Tag Archive for Christopher Hawthorne

Morning Links: Effing around on the Orange Line, JSK at the Hammer, and LA cyclist guilty of pimping PEDs

When is a bike path not a bike path?

Apparently, when there’s a truck driving on it.

The video was forwarded by kdbhiker, who recently shared his Describe Your Ride video with us. He says it was taken Tuesday on the Orange Line Bike Path at Haskell Ave and the 405 Fwy.

If, like me, you can’t quite make out the reason the driver gives for driving on the bike path, the response was “Honestly, we’re just fucking around.” Which is probably as good a reason as any for doing something stupid.

And kdbhiker reports he’s already contacted Councilwomen Nury Martinez office about installing removable bollards to keep other idiots drivers off the bikeway.

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Harv, who shared a Describe Your Ride of his own earlier this year, sends a link to yesterday’s chat between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne at the Hammer Museum, which I had the misfortune of missing.

But which I’ll look forward to viewing later.

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The Daily News reports former LA-based pro cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson pled guilty Tuesday to federal charges of selling performance enhancing drugs imported from overseas.

He reportedly sold EPO online, as well as a medication derived from calves blood that isn’t approved for human use.

He faces a maximum of one year behind bars and a fine up to $100,000 for a single misdemeanor count of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. Which sounds like they’re letting him off easy.

Brandt-Sorenson retired from racing after accepting a two-year ban for doping in 2012.

An earlier version of the story got one major detail wrong, reporting that Brandt-Sorenson helped “pioneer” LA’s popular Midnight Ridazz. However, a tweet from the Ridazz says he was never an organizer, founder or pioneer of the group.

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Speaking of the Daily News, they take a look at the new World Cycling League and your hometown California Wave, premiering at Carson’s Velo Sports Center this weekend.

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As long as we’re on the subject…

Evidently, the supposed curse of the rainbow jersey doesn’t apply to English reigning world champion Lizzie Armistead.

Maybe the late Italian great Marco Pantani didn’t dope in the 1999 Giro after all; evidence has surfaced that the Mafia may have tampered with his blood samples to ensure he didn’t win, which would have cost them millions in gambling payouts.

And a writer for Cycling Tips says it’s regrettable that the 19-year old Dutch rider accused of motor doping walked away from the sport without defending herself, because it’s unlikely that she acted alone.

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Zipp is recalling nearly 57,000 high-end aluminum wheel hubs; they could be at risk of failing, causing your wheel to collapse. Which is a very bad thing.

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Local

KCET looks at the Ovarian Psychos radical feminist bicycle brigade, subject of a new documentary that premiered at South by Southwest earlier this week.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom built motorized bicycle from a disabled North Hollywood vet, who was selling it to pay his bills.

Councilmember Paul Krekorian will hold a traffic safety summit at Colfax Elementary School in Valley Village, co-hosted by LADOT and Vision Zero LA.

Chris Brown is one of us, as he rides single speed with no hands while filming his latest music video along the beach in Santa Monica.

Congratulations to the owners of Long Beach’s Rossmoor Pastries, who are selling the company and retiring after nearly 30 years. At 80 years old, departing owner Charles Feder still rocks the spandex, with plans to ride the Tour de France route this summer, as well as riding across the country; he also founded the annual Tour of Long Beach fundraising bike ride along with partner Janice Ahlgren.

The next editions of Finish the Ride are coming up on April 12th in Griffith Park, and April 30th in Santa Clarita.

 

State

You can find a lot of things while riding a bicycle. Like a rubber boot with a severed leg bone on a Carlsbad beach, for instance.

Jury selection begins in the trial of a San Jacinto driver in the death of Menifee cyclist Matthew Carp.

 

National

Former pro Phil Zajicek reportedly crossed the center line at a high rate of speed before colliding with a truck in the Boulder CO crash that severed his arm this week.

WaPo says the new bike-friendly SRAM headquarters in Chicago should be the norm, not the exception.

A proposal to ban the use of gas taxes for bike and pedestrian projects is moving forward in the Tennessee legislature, over the strenuous objections of bike advocates.

Cyclists in DC organize group rides to help commuters stranded by an emergency shut-down of the city’s train system Wednesday.

Baltimore’s planned bikeshare system will offer the largest fleet of e-bikes in the Western Hemisphere; 200 of the 500 bikes will feature a pedelec electric pedal assistance system.

 

International

Vancouver might check in higher than the third best place in Canada to ride a bike if it wasn’t for those damn hills; Montreal and Saskatoon are the first and second place Canadian Bike Score finishers.

