Tag Archive for Major Taylor

Morning Links: Warning tourists about bad LA bike lanes, slow roll to Major Taylor’s bike, and celebrate Eagle Rock bike lanes

Seriously.

How sad is it that the Fodor’s Travel site feels the need to warn tourist against LA’s slow buses, distracted drivers and virtually nonexistent bike lanes?

While we’re on the subject of size, let’s talk about how to get around. You have a lot of options, so choose wisely. You can rent a car, ride a bus, take the metro, hail a taxi, use a ride-sharing app, or scoot (ugh). Lesson 1. Never ride the bus. It takes too long to get anywhere. Lesson 2. The metro doesn’t go everywhere, so pick your routes carefully. Lesson 3. Ride-sharing apps are infinitely cheaper than taxis (download Uber and/or Lyft). Lesson 4. If you must, scoot. The newest transport kids on the block are Lime and Byrd, electric scooters that make it easy to get around individual neighborhoods. Just be careful because bike lanes are scarce and L.A. drivers don’t look (read: they’re on their phones).

Photo by Sergij from Pexels.

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Sounds like fun.

You’re invited to take a slow roll from Leimert Park to Pasadena on Novenber 16th to see the actual bike ridden by turn of the century African-American cycling legend Major Taylor, recently purchased by the owner of Velo Pasadena for his own bicycling museum.

That’s the turn of the previous century, not the last one.

As in the 1890s.

Which makes Taylor just the second black world champion in any sport. Even if he was riding on wooden rims.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Or maybe you’d rather come out this Saturday to celebrate Eagle Rock’s bike lanes, and plan for more Complete Streets to come.

Thanks to Felicia G for the tip.

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Who needs a mountain to mountain bike?

Unless you speak German, feel free to skip the first 1:30 or so.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging British driver was fined the equivalent of $5,800 for grabbing a teenage bike rider by the collar and twice spitting in his face, after the boy flipped him off when the driver honked at him.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels who are the problem.

Sacramento police are looking for the bike-riding jerk who slapped a woman on the ass, then came back several minutes later and did it again.

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Local

Bike Talk talks Metro Culture, and the death of a four-year old girl crossing the street with her mother in Koreatown last week.

Congratulations to UCLA on being named a gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, the first school in LA County to achieve that status.

Actor Christian Bale is one of us, as he rides his cruiser bike to Venice with his five-year old son in tow.

Long Beach is mourning the death of artist and graphic designer Katie Phillips, who was also one of the founders of the city’s Kidical Mass; described as a “beautiful soul,” she passed away over the weekend.

 

State

You can now pre-order the recently adopted California Bicycle Special License Plate for your car or truck; the state is required to get 7,500 pre-orders before it can go into production. Or you could skip the license, sell your car and get a new bike or ebike instead. Just saying.

Tickets for distracted driving have dropped in San Diego. Which is less likely to be the result of drivers putting their phone away than police giving up in the face of overwhelming numbers.

Watsonville bike riders are getting shiny new green bike lanes today.

A reminder that Los Angeles police still don’t have a bait bike program despite rampant bike thefts, as police in Danville bust a man who cut the lock and tried to ride off on their GPS-equipped bike.

 

National

Dockless mopeds are soon headed to a street near you.

Your next ebike could be a Harley Rude Boy.

NPR examines the struggle by the National Parks Service to develop policies on whether or not to allow ebikes in each individual park, and how.

Oregon state police have released the full 38-minute body cam video of the arrest of a young black woman for the crime of riding salmon on the campus of Oregon State University, which has been criticized for excessive force.

Denver’s mayor agrees to study lowering default speed limits to 20 mph, but cuts funding for the study nearly in half.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, where a man sacrificed his own life to save his fiancé, pushing her off her bike as they were riding together just before he was struck by a motorist.

Queens bicyclists protest the 500 days since they were promised a protected bike lane along the city’s “Boulevard of Death,” which hasn’t even been started yet.

The author of a history of bicycling in NYC says things are better than they used to be, but bikes will probably always be “somewhat marginalized.”

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York public meetings are getting meaner and less truthful in the Trump era. A phenomenon we’ve unfortunately seen here in SoCal, too.

This is why people keep dying on the streets, as authorities manage to keep yet another dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Pennsylvania man with a history of blackouts and seizures behind the wheel faces a vehicular homicide charge for blowing a stop sign and plowing into a man on a bike; he’s had at least three other seizure related crashes.

Bicycling deaths are up nearly 30% over last year in South Carolina.

Atlanta installed a temporary pop-up bike lane connecting two other bike lanes for the next week to give everyone a chance to see how it works before they complain.

