Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

………

Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

………

Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

Morning Links: Problems with Vision Zero, fallen Loma Linda cyclist hits hard, and a pedal-sparked forest fire

Co.Exist offers a good look at the problems in implementing Vision Zero, saying cities have to get bolder if it’s going to be more than just the latest trend.

What’s missing, according to the article, is the funding and political will to make the changes necessary to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths. Along with the determination to overrule NIMBY opposition.

Which so far at least, sums up Los Angeles in a nutshell.

As they point out, the city just finished a series of outreach meetings to get input from advocates and neighborhood groups already working on safety issues.

But we’ve yet to see decisive leadership from the mayor office, or any hint of a backbone from the city council or LADOT. Let alone the funding to pay for the changes that will be necessary on our streets if they’re serious about eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, as they claim.

So we’ll have to see what comes out of that.

But without a major commitment from city leaders, the chances of Vision Zero succeeding here in LA are pretty much zero.

………

Both KNBC-4 and KCBS-2 report on the collateral damage death of cyclist Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a domestic violence suspect trying to flee police in Loma Linda.

According to KNBC-4, the chase only lasted a few seconds, as Eric Tafoya drove in the bike lane in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic; Stephenson’s friend suggests sheriff’s deputies should have just let him go and made the arrest at a later date.

Meanwhile, friends describe Stephenson to KCBS-2 as funny, outgoing and a super nice guy, who loved working on his bike and hanging out at his local bike shop.

………

Bicycles hardly ever cause fires.

But the recent Rock Creek Fire in the Inyo National forrest appears to be the exception, as the Forrest Service has traced the ignition point back to a mountain bike pedal striking a rock.

So either put rubberized pedals on your mountain bike, or keep a safe distance from rocks until we get a little more rain.

………

VeloNews recaps stage four of the Vuelta. What all four stage winners have in common so far is that none of them are among the expected leaders. However, American Andrew Talansky is confident he can finish in the top 10.

The former head of British Cycling credits the Japanese concept of kaizen for the country’s Olympic success; the philosophy of continuous improvement through small gains helped Japan rebuild after WWII.

Two more amateur masters racers have been caught doping. No, seriously.

………

Local

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez talks with the former state senate leader who led a 1972 bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help preserve the California coast; 89-year old Jim Mills still has the yellow Schwinn Super Sport he rode.

KCET looks at plans to complete the missing links in the LA River bike path though the San Fernando Valley to create a single continuous pathway from Canoga Park to the Elysian Valley, and profiles the firms hired to design the path and determine its feasibility.

CiclaValley says Pt. Magu State Park is the perfect spot for your first gravel ride.

Time Out Los Angeles considers whether it’s legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in LA. Short answer, yes in LA; no in the county, maybe, or maybe not, everywhere else.

Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — is having a pop-up sale at their Burbank headquarters this Saturday.

Questions surround a planned bikeway along the San Gabriel River in Baldwin Park after the city council approved spending up to $120,000 without further council approval, and the city hired an Oregon firm accused of bribery, against the recommendation of the city’s then-Public Works Director.

The Santa Clarita Valley has seen four serious hit-and-runs resulting in injury or death in the last three months, starting with the death of music teacher Rob Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon last May; the driver in that case faces charges for manslaughter, DUI and fleeing the scene.

 

State

Orange County Transportation Authority approves a $1.11 million bicycle corridor in Garden Grove.

Good news, as a San Clemente mountain biker has regained the use of his legs after falling 300 feet off the Telonics trail last April.

A Palm Springs bike rider is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup. Although the local TV station seemed more concerned about the effect it had on local traffic.

A bike bridge called the crown jewel of a San Francisco bicycle safety project that enables cyclists to bypass a complicated freeway interchange has now become a homeless encampment.

Already two years behind schedule, the bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is still a path to nowhere, with completion of the section leading to Yerba Buena Island now delayed until October.

Bicycling relates the tale of two San Francisco cyclists who engaged in a slow-speed bike chase to retrieve a stolen bicycle and tackle the thief before police arrived.

Security cameras will be installed on bike paths around the Chico State campus to improve safety for students.

 

National

Portland officials are planning to use lottery funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway.

Evidently, you can kill someone in Idaho while not paying attention to the road, with the sun in your eyes, and reaching down for something on the seat next to you, and it’s still just a misdemeanor if you didn’t do it on purpose. If we ever hope to end traffic deaths, our legal system has to take the careless killing of another human being seriously.

A 12-year old Montana girl fought city hall for two years to get a guard rail installed on a bike path to protect riders from a steep drop off.

DNA tests confirm it was a 20-year old grizzly bear who killed a mountain biker last June after he and a companion evidently surprised the bear as they rode on a trail near Glacier National Park.

Life is cheap in Iowa, as a woman gets two years probation, despite fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in a pouring rainstorm. Yes, probation, without a single day behind bars, despite leaving her victim to die in the street.

No bias here. A bike rider gets the blame when a Missouri school bus driver goes off the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was passing the cyclist. Evidently, it’s impossible for drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass, let alone slow down or put on the brakes.

Who says you can’t build bikes in the US? A new high volume bike manufacturer opens in Little Rock, Arkansas to build carbon-frame bicycles.

A Minneapolis bike commuter complains about rude cyclists in spandex, accusing them of patriarchal sexism and male entitlement. And not looking awesome in those shorts. Or maybe it’s possible that some people are just assholes sometimes, whether on two wheels or four.

An Indiana family of seven takes in their son’s best friend after his mother was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle.

New York police actively discourage a bike rider from filing a police report, despite witnessing her being assaulted by an Uber driver.

A bike-riding, 80-year old woman living on the streets of DC told everyone the government owed her $100,000. And finally proved it.

A Savannah GA writer complains about the attitude that bicycle safety improvements have to be earned through good behavior by cyclists, a standard that is never applied to motorists. I’d love to see officials say no more freeways until drivers stop speeding and start signaling their turns and lane changes. Or maybe just no more freeways, period.

 

International

An off-duty Halifax police officer is being called a hero after helping save the life of bike rider following a hit-and-run.

