Tag Archive for recovery

Newport Beach bike rider recovering from crash, and LA Times approves of taxing oversize SUVs and legalizing speed cams

Let’s start with some good news for a change.

I reached out to the lawyer representing the family of the Newport Beach bicyclist who was severely injured riding at Newport Coast Drive just south of San Joaquin Hills Rd on Sunday, March 26th.

I’m told that he is now conscious and sitting up, and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. However, he does have a number of injuries, and faces a long road to recovery.

There does not appear to be a crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses at this time. But I’ll let you know if that changes.

The news is good, though. And far better than we could have expected, given the circumstances.

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It was a good day for traffic safety in the editorial pages of the LA Times.

The paper’s editorial board took on the problem of ever-expanding trucks and SUVs, and the danger their hulking profiles pose to pedestrians.

And yes, to people on bicycles, too.

The heavier, taller vehicles now make up 80% of car sales in the U.S., and a growing body of research shows they are more deadly when drivers hit pedestrians and cyclists. The mass of SUVs and trucks means they take longer to stop and strike with more force.

They also have larger blind spots than smaller cars. With reduced visibility, drivers turning at an intersection are more likely to hit pedestrians, according to one study. Drivers are also less likely to see small children directly in front of the vehicle. With a higher profile, when a SUV or truck crashes into a person, the front hits the chest and head for more traumatic injuries.

Unfortunately, federal regulators are doing absolutely nothing to rein in automakers to demand smaller and safer vehicles for people outside of their armored and padded passenger compartments.

Which leaves it up to states to step into the breach.

That’s why California legislators are looking into emulating Washington DC by tying registration fees to vehicle weight, as the paper suggests it shouldn’t be a controversial bill.

As EV technology improves, the battery packs are expected to become smaller. But that advancement will be of little help if automakers and consumers continue to buy vehicles with little regard to their danger to people in front of the windshield. Federal regulators should push automakers to design vehicles that are safer not just for the driver but for the pedestrians and bicyclists. Until that happens, California lawmakers can pass AB 251 to help create momentum for change.

The same day that editorial appeared online, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argued in the Times that California needs to stop dragging its feet on life-saving speed cameras.

Speed is the single biggest factor in determining the severity of a car crash, and yet California has resisted the most obvious tool to slow down traffic: speed-enforcement cameras. Still, the state has learned a few lessons over the years from experiments with red-light cameras, and there’s now a bill in Sacramento that could deploy similar technology to lifesaving effect.

Without speed cameras, cities face an untenable choice: Let drivers flout traffic laws and allow vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists to die, or increase enforcement by police — which fuels conflict and casualties. If anything, California is moving toward reducing traffic stops, which can be a pretext for harassing Black and Latino drivers.

A new bill in the state legislature sponsored by Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), would address that by establishing a speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Glendale, Long Beach and San Francisco.

Which is a good first step.

But it also means if you live or ride in Orange County or San Diego, you’re screwed. Or anywhere else in the late, great Golden State, for that matter.

Schneider writes that Assembly Bill 645 addresses concerns that killed two previous attempts to pass a speed cam bill by ticketing the owner of the vehicle, rather than attempting to determine who is driving.

Although arguably, opposition by CHP and police unwilling to give up the job security posed by the state’s ever-present and eternal problem of speeding drivers had as much, if not more, to do with the failure of two previous bills.

Never mind the reluctance of California drivers to take their foot off the gas pedal, or face consequences for failing to do so.

If Sacramento allows these pilot programs, we should see an almost immediate safety improvement. Indeed, if drivers know that they’re likely to be caught by an automated speed camera, they’ll be less inclined to speed in the first place. Slowing down will save lives…

Yet every arterial in Los Angeles has at least a 35-mph posted speed limit, with drivers routinely reaching 45 mph or faster. Even a recent state action that allowed Los Angeles to lower speed limits didn’t make much of a dent; the main result was the limit returning to 35 mph on some streets where it had crept higher.

