Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Planning Comm says Westwood and Central are out; 626 Golden Streets postponed due to fires

Something stinks in City Hall.

As expected, the LA City Planning Commission gritted its teeth and went along with amendments to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, clearly against their better judgment.

This, after rumors have circulated that councilmembers have made an agreement to throw bike riders on those streets under the bus. Perhaps literally.

I’m told the commissioners seemed to get the absurdity arguments that the best way to deal with the dangers along those corridors is to keep them dangerous, while making an attempt at social engineering by trying to shunt cyclist onto side streets where they clearly don’t want to go.

Which is the best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway.

And that, of course, leads to the same old circular thinking that says “see, we gave cyclists a bike lane and they didn’t use it, so clearly bike lanes don’t work and there’s no reason to build any more.”

Fortunately, the commissioners had the sense to make sure the removal of these lanes from the Mobility Plan doesn’t preclude studying, and perhaps building, them at a later date.

Like when Paul Koretz is out of office, which can’t happen soon enough.

Now the amendments go back to city hall, where they will be rubber stamped by the council, though we can hope at least a few councilmember have the courage to vote no.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a great report from commission meeting.

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626 Golden StreetsDisappointing news, as the long-planned 626 Golden Streets open streets event scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed to due to smoke from a pair of fires in the San Gabriels, as well as the need to keep streets clear for firefighters.

The event, which would have been the longest ciclovía in the US, is expected be rescheduled for another date, although the logistics of working out a schedule with seven cities may make that challenging.

Sorry, Gabe.

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Let’s catch up with some other upcoming events.

Dine for a great cause today, when Burbank’s Bob’s Big Boy is the site of a fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery; the restaurant will donate 20% of your meal ticket if you present the flyer you can pick up at the fundraiser booth outside. Fifteen-year old Michelle Morlock is raising $3,000 in donations to take part in next year’s ride, which helps veterans and active duty military personnel recover from emotional and physical wounds through bicycling. If you can’t make it, send ‘em a few bucks — or maybe a lot of bucks — at the address on the link.

This is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for LA Critical Mass, billed as the largest community bike ride in the US.

The LA Design Festival is teaming with Flying Pigeon LA for the eighth annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is holding their Monthly Group Ride next Saturday, complete with an optional dirt section to kick off your 4th of July weekend.

Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding on Sunday, July 3rd.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop will host the second annual Tour de Tacos on Saturday, July 16th; the 25-mile family friendly ride promises at least four taco breaks along the way.

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on the third annual Tour de Laemmle on Sunday, July 24th. Greg will ride 125 miles to visit all nine Laemmle Theaters in a single day; you can register to join him for all or part of the ride.

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Yesterday we shared a photo of what was left after thieves pried open a U-lock securing a bicycle on my block; today, the other bike locked up on my block suffered the same fate.

This is all that was left.

SAMSUNG

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Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter will represent the US for road cycling in the Olympic games, along with Megan Guarnier, Kristin Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott on the women’s side.

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Local

Metro votes to put a transportation sales tax extension on the November ballot, which would including bicycling and walking projects along with transit and highway work.

East Long Beach is dealing with the same increase in homelessness being seen throughout Southern California; residents are warned to secure their bikes to protect them from chop shops popping up in the area.

 

State

Menlo Park backpedals on plans to install bike lanes and make other needed safety improvements on El Camino Real.

Facebook’s new Frank Gehry-designed Menlo Park headquarters will also include a bicycle bridge designed in Gehry’s typically asymmetrical style. Although it looks more like it was designed by Picasso. Or maybe just someone who has never ridden a bicycle before.

The mayor of San Francisco was outraged by Wednesday’s twin hit-and-runs that left two cyclists dead; however, the SF Bicycle Coalition called his words hollow. Meanwhile, there was a third fatal bike crash in the Bay Area on Thursday morning, this time in Pleasanton.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a beginners guide to picking the perfect first bike.

A new reflective, neon-colored bike safety triangle is now raising funds on Kickstarter. It will probably make you more visible, but shouldn’t the onus be on drivers to look where they’re going, rather than on cyclists to light themselves up with virtual neon signs to get their damn attention?

Denver cyclists were welcomed to that city’s Bike to Work Day with a series of blocked bike lanes.

Even though Ohio allows bicyclists to ride two abreast, a Cincinnati suburb considers requiring them to ride single file.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to convert your existing ride into an ebike.

New bike path surfaces could help you bounce back from a fall. No, literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says a tourist guide is right that bicyclists will be “challenged and amazed” riding on a local highway — challenged to stay on it in the heavy traffic, and amazed they survived the experience.

A writer in the UK says she used to be one of the good ones back when everyone obeyed the law, but now that she doesn’t ride a bike anymore, people on bicycles have somehow morphed into a horrifying menace that threatens all those poor, bike-afflicted motorists and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in Ireland. A speeding, unlicensed driver gets a whole two and a half years in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist he struck while attempting a four-wheel drift around a turn; the 27-year old driver, who never bothered to get a driver’s license, had been barred from driving three times in the previous five years, but still managed to stay behind the wheel until he killed someone.

China’s Xiaomi unveils a $450 folding ebike, which you can get there, but not here.

 

Finally…

Who needs a kite eating tree when Idaho has a bike eating one? Anyone can carry groceries home on a bike; try towing a sofa.

And make your getaway on the back of a bicycle after robbing a donut shop, and you could end up in the trash.

And then behind bars.

 

Morning Links: Homeowner opposition to Westwood bike lanes may be a lie, and the CHP gets it wrong again

As I write this, the LA City Planning Commission is just hours away from a vote that could lead to the removal of Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, over the strenuous objections of virtually everyone who rides a bike on those streets.

Westwood resident Calla Wiemer has written a detailed, insightful and highly persuasive letter to the Commission arguing for keeping Westwood in the plan, which she has kindly agreed to let me share with you.

Regardless of how the commission votes, you should forward this to your councilmember before the city council takes up the matter in a few weeks.

Especially since only 42 of the roughly 3,000 homeowners in the area were concerned enough to oppose removing parking or traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes.

But those 42 are the only ones Paul Koretz seems to care about.

Dear LA CPC,

The proposed amendment to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility 2035 Plan and to replace it with a Gayley-Midvale route is ill-conceived. The argument in favor of such a change to the plan was articulated in a 6/22 email “Blast” from the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association. The flaws in the case presented in this email Blast, however, are numerous. First, the claim that the alternative route “both maintains and respects the connectivity of the Bicycle Enhanced Network” is false. Westwood Blvd provides a through connection directly from UCLA to Westwood Station on the Expo Line and on to points south. Midvale, by contrast, truncates with a T-intersection at Santa Monica Blvd from which point riders moving in a north-south direction would need to make their way to or from Westwood Blvd to continue on course.

Second, the suggestion that a “growing presence of bicycle commuters on Westwood”, which will “slow traffic” and “create added conflicts”, can be averted by designating an inconvenient alternative route is a fantasy. A growing presence of bicycle riders on Westwood Blvd is the reality. Bike riders choose Westwood Blvd because it’s the most direct route to their destinations – destinations which are often located on Westwood Blvd for the many who shop, work, or live there. As much as non-cyclists might wish to impose an alternative route on those who ride, they simply do not have the authority to do so. The best way to avoid the conflicts the WSSM leadership is so concerned about is to provide accommodation for bike riders.

Third, the premise that “Most local residents do not feel comfortable riding through Westwood Village on Westwood Blvd” is true enough but serves better as an argument for bike lanes than against them. Westwood Blvd in its present form is a dangerous and scary place to ride a bike. Making it safer will raise the comfort level of local residents. Consider as well that most local residents similarly do not feel comfortable riding a bike on Midvale or Gayley as those streets are currently constituted. The concept in designating these alternative streets as bike routes would be to make them more inviting for bike riding. But we are better off applying such effort to Westwood Blvd which already has the cycling presence to justify it.

