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We couldn’t Agree More – It’s Not Just a Bike—It’s a Happiness Machine

From Bicycling.com

Friends. Sunshine. Sanity. Mud. Wheeee! A bike is so much more than a frame and some parts—it’s the key to a lifetime of pure, unadulterated joy.

 

Whether you’re zooming past gridlocked traffic, channeling your inner Eddy Merckx on a monster climb, or catching some air, there’s no question that bikes can make us happier. (Find tips on making the most out of every mile in our Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills.) We asked five writers to share how riding brings more joy into their lives.

 

Big Air

When I picture my perfect trail, my mind always wanders to a certain ribbon of singletrack in Santa Cruz, California. It dips and swerves through the redwood forest at just the right mellow cant to let you maintain constant launching speed. Smooth kickers and side hips beckon you to send it around every turn, and are so exquisitely built it feels as if the locals who created them had only your maximum enjoyment at heart. My ideal ride, I guess, has many opportunities to leave the ground. I know there is neurochemistry behind why getting even the tiniest bit of air can make me go “whoo!” But I think it’s more than just dopamine playing its greatest hits on my brain.

Full disclosure: I don’t usually get huge air—it’s more often “sensible air” or even baby air. But whether I’m bunny-hopping a speed bump on my ’cross bike or going off a drop in the bike park, the process is the same. I love that moment of commitment—approaching the edge and acknowledging that when my tires leave the ground, there is some level of uncertainty in how they’ll land, then doing the counterintuitive anyway: putting in a couple of extra pedal strokesand charging it. It’s bold and so opposite from the increasingly careful way I approach other aspects of life as I grow up—planning my vacations further ahead of time, dutifully putting away more money for retirement.

Instead, in the air, I’m so free and light as to defy gravity. That’s why I daydream about that trail in Santa Cruz and why I keep seeking out rides like it. Because when I get off the bike, I go back to my life knowing this: Today, I left the security of the ground to see if I could touch the sky. For a fraction of a second, my bike enabled me to fly. —Gloria Liu

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The LA River Bike Path Reopens

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Los Angeles District, issued a task order September 1, 2016 under an existing contract to BJD Services, for strategic in-channel, non-native vegetation, trash and debris removal in the Los Angeles River for work in the area adjacent to Elysian Valley between Fletcher Drive and Riverside Drive (at I-110). Work was initiated on September 19, 2016. The primary focus of the work is to manage by hand removal the largest strands of continuous non-native vegetation in the Los Angeles River. Initial work has been completed. As such, the LAR bike path will re-open weekdays beginning Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The current status of our efforts includes removal of approximately 12,192 cubic yards of non-native vegetation and 3,048 cubic yards of trash and debris from the area.

The Corps’ contractor will continue to perform monthly maintenance within reaches 5C, 6A, and 6B through September 2017. This work does not require additional bike path closures.

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WeHo Pedals Bike Share Program To Implement “Hub Days”

From CanyonNews.com

WeHo Pedals, West Hollywood’s bike share program, will hold Hub Days beginning Monday, March 13. Hub Days are pop-up events held at bike hub locations throughout the city, where members of the Weho Pedals street teams will share information, answer questions, and help those who are interested in the program to test out bicycles and register for memberships.

According to a press release from the city of West Hollywood, WeHo Pedals Hub Days are scheduled for the following dates, times, and locations:

  • Monday, March 13, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., at the West Hollywood Gateway, located at 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard (near Formosa Avenue adjacent to BevMo!)
  • Tuesday, March 14, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., onSanta Monica Boulevard at Genesee Avenue
  • Wednesday, March 15, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., at the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards

WeHo Pedals will host a bike share education class on Sunday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The class will be held at the WeHo Pedals Bike Share Hub at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. During the course, attendees will learn cycling safety tips and rules and become familiar with the features of a WeHo Pedals bicycle. The class is limited to 15 participants, and participation will be free. To reserve a spot for the class, visit www.wehopedals.com.

WeHo Pedals was launched in West Hollywood in August 2016. The bike share program provides sustainable, affordable transportation for residents and visitors, with the convenience of stations located near transit stops and popular destinations. 150 “Smart Bikes” are available at 18 self-serve stations throughout the city. There will be a total of 20 stations. The City’s Community Development Department hopes to integrate WeHo Pedals with bike share programs in adjacent cities, such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Westwood.

The “Smart Bikes” come with features including eight gears, LED headlights and taillights, baskets, and U-locks. A smartphone app allows riders to reserve bikes, pay membership fees, and track data.

According to the website, riders can rent bikes at a minimum rate of $7 an hour, $25 a month, or $99 for an annual pass.
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Mysterious plungers pop up along Wichita bike lane

From KSN.com

 

The mystery of who installed plunger-like barriers along a Wichita bike lane is yet to be solved.