It’s no wonder, then, that traffic fatalities soared to a two-decade high in Los Angeles in 2022, especially in light of massively large trucks and SUVs currently popular on our streets. No one should have to fear for their life while crossing a street or riding a bike in Los Angeles — a city where a pedestrian is killed once every three days.

No one, indeed.

California’s addiction to speed, and the state’s failure to take substantive action to rein it in, has resulted in a state of quasi-legal mayhem on our streets.

Taxing oversized vehicles out of existence and legalizing speed cams could be valuable first steps in actually doing something to save human lives on our streets.

Besides the usual thoughts and prayers, that is.

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Bike to the Culver City council meeting on Monday to fight to keep the successful Move Culver City bus and bike lanes, which are in danger of being ripped out by the council’s new conservative majority.

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If you feel the need for speed, USA Cycling is looking for you at next weekend’s Mid-City Meets Pico Union CicLAvia.

Just remember to cool your jets when you leave the booth and rejoin the throngs of CicLAvia celebrants.

https://twitter.com/CicLAvia/status/1642980122797182977

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

Police used DNA evidence to arrest a man for allegedly stringing wires at neck level on paths used by Madison, Wisconsin bike commuters. Although they undercharged him with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, since it was clearly a deliberate attempt to injure or maim innocent people; it should be charged as felony assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

British residents call a new separated bike lane junction “confusing,” “a bit of a pain” and “a total waste of taxpayers’ money,” even though it looks pretty self-explanatory in the photo.

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

Mark your calendar for two weeks from today, when the annual Bicycle Day celebrates the discovery of LSD by a Swiss chemist who dropped a tab before attempting to ride his bike home.

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Local 

More than 80 people turned out for the inaugural Bike Ride for Alan at Dockweiler State Beach on Sunday to honor community leader Alan Nishio, as he enters hospice care after battling a rare cancer for the past 17 years.

 

State

The brother of 68-year old fallen bicyclist Bradley Catcott has filed a lawsuit blaming the Carlsbad State Beach park ranger who engaged in a chase with the drunken motorcyclist who killed him while riding at speeds of up to 100 mph. Although this could just be a case of going after the state’s deep pockets, instead of the motorcyclist’s limited liability coverage.

San Diego has opened the new $148 million replacement for the aging Mission Bay Bridge, complete with bike and pedestrian pathways.

Doubly sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night, less than 24 hours after a pedestrian was killed in another hit-and-run.

The festival guide for Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic is now available online, just over two weeks before it takes place.

San Francisco approved plans for two-way, centerline bike lanes on Valencia Streets, despite the opposition of almost everyone.

 

National

Jalopnik reports the average car payment is now $730 a month, while the percentage of Americans paying more than $1,000 a month in car payments has nearly tripled in just two years, jumping from 6.2% to 16.8%. But tell me again that bikes are expensive, and bicycling is just for the wealthy.

Business Insider makes the case for improving bike and pedestrian safety by requiring sideguards for buses and large trucks, which advocates have demanded for years with no response.

A science blogger details the physics underlying your bike ride in easy to digest, non-scientific terms.

Streetsblog argues that Chicago bike lane haters aren’t completely wrong, noting that the city’s disconnected network can be improved, and that bikes shouldn’t be sharing streets with fast traffic — which they say is a better argument for lowering speed limits than banning bike lanes.

Massachusetts now requires a four-foot distance to pass any vulnerable road user, including anyone walking, biking, scooting, skating or rolling. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

He gets it now. A New York driver changes his mind about opposing bike lanes after hearing the heartbreaking testimonies of bike riders who feared for their safety at a community meeting.

A Louisiana bike rider is dead because a semi-truck driver somehow couldn’t wait to pass until they both cleared a curve in the road. But apparently it’s okay because the driver was sober.

Tampa, Florida is just the latest city to offer ebike rebates, good for up to two grand, before California finally gets its long-delayed ebike rebate program off the ground.

