Archive for July 31, 2010

That funky Abbot Kinney sharrow, August events and your weekend reading list

I finally managed to get back to Abbot Kinney and insert myself into the traffic lane long enough to get a photo of that odd sharrow I mentioned last week. It’s one thing to direct us into the door zone, but sending us directly into the parked cars seems a little extreme.

Go ahead and follow it. I dare you.

Even from further away, it still points the same way. When you paint on a curve, a slight change in angle makes a big difference.

……….

In upcoming events, the third Metro Bicycle Roundtable will be a brown bag lunch from noon to 2p Wednesday, August 12th. The next day, join the LACBC for the 1st Annual City of Lights Awards Dinner on Thursday, August 12th.

Click to enlarge

And mark your calendar for the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s bike-centric Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts, vol. 2, scheduled for August 22, 2010; thanks to Green LA Girl for reminding me about the press release that’s been languishing in my inbox. Just three days later, Streetsblog holds a re-launch party and fundraiser on Wednesday, August 25th.

………

A bicyclist was hit on Santa Monica Blvd near the courthouse in Beverly Hills Friday evening; no other details at this time. Video from Wednesday’s Blood In protest in Beverly Hills. Stephen Box urges the mayor to implement the Backbone Network in 10 steps. Metro’s plans to lift the peak hour bike ban evidently haven’t circulated internally yet. Motorists discover an injured cyclist lying in the road near Bonsall CA, about 40 miles north of San Diego. A Davis bicyclist is run down by an RV in Quebec. If you don’t drive in a Hollywood film, you’re clearly some sort of weirdo; meanwhile, an Entertainment writer casts a critical eye on Bicycling’s best cycling movies of all time. As Bikestations circle the globe, I’m still waiting for one at City Hall. Touring the Four Corners region on two wheels; or maybe you’d rather tour Ireland’s County Kerry, or ride through Iceland. While we still struggle to get paint on the ground, Colorado cyclists are getting off-road bike paths along I-70 through the Rockies. The first major Colorado stage race since the late, great Coors Classic could kick off as early as next year. Courtesy of Witch on a Bicycle, OKC homicide investigators have taken over a suspicious hit-and-run case involving a cyclist. A RAGBRAI rider is killed in a collision with another cyclist. A bloody Chicago hit-and-run that wasn’t. Advice on riding on the sidewalk, or rather, why not to. Justin Timberlake rides a bike in NYC. Turns out that knit bike was actually crocheted art. Biking through New York, with soundtrack. LAB members can vote on the best bicyclist of all time; I’ve got to go with the Cannibal, and maybe Jeannie Longo a close second. A day after Contador bails on Astana, the Schleck brothers are leaving Saxo Bank. New bike share programs kick off in London and Chicago, with Boston and DC on deck. Quick iPad sketches of London Mayor Boris Johnson and the city’s  new bike share program; BoJo warns there may be problems at the start, while road.cc offers a test ride and two cyclists say the city may not be the safest place to ride. Your summer bike reading list. Stats confirm a biking boom in Britain; this isn’t the first time they’ve had a bike culture. A biking Brit family cycles the Pan-American highway from Alaska to Argentina. Nothing much has changed since the death of a Malta cyclist last year. If you really want to be seen, how about tires with built-in LED lights, or maybe an obnoxiously visible jersey.

Finally, courtesy of Cyclelicious, distracted drivers are bad enough; now they’re firing cannons at us; a group of teenagers may have been responsible.

And if anyone knows where I can get a good deal on replacing a dead Flight Deck SC-6502, let me know; I think mine just went to that great silicon plant in the sky.

A PCH cyclist speaks out on safety and the proposed Malibu bike crackdown

Recently, I received an in-depth email from Stanley E. Goldich about the proposed crackdown on supposedly scofflaw cyclists on PCH in Malibu.

Goldich, a Century City attorney and member of Velo Club LaGrange, offered his take on road conditions and safety considerations in the Malibu area. He points out that his observations are based on his own personal experience of riding thousands of miles per year on PCH, both solo and on group rides, as well as regularly climbing Latigo, Mulholland and other canyons in Malibu over the past 20+ years.

It’s definitely worth reading all the way through to get a real picture of the problems facing cyclists on PCH.

1.   When Malibu officials cite safety as a reason to target cyclists, it is baseless and offensive to those of us who have had friends killed by motorists while bike riding. While the deaths are almost always a result of negligent or reckless motorists and none of the deaths have involved running of stop signs or lights by the cyclists, in every instance this has occurred, people write letters shedding crocodile tears while suggesting that cyclists are asking for it and falsely tying the deaths to running of stop signs by cyclists.

2.  Bicyclists do NOT cause safety issues for others on PCH, and in most instances are the victims of unsafe driving and road conditions. Cyclists on PCH also ride on a shoulder that is not always adequate and do not get to share the road in any meaningful way .

3.  The opinions expressed by Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Susan Tellum in her letter to the Malibu Times are at best misguided and uninformed.  Incredibly, two of her three justifications for a crackdown on cyclists riding on PCH are (i) cyclists running stop signs, and (ii) cyclists riding 3 abreast in violation of the law. PCH and Latigo do not even have stop signs, and virtually no cyclists ride on Corral (which I have been told also does not have stop signs). There is also no law against cyclists riding next to each other in the shoulder.

(Editors note: there’s no law against riding two or more abreast in California, as long as the riders aren’t obstructing traffic; the standard for obstruction is five or more vehicles following behind and unable to pass.)

Moreover, one of the reasons cyclists ride in groups is to increase their visibility, which actually furthers safety for everyone. In addition, cyclists riding in pacelines on PCH generally ride 2 abreast, and the bigger pacelines are generally traveling North early in the morning when traffic is lighter.

4.  In fact, the dangers on PCH are caused by (i) inattentive, negligent and reckless motorists and (ii) unsafe road conditions on the shoulder where cyclists ride, due to problems that include construction work, debris, illegal parking and parking where there is not an adequate shoulder.

- The recent PCH taskforce report cited speeding, unsafe lane changes and improper turning as the primary causes of accidents.