Todd Ramsey, an avid cyclist in Wichita, said he noticed the plungers with reflective tape near the intersection of Washington and First Street over the weekend.

“I was riding my bike downtown on Saturday morning. I pull up to this intersection and I see these white posts sticking out of the ground and they look like traffic barriers. They have reflective tape on them and so I’m thinking, wow, the city did something to kind of make this intersection safer,” said Todd Ramsey

Ramsey said he then approached the barriers to get a closer look.

“As I get closer, I realize these aren’t barriers, these are plungers that have been stuck to the ground,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey then snapped a few pictures of the plungers and posted them to social media. He said that’s when the conversation about bike safety, specifically bike-lane safety in downtown Wichita, took off.

“I don’t think the people know the rules about whether they are dedicated turn lanes or not,” Ramsey said.

According to the City of Wichita, drivers are not allowed to cross a solid line into the designated bike lane. The city said the bike lanes go up to the stop bar in order to make people bicycling more visible.

 

Read more and watch the video here.

2017 Marathon Crash Ride – March 19

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual marathon crash ride has become a tradition. But in past years the ride has basically been illegal. This year the ride will be, if not sanctioned, at least tolerated by the city. That’s a big step up from last year, when officials threatened to arrest the ride’s organizer, Don Ward, aka Roadblock.

This year, Ward says, “It should be a lot safer than it has been in the past.”

But, as Ward cautions all those rogue cyclists out there, the event is most certainly not a “race.” Just a “ride.”

For years, the L.A. Marathon’s route was a loop. Before the footrace began, an official bike ride was held with corporate sponsorship and everything. But in 2009, the marathon route was changed to a straight shot from Dodger Stadium to the sea, and the bike ride was dropped for fear that thousands of cyclists wouldn’t be able to get their bikes home.

The LADP and the City of Los Angeles have invited folks back to ride the Marathon Course this year once again. We are here to relay info on safety and updates from the city.

RIDE STARTS AT 5AM SHARP

Bike Safety from CALBIKE

From CALBIKE.com

Every day millions of people safely ride bicycles for transportation. So can you!

Learning these five essential bicycling skills that can improve your safety on the road and significantly reduce your risk of injury.

These five skills build on each other, starting with the most basic skill that offers the most protection. Each skill is the foundation for the next. Think of each as offering a “layer” of protection – with each skill you master, you add another protective layer. You’ll be safest when you understand and master all five skills and put them into practice each time you ride.

Now that you’ve read about the five skills, check out the skills in action. And remember to have fun and stay safe!

Learning bike safety essentials on this site is no substitute for what you learn on your bicycle in a bicycle safety class. Local advocacy groups, public health departments and cycling clubs throughout California offer classes. These are taught by instructors who are certified by the League of American Bicyclists.

Three Cheers for Thomas Forsyth from SWAT!

We’re so stoked to have Thomas Forsyth Bicycle Attorney as a presenting sponsor this season. Thank you thank you thank you for supporting us.

We’d also like to thank the awesome 1st Impression Scorpions Squad for joining our impromptu shoot and Jennifer Caballero for taking the photos.

Cavendish, Sagan to lead sprinter showdown at 2017 Tour of California

From CyclingNews.com

Continental squads Rally Cycling and Jelly Belly-Maxxis receive invites for event’s first WorldTour edition.

‘King of California’ Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will once again headline a stacked sprinter showdown in the Amgen Tour of California’s first WorldTour edition.

A record 11 top-division teams will be on the start line when the race rolls out of Sacramento on May 14, including Katusha-Alpecin with Alexander Kristoff and Trek-Segafredo with John Degenkolb, setting up a preview of notable fast finishers who will be fighting for stage wins in July. French Pro Continental team Cofidis will bring Nacer Bouhannito throw into the mix on the sprint days. Those teams will be joined on the start line by WorldTour teams Astana, BMC Racing, Cannondale-Drapac, Team Sunweb, LottoNL-Jumbo and Team Sky.

UnitedHealthcare and Novo Nordisk will join Cofidis from the Pro Continental ranks, while Continental teams Rally Cycling and Jelly Belly-Maxxis also made the selection, ending months of speculation over whether Continental teams would be eligible to participate in the first-year WorldTour race, and if so, which teams would make the cut.

Sagan, the two-time and reigning world champion, will be hoping to add to his record 15 stage wins in California dating back to 2010.

“Racing in California is a challenge and a joy every time,” Sagan said. “I hope to continue building on the success I’ve had at the Amgen Tour of California, and know all the riders will do our best to give the incredible fans another good show this year.”

Sagan took overall victory in 2015 after winning the weather-shortended time trial and then limiting his losses to Alaphilippe on the climb to Mt. Baldy. A time bonus on the final day lifted him past the Frenchman by one second. Alaphilippe got his revenge last year, taking the lead on the climb up Gibraltar Road while Sagan suffered in the grupetto more than 20 minutes down. Sagan was obviously more interested in adding to his stage win tally, which he did on stages 1 and 4.

