Weekend Update: CA bike helmet bill dead for now, LA council votes on hit-and-run rewards Wednesday

Just a quick update to catch up on some of the more important news this weekend.

First up, good news from Sacramento, as the proposed law to require all bike riders to wear a helmet is dead for now.

Faced with almost universal opposition, Sen. Carol Liu has amended SB 192 to require a study of bike helmet use instead. Also gone is the silly requirement for all riders to wear reflective hi-viz after dark, which would have criminalized commuting in normal street clothes during the winter months.

Let’s hope the study, if the revised bill is passed, goes beyond the junk science we usually see on the subject. And considers not just whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet, but whether the victim actually suffered a head injury and if wearing a helmet could have made a difference.

Thanks to Calbike and CABO for their opposition to the bill.

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The LA City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal to establish a standing reward for hit-and-runs this Wednesday.

The program would start at a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for property damage, rising to $50,000 if someone flees a fatal collision.

Anyone who has experienced hit-and-run first-hand — not just bike riders — is urged to attend the council session to tell your story in support of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, a press conference will be held at LA City Hall prior to the council session, starting at approximately 9 am; anyone who supports the proposal is urged to attend, whether or not you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run. This will also tie into the Finish the Ride event the following Sunday to call attention to the epidemic of hit-and-run on our streets.

If you can make it, email Damian Kevitt at damiankevitt@finishtheride.org to let him know you plan to attend, and give him a brief summary of your personal experience with a hit-and-run driver.

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Word is that the people pushing to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive open to cars are keeping the pressure on city officials to make the temporary opening permanent — converting the treasured hiking, biking and horse riding trail into just another car-jammed street.

Which means we have to keep the pressure up, as well.

Swrve offers a sample email you can personalize and send to the following people:

I’d suggest adding your own city council member to the list, as well.

As a cyclist and hiker who regularly rides and hikes Mt Hollywood I urge you all to not open the Mt Hollywood gates, on the Valley and Observatory sides, to private vehicle or City tram traffic. It will create a hazard for cyclists, hikers and equestrians on the Mt Hollywood road, will disturb the serenity of one of the most popular trails and areas of GP, and needlessly congest a wild area.

Tram, private vehicle transit or parking on Mt Hollywood will crowd the road too greatly, be a new source of air pollution and will add to the safety hazards cyclists, hikers and equestrians already face in other areas of the park such as Fern Dell.

Thank you,

(your name)

You might also consider adding a line or two about the added risk of wildfires started by hot car engines parked over tinder-dry brush, or cigarette butts carelessly tossed by tourists who may be unaware of our current severe drought conditions — creating exactly the risk proponents say they’re trying to prevent.

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Finally, a handful of events you won’t want to miss this weekend.

We’ve already mentioned Saturday’s unveiling of the work done as phase one of the Reseda Blvd Great Streets, and the workshop for phase 2 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Anyone attending this weekend’s Redlands Classic is invited to join in a social ride and bike parade hosted by the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance at 3 pm this afternoon.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Tour tonight, including an exhibit in the shop by Highland Park-based artist and musician Timothy Sellers.

Sunday evening, the LACBC is hosting a Pre-Climate Ride Party at the Angel City Brewery from 5 to 8 pm to raise funds for members of their climate ride team. The party is free to attend, but includes incentives for donating to your favorite Climate Rider:

  • $25 = 1 Beer Ticket
  • $50 = Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $75 = LACBC Membership + Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $100 = LACBC Membership + 2 Beer Tickets in souvenir pint glass + 3 Raffle Tickets
  • Raffle prizes include a Tern folding bike, a Laemmle Theatres private screening for 13, George Lopez tickets, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, a Timbuk2 messenger bag and more.

And if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Corgi Beach Day at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday morning. Unfortunately, our Corgi sends her regrets, since she’s not terribly fond of other dogs, particularly not ones as cute as she is.

Sienna-on-bed2

Weekend Links: Bicyclist voices heard in Griffith Park flap, but not in San Diego; Seattle driver doesn’t give a f***

They got the message, anyway.

The LA Weekly covers Thursday night’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which discussed the controversy over the ill-advised test project to turn Mount Hollywood Drive, which had previously been closed off to cars, into parking for tourists visiting the Hollywood Sign.

The predictable outcome was a promise to look into the matter, though it’s clear board members got the message from hikers, equestrians and bike riders that another solution has to be found. What, if anything, they’ll do about it after the project’s planned April 12th closing remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, an online petition asks the city to keep cars and trams off the road, but KTLA-5 says pity the poor tourists who just want to get a close-up view of the sign.

And CiclaValley offers video evidence of what all the fuss is about.

