Archive for March 31, 2014

Your fool-free Morning Links, including a well-done bike film, and a book deservedly thrown by OC prosecutors


Yes, this post is dated April 1st, despite my best efforts to get it online earlier.

But no, you won’t find any April fools here.

Except possibly a writer/rider who keeps hoping the motoring public will somehow get it, and transform our roadways into the safe and welcoming streets they can and should be. That cyclists will assert their right to ride the streets in a safe and courteous manner.

And that both will form, if not a genuine friendship, as least a grudging détente that will allow us all to arrive at our various destinations in peace. And in one piece.

It could happen.



Orange County prosecutors are prepared to throw the book at a young driver facing 15 years and nine months in state prison. As well as one year and six months in county jail.

And frankly, she couldn’t deserve it more.

Allegedly, of course.

That’s what 18-year old Tustin resident Sommer Gonzalez could potentially serve once she’s arraigned on Tuesday in the hit-and-run death of 21-year old cyclist Joe Robinson this past February.

Robinson, who worked at Jax Bicycle Center in Irvine, was riding in the bike lane on southbound Santiago Canyon in Orange when he was plowed down from behind by Gonzalez’ car. Gonzalez fled the scene, but was arrested an hour later based on the description of her car given by an off-duty fire battalion chief, who also found Robinson’s body.

According to Rancho Santa Margarita Patch, she will face a long list of charges.

  • One felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated
  • Driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury
  • Hit and run with death
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • One misdemeanor count of use and under the influence of a controlled substance
  • One misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia
  • Sentencing enhancement allegations for inflicting great bodily injury
  • Sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime

The real tragedy here is that two lives were destroyed that morning. A well-loved young man needlessly lost his life.

And a young woman willfully threw hers away.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and John McBrearty for the heads-up.


Great short film with a wicked twist if you have a little less than 10 minutes to kill. Thanks to John Murphy aka murphstahoe for the link.



Streetsblog’s Joe Linton asks why Metro is looking at raising fares while giving away free parking. Damn good question if you ask me.

HuffPo talks with CicLAvia co-founder Aaron Paley.

The LA Weekly casts a questioning eye on the state’s proposed vulnerable user law; don’t bother reading the comments unless you’ve got a strong stomach.

Three perspectives on turning the Riverside bridge into an elevated park.

A walker is injured after looking over her shoulder but still turning into the path of a cyclist, leading a community leader says more must be done to prevent future collisions on the Elysian Valley section of the LA River bike path.

A cop in Watts pulls over a cyclist for a traffic violation, and ends up shooting a pit bull after its owner — not the bike rider — sics him on the officer. Thanks to Rick Risemberg for the heads-up.



Jeff Miller of the Alliance for Biking and Walking will speak about Building a Bike Friendly City in Santa Ana next Monday. Thanks to Frank Peters for the tip.

Brewcyclers will be riding to a new brewery in Anaheim at the end of this month.

Turns out San Diego’s new police chief is one of us.



A pair of BMX-borne bastards knock an  85-year old Las Vegas woman down and steal her belongings; there’s a special place in hell for people like that.

A Missouri woman faces up to seven years after pleading guilty to the high-speed hit-and-run death of a cyclist.

A New York artist offers an illustrated guide to the city’s stereotypical bicyclists.

Bike traffic just keeps growing on DC’s protected bike lanes.



A Brit band plans a full album of bike-inspired songs.

Once again, a British bike rider is seriously injured after someone strings a rope across the pathway he was riding on.

London buses will get new bike and pedestrian sensors to help avoid collisions.

A promo for a UK bicycling festival is pulled after people call it sexist. And yes, it is. Or was.

Ten things that put British residents off riding; I suspect those same reasons would hold true just about anywhere.

An Irish teenager says he was so drunk and stoned he had no idea what he was doing when he assaulted a cyclist, beat her viciously and stole her groceries. Maybe someone can save room for him in Hades next to those BMX bandits.



An Aussie reporter offers five tips to avoid helmet hair — including just not riding.

And a photo from JoJointhe310 shows that there are exceptions to every rule.

Bike Parking Sign


Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.


A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.


The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.


Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

A little light Morning Linkage for your Cesar Chavez Day


A year after he was critically injured in a horrific hit-and-run, Damian Kevitt joins last Friday’s Critical Mass to honor other hit-and-run victims.

Meet Rick Risemberg — Mr. Bicycle Fixation himself — when he leads an art tour at Sunday’s CicLAvia. I’d offer to lead a beer tour, but my legs don’t pedal so good after the second one.

Cyclists from SoCal and beyond complete a successful San Dimas Stage Race.



Calbike invites you to sign a petition supporting AB 2398 to increase penalties for crashing into vulnerable road users.

