Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

………

Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

……….

Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

………

My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

………

bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

………

April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

………

Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

………

Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

2 comments

  1. Peter says:

    As always, I’m being a bit overly sensitive, but it still makes me grumpy.

    Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

    First, from the second article, one of the mountain bikers admitted to traveling closer to 30 MPH. Now are you really going to say that a cyclist traveling close to 30 MPH on a shared use trail is acceptable?

    • bikinginla says:

      I didn’t say that it was acceptable or unacceptable, just that deputies will be on the lookout for speeding mountain bikers; the terms rogue and one percent came from one of the stories, though I don’t recall which one.

      But since you asked, I would say that using speed guns on an offroad trail seems a little ridiculous, just as bombing down a shared trail at 30 mph is dangerous and rude. Then there’s the idea that 15 mph can be too fast on crowded trail, while doing 20 when you’re the only one on the trail can be perfectly safe.

      I’d much rather see enforcement based on reckless riding or endangering the safety of others, than ticketing people who may or may not have a speedometer on their bike for speeding. Especially if they’re only doing a few miles over the limit.

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