 

International

Momentum Magazine explains how to give your bike a spring tune-up and cleaning, while We Love Cycling addresses how to make your own DIY bikepacking bags.

Toronto could address police harassment of speeding bicyclists in the city’s High Park by turning the park over to fast riders for morning rides.

Life is cheap in the UK, where the father of a fallen bicyclist calls the nine-month suspended sentence that allowed the driver who killed him walk without a day behind bars a farce; the 74-year old driver failed to brake or swerve, despite being able to see the victim for at least seven seconds before the fatal crash.

France is creating a new generation of bike riders with a national “universal bicycling” program for middle school students.

A Japanese newspaper calls the country’s new bike helmet law an opportunity to ensure safety. Even though studies have shown helmet laws depress bicycling rates, reducing the safety in numbers effect that has been shown to improve bike safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur explores the effects of the “brutal pavé of Paris-Roubaix” on the human body. Which is the best rhyme I’ve heard in ages.

French women’s champ Audrey Cordon-Ragot walked away from her Zaaf Cycling Team, claiming she hasn’t been paid or reimbursed for expenses for the last three months.

You can cross the annual Tour of Walla Walla off your bike racing calendar, after the Washington race was permanently cancelled after nearly 25 years.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bright green snake wrapped around your bike frame to convince you your next ride can wait. Always ask if you can smoke the weed in your pocket if you get caught with a stolen bike, because they probably won’t let you do it in jail.

And nothing like a darn good slogan to improve traffic safety.

And yes, that was sarcasm.

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Chag Pesach Sameach to all observing Passover tonight. 

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

SF bike rider killed by hill bombing skater, fighting back from a heart attack to ride again, and uncuttable bike locks coming

Earlier this week, I made a decision not to link to a hill bombing event in San Francisco.

After watching a number of videos, it became clear it was just for skate boarders, and the only bikes were being held by spectators on the sidelines.

What I didn’t know was that Andrew Sanders was killed when he was hit by a skater while riding his bike on the hill.

Now the city is installing rows of Botts Dots across the base of the hill to put an end to competitions like this.

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Take a few minutes to read this great thread from a man who worked his way back on his bike after nearly dying from a heart attack; just click on the date to load the full thread.

Thanks to Tim Rutt, Rickard’s friend and former coworker, and my friend for over four decades, for the heads-up.

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There may be hope yet in the battle with bike thieves.

A new material promises to make bike locks that can’t be cut — even by an axle grinder.

Seriously, take my money.

Please.

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This is who we share the road with.

A British bike rider blames an overly close pass on the perceived protective powers of a thin strip of magic white paint.

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This is exactly what we’ve been worried about.

https://twitter.com/anneramsey740/status/1285002157264117770

If we can’t give them safe places to ride, those new bike riders who started during the coronavirus lockdown are likely to head back to their cars after getting frightened off the streets.

And a once in a generational opportunity to reimagine our streets will be lost forever.

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

Utah police are looking for a killer driver who appeared to intentionally run down a man on a bicycle, then turn around and run over him again before fleeing the scene.

No bias here. A British TV fashion advisor apologized after saying she “fucking hate(s) cyclists” and wants to kill them all with her car — including her own bike-riding husband. Although her apology only came after extensive online criticism, and doesn’t change the fact that she said it to begin with.

There’s a special place in hell for the reckless wrong-way Welsh driver who ran an 85-year old bike rider off the road; remarkably, he wasn’t seriously injured, despite his age.

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

If your “friend” beats you to death in front of his daughter for trying to use his bike, you probably weren’t really friends to begin with. Just saying.

A Scottish couple vowed to never use a bicycle delivery service again after a road-raging bicyclist spit on their car window when they honked to alert him to their presence. Although something tells me the bike rider might tell the tale just a tad differently.

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Local

The East Side Riders Bike Club teamed with the LA Galaxy for a ride to the closed-to-the-public Dignity Health Sports Center for Saturday’s match with LAFC; it didn’t help, though, as the Galaxy fell to their crosstown rivals.

