Tag Archive for Ride of Silence

Morning Links: Woman bike rider critically injured in Long Beach, and Pure Cycles rescues Bike to Work bike theft victim

A woman was critically injured riding her bike in the Belmont Shores neighborhood of Long Beach early yesterday morning, after she allegedly went through a red light and was struck by a driver.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who actually saw who had the green light.

Or if Long Beach police relied strictly on the driver’s account, since the victim would have been unable to share her side of the story.

Either way, it’s a reminder to always stop for red lights and observe the right-of-way.

Because the consequences can be life changing. Or ending.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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At least one rider made it out for yesterday’s soggy Bike to Work Day.

And on a very cool Pedersen bike, no less.

And hats off to Michael Fishman and Pure Cycles for saving the day when the unthinkable, but all too common, happened to a rider in DTLA.

Meanwhile, LADOT hosted a pair of pop-up traffic safety installations, despite the wet Bike to Work Day weather.

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Lots of news coverage from around the US for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence to honor injured and fallen bike riders.

Including right here in Pasadena, though the LA ride seems to merit nary a whisper.

Like Rides of Silence in Philadelphia, and a small Nebraska town. Lubbock and Houston, Texas. Ridgeland, Mississippi. Lansing, Michigan, where billboards also called out the dangers of distracted driving.

Not to mention San Francisco, where riders confronted winds and rain to go with the usual tears.

Meanwhile, Denver responded to the 88 people killed on the city’s streets last year by putting up signs marking the site of each needless death; the city’s mayor confessed to an inadequate response to the deadly streets.

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Spectrum New 1 catches up with Keith Jackson, the bike rider who was nearly killed when he was run down riding on La Tuna Canyon last year.

Jackson has had to relearn how to walk, eat and talk after spending two months in a coma.

And as happens all too often, the driver who hit him sped off and hasn’t been seen since.

But at least his crash resulted in narrowing the wide traffic lanes on La Tuna and installation of a buffered bike lane. One of the rare instances of city officials responding to a near-tragedy by actually fixing the street where it happened.

Jackson will be at Sunday’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park to spread the need for safer streets if you want to wish him well in his recovery; registration ends at 6 pm tomorrow.

And give him my best wishes while you’re at it.

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It’s not just drivers who give in to road rage.

Police in a Denver suburb are looking for a bike rider who yelled at a woman for blocking a bike lane, after she pulled her car over because her mother, who was in the passenger seat, wasn’t feeling well.

When the driver caught up to him at a red light, he allegedly kicked and punched the car, then reached in to grab her mother, before spitting on both women and riding away.

Let’s hope the woman he was riding with saw all that, and took it as fair warning before he turns that violent temper her way some day.

Although it does make you wonder what the driver said when she caught up to him.

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Local

Today is the last day to submit comments on the shamefully inadequate Beverly Hills Complete Streets plan.

Popular offroad route Sullivan Canyon will close for maintenance for six weeks starting June 3rd. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says LA’s future is on foot, even though the city is still designing the streets for cars.

Metro is considering three alternatives for extending the LA River Bike Path.

WeHoVille looks forward to the August CicLAvia connecting Hollywood and West Hollywood. And so an I, since I should finally be back on my bike by then.

KNBC-4 says keep your eyes peeled for Gabe the Sasquatch at Sunday’s Mission to Mission edition of 626 Golden Streets.

The fight over moving a row of palm trees to make room for a Complete Street makeover of Long Beach’s Marina Drive goes on, despite a Coastal Commission ruling giving the okay for the move.

Long Beach will celebrate Bike Month with a three-mile Pedal & Picnic ride for all ages on Saturday.

 

State

OCTA has rescheduled the Orange County Bike Rally for next Thursday, following yesterday’s rainout.

Carlsbad pulled the plug on its planned bikeshare system, even though it would have been operated with no risk to the city.

A 63-year old Ramona man took a cross-country bike tour to ride himself into better health, and raise funds for a local museum; so far he’s raised just $640 of the $5,000 goal.

A bighearted high school freshman from Santa Ynez organized her second annual fundraising bike ride to provide bicycles and tools to girls in rural Cambodia, to help ensure they can get to school to receive an education.

A Fresno driver relies on the built-in cameras in his Tesla to prove a hit-and-run bike rider really did run into him, and not the other way around.

Sad news from Oakland, where an 83-year old man was killed attempting to ride his bike across a busy state highway.

Police arrest 30 homeless people in a warrant sweep along a Sacramento bike path.

 

National

Bike Snob says ignoring bike riders won’t make us go away.

Now both Uber and Lyft are encouraging their drivers and passenger to look for bicyclists to avoid doorings.

Outside offers advice on how to buy a mountain bike. And says softails are back, except now they’re on high-end roadies and gravel bikes.

That’s more like it. El Paso, Texas authorities say they know they screwed up by striping a bike lane that’s half gutter and so narrow the bike lane symbol won’t even fit in it. And are considering removing a traffic lane to fix it.

A Minneapolis newspaper offers a belated obituary of a longtime local bike advocate, who was found dead in his home last month due to complications from a lifelong struggle with alcohol.

Chicago bike riders are losing access to a popular shared use pathway along the riverfront after reconstruction partially blocked it, and private security guards have begun illegally enforcing a non-existent ban on bikes.

Police in Fort Wayne, Indiana are looking for a bike-riding man who shot an employee of a property management company before riding away in a full-face helmet, presumably to hide his identity.

Vermont ebike buyers can get a $200 rebate from their utility company. Which they’ll probably need once Trump’s tariff’s kick in.

A Massachusetts woman decides to take advantage of a beautiful spring day to ride her bike to the bank, and ends up at a dumpster. And then a dumpster fire of a car-choked intersection.

New York’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way where bikes are concerned, as the ten people killed riding bicycles so far this year already equal the total for all of 2018.

