Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Kick off Bike Month — and get bike swag — with the first ever BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive

Bike month officially started yesterday with the beginning of the National Bike Challenge.

And to celebrate, I’ve started my own bike challenge.

I’m challenging you — yes, you — to become a member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition this month. Or if you’re already a member, to renew your membership through this site before the month is over.

Because this marks the beginning of the first ever BikinginLA LACBC membership drive, with a goal of 100 new or renewing members during the month of May.

That’s just over three people a day.

In other words, you and two others.

Or looking at it another way, less than 1% of the people who will visit this site this month. Okay, a lot less.

Get your friends to join. Your co-workers. Your sister. Your brother-in-law. Anyone who rides a bike in LA County, whether you’re a bike commuter, a committed roadie, an offroad rider or someone who cruises along the beach every now and then.

You don’t even have to own a bike, or live here in LA. Just support a better, more livable and bikeable community for all us.

Simply put, the LACBC is the leading voice for bike riders in the City and County of Angels, advocating for safety, equity and justice for cyclists in the halls of government, with elected leaders and before boards like Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments.

As well as with cities and universities throughout the county through the LACBC’s local chapters and Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program, giving you a far more powerful voice in your own community.

Of course, it’s not all about fighting the good fight.

The LACBC is also about doing the right thing. Like handing out over 2,000 free bike lights through their Operation Firefly. Creating a free pocket guide to the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Doing the job the city should do by conducting bi-annual bike counts. And working tirelessly to pass and defend LA’s new bike-friendly Mobility Plan.

It’s also about having fun, with monthly Sunday Funday rides. The annual Open House and Firefly Ball. As well as various other activities throughout the year, including the upcoming, hugely popular LA River Ride.

Not to mention discounts at bike shops, restaurants and retailers throughout the LA area.

Better yet, sign up as part of this membership drive, and you’ll get cool bike swag through an exclusive arrangement with the LACBC, with memberships starting at an ultra-low $20.

So what are you waiting for?

Show your support for the LACBC — and BikinginLA — and sign up today.

Full disclosure: After six and a half years as an LACBC board member, I’ll be leaving the board after the June meeting due to my ongoing health issues; I’m simply not able to devote the time and effort I feel the position deserves. However, I continue to support the LACBC, and will remain a member for as long as I’m able to ride a bike in this city, and maybe longer; in fact, I just renewed my own membership.

This membership drive will be my last official act as a board member before I step down. So please, let’s make it a successful one.

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Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a senior programs director and an organizer, both full-time, as well as a policy and outreach intern.

They’ve also opened up the search for new members of the Board of Directors.

And no, not just to replace me.

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LA gets its first permanent ghost bike memorial to honor Australian tourist James Rapley, who was killed by a stoned driver while riding in the uphill bike lane on Temescal Canyon.

ghost bike

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The Daily Breeze offers an update on the condition of Palos Verdes muralist Steve Shriver, who was critically injured when he was hit by two cars while riding on PCH in Malibu as he was heading home as part of a club century ride.

The paper reports he’s out of the ICU, but no word yet on whether he will suffer lasting injuries.

So far, a fund to help cover his medical expenses has raise nearly $82,000 out of a requested $250,000.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson is always funny. But some days, he also offers important information for anyone who rides a bike.

Today is one of those days, as he tells you how to file a police report about a threatening driver.

And why you have to.

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South Pasadena is gearing up to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California on the 17th; Cycling Weekly offers a stage-by-stage breakdown of the race.

Pro cyclist Simon Yates escapes punishment, at least for now, as British Cycling says the banned substance he was busted for was an inhaler for his documented asthma problems. And yes, many elite cyclists really do have exercise-induced asthma.

Pro cycling’s governing body is using a specialized scanner they say is highly effective in examining bikes for hidden motors. On the other hand, if they haven’t uncovered any motor doping after examining over 500 bicycles, is it because no one is cheating or because the scanner’s not as effective as they think?

Cyclists rally around four-time national champion Mark Scott at this past weekend’s Dana Point Gran Prix, organizing a bone marrow drive for Scott, who needs a transplant to live.

And once again, a race moto caused a major cycling crash, as nearly the entire peloton competing in New York’s Red Hook Classic piled into the lead motorcycle after it stalled on the course just seconds after the start of the race.

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Local

Work will finally begin on removing the flood control barriers blocking the LA River bike path, although there’s no timetable for completion.

The head of the LA County Health Agency reacts to being called a faggot while riding his bike. Although it’s unlikely the jerk called him that because he somehow intuited that he was gay; for a subset of indignorant drivers, that’s the term for anyone who rides a bike. Because “real men” drive cars, of course.

Richard Risemberg got cut off by an SUV driver who was clearly in the wrong, but chose not to respond in kind after the driver took it out on him anyway. As he says, it’s an old story, and one we’ve all seen too many times.

Santa Monica will host its first ciclovía on June 5th, with a two-mile route along Ocean, Colorado and Main through downtown SaMo.

Glendora will host a family bike safety rally next Saturday.

Unmapped utility lines and other objects are causing unexpected delays in remaking Carson’s eponymous main street into a Complete Street, adversely affecting businesses along the route.

 

State

A bill in the state legislature, AB 516, would require temporary plates on all new vehicles. The lack of temporary plates makes it nearly impossible to identify hit-and-run drivers, which is one reason they’re required in many other states.

A Hesperia cyclist suffered major injuries when he was rear-ended by the driver of an SUV.

Santa Barbara appears ready to choose parking over bike lanes, shunting riders off to a side street and away from the businesses that could use their patronage.

A San Jose columnist explains what sharrows are all about, and actually gets it right.

A 29-year old Texas man was fatally shot while riding in a bike lane in Oakland; no motive has been established, but police don’t believe it was robbery.

Sacramento police bust a bike thief and recover 60 stolen bikes.

 

National

A pair of British Bobbies biking down the full length of the left coast make a stop in Oregon.

Denver installs a bollard-protected gutter, unwittingly turning the painted bike lane to its left into a loading zone.

A team at the University of Colorado is crowdfunding a bicycle designed for people who weigh up to 450 pounds; the leader of the team lost 160 pounds himself.

Thirty thousand bike riders turn out for New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour.

Black Girls Do Bike is expanding with chapters around the US after starting with a Pittsburgh woman’s Facebook group.

Amtrak adds carry-on bike service on the Vermonter from DC through New England.

A New Orleans man is found guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting the man who was stealing his bicycle; his ex-girlfriend testified that he beat her with a shotgun while she was pregnant.

 

International

A cyclist raced a transit user and a driver to downtown Calgary during the morning commute. And as usual, the bike rider won — even though he was just 11 years old.

Call it Lili’s Secret, as a woman in the UK makes padded women’s cycling underwear that looks more like lingerie.

