Tag Archive for CiclaValley

Morning Links: Bike rider watches plane fall from sky, trade your car for an ebike, and this is who we share the roads with

We have a lot to catch up on today. So grab some coffee, make yourself comfortable, and lets get started. 

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay. It will make more sense when you scroll down a little.

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Lots of bike riders see car crashes.

Not many see a plane fall out of the sky right in front of them, like this Santa Clarita bike rider did Saturday.

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Californians can now trade in their old polluting cars for a new ebike or bikeshare membership.

Although something tells me my 26-year old Toyota will still be too new for them.

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This is who we share the roads with, part 1.

Six people were killed and four injured when a suspected drunk driver plowed into a group of German tourists at an Italian ski resort; the driver was allegedly nearly four times the legal alcohol limit.

The good news is it wasn’t another automotive terrorist attack. The bad news is, it will keep happening as long as there are drunks on the roads.

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This is who we share the roads with, part 2.

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What do you call a brand new $2.3 million bike lane if you can’t even use it?

I’d call it pretty useless. And a safety hazard for everyone who has to ride around it.

https://twitter.com/erik_griswold/status/1214051423538704385

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CiclaValley offers a video look at new bike lanes on Griffith Park Blvd north of Los Feliz Blvd, connecting to existing lanes south of Los Feliz.

This long-planned extension includes the stretch where popular bicyclist Jeff Jones was killed last year. Although it’s unlikely they would have made a difference in his case.

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It’s a great looking bike. But probably not the best idea to ride it, since it’s made entirely of LEGOs.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Palo Alto police are looking for a bike-riding strong arm robbery suspect who dragged a woman several feet as she struggled to hold onto her purse.

A 31-year old Chico man was busted for resisting arrest and multiple other charges after fleeing a cop on his bike when he tried to make a traffic stop, repeatedly punching the officer in the head, grabbing his gun and trying to swallow an entire bag of meth. But other than that, it was a pretty routine stop, right officer?

New York police are looking for the racist bike-riding asshole who yelled “Kill Jews! Fuck Jews! Murder Jews!” at a 61-year old Jewish man in Flatbush.

A 18-year old bike-riding New Jersey man is under arrest for allegedly stabbing a Deli owner to death in a confrontation over a stolen tip jar.

The FBI is looking for a bike-riding New Orleans bank robber, who should probably learn to wear a mask when he works.

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Local

Life is cheap in San Marino, where the LA District Attorney’s office once again bargained away serious charges, allowing a pair of street racing teenage drivers to walk without a single day behind bars for killing a Pasadena professor and his dog last summer. And got a lousy three month’s probation between them.

Good piece from LAist’s Ryan Fonseca on the shift away from calling car crashes accidents and using the term traffic violence instead, along with advice on how to objectively read any article about one.

Someone should turn LA Curbed’s map of the Los Angeles-area’s best surviving Victorian mansions into a guided bike ride. Or maybe two or three, since they cover a pretty wide area.

A Hermosa Beach man decided it was too stressful to sit facing the Strand bike path after watching an elderly bike rider get injured in a crash with another rider. So now he sits under the Pier Plaza clock every afternoon.

 

State

A state-ordered analysis of traffic stops shows that Driving While Black is a real phenomenon, with black drivers accounting for to 15% of all traffic stops in California, despite making up just 6% of the state’s population. I haven’t heard many similar complaints about people of color stopped for biking while black or brown; if you believe you’ve been a victim of a traffic stop because of your race, I’d like to hear from you.

A San Diego bike shop got back two of the four bikes stolen in a recent smash and grab burglary when police busted a 38-year old woman for the theft; the recovered bikes are worth over six grand.

San Diego County opened a new bike park in Bonita, the first of its kind in the county.

Ventura police busted a man who blocked a bike path and attempted to rob a grandmother riding with her three grandkids; fortunately, they were able to turn around and ride away.

A 25-year old man will face vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges in the death of a Fremont man who was riding his bike to work at Facebook last August. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up; nice to see he’s still coming here, even though he does his riding in Germany these days.

A San Francisco bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision Thursday in the city’s Richmond neighborhood.

Cars can kiss San Francisco’s iconic Market Street goodbye at the end of this month, as the city converts it to a bike and pedestrian plaza on the 29th. Now maybe Los Angeles can take the hint and do something with Hollywood Blvd.

A 70-year old Petaluma man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

Shockingly, a writer for Jalopnik concludes that you can love cars, and still want alternatives to driving.

How to get back on a bike in your 60s or 70s.

Jeff Goldblum is one of us. At least on his new TV show.

Bike Snob wants you to try building your own wheels. I built the steel-rimmed wheels on my previous bike, and rode them for 25 years. Unlike the composite Bontrager wheels on my current LeMond, which have been replaced four times in the 15 years I’ve had it. And should be again when I get the extra money.

Proof that even sick, twisted serial killers aren’t all bad, as Ted Bundy’s step-daughter describes how he taught her to ride a bike.

A Maui letter writer says drivers are too distracted these days, so bike riders should wear cheap orange safety vests so those distracted drivers don’t kill them.

After a Texas girl’s bike was stolen, a pair of bighearted Texas cops found one that needed some work and fixed it up for her.

Homeless tents have returned to Chicago underpasses, despite a new protected bike lane that was probably intended to displace them.

New York food delivery workers used to get robbed for their cash; now bandits want their ebikes instead.

Robert Downey Jr. used to be one of us, roaming the roads of Rochester NY on a $107 Panasonic 10-speed while performing at a local theater when he was just 17.

Philadelphia will invest $18 million to build a four-mile long bike path, which will connect to two others to create an 89-mile continuous pathway.

A Baltimore bicyclist was the victim of a bizarre bike theft when he got into a dispute over paying for having his car’s windshield cleaned by a teenager with a squeegee, and another boy ran up and stole the high-end bike off his car’s rack. Another reminder to always lock your bike to the rack whenever you transport it. And register it, already

Heartbreaking story from Atlanta, where a very forgiving man is praying for the hit-and-run driver who ran him down as he rode his bike home after delivering gifts two days before Christmas; now he missed Christmas, his bike is totaled and he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to walk again.

As you probably know by now, popular New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us, riding his bike to yesterday’s playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. He should have plenty of time to ride his bike after yesterday’s game. 

Miami police are investigating the murder of a bicyclist as he waited in his car outside a local bike shop for the other riders to show up for a popular weekly ride.

 

International

Cyclist recommends five relatively affordable last-minute European bike getaways. Take a friend, and you could be the two-wheeled gentlemen of Verona. Or gentlewomen.

A London website offers what was intended as tongue-in-cheek suggestions for how not to be a dick when bicycling around the city. Needless to say, it was not taken in the same spirit.

He gets it. An English city councilor says elected leaders have to make unpopular decisions to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles. There will always be opposition to any changes to the streets, no matter how beneficial they are; elected leaders need to be willing to take the heat for doing the right things until they prove popular in the long run. Unlike, say, LA’s city leaders.

Extremely forgiving Scottish round-the world bicyclist Josh Quigley says he’s glad a Texas driver won’t face any charges after the crash that left him with a punctured lung and ten broken ribs, as well as a factored skull, pelvis and ankle.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a woman walked with the equivalent of a $302 fine — and not a single day behind bars — despite leaving an 81-year old bike rider with a life-changing brain injury.

Irish bike thieves snatched an average of 6,000 bicycles a year over the last three years, with only 11% recovered. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Monday. Or any other day.