A British driver is charged with deliberately running down a Chinese cyclist who she says flipped her off, leaving him in a ditch to die of hypothermia. Evidently just because she hates Asians.

A new study from the UK says that bicycle training at schools does nothing to boost child riding rates.

Tres shock! Twitter goes into an uproar when a BBC radio host rides a London bikeshare bike without a helmet.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bus driver loses his license for six months for aggressively tailgating and deliberately bumping a bike rider.

 

Finally…

Your next $3,000 smart bike might be made by a Chinese cell phone maker. Could the Apple iBike be far behind? Or maybe you’d prefer a world record setting bike that checks in at nearly 1,896 pounds.

And sweet revenge, as Columbian bus drivers learn first hand what it’s like to be passed by a honking bus that doesn’t slow down or move over. Thanks to Joel Sabillon for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Cut off in a green lane, an 11-year old voice of reason, and an insightful look at LA’s Mobility Plan

Even with a green Santa Monica bike lane, some drivers can’t be bothered to look for bikes before cutting into it.

Thanks to John Montgomery for the video.

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It’s kind of sad that the voice of reason at Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet came from an eleven-year old boy.

Let alone the hate it inspired in some quarters.

Matty Grossman has become the perhaps unwilling star of LA bike advocacy, with an interview on KCBS-2 and a profile in the LA Times that features the following video, recorded by Sean Meredith.

It’s a little hard to hear — after all, he is just eleven — but it’s worth cranking up the volume as far as it goes to catch every word

Especially this segment excerpted from the Times’ story.

“I have lost track of the number of cars who have purposely violated my legal right to three feet of safety or shouted obscenities at me,” Matty said at Monday’s town hall. “Can you imagine the kind of monster who yells ‘F you’ to a child?”

And Matty, a sixth-grader, is over it.

“It’s whiny, entitled behavior you wouldn’t tolerate from a kid,” he told the room. “Why should I tolerate it from adults?”

Why should any of us?

Maybe it was being shamed by a kid that caused one rabidly anti-bike commenter to lash out in protest over a kid interrupting the conversation on “adult issues” like bike lanes and transportation policy.

But that’s exactly the point.

Because if some drivers will treat a little kid like that, imagine how they treat a grown-up on a bike.

According to the press reports, Matty wants to grow up to be mayor of Los Angeles. Or an astrophysicist.

He’s got my vote.

But if that doesn’t work out, I think we can get him a job with the LACBC.

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Speaking of Rowena, and by extension, the new mobility plan, Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers an insightful explanation of just why it’s so desperately needed, despite rumblings from some quarters.

Sometimes we tell ourselves it has been this way for all time. Recently a reader sent me an email that included this line: “Driving by car is how it’s done here.” (The word “son” at the end of the sentence was implied.)

But that’s not really true — not if you take a broad view of Los Angeles history. Look at a photograph of, say, Broadway in downtown L.A. in the late 1920s. It is full of people walking. But it is also full of people in cars, on bikes and on streetcars.

It looks vital. And guess what? It also looks very congested. In the decades that followed, in our tireless efforts to stamp out the congestion — something we became truly expert at — we wound up stamping out the vitality too.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it all the way through.

I’ll wait.

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Yet another young man has been fatally shot while apparently riding a bike in South LA, this time in the Florence neighborhood just after midnight Friday.

Excuse my language, but just when are we going to stop this fucking waste of life? The right to keep on living is the most basic of all human rights.

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There’s a new world record for a human-powered vehicle, set by a bullet-shaped bike ridden by Canadian Todd Reichart and the AeroVelo team at the annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge. It was clocked at 85.71 mph, beating the old record by 2.58 mph.

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That didn’t take long. The world championships haven’t even started yet, and a bike thief already made off with a $10,000 Specialized S-Works belonging to the Dutch team. And no offense to The Verge, but I’ve done a lot faster than 30 mph.

Former world champ Mark Cavendish is the latest high-profile rider to pull out of the worlds, along with Aussie Rory Sutherland.

WaPo offers a quick 11-point world championship overview, while Men’s Journal proffers seven reasons why you should care. One small problem with the course, though, is its made-for-TV tour through a virtual shrine to the Confederacy.

And it’s been 21 years since the carbon frame conquered the world of racing.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at LADOT’s new annual report, and offers four metrics to guide future bikeway implementation.

Bicycling isn’t a luxury in South LA, where a bike count shows people who can’t afford cars riding to or from work and school. And people there have more to fear than dangerous streets and drivers.

