Weekend Links: Act now for complete streets and more bike funding; Metro releases bikeshare timetable

Calbike says your help is needed to secure funding for bikeways before the state legislature calls it quits for the year next Friday.

Your California Bicycle Coalition has two hugely important bills that will transform how California funds bikeway projects. Now we need your help to show that we have enormous grassroots support for world class #CompleteStreets policies and increased funding for bikeway networks. Here’s what these laws would do:

  1. Implement a Complete Streets policy for state funding: SBX 1-1 will require “new bicycle and pedestrian safety, access, and mobility improvements” in every state-funded road maintenance project. It calls for sidewalks and protected bike lanes or bike paths in transit-dense areas on most roads with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour. Thank you, Senator Jim Beall for proposing sensible complete streets policies.
  2. Increase dedicated funding for biking and walking: ABX 1-23 doubles the size of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) with a $125 million increase. The ATP is the sole source of state funding dedicated to biking, walking and Safe Routes to School projects. Last year, the ATP was underfunded by nearly $800 million—many shovel-ready walking, bicycling and safe school access projects were denied funding. This bill also includes an innovative grant program that will fund complete bikeway networks connecting every destination in communities like yours with unbroken webs of bike paths, protected bike lanes, and quiet bicycle boulevards. Thank you, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia, Autumn Burke, and David Chiu!

Contact your state Senator and Assemblymember now to let them know that you support implementing strong “complete streets” policies and increasing funding for biking and walking.

Streetsblog has more information on the second bill, which would double funding for the Active Transportation Program.

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Looks like Metro has a five-year plan for building out bikeshare in the LA area, starting with Downtown, then expanding to Pasadena, Central LA and University Park. If they stick to the schedule, it will reach Hollywood and WeHo in 2019-20, and most other areas the next year.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica Spoke is recruiting volunteers to do outreach and spread the word about Santa Monica’s new Breeze bikeshare system. They also invite you to become a founding member of LA County’s first bikeshare system.

And the debate goes on over whether helmets are needed for bikeshare bikes.

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I received the following email earlier this week from the author of a new book about ghost bikes.

I have finally finished a project that I have been working on the last few years that is near to my heart. I traveled the country photographing ghost bikes (white bikes places as memorials for cyclist fatalities) and have self published a book called: Don’t Forget Me; Ghost Bikes-A Photographic Memorial by Genea Barnes. I would appreciate if you took a few minutes to check it out and if you like it, share it with those you think might appreciate it. This project has taken a long time, and I really wanted to share the final product with all those that I have reached out to along the way.

The book is divided into 2 sections. The first, the journal of my travels while searching Ghost Bikes, including small photographs that document who the bike was for, and where it was located. The next section includes images that were created from the photographs that I took. The book is hard cover, 148 pages, and measures 10.25in x 10.25in x 0.75in (thick).

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Portugal’s Nelson Oliveira wins stage 13 of the Vuelta in a breakaway from the breakaway group, while American rider Larry Warbasse discusses what it’s like to suffer in a challenging mountain stage.

The editors of Australia’s Ella Cycling Tips respond to the comment by Oleg Tinkov, owner of the Tinkov Saxo team, that Chris Froome was riding like girl as he fought to rejoin the peloton despite a broken foot; they agree, but not the way he meant it.

Cycling News talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney about his long road back from a devastating injury at last year’s nationals, and looks forward to the coming world championships in Richmond VA. He says the Americans will be on the offensive, while the US men’s and women’s teams were unveiled Friday.

No surprise here, as the Astana team has been booted from the anti-doping Movement for Credible Cycling after letting teammate Lars Boom compete with an un-credible cortisone level, not to mention the five Astana riders busted for doping. And it wasn’t just my imagination; four riders in the pro peloton have been taken out by race motorcycles this year.

The Guardian says cycling shouldn’t forget its rich history and tradition, despite a proposal to develop a “season-long narrative” to produce a single champion at the end of the year.

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Local

The Guardian offers a pretty good look at LA’s underground bike racing scene. If you can look past describing riding groups as “tribes” and “gangs.” Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Calling all planners. Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office is looking for a “seasoned” professional to join their staff as Senior Planner. After last night’s curry, I’m pretty seasoned myself.

CicLAvia introduces the people behind the scenes who bring you the world’s largest open streets event.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike a Long Beach family who uses it as therapy for their two-year old autistic kid.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the parks of Long Beach this Sunday.

The Grand Opening of Metro’s first Bike Hub is scheduled for 10 am to noon on Monday, the 14th at the El Monte Metro Bus Station. Show up with your bike and get a free 30-day Metro Bike Hub Pass.

 

State

A Dana Point woman faces a second degree murder charge for killing a woman who was walking in a bike lane with her blind grandson, after knocking back at least a dozen drinks before she got behind the wheel.

This is what the air rescue of an injured cyclist looks like from the perspective of a Contra Costa County rescue team.

Modesto residents pitch in to replace a 75-year old man’s recumbent bike after it was stolen; the bike was the only form of transportation for him and his wife, both of whom are being treated for cancer.

An 11-year old Hollister boy killed in a collision five weeks ago was riding brakeless, though police aren’t sure if that was why he apparently rode out in front of a bus.

 

National

Someone’s assaulting cyclists in Portland to enforce their own vigilante rules about who should ride on a bike path, and how.

Protected bike lanes are coming to Provo UT.

Accidently start an Idaho wildfire while on a mountain bike poop break, and get a bill of up to $75,000 to put it out.

Two-thirds of the bike collisions in Sioux Falls SD involve people riding on the sidewalk.

Boston Magazine responds to that anti-bike screed in the Boston Globe earlier this week, while the local public radio station says bicycling remains a relatively safe way to get around the city, but could be made safer.

The NYPD’s 19th precinct cracks down on cyclists while virtually ignoring people in the big dangerous machines; they ticketed more cyclists in three hours than they did speeding drivers in seven months.

Evidently, they get right on it if you steal a bike from a B-list New York celeb, though.

A writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution complains about proposed bike lanes on Peachtree Street, saying it might increase the 1% who ride bikes to 2%.

 

International

The head of Canada’s Green Party can’t ride a bike. Personally, I’d rather see a politician who doesn’t ride a bike but supports bicycling than someone who can but doesn’t.

The Economist says there’s a worldwide shift under way from keeping cars moving to making it easier to walk, cycle and play on city streets.

In yet another piece from the Guardian, a former bike courier explains why he rode 150 miles to donate his bike the people in a French refugee camp.

A London bike safety campaign puts candidates for mayor on the spot, asking them to commit to a 10-point plan to Stop Killing Cyclists.

In China, if a driver hits someone, it pays for them to make sure their victim is dead. Even if that means backing up to run over them again. Thanks to Alan Thompson and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Don’t drive drunk on an Iowa bike path at 4:30 in the morning. Don’t shoot your boss if he tells you not to ride your bike to your second floor office, and don’t beat your neighbor to death if he complains about how a boy is riding his bike.

And once again, Bikeyface nails it.

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Get out there and enjoy the great SoCal weather this weekend. But don’t forget that three day weekends mean more drunk and distracted drivers on the roads, especially with both UCLA and USC opening their football seasons at home on Saturday. So ride safely and defensively, wherever you ride. I want to see you back here next week.

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Barring any breaking news, BikinginLA will be off Monday for Labor Day. We’ll see you bright and early Tuesday morning.

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan battle isn’t over yet, new ARTCRANK website, and rear-end wrecks are most deadly

We may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the bikelash is spreading to some neighborhood councils, particularly in Silver Lake, which voted to reconsider its support for the new Mobility Plan 2035.

That same bikelash could also be reflected in the Silver Lake NC’s decision to hold a public meeting to discuss the Rowena Avenue road diet on Monday the 12th.

Rowena was the subject of a recent story in the LA Times, which showed it had significantly improved safety by cutting crashes over 50%. However, some people complained about increased congestion on the street and the surrounding neighborhood, even though average speeds were still equal to the posted speed limit or higher, depending on direction of travel.

That’s in addition to defending the Mobility Plan against motions by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Curren Price to remove planned bikeways on Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the plan. Let alone anti-bike Gil Cedillo’s scorched-earth motion to remove his entire council district from it.

Apparently, he never got over not getting that shiny red Schwinn he wanted from Santa.

Newton says those motions will most likely rear their ugly heads in committee sometime next month. When they do, we’ll have to be prepared for all out war to save the Mobility Plan from piecemeal destruction.

Because if opponents see it’s possible to remove one street from the plan, we’ll end up having to defend nearly every street in it. And it will go from a unified, well-thought out network designed to improve safety and mobility for everyone, to the same fractured system of unconnected bike lanes and virtually unrideable routes we have now.

Clearly, the recent passage of the plan doesn’t mean the fight is over. We still face a lot of battles to defend it before any paint hits the street.

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Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

I’ve long been a fan of the annual ARTCRANK poster exhibitions, offering local artists a chance to sell their limited edition bike-related designs to fellow fans of two-wheeled travel.

But if you missed the show, as I did the last few times it came around, you were out of luck.

But now they’ve — finally — developed a website, allowing you to order original bike art from the comfort of your own home or office, whenever the mood strikes.

As the press release says,

The new online store will be structured similar to ARTCRANK’s live shows, offering 30 different poster designs by 30 different artists in limited edition runs of — you guessed it — 30 prints, all priced at $45. Posters will be sold on the site for 30 days or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

The biggest difference is that, where ARTCRANK’s events feature local artists exclusively, the new online poster shop will feature artists from all over the U.S. and beyond. And of course, buying posters won’t require being physically present at one-night pop-up show.

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Evidently, rear-end collisions are more dangerous than we’ve been lead to believe.

Research from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety shows 45% of bicycling fatalities were hit from behind, while 22% were the result of side impacts at intersections.

The report adds that currently existing technology could be modified to enable car anti-collision systems to identify cyclists and help prevent wrecks with bike riders.

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Dutch rider Danny van Poppel took stage 12 of the Vuelta in a sprint finish.

Turns out Tour de France champ Chris Froome had a good reason for cracking in Wednesday’s stage, as he withdrew Thursday with a broken foot. And American Larry Warbasse isn’t just looking for a stage victory in the Vuelta, he’s looking for a riding contract for next year.

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Local

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear says LA’s coming bikeshare program could end up being a leader by incorporating it into Metro’s transit system, as well as LA’s city bureaucracy.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the documentary Bikes Vs Cars, which focuses in part on riding in LA.

The Spoke Bicycle Café located along the LA River bike path in Frogtown plans to add a full service restaurant, complete with coffee roaster and microbrewery. Go ahead and load up on coffee before you ride, but save the beer for the end.

Cynergy Cycles shares a favorite ride from Santa Monica to the Palos Verdes switchbacks.

A $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor has helped supply Glendale bike cops with twelve new police bikes.

 

State

Evidently, Santa Ana has never heard of a road diet, as the city approves an environmental impact statement for a roadway widening that will require the demolition of 37 residential and 15 commercial properties in order to install bike lanes and a third traffic lane in each direction.

An Encinitas man plans to walk a 10k this weekend, just nine months after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision.

A Fresno boy somehow jumped off his bike moments before it was crushed under a packed school bus.

Bicyclists offer their recommendations for the best bike rides in San Joaquin County.

A candidate for San Francisco supervisor says he supports bike lanes on Polk Street, despite consulting with the group suing to prevent them.

A San Francisco writer offers what he calls an honest guide to startup life in the city, which includes this misguided paragraph:

Those with a death wish cycle to work. It is easy to spot a cyclist. If you see a guy with one side of his jeans rolled up to the shin, he is a moron; if you see a guy on a bicycle, he is a cyclist.

 

National

The editorial editor of a Milwaukee paper says bike safety is a shared responsibility.

This could be a glimpse into LA’s future, as Minneapolis invests heavily in protected bikeways.