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Bike SD offers a report on Wednesday’s meeting to discuss planned bike lanes in the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where the Urban Planners group voted unanimously to protect parking spaces instead of human lives; the OB Rag says passionate pleas for safer streets fell on deaf ears.

Even though a new study shows complete streets not only result in improved safety for everyone, but also lead to increased sales, higher employment rates and greater property values.

But sure, keep fighting for those parking spaces while you chase potential new customers away.

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If, like me, you had to miss Thursday’s discussion between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and our own LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds, you can watch it again for the first time. Thanks to Dennis Hindman for the link.

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Clearly, not all cyclists oppose the proposed law that would require all California cyclists to wear bike helmets, as well as reflective gear after dark. Even if Bike Snob calls anyone who supports a helmet law a traitor and a heretic.

A new temporary clear spray paint from Volvo could solve the reflective problem. Maybe if you just spray your head it will look like you have a helmet on, at least after dark.

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The Bike League is calling on you to contact your Senator to help preserve federal funding for biking and walking.

Meanwhile, over 120 organizations joined together to call for increased funding for active transportation in California.

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A Seattle driver tells a bike rider she literally doesn’t give a fuck about anything he has to say after she parks in a supposedly parking-protected bike lane. And right next to a sign saying she can’t do it, no less.

Although, I think she meant figuratively, not literally, unless she was actually declining a free sexual encounter.

A writer for c|net asks if the rider, while right, might have been a tad sanctimonious.

See what you think.

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More transportation clickbait, as Thrillist ranks the 10 best cities to get around without a car.

LA checks in at a surprising number nine, despite ranking lowest among the top 10 for bikeability, and second from the bottom for walkability.

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Local

A Los Angeles woman makes chandeliers out of used bike parts; her work can be seen at Sunset Plaza, as well as Neil Patrick Harris’ New York home, if he lets you in.

Big improvements are coming to North Broadway in DTLA.

A new Glendale greenway will connect three parks in the city via bike lanes and sharrows.

Join Metro, From Lot to Spot and CICLE on Saturday for the Hot SPOTS bike tour of formerly blighted lots that have been converted to urban green spaces.

 

State

A La Mesa cyclist was critically injured in a horrific wreck when he was hit by an armored car, which proceeded to run over him with both sets of tires.

A trio of Palm Springs thieves are arrested after apparently trading a possibly stolen bike for the SUV they’re accused of taking.

San Bernardino students get bikes for perfect attendance. If they’d done that when I was a kid, I might not have faked a fever so often.

A 32-year old bike rider becomes the year’s first, and hopefully last, traffic fatality in Salinas.

A Silicon Valley bicycling movement is powered by wine, women and chocolate. None of which my wife will let me have these days.

San Francisco police are once again accused of conducting a crappy investigation and unfairly blaming the victim of a bicycling fatality.

 

National

A new documentary examines the conflict between bikes and cars — or more precisely, the overdependence on the latter — including LA voices like Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Don Koeppel, founder of the Big Parade.

Smart move. To reduce costs and build better relations with the community, Albuquerque police plan to take officers off their inexpensive bikes and put them in expensive patrol cars, where they will be isolated from the public.

The Dallas Observer says a new bill to ban texting while driving will only give cops an excuse to pull drivers over; evidently, they expect people to stop texting behind the wheel on the honor system, which has clearly worked well so far.

A former Mad City mayor calls for a Wisconsin bike highway system.

A Pittsburgh bridge gets a road diet and bike lanes, even if a local carpenter calls them useless.

Showing a rare skill for making a bad situation worse, a Tampa Bay man faces a burglary charge for attempting to get his impounded bike back.

 

International

Welsh police needs at least four cops and a helicopter to arrest a wine drinking bike rider.

A new 700 space bike parking structure gives a whole new meaning to Stockholm syndrome; thanks to joninsocal for the heads-up.

A new documentary looks at Italian Jews who survived WWII and the goys gentiles who helped them, focusing on legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, who should be on a fast track to sainthood already.

A West Australia driver gets five years for killing a cyclist in a wreck he was too drunk to remember.

Thailand will build bike lanes leading to two international airports, while a 14 mile bike path circling another airport will get toilets, lights and security cameras provided by a local bank. We have a lot of banks in LA, right?

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur promises to build more bikeways if enough buildings turn their lights out for Earth Hour. So if they don’t, bike riders get screwed?

 

Finally…

A new women’s jersey is designed to carry your choice of concealed weapon while you ride. If you’re carrying three kilos of coke and heroin in the trunk of your car, don’t obscure the license plate with your bike rack.

And an Illinois town asks bike riders to please stop pooping on the bike path.