A letter writer in the UK complains that the real problem with bikeshare is that it’s too expensive, no one wears helmets, and everyone except him rides like a jerk.

A British man faces charges after allegedly driving across the road and onto the sidewalk to assault a man who was riding on a bike path and smash his bicycle; bizarrely, a couple of men stopped to intervene during the attack, but drove off after seeing the victim was okay.

One man’s bike shop is popularizing bicycling in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

 

Finally…

You could be the proud owner of a bicycle formerly ridden by Sir Edmund Hillary for the equivalent of just $182. If you’re carrying meth on your bike and already have two outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it.

And probably not the best idea to ride a bicycle home with a fishing hook still caught in your penis.

 

Morning Links: One year for killing OC cyclist, new video of LAPD beating bike rider, and bike hating sportswriters

We have way too much news for one day. So grab yourself a cuppa Joe and buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

………

Just one year for the hit-and-run death of a Laguna Beach bicyclist.

Twenty-one-year old Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby plead guilty Monday to one count of felony hit-and-run with injury and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of John Colvin over two years ago.

Sure, you could call death an injury.

Rand-Luby swerved his car out of his lane and into the bike lane where Colvin was riding, striking him from behind, then continued on for another mile with a windshield too shattered to see through before finally pulling over.

He had faced up to four years in prison, but accepted a plea deal calling for just one year behind bars, with three years formal probation upon his release.

You can read the OC District Attorney’s full press release here, including the very moving impact statements from Colvin’s family.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times released security camera video of the beating of South LA bike rider Clinton Alford, Jr. by an LAPD officer following a brief chase on bike and foot.

Yet despite what you see, the LA District Attorney’s office inexplicably let the officer who kicked Alford in the head, beat him for several seconds, then kneeled heavily on his back for a couple minutes — even though Alford was in handcuffs and laying face down on the street the whole time — off with community service and a $500 fine.

And he could have his felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor once he completes the terms of his plea deal.

This is the third time DA Jackie Lacey has let a cop off with a slap on the wrist — or less — in a case involving a bike rider, following her refusal to charge the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, and the three Gardena cops who fatally shot the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Clearly, the DA has someone’s back.

But it’s not ours.

………

Where to even begin with this one?

The online bike world blew up over the weekend when not one, not two, but three sportswriters felt a need to display their ignorance, anti-bike bias or just plan willingness to risk the lives and safety of those on two wheels.

Starting with a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King showing his co-worker driving in the bike lane in order to get to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for an interview. A move that did not sit well with a number of people, including the San Diego Police Department.

Properly chastised, King apologized on Monday. Although generally, if someone is truly repentant, they don’t bury the apology at the bottom on an exceptionally long column.

Then there’s Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who felt compelled to chime in, saying it’s hard not to drive in a bike lane down there since it’s all they have, claiming there’s 10,000 miles of bike lanes for just ten bicyclists.

Never mind that San Diego ranks third nationally for bike commuting among cities over one million population.

This is what San Diegan Frank Lehnerz had to say in an email to Canepa’s colleagues at the U-T.

No, it’s not okay to violate CVC 21209 as Mr. King bragged on social media last weekend. There are plenty of normal traffic lanes for motorists to use. Bike lanes are far from “all we have.” Nearly every mile of freeway in the city prohibits cyclists and the infrastructure is only usable to only the most competent and attentive cyclists.  If your colleague can’t learn, respect, and follow the laws, he should do the public a favor and surrender his driving license. In addition to the few dangerous drivers, bicyclists here in San Diego have to deal with potholes, train tracks, cracks, non-functioning signals, and bikes lanes which end all the sudden at intersections and where roads cross over freeways. Personally I’ve dealt with several close calls of people driving motor vehicle swerving into the bike lane in order to pass stopped traffic or get a head start on making a right hand turn. These drivers often do this with no turn signal or with a cell phone in hand. It’s not a joke when a cyclist is struck and injured or killed. In some cases it’s a hit and run, in others the cyclists is either dead or unable to recall the actions and thus his or her side of the story is never told.

Motorists should not be in the bicycle lanes unless it’s for one of the exemptions given under CVC 21209 and after they’ve ensured the lane is clear of cyclists.

And last, and certainly least, there’s former footballer and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who may have absorbed one hit too many before hanging up the cleats.

Because it was Evans who took it a step further by expressing his desire to run down people on bikes, apparently because he was briefly delayed by a couple cyclists in Venice.

SI7O0H2T.jpg-large

Funny how no one ever says they want to kill motorists because they were stuck on the 405 for hours, but a few seconds behind someone on a bike is enough to bring out murderous rage.

Like King, but apparently, not Canepa, Evans apologized after debating the matter with rightfully enraged members of the Twitterati, even as he expressed bewilderment that bikes don’t actually belong on the sidewalk.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read what Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has to say on the subject. And even New York’s famed Bike Snob couldn’t resist adding his two cents to the West Coast blow-up.

Because, as ignorant as these comments and actions were, these are the people we share the streets with.

And as much as we might like to think they’re extreme examples, the attitudes they express are a lot more common than any of us would like to believe.

Thanks to Cuong T. for the tip.

………

Good luck to Mark Friis, formerly the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance.

Friis recently stepped down from his position, and yesterday the reason became clear. He’s about to embark on an around-the-world bike tour.

You can follow his journey on his new website. And contribute to his efforts online, if you’re so inclined.

………

Still more kindhearted people.

Pomona police dig into their own pockets replace the bike a 12-year old boy was rebuilding after it was stolen; it only took 20 minutes for eight cops to step up after the call went out looking for officers willing to pitch in.

Clovis police recovered a boy’s stolen bicycle after it had been dismantled, so they rebuilt it themselves before returning it to him.

Bighearted volunteers in Calgary are refurbishing donated bicycles to provide reliable transportation for Syrian refugees.

………

Local

CiclaValley takes a late night ride with Walk Bike Burbank’s Midnight Ramble.

Pasadena is taking steps to become more bike friendly in the next 10 to 15 years — apparently not five as the headline suggests — by conducting road diets and installing buffered and protected bike lanes.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza and Jose Jimenez, Education Director for Bike SGV.

