Morning Links: Bike beats car in race to beach, Calbike wants your take on bike politics, and BMX legend dies

No surprise, really.

KPCC challenged three staffers to race from Union Station to the Santa Monica Pier in Monday morning rush hour traffic, travelling by bike, bus and car. Or rather, a funky three-wheeled motorcycle equivalent.

But whatever.

And just as has happened in other cities that have run similar races, the bike came out on top. Even though the rider failed to plan out his route, and dropped down to pothole-ridden Venice Blvd for his journey to the pier.

Had he planned it better, he could have cut a big chunk of time off his commute by taking Wilshire Blvd, which runs directly to the coast, and where bikes are allowed in the Bus Only lanes that operate during morning and evening rush hours. Even though the lanes skip Beverly Hills and the condo corridor in Westwood.

A simple jump over to the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Century City, then cut over to the Broadway bike lanes in Santa Monica and coast down to the coast.

He might have even been able to slow down a little.

And wear something other than spandex.

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Calbike wants your input on candidates and issues that affect bicyclists, to help develop their endorsement strategy for the coming year; you can take the survey here.

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Sad news from Greenville NC, as BMX legend and X Games star Dave Mirra died of an apparent suicide on Thursday.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, talk to someone. Anyone. There are people who care and want to help, no matter how bad things may seem now.

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Local

Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches, depicting CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo as the carpetbagger-in-chief while calling for a movement to draft Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali to run against him. Somehow I missed this one when it was originally posted. And yes, Councilmember Bray-Ali does have a certain ring to it.

The Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights areas receive nearly $18 million in Complete Streets funding, including bike and pedestrian improvements.

Great piece from LAist, as they talk to the guy who rode a New York bikeshare bike across the US, ending in Santa Monica last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the Ride Report app for iOS has gone national; the app is designed to run in the background, allowing riders to track and rate their trips while crowdsourcing riding data.

 

State

San Diego’s KPBS discusses women’s professional bike racing, saying women riders are making progress, but there’s still a way to go.

Last year, we discussed the mobile bike repair shops from Beeline Bikes; now one is rolling into the Conejo Valley to serve cyclists in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills.

A Salinas writer observes our streets are safe for everyone but people.

A writer from Modesto is up in arms that the city is paying $75,000 to house and feed riders in the Amgen Tour of California for one night. Never mind that the race will likely bring in a lot more that to local businesses.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is barring bikes — and trees — from a proposed public park in Mountain View, apparently because other parks elsewhere have had problems with connectivity. Which is sort of like blaming all bike riders because you saw one run a red light once.

 

National

Horrible story of road rage from Portland. As usual, the police refuse to do anything about it unless the rider ends up bleeding in the street.

The Chicago Trib says riding a bike on the Las Vegas strip is just too damn scary. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been there.

Why does my Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly hometown have to keep making bicycling improvements decades after I left? What, they couldn’t have done any of this while I was still there?

Forget three feet, an Iowa legislator proposes a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider. Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Caught on video: A Michigan bike rider beats a ticket for obstructing traffic when a state trooper gets the law wrong, using the cop’s own dash cam video to make his case.

Not all DC churches think bike lanes infringe upon their freedom of religion; an African American church in the same neighborhood as the one fighting tooth and nail against a bike lane says protected bike lanes make the streets safer for everyone.

 

International

The owner of the UK’s Vulpine bikewear company says the great helmet debate only serves to put people off bicycling, while concluding: “Cycling is not a major killer. Putting people off cycling is.”

A British website says more needs to be done to make bicycling a safe and normal activity.

Let’s hope it was a damn good bike. A Brit entrepreneur traded his stake in the Swiftkey mobile phone app for a bike, only to watch his former partners sell it to Microsoft for $252 million.

Russian women’s track cycling champ Elena Brezhniva gets a four-year ban for an unspecified doping offense; her coach naturally writes it off as a case of mere negligence. Because no cyclist would ever intentionally cheat, right?

A Philippine bicyclist takes a thrilling and scary ride through Manilla’s Quezon City.

An Aussie driver talks to the mother of a teenage boy who rode out in front of her car.

 

Finally…

Someday, every bike with come with its own mushroom knife and fire pit. Now you can get a pedal-assist motor doping bike of your very own; meanwhile, Dutch researchers will pay you to dope as you climb Mr. Ventoux.

And how to discover if anyone on your club ride is motor doping.

It’s easy to tell if I have a hidden motor on my bike. Just watch to see if I pass someone. Anyone.

No, really.

Morning Links: Rail-to-River comes up for a vote, and local universities go bike friendly — but once again, not USC

We have a lot to catch up on after yesterday’s unplanned absence, so let’s get right to it.

