Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: CicLAvia comes to Pas, PCH hugs it out, and SoCal has one of the world’s best bike lanes

Excitement is building for Sunday’s CicLAvia Pasadena.

The Source lists dog friendly places to visit during the open streets event. Flying Pigeon unveils plans for a feeder ride from NELA, which another feeder plans to join from Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

Although the cops may be on the lookout since the city is being plagued by one or more bike riding robbers.

And Richard Risemberg comments that Pasadena didn’t make much of a commitment by offering just 3.5 miles for the truncated route. But you can will follow the short ride with a reading from his new book at The Battery Books and Music in South Pas.

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Here’s that PCH safety video we mentioned awhile back, wherein an anthropomorphic Pacific Coast Highway comes to life and hugs it out with a commuter, cyclist, pedestrian and resident in a group therapy session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0IXIqEUXtM

It’s worth a look.

Though I’m not sure this will change any attitudes on the too often contested roadway.

What so you think? Will this make you want to change your ways?

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Men’s Journal looks at the world’s 10 best bike lanes, including one on the coast highway in our relative back yard.

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Apparently humorless Minneapolis cops take down a bunch of bike riders for a series of water gun attacks on the city’s brew bikes. Good to know America is safe from getting soaked by bike-born terrorists.

Pending legislation looks likely to legalize them here — brew bikes, not terrorists — although the current drought should keep them safe from a similar assault.

Thanks to JustAnotherCyclist for the heads-up.

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Turns out the so-called professional bike race that resulted in a collision between two riders in Lompoc, critically injuring one, was actually a club ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara benefitting the EOD Warriors Foundation.

Sadly, the victim did not make it.

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Megan Guarnier and Matthew Busche are your new national road cycling champs; Guarnier won in a final sprint, while it’s the second title for a rain soaked Busche.

Meanwhile, cycling scion Davis Phinney looks back on the crash that nearly ended his pro career at last year’s nats, and how it helped him grow as a person.

Kristin Armstrong won the women’s time trial title, securing a spot in the word championships after getting dumped from the US team a few weeks earlier. Andrew Talansky looks forward to taking the winner’s jersey back to Europe after winning the men’s championship.

Pre-race favorite Richie Porte abandons the Giro after getting hurt in a crash and receiving a two-minute penalty for accepting a wheel from a competitor following a flat. Greipel, Boonen and Matthews drop out as well.

And a Vancouver cyclist loses the lead in a local race when he’s body-checked by a deer. On his birthday, no less.

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Local

The Rail to River Active Transportation Corridor — aka multi-use bike path — proposed for South LA could be approved to seek funding at the end of the month.

Richard Risemberg hopes newly elected CD4 Councilmember David Ryu meant it when he said he supported bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. Let’s hope Ryu replaces outgoing Tom LaBonge before he can do anymore harm to the city.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks to retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking.

Santa Monica continues their crackdown on traffic violations that endanger cyclists and pedestrians; the next will come this Friday. Which means observe the letter of the law when riding in the city.

BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein warns drivers to watch for cyclists when turning left, after a teenaged boy is left crossed while riding home from school.

 

State

Scot bike advocate and blogger Town Mouse, aka author Sally Hinchcliffe, visits San Diego and finds riding there not to her liking. Although she is impressed with the massive Share the Road sign nowhere near one.

San Diego’s Uptown News provides a look at Hinchcliffe’s riding partner, BikeSD co-founder Sam Ollinger, and her efforts to turn our neighbor to the south into a world-class bicycling city.

Community organizers in Fresno propose a system of bike freeways to improve safety. A concept that no one has even mentioned, let alone suggested yet, in LA.

Someone stole San Francisco’s pupcycle.

We had Bike to Work Day earlier this month; the Bay Area had Bike to Shop Day on Saturday.

Heartbreaking story from Sonoma, as an 18-year old woman confronts the imprisoned drunk driver who killed her bike riding father 11 years earlier.

 

National

CityLab offers advice on what to do if you’re hit by a car. You can read my take on the subject here and here.

Portlanders raise over $90,000 to help a bike rider who lost his leg in a collision get back in the saddle again.

A Seattle writer accuses the city’s mayor and DOT chief of having an anti-car ideology and driving up rents, for the crime of proposing a road diet and putting bike lanes next to the monorail.

A cycling instructor from my hometown offers advice on how to stay safe, noting over 80% of bike crashes are solo falls or a collision with another rider, or a cat or dog.

A 73-year old Texas recumbent rider was killed earlier this month; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim because he was checking his rearview mirror. The article also notes Texas authorities are now required to report whether the driver was using a cell phone in any collision, which is a good idea anywhere. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

Tragic irony from Houston, as a bike rider is killed in a collision while on his way to a memorial for another rider, who was also killed in a traffic collision.

Producers for an A&E reality show shove a broadcast waiver at a New Orleans bike rider as she’s being loaded into an ambulance after a collision. And show the footage anyway despite her refusal to sign.

Bike valets park 300 bikes at the Indy 500, up from just 64 five years ago.

After the local police chief writes that a teenage Vermont driver would have been charged with murder for the high-speed crash that took both his life and the cyclist he smashed into, family and friends rush to his defense. ‘Cause, you know, boys will be boys, and we all feel the need for speed, and other than that he was a good kid, right?

A seven-year old Boston boy is hit by a stray bullet while riding his bike on the sidewalk; fortunately, he’s expected to be okay.

Caught on video: A Philly bike rider is dragged onto the sidewalk by a road raging driver after allegedly getting bumped, then punched in the face; even after viewing the video, police fail to file charges against his attacker. Evidently, punching and dragging a cyclist is perfectly okay in PA.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists 11 types of cyclists we all know. Well, some of them, anyway.

A Canadian man is busted for trying to steal a bike from a garage, just three hours after he crashed his car into the same garage.

Toronto bike riders want the provincial government to adopt an Idaho stop law, while a Menlo Park cyclist reminds us we don’t have that law here, either.

A British sidewalk cyclist keeps riding after colliding with a toddler and swearing at the child’s mother. But says it’s his life that’s been ruined, apparently with a straight face.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider blows through a red light, and smacks into the side of a bus.

A bike rider in the UK leaves an angry note after his bicycle is stolen. And gets a response telling him not to block wheelchair access next time.

A world-traveling French cyclist has been killed while riding in Turkey.

The maker of that Swedish bike non-helmet says his head-eveloping airbags will make standard helmets obsolete.

An Aussie mountain biker is helicoptered to safety after spending a night in a cave when she got lost in the bush.

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur urges his city to fully accept a bicycling culture.

A Thai cyclist says bicycling in Bangkok is to die for. Literally.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding your bike with a hot laptop in your messenger bag, stay the hell off SaMo sidewalks. A Napa writer says we’re a society of arrogant fools, then proves his point by demonstrating his complete misunderstanding of bike laws.

And Style tells women to go out for a casual weekend ride in your $620 shoes and $1,050 skirt.

 

Morning Links: Koretz reportedly kills Great Streets bike lanes in Westwood Village; new Redondo bike lanes paved

So much for Great Streets.

According to UCLA’s Daily Bruin, the Westwood Community Council discussed removing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the city’s Mobility Plan, despite being unanimously approved by the full city council as part of the 2010 bike plan.

And yes, CD5’s Paul Koretz was one of those councilmembers who voted to adopt the plan.

Yet Koretz has already single-handedly killed bike lanes on Westwood south of Santa Monica Blvd, and now the Daily Bruin reports he’s agreed not to allow the much-needed bike lanes to be painted in Westwood Village, which is scheduled to be part of the Great Streets program.

Even though the plan currently under consideration doesn’t remove a single traffic lane or parking spot from UCLA south to the Expo Line.

Thanks to Koretz, Westwood will continue to fail the thousands of students and faculty who ride to the campus every day, as well as the countless more who will come when the Expo Line opens next year. Not to mention anyone wishing to visit the area’s shops and restaurants by any means other than motor vehicles.

All this from someone who claimed to support implementing the bike plan in his own district. But who has, through his actions, become one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of bicycling and the safety of cyclists on the Westside.

