Tag Archive for Cyclocross

Morning Links: No surprise in women’s ‘cross title, fewer Expo Line bike thefts, and ebike non-bombs in OC

It was a quiet weekend on the bike news front, as most riders appeared content to sit out the storms sweeping the nation.

Except for those crazy ‘cross riders competing in snowy Connecticut.

Cannondale’s Stephen Hyde overcame a bad start and last-lap flat to win the men’s national cyclocross championship. It was a good day for people named Stephens, as Colorado’s Denzel Stephenson takes the US men’s junior cyclocross championship.

And needless to say, the unbeatable Katie Compton took the women’s title, winning her lucky 13th consecutive national ‘cross crown.

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Brit sports site Rouleur has posted their entire 12-part 2014 interview with Lance Armstrong, America’s most famous disgraced athlete since Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Chris Froome says he rejected a medical exemption to use a banned drug during the 2015 Tour de France on moral grounds.

A pair of Irish cyclists hope to become the first duo from that country to finish the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

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Local

A funeral will be held on Thursday for an LAPD officer killed in an off-duty collision last week; she was one of us, serving as a bike cop before being promoted to field training officer last year.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s says they’ve stopped the problem of bike thefts at Expo Line stations in Santa Monica.

 

State

Bike theft is down slightly in Seal Beach, even as it goes up statewide, making up 5.6 percent of all larceny-theft.

A Palm Springs charity radiothon raised $77,000 to buy and assemble 400 bicycles for fourth grade children.

A SoCal cyclist drops the first of her three-part series on riding three bikes one three iconic rides over three years, starting with a solo climb on Gibraltar above Santa Barbara.

Fresno will pay $675,000 to settle with the family of a bike rider killed in a collision with a police cruiser while fleeing from a traffic stop; the lawsuit claimed the officer intentionally bumped his bike, then ran over him when he fell in front of the patrol car.

Now that’s more like it. The driver who intentionally ran down three Sacramento cyclists during a daylong crime spree gets a well-deserved 35 years in prison; he also struck one motorcycle rider and tried to hit another.

 

National

Ann Arbor, Michigan approves a five-foot passing law, requiring motorists to give at least five feet, not the usual three, when passing a bicyclist, pedestrian or wheelchair user.

Boston takes Vision Zero seriously, dropping its basic speed limit to 25 mph today in an effort to save lives. Now compare that to Los Angeles, where our nascent Vision Zero will have to address much higher speed limits and drivers who feel free to ignore them.

Baltimore opens a new bikeshare system in which four out of ten bicycles are ebikes.

A Charlotte NC writer tells the auto-centric county to butt out on plans for a bike lane on the Ashley River bridge that has already been approved by the city, noting that they could expect to be sued the next time someone gets hurt there.

 

International

A new Canadian study shows that walkable — and by extension, bikeable — neighborhoods result in lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Which means that safer bicycling infrastructure is a public health issue.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a drunk driver gets just 45 days for a wreck that left a bike rider with near-fatal injuries.

The Guardian offers a look inside the secret world of a London bicycle courier.

A British cyclist wants to apologize after taking her anger out on the Good Samaritan who tried to help her following a crash.

A Brit business site says self-driving cars could spark a cycling revolution, but only if they can overcome problems recognizing people on bikes. Then again, others have predicted a far more dystopian future for bicyclists in a world of driverless cars.

Paris will make a major investment in bicycling infrastructure, declaring 2017 the year of the bike; the city’s mayor pledges to cut the number of cars in the city center by half.

Nice. A Swedish woman spent Christmas Day and the day after riding just under 400 miles to raise the equivalent of over $2,400 for UNICEF.

Five-thousand Russian cyclists were expected to turn out in 13° below zero weather for a five mile ride along the Moscow River; however, only around 500 actually showed up.

 

Finally…

Most bike thieves at least have the decency to wait until the bike goes into production. Ebikes may offer some advantages, but calling out the bomb squad isn’t one of them.

And if you hear the bell, it may be just a tad premature to celebrate your victory.