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Local

The plan to turn an abandoned South LA railway into a Rail-to-River bikeway comes up for a vote today.

The LAPD offers tips on protecting your bike following a rash of bike thefts in the Pacific Division.

Bike riders respond to the Times’ recent editorial raising the specter of the mythical war on cars, including one from John Lloyd — aka Boyonabike — saying they have it backwards.

The LACBC’s Colin Bogart offers bike safety tips for young riders, courtesy of First 5 LA.

Bikes are making inroads in LA, even on bike-unfriendly Wilshire Blvd on the Miracle Mile.

LAist looks at Sunday’s beer-friendly Keep LA Beautiful ride with the LA Explorer’s Club.

Win two free tickets to next month’s Los Angeles Grand Prix.

A Glendale letter writer says bike riders should be ticketed just like drivers, neglecting to consider that we already are. And most drivers who break the law aren’t ticketed, either.

 

State

Calbike looks back at the successes and failures of this year’s legislative session, much of which was marred by Jerry Brown’s veto pen.

Thirteen California universities make this year’s list of bike friendly colleges, including UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach, Pomona College and Santa Monica College. But to no one’s surprise, historically bike-unfriendly USC didn’t, despite the massive number of students who ride to and on campus.

A Redlands couple riding their bikes together are assaulted by the passenger of a passing car.

Modesto mother plays detective after her son’s bike is stolen.

The San Jose Mercury News says exercising your dog by riding next to it on your bike is unnatural and cruel.

The driver who allegedly killed a San Francisco cyclist while fleeing from police in a stolen van now faces a well-deserved murder charge.

 

National

Surly is looking for women to help promote their line of non-spandex bikewear.

Lots of people are biking across the US these days. Not many are nine years old and riding to raise money for children with cancer, though.

The Bike League goes for a ride with Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist who was arrested for the non-crime of riding a bike in the traffic lane. They also invite you to join the I Bike, I Vote movement.

Unbelievable. Intentionally run down a bike rider in New York and flee the scene, and walk away with a whopping $250 fine.

New York is famous for ticketing cyclists for riding on the sidewalk. But it raises some serious questions when most of those tickets are issued in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

The driver who killed an Atlanta fireman training for an Ironman race in New Orleans gets a well-deserved 5-and-a-half years in prison; thanks to Chris Menjou for the heads-up.

 

International

Ontario, Canada considers increasing fines for drivers who door cyclists and use cell phones behind the wheel, as well as approving contraflow bike lanes.

An Ottawa Storify discusses whether ghost bikes should be taken down or left alone.

Road safety improves in Scotland, including a small drop in bicycling deaths and injuries.

Even in the bike friendly Netherlands, police ticket an even gross of bike riders for running a balky red light.

The Tour de France unveils a challenging route for next year’s race, including a finish on the legendary Alpe d’Huez. Meanwhile, British cyclist Lizzie Armistead calls for a minimum wage for female pros.

Sad news, as a Kenyon cyclist is killed while participating in a Philippine stage race.

Road riding is too scary for an Aussie bike gold medalist following the deaths of too many friends.

 

Finally…

The press is up in arms over bike riders hitting pedestrians in New York’s Central Park, but fail to consider that sometimes it’s the pedestrian’s fault. Even John McEnroe is complaining about lunatic bike riders in Central Park.

And in a case of bike-on-bike road rage, a London rider is kicked off his bike by a passing cyclist.

Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are, there’s never an excuse for violence — especially when it dumps another rider in the path of oncoming traffic.

 

Morning Links: Wolfpack Hustle debates bike lanes with John & Ken, and Calbike forms state’s 1st bike PAC

Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward — aka Roadblock — debates bike lanes with KFI-640’s bike-hating John and Ken.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to this one myself yet, but knowing Don, it should be well worth the listen. If you can tolerate the willful indignorance of the hosts, anyway. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers constructive criticism of the Times’ pro-bike plan editorial criticizing District 1 councilmember Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes.

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Is there a problem with racism in the Tour de France peloton?

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Local

The Times looks at the proposed law to create a much needed alert system for serious hit-and-runs.

Books on bikes could be coming to Boyle Heights.

Culver City Safe Routes to School hosts a family-friendly Bike, Walk & Scoot Festival this Saturday.

Santa Monica will install new green bike lanes on 2nd Street.

 

State

Calbike forms a political action committee to intervene in elections on behalf of bike riders. Maybe they can finance a recall in CD1.

Costa Mesa police are looking for a bike riding purse snatcher.

A Rialto cyclist is seriously injured in a collision with a dump truck.

Big Bear will host a bike festival and Gran Fondo on upcoming weekends.

The Bay Area’s largest bike festival comes to Oakland.

 

National

Bicycling reviews performance popsicles for cyclists.

