Tag Archive for Elly Blue

Morning Links: Last stand for Westwood and Central Ave bike lanes, and Elly Blue comes to town

Mark your calendar.

The LA Planning Commission is scheduled to take up plans to remove the much-needed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave bike lanes from the Mobility Plan a week from Thursday.

Both at the whim of local councilmembers, without any studies or statistics to back up the decisions.

Even though that means shunting riders away from businesses that could benefit from their support, while keeping dangerous city streets riskier for everyone.

And even though the best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where bike riders don’t want to go.

Bicyclists have been fighting to keep these streets in the bike plan, with little or no support from city officials, elected or otherwise, other than the Planning Commission and its staff. This is likely to be our last stand, as the city council will either vote to accept or override the Commission’s decision, probably without any public discussion.

After all, why listen to us when they’ve already made up their minds?

The meeting is scheduled to start around 8:30am in the John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

If you can’t attend in person, written comments can be submitted to the City Planning Commission, Room 532, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or emailed to James Williams, james.k.williams@lacity.org.

Thanks to Danila for the heads-up.

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Popular Portland bike writer and advocate Elly Blue is very busy these days.

First up, she’ll make a stop at the Wheelhouse in DTLA on Thursday to discuss her new book Bikenomics, sponsored by Metro.

That will be followed by a visit with the Santa Monica Spoke this Friday for Dinner & Bikes + Cupcakes, along with producer/director Joe Biel and vegan chef Joshua Ploeg.

And finally, she offers advice in Bicycling on how not to get your bike stolen.

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That explains it.

Last week we linked to security video of a bike rider being run down by a hit-and-run driver, as an automotive website speculated that it appeared to be on purpose.

It was.

It turns out the driver was the man’s girlfriend, who had just found out he’s HIV-positive.

She now faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a collision.

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The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay visits Kalamazoo, and writes movingly about the crash that left five riders dead last week, and another four injured; the driver faces five counts of second degree murder.

The ghost bikes for the five victims are turning into beautiful flower sculptures as mourning community members cover them with love notes and mementos.

A Taiko drum group performed at the funeral of one of the victims, who was a member of the group.

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Vavel previews the five stage women’s Tour of Britain.

Cycling News reminds us of some of the pioneers of women’s cycling, from a 16-year old world record holder in the 1890s to the first female vice president of UCI. And it turns out women can compete on equal terms with men — and did at the Giro d’Italia over 90 years ago.

Men’s Journal offers a brief history of the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which kicked off in Oceanside this morning.

A British whistleblower says doping is endemic in cycling.

Look for still more doping scandals, as a judge has ordered blood bags linked to Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as part of the ten-year old Operation Puerto turned over to anti-doping authorities.

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Local

Great news, as CiclaValley reports the LA River bike path has finally been reopened through Elysian Valley after being closed most of the winter and spring for flood control efforts that went unneeded when El Niño fizzled.

The LA Weekly visits The Cannibal, the new bike and meat centric restaurant in Culver City, where bicyclists get their second beer free. Am I the only one who never heard of a free second anything referred to as a kit, though? Or did the Weekly confuse it with what riders have to wear to get one?

 

State

A Medicare Advance program allows Seal Beach seniors to borrow a Pedego ebike every Tuesday for a free spin along the beach. Speaking of Pedego, they’re trying to set a world record for the most ebike riders in a parade when they move to a new headquarters in Fountain Valley.

San Diego’s Uptown District once again demonstrates they prefer parking to business from bike riders.

Oxnard police give new bicycles to two elementary school students with perfect attendance.

Merced authorities double down on the violent arrest of a bike rider that was caught on cell phone video, by charging the man with resisting arrest. They may be prosecuting in hopes that a plea deal will derail the inevitable civil suit.

Sad news from Modesto, as a bike rider has died after being hit by a train yesterday.

Specialized partners with Stanford researchers in hopes of demonstrating that bicycling provides a natural remedy for ADHD.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of us, as the Facebook CEO breaks his arm training for a triathlon in Menlo Park.

 

National

A 13-year old Utah girl rides a bike for the first time after being blinded in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.

A Wisconsin professor studies bike and pedestrian crashes in hopes of creating safer streets and reducing traffic fatalities to zero.

An Indiana city proposes requiring new buildings to have at least two covered bike parking spaces, and showers for the people who use them.

The NYPD cop who pulled a gun on a bike messenger and taunted him after cutting a group of cyclists off in a bike lane is a decorated 23-year veteran of the department; the rider, who was arrested on criminal mischief, weapons and menacing charges — despite being the apparent victim — considers it a case of Biking While Black and plans to file a civil suit.

Philadelphia cyclists call on the city to finally get started on a network of fully funded protected bike lanes.

Contrary to the bizarre claims of a pro-car Pennsylvania writer, speed cameras — which are not currently legal in California — reduce injury crashes up to 25 percent, while red light cameras cut injury crashes anywhere from 21 to 51 percent, according to stats from the NHTSA.

An Atlanta paper gives advice on how to ride safely with your dog in tow. Or better yet, just take it out for a hike after you get back.

 

International

CNN talks with Tim Bridgeman, the British cyclist who is continuing the round-the-world bike tour he started with his wife before she was killed in a collision while riding through Bolivia.

London’s new bicycle superhighways have brought a surge in ridership, boosting rates an average of 60%. Meanwhile, the city opened the first of seven planned Quietways running on pathways and quieter backstreets.

A British fashion site lists seven mistakes you don’t want to make if you’re a total newbie on a bike. Even though countless people do at least some of them, like riding in heels or using a bike basket, every day.

A Dubai-based travel consultant explains how to bike while fasting for Ramadan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a meth pipe and just broke into an elementary school, maybe you should ride in the bike lane — and on the right side of the street. If you’re going to steal a mountain bike from a local bike shop, take the shop sticker off it, and hide the meth.

And if you’re planning to empty your handgun into a fellow cyclist before riding away, probably best not to do it in broad daylight while wearing hi-viz.

 

Yet another Orange County cycling death, and a long list of bike links for your midweek reading

Word is just crawling in, as an aside to another story, of yet another cyclist succumbing to fatal injuries last week.

Seventy-four year old Orange County resident Lafayette “Lafe” Parkin fell while training for the California Coast Bicycle Classic near the UC Irvine Medical Center on August 31st, resulting in a severe head injury.

His 32-year old son Josh took his father’s place on the tour, finishing the ride on Sunday; his father passed away on Wednesday while his son was filling in for him.

This is the 56th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Orange County. Parkin is the second rider to die in a solo fall in Orange County in 2012, and the 13th in the seven-county SoCal region.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Parkin, and all his family and loved ones. And my respect for Josh; I can’t imagine the emotions he went through riding in his father’s name under such difficult circumstances.

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Elly Blue questions the obvious sexism in bicycle marketing; Bicycling’s Fit Chick says that’s one thing she won’t miss about missing this year’s Interbike.

Seriously.

I have nothing against using sex in advertising. But only when there’s a genuine connection with the product being sold.

Otherwise, it’s just annoying. And ineffective.

And stupid.

Meanwhile, Kent’s Bike Blog brilliantly puts the process of bike shopping in perspective.

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Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer suffers some nasty road rash during Sunday’s Malibu Triathlon, crediting his helmet with saving his skull after experiencing the dreaded Wobble of Death.

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I seriously want this jersey, featuring one of the greatest, and sadly least known, cyclists of all time. Last day to order is September 25.

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After last year’s humongous non-event, I’m not falling for the massive hype of Carmageddon II — The Sequel this time.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the relatively car-free streets that should result, as a number of bike rides and events are being planned for the weekend.

First up, Streetsblog and the Bikerowave team up for a night of Streetfilms and fun to benefit C.I.C.L.E. founder Shay Sanchez on Friday the 28th, starting at 7 pm.

