Tag Archive for Gran Fondo

Morning Links: Koretz blocks bike lanes while planet burns, LA Vision Zero gone, and Pico Rivera bikeway meeting tonight

Good piece from Curbed, as they ask whether e-scooters are too dangerous for Los Angeles streets.

Short answer, it’s not the scooters that are dangerous.

But CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz insists the streets — and sidewalks — are just too dangerous for scooter riders, saying they need the kind of bike infrastructure he’s blocked in his district because “political realities” make it too difficult.

Evidently, Koretz thinks he was only elected to do easy, convenient and popular things, and leave the hard stuff to whoever follows him once he’s termed out.

Or maybe just ignore the environment Koretz swears he’s committed to saving, and let cars keep killing us all until they finally kill the planet, too.

Evidently, he didn’t read that copy of Profiles in Courage we gave him last year.

Or watch Do the Right Thing, for that matter.

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I guess our lives don’t matter, after all.

Los Angeles has taken down its Vision Zero website, and replaced it with LADOT’s Great Streets site.

So you may still die, but at least you’ll do it on a nicer street.

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Active SGV is asking bike riders to turn out for a Pico Rivera regional bikeway design meeting tonight.

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The LACBC will be hosting another round of BEST bike safety classes in conjunction with Metro next month.

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If you’re fond o’ Peter Sagan, here’s your chance to meet and ride with him in Sagan’s new San Diego fondo.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Local

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew teamed with volunteer Michelle Paravicini to upgrade and redecorate a ghost bike for 15-year old bicyclist Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year. A rededication ceremony will be held this Sunday.

Tyler the Creator is one of us, going for a fashionable ride in Los Angeles on a BMX from Long Beach bikemaker SE Bikes.

As usual, there will be a bike valet at this weekend’s annual Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach. So do everyone a favor and leave the car at home.

A handful of hecklers opposed to the recent road diet on the Broadway corridor tried to shout down a couple of Long Beach councilmembers at a monthly public Q&A session. So evidently, it’s not just LA and Pasadena NIMBYs that do that.

 

State

La Jolla follows Santa Monica’s lead and tries to corral e-scooters with painted, on-street scooter parking areas.

Fountain Valley’s newly rebuilt Slater Ave bridge will finally reopen today, complete with better sidewalks and bike lanes.

Where you can walk, hike and bike without leaving Riverside.

Petaluma-based premium bikewear brand Kitsbow is pulling up stakes, and moving across the US to North Carolina.

More bad news from NorCal, as a 28-year old Fremont bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who later returned to the scene after driving to work with the victim’s bicycle still embedded in his windshield; just one of those danged “unfortunate accidents” according to police. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s CBS outlet blames the victim for wearing dark clothes, while questioning whether he would hav survived if the driver hadn’t waited to call 911.

Sunnyvale joined the Vision Zero club, though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to prevent bike and pedestrian deaths. Kind of like virtually every American city — including one SoCal metropolis in particular (see above).

San Francisco-based celebrity chef Chris Cosentino finds his balance by returning to his mountain bike.

 

National

CityLab says apps that automatically report problem drivers and blocked bike lanes to authorities — and save the information online — are troubling. Although I’d gladly take one designed to work in the LA area, driver privacy be damned. And let’s change the law so drivers can be ticketed based on photographic or video evidence.

Bicycling offers tips to get rid of that pain in your back. No, from riding, not the one you work for. Sorry.

Peloton says Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmet beats MIPS helmets at preventing concussions. Which matters because other helmets don’t do a damn thing to prevent TBIs, as I’ve learned the hard way. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Bike Portland considers the consequences when bike and e-scooter riders collide.

If anyone has seen Bill Walton’s bicycle that was stolen 42 years ago at an Oregon championship parade, be sure to let the former NBA star know. Although I wouldn’t try to confront anyone tall enough to ride that thing.

The Department of DIY struck in Boulder CO, where someone used toilet plungers to make their own protected bike lane; unfortunately, it didn’t last long before city workers removed them all.

It’s been a month since Arkansas’ version of the Idaho Stop Law went into effect, and the world hasn’t come crashing to an end. Although many people still don’t understand the law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

After a Kentucky boy’s bicycle was stolen on his birthday, kindhearted firefighters took up a collection to buy him a new one.

You’ve got to be kidding. After a 76-year old Indiana bike rider was run down from behind by an unlicensed drunk driver, the local sheriff reminds bike riders to obey the law and wear a helmet. How about reminding people not to drive their damn cars after they’ve been drinking. And stay the hell off the roads if you don’t have a license.

A visiting German journalist tries bike commuting in Cleveland, and quickly learns the English word for pothole.

Life is cheap in New York state, where an 85-year old former cop walks with probation for a hit-and-run that severely injured a man riding bicycle, after claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone. He also got a ridiculous six-month driving ban; anyone who can hit someone hard enough to cause major injuries without even knowing it should never be allowed behind the wheel again.

New York experts say either fix a frequently blocked bike lane, or rip it out and start over.

A New York “mob” of young men and women beat a sleeping man with a cane and bottle before stealing his bicycle and wallet, then beat and robbed a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene. Note to NY Daily News — if someone who has a bicycle is sleeping on the sidewalk, “bicyclist” is probably not the best descriptor.