The admittedly drunk driver who plowed through a group of bike riders during a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade pled guilty to 14 counts, but will still go trial next week on two remaining counts of vehicular homicide; how much time be spends behind bars will be determined by whether a judge rules his BAC was above .20 at the time of the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for the Florida couple that held a 12-year old boy at knife point and took his bicycle, locking it inside their home.

 

International

Forget carbon. Your next ebike could be made from injection-molded thermoplastic.

A London man is on trial for killing a pedestrian while he was riding an ebike, which was allegedly traveling faster than the law allows.

An English security cam video shows just how fast a bike thief can make off with an unlocked bike. Hint: How long does it take to hop on one and pedal away?

A British town is offering an amnesty to get people to return stolen bikeshare bikes.

The UK will reconsider the rules governing diplomatic immunity, after admitting government officials knew the wife of an American diplomat responsible for the hit-and-run death of a young motorcycle rider was going to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

An Indian regional leader multi-modaled his way to the voting booth, traveling by train and pedicab, and finishing the journey by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Undying for a good time. What good is a new bike path if it’s under water most of the year?

And why run for president when you can go by bike?

Morning Links: A bike path in the rain, Major Taylor rides again, the war on bikes, and who we share the roads with

Greetings from Los Angeles, America’s second-place city™.

The Super Bowl is over, but the rain isn’t.

So be careful out there. Light yourself up even during day rides, and ride defensively, because drivers assume no one in their right mind would ride a bike in weather like this.

And they may be right.

But when has that ever stopped us?

And let’s hope none of those drivers were inspired watching yesterday’s game, and decide to drive like the people in car ads.

My apologies to anyone who sent me links over the weekend. While I truly appreciate it, I’m afraid I lost track of some of the people who sent them. So please accept my apologies, as well as my thanks.

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In case you wondered, this is why they close the bike path on the LA River, and other water-adjacent bike paths, when it rains.

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Even a separated bike path isn’t safe when it rains, as this driver ended up upside down on the San Gabriel River bike path.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

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The New York Times gives the legendary Major Taylor the obituary he deserved, but never got, when he died penniless in the 1930s.

Known as the Black Cyclone, he was the first African American cycling world champ, and just the second in any sport.

And like those who integrated other sports, he had to overcome hatred and prejudice, as well his opponents on the track.

He also made a brief splash in yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Unlike a certain LA team we could name.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

After a New York bike rider raps on a man’s car to chastise him for parking in a bike lane, the driver gets out and threatens to shoot her in the head if she does it again.

Which is a nice, psychopathic response to a totally non-threatening gesture.

In a bizarre case, an 8-year old South Carolina boy claims a car full of men stopped next to him as he rode his bike, and the driver pulled a gun on him for no apparent reason.

A Florida man says a pickup driver forced his bicycle off the road, then attacked him with a metal pipe.

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This is who we share the roads with.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on meetings being held to discuss options to close the 8-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA; one last meeting will be held in Cypress Park on Thursday.

Urbanize Los Angeles offers a better look at the streetscape improvements coming to Broadway and Manchester in South LA.

A Nigerian journalist offers a tourist’s eye view of the City of Angeles, including a bike tour of Venice, after an Ethiopian airline begins direct flights from Togo. Although he seems to confused Los Angeles with San Diego, size-wise.

A Long Beach police detective is in deep trouble after a pair of allegedly drunken and/or stoned crashes, including fleeing the scene after rear-ending a bike rider in Marina del Rey, followed by crashing into another driver on the 405; she was released on $100,000 bond. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Police in Gardena pulled over a suspected drunk driver who was weaving across the street, with a BAC over four times the legal limit — a level so high it’s usually fatal. He was already on probation for a previous DUI, and had an interlock device on his ignition, which he somehow managed to defeat.

State

Costa Mesa officials discuss plans for a buffered bike lane and multi-use path on Merrimac Way.

San Diego lifeguards rescued a half dozen dockless bikes that had been tossed off a cliff into the ocean, spotting and retrieving them while on a training mission.

San Diego’s Planning Commission voted to eliminate parking requirements within a half mile of major transit stops.

Bakersfield police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding woman with major injuries.

A San Jose columnist credits bike lanes with a drop in bike and pedestrian deaths last year, equalling the number of homicides in the city, which is not necessarily a good thing. In the same piece, a former prosecutor and defense attorney tries to excuse DUIs, saying everyone does it and drunk drivers should get off with just a diversion class. I’m not saying he’s completely full of shit, but if someone gave him an enema, he probably disappear entirely.  