The race returns to Mt. Baldy this year, but Sagan will likely once again focus on the flatter finishes, where he’ll have plenty of competition from Cavendish and the rest. The Manxman took his 10th career California stage win on the final day in Sacramento last year and spent an adventurous day in a breakaway along the Pacific Coast highway to Monterey during stage 4.

“It’s become an important part of my preparation for the Tour de France because the race attracts the best and the competition is intense,” Cavendish said. “It’s always a battle, but I am hoping to add some more California victories this year.”

Julian Alaphilippe, who won the Paris-Nice time trial on Wednesday and currently leads that race, took the lead in last year’s Tour of California with a stage win at the top of Gibraltar Road. He held the yellow jersey through the next five stages, including the 20.3km Folsom time trial, where he finished eighth, 45 seconds behind winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). Dennis and teammate Brent Bookwalter rounded out the general classification podium, with Dennis coming in second at 21 seconds and Bookwalter at 43 seconds back.

Alaphilippe’s California win was part of a breakout season in 2016, and 2017 will also see host of young up-and-coming riders, including Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez, the 23-year-old Tour de Suisse winner who will be making his Tour of California debut. Cannondale-Drapac will bring Lawson Craddock, third in 2014 and fifth last year, and Andrew Talansky, who was fourth last year and has already said the race is a top priority this year. US time trial champion Taylor Phinney is also scheduled to be on the Cannondale-Drapac roster in California.

Race owners AEG also announced the 16 teams that will compete in the 2017 Amgen Women’s Race.

2017 Amgen Tour of California Teams

UCI WorldTour:
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Bora-Hansgrohe
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
Quick-Step Floors
Team Dimension Data
Team Sunweb
Team Katusha-Alpecin
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Team Sky
Trek-Segafredo

UCI Pro Continental:
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Team Novo Nordisk
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

UCI Continental:
Jelly Belly-Maxxis
Rally Cycling

 

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California bicyclists would be allowed to roll past stop signs under proposed law

From LATimes.com

 

Cyclists would be allowed to pedal past stop signs — without stopping — under legislation proposed by two lawmakers who say it would make the roads safer.

The two-tiered approach to the rules of the road — one for cyclists and one for cars — is unlikely to ease growing tensions over sharing California’s roadways.

Bike advocates have won such victories in the Statehouse as requiring drivers to yield a three-foot radius of maneuvering room to cyclists or face fines. Motorists meanwhile have expressed frustration that they see certain cyclists pick and choose which laws to follow.

Assemblymen Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced their measure on Friday that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as merely yield signs — proceeding with caution if conditions are safe.

 

In effect, it would legalize the so-called California roll, although just for bicyclists.

“It’s pretty compelling that the data supports this kind of change in the law,” said Obernolte, an avid bicyclist. “Their loss of momentum causes them to spend a substantially longer amount of time in the intersection.”

The longer it takes for a bicyclist to pass through an intersection, the greater likelihood that they’ll get hit by an oncoming vehicle, he said.

Research of a similar policy in Idaho, the only state in which bicyclists are currently allowed such freedom, found a decline in bike-related injuries after the law was enacted.

Under the proposed law, bicyclists would still have to stop at red lights, which Obernolte said might motivate them to take less-traveled side roads rather than main roads with traffic signals. That could lessen congestion and boost safety, he said.

Obernolte emphasized that bicyclists would only be allowed to go through a stop sign if it was safe, something they would have to assess as they approach the intersection.

“It’s intentionally vague because it’s left up to the discretion of the bicyclist” he said.

 

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Bicyclists will be able to enjoy new protected bike lanes in downtown Los Angeles as soon as this fall.

From SPCR.org

The new lanes are part of the Main and Spring Forward project, announced by City Councilman Jose Huizar on Sunday. As the name suggests, the lanes will be set up primarily at Main and Spring and the historic core of downtown L.A.

The project’s aim is to “improve intersections and crossings for people walking, and upgrades the existing buffered bicycle lanes to protected bicycle lanes, reduce bus-bicycle conflicts, maximize parking/loading, and increase bus efficiency,” according to a release about the project.

Protected bike lanes typically sit between the sidewalk and a barrier – like concrete or cones – to separate bicyclists from traffic. Huizar told KPCC the lanes downtown will have a different kind of barrier.

“The protection for that dedicated bike lane will be actual cars who park on that space between the dedicated bike lane and moving traffic, so it is making the best use of the streets here to make that possible,” he said.

When there are no parked cars, the city will put down cones. The lanes will also be heavily striped to get drivers’ attention, according to the release.

This first phase of the project has a price tag is estimated at nearly $2 million dollars. There’s no cost yet for the second phase, which calls for more features for the lanes. That phase starts in 2018.

 

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