Morning Links: Formerly paralyzed BMX champ dances at his wedding, and bicycling as a mobility tool

In today’s best news story, 26-year old Australian BMX champ Sam Willoughby danced with his new wife at their wedding in San Diego, just 15 months after he was paralyzed from the neck down in a training accident.

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Important piece in the Guardian, which notes that riding a bicycle is easier than walking for most disabled people, and that many disabled commuters travel by bicycle.

Which make bike lanes an important mobility tool, rather than an obstacle for the disabled as bike lane opponents commonly accuse.

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This is what happens when a professional BMX racer misjudges his jump over a fence. And is lucky to avoid getting impaled.

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Local

Disappointing news from DTLA, as Arts District coffee shop/bike shop The Wheelhouse closed unexpectedly at the end of the year, though the owners promise to make a comeback somewhere, in some form. Meanwhile, Calabasas-based 10-Speed Coffee, run by the owners of the bike-themed Pedaler’s Fork restaurant, will be opening a new location in Santa Monica this April.

Megan Lynch forwards a South Pasadena news story about the Rose Parade, including photos of bike riders accompanying a bicycle-themed float.

A look back at what could have been, on the 118th anniversary of the famed California Cycleway, an elevated wooden bikeway that was supposed to link Pasadena with Downtown Los Angeles but was never finished.

 

State

Seriously? The new mayor of Solana Beach in North San Diego County says she doesn’t support efforts to get more people on bikes, because she can’t show real estate using a bicycle. Maybe she should try a little harder. Or not judge everyone else by what she isn’t willing to do.

 

National

Less than a year after taking up riding, newly retired NASCAR favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. vows to ride his bike 50 to 100 miles a week, even with a new baby on the way. Anyone who has a new baby is probably thinking “Good luck with that.”

A bicyclist is riding from New York to the CES show in Las Vegas in just 10 days to promote the Elektron Gen 2 e-assist wheel with a beta version of the new Google Assist installed. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Sounds like fun. Arizona bike riders welcomed 2018 with a New Year’s ride through the desert under the supermoon.

Utah may consider adopting the full Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs. And potentially go one step further than California, which is set to consider a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stops as yields, but still have to stop for red lights.  Thanks to Eric Rogers for the heads-up.

Dockless bikeshare finally has Dallas TX residents talking about bikes.

The head of a Wisconsin bike nonprofit says every kid who wants a bike should have one. Not to mention a safe place to ride it.

It’s now officially legal for drivers to pass bicyclists in a no passing zone in Illinois, and for cyclists to ride on the shoulder of a roadway. Even if they may have to wait for the state to thaw out first. It would be legal for drivers to briefly cross the yellow line to pass bicyclists in California if Governor Jerry Brown hadn’t vetoed an earlier version of the three-foot passing law that contained that provision.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where the life of a bicyclist killed by a drunk driver is only worth a lousy nine months in jail.

Auto-centric Michigan is finally getting around to updating the laws to protect people on bicycles, including a five-foot passing law and banning distracted driving. Although based on the previous story, it sounds like tougher penalties for DUI and fatal crashes might be a good idea, too.

Baltimore drivers are complaining about protected bike lanes, saying the streets are too narrow to accommodate a buffered bike lane, a parking lane and two travel lanes. Although it sounds like what they really want is to get their parking spaces back.

A kindhearted Florida woman crowdsourced funds to buy an 80-year old man a three-wheeled ebike after learning he walked eight miles each way to get to his job.

 

International

Lawrence Solomon, head of a climate-change denying Canadian think tank, is back with yet another bike-hating diatribe, urging cities to rip out bike lanes “before more innocent people get hurt.” Never mind that studies have shown that bike lanes — and especially protected bike lanes — improve safety for all road users.

A British bike advocacy group says a biased online survey of that found drivers want bike riders to have insurance and wear hi-viz is, well, biased. Meanwhile, the head of that advocacy group was stunned to get his stolen Brompton back after someone found it abandoned at a train station.

Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist is nearly squeezed off the road in a punishment pass by a bus driver. And he responds with the same language I’ve used under similar circumstances, which is why I usually post my videos with the sound off.

The husband of an English woman killed in a crash with a bicyclist calls for a new law banning dangerous or careless cycling that results in injury or death. Even though the rider who hit his wife was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, which is more than most drivers get.

A man in the UK is looking for the Good Samaritans who helped him when he broke his arm after his bike was crowded off the road by a passing driver.

A bighearted stranger bought a British boy a new bike after the one he got for Christmas was stolen at knifepoint in a bike-jacking.

The deputy director of Zimbabwe’s national intelligence agency was posthumously named a national hero after he was killed in a traffic collision, despite killing a bike rider in a crash 16 years earlier.

This is why you should always carry ID when you ride. Australian authorities are trying to identify a man who collapsed while riding his bike. I wear my Road ID whenever I leave home, whether or not I’m riding; it doubles as my medical alert bracelet.

A travel writer calls Taiwan a bicycling paradise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eight-time world BMX and mountain bike champ Caroline Buchanan is expected to make a full recovery after she was critically injured in a one-car crash in Australia’s New South Wales state over the weekend.

Pro cyclist Kristian Sbaragli learned the hard way not to leave his team bike unattended when he stops for coffee after a training ride.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle, at least show a little respect and rob something better than a dollar store. Don’t extort money from the driver that hit you.

And seriously, don’t wear your headphone turned up so loud you can’t hear an oncoming train.

 

4 comments

  1. The so-called bike lane in the UK video was traversed in its entirety during the punishment pass plus some left at the end. It would have been just as useful to direct the bus driver to use the motorway instead.

  2. F lehnerz says:

    Mayor Marshall should realize that not all of us can afford a house, even with good income, probably thanks to greedy “I got mine now you can’t have one” real estate agents like her who care about making money over affordability to normal people. Not to mention those of us who rent or live in condos or HOAs usually can’t install solar panels and buying a hybrid or full electric car is out of many people’s price range too.
    If she genuinely cares about the environment she’d see riding a bicycle may be the biggest impact many people could do, especially for air quality and congestion, in an area such as Solana Beach.

  3. David says:

    And in LA, Bike Lanes are especially important because I have met and there are many folks from Mexico that just came here over the years who cannot afford a car and their bicycle is their primary transportation to get to work.

    Talking to a bus boy at a restaurant in Beverly Hills a while back: He told me that he had a work a few months just to have extra cash after paying rent to buy a used bike for $75.00 so he can work later after public transportation ends.

    • Biked says:

      It is true that bike use has a low cost of entry, but that may not be a good thing. Bike share done right, better minimal atandards, can help the lanes be about mobility.

      When you can buy a bike but not rent one, the village has failed. Transit likewise should not be a stepping stone, the feds need to require comoetktive performance, intelligent speeds, eliminate 8 mph routes. Prior to investing 75 the bus subsidy was that a week, he saves us by biking but only briefly. Trwnsit less frequent at times to go all night is answer and better bikes in libraries, cheap to borrow. Bike libraries!

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