A successful LACBC bike ride, VA bike access, and NY may be safer than you think — except for bikes

We had a great, if very long, bike ride through the Westside yesterday. I’d planned to write about that this morning, but those of us in L.A. have been blessed with perfect riding weather and I have no intention of wasting it, so bear with me and I’ll get back to that later.

Meanwhile, Michael of the Claremont Cyclist offers some great photos and thoughts on the ride, including a shiny new LACBC membership, while Bicycle Fixation’s Richard Risemberg says the ride offered a reason to get involved.

That reminds me. If you’re looking to save money, the LACBC offers a discount on memberships at the Sunday Funday rides the first Sunday of every month. And that gets you a discount at a number of the area’s local bike shops; I used mine to get 15% off a pair of bike shorts at Cynergy on Saturday.

Or you can become a member by volunteering with the Coalition; contact the LACBC for more information.

.………

Neighbors are heartsick over the death of San Diego cyclist Ben Acree on Saturday, while the press is — finally — starting to report the story more objectively. Of course, that doesn’t stop the usual bike-hating trolls.

Then again, does anything?

.………

You’ve got just over two weeks to ask for bike access through the VA grounds and the Los Angeles National Cemetery. Before 9/11, cyclists used to be allowed to ride through the cemetery grounds, providing a safe, fast alternative to dangerous high-traffic Westwood streets.

And for those behind the Orange Curtain, the Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee will meet at 4:30 pm Monday with guest speaker Charlie Gandy, Long Beach Mobility Coordinator; thanks to Frank Peters for the news. Meanwhile, Long Beach may be ready to repeal their illegal bike licensing program.

.………

Contrary to common perception, the New York Times says the city’s streets are among the safest in the country — unless you happen to travel on two wheels, as bike deaths increased a whopping 50% in 2009; that’s still less than the 26 deaths in 2006, though. No word on how many motorists died as a result of all those killer scofflaw cyclists the local press — or an influential Congressmen — has been hyperventilating over recently.

And as it turns out, NYDOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan shares my views on accidents:

“We need to stop thinking about these as accidents,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said. “An accident suggests that it happened by chance. These are crashes that happen by human error, by bad choices, and they are avoidable.”

.………

L.A.’s new point man in Sacramento helped bring the Bicycling Hall of Fame to Davis before taking his new post; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads up. The Claremont Cyclist takes a driver to task for being unwilling to take two seconds to save a life. Santa Monica ranks highest in its category for bike and pedestrian collisions; is it because of ninja cyclists and careless peds? Considering the poor infrastructure and bad drivers I’ve encountered there, probably not. Gary goes car free, again. Examined Spoke asks if bikes are more like cars or pedestrians. Now you can play Oregon Trail in the real world, or at least what passes for it here in L.A. GT recommends a better ear bud. Downtown News looks at plans to remake the Figueroa Corridor. CicLAvia is looking for a media consultant. Here’s a hint — don’t ride through a red light when you’re on parole and carrying drugs.

LovingTheBike looks at the way of whey. Lies, damned lies and bicycle statistics. I’d spend the extra ten bucks for one of these. Kill a cyclist, find a sympathetic judge, get 78 days. In a rare outbreak of common sense, a Salt Lake bike advocate says planning for street cars and bikes will work a lot better if they’re planned together. The Idaho Senate shoots down three-foot passing and anti-harassment laws; Wyoming rapidly follows suit. Riding in the aftermath of the great blizzard. The Manhattan DA bends himself into knots to find a reason to let the driver in a fatal dooring incident off the hook. DC pedestrians and cyclists urge more and better enforcement. A heartwarming story of local residents pitching in to get a new bike for a dancing former special needs student and part-time traffic guard. Popular cabaret singer Mary Cleere Haran was killed Saturday in Deefield Beach FL, when her bike was t-boned by a car exiting a driveway; link courtesy of George Wolfberg.

Euro cyclists are urged to write their European Parliament members to support a bill that would eliminate blind spots on large trucks; we could use that here. Fewer parking spaces mean lower emission rates. Brits are urged to ride their bikes on streets that could kill them, which could explain why bike deaths and serious injuries are up while the overall death rate is down. Is it smart to dial and ride? Uh, no. A UK writer says let’s get rid of that whole idea that we’re vulnerable road users. British cops fight crime with two wheels, three elephants and lemon curd. Crowd sourced advice on what to do for cycling knee pain. Video of the world’s most effective bike lock. The great debate over whether fixies need brakes reaches Down Under. Ghost bikes have spanned the globe, but evidently not in Christchurch.

Finally, in a case of rampant irrational NIMBYism, after a car skids off a bridge in icy weather, local residents see that as proof that a putting bike lane on the bridge would lead to more deaths because — wait for it — the sight of bikes behind a separated barrier would be too distracting.

Note to drivers: if the mere presence of a bike on the road would cause you to lose control and drive off a bridge, you really don’t belong behind the wheel.

In light of AOL’s $315 million HuffPo purchase over the weekend, I’d like to note that I can be bought.

Seriously.

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One Response to A successful LACBC bike ride, VA bike access, and NY may be safer than you think — except for bikes

  1. […] Westside Wandering with the LACBC (Orange 20, Biking In L.A.) […]

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