The West Hollywood City Council was asked to reconsider the city’s ill-conceived ban on e-scooters, which is blocking a dockless ebike bikeshare pilot program.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bike was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

Santa Barbara County has completed a temporary bridge in Montecito crossing the mudflow from the disastrous flooding in January 2018, allowing bicyclists to finally ride through the area without using busy highways. Although hopefully, they’ll pause to remember the 23 people who died that night.

SF Gate professes to offer tips on how to maintain your bike, when all they’re really doing is pimping online sites for tool kits and accessories.

 

National

If you haven’t already hit the extremely low, four article monthly limit on the Bicycling website, they have tips on how to ride with no hands like a pro.

Gear Patrol looks at the outdated concept of men’s and women’s bicycles, when they really mean the differences between top tube and step through frames.

A new four-wheeled bike promises an offroad ride for wheelchair users.

A Nebraska man was the victim of a violent thief who chased him down and assaulted him with a baseball bat to steal his bike.

The community rallied to support bike riders after Chicago police seized the bicycles of people serving as bike marshals during recent protests.

After a bighearted Tennessee boy won a new bike in a drawing, he turned around and gave it to his neighbor.

The New York Times examines the problem of ensuring marginalized residents are heard in the rush to repurpose streets due to the coronavirus, and that outdoor dining, Slow Streets and popup bike lanes don’t just benefit wealthy white residents. At least the last one’s not a problem in Los Angeles, because the city doesn’t have any.

Sad news from New York, where a 26-year old TV reporter was killed when she was thrown from the back of a Revel Vespa-style dockless scooter; neither she nor the man she was riding with were wearing the helmets that come with the scooter rental, even though they’d been disinfected.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare celebrated its 100 millionth bike ride.

A physician assistant capped off eight weeks on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis in a New York hospital with a 3,500-mile coast-to-coast bike ride.

New Jersey residents are complaining about obnoxious kids on bikes. Again.

 

International

No bias here, as Toronto bike riders celebrate a new bike lane, but the headline on the website only focuses on people who oppose it.

Despite writing for a London site, a woman offers 11 reasons why living outside the city is better, including safer places to ride a bike.

An 84-year old British driver will be nearly 87 before he’s a free man again, after he was sentenced to 30 months behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite being told twice to stop driving due to his poor eyesight.

The UK has allotted the equivalent of $48 million for popup bike and pedestrian routes in response to the coronavirus crisis. Which compares favorably to the zero dollars approved by the US for the same purpose.

An English bike rider says no, a new popup bike lane didn’t endanger an ambulance on an emergency call.

Dueling petitions call for opening a seaside Brighton, England street back up to motorists, or keeping it closed to everyone but bike riders and pedestrians.

A UK dentist recalls a 2018 bike commuting crash that nearly ended his dental career, leading him to sell his handmade fixie and promising to never ride a bike again.

Some European countries are great for bicycling; evidently, Luxembourg isn’t one of them.

Just like our friend above, a South African man is back on his bicycle following a “remarkable recovery,” just 16 months after a mountain biking crash left him a quadriplegic with little hope of improvement.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on the cancellation of this year’s Colorado Classic women’s stage race to prevent crowds from gathering during the pandemic.

They get it. A WorldTour team offers advice on how to safely watch cycling again as they prepare to start the season. But say if you’re in doubt, just stay home.

Or better yet, just stay home, period.

 

Finally…

Bike helmets may not protect against cars, but evidently, they can be used to protect against federal secret police. Your next bike could be a brand new 40-year old racing bike.

And listen to the founder of the Major Taylor Cycling Club discuss America’s first Black sports hero with his son. (Correction: I originally misread that as a discussion with Major Taylor’s son, even though he didn’t have one, and would be pretty old if he did. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link, and Andy Stow for the correction.)

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

Guest post: Introducing Kyoku — personalized recovery drinks to reach your personal best. And get $15 off!