Fourth, continuing to speak for “most local residents” the WSSM leadership’s presumption that our ranks “have looked to our City’s planning and transportation experts to fashion” a biking alternative to Westwood Blvd is not borne out by the Association’s own survey research. The survey was conducted in June of 2014 and garnered 135 responses from the roughly 3000 homeowners in the neighborhood. Asked to express opposition to or support for “Removal of traffic or parking lanes on busy arterials for dedicated bike lanes”, only 42 respondents ticked opposition to the degree of “important” or “very important”. The number in support of removal was 18 while 59 declined to respond to such a broadly worded question and 16 others who opposed removal did not see the issue as “important” or “very important”. A more telling manifestation of local opinion on bike lanes for Westwood Blvd has been the consistently large turnout of advocates at public hearings conducted by government and civic organizations over the last few years. Of particular note, the Westwood Village Improvement Association (BID) held a series of three public hearings drawing packed houses of supporters and only a few opponents. As a result of that consultation with the community, the BID submitted a request to the city government and Councilmember Koretz that a study be conducted of bike lane designs for Westwood Blvd.

What in truth can be said about most local residents is that we are exasperated by the traffic, and yes, we look to the city’s planning and transportation experts to come up with strategies to mitigate it and to improve safety. Please let us not exclude Westwood Blvd from that process. If any street is in need of a re-envisioning, it is Westwood Blvd. Do let us keep it in the Bicycle Enhanced Network so that the planners can give us a vision of a street that works for people and businesses, not just one that is clogged with motor vehicles.

Respectfully,

Calla Wiemer

Homeowner, Westwood South of Santa Monica

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Once again, the CHP gets bike law wrong when a San Luis Obispo driver asks for advice on whether to cross the yellow line or slow down to obey the three foot passing law, forgetting that drivers are allowed to pass closer than three feet as long as they slow down and pass safely.

And despite the officer’s assertions, there is no requirement under California law that cyclists have to ride single file — especially not in a bike lane.

Nor are they required to ride to the right in a bike lane under any circumstances, ever.

………

Not surprisingly, the Kalamazoo driver who ran down nine bicyclists has been charged with five counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as four counts of causing serious injury while intoxicated; blood tests showed he was under the influence of an undisclosed substance.

Meanwhile, another survivor has been released from the hospital; two other victims remain hospitalized.

………

Now that’s a close pass. Credit the rider for staying upright rather than overreacting to it.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; unfortunately, I’ve lost any record of who that was.

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A driver of one of London’s famous black cabs records himself chasing down and apprehending a hit-and-run driver who knocked a cyclist off his bike. Although he must have scared the crap out of all the other riders as he cut in and out of a bike lane to catch up to the fleeing driver.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

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Yesterday there was a bike attached to this lock on Hollywood Blvd; today there isn’t. A reminder to buy a quality lock, and lock your bike securely.

And register the damn thing, already.

SAMSUNG

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Lael Wilcox smashes the women’s record to win the Trans Am race across the US. The Alaskan cyclist becomes the first woman and the first American to win the solo, unsupported 4,200 mile race, finishing in 18 days.

Not to be confused with the better known, fully supported RAAM, going on now.

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Local

Organizers of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets event say it may have to be postponed if unhealthy air quality caused by the San Gabriel Complex fire doesn’t improve. Let’s hope not; the logistics of arranging another date with seven separate cities could prove challenging.

Universal announces plans to reorient their production facilities, including making way for a park and the previously announced extension of the LA River bike path through their property.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says city council committee meetings are Dante’s tenth circle of hell; but in this case, a successful one, as the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Committee votes to formulate a bike plan to improve safety and connect with other cities in the area.

LADOT reminds everyone to submit their rides and other activities to the department’s calendar of upcoming bike events. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have our own list of bike events.

A British cyclist takes a “blockbuster” ride through the San Gabriels before making his way up Mt. Baldy.

 

State

Now that’s more like it. Orange police impound 16 high-end cars for street racing after a GoPro shows one that hit a bike rider was traveling at 50 mph, rather than 25 mph as the driver claimed. It’s also a reminder to always assume you’re injured following a collision; the cyclist initially said he wasn’t hurt, but later found out he had a broken clavicle and finger, as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

A bighearted Tustin cop buys a new adult tricycle for a woman with cerebral palsy after hers was stolen last month.

San Clemente plans a number of changes to improve bike safety, including a two-way bikeway on El Camino Real, sharrows on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and buffered bike lanes on Avenida Pico.

Palm Springs police are trying to identify a thief who stole an $1,800 bicycle; fortunately, the bike was eventually recovered.

The family of Ventura teenager Jonathan Hernandez files a wrongful death suit against the tow truck driver who kept going after hitting him as he rode his bike last February, leaving him in the road to be struck by another driver, who also fled the scene. The Ventura County DA still hasn’t filed any charges against the driver, who has close business ties with city and county, and the Ventura PD. Leaving us to wonder once again if the DA is justice challenged when it comes to traffic victims.

Tragic news from San Francisco, as two bike riders were killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents. A suspect was arrested in one crash in which a driver ran a red light before striking the rider, while a woman was killed by a speeding driver who hit her bike head-on in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Davis approves 36 housing units to provide funding for a bike path, even though the city is having trouble negotiating a necessary easement.

A Sacramento paper offers suggestions on taking the train to ride Bay Area bike trails.

 

National

VeloNews looks at a form of arterial disease that is increasingly affecting cyclists, including pro racer Joe Dombrowsky.

HuffPo offers five tips for better bicycling.

Bicycling provides nine tips from readers on how to get your family and friends hooked on bike riding.

An Illinois teacher and her husband were killed when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year old boy, who turned out to be one of her former students.

An unlicensed and uninsured Louisville KY driver faces two murder charges for running down three girls who were standing in a bike lane; he had a BAC two and a half times the legal limit following the crash.

It’s back to the drawing board for New York’s DOT, as the debate over bike lanes in the city’s Clinton Hill neighborhood was won by the side that yelled the most. And needless to say, it wasn’t the bike riders.

A $4,200 e-cargo bike races a New York subway.

A pair of medical professionals say a contentious bike lane on a Charleston SC bridge would enhance livability and health; evidently, you don’t have to convince local bicyclists.

 

International

A Montreal writer says vehicular cycling is dead, even if it isn’t.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the research behind bike helmets, concluding that whether you wear one or not is up to you.

Australia’s Canberra region finally makes it illegal to throw things at bike riders. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone here.

An Aussie writer discovers bicycling can help with grief and depression after his own father died of cancer.

 

Finally…

Evidently, not even the dead are safe from bike thieves. Who needs wheels when your bike can have spider legs?

And no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the bicycle.

But he probably wishes he did.

 

Morning Links: Ventura DA gives form letter response, deadline to support candidates opposing Koretz and Cedillo

Evidently, the Ventura County District Attorney can’t be bothered to respond individually to complaints about how they do their job.

Or in this case, don’t do it.

Last week, we featured a heartbreaking guest post from Hailey Cushman, daughter of Jesse Cushman, who was one of the two people killed by an allegedly distracted driver in Moorpark last fall.

Several people were inspired to write the DA’s office to complain that the driver, Rachel Hill, was only charged with misdemeanors in their deaths, rather than the felony counts the CHP recommended. And isn’t expected to spend a single day behind bars.

On Tuesday, I heard from three separate people who received the exact same response from the DA’s office, identical in every word, space and comma.

And not only that, one that they couldn’t even be bothered to respond to personally; each was signed simply “Webmaster.”

RE: Ventura County District Attorney Contact: Refile People vs. Rachel Hill as a felony

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:03:47 +0000

DA Criminal <DA.Criminal@ventura.org>

Dear Ms. xxxxx

Thank you for contacting the District Attorney’s Office. While we appreciate your concerns regarding this case, we are required to make difficult decisions, which include filing only those criminal charges that we have legally sufficient, admissible evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court. The case was reviewed and filed by a veteran prosecutor in our Criminal Division. Please understand that the decision to file this case was not made lightly. The District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough review of the investigation done by the California Highway Patrol and our conclusion is reflected in our filing decision.

Webmaster

Ventura County District Attorney

Nice to see they take complaints — let alone the lives of traffic victims — so seriously over there.