Clearly, the bike plan, which LA bicyclists had to fight for, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

And evidently, neither is a formal approval by the city council.

Maybe what we need is a good lawyer.

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VeloNews says pro cycling once again shot itself in the foot by penalizing Richie Porte for accepting a wheel from a member of a competing team when he punctured in the Giro. There’s something wrong when the rules stand in the way of genuine sportsmanship.

Meanwhile, the director of Team Sky wants you to be able to hear radio communications between team directors and riders.

And the Feds say Lance continues to obfuscate, as Olympic champion Nicole Cooke blames the “Cult of Lance Armstrong” for continued doping problems in cycling. Note to Cooke: Pro cyclists doped long before Lance joined the peloton, and many will continue to as long as they think they can get away with it.

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Ted Faber reports the new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes have been paved and painted green; at last report was they’re still scheduled to open by Memorial Day.

Redondo Bike Lane

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Local

Streetsblog explains what the misguided decision to include just one sidewalk on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge really means. Hopefully new CD4 Councilmember David Ryu will keep his promise to hold out for bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides.

Santa Monica students take part in the Bike It Walk It program, which is now part of the Safe Routes to Schools Initiative.

The LACBC, CICLE and Metro host the last in their series of family friendly Southeast LA rides this Saturday, with a six-mile route through Bell Gardens.

 

State

The California Bicycle Coalition offers their monthly report, and urges action to increase funding for the state’s Active Transportation Program.

Speaking of Calbike, Damien Newton talks to board member Chris Kidd, who also serves on the boards of Walk/Bike Oakland and Bike East Bay. Chris has come a long way since he founded the LADOT Bike Blog while serving as an intern with the agency.

Thirty-seven Orange County kids got to take home a new bike as part of the national Build-A-Bike program for military families.

Yet another bike rider was shot and killed this week, this time in a Santa Ana drive-by late Tuesday night.

Bike cops return to Costa Mesa for the first time since the 1990s.

A local TV station says a cyclist is in critical condition after colliding with another rider in a Lompoc pro race on Wednesday. However, there doesn’t appear to have been a pro race in the area; maybe it was a group or training ride.

Heartbreaking profile of a San Francisco bike rider who lost his life following an “amazing renaissance” in the last few years. This is the price of our dangerous streets, even though most victims never receive more than a few inches in the local paper. If that.

Eureka decides not to ban bikes from the sidewalk to combat bike-born burglars. Note to Eureka: Not everyone who rides on the sidewalk is a criminal, especially where safe bikeways are lacking.

 

National

Yet another study shows bike riders and pedestrians overpay for their share of the road, while imposing almost no costs for wear and tear.

The Bike League says if bicycling is going to continue to grow, bike shops need to welcome everyone.

Forget just biking to work; the office of the future will allow you to ride up to your desk.

Tucson agrees to pay a bike rider $1.8 million, without admitting guilt in the case, after he was run over by one of the city’s garbage trucks while riding in a bike lane. Although it looks like they’ve admitted responsibility about 1.8 million times.

Investigators are questioning whether the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist could be linked to a series of shootings on nearby I-25; a triathlon planned for this weekend has been canceled because of the shooting.

Formerly bike friendly Wisconsin continues its attack on bicycling, proposing a $25 tax on every new bicycle sold; this comes after the governor’s proposal to eliminate the state’s Complete Streets requirement. I don’t have a problem with taxing bike sales as long as 100% of the fund go to pay for bike infrastructure. However, the amount of the tax should be tied to the value of the bike; a $25 tax is more likely to discourage someone from buying a $250 bike than it would a $2,500 one.

Chicago business leaders stand behind efforts to preserve one of the city’s most heavily used protected bikeways during a construction project.

A Nashville bike club gives away 25 bicycles to honor a member who was killed in a robbery Monday night, in an attempt prevent more violence by getting kids on bikes.

Bicycling reports on a Philadelphia company where all 114 employee commute by bike.

The widow of a cyclist sues to force improvements to a Maryland highway where her husband was killed five years earlier.

 

International

A cyclist and a jogger team up to save the life of an Ottawa bike rider after he fell into a canal next to a bike path; he was still clipped into his pedals as he sank into the water.

An anonymous 90-year old Montreal man has given free bikes worth over $600,000 to local kids for the past three decades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Newfoundland city councilors want to rip out a lightly used bike lane so local residents can park in front of their houses again. Never mind that ridership might increase if they waited until the city’s bike plan was actually completed.

A couple riding across South America with their dog launches a crowd-funding campaign to pay for cataract surgery after the Westie goes blind.

London bike-jackings are on the rise; over 550 people were mugged for their bikes while riding last year.

Scientific American reports on several cities where it’s faster to ride a bike than drive during rush hour. Not surprisingly, that includes LA, where traffic averages 8 mph on one unidentified corridor.

 

Finally…

Yes, a New York man is stealing purses and iPhones, but at least he does it while riding a Citi Bike. A Portland cyclist who helps bike theft victims recover their bikes had his own stolen while he was watching a news report about his efforts.

And if your bike isn’t safe inside a medical marijuana dispensary, where is it?

 

Morning Links: Hit-and-run driver gets limp slap on wrist, bike riders under attack, and Ride of Silence rolls tonight

Four times virtually nothing is still virtually nothing.

After a hit-and-run victim pled for a stiffer sentence for the man who ran her down, got out of his car to apologize, then got back and fled the scene — leaving her lying helpless in the street with a broken hip — the judge increased his sentence from 10 days of community service to a whopping 40 days, along with two years probation.

And not one day in jail.

Even though a hit-and-run resulting in serious injury is supposed to be prosecuted as a felony, with up to one year in jail.

Instead, Spencer Lofranco was allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor, and walk out of court without even a sore wrist.

He was ordered to pay $161,000 in restitution. But as we’ve seen from other cases, it’s unlikely his victim will ever see more than a fraction of that, if anything.

Just one more example of the courts and prosecutors failing to take traffic crime seriously.

And why drivers continue to leave their victims on the side of the road, making LA the country’s hit-and-run capital.

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There’s a tragic common theme to today’s news.

Word of a Colorado cyclist fatally shot while riding near my hometown — and on a roadway I’ve ridden more than once — has made waves around the world. In an unusual move, the FBI is joining in the investigation, suggesting that this may be more than a random shooting.

A Savannah teenager was shot and wounded while riding his bike on April 1st; the shooter who targeted him early Tuesday was more successful.

A Tampa bicyclist suffered non-life threatening injuries in a drive-by shooting.

A Salinas man was shot and killed by unknown assailants while riding his bike Saturday night.

And right here in Los Angeles, a woman was shot in the arm while riding in South LA early Tuesday morning; she was able to make it back home before being taken to a hospital, where she’s in stable condition.

Meanwhile, a man riding to work on an Anchorage bike path was attacked by three teenagers who hit him in the face with a tree branch, resulting in skull fractures, a broken nose and orbital socket, and cuts to his face; a 15-year old boy was arrested in the case.

The only significant difference from the other attacks was the choice of weapon.

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The Ride of Silence rolls to honor the victims of bicycling collisions tonight, with rides at the Rose Bowl and four in Orange County.

Visit the website for more locations throughout California.

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KCET looks at the city council’s attempt to rush through approval of Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which would preserve all traffic lanes while putting a sidewalk on just one side.

Both candidates in Tuesday’s CD4 election prefer the third option, which would remove a traffic lane to allow sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides. (Breaking news — it looks like David Ryu won with 53% of the vote; less than 21,000 Angelenos even bothered to cast a ballot.)

Streetsblog’s national edition correctly notes LA’s Great Streets will be nothing more than talk if Mayor Garcetti won’t stand up for good design.

So far the city has successfully managed to avoid any of the tough choices necessary for the safe, livable city we’ve been promised.

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CalPoly students call for greater bike and pedestrian safety, as school administrators hide behind semantics.

An administration spokesperson says the idea that school streets are not safe is a “pretty vague statement,” and that Kellogg Drive on campus is up to code for all city and state standards.

Which is a long way from being safe.

Boyonabike notes that instead of improving safety and promoting alternative means of transportation, the college is spending $41 million on a new parking garage.