 

Morning Links: Too much bike tech, cyclocross nationals, and riding your bike pony through an LA El Niño

Someone you know needs a new bicycle.

Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

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Is there such a thing as too much tech?

Like maybe a bike helmet with a built-in brake light, turn signals and a Bluetooth speaker, that calls for help if you crash. Pick it up if you drop it, or you may find paramedics knocking on your door.

Uni-directional bike cams are so passé. New helmets from Giro and Bell will feature a 360° video camera, though there doesn’t seem to be a road bike version planned for the near future. Then again, maybe what you need is a mini-bike cam that wraps around your wrist.

And Garmin unveils a new heads-up display that projects turn-by-turn GPS directions, texts and notifications directly onto your glasses, as well as radar alerts of traffic approaching from behind. Or you could learn to look behind you, or get a mirror, and leave all that crap behind and just enjoy the ride.

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The amazing Katie Compton discusses battling depression, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection and a rare, cramp-causing genetic disorder, none of which has prevented her from reigning as America’s greatest cyclocross racer.

Meanwhile, North Carolina expects to see a boost in tourism from this week’s USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, while VeloNews offers a video preview of the course. Note to press: You can call it the Nationals, Nats or the National Championships, but please don’t call it the Nationals Championships.

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Local

LADOT Bike Blog offers timely advice on how to ride your bike through an LA El Niño, although speeding up the red lights for cyclists would be nice, too. Or you could take my approach, and just pull the covers over your head until next week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks forward to what 2016 could bring for livable streets, including bikeshare in DTLA, protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd and showdowns over the Mobility Plan.

LA gets new bike lanes on Edgemont Street near LA Community College.

The Weekly looks on as LA’s underground bike racing culture says goodbye to the iconic Sixth Street Bridge, which will be replaced by a more modern, bike and pedestrian friendly one.

Nice piece from Jessica Langlois about acquiring her first fixie, even if the name of the bike was a tad unusual.

The Wheelhouse, a bike-centric coffee and pastry shop, comes to Downtown’s Arts District next week.

Metro’s one and only Bike Hub will be hosting a free flat tire clinic in El Monte on the 27th.

 

State

It took just five minutes for someone to get out of a car and steal a teenager’s unlocked bike outside a San Diego Target.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls on the 23rd; if your legs have anything left the next day, you can stick around for a half marathon.

That planned 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley will now be subject to a vote in Rancho Mirage.

A Santa Barbara writer says trading your car for a bike can save you thousands while still allowing you to live comfortably.

HBO is looking for bike riding extras for a new series filming in Monterey.

 

National

A barely intelligible rant from an anonymous Portland woman accuses a bicyclist of “secretly incubating a veliciraptor’s (sic) egg inside (her) womb” for defending her right to the road, before she hauled off and hit the writer’s boyfriend when he confronted her for hogging it. Boy, would I like to hear the other side of this one.

Seattle residents — and a ranting writer — think a new cycle track designed to improve safety will actually make things worse for pedestrians, and ask the city to impose a 10 mph speed limit and force cyclists to stop at each of the 18 pedestrian crossings along the way. Which would be the best way to ensure riders won’t use it; besides, studies show protected bikeways improve safety for everyone, not just the people on bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Fargo bike thief faces up to ten years in prison for stealing a $10,000 bike. I’d settle for seeing thieves serve just one year for stealing a bike worth up to a tenth of that.

Double good news from Illinois, as a pair of business owners pitch in to get a wounded vet a new adaptive bike after his was stolen; meanwhile, police recovered his bike, which will be repaired and sent to someone else with disabilities.

An unlicensed teen is charged with fleeing the scene on foot after killing a cyclist while driving a stolen car; as an 18-year old, he will likely charged as an adult. Which means he should be going away for a long time.

 

International

As most cyclists already know, beer and exercise go together. Though not always at the same time.

A famed cycling photographer is being forced to sell the barely-ridden dream bike that won best in class at last year’s UK hand-built bike show, due to a degenerative bone disorder.

A road raging London cabbie is charged with using his taxi as a weapon to ram a bike rider off the road after a dispute over parking in a bike lane.