He doesn’t mention bikes, but 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield writes about revitalizing Reseda through the Great Streets program on Sherman Way. Let’s just remind him to include some decent bike lanes while he’s at it. And slow the damn traffic down.

Nonprofit creative arts center Art Share LA is giving you one last chance to say goodbye to the soon-to-be demolished 6th Street Bridge with an exhibit called Ode to the Bridge.

After winning joint custody, Chris Brown wants to treat his daughter Royalty royally by teaching her to ride a bike.

 

State

An off-duty CHP officer spotted a man sleeping in an Oceanside bike lane; when he stopped to investigate, he discovered the man was the victim of a hit-and-run. He was in critical condition as of Friday morning.

After riding over 9,300 miles through 31 states with his rescue dog to promote pet adoption, an animal activist had his bike, iPod, GoPro and dog toys stolen in San Diego. At least he managed to hold onto the dog.

Prospects for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bikeway aren’t looking good, as Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage both vote to block the proposed route.

Sad news from Lompoc. A bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by an SUV, as the driver apparently tried — and failed — to pass. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill decides to expand efforts to make the downtown area “inviting to visitors on all modes of transportation.” Note to Morgan Hill: Sharrows don’t make for Complete Streets.

A San Ramon attorney will be sentenced next week for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist three years ago. Sentencing is at the judge’s discretion; he could actually get probation for killing another person and running away to cover-up his crime.

Thanks to Google, we may one day hear the anti-bike brigades say LA isn’t Silicon Valley instead of comparing us to Copenhagen.

Not taxing bikes or bike riders wins out with 56% of the vote in the SF Gate’s very unscientific poll.

Streetsblog is looking for someone to run the San Francisco site and cover transportation issues in the Bay Area. I’d consider it, but it would mean becoming a Giants fan. And some lines a man just can’t cross.

 

National

This Tuesday is Worldwide Car-Free Day. Which is not the same as free car day, unfortunately.

In case you’re desperate for a physics lesson, Wired obliges with a discussion of pulling a bike with a giant rubber band.

Bicycling reports on the Breaking Away reunion at Interbike, although the Las Vegas Review-Journal does it much better.

The level of bike commuting in Portland has reached an unheard of — in the US, at least — 7.2%; it was only at 2.8% in 2004.

Fifty-two soldiers complete a two day, 167-mile ride from Fort Knox KY to Fort Campbell.

When some Michigan hikers looked at pictures they’d just taken off a cliff, they discovered legs and a bicycle in the photos; when rescuers arrived, they found a the body of a man in his 30s at the base of the cliff.

Now this is a great idea. Over 70 businesses and many homes in Ashland VA have bike gardens — bicycles with planters or arranged like sculptures. Love to see something that spread around the LA area.

Very strange case from upstate New York as a cyclist has been unresponsive since he was found lying in the road, suffering from a double skull fracture and a broken orbital socket and clavicle. Yet his bike and helmet were undamaged and there was no sign of a collision.

Caught on video: It takes major huevos to steal a Philadelphia cop’s bike. Or maybe just major stupidity, since the bike was clearly marked “POLICE.”

A Charlotte NC writer says both cyclists and motorists have control over whether they get out of control. However, bicycling is not particularly dangerous, as he suggests; people in motor vehicles aren’t immune from collisions and serous injuries, or worse.

 

International

A Saskatoon city counselor says new bike racks are a waste of money, since cyclists can “tie up” their bikes to loading zone signs. Sounds like he’s more used to hitching posts.

You’re kidding, right? Toronto proposes producing a paltry 2.5 miles of new bike lanes a year for the next 10 years. No word on whether those are centerline miles or lane miles; the latter would mean bike lanes on just 1.25 miles of roadway per year.

The 18-year old London man convicted of fatally stabbing a 15-year old boy to steal his bike will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A Singapore court cuts the sentence of a hit-and-run cyclist to three weeks; he’d originally been sentenced to eight weeks behind bars for fleeing after injuring a 69-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk.

Kuala Lumpur cyclists crowd-source a route map to make the city more bike friendly.

 

Finally…

Evidently, commie bikes are hard to find in the UK, even if the new head of the Labour party rides one. If you’re selling crack cocaine from the seat of your bike, try not to ride into a car while making your getaway from the cops.

And maybe it’s better to quaff that ale post ride rather than pre. Although after reading the effects booze has on a bike rider’s body, you may need a drink.

 

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