Caught on video: Usually police look for hit-and-run drivers; a London cop was one as he drove off after hitting a Critical Mass cyclist and destroying his bike.

Paris continues to restrict the use of motor vehicles in order to fight toxic smog levels.

A Swiss canton will install fences to protect bike riders and hikers from killer cows. Yes, cows. Now try not to have nightmares about that one.

Even members of India’s Parliament face speeding drivers, harassment from police and risk having their tires punctured when they ride to work.

An Australian bike rider is threatened with a fine for a law that doesn’t even take effect until next year; meanwhile an Aussie cyclist makes a very tongue-in-cheek call for licensing kangaroos, insisting the animals act like they own the road.

A track cyclist and bike commuter says she’s had it with riding Down Under after she’s punched by a pedestrian, who said he wouldn’t respect her until she got a license and paid road tax.

A Kiwi driver deliberately runs down a cyclist to recover the mountain bike the other man had stolen from him.

Five hundred people applied to take part in last year’s Tibet Challenge, a 10-day ride through the snow-covered peaks of China and Tibet; just 31 were selected. And only nine finished.

A two-year old girl is dead after a speeding driver plows into two separate bicycles in a Bangkok serial hit-and-run; the owner of the car is under arrest on drug charges after turning himself in several hours later, but claims he wasn’t behind the wheel. Don’t watch the video on that link. Trust me.

A Hong Kong man is riding nearly 12,000 miles to Norway on a homemade bamboo bike.

 

Finally…

Get hit by a car while riding your bike, and have a miracle post-menopause baby — and wake up speaking French with a South African accent. Probably not the best idea to steal a bike in front of a martial arts class.

And not even horses are safe in bike lanes.

 

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA offers their endorsements, and CicLAvia wants to give you a bandana

If you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming.

Bike the Vote LA unveiled their endorsements for the upcoming June primary, when you’ll have a chance to vote against the presidential candidate(s) of your choice and have it actually mean something for a change.

And as long as you’re in the voting booth, you can Bike the Vote by casting a ballot for these bike-friendly candidates for state Senate and Assembly from the LA area.

bikethevote2016-ca_primary

A couple names on that list jump out at me.

A long-time cyclist, Steven Bradford was the father of the state’s three-foot passing law when he was in the state Assembly, and has long worked to make our streets safer for everyone. Which is why he had my endorsement the minute he announced his candidacy for state Senate.

Former Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman has been one of the most consistent voices for safer bicycling in any city government, and would make the ideal replacement for outgoing Assemblyman Mike Gatto — who will also have my support for any office he runs for in the future.

And Richard Bloom, my own state Senator now that I live in Hollywood, is up for a well-deserved third and final term.

I can’t say I’m familiar with the others on the list.

But knowing the people who make up the Bike the Vote LA team, I trust their judgment. They’re one of the few organizations whose recommendation could get me to mark my ballot.

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Next month’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia just got a little more interesting.

Pick up a stamp card and get it stamped at all five hubs, and you’ll get a free bandana to mark the occasion. As well as the satisfaction of riding all 10 miles.

Let’s hope they have a lot of them.

I need to get one for the Corgi, who, like most redheads, looks good in black.

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Surprisingly, the 19-year old Belgian motor doper gets just a six year suspension and a $20,000 fine; most observers predicted she’d get a lifetime ban for cheating. As usual, though, it’s unlikely she was the only one cheating; just the only one who got caught.

A year after a key report on reforming bike racing’s governing body was submitted, not enough has been done to make it an “independent, self-governing and more economically-sustainable premier league sport.”

British Cycling suspends the technical director who told a track cyclist to go have babies instead of competing for the Rio Olympics.

The Amgen Tour of California will continue to be the Amgen Tour of California, as the race’s title sponsor renews its sponsorship, along with co-sponsors Coke and United Healthcare. Good thing, since it’s now America’s only UCI Men’s WorldTour race.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at how Mayor Garcetti’s ambitious sustainability plan has done after the first year. They’ll have to step up bikeway installation in a big way to meet the goal of 35% active transportation and transit by 2025.

A new LA startup wants to put your bike bag between your legs; the company has surpassed their $10,000 Kickstarter goal by over $6,000 with four days to go.

Aussie singer Cody Simpson is one of us, riding his bike barefoot along the sidewalks of Abbott Kinney in front of the new Shinola store.

CiclaValley edges his way around Strawberry Peak, wearing a Raspberry Beret. Okay, maybe not the last part; I may have been hearing too much Prince lately.

 

State

Calbike says the state Assembly Transportation Committee let us down by choosing bigger, faster, wider roads and highways over the needs of underserved Californians who have no choice but to ride the bus, walk and bike. Except making those roads bigger and wider seldom makes them any faster. Or safer.

Once again, a killer drunk driver gets off with a slap on the wrist, as a Bakersfield man gets one year in jail, with six years suspended, for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014. People will continue to die on our streets as long as judges refuse to take traffic crime seriously.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly looks at badly behaving people in the bike lane who don’t belong there.

Napa Valley bike riders complain about dangerous road conditions around the tracks for the Napa Valley Wine Train.

 

National

The bikeshare director for NACTO says we’ll know we’re getting bike equity right when bikeshare systems, and bikeways, adequately serve low income neighborhoods and create jobs. See state Assembly fail above.

HuffPo says making cities less dangerous and more livable for women makes them better for everyone. That includes making our streets safe and welcoming for women riding their bikes alone, day or night.

As usual, LA expat Bikeyface nails it, saying it’s not about bicycling, it’s about creating neighborhoods where people will stop bicycling and stay awhile.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus — the guy who rode a New York Citi Bike across the US — explains why riding one was the best way to see the US.

City Lab is the latest to question Phoenix’s “incredibly gruesome” anti-bike bike safety graphic novels.

Colorado authorities confirm that human remains found earlier this year belonged to Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Mike Rust, who disappeared without a trace in 2009.

A year later, police identify two suspect vehicles, but still no suspect, in a series of random roadway shootings that began with the murder of a cyclist near my hometown.

Where to ride your bike the next time you’re in Brooklyn.

A Charleston SC columnist investigates complaints that a trial bike and pedestrian path over a key bridge is creating massive traffic tie-ups, and finds not a single congestion in sight.

The US Department of Justice says Tampa Bay’s policy of ticketing black bike riders to reduce crime and improve safety only succeeded in unduly burdening black bicyclists; eight out of every ten bicycling tickets went to black riders. But despite the findings, the city insists it wasn’t discriminating. Of course not.

 

International

Momentum Magazine asks if banning biking under the influence is really the right answer. Both are dangerous, but I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel.

A writer for the Guardian says don’t assume people with disabilities aren’t interested in riding their bikes, and won’t benefit from quick, safe bicycle routes.