In Copenhagen, your last bike ride doesn’t have to be your last bike ride.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes a look behind to numbers to explain how Oslo, Norway got down to zero bike and pedestrian fatalities last year, and just one other traffic death.

The BBC examines Barcelona’s first carfree superblocks, where human-scaled spaces replace crowded streets streets where cars once reigned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Troels Vinther calls it a career after 13 years on the pro tour due to the lingering effects of a serious concussion he suffered nine months earlier.

Australian pro cyclists are pledging their support for the nation as it battles devastating bush fires. You can do more than just offer thoughts and prayers

 

Finally…

Seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, put some damn lights on it. You may not be able to walk on water, but you may be able to bike on it soon.

And don’t forget to give your car its Prozac; the ongoing War on Cars seems to be taking an emotional toll on them.

Morning Links: Thanks for a successful fund drive, a perfect Peloton Wife sendup, and wide bike lanes on Forest Lawn

That’s a wrap.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

While we fell a little short of last year’s total, you helped set a new record for the most donations with 57.

So please accept my personal and heartfelt gratitude for each and every donation, regardless of size; $5 from someone struggling to give means every bit as much as a larger donation from someone more comfortable. 

Your generosity will help fund this site for the next few months, while ensuring I can pay for the medications I need to keep working, and keep riding. 

As usual, I’ll be taking off between the holidays to rest and recharge from the stress and carnage on our streets — unless there’s breaking news, of course. 

So ride safely and defensively, and have a warm and happy holiday season. And we’ll see you back here after New Years.

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LA journalist Alissa Walker nails it with her response to the recent Peloton Wife ad, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog calls it “pitch perfect.”

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CiclaValley experiences firsthand the newly widened bike lanes on Forest Lawn Drive.

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‘Tis the Season.

A kindhearted Virginia cop bought a new bike for a nine year old boy after his was stolen, and the officer saw him walking next to his bike-riding friend a few days later.

Bighearted Massachusetts police gave toys and a new bicycle to a four-year old boy after his mother was killed recently, delivering them in a police parade featuring cops from 11 different departments across the state.

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Local

Our fund drive may be over, but LA Streetsblog’s isn’t. And deserves your support, too. They were my university when I got started in advocacy, and taught me much of what I know about equity and Complete Streets.

A newly released restoration plan for the Ballona Westlands included ten miles of new bike paths and foot trails, though opponents fear the restoration work will cause too much harm to fragile species.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew provides an update on plans for Phase III of the LA Riverfront Park connecting the western section of the LA River bike path to White Oak and Lake Balboa Park.

 

State

A new report says Joy Covey, Amazon’s first CEO, was killed by one of the company’s own delivery vans while riding her bike in California six years ago.

A Huntington Beach bike rider suffered moderate injuries when he was the victim of an alleged drunk driver who slammed into him after losing control following a high speed turn, then crashed into two other drivers.

The San Francisco Examiner says a lot of work remains to be done on the city’s Vision Zero plan, as traffic deaths in the City by the Bay have only gone down by four in the five years since the plan was adopted.

 

National

Electrek reviews every ebike they reviewed this year. Meanwhile, Gear Patrol ranks the best non-electrified handmade bikes of 2019.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it once again, insisting there’s no such thing as the wrong bike.

A Bellingham, Washington bike rider is suing the city after he was arrested simply for asking a parking enforcement officer not to park in a bike lane.

It’s a minor holiday miracle in Colorado, where a woman begged thieves to bring back a bicycle belonging to her late son. And they did.

Omaha NE artists are protesting the recent removal of a bike corral by placing ghost bikes around the city — including in view of the mayor’s office.

An Iowa cop hit a fleeing domestic violence suspect with his car as the man was trying to make his escape by riding his bike on the sidewalk. `

Life is cheap in Michigan, where authorities once again bargain away a stiff sentence to get a guilty plea, ordering a driver to serve just one year in jail and five years probation for fleeing the scene after killing a man on a bicycle.

A Vermont anthropologist explains the state’s bike culture in cartoon form. But not the fully kind.

The NYPD is belatedly cracking down on truck drivers, after four of the six pedestrians killed in collisions over a 48 hour period last week were killed in collisions with trucks. But if the victims had been riding bicycles, they’d be cracking down on the people on two wheels, instead.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where a 79-year old man died two days after he was hit by a bike rider earlier this year. Unfortunately, British privacy laws mean it can take a very long time for news to filter out.

Horrifying crime from Great Britain, where a 21-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by three men and dragged into a car, were he was robbed at knifepoint.

Russian scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov — yes, the man famed for Pavlov’s dog — was one of us.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Alex Howes says people forget that pro cyclists are people, too.

Speculation is building about two unnamed WorldTour cyclists linked to the latest blood doping scandal. But seriously, the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could cost a measly $100,000. Don’t leave your shoe at a crash site as you attempt to escape on a girl’s bike unless you want a fairy tale ending.

And nothing like making everyone else responsible for your inability to drive safely.

 

Morning Links: Unmaintained Long Beach bike lane, and riding the newly threatened Yucca Street bike boulevard

Richard Rosenthal notes one of my long standing complaints, accompanied by the photo on the left.

Cities construct protected bike lanes with great fanfare, then promptly lose interest in maintaining them.

There are brand-new bike lanes on Marina Drive at the 2nd & PCH Center in Long Beach. I ride down the center of that street with the cars rather than being in that debris-filled chute.

Simply put, it’s not enough for cities to build a bikeway, then forget all about it.

They have to be maintained on a regular basis, with particular attention paid to problems affecting that particular bike lane.

Like fallen palm fronds, for instance.

Even in a city as bike-friendly as Long Beach.

Because objects that would simply be a bump for someone on four wheels can be a major hazard to someone on two.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew takes a not-so coincidental ride along the newly threatened Yucca Street Bicycle Boulevard.

As we noted Monday, a motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from Yucca Street in Hollywood, still LA’s lone bicycle boulevard.

You can voice your opinion at tonight’s board meeting starting at 6 pm at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

Or you can email your comments, though I’m told they will only be seen by the board president, and only be read at the meeting if there’s time remaining after the comments, which is pretty unlikely.

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The LACBC is pulling the plug on today’s bike light giveaway in Koreatown.

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Costa Mesa councilmember Arlis Reynolds invites you to bring your whole family to this Sunday’s Turkey Trot cyclocross race. Including the dog.

Even if you’re just ‘cross curious.

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Local

Westbound Rowena Ave through Los Feliz and Silver Lake will face partial closures through December 6th, then be closed entirely on December 7th for work on water pipes.

LAist says LA’s most DIY cafe meets in a small park along the LA River every Wednesday morning, with rocks for seating and BYO coffee and snacks.

Santa Monica-based Bird wants you to wear a helmet when you ride their scooters, so they’re offering free ride credits when you post a selfie wearing a helmet.

Long Beach is fighting the current docked bikeshare retrenchment with plans to expand into North Long Beach.

 

State

A recent landslide means a section of the San Clemente Trail in Orange County will be closed for the foreseeable future.

San Diego’s ambitious bike network is already a year behind schedule and $79 million over budget, with only nine of the planned 77 miles completed.

A San Luis Obispo developer is doubling the width of a bike path and replacing the asphalt with longer-lasting concrete, as a condition for building a new 580-unit housing and commercial development project.

Palo Alto is finally ready to start construction on a long delayed bike and pedestrian bridge, which has nearly doubled in cost over the past five years.