Life is cheap in Georgia, too, where a man walked with probation for killing a bike-riding woman; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming the sun was in his eyes.

A Florida kid starts his own nonprofit to give bike helmets to other kids at his school.

Miami first responders are riding 150 miles to Key West to raise funds for a local cancer charity.

 

International

Bicycling looks at Britain’s Rough Stuff Fellowship, the world’s oldest offroad bike club, and dedicated to extreme riding. Like biking to an Everest base camp.

Former Tour de France champ and banned doper Jan Ulrich was fined the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for attempting to strangle an escort while drunk and stoned in a German hotel room.

Great idea. A German politician says bicyclists should get an extra day of vacation because they’re healthier and use less sick time. Unless maybe we come down with a bad case of the bike flu, and have to call in sick to go for a bike ride.

At least there’s justice in Australia, where a drunk and stoned driver got a well-deserved ten years behind bars for killing a motorcycle cop who was escorting a charity bike ride; the schmuck had to have a friend blow into the interlock device on his car to get it to start. Which is what I’d call a really lousy friend.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fifth stage of the Vuelta finished in a brief breakaway and a change in leadership. Do we really need to be spoiler-free for the Vuelta, since hardly anyone can actually watch it in this county?

A Belgian court hears that fallen cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht lost control of his bicycle when he hit a roadside reflector during the Tour of Poland earlier this month.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re stoned and carrying synthetic weed and meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already. No, bicycles haven’t returned to America’s streets; they were never gone.

And if your bike taillight is shaped like red testicles, take them off right now and go stand in the corner until we say you can come out.

Which may be never.

 

Guest post: CiclaValley talks next Sunday’s Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon

I had the pleasure of attending the LACBC’s Firefly Ball last night as a guest of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass. Unfortunately, that kept me out late enough that I wasn’t able to get today’s Morning Links ready.

Instead, here’s the guest post from CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew that was delayed by yesterday’s breaking news, as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

Come back over the weekend and we’ll catch up on all the news we missed.

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Being Mr. CiclaValley has its perks. The top one is that I get to live in the valley, but to add to this charmed lifestyle, I’ve also befriended Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Phil Gaimon, all photos by Zachary Rynew

Phil Gaimon, photos by CiclaValley

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he’s just another regular guy, not this famous, elite athlete with a cult following.

Maybe being really fast and riding expensive bikes would tip you off too, but even then….

Since he’s made this city his home, he’s always made time to help the local cycling community and took it upon himself to organize a cleanup of Mulholland.

To add to it, he’s hosting his inaugural Mailbu Gran Cookie Fondo on November 6th to give enthusiasts a top notch cycling event while also benefitting the City of Hope.

Phil is a pretty straightforward guy and answered some questions about life on the tour and his up coming ride.

Participants in Mulholland clean-up

Participants in Mulholland clean-up

Question: Why Malibu?

Phil Gaimon: Every time I tell someone that I live in Los Angeles, they ask how the hell I can train in a town known only for traffic and movie stars. The truth is that I’ve ridden all over the world, and I can’t say L.A. is the very best, but it’s part of a 20-way tie for a climber like me. Just north of the city, you’ve got the Pacific Coast Highway with the ocean on one side and a ridge of mountains on the other. There are tons of tiny roads up and down that ridge, with Mulholland on top — this twisty, beautiful road where they film every car commercial. You can climb around that ridge for days and never hit the same road twice. SoCal doesn’t have a proper post-season gran fondo, so I thought that the Malibu Gran Cookie Dough would be a fun way to show off my home roads and help L.A. get the reputation it deserves as a cycling destination.

Q: What’s the route like?

PG: We have three lengths: 46 miles, 87, and 118. They’re all really hilly, finishing off with an optional dirt climb that even the locals rarely tackle. Lots of suffering up steep climbs along the oceans, and then at the top you’ll see snowy mountains in the distance and dolphins in the water behind you. The weather is always perfect, and it’s a magical area to ride.

Q: And the cookies?

PG: Cookies are my thing. I think I mentioned in a blog a long time ago that I like them, and it snowballed. Now people bake cookies and bring them to me at races, Team Cannondale and Castelli are selling a cookie-themed team fan jersey, and I’m just embracing it because it’s the best thing I have going, and my teammates are all jealous.

There’s a cool restaurant in Santa Monica called M Street Kitchen, which is known for cookies. When I found out their celebrity chef rides bikes, we got to be friends. Jeff Mahin had just returned from the White House when I met him, so basically Obama tested the cookies for me. Jeff loved the idea of the Gran Fondo (which we’ve now dubbed the “Gran Cookie Dough”). Now we get to offer a great bike ride, and a celebrity chef providing cookies at the top of the climbs and a real gourmet lunch after. Team sponsors are all jumping in, so we’ll have some great swag to go with my local pro friends and Cannondale teammates.

Q: Tell us about the charity you’re supporting.

PG: My dad died of cancer last Fall, and City of Hope is a leading cancer research and treatment center. There’s a cycling club in L.A. called Fireflies that raises money for City of Hope with an annual five-day ride, and my friends there helped make the connection.

Q: Where do we get more information?

PG: Easiest way would be to visit our website, www.philsfondo.com or visit your local Cannondale Dealer for more info.

Q: When/Where/Why?

PG: Sunday, November 6th – Malibu, CA. Bikes, Cookies & Fun!

granfondo

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