Tag Archive for San Gabriel Valley

Examining bike riders as two-wheeled others, Calbike reveals 2021 legislative agenda, and a busy day of virtual events

We’re halfway through the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dani M, Blue N and Richard N for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! 

It only takes a moment to donate. So give now, and avoid the last minute rush!

And happy Chanukah to everyone lighting a candle tonight.

Chag Sameach!

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Good piece on Medium, where a British author says it’s time to stop maligning bike riders as “the two-wheeled other” and get on our bikes, because as a society, we can no longer afford to keep using cars for short trips.

The othering of people on bicycles was already a well-known phenomenon. For some years people on bikes have been perceived as members of a different, lesser species, not deserving of the basic consideration or courtesy one would usually extend to an equal. An article in Transportation Researchlast year revealed that more than half of car drivers think cyclists are not completely human. Seventy per cent of cyclists have experienced some form of aggression. Recently the phenomenon has become critical. A Labour councillor hit by a car recently reported on twitter: “A man … hit the front of my bike… he carried on driving to push me out of the way. I wasn’t a human, I was [an] obstacle.” Last week as I pottered inoffensively along, not blocking any roadspace, a man in a sports car shouted at me ‘You piece of shit, get back in the cycle lane’ (which was closed); face to face he would never think of screaming this at a passing woman…

People on bikes are often accused of association with crime. Not only do they regularly run the lights and terrorise pedestrians, but (according to the Conservative councillors’ official submission to a TfL consultation on bike lanes in West London) they ‘increase local crime [by using] cycles for snatch thefts and for planned heists from high-value retailers such as jewellers.’ In south London cycle lanes could enable terrorists to attack London’s water supply, and in West London the local Catholic priest wrote that these ‘state-sponsored, tax-payer-funded plans [for a cycle lane] would do our community more harm … than the Luftwaffe managed with its wartime bombs.’

At the very least they threaten the village atmosphere of urban enclaves; John Major may have mused nostalgically about ‘old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist’ but providing cycle lanes for today’s spinsters in London leads inexorably not only to the death of Christianity (according to Catholic priest Richard Dunne), but to the death of the village itself as GLA member Tony Arbour claimed in a much-derided interview where he was drowned out by the sound of passing traffic from large urban SUVs and trucks in a London village.

Seriously, it’s a quick, entertaining and smart piece, well worth the click to to read the whole thing.

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If you missed last week’s unveiling of the California Bicycle Coalition’s 2021 legislative agenda, you can catch it all on video.

However, here’s what they revealed as their top priorities.

  •  Get state to incentivize whole network bike improvements
  • Affordable bikeshare and other last-mile transport as part of public transit systems
  • Complete Streets work with Caltrans
  • Improve design guidelines in Caltrans Design Manual to create safer facilities for bikes
  • Decriminalizing biking and walking
    • Eliminate “jaywalking” as a crime
    • “Idaho stop” – bikes treating stop signs as yields

Unfortunately, once again, there’s nothing there about stopping hit-and-runs and eliminating the deadly 85th Percentile Rule that lets driver set speed limits with their right foot.

Or providing rebates and other financial incentives to buy and use bicycles, electric or otherwise, to replace car trips.

But still, there’s some good stuff there, especially encouraging the state to finally legalize the Idaho stops that most bike riders already use. And most drivers, too.

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You may still have time to catch today’s webinar on Delivering Quick-Build Projects hosted by Calbike and Alta Planning at 11 am LA time.

That’s followed by PeopleForBikes bicycle policy webinar at noon Pacific time today.

But wait, there’s more!

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting their virtual open house and potluck at 6:30 tonight, if you’re not already burned out with the virtual world by then.

And as long as we’re living our lives online, planning firm Sam Schwartz Engineering is hosting a webinar on Covid-19 and the Need for Resilient Streets on Tuesday.

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Take a few minutes to support the proposed San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336821394638741504

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A seven-minute video somehow follows a New York bike messenger as he flaunts traffic laws and common sense.

Which isn’t exactly something to celebrate.

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Local

KABC-7 profiles Ken Thomason, who took on the persona of the bike-riding Chicken Lady after losing a close friend during the AIDS crisis; he’s done the AIDS Lifecycle Ride in character to raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS for 25 years.