Maybe city leaders will listen to them now. Seventy DC bike riders fanned out across the city to count drivers blocking bike lanes, logging nearly 500 violations by early afternoon.

A DC writer offers advices on how to bike to work while spending as little as possible on it. People for Bikes offers their tips, as well.

A four-man troupe of bike-riding British Shakespearean actors made their US debut in Virginia this week; the performers have ridden their bikes between performances in 12 countries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A drunk driver in South Carolina walked with a lousy 24 hours of community service after she was caught on video crashing into a pedicab, then telling police she had no idea she’d hit anything; fortunately, the pedicab driver didn’t appear to have been injured.

The former chief accountant for the SEC won a whopping $41 million judgement against his Florida homeowners association after crashing his bike into a stanchion they erected on a bike trail.

 

International

Here’s something to look forward to. A writer for Forbes says distracted driving will increase exponentially on the path to self-driving cars.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers eight tips to bike commute like a pro.

An Ottawa, Canada traffic safety expert calls a painted bike lane “complete lunacy,” saying bicyclists will never be safe on the street as long as they have to share the same flat surface with cars and trucks.

A British MP says he’s going to keep claiming mileage expenses for riding his bicycle on official business, complaints be damned.

Video from an English bus shows the exact moment the driver swerved directly into a bicyclist, knocking the man off his bike; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

An Iranian prosecutor has decided that it’s sinful for women to ride bicycles and prohibited by Islamic law; police have been told to give women bicyclists a polite reprimand, then impound their bikes if they don’t have ID on them. Or they can use the equivalent of a bike burka so no one can see what they’re riding. No, seriously.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you still haven’t seen Wednesday’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California, what the hell are you waiting for, already?

But you might want to skip this next section.

American Tejay van Garderen lost his lead in the AToC, and then he didn’t, after race officials decided a massive crash near the end of the race unfairly delayed him and other riders. A writer for VeloNews says the jury made the wrong call.

Meanwhile, NBC catches you up with Thursday’s men’s and women’s races.

Bicycling wants to know who’s the 21-year old American kicking ass in the Tour of California.

A pair of women are fighting for greater equality in the race, instead of the lousy three stages — and no live TV time — women cyclists are now offered.

There was a lead change in the Giro, while much of the peloton went down in a massive crash on wet roads.

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay calls Ben King the humble king of American cycling. Unfortunately, the article is hidden behind the Journal’s paywall, so you may not get past the first few paragraphs.

Texas pro Lawson Craddock discusses his road back after riding the entire Tour de France with a broken collarbone last year, and refusing to give up despite finishing dead last as a result.

And last but not least, bike racing returns to LA — or Carson, anyway — with the newly revived La Grange Grand Prix on June 2nd.

 

Finally…

Six times around the world, and his bike its stolen in Californiaon the seventh. We may have to worry about LA drivers crashing into us, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into sheep.

And that’s one way to prevent a close pass.

 

Man lying in street next to bike killed in Redlands crash

Just in time for this year’s Ride of Silence, yet another person has died while riding or walking a bicycle, this time in Redlands.

According to the Redlands Daily Facts, a man was killed when he was struck by a driver while lying in the roadway next to a bicycle.

The 21-year old driver was returning home from work around 2:30 am Tuesday when she spotted the victim lying in the southbound lane of Orange Street north of Pioneer Avenue in Redlands, but was unable to swerve in time to avoid him.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 31-year old transient, was declared dead at the site.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

There’s no word on why the victim was in the street, or if he had been riding or walking his bike.

It’s possible that he may have fallen off his bicycle for some reason, or he could have been the victim of a prior hit-and-run.

The speed limit on that section of Orange was either 40 mph or 45 mph, depending on which side of Pioneer the crash was on despite being in a residential neighborhood.

Either way, an impact at those speeds is unlikely to be survivable.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

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Because of tonight’s breaking news stories, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we’ve missed.

If you’d like to remember the victims of this week’s crashes, or any of the other bike riders so needlessly lost to traffic violence over the past year, there will be Rides of Silence in Redding, Fullerton and Orange, as well as in Los Angeles and at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and throughout Southern California.

 

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in SoCal, but anti-Bike Week in Riverside, and OC columnist calls out deadly drivers

Today’s common theme?

Bike Week, of course.

Metro is celebrating with a 30 day Metro Bike Pass for just one dollar this month.

LA Downtown News looks forward to tomorrow’s multi-denominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital. Unfortunately, you won’t see me there this year as I continue to rehab my knee, even though the Blessing of the Bicycles is my favorite Bike Week event.

The annual Ride of Silence will take place on Wednesday, and for the first time, will travel from the Vermont and Wilshire Metro Station to Los Angeles City Hall. Maybe then our city leaders will get the message.

This is what Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, had to say about it.

This Wednesday evening, there are a number of events across the Southland for the Ride of Silence and if you’re part of this community, I hope you take part.

Commemorating those that have been lost or injured riding in the roadway isn’t an experience we wish for, but it does provide a moment of inspiration. We all share these streets and each Ride of Silence has brought out all factions of our community. While we are blessed to be a part of this group, there’s an obligation to honor those no longer with us. I know from the number of ghost bikes I’ve placed, providing support to even complete strangers gives comfort to us all.

There will be hundreds of rides taking place across the globe, but if you’re in the Los Angeles area, please take the time Wednesday evening to take place in one of the rides at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, or the one I’m hosting from the Vermont / Wilshire Station to City Hall.
You can also find a number of other rides across California or the nation by going here. We ride for each other because these roads connect us not just point to point, but person to person.

Thursday is Bike to Work Day, which is the Bike Week equivalent of trick or treating for bike commuters. You’ll find pit stops with treats and other assorted goodies all over LA County; though not all are on the map. Metro will also offer free rides for anyone with a bike or helmet.

The LACBC will have their own Bike to Work Day pit stop on Spring Street in DTLA.