A 15-year old bike rider is critically injured in an Ontario collision.

The Redlands Bicycle Classic returns for a 30th edition with an extra, added Highlands stage.

A wounded warrior bikes across the country on prosthetic legs after losing his in Afghanistan.

An Oceanside letter writer says screw planning and complete streets, I want my traffic lanes; maybe he has relatives in Ontario, Canada.

San Diego celebrates its second CicloSDias.

Pregnant women pedal all the way to the delivery room; thanks to Ryan Gratzer for the heads-up.



Bicycling is more than okay in Downtown OKC.

A Chicago cyclist receives $5.7 million settlement after he’s paralyzed by a falling tree limb the city determined didn’t need to be trimmed.

It may be time to give New York’s Citi Bike program some tough love, says the Daily News.



Presenting an animated history of the bicycle in just 70 seconds.

Without a commitment to long-term funding, the UK may be wasting the opportunity presented by the Tour de France’s Yorkshire start.

LA riders dodge cars and potholes; Brit riders massive rolls of paper rolling down the street.

At least all we have to worry about is angry drivers. An Aussie cyclist is hospitalized after crashing into a kangaroo; no word on whether the other, more bouncy party was injured.



Don’t slug the pedestrian who complains about your bike riding. Just don’t.


Former Pasadena councilman Sid Tyler dies after bicycling fall

Sad news this morning, as word broke yesterday that a longtime Pasadena city council member died after falling from his bike on Thursday.

Sid Tyler, who served on the council from 1997 to 2009, was disconnected from life support on Friday after family members arrived from around the country to be at his side. According to the Pasadena Star-News, he was in his early 80s.

Unfortunately, few details are available, and there are conflicting reports about just what happened.

The Star-News reports he was riding on California Blvd when he signaled for a left turn, lost his balance and fell into the street. He reportedly suffered a severe neck injury as a result.

The paper notes witnesses said he was wearing a helmet; unfortunately, a helmet offers no protection against a neck injury, and may exacerbate it under certain circumstances.

However, the Pasadena Now website suggests he may have suffered a heart attack and fallen into the path of an oncoming car. They place the site of the fall as California Blvd near Morengo Ave.

Tyler was a former Marine, and long-time employee of Tenet Healthcare, retiring in 1994 as executive vice president. He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, as well as four grown children.

According to Pasadena Now, flags were lowered to half staff at Pasadena City Hall in his honor.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County. He is also the third Pasadena bike rider to lose his life in the last nine months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sid Tyler and all his family. 

Calendar: Tour de Co-ops, LACBC Whole Foods benefit, bike LB Gran Prix, and bike lanes back before BH council

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

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

By the time you read this, it will be too late to get out to the Imperial Valley. Which is a pity, because the Tour de Manure sounds like fun.

Saturday, March 29th, take a bike tour of the city’s seven bike co-ops with the Tour de Co-Ops 2014; optional $35 fee includes t-shirt, food at every stop, and dinner and a drink at the after party.

Lovers of Bikes & Beers should head to San Diego on Saturday, March 29th. The $45 event offers four start times, from 9:30 am to 11 am; the 26 mile ride will feature stops at some of the city’s best brew houses.

Sunday, March 30th, the Woodland Hills Whole Foods is sponsoring a Community Giving Day benefiting the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Five percent of the day’s total sales at the store will go the coalition, from 7 am to 10 pm, 21347 Ventura Blvd. Two feeder rides are planned; see link above for details.

Also on Sunday the 30th, the LACBC, TRUST South LA and the LADOT Bike Program are sponsoring the Active Streets LA Community Mapping Ride from 10 am to 2 pm to map infrastructure along the Budlong Ave corridor. Meet at the Vermont Square Library, 1201 W. 48th St.

Gear up for the April CicLAvia by heading down to San Diego for CicloSDias, the open streets equivalent in our neighbor to the south on Sunday, March 30th from 10 am to 3 pm in Pacific Beach.

No April Fools joke. You have a 1-1/2 hour opportunity to conduct a mini-ciclovia on the Long Beach Grand Prix course on April 1st, from 11:30 am to 1 pm in DTLB.

Bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd comes up for a vote in the Biking Black Hole as Beverly Hills reconsiders their recent unofficial disapproval of having a livable, complete street through the city at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 1st; 455 North Rexford Drive. If they should unexpectedly change their minds, wait for the “April Fools” that’s sure to follow.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets on the first Tuesday of every even-numbered month; the next meeting takes place at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 1st at 6501 Fountain Ave.

The City of Los Angeles will host a series of neighbor workshops to collect feedback on the Mobility Plan 2035, re:code LA and the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles; the Mobility Plan especially will impact the future of bicycling in the city. Click here for addresses and other information (pdf).