 

State

Cyclelicious says thank you, but he did not coin the term Idaho Stop, although he was among the first to popularize it.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open streets event returns on October 30th after a two year hiatus. Meanwhile, San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood will get a new bike co-op, including a weekly bike valet.

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the state of protected bike lanes in the US, and around the world.

Sunday marks the ninth annual Bike the Bay in San Diego, offering riders a once-a-year opportunity to ride across the arching San Diego – Coronado Bridge. Although you’ll find yourself among the bizarrely anti-bike Coronado denizens once you get to the other side.

A law firm is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the hit-and-run death of Moreno Valley resident Duane Darling as he rode his bike in Mead Valley last month.

The Redlands cycling community mourns Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a driver fleeing sheriff’s deputies in Loma Linda last week; the long-time member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Co bike club had just left Don’s Bike Shop in Redlands when he was run down.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how cycling can help solve global warming.

A Chicago website reports on the booming, spandex-free underground bike scene that roams the city every Monday night.

Eleven cities in the US and Canada are now using the sonar system developed by the Chattanooga Police Department to measure whether drivers give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law. Sadly, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The New Yorker looks at the challenges of transforming the Motor City into a bike making center.

A Rochester NY minister is offering a $1,000 reward for his stunt BMX bicycle that apparently fell off his car on the way back to his church — after using it to jump over a helicopter into a burning wall.

New York needs a better system for removing abandoned bicycles clogging up the city’s bike parking.

Tragic irony, as a Florida man who served time for killing a man in a road rage incident was himself the victim of a road raging driver.

 

International

Bike Radar says the formula for how many bikes you need is N+1 = CX, offering five reasons why your next bike should be a cross bike.

New cars should be able to see you by 2018, even if their drivers don’t.

A Columbian startup is rewarding riders in Bogotá and Mexico City with points for each kilometer they ride, which can be exchanged for discounts at participating merchants; they will expand into Vancouver next.

A Toronto sportswriter tries riding the new Rio bikeways without luck, including the rebuilt cliff-side trail that collapsed earlier this year, killing two people.

Winnipeg bike riders are advised to use two locks when they lock up, as bike thefts jump nearly 75%.

A Brit bike rider claims to have set a new world record for the longest distance traveled on a bikeshare bike in a single hour, at just over 20 miles.

A British woman wants signs posted in a park warning pedestrians about bikes after she was knocked down by a bike rider. Seriously, anytime there are pedestrians around, slow the hell down.

Apparently not satisfied with winning most of the cycling medals in the Rio Olympics, British Cycling looks to build on its success.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about getting back on your bike after a vasectomy. No, those aren’t bike shorts.

And if you’re going to use an axe to try to hack through a bike lock in broad daylight, try not to whack the bike.

 

Morning Links: Hard-hitting Aussie traffic PSAs, cops lectured by bike riders, and more kindhearted people

Australia’s Queensland state introduces a hard-hitting ad campaign to drive home the cost of traffic violence.

Here in Southern California, most traffic deaths never even make the news.

Maybe something like this could finally wake people up to the realization that the cost of the unhindered automotive hegemony on our streets is just too damn high.

………

Caught on video:

A driver gets lectured by a cyclist after failing to signal and observe the three-foot passing law — and turns out to be the chief of police for St. Paul MN, who took it surprisingly well.

A Florida cop gets an earful when he mistakenly tries to tell a cyclist to get on the sidewalk.

………

More kindhearted people in today’s bike news.

An Oregon man scours the local landfill looking for bikes he can fix and give away to children; if he sees kids walking he’ll ask if they need a bike.

Texas police dig into their own pockets to buy a special needs boy a new bicycle after his was stolen by a couple little kids.

Missouri police donate an unclaimed bicycle to a woman who relied on her bike for transportation after it was stolen while she worked as an election volunteer.

South Dakota state troopers pitch in to buy teenage boy a new bicycle after they stopped him walking along a freeway, and learned he had to walk eight miles to work every day.

………

The men’s Olympic mountain bike race ended in a mirror finish of the London Olympics; the results left Peter Sagan feeling flat. Meanwhile, the youngest rider on the course won the women’s race.

Mara Abbott writes movingly about coming so close to winning gold in the Rio road race.

Chris Froome is off to a good start in the Vuelta a España following the team time trial.

And any jerk can steal a bicycle; it takes a special kind of jerk to steal a painted cow from the 2012 London Olympic course that was going to be auctioned off for charity.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg calls for revolution, one council seat at a time.

Shinola brings their Built-in-Detroit ethos to the Grove. Which it turns out is more of an assembled in Detroit ethos, but still.

Santa Monica’s California Incline will reopen on September 1st with new bike lanes and walkways leading to and from PCH.

Santa Monica will host this year’s Kidical Mass ride on September 17th.

Temple City will install stop signs and other traffic measures to improve safety at the intersection of Rosemead Blvd and Sereno Drive, where a bike rider was hit by a car last year.

 

State

An Orange County supervisor successfully lobbied for a bike and pedestrian path along a flood control channel to allow kids to get to school and a park more easily.

The lawyer for a Fresno basketball coach who was sentenced to 12-years in prison for the drunk driving crash that took the life of a seven-year old bike rider, and critically injured his 18-month old sister, has filed a motion to withdraw his no-contest plea, arguing that a new video shows no one, drunk or sober, could have avoided the crash.

Hikers, equestrians and environmental groups are joining in opposition to plans to open backcountry watershed trails in San Francisco’s East Bay to mountain bikes.

The executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says there’s been an alarming increase in drivers deliberately targeting people on bicycles. Anyone threatening a cyclist with a motor vehicle should automatically face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and do time upon conviction.

There’s also been a jump in bike thefts in Marin County, with roughly 300 bicycles stolen so far this year.

 

National

Advice on how to ride a bike with your dog.

An Aussie couple are riding across the US with their autistic son, traveling over 3,000 miles from Washington to Washington. Hopefully, they won’t have to deal with a rampaging raccoon.

Dallas wisely agrees to void a $259 fine for riding a bicycle without a helmet, which isn’t illegal for adults in Texas.

