Weekend Links: Support bicycling on your neighborhood council, stupid insurance tricks, and more bike events

There’s one sure way to make a difference on our streets.

Run for your neighborhood council.

LA’s neighborhood councils are where decisions are made on whether or not to support bike lanes, road diets and other bike-friendly improvements and livability issues. And they can have a big influence on elected officials, who are reluctant to do the right thing without public support behind them.

Yet while some councils get it, others are too often dominated by auto-centric nay-sayers who find it easier to just say no than to take the time to understand how bikeways can provide an alternative to driving and improve safety and livability for everyone.

You could change that by signing up to give a voice for bicyclists right where you live, work or study, as online registration is open now for 35 of the city’s 96 councils.

Naturally, mine is not among them. Nor is the Westwood council, which desperately needs some help.

Those you still have to register for the old fashioned way.

………

LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss forwards news of a lawsuit that really should have been settled out of court.

According to a notice in the LA Daily Journal, a cyclist asked for $25,000 in damages after he was injured in a right hook while riding on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica; the insurance company countered with an offer of just $6,300, before doubling that to $13,000 just before trial.

The jury, on the other hand, awarded the cyclist over $78,000 — over three times what the rider was asking for — after a three day trial.

That’s what the insurance company gets for being cheap.

And that’s a good example of why you need to talk to a good lawyer if you get hurt while riding.

………

Even after last week’s massive listing of bike events, there are still more coming up in the next few weeks.

Streetsblog looks at the coming Great Streets Challenge Grant Events for February and March, starting today in Reseda.

CiclaValley reminds us he’s leading the LACBC’S Sunday Funday CicLAvia Preview Ride through the Valley tomorrow.

The LA Planning Commission considers amendments to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the recently approved Mobility Plan this Thursday; if you can’t be there, email your support for keeping the plan intact.

Santa Monica hosts a Valentines Day Kidical Mass Ride on the 13th.

A free screening of the acclaimed documentary Bikes vs Cars will be held at Debs Park in Northeast LA on the 17th; you can see a trailer for the film here. Thanks to Alice Strong and Harv for the heads-up.

On the 20th, Culver City Biking Buddies invites you to join in on the Family Ride: The Sustainability Tour.

There will be a Lunar New Year Bike Train celebrating the Tet Festival in El Monte on the 21st.

BikeSGV will Bike the Gold Line in celebration of the opening of the Gold Line extension on March 27th.

BikeSD is hosting a 20-mile Bikes & Beers SD ride through the streets of San Diego on March 26th.

And start training now for the eighth annual Pablove Across America ride from San Francisco’s East Bay to LA to raise funds to fight childhood cancer; October 2nd through 8th.

………

The LA Times says BMX legend Dave Mirra was the “reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground” while riding their bikes, as athletes and celebrities respond to his death.

Bicycling notes Mirra won the 2014 RAAM team competition with former pro Dave Zabriskie and two other riders, while gossip blogger Perez Hilton is unusually kind in posting a statement from Mirra’s wife.

………

The chips keep falling in pro cycling, as Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov becomes the latest rider to be banned for doping; his Katusha team could face sanctions since he’s the second rider from the team to be banned in the past year.

A medical website says bike racing is rapidly reaching the point of no repair when it comes to doping and other forms of cheating, and asks where’s the outrage within the sport? Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian says don’t judge the beautiful, brutal sport of cyclocross based on the motor doping scandal.

Cycling Weekly says motor doping comes out of the Wile E. Coyote section of the cycling rule book, along with painting tunnels on brick walls and dropping anvils on your competition.

And America’s only remaining Tour de France winner offers a six-point plan to eradicate motor doping. Which will undoubtedly be ignored by those in charge, just like his warnings about doping were.

………

Local

Don’t count on the LA River bike path through Silverlake and Atwater Village reopening anytime soon.

KPCC says not so fast on that report that LA is the most dangerous place in the US for pedestrians; the county ranks just 10th when ranked on a per capita basis. On the other hand, 10th may suck a little less, but it still sucks.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for experienced part time tour guides. Or you could be an organizing rep for the Sierra Club, or maybe manage the new PUBLIC Bikes store in SaMo.

Support is growing for a bike ferry linking the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path across the Marina del Rey inlet.

Family and friends remember Long Beach bike courier Daniel Nguyen, who fell to his death while rescuing a fellow hiker on Mt. Baldy this week.

Long Beach’s Pacific Avenue bike corridor is being extended into Los Cerritos.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency recommends riding the San Diego Creek Trail, calling it an inviting escape from the urban environment.

San Diego moves to improve safety on a one-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous streets; as usual, local residents prefer keeping their parking to saving lives.

Three young Fresno-area men were shot while riding their bikes; fortunately, only one was seriously injured.

A Modesto bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was struck by a big rig truck.

Good news from Berkeley, as a research scientist who was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike is expected to pull through. The driver, an actor who lists cycling as a skill on his resume, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

 

National

City Lab says it’s time to put sharrows to rest, and maybe get rid of centerlines while we’re at it.

Six-foot ten-inch Denver Nuggets basketball star Danilo Gallinari is one of us.

Bicycling looks at the unofficial Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte CO.

A Kentucky man has been charged with murder for running down a teenage bike rider while under the influence. Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously there.

Residents of New York’s Upper East Side rise up against plans to install painted bike lanes on six streets to calm traffic, even though they wouldn’t remove any parking or traffic lanes.

They take traffic crimes seriously in Florida, too, as a driver gets 12 years for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

I want one. A British man has developed a $37 DIY device to measure how close cars come when they pass you. Maybe we can combine it with a sign to show their score as they zoom by.

The company behind that solar power-generating bike path in the Netherlands will apply the technology to 600 miles of French roadways.

Maybe you want to spend your next vacation sampling the local cuisine on a bike tour of Macedonia. Or discovering why cycling in the Middle East is so attractive.

 

Finally…

Memorize this list for the next time you need a good excuse for failing your urine test; then again, none of them worked, so maybe not. We can all be grateful for bike commuters, especially if they’re riding to make beer every morning.

And this may be the greenest Super Bowl ever, but don’t try to bike there.

 

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