Tag Archive for Giro d’Italia

Morning Links: Happy World Bicycle Day, a slap-happy Giro fan, and bringing back beloved British bicycling bread ad

Before we start, I hope you’ll join me in thanking the law firm of Thomas Forsyth for renewing their sponsorship of this site for another year. 

Without their continued support, and that of Cohen Law Partners, and especially title sponsor Pocrass & De Los Reyes, this site would not be possible. 


Happy World Bicycle Day.

Zwift wants you to do your riding inside today, as the virtual cycling company is hosting charity rides every hour.

So go ahead. Feel free to join in for a good cause.

But then get your butt outside and get on a bike that actually goes somewhere.

Meanwhile, I’ll be joining you in spirit as I continue to rehab my knee, getting in a few imaginary miles inside with a non-Zwift spin on trainer.

And wishing I was riding outside instead.

Photo by Flo Dnd from Pexels.


Knock a Giro cyclist off his bike by getting a little too close to the action, and prepare to get slapped.


Meanwhile, the rider’s boss was all in, saying it would have been the end of cycling as a sport if López was disciplined.


A British bread company is bringing back a fully restored version of a classic ad that was recently voted the country’s all-time favorite, and which launched the career of director Ridley Scott.



The LAPD has located the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider in Boyle Heights on Friday; the driver failed to stop after running over 24-year old Maywood resident Jaime Ramirez.

KCET offers a guide to the most unusual streets in Los Angeles.

Cypress Park residents are tired of the sound of speeding cars, screeching brakes and crunching metal, saying it’s just a matter of time before someone gets killed. Unfortunately, it’s not an accident that their city council representative is commonly known as Road Kill Gil for his willful inaction on traffic safety issues. 

The Alhambra Source considers the city’s problems with bike safety from the perspective of the people on two wheels.

A ghost bike was installed in Valencia last week to honor 22-year old Kori Powers, who was run down from behind while riding on Rye Canyon Road.

Santa Monica approves an $833 million Climate Action & Adaptation Plan, including plans to replace half of all motor vehicle trips with walking, or riding bikes, scooters and skateboards.

Hermosa Beach has renamed the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for Julian Katz, the former public works commissioner and longtime advocate for bikeways who passed away last year. Out of respect to Katz, I’ll keep any wisecracks about the non-benefits of sharrows to myself, for once.

Long Beach is addressing complaints about the safety of the new Broadway protected bike lanes — by changing street sweeping times. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Long Beach man was fatally shot when a group of men got out of a car and chased him down the street as he tried to get away on his bike.



A Fox News columnist accuses California’s “looney left politicians” of ignoring the state’s problems, and focusing on things like “Los Angeles…spending millions of dollars building bike lanes modeled after those in Copenhagen.” We wish.

The former safety officer for the Kern Wheelmen says Bakersfield’s streets aren’t safe or enjoyable for bike riders, with or without a bike lane, and haven’t been since the ’80s.

Once again, a San Francisco bike rider has slammed into an elderly pedestrian in a crosswalk, while apparently attempting, and failing, to beat the light. Fortunately, the victim does not appear to have been seriously injured.

A San Francisco advocate decries Lyft’s attempt to maintain a bikeshare monopoly in the city.

An advocacy group is suing Danville over its approval of a 69-home community near Mt. Diablo State Park, alleging the environmental impact statement doesn’t adequately address the risks posed to bike riders.

Sad news from Carmichael, where a bike rider was killed in a collision after allegedly riding into traffic without waiting to cross a major street.

Caltrans Director Laurie Berman is one of us. Or was, for a day, as she led a Bike Month-ending ride in Sacramento on a bikeshare ebike.

A local paper tells the story of Thomas Stevens, who decided on a whim to ride a bike across the Sierras on a Penny Farthing in 1884, becoming the first person to bike over Donner Summit on a bicycle, then continued on around the world.



Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride around her neighborhood with her boyfriend, wherever that may be.

A Tucson AZ couple are riding with cameras on their bikes, in response to what they call the most frightening city they’ve ridden in.

