Tag Archive for Madonna del Ghisallo

Invalid signatures sink Bonin recall, Koretz nixes expanded hours for La Brea bus lanes, and Ride4Love Super Bowl Sunday

So much for that big anti-Bonin uprising in his coastal council district.

Wealthy and conservative activists have been gunning for CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin almost since he first took office in 2013.

Especially following his bold, but poorly rolled out, attempt at installing much needed road diets in Playa del Rey in 2017, which were removed after Mayor Eric Garcetti cut the legs out from under him following an angry outcry from drivers used to using the roadways as a deadly surface-street alternative to the 405.

Numerous attempts recall him have been announced, despite the overwhelming support Bonin has enjoyed at the ballot box.

And all have fizzled.

The latest attempt got the furthest, as recall supporters actually made it to city hall this time, submitting over 39,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office, far more than needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Except, as it turned out, over 13,000 of those signatures were rejected as invalid. Leaving them around 1,350 short.

Now the bike-friendly and bike-riding councilmember can turn his attention to running for a third and final term in office this year, which will most likely return him to his position as chair of the city council’s Transportation Committee.

And avoid the awkward possibility that he could be removed from office amid the typically low turnout of a recall election this spring, then returned when the larger voting public turns out for the June primary election.

As the LA Times points, out, this is the third council recall attempt to fizzle out this year, after earlier failed attempts to oust Nithya Raman and Kevin de León.

Photo taken from Bonin website.


Once again, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz shows his true stripes, standing in the way of a much-needed bus lane on La Brea, if it happens to inconvenience anyone even a tiny bit.

Thankfully, Koretz will be termed out this September, when hopefully, someone who actually supports improving transit service to get Angelenos out of their cars can take his place.

So maybe just hold off on printing those Bus Lane No Parking signs for a few more months.


Mark your calendar for February’s biggest outdoor event.

Wait, there’s a football game, too?


I’m not one to talk about my religious beliefs.

But I confess to saying a prayer to the Madonna del Ghisallo every night, asking that everyone who rides a bike the next day may return home safely.

Sadly, sometimes the answer is no.

So I also pray for all those who have been injured or killed riding a bicycle, and all of their loved ones, that they may be comforted and at peace.

Because what’s the point of having our own patron saint if we don’t ask for her help?



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

No bias here. Yet another lengthy screed from a self-proclaimed San Luis Obispo “pedestrian, bicyclist and…commercial driver” complaining that bicycling and walking safety improvements in the city are doing just the opposite — including a new two-way protected bike lane he claims is just teaching children to ride on the wrong side of the road.

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

Riverside police are looking for a bicyclist who repeatedly whacked a 60-something man over the head with a piece of wood in an apparent road rage attack on New Year’s Eve, resulting in head injuries that kept the victim hospitalized until now. Never resort to violence, as tempting as it may be — especially with a weapon, improvised or otherwise. Regardless of what the driver may have done to piss you off.

An alleged road raging bike rider pled guilty to a pair of bail jumping charges on the eve of his trial for fatally shooting a Milwaukee immigration attorney in front of his wife; the defense accuses the driver of directing a racial slur at the Black bicyclist. Which, horrible though it may be, does not justify killing the victim with a gun the shooter was not legally allowed to possess.



Streetsblog encourages you to weigh in on Metro’s budget for the upcoming year.



The HIV/AIDS fundraiser AIDS LifeCycle ride is back this year after a two-year pandemic hiatus, and looking for volunteers to help out.

Spectrum News 1 considers the soaring popularity of ebikes in San Diego.

A Corona man is ordered to stand trial for attempting to sexually assault a schoolgirl, then fleeing naked on his bicycle. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Oakland is pulling the plug on their Slow Streets program, rather than making them permanent like some other cities have done.



Cannondale’s new Synapse is one of the first road bikes from a major manufacturer to incorporate integrated daytime running lights and a rear-facing radar to alert the rider to any approaching motor vehicles, based on Garmin’s Varia bicycle-mounted radar.

You’ve got to be kidding. South Dakota’s Supreme Court tossed a lawsuit from a woman who was paralyzed when her bike wheel got caught in a Rapid City storm grate, after the city destroyed the evidence by removing nearly 100 similar grates — including the one that left her a quadriplegic, making it impossible to prove her case.

Santa Fe bike riders call for an end to automotive supremacy in advance of a redesign of a deadly thoroughfare that was once part of the famed Route 66.

A handful of Good Samaritans pitched in to buy a new racing bike for a Colorado triathlete who lost everything in the recent Boulder County fire, including her carbon fiber Cervelo, which was turned to ash by the flames.

Your old car tires could have a new life as armadillos marking a Memphis protected bike lane. Now if they’d just recycle the rest of the cars.

The NYPD tells moped riders to stay the hell out of the bicycle/pedestrian lane on the Queensboro Bridge. Now if they could just stop their own cops from parking in bike lanes.

Nice move. New York will provide free two-month bikeshare memberships for hospital workers at the front lines in the battle against the Covid-19 Omicron surge.