A photographer catches a woman and her bike being washed off a Lake Michigan breakwater.

A young Turkish woman is making what her doctors call a miraculous recovery after being the victim of a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Ohio early last month.

Sometimes a bike is just a bike; this one is more than that to a local St. Louis community.

Plans are gaining speed for a 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting 24 towns along the Delaware River.

Many people who ride across the country do it to raise awareness for a cause. A 50-year old Florida woman raised awareness for 50 causes, one for each of the 50 days of her journey.

 

International

How to survive bicycling on Bolivia’s Death Road.

Sing a song about bicycling with Shakira, and next thing you know, your own bike gets stolen.

Good news, as the British sportscaster who nearly died from malaria after riding from the UK to Rio has awakened from her coma.

An Edmonton, Canada blogger crunched the numbers to determine that riding in a separated shared path is safer than a painted bike lane. Meanwhile, the Edmonton cyclist who was the subject of racial slurs from a road raging driver and his passengers feels more hopeful after a meeting with the mayor.

Caught on video too: Toronto police are investigating after a cab driver swerved into a delivery cyclist after allegedly arguing with the rider for two blocks.

A Toronto writer says it’s okay to yield during your commute, and a little bit of empathy would benefit everyone. Which should be emblazoned on the inside of every windshield in LA. And on every handlebar.

Inspired by the exploits of the British cycling team, a Welsh reporter takes a stab at track cycling.

Leicester, England, home of the world’s most improbable soccer champs, responds to a cycling fatality by investing £2 million — the equivalent of $2.6 million — in a two-way cycle track along a major roadway. That’s exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work; we may not be able to prevent all deaths, but we can take steps to keep them from happening again.

Bike Radar issues ten very British, and very amusing, cycling problems.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Barcelona commits to spending $36 million on new bike lanes. Which is about $36 million more than LA has committed to support the bike lanes called for in the new Mobility Plan.

Good idea. Malta cyclists call on the government to make it illegal to obstruct bike racks.

Pakistani police allegedly beat two young boys accused of bike theft.

A Muslim Chinese man rode his bike over 5,000 miles to perform the Haj in Saudi Arabia.

 

Finally…

It’s not unusual to find things while you’re riding; a human skull, not so much. Or an English hyena, for that matter. The very definition of irony: A bicycle honoring the late great Muhammad Ali was stolen from the gym where he got his start in boxing after his bicycle was stolen.

And let’s finish today by watching Coldplay ride BMX bikes around Mexico City.

60-year old man riding bicycle killed in Newberry Springs collision

It’s been a bad 24 hours in San Bernardino County.

In addition to Friday’s fatality, in which a Loma Linda bike rider was killed by a suspect fleeing police, another bicyclist was killed in Newberry Springs Thursday night.

According to the San Bernardino County Sun, a 60-year old man was killed in a collision around 8:15 pm while riding his bicycle on Valley Center Road, east of Minneola Road.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to Barstow Community Hospital.

No other information is available at this time; the Sun reports it’s not even known if the driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane country road with gravel shoulders.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Bernardino County.

Correction: While the headline was correct, the story above initially gave the location as Newberry Park, rather than Newberry Springs. Thanks to Bryan J Blumberg for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed by fleeing suspect in Loma Linda police chase

A police chase has turned deadly in Loma Linda, as a Loma Linda bike rider was run down by a suspect fleeing from San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies.

According to a notice released by the department, deputies were attempting to serve a domestic violence warrant on 37-year old Eric Tafoya of Rancho Cucamonga at a residence on Benton Court in Loma Linda this morning when they saw him leave the home.

They attempted to stop his car as he drove away, however, Tafoya continued driving, apparently traveling south on Benton Street before turning west on Barton Road.

As he approached the intersection with Anderson Road at 10:48 am, he smashed into a bike rider, then continued on without stopping, until he crashed into a van and fled on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later after being located by a police dog.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notice of next of kin, was taken to nearby Loma Linda Medical Center, where he died at 12:18 pm.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how fast Tafoya’s vehicle was traveling, or whether the victim was struck on Barton or crossing at the intersection.

However, a street view shows a four lane street that could invite high speeds, with a bike lane on the right shoulder.

Tafoya now faces a possible murder charge, in addition to the original warrant.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Region 1 Major Accident Investigation Team at 909/918-2305; anonymous tips can be made at 1-800/782-7463.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second in Loma Linda since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Redlands resident Randolph Stephenson.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Randolph Stephenson and his loved ones.

Thanks to Kate for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Fundraiser for Joe4CD1, traveling LA by bike and Metro, and taking auto-eroticism a tad too literally

Josef Bray-Ali, who’s taking on anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in the race for Los Angeles’ 1st Council District, is hosting a fundraiser at NELA’s Café de Leche on Sunday.

………

Wired looks at the physics of Olympic BMX, while the US took a different approach to training for the BMX events this year.

A Dutch rider managed to qualify for the next round despite smashing his bike on the BMX course and carrying it across the finish line.

Velonews says the Olympics have forced mountain biking into shorter race formats, which one rider describes as more like a long BMX race.

Colorado considers creating a major event to replace the USA Pro Challenge, which went belly up after six years of bringing top pro cyclists to the state.

Outside examines how to motor dope your own bike, while Cycling Weekly looks at what it’s like to ride one.

And a Russian soccer player insists all cyclists dope, saying cycling is “simply impossible without doping.”

………

Local

An administrator for a Century City financial management firm touts the benefits of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare.

When a Chatsworth actor’s car needed major repairs, he took to his bike and Metro. And found he actually liked being able to get around the city without a car, especially for the senior off-peak rate of just 35¢.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says his heroes are the ones who show up for meetings about bike safety.

Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a serial bike-riding groper in Cerritos.

The Long Beach Gazettes looks at the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd in North Long Beach. But why, pray tell, did they file it under “Entertainment?”

 

State

Good news from Salinas, as a teenager who was broadsided by a car is recovering from serious injuries.

Bad news from Palo Alto, as a 73-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a stop sign. Funny how often bicyclists are blamed for crashes when they aren’t around to tell their side of the story.

