Tag Archive for Griffith Park

Possible closure of Griffith Park Drive, more on bike chop shop ban, and fallen AIDS/LifeCycle rider remembered

My apologies for another unexcused absence yesterday.

I’m still battling debilitating bouts of dizziness and brain fog, which my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraines. But which haven’t responded to medication or drastic changes in diet.

Which makes me think maybe they missed the mark this time.

Most days I can struggle through it. But others, like yesterday, it knocks me on my ass.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

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There may be hope for Griffith Park yet.

Sam forwards a Reddit post about a planned closure of Griffith Park Drive from Travel Town to Mt. Hollywood Drive.

While it’s shorter than the original proposal, this is a huge step forward in removing cars from the park, and reducing the kind of cut-through traffic that resulted in the April death of Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive.

Parks should be for people. Not an alternative to driving the freeway.

EMAIL SUPPORT for Griffith Park pilot project program Road Closure from Travel Town to backside of Mt Hollywood Dr!!!!! from BikeLA

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Streetsblog’s Sahra Suliaman calls the new LA ordinance banning bike chop shops a remnant of outgoing CD15 Councilmember Joe Bucaino’s failed “broken sidewalks” campaign for mayor.

The proposal, which passed by an 11 to 3 vote, must go back to the council next week after failing to receive a unanimous vote for approval in its first reading. A second vote only needs a majority vote for approval, virtually guaranteeing its passage.

Meanwhile, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus points out that “laws enforced by police against vulnerable people have a way of being abused and unfairly implemented.”

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The hometown newspaper of fallen bicyclist Glen Brown remembers the AIDS/LifeCycle rider who was killed in a solo bike crash just blocks from the Los Angeles finish this past weekend.

The 57-year old Illinois man was on his third ride to raise funds and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS, after riding from Minneapolis to Chicago and Boston to New York.

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Let’s talk bike helmets.

Discover looks at the science behind bicycle helmets protecting bicyclists, pointing out the benefits of helmets, as well as the limited protection they offer at speeds above 20 mph. And how mandatory helmet laws can have a contradictory effect by reducing ridership.

Meanwhile, a new study from the UK shows that only one-in-five competitive cyclists are aware of the limited protection offered by bike helmets, including the fact that most helmets don’t protect against concussions.

And Lime has opened a popup Helmet Hair Salon in London, to address the one-in-five bike and scooter riders who won’t wear a helmet because they don’t want helmet hair.

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Active SGV is asking for your support for the Arroyo Link to connect Pasadena to the Arroyo Seco.

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Megan Lynch forwards a tweet expressing the frustration many UC Davis students feel, after the inherent conflict of interest when a 19-year old student was killed by a truck owned by the university, in a crash investigated by the campus police.

https://twitter.com/plgepts/status/1537635937290575872

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A 77-year old British driver whines that he passed with plenty of room, after he was fined the equivalent of over $2,200 when his illegally close pass was caught on a bike cam and sent to the cops. Which we really should be able to do here in the US, but can’t. 

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

For once, a freeway traffic tie-up really was the fault of someone on a bicycle. A Seattle man was arrested after stealing a bicycle in a strong arm robbery, then riding it onto an Interstate highway and fighting with the cops when they tried to stop him.

Former New York Rangers star Sean Avery walked with time served for using his e-scooter to bash the door of a car blocking a bike lane, after arguing with the driver. We all know the feeling, but violence is never the answer, as tempting as it may be.

A Nottingham, England man faces charges after threatening to shoot a pawnbroker in the head after the shop refused to take his bicycle because they didn’t have room for it, then smashed a window on his way out.

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Local

The new $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct will finally open next month, three years late and $100 million over budget; the July 9th opening will be limited to pedestrians, with the following day open to bike riders and pedestrians, before the bridge opens to motor vehicles on July 11th.

Metro is pushing to use the upcoming ’28 Los Angeles Olympics as a catalyst to request federal funding for additional transportation projects, including new bike paths and bikeshare stations.

Speaking of Metro, the agency lists both online and in-person bike classes for the remainder of the month, as well as a handful of community bike rides — starting with tonight’s ride from Africatown in Leimert Park to Biddy Mason Park.

 

State 

A 55-year old Encinitas man continues to ride his bike hundreds of miles each month, despite suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer for the past eight years.

Police in McKinleyville are looking for the heartless hit-and-run van driver who ran a red light and hit a man on his bike, then got out of her vehicle to look at him lying on the ground before getting back in and driving away.

 

National

A Next City op-ed says it’s time to let Black and Brown people take the lead on reducing traffic deaths, since they’re at the greatest risk.

Bicycling examines the current state of the manhunt for Kaitlin Armstrong, the accused killer of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, including new clues to her whereabouts. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Planetopedia examines the concept of Tactical Urbanism.

Stranger Things star Matthew Modine is set to star in a new movie about a cycling team for at-risk youth.

Summer is almost here, and Momentum wants to tell you how to plan a bike picnic in just 15 minutes.

CNN takes a look at how competitive mountain bikers keep their cool while blazing across inches of trail on the edge of steep mountain sides.

An Arizona man discusses learning how to function again after losing his leg when a tow truck driver plowed into a group of bike riders last year, killing one woman and sending four riders to the ER.

Yes, please. Austin Texas is now offering a bike lane bounty for anyone who reports a driver blocking a bike lane; the person who turns them in gets 25% of the ticket revenue. You could make enough to retire if we had that here in LA.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an 11-year old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike, the third child killed by traffic violence in the city in just two weeks.

Tom Vanderbilt takes a bike tour through New York’s Hudson Valley, discovering a rich countryside and “farm to glass” whiskey.

A North Carolina postal worker faces charges for killing a 62-year old man riding his bike on the sidewalk, after exiting a parking lot in his mail truck without yielding to the bike rider.

 

International

Forbes examines the World Naked Bike Ride, which protests “the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create.”

Charges were dropped against a Windsor, Ontario driver accused of the drunken, hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle after she was found dead; no word on the cause of death.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding British motorcyclist was sentenced to just 20 months behind bars for killing a man riding a bike, while riding at more than double the 30 mph speed limit.

A German website asks if bicyclists and drivers will ever learn to live with each other, or continue to remain in a constant state of road rage.

Interesting idea. A new Japanese cargo bike prototype offers a compact, three-wheeled, double-decker design.