The San Jose Mercury News says Complete Streets are spreading across the state. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where too many councilmembers lack the courage to stand up to NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

Bicycling and transit use have both dropped in San Francisco in recent years, as the overwhelming majority of people still prefer cars.

Is anyone really surprised that a pair of scooter providers have failed to live up to the promises they made to get permits to operate in San Francisco?

A man on a bike is accused of attacking and choking a Novato hiker after she tried to stop him from kicking her dog.

Horrible news from Napa, where a grandfather was beaten to death while riding on a local bike path. Meanwhile, in nearby Santa Rosa, a homeless man was beaten to death by two men who accused him of stealing a bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth that.

Nice gesture from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which gave away 600 bicycles to children affected by the devastating Camp Fire.

National

No, a Peloton bike probably won’t get you the body of your dreams.

Lime is pulling their dockless bikes from St. Louis, replacing them with e-scooters.

Stephen Katz forwards a rare story of forgiveness, as the family of a bike rider killed by a dangerous bus driver on the campus of the University of Texas decides to turn the other cheek.

Oh, hell no. A proposed update to Rhode Island’s transportation budget would gut bicycle funding by shifting over $31 million into highway projects.

A New York teacher is planning to bike across the US to raise money for cancer patients, just two years after she had open-heart surgery.

International

Mazatlan, Mexico now has a docked bikeshare system, which will eventually grow to 350 bikes and 50 stations.

A self-described avid cyclist in Windsor, Ontario says there’s got to be a better way to improve bicycling without removing parking or traffic lanes for bike lanes. If he knows one, maybe he could actually make a suggestion or two.

London considers establishing an app-based bikeshare system; no, not that London. Meanwhile, a writer in the other London is looking forward to getting e-scooters on the streets trod by Nelson, Churchill and Dickens. And Jack the Ripper.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas offers UK readers advice on buying a bike, from ebikes and single speeds to gravel bikes and roadies. No offense, but is a pro cyslist who probably hasn’t bought his own bike in years really the best person to offer advice to casual and transportation riders?

I love a story with a happy ending. Carlton Reid tells the tale of a Brit CEO who traded his Mercedes supercar for an e-cargo bike. And lived healthier and happier ever after.

In today’s edition of two countries divided by a common language, English authorities warn people not to ride croggy. And yes, I had to click the link to learn what the hell that meant. Just like you will.

After police caught up with a British hit-and-run driver, she claimed she didn’t stop because she didn’t do anything wrong, and that the bike rider she ran down was trying to get hit. No, really, Because we all enjoy pain, especially when it’s delivered at the end of a bumper.

Great Britain’s future heir and two spares enjoy daily bike rides and dog walks, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — third, fourth and fifth in line for the British crown once their father and granddad kick the bucket — enjoy a relatively normal upbringing with their self-defense and evasive driving-trained nanny.

Horrifying story from Scotland, where a driver hit an Edinburgh bicyclist with his van, talked him into getting inside to take him somewhere to get help — then dumped him in the street a few blocks away, dragging him out by his leg.

NPR considers how women are breaking the taboo against bicycling in Karachi, Pakistan.

A woman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is leading the way to get more women on bikes in the conservative country, with 7,000 followers on her social media account dedicated to bicycling.

A Kenyan state governor shocks everyone by riding a bicycle to work sans security detail.

Social media users are calling a South African high school student a hero for swooping in on his bicycle to rescue a schoolmate who was being attacked, and losing his phone in the process.

A Kiwi columnist says don’t waste time arguing over e-scooters, when the real danger is quad bikes. Which aren’t really bikes at all, since they have four wheels.

One of Australia’s most wanted men is taking that feeling of being invisible on a bike seriously, hiding out from the authorities on a bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Sanne Cant clearly can, winning her third consecutive cyclocross world title. Although it kind of sucks when your own father costs you the title, as second-place Lucinda Brand learned the hard way.

Speaking of which, the ‘cross worlds will come to Walmart’s neck of the woods in three years, as Fayetteville, Arkansas is awarded the 2022 meet.

When a pair of Pro Continental riders found themselves unemployed after their Aqua Blue Sport team folded, they got their cycling mojo back by bikepacking across the alps.

Fat bike racing in the recent Minnesota polar vortex.

When the cycling team from India’s Rajasthan state showed up for the country’s national championships, they were forced to sleep on the floor under the velodrome.

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’re carrying coke, weed and prescription drugs on your bike at 4:30 am, put a light on it. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and weed in your pockets, put a damn light on it, already. Chances are you make a lousy travel companion.