- Two other major safety issues that affect everyone involve (i) people using their cellphones and texting while driving and (ii) dangerous road conditions caused by construction with inadequate warnings and lack of adequate consideration for the safety of cyclists. Debra Goldsmith’s death on Palisades Drive in 2001 was caused by a woman dialing on her cell phone.  Scott Bleifer, 41, of Santa Monica, and Stanislov Ionov, 46, of Calabasas, were killed in 2005 after being hit by a catering truck at a construction site at the Jewish Center on PCH that blocked the shoulder, by a driver who said he did not hit his brakes because they were cooking (illegally) in the back and the hot water would have spilled.

- Other safety issues involve (i) road rage incidents by drivers who simply don’t want cyclists using their roads (this is what occurred in the widely reported incident on Mandeville resulting in the conviction of Dr. Thompson for assault with a deadly weapon and 3 other felony counts), (ii) motorists, particularly buses, trucks and motor homes who pass cyclists far too closely (often when the left lane is clear), and (iii) drivers in parked cars who open doors or pull out without looking.

-  Another safety issue, as well as a cause of traffic jams, involves hazardous parking where vehicles stick out into the right hand lane. This regularly occurs on Sundays in the summer on the Southbound side of PCH past the Getty/Coastline.

-   The lack of shoulders in certain sections is also a fundamental safety issue that has not been adequately addressed for years. One section on the Southbound side of PCH between Sunset and Temescal was finally repaired after many years. This has enabled cyclists to stay on the shoulder and not get in the traffic lane, resulting in a significant improvement in safety and traffic flow as cyclists no longer need to go into the right hand land.

5.  Real safety improvements could readily be achieved by enforcing existing parking restrictions on PCH and banning parking by vehicles on the side of the road unless there is still adequate space for a bike to ride past without the risk of being doored or having to move into the right hand lane. Other safety enhancements include keeping debris off the shoulder so cyclists do not need to veer out on the road, as well as enabling cyclists to get past construction zones without requiring them to go on the roadway, and requiring better markings and slower speeds where this is not possible.

6.  Running of stop signs where stop signs exist does violate the law, but is not a safety issue for motorists or (with very rare exceptions) cyclists. In fact, Idaho has permitted cyclists to roll thru stop signs for 27 years, as long as they slow to a reasonable speed, and a stop is only required for safety. Other states have similarly considered legislation permitting cyclists to treat stop signs as yields, and many public officials in many other parts of the country — including in LA — are making true efforts to improve safety that do not target or attack cyclists who are NOT putting motorists in cars and trucks many times their size in any danger.

7.  The safety concerns of cyclists are much greater than those of motorists due to our significantly greater vulnerability, and because we are much less visible than vehicles. For every stop sign or light run by a cyclist, there are countless incidents of motorists creating a much more dangerous situation by passing too close or turning in the path of a cyclist, let alone the risks posed by inattentive motorists on their cell phones and blackberries. Many of these concerns were recognized when the LA City Council passed the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights in December 2008. While an important step, it remains to be implemented.

8. In addition to inattentiveness, motorists are often not even aware of the fears and dangers they cause for people riding their bikes. This is often the case at intersections where cars are turning left. Even when a motorist does not actually intend to turn in front of a cyclist, if the motorist begins to turn as a cyclist is approaching the intersection, the cyclist has no choice but to slow or stop to avoid the risk that the car will turn into their path. While most motorists do not intentionally turn in the path of cyclists, some motorists are reckless, inattentive, or simply do not see the cyclist, and cyclists often need to brake or risk being seriously injured.

9.  It must be emphasized that despite all of its hazards, PCH is an ideal roadway for cycling, both recreational and commuting, due to the limited number of intersections and traffic lights, as well as the absence of stop signs. PCH is also a route to the canyons in Malibu, which offer some of the best riding to be found anywhere due to light vehicular traffic, various levels of challenging climbs and miles with no lights or stop signs, which further adds to its allure for serious cyclists.

Due to the higher speed traffic and lack of adequate shoulders on sections of PCH, only more experienced riders generally should and do use it at this time. The superb Southern California weather combined with its terrain makes Malibu one of the world’s premier riding areas, and it was used by Lance Armstrong for training during his string of Tour de France victories. The Tour of California has also helped spread the word on Malibu around the world as a great vacation and cycling destination, something that the City should embrace and support.

10.  One of the best ways to address safety is to build a cycling infrastructure that helps people feel safer while riding. In a recent article by Bob Mionske, a former U.S. Olympic cyclist and cycling attorney, he stated: “As the great cycling cities of Europe have learned, when bicycling feels safe for children and the elderly, everybody feels safer, and more people ride—and that is a benefit for all cyclists, and others as well, since as the roads become safer for cyclists, there’s also less danger for both motorists and pedestrians.”

………

L.A.’s CicLAvia, now scheduled for 10-10-10 — the same day as Santa Monica’s more generically named version — gets a double dose of radio coverage. Wednesday night’s Blood In protest in Beverly Hills gets international coverage, as well as an in-depth local look complete with photos. Curbed picks up the story of the long-delayed Elysian Valley Bike Path along the L.A. River. Brayj looks at bike polo in the parking non-lot at Lincoln park. A fond farewell to last week’s last Tour LaBonge; would Tour La Box have the same ring? Even in wealthy La Jolla, unrepaired potholes can claim a cyclist. Cyclelicious digs deep and comes out with the full story on the proposed Anchorage go-ahead-and-hit-the cyclist ordinance. Outside Magazine names Tuscon the best city of road biking; there’s no truth to the rumor L.A was named the best city to get run over by a road raging driver. Life in a New York City bike lane. A child’s ghost bike appears in NYC, indicating a 9-year old boy was killed in a hit-and-run on June 3rd, yet no one in the area is aware of a collision or death. A Pennsylvania cyclist faces charges for pepper spraying a driver who allegedly got out of his car to threaten him. Bi-partisan legislators from around the country bike through the streets of Louisville KY. The inventor — and patent holder — of the Split Pivot mountain bike suspension system may face a challenge from Trek. Having the right tools can normalize your bike commute and overcome objections you haven’t thought of yet. A retired admiral and former senate candidate is killed by an SUV while riding in Florida; the driver claims he just didn’t see him. The wife of a British Olympian critically injured while riding through Arizona credits his survival to his helmet. A video tour of London’s third new cycle superhighway. BoJo rides a Pinarella around London’s nearly complete velodrome. Tips for a first time endurance rider. Bristol, England plans to offer training classes instead of fines to reduce conflicts between drivers and cyclists. Mixed reviews on a mass bike ride in Bath. In an exceptionally one-sided report, the Daily Telegraph claims Sydney business people are up in arms over the city’s efforts to become more bike friendly. After winning his third Tour, Alberto Contador splits with his Astana team. A 61-year old American woman and a 26-year old Chinese combine to bring ultra-distance cycling to the Middle Kingdom.