 

Competitive Cycling

EF Education has just two riders remaining in the Tour de Suiss, after four team members were forced to abandon after catching Covid. Which serves as yet another reminder that the disease hasn’t gone anywhere, as much as we might wish it was over.

Cycling’s governing body tightened the rules for transgender cyclists, raising the transition period on low testosterone to two years, while reducing the maximum level of testosterone

A 25-year old Wyoming man competing in the Tour Divide was forced to abandon when he wrecked his bike in Glacier National Park, then got lost trying to make his way back, and was trapped by flood waters.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the “more affordable” bike from a pair of retired cycling stars goes for a mere $5,990. Or when you find a Penny Farthing just hanging on the wall.

And when a naked bike ride photobombs your wedding pictures.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

6 years for hit-and-run death of Colton boy, LA votes on bike chop shop ban today, and demand Griffith Park bike safety

The hit-and-run driver who killed 15-year old bike rider Javier Gonzalez in Riverside has been formally sentenced to six years behind bars.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentence enhancement of fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera might not have faced any jail time if he’d just stopped his damn truck, since Colton resident Gonzalez and his friends were riding on the wrong side of the street.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance today to ban outdoor bike repairs and sales on public property, in an effort to halt open air bike chop shops.

However, it will exempt “people in possession of a single bike being repaired with the express purpose of allowing them to ride it again.” Which means you shouldn’t be subject to the law just for fixing your bike in public.

Key word, shouldn’t.

Although whether it will actually have an effect on bike theft remains to be seen.

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A Reddit post reminds us about the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which meets twice a month to discuss matters concerning the park.

Like how to keep bike riders safe from all the cars and drivers they let in to what should be a safe place for people.

The next virtual meeting takes place on the 27th of this month.

Improving Safety within Griffith Park: Griffith Park Advisory Board from BikeLA

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Inspiring story of a Tampa, Florida bike mechanic who rides his fixie with just one leg, after losing his left leg in a motorcycle crash.

Even on the track.

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GCN offers advice on how to perform basic maintenance for beginning bike riders.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bike just keeps on going.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A San Francisco disability advocate, backed by an art museum, is filing a ballot measure to force the return of cars to newly carfree John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Disgruntled motorists have been sabotaging London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods by repeatedly tipping over planters intended to limit traffic flow.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 profiles the Watts-based East Side Riders and co-founder John Jones III as they work to support the community and push for change.

Pacoima is launching the San Fernando Valley’s first ebike-based bikeshare system, which will be free to use for the next nine months.

He gets it. An op-ed from former Santa Monica City Manager and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole says stop spending billions on freeways. That money could be better spent on transit, biking and pedestrian projects to reduce the need to drive, instead of fueling it.

 

State 

Guardian Bikes, a children’s bikemaker financially backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is pulling up stakes in Irvine and moving to Seymour, Indiana, which should result in a ten-times increase in production.

A handful of residents and business owners turned out to protest as San Diego began work to remove two traffic lanes and install protected bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights, at a cost of just 88 parking spaces — most of which will be replaced nearby.

A Palm Springs man started an organization to provide bicycles to homeless people, to support them with much-needed transportation.

Oakland residents protested to call for safer streets in the wake of two deadly collisions involving a man on a bicycle and an elderly pedestrian.

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, explaining he rides his bicycle to home games to cut his carbon footprint.

 

National

ABC News reports that racial disparities in American traffic fatalities are even worse than previously thought, especially for pedestrians and bike riders, with Black pedestrians and cyclists 2.2 times and 4.5 times more like to killed on a per-mile basis, respectively; the trend is similar for Hispanic Americans.

Bicycle Retailer says increases in US bike ridership reached the highest levels in decades during the pandemic, but the bike boom may already be over.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico letter writer asks why the city can’t keep bike lanes clean and free of debris. Something most of us would like to know, wherever we live.

Kansas drivers are reminded to watch out for bike riders this month, as the Trans Am Bike Race and the Race Across America, aka RAAM, roll through the state, along with the annual Biking Across Kansas; three riders have been killed in the last five years.

The Chicago Sun-Times calls on the city to raise the fine for drivers who block bike lanes, after a three-year old girl was killed when her mother rode her bike around a utility truck parked in one.

A 43-year old Toledo man faces charges for viciously beating a 70-year old man riding his bicycle on a bike trail; the suspect bizarrely claims he was just trying to wake the victim up because he didn’t look well.

Writing from the perspective of a “non-avid cyclist,” a DC woman calls for better bike infrastructure for people like her, rather than the self-proclaimed “avid cyclists” who always seem to show up to oppose it.

A Virginia writer remembers riding his $5 junkyard bike all over town as a boy, while lamenting that kids don’t ride bikes anymore.

 

International

Riders stripped down to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico to call for greater visibility of people on bicycles; dozens of riders joined the fun in Toronto, too.

A Calgary man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike-riding man as the driver was leaving a golf course; the judge rejected a defense plea for a lenient sentence, saying it wouldn’t deter other people from drinking and driving.

An Ottawa, Canada woman has been holding weekly bike giveaways for the past three months to help Ukrainian refugees settle into the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam is opening a new 200-station bikeshare network.

An outdated law limiting handlebar widths means that most mountain bikers in Western Australia risk fines for breaking the law.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini won the Women’s Tour of Britain by just one second over Australian Grace Brown, thanks to a four-second bonus for a third place finish in the final stage.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish probably won’t have a chance to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in the Tour de France, since he’s unlikely to make the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team roster for the race.

 

Finally…

What’s a bike race without a little booze? Before you submit video of a scofflaw bicyclist, make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

And before you celebrate your win, make sure you really did.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Not guilty plea in DUI hit-and-run death of Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park, and LA Times endorses Cedillo opponent in CD1

No surprise here.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez pled not guilty for the alleged drunken, hit-and-run death of Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park last month.

Martinez was charged with felony counts of murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death, as well as a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license following a previous DUI conviction.

He reportedly ran away on foot after killing Jelmert, who was participating in a training ride for next month’s 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

Martinez remains behind bars on $2 million bail.

The murder count stems from receiving a Watson notice after his previous DUI conviction, which states that he could be charged with murder if he kills someone while driving drunk anytime in the future.

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There might be hope for LA’s 1st Council District after all.

Current CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo has apparently made it his life’s work to throttle traffic safety projects that pose the slightest risk of inconveniencing motorists or annoying local business owners.