Sad news from San Mateo County, where a bike rider was killed in an apparent collision on Monday.

Streetsblog offers photos from the first day of the newly opened Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path, stretching six miles over the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Australia’s Bolt Bikes is coming to the US, offering an ebike subscription model allowing you to start riding for $39 a week, with a rent-to-own option for $49. Though they may run into copyright problems with Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt’s Bolt Scooters

Lime’s head of sustainability says we need to rethink how we move around our cities — starting with using more pollution-free e-scooters, of course.

Bicycling says if you’re riding for fitness, you need to ride smarter, not more.

An Oregon website offers a surprisingly practical — and affordable — holiday price guide for the bike rider on your list, ranging from extra tubes and wool socks to a new WaveCel helmet. Or you could just buy them a subscription to BikinginLA.com. No, wait, it’s already free. But still. 

Las Vegas investigators are using DNA to search for a girl who disappeared while riding her bike in 1999 when she seven years old, which would make her 29 now.

A new study from Brigham Young University concludes that ped-assist ebikes allow you to ride faster and farther with less exertion, encouraging more people to ride a bike.

A second Chicago bike rider has been killed along a dangerous stretch of road where local aldermen have blocked long-standing plans for a bike lane because “the community” doesn’t want it. Sounds like Los Angeles, where councilmembers block bike lanes based on the whims of a handful of residents.

An editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times says the city needs to invest in making the streets safer for people on bikes.

Completing our Chicago triptych, the police walked back a victim-blaming statement, saying the death of a bike rider at the hands of an unlicensed and uninsured driver had nothing to do with where he was riding on the wide, high speed street.

New York’s mayor signs a bill authorizing 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes.

A New York news service says everyone wants safer streets, but no one wants to change the way they get around.

Apparently, DC isn’t Copenhagen, either.

That’s more like it. A South Carolina man gets 20 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a man on a bicycle, followed by a second DUI just a week later; his victim was a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.

A Florida bike cop faces charges for allegedly smashing the windshield of a passing car with a two-by-four while on patrol duty.

 

International

Shimano’s trying to make your derailleur obsolete.

A Toronto shop owner says she’s looking forward to a protected bike lane being extended to her area, because she knows bikes are good for business.

London may be making major improvements in bicycling infrastructure, but Strava says it isn’t Britain’s leading bike city.

A “Mini Holland” pilot project in London’s Walthamstow neighborhood has reduced traffic in the surrounding area by 10,000 trips a day, with a big jump in people walking and bicycling.

Bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says maybe building British bikeways out of wood chips isn’t so crazy after all.

Aussie food delivery riders are getting stiffed to the tune of up to $322 a week. Although that’s just $219 in US dollars.

A new Australian study show a typical Melbourne bike commuter is subjected to dangerous passes by drivers an average three times on their way to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines how Gen Z cyclists like Remco Evenepoel and Egan Bernal are changing pro cycling.

Virginia’s Sika Henry intends to become the first African American female pro triathlete.

The New York Times attends the funeral of 83-year old French cycling legend Raymond Poulidor.

British pro cyclist Adam Kenway says he was very lucky to survive a crash with a van driver while he was riding his bike home from work.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding a stolen $3,000 mountain bike, probably not the best idea to tell strangers it’s hot. When you’re carrying a handful of stolen credit card numbers on your bike and already have an outstanding drug warrant, just stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And don’t wait 86 years for your first bike ride.

Seriously.

 

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

But sometimes, it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: 49% of LA car trips doable by bike, inspiring girls with best bike quote ever, and LA River bike path reopens

They get it.

A new report says ebikes and e-scooters are better for short trips than cars.

Electric scooters and bikes have a “universal potential” to provide more efficient, cheaper ways to get around U.S. cities than driving a car…

Why? It’s largely because drivers in many U.S. cities are taking short trips and sitting in traffic when they could be taking another transit mode.

Not surprisingly, the study ranked Los Angeles as having the ninth-best potential to replace motor vehicle trips with micromobility — or a regular bike, for that matter — with 49% of all car trips in the city just three miles or less.

All we need is safe places to ride them.

Ebike photo courtesy of Metro Bike.

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With all due apologies to Lance, Eddy Merckx, Einstein and Steve Jobs, this may just be the best bike quote ever.

You can be feminine and girly and sparkly and be a really badass bike racer as well.

That’s from newly crowned world cross-county mountain bike champ Kate Courtney, the first American in 17 years to win the title.

And something that should be a mantra for every little girl from the time they’re old enough to ride a bike.

………

CiclaValley discovers the construction barriers have finally been removed from the LA River bike path between Zoo Drive and the Riverside Bridge.

And provides a detailed tutorial on plans for the pathway, and why it’s still far from finished.

His movie making skills are improving, too.

………

Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin is one of us. That’s the good news.

………

Rock star and former Amy Winehouse boyfriend Pete Doherty is one of us, too, walking his dogs on a London bikeshare bike.

https://twitter.com/JordanMolinari_/status/1170994419618713600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170994419618713600&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nme.com%2Fnews%2Fmusic%2Fwatch-pete-doherty-get-pulled-along-huskies-boris-bike-2547011

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A 17-year old British bike rider may have been deliberately targeted by the 16-year old hit-and-run driver who ran him down and dragged him underneath his car, and is now facing a murder charge. This is the same crash we mentioned yesterday where bystanders picked up the car to lift it off the victim in a failed attempt to save his life.

But sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

After trading blows — or mostly receiving them — with the driver of an SUV, an Aussie bicyclist picked his bike up and tried to ram it through the car’s window. Which may have been satisfying in the moment, but couldn’t have done the poor bike a lot of good.

………

Local

A Palmdale letter writer says asking bike riders to pay a reasonable fee is the right thing to do, since car, truck and mobile home owners have to pay DMV fees. Never mind that DMV fees and gas taxes cover wear and tear on the roads, which bikes don’t cause. And that the overwhelming cost of local streets and roads, where bicyclists ride, come out of general tax funds, which we all pay. So in reality, he’s asking for bike riders to pay twice for damage we don’t cause. Seems fair.

A development company has proposed building a six-story, 236-unit apartment complex on environmentally sensitive land between the confluence of Ballona and Centinela creeks, just south of the Marina Freeway. The good news is that it includes plans for a much-needed bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the south bank to the Ballona Creek bike path; the bad new is, the bridge will be private.

Torrance police have finally identified the man who murdered an 11-year old girl, 47 years after she disappeared while riding her bike. And 16 years after the asshole her killer died.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer whose sole form of transportation is a bicycle says bring on the controversial 30th Street bike lanes.

Tragic news from Visalia, where a 61-year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike, dragging her the length of two football fields under his car as he made his getaway; police arrested the allegedly drunk driver a short time later.

Monterey — which my brother should be passing through today or tomorrow on his bike tour of the left coast — is nearly finished with a new $8.5 million Complete Street makeover of North Fremont Blvd, including protected and physically separated bike lanes, as well as bike crossing signals.

They get it, too. A Petaluma newspaper says the city needs to do a lot more to make it friendly for bicyclists, calling bicycling one of the best ways to fight climate change.

They’ve got a point. Berkeley bike riders complain about hefty $238 fines for rolling stop signs — before court costs. Which is one more argument for a California version of the Idaho Stop Law; bike riders who carefully roll stops without jeopardizing anyone’s safety shouldn’t be punished that severely. Or at all.  