Finally, don’t use a cell phone while riding your bike. Or play your guitar. Or carry a pitchfork, for that matter.

True Grit: An open letter to the L.A. Dept. of Recreation and Parks

The county is clearing up their section of the bike path; the city, not so much.

I was surprised recently by how quickly the county responded to complaints about the Marvin Braude bike.

Do I really need to add that the city’s response hasn’t surprised me at all?

After meeting with officials from the county, I found out that the City of Los Angeles is responsible for maintaining the still sand-covered section of the bike path from north of the Annenberg Community Beach House to Will Rogers State beach.

The exact point where the city assumes responsibility for maintaining the bike path. Or not.

Clearly, they haven’t done the job — at least, not effectively — since the storms of last May. As a result, they’ve put cyclists, skaters and pedestrians at risk, while marring the beauty and utility of one of Southern California’s most popular recreation, commuting and tourist facilities.

So I reached out to my contacts with the city, and was directed to an individual with the Department of Recreation and Parks, which has responsibility for clearing the sand of that single sliver of bikeway.

I sent him the following email last week:

Dear Mr. Haynes,

I’m writing you today about the sand on the upper portion of the Marvin Braude Bike Path, since it is my understanding that your department has responsibility for maintaining the section from above the Annenberg beach house to Will Rogers State Beach.

I have recently been working with the county on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to improve maintenance of the county section of the bike path. As a result, they have made significant improvements, resulting in a safer and more enjoyable experience for riders on the path.

Piles of sand reduce the ridable area, increasing the risk of collisions.

However, the city-maintained section of the path is still covered with sand, and has been since the wind storms of last May. As you can see from the attached photos, the usable portion of the bike path is significantly reduced in sections, while in others, bicyclists and other path users are forced to travel over a dangerous, constantly shifting surface of sand. In fact, as the top photo shows, you can see the exact spot where the city assumes responsibility from the county.

It is clearly only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured; even as an experienced bicyclist, I’m forced to slow down and ride carefully through this section. While state law absolves the city of liability for such injuries, it also require that adequate warning be given of unsafe conditions, which has not been done here, potentially making the city liable for any injuries that may occur because of the sand.

I urge you to look into this matter as quickly as possible, and take whatever steps are necessary to clear the sand off the city-maintained sections of the Marvin Bruade Bike Path — and keep it clear so that the tens of thousands of bicyclists who use this section of the path on a daily basis can ride in safety.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Riders and skaters frequently frequently slip on the loose sand as they round this curve.

Nearly a week later, I still haven’t received any response — and based on my most recent ride through that section, the sand is still there. And it probably will remain there until this winter’s storms deposit still more sand on the pathway, and turn what should be a pleasant bike ride into a slog through the Sahara.

I’m not going to publish his email address here, since it was given to me in confidence. Besides, I’d much rather have that city official spend his time getting the sand removed than responding to a flood of emails.

In some areas, as much a three feet of the path are lost to unremoved sand.

But you can contact his bosses, the commissioners of the Department of Parks and Recreation. And it couldn’t hurt to reach out to your council member, as well as 11th District Council Member Bill Rosendahl, who represents the district that runs along that section of the beach.

Because if we don’t complain, it’s clear that nothing is going to be done.

………

The Marvin Braude Bike Path isn’t the only city bikeway with problems; Joe Linton says the new Elysian Valley bike path along the L.A. River is a great place to walk and ride, even if it isn’t open yet — and no sign that it will be any time soon.

………

A good reason not to mention a bike thief’s mom — he may be armed. LADOT Bike Blog notes the street geometry on Abbot Kinney should work well for sharrows. LAist looks at Mayor Villaraigosa’s bike-centric YouTube video; Curbed says the mayor shouted his support for bicycle planning, or was it in pain? Jessica Biel rides a bike along the Hudson River, along with some guy named Justin. Knit one, purl two, pretty soon you’ve got a whole bike; but what kind of yarn do you use for the derailleur? Riding and reading Longfellow at the same time. More on the Anchorage law revision that would make bike riders liable for any collision; why not just declare open season on cyclists? Headline of the day: Naked Cyclists Stopped Near Dick’s Drive-In. Seattle gets bike boxes. Bicycling wraps up this years Tour, while Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack faces discipline for Sunday’s Jerseygate affair — which may have been completely calculated. After a British newspaper prints photos of a leading bike advocate breaking the law, road.cc shows how misleading photos like that can be. A Brit cyclist plans to compete in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, as well as the Paralympics a month later. When a cyclist hits an older woman in a crosswalk and asks if she’s blind, the answer may be yes.

Finally, after the heart attack suffered by pro cyclist Kim Kirchen — as well as L.A.’s own GT — maybe we should all consider our own cardiac health. The good news is, things are looking up for both of them.

A bike broken Villaraigosa on YouTube, Blood In protests in Beverly Hills

It’s been 10 days since L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa set out on his first bike ride since taking office over 5 years ago.

And promptly fell off when a cab driver cut him off pulling away from a curb, landing on his helmeted head and shattering his elbow.

Yet it still continues to make news, here in Los Angeles and around the country.

After writing last week that bikes belong on the streets, the mayor posted a You Tube video, prominently featuring his arm in a sling and a badly swollen right hand, in which he thanks the public, caregivers and first responders for their help and support.

He also talks about the challenges of riding the streets of L.A. — which is exactly the concept local cyclists have long wanted him to grasp — although some accuse him of pandering to the bike lobby.

I had a little bit of a scare there, but I can tell you, I know first hand just how difficult it is to maneuver through our streets to navigate through a city that is built for the automobile, but in many ways, would be the best place for cyclists to be in.

He also says he’s glad that LAPD Chief Beck has made bicycle safety a priority. And most surprising of all, says city officials are going to work with the bicycle safety community to put together a Bike Summit.

Count me in.