Like the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly North Figueroa he halted as one of his first acts upon taking office, after holding a series of sham public meetings with predetermined outcomes. And despite vowing to support the project when he was begging for our votes.

An act he followed up by actively blocking bike lanes in the district he runs like a fiefdom, going so far as trying — and thankfully, failing — to have every bike lane in CD1 removed from the city’s mobility plan.

Yesterday, though, the Los Angeles Times took the rare step of endorsing the opponent of a sitting councilmember, selecting progressive policy advocate and community organizer Eunisses Hernandez over Cedillo.

Here’s the salient part of the endorsement for our purposes.

The council member (Cedillo) has also been a barrier to building bike infrastructure and street projects designed to make it safer and easier for people to travel without a car. Council District 1 has some of L.A.’s most deadly streets, yet he voted against the city’s Mobility Plan to make the car-dominated streets safer and more inviting for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit. He blocked bike lanes, including directing city staff to remove bike lanes from the widened Spring Street bridge.

Hernandez, on the other hand, has made transportation and street safety top priorities within her larger environmental justice and climate change agenda. She said she would launch community reviews of the most dangerous intersections, and advocate for bike lanes, bus benches and shelters, redesigned streets and pedestrian plazas, so it’s easier for people to get around without cars.

Cedillo was in serious danger of losing last time around when the community rallied around challenger Josef Bray-Ali — until Cedillo’s campaign leaked a handful of intemperate, ill-advised and offensive comments Bray-Ali had posted to various websites.

It will be interesting to see what Cedillo comes up with this time to attack his opponent. Let’s hope Hernandez has a few less skeletons in her closest.

Because people in CD1 are dying for a less regressive representative.

Too often, literally.

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A KABC-7 remote broadcast captures an attempted bike theft in the background on live TV.

I love LA! Live ABC7 story about Chappelle; watch the background. from LosAngeles

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Yet another reminder to register your bike today.

And yes, it’s free, for life.

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Bicycles. Good as gold for more than 125 years.

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A partially paralyzed filmmaker offers a short video calling for greater trail access for e-mountain bikes.

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Okay, I’m impressed.

Even if it would be easier to just pick it up and walk up.

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Local

Vice talks with Silver Lake resident Eric Brightwell, who has been living carfree in Los Angeles ever since his broke down 11 years ago, leading to the unexpected discovery that he doesn’t need one here.

Metro will hold a public meeting on the 18th to discuss the agency’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which funds a return to pre-pandemic levels of service.

A Santa Clarita kid was lucky to escape without injuries when a hit-and-run driver ran him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot. Although the local paper seems to have missed that part about a bike in their own story. Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

 

State 

Seal Beach police announced a crackdown on drivers who threaten the safety of bike riders and pedestrians ths month through speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, illegal turns and running red lights or stop signs. Although nothing says they won’t ticket you for the same violations, so ride to the letter of the law while you’re in the city.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A man was killed in Encinitas when he got out of his car to pick a flower on the other side of the road, and was stuck by another driver.

Seriously? A San Diego TV station says someone was taken to the hospital following a collision between a driver and a bike rider, but they aren’t sure which one was injured. Yet somehow, the Union-Tribune was able to figure it out.

Katy Perry is still one of us, going for a Mother’s Day bike ride on the beach somewhere in California with her 20-month old daughter and fiancé Orlando Bloom.

 

National

Planning Magazine writes in praise of the humble sidewalk, calling it the best infrastructure investment communities can make.

Money Inc. considers the most important things to wear mountain bikingI’d say pants, but that’s just me.

A Mt. Hood ski area is banning bikes this summer, after paying out a $10.5 million settlement when a mountain biker was paralyzed hitting a signpost placed directly next to a double black-diamond trail.

Denver bike riders are putting up signs around the city to remember the victims of traffic violence, and remind drivers of the risk they pose to others on the road around them.

Speaking of Denver, the city’s recently enacted, first-in-the-nation ebike rebate program is already driving an increase in ebike sales at local bike shops.

Frustrated with the city’s inaction, a small group of Chicago bike riders conducted their own DIY traffic study at an intersection where a bike rider was killed, catching drivers running red lights and driving at pedestrians in the crosswalk, as well as threatening the study volunteers.

A Pittsburgh driver pled guilty to ten charges, including vehicular homicide and DUI, for killing a man riding a bike while the driver was high on heroin.

Once again, a faulty ebike battery has torched a bike shop, this time in New York.

Writing for New York Streetsblog, a 20-year transportation engineer calls for responsive countermeasures to curb traffic violence, and “reach the very small percentage of dangerous drivers who can’t be stopped otherwise.” Although most of us might call it a large percentage.

A Delaware beach town installs sharrows in a misguided attempt to protect bicyclists, apparently unaware that studies show sharrows are worse than nothing. Although they do help drivers improve their aim at us.

WaPo offers an introduction to gravel biking.

 

International

Nova Scotia gets its first bicycle traffic signal, which halts right turning traffic so bikes can cross the intersection.

A delivery rider from Brazil is on trial for killing a 16-year old boy in Dublin, Ireland, in a confrontation with another man over the theft of a second delivery rider’s bicycle. And yes, that’s every bit as confusing as it sounds.

A British paper talks with the motorists who helped bring a couple of road racing drivers to justice for killing a man riding a bicycle, who had the misfortune of being in their way.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Tom Pidcock won Sunday’s mountain bike World Cup race in Albstadt, Germany by a wheelie big margin, popping a wheel as he crossed the finish line. Sorry.

  

Finally…

Live out your bike mechanic dreams, without leaving your sofa. When you can’t decide whether to ride a bike or a kick scooter.

And maybe the Dutch one hit wonders were a lot cooler than we thought.

Correction: Two-hit wonders. Thanks to Opus for the catch.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA bicyclists mourn popular Rapha ride leader, big turnout for Finish the Ride, and fraudster tripped up by Strava KOM

Before we start, there’s a lot of grief in the LA bicycling community today.

On Saturday, news broke that someone had been killed riding a bike in Canyon County.

While the story is still developing, we’ve learned that the victim was 37-year old John Hermoso, a popular Los Angeles Rapha ride leader, better known as Panda.

He was apparently riding with a small group of cyclists on a seldom-used roadway in Canyon Country, near Santa Clarita in north LA County.

It appears to have been a head-on collision on a blind corner. We’ll likely learn more today as we hear from more voices.