A new Colorado program will offer insurance to bike riders for the low, low price of just $50 a month. Even though bike riders pose a fraction of the risk drivers do, whether to others or to the company that insures them.

NIMBY residents on a Chicago street say they’re more afraid of getting hit by bicycles than by the people in the big, dangerous machines Even though there’s no record of anyone getting killed by someone on a bicycle in the city, ever.

After not riding for 20 years, an Ohio man learns the hard way that riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

The Department of DIY has opened a branch office in Maine, where a group of volunteers is saving $45,000 a mile by building their own network of mountain bike trails.

If you’re looking for a little summer reading, how about a thriller starring a Boston bike messenger and stand-up comic who ends up doing a little mystery sleuthing on the side.

A Staten Island writer says that Vision Zero is just a Catch 22, and will just result in more safety efforts whether deaths go up or down. We can only hope. And if it is a Catch 22, let’s hope it’s better the one currently airing on Netflix.

A headphones-wearing BMX rider knocked a Hasidic man’s hat off his head, in what New York police are investigating as a hate crime.

Baltimore bike riders turned out to honor a popular 84-year old man known as the mayor of a local bike trail, after he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Now that’s scary. A South Carolina man was injured when the pavement he was riding on collapsed underneath him without warning, dropping him into a ten-foot sinkhole.

Sadly, it happens to cops, too. A Florida sheriff’s deputy was killed while training for a 9/11 memorial ride when a driver blew through a stop sign at 40 mph and slammed into his bike.



A Trinidad father is the latest challenger to build the world’s tallest bike, at a planned 25 feet six inches; the current title is still held by LA’s own Stoopidtall.

Maybe crashing into a pedestrian is more dangerous than we thought. Saskatoon police are looking for a bike rider after the gun in his backpack went off when he hit a pedestrian with his bike, shattering a storefront window.

Nearly half of all British residents say the country’s streets are too dangerous for bike riders.

They may be right. A Conservative member of Parliament suffered a broken hand when he was doored by a car passenger. Proof to doubting Americans that yes, conservatives can and do ride bicycles.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 81-year old English grandmother has set out to bike the full length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Up to 90,000 people turned out for a Berlin demonstration and bike ride demanding more space for bikes on the city’s streets.

Mumbai is attempting to make itself the bicycle capital of India by 2030.

A Philippine bicyclist makes the case for a bike-friendly Manilla, saying more people on bikes would free up more space for cars. Although scofflaw bike riders don’t excuse drivers hogging bike lanes, regardless of what he says.

A Thai paper correctly acknowledges that bicycling can turn you into a sex god. Although that might not be the exact way the phrased it.


Competitive Cycling

If you still don’t know who won the Giro, you probably haven’t been paying attention for the last week, when Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz tightened his grip on the pink jersey.

Carapaz’s victory was a long way from his childhood riding a skeletal bike without tires that his father pulled out of a junkyard.

Former race leader Primož Roglič faded in the homestretch after crashing in stage 14, but was able to save his place on the podium with the final time trial.

Colin Strickland and Amity Rockwell won the men’s and women’s editions of this year’s Dirty Kanza endurance gravel race, with Strickland setting a record for the first sub-10 hour finish.

Once again, a young bicyclist has lost his life competing in a race, as 18-year old Danish junior cyclist Andreas Byskov Sarbov was killed in a collision while competing in a time trial.

Bicycling says it’s been 30 year since since Greg LeMond won the Tour de France in what the magazine calls the greatest comeback in modern sports history.

Washington’s Robbie Webster and Missouri’s Sarah Haskins won the men’s and women’s elite divisions of the Herbalife 24 Triathlon from Venice to DTLA. A homeless advocate planned to ride the biking leg of the race, despite losing one of his own to flesh eating viruses.



You can carry anything by bike — even a full-size massage table. That feeling when your fall ends up immortalized on a Google street view.

And forget scooters. It’s time for dockless pogo sticks.

No, really.


Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his ongoing support of this site

And on a personal note, I hope you’ll join me in wishing the Corgi a happy birthday today, as she turns 13; we’ve now had her for almost nine of those years.

Even if she does have way too many toys.

Collision maps reveal L.A.’s unsafe routes to school; more tragedy in pro cycling (and not just Lance)

I knew L.A. wasn’t the safest place to bike or ride.

But it never really sank in until I saw the maps.

Safe Routes to Schools has joined with the LACBC to call attention to just how far this city has to go before children to walk or bike to many schools, especially in lower income areas. New collision maps based on TIMS data (the Transportation Injury Mapping System) clearly shows how many injuries and fatalities occur near schools.

Just take a look at this map showing three years of collision data for South L.A. alone.

And I hope you have a stronger stomach than me when you realize that every dot on that map represents a human being injured or killed on our streets.

Of course, they weren’t all children. But these maps make the strongest argument yet that we have to improve safety around our schools.

“Traffic collisions, and the death or injury of Los Angeles’ people, especially our youngest community members, is heartbreaking and impacts everyone,” says Alexis Lantz, Planning and Policy Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

While the city has recently allocated $1.2 million to develop a citywide strategy to provide safer routes for children and their parents to get to and from school — and anyone else who happens to ride or bike nearby — there’s clearly a lot to do.

And a long way to go.

“Now with the TIMS data, the State of California has provided an amazing tool that allows us to see the neighborhoods, intersections and streets of greatest need and make strategic investments.  We need the City to provide staff, and create a plan to implement safety improvements quickly, so we can see our transportation priorities shift.  For too long, there has been a focus on moving cars to the detriment of our health and communities, the City of Los Angeles needs to put safety and people first,” says Jessica Meaney, California Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

I mean, seriously. Just look at the maps.


In pro cycling news, Movistar rider Xavier Tondo was killed in a freak accident when he was hit by a garage door while leaving for a ride; friends and fellow pros remember him. Conspiracy theorists may note that he had recently told authorities about being approached by a doping ring.

Mikel Nieve scores his second mountain stage win in the Giro, as Alberto Contador surges to more than a four minute lead leading up to Monday’s rest day before the final week of racing.

Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner cross the finish line atop Mt. Baldy at virtually the same time to clinch the Amgen Tour of California for Horner. The Claremont Cyclist spends the morning with Rabobank. What it’s like to ride the Mt. Baldy stage of the AToC. Horner wraps it up on Sunday as HTC rider Matthew Goss wins the final stage and Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack takes the first two places in the general classification. Bicycling offers video of post-race reactions, while the Daily News is too busy talking with fans to get the details straight.

Between Chris Horner’s exciting run and the race up Mt. Baldy, this is the first Tour of California that seemed, to me at least, like a legitimate contender as a top-tier cycling race. Now if they can add another challenging stage or two — like maybe a peak-to-peak route around the San Diego area ending with a climb up Mt. Palomar, where snow wouldn’t be a factor — they might have something. Although going head-to-head with the Giro will always be a limiting factor.

And in case you’ve been in a coma the past few days, CBS’ 60 Minutes reported that former friends and teammates of Lance Armstrong  have turned on him to accuse the seven time TdF champ of doping; no one seems to care that George Hincapie reportedly confessed, though. If the accusations against Lance Armstrong are proven, he faces serious jail time; at the very least, his reputation will be in tatters. Tyler Hamilton’s lawyer discusses why the rider finally came clean. Former pro Scott Mercier says doping was pervasive when he was racing in the ’90, and UCI responds with the expected shock and indignation.

A writer for Road.cc asks the same question a lot of riders are asking right now: what happens when your idol and inspiration lets you down? And Italian police reportedly find nothing in an impeccably timed raid on Team RadioSchack’s hotel at the Giro.


LACBC releases a great new video explaining the upcoming 7th Street road diet and bike lanes in your choice of three popular languages. Meanwhile, those new LED lights on the Elysian Valley section of the L.A. River Bike Path are out of order for the foreseeable future after thieves steal the copper wiring.