Meanwhile, the story continues to spread, as Grist agrees that the mayor missed a chance to “deflate the myth that collisions between military-sized vehicles and cyclists are no big deal.” The New York Times also picks up the story, but kind of misses the point, saying Villaraigosa learned firsthand that “cars and bikes don’t mix.”

And the SF Gate questions the mayor’s apparent emphasis on more bike lanes over better enforcement.

It’s time to stop defending bad driving based on stereotypes of cyclists and start slapping drivers who endanger bikers and pedestrians with criminal charges. And sure, a few more bike lanes would be great.

Meanwhile, back at home, Ken Alpern calls on Villaraigosa and other city officials to preserve planned bikeways on Sepulveda Blvd and along the Expo Light Rail Line.

On the other hand, our mayor isn’t the only one who’s run into problems on a bike lately. Vancouver’s mayor — aka Red Light Reynolds — is nearly hit by a bus after blowing through a traffic signal.

………

Tuesday evening, cyclists will gather in Beverly Hills to protest the lenient sentence given to Celine Mahdavi for the hit-and-run collision that critically injured cyclist Louis “Birdman” Deliz on December 1st of last year.

After pleading no contest, Mahdavi was sentenced to just 90 days of community service and three years probation, and ordered to pay full restitution. According to a press release for the event,

Cyclists are calling it the last straw.  Bikeside LA President Alex Thompson said “this sentence is symbolic of the lack of respect cyclists get throughout the justice system.”

Many expressed frustration that Fox made no effort to restrict Mahdavi’s driving privileges, leaving decisions about the status of Mahdavi’s license at the discretion of the DMV.

A press conference will be held at the Beverly Hills Courthouse at 6:15 Tuesday evening; another will take place on Friday, which may coincide with the L.A. Critical Mass.

Event details:

Tuesday, July 27th, 6:15 pm
Beverly Hills Courthouse
9355 Burton Way
Blood In Press Conference
interviews to follow press conference
open mic available to attendees after press conference

Friday, July 30th, 8:15 pm
Beverly Hills Courthouse
9355 Burton Way
Press Conference
interviews to follow press conference
open mic available to attendees after press conference

………

More on Sunday’s Walk and Ride for a Safer Fourth Street, including support from Council Member Tom LaBonge for the city’s first bike boulevard. Streetsblog will hold a re-launch party and fundraiser on Wednesday, August 25th. You can help support ciclovia in Santa Monica on Tuesday evening, as the city plans for a 10/10/10 launch date along Main Street; Gary says let’s keep the ball rolling. Cynergy Cycles hosts a free seminar on Training for Hill Climbing on Wednesday evening. Riding from Claremont to Baldy Notch. OC’s Ladera Ranch Grand Prix is scheduled for August 15. There’s an exhibition on biking at the California State Fair through the weekend. How to review bicycle accommodations in roadway designs. The Santa Rosa paper offers advice to drivers and cyclists that mostly gets it wrong — including a “friendly toot on the horn” when cyclists don’t “move over in a timely manner.” In a clear case of blaming the victim, Anchorage considers amending its laws to make cyclists automatically at fault if they get hit crossing a roadway. Katy Perry and Russel Brand ride bikes in New York. An overview of Lance Armstrong and the Floyd Landis investigation. Warning you’re “on the left” sometimes brings out a suicidal urge in the people you’re passing — like the woman who responded to me on Monday by turning directly into my path. Maryland authorities decide to build a 4.7 mile bike detour around a bat refuge; I’m sure many cyclists appreciate that. Advice on how not to have your bike stolen, from someone who once did — steal one, that is. A British tabloid exposes a reporter — and president of the leading bike advocacy organization — as a serial red light runner; or did they? A BBC documentary looks at the death of cyclist Tom Simpson on Mount Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France; maybe they’ll show it on this side of the Atlantic someday. An Ontario cyclist is charged with texting while riding after crashing into the back of a parked car. Here’s your chance to invest in a Wi-Fi equipped bike lock that can call you if someone tampers with it.

Finally, a writer takes all the work out of reporting just about any bike-involved collision with the perfect fill-in-the-blanks template for any media outlet.

Sharrows hit the street on Abbot Kinney

Headed west on Abbot Kinney, the first sharrow appears just after crossing Venice Blvd.

Thanks to a tip from Eric B, I made a point of including Abbot Kinney Blvd on my most recent ride so I could to check out the new sharrows — the final link in the city’s new six-street sharrows pilot project.

Over all, they seem to do the job.

When there wasn’t a bike present, the cars rolled over the sharrows as if they weren’t there — unlike the response on Westholme Ave, where drivers didn’t seem to know what to make of them.

When there were bikes around, the drivers passed whenever the opportunity presented. But at least they all seemed to pass at a safe distance.

Riding beside the bumpy thermoplastic places riders dangerously close to the door zone.

Which, I suppose, is all we can really ask for.

There’s one oddly placed sharrow on the westbound lane about a block from Venice, where the street curves, which seems to direct riders off the roadway — although I didn’t get a photo of it, since I was a little preoccupied with trying not to get run over at the time.

Maybe it was directing riders to stop at the food trucks that frequent the parking lot at the Brig, since that seems to be where it’s pointing.

Choosing the bumpier ride puts cyclists in a better lane position.

And like the other locations, the raised thermoplastic makes for a bumpy ride, which may encourage cyclists to ride beside the sharrows rather than over them — giving riders less control over the lane and placing them at the edge of the door zone.

So now the final piece of the pilot project is in place.

While we may think sharrows are a no brainer, the question remains whether the city’s implementation of them will encourage cyclists to use them. Or if decisions made regarding their placement on the streets will make riders feel less safe.

Sharrows stretch out on both sides from Main Street to Venice Blvd.

How drivers will respond is also an open question. Especially without adequate signage or educational efforts directed at motorists.

As is whether historically risk-averse LADOT will use the results to improve future installations throughout the city. Or call it a failed experiment and throw in the towel if issues arise.

It’s going to be an interesting experiment.

The question remains how drivers will respond on a busier street like Abbot Kinney — especially without signage or driver education.

………

On the last day of the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish won the final sprint in Paris, while Alberto Contador won his third Tour by one of the smallest margins in TdF history — the same amount of time Andy Schleck lost when he dropped his chain.

