Since you’re reading this, we can assume you managed to survive, not only Friday’s Mayan apocalypse, but this past weekend’s last chance before Christmas full-contact shopping marathon.
And since I’m writing this, we can also assume I somehow managed to control my reaction to the jerk who honked and gestured angrily for my wife and I to get the hell out of his way as we walked through a Costco parking lot.
After all, had I followed the advice of the NRA’s leadership, I might have fired off 20 or 30 rounds from my fully automatic military-style assault rifle before realizing that I don’t in fact own one.
Or want to.
I have a hard enough time controlling the knee-jerk reaction of my middle finger when confronted by aggressive, hostile and/or threatening motorists. God forbid if the one next to it was attached to a trigger at the time.
It’s remarkable just how shallow the holiday spirit is revealed to be when confronted by the realities of a packed parking lot.
That’s not to say I didn’t see a lot of smiling faces this weekend.
It’s just that none of them were in cars at the time.
It’s not that I believe in Santa Claus. It’s just that, like Batman and honest politicians, I prefer to live in a world where such things might actually exist.
Cycling’s governing body finally approves equal prize money for men and women at the world championships; now how about equality on the world tours? It’s long past time for equal pay for equal work in women’s cycling. But at least Amgen is considering sponsoring a separate but unequal women’s tour in Northern California.
L.A.’s Bike Nation bike share program kicks off in Downtown next April, and teams with the Clippers’ Caron Butler to donate bikes to LA Boys and Girls Club members. The Asian Journal looks at LADOT General Manager Jaime de la Vega. Santa Monica Patch maps the location of the city’s five traffic deaths this year, including the still unsolved case of hit-and-run cycling victim Erin Galligan. Vincent Chang and Bike SGV are creating a paradigm shift in SoCal cycling. The Claremont Currier offers a nice look at longstanding bike shop Coates Cyclery. CLR Effect rides the West fork of the San Gabriel River; that’s one I want to try one of these days. Long Beach opens a full-blown multi-media campaign to educate cyclists and drivers about bike safety — although the ad in the story seems to show cyclists riding blissfully in the left lane.
Good looks at the world’s first bikes made from 100% recycled aluminum; something we mentioned here a few weeks back. A young Santa Ana cyclist is expected to survive being shot when he’s challenged over gang affiliations. Bike helmets have to be certified to meet safety standards while skateboard helmets don’t, making them riskier for the BMX riders who use them. Prison inmates refurbish bikes for over 80 children in Imperial County. If you’re going to steal a bike from an El Centro Walmart while carrying illegal drugs, watch out for poles. UPS delivers by bike in Santa Maria; if they’d do that in Santa Monica, I wouldn’t mind so much if they used the bike lane. I’ve never been a 49ers fan, but that might change if they keep building bikes to donate to needy kids; next year, though, let’s make it 490 bikes, not 49. If you’re a white or Hispanic male cyclist, you could represent Verizon in a Bay Area commercial; evidently blacks and Asians — or women, for that matter — don’t fit the image the massive communications company wants to project. A Sacramento cyclist is killed when he swerved to avoid a puddle in a heavy rain; if you ride in the rain, remember that a bike is the last thing drivers are looking for in adverse weather.
Bicycling says how you act can determine whether you get a deal at your local bike shop; I can sum it up in four words — don’t be an ass. Some riders are doing more than dream of a bike Christmas. A New Mexico jury awards $2.1 million in a cycling collision, but places half the blame on the cyclist for allowing himself to get left crossed. The Colorado Mesa University cycling team is looking for a new coach after the current director is implicated in one doping scandal too many. Chicago plans to become a world class bike city, again. Just what Boston cyclists don’t need, as the Boston Globe gets a new anti-bike editor. An upstate New York cyclist dies three months after he was struck in a drugged hit-and-run collision; yes, the driver has been found and will face charges in his death. New Yorkers respond to a proposal to require licenses and insurance for bikes. Jerry Seinfeld cruises New York in Porsches and a Pinarello racing bike. A Long Island cyclist is beaten and robbed by eight to 10 men who fled with his bike. A woman is shot and killed by an apparent acquaintance while riding in West Palm Beach; a 16-year old cyclist was shot and killed a little further south in Miami. A Florida driver plowed into a group of cyclists, injuring four; thankfully, none critically. An Aussie woman learns to ride at the ripe old age of 35.
Turns out bicycling keeps more than just your body in shape. London cyclists will get a new way to bypass stopped buses without having to ride out into traffic, while the Guardian questions whether London Mayor BoJo is spending wisely to encourage safety. A Coventry cyclist maps his own bike network inspired by a clock face. BMC Racing pro Alessandro Ballan is severely injured in a high-speed solo crash while training. An Italian rider becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by bike, completing the trip in just 152 days — or maybe not; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the tip to the second link. The Spanish Supreme Court rules that 2005 Vuelta winner Roberto Heras deserves his title back despite testing positive for EPO during the race; maybe Lance should sue and get his titles back, too. A Sydney man is stabbed when a group of teenagers insist on borrowing his son’s bike; at least, that’s what they called it. A Kiwi driver insists cyclists are putting everyone at risk by riding two and three abreast and — gasp — riding in the traffic lane. A Singapore drunk driver is fined a whopping $1250 for killing a cyclist. Once transportation for the masses, bikes are the new status symbol for China’s rich. If you want to talk extreme cycling, let’s start with riding to the South Pole.
By a gerbil.
And no, I don’t want to know any more details, thank you.