Maybe the good people of Ventura County should ask themselves if this is really what they want from their DA.

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It’s time to put your money where your vote is.

Recently we reported that CD5’s Paul Koretz, who has taken it upon himself to singlehandedly set bicycling on the Westside back 20 years, will be facing a challenger in next year’s election.

Which means his opponent, Jesse Creed, already has my support before I even meet the guy.

However, the end of this month marks an important fundraising deadline for candidates for LA City Council.

So if you’re as pissed-off as I am about Koretz siding with wealthy homeowners at the expense of everyone else — let alone claiming to be an environmentalist while blocking bike lanes that would enable people to leave their cars at home — dig as deep as you can to make a contribution to his campaign.

And while you’re at it, send another one to Josef Bray-Ali; the owner of NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA bike shop is taking on Gil Cedillo in CD1, thanks in part to Cedillo’s ongoing efforts to keep North Figueroa dangerous.

Send your check to:

Bray-Ali for City Council 2017, 3346 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. Be sure to include your name, address and employer, which is required in order for his campaign to legally accept the contribution.

………

Speaking of Koretz, the motions to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the Mobility Plan come back before the Planning Commission at 8:30 am tomorrow, on the 10th floor of City Hall in Downtown LA.

It’s not looking good at this point. So we need everyone to attend if you can, or if not, reach out to the commission to demand a safer, and more rideable Los Angeles.

Maybe if we show overwhelming support for keeping them in the plan, the commission — and more importantly, the city council, which will consider it next — may actually listen.

………

If your plans for today included a ride along the upper reaches of the LA River Bike Path, you may want to reconsider.

The path will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm today between Glendale and Fletcher Blvds for major cleanup work following the removal of the flood control barriers.

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Caught on video: A Philadelphia bike rider is run off the road and threatened by a driver who fled the scene, then can’t get the police to give a damn.

Thanks to Thread Riot for the heads-up.

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The New Yorker offers photos from 75-years of bike racing. Which is not the same as cycling, despite the headline.

Six African riders are on track to compete in this year’s Tour de France, including Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot, who became the first black African to compete in the Tour last year.

A British amateur rider conquers the Tour de France’s famed Col du Tourmalet in just three and a half hours; even more impressive considering he’s just eight-years old.

If you want to hear Lance talk about cycling, skip his new podcast.

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Local

The LA Times endorses plans for a half-cent transportation sales tax, while calling bicycling and walking “a vital part of the transportation infrastructure that has been too often overlooked.” Meanwhile, Metro’s CEO calls it an opportunity to be bold, while a pair of Inglewood and West Hollywood leaders say speed up completion of the north-south train lines.

Kill four people who were walking in a Redondo Beach crosswalk, admit to taking pain killers before getting behind the wheel, and get off with time served.

Damien Newton discusses Metro’s open streets program, as well as Sunday’s 19-mile 626 Golden Streets.

While everyone else is offering advice on how to ride in the heat, contrarian CiclaValley tells you what not to do while cycling in it.

 

State

Caltrans’ survey for their first-ever draft bicycling and walking plan will close at the end of this month.

San Diego unanimously approves plans for nine miles of protected bike lanes in the downtown area, along with five miles of wider sidewalks.

Three San Diego area mayors call for approval of that county’s proposed $18 billion sales tax measure to fund transportation projects, including bicycle and pedestrians projects.

Monterey considers installing its own bikeshare system.

A new line of smart bikes from the Bay Area will come complete with built-in lights, turn signals, brake lights and an electronic shifting system, along with an open OS that will allow developers to add additional features.

The executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition hopes to have more time to ride his bike once he steps down at the end of this month.

 

National

People for Bikes considers how Kickstarter is kick-starting innovation in the bike industry.

Kryptonite increases the amount of optional anti-theft protection coverage they offer with their locks, while streamlining the registration process.

The Denver CO 2011 bike plan calls for investing $119 million to build an additional 270 miles of bike lanes; four years later, it had only spent $2.8 million to stripe 68 miles of new lanes. Sounds like another city I could name.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Austin TX makes safety improvements to an intersection just weeks after a 14-year old boy was killed riding his bike.

Houston adopts an ambitious new bike plan calling roughly 800 miles of new bike lanes within the next ten years.

The annual Remember the Removal ride will finish on Thursday, as members of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians retrace the infamous Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A Memphis woman is behind bars after threatening to shoot a bunch of kids in a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth dying for. And it’s sure as hell not worth killing anyone over, especially not a kid.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike network has expanded seamlessly into Northern Kentucky to form the country’s first multi-state bikeshare system.

Minneapolis makes plans to unseat Portland as America’s bicycling capitol.

Seriously? A Massachusetts driver is expected to be released on a whopping $1,000 bail after being charged with possession of heroin and cocaine, driving with an open container, driving to endanger and driving under the influence when he knocked a woman off her bike. Nice to see the court system taking DUI seriously. And yes, that is sarcasm, in case you weren’t sure.

More proof cyclists are tough. A New York man rode his bike home after getting shot in the stomach.

 

International

Caught on video 2: An Ottawa, Ontario bike rider’s rear-facing cam captures the driver who smashed into him from behind; fortunately, he walked away from the crash.

A bystander jumped into a London river to save the life of a 68-year old bike rider who had fallen in.

A British paper offers advice on how to ride in the rain. Which is not a problem we’re likely to have anytime soon.

A stoned driver in the UK gets seven years in prison — and a 10-year ban on driving — for killing a bicyclist after using heroin and prescription medication.

An Irish soccer fan rides nearly 375 miles to the Euro championships to raise money for cancer charities, only to get mugged on arrival in Paris; fortunately, women working at the Gare du Nord train station chased off the men who tried to steal his bike.

An Aussie cyclist says riding 2,600 miles across the continent in just 32 days can change your life, especially if you almost die twice, get bitten by a snake and caught in a cyclone.

A Singapore women’s non-profit group rode through Cambodia to raise awareness and funds for a hotel and restaurant training school trying to stop human trafficking.

Caught on video 3: A Chinese sidewalk cyclist barely avoids being run down by an out-of-control driver who smashed into a clothing shop.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle, maybe you should only steal one box of frozen chicken at a time. It’s not a bike helmet, it’s a speaker with a hockey puck on top.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a contraflow traffic lane, of course. Thanks to kdbhiker for the video.

Morning Links: Garcetti on Veep list, LA’s people-friendly transformation has begun, and Lance visits Kalamazoo

Bernie Sanders isn’t being considered as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

But our own LA Mayor Eric Garcetti reportedly is.

At least, that’s what I’m told the story says, since the Wall Street Journal won’t let me read the damn thing, despite numerous attempts to log in.

It’s far too soon to worry about what our current mayor becoming a heartbeat from the presidency might mean.

But let’s not forget that LA’s Great Streets program and commitment to Complete Streets originates from the mayor’s office. And popular LADOT director Seleta Reynolds serves at the pleasure of whoever occupies that office.

Chances are, Garcetti won’t get the nod. California’s Democratic stronghold is probably already in Clinton’s pocket, so the choice will more likely go to someone from a swing state.

So he may have to settle, for now, anyway, for the honor of simply being considered for the nation’s second highest office.

But if he did get it, it could mean some big changes in the City of Angels.

And not necessarily for the better.

………

Speaking of changes made under Garcetti’s leadership, PBS looks at five spaces that urban designers have transformed into pedestrian paradises.

Not surprisingly, the first three are in New York, where former DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan worked to shift the city’s focus from cars back to people.

But the next one is right here in DTLA, where Broadway has gotten a makeover to be more inviting to people on bikes and foot. Although I’d call it a work in progress, rather than paradise found just yet.

Now just imagine if Hollywood and Highland was transformed into a pedestrian plaza like New York’s Times Square, taming one of the city’s most dangerous streets overnight. And sending commercial sales and property values skyrocketing, while giving tourists the Hollywood experience they expect, but seldom find.

Maybe Garcetti can make it happen before he moves to DC.

………

The four people injured in last week’s Kalamazoo crash continue to recover from their injuries. One of the riders has already been discharged from the hospital, saying it still seems surreal.