  • West, 6 to 9 pm on Wednesday, April 2nd
  • South Valley, 9 am to noon on Saturday, April 5th
  • Harbor, 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, April 12th

The 30th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic rolls from Wednesday, April 2nd to Sunday, April 6th offering some of the nation’s best amateur and professional bike racing.

The National Open Streets Summit is scheduled for Friday, April 4th through Sunday, April 6th at the Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.

The annual Bicycle Film Festival offers the perfect lead-up to CicLAvia, unspooling — do they still do that? — at the Aratani / Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro Street in Downtown LA on Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th.

Helen’s Cycles hosts a no-drop Men’s Group Ride for intermediate riders on Saturday, April 5th to be led by members of the Helen’s Cycles Men’s Race Team. Check-in for the ride is 7:45 am at the Santa Monica Helen’s, 2501 Broadway, rolling at 8 am.

The next CicLAvia is scheduled for Sunday, April 6th on iconic Wilshire Blvd, LA’s historic main street. The free event rolls and walks from Downtown to the Miracle Mile with expanded hours from 9 am to 4 pm.

Fans of the Amgen Tour of California can ride the same official Stage 8 course the pros will when the L’Etape du California rolls on Sunday, April 6th in Thousand Oaks. Entry is limited to the first 1,500 riders to register.

Angelenos Against Gridlock will host a free Fireside Chat on Transportation with Westside City Councilmember Mike Bonin on Friday, April 11th from 6:45 pm to 9 pm at the over-named The Moss Theater at New Roads School’s Capshaw-Spielberg Center at the Herb Alpert Educational Village, 3131 Olympic Blvd.

Saturday, April 12th, Helen’s Cycles sponsors the Eli Richbourg Memorial Ride to raise funds for Eli’s wife and two-year old daughter following his death from a brain aneurism last year. The ride starts at the Santa Monica Helen’s, 2501 Broadway at 8 am; suggested donation $25.

The San Fernando Valley Bike Club offers a twice monthly Compagni Group Ride — Italian for companion — on the second and fourth Sunday of every month; the next ride takes place on Sunday, April 13th. Click here for more details (footnote d); lots of other great sounding rides on the list, too.

Walk ‘n Rollers teams up with  the LACBC to present the free 2014 South LA Kids Bike Festival on Sunday, April 13th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Foshay Learning Center, 3751 S. Harvard Blvd. The fun family event will focus on developing safe riding skills; a limited supply of bikes and helmets will be available to borrow.

Also on Sunday, April 13th, the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles join with the LACBC for their monthly bike tour of the LA area. This month’s La Rubaix Ride will offer a not-so-hellish and cobblestone-free homage to the Paris – Roubaix classic. The 35 mile, intermediate level ride meets at 8:30 am at The Trails Cafe, 2333 Fern Dell Drive, rolling at 9.

The My Figueroa project is due to return to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee on Tuesday, April 15th at 2:30 pm; 200 North Spring Street.

LADOT and City Planning are hosting a webinar (pdf) to discuss the second year implantation of the LA 201 bike plan, from 7 to 8 pm on Friday, April 17th.

The MOM Ridaz are volunteering to feed the homeless at the 3rd annual Sweet Home Sundae Bar sponsored by the Fred Jordan Missions and Rowe Cuisine on Saturday, April 19th from 10 am to 2 pm; two or possibly three feeder rides will lead to the event. If you’d like to volunteer, email with your name, e-mail and shirt size no later than April 1st 1. I can’t imagine a better cause.

The annual Taco Night sponsored by the Eastside Bike Club, Monrovia Cyclist and Stan’s Bike Shop takes place at 5 pm on Saturday, April 19th as a fund raiser for Tour de Cure. The event takes place at Stan’s Bike Shop, 800 Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 26th, when the Pomona Police Department will host a Kid’s Bike Rodeo; details to follow.

The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride takes place on Sunday, April 27th at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Highway in Long Beach. Rides range from eight to 100 miles, with a $200 fundraising minimum.

On February 17th of last year, Damian Kevitt was hit by a minivan while riding his bike in Griffith Park. The driver attempted to flee the scene with Kevitt trapped under the vehicle, dragging him nearly 600 feet onto the 5 Freeway and leaving him for dead; the resulting injuries cost him a leg, and nearly took his life. On Sunday, April 27th, Kevitt is planning to finish the ride to raise funds for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

The Ride 2 Recovery to benefit wounded vets returns to Southern California on Saturday, May 3rd in Thousand Oaks. The ride departs from the Lost Hills Sheriff Station, 27050 Agoura Hills Road, starting at 8 am; no cost for injured vets.