Dublin plans to swap its door lane bike lanes for parking protected lanes.

Paris will now ban motor vehicles from the famed Champs-Élysées the first Sunday of every month. Maybe we can see their bet and shut down Hollywood Blvd once a month, as well.

Amsterdam will select the world’s first bike mayor in June, but plans to export the position to cities around the world. If they get around to LA, I’m available. Just saying.

This laser-welded aluminum Dutch bike doesn’t look a thing like a Dutch bike.

A Swiss laboratory uses a full-body model to study why your head gets hot when you wear a bike helmet; they estimate better ventilation could encourage more helmet use, potentially reducing over 1000 avoidable head injuries per year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to wear a hoody to ride your bike on a chilly night, you might want to throw some pants on, too. If you’re going to get loaded and ride your bike, try not to crash into a loaded school bus.

And we all love our bikes. But gutting your stepson with a knife for messing with your bicycle is going a tad too far.

 

Morning Links: Anti-bike bile from a Tucson radio host, a bike-riding Prince in LA, and still more big bike hearts

The great thing about our society is that even people who don’t have a clue can get their own radio talk show.

Take this bike-hating Tucson “news personality.”

Please.

I do not like bikers. I’m not talking about real bikers, like Harley riders. I’m talking about bicyclists, the privileged weekend riders of Southern Arizona… the real 1%-ers of Pima County.

That’s how KQTH’s James T. Harris starts out a typically uninformed rant on the station’s website.

Never mind that many of those 1% ride a bike because it’s their only form of transportation. And that compared to cars, bikes receive an infinitesimal amount of funding and an even smaller amount of real estate.

So who’s the real privileged ones?

It takes a special kind of asshat arrogance to be a rider in Tucson. I almost killed a few on Hwy 83 a few weeks ago.

Note that he says that without the slightest touch of irony.

Bikers don’t care. Bikers own the road. Deal with it (it’s called enabling…)!

Maybe he’s right. Maybe Tucson is the one place in North America where bike riders outnumber motor vehicles, and those poor unfortunate drivers are rudely shunned off the road by arrogant, entitled cyclists.

It could happen, right?

So what’s got our friendly news personality’s panties in such a twist?

Pavement.

To wit, smooth new pavement where a bike path crosses a street, while the poor unfortunate drivers must content with crappy asphalt.

Look at this “intersection” at Overton between La Cholla and La Canada. Look at how smooth that path is where bikes cross to ensure a smooth ride…
No potholes. No buckles, chips or peeling asphalt. Just smooooooth.

Note to the unintelligent, unimaginative and uncomprehending: Any new pavement is going to be smooth.

Granted, they could make the crossing rough and potholed when they pour it, if that makes him feel better. But it will get that way soon enough in the Arizona heat.

But what’s really driving — and I use the term advisedly — his online apoplexy?

The reason why I have disdain for cyclists in this town is not because they are engaged in a healthy activity. It’s because they are being catered to on the taxpayers’ dime!

Naturally.

Because as we all know, people who ride bicycles don’t pay taxes. There’s actually a box you can check on your 1040 Form that indicates you ride a bike, and therefore get back every penny of your withholding.

And when we make a purchase, all we have to do is whisper “bicycle” to the clerk, and the sales tax magically disappears.

No, really.

Then there’s the undisputed fact that no one who owns a car would ever dream of getting out on two wheels. So bike riders never pay the same registration fees and gas taxes that everyone else does.

Rants like this seem like just so much hot air and clickbait.

Except they can do real damage when equally uninformed people nod their heads in agreement, and take out their anger on the very people trying to make the streets safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Or worse, on those who have the misfortune of sharing the roads with them.

As Arizona resident Brendan Lyons, who tipped me to Harris’ bike-hating bile, put it —

This is the stark reality so many law-abiding, vulnerable road-users (cyclists) face on a daily basis. He fails to recognize the tragic consequences of the distracted motorist. He fails to comprehend the families who are left-behind, forced to pick up the pieces. He fails to recognize that beyond the lycra-clad cyclist briefly impeding his commute- is the law enforcement deputy who serves & protects, the firefighter who responds to his emergency, the soldier defending his country, the teacher educating his child, the scientist fighting to cure cancer, or simply his neighbor (a father, mother, son, or daughter) who want to get home safely to their family.

Maybe someone could explain to Harris who the real privileged ones are, on the roads of Arizona, California or Kalamazoo.

But I doubt he’d get it. Or even listen, for that matter.

Nothing affect hearing like a closed mind.

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A nice memory of Prince, as he rode his bike from an LA rehearsal to a grade school to invite a seven-year old girl to perform onstage with him after discovering she was learning one of his songs.

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Evidently, there’s a lot of big hearts out there.

Like the Virginia TV station that teamed with a local bank to replace a boy’s bike after he was tricked out of his by older boys.

And the Michigan bike shop that unwittingly bought a hot $2,500 custom bike, then gave it back to the retired Marine it was stolen from, eating their $800 loss.

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Somehow, bike racing keeps making the news, even this early in the season.

A crash by the great Dutch rider Marianne Vos is caught on video as she hit the barrier while sprinting towards the finish like at the Dwars door Westhoek; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt in what was just her fifth race back after missing all of last season with a hamstring injury.

Former world time trial champ Michael Rogers wisely retires from racing after doctors detect a heart arrhythmia, combined with a previously discovered congenital aortic valve malformation.

American pro Andrew Talansky says a rule preventing top riders from participating in lower level races is hurting cycling in the US, since fans now only get to see the WorldTour riders compete in the Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Sagan can do anything on a bike. Except finish his first mountain bike race in seven years in Austria.

And former Giro winner Danilo Di Luca says he had to dope to finish first, but he has no regrets despite receiving a lifetime ban. Nice to see everyone continues to follow Lance’s lead and blame the sport instead of taking responsibility themselves.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA invites you to attend the debate between candidates for L.A. County Supervisor District 5 tomorrow night at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.

The first ever Los Angeles Bicycle Festival scheduled for May 8th has exceeded its fundraising goal; as funding increases, organizers can donate more free tickets to people who might not otherwise be able to attend.

CiclaValley offers a nice photo-recap of last weekend’s all-too-brief Burbank open streets event.

Work on widening Agoura Road in Conejo Valley, including adding bike lanes, is nearing completion and should be completely finished by August.

 

State

The bicycle industry has raised $60,000 to help promote Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of a “utilitarian” transportation bike. Of course, if would be nice if they’d show the same support for bicycling issues that don’t benefit them directly.

A Turlock letter writer says backpack bans in retail stores discriminate against bike riders, who have to carry their belongings with them.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a woman riding her bike has lost her life in a hit-and-run.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says roof racks may be a great way to transport your bike, but it’s bad for gas mileage.