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Alberto Contador says he’s getting better every day following a dislocated shoulder; bad news for his competition in the Giro since he’s already in the leader’s jersey.

In a gesture of sportsmanship, Simon Clarke gave fellow Aussie Richie Porte a front wheel after Porte flatted, despite being on competing teams. However, accepting the wheel cost Porte a two minute penalty, knocking him out of contention. Or maybe it was just a brilliant tactical move by Clarke.

The Giro d’Italia is once again considering a US start; VeloNews offers an in-depth analysis of how US racing can reshape pro cycling.

Amgen is expected to remain the title sponsor of the Tour of California for the long haul. And Sunday’s final stage of the Amgen Tour of California apparently took some Highland Park residents by surprise.

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Local

A writer for the Daily Bruin says it’s time for UCLA officials to demand bike lanes on Westwood Blvd so students and faculty can get to campus safely. And politely points out the hypocrisy — my word —of Councilmember Paul Koretz opposing bike lanes while calling for the need to confront climate change.

Turns out the new portion of the Expo Line bike path is on track to open along with the rail line next year.

LADOT issues a new and improved 2015 Bikeways Guide. Or three.

The Downtown News calls on the LAPD to go after bike chop shops and the ringleaders behind them to stop the rash of bike thefts in DLTA. The DA also has to start taking the crime seriously, finding a way to prosecute thieves instead of bargaining the charges away.

A mountain biker had to be airlifted from the Angeles National Forest after suffering critical injuries when he fell 50 feet off a trail.

The Times looks at the steady growth of bicycling in Long Beach, where 40 miles of off-road bike paths, and bikeways on 10% of the city streets, has lead to a 30% increase in bicycling since 2008.

Volunteers are still needed for Wolfpack Hustle’s Short Line Crit in Long Beach on the 30th.

 

State

Pedal Love is giving away two bikes to women with stories to tell.

A Hesperia couple is riding across the country with their four Yorkies to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug use. Somehow, I don’t get the connection.

San Bernardino County opens the final leg of a 21-mile bike and walking path from Claremont to Rialto on the 28th.

A Santa Barbara writer says to improve safety, cyclists need better infrastructure, more helmets and less booze.

Eureka could kick bikes off the sidewalk next week.

 

National

In something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, the Federal government issues guidelines for separated bike lanes.

Drivers are more distracted than ever; one in 10 admits to video chatting behind the wheel. Although in most cases, drivers don’t want to hit us any more than we want to get hit by them.

Spokane is offering a new bike registry.

A Seattle woman recognizes a stolen bike listed on Bike Index, and returns it to the owner during her costume birthday bike parade. You can register your bike with Bike Index — or report a stolen bike — for free right here, no matter where you live.

A new Minnesota study suggests the US census undercounts bike use.

Chicago cyclists get a new curb protected bike lane.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone, the upstate New York woman charged with the texting hit-and-run that critically injured a teen bike rider has faced two previous DUI charges, as well as four charges of driving without a license and seven other infractions.

No bias here, as a PA website says an 8-year old boy crashed into the side of an ambulance; never mind that it’s just possible the ambulance might have cut him off.

 

International

Mashable lists the world’s seven best bike routes, including one in our relative back yard.

Calgary will send a group of Bicycle Ambassadors to offices and events to explain the city’s new cycle track network. Note the key word, network.

Who was that that masked man? A heroic London bike rider jumps into a river to save the life of another rider who had fallen in, then rides away without giving his name.

London’s Royal Parks continues to stand in the way of the city’s planned cycle superhighways.

UK police single out cyclists for riding irresponsibly, ignoring the lawbreakers in the big, dangerous machines. And it’s not the bike riders who are stringing fishing line across bike paths at head level to garrote unsuspecting people.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a Brit bicyclist’s bike just minutes after he was hit by a car.

Virgin’s e-bike riding Richard Branson calls on cities to close down entire streets to all vehicles but bicycles.

Luxembourg climbs to 13th in the ranking of bike friendly European nations; not surprisingly, Denmark and The Netherlands come out on top.

 

Finally…

Somehow, I don’t think a campaign that says, in effect, “Come to the darkside, wear a bike helmet” is an effective safety message. Police Down Under won’t respond to a hit-and-run involving a cyclist if no one bothers to call them.

And in the UK, ducks get their own lanes, which the Royal Parks service doesn’t seem to object to.

 

Morning Links: Ramsay endorsement, a way to measure 3-foot violations, and Sagan takes the AToC by 3 seconds

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote in tomorrow’s election if, like me, you live in LA’s 4th council district.

I’m casting my vote for Carolyn Ramsay.

Then again, so is every other bike rider I know who has publicly expressed an opinion. Endorsements for Ramsay range from Bike the Vote LA to the LA Times, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the candidate previously favored by many cyclists, Tomas O’Grady.

If anyone in the cycling community has endorsed David Ryu, I’m not aware of it.

It’s not that there aren’t a few questions marks surrounding Ramsay.

Like the fact that her boss and mentor, outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge, has publicly supported bicycling for years, while quietly stabbing us in the back time and again. LaBonge was personally responsible for the death of the long-planned 4th Street bike boulevard, as well as killing bike lanes on 6th Street and Lankershim Blvd, at least until he leaves office.

Which can’t happen soon enough.

She has also publicly questioned current plans to put bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd, preferring crowded, high traffic and high speed Sunset Blvd as an alternative.

Yet Ramsay has tried to make it clear she is not LaBonge, and thinks for herself.

When I spoke to her after a debate, she seemed stricken to learn just how poorly her boss was perceived by cyclists. And said her support would go beyond words and an occasional bike ride.

She also said that she would keep an open door and an open mind. And was willing to be convinced in cases like Hollywood Blvd.

Unlike her former boss, who turned a deaf ear to pleas from bike riders if they conflicted with demands from home or business owners. And would often cave in at the first sign of objection, rather than trying to find a workable compromise.

The one advantage I can credit Ryu with is that, unlike Ramsay, who has spent years working in LA’s less than democratic city hall, he would bring a much-needed outside perspective to the office.

But as Ramsay points out, there are advantages to knowing how to get things done on the council, without having to learn on the job.

You can read the responses from both candidates to bicycling issues on the LACBC’s detailed candidate survey.

But whatever you do, get out there and vote.

Because your right to vote doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

And with turnout expected to barely reach the double digits, every vote matters; this election could be determined as much by who doesn’t vote as by who does.

LA bike riders are depending on you to make the right choice.

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In what could be a huge step towards enforcing three-foot passing laws around the country, Chattanooga police develop a radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car.

The LAPD, LA Sheriff’s Department and CHP need to get their hands on this ASAP.

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You don’t have to understand French to get the message behind this beautiful TV spot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smREcqxm6D0&sns=tw

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Now that’s more like it. The Amgen Tour of California comes down to mere millimeters in the final stage from LA to Pasadena, as Peter Sagan wins by just three seconds. VeloNews looks at the winding road that put him atop the podium.

Meanwhile, Contador continues to lead the Giro whil taking nothing but over-the-counter pain killers for his dislocated shoulder; a writer for the Guardian says his toughness puts a lie to all-too-frequent homophobic slurs against cyclists. Cycling Weekly looks at what a solo breakaway feels like.

Former pro Jens Voigt settles into life off the bike as a race ambassador and quasi philanthropist, while Wiggo calls for mandatory bike helmets.

And women’s racing has a long way to go to catch up to the men; pay is so low some riders can’t afford to join a pro team even if they get the invitation.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the decision to keep traffic lanes over sidewalks on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was based on outdated Level of Service metrics.

KCET’s Krista Carlson looks at how local resources and social rides can help turn every week into Bike Week.

The Westwood Business Improvement District applies for a Great Streets grant. And considers using the funds for parking improvements. No, really. This is the kind of thinking that has helped keep storefronts empty in what should be one of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo Neighborhood Greenway opens May 30th.

 

State

Not surprisingly, Governor Brown once again ignores active transportation in his proposed state budget.

Writing for Bike Newport Beach, David Huntsman says bicycling would look less dangerous if you’d just take your helmet off when you get off the bike.