Wolfpack Hustle hosts the Shorline Crit in Long Beach from 2 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, May 3rd.

One of the highlights of the LA bike calendar used to be the annual Bike Expo at the Convention Center, which sadly died to to declining interest. Now Santa Monica is picking up the mantle with the free Santa Monica Bike Expo on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th at the Santa Monica Pier.

The theme of the LACBC’s May Sunday Funday Ride is May the Forest Be With You, offering a delayed Earth Day celebration hosted by board member Kevin Hopps. The ride meets at LACBC headquarters in Downtown LA, 634 S. Spring Street at 9:30 am on Sunday, May 4th.

Saturday, May 10th, marks the Grand Opening of the first protected bike lane in the San Gabriel Valley, on Rosemead Blvd between Las Tunas and Broadway in Temple City; ribbon cutting ceremony starts a 9 am, with a Community Festival from 10 am to 1 pm. CICLE, the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop are leading a family-friendly community ride to the festival.

The Amgen Tour of California runs from Sunday, May 11th to Sunday, May 18th, starting in Sacramento. Three SoCal stages are planned, Friday May 16th, Santa Clarita to Mountain High; Saturday May 16th, Santa Clarita to Pasadena, and the final stage on Sunday the 18th in Thousand Oaks. There are also two women’s races scheduled, in Sacramento on May 11th and on the 12th in Folsom.

Bike Week 2014 is set to unfold the week of May 12th, with preview events on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th.

  • May 10th: Get Ready and Fix Your Bike!
  • May 11th: Bicycling is for Everyone Celebration!
  • May 12th: Kick-off Bike Week LA
  • May 13th: Blessing of the Bicycles
  • May 14th: Guided Ride Day: Bike Lanes and More!
  • May 15th: Bike to Work Day
  • May 12th-18th: Bike Local Discounts

Mark your calendar for Glendale’s 2nd Annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride on Sunday, May 18th, with rides ranging from seven to 45 miles.

The California Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Bike Advocacy Day to influence elected officials in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 21 in Sacramento.

Discover LA’s world famous street art on the Northeast Los Angeles Mural Ride on Saturday, May 24th. Meet at the Heritage Gold Line Station, 3545 Pasadena Ave at 9:30 am, rolling at 10.

LA’s most popular fundraising bike ride rolls on Sunday, June 22nd with the 14th edition of the LACBC’s Los Angeles River Ride. Ten rides of varying lengths, with starting points in Long Beach and Griffith Park, including two centuries, a 15-mile family ride and a free kid’s ride; discount prices available through May 27th.

Mark your calendar for the Peace Love & Family Ride for Crohn’s and Obesity in South LA on July 5th and 6th. Great cause; more details when they become available.

The year’s second CicLAvia takes place on Sunday, October 5th with a new variation on the classic Heart of LA route through Downtown LA, from Echo Park to East LA.

The first winter — or late fall, anyway — CicLAvia is also the first to roll through historic South LA on Sunday, December 7th, from the cultural center of the Southside in Leimert Park to the birthplace of West Coast Jazz on Central Avenue.

Find bike racing schedules and other cycling events at SoCal Cycling.

Weekend Links: Call him Dick Van Bike, a bike tax by any other name, and a hit-and-run cornerback by the Bay


Longtime LA livability advocate Ezra Horne calls for a last-ditch effort to save the Riverside-Figueroa bridge as an urban park.

Streetsblog offers two more perspectives on LA’s draft Mobility Plan, including LACBC board member Herbie Huff.

Teaching bike safety to LA school kids.

If you want to get to work faster in West Hollywood, leave earlier or take a bike; turns out WeHo bike riders are among the city’s most affluent commuters.

Eighty-eight-year old Dick Van Dyke and wife buy a pair of apparent recumbents from an unnamed LA-area bike shop.



Streetsblog updates the status of transportation-related bills in the state legislature, including the renamed bike tax; a rose by any other name still has its thorns.

A well-deserved four years in prison for an OC hit-and-run driver who killed a 75-year old pedestrian.

San Diego’s Ocean Beach is the latest SoCal site to get a bike share program before LA.

Major metaphorical train wreck by the Bay as gay-bashing 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver is arrested for fleeing the scene after running down a cyclist while driving with a suspended license. Then he threatens a witness with brass knuckles, before crashing into the witness’ car while trying to flee again.

Sacramento homeowners literally say not-in-my-backyard to a proposed bike path.



Gizmodo offers a self-described bullshit-free guide to the gear you need to commute by bike. Yes, there’s some good advice there, but the only thing you really need to commute by bike is one. And the will to use it.

When a Waterford CT boy complains to police about speeding traffic, they respond by pulling over scofflaw drivers the next day.

