Tag Archive for Los Angeles bicycling community

SaMo bike path remains closed, free rescue wagon for stranded bike riders, and OC Bike Week moves to fall

More proof you can carry anything on a bike.

Or in this case, pull.

Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera, who spotted this sign in Boyle Heights.

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Beaches in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and LA County remain closed, along with the beachfront bike path.

Even if Hermosa Beach residents don’t like it.

On the other hand, Orange County beaches are open for business. But only for OC residents. Although whether they’re checking IDs for bike path riders is open to debate.

Meanwhile, SaMo resident David Drexler confirms the beachfront bike path is officially verboten. And the path on the California incline is now, too.

Even if that part gets ignored.

SM closed the incline that leads to the overpass that drops you on the beach. They fenced the bottom I saw today but a gap in the fence  was open and as you can see some people still went over. But to further discourage you if you venture over to the beach, SM bulldozed sand barriers you see in the photos to make your bike ride annoying (unless you have a Mountain Bike?).

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Things like this are why I love the LA bicycling community.

Just as I was about to post this page, I got a late night — or early morning, if you prefer — email from Daniel Gaffey with a great offer on behalf of his company, Silver Lake Electric Bicycles.

Free bike bailout shuttle

So my company started an electric bike tour a few months ago. It turned out to be a pretty bad time to do that, with COVID cancelling all the rides we had worked so hard to book. Nonetheless we’ll survive but a lot of the equipment is now just idle.

I’d like to offer something to LA bicycling which has given so much to me, by converting our tour van into free emergency transport for the duration of the COVID shutdown. If you (and others) are somehow stranded on a ride, I will send a guide out to help you or your bikes get home. The van holds six mountain bikes or four road bikes and has a good set of tools and air on-hand.

Call 213-537-6774 if your ride goes bad and you have no one else to call. We’re licensed and insured, you can look us up at webikela.com.

Think of it as your own personal rescue wagon when things hit the fan.

So on behalf of all of us, thanks to Dan for a really bighearted offer.

But give ’em a little something for helping out if you can. Because they’re not making any money now either.

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Orange County will mark Bike Week this September, with Bike to Work Day to be celebrated on September 22nd. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

Colorado will join them, moving their Bike to Work Day to September, as well.

But there’s still no word from Metro about when, or if, we’ll see Bike to Work Day in Los Angeles this year. Let alone Bike Week and/or Month.

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More on the recent death of Effective Cycling author John Forester.

British bike historian Carlton Reid skips the niceties, and calls it the death of a dinosaur. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Bicycle Retailer offers a more respectful remembrance of the man who had an outsized influence on how bike riders rode for decades.

But Peter Flax got in the last word — literally — with last September’s Sunday conversation with John Forester, which may have been his last interview.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a bike-riding armed robber wanted for holding up a convenience store.

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Local

No surprise here. Beverly Hills decides that cars still need street space more than people do right now.

A kindhearted Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputy gives a new bike he was saving for a raffle to seven-year old kid whose bike was broken and too small.

 

State

One more reason to be careful out there, as SoCal street racers are turning streets emptied by the coronavirus into their own illegal speedways.

San Diego’s KPBS looks at how Covid-19 is changing the city’s streets, concluding there’s more bicycling and walking, and fewer cars. The question is how can cities continue to encourage that after the lockdown is lifted? Because the last thing we need is to go back to the former auto-centric status quo.

Streetsblog calls on Bay Area officials to encourage bicycling by opening the Bay Bridge to bike riders.

Morgan Hill-based Specialized is making deep cuts to survive the coronavirus crisis, laying off seven percent of its workforce and cutting executive pay.

Yes, Yosemite is closed, unless you can walk or ride a bike in.

 

National

HuffPo says the coronavirus shows it’s time to remake American cities for a world where cars are no longer king.

A writer for Bicycling says wear a mask when you ride a bike, even if your city or state doesn’t require one. Meanwhile, Outside recommends new social distancing rules for trail riders.

Spin is sponsoring a contest to design better lane delineators to separate bicyclists and pedestrians from other traffic.

Gadget Flow recommends a handful of “must-have” bike accessories. None of which actually are, but still.

That’s more like it. Bike Radar recommends ten cheap and discounted suggestions to keep you warm, cool and comfortable on your bike.

Colorado mountain bike maker Yeti Cycles paused bicycle production to turn out masks and face shields for Denver’s transit agency.

The boom in bike commuting inspires Cleveland planners to consider how to accommodate bike commuters in a post-coronavirus world.

Ebike maker Aventon Bicycles donated several bicycles and thousands of surgical and N95 masks to a Queens hospital at the forefront of the coronavirus battle.

A New York community board calls for safe routes for essential workers riding through Central Park.

A Philly mother is on a personal mission to get kids to wear bike helmets, after crediting her son’s with saving him from serious injury when he was hit head-on by a driver.

DC will convert no-parking zones into new dockless vehicle corrals.

 

International

Europe’s bike industry is ready to go as the continent moves towards lifting restrictions on businesses.

A new film examines how an ebike was life changing for an English man with multiple sclerosis.

