Tag Archive for fires

Morning Links: Bikes and Veterans Day, bad air is bad for biking, and Wicksted murder arraignment delayed

Writing on the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Forbes’ Carlton Reid notes that the first British soldier killed in what was once known as the “war to end all wars” was one of us.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand writer spent a month bicycling through the fields and cemeteries of France to remember the war’s dead, and contemplate the monster of endless war.

And veteran’s group in Oklahoma City uses bicycling to fight PTSD.

On a personal note, my own grandfather was a doughboy, and fought in the trenches of Belgium and France in WWI.

I wish I knew more about what he did. But the war wasn’t something he wanted to remember.

Let alone talk about.

I hope you’ll join me today in remembering him, and all those who have served our country, on this Veteran’s Day, and thank them for the sacrifices they made.

Let’s pray that our world will one day regain its senses, and learn to settle disputes without bullets and bombs.

But until then, let’s at least take better care of those who come back home.

And remember that not all scars are visible.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch, who wants a copy of that poster in the upper left, which was taken from the Forbes article, for the first link. 

Then again, so do I.

………

Streetsblog has advice for confronting California’s wildfires — don’t bike until the air clears.

Smoke from a fire contains ash particles that can harm your lungs, as well as countless toxic chemicals that can do long-lasting damage.

Never mind the problems it can cause for allergy and asthma suffers.

So the best advice is, if you smell smoke, don’t ride. Or run. Or engage in any other physical activity outdoors.

………

Arraignment was delayed once again for Sandra Marie Wicksted, who’s accused of murder for using her car to kill Leslie Pray as she rode her bike in a Claremont bike lane, as well as four counts of attempted murder for swerving at other bike riders before she killed Pray.

However, delays like that aren’t unusual.

Serious cases often see a number of postponements as prosecutors attempt to work out a deal, and defense lawyers get their cases together.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, family members identified the victim of Thursday’s fatal bike crash on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA as 31-year old Glendale resident Frank Guzman.

A GoFundMe account to help pay his funeral expenses has raised over $4,000 of the $5,000 goal in just two days.

………

Local

UCLA ER physicians say they’re seeing a jump in scooter-related injuries, averaging one a day between their two facilities; they urge all scooter users to wear a helmet.

He gets it. A member of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition compares road diet deniers to anti-vaxxers.

Wolfpack Hustle is postponing the Wolfpack Hustle All City Century scheduled for tonight due to poor air quality from the fires.

 

State

A carfree San Diego PR agency owner is attempting to combine social equity and healthy living.

Berkeley’s mayor takes advantage of a popular bike festival to promise quick action on a protected bike lane.

Robert Leone forwards news that Campbell police corralled a bike thief using a bait bike. The LAPD won’t use bait bikes because the City Attorney’s office fears claims of entrapment.

The San Francisco Examiner suggests the only thing more perilous than riding a bike in the Bay Area is leading the city’s bicycle coalition.

 

National

A tech website looks at how bikes have changed over the past 25 years. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Taking a road trip by bike to the Colorado National Monument.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real. Three Portland men face well-deserved charges for booby trapping a popular bike path by tying strings across it at face and neck level; a woman suffered cuts and bruises around her eyes, chin and neck when she ride into them.

A Minnesota college is training engineering students to design and build bicycles, both to get jobs in the bike industry, and develop skills that will transfer to other fields.

Nearly 1,000 bicyclists turned out for the annual Cranksgiving ride in St. Louis to help raise funds and collect food to the distribute to the needy over the holidays.

A Cape Cod letter writer can’t seem to imagine any reason why anyone who isn’t in financial distress would ever want to ride a bike, let alone why the city should build Complete Streets to accommodate them.

LA bike riders aren’t the only ones having trouble with blocked bike lanes; New York bike riders are pretty ticked off about it too.

 

International

Horrifying news from Trinidad & Tobago where two bicyclists were killed — including a celebrity chef — and eight others were injured when a driver plowed into a club ride, despite a police escort; the driver claimed he lost control after blowing a tire. To make matters worse, a bike advocacy group says there are no trained traffic investigators in the country.

A London assembly member questions whether the city’s Metropolitan Police are doing enough to fight bike and pedestrian deaths.

Not many American bike riders can relate to Britain’s 16,500-mile bicycling network. But the fact that half of it is “crap” due to poor maintenance and pavement conditions, that most of us can relate to.

An English city is putting up signs welcoming polite bike riders.

The UK’s BikesUpGunsDown movement aims to stop gun and knife crime by building better bike skills.

A Brit writer says the perfect bike ride is one you do with friends.

Berlin gets its first protected bike lane.

A Kiwi writer suggests that dockless bikeshare and e-scooters means it’s time for new road rules to govern how we behave around others. Meanwhile, a new homegrown dockless bikeshare is subjected to the same abuse others have suffered.