Bono says his chances of playing guitar again aren’t looking good following last year’s solo bike wreck in New York’s Central Park.

A Virginia bike rider receives a $300,000 jury award after colliding with a runner who turned around without warning on a shared path. I try to avoid similar situations by passing others with as much space as possible on shared paths, and always calling it out before I pass. Although if they’re wearing ear buds, chances are they won’t hear you anyway.

 

International

A British Columbia bike rider somehow survives a collision with a semi-truck when he grabs the truck’s brake line and holds on for dear life — literally.

The widow of a fallen cyclist calls for more dedicated bike lanes in London.

A writer gives a different perspective on what it’s like to be a female cyclist in London, saying the city is your oyster. Unless you’re allergic to shellfish, of course, or Vegan, in which case it’s your semi-firm tofu.

A British man thanks a recent fall from his bike for uncovering an aggressive malignant tumor that could have killed him.

A woman plans to ride solo across India to raise awareness for women’s safety; she’s raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for the trip.

 

Finally…

A news smartphone app not only reports any potholes you hit, it marks the offending pavement with paint to alert other riders. That new derailleur you’re lusting after is electric, so why not your sunglasses?

And there’s still a place for bike messengers in today’s e-world. As long as you’re willing to move to Jakarta.

 

Morning Links: Avoiding bike/car collisions, too much bike theft news, and new bike coffee shop in DTLA

Let’s see what you have to say.

I was forwarded a link to this website on how to avoid the 12 most common types of bicycle/vehicle accidents by one of the people who helped create it.

While it has some good advice, a few things jumped out at me. Like use of the term “accident,” for instance. And the stat saying 75% of collisions at controlled intersections are caused by bike riders going through stop signs.

Which sounds like the sort of victim blaming the CHP loves to indulge in. And makes me wonder just where they got their stats, since it’s not credited on the site.

But before I offer my opinion, I want to know what you think.

Just leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll forward them to the person who sent it to me.

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Too much bike theft news today.

Bikes continue to disappear in DTLA, with six stolen in one recent week, including two from the Downtown library.

Santa Rosa police bust three bike rustlers with a bait bike.

After a Duluth boy’s bike was stolen off his porch, his mom tracks it down. And in the processes, uncovers a bicycle chop shop with 20 other stolen bikes.

A Dallas mom posts a hand-written notice saying some low-life made her seven-year old daughter cry by stealing her new bike.

A North Carolina writer offers advice on how not to get your bike stolen.

And it’s nice to have a big heart, and want to replace a kid’s stolen bike. But first, make sure you’re in the same town, and not another one with the same name 800 miles away.

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Chris Froome cracks following a crash on one of the toughest stages ever to grace a world tour, while Astana’s Mikel Landa takes the stage and Fabio Aru slips on the Vuelta leader’s jersey. And yet another rider is knocked out of the race by a collision with a motorbike.

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Local

Fascinating OpEd from a former New York traffic commissioner and engineer on LA’s new Mobility Plan, saying accessibility trumps mobility and increased congestion can be a good thing.

Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg says the tide appears to be turning against CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who is up for re-election in 2017.

Streetsblog says the promised community outreach is lacking on some of the city’s Great Streets, while Cesar Chavez Ave in Boyle Heights appears to be a test case for Vision Zero.

KPCC looks at the UCSF study saying hospital admissions due to bicycling injuries more than doubled over a 15 year period. Here’s my thoughts, in case you missed it yesterday.

A new bike shop/vintage-inspired hangout/specialty coffee destination called The Wheelhouse will be opening soon on 6th Street in DTLA’s Arts District.

 

State

A coalition calls on the state legislature to provide $600 million a year in transit funding, as well as making it safer and easier to bike and walk to transit.

Sorry, Orange County. No 2024 Olympic bike races for you.

Nice. An annual OC Bike Camp teaches children with disabilities how to ride bikes.

A cyclist suffered minor injuries in a left cross collision in Newport Beach Wednesday morning.

A 47-year old cyclist was killed while riding salmon in Modesto Wednesday evening, the second bicycling fatality in the city this week.

A writer for the SF Chronicle says Critical Mass is dying of self-inflicted wounds, in the city where it started but may not be needed anymore. Than again, it wasn’t his song that was playing in the background during the U-lock car bashing.

Turns out you don’t have to risk your life on busy highways to do a wine tour by bike; you can tour wineries in the Russian River Valley on a 5-1/2 mile off-road pathway.

 

National

Maybe a car isn’t the best place to raise your kids after all.

MTV discovers the art of artistic cycling.

A Washington man faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges after running down a cyclist as she rode on the shoulder of a highway.

Colorado’s DOT quickly shelves a tasteless, victim-blaming pedestrian safety campaign.

Taking a page from LA’s playbook, Cheyenne WY paints new bike lanes, but doesn’t bother to fix the cracks and potholes first.

A Montana writer comes across a tense confrontation after two men in a Jeep threaten a pair of cyclists.

A Chicago writer applauds bike riders for taking cars off the roads. She just doesn’t want bikes on them, either. Or bike lanes. And thinks cyclists should all pass a test and carry a license plate because she’s quite sure none ever stop for traffic signals.

Like the writer above, readers of New York’s Daily News seem convinced bike riders are the problem. Because it can’t be the people in the big dangerous machines that kill over 30,000 people a year in the US, right?

A New Jersey man faces up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist; he faces a murder charge in another case.

Newark NJ parents are peeved that police have suddenly begun enforcing the city’s bike registration law. The LA city council repealed a similar law several years back after police used it as a pretext to stop, search and ticket bike riders.

The Baltimore Orioles honor Cal Ripken, Jr. for his 2,131 consecutive game streak, a day after he pulled an endo while riding his bike.

 

International

Former Calgary Flames pro hockey player Cory Sarich is looking for work 14 months after a horrific collision with a truck while riding his bike.

British advocates question why safety improvements made to London trucks to protect bicyclists shouldn’t be applied everywhere else. Good question.

London’s bike seat-melting office tower has been named Britain’s worst building for 2015.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike rider’s lights and wallet while he lay unconscious in the street after crashing his bike.