 

National

Bicycling takes a look at the hottest new bikes for fall.

Forbes looks at American bike part maker SRAM, saying it came out of nowhere with a single product to take on the established manufacturers.

Nonprofit bicycle registry Bike Index has introduced plugins for bike shop point-of-sales software to automatically register bikes in the background when customers purchase new bikes. Or get a free, lifetime registration with Bike Index here.

CityLab says instead of fighting it out, cities and private mobility companies should work together for a brighter multimodal future. Or we could just wait for the inevitable collapse of our gridlocked street systems, and wave at all the people trapped in their cars as we zoom by.

Curbed takes Amazon to task for putting 20,000 new delivery vans on the streets, calling for smaller, right-sized vehicles and delivery bikes to cut emissions and improve safety.

Portland offers a five-year progress report on their 2030 bike plan, only five years late. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet. Although something tells me Portland’s made a lot more progress than we have.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bicycle from a 12-year old Arizona boy with cerebral palsy.

Streetsblog Chicago offers some decent advice for casual bicyclists to keep riding a bike from being intimidating.

An Ohio high school teacher will be very late for class, after she was taken to a hospital when a driver ran into her bike on the way to school.

Seriously? A Kentucky letter writer says bikes are great fun! But rip out all the damn bike lanes because cars rule the road!

As New York Mayor Bill De Blasio continues his quixotic quest for the White House, back home advocates take him to task for a recent call for mandatory bike helmets and bike licenses, and demand that he focus on the real issues killing bike riders instead, like bad streets and reckless driving.

A Virginia letter writer says more cars aren’t the answer. And for every idiot he’s seen on a bicycle, he’s seen 10,000 more in cars.

A Florida woman organized a bike ride to honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center —including her own brother, a New York firefighter killed when the buildings came down.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Weekly discusses things you’ll inevitably have to explain to your non-cycling partner. When my wife and I first moved in together, she said my bike belonged on the balcony. I patiently explained that yes, I loved her, but I’ve known my bike a helluva lot longer. And if my bike has to sleep out there, so do I.

Vancouver cops bust a massive bike theft ring, recovering 150 purloined bicycles, including ebikes and high-end bikes. Makes you wonder how many they stole and moved or chopped before they got caught.

Employees at a British Columbia Starbucks pitched in to buy a new bike for an 18-year old Iraqi refugee after his was stolen from the patio as he worked there as a barista.

London — no, the one in Ontario, Canada — introduces the province’s first bicycle mayor, tasked with promoting bicycle infrastructure in a car-oriented city. Which sounds a lot like a certain SoCal city I could name, which hasn’t even considered appointing a bike mayor.

A Toronto man returned a stolen bicycle to its owner after the thief upgraded to his bike, slicing through the lock with a power tool in broad daylight

A UK thief gets eleven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police in a stolen SUV, along with another 18 months for a pair of burglaries.

No, Road.cc, it wasn’t a five-year old cyclist that got knocked off his bike by an adult hit-and-run bicyclist. It was a five-year old little boy on a bicycle.

The bike-riding, but apparently not very observant, former editor of the prestigious medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journalsays the time has come to license and register bicyclists, so they’ll obey the law like other road users. Most of whom don’t, regardless of license and registration.

After making an ill-advised pass around a group of bicyclists, a Scottish woman avoids a head-on crash with an oncoming car by steering back into the soft, squishy people on bikes instead, injuring two people.

An Irish father fights back against accusations that he put his eleven-year old son at risk by letting him ride to school without a helmet or hi-viz, saying he didn’t think a hemet would help in the event of a collision.

Philippine bike riders say banning bicycles from the bridges connecting Mactan Island and Mandaue City isn’t the answer.

A Buddhist bell maker in Kyoto, Japan is producing handmade Orin temple bell-style bike bells, designed to resonate through the bike frame to amplify the sound and warn people a bike is coming, while it drives away evil thoughts at the same time. Seriously, if anyone has me on their secret Santa list, this is what I want. Or a corgi.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s Wednesday stage was the fastest ever Grand Tour stage over 125 miles; riders said gusting crosswinds and aggressive tactics made the stage ruthless.

While the Vuelta lumbers on, the Tour of Britain rolls through its fifth stage.

VeloNews looks at world championship favorite Mathieu van der Poel’s murky future in road cycling, as he prepares to focus on mountain biking in the 2020 Olympics.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly profiles 77-year old John Allis, who went from novice bike rider to co-founding the Princeton cycling team to a three-time Olympian.

 

Finally…

No, really. You’re not a bike thief, you’re a bicycle collector. If you’re planning to walk out of a pawn shop with a $4,000 bike, maybe don’t leave your name first.

And why suffer in traffic when you can just drive your cab down a protected bike lane?

 

Morning Links: Failing presidential candidate calls for licensing bike riders, and CiclaValley to open LA River segment

Not exactly the best way to establish your climate change cred.

The same day CNN held their series of presidential candidate climate change town halls, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who didn’t participate, said he’s considering requiring licenses and registration for bike riders.

And if that’s not enough to force New Yorkers back into their cars, forcing bikeshare riders to wear bike helmets should do the trick.

“We have to think about what’s going to be safe for people first, but also what’s going to work,” the mayor said of the helmet requirement. “Is it something we could actually enforce effectively? Would it discourage people from riding bikes? I care first and foremost about safety.”

Although if he truly cared about safety, he’d start by banning motor vehicles from Manhattan. And taking steps to tame them everywhere else.

Questioning whether 4th tier presidential candidate is trying to undermine his own city’s bikeshare system, Streetsblog succinctly captured their take this way —

De Brainless: Mayor Endorses Meritless Helmet and Licensing Requirements for Cyclists

New York’s Daily News summed it up best, though.

Whether or not he moves forward with the license requirement, the mayor said he plans to crack down on cyclists who break traffic laws, despite little evidence suggesting that bikes are a menace to public safety.

Maybe just he’s hoping that attacking people on bikes could boost his presidential poll numbers up to a full one percent.

Mandatory bike helmet photo by malcolm garret from Pexels.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew will be speaking at the official opening of a new section of the LA River Greenway — aka the LA River bike path — at 10 am today.

Look behind the Coffee Bean if you want to attend.

………

You still have time to call your state assembly member to urge the passage of SB 127, the state’s proposed Complete Streets bill.

CA Streetsblog breaks down exactly how Caltrans lied in an attempt to defeat the bill exaggerated its costs in their required estimate to state legislators by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog profiles new Caltrans Director Adetokunbo Toks Omishakin, saying he has a background in healthy living initiatives, Complete Streets and activite transportation with AASHTO, Nashville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

So maybe there’s hope for the agency yet.

………

A live streaming bike rider in an undisclosed European city suffered a “brutal cycling accident” when he caught a wheel in some railroad tracks and fell off his bike, suffering a boo boo on his hand.

Maybe they define brutal just a tad differently over there.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes seems endless.

A Stockton man is under arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally using his car to attack a bike rider, who was able to jump off just in time to avoid getting hit; his bike was not as lucky.

The New York man with a long rap sheet arrested for intentionally running down and killing a bike-riding burglar says he was just trying to get close enough to catch the man, and blamed the victim for maybe doing something to mess up his brakes and steering. No, seriously.

………

Local

Looks like we won one for a change. Buried in an LA Times story about LA’s self-appointed anti-everything NIMBY extortionists Fix the City suing to halt the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program — which would stop much-needed affordable and market-rate housing — is the news that the group’s challenge to the Los Angeles mobility plan recently failed. That should free the city to finally get started on building bike lanes and safer streets. They should change the group’s name to something else with one more letter that also starts with F, which would be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Hats off to the Eastside Riders for installing a ghost bike for the still unnamed victim of the hit-and-run in South LA earlier this week.

Metro will start using automated cameras on the front of their buses to catch drivers illegally using the Bus Only Lanes. Maybe they could put them on all their buses to catch people parking in bike lanes while they’re at it.

 

State

A 78-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode though an intersection without yielding, and collided with an SUV. As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses who saw him violate the right-of-way.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is proposing a road diet and bike lanes to tame dangerous Mission Blvd. It’s been 30 years since I lived down there, but Mission was a nightmare for bike riders and pedestrians then, and I doubt it’s gotten any better since.

The San Diego Reader rides the county’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail stretching from Oceanside to downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, though not all of it is paved.

Once again, a dangerous pass has taken the life of a bike rider, as a man riding in Fresno County was killed when a driver passed a semi and struck his bicycle head-on as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

The Stanislaus County town of Riverbank is adopting LA’s new permanent memorial signs to honor a fallen bike rider. With a little luck, maybe they will spread throughout the state.

Santa Clara County is considering a paved, 10-mile bicycle superhighway to encourage bike commuting.

Every first and second grader at a San Francisco school got a new bike, thanks to a Colorado nonprofit that’s given away 2,900 bikes to kids in low-income schools across the US. Make that 2,984 now.

 

National

Bicycling considers when, and when not to, wear bike gloves.

Financial website Market Watch considers the best bike helmets under $100. Which could come in handy the next time the stock market crashes.

Speaking of bike helmets, a new study shows drugs, alcohol and not wearing a helmet are frequent factors in e-scooter injuries — even though most of the injuries involved leg, ankle, collarbone, shoulder blade and/or forearm fractures, which bike helmets aren’t likely to prevent. And evidently, dangerous streets and bad drivers don’t play any role at all in e-scooter injuries.

Hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem anymore. A Denver-area man was killed when his bike was struck by two separate drivers, both of whom fled the scene, three minutes apart; police found what they believe is the first vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

A Minnesota woman got a minor miracle when someone spotted her stolen bike for sale on Facebook, and she arranged to meet the seller so police could swoop in and make the arrest. Which is exactly the right way to do it, without putting yourself at needless risk.

A researcher at an Ohio university used kitty litter panniers on her bike to ride around town and prove that squirrels eavesdrop on birds to tell when it’s safe to come out and find their nuts. Those are the same panniers my brother is currently using on his epic bike tour down the left coast, though I don’t believe he’s planning to eavesdrop on birds, squirrels or anything else.

Forget parking. The newest argument against a bike lane bordering New York’s Central Park is that it would cause problems for carriage drivers and their horses. Because really, what could be more romantic than forcing bike riders to contend with impatient drivers?

Police are looking for a Florida man who rode up to a bike shop on his bicycle, then left it behind and rode off with a customer’s $11,000 bike that had been left for service.

Apparently tiring of telling kids to get off his lawn, an anonymous Florida columnist says bikeshare bikes are an eyesore, and it’s a bicyclist’s own damn fault for whatever it was that happened to him. Or her.

 

International

A British woman had been up all night before she killed a bike rider while driving back home; studies show drowsy driving is as bad, or even worse than, drunk driving.

If there’s a major bike race in front of your building, you might want to hide your rooftop cannabis garden; although under Spanish law, it may or may not be legal.

Successive groups of Indian bike riders rode around the world nearly a century ago, each one inspiring the next — despite encounters with elephant herds and Amazon headhunters. Or deciding to drop out and stay in America.

Tokyo considers a government proposal to sort-of require bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without a penalty if they don’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says it was mixed results for the US team at the Mountain Bike World Championships, marked by grit and close calls, but no results. Admit it, you didn’t even know the mtn bike worlds took place over the weekend. Well, I didn’t, anyway.

USA Cycling hired former Olympic silver medalist and world champion Mari Holden to coach the women’s road cycling team leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing will encourage you to practice sprints like someone chasing you down the street waving a machete. What is it with bike-riding people — okay, men — wacking off in public lately?

And when your near drowning is captured on live TV.

Morning Links: Red Solo Cup protected bike lanes Friday, CiclaValley leaves LACBC, and more on Sunnyvale attack

Oh the joys of diabetes. 

I’ve been on a blood sugar roller coaster for the last 12 hours, spiking, then crashing, then spiking and crashing again.

I’ve done my best to fight through it and finish today’s post, despite the swimming head and uncontrollable full body shakes that come with it. 

But I finally have to throw in the towel. 

I’m about two-thirds through what promised to be another epic post. So instead of holding off posting anything until tomorrow, I’m publishing what I’ve got so far. 

I’ll catch up on the rest after I’ve managed to sleep off this awful feeling.

Which could take awhile. 

………

Get your red plastic Solo Cups out on Friday. And make your very own protected bike lane.

All week we’ve been keeping up with stories about the tragic death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was killed in a collision by the driver of a stolen van.

One thing Salovesh was famous for was making his own DIY protected bike lanes using the iconic red cups.

So this Friday, bicyclists around the country will honor him while making the case for improving bicycle safety by with their own red Solo Cup protected bike lanes.

Just head down to your local store, buy a bag or two, and place them on any bike lane you want turned into a protected lane.

Maybe if enough of us do it, in enough locations around the city, our civic leaders might actually get the point and do something about it.*

We can dream, can’t we?

Meanwhile, a DC paper looks at the long journey the ghost bike for Salovesh took to get to the street, including the city’s long-time failure to improve safety that led to his death. 

*I’m using us here, when I really mean you. Unfortunately, there are no bike lanes in Hollywood close enough for me to hobble to with my cane. So go out and mark one for me. And let’s hope someone finally gets around to striping a few around here before I regain my mobility, grab some spray paint and make ’em myself. 

………

It looks like the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition is going to be even more short handed for awhile.

After the departure of three staff members due to a budget shortfall caused by the bike coalition’s previous, short-lived executive director, now comes word that Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, is leaving after four years.

Rynew announced his decision on Facebook late Wednesday after struggling with it for several days.

When pressed for the reasons behind his departure, he said he was making himself available for today’s NFL draft, in hopes of being the oldest and most seriously out of football playing shape player taken in the first round.

If he said he was declaring for the NHL draft, I might believe him.

His departure leaves the LACBC seriously understaffed, and with a loss of experience and knowledge that will take some time to replace. Which is compounded by the board’s decision to implement four-year term limits, leading to a significant loss of institutional knowledge.

It’s not unusual to have staff turnover when a new ED comes in, as various people decide they don’t fit with the new leadership. Or have that decision made for them.

Let’s hope the new leadership can keep the coalition on track and active in the streets while they deal with all these staff changes.

Because frankly, we need them if we’re ever going to improve safety on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

………

The FBI has joined the investigation into a speeding driver who intentionally slammed into eight people waiting at a Sunnyvale intersection, including bike riders and pedestrians, seriously injuring four of the victims.

The driver, Isaiah Joel Peoples, now faces eight counts of attempted murder.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on keeping on.

After attempting to run a pair of bike riders off the road for no apparent reason — even though they were in a bike lane — a Utah driver pulled in front and brake checked them, then sped off with one victim still caught on the car’s spoiler.

