Welcome to Bike Week LA, Tour de Palm Springs jury deliberating, and longtime LA County official Gloria Molina dies

If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. 

Just when I got my doctor to get more aggressive in treating my diabetes, something else came up to knock me on my ass. 

Wednesday night I went out to walk the dog, and by the time I got back, I was feeling the full effects of what was apparently a sudden-onset stomach virus, or maybe an adverse reaction to a new med. 

We’ll find that part out when I take it again on Tuesday. 

I’m not saying I was sick. But I lost a full eight pounds literally overnight, and was completely out of it until late Friday. 

So my apologies once again for yet another unexcused absence — something I’ve written so many times that my laptop is now autosuggesting the phrase for me. 

Honestly, I do my best to be here for you every morning. But after a lifetime of pushing my body to respond to ever-increasing demands, on and off the bike, it’s now saying “fuck you” on an ever more frequent basis.

Which is about the best way I can describe diabetes and all its multitude of complications. 

Seriously, you don’t want this shit. 

So if you’re at risk, whether from weight, family history or any other factor, get yourself tested. 

No, now. 

And do whatever it takes to turn your health around so you don’t get it. 

Now I’ll get off my damn soapbox and catch up with the news, because we have a lot to catch up on. 

Photo by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay.

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Welcome to Bike Week, the one week of the year when elected officials, government bureaucrats and the news media join in one voice to celebrate all things bikes.

As opposed to the other 51 weeks of the year, when they either ignore us, or actively try to kill us.

Santa Clarita is conducting their annual Bike to Work Challenge this week, encouraging business employees to commute by bike for the full week.

Long Beach is hosting the return of its “beloved” Beach Streets Open Streets event to the downtown area on Saturday.

Metro has unveiled their new line of bikewear and accessories. If anyone has me on their Christmas in July Secret Santa list, I’ll take the Every Lane Is A Bike Lane backpack, thank you. 

Other Metro highlights for Bike Week include —

  • May 18 is Bike to Work Day and we’re offering free 30 minute rides all day long. Simply choose 1-Ride in the app, online or at a kiosk and use code 051823. Metro Bus and Rail are also free- no tapping required. Code can be used multiple times throughout the day. Usage fees apply over 30 minutes.
  • There are two opportunities to join us on your commute. The first 10 Metro Bike Share Passholders at each event will receive a limited-edition mug! May 18 – North Hollywood Station, 8 -11 am and May 19 – Downtown Santa Monica Station, 8-11 am.
  • May 18 and 19, the 365-Day Pass is just $75. That’s a 50% savings! To purchase, select 365-Day Pass in the app or online and enter code BIKETOWORK23.Offer valid for first time 365-Day Passholders, 5/18/23 – 5/19/23 only. Code valid for Full Fare and Reduced Fare Passes.
  • May 21CicLAmini Watts, presented by Metro will be a more pedestrian-oriented event than the typical CicLAvia, but sure to be just as special. Metro Bikes will be available to check out on a first come, first served basis from 9am-2pm. If you wish to check out a bike, get prepared by downloading the app. See you there!

Meanwhile, Glendale is jumping the gun by hosting their Bike to Work Day a day earlier on Wednesday. Go Glendale and Walk Bike Glendale will host a pitstop at 800 N Brand from 8 am to 10 am on Wednesday, with another pit stop hosted by the City of Glendale at the Glendale City Hall from 8 am to 10 am, .

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Jury deliberations are set to resume today in the trial of Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. for killing Washington resident Mark Kristofferson, and severely injuring Huntington Beach resident Alyson Lee Akers, in an alleged high-speed DUI crash in the 2018 Tour de Palm Springs.

Huerta was allegedly high on weed and driving without a license when he ran down Kristofferson at speeds up to 100 mph; he was arrested after being detained by witnesses in a nearby field as he attempted to run away on foot.

The jury halted their work Friday evening after two days of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

Huerta is charged with second-degree murder, driving under the influence of drugs resulting in great bodily injury, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

………

Sad news this morning, as groundbreaking populist LA political lead Gloria Molina has passed away at age 74, following a three-year battle with cancer.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Molina was California’s first Latina Assembly member, the first Latina to serve on the LA City Council, and the first Latina on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

I honestly can’t tell you what Molina’s record on bikes was.