But it’s just one more heartbreaking reminder of the cost of traffic violence, in a year when bicycling deaths are spiraling out of control. And this time, it’s touched people throughout the community.

Not exactly the way we wanted to start Bike Month.

Photo by Photo by Matej Novosad from Pexels.

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Around 1,600 people turned out for Sunday’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park, just two weeks after 77-year old Andrew Jelmert was killed riding on Crystal Springs Drive.

The annual ride began when founder Damian Kevitt invited the community to join him as he finished the ride that was interrupted when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver a decade ago, and dragged onto the 5 Freeway before he was able to free himself.

Kevitt lost the lower portion of his right leg in the crash, and nearly his life. And has since devoted it to fighting hit-and-runs and making the streets safer for all of us.

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We ended with a link to this story as a blind item on Friday, but it’s worth bringing it back up today.

Cycling Tips takes a deep dive into the many lives of Australian cyclist Nick Clark — pro cyclist, soldier, CEO, lawyer, author, academic, hostage responder, weapons instructor and Virginia bike shop owner.

But underneath them all, was just a single con man, whose web of lies was undone by a Strava KOM.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. A San Diego writer insists the city’s mayor and “his bike extremist minions” are blind to the needs of disabled drivers and older people, ignoring the fact that many disabled and older people ride bikes. And fails to see the irony in saying he sees more cars illegally parked in bike lanes than people riding in them.

A New York Citi Bike bikeshare dock was apparently destroyed overnight by a hit-and-run driver, raising the question of whether it was a deliberate attack.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police are looking for a New York man who fled the scene on a bicycle after fatally shooting another man following an argument.

An Edinburgh bike rider held up a tram in rush hour traffic after the driver honked at her to move, riding as slowly as she could with her middle finger extended. And I don’t blame her one bit.

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Local

LAist offers an in-depth explainer of the newly approved NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line, which will include a lane reduction and protected bike lanes through Eagle Rock.

Spectrum News 1 offers a guide to yesterday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets festival.

 

State 

Hundreds of San Francisco bike riders stage a slow ride in support of slow streets, calling for more to be closed to through traffic.

Sacramento residents remember a 22-year old man killed by a hit-and-run driver last week while riding his bike home from work.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to successfully navigate traffic circles and roundabouts.

Electrek offers this month’s picks for the best ebikes at every price level, while T3 considers the downsides of owning an ebike. Although they may be mistaken about the limited health benefits of ebikes.

He gets it. An information security expert says the way to stop bicyclists from running stop signs is to remove the requirement for them to stop, saying bike riders have as much need to stop for stop signs as drivers do in roundabouts. Which is none.

A Las Vegas paper marks the one-year anniversary of the hit-and-run death of a 66-year-old grandmother, who was killed just crossing the street to her granddaughter’s birthday party, by calling for greater protections for bike riders and pedestrians.

A carfree Houston developer insists the notoriously car-centric city is becoming more bike friendly.

Wisconsin Republicans blocked plans to spend just 1.5% of the $283 million the state is receiving under the federal infrastructure bill on bike and pedestrian projects to reduce traffic congestion, while doubling down on traffic-inducing highway projects.

A 40-year cycling instructor from Pennsylvania insists that while there’s room for improvement on American roads, it will never replace the need for bicycling instruction to improve safety. Although most experts would flip that equation, and say that education, while helpful, will never replace the need for safer streets.

In an entirely predictable incident, 15 people were injured when an Atlanta party bike tipped over rounding a corner, two critically but none with life-threatening injuries. The operator was later charged with driving under the influence.

 

International

An eight-year old boy raised the equivalent of nearly $8,000 by riding his bike two laps around London’s Richmond Park, a total of 14 miles.

A Leicester, England paper recalls forgotten local legend Bert Harris, who set the cycling world on fire until his tragic death after crashing in a race 125 years ago.

A shameless masked thief rode off on a British girl’s one-week old bike as she sat just feet away in a friend’s car, with the door open.

Singapore bike riders and bus drivers swap roles to see the roads from the other’s perspective.

New Zealand bicyclists, pedestrians and bus riders call for travel justice, demanding better safety and accessibility for anyone not inside a two-ton metal box.

 

Competitive Cycling

American pro Alexey Vermeulen won the 137-mile Belgian Waffle Ride, after dropping late breakaway partner Alex Howes.

VeloNews offers photos from the women’s Belgian Waffle Ride, won by pro cyclist Mo Wilson by 25 minutes in a breakaway.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège women’s winner Annemiek van Vleuten will be out of commission for awhile after breaking her wrist in a training crash.

A Redlands paper recaps the “triumphant return” of last week’s Redlands Classic.

  

Finally…

That feeling when you might have gotten away if you’d stolen a bike instead of a truck. Your next foldie could be lighter than a miniature poodle — and a lot more fun to ride.

And you — yes, you — are a bike person.

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Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating today!

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Witnessing road rage and Hollywood hit-and-run, and 76-year old man gravely injured in Griffith Park bike crash

Friday, I witnessed what too many of us face too often on LA streets.

I stood in front of my building watching as a man rode his bike down our residential street, narrow enough that drivers traveling in opposite directions have to negotiate clearances to pass safely.

He was positioned correctly, just outside the door zone, while leaving plenty of room for drivers to pass.

However, an impatient driver sped up from behind, and was apparently angry that he had to wait a few seconds for driver coming the other way to pass. So he subjected the rider to a needlessly close punishment pass — then brake checked him after the man on the bike strenuously objected to the close pass, like most of us would.

The incident ended when they exchanged words at the stop sign at the end of the block, then turned in opposite directions. Although I’m not sure if the guy on the bike turned left simply to get away from the jerk in the car.

It all happened too quickly for me to react and get my phone out, let alone catch the driver’s license plate.

But it serves as yet another sad reminder that we are all subject to the whims and temperament of those we share the road with.

Because it’s far too easy for drivers to take their bad day out on the nearest person on a bike.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only witness to bad driver behavior last week. A Reddit user posted the following message about a hit-and-run he witnessed in Hollywood on Wednesday.

Hit & Run @ Wilcox & Delongpre tonight (4/21)

Driving home from work tonight in Hollywood around 6:50pm I saw a black Tesla model X right hook a cyclist travelling southbound on Wilcox. Tesla sped away and I followed them to get their license plate number – if that sounds like it was you shoot me a DM and I’d be happy to share.

Thanks to tsmith8808 for the heads-up.

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Bad news just keeps coming from Griffith Park.

One week after the death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive, a 76-year old man was in grave condition after somehow falling from his bike in the 4358 block of Griffith Park Drive on Saturday.

Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on how or why he fell.

But what should be one of the safest places to ride a bike in Los Angeles is looking far from it these days.

Meanwhile, Lionel Mares writes to remind us that the Griffith Park Advisory Board will hold a Zoom meeting at 6:30 pm this Thursday. Which might be a good opportunity to demand safer streets — and fewer cars — in LA’s iconic park.

And Los Angeles Times readers write to call for safer streets in Griffith Park.

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This is the last week to register for this year’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park, which is all the more important after the events of the last two weeks.

Finish the Ride was founded by hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt, who lost the lower part of his right leg when he was struck by a van driver on Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, and dragged onto the 5 Freeway before he could free himself.

It started as a single event to call attention to the hit-and-run epidemic, and finish the ride he was unable to complete because of the 2013 crash. And has morphed into a powerful nonprofit movement to fight the scourge of fleeing drivers.

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About damn time.

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Renée Zellweger is one of us. And knows how to dress the part.

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A couple boys from India demonstrate a little tandem teamwork on a single seat bike.

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Ignore the news story. Just pay attention to all the bicycles in the background, which shows what’s possible with decent infrastructure.

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A British rider learns the hard way that maybe attempting a 124-mile ride on a $38 Amazon bike isn’t the best idea.

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If there are any international art thieves out there, this would look very good on my wall.

Just saying.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. A Staten Island website says traffic deaths continue to rise in New York, despite the city’s Vision Zero, and nearly a “decade of demonizing motorists as almost the exclusive cause of deaths on the road.” Considering drivers are the only ones who are killing people, it seems appropriate.

Twenty-three-year old French pro cyclist Lucie Jounier suffered a concussion, trapezoid fracture, and cuts and abrasions to her face when she was deliberately brake checked by driver while on a training crash; needless to say, the driver didn’t stop afterwards.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

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Local

The Beautiful Boulevard plan is nearing the finish line, after a Metro committee approved plans for North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit lane, which incorporates many elements of the Eagle Rock resident-designed plan; the last step will be approval by the full Metro board at Thursday’s meeting.

Road Bike Rider reviews the new $3,800 mamarachi-style Cero One utility ebike, made by West Los Angeles-based Cero Bikes. And likes it. I like the corgi-sized utility basket up front.

 

State 

The rich get richer. San Diego continues its drive to be bike friendly with the opening of the new 3.1-mile Landis Bikeway connecting North Park and City Heights, part of a 12-mile network of bike boulevards. Although it’s probably not named after former San Diego resident and ex-Tour de France winner, and current CBD purveyor, Floyd Landis.

Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood bemoan the loss of a few dozen parking spaces for a new bike lane, while bike riders applaud the new separated lane.

A month after the so-called People’s Convoy truckers protest was held up by a single bike rider in Washington DC, they were pelted with eggs amid shouts of “Get out of town” during a pass through Oakland.

Sacramento police are looking for the driver of a work truck who fled the scene after rear ending a man on a bike, resulting in major injuries.

 

National

USA Today offers tips on how to upgrade your bike commute.

Washington City, Utah installed a pair of ghost bikes to honor Adam & Matthew Bullard, who were both killed by an alleged DUI driver while participating in the Tour of St. George earlier this month. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the brothers families has surpassed the $100,000 goal, with over $107,000 at this writing. Thanks to Kent Russell for the heads-up.

Residents of my Colorado hometown consider how to make the platinum-level bicycle friendly community even safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Milwaukee woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after she initially tried to blame her boyfriend for the crash, even though he wasn’t even in the car. Which is a pretty good clue that maybe he needs to rethink their relationship.

Tennessee has passed a bill requiring killer drunk drivers to support the children of their victims; the first of its kind law now goes to the governor for his signature.

Twelve New York residents were injured in four separate incidents when ebike batteries unexpectedly burst into flames.

This is who we share the road with. A Florida teenager with a history of recording himself driving at extreme speeds on public highways now faces six counts of vehicular homicide after he rear-ended another vehicle while traveling at 151 mph. Vehicular homicide carries a maximum penalty of 15 years per count in Florida; if the judge imposes consecutive sentences, he could end up serving up to 90 years behind bars.

 

International

Yet another study shows the health benefits of riding a bike, showing bicycling can reduce your risk of premature death by 23%.

T3 looks at the best new bikes from the London Ebike Festival, with a lineup heavy on foldies and micro bikes.

A 51-year old man was critically injured in Leeds, England when he crashed his bike head-on into another man on an ebike as they were both riding in opposite directions on the sidewalk.

India’s Hero Cycles is opening a new ebike assembly line in Manchester, England.

Typical. After a Welsh driver got the equivalent of a $532 fine for passing a group of bicyclists too close at too high a speed, other drivers insist on social media that he didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t get the video to load; it may not be available in the US.

Thousands of Scottish bicyclists turned out for the 10th Annual Pedal on Parliament to demand safer streets. In Los Angeles, we’re lucky if we can get a could dozen people to show up for a protest. Maybe if we had numbers like this, city officials might actually listen to us. And do something. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège to complete her best ever spring campaign; she also won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as well as notching three second place finishes and one fourth in the spring classics.

Twenty-two-year old Remco Evenepoel won the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his maiden effort in cycling’s oldest classic, as Belgium swept the podium.

Ouch! American Larry Warbasse will miss Switzerland’s Tour de Romandie after suffering testicular lesions with hematoma in a high-speed crash in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. World champ Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax in the same crash, while his teammate Ilan Van Wilder ended up with a broken jaw.

Twenty-four-year old Tyler Stites claimed victory in the Redlands Classic, sliding atop the podium with a third place finish in the final stage; 27-year old Heidi Franz took the women’s title.

An Indiana University fraternity claimed its first Little 500 victory in over 20 years.

 

Finally…

Riding tandem on a single-seat bike with a kitty as your stoker. And who needs an ebike when your passenger pitches in?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Murder & DUI charges in Griffith Park crash, petition to ban cars from park, and NCs sign on to Healthy Streets LA

Make that murder, instead.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the charges against Jairo Martinez, the man arrested for killing 77-year old AIDS/LifeCycle rider Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park on Saturday, have been upgraded to murder, rather than vehicular homicide.

The paper hints at the reason here.

In addition to murder, prosecutors charged Martinez, 37, with fatal hit-and-run and driving with a suspended or revoked license after being convicted of driving under the influence. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

If Martinez was convicted of DUI in California, he would have been required to sign a Watson notice acknowledging that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence anytime in the future.

And kill someone, he did.

Allegedly.

It’s clear from the charges that losing his license didn’t stop Martinez from driving, or from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

California has to do more to keep people like him from continuing to drive after losing their license. Let alone continuing to drive drunk.

Interlock devices that check a driver’s blood alcohol level before the ignition will engage is a start.

But it would be far more effective to impound a driver’s car for the full duration of any drivers license suspension. Or force them to sell their car if their license is revoked.

Because as the charges against Martinez demonstrate, just taking away someone’s license doesn’t stop them from driving.

Or from killing someone.

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Meanwhile, traffic safety nonprofit SAFE, or Streets Are For Everyone, has started a petition to begin phasing out cars from Griffith Park, with the exception of park rangers and shuttle buses.

Griffith Park is the largest park in the United States which still allows private cars. It is a haven for the community and a popular destination for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families with young children – getting out for some physical activity and get-togethers. Yet the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars. The posted speed limit is 25 MPH, but many drivers go 40 – 60 MPH using Griffith Park as a way to avoid the crowded 5 freeway.

And yes, I signed it. I hope you will, too.

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Twenty-eight down, 71 to go, as over a quarter of Los Angeles’ neighborhood councils have signed on to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which would require the city to build out the already approve mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

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The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting the second in their series of Bike Salons tonight.

The LACBC is also looking for volunteers as they resume the Operation Firefly light giveaway program.

The other news isn’t so welcome, as the organization has cancelled their formerly annual River Ride for the third consecutive year, while hinting at an event later this year to “celebrate the joy of bicycling.”

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As we mentioned yesterday, the Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclists — is out with their latest ranking of the country’s most bike-friendly states.

Massachusetts overtook Washington for the top spot for the first time, while California came in at a seemingly overly optimistic 4th. New York finished 13th in the ranking, although the state got an F grade in the Traffic Laws and Practices category.

And lowly Wyoming claimed the lanterne rouge as the nation’s most bike-unfriendly state.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Charlotte NC Uber and Lyft driver is out of work after a “gang” of teenage bike riders chased him down and beat him up, stealing his phone, wallet, car keys and car, after he got out of his car when he “clipped” one of the wheelie-popping riders at a red light.

A salesperson at a Belgian car dealership dumped a bucket of water onto a bike rider who spit on the featured cars as he rode by every day.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times has followed my lead, and endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city controller, with an honorable mention for longtime city budget analyst and financial officer Stephanie Clements; termed-out career politician Paul Koretz, not so much.

Pasadena is hosting a community meeting next Thursday to discuss the proposed Craig Avenue Greenway, a 1.1-mile bicycle boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard to Del Mar Boulevard.

Whittier is planning to add a nearly three-mile extension to the popular 4.6-mile Greenway Trail rail-to-trail path.

 

State 

Calbike invites you to take part in this year’s Climate Ride fundraiser stage ride.

No bias here. A San Diego TV station actually says California’s requirement that carmakers replace cars that run on gas with other cars that run on batteries is a prime example of the mythical war on cars.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a van driver who followed a 16-year old boy on his bike, and tried to lure him inside the van.

Caltrans District 8 is asking for public input on a draft Active Transportation Plan for the High Desert and the Inland Empire area.

After a Hayward girl’s stolen bike was found stripped and trashed, kindhearted sheriff’s deputies worked with a local bike shop to get it cleaned up and repaired before they returned it to her.

It’s open season on mountain bikers in the Oakland Hills, as gangs of thieves are robbing people for their bikes in a crime spree dating back to last year.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney has won a seat in the California Assembly in special runoff election; Haney is credited with the rapid expansion of protected bike lanes in the city’s SoMa district.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your bike tires. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

A Chicago bike rider won nearly $300,000 in damages after he was grievously injured when he struck the base of a broken bike lane bollard.

Boston’s Bikes Not Bombs organization is using bikes as a tool for social change.

They get it. A DC website says Vision Zero is meaningless unless we can get more drivers off the roads.

A longtime Florida bike shop was burned when an unattended ebike battery caught on fire while being charged, after they had sent the customer’s battery out to be rebuilt.

 

International

A Montreal website remembers the city’s Bicycle Bob, who fought to make bicycling seem like a normal urban activity, while encouraging the city to develop infrastructure necessary to support it.

The UK has seen a massive 40% jump in bike thefts in just the last three years.

Tossing a bike onto a London train track to watch it explode is not one of the recommended uses.

A British father calls for giving police the power to immediately suspend the license of drugged drivers, after his six-year old son was stuck by a driver who had already been stopped twice for DUI.

Current Santa Barbara resident and former spare heir Harry, Duke of Sussex, is reportedly “having a blast” riding his bike and whistling while attending the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

Thank a massive volcano on a remote South Pacific island for the modern bike you ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you want to watch the oldest of the five Monuments here in the US this Sunday, you’ll need a subscription to the GCN+ streaming service; otherwise, you’re SOL for the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Redlands Classic stage race is back after a two-year Covid-imposed absence, with a time trial course last used 26 years ago.

A former Tokyo Olympian offers an insiders view of the L39ion of Los Angeles training camp.

 

Finally…

Bike bridge, pedestrian path and coyote crossing. If you’re going to ride your bike naked on Easter morning, at least get a damn tan first.

And now you, too, can buy a bike for the same price I paid for my last car.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

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Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

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Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

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Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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She gets it.

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Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

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Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

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Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: Roads closed in Griffith Park, Lyft fights dooring, and bike transponders aren’t the answer

You might want to put off that Griffith Park ride for a few weeks.

Or maybe find another route. 

The roads leading to and around the famed Griffith Observatory will be closed to all traffic for the next two weeks for construction work.

And yes, that includes bicycles.

KNBC-4 has a map showing which roads are closed

Photo from the Griffith Observatory’s Facebook page.

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They get it.

Lyft will start sending its customers a notice ten minutes into their rides telling them to watch for bikes and scooters at the end of the ride. 

They’ll also encourage ride hailing users to employ the Dutch Reach when they open the door to get out, to avoid dooring anyone. 