In the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour, Schleck gave it his best in Saturday’s time trial, but it just isn’t enough as Fabian Cancellara won the stage and Contador clinched victory — but Schleck will be back in 2011. After Christian Vande Velde crashes out of the Tour, aptly named Canadian Ryder Hesjedal became an overnight sensation for Garmin-Transitions. Tyler Farrar should be back on his bike in time for next month’s Tour of Spain. For Lance Armstrong, his 13th Tour really was bad luck as he finished 23rd, and his team’s attempt to honor cancer survivors was disallowed, but at least the French are on his side for once.

And on Nightline, Floyd Landis said “I saw Lance Armstrong using drugs.”

………

A look at Saturday’s Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street. Make your plans for the first public meeting of the bike committee of the Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Committee on Monday night. Tuesday evening there’s a demonstration and press conference in Beverly Hills to protest the slap on the wrist given Celine Mahdavi for nearly killing Louis “Birdman” Deliz. Courtesy of my friends at Altadenablog, a USC neuropathologist rides 140 miles for Alzheimer’s research. Get your limited edition, hand-printed CicLAvia t-shirt. The former chairman of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission is ordered to stand trial for killing a cyclist while driving with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit. Three NorCal cyclists are hurt in separate incidents on the same road just hours apart — two on the same spot. The cyclist killed in North Dakota last week was on her way to Casper WY to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. A DC area cyclist dies, apparently from the high heat and humidity blanketing the East Coast. A Brit Olympian is in stable condition after suffering a skull fracture when he was hit by a truck in Winslow AZ last Tuesday. A reminder that bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road, too; thanks, we didn’t know that. Everything you need to know to talk bikes in 27 European languages. Every bike means less traffic and one more parking space. Twelve reasons why vehicular cycling may not be the answer for everyone.

Finally, a conversation with London mayor and avid bike supporter Boris Johnson, who undoubtedly won a lot of fans with his stand on bike theft.

“Plainly, we will treat bike thieves with the utmost severity. I’m looking at a very draconian policy. Bring back the stocks!”

Friday’s ride, in which I dodge cars, help prevent a collision and thank a bus driver

It didn’t take long to realize it was going to be one of those rides.

Within the first three miles, I’d been right hooked, left crossed, and squeezed out of a left turn lane by a driver who inexplicably decided there was enough room for both of us.

So I made a point of riding extra carefully, assuming that every car could be a threat and every driver might do exactly the wrong thing in any given situation.

Most of the time they weren’t, and didn’t. But I ran into enough minor traffic kerfuffles and acts of sheer stupidity that the extra caution more than paid off before I got home.

Including one last one, as I rode back on Ohio about a mile from my home.

Just east of Westwood, the road goes up and down over a couple of short, steep hills. As a result, I make a point of taking the lane through there, since it’s too narrow to share a lane and I can usually get down one hill and up the next long before the cars behind me.

On occasion, though, some rocket scientist will decide to pass me anyway.

Like the one today who evidently decided I wasn’t moving fast enough, even though I was doing 23 mph — uphill — in a 25 mph zone.

I heard an engine rev behind me, and sure enough, I looked back to see a minivan start to zoom around me on the wrong side of the road. And I knew that section of road well enough to know that was an exceptionally bad idea.

Then again, it’s usually not a good idea to drive on the wrong side of the road, anyway — especially not on a hill that completely blocks the driver’s view of oncoming traffic.

So I threw my hand out in what I hoped would be seen as warning to stop, though it could just as easily have been interpreted as a left turn signal. Either way, he seemed to get the message and quickly cut back in behind me, just as two cars came over the hill from the other side.

Cars he would have hit head-on if he’d continued trying to pass me.

Yeah, those bike haters are right.

We’re the problem, alright.

………

Funny how life repeats itself sometimes, but with vastly different outcomes.

Last December, I filed a complaint after I got dangerously buzzed and right hooked by a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus in front of Franklin Elementary School on Montana Ave.

On Friday’s ride, I found myself in exactly the same situation, in exactly the same location.

As I rode up Montana around 2:45 pm, I found myself being followed by another Big Blue Bus. And once again, the driver felt a need to pass me as soon as the roadway widened, even though I was riding nearly as fast as he could legally go.

Then just like the last time, as soon as the bus passed me, the driver spotted someone waiting at the bus stop by the school. But instead of cutting over to the curb — and cutting me off in the process — the driver stopped right where he was in the traffic lane, leaving me a clear pathway to proceed on his right.

And it was only after I’d cleared the bus — number 3810, route 3 — and gave the driver a wave of thanks that he pulled safely to the curb.

So it’s only fair.

Last time I called to complain about the driver who cut me off. So on Monday morning, I’m going to call to compliment the driver who didn’t.

………

Mark Cavendish sprints to victory in Stage 18 of the Tour de France, his fourth of this year’s Tour after overcoming months of hardships. Saturday’s individual time trial will determine whether Schleck or Contador rides into Paris as the winner; the sprinter’s title is still up in the air, too. Cruise and Diaz join Contador on the podium. Backstage notes from the Tour, and the unwritten rules the riders live by.

And in today’s pro doping report, some fans hope the cheaters get caught.

………

The driver in last week’s death of Santa Ana cyclist Michael Nine faces charges of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and driving without a valid license, and may be subject to deportation.

On the other side of the country, a leading Charleston bike advocate was critically injured in a SWSS; Dave Moulton says the story doesn’t make sense for such an experienced cyclist. Just before I posted this, news broke that the rider, Edwin Gardner, passed away on Friday.

………

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In upcoming events, Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street on Saturday. Or you can help plan two new parks in downtown Santa Monica.

The LACBC is hosting the 2nd Regional Meeting for bike activists from around the region on Wednesday, July 28th. And on Thursday, August 12th, join the LACBC for the 1st Annual City of Lights Awards Dinner.