Streetsblog wants your questions for LAPD Sgt. David Krumer, the department’s popular point man for the cycling community. LADOT Bicycle Services unveils a nifty new website. L.A. bike attorney Howard Krepack argues that the safety of cyclists has to be considered during road work, as well. Richard Risemberg looks at the art of riding in Santa Monica. CicLAvia wants to know what you think about the proposed expansion routes into Boyle Heights and South L.A. The Times looks at some unusual bike designs. Santa Monica riders review that city’s proposed bike plan. The recent presidential visit gives a UCLA employee a chance to ride the Westside.

A reader corrects the Press-Enterprise for saying cyclists are required to ride as far right as possible; the writer insists that possible and practicable mean the same thing. A Fresno-area cyclist’s tragic death in a solo bike accident could help up to eight other people through organ donation; I’d want some good to come out of it for someone if anything ever happened to me. Surprisingly, California ranks 20th on the list of bike-friendly states; surprising we’re that high, that is.

USA Today notes a nationwide movement to make the streets safe for cyclists; thanks to Zeke for the heads-up. That great epiphany moment that turns non-cyclists into confirmed riders is a myth. Fifteen reasons to fall in love with your bike. Elly Blue continues her excellent Bikenomics series with a look at riding while broke. Evidently believing them to be magic talismans that will ward off injury, a writer calls bike helmets the most important safe cycling habit — above, say, stopping for traffic signals, remaining visible or riding with traffic, or any of the other riding habits that might keep a helmet from being necessary. A firefighter’s career could be over after a cycling hit-and-run. New Jersey authorities seem unclear on the concept, as they instruct riders to share the road with fast moving traffic, rather than requiring speeding drivers to slow down; it may be time to retire Share the Road entirely. A New York actor and personal therapist explains why he’ll be riding the 10th Anniversary AIDS Ride. In a classic example of press bias, an 11-year old West Virginia boy is sideswiped while riding his bike, yet the local press reports that he collided with the car; thankfully, they note the car was not damaged.

The return of bike season means the return of road rage. Buy a Victorian London house, and get your very own bike museum. Police tell cyclists to stay off the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course. Scott cyclists pay to ride a new freeway for just one day, though not all do it to celebrate. This is what bike parking is supposed to look like; a Brit company tweets to take credit. A video look at the Pillars of Italian Cycling. How about a Norwegian-style bike lift? Jakarta gets its first bike lane, which immediately turns into parking for three-wheeled pedicabs.

Finally, video captures a cyclist getting by a car, and landing on his feet. And apparently, the solution to dropping off a bike and still getting back home is to throw your Dahon on the back of your Urbana — sort of like tossing a Mini in the back of a Hummer.

A moving gesture in the Giro, yet another bike rider injured in a gang shooting

More on the events before and after the death of Leopard Trek rider Wouter Weylandt in Monday’s 3rd stage of the Giro.

According to RadioShack rider Manuel Cardoso, who was closest to the collision, Weylandt had been dropped by the leaders, and was attempting to rejoin the main group. He was looking back at the riders behind when he clipped the wall and was catapulted to the other side of the road, where he hit another object.

Weylandt reportedly knew the course well, and live video of the crash will take center stage in an inquest into the death. News of his death was withheld until his pregnant wife, who was driving home at the time, could be told; authorities didn’t want her to hear the news over the radio. A Facebook page has been set up to solicit donations for Weylandt’s family.

The Giro riders offer a moving tribute to Weylandt as the peloton forgoes racing for the 4th stage. At the finish, Garmin-Cervelo’s Tyler Farrar rode with Leopard Trek team in honor of his late friend; when he dropped back to let the Leopard Trek riders finish without him, they pulled him forward to finish together in an all-too-rare example of sportsmanship in today’s world.

The race will go on, but without Farrar or Weylandt’s Leopard Trek team.


The Beverly Hill Courier reports that a 40-year old man with gang affiliations was shot multiple times while riding a bike on the 2700 block of Alsace Avenue in South L.A. early Monday morning. Authorities say he was shot in the leg, arm and the groin (twice), but refused to cooperate with police. Witnesses reported seeing a silver SUV speeding away.


