Funny how the less time I spend in malls, the more I love this time of year.
So whether you’re gearing up for Christmas, or preparing to light the third candle on your menorah — or just enjoying a nonspecific holiday season — take some time to get away from the hustle and bustle, and spend a little quality time out on your bike.
You can both thank me later.
I had a very pleasant conversation last week with Denise Guerra, a student journalist with USC’s highly respected Annenberg School of Journalism.
She’s working on a story about bicycling collisions and hit-and-runs, and would like to speak with anyone who’s been through either — or preferably, both. So if you’ve been hit by a car, shoot her an email at email@example.com.
Especially if the heartless S.O.B. who did it drove off and left you lying in the street.
Maybe Dottie can drop her a line, as one of America’s most popular bike bloggers is the victim of a hit-and-run driver, yet not surprisingly, still manages to look on the bright side.
Portland’s bicycling mom appears on Ricki Lake, and Ricki Lake appears in Flying Pigeon’s bakfiets. The Long Beach Post names local cyclists their person of the year. World bike travelers Russ and Laura offer their suggestions for holiday gifts; can we still call them Long Beach’s biking expats after they’ve been gone so long and taken up semi-permanent residence in Portland?
Orange County residents are fighting the missing link in the Santiago Creek bike trail because they fear it will increase crime; no, really, that’s what they say. Costa Mesa takes steps to slow traffic on a dangerous street, including adding bike lanes, much to the chagrin of some drivers. A lack of bike racks makes Thousand Oaks less than bike friendly. A convicted bike doper asks the courts to end her probation so she can practice law. A Santa Cruz-area cyclist is killed, despite wearing what the Mercury News calls protective gear; unfortunately, the paper doesn’t specify whether that meant a helmet, chain mail or full body bubble wrap. A big rig truck driver is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a Fresno County cyclist. A Vacaville couple are looking for the woman cyclist who helped save the bike riding husband’s life. In Davis, the new old road means the old old road could soon be a new old road for bikes and pedestrians. Tragically, an East Bay cyclist is killed after hitting gravel when he pulled onto the shoulder of a roadway to let traffic pass.
A list of the country’s most bike-friendly baseball stadiums shows maybe Dodger Stadium isn’t that bad for bikes after all. Perhaps you’d like a bike horn that sounds like a car; I suspect I’d just instinctively flip myself off anytime I used it. A committed vehicular cyclist says he’s not interested in ruining the streets just so you can have a damn bike lane; yes, that’s what he really said. A Michigan man is sentenced to prison for assaulting a group of teenage cyclists while under the influence. Michigan installs a highway bike lane with a seven-foot buffer lane. A New York cyclist thinks it was an unmarked police vehicle that dragged him across an intersection before fleeing the scene. Jersey City is about to get nearly 55 miles of new bikeways. A Florida driver says it’s up to you to avoid obstacles blocking the bike lane, without getting the hell in his way — and it wasn’t his fault he hit that kid, either.
A UK cyclist who dedicated his life to working for safer streets is killed while riding on the streets he fought to improve. British TV viewers volunteer to kill a helmet cam wearing bike rider in the wake of a BBC look at the conflict between drivers and cyclists, while a professional driver says maybe he was wrong to Jerry Brown a bicyclist. Even world champions get run off the road by angry, aggressive drivers. A Brit motorist is charged with deliberately running into a 15-year old bike rider six months after threatening to do just that. We have a new contender for the world’s shortest and most useless bike lane.
Finally, as much as I dislike drunk drivers, shooting them to death seems like a rather extreme response. And if you won’t stop for Santa Claus, you belong on the naughty list.
For all who observe it, please accept my best and warmest wishes for a very happy Chanukah.