The San Diego Association of Governments goes back to the drawing board after an auto-centric regional transit plan was rejected by the courts.

A planned 50-mile Coachella bike path is threatened by a dispute over funding for maintenance.

Writing for the Fresno paper, a CHP officer says cyclists and pedestrians can be discourteous, just like law-breaking drivers. I’d call breaking the law in a dangerous, multi-ton machine more than mere discourtesy. But hey, that’s just me.

Fresno riders take over a local freeway. Hopefully, courteously.

The cyclist who crashed into an 80-year old woman on a Marin County pathway tells his side of the story, insisting she stepped into his path as he tried to avoid her; the CHP is investigating the crash.

Instead of embracing a socially and environmentally friendly form of tourism, the Sausalito city council continues to complain about the up to 1,000 bikes and riders who visit the city each day. Maybe the town should find a way to accommodate bikes instead of fining the people on them. Or bike riding tourists may decide to spend their money somewhere they’re actually wanted.

A 50-year old cyclist is killed in a collision with a truck during a double century race in Solano County; witnesses report he went through a stop sign.

The Turlock newspaper apparently believes a bike helmet could have kept an 11-year old bike rider from suffering a leg injury in a collision.

 

National

A planned Montana bike path is rerouted to preserve a century-old landmark tree.

Three upstate New Yorkers face charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; the driver was on the phone when she veered off the road, and her sister and boyfriend allegedly helped cover up the crime.

Today Show host Matt Lauer will be riding 250 miles from New York to Boston, in support of NBC’s Red Nose Day to call attention to children living in poverty.

New Jersey has the nation’s second highest percentage of fatal bicycle and pedestrian deaths; a proposed four-foot passing law has stalled in committee.

The DC area’s Bicycle Bandit is busted after a series of two-wheeled getaways following bank robberies; thanks to Nancy Duley for the heads-up.

Instead of saying a bank robber used a bike to make his getaway, a Florida paper writes that a local bank was robbed a bicyclist. No bias there. Has anyone ever said that a bank was robbed by a car driver?

 

International

Famed theologians, including Albert Schweitzer and C.S. Lewis, rode bikes; the story quotes Schweitzer saying he used his “abundantly and with delight.”

Sad news from Mexico, as a 17-year old BMX rider is killed in a fall attempting to qualify for the national Olympics.

London’s Telegraph says one way to make London better would be bike lanes that don’t make riding more dangerous. Busting more bike thieves, as London police did at the famed Brick Lane Market, would help, too.

The owner of a UK trucking firm who called bike riders the worst of all road users joins with a bike shop owner to metaphorically sing Kumbaya and call for détente on the streets.

A European study says traveling by car instead of bike costs society six times more. And yes, bike riding really is environmentally friendly.

Nigerian cyclists threaten to give up the sport if there aren’t more races.

A Kiwi cyclist gets a two-year ban for doping.

 

Finally…

Brooklyn’s love affair with the bicycle goes back nearly 150 years; even before a certain baseball team threw its first pitch. An Alaska truck driver somehow manages to see a salmon cyclist sneer at him as she blows through a stop.

And both discredited American former Tour de France winners continue their legal pissing match. If anyone other than their lawyers still care.

 

Weekend Links: Two new Kickstarters, surprisingly bike friendly SoCal cities, and the Amgen ToC comes to LA

The squirrel is optional.

The squirrel is optional.

I’m a firm believer in supporting local bike businesses.

That’s why I was pleased to learn about NoHo-based Stashers, designed to safely secure your belongings, on or off your bike.

The company, founded by Julie Pusateri, currently has a Kickstarter campaign for a stackable, waterproof bike tube cooler and storage system capable of keeping up to four cans hot or cold, as well as stashing other items while you ride.

Unfortunately, the project still has a way to go, currently over $4,000 short of the $5,000 goal with just under a week left.

Then again, that’s not too much to make up in a short period of time.

……..

Another Kickstarter campaign promises to replace ankle straps to keep your pants legs and shoe laces from getting caught in your chain, while increasing visibility at night.

The waterproof Commuter Gaiter offers 77” of durable, dual-sided reflective material that wraps around your ankle when you ride.

That project has a little more time left, but still needs over $3,000 of the $4,000 goal.

……..

The latest ranking of the nation’s most bikeable cities places Long Beach number three among cities with over 300,000 population.

Surprisingly, though, the Bike Score ranking from Redfin, the online real estate company behind the popular Walk Score, places Santa Monica sixth among cities of any size — a full 30 spots ahead of Long Beach.

Even Pasadena — yes, Pasadena — checks in at number 20.

Meanwhile, San Diego, which USA Today listed as one of the nation’s 10 most bike friendly cities, comes in at an embarrassingly low 115. Far below moderately bike friendly LA, which ranked 72nd.

……..

In the Amgen Tour of California, Cavendish took his third win in five stages on Thursday, riding from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita in the rain.

Late season snow in Big Bear forced the race to relocate the time trial to Magic Mountain; the short course helps Sagan take the overall lead. Saturday’s stage runs from Ontario to Mt. Baldy, while Sunday’s finale starts at LA Live and ends in Pasadena.

The first African team competing in the race is in it to get more bikes for people who need them. And the Inland Empire Biking Alliance will multi-modal it from points east to see Sunday’s race.

Update: The great Evelyn Stevens won the women’s time trial.

Over in Italy, the Guardian offers a great look at the Giro d’Italia in pictures over the years, while Contador slipped back into the pink on Wednesday. He may be tougher than we thought, keeping the leader’s jersey a day after dislocating his shoulder; the question is whether he can survive the mountain stages.

And he swears he doesn’t have any little motors hidden on his bike.

……..

Local

The LA Public Works Commission votes for cars over people, refusing to even consider anything but Option 1 for rebuilding the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. While the plan includes bike lanes, placing a sidewalk on just one side just guarantees that pedestrians will walk in the bike lane on the other.

In a Q&A with the Times, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx says LA needs to be creative about bike and pedestrian facilities in light of the city’s constrained road network. Evidently, the Public Works Commission failed to read the interview before voting.

A coalition of over 30 organizations calls for 10% of any funds raised through the proposed R2 transportation sales tax extension be set aside for biking and walking.

Good piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, who says we shouldn’t forget those who bike out of necessity in our Bike Week celebrations.

Just in time for Bike Week, the first .1 mile of bike lanes for the Expo Line bikeway appears. Meanwhile, El Monte gets its first bike lane, period.

DT News reports on Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles. And hey, thanks for the shout out.

The Westwood Neighborhood Council decides to put bike lanes on side streets to avoid conflicts with buses. But fails to address which of those streets, if any, are wide enough, with signalized crossing points, to support them.

Santa Monica Next revisits the history of bicycling in the city; evidently, it’s been illegal to ride on the sidewalk there for 123 years.

CiclaValley rides the Whittier Greenway Trail.

Flying Pigeon and the Living Museum host a bike ride Sunday afternoon to raise funds to restore a prized Eastside mural.

Long Beach’s annual Bike Fest returns on the 30th; meanwhile, the city is looking for volunteers for next month’s ciclovía.

 

State

Santa Ana offers OC’s first secure, covered bike parking — for a fee.

San Diego’s Bike to Work Day was rescheduled for the 29th due to Friday’s rain.

Santa Barbara becomes the latest California city to adopt Vision Zero. The question is whether any of the cities have the courage to make the hard choices necessary to improve safety. Especially Los Angeles (see Glendale-Hyperion Bridge above).

A San Francisco public health consultant calls for cyclists to be licensed and registered. Evidently, he doesn’t have a clue how discouraging bicycling would affect public health.

Sausalito continues to look for ways to reign in bike riding in the town. Evidently, 1,000 rental bikes visiting the city each day is a problem, but an unlimited number of cars is just fine.

 

National

CNN reports on cyclists using cameras to document reckless and threatening drivers; bike cam video leads to charges for a Georgia driver. Thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the links.

Red Kite Prayer looks at pro downhill racer and Pinkbike contributor Amanda Batty’s announcement that she would no longer be writing for the site. Seriously, we should be long past the days when a woman gets chased off a website for speaking her mind.