Lance Armstrong — yes, that Lance — visits Kalamazoo to finish the ride the nine victims didn’t get to, and explains in his own words the emotional impact of talking to the victims and their families, while riding past five ghost bikes on the side of the road.

………

The US qualified fewer spots for the men’s Rio Olympics cycling competition than Iran and Morocco.

South African U-23 rider Keagan Girdlestone is off the ventilator and out of a medically induced coma, yet remains in critical condition after a collision with a team car while racing in Italy 10 days ago.

An Aspen CO bike racer and skier makes a remarkable comeback from a brain aneurism that typically kills 70% of sufferers within 24 hours, winning a hill climb while competing with a small clip securing a blood vessel in his brain.

A New York cycling champ describes what it’s like to come out of the closet as a gay cyclist.

………

Local

LA city prosecutor Andrew Said looks at how California’s outdated speed laws guarantee our streets remain dangerous.

A Santa Clarita resident complains that the city’s McBean Parkway has been converted to a high-speed superhighway, and calls for a road diet, lower speed and better sidewalks to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

Milestone Rides goes bike camping and rattlesnake dodging in Henninger Flats, in the Angeles National Forest above La Cañada.

 

State

Newport Beach will consider safety improvements near schools, including crossing guards and buffered bike lanes, following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode home from school last month. It shouldn’t take the death of a child to prompt improvements to protect children on their way to and from school.

The CHP says a Bakersfield bus kept going after hitting a bike rider; the bus company says oh no we didn’t.

A Fresno driver has been arrested in the February hit-and-run that nearly killed a local surgeon as he rode his bicycle; the 23-year old driver has reportedly confessed.

 

National

USA Today lists ten open streets events around the country, starting with our own CicLAvia.

Gizmodo rates the best bike rack, basket and panniers for bike commuters.

A Colorado letter writer says demonizing cyclists doesn’t help anyone.

A cyclist is taking part in Colorado’s 400-mile Ride the Rockies bike tour for the fifth time. But just the first time since losing his vision in both eyes.

Next time you visit the original Coors plant in Golden CO, you can check out a bike from the town’s Bike Library for free for the first two hours. Meanwhile, a 25-bike Castle Rock CO bikeshare system will be free all summer thanks to a local hospital.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas paper offers a heartbreaking look at California native Steven James Lewis, a bike tourist who had traveled throughout the world before losing his life, along with one of the rescue dogs he was towing behind his bike.

In a case reminiscent of our own Dr. Christopher Thompson, an Illinois driver is on trial for brake-checking a group of cyclists and forcing one into a ditch; the driver claims he had to brake to avoid another vehicle after passing the riders. Sure, let’s go with that.

Authorities credit a 12-year old Michigan boy’s helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a van and landed on his head.

Charleston SC councilmembers will have to decide if the safety of bike riders is worth just 48 seconds, as a temporary road diet and bike lanes over a bridge angered drivers by delaying them less than a minute at rush hour. I think we all know what certain LA councilmembers would say under the same circumstances.

 

International

Most female Strava users say there are no barriers to women’s bicycling. Of course, they are the ones already doing it, not the ones afraid try or unsure if they can make it work.

Rio will reopen the bike path that collapsed in February killing two people; plans are to open the path in time for the Olympics.

If vehicular cycling had never caught on in the 70s, would every North American city look like bike-friendly Montreal?

A British bike rider was the victim of a random attack by a large group of youths, apparently just for the hell of it since nothing was stolen.

A Kiwi truck driver slammed into a parked car. And naturally, blamed a bike rider.

Sydney, Australia police believe the person seen sabotaging a bike path in his boxers may be a local resident; as many as 800 flats have been caused by tacks over the past two years.

Forget protected bike lanes; Kyoto has a two-third mile arcade for bike riders.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to OC’s famed Trestles surf break, do it upright with a board under your arm like any self-respecting surfer. A writer asks what bike would Ramsey Bolton ride, although he seems more like the massive SUV type to me.

And no matter how pissed off you are after a driver cuts you off, don’t slash his tire with a knife.

And if you do, make sure he’s not a cop first.

 

Morning Links: Last stand for Westwood and Central Ave bike lanes, and Elly Blue comes to town

Mark your calendar.

The LA Planning Commission is scheduled to take up plans to remove the much-needed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave bike lanes from the Mobility Plan a week from Thursday.

Both at the whim of local councilmembers, without any studies or statistics to back up the decisions.

Even though that means shunting riders away from businesses that could benefit from their support, while keeping dangerous city streets riskier for everyone.

And even though the best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where bike riders don’t want to go.

Bicyclists have been fighting to keep these streets in the bike plan, with little or no support from city officials, elected or otherwise, other than the Planning Commission and its staff. This is likely to be our last stand, as the city council will either vote to accept or override the Commission’s decision, probably without any public discussion.

After all, why listen to us when they’ve already made up their minds?

The meeting is scheduled to start around 8:30am in the John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

If you can’t attend in person, written comments can be submitted to the City Planning Commission, Room 532, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or emailed to James Williams, james.k.williams@lacity.org.

Thanks to Danila for the heads-up.

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Popular Portland bike writer and advocate Elly Blue is very busy these days.

First up, she’ll make a stop at the Wheelhouse in DTLA on Thursday to discuss her new book Bikenomics, sponsored by Metro.

That will be followed by a visit with the Santa Monica Spoke this Friday for Dinner & Bikes + Cupcakes, along with producer/director Joe Biel and vegan chef Joshua Ploeg.

And finally, she offers advice in Bicycling on how not to get your bike stolen.

………

That explains it.

Last week we linked to security video of a bike rider being run down by a hit-and-run driver, as an automotive website speculated that it appeared to be on purpose.

It was.

It turns out the driver was the man’s girlfriend, who had just found out he’s HIV-positive.

She now faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a collision.

………

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay visits Kalamazoo, and writes movingly about the crash that left five riders dead last week, and another four injured; the driver faces five counts of second degree murder.

The ghost bikes for the five victims are turning into beautiful flower sculptures as mourning community members cover them with love notes and mementos.

A Taiko drum group performed at the funeral of one of the victims, who was a member of the group.

………

Vavel previews the five stage women’s Tour of Britain.

Cycling News reminds us of some of the pioneers of women’s cycling, from a 16-year old world record holder in the 1890s to the first female vice president of UCI. And it turns out women can compete on equal terms with men — and did at the Giro d’Italia over 90 years ago.

Men’s Journal offers a brief history of the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which kicked off in Oceanside this morning.

A British whistleblower says doping is endemic in cycling.

Look for still more doping scandals, as a judge has ordered blood bags linked to Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as part of the ten-year old Operation Puerto turned over to anti-doping authorities.

………

Local

Great news, as CiclaValley reports the LA River bike path has finally been reopened through Elysian Valley after being closed most of the winter and spring for flood control efforts that went unneeded when El Niño fizzled.

The LA Weekly visits The Cannibal, the new bike and meat centric restaurant in Culver City, where bicyclists get their second beer free. Am I the only one who never heard of a free second anything referred to as a kit, though? Or did the Weekly confuse it with what riders have to wear to get one?

 

State

A Medicare Advance program allows Seal Beach seniors to borrow a Pedego ebike every Tuesday for a free spin along the beach. Speaking of Pedego, they’re trying to set a world record for the most ebike riders in a parade when they move to a new headquarters in Fountain Valley.

San Diego’s Uptown District once again demonstrates they prefer parking to business from bike riders.

Oxnard police give new bicycles to two elementary school students with perfect attendance.

Merced authorities double down on the violent arrest of a bike rider that was caught on cell phone video, by charging the man with resisting arrest. They may be prosecuting in hopes that a plea deal will derail the inevitable civil suit.

Sad news from Modesto, as a bike rider has died after being hit by a train yesterday.

Specialized partners with Stanford researchers in hopes of demonstrating that bicycling provides a natural remedy for ADHD.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of us, as the Facebook CEO breaks his arm training for a triathlon in Menlo Park.

 

National

A 13-year old Utah girl rides a bike for the first time after being blinded in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.

A Wisconsin professor studies bike and pedestrian crashes in hopes of creating safer streets and reducing traffic fatalities to zero.

An Indiana city proposes requiring new buildings to have at least two covered bike parking spaces, and showers for the people who use them.

The NYPD cop who pulled a gun on a bike messenger and taunted him after cutting a group of cyclists off in a bike lane is a decorated 23-year veteran of the department; the rider, who was arrested on criminal mischief, weapons and menacing charges — despite being the apparent victim — considers it a case of Biking While Black and plans to file a civil suit.

Philadelphia cyclists call on the city to finally get started on a network of fully funded protected bike lanes.

Contrary to the bizarre claims of a pro-car Pennsylvania writer, speed cameras — which are not currently legal in California — reduce injury crashes up to 25 percent, while red light cameras cut injury crashes anywhere from 21 to 51 percent, according to stats from the NHTSA.

An Atlanta paper gives advice on how to ride safely with your dog in tow. Or better yet, just take it out for a hike after you get back.

 

International

CNN talks with Tim Bridgeman, the British cyclist who is continuing the round-the-world bike tour he started with his wife before she was killed in a collision while riding through Bolivia.

London’s new bicycle superhighways have brought a surge in ridership, boosting rates an average of 60%. Meanwhile, the city opened the first of seven planned Quietways running on pathways and quieter backstreets.

A British fashion site lists seven mistakes you don’t want to make if you’re a total newbie on a bike. Even though countless people do at least some of them, like riding in heels or using a bike basket, every day.

A Dubai-based travel consultant explains how to bike while fasting for Ramadan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a meth pipe and just broke into an elementary school, maybe you should ride in the bike lane — and on the right side of the street. If you’re going to steal a mountain bike from a local bike shop, take the shop sticker off it, and hide the meth.

And if you’re planning to empty your handgun into a fellow cyclist before riding away, probably best not to do it in broad daylight while wearing hi-viz.

 

Morning Links: Bike lane blocking LA CM cuts WeHo ribbon; MI takes fatal crash seriously, Ventura DA doesn’t

No hypocrisy here.

Twitter user fig4all attended the ribbon cutting for the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes in West Hollywood on Thursday. And was surprised to see LA’s 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz participating, since the bike lanes connect to existing lanes in his district.

Particularly since Koretz has single-handedly blocked badly needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of wealthy homeowners, while leading the fight to have them removed from the Mobility Plan.

Fairfax Ribbon Cutting

Is it just me, to does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

Is it just me, or does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

On the other hand, let’s give credit to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for working to get the new Fairfax bike lanes on the street, regardless of who shows up to cut the ribbon.

………

Kalamazoo bike riders say Tuesday’s tragedy is a wake-up call for cyclists to always be aware of their surroundings on the road, while others decry the news coverage focused on telling cyclists how to protect themselves from two ton ballistic missiles, rather than telling drivers not to kill innocent people on bicycles.

Over 700 members of the local community came together to pray for the victims.

Prosecutors have shown they’re taking the case seriously, filing five second degree murder charges against the driver, along with four counts of reckless driving. However, police have still not given a reason for the crash.

The mother of driver Charles E. Pickett, Jr. insists her son is not a murderer and would never crash into anyone on purpose, although his Facebook page doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the Facebook link.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says another Ride of Silence isn’t going to change anything; we need to stop being silent, start filing police reports and demand changes from our local leaders if crap like this is ever going to stop.

………

Contrast the Kalamazoo case with last year’s Moorpark massacre, in which a distracted driver plowed into a cyclist, then overcorrected to hit a motorcycle rider head-on, killing both men.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA’s office inexplicably filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges, rather than the felony charges recommended by the CHP. Guaranteeing that the driver, 26-year old Rachel Hill of Ventura, will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, at best.

And eliminating whatever leverage the DA may have had to negotiate a guilty plea requiring any real jail time before the case even starts.

Needless to say, the widows of Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman are outraged.

As any rational person would be.

KABC-7 reports Hill’s lawyer denies she was using her phone at the time of the collision; they admit she had used it a few minutes prior to the crash, but swear she’d stopped before the wreck occurred. Which fails to explain why she couldn’t manage to see the first victim or avoid either one.

So maybe she crashed into them just for the hell of it.

The charges in the Kalamazoo case shows what happens when authorities take traffic crime seriously. And this case shows what happens when they don’t.

Hopefully, the justifiable outrage to the misdemeanor counts will convince Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten to re-file the case as a felony.

If not, maybe Ventura County voters should consider whether he belongs in the job.

Come back next week when we’ll have a guest post from the daughter of one of the victims.

………

If you wonder why LA drivers speed with abandon, it’s because police can’t legally use speed guns on 75% of LA streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct speed surveys in compliance with California’s murderous 85th percentile law, which requires that speed limits be set to the rate 85% of drivers speed travel.

Yet conducting the surveys means limits will most likely have to be raised in order to be enforced.

Putting speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits is like leaving armed robbers in charge of bank security. Contact your state legislators and demand a change.

………

The CyclingTips website asks if professional cycling’s WorldTour is really so desperate for sponsors that it needs a team owned by a Bahraini prince with a dossier thick with human rights abuses and torture allegations; activists threaten to block next year’s Tour de France if the team participates.

Turns out a British extreme cyclist didn’t go missing on the unsupported cross-country Trans-Am Bike Race after all; he was just the victim of dehydration and a broken GPS.

………

Local

Twitter user captainandstoker offers a bike cam view of the new curb-protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street. Meanwhile, groundbreaking is finally scheduled to take place on the long-promised MyFigueroa project this summer.

Richard Risemberg calls for volunteers to help out with Flying Pigeon owner Joseph Bray-Ali’s run for city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

The Eastsider talks with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

LA Eater examines a quartet of area coffee shops where cycling and caffeine collide.

Forget hi-viz. If you really want to be seen, join the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow, at a location to be announced later today.

Don’t get that confused with Sunday’s non-clothing-optional LA River Ride, though, with routes ranging from a 15-mile family ride to a century ride around Long Beach and back.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Programs Director David Diaz about this weekend’s Viva SGV open streets event.

 

State

The annual AIDS/Lifecycle Ride will pass through Ventura and Malibu before ending at LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday.

A 13-year old eighth grader becomes the youngest person to graduate from Moorpark College; like the genius he is, he enjoys riding a bike when he’s not studying.

A Vacaville man has been selected as the Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.

NorCal AAA is using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero area.

 

National

Elly Blue is back to suggest that the best bike trips start on a train.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a bike rider was killed in a collision, Tucson considers how to improve the intersection so it won’t happen again.

You don’t have to see to ride a bike, as a group of Missouri tandem riders volunteer their time and bikes to take blind people bicycling on local trails.

 

International

The Winnipeg Free Press calls the city’s proposed bike helmet law well-intentioned but misguided.

Caught on video: A British cyclist records a number of too-close passes, including one so close you can almost taste the hay bales on a passing truck.

A South African writer complains about “arrogant” cyclists who insist on using the sidewalk — albeit legally — to get around dangerous road construction work. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, show some courtesy to other people using it.

A Kiwi website looks at the bike-mounted device developed by the Chattanooga police department to accurately measure a three-foot passing distance. Something the LAPD needs to get its hands on so they can start enforcing the passing law here, even if they can’t use speed guns.

An Aussie writer says your safety on the streets depends on wearing fluorescent hi-viz during the day and reflectorized clothing at night. Because expecting drivers to actually pay attention to what’s on the road ahead of them is just too much to ask.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a blowtorch to cut a bike lock on a public beach in broad daylight, leave the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia at home. No, cyclists aren’t safer riding against traffic, and militant bike riders hardly ever interfere with traffic on purpose.

And this is what happens when you try to ride a bike through a presidential motorcade.

 

Morning Links: Charges filed in Santa Clarita hit-and-run; candidates for LA County 4th District Supervisor talk

Charges have been filed in the death of cyclist Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita last week.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Lucas James Guidroz has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death for fleeing the scene after running down Bennett from behind.

