Morning Links: A warning on riding through smoke, Arts District bike lanes, and is Ryu plotting to undo Rowena?

Last night, we watched as the edge of the devilish smoke plume from the Holy Fire slowly approached our apartment.

And as the evening wore on, we began to smell a hint of smoke in the Hollywood air.

Which for us, just means dealing with my allergies and my wife’s asthma. And slipping the Corgi a benadryl to stop her sneezing.

But if you live or ride closer to the fire, smelling smoke should serve as a warning to stay off your bike for awhile. Or at the very least, wearing a protective mask so you don’t suck in ash and other particles carried on the smoke.

Smoke from wildfires can cause a host of health problems, short term and long, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

During one of the Malibu fires a few years back, I thought it was far enough away that I could get in a quick ride. And paid the price with breathing problems that lasted long after the smoke cleared.

So learn from my mistake, and if you can smell smoke, just take a few days off.

Chances are, the roads will still be there when the fire is out.

………

Local

LA Councilmember Jose Huizar calls for a new mobility strategy for the Arts District, including bike lanes on Traction Ave, Sante Fe Street and Mateo Street.

A writer for Los Angeles Magazine examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, saying we could all stand to see a little more of the city from its sidewalks.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on a seemingly secret study prepared for Councilmember David Ryu that appears to lay the groundwork for removing the highly successful Rowena road diet to appease local residents and return automotive hegemony to the street.

 

State

A Calistoga bike shop displays a collector’s racing bikes, including some of the first carbon and ti bikes, dating back to a 1930’s bike mode by early Italian cyclist Giovanni Gerbi.

Eureka votes to conduct a pair of road diets to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe councilmembers have more courage up there than they do here in Los Angeles. Or maybe they just care more.

 

National

Bicycling says the economic success of gravel bike rides like Dirty Kanzaa is saving small-town America.

The Portland Business Journal talks with BikePortland founder Jonathan Maus, who says the city has lost its status as a bicycling leader.

They take a long time to get there, but an Idaho TV station finally says yes, bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast. And they can use the Idaho stop, because they’re, like, in Idaho.

A Catholic website looks at the spiritual side of Iowa’s RAGBRAI, which in this case could be called biking with the bishop.

Gothamist maps out the most dangerous areas for bike riders and pedestrians in NYC.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says you’re most likely to be killed by a car in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, whether you’re on a bike or on foot. The same is true in Los Angeles, and probably most other cities, where poor neighborhoods are usually older and neglected.

Don’t be this guy. After a DC driver honked at him, a road raging bike rider attacked the driver and his car with a U-lock while shouting the N-word at him. The racist jerk is now being held behind bars without bail on hate crime charges.

 

International

A new European medical study compares the health benefits of various modes of transportation. And once again, bicycling comes out on top, for mental and physical health, both real and perceived.

Another new study looks at the effects of bike lanes next to parallel parking, saying that dooring is underreported. And recommends sharrows instead of bike lanes to get riders out of the door zone. Although it’s my belief that the arrows in sharrows are only there to help angry drivers improve their aim.

A Winnipeg poll says 70% percent of bike riders worry about being passed too closely, while 40% of drivers worry about doing it. Simple solution: If all drivers would just stop doing it, no one would have to worry about it.

No bias here. After a group of British cyclists post bike cam video of a pair of dangerous drivers, the tabloids focus on a commenter who called them a bunch of “Lycra wankers” in response.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Glasgow man’s bicycle as he was being treated by paramedics after a crash.

No bias here, either. The Irish Times says it will take a massive change in attitude to cut the country’s record bicycling fatalities — no, by the people on two wheels. Oh, and people need to stop drinking and driving, too.

A Nordic business site says the Hövding air bag helmet is the safest and trendiest bike helmet, and it’s going global. Safest, maybe. But trendiest? How many have you actually seen in the wild? That’s what I thought.

Politico looks at the slow, painful death of the famed Paris Vélib docked bikeshare system. Or maybe not, as a cyclist celebrates the end of the Tour de France by touring Paris with his fiancé by Vélib.

Berlin swings and misses in its attempt to be more like Amsterdam, building a bike path that zigs and zags with more right angles than a hopscotch grid.

A writer offers advice on how to avoid injury while riding a bicycle in Uganda, starting with riding defensively and being patient. Although advising riders to wear elbow pads and knee guards seems a little extreme.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver may avoid jail for fleeing the scene after leaving a 13-year old bike rider with life-threatening injuries, telling the court she just panicked and has realized the error of her ways. But what the hell is with expecting a 13-year kid to act like an experienced rider? 

He gets it. According to an Aussie writer, no one says you have to like cyclists, just don’t kill anyone. And stop saying you want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie cyclist Ritchie Porte says the only way to beat Team Sky in next year’s Tour de France is for all the other teams to gang up and keep attacking.

Sad news, as American cyclist Adrien Costa lost his right leg above the knee in a climbing accident last month; the 20-year old rider for Hagens Berman Axeon team walked away from racing after winning Le Tour de Bretagne and finishing second in the Tour of Utah in 2016. A GoFundMe page to help pay for his treatment has raised over $46,000 of the $100,000 goal.

 

Finally…

In the US, it’s the dog days of summer; in Australia, it’s the start of Magpies swooping at bicyclists season. When your $120,000 track bike turns out to be worth $15,000 US. Which is still a lot.

And don’t chase a grandmother into her home while naked and masturbating.

Especially if she’s armed.

 

One comment

  1. “Smoke from wildfires can cause a host of health problems, short term and long, especially if you have underlying health conditions.”

    I frequently check http://www.aqmd.gov/ before riding. That’s the website for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Scroll down for a map that displays current air quality, updated hourly. I don’t ride unless my area is green or yellow.

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