………

Two cyclists are cuffed and one ticketed for not having a headlight — even though the officer himself had turned it off. More fallout from the campaign to ticket cyclists in Malibu. Courtesy of Streetsblog, Joe Linton and Josef Bray-Ali offer thoughts on the new bike plan and Thursday night’s Webinar. Dancer a la Mode is looking for volunteers for an easy biking experience; all you have to do is ride a little slower on alternate days. Bicycle Fixation suggests turning 4-way stops into 4-way yields. Grist looks at our falling-off-a-bike mayor, and has the exceptional good taste to quote yours truly. Speaking of the mayor, turns out he broke his elbow in eight places, but he’s back to a regular schedule. Cyclelicious has the details on the Colorado Heaven Fest from traffic hell that banned bikes and pedestrians in favor of cars. A Jacksonville writer admits to being a vehicular segregationist. A suspended Portland bus driver explains why he blogged “Kill this bicyclist.” How to get that tight little bike butt. A Kansas writer says can’t we all just get along — or at least not try to kill each other? A bike riding conservative says even righties can ride, regardless of what some people insist. London’s Guardian newspaper offers a look at five new European biking adventures, the best Brit bike trips and a guide to Europe’s best bicycling cities — and advises you to insure, lock and yes, deface your bike to fight theft. The final three Toronto secrets to cycling in traffic; ride with others, avoid the right hook and practice your route. Detailed advise on how to get better at climbing.

Finally, a look at frequent linkee and bike advocate Cecil Yount, author of Zeke’s Great Smokies 2-Wheeled Adventures and co-founder of his local bicycle advisory council.

Report a dangerous intersection; recycle old tubes for fun and profit

I wasn’t able to fit Thursday’s Webinar on the revised draft of the new bike plan into my schedule; if you participated in the sessions and want to share your thoughts, let me know and I’ll be happy to post it here.

………

No one knows the streets better than a bicyclist.

So chances are, in the course of your riding, you’ve noticed a dangerous intersection or two. Or twenty, maybe. Someplace where drivers frequently break the law and place other road users at risk.

Like the left turn arrows at Santa Monica and Beverly Glen, for instance, where cars often go through the intersection long after the light has changed — regardless of whether there are bikes crossing or pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Or one block north, at Beverly Glen and Eastborne Ave, where motorists routinely ignore the no U-turn sign to the detriment of everyone else on the street.

And maybe, like me, you’ve thought that all it would take to improve the situation is a little police enforcement.

So I asked LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer who we should contact at the LAPD to report the situation. Here’s his response:

West Traffic – 310-202-4545
(West LA, Pacific, Olympic, Wilshire, Hollywood)
Captain Nancy Lauer nancy.lauer@lapd.lacity.org

 
Valley Traffic – 818-644-8000
(Everything in the San Fernando Valley)
Captain William Sutton suttonw@lapd.lacity.org

 
Central Traffic – 213-972-1853
(Central, Rampart, Hollenbeck, Northeast, Newton)
Captain Ronald Marbrey marbreyr@lapd.lacity.org

 
South Traffic – 213-485-7417
(77th, Southwest, Southeast, Harbor)
Captain Kelly Mulldorfer kelly.mulldorfer@lapd.lacity.org

Sgt. Krumer suggests calling first, then sending an email to the captain in charge to follow-up.

When you call, talk to the officer who answers the phone, and say something like this:

“Good Morning, I am (NAME) and I live in (AREA).  I would like to report a dangerous intersection and request additional enforcement along (LOCATION).  The problems at that location are…”

After explaining the situation, conclude by saying “Thank you officer…what was your name again?”

Then once you hang up, email the Captain of the respective Traffic Division and write something like:

“Hello Captain (NAME),

I spoke to officer (NAME) on (DATE) and advised him of an issue at (LOCATION).  I requested additional enforcement at that location.  Please let me know if you require any additional information.

Thank you for your efforts,

(YOUR NAME)”

As always, thanks to Sgt. Krumer for his help.

………

Recycle your old tubes at the Grand Opening of the new Woodland Hills store, or the newly remodeled Santa Monica location this weekend.

I’m usually a supporter of your friendly neighborhood LBS.

That’s Local Bike Shop, for the uninitiated.

But this weekend, I’d highly recommend heading over to the Grand Openings of the newly remodeled Performance Bicycle in Santa Monica or the new location in Woodland Hills.

And take your old inner tubes with you. Because for each old tube you bring in, you’ll get a $5 credit, up to a limit of three tubes.

That’s up to $15 for the unreliable, over-patched or unrepairable tubes currently cluttering up your bike space.

This weekend, from July 23rd to July 25th, Performance (www.performancebike.com) will celebrate the grand openings of its new Woodland Hills and completely remodeled Santa Monica stores with the Bike Tube Blow-Out, a recycling program sponsored by Performance and Liberty Tire, the largest scrap tire recycler in the country. During the weekend, anyone can bring their used or blown-out inner tubes to the store and receive up to three $5 money cards for the tubes they recycle.

Liberty Tire Recycling, the nation’s largest collector of used and scrap tires, will turn the bike tubes into mulch for playgrounds, athletic fields, railroad ties and highway asphalt, among other uses. The company collects and recycles nearly one-third of all of America’s annual scrap tire material and has cleaned up more than 150 dump sites littered with nearly 40 million scrap tires—more than any other organization.

“We estimate that a major city can annually generate several tons of used rubber just from blown out bicycle inner tubes alone,” said Jim Thompson, CEO of Performance Inc. “Our aim is to make bike inner tubes a proven reusable resource for playgrounds, manufacturing and other applications.”

………

Insisting his time has come, Andy Schleck wins the last mountain stage of the Tour de France but not the yellow jersey; however, anything is possible in Saturday’s time trial, he says.

Meanwhile, the French love the Tour a lot less than they used to. Jens Voigt blows a tire while descending at 40 mph, shattering his bike — and his body — but refuses to abandon the race. Irish rider Nicolas Roche threatens to put his teammate’s head through the nearest window. More on the Kiwi TdF rider tackled by a gendarme before Wednesday’s 16th stage.

And in today’s daily doping news, Greg “Everyone dopes but me” LeMond says the evidence against Lance is overwhelming.