Which only makes sense, since some of those people at risk of dooring could be their own bikeshare and e-scooter users

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No, the solution to traffic safety is not to make bike riders and pedestrians wear transponders so we don’t get killed. 

But congratulations to a pair of Florida university students who won second place with the idea

Now, if they could just invent one to create a force field that would repel any motor vehicle that came within three feet of me and my bike, I’m in. 

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More on the heartbreaking death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh. 

A DC website gives a glimpse of just how much his death impacted the city, including a statement from the local Bicycle Advisory Council, as well as comments from a number of city council members. 

The Greater Greater Washington website relays the grief of the bicycling community

Streetsblog says Salovesh’s death shows the slow progress DC is making towards safer streets

DCist says frankly, it’s personal this time, as the cycling community ramps up activism in the wake of the crash

An American expat and former DC resident now living in the Netherlands talks about the loss of her friend.

And a woman writes that no one should lose a friend to a traffic crash

Meanwhile, an advocacy group will hold a Portland, Oregon rally calling for no more traffic deaths after a woman was killed crossing the street. 

Sadly, things like that happen in Los Angeles nearly every day. But except in very rare cases, no one does a thing. 

That has to change. 

Now. 

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Local

A gang member convicted of killing an LA cop was found dead in his Death Row cell Saturday morning; he was convicted of killing Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety Capt. Michael Sparkes while the off-duty officer was out for a bike ride. 

A writer for Wired says your cellphone could help Metro with a radical remake of the LA bus system, showing when, where and how far Angelenos actually travel, regardless of mode; surprisingly, it shows that only 16% of trips in the city are longer than ten miles. 

Bicycling looks at LA’s new plan to install permanent signs as memorials to fallen bike riders

LA Taco wants to know if you can live without your car for a day

After moving from New York to Pasadena, a bike commuter suddenly finds his coworkers riding to work because they didn’t want him to show them up

A chef at Gladstones in Long Beach is riding in this year’s 300-mile Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry.

 

State

The Santa Ana River bike trail will be closed off and on for the demolition of a bridge on the 405 where it crosses the river; OCTA promises there will be a well-marked detour in place when the trail shuts down. 

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Jurupa Valley bike rider Saturday night. 

A man ran off after he was caught spray painting a bike path on the Santa Barbara City College. No word on what he was painting

A San Francisco columnist says the best of the outdoors is always a surprise after encountering a pride of peacocks while riding with his wife. 

You’ve got to be kidding. The case against a 75-year old Healdsburg driver for killing a bike rider ended in a hung jury — even though the man was driving on the wrong side of the road to pass a slow-moving truck when he struck the woman as she was participating in a charity ride. 

 

National

Great idea. In addition to rating cities for bike friendliness, People for Bikes is now providing user generated bike routes in cities around the US. You can download the app here. Do I really need to mention that the bicycle advocacy  group ranks my hometown as the country’s best bike city. Which only happened decades after my last ride there

A website devoted to fighting poverty says fining poor people for jaywalking won’t stop traffic fatalities when the real problem is dangerous streets and drivers.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus explains why Oregon should adopt the Idaho Stop Law the third time around. The same argument holds for California. And pretty well everywhere else

No bias here. After a woman drives onto the shoulder of a highway and kills a man on a bike, the Idaho state police feel compelled to point out that he wasn’t wearing a helmet, as if that somehow contributed to the crash. And at highway speeds, a crash like that probably wouldn’t have been survivable, with or without one

Houston is adding 19 miles of bike lanes, many in underserved communities where people rely on their bikes to get around

Speaking of Houston, there’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a 94-year old woman’s wheelchair. Fortunately, her neighbor was able to record the theft, and chase the man down to get it back; police recognized the man in the video, and made a quick arrest. 

Bicycling will now be an official part of PE classes in Tulsa OK elementary and middle schools

Los Angeles bike riders will be happy to learn bike lanes are coming to Melrose. Except in this case, the Melrose is in the Boston area. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe says instead of redesigning streets for people on bikes and on foot, we should wait so they’ll accommodate vehicles that don’t even exist yet.

The NYPD continued its bike-unfriendly ways, arresting the organizer of an informal bike relay race and baked goods ride for a four-year old open container violation before the race could even start. Then confiscated participants bicycles for not having bike bells. 

New York Streetsblog relates the story of a bike rider who was hit by an apparent cop in an unmarked car making an illegal U-turn, and the uniformed cops who showed up refused to do anything about it before the man drove off without identifying himself. Naturally, the NYPD denied he was one of theirs. 

New York bikeshare users are getting lawyers after suffering “grotesque” injuries caused by the braking problem on ebikes provided by Lyft, which operates the city’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare. 

The case against a Virginia landscaper will go before a grand jury; he’s accused of helping one of his employees coverup the hit-and-run that killed a bike rider, fixing the company truck and telling his staff to swear it was a deer. And to stick to their stories. 

There’s a special place in hell as well for the 41-year old man who fatally shot a 14-year old Jackson MS boy to take his bicycle

Jimmy Buffett’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama is getting a new green bike lane, as the mayor works to make the city’s waterfront more welcoming for bike riders and pedestrians

A Georgia bike rider was busted for beating up another man who was riding on a bike path with his wife, after swearing at them about the “rules of the trail.”

 

International

Once again, dozens of dockless bikes end up in a trash heap, after a bikeshare provider in Kingston, Ontario replaces them with a newer model. And once again, dozens of kids and low income people who could have put them to good use won’t. 

A writer for the New York Times rents a Dutch bike, and rides through Holland in search of Rembrandt’s tulips.

A New Zealand automotive website wants to know why Aukland is hiding crash data.  

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo has officially gotten the boot from Singapore

 

Finally…

From pro cyclist to Goblin-inducing healer. No, a 16-person boat is not a bike, pedal-powered or otherwise. 

And if you’re riding drunk, try not to pound on a driver’s window and rip off a windshield wiper after a close pass. 

Then again, don’t do it sober, either.

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

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CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

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CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

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As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

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Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

Morning Links: Dockless bikeshare comes to Griffith Park, the death of Vision Zero, and hope for Beverly Hills

Just days after a false alarm that the LimeBike dockless bikeshare had come to LA, Chinese dockless bikeshare provider ofo has apparently invaded our city.

Despite the fact that a proposed ordinance that would permit dockless bikeshare hasn’t yet made it to a single city council committee hearing.

Ofo tweeted Sunday morning, then deleted, that they were now live in Griffith Park.