 

State

The mother of Noel Bascon, the 12-year old autistic boy killed by an alleged repeat stoned driver while riding with his dad, says the man who killed him should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Irvine, Orange and other OC cities are using bait bikes to fight the rising bike theft epidemic. Yet somehow, the LAPD can’t, after the City Attorney’s office worried it could be seen as entrapment.

Nice. San Diego approves plans for a $2.6 million regional bicycle transit center, which supporters describe as a community gathering place “for all things bicycle;” the long-fought for center, which will be built without city funds, will be housed in an abandoned Navy warehouse in Liberty Station’s Naval Training Center Park. You can also read it on Flipboard if the Union-Tribune has you in time out. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

San Diego firefighters rescued a man who suffered a major head injury after falling off his bike while riding in Florida Canyon; the helmet-less man was discovered by others riding on the Balboa Park trail.

Stockton kids are being victimized by four armed robbers in a white pickup on a bike theft crime spree targeting boys riding BMX Bikes made by SE Racing, which are in short supply due to the coronavirus bike boom; one kid was pistol whipped before he was even given a chance to turn over his bike.

 

National

Glucosamine and chondroitin may help with more than arthritis; a new study shows taking the supplements for a full year can cut your risk of early death by 39%, and reduce the risk of cardiac-related death by a whopping 65%. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

Milwaukee has released a low-stress bike map, allowing bike riders to plot their route based on the level of stress they’re willing to endure. Maybe we can get that here in LA. Although virtually any route longer than a few blocks would likely fit in the high stress category.

That’s more like it. An Illinois driver got 20 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle.

‘Tis the season. Massachusetts’ Bob the Bike Man took a break from donating bikes to kids to provide local police departments with backpacks stuffed with new coats, blankets, hats and gloves, among other items to distribute to homeless people.

Good question. A DC website wants to know why people keep treating Slow Streets signs like the Kool-Aid man treats walls. Which seems to be a pretty universal problem these days.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their favorite urban commuter bikes.

Buenos Aires is expanding its bike network in response to the Covid-19 induced bike boom. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

The British government took a two-wheeled U-turn, and agreed to maintain the European Union’s anti-dumping rules for Chinese-made bicycles and ebikes in a post-Brexit world.

My hero. A London bike rider prints up his own parking tickets, and leaves them on cars parked illegally in a bike lane across from a school. Then gets told to fuck off by an angry driver for his efforts.

Police in Kolkata, nee Calcutta, are warning people on bicycles to stay off 62 major thoroughfares, where they have been banned to avoid annoying people in cars.

Former pro wrestler Killer Khan was busted for the hit-and-run that injured a Japanese woman riding her bike, telling police he was sorry, but had to get to his Tokyo restaurant; Khan gained fame for bouts with the legendary Andre the Giant back in the ’80s.

 

Competitive Cycling

There is still no internationally agreed-on assessment for diagnosing and treating concussions in pro and amateur cycling, putting it far behind other sports and needlessly putting cyclists at risk.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Benz, and not look like one — unless you prefer a Harley Davidson that kinda does. If you’re going to ride your bike carrying a sawed-off shotgun, put a damn light on it; the bike, that is, not the gun.

And don’t forget to express your gratitude to those you share the road with.

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

Watch for dangerous smoke and closed roads in SGV, Shoup on parking minimums, and Bahati gets star treatment

My apologies for yet another unexcused absence yesterday.

Which seems like it’s starting to be a habit.

I spent most of Tuesday night being tormented by demons when I should have been working.

Either that, or my neuropathy, which is mostly managed, if not controlled, most of the time, flared up to a devastatingly painful level.

I’m leaning towards the first explanation, myself.

Then last night, I lost a few crucial hours to an extended internet outage, thanks to a certain cable provider who shall remain nameless. Which means we still have more to catch up on tomorrow.

Assuming there’s not some other minor disaster waiting in the wings. Just part of this annus horribilis we’re all dealing with this year.

And yes, that’s two n’s, thank you.

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Be careful breathing in the San Gabriel Valley for the next several days, after officials issued a warning about smoke from the Ranch2 fire.