Pasadena and CICLE will bring you a full week of Rose City Bike Week events, ranging from a Taste of Pasadena and Women’s Bike Night, to a Bike from Work Happy Hour and a Bike-In Movie.

Santa Clarita will mark Bike Week with Bike to Work Day and the final stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Ride with Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole on Saturday to explore the city’s 19 miles of new green bike lanes. Santa Monica Spoke has more Bike Month and Bike Week activities, including a Bike From Work Handlebar Happy Hour.

LA County Bike Week wraps up with the 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission ride on Sunday; the Alhambra Source tells you everything you need to know.

OCTA, aka the Orange County Transportation Authority, is hosting a ride on Thursday, plus a chance to win a Trek 2 bicycle or Fitbit Charge 2 if you pledge to ride to work at least one day this month.

San Diego will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Thursday, as well.

Ventura County celebrates Bike Week with a full week of biking to work, instead of a single day, including “entertainment, opportunities and prizes.”

Photo by Ali Arapoğlu from Pexels.

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On the other hand, hats off to the Riverside Police Department for celebrating National Bike Month and attempting to improve bike safety by — wait for it — cracking down on the vulnerable people on two wheels, and giving the ones in the big, dangerous machines a pass.

If the goal is to get more people on their bikes, that’s the wrong way to go about it.

Let alone improve safety.

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Powerful piece by Orange County Register columnist David Whiting, who calls out distracted and aggressive drivers for far too many OC bicycling deaths.

He also quotes longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin extensively.

Except things are even worse than Whiting says. With the death of a man in Santa Ana last week, there have now been four people killed while riding bikes in OC this year, not the three he cites in the article.

Thanks to John McBreaty for the heads-up. 

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New Orange County Bicycle Coalition board member Mike Wilkinson wonders why downhill riders should have all the fun.

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Taylor Nichols says if you see this guy riding around the Hollywood Hills, say hi and maybe pass him a few bucks.

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

An Aussie driver is accused of running down a man on a bike, intentionally backing over him, and fleeing the scene. Then gets released on a ridiculously low $10,000 bond, and claims she thought she just ran over a piece of metal. Sure. A piece of metal with wheels and a human being attached.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a violent road raging driver got ten months home vacation, uh, detention and community service for intentionally swerving at a man riding his bike, forcing him up on the sidewalk, then making a U-turn to come back and slam into him. Then when the victim came to in the street with a severely broken leg, the driver stood over him and said “Serves you right.”

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Local

Police in South Pasadena are warning about an increase in bicycle thefts.

A new survey shows most Santa Monica bikeshare and e-scooter users are young, affluent and live outside the city. And over half are using them to replace motor vehicle trips.

 

State

Speaking of OCTA, they want your input on how to improve the Beach Boulevard La Habra and Huntington Beach; options include enhanced sidewalks and bicycle paths.

The Orange County Sheriffs Department will conduct a pair of safety enforcement operations today, with a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement in San Clemente, and cracking down on motorcycle safety violations in Stanton. Standard protocols apply; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Thanks to Rock Kendall for the tip.

San Diego County has broken ground on what will be the county’s first bike park, scheduled to open later this year.

Los Angeles is known for car chases; in San Diego, they flee on bikes.

Too scary. Someone apparently took a few shots at Oxnard bike rider from a passing car for no apparent reason.

People for Bikes says Santa Barbara is the best bike city in California.

San Francisco’s Timbuk2 is keeping up with the times by shifting its emphasis from messenger bags to backpacks and products designed for women.

Sad news from Stockton, where a hit-and-run driver left a man who was either riding or walking his bike to die alone in the street.

 

National

Open your wallet wide. Because bicyclists will get to pay for Trump’s trade war with China. Especially people in the market for entry level and kids bikes.

Good piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, saying bike lanes need barriers instead of just paint, because cities shouldn’t let people on bicycles get run over.

City Lab explores what it will take to finish America’s first coast-to-coast bike trail.

A new app from a pair of Oregon professors promises to give you a green light 80% of the time.

An Idaho letter writer calls for the law to be changed to allow bicyclists to ride facing traffic, on the assumption it will improve safetyHint: It won’t. Riding salmon dramatically increases your risk of a serious crash. 

Nice work. A pair of bicycling Colorado grandmas are hanging it up after riding 20,000 miles on multiple trips across the US, raising nearly three-quarter of a million dollars to fight Huntington’s Disease.

Kindhearted North Dakota firefighters buy a new bike for a boy whose bike was stolen, after seeing a Facebook post about the theft.

A retired Kansas trauma surgeon is planning to ride 1,000 miles from Wichita to Winnipeg, Canada to honor his daughter and raise funds to fight eating disorders, following her death from anorexia and depression.

Not even bike cops are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a Dallas police officer learned the hard way; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Minneapolis police busted a bike rider for smashing the windows on a school bus, though they’re not sure if it’s the same person who vandalized two previous school buses for parking in a bike lane.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan century ride is providing bicyclists with food stops offering cherry pie along the way, and a hot buffet, live music and cocktails at the end.

Now that’s more like it too. An Indiana bike park has opened an adaptive use trail for kids and adults with disabilities.

Great video of kids from a Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club being surprised with 25 new bicycles.

A biking Buffalo bishop plans to ride 3,000 miles through 600 cities on four continents to raise funds for homeless people and the less fortunate.

A Brooklyn bike path is not the place for a swastika; nowhere else is, either.

A New York letter writer tells the red light-running bicyclist who cursed him out for almost hitting him, “If you ever wonder why arrogant cyclists are so reviled by law-abiding motorists like myself” just look in the mirror. Something tells me there’s another side to this, but still.

You gotta respect a successful Hollywood actor who rides the streets of New York with a wooden crate instead of a basket. And takes his rescue dog with him.

The son of a Pennsylvania police officer who was killed in the line of duty will join in on the 250-mile national police memorial ride to Washington DC to honor fallen officers.