Joseph Ricardo Fernandez, the driver accused of killing Encino cyclist Jim Swarzman, faces a preliminary hearing today.


Wish I could have made this meeting, as the BAC’s Planning Subcommittee meets this afternoon to discuss issues including the Exposition bikeway, sharrows on Westwood Blvd, and the L.A. River Bike Path and other proposed bike lanes around the NBC/Universal expansion.


Better Bike Beverly Hills reports on the recent Westside COG meeting to address closing the many gaps in Westside bikeways. A trio of Cal Poly SLO architecture students suggest banning cars from Downtown L.A. Sign up for UCLA’s Bike to Campus week and you could get a free t-shirt or bike tune-up. Examined Spoke examines the weirdness of biking in Los Angeles. The Palms Neighborhood Council will host a Bike Rodeo on Saturday, June 14th. Rick Risemberg writes there’s room for all kinds of riders on the streets of L.A. Walk Eagle Rock calls for a transformed Colorado Blvd. Santa Monica will hold a workshop on the city’s new Bike Action Plan on Monday. A look at last weekend’s bike-friendly Santa Monica Festival. Well, that’s one bike thief off the street; wait, make that three. Writing for the Santa Monica Daily Press, a family law attorney says California’s helmet law wasn’t written to protect kids, but to make money for helmet makers. A new website challenges you to time your commute by car and bike to win cool prizes. Manhattan Beach will unveil new bike racks on Saturday. Long Beach’s biking expats prepare to hit the road for their latest two-wheeled expansion. A look at this weekend’s upcoming Long Beach Bike Fest; Saturday also marks the family-oriented Tour of Riverside.

Bike corrals could soon be coming to San Diego. Why cyclists should ride with traffic. Among other safety tips, the Atascadero News says while cyclists have the burden of being visible, drivers have the burden of watching out; nice to see the press get it right for a change. San Francisco’s bike plans still have a way to go, but SF Gate says obeying the law should take equal emphasis. Palo Alto could soon get a shiny new bike boulevard. Yahoo offers advice on bike laws for Californians thinking about riding to work. Three Bay Area counties are using smartphone GPS data to improves bike planning; thanks to Zeke for the heads-up. Bicycling looks at the BMC Racing Team’s prep work for the Amgen Tour of California.

A new bill could increase federal benefits for biking to work; good luck getting it through the Tea Party driven House. Grist looks at how employers can encourage bike commuting. Levi’s introduces skinny bike jeans with a reinforced crotch, U-lock holder and stink-proofing. The latest Streetsfilm says complete streets are about more than bike lanes. Evidently, sitting all day is bad for you; unless you’re sitting on a bike seat, of course. Why bike racers need an anchor. Ten tips to make bicycling easy. Rather than crack down on illegally parked bikes, Durango CO builds a successful bike coral, leading to a record month for a local business; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link. An Arkansas minister rides 60 miles to celebrate his 60th year less than three years after he was nearly killed in a cycling collision. Arlington TX decides cyclists only want to ride to and from parks. Lovely Bicycle looks at the New England Bicycle Expo. An Indiana Amish father and his four-year old daughter are killed in broad daylight by a driver who claims he didn’t see them. New York cyclists are being ticketed for non-existent traffic laws; Gothamist says the solution is an Idaho Stop Law. A Florida cyclist is killed when a driver falls asleep and knocks her off a causeway; thanks to Michael Byerts for the link.

Despite the recent troubles in Mexico, the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride just keeps on rolling. So who really did invent the pedal bicycle? London considers letting trucks unload in the city’s bikeways. One of the great climbs of London. One day you’re a bike racer, the next day you’re hooking up with the most famous singer in France; thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up. In Abu Dhabi, bumping bikes is the latest national sport, but at least they don’t murder their victims after they hit them. The UN launches the Decade of Action for Road Safety tomorrow; former Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes will probably issue a statement declaring it a socialist plot to save lives.