Smoke from wildfires can cause serious health and breathing problems, both short and long term. Especially when you’re sucking it in on a bike.

A simple rule of thumb is, if you can smell smoke, stay inside and don’t ride. But if you have to, wear a good quality mask to filter as much of the smoke as possible.

Trust me on this one.

Meanwhile, several road closures remain in effect:

  • San Gabriel Canyon Road/Highway 39: closed at Northbound Hwy 39 at Sierra Madre Avenue (southbound Highway 39 is closed at East Fork roRoad)
  • Glendora Mountain Road: closed from Big Dalton to East Fork
  • Glendora Ridge Road: closed from Glendora Mountain Road to Mt. Baldy Road
  • Santa Anita Canyon Road: closed from Arno Drive to Chantry Flats Road

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UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup explains the problems with parking minimums.

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South LA’s own Rahsaan Bahati gets the star treatment from Peloton.

View this post on Instagram

Excited to see this come to life with @pelotonmagazine. Shout out to @truecomms for the hard work getting this together. I was able to finally work with @jordan_clark_haggard he took some sick photos in downtown Los Angeles. A lot of people are inquisitive about my bike. The bike is a paint job done by my good friend and bad ass dude @mphpaint. Crazy talented dude who is a jack of all trades and master of many. The bike is one-of-a-kind and will not be made again. I have played with the idea of doing something similar that I could produce for the public but that's at least 12-months out. With that said, check out the link as the Bahati Foundation 10th Anniversary kit is for sale. All proceeds go to the Bahati Foundation.

A post shared by Rahsaan Bahati (@bahatiracing) on

 

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Another edition of celebs on bikes.

Country singer Luke Bryan is one of us.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of of us, going for a solo ride in the Hamptons.

Halle Berry might be one of us, posing on a bicycle for a photo shoot, though not actually riding it.

Semi-presidential candidate Kanye West is sort of one of us, too, preferring to do his riding indoors by crashing an Atlanta cycling class.

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The Department of DIY strikes in Guadalajara, using a three-wheeled cargo bike to paint their own bike lane.

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Don’t let anyone tell you there’s not enough room on the street.

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

This one would fit in the section below, as well. A ten-year old British boy was traumatized when a group of older boys on bikes dumped a carton of milk over him as he was riding his bike.

A British amateur bike racer was pushed off his bike by someone in a passing car, describing it as more terrifying than coming under enemy fire when he was in the military.

Then there’s this.

https://twitter.com/krebscycling/status/1295813416649666562

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

Sticking with the UK, authorities are looking for an apparently crazed bicyclist who refused to let a driver pass, then spit on his car and dented it with his bike. As always, there’s undoubtedly another side to the story. But bad behavior is never the right solution.

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Local

Now that’s more like it. A killer drunk driver got 15 years for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian in Pasadena last year.

 

State

San Diego is launching a new bike blog to get more commuters out on their bikes.

 

National

Cycling News offers tips for weight weenies, with five ways to quickly cut the weight of your bike. Although one of the best ways to improve your bike’s performance is to reduce the weight of the person on it.

A pair of studies show riding an ebike provides good exercise, and is as safe as any other bike.

One more way our laws keep dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. A legal loophole allows drivers who’ve lost their license in one state to keep driving in another.

A recall has been issued for the Ripper Jr., Ripper MIPS Jr., and Ripper MIPS bicycle helmets because they don’t comply with federal safety standards.

A pediatric ER doctor suggests tips on how to get your kid to wear a bike helmet.

Portland’s Department of Transportation is responding to the Black Lives Matter movement by working to become an actively anti-racist organization.

Nice. A couple hundred Chicago bike riders turned out to show the streets some peace and love.

Kindhearted Minnesota cops gave a new bike to a young girl after hers was damaged when she was hit by a driver; the bike was one of 12 donated by local Shriners for deserving kids.

A Flint, Michigan bike rider was critically injured when he was run down by a cop responding to an emergency call. As usual, the person on the bike gets the blame, especially since he’s not around to give his side of the story.

An Indianapolis man got his custom-made twin-chain-drive bicycle back five years after it was stolen when someone dropped it off at a bike co-op.

