Morning Links: Riding from LAX to DTLA, bike helmets may be bad for jaws, and biking through blobs

I know it’s just Monday. And a short, holiday week at that.

But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover here. So grab the beverage of your choice, and let’s get started.

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Gary Cziko offers bike cam video proof that it is possible to ride from LAX to DTLA without dying.

No, really.

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Your helmet may protect your skull, but your jaw is another matter. A new research study shows that bike helmets can significantly increase the risk of mandibular fractures (pdf).

In other science news, silkworms fed graphene and carbon nanotubes produce a new fiber that is super strong, lightweight and conducts electricity, opening the door for a whole new class of high performance clothing that could prevent road rash or light up on its own.

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Seattle advocates placed 240 white silhouettes on the streets to remember victims of traffic violence on Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance; members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition did the same in Boston.

New York bike advocates ride to honor fallen cyclists and call for better safety.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, an Ohio Marine sergeant died last month from wounds he suffered eleven years earlier in Iraq; after his return he learned to ride a bike, despite being paralyzed and unable to speak.

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Who’s faster? The mountain biker or the dog?

Then again, that depends on the mountain biker. And the dog.

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Peloton tells the story of American Davis Phinney’s first stage win in the Tour de France in 1986.

A smashed face at last year’s Paris-Roubaix classic isn’t enough to keep Aussie cyclist Mitch Docker from trying again next year.

Evidently, quitting pro cycling is harder than it seems, as Ireland’s Martyn Irvine un-retires to compete again.

Nice gesture from Team Novo Nordisk’s Phil Sutherland by reaching out to a 12-year old Japanese boy with type 1 diabetes and riding with him the day before the all-diabetic team competed in the Japanese Cup.

Transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden took the women’s title at El Tour de Tucson, where the world’s fastest woman competed, as well.

Santa Cruz cyclists are excited to find Dutch pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam has moved to town, and turns out to be a regular, if somewhat superhuman, guy.

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Local

Los Angeles will hold meetings on December 6th and 13th to discuss plans for the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion project, to fill in the missing 12.5 miles of the LA bike path in the San Fernando Valley between Vanalden Ave and Forest Lawn/Zoo Drive.

KPCC reports on the LACBC bike count showing a jump in bicycling on streets with new bike lanes, but an overall decline as the city has largely halted bike lane expansion.

Writing for Streetsblog, Jonathan Weiss says CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is quick to take credit for the Expo Line, but blames its problems on everyone else, including the needless one-mile gap in the Expo Line bikeway through Cheviot Hills.

CiclaValley writes about placing the ghost bike for 15-year old Saul Lopez in Pacoima last week.

 

State

Calbike petitions Caltrans to live up to changes in state law to eliminate Level of Service guidelines and make it easier to build better streets.

It was a bad weekend for cyclists in Central California; a bike rider was killed in Bakersfield when he allegedly rode into the side of a car, and a Santa Barbara rider was found dead after apparently suffering a medical emergency.

A Palo Alto man was arrested for using a circular saw to cut through a pair of Kryptonite bike locks to steal a bike from a train station in broad daylight.

Family members of traffic victims form a new Bay Area traffic safety group.

Sacramento tames a high speed, auto-centric street with a road diet, turning it into a more human-focused Complete Street.

 

National

It looks like conservative Fox News is getting on the road safety bandwagon, reporting that cyclists are at higher risk when intersections aren’t at right angles.

A Portland bike rider has started a petition to require all bikeshare users in the city to wear a helmet. Even though only one bikeshare rider has ever been killed in the US. And even though cities like Seattle, and Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, that require helmet use have failing bikeshare systems.

A New Mexico father finally gets justice six years after his son was killed while riding his bicycle on a tribal reservation, as he was traveling across country to raise money for breast cancer research.

A new study shows bicycling contributes $1.6 billion to the Colorado economy, while nearly half of the state’s residents rode a bicycle last year. Which is a hell of a lot more than the highly touted revenue the state generates from legalizing dope.

Kindhearted Texas TV viewers pitch in to buy a disabled vet a new and better three-wheeled ebike after his was stolen last week.

Once again, a bike rider comes to the rescue, spotting a Wisconsin driver passed out on coke and Fentanyl with her four-year old in the car.