And feel free to do this on the mayor’s desk if I ever get killed in a crash.

Cyclist killed in Orange County, weekend rides, pro doping and a lot of links

A woman in La Habra was killed by a bus while riding her bike across the crosswalk.

Annette Ferrin-Rodgers, 49, was killed at approximately 8:28 pm last night at the intersection of Beach Blvd and La Habra Blvd in La Habra, when a bus turning left onto La Habra from Beach struck her. The driver reported seeing something in the crosswalk, but was unable to stop despite traveling at an estimated 15 to 20 mph.

A mail processing clerk at the Santa Ana USPS processing center, Ferrin-Rodgers was reportedly riding without lights an hour after sunset. Police also stated that riders are required to dismount and walk across a crosswalk. However, that’s only true where riding on the sidewalk in prohibited, since the crosswalk is considered an extension of the sidewalk, or where DOT-conforming signage requires it; according to comments, riding on the sidewalk is legal in that area.

The driver has been tested for drugs and alcohol, as per USDOT guidelines, and will be on administrative leave while the investigation proceeds.

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C.I.C.L.E.’s Urban Expeditions celebrates Earth Day with the Lorax Ride on Saturday, April 24, beginning at 10 am at Memorial Park in Pasadena.

Sunday the 25th marks the monthly Black kids on bikes – Freedom Ride in South L.A., a fun, medium-paced ride that rolls at 1 pm the last Sunday of each month. If you were at the Streetsblog fundraiser at Eco-Village earlier this month, you saw the premier of the great new StreetsFilm about the Freedom Ride by Ivy London; if not, look for it when it goes online next month.

On the other hand, Will Campbell’s Bike Every Satur(Day) In May rides don’t kick off for another week.

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Twenty-four-year old pro cyclist Leonardo Grullon was killed in the Domican Republic when he and four other riders were hit by a truck while training for the Pan American Championships.

Lance’s new Team RadioShack takes a hit as Chinese rider Li Fuyu tests positive for Clembuterol. BMC Racing Team’s Thomas Frei is suspended after testing positive for EPO, while BMC riders Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio are suspended as part of an ongoing drug probe. Meanwhile, CSF rider Mattia Gavazzi tested positive for cocaine and ex-pro Cristof Kerschbaum faces trial for dealing EPO and other performance enhancing drugs.

In non-doping pro news, the legendary Eddy Merckx is honored with a stamp by his native Belgium on his 65th birthday, while Lance is named the most influential athlete in the U.S.; oddly, Tiger Woods is no longer on the list.

Cyclelicious reports that a movie is in the works about Major Taylor, the nation’s first black athletic superstar and bike hero a century before Lance.

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A Midnight Ridazz art exhibition opens in Long Beach’s Exhibit [A] Gallery. Metro Chair Ara Najarian says there will be bike lockers and racks at the new Westlake/MacArthur Park development after all; maybe they planned it all along, maybe they’re just responding to Stephen Box unnamed bloggers. A new coalition called Living Streets wants to know what local streets should become Living Streets. Who tickets the Parking Enforcement officers when they’re the ones blocking the bike lane? L.A. Cycle Chic looks at the bikes of Coachella. A road diet, including diagonal parking — and yes, bike lanes — is being considered for Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey. Need a job? Green LA Transportation Working Group is looking for a Living Streets Project Coordinator.

Long Beach celebrates Earth Day with two miles of new bike lanes; L.A. celebrates Earth Day with, uh…. Claremont gets cool new bike racks, I like the multi-colored ones; Claremont Cyclist shares my philosophy of supporting your local bike shop. The new U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame opens Saturday in Davis. A Sonoma cyclist offers drivers a little courtesy and asks for the same in return.

Why do they always talk about unsafe cycling and not unsafe driving? Giant unveils what may be the world’s first female-specific fixie. A Tucson writer suggests banning all cars to make the city’s streets safe for cyclists. Boston Biker discovers the joys of going slow. A look at Emily Kreisa, Denver’s street-smart bike planner, while the Mile High City debuts the nation’s largest bike share program. The presidential motorcade through New York results in the confiscation of countless bikes for fear of bike bombs along the route. A Pennsylvania police officer hits a cyclist while responding to a call; the officer is not suspended. Indiana’s Little 500 bike race — made famous in the best bike movie ever — rolls this weekend; a Kappa Delta sophomore is the third member of her family to compete.

Finally, in case you wondered what the hell the New York Critical Mass cyclist-bashing cop was thinking, it turns out he thought he was the one being assaulted. No, seriously.

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