It will be interesting to see what evidence prosecutors to support the DUI charge, since Guidroz waited two days to turn himself in — and then only after his car was discovered — giving him plenty of time to sober up first.

Meanwhile, the Santa Clarita Gazette offers a nice profile of the popular music and math teacher who lost his life at age 53. And unlike the Signal, they get his name right.

………

KPCC’s Air Talk program hosts a debate among the candidates for the 4th District LA County Supervisor to replace termed out Don Knabe, who’s held the seat for 26 years.

Bike the Vote LA rates US Rep. Janice Hahn as the top choice for the position.

………

The family of fallen Panorama City bicyclist Peter Loretta is looking for the kindhearted stranger who comforted the homeless man as he lay dying after being struck by a car last month.

They’d like to thank him for his kindness. As should we all.

………

Another Russian cyclist has tested positive for doping based on four-year old samples from the London Olympics. Meanwhile, Cycling Weekly asks the experts if doping can ever be eradicated from cycling. As long as there are benefits to cheating, people will find a way to do it. 

US pro cyclist Tejay van Garderen pulls his name from consideration from the Rio Olympics out of concern for the Zika virus with a pregnant wife at home.

VeloNews offers a nice profile of American cyclist Evan Huffman, who’s back racing for a domestic Continental team after two less than satisfying years on the WorldTour with Astana.

Two cyclists were bound by Taylor Phinney’s violent crash in the 2014 Nationals; one made it back to the top, the other hit bottom.

Cycling Tips looks at how unknown rider Greg Daniels surprised the favorites to win the US national road championship.

………

Local

It could take until next month to fully reopen the LA River bike path. The Corps of Engineers should have most of the flood control barriers removed by the middle of this month, then LADOT could take up to another two weeks to ensure the path is safe to ride. And even then, some barriers could stay up until next year.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin endorses candidates — and in some cases, withholds endorsement — for the Westwood Neighborhood Council. Including one candidate who believes bike lanes on Westwood Blvd should have been studied before being rejected. He’s got my vote already.

The Eastsider takes a look at the co-ed Los Angeles Bike Polo team.

Portland’s Elly Blue, Joe Biel and Joshua Ploeg return to Santa Monica for a vegan bike-focused night sponsored by Santa Monica Spoke.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reacts to having complaints of fallen cyclists and riders harassed by drivers ignored by the Traffic Safety Committee in Palos Verdes Estates.

Long Beach police bust a thief who tried to use a shovel to break the lock on a bike near the beachfront bike path.

Bike-friendly Long Beach Councilmember Suja Lowenthal prepares to step down after 10 years on the council. Meanwhile, the city ups their bike-friendly ante with 14 new recharge stations providing a fix-it stand and water fountain for cyclists.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at three bike-related bills in the California legislature; one that would explicitly authorize riding side-by-side — which is now tacitly allowed, since it’s not addressed in state law — appears to be in trouble.

Nearly 1,800 students in next year’s Stanford freshman class will get a new bike helmet, courtesy of a bike-riding Stanford parent and his wife.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was killed in a collision trying to make a right turn out of a driveway.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on where to position yourself on the road. Yet somehow recommends riding “a bit more into the lane,” rather than assertively taking the center of the lane as recommended by CyclingSavvy and the League of American Bicyclists.

Streetsblog says one chart shows why helmets aren’t the answer to bike safety.

Colorado’s governor vetoes an auto-centric bill that would have banned red light and speed cameras in the state, putting bike riders and pedestrians, as well as drivers, at risk.

A Boulder CO woman says a cyclist just came out of nowhere to pound her car and punch her in the face. The fact that she thought he came out of nowhere probably explains why he was so mad. But violence is never the answer.

Over 100 Texas kids get new bikes for having perfect school attendance over the past year.

Sixty-seven University of Texas students will spend their summer bicycling 4,687 miles from Austin TX to Anchorage AK.

 

International

A London track cyclist died after suffering a heart attack when three separate ambulances failed to respond because the velodrome wasn’t in their outdated satnav systems.

London cyclists call on the city’s new mayor to live up to his promises to improve bike safety.

Now that’s more like it. Great Britain considers on-the-spot fines up to £5,000 — the equivalent of $7,200 — for passing bicyclists too closely. Which compares rather favorably to the measly $35 fine for violating California’s three-foot passing law.

The European Parliament issues a report on the state of bicycling on the continent.

Uber has started a new service for Dutch bike riders, which provides bike rack-equipped cars for an additional charge.

Caught on video: An Aussie truck driver repeatedly attempts to run a cyclist off the road, then exchanges curses with him at the next red light. If a driver tries to run me over, the last thing I’m going to do is wait next to him at a traffic light.

A Thai drunk driver gets four years and a $59,000 fine for killing three bike riders and injuring four others when she plowed into a cycling club last year.

 

Finally…

Get your hot bike back with Bunz. The traditional battle over bike lanes versus parking goes on — but this time, the other side is armed.

And if you’re going to assault an elderly driver for tailgating your bike, it’s probably best to get rid of the meth and syringes in your backpack before the police show up.

Or better yet, just don’t.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote rates county sups, email for Active Trans funding, and The Cannibal comes to CC

We ended the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive with 35 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — beating our revised goal of signing up an average of one new member a day!

Thank you to everyone who joined as part of the drive to help make this a more bikeable and livable community. And if you missed out on the membership drive, you can still join any time.

………

Bike the Vote LA grades candidates for county supervisor in next week’s California primary election.

BTVLA County Sup

You are planning to vote — and cast your ballot to support bicycling — right?

………

Calbike is asking you to email your state legislators to support a proposal to add $100 million dollars for active transportation funding to the state budget.

………

The long-promised Culver City branch of the bike-friendly, meat-themed New York restaurant The Cannibal — named after cycling legend Eddy Merckx — has finally opened; where else can you grab some cochinita pibil pig head and chain lube after your ride? And according to LA Magazine, you’ll get a free beer if you ride your bike there.

Speaking of Merckx, things aren’t looking good for the restaurant’s namesake, as he could be facing kickback charges to supply bicycles to Belgian police.

………

As long as we’re on the topic of restaurants, Adam Ginsberg reminds us about the No Kid Hungry program to end childhood hunger in America and ensure every kid has enough to eat. Over 200 chefs and restaurant professionals will ride from Carmel to Santa Barbara at the end of this month to raise funds for the charity and call attention to the problem of childhood hunger; so far they’ve raised just over 40% of the $1 million goal.

Meanwhile, members of my college fraternity will be departing from Long Beach on the 17th on one of three cross-country bike rides to raise funds for people with disabilities; the annual ride typically brings in over half a million dollars for charity.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg says there was substantial community support for a road diet on dangerous Sixth Street, from Fairfax to La Brea, at last week’s community meeting; in fact, one speaker was upset the plan didn’t extend east of La Brea.

The LAPD is adding extra patrols on five of the city’s most dangerous intersections, including two each on Alvarado and Broadway.

Santa Clarita junior high students performed a concert on Tuesday to remember fallen Santa Clarita cyclist Rod Bennett; when cyclists arrived to place a ghost bike for Bennett Tuesday evening, they found one was already there. Meanwhile, a memorial will be held for the popular music and math teacher on June 9th, with a Ride of Silence in his honor on the 11th.

Santa Monica elementary school students rode to class as part of the city’s Bike It Walk It campaign. Thanks to Evan G. for the link.

Adam Sandler is one of us, as he bikes the ‘Bu with his feline helmeted daughter.

 

State

A 22-year old San Diego man is under arrest for the drunken hit-and-run that left a 13-year old bike rider with serious, but thankfully non-life threatening, injuries. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

San Diego Magazine recommends four area group rides to check out.

 

National

Bicycling lists five group rides that are all about having fun.

Consumer Reports rates kids bike helmets.

A financial website offers five ways your bike can make you richer. They forgot #6 — use your bike as a getaway vehicle. Or maybe that comes under commuting to work.

The Car Connection is the latest site to call for an end to using accident to describe car crashes. Nice to see the movement has spread to the automotive world.

A North Dakota woman says it should be a felony to kill someone with your car, after her husband was killed while riding his bike.