Bike lanes on New York’s Roosevelt Island bridge may be too dangerous to use.

Despite its proven success, the New York Post calls the Citi Bike program a “dubious venture,” but concedes there may be a place for them “if they don’t kill too many folks…” Current number of people killed by Citi Bike riders: zero.



A British rider offers a personal message to the truck driver who Jerry Browned him because he wants the driver to know how it feels to be passed too close.

Meanwhile, a British driver admits to left-hooking a cyclist she didn’t see and nearly knocking off another. But bikes are the problem, not her crappy driving.

Two UK women ride halfway around the world on bamboo bicycles.

A Polish rider barely escapes injury — or worse — when he passes a street car, then makes an ill-advised cutback across the tracks.

Growing numbers of bike riders cause Victoria Australia to reconsider the need for more bike parking.

A bike riding Kiwi driver complains about those damn group riders in their “click-on shoes and their lycra pants,” while a New Zealand cyclist is told to “f**k off” and “learn how to ride a f**king bike” after complaining to company about one of their aggressive drivers.



Finally, your next bike could be made from laminated wood and recycled soda cans. Or maybe you’d rather know what it’s like to ride in zero gravity.

And in light of recent events, let’s not forget your bike is going to be your most reliable form of transportation when the big one hits.


Morning Links: More on MyFig, way too much bad news from upstate, and don’t deal dope from a lightless bike


Downtown News offers a detailed look at the My Figueroa project’s survival at Tuesday’s PLUM committee meeting.

LADOT adds rumble strips to alert riders on the Elysium Valley section of the LA River bike path about pedestrians entrances.

Speaking of LADOT, they may finally begin ongoing, year-round bike and pedestrian counts (pdf).

Momentum Magazine looks at extremely busy New York expat and now our very own LA bike advocate Nona Varnado.

Mark your calendar for the first weekend in May, as Santa Monica celebrates my wedding anniversary with a new Bike Expo at the pier. Wait, that’s not the reason for it?



Redlands residents recall their memories of the famed Redlands Classic, which returns next week.

Sadly, a bike rider died after falling of her bike, for no apparent reason, in Pismo Beach last week.

More bad news, as a rider in time trial gear is found lying in the roadway near Winters; despite efforts to save him, he became the latest CA cyclist to lose his life to a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

A Chico bike rider’s organs live on, months after she was killed by a drunk driver.

A Ukiah man has his bike stolen, then recovered, after his wife suffers minor injuries when she’s hit by a Prius in a truly bizarre series of events.



It’s time to change traffic laws to hold killer drivers accountable. Once again, bike lawyer Bob Mionske nails it.

Fellow Bicycling magazine writer Elly Blue notes once again that cyclists, whether they drive or nor, already pay for the roads.

A Chicago cyclist is attacked by two machete-wielding thugs, evidently just for the hell of it. Fortunately, he’s okay, but his bike took a beating.

Experts say New York’s suddenly embattled Citi Bike program will survive.

A planned Pennsylvania bike path is moved to protect an endangered toad.

DC drivers are using bike lanes for car lanes. It’s not just DC; I had a driver cut me off in DTLA’s 7th Street bike lane Thursday night in a sadly successful attempt to bypass back-up traffic. We’ll have to see if the video comes out, which I plan to forward to the LAPD if it does.



The goal is building a better city; Calgary’s bikeways are just one way of getting there.

A UK man is still paying the price five years after he was injured after hitting a pothole.

Remarkably, a Brit driver walks free after the family of the cyclist she killed asks the court not to ruin her life.

A new plan plans to encourage more women to bike to British football — aka soccer — matches.

An Israeli man reinvents the wheel. Literally.



Adding cyclocross to the Olympics makes sense. Moving outdoor cycling events to the Winter Games doesn’t.

Don’t run your brother-in-law down on his bike the morning after an argument.

And repeat after me. If you’re riding in a Santa Monica alley with several bags of dope and a digital scale on your bike, put a damn light on it already.

Morning Links: City Council may not be PLUM crazy when it comes to MyFigueroa after all

Finally, good news on the needlessly delayed MyFigueroa project, as the City Council’s Planning and Land Management Committee moves forward with it.

Sort of.

In the face of overwhelming support for the project, the committee voted to discuss the matter again in three weeks, while tasking staff with the following:

  1. Report back on the project’s expected impact on traffic delays using more realistic assumptions than the conservative projections in the environmental impact report.
  2. Develop an education and marketing campaign to promote the project and businesses along the Figueroa corridor.
  3. Convene technical working groups to address remaining access and driveway concerns, including concerns about film permit restrictions during rush hour.
  4. Convene a technical committee to evaluate traffic plans for special events.
  5. Convene a technical committee to advise the before and after project evaluation.