A new Penn State study shows that even Bike Friendly University’s are failing to encourage members of underserved racial, gender, low-income and disabled groups to bicycle to and on college campuses.

Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths nearly doubled last year in Florida’s Pinellas County, home to Clearwater and St. Petersburg, jumping from 49 in 2020 to 85 in 2021.



Local residents are delighted that plans to segregate an English bike lane have been scrapped, so they can keep parking in it.

The Vatican now has its very own cycling team, in honor of the bike-loving pope.

A new German study shows that the country’s increase in bicycling is largely driven by highly educated urban residents, who are riding twice as much as they did when the study began in 1996. Although the study only goes through 2018, so it doesn’t include the effects of the pandemic bike boom. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

A New Zealand tour boat skipper spent the pandemic building a new 35-mile mountain bike track, opening up backcountry areas that have never been open to the public before.

Life is cheap in Adelaide, Australia, where police unexpectedly dropped all charges against a 25-year old man accused of deliberately ramming three separate bike riders while driving a stolen car.


Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Brazil, where elite mountain biker Mariano Merlo died after a sudden illness; she was just 27 years old.

Russian cyclist and former world junior time trial champ Aigul Gareeva has been suspended after skipping not one, not two, but three doping tests over the past year, which could lead to up to a two year ban. Nope, nothing at all suspicious about blowing off three dope tests. Especially now that the Era of Doping is over, right?

Continental-level developmental team Israel Cycling Academy was victimized by bike thieves on Monday, losing 17 team bikes from a truck at the team’s Catalonia, Spain training camp.

Argentine cyclists discover the hard way that maybe they should slow down just a tad when the road is flooded out in front of the peloton.




Your next ebike could be haute couture. Don’t stab your companion in an argument over who owns a bike — especially when you’re already on bail for a meth bust.

And it looks like LA tall bike king Richie Trimble’s 20 feet 2.5 inches Stoopid Taller is now just the world’s second tallest bike.


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

The amulet from which I gain my super powers

It was probably the funniest book I’ve ever read.

Madonna del Ghisallo medal, which currently resides in my pocket when I ride, until I get a stronger chain

Madonna del Ghisallo medal, which will reside in my pocket when I ride, until I get a stronger chain

Not the best book. Not even the best funny book. That would probably be Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, or maybe its sequel Sweet Thursday, though Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 wouldn’t be far behind.

But hands down, the laugh-out-loud funniest pages I’ve ever turned were between the covers of A. C. Weisbecker’s Cosmic Banditos. To over simplify the synopsis, it’s the story of a couple of small time drug smugglers who stumble across a collection of physics textbooks, and decide to live their lives according to Quantum Theory. Meaning that anything can, and probably will, happen at any given time, if it hasn’t already.

Something I learned the hard way as a result of the infamous beachfront bee encounter.

I mean, look at it this way. A totally random event — a massive swarm of bees — occurs out of the blue at what would normally be the safest place to ride — a quiet stretch of off-road bike path along the beach — at what should be the safest time to ride — the middle of the day after tourist season is over and the kids are back in school.

The result was a couple nights in intensive care, with no memory of what happened. Or how. Or why, for that matter.

And that’s been eating at me ever since.

You see, every accident I’ve ever had, every near accident, every mistake I’ve ever made on the saddle, I’ve analyzed to understand exactly what I did wrong. So I could make sure I never made that same mistake again.

But it’s hard to figure out what not to do when you have no idea what you did. Or didn’t.

And how you avoid something as random as a massive bee swarm suddenly materializing in from of you — and disappearing just as quickly — I have no idea.

So when a fellow bike blogger mentioned in passing that La Madonna del Ghisallo was patron saint of bicyclists, I was sold. Even if I haven’t managed to sit through a Catholic Mass since my mother died just after the millennium.

That’s the beauty of a Catholic upbringing, though. Once you’re in, you’re in. No matter how much you try to escape, or how hard you rebel against the doctrine of papal infallibility.

So, I may know on an intellectual level that a few bucks worth of sterling sliver won’t keep bees, or cars, or falling anvils away.

But I believe with every fiber of my being that if you truly believe something will work, it will. Whether that’s a lucky charm, a rabbit’s foot, or faith in a patron saint.

And in a world like this one, you’ve got to believe in something.


Streetsblog reports on the LAPD’s report on the Hummer incident, which evidently suffered only minor damage from the cyclist. LAist covers the meeting as well, and Alex rebuts most of the LAPD’s report — including offering a photo proving the Hummer had no plates, despite what the report claimed. L.A.’s ex-parking meters are reborn as bike racks, some of them, anyway. Tucson Bike Lawyer relates how local police threaten to ticket semi-conscious cyclists after a collision. After all these years of Portland envy, now we have to turn green towards Minneapolis, too. Denver police ask cyclists to obey the law on their local Bike to Work Day, as roughly 6% of local downtowners regularly commute by bike. After three dead cyclists in one month, Boise authorities say it takes time to investigate them thoroughly. San Francisco tries to make 18th Street more bike, pedestrian — and yes, even business — friendly. Finally, North Carolina police say cyclists are starting to cause problems, too.

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