A Michigan motorist says bikes don’t belong on roads because we have other places to ride. And apparently, because cars don’t have brakes.

A Buffalo NY letter writer says if the city is stuck with bike lanes, then riders should be licensed, forced to wear reflective gear, and police must crack down on all those law-flouting cyclists. Because evidently, every driver in the city now obeys the letter of the law.

God apparently needs those New York bike lanes for church parking more than the people on bikes do for riding.

Who has the right of way when a DC bike rider calls dibs on passing?

A Maryland pastor has written a book sharing the insights he’s gained while riding his bike.

New Orleans says it’s done talking, and should be ready for bikeshare next year.

 

International

A Toronto columnist says never mind all the vehicles parked in bike lanes, it’s those damn scofflaw cyclists that are the problem.

A British writer projects that at the country’s current rate of spending on bicycle projects, it will only take another 2,297 years to catch up to the Dutch.

Apparently unconcerned with claims of sexism and bullying women riders, Britain’s Chris Boardman says the country’s cycling director was forced out by a lynch mob. Because as long as you’re winning medals, it doesn’t really matter how you treat women cyclists, right?

Romania plans to promote bike commuting by providing vouchers to purchase a bike to ride to work.

Tragic news from Cameroon, as one of the nation’s top cyclists was killed when the peloton crashed into a security official escorting a mentally disturbed woman off the race course.

A South African court uncovers a price fixing scheme that caused the price of bicycles and accessories to shoot up since 2008.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to propose building a network of elevated bikeways to get cyclists off the streets. Which is what happens when bike riders are seen as a problem to be solved, rather than people to accommodate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you fall off your bike when a cop tries to stop you, don’t get up and pull a gun after the paramedics treat you. Nothing mends a celebrity marriage like a bike ride on a tropical island.

And evidently, nothing stops a bike thief like a smoke bomb.

 

Morning Links: A bike hate blast from the past, take your baby skid lid back, and ready answers to bike myths

Thanks to a couple of new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition yesterday, we’re now up to 21 people who’ve joined in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Which means we need just three more people to sign up or renew your membership today to make it 24 new members by May 24th.

As you’ll see below, the bike coalition is active in getting political candidates on the record for their support for bicycling, as well as getting you discounts at businesses throughout the county. And if you sign up through this site, you’ll get some great bike gear to wear when you vote or chow down.

………

Clearly, bike haters are nothing new.

My Altadena-based friend Tim Rutt sends proof in the form of a 1987 column by political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, in which he calls for an examination of “the actions necessary to license, regulate or abolish entirely” the bicycle menace.

Our nation is afflicted with a plague of bicycles. Everywhere the public right-of-way is glutted with whirring, unbalanced contraptions of rubber, wire, and cheap steel pipe. Riders of these flimsy appliances pay no heed to stop signs or red lights. They dart from between parked cars, dash along double yellow lines, and whiz through crosswalks right over the toes of law-abiding citizens like me.

In the cities, every lamppost, tree, and street sign is disfigured by a bicycle slathered in chains and locks. And elevators must be shared with the cycling faddist so attached to his “moron’s bath-chair” that he has to take it with him everywhere he goes.

On the other hand, his skills at prognostication leave something to be desired.

Bicycles are quiet and slight, difficult for normal motorized humans to see and hear. People pull out in front of bicycles, open car doors in their path, and drive through intersections filled with the things. The insubstantial bicycle and its unshielded rider are defenseless against these actions. It’s a simple matter of natural selection. The bicycle will be extinct within the decade. And what a relief that will be.

Actually, we’re still here.

So deal with it, P.J.

………

If you bought your baby’s Schwinn bike helmet at Target, take it back; the infant helmets have been recalled due to a choking hazard. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

A new British bike website provides instant answers to refute any bicycling myth bike haters and NIMBYs can throw at you.

………

The New York Times looks at the movement to call collisions crashes instead of accidents. But doesn’t promise to make the change themselves.

………

VeloNews asks if Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk can hold onto the pink leaders jersey in the Giro d’Italia.

The financial fallout from pro cycling’s doping scandals continue, as another team will fold at the end of this year for lack of sponsorship.

Who says the men’s pro tour is too tough for women? A Ukrainian woman will team with a group of 13 other riders to take on every stage of the Tour de France one day before the men get there.

CiclaValley looks at the fun side of last week’s Amgen Tour of California.

A comment from tdf65 suggests we should continue to link to stories about bike races here, but withhold the actual results, since some people record the races and don’t get to view them until later. However, I’ve always assumed it was safe to mention winners and losers, since the daily nature of this site means we’re at least a day behind the race’s finish.

But what do you think? Are we spoiling the fun by saying who won, or do you want to know now?

………

Local

The Expo Line may be convenient, but it still doesn’t beat a bike from Downtown to the beach.

The LACBC posts a response to their candidate survey from County Supervisor District 4 candidate Janice Hahn, who promises to follow through with the county Bicycle Master Plan.

The LACBC also talks with the bike-friendly owner of Uli’s Gelateria in DTLA, who offers a discount for members of the bike coalition. Just one more reason to click that link above and sign up today.

CicLAvia posts a great collection of photos from the recent Southeast Cities CicLAvia. Which only makes me more disappointed that I had to miss it with a bad back.

Los Angeles Magazine looks at plans for Metro’s coming bikeshare program in DTLA, as well as a system — not a network, since there are no east/west routes currently planned — of protected bike lanes.

A Pasadena group considers the possibilities if Caltrans would kill the unneeded and unwanted extension of the 710 freeway, and build a sequel to the city’s popular Old Town instead. Maybe we could even see bikes running through there instead of semi-trucks.

 

State

The San Diego cyclist paralyzed in a drug-fueled wrong way collision is suing the city for maintaining dangerous conditions on Fiesta Island where the wreck occurred.

A San Diego letter writer suggests drivers are entitled to be rude to bike riders because we’re all scofflaws and cyclists are just a middle-class affectation. No, really.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay, sponsors of what may be the “biggest, baddest Bike to Work Day in the world.” Newton also offers advice on how to make a Livable Streets presentation to little kids.

The Sunnyvale actor accused of nearly killing a Berkeley bike rider while high on weed finally turns himself in to face charges.

 

National

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sees a gradual shift away from car culture. Which can’t come non-gradually enough.

Seven tips for how to teach a child to ride a bike. All of which work for adults, as well.

A Cincinnati councilmember says a parking protected bike lane can stay, but needs improvements to avoid the city’s easily confused motorists.

If you drop something on the railroad tracks with a train coming, just leave it there for crying out loud. Seriously, nothing you own is worth dying for. Things can be replaced, lives can’t.

Sixteen-hundred Buffalo bike riders take a leisurely slow roll around the city to support a plan for 300 new bike lanes in the next ten years.

A New York letter writer shows just how much she doesn’t get it, insisting that bike lanes don’t help pedestrians and that Queens Blvd was not intended to be a playground. Because obviously, no one ever rides a bike to actually get anywhere or anything. And bike lanes really do slow traffic and improve safety for everyone, while providing a cushion to protect pedestrians from motor vehicles.

Call it the not-quite naked Pittsburgh bike ride.

Philadelphia will host a national conference next month on how to improve equity in bikeshare systems.

A DC website says if you’re crushing on a fellow bike commuter, try crashing into ‘em. Or just, you know, talk to him or her.

NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson is one of us, finishing a 103 mile South Carolina ride with a 10,000 foot elevation gain in just over six hours.

A Mississippi bike camp helps children with disabilities learn how to ride a bike.

A bighearted stranger insists on buying a Florida boy a new bike his parents couldn’t afford, after learning the child was recovering from heart surgery.

 

International

Fashion designer Paul Smith is one of us as well, as a new book features his extensive collection of classic cycling jerseys.

Nothing like finding a secret Canadian cycle track hidden in plain sight on the roadway.

A London cyclist has started an online gallery of no- and lo-viz bike riders to capture the archetypical inner city road user.

Brit cyclist Chris Boardman says the country needs to invest more than the price of a cup of coffee to boost bicycling in the county.