Elly Blue says placing bike racks outside local businesses is one of the most revolutionary, yet simplest, ways to advance the bike movement.

Next City says as cities invest more in making way for people on bicycles, investing in bike equity must be more than just talk. The LACBC was one of the first organizations to start that conversation on both a local and national level, and continues to lead the way.

USA Today notes where to bike by bikeshare when visiting cities around the US. Except in Southern California, of course.

An Iowa lawyer tries to exclude a TV interview in which his client admitted to driving drunk when he allegedly killed a cyclist, because he didn’t have a lawyer present. Even though Miranda rights only apply to law enforcement, not the news media.

The 18-year old man who shot two people outside a Wisconsin prom over the weekend arrived there by bicycle, armed with a rifle.

Once again, the anti-bike bias of the NYPD rears its ugly head, blaming a fallen cyclist for riding the wrong way, even though a witness riding behind her says she was riding with traffic.

 

International

Strava wants you to log your commuting miles on their Global Bike to Work Day on May 10th, the week before LA’s Bike to Work Day on the 19th.

Rio’s mayor says the bikeway that collapsed and killed three people will be rebuilt in time for the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll build it as if lives depend on it this time. Because they do.

When a London lawyer insists bike lanes will increase pollution by increasing auto congestion, a local councilor correctly notes that cars cause pollution, and asks why she’s not campaigning for restrictions on motorists instead.

Thousands of Budapest cyclists ride to call attention to bicycling and point out the lack of bicycling facilities in the city.

Police in Sydney, Australia crack down on bike riders on the city’s most dangerous street for cyclists. But drivers, not so much.

Shanghai cyclist are ticketed for riding in the roadway instead of a bike lane where they have to dodge pedestrians.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to haul a trailer on your bike to commit a burglary, remember to take them with you when you run away. If you’re riding salmon with drug paraphernalia, pills and three jars of dope in you backpack, just get on the damn sidewalk when the cops tell you to.

And a new bike cam turns on automatically when your heart rate spikes.

Of course, by then it’s probably too late to catch the Arizona news personality that caused it.

 

Morning Links: Sierra Club endorses in Tuesday CC election, and results from Redlands Bicycle Classic

Just a quick update today after a far too busy yesterday.

Not to mention I’m in mourning after my DU Pioneers lost in the semifinals of the Frozen Four.

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The Sierra Club endorses Daniel Lee, Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells, and Thomas Small in Tuesday’s Culver City election.

Which corresponds perfectly with Bike the Vote LA’s ranking of the candidates.

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Defending women’s champ Mara Abbott won Thursday’s stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic despite suffering a possible broken clavicle in a fall; unknown 22-year old Colorado rider Sepp Kuss won the men’s stage.

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Local

The Times says building a bike lane will finally get easier when the state gets around to writing to CEQA rules to correspond with a change in the law eliminating the requirement for an environmental review for one.

A Manhattan Beach man is riding across the country to raise $10,000 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

This year’s edition of Finish the Ride rolls through Griffith Park this Sunday. And yes, there’s free beer for every adult rider.

Also Sunday, you’re invited to ride through Northeast LA with the LAPD’s senior lead officers for the area. This would be a great time to bring up the need for better bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the area, especially on North Figueroa.

 

State

A state appeals court rules that a convicted drunk driver can withdraw his guilty plea for killing a seven-year old Fresno boy as he rode in a crosswalk with his family. Apparently, he wasn’t satisfied with his well-deserved 12-year prison term.

Fat bikes are gaining popularity among Sonoma County cyclists.

 

National

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Something few bike riders actually need a month to be aware of.

Momentum Magazine looks at nine examples where bike infrastructure had a positive impact on cities and their local economies.

A new study says sleep deprived teenagers take more chances, such as riding a bike without a helmet.

Plans for a Portland bike trail are in jeopardy because of fears it will harm wildlife, while a Portland paper looks at attempts to open wilderness trails to mountain bikes.

A Oregon bicyclist is looking for the stranger who saved him when he became disoriented after a fall.

A Seattle cyclist proposes building a protected bike lane on a busy Interstate highway through the downtown area.

A Pee-Wee Herman-ish Flagstaff AZ bike rider says it’s time to take over the city council to make the city bike friendly.

A Wisconsin teenager apologizes from behind bars to the family of the cyclist she killed while driving a car in 2012, when she was just 13 years old.

A six year old Georgia boy was accidently shot by a friend as he rode his bike.

 

International

Business Insider talks to British world champ Lizzie Armistead, who has been torching the women’s cycling circuit this year. But despite the headline, as amazing as she is, she is not the world’s fastest pro cyclist.

The Guardian asks why so few British frame makers are women. A better question is why are there so few women bike builders anywhere.

A writer for Bike Biz says the shortfall in bicycling infrastructure is hitting women the hardest.

Cycling Weekly asks if Rapha is one of the UK’s biggest cycling success stories, or just a triumph of branding.

Nothing like getting doored by a London cop.

At least that’s perseverance. After a Brit bike rider is escorted off a freeway leading to Heathrow Airport by police, he gets back on the freeway and does it again.

If you’re not doing anything this June, how about a three-day bike race through the Kalahari desert?

A teenage bike rider hopefully learned the error of his ways when he groped a Kiwi kickboxer.

 

Finally…

At least no LA bike path has ever been closed on account of Wapati. Maybe Boaty McBoatface isn’t the best name after all.

And a proposed amendment to a bill repealing Nebraska’s requirement for cyclists to use sidepaths when available would require cyclists to use sidepaths when available; thanks to Mark Elliot for the heads-up.

Just politics as usual.

 

They drive among us: Letter writer threatens all cyclists for the water-squirting actions of one

I recently received the following letter from an anonymous source.

I’m told the writer, a Hollywood screenwriter, has circulated it among his friends as a joke. Apparently, one of them didn’t think it was funny.

I can’t imagine anyone else would, either. Let’s hope he specializes in horror; if he’s a comedy writer, he’s in the wrong business.

My source also said he may be trying to get the letter published. So I’m going to do him a favor and publish it for him.

Read it for yourself, and we’ll discuss afterwards.

………

An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-1-max

An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-2

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……..

Let’s answer that last question first.

No one who isn’t a psychopath is likely to accept that invitation.

Now let’s get this out of the way.

The cyclist who squirted his girlfriend was a jerk. By the simple act of squirting her with water, he committed misdemeanor assault, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in county jail.

So let that be your warning.

But it was water. Unless his pretty 20-something girlfriend is a witch, she probably didn’t suffer any lasting injury.

And let’s not forget she was breaking the law by parking in the bike lane, which, despite the perceptions of some people — apparently including our humble letter writer — wasn’t striped on the street to provide a waiting zone or a secondary parking lane.

Under California law, a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycles, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.