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you’ll know I try to support local bike-related businesses when I can. 

Recently, I heard from Harrison Valner, a fellow bicyclist and co-founder of Kyoku, a new LA-based startup making personally customized, plant-based recovery drinks tailored to your individual needs.

It sounds like a great idea to help get over those agonizing muscle aches when you push it a little too hard, and bounce back to hit it again even harder tomorrow.

They sent me a sample to try out, specifically tailored to accommodate my diabetes, with just eight net carbs. 

I’m looking forward to trying it out, since recovery is a big issue for me these days; even a short ride can knocked me out for hours afterwards. 

I’ll let you know how it works.

But in the meantime, I’ll let Harry tell you more. 

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Harry Valner and Ryan Roddy

Shortly after meeting each other in early 2018, Ryan Roddy and I both took an interest in the world of endurance sports.

We quickly found ourselves road cycling, mountain biking, and training for triathlons. How different this was from what we were doing before! Previously, our fitness backgrounds were rooted in anaerobic activities such as strength training, HIIT, and CrossFit, where post-workout recovery was such a significant focal point of training. As we learned more about endurance sports, we noticed many of these athletes, specifically road cyclists, focus on hydration and energy nutrition and often neglect recovery nutrition entirely. Although the training is different, post-workout recovery remains just as important.

We really understand that improvement begins with recovery, and we wanted endurance athletes to benefit from that. That’s how Kyoku was born. We set out to create a superfood recovery shake that was engineered to help riders replenish their body’s depleted nutrients, repair muscle fibers, and reduce inflammation. But why does this matter? We knew that if we could give this product to cyclists, their performance would improve each day. Over time, their rate of improvement would skyrocket! This was incredibly exciting to us.

Now we had an idea. But what was next? We had to get the right team assembled to create the product, and so we proceeded to work with a team of industry-leading M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s, and RDN’s in Los Angeles. They ultimately created a recovery shake system made from a personalized blend of plant-based superfood ingredients with nutritional properties tailored to help each rider recover faster according to their unique body type, riding style, and cycling goals.

Roughly 40-60% of Kyoku’s custom formulas consist of a plant-based protein blend. The remainder of the formulas contain a mix of potent herbal ingredients and superfoods that help tackle specific recovery goals. However, we understand that everyone is different, and we all have different goals. So how could we do our best to address such a wide variety of needs? Personalization, of course! That’s why everybody’s shake composition is different, allowing each and every individual to maximize their recovery and performance to reach their goals faster.

To get started, all you have to do is take a quick (but thorough) assessment at www.kyoku.com. After this, Kyoku cross-references your answers with our research database to customize a superfood recovery shake specifically made for your body type, riding style, and cycling goals.

But wait, there’s more!

For you, we’re offering something special. To get $15 off of your order, use discount code BIKINGINLA at checkout. Worried that this might not live up to its hype? Although we’re certain it will, we want you to be certain, too. Kyoku has a 30-day Personal Record (PR) guarantee, so if you don’t reach a new PR within 30 days of starting with Kyoku, we’ll either help refine your formula or give you a refund. There’s nothing to lose!

Kyoku’s on a mission to empower every cyclist to break their PR’s through recovery nutrition. We’ve helped countless riders break their PR’s so far, and now we want to help you!

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Just to be clear, I haven’t received anything of value in exchange for this guest post, other than that box Kyoku to try out and review. 

So check it out, and give ’em a try. And pass along the discount code to everyone you know, and everyone they know.

You’ll be helping a local bike business get off the ground, despite the worst economic environment in memory. 

And we might even talk them into sponsoring this site if enough people respond. 

It could happen. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to get a little sleep tonight, which seems to be in short supply lately. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with our regular Morning Links to make sure you don’t miss anything. 

I’m back

 

This is what I looked like once I left the hospital — and trust me, you don't want to see the other side.

What I looked like when I left the hospital — you don't want to see the other side.