A Chicago alderman was seriously injured when debris got caught in his bike wheel and threw him over his handlebars. Correction: Make that a squirrel

A very forgiving Minneapolis bike rider feels sorry for the suicidal driver who ran him down after attempting to hang a toddler at a daycare center.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette checks in with Danny Chew, the city’s iconic cyclist who’s dream of riding one million miles came to an abrupt end when he was paralyzed from the waste down in a solo fall.

It’s not just LA. A New York Daily News editorial says that city is suffering from a hit-and-run epidemic, too.

A writer for the Washington Post says Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan is a trap.

 

International

How to ride on dirt and gravel.

A writer for Bike Radar says the world is a mess, but it’s also a beautiful place to explore on a bike.

London’s Telegraph takes a surprisingly even-handed look at how to improve bicycle safety.

No bias here. A British paper reports a bike rider rode up out of the blue to verbally abuse a driver and pound on her car for no apparent reason. Violence is never justified, except in self-defense. But chances are, the driver may have had something to do with the rider’s anger, valid or not.

A UK cyclist may admit to riding through red lights, but swears he won’t ride without lights at night.

Caught on video: a Brit thief lurks in the shadows before snatching a 14-year old paperboy’s bike.

Life is cheap in Scotland, where the death of a bike rider at the hands of a careless driver who claimed he didn’t even see the victim only merits the equivalent of an $800 fine — and not even the loss of his license. Saying you didn’t see the victim should be a confession, not an excuse.

Brussels takes the Idaho stop law a step further by allowing cyclists to ride through red and amber lights.

Spend your next vacation bikepacking in Mongolia.

Caught on video: Australians are calling for a car passenger to be prosecuted for smacking a cyclist on the ass. One more reason to have a rear-facing camera on your bike. So to speak.

You know your city sucks when a Tour de France winner in afraid to ride there; Cadel Evans says riding in Sydney, Australia is too intimidating.

A Bloomberg columnist says bikes are back in China due to worsening air pollution and road congestion.

A writer tries one of China’s bikesharing apps for a day, and concludes that people are assholes.

Singapore attempts to improve safety by recruiting 200 bicycle ambassadors to teach safe cycling and bike etiquette in local neighborhoods.

 

Finally…

It’s not usual to encounter obstacles in a time trial; a full-blown police chase on the other hand, not so much. LA drivers are bad enough; but at least we don’t have to worry about emu attacks. Or coyotes, for that matter.

And when there’s a potentially toxic foam spill, the obvious thing is to ride your bike through it.

4 comments

  1. As the “model” in the video, I will attest that it is not only possible but preferable to ride from LAX to DTLA. To do this one certainly needs the skill set possessed by savvy cyclists. But these are easy to attain, especially now that CyclingSavvy is online. If everyone had these skills, LA traffic jams would disappear!

  2. david says:

    Just a few comments on the many great news stories reported today:

    1. If you like century rides, don’t miss the Tour de Tucson next year. Always the sat before thanksgiving weekend. I have done it 3x in the past 10 years and it’s the best century ride you will ever do. Professionally produced by Perimeter cycling. Timed ride for everyone.

    2. Unfortunately it has been reported that a 54 year old man died during the Tour de Tucson. He just collapsed during the ride, no accident.

    3. Many folks in Colorado are so happy that California legalized Marijuana as they hope many of the pot heads that jammed their state since 2012 will move further west and free up housing and other resources that have been stretched.

  3. Ralph says:

    I agree with the assessment of El Tour de Tucson. But unless they have changed the first wash crossing carry your bike there. Plenty of goats heads and you know what that means a mile further down the road…

    I read the paper about jaw/midfacial injuries for cyclists in crashes. Not really surprised that there is a slightly greater incidence of that kind of injury. Data from Germany where I’m living currently. I would say that 10% wearing helmets is about right. Kids and most people on sporty bikes mostly. The commute riders rarely wear one. (I don’t when just riding around town.) So extra damage could be part of the possibility of extra speed and risk taking on the sporty bikes.

    We must be careful or the next step will be to mandate full face helmets for cyclists…..

    I have a friend who had a squirrel go part way through his front wheel on Stanford’s campus. Broken carbon wheel and fork and clavicle…. A squirrel hit my front wheel and bounced off, 36 spoke wheel….

    • bikinginla says:

      Ouch. Closest I’ve come to that was a pigeon that waited until the last second to take off, and went the wrong way as I tried to swerve around it. Lost a few tail feathers, but otherwise seemed okay.

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