An Australian news site says drivers subjected a leading bike advocate to vile abuse before he was killed in a crash last week. And apparently didn’t even stop then.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclists offer their thoughts on a proposed power meter ban in next year’s Tour de France.

 

Finally…

It takes a real schmuck to get out and swear at a crash victim before fleeing the scene — even if the driver is a woman. You can stop counting ballots, we have a winner in the worst bike name ever.

And is it okay to give someone the bird if you’ve got a smiley face on your glove?

 

All I need is the air that I breathe — riding through, and surviving, the smoke

I was going to add a link to this on my next post. But the more I think about it, the more important this information is right now.

Damien Newton has put up a great story on Streetsblog on how cyclists can cope with the bad air from the fires in the L.A. area.

It offers advice from C.I.C.L.E.’s Shay Sanchez, as well as Joe Linton, Roadblock and Ron Milam (and you’ll find my 2 cents in the comment section).

Read it before your next ride. Your health could depend on it.

A brief introduction to L.A.

I’ve recently noticed a number of visitors to this site from the U.K., thanks to Just Williams and Town Mouse, who were kind enough to add a link to my site. (And since I enjoyed their blogs, I was happy to return the, uh, favour.)

Since these people have taken the trouble to visit me, I thought I might depart from my usual biking banter, and offer a quick introduction to this City of Fallen Angels we call home.

And there’s one thing everyone should know about Los Angeles.

It doesn’t exist.

At least not the city you think you know. Because the L.A. you’ve seen on countless TV shows and movies is as much a creation of Hollywood as the Terminator’s invincibility or Rock Hudson’s marriage. As these things usually go, the reality is both better, and worse, than the image you may have.

For instance, the air is better than you think, and the traffic is worse.

That perfect weather you always see in shows set in Los Angeles rarely occurs in real life. Somehow, it usually seems to happen when there is a camera crew present; I think they pay an extra fee for that. And it’s long been rumored that the Rose Bowl made a pact with the devil to ensure perfect weather every New Years Day.

Also, Hollywood isn’t in Hollywood. That is, you won’t find the stars and studios that make all those TV shows and movies anywhere in the city of Hollywood, except perhaps on Oscar night, though you will find t-shirt and souvenir vendors, hookers, celebrity impersonators and other entrepreneurs dedicated to separating tourists from their money.

And I have never seen, nor have ever I participated in, a drive-by shooting.

Of course, some of the things you may think you know about L.A. are actually true.

For instance, we do seem to be a magnet for all kinds of disasters, from fires and floods, to riots and earthquakes, not to mention debilitating strikes. (We’re still waiting for plagues of frogs and locusts, and for Moses to part the Santa Monica Bay and lead his people out of Hollywood.) But things like that really don’t happen that often, and we’ve learned to take them in stride.

It’s also true that we’ve have a lot of illegal aliens here. And yes, many are from Mexico, but others come from Guatemala, China, Russia, Canada and Ireland, among others. In fact, the joke was that if you couldn’t get a table at Molly Malone’s, all you had to do was stand in the front door, yell “Immigration!” and watch half the bar empty out the back door.

As you might suspect, there are a lot of celebrities here, and we do bump into them from time to time. Personally, I’ve shared a physical therapy session with Billy Crystal, stood in line next to John Lithgow at the market, and nearly ran into Emmylou Harris rounding a corner at the mall. (Then again, I also met B.B. King, Al Green and Stevie Ray Vaughn long before I ever moved to L.A.)

The standard approach upon spotting a celebrity here is to pretend you didn’t see him or her; running up and begging for an autograph is a sure sign of a tourist. On the other hand, we’re just about fed up with paparazzi.

Speaking of celebrities, Posh and Becks made a big splash when they first got here, but they’ve kept a low profile since; I don’t know anyone who has actually seen them — including on the field for most of his first season here. And even with the most famous right foot in football (as opposed to football), our local club would still have a hard time beating Blackpool.

It’s just a pity we don’t have relegation here. If we did, the local side might play a little better.

And the Clippers would be lucky to compete on the high school level.

 

No Whip gets a ticket for making a right on a red light without stopping — just like many drivers do — while Alex endures playground taunts from a jerk with a badge. Meanwhile, a cyclist in Wisconsin discovers it’s against the law to get doored. Chicago cops take to the streets to encourage safe cycling, rather than writing tickets; I wonder if anyone ever considered that here. Illinois clarifies cycling laws in a way that actually makes sense, and could save lives. Is anyone in Sacramento listening? An L.A. rider hits the pavement, thanks to a scum-filled pothole. An Eastside rider reminds us that the city is still taking comments on revising the bike master plan (as if we actually had one before) and recommends a great place for good mole. And finally, Metblogs covers the inaugural Brentwood Grand Prix. I wonder who won the Manolos? 

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