I’ve mentioned on here before that I’ve been struggling to get back into shape after a freak cycling accident last year. But actually, I’ve been working on making two comebacks at the same time.

You see, even though I’ve been a serious rider for some time, there was a period a few years back when I barely rode at all.

First, because my bike was tied up as evidence in a court case for over a year after being hit by a car. Then my father-in-law suffered a stroke, and he needed my help more than I needed to ride. And once he passed away, it was my wife and mother-in-law who needed me.

That lasted until the day I stepped on the scale, and discovered I was carrying 220 pounds on my formerly trim 6’ frame. And I could no longer pass off that ever-expanding waistline as part of the normal aging process.

So out came the bike once again.

I set three goals for myself. First, to ride as well as I did back in my 30s, when I rode 50 miles a day, rain or shine — or sometimes snow, for that matter. Second, to get my weight back down to 175 pounds. And finally, to reduce get my waistline to 32”, as opposed to the way it was at the time, straining the elastic waistbands on my size 36 pants to near the breaking point.

It took a lot of hard work, but by this time last summer, I was riding as well as I ever had. By early September, my weight was down to 175, and I was just one inch away from those 32” pants.

Then last September 12th, I went out for a quick ride. And never made it back home.

Once I got out of the hospital, I was confined to home for nearly a month, and couldn’t exercise — at all — for the next 3-1/2 months. So I sat home and tried not to feel sorry for myself.

And I ate.

By the time the doctors said I could get back on my bike, my weight was back up to 195. I can’t tell you what my waist size was, because I only wore sweats; I couldn’t get pants over that huge lump on my hip.

I started riding again on January 2nd. At first, all I could manage was an easy ride to the beach and back, and maybe a feeble workout at the gym. By March, I was riding twice a week, combined with hitting the gym a couple times a week.

Once spring got here, I added another day of riding — this time working hills once a week. I found a course near my home that took me through Westwood and the UCLA campus, giving me 6 steep hills, as much as a mile long, over the first 4 miles.

That was the one day I dreaded every week. It was pure torture just trying to get up those hills. I often found myself inching up in my granny gears, and having to stop to rest on the way up — then stopping again at the top to catch my breath and let my pounding heart slow down to something resembling normal.

But slowly, after a few months, it started to seem like it got just a little easier each week.

Then this past Thursday, I finally made it up all six hills without stopping, standing on the pedals or shifting down to a lower gear. Or having to pause to catch my breath.

Also, this weekend, I stepped on the scale and found I was back down to 174 pounds. So just on a whim, when we were out shopping, I picked out a pair of size 32 pants and tried them on.

And they fit. A little snug, perhaps, but they fit.

I still have more work to do. I can look in the mirror now, and see that if I can lose another 4 or 5 pounds, I might actually have abs for the first time in a couple decades. And I’m not ready to ride Mandeville Canyon yet, or tag along on a fast ride with the elite riders.

But I’ll get there.

And meanwhile, this is a damn good feeling, and I’m going to enjoy it for awhile.

 

Our own Outdoor Urbanite bikes to the free Thursday concerts on the pier; this week’s show sounds like a winner. CNN finally covers the Mandeville Canyon brake check — only six weeks after it happened. The Christian Science Monitor discusses the new trend towards ciclovias — limiting certain streets on weekends to pedestrian and bike traffic. Even in Redding, cyclists ask drivers to be on the lookoutSan Diego gears up to Bike the Bay; if you’ve never circled the San Diego Bay by bike, it’s a great ride, even for beginners.  LAist turns into biking paparazzo when Woody hits the streets of Beverly Hills, while Miley Cyrus and family ride the streets of Toluca Lake. And finally, a trio of stories from my old pre-Katrina stomping grounds, as a biker describes an idiotic close encounter with a cyclist while driving; Louisiana decides the roads aren’t safe enough for an increase cyclists (having driven them, I can say many aren’t safe for cars, either); and the Times-Picayune lists local cycling getaways, in case anyone’s traveling to the Big Easy. But bring lots of bug spray.

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