French bicycle mechanics no longer have to be certified by the government.

A video compilation shows a series of close calls for cyclists on the streets of Malta. Which doesn’t look a lot different than riding the sometimes mean streets of LA.

Leave it to the Dutch to develop the Boncho, a stiff-front bicycle poncho. Which would certainly come in handy in LA this week; then again, so would pontoons.

A Jordanian man who wears a suit as he rides to work in Abu Dhabi says he’s never seen another Arab commute by bike.

A Namibian man rides to work in style on his self-customized bike, complete with handlebar-mounted radio and two rearview mirrors.

 

Finally…

Speaking of pontoons, why ride next to the bay when you can ride on it? Next time, try riding the bike to make a getaway instead of throwing it at the security guard.

And why settle for cowboy dreams when you can turn your bike into your very own pony?

 

Yet another cyclist falls

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you probably know I’ve long been a fan of women’s bike racing.

I grew up watching the best male riders of the late 70s and 80s. Hinault. LeMond. Phinney. Grewal. The Stetina brothers.

But I also had the privilege of watching Connie Carpenter, Rebecca Twigg, Maria Canins and Jeannie Longo in their prime.

And while the men never failed to put on a good show, the women were often the more exciting racers; anyone who came late to watch the men often missed out on the best racing of the day.

Yet somehow, women’s racing fell out of favor, as the world focused on a young cancer survivor from Texas who would ultimately break our hearts. And forget all about the women.

That has started to change in recent years, too slowly, perhaps, as women have rightfully demanded a place on the podium. And not just as a prize to be won.

The new generation of women’s riders has proven themselves every bit the match of those who came before, with road racing stars like Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson and Ellen Van Dijk, and Americans Evelyn Stevens and Carmen Smalls.

Not to mention cyclocross racers like Vos and Katie Compton.

If those names mean nothing to you, look them up. Because they,  and many others not named here, represent some of the best bike racers anywhere, male or female.

And then there was rising star Amy Dombroski.

I say was, because she lost her life today while riding in Belgium.

The 26-year old rider, with three under-23 titles under her belt, was on a training ride, motorpacing behind a scooter, when she was hit by a truck. No word on how the collision occurred, other than the driver was sober and the motorcyclist pacing her was uninjured.

Unlike some of the others, I never had the privilege of watching her ride. Yet frequently encountered stories of her exploits and personality, rapidly rising through the ranks to become one of the world’s best and most popular riders.

Today, her career ended.

Along with her life.

Her Twitter account expresses the mundane life of a young woman far from home; shout-outs to friends and comments about new gear. And ends with simple tweet about trying oysters for the first time, with no hint it would be her last.

Meanwhile, her death causes Tim Blumenthal, President of People for Bikes, to examine the gorilla in the room. I’ve long felt they could, and should, do more to address the dangers riders face on the roads; on the other hand, they probably think I should do less.

The death of someone famous should not cause us more grief than that of anyone else; too many people die on our streets, regardless of their choice in transportation or recreation.

But of course it does.

We feel like we knew her in some way, and feel vicariously the pain of those who did. And we feel the loss of someone who does — did — what we do, with a kinship only someone who rides a bike can truly understand.

Tonight hearts around the world are broken.

We’ve had a death in the family.

And we are sad, in ways we may not even understand.

My prayers for Amy Dombroski and her family. 

Thanks to Jon Riddle and JG for the heads up.

A quick clip of bad driver behavior, and a long list of October bike events

I think I’m getting better at this bike cam video thing.

Here’s the latest, as two drivers cut me off at the same intersection within just a few seconds, a few blocks from my home. And of course, the last one flips me off for being annoyed that he almost ran me over.

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Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

new support group has formed for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group will meet Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

Move fast, or you’ll miss the last High Desert Cyclists Brunch Ride of the 2012 season, starting at 7:30 am Saturday at Marie Kerr Park, Avenue P and 30th West in Palmdale; High Desert Cyclists will have their monthly meeting Monday from 7 to 9 pm at Nick’s Pizzaria, 43755 15th Street W in Lancaster.