Even the Shammas Auto Group, owners of Fig-side Felix Chevrolet, has implied they’ll drop their lawsuit against the project if consensus can be reached before it comes back to the committee on Tax Day.



Yet another reason to ride a bike, as the LAPD and Sheriff’s Department are tracking the license numbers of every vehicle on the street.

That alleged wrong way DUI driver faces a possible life sentence for killing six people — including her own sister — on the 60 Freeway in February; her lawyer says she’s “very scared.” She should be.

Streetsblog is talking to community leaders to get their take on the city’s proposed Mobility Plan 2035.

LA Councilmember Jose Huizar says it’s time to fix the sidewalks.

Wait. Dodger Stadium has bike lanes now?

Work finally gets underway on improving safety on PCH through Malibu.

A Redondo Beach bike rider is hospitalized following a collision with a pickup Wednesday afternoon; let’s hope it’s nothing serious. Thanks to My Redondo Beach for the heads-up.

Long Beach gets a second mini-ciclovia from 11:30 am to 1 pm next Tuesday as the course for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is opened to the non-motorized — and dog-free — public.



OC vigil celebrates the life of fallen rider Sean Severson on his 16th birthday; you can contribute to a fund in his honor here.

A Redlands website talks with the founder of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

A Big Bear cyclist says it’s people like us who give cyclists a bad name, while a writer for Bicycle Retailer suggests it’s better to be an appeaser than a hater. Surely there’s a middle ground in there somewhere.

A Monterrey man is ordered to remain in the mental institution he’s been confined to since throwing sulfuric acid in the face of an unsuspecting bicyclist in 2000.

Tragic news as an 89-year old woman dies following a collision with a bike rider on a pathway on the San Jose State University campus. No word on how or why it happened, but this is why you always ride carefully around pedestrians — especially children and the elderly, who are far more fragile than others.

A Napa man faces charges after he was spotted by the original owner riding a bike that was stolen last August.

Nice story, as a Healdsburg boy creates Bikes Peak, and finds it still standing nearly 20 years later.



Now that’s my idea of heaven. Yellowstone opens to bikes only for the next few weeks. Just watch out for early rising bears. And angry buffalo.

The mother of a fallen Chicago cyclist sues the drunk driver who killed him, along with his employer, the appropriately named AllYouCanDrink, LLC. They’re about to find out just how limited their liability is.

Eleven women cyclists recreate a 1928 ride by five women from New York to DC.



No matter how angry you get, don’t slam a truck driver’s head into his door after he gets out to confront you. Just don’t.

An Australian writer says cycling Down Under is getting more dangerous and it’s time for government action.

A blind Aussie cyclist plans to ride through Southeast Asia to raise money for guide dogs.

A New Zealand man dies from a night of binge drinking in celebration of the next day’s mountain bike trip.



A Vancouver soccer star is questionable after suffering a bicycling-related injury without ever getting on one. He tripped over a bike rack walking down the sidewalk.

And San Francisco may have the state’s first parking protected puppy lane; thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

BOLO alert for stolen Bianchi, appeal denied for convicted victim blaming OC drunk driver, and Morning Links

I hate bike thieves.

I hate even more when they victimize my friends. Or friends of my friends.

Or anyone, for that matter.

That’s what happened sometime Monday night or Tuesday when a friend of a friend had his bike stolen from inside a locked car a gated parking area at his Silver Lake apartment.

To make matters worse, he’d only had it for three weeks after taking up riding again for the first time in over a decade, using it to commute to work and explore the area around Echo Park, Silver Lake and DTLA.

So be on the lookout for a new Bianchi Brava, white 55 cm frame with red lettering, standard flat pedals and Shimano 2300 components.


A police report is on file, so call the police if you see it. Or contact me, and I’ll get word to the owner.

And one word of advice.

Take your sell phone right now, and snap a photo of your bike’s serial number. Then email it to yourself, while keeping the original on your phone.

That way you’ll have the serial number safely recorded in two separate places, with no risk of transcribing errors.


Evidently, she didn’t quite grasp the concept of a designated driver.

An Orange County woman had her appeal denied five years after she was convicted for killing a cyclist near Knott’s Berry Farm while driving at twice the legal limit — despite agreeing to be the designated driver for a group of friends.

She was sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison for the death; most likely because she was already on probation for previous DUI convictions in 2002 and 2004.

Her appeal was based on the judge’s action in denying evidence that the victim was allegedly high on meth and booze, and riding six feet into the roadway — aka taking the lane — with no reflectors and while wearing headphones.

Nothing like blaming a victim who can’t defend herself.

Fortunately — or unfortunately for her — her appeal was filed a year too late. So the woman she killed won’t have to depend on others to defend her character, or her actions.

