Morning Links: Last minute gift ideas, one last(?) bike giveaway, and mountain bike dog shredding

Just two days left in the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Give today to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way today, and every day.

My apologies for whatever mistakes you may have found in yesterday’s post. And I’m sure there were many.

A sudden wave of illness meant publishing yesterday’s post without proof reading, for the first time since starting this site over eight years ago.

Hopefully we’ll do a little better today.

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CiclaValley offers gift suggestions for the bike rider in your life. And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to put yourself on your holiday gift list.

H&S Bicycles offers their own list of must have accessories for your new bike.

Cycling Weekly offers five of the year’s most weird and wonderful products, which may or may not be suitable for giving.

Here’s a list of eleven books for the budding urban planner, two and a half of which I’ve read. I can strongly recommend Gabe Klein’s Start-Up City and Samuel Schwartz’ Street Smart, which has the best explanation of why density matters I’ve yet seen; I’m currently working on Janette Sadik-Khan’s Streetfight.

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‘Tis the season.

The New Orleans Saints team up with Toys for Tots and the US Marines to give children bicycles and other toys.

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Great nighttime video of mountain bike tom Wragg shredding the trails with his dog Ruby.

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Today marks three years since Australian tourist James Rapley was tragically killed early on a Sunday morning as he made his way home for the holidays. He was run down by a stoned driver on Temescal Canyon Road as he took advantage of an extended layover at LAX to get out for a bike ride along the beach.

Plans are in the works for a parking protected bike lane on the uphill side of the dangerous roadway, where speeding drivers often drift into the bike lane, in hopes of keeping something like this from happening again.

Yet those plans are languishing, in part due to insufficient staffing at LADOT, and partly due to the usual local opposition to any changes they fear might inconvenience them or add a few minutes to their commute, even if it does save lives.

Lets hope the city can finally work it out before another anniversary passes.

Or before someone else gets killed.

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A memorial to British cyclist Tommy Simpson has been restored to mark 50 years after he collapsed and died climbing Mt. Ventoux after taking amphetamines during the 1967 Tour de France. A sportswriter asks if his death was in vain, as suspicions of doping and drug use continue to taint professional cycling.

A former coach accuses Britain’s governing body for cycling of having a culture of lies, bullying and harassment.

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Local

LA Magazine’s Neal Broverman says the planned South LA Rail-to-River bike and pedestrian pathway will be a great amenity in a park-poor area, but a lost opportunity to build an actual rail line through the community.

If you’re looking for a fun pre-Christmas ride, you could do a lot worse than Saturday’s Street Librarian’s Last Ride of the Year to restock those little street lending library boxes in Silver Lake.

 

State

San Clemente hires a contactor for a complete makeover of deadly PCH, including a road diet and curb extensions, bike lanes in both directions, and a separate two-way cycle track along the southbound side, with an additional pedestrian walkway running alongside. Let’s hope other OC cities follow their example.

Next year should be a good one for San Diego bike riders, with four new bike projects opening and several others on the way.

Lake Elsinore is beginning to develop a citywide bicycle path and trails master plan.

A Templeton man faces a felony manslaughter charge in the death of a bicyclist earlier this month; the driver was attempting to pass another vehicle by illegally crossing the double yellow lines when he hit the rider head-on.

San Francisco’s 9th and Division is the latest Bay Area intersection to get the protected treatment.

 

National

The war on bicyclists continues, as someone has once again sabotaged a popular Seattle bike trail.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized bike belonging to a 15-year old Washington quadriplegic; fortunately, police recovered the bike and expect to make an arrest.

A scathing city audit calls Kansas City’s bike plan nothing more than lines on a map that don’t connect with popular destinations, and have gone largely unbuilt. If we ask nice, do you think they’d be willing to audit Los Angeles next? They could probably just change a few locations and repurpose the same report.

The rich get richer. Missouri, which is already home to the 240-mile Katy Trail paralleling the Missouri River, gets ownership of a 144-mile abandoned rail line that will be converted into a bike trail along the northern edge of the Ozarks.

Friends remember a Minnesota cyclist for his fondness for AIDS rides and red high heels after he passed away from cancer; he reportedly wore those heels on his final days as a mail carrier. As the son of a mailman, I can’t help but smile at that.

Kalamazoo approves a new plan to keep bicyclists safe in response to last summer’s massacre. While it’s good news, it shouldn’t take a tragedy like that to do the right thing.

New York commits to improving bike safety around the city’s many bridges and parks in the year to come. Meanwhile, the city opens a new two-way protected bike lane through Chinatown.

 

International

Ontario police are trying to identify a homeless man who was traveling nearly 1,900 miles across Canada by bike and canoe after his body washed up, just 60 miles from his stated destination.

A British bicycling group calls for a retraction after a columnist for London’s Sunday Times calls the dooring of a bike rider by the country’s transport minister a “beautifully timed maneuver,” and suggests he should keep it up to make “London a safer place for normal humans.” The original story is hidden behind a paywall where no one can see it. And should stay that way.

The head of a London university says the dangers bicyclists face on the city’s streets discourage foreign students from attending.

London will host a Ride with Bowie bike ride next month on the first anniversary of his death.

A bighearted 89-year old English woman has taken it upon herself to pass out free hi-viz vests to bike riders to make them more visible to drivers and pedestrians. Although it would be nice if someone could make drivers actually pay attention instead of making everyone else dress up like clowns.

Police in the UK are looking for a bike thief caught on security cameras struggling to carry one bicycle while riding another.

A Brit driver faces six years behind bars for careening into a bike rider while speeding and “driving like an idiot” with his daughter in the car.

Unbelievable. A driver in the UK walks after allegedly killing a 15-year old bike rider, despite a) not having a license, b) driving 80 yards with his victim stuck in the windshield, and c) getting out of the car and running away from the scene; the judge cites a lack of evidence in dismissing the case.

Bollywood star Ali Fazal is one of us, after he took up riding to the set while filming in London.

Horrific story from Melbourne, Australia as a woman bike rider was robbed, stabbed and slashed in an apparent random attack; she’s in stable condition after seven hours of surgery.

Life is cheap in West Australia, where a driver walks with a measly $500 fine — the equivalent of just $360 in US dollars — for killing a bike rider; a British cyclist was fined more than that for riding in a pedestrian plaza.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Now that’s what I call a close call.

And you can stop holding your breath waiting for that combination smart watch and bike computer you’ve always wanted.

No, really.

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Thanks to Theodore Faber, Fred Davis Design and David Drexler for their generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

It’s hard to ask for money for this site, because there are so many other more deserving causes, and so many other obligations this time of year. So I deeply appreciate everyone who has opened their hearts and wallets to support this site, now and throughout the year.

Thank you.

4 comments

  1. keith says:

    Whatever mistakes you may have found in yesterday’s post. And I’m sure there were many.

    Now I feel challenged to find some, gosh I didn’t notice any. Although they say that’s the best way to get attention to a post – typos. Presume you’ll offer refunds to anyone who is totally upset. Do appreciate the effort you put into your blog, rounding up all the links & info.

  2. tdonline says:

    My two most recently read books are Street Smarts and Street Fight–both well worth the time.

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