San Francisco advocates fight the removal of ghost bikes; city policy calls for any memorial to be removed after just two weeks.

A candidate for the San Francisco board of supervisors responds to a fellow candidate’s call to register bikes and license their riders, saying bike licenses make good crankbait, but bad policy. Is it too late to move to the Bay just so we can all vote for him?

San Francisco launches a pair of 15-second radio spots promoting the Vision Zero program in English and Spanish, without really saying anything.

 

National

A writer for science website PLOS examines the problems with painted bike lanes that are squeezed onto the side of the road, saying if a car can park there it’s not a bike lane, it’s just the side of the road.

A writer for a left-leaning website goes on an extensive anti-mountain bike diatribe, insisting they have no place in national parks, and are “inbred with a culture of lawlessness and aggression.” And we all know inbreeding is a bad thing, right?

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske calls on bike riders to show a little courtesy to other users on multi-use paths, noting that the way we treat pedestrians could influence the way they treat us when they get behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a young woman was released after spending just 74 days behind bars for running down a cyclist and leaving him to die in the street, after a night of partying.

A Colorado letter writer points out that it’s not just bike riders who break the law, noting how rare it is to see a motorist who’s not illegally putting others at risk in some way.

Football players at a Texas university tackle a bike thief — literally — as he was riding off with a super fan’s bicycle.

An Illinois shop owner calls for action after his wife was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she stepped out of a restaurant. We all have an obligation to ride safely around pedestrians. But instead of calling for enforcement to keep cyclists off the sidewalk, why not call for making the streets safer so people on bikes don’t feel compelled to ride there?

The Chicago Tribune harvests honey with the city’s bicycling beekeeper.

In the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre, city officials consider a three-foot passing law. Which would have done nothing to prevent the drunk and stoned driver from plowing into any of the nine victims.

A New York actress was barred from driving in the state after killing a cyclist while driving distracted last year, even though a botched police investigation allowed her to escape charges. However, she can still drive in New Jersey, where she holds her license, despite four previous moving violations.

Virginia Tech researchers work on creating a rating system for bike helmets.

Atlanta cyclists let their money do the talking by holding a cash mob event to call for protected bike lanes and demonstrate that bike riders make good customers.

A former Air Force colonel is riding 2,500 miles down the East Coast to raise funds for families of fallen soldiers.

 

International

The World Health Organization has named former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg global ambassador for road safety, with a portfolio that includes preventing deaths from traffic collisions.

A British TV sports reporter is in a coma after contracting a rare form of malaria while bicycling 3,000 miles on a charity bike ride from London to Rio.

An author says the bicycle has become a tool for radical activism in Afghanistan, as he flies into the country to photograph the women’s national cycling team.

The Wall Street Journal says a luxury cycling tour of Japan with a pro racer as your guide will make you a better rider.

Take a bike tour of the remote Ha Giang region of Vietnam, which was recently opened to visitors. Unlike previous fully supported tours of the county operated by Uncle Sam, this one will set you back over three grand. But no one will be shooting at you.

 

Finally…

Why choose between bicycling and yoga when you can do both at the same time? If you’re going to use your bike to steal a cellphone from a car passenger, try to stay upright long enough to get away.

And an Iowa man is under arrest for having sex with a parked van.

Note that it says with, not in.

 

Morning Links: The terrible tyranny of two-wheeled tribal wear revisited, and dream bike rides around the world

It happened again.

This past Sunday, I rode to CicLAvia from my home in Hollywood and back again, my longest ride yet since I’ve been back on my bike.

Along the way, I passed numerous riders, some heading to or from CicLAvia, others appearing to be making their way back from a weekend ride.

I was dressed in casual clothes, preferring to leave my spandex at home for such a popular and populist event.

But as I passed the various riders, I noticed a phenomenon I’ve written about before. Riders dressed casually, in similar attire, would smile and nod as they went by, while spandexed cyclists in their club kits would pass by without a hint of recognition, as if I my choice in bikewear had rendered me invisible.

Experience has taught me it goes the other way, as well.

If I’d been wearing my riding kit, the other spandex-clad riders would likely have acknowledged me, while the casually dressed cyclists would pedal by without so much as a glance or nod in my direction.

Even though I was the same rider, with the same skills, I would be seen differently depending on what I was wearing, and unconsciously assigned to one bicycling clan or another, acknowledged by those who saw me as one of their own, and ignored by those who didn’t.

And as I note in the piece above, we somehow insist on subdividing ourselves into countless other cliques and niches, based on everything from what we ride to why.

Yet we all face the same problems on our streets. And we are all bound by the desire to ride our bikes in peace and safety, and return home again to those we love.

We are stronger together than we are apart. Whether calling for safer streets and an end to bike theft, or confronting angry homeowners who value their free parking over our lives.

So the next time you see someone on a bicycle who you seem to have nothing in common with, give them a nod and a smile anyway.

We have more binding us together than the superficialities that set us apart.

………

For those who missed it yesterday, here’s the link to the Harvard Med School article listing the five top health benefits of bicycling, along with their bizarre advice to wear spandex and a helmet while you ride your beach cruiser, but not on the street. PDF courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch.

………

Today’s common theme is where to go one your next dream ride.

HuffPo lists the best rides in the US and Canada, none of which are in California.

An Irish paper list nine beautiful bike rides around the UK.

And a Kiwi website ranks the ten most epic bike rides you can ever do — including biking to the South Pole.

………

Great news, as Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten is back on her bike after her terrifying crash while leading the women’s Olympic road race.

Here’s an impressive stat. Every member of Britain’s Olympic cycling team has won at least one medal in Rio. Including British cyclist Becky James, who recovered from a cancer scare to win two silver medals.

Britain’s cycling coach responds to accusations that they somehow manage to peak at the Olympics every four years by saying the other teams just didn’t show up. German gold medalist Kristina Vogel insists the Brits have an unfair advantage, though she can’t figure out what it is.

Congratulation to Azizulhasni Awang, who became the first Malaysian to ever medal in track cycling.

The San Diego Union-Tribune describes BMX, which starts Olympic competition on Thursday, as part horse race and part roller coaster.