 

Weekend Links: Protected bike lanes, election recaps, send a girl to bike camp, and more on the CA helmet law

This is what happens when life interferes before a post gets finished.

It grows.

And grows.

And grows some more, as the bike news keeps coming faster than I can keep up. Until we get a massive list of links long enough to keep you entertained for the rest of the weekend.

Or at least, the part you don’t spend on your bike.

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People for Bikes releases their new report on Race, Ethnicity, Class and Protected Bike Lanes, while Fast Company makes the case for protected lanes — including boosting ridership up to 171%.

And investing in bike infrastructure is an investment in local business.

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CiclaValley offers a recap of Tuesday’s elections and what the results mean for LA bicyclists. Not that 90% of Angelenos seem to care.

If this sort of apathy continues into the June general election, any motivated group that cared enough to actually vote en masse could totally own this city.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers his insights, including an examination of Jose Huizar’s win in CD14, which was the city’s first race that hinged on progressive urban planning.

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One of the area’s most active and influential bike advocates, Santa Monica Spoke’s Cynthia Rose, is raising funds to attend next week’s National Bike Summit and National Forum on Women and Bicycling.

And yes, your donation is tax deductible.

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Are we tired of the debate over mandating bike helmets yet?

A Napa Valley cyclist and attorney says we should require helmets, but do more to make our streets safer.

On the other hand, the publishers of Cycle California! says a helmet law tosses out all the benefits of bicycling for the mere illusion of safety.

The Mission Bicycle Company the proposed law sends the wrong message, while placing the burden of safety on the most vulnerable social group, rather than the one most likely to cause harm.

And KCRW traffic maven Kajon Cermak asks if bike helmets discourage cycling.

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Local

The Westside Urban Forum holds their first bike-focused panel in 15 years to discus the potential for increased bicycling in West LA and Santa Monica.

Better Bike updates the latest news from the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, including the city’s lack of response to bike rack requests.

A South LA bike advocate hopes to open a bike co-op in Leimert Park; you can contribute to the project here.

Bike theft is up in Hermosa Beach, as Hermosa Cyclery lost as many as 20 of their rental bikes last year alone.

Plans proceed for a bridge connecting the Glendale Narrows with Griffith Park.

The LACBC and the LA River Revitalization Corp host a free ride through Cudahy Saturday morning.

In advance of Wednesday’s Zócalo/Metro panel discussion, Zócalo Public Square asks if cars are driving off into the sunset.

Long Beach will host its first ciclovía — CicLoBia? — on June 6th.

 

State

A 64-year old New York man is busted for stealing a bait bike in Palm Springs.

A 30-year old triathlete suffers a broken neck, back, leg and shoulder when she was rear-ended by a driver in Buellton; needless to say, the person surrounded by a couple tons of steel, seat belts and air bags was uninjured. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the link.

Sometimes you just can’t win, as San Francisco police ticket bike riders failing to properly navigate a badly designed intersection.

Alameda will cut the ribbon on the Bay Area’s longest buffered bike lane on Saturday. Note to the Contra Costa Times: a buffered bikeway is not the same as a protected bike lane, which features some sort of physical barrier.

Mountain View’s proposed bike plan features 170 potential projects to improve safety.

 

National

Momentum Magazine remembers three early bike riding women who changed to course of history.

Bicycling looks at bikes built for heavier riders, while Men’s Journal discusses how to get the best deal on a road bike. Here’s a hint: develop a relationship with your local bike shop instead of your web browser.

Bike culture is thriving at Arizona State University.

A new biker bar opens in Austin TX; no, not that kind of biker. And Baltimore’s planned bicycle-themed café sounds a lot like our own Pedaler’s Fork.

The Washington Post accuses bike shop workers of joining a radical socialist union.

A North Carolina man plans to ride 15,000 miles alone on a tandem bike to visit 48 state capitals; his wife had dreamed of doing the trip with him before she died of breast cancer. Note to Cosmo: At last count, there were more than 48 state capitals.

Caught on video: A road raging Florida driver intentionally runs into a cyclist, then repeatedly punches and kicks him before driving away.

Speaking of Florida, a Fort Meyers paper offers up seven surprising things about bike crashes, including the fact that red light-running bike riders don’t cause most crashes, it’s drivers who fail to yield that do.

 

International

A Vancouver driving instructor decries the appearance of “hobby cyclists” as the weather warms up; transportation and recreational riders are okay, though.

Ottawa residents call for limiting the size and duration of public memorials such as ghost bikes.

A Montreal non-profit specializes in rebuilding vintage bikes.

British authorities have no idea if drivers who kill bike riders are being prosecuted fairly because they forgot to collect any data on the subject.

It takes a major jerk to steal a purse from an unconscious Brit bike rider. Or any other incapacitated victim, for that matter.

A UK researcher questions the fairness of doping cases, including why Lance received a lifetime ban from bike racing when Floyd Landis and all the others who confessed only got a six-month ban.

An Edinburgh driver avoids jail for seriously injuring a young bike rider; he was checking an address instead of watching the road.

The first African team in the Tour de France aims for a podium finish within the next five years.

Over 1,000 Aussie riders turn out in memory of a cyclist killed as a result of a dooring.

 

Finally…

Even an Aussie child can grasp the concept that cars are convenient, but dangerous; so why can’t most adults, here or there? An 18-year old Portland man busted for bike theft apparently dealt in purloined goats named Penelope, as well.

And cycling embrocation somehow becomes the hottest new winter fashion accessory.

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Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on Sunday. I’m turning mine to 2045, when LA’s 2010 bike plan is finally scheduled be completed.

And thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help support this site.

 

Morning Links: Bike helmets alone don’t prevent injuries, scofflaw cops in bike lanes, and upcoming bike events

Someone please forward this to state Senator Carol Liu, author of SB 192 that would mandate helmet use by all bicycle riders.

A new medical study concludes that bike helmets alone can’t prevent serious bicycling injuries, and the solution may lie in separating cyclists from motor vehicles.

Because just trying to tame traffic and get motorists to drive safely would never work.

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Great piece on risk communcation from Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, who says yes, bicycling may be dangerous, but no more than driving. And so is walking, bathing and shopping.

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CiclaValley discovers scofflaw cops parking in downtown bike lanes, forcing riders to protect and swerve.

He said it, not me.

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Lots of great bike events coming up.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting their first fundraising event this Saturday, with the South Bay Bike Night and Bike City Awards, honoring Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Lawndale for their efforts to become safer and friendlier for bike riders. The proceeds will be used will be used to pay for the SBBC’s bike helmets for kids program,  bike education classes for elementary school students and adults, and advocacy for safe biking practices, infrastructure and enforcement.

More on this weekend’s bike and hike-a-thon to raise funds to provide orphans throughout Africa with bikes; the charity was founded by a La Canada high school student.

Don’t forget this Sunday’s Pastrami Ride, which sounds like the tastiest LACBC Sunday Funday ride yet.

Mark your calendar for March 14th, when the LACBC will host a two-hour women-only bike safety workshop.

San Diego’s St. Paddy’s Palomar Punishment, billed as the city’s most fun cycling event, rolls on March 7th to benefit the San Diego Humane Society, with rides from 10 to 97 miles.

Looking further ahead, Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual non-sectarian Blessing of the Bicycles will be held on Tuesday, May 12th as part of Bike Week/Month. Because a little divine intervention couldn’t hurt.

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Local

Streetsblog reports the highlights from Monday’s Live Ride Share Conference to discuss shared mobility, including bike share.

Richard Risemberg says nobody bikes in LA. Except for all the people who do.

LA Magazine is waiting impatiently for the MyFigueroa project, noting the much-needed changes can’t come soon enough.

Good news for PCH riders, as the highway is expected to reopen this week after a nine-mile section was closed down to repair storm damage.

KCBS-2 reports on last Sunday’s Milt Olin ride.

Long Beach officials hosted the LACBC’s Operation Firefly bike light giveaway Tuesday night.

 

State

For once, bike lanes win out over parking, as the Vista city council votes to remove parking spaces on Civic Center Drive to make room for bikes. Motorists are undoubtedly getting out the torches and pitchforks as we speak.

Carlsbad police are looking for witnesses to a Valentines Day hit-and-run that left a bike rider injured.

Bad news from Oakland, as a 60-year old bike rider is killed in a collision with a pickup truck.

Oakland bike riders get secure bike parking at the new Bike Station; parking your bike will be free during the day and just $5 overnight.

San Francisco considers closing down streets in popular entertainment districts on weekends, something that should be seriously explored here.

 

National

The Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway will provide bicycles for hundreds of special needs kids.

Denver considers a two-way protected bike lane on one of the city’s busiest streets.

Evidently ignorance is bliss, as Wyoming legislators vote not to collect data on bicycle safety or explore building a statewide bikeway.

Iowa considers changing the law to require a rear-facing light on bikes after dark, rather than allowing reflectors; that’s also under consideration here in California.

An Indiana cycling instructor calls for ticketing irresponsible bike riders, while acknowledging that cyclists are much less likely to cause harm than motorists.