And on a busy street like Main, blocking the bike lane can force riders out into traffic, risking their safety in front of drivers who are more focused on finding a parking space than looking for bikes where they don’t expect them.

If the guy on the bike had been hit by a car, she could have been held liable, at least in part, for any injuries he suffered as a result.

Yes, what the guy did was wrong. But so was what the woman in the car did.

And the writer of this letter clearly doesn’t get that.

Then there’s this notion.

Not a Saturday morning goes by that I don’t witness some menace on wheels screaming “Hey watch where you’re going asshole!” at a peaceful and law abiding driver.

Which, unless he encounters an unusual number of mentally unstable people on two wheels, is highly unlikely; few cyclists feel a need to yell at “peaceful and law abiding” drivers.

Unless maybe they’re yelling at him.

Perhaps he just doesn’t understand traffic law well enough to recognize when drivers put people on bikes in needless danger. Like his girlfriend’s parking issues, for instance.

Which leads us to the real problem with this letter, and the person who wrote it.

Back in my starving writer days, the convenience store where I worked nights was robbed by a couple of kids in their early teens. One of whom had to talk his friend out of shooting me to see what it felt like to kill a white guy.

That marked the beginning of a multi-week crime spree that culminated in their arrest for pistol whipping another clerk so badly that he lost an eye.

I could have concluded, as have some I’ve had the misfortune of knowing, that all members of that particular ethnic group, or maybe minorities in general, were somehow to blame.

Even though that would have included my boss, her boss, and the friend-of-a-friend psychologist who volunteered over two hours of his time to talk me through it. Not to mention the woman I was dating at the time.

Yet this writer somehow blames every spandex-wearing person on two wheels for the action of one.

Never mind that some of those who appear to be riding recreationally may actually be riding to work, as part of the group he immediately absolves of collective guilt.

And never mind that some people at the agency that represents him are undoubtedly cyclists themselves. Not to mention at least a few of the studio execs capable of greenlighting his projects.

Which is I’m withholding his name.

It would easy — and admittedly, tempting — to let his own words destroy his career. But rather than grasping just how foolish he was in writing this letter, it would probably just reinforce his belief that we’re the evil creatures he thinks we are.

That brings us to his self-professed life of crime, which ranges from vandalism and simple assault, to criminal stalking and assault with a deadly weapon. Not to mention inciting violence by encouraging others to do the same.

His plan to repeatedly brake-check groups of cyclists — what he calls the “speed up slow down tactic’ — is exactly what got Dr. Christopher Thompson sentenced to four years hard time for slamming on his brakes in front of three riders in Mandeville Canyon.

And we’ll ignore his final chloroform fantasy, which he should take a good whiff of the next time he’s tempted to dash off another letter like this.

So on behalf of recreational bike riders everywhere, I’d like to apologize to his girlfriend, while politely suggesting that she watch where she parks in the future. And maybe reconsider her taste in men.

As for the letter writer, maybe he’d like to join us for a bike ride some time. And see that there’s another way to see the world in which bike riders aren’t the bad guys he thinks we are.

Once he calms down, that is.

……..

Check back this afternoon for today’s Morning Links.

Morning Links: Former CM Rosendahl passes away, Calbike endorsements, and holding hands to stop texting

Sad news on Wednesday, as former Westside city Councilmember Bill Rosendahl lost his long battle with cancer.

Streetblog’s Damien Newton considers how his friend changed the conversation regarding bikes and transportation in the City of Angeles, while current Councilmember Mike Bonin remembers his mentor.

I won’t bore you again with my own thoughts; I offered them last month upon learning that Rosendahl was nearing the end.

But I will say that LA is a better city today than it was just a few short years ago, and he had a lot to do with that.

And we are a much poorer city today without him.

………

Somehow I missed Calbike’s endorsements of candidates for the state legislature in the upcoming June primary, including several in the LA, OC and San Diego areas.

………

Maybe they get it, after all.

Specialized has killed their Playboy-branded ebike a week after a Playboy-themed promotion at the Berlin bike show blew up in their faces, saying “it does not align with our brand values.”

Specialized had already apologised for the PR stunt, with chief marketing officer Slate Olson saying the brand “stands strong with female riders and we do not support the objectification of women in any way, in any region.”

………

A New Zealand PSA shows how to stop a texting driver, and maybe get a little closer at the same time. Although it would be a kind of awkward from the seat of your bike.

………

Not only has gambler and Instagram idiot star Dan Bilzerian begun his ride to Las Vegas to win a $1.2 million bet, at last report, he was just 25 miles from the finish line.

Then again, give me two chefs, a masseuse, doctor, bike mechanic and a police escort, and I’ll do it for half of that.

………

Local

The LADOT Bike Program officially unveils its shiny new website.

More on the planned opening of the new Modern Times microbrewery in DTLA’s South Park neighborhood; the founder of the San Diego craft brew maker says he was drawn, in part, by Downtown’s expanding bike lane network.

Construction is nearing completion on a several major projects in downtown Santa Monica, including a number of bicycling improvements.

Whittier police warn bike thieves to beware of their sting. It would be nice to see LAPD fight bike theft with a bait bike or two of their own.

 

State

Remarkably, some Encinitas residents fear turning a dirt trail that runs along a railroad track through Cardiff into a paved bike path, which will eventually run 44 miles from Oceanside to downtown San Diego, will somehow ruin the character of the city.

CiclaValley says Legoland could use a little Copenhagenization.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Congratulations to 91-year old Santa Maria resident Bob Mettauer, who reached his goal of riding 90,000 miles before his 92nd birthday.

A San Jose writer offers advice on how to ride a bike with your dog.

Caught on video: The Bay Area’s public TV station looks at Oakland’s Scraper Bike Team.

Nice piece by a Bay Area bike writer, who says sometimes bikes slow down cars — and sometimes cars slow down cars — and that’s okay.

San Francisco’s Bicycle Advisory Committee works for better bicycling by the bay. LA has one, as well; although it usually gets ignored by city officials, and most councilmembers seldom, if ever, meet with their representatives on the committee. And the city won’t even give them an actual website.

 

National

Gizmodo says building highways through cities was a huge, but fixable, mistake.

Portland restripes a bike lane, just one day after the Department of DIY struck by placing orange cones to mark the fading lines.

A Portland woman gets her bike back five years after it was stolen, thanks to registering it with Bike Index. You have registered yours, right? They offer free lifetime registration right at the top of this page, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

Now that’s more like it. A proposal in the Illinois legislature would require drivers on a highway to yield the right-of-way to any person riding a bicycle.

Protected bike lanes could be coming to the main drag of the Motor City.

A Vermont website explains what bike turn signals mean, while suggesting it might be better just to point out where you’re going.