Finally, bikemeister Chris K suggests an earpiece that channels stereo sound into a single ear so you can comply with state law and still hear what’s going on around you. And Will Campbell points us to a post from a few years back, in which he does what we’ve all thought about when confronted by a butt-flinging distracted driver.

Well, actually, I fantasize about grabbing their phone and throwing it as far as I can, then shoving that still-burning butt where the sun don’t shine.

But still.

Rest in peace, Wouter Weylandt

I grew up a boxing fan.

In those days, before pay-per-view, it was almost hard not to be one.

It was the glory days of Mohamed Ali, Joe Frazier and George Forman, when he was still an angry young man who could strike fear in Frazier and make Mike Tyson seem like a Zen master. I followed closely as they mixed and matched in the greatest series of bouts since American Joe Louis fought German Max Schmeling in the build-up to World War II, with all the political and master-race baggage those times threw into the ring with them.

It was also a great way of bonding with my father, as we’d gather in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn and a beer — for my dad, anyway — and watch the drama unfold in living color. The seemingly indestructible Quarry Brothers could take a beating on Friday night, then get back up to win the next round, or the next fight; Colorado’s own Ron Lyle would emerge from the state prison to go toe-to-toe with Ali and Foreman, nearly beating them both.

That all changed in 1982, when we watched Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini take on South Korean fighter Duk Koo Kim for the lightweight championship; this time separated by a few thousand miles, but knowing we’d talk later to discuss every knockdown.

That call never took place.

Mancini stopped Kim in the 14th round, winning by TKO as Kim hit the canvas hard, then struggled back to his feet; he died four days later after slipping into a coma moments afterwards.

To the best of my knowledge, my dad never watched another fight.

I’ve tried a few times, but find myself screaming at the TV for the referee to stop the bout as soon as I see a boxer trapped against the ropes, fending off a barrage of blows. I’d rather watch the replay on HBO long after the fight is over, knowing that everyone has walked away.

And Ultimate Fighting?

Forget it.

I was reminded of that today, after sleeping in late to recover from an overly taxing weekend, awaking to the news that Leopard Trek rider Wouter Weylandt died after falling in today’s third stage of the Giro d’Italia.

For all the danger of the peloton and twisting, heart-pounding descents, fatalities are rare in bike racing, just as they are in boxing and other seemingly dangerous sports.

Pro racer Fabio Casartelli died in the ’95 Tour de France; Andrei Kivilev during the Paris-Nice classic in ’03.

Both tragic, both devastating. Yet both demonstrating just how rare events like this are, despite the dangerous courses and riding conditions pro cyclists are forced to contend with. And even though injuries, sometimes serious, are common.

Training can also be deadly, as riders are forced to contend with the same road and traffic conditions the rest of us face on a daily basis, while putting in more miles at higher speeds.

Yet the riders on the pro tour are the best of the best, taking on challenges and employing skills most of us will never approach. And pulling them off beautifully — and often, spectacularly.

Even amateur racers and recreational riders can face similar risks, as we push ourselves to the edge of our capabilities, whether to improve our skills or experience the thrills of carving the perfect turn on a high-speed descent.

Including me on more than one occasion.

Back when I lived in Colorado, I was young and fearless — and yes, very reckless. While I prided myself on my bike safety skills, I had no aversion to pushing the edge, bombing down steep descents and carving high-speed turns with my knee nearly scraping the pavement. And more than once ending up with a bloody kneecap to prove I’d pushed it just a little too far.

One time stands out, though, in terms of crossing the line from pushing the edge to sheer adrenaline and testosterone addled stupidity.

I’d somehow managed to talk my girlfriend at the time to give a handful of fellow thrill-seekers a ride up a steep mountain pass. The plan was that she would wait for us at the bottom while we rode down with one simple rule: the first one to touch his brakes lost.

Those were the days when bike helmets were a relatively new concept, worn only by overly safety-conscious people who wouldn’t set foot in a car unless it was a Volvo. So we set off bare-headed as cars and heavy trucks wizzed by on our left.