But she spent her entire career fighting for undeserved communities, particularly on the East Side of Los Angeles.

And that’s good enough for me.

………

Streets For All is hosting a volunteer meet-up and bike ride tomorrow at Union Station night.

………

This has got to be me from a prior life. Unless maybe it’s you.

But it’s got to be one of us, right?

………

Okay, I’m moving there.

But where is Ghent, anyway? Oh, who cares, I’m going.

………

Remarkable — and questionable — story, as a specially abled Indian man claims to have ridden 2,300 miles in just four and a half days, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

Questionable because that works out to 511 miles a day, or 21 miles an hour, every hour for 108 hours — without rest stops.

Stopping to rest or sleep would push that hourly figure even higher. Even just six hours of daily rest time would require averaging 28 mph for the other 18 hours straight, which seems unlikely.

But maybe some randonneurs out there can tell us how likely it really is.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.

No surprise here, as bike groups join with Democrats to call on Utah Senator Mitt Romney to rethink his comments calling bike lanes “the height of stupidity.” Actually, a lot of them are, but not for the reasons he thinks.

Road.cc deconstructs the so-called war on motorists, concluding it’s nothing more than encouraging people to drive less and consider alternative forms of transportation — despite the ongoing backlash.

A British Member of Parliament dismissed bicyclists’ concerns over new regulations allowing longer trucks on the country’s roads, bizarrely suggesting that they were “good for road safety.”

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Demonstrating that some people just don’t get it, a Lycra-clad English bike rider stopped several cops who were targeting speeding drivers, asking if they didn’t have anything better to do. He should have thanked them for trying to save his life, and everyone else on the roadway, instead. 

………

Local 

Yes, please. The LA City Council is considering a proposal to turn some peak-hour traffic lanes into bus lanes, which could also be used by people on bicycles; they’ve instructed LADOT to report back on converting lanes on Alvarado Street, Vermont Blvd, and La Brea and Roscoe avenues.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton say nice try LADOT, but the new plans to curb illegal street racing in Angelino Heights by Fast & Furious fans doesn’t go nearly far enough, as the city’s first round of changes are nearly complete.

Pasadena is nearing completion of the Union Street protected bikeway project, with a two-way bike lane on Union from Hill Ave to Arroyo Parkway, and a bike boulevard on Holliston Ave between Union and Cordova streets.

Writing on her Good Mom, Bad Mom blog, Redondo Beach resident Dr. Grace Peng urges you to respond to the Metro Active Transportation Corridor survey about remaking Redondo Beach Blvd, and offers a local’s perspective on how to answer those questions to help turn the current car sewer into something that safely serves all of us.

Kourtney Kardashian is one of us, as the British tabloids freak out when she rode a bike with her shirtless, shoeless and helmet-less eight-year old son standing on the rear wheel pegs.

 

State

Calbike is calling on California to boost its relatively meager $10 million funding for ebike tax credits to a more reasonable $50 million; California’s current funding is $2 million less than Colorado’s new ebike rebate program, despite having almost seven times the population.

Calbike also offers a tutorial intended to demystify California’s arcane budget process.

Patch considers six California bike laws you probably don’t know. All of which you probably do know, although some drivers may not. Okay, a lot of drivers.

Streets For All says state Assemblymember Chris Holden holds the key committee vote on legislation to approve speed cams, and study the impact of vehicle weight fees on pedestrians deaths; the group urges you to contact his office to urge their passage, even if you don’t live in his district.

A 47-year old San Diego man was rushed into surgery for a broken wrist and other non-life-threatening injuries suffered when he allegedly rear-ended a car stopped at a red light while riding an ebike at a high rate of speed.

That’s more like it. Bike riders in San Mateo County can now use a website to report violations of the state’s three-foot passing law online.

He gets it. A Palo Alto op-ed writer says safer streets, rail crossings and bike paths are key to a better community.

A San Francisco bike shop is shutting down, saying it’s a victim of repeated thefts and break-ins, a slow economy and a seemingly unending series of storms that kept customers away.

Megan Lynch forwards news that UC Davis is getting a new bike counter, after a reckless driver killed the last one.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on the highly underrated skill of looking back to check traffic or riders behind you while maintaining your line.

Seventy-four-year old Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been pushing for bike legislation for nearly 30 years, as advocates gathered for a Friday bike ride through DC to call for more money and safer streets.