A London driver yelled at a man on a bike to get to the side of the road, even though he was waiting legally at an advanced stop, then intentionally rammed his bicycle before driving off. Which other kindhearted and concerned drivers immediately responded to by honking at the bike rider to get up off the road and out of their damn way.

………

Local

The accused bike-riding South LA Slasher was finally arraigned on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea.

LADOT somehow concludes that a speeding hit-and-run driver and the wet roadway caused the crash that took the life of a woman on Hyperion Ave this past January, rather than the unsafe conditions on the street itself. But decide to make some fixes to it anyway.

Fox 11 looks at LA’s new plan to provide permanent memorials for fallen bicyclists.

The Press-Telegram reports you can’t drive on Long Beach’s Pacific Ave on Saturday due to this weekend’s Beach Streets open streets festival, but says that’s a good thing.

 

State

San Diego approves a permitting process for dockless bikeshare and e-scooters, as angry residents get out their torches and pitchforks. Meanwhile, a San Diego planning board calls for a protected bike lane on Point Loma Blvd.

You can still sign up for Saturday’s Joshua Tree 55 Bike Ride in Twentynine Palms.

San news from San Francisco, where a dump truck driver killed professional skateboarder Pablo Ramirez Tuesday afternoon; in a tragic irony, the San Francisco Chronicle says his stunts were death defying.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Tuesday night.

Zombie cars strike again. A Loleta news site writes that a woman was struck by an SUV while riding her bike, without ever mentioning that the vehicle had a driver.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the most beautiful custom and handmade bikes from this year’s North American Handmade Bike Show.

No bias here. An Arizona newspaper writes about the problem of “rampant cyclists” on the town’s streets, as one woman calls for rumble strips or speed bumps to slow the riders down — even though that could result in countless crashes and serious injuries. But hey, that would slow them down, right?

Forget Bike to Work Day. The next town over from my hometown is challenging businesses to encourage their employees to bike to work for the next two months.

An Iowa paper encourages drivers to share the road, after record flooding forces bike riders off popular trails and onto the streets. Whether they want to be there or not.

My favorite story of the day. A bighearted Ohio motorcycle cop stopped to help a couple of kids learn how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Buffalo NY college students reinvent the laufmaschine, aka dandy horse, in response to the current climate challenge.

Advocates call the NYPD’s heavy-handed crackdown on bell-less bicyclists racist and wrong, while some of the harassment victims tell their own stories.

No bias here. After a Virginia cop hit a bike rider, police somehow conclude he had no responsibility to look to the right to ensure the sidewalk was clear before making a right turn on a red light; here’s video of the same crash from another angle. Thanks to Janet Lafluer for the second link.

A North Carolina writer worries authorities will be coming after his bikes, after a Republican legislator introduces a bill requiring licenses for bicycles.

Kindhearted St. Petersburg police officers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man who biked to work every day after his was stolen.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Canadian bike rider was seriously injured when she was sideswiped by a truck driver, the case against the driver who hit her was dismissed because prosecutors didn’t establish that she was riding a bicycle.

Once again, businesses are shooting themselves in the foot, this time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where they’re opposing bike lanes on a downtown street — despite multiple studies showing bike lanes are good for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike Snob says bike racing, I wish I knew how to quit you.

An Illinois attorney set two age-group world records for women over 50 at a Mexico City track cycling event earlier this month.

 

Finally…

When you somehow think riding a Penny Farthing will get you a Brexit job. If you just stole a bike, try not to sell it back to the bike shop that originally sold it.

And it may be rented out by a bike shop, but this is definitely not an ebike.

 

Morning Links: LA as West Coast e-scooter capital, vehicular murder slap on wrist, and CiclaValley takes a spill

Assistant Director of LA Bureau of Street Services Greg Spotts says Los Angeles could become the shared mobility capital of the West Coast.

Spotts notes that 11 companies have applied to provide a total of 37,000 e-scooters, dockless bikes and ebikes to the mean streets of LA.

The city has a series of community meetings coming up to discuss dockless mobility, starting with one in DTLA on the 26th.

Putting 37,000 alternatives to driving on the street is a good thing. But key to the success of any dockless mobility program is providing safe places to ride and park them.

Hopefully, this will spur development of the city bike plan, as city leaders finally recognize the need for safety. And drivers are more willing to sacrifice a few feet of roadway to get scooters out of their way.

It could happen.

The city also needs to provide on-street parking facilities — ideally converting one parking space per block for e-scooter and bike parking.

We should also require every e-scooter to be equipped with a low-volume beeping device to warn pedestrians when one is approaching. And let people with limited sight know when one is parked in their way.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

Yesterday we linked to a Kansas story about a teen driver getting a reduced sentence for killing a bike rider in a hit-and-run, but criticized the paper for leaving out just how long he would be behind bars.

Apparently, they left a lot more than that out.

Like actual length of the sentence, which turned out to be just two years — far less than the 16 years the prosecution requested.

Not to mention the fact that the crash was intentional.

A passenger in his car told police the driver passed the man as he was riding in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to deliberately run him down from behind before fleeing the scene.

And never mind that the victim was Latino and the driver was white, giving a racial tint to both the murder and the lack of justice. .

Amazingly, the judge excused the driver’s behavior because of his young age, clean record and that he had accepted responsibility. Although that came long after he had abandoned the car and gone home to play video games, later calling the police to report his car had been stolen.

Sure sounds like taking responsibility to me.

But no matter how sorry he might claim to be, there is no way to justify just two years behind bars for murder.

If he had used any other choice of weapon, from a gun or knife, to a rock or broken beer bottle, it would undoubtedly have been taken more seriously.

Or maybe the problem was just a victim on two wheels, with a Hispanic name.

………

A conservative columnist goes out of his way to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with America’s political divide, saying it’s time for liberals to get the hell out.

And they should use “public transportation or ride your ridiculous bikes in your ridiculous bike shorts to your shriveled hearts’ content!” somewhere else, while all those “normal” Americans keep gleefully destroying the planet with their massive SUVs.

Except by repeatedly plugging his books makes it all come off as a shameless effort just to sell a few more.

I don’t care whether you’re conservative, liberal or anything else. Or whether you walk, bike, ride transit or drive.

We’re all need to stop demonizing one another, and work together to make this country succeed.

Period.

And the same goes for our cities and states.

Because the alternative isn’t pretty.

………

CiclaValley offers a firsthand view of what it’s like to blow a tire during a descent.

And to have members of one university cycling team help you up while their rival school just rides on by.

Fortunately, he escaped relatively unscathed, walking away with a few bruises and a banged up wheel.

………

I want to be like them when I grow up.

A 73-year old Cherokee elder in Oklahoma overcame excessive weight and crippling diets by taking up bicycling in his 60s; now he’s off insulin, and rides across the reservation when he’s not competing in races around the world.

A 77-year old Chicago woman is biking across the US with a group of other older riders.

………

Local

You still can’t legally ride an e-scooter in Torrance. The city is slow-walking approving e-scooters, even as other South Bay cities are moving forward with legalizing them.

Speaking of the South Bay, a Kiwi writer raves about his visit to the beachside cities, including an extensive description of a guided bike tour along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Long Beach is planning a $1 million project to add bike lanes along Edwards Blvd to connect the quarter-mile street with the beach. Correction: Wrong Long Beach, dammit; this one’s in New York. Thanks to Chris Buonomo and James for the correction.

Long Beach police use fake bullets to apprehend a bike rider with a fake gun.

