Morning Links: Slow start for Metro Bike Share, and a call for banning bikes from LA River Bike Path

My apologies for the continued lack of email notifications for subscribers. Painfully slow response times from the service techs doesn’t help.

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According to the LA Times, bikeshare is off to a slow start in Los Angeles.

The paper reports that the Metro Bike system, currently limited to DTLA, averaged 73 trips per bicycle in the first three months of operation, less than one-sixth that of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

However, it’s doing better than Santa Monica’s Breeze, which averaged just 58 trips per bike in its first three months.

The paper also reports that Metro Bike plans to expand to Pasadena, Venice and the Port of Los Angeles next year, continuing its policy of developing isolated systems, rather than building an interconnected network throughout the city.

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As we noted earlier this week, it’s tragic that an Elysian Valley woman was struck from behind by cyclist while walking on the LA River Bike Path.

But it’s irresponsible to assume the rider was at fault without knowing any details of how it happened, or even if he or she stopped afterwards. And even more irresponsible to call for banning all bikes from the bike path as a result, as members of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch are demanding.

Particularly if this is just the second such collision in three years, as the story suggests. Which would be an enviable record for any shared path.

Shared pathways inevitably pose risks to both bike riders and walkers. Yes, those of us on two wheels have a greater responsibility to watch out for others, since we pose the greater risk.

But we can be the victims of careless pedestrians, just as they can be the victims of careless bicyclists.

And some of us have the scars to prove it.

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Don’t forget Sunday’s CicLAvia, which returns to the traditional Heart of Downtown course; you’ll find feeder rides from all over town.

Although my feeder ride is likely to be the Red Line.

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The Guardian looks at the 110th edition of the season-ending Giro Di Lombardia.

The inventor of hidden motors in racing bicycles accuses UCI, bike racing’s governing body, of blocking tests for motor doping at this year’s Tour de France.

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Local

CiclaValley asks if saving a few seconds behind the wheel really matters.

People often quit cycling because of a wreck with a car; a 76-year old Santa Monica man got into bicycling because of one; he took up master’s bike racing after he was hit by a car while walking, ending his career as a power lifter.

Malibu is asking for public input on what to do with Trancas Field above PCH, including a possible skate park and bike pump track.

 

State

Newport Beach police are looking for the owners of eight stolen bicycles recovered in a recent raid, along with a shitload of drugs.

The Wall Street Journal highlights some of the 87 bicycles from the collection of the late Marin County resident Robin Williams that are being auctioned this week; VeloNews lists their five favorite bikes from the collection. I’ll take the Soviet team bike, thank you; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Soap opera star Bryan Craig will star in Ride, a new movie about BMX racing to be filmed around Napa and Petaluma.

How to plan a weekend getaway pedaling Napa’s wine country bike trail.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine continues its newfound commitment to clickbait, offering 12 ways bikes make American cities more awesome.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is leading a 70 mile bike ride from Taos to Santa Fe NM to promote health and fitness. And no doubt, to prove he has the “stamina” for the job.

Every summer thousands of cyclists spend a week pedaling across Iowa; each fall, a handful of riders do it in a single day.

The best museum in Pittsburgh may be a five year old bike shop with a collection of 3,500 vintage and modern bikes.

A Florida driver got four to seven years for the hit-and-run death of a 10-year old girl who paused to talk with a friend as she rode her bike.

 

International

A new study says male bike riders are less likely to be involved in conflicts with vehicles at intersections than women. Which could be another reason why women are less likely to ride than men.

An Ontario letter writer blames those darn bike lanes for making bike riders lazy and drivers dangerous. Because it was paradise on the roads before they were striped, evidently.

Tragic news from Toronto, where an 84-year old woman was killed in a collision with a cyclist as she was crossing the street; police are looking for the hit-and-run rider who left the scene before officers arrived. For anyone unclear on the concept, you have an obligation to stop, render aid and exchange ID and insurance information following a collision, just like any driver.

One in three Toronto bicyclists are female, but a lack of safe infrastructure keeps more women from riding.

London business leaders say the solution to managing traffic is to rip out the bike lanes, drop the congestion charge, and let motor vehicles run amok. In other words, continue the same outdated policies that got them into this mess.

A San Francisco man rides 400-miles through Israel with wounded Israeli vets.

A group of Muslim women in Australia ride each week to overcome fear caused by “negative Islamic rhetoric” and show that they’re the same as any other women.

Bloomberg says China’s bikesharing programs could lead the world back to the bicycle.

 

Finally…

It takes a special kind of jerk to cut off a little girl on a bicycle, then swear at her because she scratched your car trying to avoid a wreck. No, it’s not the “left turn of death” if no one has been killed there and hardly anyone injured. But nice try.

And who needs a car when you can skitch?

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    If you are going to a a jigsaw bike system why have a connected bike share system? With my luck I would live on the border of 2 systems and have to juggle the types of payments to deal with….

    Skitching, what fun. My father in law used to do that in San Francisco back in teh 1920’s….

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