She gets it. An Albuquerque columnist suggests New Mexico should adopt a statewide Vision Zero program, comparing their more than 150 traffic deaths last year to Jersey City, New Jersey’s zero.

Denver residents enjoyed the city’s first Viva Streets open streets event, closing 3.5 miles of downtown streets to cars while opening them up for people.

It’s now been three years since a Colorado woman vanished with a trace on a Mother’s Day bike ride; Suzanne Morphew’s husband was arrested in her disappearance nearly a year after searchers found her helmet and mountain bike, but charges were dropped in a pre-trial hearing because her body still hasn’t been found.

Lincoln, Nebraska’s chief deputy swears he only looked down for a moment to switch the radio station when he ran down a nine-year old girl riding her bike, leaving her with multiple skull fractures, a brain bleed, fractured shoulder, injured knee and road rash. Any bets on how long it will take them to blame the victim?

Ten years and 180 million rides later, New York officials look back at the improbable success of the city’s bikeshare system.

President Joe Biden continues to be one of us, talking to the press about the calmer-than-expected US-Mexico border during a bike ride through Delaware’s Gordons Pond State Park.

 

International

Residents of North Montreal rallied to demand more bikeways after living with just one protected bike lane for the last 40 years, as the city backed out of a promise to build four bike paths in the neighborhood this year, instead committing to just three.

A Montreal bike shop has kept it in the family since 1948.

He gets it, too. A Toronto columnist calls for residents who use food delivery services to fight to keep bike lanes, saying they should be concerned for the safety for the bike couriers who deliver their food.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a 56-year old English man died of a heart attack while riding his bike, just an hour after snapping a smiling selfie. Although someone should tell the Daily Record that seemingly healthy people sometimes suffer from undetected health problems, which is why everyone who rides a bike should see a doctor on a regular basis. Then again, so should everyone else. 

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 43-year old former soccer player got just two years and four months behind bars for the horrifying, drunken hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman in her 70s with life-changing injuries; he was four times the legal limit when he knocked her off her bike, then slowly drove over her with all four wheels. There’s video of the crash, but consider whether you really want to watch it, because you can’t unsee it if you do.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England, will have some penance to do after he was fined the equivalent of $625 for driving 25 mph in a 20 mph zone.

A Dublin, Ireland city official warns of inevitable conflicts between bike riders, pedestrians and e-scooter users in the city parks — despite just eleven such incidents in the last eight years.

The European Cyclists’ Federation name Helsingborg, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; and both Essen and Heidelberg, Germany best in class cities at this year’s Velo-city conference.

In a study that should put questions about the health benefits of ebikes to rest, German researchers find that regularly riding an ebike can cut the risk of a heart attack by 40%.

The Malta Times calls for putting the brakes on road anarchy in the island nation, saying traffic enforcement has moved from essential to critical.

 

Competitive Cycling

Big plot twist in the Giro, where race leader Remco Evenepoel was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid, just after regaining the pink leader’s jersey with a victory in the time trial.

 

Finally…

Your Peloton bike could go somewhere after all, after 2 million of the stationary bikes were recalled. Never bring a knife to a bike theft gunfight.

And what do you call a marching band that rides bikes, instead?

……….

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. J says:

    Everyone can ride for free on metro link long distance trains (NOT part of metro itself!) Thursday with those having bikes able to do so on other days as well, possibly all five not sure yet.

    BUt certain beyond a reasonable doubt you can goto someplace far for free today and everyday till Friday free.

    Each day about a 30 dollar value!

  2. J says:

    Everyone can ride for free on metro link long distance trains (NOT part of metro itself!) Thursday with those having bikes able to do so on other days as well, possibly all five not sure yet.

    BUt certain beyond a reasonable doubt you can go someplace far for free today and everyday till Friday free.

    Each day about a 30 dollar value!

    “FREE RIDES DURING BIKE TO WORK WEEK!
    Don’t forget to bring your bike onboard during Bike to Work Week from Monday, May 15 – Friday, May 19* and you ride for free!

    “Ventura – Downtown / Beach
    Ventura County
    39 E. Harbor Blvd.
    Ventura CA 93001

    Lancaster
    Antelope Valley
    44812 N. Sierra Hwy.
    Lancaster CA 93534

    and of course Oceanside are there examples

    of 68 all under 77 miles from DTLA

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