A Presbyterian pastor lists five spiritual lessons gained from breaking his collarbone and nine ribs after colliding with other riders during a century ride. Although it must have been divine intervention that prevented a concussion, because bike helmets don’t protect against that.

City Lab is the latest to debunk the myth that drivers pay for the roads.

Bike riders can get roadside assistance from AAA in more places. And no, California is not one of them.

A Portland bike rider plans to get back on his bike by August after losing his leg in a collision on Sunday.

A writer lists the six scariest things about riding in Las Vegas. Which, coincidentally, are pretty much the same as anywhere else.

A writer with the Boston Globe explains what it’s like to get hit by a car and walk away with minor injuries. Meanwhile, a Massachusetts minister says most collisions — not accidents, please — could be avoided if we’d just be civil to one another.

A New Jersey website takes a detailed look at what — or who — stands in the way of improving safety for the state’s bike riders.

 

International

In what reads like cleverly disguised unbridled sarcasm, a 50-year veteran of Toronto’s streets recommends breaking all the rules.

according to the Globe and Mail, London’s cycling cafes are a sign the city has reached peak hipster; Sir Wiggo tells riders in the city to wear their helmets, which may be safer but certainly isn’t hip.

A rider moves back to The Netherlands after getting hit by a car in London.

A US lawyer rides the length of Africa to support gay and lesbian rights, on a continent where homosexuality can result in the death penalty.

A New Zealand cop teams with construction workers to rescue a cyclist who fell into floodwaters, riding in the bucket of a digging machine to pull the rider and his bike to safety.

Kiwi riders say build roads for bikes, not just cars.

Roadways in Thailand are being littered with tacks in the latest attack on bike riders.

 

Finally…

A Chinese cyclist plans to ride the Olympic rings around the country. After a several cyclists have been killed by drunk and hit-and-run drivers on Thai roads in weeks, the country naturally responds with a proposal to license… bike riders

And an Aussie Facebook page attacking the “Cockhead Cyclists of Perth” gains 3,000 likes in two week. No, seriously, what do they really think of us?

 

Morning Links: LA’s DPW goes forward to the past, the Bike Week beat goes on, we’re #8, and a pretty bike painting

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

……..

LA’s Department of Public Works continues to plan for the city’s auto-centric past.

Evidently thinking the word Public refers only to the motoring public, the department is recommending that the reconstructed Glendale-Hyperion Bridge should have even fewer crosswalks than the current unsafe crossing.

But hey, we will get a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, using existing structures left over from the old Red Car trains, right?

The City Council’s Public Works Committee will consider the DPW’s recommendation for the much-hated Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Friday morning. CiclaValley offers a good look at why that’s a bad thing.

The speedy hearing looks like an attempt to rush the plan to approval before the new CD4 representative has a chance to oppose it; both candidates in next week’s election prefer the third option, which would remove a lane to create space for pedestrians and bike riders, resulting in a projected 10 second delay for motorists.

Yes, 10 seconds.

Seriously, how much more harm can Tom LaBonge do before he finally leaves office?

………

Tuesday's non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

Tuesday’s non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

More Bike Week news, as Monday’s kickoff press conference makes self-professed cynic Joe Linton smile.

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, along with Monday’s panel discussion on the future of bicycling. And a reporter for KABC-7 bikes to work, partly on the LA River bike path.

WeHo will host a pit stop on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, while Burbank will have four stops. You can find other pit stops on Metro’s jumbled one-size-fits-all Bike Week map. Is it just me, or is 50-plus pit stops kind of pathetic for a county this size? Seriously, any business that does business with bike riders and doesn’t host a pit stop needs to take Marketing 101 over again.

While you’re at it, bike to the library; the Central Library in DTLA is hosting a free class in bike maintenance Thursday evening.

Bike Snob says the problem with Bike Week is it encourages inexperienced riders to take to their bikes for a few days before they get back in their cars.

On the other hand, people who bike or walk to work are 40% less likely to be tense in the first hour at work.

……..

Washington leads the list in the Bike League’s latest ranking of bike-friendly states, while ‘Bama checks in dead last; California moves up a notch to number eight.

……..

Cav makes it two in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, but Latvian rider Toms Skujins takes the leader’s jersey in stage three. And no, I never heard of either of him, either.

The only rider to compete in every Tour of California unfortunately exits his 10th and last one in an ambulance after a crash. The Lodi paper is impressed with how fast pro cycling is.

And you have one more chance to see the world’s top women riders in action at Friday’s Big Bear time trial. You’ll have to be there in person, though, since women’s racing isn’t deemed worthy of TV coverage.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Simon Clarke takes the pink jersey after a “tempestuous” stage in the Giro. That massive crash caused by a fixie-riding fan in stage two is caught on video, as is a vicious face plant during a descent by Italian rider Domenico Pozzovivo.

And Giro officials are on the lookout for bike doping, inspecting pro riders bikes for hidden motors.

……..

Local

Bike theft continues to soar in Los Angeles, up nearly 60% in DTLA; a police spokesperson says there’s no real consequences for property crimes since the passage of Prop 47, which reclassified some crimes as misdemeanors to reduce jail overcrowding. As my friend Eric W. pointed out, rising rates of bike theft could also be a result of rising riding rates; more bikes on the road means more poorly protected bikes and more bikes to steal.

The first Finish the Ride hit-and-run billboard goes up in Pasadena. Let’s hope we soon see these everywhere.

UCLA will paint new bike lanes in Westwood Plaza in less than two weeks.

The Malibu Surfside News reports on Friday’s Bike Rodeo and unveiling of the new PCH safety video.

 

State

Outside rides Eroica California.

The U-T San Diego says hopping on a bike can start a lifetime of fitness, and the best place to ride is your own neighborhood.

Runners and cyclists feed abandoned kitties in Ocean Beach.

Rancho Mirage rejects participating in the planned 50-mile CV Link through the Coachella Valley, preferring to keep bike riders on a dangerous highway.

A 72-year old Saratoga cyclist passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack; he was found on the side of the road with no evidence of a hit-and-run.

Sacramento’s Department of Public Works recommends a goal of converting all the roadways in the city to complete streets — including bike lanes — within 20 years. Hello, LA? Hello?

NorCal’s AAA offers Watch For Bikes mirror stickers to encourage motorists to do just that.

 

National

Six reasons why bicycling is the fastest growing form of transportation. The seventh is because driving is already maxed out.

Biking and waking studies get barely more Fed funding than chicken trucks.

The new biopic about Lance Armstrong could be released in the US later this year.

A new Portland app will automatically count bike riders as they pass through select intersections, while a cyclist in the city catches a confrontation with a car prowler on his helmet cam.

An Alaska cyclist says bike lanes will just be a myth until everyone believes in them.

Someone is sabotaging Arizona mountain bike trails by placing rocks in the path of riders. Whoever is doing it should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; anyone hitting those rocks without warning could be seriously injured. Or worse.

Proof there are good people in the world. After two Missouri boys steal a bike from a special needs girl, an anonymous Good Samaritan buys her a new one.

 

International

The Mounties offer advice on how to keep your bike safe from thieves, including the suggestion that secure condo bike parking usually isn’t. They also recommend registering your bike so it can be identified if it’s stolen. I’m just saying.

A Brit hit-and-run driver gets seven years for killing a cyclist after claiming he thought he’d hit a wheeled trash bin. So what kind of idiot hits anything without stopping to check?

The Netherland’s 230-foot long solar cell bike path has already generated enough electricity to power a single home for an entire year. Now if we can just build them into every highway and surface street, we might be onto something.

 

Finally…

When bicycles die, their wheels live on as a host to cucumbers and rap battles. A fake water bottle converts your ride to an e-assist bike.

And a new bike ID won’t just identify you if anything happens, it can also open a beer bottle.

……..

One last note.

In one of those only in LA things, I found myself talking with the woman next to me as we waited for a our laptops to be repaired the other day.

Yes, my little Macbook Pro — not a Powerbook, as the folks at ReaniMac in Hollywood repeatedly corrected me — will be fine, thanks to a new hard drive. In fact, it runs better than ever, which seems like a fair exchange for leaving me a little poorer.