And former pro Ted King says he has a lot more fun now that he’s retired.

………

Local

CiclaValley questions whether Metro’s new $22 million tunnel connecting the Orange and Red Lines in North Hollywood is worth the money, arguing that the intersection it bypasses remains dangerous and could be tamed with bike lanes. I’ve made the same argument; Metro could — and should — have saved millions and improved safety by fixing the intersection instead of tunneling underneath it.

The LACBC is looking for volunteers for a bike and pedestrian count in Inglewood this September.

A new Echo Park restaurant focusing on mescal cocktails promises to have plenty of bicycle parking. Which is certainly better than getting diners drunk and sending them out to their waiting cars.

Pasadena is planning to conduct a road diet and build a curb-protected bike lane on Union Street, after receiving a Metro grant to build ten new bicycle corridors throughout the city.

 

State

San Diego bike rental shops say their business has been adversely affected by the city’s DecoBike bikeshare system.

A plan to restore wildlife habitat in Oak Park could jeopardize dirt jumps popular with off-road and BMX riders.

Instead of preventing injuries, a San Francisco cyclist’s helmet may have caused them, as it appears to have been used to beat him severely in a vicious assault he can’t even remember.

San Francisco’s Arguello Blvd is about to trade parking spaces for bike and pedestrian safety enhancements.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a panel discussion on how to get more diversity in bicycling, which included the LACBC’s Tamika Butler.

An 18-year old Sonoma bike rider was seriously injured when he swung wide to make a sharp curve on a steep descent, and was hit head-on by a mail truck.

Bodega Bay is opening a new bike and pedestrian path named in honor of a long-time resident who lost her life in a traffic collision.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the history of the chamois.

Kids, don’t try this at home. An 80-year old Washington man was injured when he jumped on the back of a moving pickup after he saw the driver making off with his bike.

Seattle cyclists complain about dangerous crashes caused by streetcar tracks. But the city doesn’t know if there’s really a problem because they don’t bother to track it.

Life is cheap in Idaho, as a driver pleads out to a reduced charge in the death of a man riding home from work, and walks with a net of just three days in jail and $457.50 in fines and court costs.

A Missouri mother credits police for getting her young son’s bicycle back after it was stolen at gunpoint. Seriously, what kind of lowlife scum pulls a gun on a little boy?

Chicago cyclists angered by the death of a bike rider who was killed when a truck swerved into a bike lane responded by smashing the windshield of a construction truck that was parked in the same bike lane the next day; the victim was described as a radiant and shining star who would have made beautiful art. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Illinois changes its vehicle code to say every bicyclist is entitled to the same rights as motor vehicles, including that of right of way.

Boston’s mayor backs lowering speed limits in the city to 25 mph in order to save lives. LA’s Vision Zero will fail unless our leaders somehow find the courage to do the same here. And enforce it. Which seems unlikely when they don’t even have the courage to preserve bike lanes called for in the Mobility Plan.

New York gave in to community pressure to remove a parking protected bike lane and go back to an unprotected driver’s side lane; a councilman says you don’t inconvenience the entire community for the sake of a few bike riders. Which misses the point entirely.

 

International

Bike safety is still an issue for women in Toronto. And everywhere else, for that matter; women riders face threats, harassment and dangers beyond those faced by male riders.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver got a whopping £165 fine for careless driving — the equivalent of just $215 — for killing an aspiring bike racer.

Ten cyclists were injured in what was described as a horrific pile-up during a regional race in Wales.

A German cop was able to bust a fleeing drug suspect after he commandeered a kid’s bike when his car got stuck on a narrow path.

A kindhearted Israeli man does what his country should have, and buys a new bike for the eight-year old Palestinian girl who had hers confiscated and destroyed by border guards.

An Indian bike rider was killed, along with two children in cars, by glass-coated kite strings used to battle other kite flyers. As if there weren’t already enough hazards on the roads.

 

Finally…

Why settle for just one bike cam when you can record 360-degree video for a mere $4999.99? If you’re going to drive drunk on a street closed to private vehicles, and nearly hit a cyclist after a cop tells you to slow down, might as well pop a cold one when they finally pull you over.

And we only have to worry about drivers raising a stink.

Morning Links: More LA bike events, and columnist calls for confining those irresponsible cyclists to bike lanes

Let’s catch up on coming events.

Assemblymember Anthony Rendon and Supervisor Hilda Solis will host a bike ride and run to promote revitalization of the LA River this Saturday. Link courtesy of Streetsblog.

The Tour de Laemmle that was postponed due to smoke from the Sand fire earlier this summer has been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Walk Bike Burbank’s second annual Midnight Ramble Ride rolls Saturday night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a goodbye event for board member Maria Sipin on Sunday as she prepares to move to Portland. In just a few short years, Sipin has grown from a quiet volunteer to one of SoCal’s leading bike advocates, and will be very missed.

Speaking of Burbank, fixie-maker Pure Cycles is holding a pop-up sale at their headquarters in the city on the 27th.

Here’s your chance to get to know CD5 city council candidate Jesse Creed with a meet and greet in Century City on the 31st, as he prepares to take on incumbent Paul “No bike lanes on Westwood Blvd” Koretz.

………

If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could spend all day just shooting holes in the arguments made by this Boston columnist, who says the city should make bike lane use mandatory.

Since they’ve paid to build them and all, while apparently stealing precious roadway from those poor, deprived drivers who never, ever do anything wrong.

No, in her fantasy world, every one of the 400 Boston bike riders hit by cars each year evidently has it coming, as she calls them the most irresponsible group on the road.

And they could be damn near impervious to injury if they’d just strap on a damn bike helmet, which she mistakenly equates to seat belts, while trotting out the long discredited claim that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.

They don’t.

Most objective studies show bike helmets offer some protection, though just how much is debatable.

While it’s true that some bike riders blow through stop lights and weave in and out of traffic, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the greatest risk to those around them. Especially when they can’t manage to put down their phones or take their foot off the gas.

And before she talks about confining cyclists to bike lanes, maybe she should insist that drivers stop parking in them and using them as a way to bypass stalled traffic.

