Morning Links: Recapping the biking year that was, New Year’s bike resolutions, and one last ’tis the season

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

We have a lot of ground to catch up on after taking the holidays off, so grab your coffee and strap yourself in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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‘Tis the season for a long list of annual recaps.

People for Bikes lists their ten best ebike stories of the last year.

Bicycling offers the year’s most viral bike moments, while Pink Bike contents itself with the best mountain bike fails.

Bicycling also lists the 101 best products they tested over the past year. If you have time to click through all 100-plus pages, that is. Once you finish reading this, of course.

Road.cc remembers the ten most bizarre bicycling stories of 2018, from a hero Romanian dog to a hero British actor. And Kanye.

A Minnesota paper says goodbye to the year in labored verse.

CiclaValley looks back on his favorite Instagram moments of 2018.

And LA Bike Dad remembers 2018 as the year his bike got run over by a bus.

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‘Tis the season for resolutions, too.

Vancouver’s former chief planner offers some timely suggestions on how you can resolve to make your city better this year.

A British website offers 15 suggestions to improve bicycling in the country in the year to come.

If your New Year’s resolution was to ride your bike more, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has 45 good reasons to back that up — including a longer, healthier life.

And not only is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis one of us, she’s resolving to ride her bike more.

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‘Twas the season, too.

A North Carolina program gave away 773 bikes to kids on Christmas morning, for their 22nd straight year of bike donations.

Volunteers pitched in to build 200 bicycles donated by Trek for victims of November’s Woolsey Fire in the Malibu Hills, courtesy of the Westlake Village Trek store.

San Diego, uh, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon worked with Rally Cycling to give 100 inner city Gardena kids new bikes, helmets and locks.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson continued his annual tradition by giving away over 1,000 bicycles to kids in South LA.

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Lots of healthy bike news to report, as well.

A new study shows bicycling can help you live longer, even if you can only ride of weekends.

A writer for Bike Biz says bicycling could provide the antidote to childhood obesity.

Just six months of bicycling can improve thinking stills in older adults with cognitive impairments.

Egypt’s president gets on his bike to set an example after calling his countrymen and women fat. And gets ridiculed in response.

And forget the energy drinks, have a chocolate bar.

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Phil Gaimon continues to ruin a good retirement, this time going for KOMs on a pair of the South Bay’s favorite rides.

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Local

Get ready for the next round in Pasadena’s battle over unsafe streets, as the city holds a meeting next Tuesday to discuss a lane reduction and Complete Streets proposal for Cordova Street. If previous meetings are any indication, the city’s traffic safety deniers are likely to turn out in force to halt any hint of progress.

State

As of yesterday, you can legally leave your helmet at home when you ride a scooter. And you can be charged with hit-and-run if you ride off following a crash with another person on a bike path.

The good news is, a new law will require California drunk drivers to install interlock devices on their cars after a DUI conviction. The bad news is, they’ll be able to keep their licenses as a result. And don’t forget that Breathalyzers only detect alcohol use, and do nothing to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

Santa Ana builds Orange County’s first curb-protected, separated bike lane.

San Diego has started work on a 9.3 mile cycle track connecting the city’s downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. But those protected bike lanes aren’t protected yet, so needless to say, they’re being used as parking and traffic lanes.

A San Diego firefighter is riding across the US to honor his friend, who was killed fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in 2017.

It’s a San Diego trifecta, as letter writers respond to a letter in the Union-Tribune to insist that roads were built for us, too.

San Jose’s mayor is recovering from being hit by a driver on New Years Day, suffering a broken collarbone and chest bone, as well as injuries to his back and neck. Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

San Francisco struggles to find answers after hit-and-run deaths spike in 2018; Vision Zero deaths blamed on fleeing drivers more than doubled over the previous two years. Actually, finding solutions isn’t the problem; finding the political will to actually do something is.

So what did you do to celebrate your high school graduation? Chances are, it wasn’t a 4,200-mile ride across the US like this 18-year old Santa Rosa man.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

The New York Times says the West Coast is kicking the East Coast’s collective butt when it comes to transportation. And yes, they include Los Angeles in that.

Heidi Klum is one of us. So are her fiancé and kids.

The top bike city in Oregon probably isn’t the one you think.

To prevent doorings, Illinois residents will now be required to learn the Dutch reach to get a driver’s license.

Great story. After a Massachusetts man is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he dedicates whatever time he has left to putting underprivileged kids on bikes.