He gets it. A Virginia coffee shop owner has started a petition calling for safer streets for people on bicycles, based on personal experience.

They get it too. A South Carolina newspaper says safety education and increased enforcement won’t reverse the longstanding neglect that kills too many bike riders and pedestrians. And the only way to get truly safe roads is to build them that way.

A Tampa, Florida TV station says putting your garbage can out in the bike lane is a serious problem.

 

International

No more dirty bikes. Now you can buy your own pressure washer made just for washing bicycles for the equivalent of less than $120.

The makers of the new Xtracycle ebike promise it never become obsolete, changing along with the rider through all stages of life.

Riding across Canada with two good legs is hard. Riding 4,500 miles across the country on a handcycle after losing the use of his legs is another thing entirely.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers tips for beginning riders.

A Toronto newspaper says six years and $2.59 million dollars is a lot for bike parking, even if it does come with showers; they’ve got a point, the project was originally supposed to be done two years ago for less than half of that.

No bias here. A writer for a driving website accuses Montreal’s leaders of having an anti-car agenda, after the city responded to the death of a bike rider by closing a roadway through a park that drivers had been using as a freeway to avoid traffic, and favoring high-speed “racing bike scofflaws.” Just like LA’s Playa del Rey, the action was reversed after angry drivers got out their torches and pitchforks.

A New Brunswick, Canada teenager has developed a bike light designed to show drivers the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

British blogger Velo City Girl is working to make bicycling more socially inclusive, while dumping the Lycra.

The New York Times considers the Welsh program allowing doctors to prescribe bikeshare to their patients, saying “take two bike rides and call me in the morning.”

If you build it, they will obey the law. A new study shows that just 5% of Dutch bike riders break the law, compared to 66% of drivers; that rose to 14% of bicyclists when there was no bike infrastructure present.

Just in time for Bike Week, an Aussie columnist describes his journey from timid beginning bike commuter to peak MAMIL.

 

Competitive Cycling

As usual, we’re going to avoid spoilers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, as well as the Giro d’Italia, for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to catch up on the most recent stages. Which is why we’ll just say Sunday’s first stage of the AToC offered a very dramatic sprint to the finish with a surprising competitor.

The Tour of California continues to grow in international stature, with lots of stars, but no clear favorite. Although it’s questionable what this headline from the LA Times preview even means.

CiclaValley offers his own take on the action about to unfold this week.

VeloNews says the penultimate Mount Baldy queen stage could overshadowed by four potential breakaway stages.

The Santa Clarita Signal looks forward to Saturday’s final stage of the AToC.

And in non-ATOC news, apparently bike racing is the perfect cure for the stress of working with dolphins.

 

Finally…

Now you can own your very own Bird scooter for the low, low price of just $1,299; thanks to David Drexler for the link. When your bike becomes a moveable kinetic sculpture. Real FBI agents hardly ever ride bikes on the job, and they seldom dump live catfish on your lawn.

And apparently, my name has an entirely different meaning north of the border.

Somehow, I prefer the second meaning.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for finding that one.

I think.

Morning Links: Ride of Silence tonight, Finish the Ride on Sunday, and Cedillo wins re-election in CD1 fight

Don’t forget tonight’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood.

There are also rides in a number of other cities throughout Southern California.

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One event I missed in Monday’s seeming exhaustive listing of Bike Week events was this Sunday’s Finish the Ride: Ride, Run, Walk and Roll Challenge at Griffith Park.

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Jezebel asks what happens when a bike-friendly LA city council candidate turns out to be an internet troll?

Sadly, this is what happens, as Joe Bray-Ali went from a likely upset winner to losing to anti-bike incumbent “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo in a landslide, ending what may have been the dirtiest LA city election in memory.

It shows just how much damage was done by the revelations of Bray-Ali’s online history trolling a racist website when he couldn’t muster more than 30% against the single most unpopular member of the city council.

And now we, and the residents of CD1, have to live with him for the next 5-1/2 years.

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Italians are tanking the Giro, which now has a new leader wearing the pink jersey.

In today’s spoiler-free update on the Amgen Tour of California, Tuesday’s third stage was won by that famous guy who rides a bike.

Latvian rider Toms Skujins has been put in a concussion protocol following his dramatic solo fall in Monday’s Tour of California, while last year’s Best Young Rider is just this year’s spectator.

Never mind that some people might actually enjoy watching a bike race, just frighten them with scares of a traffic nightmare. Forget the bike race, let’s talk about what cyclists eat.

And something tells me LA ex-pro Phil Gaimon is having more fun now chasing racers than when he was one of them.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine looks at five ways biking is getting easier in LA, from Metro’s Bike Hubs to new infrastructure.

Stan’s Bike shop posted video from yesterday’s Blessing of the Bicycles.

Culver CityBus will give you free fare with your bike or bike helmet for Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

Burbank will celebrate Bike and Walk to Work Day on Thursday. Because setting aside just one lousy day to encourage and celebrate bike commuting just isn’t good enough.

Pasadena will hold a public meeting next Thursday to discuss the city’s Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fee.

Seriously? Unable to come up with the $1 million bail, a Long Beach man has been behind bars for nearly a year awaiting trial on felony charges of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer — all for throwing his bike at the cop who tried to stop him for riding without a headlight.

 

State

Encinitas officials are working to make the city safer for bicyclists.

Talk about not getting it. Apparently, the solution to traffic deaths in Palm Springs isn’t taming dangerous drivers, it’s making people — and their dogs — wear reflective hi-viz vests just to take a damn walk.

A teenager is donating the money he’s raised for the Tour of Novato to his high school robotics club.

Sad news from Lake Tahoe, where a bike rider was killed in a collision.

 

National

It turns out your bicycle is faster than your car. Mathematically speaking, anyway.

How to get your dream job working for Trek Bikes. I was once recruited to write advertising for Trek, but couldn’t convince my wife to move to Minnesota.