New self-powered bike trailer takes the work out of towing.

Portland plans to rely on bicycles in case of disaster.

Evidently, it’s open season on pedestrians and bicyclists in NYC.

New York’s financially troubled Citi Bike is on a the verge of a large cash infusion and expansion.

 

International

Studies from around the world show investing in bicycling pays.

A letter writer says Montreal cyclists put up with a lot from drivers, while another asks what about pedestrians?

A British roadie website offers five reasons to become a cyclist. And then there’s cake.

Designed to be deadly? An Irish girl is the latest child to be impaled by the handlebars of her bike, a so-called freak accident that seems to happen on a regular basis.

Amazing idea, as the Cold War-era Iron Curtain is being turned into a 4,225 mile bike trail. Those of us old enough to remember the bad old days could never have imagined something like this.

Cyclists are trying to claim a piece of the road in Dar es Salaam.

A Brisbane rider looks at mirrors for bike riders.

 

Finally…

A merry band of beery brothers bikes 426 miles through the Colorado Rockies. And caught on video: A truly horrifying first person view of the UK equivalent of a left cross; amazingly, the rider walked away.

 

Morning Links: CABO opposes protected bikeway bill; Brit driver kills 5-year old, then says shit happens

Once again, CABO — the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, not to be confused with the California Bicycle Coalition — has come out in opposition to a measure that would benefit the overwhelming majority of bike riders in the state.

AB 1193 would legalize protected bike lanes, which are currently considered experimental under California law, creating a fourth class of bikeways in the state to go along with Class 1 off-road bike paths, Class 2 bike lanes, and Class 3 bike routes.

The bill, sponsored by the CBC, would require Caltrans to work with local jurisdictions to establish minimum safety requirements for protected, or separated, bike lanes, rather than rely on Caltrans’ antiquated rules that have severely limited innovation and safety.

I have no doubt CABO is sincere in their opposition, which appears to be based on maintaining the overly conservative Caltrans standards they helped create.

But their opposition stands in the way of encouraging more people to get on their bikes, and improving safety for all road users. And gives needless support to those in the legislature who oppose bicycling and bike infrastructure in general.

Instead of opposing a very good and necessary bill, they should find a way to support it. Or at the very least, stay neutral.

Or they will continue to find themselves out of step with most riders, and further marginalized in a state where the CBC has become the voice of mainstream bicycling.

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Local

Richard Risemberg asks what part of traffic calming doesn’t councilmember Gil Cedillo understand?

A Pasadena bike rider is assualted and robbed by passing motorists, possibly at gunpoint.

Nice. LA’s Milestone Rides prepares to ride from Vancouver to San Francisco.

 

State

San Diego City Beat goes drinking with BikeSD advocate Sam Ollinger.

The inaugural Big Bear Cycling Festival rolls at the end of next month.

A pipe bomb is found next to a Pacific Grove bike trail. The question is, did someone just hide it here, or were they targeting bike riders?

 

National

Good read, as Vice Sports says you can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don’t really mean it.

Great ideas never die. Okay, sometimes. But the self-inflating bike tire is back after a six year absence.

Utah will put rolling billboards on six semi-trucks to promote the state’s three-foot passing law. But will the drivers practice what they preach?

Two New Mexico bike riders find a missing 9-year old girl.

Biased much? A Denver TV station says cyclists are at fault in several bike vs car collisions, but fails to back it up in any way.

If you want to get away with murder, use a car. A Philadelphia judge acquits a driver of vehicular manslaughter for running down his bike-riding romantic rival.

A North Carolina bike lawyer explains why it’s often safer to ride abreast.

 

International

Paris’ Velib bike share system has added kids bikes to their rental fleet.

German bike rider poses for photos atop wrecked cars.

The Deutschland high court wisely rules that not wearing a helmet is not contributory negligence in the event of a collision; I’m told some American juries are starting to find otherwise.

 

Finally…

Sidi unveils a new camo mountain bike shoe. You know, for all those cyclists who want to be even less visible when they ride. Then again, whenever I see someone wearing camo, I want to walk up to them and say “I can totally see you.”

And a Brit lawyer insists his client really is remorseful, despite saying “Shit happens, life goes on” after being convicted of killing a five-year old bike rider while driving at over twice the speed limit.

Big heart, that guy.

 

Three-foot passing law passes, along with bike lane exemption to CEQA; Jensie wins Colorado KoM

The state Assembly voted today to pass SB1461, the latest version of the state’s three-foot passing law.

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, the bill passed overwhelmingly, 50 – 16 — despite opposition from Republican legislators such as Diana Harkey of Dana Point, who insisted bicycling is getting out of control, and the responsibility for safety should be on cyclists.