Dubai is planning the world’s largest indoor bike park, with nearly 9,000 square feet of trails, obstacles and walls built from recycled materials.

 

Finally…

Your next taillight could flash multi-colors and call for help in an emergency. Cycling caps move from hipster fashion statement to haute couture on the catwalk. Full disclosure, I own three myself; I don’t know if that makes me a hipster or a fashion model.

And a new British e-bike appears to be a 20 mph cross between a recumbent and an egg.

 

Morning Links: New study says bike injuries increasing, but without context; comedian rants riding through LA

Another study attempts to paint bicycling as a dangerous activity, especially for riders over 45.

The study from UC San Francisco shows that bicycling injuries have nearly doubled over a 15-year period ending in 2013, which they acknowledge coincides with the boom in bicycling.

Looking at it another way, the rate of injuries per 100,000 people has increased 28%, with the biggest increase coming among riders over 45, which jumped to 42% of reported injuries.

On the other hand, the number of people riding bikes has increased dramatically, rising as much as 32% in LA in a recent three year period, and 174% in Minneapolis in just five years, according to stats from People for Bikes.

And much of that increase has come from people over 45, as bicycling has become the new golf, as the press loves to tell us.

So it’s only natural to expect that both the rate and number of bicycling injuries would go up. It’s just as likely that the injury rate among cyclists, rather than the general population, may have gone down or stayed the same.

More troubling is the news that the most serious types of injuries have increased. According to the study, the rate of hospitalization due to bicycling injuries more than doubled, while the proportion of head injuries increased 60% over that period, and torso injuries jumped 21%.

That would imply that more bike riders are getting hit by cars, perhaps due to more people riding in an urban environment, as the author of the study suggests.

Which means the solution is not urging greater caution among older riders, or frightening them off their bikes, but improving safety for all cyclists in our cities.

But until someone takes the extra step of placing bike injuries in context with solid ridership stats, studies like this are interesting, but ultimately, meaningless.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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This one’s worth checking out, as a bike riding comedian Mario Joyner captures his rants on GoPro while riding the streets of LA.

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Aussie rider Michael Rogers will get the Olympic bronze medal he didn’t win in Athens in 2004, after gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping three years ago.

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Local

Who says LA wasn’t a bike city? As this photo shows, they were the perfect way to get to a 1940s cowboy matinee. Looks like bike corrals are nothing new, either.

Bike SGV wants your support to help turn the massive Puente Hills landfill into LA County’s first bike park.

Examined Spoke questions why Milt Olin’s death has never been reported to California’s official SWITRS database. Why, indeed?

Vancouver’s Modacity will present Observations from an Emerging Bicycle Culture in Santa Monica and Echo Park next month.

 

State

The mayors of seven California cities, including LA and Lon Beach, call on the state to act now to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, including the need for comprehensive bike networks. Let’s not forget bad roads pose a greater risk to the safety of bicyclists than they do to motorists.

To no one’s surprise, Coronado’s NIMBYs have succeeded in killing a proposed bike path along the beach. The way residents reacted, you would have thought someone had suggested rerouting the 5 Freeway through their bucolic burgh.

Maybe bike collisions wouldn’t be rising so fast in Hanford if police would stop blaming the victims and focus on the people in the big, dangerous machines.

The LA Times provides more details on the San Francisco U-lock attack, in which a salmon cyclist breaking the rules of Critical Mass whacked a car with his lock after the driver bumped his bike.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee says a beautiful network of bike lanes will mean nothing if people are afraid to park their bikes out of fear of bike thieves. She’s right; LA’s efforts to encourage more people to ride instead of driving will be doomed if their bikes are gone when it’s time to ride back home.

 

National

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says our bike-riding president has done a lot to aid bicycling, but your voice is needed to ensure further progress. Meanwhile, the Feds tell risk averse traffic engineers to get off their ass and stop using them as an excuse.

Sarah Goodyear explains why we call crashes “accidents” and why we need to stop, while bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains what to do if you’re in one.

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes are seven times more likely to encourage people to ride.

Now that’s more like it. A Portland man apologizes for an ill-advised tweet, and says he doesn’t really believe anyone should run over people on bikes.

The cast of Breaking Away will reunite at Interbike in Las Vegas this month, including Dennis Christopher, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley and Dennis Quaid. If they can get Robyn Douglass to show up, I’m in.

In Houston, cycling concierges will deliver virtually anything you want directly to your door.

This is so wrong in so many ways. A Boston writer, who has evidently never met a bike rider, says bikes don’t belong on urban roads. Note to Jeff Jacoby: Like most bicyclists, I have a drivers license. And we pay the same taxes you do.

A New York bike website talks with the man riding a bikeshare bike from NYC to LA.

Washington DC will teach all second grade students how to ride a bike, which used to be standard practice for schools around the country. Growing up in Colorado, every kid received bike education in elementary school, ensuring that they all grew up knowing the rules of the road.

A South Carolina website gets it, saying motorists must respect the right of bicyclists to use the road on equal terms, but bike riders should assume most drivers don’t know that.

Alabama’s Tuskegee University has partnered with a local bank to give students a free bikeshare program.

A Birmingham AL grand jury will be convened to investigate the death of a prominent African American businessman killed when the driver of a pickup plowed into three riders with the Black People Run Bike and Swim group; the other two were airlifted to a local hospital. Traffic crimes don’t normally go to a grand jury; so the question is whether the DA is just covering his ass, or if there’s something they’re not telling us.

 

International

A British soccer player is banned from driving and gets a year of community service for DUI after plowing into three cyclists who stopped on the sidewalk to fix a broken chain. Yes, they were on the sidewalk when he hit them.

Famed Italian automotive designer Pininfarina has teamed with DeRosa to produce a lightweight, low-drag carbon racing bike.

Denmark will send its first astronaut into space today. To test bike parts, of course.

Syrian refugees are exploiting a legal loophole by bicycling across the border between Russia and Norway, which bans crossings by foot or car.

