I’d planned to write about this yesterday before Streetsblog beat me to it (Darn you, Damien!).
But this still sounds like the perfect post Valentines ride. I’ll let Omari of the UCLA Bicycle Coalition take it from here:
Ok, so the week after Valentine’s day, this guy who’s a student at UCLA wants to ride his bike to drop his sweetheart off at the airport. He doesn’t wanna sit in 405 traffic, or take 3 trains and a shuttle to get there. Problem is, transportation planners, in all their wisdom didn’t foresee of anyone ever wanting to do that. As a result it’s kind of treacherous to ride a bike to LAX because the approaches are basically set up like freeways. Given that car-centricity, it’s no surprise that 85% of all ground trips to LAX are made by cars, with all the pollution and congestion that comes with that (and the majority of those trips are people getting dropped off and picked up, creating 4 trips total and 4 times the pollution)!
But what can be done? How can we help the lovebirds arrive safely at their destination without degrading the planet? The good news is, you can have fun and strength and safety in numbers with them on the Lovebirds to LAX Bike Party! So grab your bike on Sunday, February 20th and escort the happy couple on an EPIC ride from Helen’s Cycles in Westwood to LAX. Meeting at 11:30am, leaving at 12:30pm. Free bike safety checks will be provided beforehand. The trip will be about 10 miles one way, with an option to return on the Metro Rail Green/Blue lines. No cyclist will be left behind. We’ll stop at red lights and be courteous to others. This is a peaceful ride, channeling Ghandi and MLK: we’ll handle any obnoxious drivers with a smile and wave. Join us and be one of the few and the proud who can tell your friends (or wear a T-shirt that says), “I Rode My Bike to LAX!” We should have music, and signs saying “WHERE’S THE BIKE LANE?!” Tell a friend and spread the word that we’re partying against car-centricity… riding toward a future where, just as every street has a sidewalk, every street (including those to LAX) will have a bike lane.
Until then, safe travels!
He also wants some music on the ride, so he’s looking for bike-able speaks. Anyone have any suggestions or something he can borrow?
Three Rancho Cordova teenagers were tragically killed in a drive-by shooting while riding their bikes on Monday; thanks to Allan Alessio for the heads-up. Oddly, the print version doesn’t mention the bike connection, while the video story leads off with it.
Of course, the real tragedy isn’t that it happened while they were riding their bikes; it’s that shootings like this occur across the country virtually every day and no one really pays attention. Just like traffic deaths, over 30,000 Americans are killed with guns every year. And in typically American fashion, the solution employed by our leaders is to make guns more readily available, just as we deal with the endless plague of traffic fatalities by building more cars and increasing speed limits.
Our nation has fought two wars in the last 10 years because 3,000 were killed by terrorists, yet well over 200 times that many people were killed by guns and motor vehicles combined in that same time period.
When will we stop ignoring the elephant in the room and demand that it end now?
In a surprising twist, defending TdF champ Alberto Contador is cleared of doping charges after the Spanish cycling federation reverses its earlier decision, concluding that it could not be proven that Contador deliberately took the clenbuterol that was found in his system. Needless to say, he’s very happy about it.
If that’s the new standard, they might as well throw out all drug testing, since proof of intent is difficult if not impossible to establish in most cases. Many other riders have been banned on far less evidence.
Maybe Floyd Landis should recant, move to Spain and file an appeal.
Bicycling releases its annual list of America’s best bike cities; San Francisco checks in at number 6, while Long Beach is #23. No other California city made the list.
The Daily News endorses bike activist Stephen Box over incumbent Tom LaBonge in CD4. The new Bike Plan Implementation Team is open to whoever shows up — which means you could be the one who guarantees the new bike plan will actually get built. Eleven years after being paralyzed in a motocross race, a recovering Jimmy Button prepares to bicycle 2,428 miles from San Diego to Daytona Beach to benefit Miles for Miracles. Bike sharing programs live and die according to the planning details. Flying Pigeon now carries Torker Cargo-T bikes. Mobile billboard operators try bikes to get around the recent ban. An OC woman is thankfully uninjured in a five-man bike jacking. Cyclelicious eavesdrops on CHP dispatches to uncover a possibly deliberate collision in the San Gabriel Valley. SF police blame cyclists for speeding even though they were travelling well below the speed limit; after all, it’s far easier to blame cyclists for riding too fast than ticket the drivers who throw open their doors or pull out in front of them. A Fresno hit-and-run turns out to be a cyclist who hit a parked car.
Register for an upcoming Webinar on the Safe Routes to School program on March 3rd. The term bike porn is taken to its literal and logical conclusion. Biking Bis offers a list of resources for special needs cyclists. Surprisingly enough, 60% of bike injury collisions occur at intersections, while two-thirds of fatalities occur on the open road — perhaps because of the difference in speed. An Oregon cyclist is killed after stopping in a traffic lane; despite his working red light, the driver claims it was a SMIDSY* — and yes, the report notes that the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. More biased reporting in New York’s endless Prospect Park West bike lane dispute; cooler heads say build more bike lanes, not less, while less cool heads prepare to sue. Cambridge MA doesn’t maintain bike facilities in the winter because no one rides, but maybe no one rides because they don’t maintain it. A Virginia cyclist wasn’t hit by that truck, just skimmed. Zeke rides up in the spring, and back down in the winter in the space of just 20 miles. A Georgia man blames the victim, posting a No Cyclists sign after a friend’s son plowed into five cyclists, killing one. The nation’s deadliest state in which to walk or bike lives up to its image, this time taking the life of the Dalai Lama’s nephew, who was walking to call attention to Tibet’s struggle for independence.
Copenhagenize casts a critical eye on the sect of Vehicular Cycling. After an Ontario rider is clipped by a car, the driver intentionally hits him at the next stop light and tells him to move over. A proposal for a 1 meter passing distance brings out the online road ragers. A step-by-step guide for beginning riders. London’s Telegraph offers a rave review of our humble beachfront bike path. Since 2006, more cars than bikes have crossed London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge at morning rush hour. Just three years after spending £800,000 pounds to install semi-segregated bike lanes, Brighton, England proposes spending £1.1 million to remove them. Everyone bikes in the Netherlands, in fact 55% of all bike trips are made by women; turns out it’s also faster. And it’s a myth that other country’s can’t replicate the Dutch success. A New Zealand driver gets 100 hours of community service and NZ$10,000 for each of the three cyclists she killed. Bike Radar busts common myths about tires.
Finally, a Seattle-area cyclist faces charges of malicious mischief after allegedly spitting on, and throwing his bike at, a car whose driver honked at him. And UK authorities show their compassion — or the lack thereof — by billing a cyclist who had the inexcusable rudeness to get hit by a car and survive.
But at least they waited until he woke up from his coma.
* Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You