They followed that up with a tweet saying they were partnering with the LA Department of Recreation and Parks to provide an easier way to ride through the park.

Brian Nelson confirmed that his wife saw four of the ofo bikes parked near the Greek Theater.

How that conforms to Councilmember David Ryu’s motion to permit privately owned dockless bikeshare in the city remains to be seen.

Especially since other providers, including LimeBike, are waiting patiently for their opportunity to come into the city.

It’s inevitable that dockless bikeshare will come to Los Angeles. The question is how — or if — it will be managed to avoid the problems that have plagued other cities.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Zachary Rynew for the tips.

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The LA Weekly asks if LA’s ambitious Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities is already dead. And accurately quotes the very pissed off author of this site.

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I happened to run into Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse at the city’s Woofstock dog fest on Sunday, and was encouraged to hear her say that the coming bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd are just the start.

As she tweeted later, she’s looking forward to more bike lanes and better mobility throughout the city.

Maybe there’s hope for the former Biking Black Hole yet.

At least as long as she’s in office.

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More on last week’s New York bike path terrorist attack.

A mass was held at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral to honor the victims of the attack.

Bicyclists say the new K-rail protective barriers make the bike path less safe.

A writer for Time says the terrorist’s fearmongering has failed, while Cycling Tips captures the fear and emotion brought on by the attack.

Actor Jason Biggs lets the terrorist know what he really thinks.

And radical right scumbag firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos said “he was glad the only people hit were cyclists and ‘not actual human beings.’” Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the link.

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In Alberto Contador’s case, the N + 1 formula for how many bikes you need equals 42 or 43.

Nobody said working through the details for the Giro’s 2018 Jerusalem start would be easy.

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Local

If you ride the Rose Bowl loop, you owe it to yourself to attend tomorrow night’s meeting of the Pasadena City Council Parks and Recreation Committee, where the future of the popular riding route will be up for discussion. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up. Correction: This originally said it was a City Council meeting; thanks to Bike SGV for the correction.

With the help of a Metro grant, Bike SGV has formed what could be SoCal’s first bicycle traffic school in El Monte.

Manhattan Beach officials and the Manhattan Beach-based leader of Keep LA Moving —no irony there — are unhappy with the way the reversal of the Playa del Rey road diets is going, even though they won the battle. Apparently, they won’t be satisfied until the streets are deadly again.

The Long Beach Police Department has received a grant for traffic safety enforcement over the next year, including a focus on bike and pedestrian safety.

 

State

The Orange County Register correctly notes that the end of daylight savings time increases the dangers to drivers and pedestrians. Wrecks go up after the time change, so make sure you use lights after dark, and ride as if everyone else on the road is driving distracted and half asleep. Which they probably are.

A Chino Hills man rides to collect recyclables, tossing them into a trailer behind his bike, while yelling out to passing people to drive safely.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city being sued by bike riders for injuries caused by bad streets; San Diego is currently facing a trio of lawsuits.

A woman in San Diego’s Mira Mesa neighborhood was seriously injured when a tow truck driver rammed her bike as he left a parking lot.

The great bike debate goes on in the pages of the San Luis Obispo newspaper, as a letter writer says encouraging bicycling provides a great value for bicyclists, as well as the drivers we share the roads with.

A San Francisco street near Golden Gate Park is being converted into a “neighborway,” diverting and calming motor vehicle traffic to improve bike and pedestrian safety. Which sounds a lot like a bike boulevard by any other name.

Instead of the usual complaints that fire engines can’t get through narrow streets with bulb outs and protected bike lanes, San Francisco buys a more compact fire truck that can.

 

National

A BuzzFeed writer calls for banning cars from big cities; a conservative website seems to think it’s a leftist plot.

The Felt behind Felt evidently felt it was time to leave Felt.

Funk-meister Bootsy Collins quit drugs after being told he’d never play bass again when he flipped his road bike several times while riding high in the woods. And no, that’s not a reference to altitude.

Kindhearted Washington residents pitch in to buy new Air Jordans for a teenage Canadian tourist after his were stolen by a BMX-riding man armed with bear spray.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Iowa man rode his bike 90 miles to celebrate his upcoming 90th birthday.

Police in Stillwater, Oklahoma are repairing abandoned bicycles to be used by residents of a local mission to run errands or look for work.

Nope, nothing odd about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul being attacked in his home by his bike-riding, rice vest-inventing next door neighbor; Paul suffered five broken ribs and bruised lungs.

Grist says Pittsburgh got the bike advocate it never knew it needed in former Trojan JuJu Smith-Schuster

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver got five years probation for a fatal hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist. Naturally, he claimed he had no idea he’d hit anyone.

 

International

British Columbia considers raising their paltry $81 fine for dooring a bicyclist.

Montreal’s mayor denies he used his influence to muzzle a Toronto parking officer’s popular Twitter account, which he uses to call out scofflaw drivers; the officer vows he won’t be silenced after officials suspend his account. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

The co-founder of the aforementioned ofo says London will one day reach Amsterdam-like bicycling levels. You’ll note he did not say the same thing about Los Angeles. Or anywhere else in Southern California.

A new British study says bike commuting can lower your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as overall mortality. As much as I’ve ridden over the years, I should live forever.

A driver in Britain complains about a bike rider’s misaligned, too-bright headlamp. Evidently, no one in the country has ever been blinded by a driver’s headlights.

Evidently, they don’t take using a car as a weapon seriously in the UK, either. But they do take DUIs seriously, sentencing a drunk driver who killed a cyclist to eight years.

Bicycling helped a British teenager control his epilepsy.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Copenhagen asks bike riders to identify where they feel uncomfortable riding to determine where infrastructure needs to be improved.

Now you, too, can take an eight-day cooking and bicycling tour of Sicily led by celebrity chefs Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken for a mere $4,595.

An Australian website asks if bicyclists and pedestrians should be banned from using headphones. Never mind that drivers in today’s hermetically sealed motor vehicles have a hard time hearing a siren right next to them, even with the sound system turned down.

An Aussie paper traces the anatomy of a fatal hit-and-run, and how the police tracked down the unlicensed driver who killed a bicyclist.

A rider from Down Under learns the hard way not to accept fruit juice from his friends without asking if they’d spiked it.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to stare at a woman’s chest when there’s a Google Maps camera car driving by. You know you’ve made it when you get mentioned in the GOP tax bill.

And don’t ride your bike down an escalator without a helmet.

 

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