A South African website offers a photo essay on bicycling in Eritrea.

New Zealand is considering requiring a 1.5 meter passing distance for bicycles, the equivalent of nearly five feet.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a different looking bike, although it doesn’t look like something an Imperial storm trooper would ride. Your next water bottle could be a bike light; then again, your next foldie could be, too.

And you know you suck as a driver when even a car enthusiast website says you should lose your license for doing a massive burnout after an argument with a cyclist.

 

Morning Links: OC driver faces DUI vehicular manslaughter charge, and a long listing of bike academic papers

The Orange County DA’s office may not move fast, but they take traffic crimes seriously.

I’m told they just filed a felony charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence against Michael John Perez in the death of Michael Bastien one year ago today.

Bastien was riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane when he was run down from behind by the car driven by Perez, who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI.

He now faces between four and ten years in state prison upon conviction.

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Great post from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, as they ditch the usual weekly blog roundup in favor of recent academic papers regarding bicycling. I don’t know about you, but this should keep me reading for the next week, at least.

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Pro cyclist Kris Boeckmans will remain in a medically induced coma for at least a week after crashing hard in the Vuelta.

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Local

The LA Weekly catches up on DTLA’s coming bikeshare program.

Ryan Seacrest really is one of us now. He was sideswiped by a car while riding in the bike lane on San Vicente Blvd and knocked into another cyclist; needless to say, the driver claimed she never saw him. And apparently didn’t care. Sounds like an obvious violation of the three-foot passing law violation, along with a failure to yield.

Over a dozen bike riding firefighters roll through Malibu on their way to Santa Monica on the final leg of a 400 mile fundraising ride from Sausalito.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for an Outreach/Communications Director, as well as a part-time tour guide.

 

State

The California legislature’s second attempt to create a hit-and-run alert system using freeway signs now awaits Governor Brown’s veto pen signature; he vetoed a similar bill last year.

An injured off-road rider was airlifted out of Crystal Cove State Park Sunday evening.

OC cyclists are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on improving regional bicycling connectivity in the foothills area.

Caught on video: A San Francisco Critical Mass cyclist attacks a car with his U-lock after the driver bumps him when the rider blocks his car while riding on the wrong side of the road. Just Another Cyclist says this shows the time for Critical Mass has passed. Incidents like this only serve to convince the general public we’re all Critical Massholes, since most don’t seem to be able to distinguish the actions of one jerk on a bike from the rest of us.

A former bike messenger recalls the glory days of two-wheeled risk-taking delivery in the Bay Area.

A business group calls for reinstalling a third traffic lane on the undulating Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, which would force bikes into the traffic lane, rather than riding on the shoulder as they can now.

A Vacaville driver is arrested for a hit-and-run that left a bike rider with major injuries; a friend of the victim spotted the damaged truck in the trailer park where she lives.

Bad news from NorCal, as a 16-year old bike rider was killed in Hanford, and a 79-year old man died after being hit by multiple cars in Modesto; most of the drivers in that crash fled the scene.

 

National

Riders in Vancouver WA will soon enjoy the city’s first raised bike lane.

Interesting idea, as Chicago allows developers to buy a new bikeshare station in front of their properties. Something like this could help LA’s nascent system expand faster than planned.

Minnesota Public Radio hosts a discussion on bridging the gap between commuter and recreational cyclists.

It’s the usual argument in Duluth MN, as bicyclists call for a protected bike lane on a major street, while business owners argue against a loss of parking spaces. Because no one on a bike ever spends money, right?

It’s one thing to ride a bike to school; two Connecticut men are written up for riding on one.

There are a lot of good people out there. Rhode Island man replaces a boys mountain bike after it was stolen.

Streetsblog NYC says banning bikes from exiting the bridge to Roosevelt Island isn’t the way to improve safety.

New York cyclists will get their first bus bike racks on a route crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Seriously, don’t ride through a construction zone after dark or you might go off a cliff, as one Pennsylvania bike rider learned the hard way.

 

International

Make your plans for the first Gran Fondo in Havana this October, newly accessible to Americans thanks to the recent rapprochement between the US and Cuba.

Alberta cyclists call for an Idaho stop law.

A West London man will serve six months in jail after losing an appeal on his conviction for beating a cyclist with a baseball bat after the rider kicked his car during a dispute.

Dublin considers making bike and car sharing mandatory for all new apartment buildings in the city center.

Paris plans to take ciclovía a step further by banning cars from most of the city’s streets for one day later this month.

Treehugger takes a photographic ride along the new bike and pedestrian bridges of Copenhagen.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews rise up in opposition to a planned bikeshare system in Jerusalem, fearing it will desecrate the Sabbath.

After Christchurch, New Zealand suffered a devastating earthquake, the city used it at an opportunity to return to its roots as a bicycling city.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be 3D printed and turned into compost when you’re done with it. Nothing like having a few hundred naked bike riders photobomb your wedding photos.

And if you’ve used your bike as a getaway vehicle after successfully robbing five banks, don’t ditch it after the sixth one.

 

Today’s post, in which I remember a friend. Rest in peace, Howard Krepack.

I knew this day was coming.

But the news still hit hard. And hurt like hell.

According to Streetsblog LA, Howard Krepack, one of LA’s first lawyers specializing in bicycle cases, passed away on Saturday, and was buried Monday afternoon.

I had the pleasure of knowing Howard, and was happy to call him a friend. He had a warmth and good humor that welcomed everyone, and made anyone he met feel like an old friend.

With the possible exception of opposing counsel.

Bicycling wasn’t just the focus of his practice, it was his passion. And he was committed to doing what he could help it thrive in the City of Angels, from supporting the LACBC and websites like Streetsblog and BikinginLA, to doing whatever he could to help injured cyclists.

A long time member of Velo Club La Grange, he had the skill to drop riders half his age. Unless he’d rather just ride alongside, discussing everything from the latest frames and components to how the streets could be made safer for cyclists.

Or just how great it felt to be out for a ride on a typically beautiful LA day.