Thanks to Lois for the tip.


A memorial celebration will be held Wednesday evening for fallen Fountain Valley bike rider Sean Severson, on what would have been his 16th birthday.

I love that attitude. Mourn the loss, but celebrate the person you knew and loved, even if they’re gone far too soon.



LA Observed reminds us about the upcoming Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia, and reprises last year’s guide to the route; I’m a fan of the Militant Angeleno’s guide, too.

A writer for City Watch says LA’s proposed street repair program is not ready for primetime.

Can’t see the forest for the trees. Pasadena police respond to pedestrian fatalities by cracking down on the potential victims rather than the people in the big, dangerous vehicles who might kill them.



Biking under the influence does matter. Personally, I’d prefer that no one gets out on the road after drinking or using drugs. But I’d much rather have a drunk on a bike than behind the wheel.

The San Diego Reader warns locals away from the city’s second CicloSDias, their take on a ciclovia. I remember an equally off-target screed from the LA Weekly predicting disaster before LA’s first CicLAvia.

Oddly, the civil suit has already been settled — for undisclosed terms, of course — in the case of the Tesla driver who blamed that new car smell for killing a Santa Cruz cyclist.

Once again, a reminder that you’ll need a good bike for the coming collapse of civilization, this time from the SF Weekly.

Speaking of which, Oakland is the latest city to move forward with an LA-style bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance. If you want to lower your IQ 30 points, just read the comments.



The Bike League urges you to contact the USDOT and tell them that one dead cyclist is one too many.

US cities are using bike repair programs to teach youth job skills and increase ridership.

How to frame your pitch to government officials.

A Phoenix man is arrested for kidnapping after officers spot him riding a bike with a pajama-clad 4-year old girl in his lap at three in the morning.

Houston police conduct stings to target drivers who endanger cyclists. The LAPD has discussed similar tactics, but to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t tried it yet. Thanks to Nicole Gustas for the heads-up.

Ohio bails on a three-foot passing law.

A Syracuse cyclist is suing the local police department for a collision in which he was hit by a squad car after running a stop sign. And the cop that hit him ran one, too.

An Allentown PA driver gets nine to 23 months for hitting a cyclist and fleeing the scene; police found his car abandoned half-a-mile away, with the bike still trapped underneath.



A British advocacy group says two million new Brit riders are about to take to the roads. Not all at once, I hope.

That dooring Down Under video has stirred up a hornet’s nest of bike hate.

An Aussie man is the second in two weeks to be injured after slipping on the paint stencil marking a bike lane.

More bike lanes come to Manila in the Philippines.



I’m just old enough to remember the classic 7-Eleven Cycling Team take on European racing — the first US riders to tackle the classics. Cycling News remembers Davis Phinney’s disastrous Milan-San Remo, yet very American cyclist since has followed in those pioneering tire tracks.

And did I mention that I hate bike thieves?

Popular bikeway to remain open this weekend, scholarship fund for fallen cyclist, and your Morning Links

Pete van Nuys, Executive Director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, sends word that the popular Pacific Coast Bike Route will remain open this weekend, despite the scheduled Ironman race.

After months of emails and the threat of lawsuit, organizers of the Ironman 70.3 race through Camp Pendleton have agreed to assign volunteer course marshals at the south end of San Clemente to permit regular bicycle traffic between that city and Oceanside.

In recent years Caltrans in San Diego has been issuing permits to the event which has become increasingly possessive of the only connection between Orange and San Diego Counties for 100 miles.

Those permits violate Streets and Highways Code 888, intended to assure citizens that when Caltrans builds a freeway it will not sever connections for non-motorized travelers.

The I-5 freeway alternate is the popular Old Hwy 101 to Las Pulgas, through a portion of the Marine base. When the Marines close it for maneuvers Caltrans routinely opens the shoulders of I-5 for bicyclists. But the race permit even closed those shoulders, stranding bicyclists in Oceanside and San Clemente for up to 5 hours. With little or no notice riders from LA County usually had no choice but to turn around.

Thanks to the hard work of Seth Cutter, Bicycle Coordinator for Caltrans San Diego, the agency convinced Ironman to do what most bike race organizers do: use course marshals to cross civilian bikes and peds. Caltrans is posting signs alerting motorists to bicycle presence. And anyone riding to San Diego’s Bikes & Beers event should find the route open fast along I-5’s shoulders all the way to Oceanside.


Australian cyclist James Rapley lost his like while biking in LA.

Australian cyclist James Rapley lost his like while biking in Los Angeles.

A memorial website and scholarship fund have been set up in honor of Australian cyclist James Rapley, killed while riding on Temescal Canyon last December.