Let alone that the city install barriers to protect the people using them. Or that they should actually go somewhere, and connect with others to form a real bike network.

It’s easy to dismiss her comments and say it doesn’t matter since she’s on the opposite coast.

But there are thousands of people who think just like her in every city and town in the US.

And we’ve got more than our share right here in LA.

………

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer claims her second silver of the Rio Olympics with a second-place finish in the omnium.

The mountain bike course at the Rio Olympics is threatened by a wildfire which could affect practices scheduled to start today. However, officials say the course is currently unaffected by the fire; unanswered is the question of air quality. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan says no one knows what the hell to expect in this weekend’s competition.

NPR says Kristin Armstrong’s victory in the Olympic time trial shows that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower.

A writer for the New Yorker looks at the magic of track cycling, while Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze says her heart hurts more than her wounds after crashing out in the keirin.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish says he feels awful about crashing into a South Korean rider during the omnium, but apparently not enough to give back the silver medal he won. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling calls the event more complicated than Quidditch.

Despite their dominance in Rio, there were innovations to shave a off few seconds that the Brits didn’t think of.

Romantically involved Brit cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott really are a golden couple, as they share ten gold medals between them.

And in non-Rio news, a number of pro cyclists tried, and failed, to win the famed Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Saturday.

………

Local

CiclaValley offers a video reminder to not drive in the bike lane on the first day of school. Or any day, for that matter.

Pasadena met Tuesday night to discuss cycle tracks planned for Union Street.

 

State

Encinitas police are looking for the heartless hit-and-run driver who left a seriously injured bicyclist lying in the street Sunday morning. Tom Scott, who says he rides that road himself, forwards the Reddit post from a friend of the victim reporting he suffered multiple broken bones and has gone through a number of surgeries already.

A Simi Valley woman was pulled off her bicycle and stabbed repeatedly by another woman; no word on whether the victim knew her attacker or if it was a random attack.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time for the city to take off the training wheels and approve an updated bike plan.

Calbike wins a reversal, if not retraction, of the CHP’s victim blaming in a Sacramento-area bicycling crash.

Yolo County gets its own book bike.

 

National

An Arizona medical school professor rode his bicycle across the US, from DC to Seattle, to listen to Americans’ attitudes about Obamacare.

Colorado authorities throw the book at a 20-year old former star athlete who killed an eight year old girl riding her bicycle, with nine counts including vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield.

The Denver Post talks with ex-Tour de France winner, former doper and current medicinal dope peddler Floyd Landis about his new line of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products designed for discrete athletic use.

A bike rider says the man who shot and killed a New York imam and his friend was acting crazed and out-of-control as he fled the scene before driving past the cyclist once, then turning around and plowing into him.

A Philly columnist feels vindicated when a local TV station shows “arrogant” bike riders breaking the law. Never mind all those arrogant drivers who speed, fail to signal, don’t look and routinely violate right-of-way laws. But sure, let’s focus on the ones on bicycles.

That disgruntled Georgia bicyclist who stole a series of pedestrian safety signs says he’s not, and offers to pay for them, insisting he only took the signs because they were blocking the trail.

 

International

A Toronto hit-and-run has been ruled a homicide after the driver appeared to deliberately drive up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist, then back over him in a possible dispute over drugs.

A columnist calls a promised study of a new Toronto bike corridor just window dressing for another attempt to ram active transportation down the throats of drivers.

London’s mayor is urged to appoint a full-time walking and cycling commissioner.

Good Samaritans form a human chain around a London cyclist to protect him from traffic after he was injured in a collision.

Ebike prices are dropping; the new Danish MATE folding ebike retails for just $599.

Caught on video: When an Estonian BMXer insists on riding in an off-limits area, a security guard confiscates his bike. And busts some mad moves himself.

Bikeshare comes to Mumbai with a trial program offering just 20 bikes at five docking stations. Which is just enough to virtually guarantee failure.

A Cape Town ward councilor blames a six-year old girl for crashing into his extended cab pickup, never considering that he might have cut her off as he sped out of his gated office driveway.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist riding on a separated bikeway is nearly nailed in a left cross by a driver who crossed over two lanes to make the turn.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding you bike after dark with burglary tools and a half-dozen outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it — and get your ass out of the bushes, while you’re at it. Forget the pandering conviction, tell us more about that bicycle modified to be a sex toy.

And no one says you need a saddle to win a bike race.

………

Note: I was originally going to end with an item about Harvard Medical School’s bizarre advice to don a helmet and sweat-wicking spandex to ride a beach cruiser or adult tricycle with a cushioned saddle and no pedal clips, but only on a bike path, and not on the street.

Unfortunately, they’ve since hidden the article behind a paywall. Perhaps they were unprepared for the unbridled ridicule they knew was coming.

Update: Courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch, we now have a PDF of the Harvard Med School article. So feel free to ridicule at will. 

Morning Links: New blog considers how to bike commute with kids; LA takes over planned bike/ped/horse bridge

At virtually every public meeting regarding bicycles, someone will inevitably complain that they couldn’t possibly ride a bicycle because they have kids who need to get to school and soccer practice.

Never mind that there are people who somehow manage that seemingly impossible task every day.

Which is why a new blog by LA bike rider Terrence Heuston is so important.

Here’s how he explained it in a recent email.

An article in The Guardian that illustrated how Amsterdam became a cycling mecca due to the advocacy of moms, convinced me that we need L.A. moms on our side.  When a NIMBY stands in front of a city councilman and rails against bike lanes, the NIMBY and often the councilman picture a bike messenger on a fixie running a red light.  To win the battle for safer streets we need to change that image to parents with kids on bikes.  Since I am one of the few people in the city who regularly bikes for transportation with a kid, I came to the conclusion that I needed to start a blog that parents can use as a resource to start biking with their families in LA.

It is part lifestyle mag, travel blog, and “how to” guide.  I’ve also tried to use my very limited writing “skills” to instill some humor into the posts for some sugar to help the medicine go down.  The blog also subtly refutes the argument that young men can bike, but parents need cars.  On the contrary, raising a kid on a bike is better in every way.

