Tag Archive for Live To Ride

New Flax bike book, Metro cuts open streets funding, and nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians rates 8th for walkability

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

LA bike advocate and former Bicycling Editor in Chief Peter Flax has a new book coming out on March 19th titled Live To Ride, which is available for preorder now.

Meanwhile, Bicycling’s Gabe’s Bike Shop talks with Flax about his book, and digs through his Twitter/X account to get into his head.

As usual, read and/or listen to it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

………

Metro inexplicably followed through on a staff recommendation to cut open streets funding last week.

The LA County transportation agency reduced spending on already-approved projects up to 20%, sending organizers scrambling to secure more funding, and putting events like CicLAvia, 626 Golden Streets and Beach Streets in jeopardy.

The agency also refused funding for projects planned for this December for Ventura Blvd, as well as Northridge, Wilmington, Long Beach, Hawthorne, Lincoln Heights and MacArthur Park.

The decision makes no sense at a time when reducing automobile traffic and getting people out of their cars is vital for the health of our transportation network, and our world.

And even though the $5.5 million approved for open streets funding over the next two years amounts to a lousy rounding error on Metro’s massive $9 billion annual budget.

They could have easily fully funded all the proposed events just by trimming one needless and environmentally harmful highway project.

Update: I received the following statement from Metro’s Jennifer Butler, disputing that funding had been cut, but rather, an increase in funding had been spread further, resulting in a reduction in funding for existing events.

On Jan. 25, 2024, the Metro Board approved the Open and Slow Streets Grant Program, which reflected an increase in annual funding from $4 to $5 million and included unspent funds from last year for a total of $5.5 million in fiscal year 2024. Metro has funded $20 million for Open Streets events since the program began, and with the recent Board action, this figure rises to just over $25 million cumulatively through 2025. 

The approved increased in annual funding, together with staff’s recommendation to partially fund (at 80%) the longstanding events that had received open streets funding for five or more events prior to this Cycle, allowed Metro to fund 16 Open Streets activities vs 13 previously.  

The mature events have access to (Part 3 such as TDA Article 3, bicycle and pedestrian funds) to complete the funding of their events, and new applicants now have the opportunity to hold their first event, giving more people in LA County a chance to experience safe walking, biking and rolling. This fulfills the program’s objective to provide seed funding for open streets events and enables more people to experience active transportation and public transportation for the first time. 

………

Condé Nast Traveler caused an uproar after rating Los Angeles the eighth most walkable city in the US — despite also being the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians.

Which one would think would kind of have an impact on walkability.

But apparently not.

Meanwhil, Redfin rates the ten most bikeable cities in California, none of which are Los Angeles.

Although Santa Monica ranks sixth.

………

NBA star Klay Thompson is one of us, as the Golden State Warriors guard showed up on an ebike for a recent game with the Los Angeles Lakers.

………

It’s now 39 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

A 47-year old Oregon man faces a host charges after allegedly intentionally ramming a bike rider with his car, then fleeing the scene; no word on the extent of the victim’s injuries.

No bias here. A populist Irish politician who frequently complains about the “nanny state” apparently has no problem acting like one if it means requiring hi-viz for people on bicycles.

The wife of an Australian man intentionally run down by the occupants of a stolen car says he should be able to walk again, but his spine will never be the same — and the jerks who did it were laughing as they drove away.

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

A Florida man was busted for biking under the influence for trying to ride his bike home while both high and drunk, as well as having no idea what time it was. And should be grateful the cop didn’t get him for littering, too.

………

Local 

A Los Angeles bike rider was treated by paramedics after being struck by a driver fleeing from the LAPD.

ActiveSGV calls on LA County to fund the 5-city, 8-mile Eaton Wash Greenway running from Pasadena to El Monte.

 

State

Southern California will get a share of $1.2 billion in new funding from the California Transportation Commission, including over $53 million to improve safety on CA-2, better known as Santa Monica Blvd.

A new ghost bike was installed in San Diego’s Mission Valley to remember husband and father Matt Keenan, after his ghost bike was set on fire earlier this month; one man is in custody for the arson attack.

No bias here, either. The CHP was quick to absolve a semi driver of responsibility for driving off after hitting a Bakersfield bike rider, who suffered major injuries, saying “the truck driver most likely did not feel they hit someone.”

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when a driver somehow “made contact with him.” Which makes it sound like just a little bump, instead of a life-threatening crash.

Ten teens have now been charged with stabbing a 41-year old Santa Rosa man  multiple times to steal his bicycle earlier this month.

 

National

Outside says there’s no good reason to buy a carbon bike, because the only people who really need one get them for free.

The Tucson, Arizona driver who killed a woman participating in the city’s Bike Party, and caused life-changing injuries to two other people, will spend the next 17 years behind bars — even though the victim worked to reduce prison populations and sentences.

US Marshals smoked out alleged killer and former fugitive Kaitlin Armstrong from her Costa Rica hideout when she responded to an ad they posted looking for a yoga instructor; Armstrong is charged with murdering gravel champ Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas over a perceived love triangle with pro cyclist Colin Strickland. As rumored, she used plastic surgery to change her appearance.

Eight of New York’s 77 police precincts recorded zero traffic deaths last year, even as the city suffered its second-worst year on record for bicycling fatalities.

New York magazine rates the best bike helmets, saying there’s one for every head.

That’s more like it. A Florida man was sentenced to a dozen years behind bars, followed by eleven years probation, for killing a bike-riding man while driving drunk and doing 109 mph in a 35 mph zone.

 

International

How to build your very own aluminum framed superbike.

A 70-year old English minister is sacrificing his free time to fix “unsolvable” bike repair problems.

A new British study shows cargo bikes are faster in urban areas than delivery trucks or vans, without the harmful climate effects of motor vehicles.

One of the UK’s most wanted criminals will spend the next 19 years behind bars after he was busted by Spanish police trying to make his escape by ebike after two years on the run.

Indian film star Bobby Deal killed four years by running and riding his bike while waiting for his movie debut to finally be released.

A Karachi, Pakistan bikeathon was held to reclaim public spaces for women on bicycles, who are subject to “evil” street harassment.

A group of British Muslims are biking nearly 350 miles between Makkah and Madinah, following the route of the Prophet Muhammad, to protest the war in Gaza.

Hats off to Rwandan ebike-startup Ampersand for securing nearly $20 million in debt and equity funding to get off the ground.

Celebrity Philippine beauty doctor Vicki Bello is one of us, after her equally celeb physician husband gave her a new Fendi ebike for her 68th birthday.

 

Competitive Cycling

Makes sense to me. Cycling Weekly says the greatest rider of all time is always the one who inspired you in your youth. Which explains why I always nominate The Cannibal; however, anyone who grew up idolizing a certain one-balled Texan may be screwed.

A 27-year old British Columbia cyclist was permanently banned from participating as a coach, athlete, volunteer or spectator at any Canadian cycling event after violating Cycling Canada’s code of conduct in some undisclosed way.

French pro Rudy Molard has been unable to fly home after suffering a concussion hitting the pavement in the third stage of the Tour Down Under, leaving him with no memory of the crash. I can relate; I still have no idea what happened in the infamous beachfront bee incident more than 16 years later.

 

Finally…

If you think today’s ebike designs are strange, consider from whence they sprang. We may have to deal with piggish LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about actual wild hogs roaming our bike paths.

And that feeling when you go swimming with your bicycle in an icy lake while streaming live on Twitch.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin