Morning Links: Raising funds for Woon’s baby, the Onion satirizes LA bike lanes, and taps for WeHo Pedals

And we’re back!

Let’s start with a special thanks to Steve S for debugging the new WordPress upgrade to get us back online in time for today’s post. 

Now grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for awhile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing Friday’s post. 

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It’s Day 18 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your screen every morning.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make this a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Let’s start with a small ray of hope this holiday season. 

A baby sized ray, in fact. 

Last April, Frederick “Woon” Frazier was run down by a heartless hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA. 

Now his infant son is just days from being born, eight months after Woon was killed. A tiny miracle bringing hope and joy to a family so desperately in need of it. 

Even if he will have to grow up and spend his entire life without a father. And without a father’s emotional or financial support. 

But you can help with the last part, anyway. 

crowdfunding campaign is raising money for his son to help cover medical costs related to the birth, and help him get off to the best possible start in life. 

Meanwhile, his killer has still not been charged, despite turning herself in a month later as police were closing in. And after painting her white SUV black in an attempt to cover up the crime

His mother, who has been outspoken in her calls for justice, is asking everyone to turn out for a candlelight Christmas vigil this Wednesday at the site where Woon was killed. Both to remember her son, and to renew the call to prosecute his killer. 

Thanks to Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up

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The Onion discovers the nation’s worst bike city, writing with satirical tongue planted firmly in cheek that LA will add a buffer lane for bike riders to recover after they’re hit by a car

 “L.A. has fallen short of bike-friendly places like Portland and Philadelphia for years, which is why the City Council voted today in a landslide 11-0 decision to finally create a bright green pathway where you can get doored and safely roll around, clutching your knee and writhing in unbearable agony,” said mayor Eric Garcetti… “Countless accidents occur every day because of our poor cycling infrastructure, reckless motorists, and many other factors within our control, but luckily Central L.A. will soon have miles of road fully dedicated to letting riders regain consciousness from these collisions. Never again will you be side-swiped, rear-ended, or cut off by a distracted Uber driver without having a place to tend to your wounds.”

Maybe a little open ridicule will be enough to get city officials off their metaphorical asses and actually do something non-satirical to improve safety. 

We can dream, can’t we?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the tip. 

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That music you hear isn’t Jingle Bells. It’s the sound of Taps for West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare program. 

The city is pulling the plug on its docked bikeshare system after two years of low ridership and mounting financial losses, and considering opening the door to dockless bikeshare providers as a replacement

Although oddly, not reconsidering their ill-conceived ban on e-scooters.

Much of the blame falls on WeHo’s lack of bike lanes, as well as a sparsity of docking locations in much of the city. And the lack of ebikes didn’t help users navigate the steep hills leading up to Sunset Blvd. 

Unfortunately, the closure will leave a large gap in the planned Westside bikeshare system, which was intended to link Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, UCLA and West Hollywood in a single, interoperable network. 

It’s questionable how long the others will be able to survive without private sponsorship, and as dockless ebikes and scooters dominate the bikeshare landscape. 

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Bad news from North San Diego County. 

Community leader and bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker was critically injured when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Encinitas around 6 am Saturday. 

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Walker was riding on North Coast Highway 101 near Phoebe Street when she was run down, resulting in serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. 

In a tragic irony, she was hit while riding on a section of the Coast Highway where she had advocated for significant safety improvements, including roundabouts and bike lanes, as part of the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project.

Thanks to JMK for the link

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Congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman on being named the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

I’m told he’ll take the helm of the LACBC in January, after moving over from his current position as ED of River LA

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Megan Lynch forwards word of a suspicious looking Craigslist post for a high-end recumbent. She identified the bike as a Haluzak Horizon, and says it’s very unusual for someone selling a bike like that to not know, or at least mention, the make and model. 

So if you know someone who’s had one stolen, give ‘em a heads-up. 

Lynch also says this one looks fishy, with three ‘bents available for sale in Santa Ana, but no brand listed for any of them. 

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After moving from Las Vegas to Reno this year, the Interbike trade show may have gone belly-up. Organizers have canceled the 2019 show, while making vague promises to return in 2020… somewhere. 

Bicycling Retailer says the country’s largest bicycle trade show died a needless death.  

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Before we go on, take a six-minute virtual self-supported mountain bike ride across the beautiful and treacherous volcanic Icelandic landscape.

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Local

We’re not the only ones raising funds this month. Streetsblog LA is holding a fundraiser, hoping to raise $10,000 before the first of the year

Bike Talk features Scott Gamzon and Terrence Heuston of Keep Rowena Safe talking about their efforts to fight attempts to rip out the successful road diet and bike lanes

Metro CEO Phil Washington made what may or may not have been a serious suggestion to implement congestion pricing, and use the money to make transit free

Good Twitter thread from Greg Spotts on where the newly arrived Lyft scooters aren’t welcome to be left or rented on the Westside. 

Forbes profiles Los Angeles-based Kym Perfetto, who’s gone from bike messenger to one of the first SoulCycle instructors to fitness social influencer, riding her bicycle across North and South America, Europe and Japan in the process. 

Riding a bike across the US may be challenging. But it’s nothing compared to a paraplegic Hollywood man rolling across the country in a hand-propelled wheelchair

The LAPD is forming a task force to deal with the rising rate of stolen bikes in the Venice area, as well as a number of open air bike chop shops. 

Curbed dubs Santa Monica the ebike and e-scooter capital of the world

The new Spectrum News 1 channel examines Santa Monica’s efforts to corral dockless bikes and scooters in designated parking areas.

State

Apparently, it takes two years for Cathedral City bicyclists to take off their clothes

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer complains about the county’s bicycle obsession and the money spent on bikeways, saying “bicycles should be registered and pay.” Never mind that dangerous drivers are the only reason we need safe bike lanes and paths. Or that bicycles don’t actually have any money.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city with crumbling pavement. Berkeley’s streets are falling apart, with no plans to pave anything this year

Tragic news from San Francisco, where a surfer died after being revived by paramedics; a passing bicyclist called 911 when he spotted the man floating unconscious in the water. 

A Marin public workshop will consider whether e-bikes should be allowed on the mountain considered the birthplace of mountain biking

National

A new report from American Progress says the dawn of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to redesign the surface transportation system to prioritize the needs of nonautomotive users, calling it a “transportation and urban development imperative.” 

Nice piece from Bicycling about a woman who cured her depression by taking off on cross-country ride with her ‘bent, a dog and a violin, traveling 4,000 miles, 12 miles at time. Then decided to kep going across Canada. And plans on riding the Pan-American Highway to Argentina next year.

Cycling Industry News asks if belt drive bikes are bad for local bike shops

Wired considers how e-scooters could save our cities

Seattle blames historic wet weather for a 20% drop in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, a local magazine makes the case for e-scooters after the city’s mayor call them too dangerous for the streets.

New Mexican bicyclist says he’s throwing in the towel because the cars have won. 

A local writer recommends biking Colorado’s Vail Pass from the top down, while a columnist in nearby Aspen suggests beating the winter blues by riding a bike during ski season

Denver plans to move e-scooters to the bike lanes, allowing users to ride on the sidewalk only when other options aren’t available — and only at 6mph. 

Baltimore has passed a Complete Streets law, requiring all new street construction to have a bike and pedestrian friendly design.  

A North Carolina pastor is bicycling across Africa to bring fresh water to the continent

International

Vancouver bicyclists rode in honor of a 72-year old bike advocate who died after falling off his bike. 

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored when a truck passenger opens a door into him. 

A bighearted 14-year old Yazidi boy who had been an ISIS captive is behind a Winnipeg program to provide his fellow refugee children with bicycles; thanks to a contribution from an American man, he’s been able to distribute 100 bikes so far. 

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has Christmas lunch at the world’s “oldest, poshest and most eccentric” — and exclusively male — Dickensian bike club.

London is the latest international city to get Lime’s e-assist dockless bikes.

A British bike rider is calling for more bike racks at the entrance to a local mall, after counting 200 empty bike racks hidden in the back. American bicyclists would be happy for any bike racks at most malls

Britain’s Cyclist magazine employs a wind tunnel in an attempt to answer what’s the best descending positionIn my case, it’s whichever one keeps me in one piece until I reach the bottom. 

bike-riding serial butt slapper walks with probation for attacking 21 English women after the judge rules he’s too intellectually impaired to cope with life behind bars. And no, there’s not a damn thing funny about that

The idea that won’t go away. A Swedish company is following in Volvo’s footsteps by encouraging bike riders, pedestrians and yes, even pets, to spray themselves head-to-toe with an invisible reflective paint.

In a frightening story, a South African bike rider describes how he used his bike to fend off an attacker armed with a broken bottle until a passing motorist intervened with a Taser. 

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Kiwi bicyclists are still riding competitively in their 80s and 90s, with the youngest racer a spritely 79. 

No bias here, either. A new “pro-car” political party in New Zealand has its sights set on bicycling, calling it a “150-year-old technology that cars have virtually eliminated.”

Or here. An Aussie website says the roads are plagued by coffee-swilling middle-aged men in Lycra, and that cycling will never succeed in the country without an “international embargo on epilepsy-colored activewear and padded undies.”

new tongue-in-cheek study in the Medical Journal of Australia says yes, MAMILs exist, even if they don’t ride to work. 

An Australian website looks at the Melbourne company whose innovative bike bell took Kickstarter by storm

Quietly exploring Hokkaido, Japan by bicycle, where “motorists are ridiculously courteous.” Let’s hope that’s contagious

A new Korean startup hopes to boost bicycling by ending the problem of abandoned and thrown-away bicycles through fixing them up and putting them back on the street. 

Bangkok, Thailand closed down 25 streets on Sunday, as part of a nationwide ciclovia

China’s massive abandoned bikeshare bike dumps caught in pictures. 

Competitive Cycling

Hour record holder Bradley Wiggins says his time at the top will be short-lived, insisting Belgian pro Victor Campenaerts will beat his record next year

Lance Armstrong: venture capitalist

Finally…

How to suck at cycling. How to ride rollers for 24 straight hours without going crazy. If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, you might want to take your license plate with you.

And your next mountain bike could be a Lego

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Thanks to Ralph D, Kirsten B, Glen S and Janice H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

3 comments

  1. Ralph says:

    As for bike and scooter parking. OUr local Grundschule redid the front entrance to the school and installed new bike racks and scooter racks.
    Can’t seem to get a picture or two in the comments.

  2. keith says:

    Elementary school across the street had bike racks installed by the city – for a couple of weeks. They’ve since been removed. They were oddly installed down the street from the entrance in an area where all the buses park for drop off & pickups.

    One morning there was a bike rack full of bikes in front of the school near the entrance. Turns out it was for a movie shoot.

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