Howard made sure I rode in to the first few CicLAvias with him and his riding buddies. And made a point of including me as part of the team he sponsored for River Ride every year, whether I was able to ride with them, or busy volunteering at the LACBC booth.

I probably learned as much about bike law from Howard the few times we rode together as I have from any other source.

It was devastating news when I learned, shortly after one of those River Rides, that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A disease that slowly robs those it afflicts of the ability to control their own bodies. The mind remains sharp, but trapped in a body that no longer functions; first, unable to ride a bike, then walk or speak, and finally, unable to breath.

He already knew he was suffering from an incurable, and inevitably fatal, illness as we had a long discussion that day. Yet there was no hint of it in his bright smile and broad laughter.

And he continued to practice law, first on his own, then through his associates at the firm, managing cases from his home once he could no longer make it to the courthouse, for as long as he was able.

I kept touch with him for awhile after that, first through email, then through his assistant Lisa as the disease took its toll.

Then lost touch as I struggled with my own illness, and an upgrade from Apple robbed me of the contents of my address book.

Yet even so, he served as an inspiration to me on my darkest days.

From some reason, though, he’d been on my mind lately. I’d been meaning to reach out to his law firm to see if Lisa was still there, and had any news about him. And ask her to pass along my friendship and best wishes.

Sadly, I waited too long.

I’ll miss Howard.

And whether or not you knew him, so will you, as LA bicyclists has lost a true champion, in every sense of the word.

The good always die too soon.

Update: Howard and his family have created a fund in his honor at The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins under the leadership of Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein. To donate and read more about this fund, please visit: http://bit.ly/KrepackForACure.

………

Howard Krepack contributed a few guest columns to this site, based on his knowledge of the law, as well as his own intimate knowledge of cycling; you can read them here and here.

I’ll try to get Tuesday’s Morning Links online a little later today. To be honest, I just can’t write anymore right now.

 

Unidentified bike rider killed while crossing Terminal Island Freeway

Once again, a bike rider has died on a Southern California freeway.

According to the Long Beach Gazettes, the victim was illegally crossing the Terminal Island Freeway north of PCH in Long Beach around midnight last night when he was hit by a semi-truck at 11:56 pm.

Like most California freeways, bikes are banned from the highway, also known as the 103 Freeway.

The victim, who was not carrying identification, was in the left lane of the northbound side when he was stuck by the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a four lane highway with an unobstructed center divider, making it relatively easy to cross; the victim may not have expected to encounter traffic at that hour.

My News LA places the time of the initial call at 11:56 pm Sunday, while the Gazettes says the police were dispatched at 12:07 pm.

He is identified only as appearing to be in his 60s, while the coroner’s office attempts to determine his ID.

This is the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Jaimes Guadalupe.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaimes Guadalupe and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: LA signs off on new pilot bikeshare system for DTLA, and a wild weekend at the Vuelta

It’s official.

Bikeshare is coming to Downtown LA.

A pilot project consisting of 1090 bikes and 65 docking stations is projected to open next year, in a partnership between Metro and LADOT.

Metro is picking up the $5.8 million tab for the bikes and docking stations through a pair of grants, while the estimated $5.2 million in operating costs for the first two years will be split 35%/65% between Metro and the city.

Metro retains the naming rights for the system, while LA will have advertising rights for the docking stations.

The system will be operated by Bicycle Transit Systems, Inc. (BTS) and partner BCycle, chosen in part for a promised ability to incorporate payment through Metro’s Tap Card system. However, the system will likely be incompatible with Santa Monica’s new Breeze bikeshare, and the coming systems in West Hollywood, Long Beach, Beverly Hills and UCLA.

It’s hoped the program will eventually expand to other areas, such as Hollywood, Mid-City, North Hollywood and Venice.

Maybe that will force the city to build out the newly passed Mobility Plan in those areas to give users a safe place to ride.

………

The Vuelta a España lived up to its wild reputation on Saturday.

The Euro Sport website bizarrely accused Peter Sagan of sulking and having a meltdown worthy of the Hulk after he was knocked down by a race moto just 10 km from a possible stage victory, and forced to withdraw due to his injuries just a day later. Under those circumstance, even Gandhi would be pretty pissed off.

Meanwhile, Belgium rider Kris Boeckmans is in a medically induced coma after a multi-rider pileup that began when he hit a pothole; he suffered severe facial trauma, as well as a concussion, broken ribs and bleeding in one of his lungs.

American Teejay van Garderen’s hard-luck year continued, as he was knocked out of the race with a broken shoulder in the same wreck; two other riders were forced to withdraw, as well. The injury will keep van Garderen out of next month’s world championships in Richmond VA.

Trek rider Jasper Stuyven won the day on Saturday, despite finishing with a broken wrist, while Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin came back to beat Chris Froome at the wire in Sunday’s stage to regain the winner’s jersey.

………

In other racing news, Britain’s Lizzie Armistead wins in Belgium to successfully defend her title in the Women’s World Cup; her victory wasn’t determined until the last lap of the year’s last race.

An Alaska woman set a new record in the grueling 2,745 Tour Divide, as she beat the previous women’s record by two days. Despite riding with bronchitis. And despite it being just her second long-distance race. And despite riding 2,100 miles from Anchorage to Banff before she even got to the starting line. Then she did it again two months later, beating her own record by another day and a half.

Twenty years after the county’s mass genocide, a team from Rwanda will be competing in the world championships in Richmond.

And a pair of university professors say maybe it’s time to legalize safe doping in professional sports, since cheating is going to happen anyway. Although a new study from a Spanish University suggests you should be doping at your local Starbucks.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman suggests the first step in LA’s Vision Zero should be to stop cops and parking enforcement officers from parking in bike lanes.

A man was stopped by Santa Monica police while riding one bike and pulling another behind him; he claimed he had bought the second bike, which doesn’t explain a backpack full of burglary tools and stolen documents.

Mind your bike Ps and Qs in El Monte on Monday, as the police plan a crackdown on traffic violations by motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to improve bike/ped safety.