A Cincinnati letter writer says let’s develop a network of bike paths for recreational riders, but keep those crazy transportation cyclists off the damn roads, already.

A Baltimore bicyclist clearly explains the vigilance cyclists have to maintain, and what it’s like to share the road with motorists.

 

International

Bike Radar offers up five reasons mountain bikers should try skinny tired bikes.

London authorities list the city’s most dangerous intersections for cyclists, as the city sets aside the equivalent of $140 million to re-envision bicycling in the suburbs.

Judging by these letter writers, bicycling in Ireland isn’t any better than it is here.

Good problem to have, as Amsterdam plans an underwater bike parking garage because they’re running out of spaces for bikes.

Unbelievable. A New Zealand cyclist may have died because a truck company placed advertising on the passenger side window of their vehicles.

Thai cyclists demand changes in the country’s laws to protect people on bikes.

 

Finally…

Okay, so it’s got three wheels, but you could hit 100 mph with this pedal powered electric-assist car. Speaking of assists, if your bike doesn’t fly, just add a few fans.

And this is so not the way to promote a bike race to women. Or anyone, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Unfortunate irony on the Milt Olin Ride, and still more on the proposed helmet law

Unfortunate irony, indeed.

A bike rider is hit by an apparently distracted driver on a ride to remember a bike rider killed by a distracted-driving sheriff’s deputy.

Fortunately, the cyclist should be okay, despite being pretty banged up.

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It’s starting to look like this story isn’t going to go away.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle says bike advocates are splitting hairs in opposition to SB 192, the bill that would mandate helmet use for all riders. Although someone should tell him that the law requiring helmets for minors, which he calls a success, is often blamed for why so few California children ride bikes, which is a major contributor to the obesity crisis in our youth.

The Daily News prints letters on both sides of the issue; once again, licensing people on bikes rears its ugly head even though it has nothing to do with the question at hand.

San Diego’s KPBS public radio station discusses both sides of the question, as well, while Santa Monica Spoke comes out in opposition to the bill. Digital Slurry echoes Copehangenize with a tongue-in-cheek call for walking helmets.

And if you still have any doubt whether the proposed helmet law is a bad idea, Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry nails it.

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Local

USC’s Neon Tommy says a watered down MyFigueroa won’t be finished until the end of next year.

Next City is suitably impressed that Ed Begley, Jr. biked the Oscars in the rain Sunday night. So I am.

Move LA and the SFV Council of Governments are hosting a San Fernando Valley Town Hall on Thursday to imagine our transportation future in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.

Westwood’s Hammer Museum invites you to design your own bike to suit the environment in a family friendly workshop this Sunday.

 

State

A Santa Ana coalition wants to empower local residents to transform the streets to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Bakersfield driver faces four charges, including two felony counts, in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

A Modesto letter writer insists there will never be safety for bicyclists as long as we’re required to ride with traffic; someone should show him the safety stats for salmon cyclists.

The new director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition intends to push the fight for Vision Zero.

 

National

Kids added their voices to bike advocacy at the national Youth Bike Summit in Seattle.

Now here’s an idea LA should steal copy, as Houston opens a Bicycle Museum this week. I’d gladly pay to see Connie Carpenter’s gold medal-winning bike from the ’84 LA Olympics, along with one of the bikes that beat a JetBlue jet to Long Beach and made Wolfpack Hustle a household name among local cyclists.

An Omaha flying saucer-shaped building is set to become a new bike shop operated by a non-profit group. Actually, most local bike shops are unintentional non-profits these days.

A Minnesota man prepares to ride next week’s 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational along a portion of the famed sled dog trail.

An Ohio fat bike rider doesn’t let freezing temperatures — or a frozen beard — stop him.

Bike riders recreate the legendary Selma to Montgomery civil rights march on two wheels.

New York’s CitiBike workers want the raises they were promised by the bike share’s former owners.

 

International

Must be something in the water, as a racist UK jerk hurls abuse at a bike rider and threatens to set his dogs on him, and a big hearted Londoner is caught on video saying bike riders are their own worst enemy and deserve to die.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British WWII vet still rides up to 5,000 miles a year; last year he notched 3,500, which is a lot more than I managed.

A Brit thief steals a bike, and uses it to break through the window of a toy store.

 

Finally…

Roseville bike thieves simply ride off with bikes being sold through Craigslist. An apparently anti-bike OKC city councilmember follows up on his failed attempt to force bike riders to keep three feet from cars with an ordinance allowing police to ticket lane splitting cyclists.

And if you’re drunk off your ass and get caught trying to take a shortcut through a fenced-off business lot, don’t ride salmon and crash into the police car trying to stop you from getting killed by riding into the path of a truck.

Seriously.