Seriously. If you’re still riding a bike and competing in triathlons at 80 years old, you deserve a hell of a lot better than getting run down by a Brit driver.

A new survey shows 35% of UK bike riders have been involved in a crash, with 20% of those blamed on drivers.

Unbelievable. A British judge sends a message that it’s perfectly okay to kill someone for damaging your car by giving a driver a suspended sentence for repeatedly punching a drunk man riding a bike for allegedly breaking off his car mirror.

A 12-year old boy in the UK raised the equivalent of more than $5,000 by riding 460 miles in a 36-hour virtual cycling challenge.

Wired says that Belgian-Dutch study warning about the danger of spreading coronavirus while biking or running ain’t necessarily so, and the health benefits of physical activity likely outweighs any risk.

Austria’s Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs is one of us, though she could use a little work on staying on the bike and off the pavement.

About damn time. Germany’s transportation ministry is funding Masters-level courses in bicycle traffic at several universities, saying bikes must be put on equal footing with other forms of transportation.

E-bikeshare use is climbing as a healthier alternative to mass transit in China, as the country slowly reawakens from Covid-19.

 

Competitive Cycling

World champ Ruth Winder responds to the cancellation of the women’s cycling tour by baking sourdough babka and delivering them by bike to her friends in Boulder CO. But riding to LA with a couple wouldn’t be that far out of her way, would it?

A South African cyclist explains why he loves the annual joberg2c mountain bike race, which was cancelled like everything else this year.

Bicycling looks at the pro tour’s rush to virtual cycling, while a writer for Bike Radar says esports aren’t a substitute for the real thing, and he’d rather do literally anything else than watch virtual cycling. Took the words right out of my mouth. Although I can think of a few things even less enjoyable.

 

Finally…

You know your marriage is in trouble when your wife turns you in for hit-and-run. When you’re trying to escape the police on your bike, you’ll have much better luck if you avoid doing a faceplant.

And you could own your very own 1973 Campy-equipped Colnago Super Pantografata, just like the one the Cannibal rode.

But those rare Ebay bike finds aren’t always what they seem.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Ramadān Mubārak!

The ugly side of an ugly incident

It was a shocking, disturbing and hideous case of road rage that sent two local cyclists to the Emergency Room — one made worse by the realization it could just as easily have happened to any of us.

But surprisingly, some good has come out of the good doctor’s Mandeville Canyon brake test. The Cyclist’s Bill of Rights has gained some traction as a result, in the hope that we can keep things like this from happening in the future. A real dialogue has finally begun between cyclists and Canyon residents. And for the first time, we saw an overwhelming response from our new-found biking community.

Unfortunately, we also saw how ugly that community can be.

As you may have noticed, I go out of my way not to name of the doctor who cause the injuries to those riders — and who reportedly refused to offer any medical assistance afterwards.

There’s a reason for that.

It’s not like it’s hard to find his name online. And as outraged as I was when I read about the incident, I was just as  sickened to read on LAist’s followup to the incident: *Note: There are other Dr. (name deleted)s in the Los Angeles area who work in medicine and unfortunately some are being wrongly threatened.

And this from the moderator of the Socal Bike Forum’s thread on the Mandeville Incident:

Just to clarify on the “name” issue. We all know who the guy is now, where he lives and where he works… but there is no good reason for posting his personal information on a public board. On another bike site, his name and phone number was displayed and some yokels thought it would be fun to start systematic harassment. Turns out, they posted the number of the wrong guy. (EDIT: LAist just closed their “Comments” feature because a number of men with the same name have been threatened.) Similarly, the hospital where the doctor works undoubtedly has more pressing issues than dealing with phone calls from a bunch of angry cyclists. That is why we do not want such information posted. The two riders have asked that no one take matters into their own hands, and to let the police do their job…

As my friend, and author of the excellent Altadena Blog that covers life in Pasadena’s less pretentious northern neighbor, put it, “…but it’s OK the threaten the RIGHT one? Anonymous phone calls to HIS mailbox are OK? I’m with the bikers on this one, but…let the cops do the threatening! That’s what they’re paid for!”

I wonder what the doctors who were mistakenly threatened think about cyclists now? Our public perception is bad enough in this town without going around threatening innocent people.

If you’ve been following the story online, like I have, you’ve undoubtedly seen countless comments threatening the doctor, or vowing retaliation against other drivers — just as there have been comments that the riders had it coming. And countless others vowing mass traffic disruptions if the charges are dropped, or if the good doctor should somehow be acquitted.

This isn’t the time for violence — as if there ever is a right time — or aggressive civil disobedience. That would only undo the progress our community has made over the past two weeks.

No, this is a time for action.

Contact the mayor’s office and your local council member to support passage of the Cyclist’s Bill of Rights, and demand prosecution of all violent acts against cyclists, as well as an end to police bias in favor of motorists. Contact the governor’s office, as well as your local representatives in the state legislature, and ask them to take real action to protect cyclists and encourage safe cycling everywhere in California.

And while you’re at it, remind them that you bike.

And you vote.

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