As we mentioned last week, Ryan Seacrest is one of us now.

 

State

Southern California Bicyclist profiles Calbike board member and bike blogger Janet Lafleur.

Another group of San Diego bike riders were harassed while riding on sharrows, just days after police there ignored harassment of a group of shadow-riding cyclists, and hit-and-run that followed.

Coronado’s council will reconsider a study to determine if the town should build a bike path along the beach in the face of vocal NIMBY opposition. Meanwhile, a local paper shows other SoCal city’s have built bike paths on the beach without the world coming to an end.

A Palm Springs man gets 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist Edward James Shaieb when prosecutors agreed to drop a felony murder charge. It was the second offense for Brandon Royce Melton, who had gotten off with just three years probation for driving with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit in 2007. More evidence that lenient sentences for DUI only serve to keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

Cathedral City wants to speed up construction of their segment of the CV Link, a proposed 50-mile bikeway looping through the Coachella Valley.

A Bakersfield writer faces the moral dilemma of whether to give away his only spare tube to a stranded rider.

San Luis Obispo honors a 70-year old bike advocate by naming a bikeway after him.

This gives a whole new meaning to hybrid bike, as Clovis police are looking for anyone crazy enough to steal a rusted, homemade bicycle-rotating mower.

A San Francisco woman completes a solo, 80-day journey across the US on an e-bike powered by a 10-pound solar panel.

Robin Williams was a frequent visitor of Marin County bike shops; now his heirs are fighting over his collection of high-end bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Jensie is hosting his own Gran Fondo in Marin County this October. Which will give people up there one more thing to complain about, in addition to objecting to tourists on bikes.

 

National

People for Bikes suggests what better Census data on bicycling could look like.

Bicycling offers advice on bike riding etiquette for shared pathways.

A new study tells us what we already knew. Drivers respond better to signs saying “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” than “Share the Road.”

A Portland cop borrows a bike to chase down a hit-and-run suspect who crashed into the Thai restaurant where the officer had just finished eating.

Des Moines IA risks falling behind as other cities become more bike friendly, such as the nearby suburb of Johnson, which just opened the state’s first protected bike lane. Meanwhile, the Des Moines paper bemoans the lack of bike helmet laws in the state, mistakenly equating them with seatbelts.

Amtrak finally allows cyclists to roll their bikes onto the train. But only as a demonstration project on the Chicago to DC line. And with a $25 ticket surcharge.

A hero cyclist visiting from Argentina puts out a burning car and rescues the driver after it went off the road in Maine’s Acadia National Park.

A New York man is going to owe a huge late fee after checking out one of New York’s bikeshare bikes and riding to Los Angeles; he’s already been gone three and a half weeks, which is just a tad over the usual 45 minute limit.

Bicyclists aren’t even safe from hit-and-run drivers when they’re not on the road. A New Jersey rider was hit by a car when he stopped to fix his bike on a grassy median.

In a rare victory for common sense, a Charleston newspaper says rather than fighting over a bike lane on a local bridge, just try it out and see if it works.

Tampa Bay police have cut back on ticketing cyclists for biking while black.

 

International

It takes major chutzpah to strip a locked bike down to its frame right outside the local office of the Royal Canadian Mounties, who didn’t bother to get their man in this case.

Two British brothers will spend the next few years behind bars after headbutting a bike rider and beating him senseless with a crowbar over a long-standing grudge.

Bike cam-using Brit cyclists are accused of self-righteously goading drivers into misbehaving so they can post the video online. Sort of like the case of a road raging Scottish driver who became a victim of instant karma by rear-ending the car ahead after an argument with a cyclist.

Two of the eleven people killed the recent UK air show disaster when a fighter jet crashed into a highway were just out for a Saturday bike ride.

Maybe it’s time to take a tour through the wine country. Like in France’s Loire Valley. Or Australia’s Barossa and Eden Valleys.

An Aussie website offers advice on selling bikes to women.

 

Finally…

Cycling Weekly lists the five best bicycle songs, before concluding that there really aren’t any decent ones. LA cyclists only have to worry about angry drivers; Denver bike riders have to contend with angry bears.

And you, too, can have an ultra lightweight limited edition bike with 24-karat detailing if you have a spare $27,773 lying around.

 

Palmdale man killed in rear-end collision while riding to work early Wednesday morning

Bad news from North LA County, as a bike commuter lost his life in a collision earlier this week.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, 40-year old Palmdale resident Jeff Aubrey McGrath was riding south on Sierra Highway north of Pearblossom Highway around 4:40 am Wednesday when he was rear-ended by a car traveling in the same direction.

The paper reports the driver remained at the scene, and did not appear to be intoxicated.

A story in Thursday’s Antelope Valley Press, which is not available online, indicates McGrath was riding in the right lane on his way to work when he was hit, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

McGrath had worked as a farm handyman for over 15 years, and often came into work very early.

A street view shows a narrow shoulder, with the right lane merging into a single lane shortly above Pearblossom.

There’s no word on whether he was using lights or reflectors, nearly two hours before sunrise, or why the driver apparently didn’t see him.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeff McGrath and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Honked at for riding sharrows, Vision Zero lost in Mobility Plan fallout, and upcoming bike events

Digital Slurry offers video evidence of what we already know.

Many drivers just don’t get sharrows.

And don’t have a lot of patience when they find a bike riding legally in front of them, regardless of whether there’s a picture of a bike with an oversized pointy hat painted on the street.

His bike cam video was shot while riding in Venice. But anyone who has ridden on sharrows in Hollywood, or most anywhere else in LA, has probably had the same experience.

Meanwhile, On My Bike LA offers a video response to Bruce Feldman’s Op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the Mobility Plan.

………

The big news this week was the announcement of LA’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities in just the next 10 years.

Or at least, it should have been.

*crickets*

Instead, everyone still seems to be shocked! shocked! that LA would possibly consider removing traffic lanes in order to improve mobility. Let alone safety.

At least the LA Times has remained rational, turning the new Mobility Plan into a very cool interactive map that allows you explore the road changes proposed as part of the plan.