A Pennsylvania court says a cyclist can’t sue for his injuries because he can’t prove the state DOT knew the pothole he hit was there.

WaPo says real estate developers are offering more “trail-oriented” communities to meet the demand for bikeable and walkable places to live and work.

 

International

A Canadian writer says cycling’s real image problem is that it’s just too much fun.

A Windsor, Ontario letter writer says cyclists have to take responsibility for making drivers feel haunted by the memory of killing them.

A writer for London’s Telegraph says if safety was really pro cycling’s foremost priority, they’d stop cycling.

Caught on video: A British driver compiles “shocking” dashcam video of scofflaw cyclists, saying this is how accidents happen. Except none of the riders he shows seem to cause any collisions, and few, if any, close calls.

UK police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who broke a three-year old boy’s leg while riding on the sidewalk. Seriously, in any collision with a pedestrian — or another rider — stick around until you know they’re okay. Especially a little kid.

A new carfree Amsterdam tunnel uses design and lighting to create separate spaces for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Twenty-five Pakistani women ride to reclaim their space on the roads in the face of harassment, cheered on by around 60 supporters.

A new Aussie bike helmet with built-in cams records a 320 degree view of everything around you while offering a live rear view.

 

Finally…

Maybe the real problem is crappy headlights instead of ninja cyclists. Will a new bike shop disturb a part-man, part-goat, part-sheep creature who lives under a railroad trestle?

And threatening a clerk with your U-lock to steal pornography probably isn’t the best use for it.

I’m just saying.

 

Morning Links: 75-year old cyclist cuffed and ticketed for riding legally on I-15; Specialized says they’re sorry

03-15-2016 Jerry ticket from CHPMaybe the cop didn’t get the memo.

Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.

Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.

Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.

An invalid one, at that.

When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?

As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.

The DMV puts it this way,

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

Exit 129 going North

Exit 129 going North

As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.

I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.

However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.

Exit 138 going South

Exit 138 going South

Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.

Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.

I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.

I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.

Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.

………

Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.

Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.

Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.

The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.

The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.

Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.

 

State

Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.

A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.

 

National

Yes, it is possible to ride cross­-country sans chamois or other bike gear.

BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.

Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.

A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.

CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.

Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?

An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.

 

International

Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.

Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.

Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.

A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.

An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.

A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be grown and printed. Now you really can be replaced by a robot, even on your bike. But does it still have to wear a helmet if it’s under 18?

And any t-shirt that combines Corgis and bicycles can’t be all bad. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Jamming on North Fig, Bike the Vote endorses in Culver City, and selling butts instead of e-bikes

North Figueroa will be jamming tomorrow.

The free Fig Jam Great Streets event will transform the dangerous street, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has blocked long planned, fully funded and shovel-ready safety improvements in the name of (ahem) safety.

But for one day, at least, the street will be filled with people, parklets and protected bike lanes, in celebration of Highland Park’s rich cultural heritage. And a demonstration of what the street could be.

An email from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition explains why it matters.

FIG JAM is an important turning point in the conversation about making Figueroa a safer street for everyone. Over the past year, the community has come together too frequently to mourn in times of loss. FIG JAM is an opportunity to celebrate what the community could gain: a complete street that is safe for everyone that walks, bikes, and drives on it…

FIG JAM will help the community envision what is possible by making temporary changes right on the street itself. For many community members that haven’t been engaged so far, this event is a first impression of a new Figueroa, and we hope that they’ll like what they see. While you’re at the event, be sure to talk with your neighbors and ask them what they think. Let’s get the conversation going on Saturday and use the day to propel our advocacy throughout 2016.

………

In less than a month, Culver City will hold its municipal elections.

Despite its less-than-bike friendly past, the city has been making efforts to become safer and more welcoming for bicyclists and pedestrians. Yet they continue to rank among the worst California cities their size for injuries to both.

With three of the five council seats up for election this year, Bike the Vote LA recently rated the candidates, all but one receiving an A or B score.

Now the group has officially endorsed incumbent Meghan Sahli-Wells for one of those seats.

The only incumbent Councilmember in the race as well as the City’s immediate past Mayor, Sahli-Wells is familiar to livable streets advocates as a co-founder of the Culver City Bicycle Coalition and out on the road as a daily bike commuter. On the Council, she’s been a strong ally for residents who care about healthy, sustainable mobility. She worked to bring CicLAvia to the City in 2013 and 2015; voted against the removal of crosswalks on Jefferson Blvd; worked to implement Safe Routes to School improvements to reduce speeding and enhance safety near Culver City schools; and supported implementation of the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan, which she helped to craft prior to her election to the Council. She’s taken on leadership roles that touch transportation issues beyond the City’s borders, serving on the Expo Line Construction Authority Board and on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments.

In her response to our questionnaire, Sahli-Wells put forward a compelling vision of Culver City’s transportation future, from modest improvements like signage and bicycle loop detectors, to more ambitious undertakings like protected bike lanes and a Vision Zero initiative to work toward the elimination of all traffic deaths. She reminded us of her role in advancing the City’s participation in the coming Westside bike share system, which is now in the feasibility planning stage. Perhaps most importantly, she showed a commitment to prioritizing the safety of vulnerable street users in her willingness to dedicate street space to install protected bike lanes and in her focus on lowering vehicle speeds on neighborhood streets.

On a personal note, I’ve met Sahli-Wells on a number of occasions, and always found her welcoming and well-informed on bike issues, and willing to listen to suggestions or concerns from anyone who rides in the city, resident or not.

………

An ad from e-bike maker Flux Bike seems far more interested in the rider’s derriere than selling their bikes.

Especially if they hope to sell any to women.

………

Local

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan talks with KPCC’s Larry Mantle about how to make LA’s streets work for everyone, and discusses with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis whether New York’s urban revolution could work in LA. Meanwhile, Boyonabike gives a favorable review to her talk at the Hammer Museum on Wednesday.

The LACBC provides highlights from the recent National Bike Summit in Washington DC.

The Times offers more details on the guilty plea from Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson to a charge of selling imported performance enhancing drugs online; prosecutors are recommending three years probation, 300 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. And Cycling in the South Bay offers his two cents.

CiclaValley offers advice on using bike cams. And yes, you should have one. Or two.

Long Beach residents are complaining about losing parking spaces during Saturday’s Beach Streets open streets event. Which seems to be today’s theme of the day.

 

State

Business leaders in San Diego’s Little Italy district protest plans for a bike lane that would result in the loss of 50 parking spaces; a local radio personality with a bad case of windshield bias says if she can’t park, she’s not going. Why is it that the only time most community groups say they’re worried about the safety of bicyclists is when they’re fighting a bike lane?

Santa Barbara backpedals on its recent approval of bike lanes on Micheltorena Street in the face of a threatened lawsuit over the loss of up to 100 parking spaces.

Fresno police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a popular surgeon as he was riding home from work; the driver’s car sped off dragging the victim’s bike, which is still missing.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a bike, while the Guardian discusses all the extras you should get to go with it.

A Chicago woman left her tech job to found a company dedicated to changing the world one bike at a time.

A Boston man pushes for side guards on large trucks after his brother was fatally right hooked by one. Thanks to Long Beach bike lawyer John McBrearty for the heads-up.

When the New York Fire Department complained about a street being too narrow for emergency vehicles, the city responded by tearing out the bike lane rather than removing the parking.

A DC writer offers advice on how to bike safely and confidently in the city. Most of which applies wherever you ride.

After a Florida special needs man had his bike stolen for the second time, members of the local neighborhood watch group pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eleven reasons to date a cyclist.

No surprise here. A Canadian study shows building bike infrastructure really does encourage bicycling; a ten point increase in bike score results in a 0.5% boost in ridership.

London’s Cycling Commissioner says if you want cycling improvements, you’ve got to keep fighting for them in the face of opposition from a vocal minority.

Caught on video: A British truck driver barely misses a bike rider who starts crossing the road on a bike path directly in front of him. It looks like the real problem is crappy bikeway design.

Italy gets tough on killer drivers, as a government minister says a drivers license is not a license to kill.

Bollywood actress Karuna Pandey is one of us, riding a bike to zoom through Mubai traffic between shoots.

Interesting piece from an Aussie university lecturer on why bike riders so often make drivers see red, and why they’re so often wrong.

Good intentions for this road warning sign Down Under, just misplaced execution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call secure bike parking. When you’re a known gang member carrying a gun on your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re going to practice bicycle stunts, be sure to protect your penis. Assuming you have one.

………

One last note: I’m going to be tied up with out of town guests over the weekend. So unless there’s breaking news, I’m not planning to have a new post tomorrow or Monday. Go out and get a few good bike rides in, and we’ll see you bright and early on Tuesday.

 

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote rates Culver City candidates; Sadik-Khan speaks at Hammer Museum

Bike the Vote LA is out with their voter’s guide for the upcoming Culver City elections.

tumblr_inline_o3v4i8iIh11qakqep_500

And in case you’re wondering why former Culver City Detective Jay Garacochea scored so low, it might have something to do with prioritizing traffic flow over pedestrian safety, even if he does ride a bike.

You can find the full responses for all the candidates by visiting their website.

………

The Guardian talks with former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan about her new book and the battle to give the city’s streets back to people, instead of cars. Thanks to Jon for the link.

Speaking of which, she’ll be speaking with LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne at the Hammer Museum in Westwood this Wednesday. Tickets to the event are free.

………

My friend, popular cyclist and LA yoga maven Joni Young, is raising funds to take part in this year’s Climate Ride as part of Team LACBC. As of this writing, she’s raised $711 of the $3,000 goal.

If you’d like to help a great person raise money for a good cause, here’s your chance.

………

Lots of news on the bike racing front.

Former pro cyclist and current Cannondale team manager Jonathan Vaughters says it’s time for professional cycling to grow up.

VeloNews is giving away a new BMC bike hand-painted by cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

Forty-six-year old Columbian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle gets a four-year ban for doping after failing a drug test at last year’s Pan American Games.

UK track cyclist Victoria Williamson is recovering after the devastating fall that nearly left her paralyzed while competing in Rotterdam.

Bo knows biking. Former football, baseball and track star Bo Jackson says the real athletes ride in the Tour de France.

And an Israeli cycling team will ride the same roads cycling legend Gino Bartali rode as he smuggled documents to save Jews during WWII; the devout Catholic also hid a Jewish family in the cellar of his Florence, Italy home until it was liberated in 1944.

………

Local

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride, delayed a week because of last week’s CicLAvia, rolls this Sunday with a pre-St. Paddy’s day tour of DTLA.

The annual Fargo Street Hill Climb up LA’s steepest street rolls next Sunday, the 20th.

The Source provides a calendar-ready list of open streets events through the end of June.

Metro turns to students at the Otis School of Design for fashion-forward styles to encourage more women to get on their bikes.

Santa Monica police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety crackdown on Sunday. So try to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

Whittier police use a sting bike to bust a pair of bike thieves.

 

State

Laguna Niguel opens a .7 mile multi-use path along Oso Creek.

Newport Beach considers a road diet complete with buffered bike lanes to improve safety on Bayside Drive.

The tipping point that caused the Marines to crack down on trespassing Miramar mountain bikers came when riders on a covertly crafted trail crashed the funeral for a fallen Marine.

 

National

People for Bikes reports 19% of people over 55 ride bikes in 2014, since it offers low-impact exercise with a long list of health benefits.

Next City offers women advice on how to deal with harassment when you ride, sexual and otherwise.

A Washington man recovered his stolen bicycle from in front of the same credit union where it was stolen two years earlier; another man parked it there after buying it from a thrift shop.

The Denver engineer who invented the sharrow says he came up with it because he was constantly pressured to do less.

Evidently they take traffic crime seriously in Colorado, as a 20-year old drunk driver who ran down a cyclist will be 30 when he gets out of prison.

What the hell is wrong with people? East St. Louis drivers actually drove around an 11-year old boy as he lay injured in the street following a hit-and-run.

Chicago could have an elevated bike path stretching nearly two miles along the Chicago River by the end of 2017.

A Minneapolis baker puts his buns in the saddle to make his deliveries by bicycle.

A Virginia bill would impose a $50 fine for dooring a cyclist. Make it $500, and people might actually pay attention.

 

International

Cycling Weekly traces the evolution of the cycling cap from practical bikewear to hipster fashion.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A British driver gets just seven years for a fatal DUI collision, despite 31 previous convictions, including eight for drunk driving and six for driving without a license. But at least he lost his license for nine years. Not that it will stop him, evidently.

Australia’s New South Wales is apparently going out of its way to put an end to bicycling, including fining two cyclists the equivalent of over $300 for doing trackstands at traffic lights. Which isn’t even against the law there.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bike, it’s a 75 pound two-wheeled weather station. If you can’t ride, at least you can color.

And before you sue a bike seat maker for wrecking your marriage, make sure that was really the problem.

 

Morning Links: Memorial ride for RPV cyclist, 11-year old advocate writes for Times & Mt. Hollywood stays car free

Most fallen cyclists are fairly anonymous, their deaths, while tragic, affecting only a relative few.

Then there are those who are well known in the local community, among their fellow riders as well as others.

Redondo Beach resident Pissanuk Jonathan Tansavatdi, known as Jonathan to his friends, fit that description.

According to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, the 29-year old rider, who lost his life descending Hawthorne Blvd in Rancho Palos Verdes this week, was a member of his Big Orange riding club.