No bias here. A conservative Boston newspaper says the state’s new bike plan should take a hike, calling bikes a Victorian-era solution to 21st century problems.

It’s a New York trifecta, too, as Streetsblog says it should come as news that cars are the problem with our cities. And always were.

Vision Zero is working in New York, with traffic fatalities down for the fifth straight year, to the lowest level in 100 years.

Tragic news from the city, however, as a New York ebike rider was killed when he was doored by a cab driver, knocking him into the path of a car headed in the opposite direction. Doorings are among the most common types of bicycle crashes, but are seldom fatal.

In an editorial that could have been written in any city in the US — and most cities out of it — the Washington Post says too many people died in DC traffic collisions last year.

We may have problems getting bike lanes built in LA, but at least we don’t have to deal with Congress.

Writing in the Washington Post, a self-described occasional bike rider says he knows bicyclists don’t have all the answers on bike safety, because he was hit by one while he was walking in a park. And he wants bike riders to be required to have insurance and a license — or at least turn signals on their bikes, which wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest since he was hit from behind.

Normally it’s just drivers who are a pain in the ass. A South Carolina man may be riding his bike gingerly for awhile after a passing bicyclist shot him in the butt for no apparent reason.

International

The BBC explains how not to die on a bike.

An engineering website challenges any takers to improve on the design of the traditional diamond bike frame.

Bike Biz asks if ebikes could save the bicycling industry.

Bike culture is growing in Sonora, Mexico.

Fifteen years after breaking three ribs while working as a bike messenger, a Toronto woman is working to make sure other messengers have the financial help she didn’t.

Toronto’s mayor says the city’s Vision Zero program just isn’t working, despite investing $100 million in making changes over the past five years; advocates says it’s because the city hasn’t made the right changes. Los Angeles tried the opposite approach; don’t fund Vision Zero and don’t make any major changes, and just hope deaths go down.

It’s a Toronto trifecta, as well, as a driver writes that society is over governed, so people on bicycles should be, too. And drivers should be required to learn all those silly little traffic laws that they’re already required to know.

If you want to be invisible, ride a bike. A drone-flying couple disrupted thousands of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas, making their getaway in plain sight on bicycles. And while wearing hi-viz.

With the city’s transportation systems shut down for Christmas Day, Londoner’s take to bikeshare.

London-based Simon Cowell is one of us now. Whether we want him or not.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a reckless bike rider was fined the equivalent of less than $560 for crashing into a pedestrian, leaving the victim with life-changing brain injuries.

Business Insider takes a video look at how Copenhagen got its 7,500 miles of cycle tracks.

Oslo, Norway says it’s time to stop planning cities for cars and start planning for people, by banning cars from the city center.

An Indian entrepreneur says a little reflective tape could have prevented over 20,000 bicycling deaths in the country. Um, probably not.

A month after a married Indian man went missing on a solo cross-country bike tour and was presumed drowned, he was found safe and sound in a Mumbai motel. With his girlfriend.

NPR goes for a bike ride with a group of Pakistani women to see firsthand the abuse they suffer just trying to ride their bikes through a conservative Karachi slum.

Two new Aussie studies confirm what you already know — some drivers just don’t like people on bicycles, and won’t move over or slow down, regardless of what the law says.

In a desperate attempt to go viral, a Singaporean teen turns himself into a human crash test dummy, jumping off at the last second as he deliberately crashes a dockless bikeshare bike into a wall. If he really wanted to go viral, he should have stayed on the bike.

A foreign policy website considers the rise and fall of China’s dockless bikeshare companies. And asks what the hell happened.

Competitive Cycling

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Cycling Weekly ranks the ten best performances of the 2018 road cycling season, while Road.cc lists the ten biggest stories in the pro peloton, and Cycling News offers the ten biggest stories in pro cycling last year.

Chris Froome is planning to skip the Giro this year to focus on the Tour de France in an effort to tie the record for most victories. As long as you don’t count Lance, that is.

Finally…

If you’re going to build a track bike to honor one of history’s greatest cyclists of any color, try to get the date of his first championship right. If you’re going to steal a bike, maybe you should pick one that isn’t locked up in front of the police station.

And if you’re going to get drunk on the job, try not to ride your delivery bike into a cop.

Seriously.

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Thanks to Passion Beauty Inc and Terence H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

With your help, we raised nearly $2,100 to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And let’s all give a special thanks to Todd Rowell for his exceptionally generous donation of a new laptop keep BikinginLA online and, at long last, put an end to nearly a year of dead and dying laptop misery.  

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