A group of friends are riding over 1,500 miles from Brighton, England to Lagos, Portugal to honor a popular 21-year old British surfer who drowned riding the waves in Bali.

Maybe you should take your next family bike vacation in the Netherlands. And bring me with you.

A writer says if you plan to ride your bike in Zagreb, Croatia, bring five locks and a security guard if you’re going to leave it outside. Sounds a lot like LA, too.

Caught on video: Adventure cyclist Rebecca Rusch rides and climbs 19,341-foot-tall Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.

A Kiwi man gets just 13 months for a drunken attack on two separate bicyclists, despite a whopping 118 previous convictions; he claimed he punched them repeatedly because he was fighting off wasps.

An Aussie Roads Minister says a high number of bicycling tickets proves bike riders aren’t doing the right thing, while only four tickets for unsafe passing means drivers are. On the other hand, it could just show that police are targeting people on two wheels and ignoring more dangerous violations by the ones on four.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be solar powered, if you don’t mind riding with a couple of massive solar cookie sheets attached. No matter how close a driver cuts you off, don’t follow him home and stab his spare tire to death.

And if you successfully escape from a halfway house by bicycle, just keep going next time.

 

Morning Links: Climate Riders still need help, ending the war on our streets, and more on the Mobility Plan debacle

We’ve stalled once again at 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So take a few moments to add your voice to SoCal’s leading bike advocacy organization. Or if you’re already a member, encourage your family, friends and co-workers who ride, or who simply support bicycling, to sign up today. And get some great LACBC bike swag in the process.

And thanks to everyone who has joined already!

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A couple of Climate Riders for Team LACBC still need a little help with donations to meet their commitment for the ride. Nicole Rostoker and Cesar Garcia only have until the end day today to collect another $500 and $200 respectively. So give them a boost if you can.

Meanwhile, a Climate Ride training ride will be held on Latigo Canyon Road on Saturday; the ride is open to anyone who needs a good workout, regardless of whether you’re participating in the Climate Ride.

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Today’s must read comes from the Wall Street Journal’s bike riding sports columnist Jason Gay, who tells America that bike riders are not your enemy, and calls for an end to the ridiculous battle between cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Not to mention making what may be the first known reference to bird-flipping koalas.

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UCLA’s Daily Bruin reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, which voted to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan. Maybe someone should tell Paul Koretz that the solution to a dangerous street isn’t keeping it dangerous.

Meanwhile, LAist’s Matt Tinoco does a good job of explaining the whole convoluted process.

And the LACBC offers their take on the sordid mess as they continue to fight to keep the plan intact, saying the proposed removal demonstrates a lack of engagement with the community, as well as a commitment to build a complete transportation network that works for everyone.

………

We’ve got dual Bike Blessings in today’s news.

Katrina Bada forwards a reminder of Tuesday’s 2016 Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital, which will honor bike-friendly LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino, as well as featuring special guest Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

Dr. Michael Cahn sends word that St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will host their own Blessing of the Bicycles at 2 pm on Bike to Work Day next Thursday. Although they could have done a better job of promoting it.

In other Bike Week news, Santa Monica Spoke lists SaMo’s Bike to Work Day pit stops, as well as a Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour next Thursday.

And the LACBC is hosting their own Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour at the Angel City Brewery in DTLA the same day.

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Still more Bike Month news, as the Bay Area celebrated Bike to Work Day a week before LA County.

SFist says San Francisco officials only pretend to care about cycling on the city’s Bike to Work Day.

Napa shows a 25% to 30% increase in bike riders stopping at the city’s energizer stations compared to last year.

Bike to Work Day was probably the wrong day to try to flee the scene after hitting a San Francisco bike rider in front of a group of cyclists and other onlookers, who rushed to grab the driver’s keys and prevent her from leaving. Update: It looks like the wreck was an intentional assault with a deadly weapon. 

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Caught on video: The owner of a Fresno bike shop throws in the towel after a series of smash and grab burglaries, vowing to reopen somewhere else, hopefully a little safer. Thanks to Cristina Rayas for the link.

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Tom Dumoulin extends his lead in the Giro, while Lotto-Soudal rider Tim Wellens wins the sixth stage in a solo breakaway.

South Pasadena prepares to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while CiclaValley continues his run-up to the race with a look at the riders to watch.

Which can be summed up in two words: Peter Sagan. Thanks to Edward Rubinstein for the link.

………

Local

Too little, too late? A deadly stretch of North Figueroa gets a flashing traffic signal. Rather than the fully funded, shovel ready road diet that might actually have saved lives if it hadn’t been stopped by CM Gil Cedillo.

Richard Risemberg says it’s time to say goodbye to Cedillo, as three people announce their candidacy in an attempt to make him a one-term councilmember.

Streetsblog reports a that meeting was held last night to discuss a road diet and bike lanes proposed for Fletcher Drive in Atwater Village; the story says a similar project on nearby Verdugo Road is in the early stages of discussion.

A judge orders a pair of sheriff’s deputies to provide photos of their tattoos to show if they’re members of an LASD gang clique; the officers are being sued in the 2013 fatal shooting of Terry Laffite in South LA.

West Hollywood considers a new list of names for their coming bikeshare system; they also have better streets to ride them on. Personally, I liked the rejected WeHoGo.

The Source explains how to get to the new Expo Line stations, including options for bike share and bike parking; the line officially opens one week from today.

Santa Monica will hold yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety enforcements on Saturday. By now, you know the protocol: Obey the letter of the law until you get outside the SaMo city limits.

Long Beach ranks tenth on Zillow’s list of the ten most bike friendly cities in the US, while another website rates it the eighth most charming city of its size.

 

State

Three Santa Barbara women are being honored for bringing “the joy of bicycling to countless youth” and making cycling safer and more accessible for everyone.

The Fresno Bee looks at next week’s Ride of Silence; last year’s Clovis/Fresno ride was the largest in the state. If you missed it, CiclaValley offers a guest post on next Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley’s Ride of Silence.

A San Francisco public TV and radio station examines the role of data in improving safety for bicyclists.

Berkeley opens a new buffered — not protected, apparently — bike lane where a woman was nearly killed by a stoned driver while riding her bike earlier this year.

The National Park Service suggests reopening a trail that would give bike riders a safer route into Sausalito, while providing expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Davis doctors call for greater bike helmet use, while Treehugger says helmets are the last thing we should be worrying about when it comes to bicycle safety. As we’ve discussed before, I never ride without mine. But helmets should always be considered a defense of last resort when all else fails.

 

National

A new infographic shows the overwhelming benefits of protected bike lanes, including spurring economic growth, improving safety for pedestrians and making driving less stressful. Someone should send this to Paul Koretz. Not that he’s likely to care, of course.

Strong Towns says the economic benefits of bicycling can’t be ignored. Although LA seems to be doing a pretty good job of it; maybe if LADOT did a better job of selling bikeways, local businesses and homeowners would be fighting to get theirs instead of fighting to stop them.

Chicago Magazine offers an insider’s guide to biking in the Windy City.

An X-Games cyclist shares his journey to mental health with Niagara NY area high school students.

A former bike racer walked away from Wall Street to make high-end sport bicycles.

Sad news, as a retired New Jersey cop has died of injuries he suffered on the first day of the Police Unity Tour to honor fallen police officers.

A 17-mile DC ride has already registered close to 6,000 riders with 10 days still to go.

An article in the Washington Post says bicycling is more dangerous than you think, while another site argues that bike commuting is good for you. Actually, your odds of surviving any given ride are over 6.3 million to one; try taking that to Vegas.

A Louisiana driver gets 25 years for the DUI death of a seven-year old girl as she was riding her bike home, although he could be out in as little as three years with time served.

 

International

A proposed revision to Quebec law would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider.

A new police bicycle can read license plates and measure the speeds of passing cars. We need a Kickstarter to buy one for every bike cop on the LAPD. And me, too.

 

Finally…

So if a car exiting a freeway hit a bike rider, why does the headline say the cyclist collided with the car? If you’re going to get run down by a beer truck, try to make sure it’s a decent craft brew and not just hops-flavored water.

And a funeral home billboard drives home the message not to text behind the wheel.

 

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