State

The Mercury News comes to the not-so-shocking conclusion that some people don’t like Complete Streets or improving safety if it means they’re going to be slightly inconvenienced.

At least one city is making progress in fighting bike theft, as the crime drops 25% in San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, Uber-owned Jump dockless ebikes are cutting into Uber’s own car-hailing business in the Bay Area. And the company says they couldn’t be happier.

National

The Atlantic says Washington’s Birthday used to be celebrated by taking your bike for a spin, instead of countless car and mattress sales.

Traditionally libertarian Nevada is considering a proposal to require anyone under 18 to wear a bike helmet when they ride.

The Colorado legislature is considering following LA’s bad example by banning red light cameras in an apparent attempt to keep the streets dangerous.

A bighearted Michigan man founded a program to give bicycles to local kids, refurbishing and buying 150 bicycles in its first year.

Cambridge MA is making progress in its goal of reducing car ownership, but is only halfway towards its goal of a 15% reduction by next year.

Residents in a Louisiana city vow to fight a plan for an offroad bike path that could require removing trees and roadside signs.

Kindhearted Florida cops dug into their own wallets to buy a new bike for a man in his 80s after his was stolen.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a man was killed in a crash while riding his bike, the same day searchers fund the body of his missing daughter in a swamp; relatives don’t believe he had learned about her death before he was killed.

International

Ella Cycling Tips examines the studies, and concludes that what you wear or what sex you are may affect how closely drivers pass you. Or maybe not.

Cycling Weekly examines how much protein bicyclists really need in their diet.

Bike Radar considers what they consider the five most confusing topics in bicycling.

You may be out of luck if your bike gets stolen in London, as a special police bike theft unit is redeployed to fight youth knife crime.

A British woman got three years for crash that left a bike rider with serious brain damage; she was still high on coke from the night before when she ran him down in the early afternoon crash — 16 times the legal limit, in fact.

A polite Brit bike thief returned a purloined two-wheeler with a note of apology, saying he borrowed it to avoid a three-mile walk home at three in the morning.

A new Irish TV series explores the lack of bike lanes in the Emerald Isle compared to the rest of Europe. If you can’t imagine a TV show like that in the US, let alone a series, there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, which must be getting kind of long by now — a mountain biking trek through the South Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Unless maybe you’d rather experience India’s tropical state of Goa.

Officials say road safety must be improved in Zambia, where bicyclists and pedestrians make up 70% of traffic deaths.

Competitive Cycling

No ego here. The legendary Eddy Merckx says yes, Peter Sagan is complete cyclist, but he was better.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas insists he is definitely not riding in the Giro this year.

A Canadian cyclist rode 5249 laps around a velodrome in 24 hours — the equivalent of 457 miles — to raise funds for much needed repairs; he brought in over $59,000, more than doubling the original $25,000 goal.

Finally…

Nothing goes together like bikes and booze. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a monitor lizard stuck in our spokes.

And why shovel the stuff when you can just ride your own bicycle snow plow?

Morning Links: Westbound PCH closures for fire repairs, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and more ‘Tis the season

It’s the 13th day of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Don’t plan on riding PCH anytime soon.

Caltrans will be closing sections of the right lane and shoulder on a 20-mile stretch of the westbound PCH in Malibu between Coastline Drive and Decker Canyon Road to repair damage caused by the Woolsey Fire.

The work will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Saturday; no word on when they expect to be finished.

The state will also close one lane in each direction on PCH between Puerco Canyon and Corral Canyon roads to work on a median project.

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CiclaValley has a notable ride to work for the second day in a row — and not in a good way — after yesterday’s high-speed buzz by a motorcyclist.

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A second Dutch bike rider barely avoided getting run down by a train after riding around crossing barriers, just days after video surfaced of a similar incident.

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‘Tis the season.

One hundred kids from a Gardena youth and family services program got new bicycles courtesy of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Rally Health.

London’s Telegraph offers a holiday gift guide for roadies.

An English news site is attempting to raise the equivalent of nearly $160,000 for the country’s MS Society this holiday season; woman with MS who bought an ebike with a grant from the group calls it a game changer.

And in less happy news, a Cape Town, South Africa bike shop was vandalized and looted in the wake of a festival kicking off the holiday season; authorities were able to get four of the stolen bikes back.

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Local

An environmental justice advocate is recruiting bicyclists to monitor air quality in Southeast and East LA.

Pasadena public radio station KPCC examines why California’s three foot passing law is so seldom enforced in the LA area, and how that contributes to the city’s well-earned status as America’s worst bike city; you can find the same report on LAist if you’d rather read than listen. Both versions have the extreme good taste to quote yours truly.

 

State

San Diego will spend $2.3 million to connect two existing bike paths in Carmel Valley, closing a missing link in the regional bike network.

A Palo Alto bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was run down from behind by the driver of a Porsche SUV, while riding in a green bike lane.

San Francisco voted to become the first major city in the US to eliminate minimum parking restrictions.

The City by the Bay will add parking protection to an existing bike lane to keep parents out of it when they drop off and pick up their kids from a nearby school.

On the other side of the Bay, Oakland approved plans for a purple and green parking protected bike lane.

 

National

Streetsblog offers suggestions of what a Green New Deal could look like.

The former head of the Chicago and DC departments of transportation says the solution to quickly and easily accommodating e-scooters and other forms of micromobility is restriping streets to create narrow “slow lanes.”

An 1896 Portland map shows the city’s bike culture goes back at least 122 years.

Oregon police use a bait bike to bust four bike thieves. That’s something that the LAPD still doesn’t use, despite the city’s soaring bike theft problem, due to the City Attorney’s office fears of entrapment.

A Washington man rode 4,233 miles through 13 Mid-American states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance. Although it doesn’t seem to have worked just yet.

The LA Times recommends a seven-day bike tour through the Arizona desert, beginning and ending in Tucson, for the low, low price of just $2,995. Or you could just, you know, go to Tucson, get on your bike, and start riding.

Now that’s more like it. A DC-area county has approved a new bike plan calling for an additional 750 miles of paths, trails and separated bike lanes, to go with 250 miles already on the ground; as usual, they just need the money to pay for it.

Florida bicyclists want to know why the distracted driver who killed two bike riders wasn’t charged; police say the sun was in her eyes, yet somehow it didn’t blind the group of riders she slammed into.

 

International

National Geographic offers their take on the world’s best bike cities. San Francisco made the list; oddly, Tucson got the only honorable mention, despite ranking just 24th in the US according to Bicycling. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

An Irish writer politely notes that some bicyclists are “bending the rules,” perhaps because the explosive growth in bicycling is outpacing bike infrastructure. Or it could be that some people are just jerks, whether on two wheels or four.

Dutch bike writer David Hembrow says overuse of motorized transport is destroying everything.

He gets it. The mayor of Tehran has joined the country’s Car-Free Tuesdays movement to help reduce the effects of air pollution, riding his bike to work this week, while taking a subway last week.

Apropos of today’s weather in Los Angeles, Bicycle Times offers tips from an Aussie rider on how to stay safe while biking in the rain.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story reporting next year’s Amgen Tour of California would end with a stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. So maybe you now have advanced word if they took it down because they jumped a news embargo. Or not.

VeloNews explains why elite women’s ‘cross is must-see TV.

Phil Liggett say the death of close friend and broadcast partner Paul Sherwen is hard to believe, and hints that it may cause him to rethink his role as the voice of professional cycling.