It wasn’t long, though, before those cars were no longer speeding past. As my companions dropped off one by one, I found myself passing startled riders on their right, riding the shoulder in a racing crouch at speeds I estimated as somewhere around 70 to 75 mph.

In those days, when bike computers were just beginning to hit the pro tour, speed was usually judged by comparing yours to that of the cars passing by. That particular highway had a 55 mph speed limit; I knew from experience that most drivers regularly exceeded that limit by a good five to ten mph — and the fact that I was passing every car with ease told me I was doing well over that.

And yes, I knew at the time that what I was doing was incredibly dangerous; at that speed, a single patch of gravel or broken glass could have been fatal.

Somehow I made it, riding far beyond my ability to arrive at the bottom of the mountain half an hour before my companions. And several minutes faster than my girlfriend could drive the same route at highway speeds.

While I knew what I was doing was dangerous, I’m not sure I fully understood the risk I was taking.

Just this past January, two riders died under similar circumstances; both probably far more skilled than I was at the time and riding at much lower speeds.

Now older and hopefully wiser, I can still put myself in that moment and feel the same incredible rush I did that day, yet think I was an idiot to even try it.

Let alone lacking the common sense and instinct for self-preservation to back off when my more prudent friends did.

Weylandt’s death in the Giro serves as a tragic reminder that our sport can carry a significant risk, even when performed at the highest levels by the most skilled riders. And it’s made even more tragic by the news that his wife is pregnant with a child who will never know his or her father.

Reportedly, his left pedal touched a wall during a high-speed descent, sending him into a 65 foot tumble down the hillside; despite rescue efforts that lasted 40 minutes, the race’s medical team was unable to resuscitate him, and his body taken to a nearby hospital, not for emergency treatment, but for an autopsy.

Yes, I’ll watch the Giro again tomorrow.

But it won’t be the same.


There have been a number of moving statements during the course of this day.

But a couple stand out in my mind, and I’ll let them sum up this sad day; you’ll find additional links to stories about this tragedy below.

Say it ain’t so… Wouter, you were kind and gracious to me every day at Tour of Oman. You will be very dearly missed.

Taylor Phiney, @taylorphinney

The very act of cycling is in itself a celebration – so it’s especially hard when a life is lost in that act. RIP Wouter Weylandt.

Steve Montalto, @Highmountain4


The Leopard Trek team responds to Weylandt’s death. Photos of Weylandt winning the same stage in last year’s Giro, and at the start of today’s race just hours before his death. ESPN says his best years were still coming. Johan Bruyneel says the sick feeling in his stomach just won’t go away. Memories of one of the world’s greatest races before today’s bad news. Bicycling offers more details on Weylandt’s death. The Trickster forwards in-depth coverage of the story from New Zealand. Thoughts on the risks and tragic ironies of competition.

Finally, Bike Snob offers his very moving thoughts on today’s tragedy.

Giro kicks off, The Lancet calls for road safety, on-road portion of the Expo bikeway takes shape

The racing season starts for real as the legendary Giro d’Italia kicks off with a team time trial, which was won by HTC-Highroad.

Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti wears the pink jersey — the Giro’s equivalent of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. Bike Snob covers the race for Bicycling in his own inimitable style, while the magazine offers 10 riders to watch, including Contador, Sastre, Nibali, Cavendish and Petacchi.

Unfortunately, the field is weakened as a number of top teams have opted to take part in the competing Amgen Tour of California, which will roll during the Giro’s second week.


An editorial in the respected medical journal The Lancet calls for reducing road dangers, both from collision and disease caused by over-reliance on automobiles.

3000 people die each day in accidents on the roads worldwide—nearly 1·3 million people a year. In addition, 20—50 million people are injured each year, many of whom end up with lifelong disabilities. 90% of road-traffic deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, despite fewer vehicles in these countries. Without concerted action, road-traffic injuries are predicted to be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030 (after ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lower respiratory infections)—a leap from being the ninth ranked cause of death in 2004. In those aged 15—29 years, road-traffic injuries are the leading cause of death. Just over half of all deaths on the roads are in those not travelling in a car.