That’s one way to solve the problem. The NYPD has inexplicably eliminated bicycling injuries from their Traffic Stat portal, making the problem disappear overnight.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Delaware judge ruled that a driver who struck and killed two men as they were standing with their bikes outside a restaurant couldn’t have foreseen that he would have the seizure that caused the wreck, even though he had a history of seizures and hadn’t always followed his doctor’s orders or treatment plans.

A crowdfunding page has raised over $800,000 for the family of Connor Hinnant, the five-year old North Carolina boy who was fatally shot point blank by a neighbor, apparently for the crime of riding a bike on his lawn.

A Myrtle Beach SC bike rider is suing the city, alleging he was right hooked by a cop in a marked patrol car while he was riding in a marked bike lane. At the very least, he wants his bike replaced.

 

International

Cycling Weekly patiently explains the difference between gravel and ‘cross bikes.

An English town somehow equates dangerous bicycling with illegally feeding sea gulls, fining people the equivalent of $130 for either one.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike-riding Royal Air Force officer while on the phone with his daughter. Meanwhile, a 78-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider ten years his senior.

Bike friendly Amsterdam is deteriorating, and at risk of collapsing back into the sea. Although all the bikes in that photo will make you forget everything else.

Talk about a close call. A Turkish boy was lucky to avoid serious injury when he rode his bike out from a side street and into the side of a passing car.

Now that’s a good dad. An Indian man rode his bike 65 miles to take his son for an education test, hoping to get him into a better school.

A Russian website remembers the first Russian to ride a bike around the world, in 1911, before dying when his plane was shot down in WWI.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Jos van Emden figuratively nailed his thesis to the church door, listing ten proposals to improve safety in the peloton, including air bags along the rails near the finish, and a system of yellow and red cards to punish dangerous riders.

In a shocking move, Team Ineos has dropped former Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas from their Tour roster, denying Froome a shot at a record-tying fifth win.

 

Finally…

Gotham bike riders want to know where to stick it. The best truck for backing over your kids.

And who needs a bike lock when you’ve got fake bird poop?

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

Morning Links: Shooting on LA River bike path, Emerald Necklace opens, and write your own anti-bike screed

In case you missed it over the weekend, two bike riders were shot on the LA River bike path Friday night when they refused to give up their bikes to suspected gang bangers.

Let that be a reminder to always be careful riding through unlit areas after dark, especially when you’re out of view from the street and can’t be seen by other people.

And it can’t stressed it enough. If someone tries to take your bike, let them have it — especially if they’re armed.

No bike is worth your life, no matter what it cost or how much you need it.

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The first phase of the San Gabriel Valley’s Emerald Necklace bike path officially opens this Thursday.

emerald-neckace

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Great interactive piece from Chicago magazine on how to write an anti-bike diatribe without the inconvenience of actual thought.

It’s more than worth a few seconds of your time to write one of your own.

Here’s mine.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-59-25-am

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Speaking of great pieces, a British cop explains the real problems on the roads — hint, it ain’t the people on two wheels. And offers advice that includes don’t bother looking drivers in the eye and don’t count on hi-viz to make you seen.

Although it can be challenging to muddle through for those of us on this side of the Atlantic, where English isn’t the English the English use.

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A 56-year old man went out for a bike ride, and accidently ended up leading the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain.

Caught on video: A fan steps out in front of the Peloton at the Vuelta, knocking a rider off his bike.

The head of the International Cycling Union swears that cycling is on top of the doping problem, unlike other sports. Maybe they should be checking the fans, too.

Semi-banned Lance Armstrong is keeping a hand in cycling anyway by creating a new Aspen CO mountain bike event.

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Local

Los Angeles unveils a vision of the city’s transportation future that relies heavily on self-driving vehicles, making street parking obsolete and opening space for bicycles. Before you hold your breath, make sure you have an oxygen tank on hand.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures the bumpy pavement on the 7th Street bike lane in DTLA. Having ridden that one several times, I can attest that it was one of the most desperately needed bike lanes in town, yet is usually blocked by cars and delivery trucks, with pavement that would be rejected in most third-world countries.