American pro cyclist Ian Boswell explains what happens when a bike racer turns race promoter.

 

Finally…

The bicycling model of financial management. Evidently, wearing a mask on your bike in the cold can get you arrested for frightening children.

And London’s bike shop to rock royalty.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Keith Richards riding a bicycle. Fortunately, you don’t have to

Morning Links: LA’s absent mayor leads to failing Vision Zero, and anti-Vision Zero widening of Magnolia Blvd

The Guardian’s Laura Laker questions whether Vision Zero has lost its way, describing the program as a success in New York.

And a failure in Los Angeles.

In January last year the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced its first Vision Zero strategy, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. Work would focus on 40 High Injury Network streets, particularly those near schools. Interventions included pedestrian scrambles, painted kerb extensions protected by bollards, and left turn safety improvements.

However, things started to unravel. On Temple Street, where 34 people were killed or severely injured within 2.3 miles in eight years, a “road diet” expected to reduce crashes by up to 47%met backlash from residents and drivers. Local city leaders downgradedlane removals to things that wouldn’t interfere with motor traffic: sidewalk repairs, new traffic signals and crosswalks.

She quotes Jon Orcutt, the former NYDOT director of policy who developed New York’s Vision Zero plan, as he points the finger exactly where it belongs by saying LA councilmembers who supported Vision Zero were left isolated and “hung out to dry” in the face of opposition.

The former policy director also explained who was responsible  for problems with New York’s plan after its initial success.

Orcutt also expresses his frustration at a lack of ongoing improvement in New York after those initial improvements.

“We need leaders to say, ‘This is what we are doing in the city, and you don’t get to say no, and you don’t get to come back on what our technical experts say,’” he says. “That is the power of the mayor – that’s the point of the megaphone you have.”

That’s exactly the problem in Los Angeles, with a mayor who’s too busy exploring a run for president to do the job he was elected to do. And who has repeatedly failed to support his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs, let alone fight for them.

It was also Mayor Garcetti who pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin, caving in the face of a backlash from angry drivers after Bonin took bold action to improve safety in Playa del Rey.

And yes, hanging him out to dry.

If Garcetti really wants to be president, maybe its time he stepped down as mayor to focus full-time on his run for the White House.

Then maybe someone will step in to take his place, and actually fight to stop the deaths on out streets, instead of just talking about it.

If not, it’s long past time to come back home and roll up his sleeves, put up his dukes, and start fighting for the safety plans he put in motion.

Because right now, his traffic safety legacy is just so many words.

Ghost bike photo by Matt Tinoco

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More evidence that Vision Zero is failing in the mayor’s virtual absence.

CiclaValley reports on plans to widen Magnolia Blvd between Cahuenga Boulevard and Vineland Avenue, as the city claims to be improving safety by adding a traffic lane.

Never mind that reducing congestion and improving traffic flow will allow more drivers to speed through what once was a quiet two-lane street.

Which is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

He urges you to send a version of the following email before the comment period ends at 5 pm next Monday.

And so do I.

To: Billy.Ho@lacity.org

CC: karo.torossian@lacity.org, jackie.keene@lacity.org, ciclavalley@gmail.com

Subject: Magnolia Boulevard Widening (N) Comments

I am writing because I am opposed to the widening of the north side of Magnolia Boulevard between Vineland and Cahuenga. This project does not improve safety conditions for those that use the roadway and puts vulnerable populations at increased risk of injury.

This is a growing and vibrant area that needs to serve everyone’s needs safely. Please prioritize projects that saves lives over seconds.

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Local

Jonathan Weiss, whose son’s bike was recently stolen from the Westwood Rancho Park Expo Line station, calls for e-lockers to improve the security problems that can keep people from biking to the train. Or riding back home if they do.

Pasadena police will be conducting a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement program on Friday. Which means ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on Sunday’s Pride of the Valley open streets event in Irwindale and Baldwin Park.

Santa Monica’s 16-month dockless bikeshare and e-scooter pilot program officially kicked off on Monday, including the introduction of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes.

 

State

Former Elektra Records president Jeff Castelaz is preparing to embark on his tenth Pablove Across America Ride, traveling from San Raphael to Los Angeles. The annual ride, which is named after his late son Pablo, has raised over $3 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

As we noted yesterday, San Diego resident Denise Mueller-Korenek is now the fastest person on Earth, setting a new land speed record for human-powered vehicles. The Wall Street Journal offers on-bike video of the record-setting ride, if you can get past their paywall.

El Cajon is struggling to regulate dockless bikeshare, as both Ofo and Limebike set up shop in the city.

The San Francisco department of transportation’s Rapid Response Team is working with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to fix a deadly crosswalk where a bike rider was killed last week. That’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work, unlike Los Angeles, where traffic deaths just result in crickets.

 

National

Reader’s Digest — yes, it’s still around — explains how to use Google Maps to find safer bike routes.

An Iraq war vet is focusing on helping others after riding 4,300 miles across the US, saying she bought her bike to save her own life instead of ending it.

VeloNews considers the difference between long-term bike trends and passing fads.

A New York bus driver faces just 30 days in jail as he goes on trial on misdemeanor charges in the death of the first person killed riding one of New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare bikes.

Orlando FL moves towards allowing dockless bikeshare, despite complaints from the city’s docked bikeshare provider.

 

International

Venture capitalists say the future is bright. And comes on two wheels.

Treehugger says if you have trouble riding a bike, maybe you’re just using the wrong kind.

After writing a needlessly offensive column that made a good point — that some bike riders should cool it with aggressive cycling around pedestrians — a Vancouver writer ignores the complaints and pats himself on the back because older people agreed with him.

A Toronto columnist explains why bicycle licensing is a bad idea, saying that city abolished its licensing requirement in the 1950s.

Speaking of Toronto, advocates say political will is needed to solve the city’s bike infrastructure inequity.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a young woman gets off with community service and losing her license for 18 months for killing a bike rider after losing control of her car while speeding.

Dublin bicyclists are attaching cardboard wheel clamps — aka boots — to cars parked in bike lanes to protest the lack of police enforcement.

The Guardian offers a photographic look at Sunday’s carfree day in Paris and Brussels.

A writer sets off on a bike tour of Austria’s Tyrol region in search of the best food, in advance of next week’s road cycling world championships.

After arriving from Lithuania, a woman has created her own position as Malmö, Sweden’s Violinist on a Bike, between rehearsals with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Bulgarian driver faces a murder charge for killing a bike-riding ballet dancer while high on coke and cannabis; he also faces a charge for his third offense for driving without a license.

Once again, an Australian study has found that drivers are responsible for the overwhelming majority of traffic collisions involving bike riders.

Fourteen percent of Australians have traded their car commutes for walking or bicycling, and 56% are open to leaving their cars at home.

Good question. An Op-Ed in the Guardian asks why bicycling deaths are rising in Australia when cars are significantly safer than they were 25 years ago, concluding that the problem rests with aggressive and entitled drivers.

Heartbreaking story from Japan, where a mother faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter after her umbrella got caught in her bike wheel, and her 18-month old son hit his head on the pavement when he fell to the street.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can ride a slightly used pro racing bike, or buy weed from a slightly used ex-yellow jersey winner.

And what’s the penalty for Scooting Under the Influence, anyway?

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Thanks to Hamid V for his generous donation to help support this site. 

If everyone who visits BikinginLA today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep to keep this site going for a full year. 

And G’mar Tov to all our Jewish friends; may your fast be easy.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

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