But as we chatted, it turned out that in addition to a successful acting career, Tessie Santiago is also an artist who recently had her first showing.

She started out showing me her paintings of dogs, since I was there with a very bored Corgi. But as she flipped through the images on her phone, she quickly became one of my favorite undiscovered LA artists.

So if you’re feeling artistically inclined, take a look at her work. And if you know someone who owns a gallery, tell ‘em to give her a call, already.

Tessie-Santiago-Bike-Painting

Unfortunately, this is her only painting of a bicycle. And she doesn’t have any paintings of Corgis.

We’ll have to work on her on both counts.

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in LA, meet a real American hero, win a free book and ride a tiny new bike lane

It’s Bike Week in LA.

I’m not going to list all the events here; many others already beat me to it. Which is a big — and welcome — change from years past.

CiclaValley offers a look at the scheduled events for the week, including my personal favorite, the Blessing of the Bicycles. Other highlights include today’s panel discussion on whether bikes are in your future, and Friday’s Bike Night at Union Station. Not to mention Thursday’s Bike to Work Day, with bike trains and pit stops all over the county.

KCRW says bike events are going to be all over the county this week; case in point, Santa Clarita celebrates the Tour of California and Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. KNBC-4 looks at Bike Week activities in Pasadena, while Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a 15% discount all week.

The LA Daily News provides a preview of the week’s events, though someone should explain to them that the point of bicycling is to keep the rubber side down.

And Performance Bike in Santa Monica, which recently moved into the old Wilshire Theater, is appropriately hosting a series of movies at 7 pm each Tuesday throughout May’s Bike Month.

  • 5/5 – Breaking Away
  • 5/12 – American Flyers
  • 5/19 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • 5/26 – The Bicycle Thief

Admission is free; bring a chair to sit on. Thanks to Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

……..

One more semi-Bike Week event this week.

This Friday, there will be fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank from 3 pm to 9 pm. The event is being held by 14-year old Michelle Morlock to raise $3000 in donations to the organization; the donation will allow her to ride 400 miles with wounded vets from West Point to Annapolis.

If you’re not familiar with Ride 2 Recovery, the group uses bicycling to help veterans, many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, heal from their wounds and come all the way home from the trauma of war.

The highlight of the event will be a chance to meet 94-year old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most legendary military units of World War II. He will be available for photos and autographs in the parking lot; a donation jar will be available, and if you present the flyer inside, Bob’s Big Boy will donate 15% of your meal ticket to Ride 2 Recovery.

The Airmen not only fought the Nazis, but had to fight discrimination in the army to defend a country where they were treated as second-class citizens. They arguably did as much as anyone to integrate the military and end legal discrimination in America, by proving that African Americans could not only be as good as any other flyers, but were among the best to fight on either side.

My father, who was in his 40’s when I was born, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. He often said he wanted to meet one of the Tuskegee Airmen just to shake his hand and thank him for what they did.

On Friday, I hope to do it for him.

……..

It’s been awhile since we’ve held a contest on here. So in honor of Bike Week, let’s do something about that right now.

Pilgrim Wheels - front coverLast week, I received a press release announcing a new book by Colorado author Neil Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

An inspirational story of journey, discovery, and place, Pilgrim Wheels describes Neil Hanson’s 2011 journey by bicycle across the United States. His bicycle ride becomes the canvas for an incredible adventure: a pilgrimage of wonder as he explores the people he meets along the path, the obstacles he faces, the pain he endures, and the boundless joy he achieves as he completes the first half of his journey to the humid farmland east of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. A beautifully written and reflective memoir, Pilgrim Wheels provides a glimpse into the sweetness of physical achievement, the inspired awe that comes from the sheer beauty of our country’s majestic back roads, and the warmth and love shared by the people who welcome Hanson into their lives along the way.

You can read more about the book and the author on his website.

Hanson has generously offered to give a copy of the book to a lucky BikinginLA reader. All you have to do is click the link below and enter with your Facebook account or email address by end of day Friday.

Win a copy of Pilgrim Wheels!

Good luck!

……..

Westwood has been famous in recent years for the ridiculous 275 foot long bike lane on Galey Avenue in Westwood.

Now Richard Rosenthal sends photographic evidence of an even more absurd bike lane on Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.

The lane channels bike riders to the left of right turning cars for a whopping 50 yards, if that, before throwing them back into traffic on the busy, high speed thoroughfare.

Sepulvrda Bike Lane

……..

The Amgen Tour of California is underway, as Mark Cavendish wins the first stage; allergies knocked California’s Andrew Talansky out of the race.

The LA Times says New Jersey native Carter Jones is excited to be back in the US racing on American soil. Before the race even started, though, a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros out on a training ride, including Peter Sagan.

The Sacramento Bee says pro cycling could use a showman or two, while anti-doping agencies team up to keep the race clean.

Sadly, the women’s race is over just as the men are getting started, after just three stages, although there will be a invitational time trial in Big Bear on Friday.

Lauren Komanski led the women’s race after two stages, but dropped to third as Trixi Worrack took the overall title; Leah Kirchman won the final stage to finish second. Meanwhile, a member of British royalty rode in the peloton after competing in the Paralympics.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Simon Gerrans looks pretty in pink after winning the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia. And don’t try this at home, kids — a fixie riding race fan gets the blame for crashing into the peloton at the end of the second stage of the.

……..

Somehow I missed this one from last week.

A Georgia father of three was killed when the driver of a pickup crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve to illegally pass another truck, slamming into a group of riders. The driver faces charges of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

……..

Local

A counter-press conference will be held at 8 am tomorrow at Red Car River Park to protest plans to rebuild the Hyperion bridge without a sidewalk. Everyone who supports Option 3 to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge is urged to attend.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Valencia.

About 3,000 riders turn out for the Tour of Long Beach, raising $350,000 for juvenile cancer research.

 

State

A Riverside county supervisor defends the troubled plan for a 50-mile bike and pedestrian path from Desert Hot Springs to the Salton Sea.

Hats off to tiny Guadalupe (population 7225), which closed down three miles of streets for the town’s first ciclovía.

The bike riding managing editor of the Stockton Record says we all need to share the road; a windshield-addled commenter says why not share railroad tracks and airport runways, too.

A San Francisco college instructor says a road raging driver repeatedly tried to run him down as he rode his bike; the final assault was captured on video.

 

National

Tucson cyclists get a new two-way separated bike lane. For one whole block, before dumping riders into traffic on the left side of a three lane one-way street.

The Colorado Rockies radio announcer will take a sabbatical to compete in RAAM as part of a two-person team to raise funds for a Haitian orphanage.

Remarkably, cyclists have no legal right-of-way when riding through Nebraska intersections; state lawmakers vote to keep it that way.

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at the state’s Complete Streets law by removing the requirement to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, claiming it’s merely an attempt to remove a regulatory burden. Right.

A bike path sparked a $200 million redevelopment in Minneapolis. Yes, a bike path; let’s hope Wisconsin’s governor is listening.

Ohio could require children up to 16 to wear helmets.

Sad news from Philadelphia, as a local filmmaker is killed while riding his bike. Note to Philly.com: There is nothing inevitable about traffic collisions; they can actually be avoided if people care enough to pay attention and obey the law.

Nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers ride from New York’s Ground Zero to Washington DC to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty; 300 cops from Southern California took part.

A Virginia cyclist reportedly swerved into the path of a driver who had safely moved over to pass. Sure, let’s go with that. Note to WYDaily.com: A bike rider is a human being, not an “it.”

 

International

A new Australian electric bicycle professes to fix what’s wrong with other e-bikes.

Evidently, requiring helmets hasn’t done enough to force riders off the road, so an unworkable requirement is in the works as an Aussie state considers yet another step to stifle the growth in bicycling by requiring bikes to be licensed to curb “lunatic” cyclists.

Thai cyclists say drunk drivers who kill should be charged with premeditated murder instead of reckless driving. Couldn’t agree more; drunks who merely injure or maim someone should be charged with attempted murder.

Another good idea from Thailand — drivers on shared lanes should be limited to 30 kmh, the equivalent of just 18 mph.