Kendal Jenner is one of us. Just not very good at it, apparently.

The founder of PayPal is one of us, too, and says his obsession with cycling makes him a better entrepreneur.

Always wear a helmet when you ride a Denver bike path to protect yourself from flying cars.

It takes a real jerk to steal a three-year old Rhode Island girl’s birthday bicycle before she even gets it.

The annual Police Unity Ride takes bike-riding cops from around the country on a 300 mile journey from New Jersey to DC to honor fallen officers.

Caught on video: Surveillance video captured the moment an NYPD patrol car smashed into a bike rider who appeared to be crossing the street mid-block. Which is just as horrible to see as it sounds.

Just days after a New Orleans cyclist was shot in the back with a pellet gun, a Mobile, Alabama woman was shot repeatedly with a pellet gun from a passing pickup while riding her bike; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt and was able to get the truck’s plate number.

Caught on video too: A Florida 7th grader somehow managed to walk away after he was run down by a fishtailing hit-and-run driver. Warning: The video is very hard to watch, even knowing the kid came out okay.

 

International

A new high-tech fiber promises to make carbon frames lighter, stronger and less brittle than ever before. And they float, too.

Britain’s EconoTimes lists ten reasons we should all love cyclists. This should be required reading for everyone who drives a car. Or serves in government, at any level.

A British cyclist learns what it’s like when an airline breaks his bike in half, then refuses to do anything about it.

Israeli and Italian bicyclists rode 118 miles from Florence to Assisi to honor legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, recognized as a Righteous Gentile for his work saving Jews in WWII. Why he isn’t a candidate for sainthood, I will never understand.

 

Finally…

Face it, you’re not really a cyclist until you can speak the language. Just call him the bike lock whisperer.

And why ride your bike when you can dance with it?

 

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

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KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

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This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

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No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

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Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

………

If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

………

Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Guest Post: CiclaValley invites you to remember fallen riders at next week’s SF Valley Ride of Silence

Ghost bike for Cairo Castaneda in Studio City

Ghost bike for Cairo Castaneda in Studio City

In the past few years, CiclaValley has become one of the leading voices for bike advocacy in the LA area, with a focus on the San Fernando Valley. Today he offers a guest post on next week’s Ride of Silence to remember fallen bike riders.

………

Cycling is a community.

It doesn’t matter how fast you ride, what bike you have or how often you do it. You have a connection knowing that your fellow cyclists share the same joys and anxieties as you.

When news breaks that cyclist has lost their life, you can’t help but think about what that person left behind. Family. Friends. Even children. It is a perilous world, but one where we can use these tragedies to teach us how to live.

Last year, I attended my first Ride of Silence in Pasadena. I had no idea what to expect or how many people would be there, I just thought it was important to go to show my dedication to this community.

There were at least one hundred riders on hand, but what was more powerful than our size was the symbolism coming from riding together in absolute silence. Riding down Colorado Blvd., people took notice not only of our large group, but also the message we were sending without any sound.

I knew from that day one year ago that the San Fernando Valley, with over 1.8 million residents, needed a ride of our own. As I continued my preparations for the ride with LACBC, my planning changed when in early April, Cairo Castaneda lost his life in Studio City at an intersection that is very familiar to me. Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes came to place the memorial and since that time, people have continued to pay their respects by adding details making it a beautiful shrine.

This ride will now quietly roll by this site.

The goal is to spread the Ride of Silence, not just to the valley, but countywide as well.

Please come out to support our ride in North Hollywood next Wednesday night on May 18th. It meets at the North Hollywood Red Line Station at 6:30 p.m. If you cannot make it out into the valley, Pasadena’s ride will be meeting the same evening at the Rose Bowl, and you’ll also find other rides in Orange County, Thousand Oaks and Oxnard.

Cycling is a great community because we care about each other. Let’s show everyone else as well.

……….

CiclaValley mentioned other RoS in Southern California.

You can find all the OC rides on Bill Sellin’s site, including rides in Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Orange and Santa Ana; information on the Oxnard ride can be found here, and Thousand Oaks here.

I’ve long had a vision for a Ride of Silence down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills. Maybe one day we’ll be able to make it happen.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Malibu, May’s Ride of Silence, and an in-depth Irish look at cycling

Bad news from the ‘Bu.

I had received reports of a cyclist down on PCH, but hadn’t been able to get any information over the weekend.

Tuesday, the answer came in the form of a gofundme account asking for donations to help defray the medical expenses for Steve Striver, who was hit by a car while riding in Malibu on Saturday.

Here’s what Edie Raff Pratt, author of the page, had to say.

After being airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery to begin to repair the damage. The surgery went well however Steve remains in critical condition in the Neuro ICU unit at the hospital.

Steve’s injuries are extensive and severe. Trauma and bleeding in his head, a bruised heart, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, left wrist fracture, right hip fracture, pelvis fracture, left femur fracture, scapula fracture, lower broken back, extensive wounds on his body and face from road rash.  Honestly, there is hardly an unbroken or contusion free area on his body.

Once Steve gets past the initial hurdles in the hospital, he will have extensive and challenging rehabilitation and a long road for recovery ahead.  We appreciate any prayers of healing you can provide for Steve as well as prayers of comfort for his wife Marianne and their four children Claire, Tim, Sam and Jeffrey.

Steve Shriver is a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, artist, musician, cyclist, surfer, gentle soul and one of the best people to ever know.

As you can imagine, the medical bills ahead will be mounting.  This page and fundraiser is set up by friends of Steve & Marianne Shriver and family, so that we may raise money for the medical bills and expenses related to them. All monies will go directly to the Shriver family.

As of this writing, the fund has raised a little more that $15,000 of the $250,000 goal in the first 18 hours.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

………

We’re less than one month away from the annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders who’ve lost their lives in the past year.