He cites Matt Miller, another member of the club, who wrote a remembrance of his best friend.

Jon wasn’t just strong, either. He was kind. After the last bro ride, we sat on our top tubes for 10 minutes outside his apartment while he gently encouraged Bader to ride hard, but also to ride more safely and obey the rules of the peloton.

Off the bike He was a prodigious success. He was a founding member of the Rubicon Project, a tech startup that made it big. He just left to found another start up company that had already secured several million in investments.

Perhaps most impressively, Jon had invented his own photosharing app, nearly at the beta testing stage, that allows users to automatically share photos with friends nearby via bluetooth. We mused how useful an app like that would be on our rides.

More than anything, Jon loved his family. He spoke of his sisters and mother and wife with compassion, understanding, and a clear desire to protect them.

Clearly, he was someone who touched a number of people in his all-too-short life, and will be missed by many.

A memorial ride will be held this Saturday at the weekly FDR ride, departing from Miramar Park in Redondo Beach at 8:10 am.

………

I’ve often mentioned that homeowners and renters insurance can cover your bike if it ever gets stolen, even away from home. And recommended carrying high levels of uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance to protect you while you’re riding your bike.

But bike lawyer John McBrearty offered some good advice I hadn’t considered in a comment on yesterday’s post about the UCLA student raising funds to pay legal fees, after she was sued by the driver that hit her for damaging his car.

You are absolutely correct about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist protecting you on the bike-possibly it’s the most important insurance a cyclist can have if the correct policy limits are purchased. However, while homeowners/renters insurance will not provide liability coverage while you are operating a motor vehicle it will cover you for liability if you are on a bike. Much the same way it covers you for liability if someone trips and injures themselves on your property or if your dog bites someone at any location. Of course, you should always read the “Exclusions” section of your policy to see what they don’t cover, some dog breeds are excluded from coverage but I have never seen an exclusion for a bike accident that was caused by the policy holder. Liability coverage only protects you from third parties who are making a claim against you. Again, that’s why UM/UIM coverage is so important for a cyclist also. UM/UIM will also protect you if you are walking, running or otherwise if you are hit by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Meanwhile, after mentioning it here yesterday, her gofundme account has reached over $7,000 of the $9,000 goal as of this writing.

………

Great piece from precocious traffic safety advocate and future mayor Matlock Grossman, who says LA streets should be safe for 11-year olds like him to ride a bike.

My vision of a livable city is one where kids like me can ride our bikes to school, or to orchestra practice, or wherever, and our parents don’t have to worry about our safety. Streets where cars can only go 20 to 30 miles per hour would be a great start. People driving would still be able to get where they are going in the same amount of time, but the roads would be much safer for everyone — young and old, rich and poor, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians…

By the time L.A.’s mobility plan is supposed to be in place in 2035, I will be 31. I don’t want my children to have to write newspaper articles to make it easier for them to ride their bikes to orchestra class. Safe streets belong to everyone.

It’s well worth reading the full piece.

I only wish most adults understood the need for safe streets as well as he does.

………

In a victory for hikers and bike riders, the city announced plans to charge for parking at the Griffith Observatory, while expanding shuttle service throughout the park — except for the highly contested Mt. Hollywood Drive, which will remain closed to vehicular traffic.

Give CiclaValley credit for telling the full story the news media based theirs on.

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Local

The Nation asks if a revitalized LA River will become a playground for the rich, crowding out everyone else. Which is surprising, since I didn’t even know the former left wing bible was still around.

The Easy Reader News names Hermosa Cyclery the South Bay’s best bike shop.

Long Beach has a shiny new aqua-colored and still unnamed bikeshare system, which will eventually offer 500 bikes at 50 stations throughout the city. Down the road, it should be compatible with Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare, which is blowing through the Santa Monica College campus.

 

State

A Rancho Mirage resident says the city’s leadership doesn’t seem to represent people like her, who aren’t afraid of change and support the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway through the Coachella Valley.

Even Barstow in getting bike lanes on its Main Street.

A San Francisco couple lived just five blocks apart, but they met, fell in love and got engaged at the Solvang Century bike ride; this year’s edition rolls Saturday.

No bias here. A San Francisco TV station says an Antioch cyclist wasn’t hit by a car, but collided with it, instead.

After nearly declaring war on bike-riding tourists last year, Sausalito plans to expand a Bike Ambassador program to help alleviate problems caused by too many people on two wheels. On the other hand, they never seem to complain about all the tourists on four wheels, which made my last visit there pretty miserable.

 

National

A scary new study says distracted driving is the new normal, as motorists spend over half their time paying attention to something other than the road.

Bicycling offers useful advice on how to make sure the bike rack you’re using is secure. Or you could just build your own.

After helping her husband Kurt set the new record for riding the most miles in a single year, Alicia Searvogel plans to tackle the women’s record.

An auto-centric Seattle radio host argues for keeping the streets dangerous and letting pedestrians die, fearing that advocates will lie about an uptick in pedestrian deaths to demand safer streets. Then again, he doesn’t sound like a prince on other subjects, either; thanks to NE Seattle Greenways for the latter link.

An Iowa columnist learns first hand what it’s like to bike like a bike cop.

A Houston weekly lists six streets where people “probably” won’t die riding their bikes. Maybe they should move to Boston, which claims to be tied with DC for the nation’s safest big city for cyclists and pedestrians.

A Missouri woman plans to ride 13,000 miles, stopping at churches in 37 states to raise awareness of sex trafficking.

Forget Vision Zero, says New York police commissioner — and former LAPD chief — Bill Bratton, who insists there will be traffic deaths as long as there are people on the roads. Maybe the city should find someone to do the job who doesn’t give up before he starts.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian offers 10 tips to conquer your bike commute.

A Scottish paper asks if the draconian new fines on Australian cyclists offer a lesson to be learned, or just make the state a laughing stock. You can probably guess how riders in New South Wales, who say they remain terrified on the Aussie state’s roads, would respond.

Seriously? Even the attorney for the former enforcer for Australia’s Banditos biker gang said he had “anger management issues” after getting out of his car and beating a bicyclist for not using a bike lane. Yet he walked with just a fine and a four month license suspension. Evidently, the only crimes they take seriously Down Under are cyclists riding sans helmets.

An Aussie woman insists she told the story of deliberately running down a bike rider who flipped her off hundreds of times, but only in an attempt to frighten off a man she thought was a “child rapist,” never imagining he might actually turn her into the police. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Kiwi bike commuter says he supports better bike facilities, just not if it involves closing his own street to vehicular traffic.

 

Finally…

Who needs real dog, when you can buy one made of recycled bike parts? If you’re going to steal a bike, don’t leave your old one covered in your DNA at the crime scene.

And Lance may have cheated, but he never put itching powder in his rivals’ shorts.

That we know of.

 

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