 

Finally…

A writer for London’s Telegraph can’t seem to grasp that different people enjoy different styles of bike riding — including, yes, riding in Lycra. Another new study from the University of Duh says it’s pretty much useless to ride with a hangover.

And more proof bike riders are tough, as a San Diego man rides to a friend’s house for help after being stabbed at a 7-11.

 

Weekend Links: Sentencing delayed in emotional drugged driving case, rider reportedly robbed on Ballona Creek

Before we start, here’s one video you want to watch. Trust me on this.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

………

Just gotten word that the sentencing of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti in the drugged driving death of cyclist Eric Billings has been delayed due to a technicality.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti unexpectedly pled guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated last March, and was scheduled to be sentenced to up to four years in prison today. The judge delayed sentencing until June 10th to allow the defense time to review the probation report.

However, he revoked bail and remanded her into custody to be evaluated prior to sentencing.

According to the OC DA’s office, Fakhrai-Bayrooti had Xanax and Suboxone in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo.

According to My News LA, Billing’s daughter, who was six month’s pregnant when he was killed, gave birth to a son who will never know his grandfather. And one her brothers is getting married Saturday without a father to stand by his side.

Mark Billings said he too had struggled with addiction, but it was his brother’s unconditional love that helped him overcome his own drug problems.

Eric Billings “was the kind of guy who carried extra shirts and sweaters in his car to give to someone out in the cold,” Mark Billings said.

I’m told the judge wept openly in the courtroom listening to the impact statements from family members. And the court reporter recorded it all with mascara running down her face.

………

Once again, there’s bad news from Ballona Creek.

A rider writing on Reddit reports that he saw another cyclist being robbed by four men on the bike path near the National/Jefferson exit Tuesday evening.

This has been an ongoing, if infrequent, problem over the years; in fact, crime alerts on the pathway date back to at least 1990.

It’s not that the bike path is particularly dangerous. However, just like any other place in the city where you’re out of public view, you have to be alert to the circumstances around you.

If you don’t feel comfortable, wait for other riders to catch up, or go back to the previous exit and ride around the problem area.

Just don’t hold your breath for the police to respond. There’s been an ongoing debate over which police agencies have jurisdiction where on the path.

And riders have complained that 911 operators can’t seem to find it on a map to send anyone, anyway.

………

CiclaValley offers a preview of the next week’s Amgen Tour of California, which starts on Sunday. The Sacramento Bee explains seven things you’ll want to know about the Tour of California; eight actually, since an update mentions that Marcel Kittel has pulled out.

American Tyler Farrar is one of the riders to watch. And tour officials are working to keep the routes safe for the riders, unlike several recent racing calamities that left riders badly injured.

Meanwhile, the women in these photos finally get four days in the AToC, which started Friday. Second-year UnitedHealthcare pro Katy Hall dreams of charging up Mt. Baldy just like the men, while Alison Tetrick looks forward to joining a deep field charging through the snow.

While this year’s women’s tour is a big step forward, it’s long past time to let women racers compete on equal terms. And put them on TV, for chrissake.

………

A sign on LA garbage trucks urges homeowners not to turn bike lanes into garbage lanes.

I’m told the LAPD has gotten several complaints about people blocking bike lanes with their garbage cans. And yes, that is illegal.

A new Toronto app allows riders to report cars blocking bike lanes. Maybe we need an LA version that lets us report trash cans, too.

………

Local

South La Brea is making a comeback. And a local bike shop is helping lead the way.

USC’s Story Space interviews the LACBC’s Eric Bruins and Michael McDonald of Bike the Vote LA; thanks to Streetsblog LA for the link.

The Westwood Village Farmers’ Market is giving away a “sleek” new commuter bike from Helen’s Cycles to celebrate the new bike corral on Broxton Ave. Which would be the perfect place to park your bike to attend the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market. I’m just saying.

Santa Clarita hosts the free nine-mile family friendly Hit the Trail bike ride on Saturday.

Former Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz will lead Saturday’s Tour of Long Beach, with rides from 30 to 100 miles, benefitting pediatric cancer research.

Speaking of Long Beach, bike ridership is up 21% in the downtown area from 2013, suggesting that the city’s emphasis on building bike lanes is working.

Women are invited to tell their story explaining why you need a new bike, and possibly win one from Pedal Love and Made in Long Beach.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer remembers Bay Area bicycling legend Jobst Brandt, who passed away at age 80 after a long illness.

San Bernardino deputies recover a Loma Linda boy’s $1,500 stolen bike after his father discovered it for sale on Craigslist.

Bakersfield police release surveillance video of burglars who knocked off a local bike shop last month.

Great idea for a bike ride, as the San Jose Public Library host the Gira de Libro, visiting five of the city’s 23 libraries. Rumor has it that LA has public libraries, as well, though few residents have actually been inside one.

After the local Marin paper refused to even consider the possibility a bike rider might not have been at fault in a collision with an 80-year old woman, it turns out the rider did what he could to avoid hitting her. An estimated 15 to 17 mph sounds way too fast for a narrow bridge shared with pedestrians, though; we need to slow down when passing people on foot, just like drivers should slow down when passing bikes.

A Sacramento bike rider was killed in a collision with a train. By far the easiest type of wreck to avoid, since trains have to travel on tracks and have warning lights, bells and/or crossing gates to tell you they’re coming.

A Mariposa cyclist suffered major injuries when he was left crossed by a motorist; according to the comments, the victim is the principle double bass player for the local orchestra. Let’s hope makes a fast and full recovery.

 

National

Performance Bicycle is named a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business. Then again, if a bike shop isn’t bike friendly, something is seriously wrong.

America’s biggest bike share operator has now gone into the manufacturing business.

As we’ve said before, people don’t ride on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the streets, as shown by a new protected bike lane in Honolulu that’s cut sidewalk riding by 65%.

Salt Lake will build the nation’s first protected intersection, designed to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe.

A texting teenage Chicago driver could get off the hook for hitting a cyclist because the police never read the driver her rights.

Turns out Chicago’s favorite sport of the late 1800’s wasn’t hockey or baseball. So when, if ever, is that long-rumored Major Taylor movie coming out, anyway?

Once again, a bike rider is collateral damage in a wreck between two drivers, this time in Milwaukee; the victim was an ice cream vendor on a three-wheeled bike.

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty New Hampshire cop was killed riding his bike down a flight of stairs — inside a house.

 

International

The pope attends a singletrack bike fest. Oh, not that pope.

A new study from the University of Duh says bike commuters really do lose weight, as long as they ride 30 minutes each way.

Expect serious bike lust at this weekend’s Spin London bike show.

A UK court is told a cyclist killed in an unsafe pass by his own father’s truck would have survived if he had only been wearing a helmet. Which is impossible to say with any certainty, despite the investigator’s apparent certainty.

Sweden’s Princess Estelle looks like any other adorable three-year old bike rider with her pink helmet and training wheels.

A new German safety campaign encourages cyclists to wear helmets, just like Darth Vader. Do they seriously think equating a bike helmet with crossing over to the Dark Side will actually work?

As bicycling grows in Egypt, it’s even becoming safer for women to ride alone.

Bangkok cyclists call for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers in the wake of two collisions in which drivers plowed into group rides, killing four people; police promise to step up safety measures.

 

Finally…

How many times do we have to say it? If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, stay off the damn sidewalk in Santa Monica, already. Now you too, can have a truly tasteless bike taillight dangling from your seat, just like the big boys in their trucks; the sad thing is, it was actually funded.

And Bremerton WA police have apparently developed a new technique to stop fleeing drivers by throwing out a bike strip; no word on whether they use roadies, fixies or mountain bikes.

 

Morning Links: Injured SD cyclist needs your help, CA keeps dopers on the road, and Winnipeg ups the ante on ciclovías

Once again, a bike rider needs your help.

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that a San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong way driver tried to enter a mall parking lot through the exit lane. However, the story didn’t identify the 61-year old victim.

Now it turns out he’s well-known in the San Diego area.

Paul Kroeger is a 40-year veteran of the bicycling industry, and the long-time Master Mechanic at Hi-Tech Bikes. According to the shop’s Facebook page, Kroeger is in stable condition despite suffering major injuries, and faces a long, hard recovery.

