plea for attention, and we’re not falling for it.


  1. Bob Meinetz says:

    I enjoy reading your column and in general think you do the cycling public a great service. That said, I’ll comment based on my experience as an ex-delivery driver, a cyclist who rides 4K miles/year, and a cyclist who often buys discounted parts online and has them delivered conveniently to my door.

    I see delivery trucks blocking bike lanes on a fairly regular basis, and it’s not just UPS. On busy westside streets like San Vicente or Ocean, where there is often no parking for blocks around, a driver might add a half hour or more to each stop if he had to find a parking spot for his truck and walk his packages to their destination. This is simply not going to happen, and it’s the reason why double-parking and many other violations are seldom enforced – it’s usually a minor inconvenience which is tolerated for the added convenience having things delivered inexpensively.

    In the video above, there are no parking spaces available, but traffic is light. It seems the best solution is to acknowledge the inconvenience and deal with it – check your mirror and ride around – realizing the driver isn’t an a-hole but someone just like you trying to get her job done. Maybe so she can go home and ride her bike.

    Sharing the road goes both ways.

    • bikinginla says:

      Trust me, I’m not trying to make life harder for delivery people, or single out UPS. My dad was a mail carrier for over 20 years, so I understand the challenges you guys face.

      However, you may not have noticed the red curb just before the spot where the truck stopped; parking in the red is no more illegal than stopping in the bike lane, and wouldn’t jeopardize anyone’s safety. UPS, FedEx and USPS all stop in the red curb in front of my building on a regular basis, and have never been ticketed or asked to move.

      There is also a wide driveway just in front of where the truck stopped. While it would be slightly more challenging, the driver could have pulled into the driveway without blocking access for residents.

      I’m a firm believer in sharing the road. I go out of my way to ride in a safe and courteous manner. I realize that we’re all just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

      However, I’m not willing to share the few feet of roadway that have specifically been set aside for the use of bicyclists. We have too few bikeways as it is, and turning them into parking lots does not benefit anyone.

  2. Andrea says:

    The men that we re riding with Willis would contend that the rumble strips were a problem, and there was no video being made. I don’t know where that info came from. But IT IS COMPLETELY false.

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