The Los Feliz Ledger, on the other hand, says everyone was taken by surprise by the passage of the plan, even though it had a four year public process — even longer of you count the 2010 bike plan, which was incorporated into it — along with a dedicated website and 20 public meetings.

Then again, 91.4% of Angelenos couldn’t even be bothered to vote in the last election, never mind actually get involved in a process that will shape our streets and city for the next 20 years.

Seriously, if you don’t get involved with your own local government, who’s fault is that?

………

Time to catch up on upcoming bike events.

Metro is offering more free bike safety classes throughout the LA region this weekend.

Join the Eastside Bike Club to walk or bike this Saturday to trace the footsteps of LA’s first settlers.

A memorial ride will be held in Huntington Beach this Saturday to remember fallen cyclist and hit-and-run victim Michael Vega.

Bike riders are invited to join the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and Caltrans to ride the Santa Ana River Trail on Saturday to show the need to finish the trail.

Bike SGV is hosting the last bike train of the summer this Sunday starting at Santa Fe Dam.

The LACBC’s September Sunday Funday Ride rolls through Long Beach, with a 25-mile guided tour of parks, lagoons and universities.

Metro’s new El Monte Bike Hub — the first of what will hopefully be many throughout the region — has its grand opening on September 14th.

Pedal for Parkinson’s will raise funds to support Parkinson’s research in Solano Beach on September 27th.

Bike SGV is hosting a family friendly ride back to the 1920s in El Monte on October 3rd.

………

Johan Esteban Chaves took his second stage of the Vuelta on Thursday to move back into the leader’s jersey. After getting booted from the race for hanging onto a team car to rejoin the peloton, Vincenzo Nibali is barred from racing anywhere else until the Vuelta is over.

Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is taking aim at next month’s worlds in Richmond, Virginia once he’s done with the Vuelta, where every stage seems to have his name on it.

Domestic cycling teams complain about the strong-arm tactics of the WorldTour teams at the recent USA Pro Challenge.

And here’s someone to keep an eye on, as a Del Mar track cyclist wins four silver medals at the USA Cycling Elite and Junior Track National Championships.

Especially since she’s just a nine-year old fourth grader.

………

Local

A Santa Barbara podcast discusses itineraries for touring Los Angeles car-free by foot, bike and public transportation.

The LA Weekly looks at the Spoke Café along the LA River bike path in Frogtown, and its owners’ struggles to get city permits to sell their own food and beer.

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update, including news that they have a fleet of shaft-drive bikes to sell, along with the company that made them. Anyone want to start a Kickstarter so I can buy a bike company? Didn’t think so.

Santa Ana is opening three Bike Huts to provide secure bicycle parking safe from thieves and the elements.

The San Diego Free Press says the region’s transportation plan is stuck in reverse.

In the wake of the San Diego “bike mob” that chased down an angry hit-and-run driver, BikeSD explains what sharrows are, and how to deal with a road raging driver. And no, shooting them in self defense is not an option.

Coronado’s apoplectic NIMBY attack on a proposed beach bike path goes on… and on. Seriously, people, it’s just a bike path.

UC Santa Barbara had to pay out of their own pockets through student fees to build a bike roundabout to improve a dangerous intersection.

No bias here. After a San Francisco bike rider suffers a life-threatening head injury in a right hook, a local TV station says he tried to overtake the car on the right.

Now this I want to see. Folsom, home to the prison made famous by Johnny Cash, is planning eight public art works honoring the legendary Man in Black along the bike path named for him.

An Auburn driver gets four years for the death of a bike rider while under the influence of Vicodin; he pled no contest after the original charge of murder was taken off the table.

 

National

Huffy recalls some of their bicycle shaped objects that have front disc brakes to replace the quick release.

Never a good idea to steal a bike from a gang called Satan Disciples; the theft by another gang led to the fatal shooting of a 17-year old in Chicago.

A Minnesota bike rider says it’s okay to go through a red light, even though it is illegal, if you scan the intersection for safety and go slowly if the way is clear.

Evidently, they take hit-and-run seriously in Michigan; a driver faces up to 15 years for failing to stop, after killing a nurse who was riding across the state as part of a group ride.

Ford says they want to be known as a mobility company, not a car maker, as they unveil their new e-bike in Louisville KY.

After the bike a 10-year old Connecticut girl got for her 10th birthday was stolen, the police dispatchers who took the call pitch in to replace it.

A bike riding writer for New York Magazine says the solution to the city’s rude, spandex-clad cyclists is to build more protected bike lanes.

Caught on video: A Philadelphia mom riding with her kids on a cargo bike is verbally harassed by a driver for going around a pickup parked in the bike lane. If the jerk was so concerned about her kids, maybe he shouldn’t have taught them so many four-letter words.

Removing a traffic lane from a Charleston bridge to make room for bike lanes could actually result in less delay, while allowing the bridge to function at acceptable levels for decades.

If New Orleans can become bike friendly, so can Shreveport.

 

International

Buenos Aires is banning most motor vehicle traffic from 100 blocks of the city’s downtown area.

A Canadian advocate explains why bike helmet laws don’t work.

Ontario drivers will now face fines of at least $490 for distracted driving, and $365 for dooring a bike rider, although cyclists will be fined $110 for riding without lights.

An Ottawa university professor files a $1 million lawsuit after being doored by someone in a car owned by the Japanese Embassy.

British bicyclists are being taken down by potholes and crumbling roads. Sort of like what LA bike riders deal with on a regular basis.

London’s Evening Standard looks at tech solutions to bike theft.

A Canadian writer takes a death-defying two-wheeled tour of Copenhagen while on a business trip,

 

Finally…

Wait. You mean that picture of a bike rider with an oversized pointy hat actually means something? Your could soon lock your bike to a rack made from a forest of flexible poles that won’t chip your paint, as long as you’re okay with having it stolen.

And if you really want to confuse one of Google’s self-driving cars, do a track stand. And if you want to confuse a writer for the Washington Post, point out that people on bikes with gears can do them. too. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

 

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