Saturday, October 13th marks the return of the monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride tour of art galleries in North East L.A., hosted by the Bike oven and the Flying Pigeon L.A. bike shop. Riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop, 3404 North Figueroa Street, at 6 pm Saturday, rolling at 6:30 pm. Bikes are available to rent.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, Cyclocross returns to Camarillo as the Newbury Park Bike Shop presents the SoCalCross Pacifica Crossfest, with registration starting at 7:30 am at 1722 S. Lewis Rd in Camarillo.

The weekend’s big news is the return of the Bicycle Film Festival, with screenings at the Downtown Independent theater from 11 am to 10 pm on Saturday the 13th, and an all-ages DTLA block party from 10 am to 6 pm Sunday. Convergence rides are planned for the various events. Email volunteerla@bicyclefilmfestival.com for more information or to volunteer.

Redlands area cyclists also get a bike film festival of their own this weekend, October 12 through 14, as the Inland Empire Biking Alliance sponsors the Bike Film Fest at the Fox Theater, 123 Cajon Street.

The L.A. County Bicycle Festival takes place at the Fairgrounds in Pomona on Saturday and Sunday, October 20th and 21st, including the annual Spooky Cross cyclocross race and a Velo Swap Meet and Market to raise funds for the Pomona Valley Bike Coalition.

Run or bike with the men and women in blue as the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division hosts the 5th Annual Randy Simmons 5K Challenge Run on Saturday, October 20th, with rides of 26 and 52 miles. The rides start at 1880 North Academy Road; register by Thursday, October 18th.

Also on Saturday the 20th, the Antelope Valley High Desert Cyclists host the High Desert Fall Memorial Century, starting at 7 am at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster; registration closes on Friday the 19th.

Sunday, October 21st, Hemet High School hosts a Grad Night Poker Ride featuring five climbs on a 55 mile route. First place prize for the best poker hand is $500, with a $50 prize for the worst hand; lunch provided by Sweet Baby Jane’s BBQ. Thanks to Scott Boyd for the tip.

Wednesday, October 24th, Multicultural Communities for Mobility — the new social justice and mobility organization born from the LACBC’s former City of Lights program — will host the third annual Bicycle Awards Dinner honoring LADOT’s Michelle Mowery, bike lawyer Howard Krepack and John Jones III from Eastside Riders Bicycle Club. The event takes place from 7 pm to 9:30 pm at La Fonda Supper Club, 2501 Wilshire Blvd.

Newport Beach will sponsor a memorial ride for fallen cyclists Sarah Leaf and Dr. Catherine “Kit” Campion Ritz on Saturday, October 28th. The easy, 1.2 mile ride will begin at 8 am, starting from the northwest corner of Santa Rosa and Newport Center Drive, and rolling at a processional pace. A longer, unofficial ride will follow, visiting a number of sites where riders have been injured or killed in the area, as well as the soon-to-be-installed CdM sharrows. The ride will feature a fundraising drive for bike safety improvements, with the city matching all donations on a 3-to-1 basis up to $450,000.

Now here’s a great idea for a ride. The Arthritis Foundation is teaming with one of the L.A. area’s favorite Cuban bakeries and cafés to offer the first ever Tour de Porto’s starting at 8:30 am on Sunday, October 28th. The ride starts at Porto’s in Glendale, travels a short distance to the Burbank Porto’s, then down the L.A. River Bike Path to the restaurant’s Downey location. If the entry fee includes a Cubano or Medianoche, count me in.

The same day, Bike SGV will host a Halloween Bike Train and BBQ, with rides of 25 and 60 miles, as well as a Walk/Jog/Run. The rides start at 9 am and 8 am, respectively, starting at 776 Santa Anita Ave in South El Monte, followed by bike and rider costume contests, barbeque and pumpkin carving.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 30, at Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. This month we turn our attention from the November election, and start focusing on next March’s L.A. mayoral and City Council elections. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.

The LACBC’s second Tour de Taste is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd; mark your calendar for a unique combination of bikes and great food.

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