………

More on the slap on the back wrist given Celine Mahdavi, who ended the professional bike racing career of Louis “Birdman” Deliz in a hit-and-run. Alex Thompson says LACBC forgot to give credit to Stephen Box for $1.32 million in Measure R funds. Gary argues that the penalty for most driving crimes should be permanent revocation of driving privileges. LADOT Bike Blog reminds readers about this weekend’s Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street. Metro and Calstart are conducting a folding bike survey. Joe Linton says the new draft bike plan is an improvement over the last one, but still has a way to go. The rich get richer, as Long Beach cyclists will soon enjoy separated bike lanes downtown. A Santa Barbara council member calls the city’s focus on alternative transportation regressive and destructive. Ten ways to stay safe on the road. A cyclist riding cross country for charity is killed in South Dakota; the driver uses the universal get out of jail free card, insisting he just didn’t see her. Riding along with a Seattle council member, and annoying faster riders. Evidently, New York workers aren’t capable of looking both ways to avoid bikes. A Colorado Christian music festival tries to solve traffic problems by banning bikes, while a Steamboat Springs writer says promoting cycling would attract thousands of rude, disrespectful, dangerous, arrogant road and trail hogs; sounds to me like she’s describing drivers. A Kansas driver intentionally strikes a cyclist, then flees the scene. A Baltimore street goes on a road diet. After losing a $2.9 million verdict, a Connecticut water district may close its 41 miles of trails. A Maltese cyclist plans to sue over bad road design after catching a wheel in a storm grate. Even Nicosia Cyprus will have a bike share program before L.A. does. A Mumbai Muslim seminary issues a fatwa against female cyclists. A helmet and some good Samaritans save the life of a Vancouver cyclist after she falls nearly 15 feet onto some rocks, landing on her head. A truly bizarre story on the dangers of cycling, including scrotal damage and using your helmet to ward off the blows of a road raging driver.

Finally, an Oregon driver shares his attitude towards bikes on his license plate; something tells me he falls into the anti camp. Maybe it belongs to the Portland bus driver who urged city residents to kill a bicyclist after a close call, or it could be the person tried to injure cyclists by placing a tape tripwire at a popular intersection.

L.A.’s newly biking Mayor still doesn’t get it

Over the weekend, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa fell off his bike, and instantly captured the attention of the entire city.

For better or worse.

But instead of using that moment to protect the cycling community he so recently joined, he let a careless driver off the hook.

Sending a clear message that drivers should pay attention. But if they don’t, no big deal.

It was just an accident.

As it turns out, Saturday’s outing was the Mayor’s first bike ride in years, and lasted all of 30 minutes before he hit the pavement. And in answer to the question some people have been asking, yes, he was wearing a helmet.

In fact, he landed on it first before breaking his elbow. Maybe that’s why he’s still a little confused on the subject.

His Honor may have written — and Tweeted — that bikes belong on L.A. streets and he’ll be back on a bike as soon as he’s able. But according to the Daily Breeze, Villaraigosa insists that the cab driver shouldn’t face charges.

“He was very concerned when he realized it was me,” the mayor said. “He was careless, but that’s not illegal. He certainly didn’t do this on purpose.”

That’s where the Mayor is wrong — and where he’s done a huge disservice to everyone else on the roads, especially his new friends in the cycling community.

Because what the driver did was illegal. He pulled away from the curb without making sure the bike lane he was parked next to was clear. And as a result, caused a cyclist to be injured.

It’s called failure to yield. And it is against the law.

Yet our mayor just told everyone within reach of his words — and in this wireless world, that’s just about everyone — that cutting off a bike is really okay. Careless driving is no big deal.

And if anyone gets hurt as a result, it’s just an accident.

Harm, but no foul.

Glen Bailey, chair of the city Bicycle Advisory Committee, pointed out that this kind of collision is all too common.

“It’s the kind where a vehicle pulls in front a cyclist without warning and an accident occurs… It’s the kind of thing that normally doesn’t get reported and doesn’t get the attention it should. That’s why we are advocating for greater awareness and are asking people to be more careful and watch when they make turns to make sure a bicyclist isn’t there.”

The mayor still has a chance to change that. Although a lot fewer people are listening now.

He needs to stress that — ticketed or not — what the cab driver did was, in fact, against the law. And that drivers are fully responsible for carelessness behind the wheel that results in injury to bicyclists, or anyone else.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Once he gets back on his bike, I’ll be happy to ride with him.

And teach the Mayor what to look out for so it doesn’t happen again.

………

Just one day after we found out that Robert Sam Sanchez was sentenced to 4 years for the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Armas, the 18-year old intoxicated driver who fled the scene after maiming cyclist Louis Deliz received a whopping 90 days community service — and may be able to get her license back next year.

The only significant difference between these two cases is that Deliz survived, while Armas didn’t. Clearly, someone has to die before judges take the lives of cyclists seriously.

Maybe it’s time we all got MADD.

………

Tonight’s your chance to talk about the biking issues that matter to you, when the LACBC holds its monthly board of directors meeting at the Encino Velodrome. The meeting officially kicks off at 7 pm, but some board members plan to arrive early.

………

In stage 16 of the Tour, Lance gives it his best shot for a stage victory, but Pierrick Fedrigo gets the win; in what may have been his last chance for a win, Lance just didn’t have the legs. A Kiwi le Tour rider is mistaken for a tourist and pushed off his bike, breaking both wheels. Following today’s rest day, Thursday’s climb up Tourmalet should be exciting — because Schleck wants his yellow jersey back.

In near-daily pro doping news, Alessandro Petacchi is placed under formal investigation. Armstrong’s lawyer complains about media leaks, and his team leader admits selling bikes as Landis charged, but doesn’t know where the money went.

………

LACBC calls for L.A.’s broken-armed mayor to support safer streets. LADOT Bike Blog reports on the sharrows on Westholme Ave; I’m planning to ride them end-to-end in a few minutes. Advice on safely navigating a right turn lane. NBC4 looks at the upcoming CicLAvia, now scheduled for October. Bicycle Fixation complains to LADOT’s Carlos Morales about bike racks, and gets action. A Sacramento cyclist is killed on his way to work; the driver has no license but a witness blames the cyclist. She’s a citizen cyclist, not a cycle chic. Battling breast cancer by bike. A lawyer finally gets his client a settlement a year-and-a-half after she gets left hooked. Charleston encourages people to ride bikes Downtown, then locks and tickets them because there’s not enough bike parking. A Boston cyclist enjoys the occasional impromptu roadway horn concerto. A DC area driver had received five tickets in the month before he killed a 23-year old cyclist. More secrets to cycling safely in traffic. Comparing the world’s two largest bike share programs as London’s new Cycle Hire kicks off this week — but only for members. Meanwhile, the city’s first two Cycle Superhighways opened on Monday.

Finally, an NYPD officer faces charges for hitting a cyclist, dragging him to the curb, giving him a ticket and then driving off without reporting it; the entire event was captured on video.