These numbers are stark, but do not take into account the epidemic of chronic disease and obesity, or the effects on air pollution and climate change, which result from increasing reliance on motorised vehicles. Conversion of a road-traffic injury epidemic to one of obesity or heart disease needs to be avoided.

They conclude with a common-sense call to action I can back wholeheartedly.

Making towns and cities safer for pedestrians and cyclists, or promoting use of seat belts or helmets, might not be as cutting edge as stem-cell research but will save more lives this decade.


The opening of Metro’s new Expo Line may be delayed once again — until next year this time — but the accompanying bike lanes are hitting the pavement on Expo Blvd now. And yes, we all hoped for an off-road bike path like the Valley’s Orange Line, but they’ve been saying for months we weren’t going to get it for the full length.

Evidently, they were right.

And I’m told that the eastbound lane transitions from asphalt to concrete in the middle of the lane; nothing like an uneven riding surface on a brand new bikeway.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the heads-up.


LACBC celebrates Bike Month by giving away a new IZIP electric bike; any new or renewing members are eligible. Cyclists tell the Source why they ride. Flying Pigeon calls on cyclists to support the bike advocacy group of their choice. Recent City Council candidate Stephen Box suggests LADOT’s acting head may have warn out his welcome. An anonymous writer for Bikeside says if you really want to understand planning, ride a bike. Matthew Ruscigno looks back at last month’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer. West Hollywood considers the possibility of a road diet and bike lanes on Fountain Avenue. The Santa Monica Daily Press says yes, you do have to stop for stop signs and traffic signals. Beverly Hills will host a bike workshop on Thursday, May 12th to get ready for Bike Week LA; Ron Durgin will be teaching, so count on expert instruction. Glendale will host a series of events for Bike Month. A look at Saturday’s L’Tape du California.

A San Diego writer looks back at his first week of bike commuting in the merry Bike Month of May; results so far, he’s tired. The SF Gate answers the concerns that keep women from commuting by bike. Five commuting tips to make every day Bike to Work Day. Three Bay Area counties are tracking cyclists through smartphone apps to collect data for future planning purposes. Benicia banishes downtown bike racks for being unsightly and diminishing the area’s historic character; something tells me they didn’t get rid of car parking for the same reasons. Those sporty spoilers can direct exhaust fumes directly to your head.

Lovely Bicycle reviews the Urbana bike; I offered my thoughts back in December. Nine years after his nephew is killed in a car crash, a Minot ND man honors his memory by giving away nearly 600 bikes to local children. A Detroit-area patrolman knew the cyclist he killed in a collision. Circling the heart of New York on the unfinished Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. A suspicious cyclist causes a scare at Ground Zero. Three Buffalo NY cyclists set out to complete the cross county bike ride they abandoned following a collision 25 years earlier.

A writer in VeloNews says it may be time to take on competitive cycling’s governing body; a new time trial shoe banned by the UCI fights back. CNN lists 15 bike-friendly cities around the world. Oxford’s new Lord Mayor vows to bike to work. One of the most gut-wrenching bike PSAs I’ve ever seen. Interrupting a bike ride to save a baby bunny. Bike-mounted cameras reveal the abuse Aussie drivers dish out.

Finally, an alleged drunk driver keeps going after killing a pedestrian in San Francisco, then smashes into a series of parked cars before coming to rest against a concrete planter. And Orange County authorities arrest an underage driver with a blood alcohol level of .30; so high, it causes police to say they’ve never seen anyone that drunk.


My apologies for not updating the upcoming bike events this week; I was tied up preparing for a surprisingly successful Saturday morning workshop biking issues in the ‘Bu. Thanks to the Malibu Public Safety Commission for bringing open minds and truly listening to our ideas and concerns; hopefully this is the beginning of a new relationship with the City of Malibu and better safety for everyone on PCH.

Stranger things have happened.

I’ll try to update the Events page over the next few days. There’s a lot going on this month you won’t want to miss.

Meanwhile, Damien Newton offers a comprehensive listing of Bike Month events on Streetsblog.