This year’s ride will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, the evening before LA’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena ride around the Rose Bowl will be held as usual, while CiclaValley writes that he will be leading a first-time Ride of Silence through the San Fernando Valley.

And for the fifth year in a row, the Anthony Martinez Jr. Memorial Bike Ride will be held in Oxnard to remember victims of traffic violence. The ride is named for a six-year old boy who was tragically killed while riding his bike on Thanksgiving Day in 2011; his father is now a tireless advocate for bike safety.

………

The Irish Times goes all in on bicycling, with a series of stories looking at riding from almost every conceivable angle.

………

As long as we’re doing bullet points, let’s keep it going with a look at bikes in the news.

………

Local

Not only will we be getting a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, it will also be LA’s first curb-protected bike lane. Maybe that will actually be enough to keep the LAPD from parking their patrol cars in it. We can hope, right?

Taylor Swift may be one of us, as she keeps what looks like a three-wheeled pedicab stashed outside her Beverly Hills home.

Santa Clarita is hosting an open house tonight to discuss the future of pedestrian and bicycle trails between Saugus and the Santa Clara River trail.

Long Beach photographer John Montich opens a new exhibit looking at unrideable bicycles.

Unbelievable. The multiple cities in southeast LA County that make up the Gateway Council of Governments propose spending exactly zero on active transportation projects if the planned transportation sales tax measure passes. Yes, nothing.

You’re invited to a costumed Tour de Phat People bike ride visiting some of their favorite Highland Park watering holes this Saturday.

 

State

So much for equity on our streets. Two bills in the California legislature calling for equity in transportation funding and accessibility for low-income communities die lonely deaths for lack of support.

A San Diego cyclist is injured in a collision with a homemade three-wheeled “Star Trike” motorcycle; the driver naturally puts all the blame on the bicyclist, even while an on-screen graphic notes the trike — and presumably, the man riding it — has been involved in eight previous wrecks.

Murrieta police bust three transients and recover several stolen bicycles after responding to a burglary at a bike shop and spotting a man ghost riding another bike.

Santa Barbara planners approve plans for a 2.6 mile bike path. Or maybe it’s a bike lane; the story isn’t clear.

A 19-year old Napa man is busted after being spotted riding a $9,000 stolen bike.

 

National

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes can actually reduce the cost of building new roadways by lowering the cost to manage storm runoff.

Chicago cyclists can finally take their bikes on commuter trains, though few turn out to take advantage of it.

Streetsblog says everyone loses in the ridiculous bikeshare fight between Hoboken and Jersey City.

Caught on video: A New York cyclist offers a high-speed look at his ride to work, catching nine traffic violations by motorists on a single 12-minute commute.

Aussie model Elyse Taylor is one of us, as she rides her retro-style bike through the streets of Gotham in her high-waisted jeans.

A DC church is hosting a bicycle blessing next month to try to mend fences between cyclists and churches that fought over bike lanes.

 

International

Turns out pro cycling’s Dr. Dope was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal, hiding over $1 million in offshore accounts.

The Oxford Mail asks if we’re all riding the wrong bike, except for maybe for roadies, closet and otherwise.

The Telegraph asks why British courts show remarkable leniency to drivers who kill bike riders.

A new British study says nearly half of all hit-and-run drivers wouldn’t have fled if they only knew it was illegal. To which I politely respond, bullshit.

Caught on video 2: A pair of Brit thugs wrench a bike from the arms of a 13-year old special needs kid the day before his bar mitzvah.

Caught on video 3: An Edinburgh cyclist posts video of the taxi driver who attacked him last year after they exchanged words following a too-close pass; the driver was fined after pleading guilty to careless driving and assault.

A new photo book captures the agony and the ecstasy of the Tour de France dating back to 1939; one of the photographers involved calls Lance an arrogant prick.

Former heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kiev is now one of us as he rides his folding bike to work, to the ambivalent reactions of his constituents.

Ride your ebike on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv, and face a $70 fine.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build a better bicycling body by eating nothing but pizza every two hours. Not even the Dawgfather can block a planned bike lane whose time has come.

And if you put a statue of Johnny Cash next to a bike trail named for the late singer, tourists will park in your driveway.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: A nearly forgotten Ride of Silence, and a deadly OC intersection nearly claims another victim

main_02How could I have forgotten the Ride of Silence?

With everything going on in the bike world and my own life, the annual worldwide memorial to fallen riders completely slipped my mind this year.

It takes place at 7 pm tomorrow at a number of locations throughout Southern California, including Fullerton, Gardena, Irvine, three separate rides in Long Beach, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Clemente, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

Unfortunately, once again, there’s no ride in Los Angeles.

There may be other SoCal Rides of Silence planned that aren’t on the website; if you know of any not listed above, let me know.

Thanks to David for the reminder.

Update: A comment below from riffic points out that there is a Los Angles Ride of Silence after all, thanks to the Midnight Ridazz group Knight Riders. 

……..

A deadly Newport Beach intersection nearly claims another victim, as an allegedly drunken hit-and-run driver is later taken into custody.

According to Corona del Mar Today, the collision occurred at East Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive, the same intersection where cyclist Debra Deem was killed by an 84-year old driver last August. Fortunately, the victim in this case suffered only minor injuries.

The cyclist and the driver were both headed west on East Coast Highway at 3:12 pm when the driver — who wasn’t publicly identified — hit the rider, then fled on Newport Coast. A witness followed the car, and the 23-year old suspect was taken into custody two miles away and an hour and 14 minutes later.

He faces possible charges of making an unsafe lane change, DUI causing bodily injury and hit-and-run with bodily injury, and is being held on $100,000 bond. No word on why it took so long after the collision to make the arrest.

Bike Newport Beach places at least part of the blame on surface streets designed like freeway interchanges.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the link.

……..

A salmon cyclist is in critical condition after getting hit by a driver who apparently turned into him on Hollywood Way in Burbank Sunday night. Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, despite suffering significant head trauma.

The driver was arrested for possession of cocaine, though he was not suspected of being under the influence at the time of the collision.

The closest I’ve ever come to hitting a bike rider while driving was when I turned a blind corner and unexpectedly found a ninja salmon rider just feet from my front bumper.

There may be all kinds of reasons why it may seem to make sense to ride against traffic, but it is seldom a good idea.

If ever.

……..

Local

Evidently, if you support road diets, you are an extremist elitist giving the middle finger to motorists and ignoring the overwhelming will of the majority. Uh, right. Nothing like demonizing anyone who might possible disagree with you before they ever get the chance.

Great photos from the March Pasadena Art Night Ride from Milestone Rides.

San Marino’s draft bike and pedestrian plan got its first public hearing on Monday; word is there were a lot of angry and elitist NIMBYs in attendance.

Celebrate Bike Month with a rare weekend bike train examining the history of the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River Trails this Sunday.

 

State

A new bill by Assembly Member Steve Bradford will prevent misdemeanor hit-and-run charges from being dismissed if the victim reaches a civil settlement with the driver before the case gets to court. The law, passed by the state Assembly, would ensure drivers face justice but could remove a powerful incentive to reach a civil settlement with the victim.

The Cycling Savvy training course is coming to Orange County for the first time; thanks to Serge Issakov for the heads-up.

 

National

A subtle new bike storage solution is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. I could use a handful of those suckers myself.

The eight most common beginner bicycling mistakes. Actually, signaling for a stop is a pretty big one, too, if it means taking your hand off the brake.

The driver who plowed into a crowd at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, killing two people — including a bike rider from the Netherlands — has been indicted on capital murder charges.

Not exactly the frat boy image you might have, as Western Kentucky fraternity brothers are riding across the country to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.

A careful and courteous driver confuses a Boston bike rider.

New Yorkers fight to lower the basic speed limit on city streets to 20 mph.

A Virginia psychopath deliberately forces a rider off the road at 30 mph; only the skill of the cyclist prevented serious injury.

A Florida driver gets 11 years for an allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the life of two bike riders; as often happens when drivers flee the scene, prosecutors were forced to drop DUI charges since they couldn’t prove how drunk he was at the time of the collision.

 

International

The recent CycloFemme ride held in DTLA on Mother’s Day was just one of 303 rides around the world.

A British cyclist makes the news by riding in the only lane available to him.

Britain’s top cyclists explain why they want local authorities to do more to prioritize bicycling. Speaking of top Brit riders, evidently Bradley Wiggins’ son doesn’t like podium girls anymore than I do.

A new warning system promises to alert motorists to the presence of bike riders. As long as the driver has the $672 dollar monitor installed, and every bike rider on the road has a compatible tag on his or her bike. Otherwise, you’re on your own.

 

Finally…

Just as you suspected, your bike gets sad when you leave it at home. The war on cars enters a new phase as a chainmail-clad man attacks a woman’s BMW with a sword. And a three-year old leads the Giro d’Italia, however briefly.

 

Culver City’s bike friendly honorable mention, tonight’s Ride of Silence, & Blessing of the Bicycles

Yesterday we received the surprising news that Culver City was awarded an honorable mention as a bike-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists.

Something that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago.

Much of the credit goes to the members of the LACBC affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition, who’ve worked with city leaders to make it safer and more inviting to those of us on two wheels.

So while I don’t normally reprint press releases, we’ll let them take a bow this one time.

Culver City Bicycle Coalition Applauds Bicycle Friendly Community Honorable Mention Recognition

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition (CCBC) is proud to announce that Culver City has been recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community with an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists. The award is a product of the hard work of City staff, community members, and, of course, Culver City’s elected officials.  Since its adoption in 2010, the Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) has led to concrete improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the City, with more on the way.

Being recognized by the League is no small tasks. Many cities apply each year, but without a formal bike-friendly foundation and plan going forwardI, many are rejected. Culver City was recognized for many improvements, including new bike routes and lanes, improved bike parking, successful Safe Routes to School programs, the addition of Shared Lane Markings (a.k.a. sharrows), effective education and outreach program and a supportive community.

“Culver City has always had many great places to walk and bike. In fact we are already considered one of the top cities for walking in the country. The BPMP is about connecting these places together into a network that allows people to feel safe and comfortable getting around on two wheels, or with no wheels. Today the League of American Bicyclists recognized Culver City for those efforts,” CCBC co-founder Jim Shanman said.

In addition to recognizing communities for their achievements, the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program is a valuable resource that offers guidance to local governments looking to become even more bike-friendly.  As communities improve, they can be recognized with Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community status.  The League has identified specific policies and programs that will keep our local community moving in the right direction.  This Honorable Mention recognizes that Culver City is on the path to reach these higher levels.  CCBC looks forward to working with the City to take these next steps.

“We are genuinely appreciative of City staff who guided development of the Master Plan and are now working diligently on its implementation.  This award is primarily a recognition of their leadership,” Shanman continued.  CCBC thanks the League for recognizing the City’s many accomplishments in the past two years.

And don’t forget that Culver City is looking for volunteers for their annual bike count this Saturday and next Wednesday.

………

Don’t forget tonight’s Ride of Silence in memory of riders killed in traffic.

The nearest ride for those of us in the L.A. area will be the Pasadena Ride of Silence, an easy 12 mile, moderately paced ride starting at 7 pm at the Rose Bowl. The nationally featured ride takes place in Oxnard in memory of 6-year old Anthony Martinez. Other rides will take place in Rancho Cucamonga, as well as other cities throughout California. (Note: in an earlier draft, I mistakenly located the Rancho Cucamonga ride in Claremont.)

I’m committed to attend the LACBC board meeting tonight. But my heart will be with all those who ride tonight, and everyone they’re riding for.

Wherever you are, I hope you’ll take part.

Both to remember those we’ve lost, and send a message calling for safer streets for cyclists.

And for everyone.

Update: If you really want to understand what the Ride of Silence is all about, read this from Chris Phelan, founder of the Ride. But fair warning, you can expect to have a tear in your eye before you’re finished.

………

If you read this early enough, you can still celebrate Bike Week by riding the new Expo Line bikeway.

………

The fine for using a hand-help cell phone could go up a whole $10 to a whopping $30; yeah, that will certainly act as a deterrent. How about making the penalty the same as DUI, since studies show hand-held cell use is the equivalent of drunk driving?

The proposed law would also ban texting and hand-held cell use while biking, with a $20 fine.

………

Peter Sagan makes it three in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, while Heinrich Haussler finishes second — also for the third time. Tommy Duggan has been spending more than his share of time leading the peloton in the Tour of California. And the race is even making news in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez takes the Giro d’Italia’s pink leader’s jersey on the streets of Assisi.

………

Clif Bar invites you to celebrate their 20th anniversary by sharing your life-changing moment; five winners will have $5,000 donated to the non-profit of their choice, while all contestants will be entered in a drawing for a month’s supply of Clif Bars.

………

Alex Baum gets a well-deserved Golden Spike award for a lifetime of bike advocacy; photo courtesy of George Wolfberg.

LADOT Bike Blog offers a look at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, which honored L.A.’s original bike advocate Alex Baum with a very well-deserved Golden Spoke Award. One of my favorite writers for the Times offers her take, as well. More much-needed bike lanes sprout in long-neglected South L.A. Examined Spoke says sharrows schmarrows, and points out L.A. seems to pay more attention to shrubbery than bikeways. LAPD Central offers tips on how to protect your bike; instead of just saying “Learn how to lock your bike,” though, maybe they could explain how to do that. If you’re a member of the LACBC, you’re automatically entered in the Coalition’s May member appreciation raffle. Santa Clara County proposes spending $2 million to complete a key bikeway.

Electric and hybrid cars are 66% more likely to collide with cyclists than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The League of American Bicyclists says a quarter of all bike collisions are hit-from-behind wrecks, a far higher percentage than we’ve been told in the past. Hammacher Schlemmer promises to address that with a real-time rearview camera for bikes; I’d much rather have a three-foot passing law. People for Bikes invites you to meet their Western U.S. crew. Even Sitka AK earns a bronze level bike-friendly city nod; maybe someday, L.A., maybe someday.

Bike unfriendly Toronto claims yet another victim, as the mayor continues to rip out bike lanes. The UK seriously considers lowering speed limits to 20 mph in residential areas; something we should consider ever though current limits are universally ignored. Instead of bitching that cyclists don’t pay our own way, maybe it’s time drivers had to pay the full cost for the roads they use.

Finally, worse than the claim that over half of all cyclists run red lights is an unscientific survey showing nearly half of all cyclists have upset a kitten, the heartless bastards. Even though some of us claim to do it so they don’t get killed.

Jump red lights, that is.

Not upset kittens.

A ride to honor a friend, a fatal hit-and-run and a loyal dog; Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday

Forgive my lack of updates.

I’m still trying to catch up on work, which has kept me tied up this week. But I don’t want to let the day pass without a couple quick notes.

……..

First, I’ve been following this case all week, which just gets more heartbreaking with every new turn.

The story started with a cryptic report last Saturday that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run on PCH north of Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz late Thursday night or early Friday morning. The story mentioned in passing that the man’s dog was unharmed despite riding in a crate on the bike at the time of the crash.

By the next day, the story had spread around the world of the loyal Cairn Terrier mix who had stayed by his master’s body for as long as 12 hours after he was killed. The dog was taken to a shelter for evaluation while police searched for his master’s killer.

Before long the victim was identified as a 39-year old homeless man, Joshua Laven of Massachusetts. Except he wasn’t homeless; he was riding across country from Florida to San Francisco in honor of a lifelong friend who had died while visiting Cambodia. In fact, he had been riding the friend’s bike until just days before he was killed, his dog his only companion on the trip.

According to some reports, it was the dog’s mournful howling that alerted a pair of passing riders on a tandem; Laven was just one day San Francisco when he was run down from behind.

Police are still looking for the driver of the truck that hit Laven and left him on the side of the road to die.

His five-year old dog, Ozziet, has been adopted — at least temporarily — by a family friend who had known Laven since he was 15 years old. She hopes to return the dog to his family soon.

The Mercury News says Ozziet whimpered as the shelter workers handed the dog over to his new owner.

……..

I received an email today from Thomas Cassidy asking me to help get the word out about the Pasadena Ride of Silence next Wednesday.

If you’re not familiar with the Ride of Silence, it’s a world-wide moving memorial in honor of fallen cyclists, to remember those who have died while riding their bike and call attention to the need for road safety. And it’s something I support wholeheartedly.

There are other rides nearby in Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Irvine and Temecula, just to name a few, but this is the only ride in the immediate L.A. area.

Cassidy says the Pasadena Ride of Silence has attracted around 100 riders in the past, but he’s hoping for a big increase this year, with a goal of 250 riders.

Personally, I’d like to see a thousand or more riders rounding the Rose Bowl this Wednesday to remember those who can no longer ride with us. And God knows, there are far too many of those.

The ride will start at 7 pm next Wednesday, May 16th, at the Rose Bowl. It’s an easy, slow-paced ride open to anyone, from beginning bicyclists to experienced riders. Or anyone and everyone in between — even if that means dusting off that old bike that’s been sitting in the garage covered in dust.

Yes, it’s that important.

I’m committed to attending the LACBC board meeting that same night, or I’d be there myself. So I hope you’ll do me the honor of taking my place.

And give real meaning to Bike Week by riding in the Ride of Silence, in Pasadena or whatever ride is closest to you.

Thanks to Thomas Cassidy  for the heads-up — and more importantly, for putting this ride together.

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