A fund has been established to help cover expenses; in the first 11 hours, it had raised nearly $6,000 of the $25,000 goal.

……..

California legislators reject a proposal for roadside testing of suspect drug-using drivers, evidently opting to keep dope-impaired motorists behind the wheel, where they can do more harm.

Smart.

……..

Love this idea.

Instead of a ciclovía, Winnipeg is closing some of the city’s streets on Sundays and holidays to turn them into designated bike routes.

Drivers who travel more than one block on any of the four streets face hefty fines for violating the closures.

……..

Bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein looks at the weather forecast for next week, and asks if the Amgen Tour of California is the cure for the state’s drought.

But lost in the excitement over Sunday’s start of the Amgen Tour of California is Saturday’s start of the Giro d’Italia.

……..

Local

Metro says give your car a break and take a bike instead. Although sell your damn car and use the proceeds to buy a few Pashleys for your family has a ring to it, too.

More on the unveiling of a new PCH safety video produced by the PCH Taskforce, along with the kids’ bike rodeo in Malibu on Friday. Full disclosure: I’ve helped represent the LACBC on said taskforce for several years, though I had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

New LA-made bike socks offer maps of some of the city’s iconic bike routes.

The LA Weekly looks at Long Beach’s young, gay, Latino and bike-friendly mayor.

 

State

A San Diego County Supervisor rides 25 miles along the coast to work, promising to promote safe cycling and demonstrate how much fun bike commuting can be. I dare any LA County Supervisors to do the same; hell, I double dog dare you. So there.

In a new podcast series, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with BikeSD’s Sam Ollinger, who somehow managed to turn a bike blog into a powerhouse advocacy organization with 1,200 paying members. And counting.

Carlsbad police recover 35 stolen bicycles; if you lost a bike recently, call 760/931-2142 or email judy.thomas@carlsbadca.gov. And register your bike now so it can be identified if does ever happen to you.

The Great Western Bicycle Rally offers a four day bike fest in Paso Robles at the end of this month.

San Francisco plans to lower bicycling injuries by elevating bike lanes. The city is also testing triple bike racks on some of the hillier bus routes.

A Marin County cyclist collided with an 80-year old woman while riding on a multi-use pathway. Bike riders should always use extra care when riding near any pedestrians; on the other hand, the local paper never even considers the possibility that it might not have been the rider’s fault.

Nice story, as the victim of a fatal Chico hit-and-run is still having a positive effect on the world two years later. Note to ChicoER: A drunken hit-and-run — with a BAC four times the legal limit, no less — is a crime, not an accident.

 

National

The Travel Channel lists the nation’s top 10 cycling cities. LA must have come in at number 11, right?

A new bike helmet includes built-in front and rear lights. I just happened to see one of these on Sunset Blvd Monday evening; it wasn’t that bright at dusk, but should stand out after dark.

A road raging Portland bike rider is photographed throwing a U-lock at a teenage driver’s car. I’ve said it before — no matter how angry you are or how much you think the driver deserves it, never resort to violence. Period. Great photo, though.

A new Salt Lake City poll shows nearly everyone loves the city’s bike lanes. Except Republicans.

A French cyclist has his recumbent stolen from his Colorado campsite, just one week into a planned 18-month round-the-world tour.

The NYPD is decriminalizing sidewalk riding, opting to issue traffic tickets instead of criminal summons.

Tragically, a Louisiana bike rider is killed by a hit-and-run driver just one day before his 46th birthday.

Florida commits to installing buffered bike lanes when possible. Which wouldn’t have helped the rider who was intentionally run down, then shot at by a driver; the suspect faces multiple felony charges.

 

International

An Ottawa writer suggests kicking bikes off the bike paths.

London’s Telegraph expresses concern that the increase in bicycling is putting Britain’s economic recovery at risk, because a whopping 5% of people polled had taken out personal loans to buy either a car or a bike. No, really, I think they’re serious.

A pair of Scot students design a bike rack with a built-in lock, so you don’t have to tote a heavy U-lock everywhere you go. Or have one to throw at the driver behind you, for that matter (see above).

The great-grand-nephew of its founder is reviving a classic Latvian bike brand.

An unconscious Aussie man was found lying in the street wearing a bike helmet; police eventually found the bike the apparent hit-and-run victim was riding in the top of a tree.

The Thai hit-and-run driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing one, turns himself in four days later. But swears he wasn’t drunk and that he pulled over to talk on his cell phone. Honest.

 

Finally…

Here’s one problem we don’t have in LA, as a noted South African cyclist faces surgery after colliding with a water buffalo; sadly, the buffalo didn’t make it. The next time a truck runs you off the road, it may not have a driver to yell at.

And if you’re carrying a billiard ball wrapped in a bandana, put some damn lights on your bike…wait, what?

 

Morning Links: Ride SaMo’s Breeze bikes, Seth says thumbs down to PCH bike lanes, & an 8 y.o. hit-and-run perp

Local

The rich get richer as bike lanes are scheduled to go in on Westwood Plaza this month on the already bike-friendly UCLA campus.

Nine more bikes have been stolen in Downtown LA, including one where the owner left the key resting on the seat. Seriously, let that be your reminder to register your bike now, before anything happens.

The Santa Monica Public Library wants your advice on what kind of programs they should offer, including possible bicycle-related programming. Meanwhile, visitors to Saturday’s Santa Monica Festival can try out one of the bikes from the city’s coming Breeze bike share.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says Malibu’s new door zone bike lanes on PCH are complete rubbish, and the equivalent of the city giving the finger to cyclists who ride the highway.

Flying Pigeon hosts the monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride this Saturday.

LADOT Bike Blog lays out the full schedule for next week’s LA Bike Week, while CICLE hosts Women’s Bike Night next Wednesday as part of Pasadena Bike Week.

 

State

Someone with a San Clemente address has scammed two bike manufactures out of high-end bikes by posing as a magazine editor asking to do a review. Note to bike makers: I will gladly review your bikes, and probably even return them afterwards.

The ninth annual Grand Prix of Cycling rolled through Dana Point on Sunday.

Apple Valley police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a cyclist from behind; the victim was airlifted to a hospital with unknown injuries.

San Jose becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan. Now it’s time for the state to step up.

 

National

Drivers often complain that bike riders don’t pay enough for the roads we ride on. Actually, it’s the other way around.

Denver is missing an opportunity to create a network of protected bike lanes.

An Illinois woman is being investigated by child services for riding her bike while holding the hand of her small son as he ran alongside, apparently struggling to keep up.

Maybe it’s just me, but 9 am seems just a tad early to use heroin before getting behind the wheel; the allegedly stoned driver hit a parked car, then drove onto the sidewalk and ran down a parked bicycle. But what the hell is an “unoccupied” bike?

New York introduces a new Vision Zero TV ad designed to get drivers to actually slow down and pay attention. As if.

A New York street could go from having a 10-foot shared lane to a six-foot parking-protected bike lane with a five-foot buffer. As Yoda would say, jealous I am. Except a Jedi master probably wouldn’t be jealous.

A heftier Jonah Hill is captured by paparazzi pedaling a Citi Bike through the streets of New York.

 

International

How to tell if you’re watching too much cycling on television. I only wish that was a problem on American TV, especially when it comes to women’s racing.

Ottawa votes to spend nearly $5 million to not install protected bike lanes.

The Guardian looks at how Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world, including the Stop de Kindermoord movement to end the deaths of children on their streets. Something we desperately need the equivalent of right here in the US.

Thai authorities are on the lookout for a driver who fled the scene after plowing into a group of Bangkok bike riders, killing one and injuring two others. This follows just days after a drunken, speeding driver killed three riders elsewhere in the country.

 

Finally…

The Feds want to ask Lance’s girlfriend if his pants are on fire, while Astana goes on double secret probation. A New York cyclist unexpectedly beats a well-deserved ticket for running a red light.

And Mad City police are on the lookout for a hit-and-run cyclist who broke the leg of a two-year old boy; the perp is described as an eight or nine year old girl.

 

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