If you want to grasp just an inkling of the love a parent has for his son — and the enormity of that loss — take a moment to read that page and browse through the website.

As you may recall, Rapley was on an extended layover at LAX on his way home from his new job in Chicago to join his family back in Seymour, a small country town in Victoria. So early in the morning of December 22nd — the last Sunday before Christmas — he rented a bike and took off to explore the beachfront bike path from LAX to the Palisades.

It must have seemed magical to ride along the nearly deserted beach at that early hour. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning myself.

For some reason, he made a detour onto Temescal Canyon; maybe he wanted the challenge of the steep uphill after the easy ride along the coast. I often do the same, even though it’s not a comfortable bike lane, as drivers frequently go too fast around the sweeping curves, and cut into the bike lane regardless of whether anyone is in it.

In other words, what followed could have happened to me. Or to any of us.

As Rapley rode in the bike lane, doing absolutely nothing wrong, he was struck from behind by an allegedly drunk, and possibly texting, 19-year old driver. He died there on the side of the road; I can only imagine his final thoughts, 8,000 miles from home and the loved ones who were eagerly awaiting him.

I’m told his family has dug deep to fund the scholarship, to be given to a rural student studying engineering or science at Melbourne University, as Rapley had done. But it will take a lot more money to make the scholarship a success, and honor a good and cringe man who should still be with us.

I’d love to see some significant donations come from here in LA. It’s the last place he ever saw, and we owe him and his family a debt we can never repay.

My wallet is pretty anorexic right now, but I’m going to do my best to send a little something their way. I think we owe him that.

Meanwhile, I’ve started making inquiries about how we can convert the bike lane he was riding in into the state’s first parking protected bike lane. It will take a change in state law, which currently requires cars to be parked within 18 inches of a curb.

But this is an ideal location for it, with no cross streets from PCH to Palisades High School, roughly 3/4 of a mile up the hill. And it would, for large portions of the day, help eliminate the risk riders currently face from aggressive and distracted drivers with little respect for a line a paint.

Because the best way we can honor James Rapley is to ensure it never happens to anyone again.


This sort of things always pisses me off.

A friend of mine reports she was assaulted while riding in Huntington Beach over the weekend when a group of idiots in a passing car threw a cup of ice at her, hitting her on the ass.

The good news is, she was able to maintain control of her bike and avoid a potentially dangerous fall, making it nothing more than a major annoyance. The bad news is, she wasn’t able to get a license number or good description of the car, so the jerks remain free to do it again to someone else.

For anyone unclear on the subject, throwing anything at a bike rider runs the risk that they might lose control and fall, or swerve into traffic or parked cars in an attempt to get away. The result can be serious injury, whether or not that was the intent of the attacker.

And it takes a real jackass to attack a woman riding alone after dark.

Then again, harassment isn’t reserved just for women riders.



Streetsblog’s Damien Newton calls for a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths in the City of Angels. Now will our new mayor or council members step up to answer the call?

Metro’s Bike Week website is up. If you want to find me that Tuesday, I’ll be at the blessing of the bicycles.

LADOT Bike Blog looks at the problem of dooring. but let’s not forget that drivers are almost always at fault for dooring, since they’re required ensure that it’s reasonably safe and doesn’t interfere with other traffic before opening their door. And then, only as long as necessary.

A hero cyclist helps a Santa Monica woman recover her phone from a thief.

There are things you see while bicycling that should be seen by more.



California considers language that could bar bikes from most off-road trails.

Temecula could vote to support Federal legislation to create long-term, low interest loans to build biking and walking networks.

A close encounter of the potentially stinky kind.

A $9.4 million temporary bike path on the Bay Bridge will be torn down to be replaced with a permanent structure.



People for Bikes debunks the myths non-riders too often use against us; the answer for “Bicyclists think they own the road” could have been a lot better, though.

Bicycling says you may be getting too much sugar.

Evidently, life is cheap in Ohio, as a doctor gets a whopping 15 days in jail for seriously injuring a cyclist while driving drunk. Why should drivers take drunk driving laws seriously when the courts don’t?

A Louisiana schmuck driver faces charges for running over a four-year old bike rider while fleeing from police; the child suffered moderate to severe injuries.



The UK renews a campaign calling for cyclists and motorists to “Think! Cyclist” after a successful campaign that may not have changed anyone’s behavior.

Turns out Dickens — yes, that Dickens — supported safe and courteous cycling.

Customers of a Yorkshire paperboy pitch in to buy him a new bike when his is stolen while he was delivering his route.

An Aussie blog asks — and answers — what is a cyclist? My answer is a lot simpler; you’re a cyclist whenever you’re on or with your bike, just as you’re a motorist when you’re driving your car.



Everyone needs a leather banana holder for their bike, right?


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