Robert Sam Sanchez sentenced to 4 years for the death of Rod Armas

It’s hard to call something breaking news when it happened over a month ago.

But word is just coming out that Robert Sam Sanchez changed his plea to no contest at pre-hearing conference on June 14th and was sentenced to 4 years in state prison for the death of Rod Armas in Malibu last year.

According to cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels, Sanchez pleaded no contest to hit-and-run with injury, as well as an additional count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. As part of the plea deal, charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI with injury were dismissed.

As you may recall, Rod Armas and his son Christian were riding on the shoulder of PCH in Malibu as they neared the end of the L.A. Wheelmen’s annual Grand Tour Double Century on the night of June 27, 2009. They only had about 10 miles left in their ride when they were struck by a Dodge Ram pickup driven by Sanchez, a records clerk for the City of Malibu, who fled the scene.

The pickup was discovered abandoned about a mile further down the road, and Sanchez was arrested after being found hiding nearby. His blood alcohol level still measured .05 over five hours after Armas was left to die in the road.

Wheels speculates that the delay in taking a blood sample may have led to the decision to drop the alcohol charges, since there may have been a problem proving that he was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

Sanchez was sentenced to four years for each count, to be served concurrently. As a result, he will serve a maximum of fours years; however, in all likelihood, the actual time he spends behind bars will be significantly less.

According to Wheels, this was a good outcome under the circumstances, and Sanchez was not let off easy. He was sentenced to the maximum term for felony hit-and-run, and a mid-term sentence for manslaughter, with a finding that alcohol was involved.

The next step is a Restitution Hearing scheduled for July 30th, after which Sanchez will be required to surrender to authorities to begin his sentence.

Of course, the question is why the conviction received coverage in the news; even the local press had no idea a deal had been reached and a sentence imposed. Dj Wheels had a case in another courthouse on the day of the pre-hearing conference, and only learned about the conviction when he tried to find out why yesterday’s scheduled pretrial hearing didn’t take place.

Maybe they just didn’t want us to know until Sanchez was safely behind bars.

Update: This absolutely chilling comment appeared on the Bike Forums thread about Rod Armas this morning, from a rider who rolled up on the scene just minutes after Rod and Christian were hit.


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L.A.’s mayor jumps on the bike bandwagon — and promptly falls off

L.A. bicyclists have long fantasized about getting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on a bike.

Not just for the affirmation of cycling as a valid means of transportation and recreation it would provide in this often unwelcoming city, but so he would understand the challenges we face on its streets.

I have a feeling he gets it now.

Just days after Will Campbell revealed the first known photo of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on a bicycle — and only seven months since Villaraigosa stunned L.A. cyclists by publicly voicing support for bicycling for the first time — he’s now officially one of us.

On Saturday evening, he was cut off by a driver. And ended up with a broken elbow that required surgery on Sunday.

He might be hard pressed to find a local rider who can’t relate to the first part of the story, if not the second.

According to the Times, His Honor was riding in the bike lane on Venice Blvd between Hervey and Hargis Streets near Culver City when a taxi suddenly pulled in front of him, causing the mayor to fall.

Many bicyclists read between the lines and suspected a classic right hook, in which the driver makes a right turn across the path of a rider. Or maybe the cabbie cut in front of the Mayor and stopped short, like an accidental version of what Dr. Thompson was convicted of doing on purpose.

According to LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer, the real story is just a little different.

It seems the cab was parked along the curb and pulled out directly in front of the Mayor without looking for approaching riders in the bike lane. And rather than the implied hit-and-run, the driver did stop and exchange information, then left the scene before police arrived.

So while the driver did cause what the police term a no-contact collision, it was not a hit-and-run. And the only chargeable offense would be making an unsafe lane change or failure to yield.

Welcome to our world.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s spent much time riding the streets of this city who doesn’t have a similar tale to tell. Except drivers usually don’t stop for cyclists who don’t ride with a security detail.

And I have a feeling the police took the mayor’s call a little more seriously than they have the rest of us.

So we wish you well, Mr. Mayor.

Some of us hope you ignore all of those people who say this proves how dangerous it is to ride in this city, and just get back out on your bike as soon as you can. While others are hopeful that you’ve learned a lesson about drivers’ attitudes towards cyclists, painful though it may be, and hope you’ll now partner with cyclists to make the streets safer. And are critical of the press that wrote this off as a mere accident and implied it was your fault.

But if you haven’t quite grasped it yet, just try reading some of the comments on the Times story about your injury. If you have the stomach for it.

Like it or not, you’re one of us now.

………

After a dull weekend, some real drama in the Tour de France.

Just as Andy Schleck was about to destroy Alberto Contador on a climb, Schleck lost his chain. And his yellow jersey, as Contador ignored the accepted courtesy of not attacking the leader when he has mechanical trouble. As a result, he now leads Schleck by a mere 8 seconds — with a very pissed of Luxembourger on his heels.

On Sunday, nothing much happened as Christophe Riblon won the stage and the leaders chose to play poker rather than compete; Vino bounced back from a two-year blood doping suspension to win stage 13. Judging by his comments, maybe Lance will be back in 2015 (third item), while his PR machine rolls over bad press. Jens Voigt wonders just how strong Contador really is this year.

………

A cyclist visits New York and asks, can we have some of those separated bike lanes too? Brayj says the city Planning Department clearly listened to him, but the new draft bike plan still has a way to go. How to make Riverside more bike-friendly; just change the name of the city and this would be make damn good approach for L.A. as well. Visiting L.A.’s largely forgotten Fisherman’s Village by bike. A female cyclist says if guys only knew how good they look on a bike, they’d ride everywhere. A cyclist is found dead on the side of a Santa Clara County roadway. Long Beach’s biking expats take the long — and very scenic — route from Nashville to Chattanooga. One of Amarillo’s leading bike activists is killed when a distracted driver tries to pick up the cell phone he dropped. Two cyclists are killed in separate incidents in OKC in just two days. A British cyclist was killed on the site of a planned bikeway that was scrapped just last week. Even for a trained cyclist, wearing a helmet is better than cracking your head. Even in Turkey, they’re building new bikeways.

Finally, a writer for the New York Post bends over backwards to ignore the safety improvements on Gotham’s streets and says no matter how many bike lanes the city builds, they will only make New York more dangerous.

As our own mayor can attest, more cars on the road only make our streets safer.

Right?

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