As if it’s our responsibility to get the hell out of the way of dangerous drivers.

I hope Dana Point cyclists remember that when she comes up for reelection.

Then there was 59th District Assembley Member Tim Donnelly — yes, the guy who tried to take a loaded gun onto a plane — who asked if we couldn’t just trust the judgment of the California people and stop passing law after law.

Evidently, no one told him just who exactly elected the state legislature. And just what exactly they were elected to do.

Besides walk around with loaded pistols in their briefcases, that is.

The next step for the bill is a brief trip back to the Senate to reconcile a few technical amendments, then on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

Of course, this is the same Jerry Brown who vetoed a similar bill last year, joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only governors to veto safe passing distance legislation. And making Jerry Browned a synonym for getting dangerously buzzed by a too close driver.

No, seriously Jerry. You earned that one.

Word is that he intends to sign it this time, as virtually no one, other than a few sadly misguided legislators, opposed it this time.

On a related note, legislation to exempt painted bike lanes from CEQA review passed the state legislature today, as well.

This one could ultimately prove the more important of the two, as it removes a roadblock that has been used to block bike lane projects in San Francisco. And that has caused LADOT to proceed with extreme caution — and expensive environmental reviews — for fear the same thing could happen here.

Thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike for shepherding the three-foot bill through the legislature.

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In a thrilling finish, Christian Vande Velde comes from behind to clinch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge by finishing second in the final stage time trial won by cycling scion Taylor Phinney. George Hincapie wraps up his long and storied career at the end of the Denver time trial. And in an unanticipated victory guaranteed to warm the heart of any aging long time bike race fans, the ageless Jens Voigt wins the King of the Mountain title.

The Guardian asks if professional cycling really wants to clean up its act. Surprisingly, Alberto Contador has good things to say about former arch-rival Lance Armstrong, even as he struggles to make a comeback in the Vuelta. A mathematician dissects the wording of the charges against Armstrong, and finds them fully consistent with being false. The French anti-doping agency says Lance was regularly tipped off about pending drug tests; thanks to CLR Effect for the link. Former framebuilder Dave Moulton says Landis and LeMond got screwed as part of the doping scandal.

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Friends and family speculate Mt. Washington bike victim Jean Carlos Galaviz may have been a hit-and-run victim, despite drinking two beers before riding and leaving with a third; note to Highland Park Patch, getting doored or riding without a helmet is not the hallmark of a risk taker. If you missed it Saturday, you can still listen to Where to Bike Los Angeles authors Sarah Amelar and Jon Riddle on Bike Talk. Examined Spoke examines the city council’s backward bike thinking in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. The LACBC rides to the rescue when a film crew blocks a Hollywood bike lane. A 70-year old cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s hit by a bus in a Baldwin Park crosswalk. Evidently, Amanda Bynes really is the new Lindsey Lohan, as the City Attorney’s office re-examines her second hit-and-run in four months, along with a previous DUI. Glendale officials hope a revised bike plan results in a five-fold increase in ridership, while a Glendale Riverwalk project faces a one month delay. A Long Beach teenager chases down her stolen bike with the help of some strangers.

A former Santa Ana College student makes bike theft a family affair at her alma mater. Authorities seek a man who attempted to sexually assault a Murrieta cyclist. Paso Robles commits to becoming a bike friendly community. Seventeen-year old Concord driver pleads not guilty in deaths of a bike riding father and daughter; he faces less than four years in juvenile hall. Guilty plea from the driver who ran down a cyclist because he was wearing plaid — the cyclist, not the driver.

People for Bikes offers six ways to ride more; the most effective way is just get fired for riding when you should be working and you’ll have all the time in the world. A look at Evan Schneider, editor the bicycling literary review Boneshaker in my hometown. A road raging Michigan man is arrested for brutally assaulting a cyclist, but only charged with misdemeanor assault on just $5,000 bail; nice to know how lightly authorities take a violent attack on a bike rider. Gothamist effectively dismantles an anti-bike review of bike messenger movie Premium Rush. New York cyclists and pedestrians complain about a rough bikeway surface installed to slow down speeding riders. Suri Cruise is rapidly becoming one of us. A DC-area cyclist says it’s time to hold other cyclists accountable — besides him, that is. A Bethesda MD hit-and-run victim is unsure if she’ll ever ride again.

A Nova Scotia cyclist is threatened with a knife after getting hit by a road-raging driver. A UK cyclist is badly injured after he’s pushed off his bike by passing motorists. A one-handed Paralympic cyclist hopes to add to her seven gold medals. Urban cycling is getting more popular in Prague, though not without problems.

Finally, in a remarkably wrong-headed move, manufacturers of a new pill want to empower drunk drivers to kill more people by masking breathalyzer results.