Culver City-based Walk ‘n Rollers is hosting a series of rides through the Westside on Saturday, September 29th, with family-friendly routes from eight to 22 miles. The same day, a pair of Valley rides roll along the Orange Line Bike Path and other nearby bikeways.

And Metro and C.I.C.L.E. are joining forces to promote the 2.5 hour, eight-mile Carmageddon Valley Ride on Sunday the 30th.

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The next BPIT meeting is scheduled for 1 – 4 pm on Tuesday, October 2nd. Instructors from the LAPD’s bike patrol patrol Interbike for new gear. Downtown will soon have an ice cream shop churned by bike power. CLR Effect looks at ways to carry your stuff on your bike; Boyonabike considers larger options. Cyclicious encounters the LACBC’s own Bobby Gadda as he makes his way back down the coast on his tallbike. Gary considers walk and bikenomics from last week’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike in Long Beach. The Bike League declares last week’s National Women’s Bicycling Summit, part of Pro Walk/Pro Bike, a huge success; they aren’t the only ones.

Fallen Newport Beach cyclist Sarah Leaf is described by friends as funny, inspirational and extraordinary. Maybe a selfish driver who forced a 4th grader out of a crosswalk isn’t such a petty complaint after all. Should be a great party next week, as BikeSD officially launches as a citywide bike advocacy group; any organization formed by Sam Ollinger has my unqualified support — and hopefully, yours, as well. San Diego could have a bike share program of their own as soon as next spring; L.A., Irvine and Long Beach provider Bike Nation is one of the contenders. An apparently suicidal cyclist reportedly rides his bike into the path of a Redlands driver. Evidently they get it in NorCal, as a Red Bluff man is sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing a 73-year old cyclist while driving under the influence; I just wish courts down here placed that much value on a human life. Then again, not so much in Lompoc, either.

CNN considers why young Americans are bypassing the automotive right of passage — without once mentioning the word bike. Bicycling interviews bicycling actor Patrick Dempsey. An Arizona writer looks at life differently after surviving a bicycling collision. The Colorado Highway Patrol is looking for a driver who honked behind two cyclists for several minutes rather than passing. A board member of advocacy group BikeTexas is run down from behind and killed while riding her bike. Both sides in a Chattanooga debate agree that cyclists need to do our part to avoid collisions; make that all three sides, as I concur. How to conquer your fears as a beginning cyclist. Boston Daily asks why so many cyclists are dying on the streets, suggesting a summer-long truce between bike riders and motorists has ended. New York decides safety is more important than speed for delivery riders. The New York Daily News says it’s time to rethink bike share if it’s going to succeed. Brooklyn cyclists complain about the latest obstacles blocking bike lanes. I love this turn of the century postcard. Philadelphia finds more riders mean fewer collisions — not accidents, thank you. A Florida man is under arrest for faking a hit-and-run collision; his story was done in by one of those seemingly ubiquitous security cameras. A beginner’s guide to not dying while biking in the Everglades.

Why do so many people love cycling but hate cyclists? Intentionally run down a Brit cyclist, get a fine of less than $570. A mother finds her 27-year old cyclist son dead on the side of the road after he doesn’t return home from a ride. Olympic cyclists call for making British roads safer for bikes. A Scott writer calls for investing in bikeways while making cyclists liable for all the harm we do; wait, it is bike riders who kill tens of thousands of innocent people on roadways around the world every year, right? A Welsh writer complains about cyclists travelling at abnormal speeds while wearing supersonic helmets; bet I could have found one of those at Interbike. Retired Olympic gold medalist Alexandre Vinokourov auctions his bike for nearly a quarter million dollars, with the money going to charity. Police take mandatory helmet laws to the extreme, as a retired cyclist dies in a tussle with officers over his lack of a head gear.

Finally, no, this isn’t from The Onion — the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills really is pursuing a bike share program. No, really.

Even if they can’t manage to paint a single inch of bike lane in the entire city.

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