Having bike commuted thousands of miles through LA traffic by bombing down the most direct arterial and taking the lane when necessary, I can promise you that navigating the city with your kid on a bike requires a completely different style of riding.  On my blog, I map out my family friendly routes and give turn by turn directions to help parents dip their toe in the water.

You can check it out at labikedad.com, along with recent post on how to bike commute from Silver Lake to DTLA with two kids.

And check out his deceptively simple set-up for carrying two young kids on a single bike.

LA Bike Dad

………

Los Angeles will take over planning and construction of a planned bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River connecting Atwater Village with Griffith Park.

However, the city plans to re-evaluate the cost and design of the project, which could further delay or complicate, if not kill, the project.

Meanwhile the horse people are already raising questions about the long-settled design. So how long before they try to get bikes banned, like they did in Glendale?

………

The LA Times looks at keirin, calling it NASCAR on two wheels. Although I prefer to think of it as bicycle roller derby.

The Wall Street Journal examines how Great Britain became a powerhouse in cycling at the Olympic Games; a ban on bikini waxes and adjusting saddle angles didn’t hurt.

A US Paralympian cyclist has a new arm cast allowing him to grip the handlebars, custom made by fellow teammate and two-time gold medalist Allison Jones.

………

Local

LA Councilmember Felipe Fuentes will abandon his San Fernando Valley district for a presumably high-paying gig as Sacramento lobbyist, leaving his district unrepresented in the council and starting a mad scrum to replace him. Nothing shows a lack of integrity like just walking away from the people you were elected to serve before the term is up.

Streetsblog offers photos from Sunday’s Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia, and asks for your thoughts.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the cost of shaving a few seconds off your racing time to ensuring children have food in their bellies, eyeglasses for school, and computers to do their homework.

 

State

Registration for Calbike’s California Dream Ride down the Pacific Coast is half priced this week.

The city of Orange is about to lose its popular BMX track, which is being shut down because the nearby YMCA keeps jacking up the rent.

The Ventura County Star says the safety of children walking, biking and being driven to school is more important than whatever delay drivers may face on the road.

San Francisco police raid a bike chop shop, arresting a man who claims he just does repair work for poor people.

Turns out the San Fran columnist who called for registering bikes and licensing their riders is a candidate for city supervisor, who undoubtedly lost a lot of votes. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition asks if joy should require a license, while British bike scribe Carlton Reid responds by shooting holes in his arguments with examples from around the world.

 

National

The Feds have stopped claiming bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury up to 85%, yet that stat continues to pop up long after being discredited. I always wear a helmet when I ride. But bike helmets should be considered the last line of defense when all else has failed, not some magic hat that makes you imperious to injury.

A former president of the International Mountain Bicycling Association calls proposed legislation to open wilderness trails to mountain bikes a sham, saying backers have been duped by a false promise. Needless to say, the president of the coalition backing the bill begs to differ, suggesting it will boost conservation as well as bike sales.

A Colorado triathlete says the woman killed competing in the Boulder Ironman race didn’t have to die, blaming organizers for forcing cyclists to ride on a damaged road shoulder 12 inches from cars doing 60 mph.

Sad news from Nebraska, as a woman cleaning up trash on a trail died in a collision with a bike rider; the rider tried to warn her, but was unable to avoid hitting her.

A 74-year old Texas veteran rode his bike 1,550 miles to the US Capital to get 74 names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff rode the last few miles with him.

El Paso TX antes up in the bike plan arms race with a plan to build over 1,000 miles of bike lanes. The winner will be whichever city actually builds the lanes in their bike plan rather than just drawing them on a map. Which means Los Angeles is losing.

A hit-and-run driver who fled after colliding with a bike rider has been arrested as a person of interest in the murder of a New York imam and his friend; the suspect rammed police vehicles with his SUV in an attempt to avoid arrest.

New York City’s protected bike lanes have done more than just reduce injuries; they’ve also improved traffic flow and speed.

A North Carolina writer relates the tale of a 23-year old mother of three who accepted a challenge to ride her bicycle around the world. In 1894.

This is why you let the police deal with bike thieves. An 18-year old Atlanta man is dead after trying to retrieve his little sister’s stolen bike; witnesses said he was shot three times after confronting pair of men selling water and phones in a grocery store parking lot.

After Georgia posted signs calling for pedestrian safety, a man on a bike pulled them out, calling the signs trash and a nuisance.

 

International

A writer in Bogota, Columbia takes to two wheels for his short commute to college, despite the challenges of riding the city’s streets.

Edmonton, Canada residents show their support for a planned road diet and bike lanes on a major street, even though it won’t be built for another 20 years. But a local columnist calls the plan a fiasco that will only inconvenience those poor, suffering drivers.

New research from the London branch of the University of Duh shows that drivers weigh more than bike riders. Shockingly, people don’t seem to get a lot of exercise or burn many calories when they drive, unlike bicycling.

Hate and stupidity knows no borders, as a Dublin, Ireland cyclist was gay bashed by a band of bike-riding teenagers, who shouted they need to kill as many fags as possible. I’ve had too many friends who’ve been the victims of gay bashing — including one who was murdered in a Cleveland hotel room. There’s no fucking excuse. Ever. Period. Anyone capable of that kind of hate-filled violence deserves to be thrown into the deepest hole the prison system can find.

A 104-year old French cyclist has been named the world’s greatest centenarian athlete; Robert Marchand can still ride nearly half as fast as Bradley Wiggins’ one hour record.

No criminal charges for the Israeli border guards who took a Palestinian girl’s bicycle, broke it and tossed it into the bushes.

An Australian bicyclist continues her one-woman fight against the country’s bike helmet law, as a judge misses the point entirely by saying one person riding a bike will do nothing to stop global warming. He’s right that one woman not driving won’t stop a glacier from melting at the North Pole. But improving safety and removing needless barriers to riding so others can join her might.

 

Finally…

Now you can buy a used road bike formerly ridden by a British Olympic cycling champ. We may have to deal with road raging LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our bicycles to fight off tigers.

And the only snakes we have to deal with on the road are the ones behind the wheel.

 

%d bloggers like this: