Morning Links: Haute couture Dior ghost bike, bicyclists told to walk across bridge, and $43.6 million for LA bike projects

Apparently, memorials for dead bike riders are high fashion now.

In a remarkably tone deaf move, haute couture fashion house Dior is working with French BMX maker Bogarde to co-opt the all-white ghost bike look to further their brand.

And no doubt, rake in big bucks from people with too damn much money and too little taste.

The limited edition BMX is due at the end of the month; the only good news is that only 150 of the utterly tasteless Dior bikes will be built.

Maybe their designers saw a few white bicycles chained to the side of the road, and had no idea why they were there.

Or maybe Dior came up with the idea themselves, and didn’t bother to find out that someone else had the idea first, for an entirely different purpose. And that the all-white paint job actually means something far more important than overpriced fashion.

Though you’d think their bike-making partners could have told them.

Let’s just hope Dior wises up at the last minute, and cancels the sale out of an abundance of caution and taste.

Or at least donates all the proceeds to benefit the families of those who died riding their bikes.

Photo is a screen grab from Hypebae.com.

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Bicyclists in the Malibu Hills are up in arms over plans to reopen the Troutdale bridge on Mulholland Highway this Wednesday.

But only if you’re in a car.

County officials plan to require, or maybe just firmly request, that bike riders dismount and walk across the pedestrian walkway adjacent to the bridge while it is undergoing reconstruction.

Something that would be problematic, to say the least, with the bridge located just beyond a sweeping turn following a steep descent along the popular riding route.

It would also be of questionable legality, since bicyclists are allowed on any road where cars are allowed, with the exception of many limited access highways.

But whether there is an exception for construction zones is unclear at this time.

A lot will depend on just what the traffic signs look like when the bridge reopens.

If they have a yellow background, it’s merely advisory, like the suggested speeds on corners that virtually everyone ignores. But if the signs are white, like a speed limit sign, they carry the force of law, and violators can be ticketed.

Whether those tickets are legal, however, could be up to the courts to decide.

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Los Angeles has scored two state grants totaling $43.6 million for bicycle and street safety.

The city will get $18.8 for a three-mile section of the LA River bike path in the West San Fernando Valley, as part of the mayor’s Twenty-Eight By ’28 program, to complete a pathway along the full 51-mile length of the LA River by 2025.

The other grant provides $24.8 million for improvements along the Broadway/Manchester corridor in South LA, including bike lanes, along with sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements and other safety projects.

Let’s hope that means bicyclists will finally see the long-promised bike lanes along Manchester that might have spared the life of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

………

In a bizarre crash, an Irvine bike rider was injured by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night.

The driver stopped after the collision, and his passenger got out to check on the victim.

Then the driver took off, leaving both the injured bike rider and the person who had been in the car with him on the side of the road.

Something tells me he — or she — will have a lot of explaining to do once they get caught.

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Today’s must-read is a hard-hitting Namibian op-ed that starts out with a clear-eyed look at drivers blaming bicyclists for “minor misdemeanors or violations of road rules to say we ‘asked for’ accidents.”

Then abruptly shifts to an examination of race and privilege, as “black Namibians literally take their lives in their hands every time they head out onto the road.”

It’s more than worth the few minutes it will take to read, if only to get a different perspective from a view most of us seldom see.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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A black woman accuses Irish police officers of racism after they tackle her 15-year old brother, apparently for the crime of riding a bicycle.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Today’s common theme is generosity.

Hundreds of Renton, Washington kids got new bicycles, helmets and a party courtesy of a local church.

After a Nebraska middle school student was hit by a driver while riding his bike, the local police teamed with a bike shop to give him a new one.

After thieves made off with the motorized bicycle a Detroit-area Air Force vet spent months saving for and building, a stranger saw the story on TV, and convinced his coworkers to pitch in to buy the man a new ebike.

A stranger responds to a social media request to replace the adult tricycle used by a Michigan man with special needs to get to work after his was stolen.

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Local

In a huge victory for advocates of safer streets, LA CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has decided that the road diet and bike lanes on Rowena should stay in place. And recommended that the bike lanes should be extended and converted into protected lanes — an outcome that seemed highly unlikely just a few months ago. You can read Ryu’s full letter here.

A Long Beach bike commuter says the new protected bike lanes on Broadway create more problems than they solve, calling it a horrible experience to ride.

 

State

An estimated 2,300 bike riders and support staff will leave San Francisco in two weeks on their way down the coast to Los Angeles for the 2019 AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

Unbelievable. A $50,000 settlement from the city confirms that a San Diego cop may have overreacted just a tad when he roughed up a 64-year old bike rider and threw him in the psych ward — all because he ran a stop sign.