The wife of fallen cyclist Rod Bennett has sued LA Fitness, alleging that they knew or should have known that hit-and-run driver Lucas James Guidroz was addicted to heroin; he was sent home from work early on the day he killed Bennett because he appeared to be under the influence, putting him behind the wheel without a chance to come down first.

Good news from Playa Vista, as Councilmember Mike Bonin announces a bike plan for the area, including a new bridge on Lincoln and a bike bridge over Ballona Creek; Bonin was one of just two councilmembers to vote against removing Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan.

Cycling in the South Bay says, to paraphrase in as few words as possible, don’t be such a dick when you ride.

The contribution page is now up for city council candidate and bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who is running to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo. Bray-Ali is hosting a fundraiser at the Good Girl Dinette Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Francisco bike riders continue to push for safer infrastructure.

Ford is looking beyond the private car by buying a San Francisco crowdsourced shuttle bus company and investing in the city’s bikeshare system.

The Bay Area’s BART system comes up with a brilliantly simple idea, installing straps on train cars to help keep bicycles upright.

Napa is working to improve plans for roundabouts to make them safer for bicyclists.

A Sebastopol cyclist was killed during a police fundraising ride when the driver of an oversized pickup allegedly insisted on passing without room to get by, sideswiping her boyfriend before killing her.

More kind hearts, as a Lodi pub gives away 13 bicycles to children under 13.

A Davis columnist says the solution to dropping gas tax revenues is to raise the gas tax, rather than charge a vehicle mileage fee, then complains that cyclists don’t pay for the roads they ride. By that standard, neither do the owners of $75,000 Teslas or other e-cars, who still won’t pay a gas tax no matter how much you increase it.

 

National

The Christian Science Monitor says a bicycle is one of the things you should never go too cheap on, but says you can get a decent commuter bike for $300 to $400 — pretty good savings over the $8,698 average cost of operating a car.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa driver gets 35 years — yes, three and a half decades — for the drunken crash that killed two motorists while driving over twice the speed limit. Now if we could just get them to take crashes involving bike riders seriously. Or better yet, keep people like this off the roads to prevent them in the first place.

Evanston IL officials respond to complaints about a new protected bike lane by saying it would cost nearly $1 million to rip them out, while noting that the lane is improving safety just like it’s supposed to.

NPR looks at bicycling in Reading PA, where it says most people ride out of necessity, despite a lack of infrastructure.

A North Carolina columnist gets it, saying drivers need to by hyper-vigilant on the roads, and expect to see cyclists any time of the day.

 

International

Ten laughably bad bikeways from around the world.

I want to be like her when I grow up. Reuters talks with a 90-year old Chilean grandmother who still rides regularly, calling her bike her compadre and the reason for her longevity.

A Canadian bicyclist gets a speeding ticket for riding too fast in a school zone.

An editor for London’s Express gets it, saying all hit-and-run cases should be treated as manslaughter.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Brit bicyclist saves the life of another rider who was trapped up to her waist in mud after falling into a ditch.

Someone is sabotaging Welsh mountain bike trails, yet a regional land manager just says they’re aware of a dispute between riders and local residents. More like an act of terrorism that could get someone seriously hurt. Or worse.

Nice piece from Ireland’s Lovely Bicycle on the many different meanings of cycling and cyclists.

A news columnist takes to the streets of Berlin, where he says everyone rides a bike, but the dangers on the streets demand more and better bike lanes. Which sounds a lot like LA, except for the first part.

A New Zealand bike shop chain got busted for charging full freight for bikes that were supposed to be on a half price clearance.

Singapore residents still view bicycling as a leisurely pursuit rather than a means of transportation, complicating government efforts to create a car-lite society.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t get mistaken for road kill. Another reason to wear a helmet — it protects against getting bashed in the head with a skateboard.

And your next bike could be a shapeshifter, which you could ride in your lovely new glow-in-the-dark knitted vest.

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On a personal note, today is the anniversary of the worst bike wreck of my life, when a massive swarm of bees didn’t lay a stinger on me, but I ended up in the ICU with a tube up my you-know-what and a massive blood bump on my hip anyway. 

I may have my problems these days, but I’m glad as hell to still be here. 

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