Victorville will begin construction on a four-mile separated bike path along Bear Valley Road.

A group of four men and two women with ties to Azusa Pacific University will ride across the US to raise funds for clean water.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 70-year old homeless man was found lying dead on railroad tracks next to his bicycle, leading to speculation that he fell and hit his head on the tracks. Police says he wasn’t hit by a train, but are treating the death as suspicious pending an autopsy.

Two Palo Alto neighborhoods are finally connected after the city opened a bike and pedestrian bridge over busy Highway 101.

Forget ghost bikes. Oakland is permanently honoring a fallen bicyclist by renaming the street where he was killed in his honor.

The San Francisco Chronicle serves up Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais — aka Mount Tam — two ways. The hard way, and the less hard way.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says Trump’s tariffs will mean more pain for the already struggling bicycle industry. As always with the Journal, the usual paywall issues apply.

NPR tackles the same subject, talking with the owner of American bikemaker Detroit Bikes, who relies on imported parts even though the bikes are built in the US.

Bike Index offers tips on how to help recover stolen bikes with a Facebook page.

Bicycling profiles the bike-riding pianist you’ve seen performing in trouble spots around the world, who tows his piano behind his bicycle.

NACTO is teaming with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Delivery Associates to give Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis and Philadelphia a crash course in building out bike infrastructure fast.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer joins in on Bike to Work Day, proving you can ride a bike in a bow tie.

The Seattle Times takes a look at the city’s deep-rooted bike culture.

Spokane WA gets an unplanned bike and pedestrian bridge after structural engineers ban cars from a 102-year old bridge.

Life is cheap in Montana, where a hit-and-run driver walked with just probation for a crash that paralyzed a bike-riding woman from the waist down; if she fulfills the terms of her probation, the felony conviction will be wiped from her record. Her victim, on the other hand, will serve a life sentence in a wheelchair.

No disconnect here. An Illinois man says a local road is too dangerous for people on bicycles, and it’s not a good idea to ride a bike there. Then adds that drivers pass him way too fast when he does.

No bias here. A Minnesota kid gets right hooked by a school bus turning into a parking lot. So naturally, the kid gets the blame for riding into the bus.

An Indiana triathlete says don’t drive into people on bicycles, after a driver chose to hit him rather than slow down and pass safely.

Nice. Sandusky, Ohio is building a 12-mile bike and pedestrian boardwalk along the city’s waterfront. And yes, with real boards.

DC bike advocates have been fighting for safer streets since Watergate was just a gleam in Richard Nixon’s eye.

Bad enough that a speeding driver killed DC bike advocate David Salovesh a few weeks back; now another speeding driver has murdered the ghost bike put up in his honor.

 

International

An Ottawa op-ed says a hit-and-run driver may have struck a bike rider, but it was bad road engineering that killed him.

You could get a free ebike if you promise to ride it in Europe for 300 to 600 miles in six days.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Dutch man rides his ebike up to 22 miles a day — even though he didn’t start riding until he was 65.

The e-scooter invasion of Europe is nearly complete after Germany approves their use on the country’s roads and bike paths, leaving the UK as the continent’s only holdout. Then again, if Britain goes through with Brexit, they’ll sever the ties binding them to Europe anyway.

An Indian city is the latest to get a bicycle mayor to improve it focus on bicycling. Meanwhile Los Angeles still has to make do with the mayor we’ve got.

 

Competitive Cycling

It shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point to point out that race leader Tejay Van Garderen cracked on the steep slopes of Mount Baldy, allowing 20-year old WorldTour rookie Tadej Pogačar to vault to the lead. And ultimately, to victory in the Amgen Tour of California, setting a record for the youngest WorldTour winner.

On the women’s side, Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen led start to finish to claim victory in the all-too-brief three stage race.

The LA Times offers a behind the scenes look at the Tour of California, from the perspective of a team director racing behind the peloton.

La Cañada residents turned out to cheer the racers as they sped through the city on Saturday.

Is it a spoiler if Geraint Thomas tells us who will win the Giro in another two weeks?

Former world champ Jack Bobridge won’t be doing any partying for awhile, after being convicted of supplying ecstasy to an undercover cop.

 

Finally…

Commute by towing your foldie behind your foldie, then put the other foldie in the first foldie. Your best bike hack is a $2 pool noodle.

And evidently, there really is a war on bikes. And they’re calling in the Air Force.

 

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