Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: South Bay bike advocate Julian Katz died, an LA Rapha ride, and who we share the roads with

We have a lot of news to catch up on after missing yesterday’s Morning Links.

We’ll get to as much as we can today, and the rest Monday to make sure you don’t miss anything.

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Sad news from the South Bay, where the Easy Reader News reports longtime bike advocate Julian Katz has died of prostate cancer at age 88.

According to the paper,

Katz was a longtime board member of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and a former Hermosa Beach Public Works commissioner. Fellow coalition board member Jim Hannon recalled Katz as a dedicated public servant who zealously pursued his goals while maintaining a low profile and kindly demeanor. As a member of the coalition, Katz helped ensure passage of the Beach Cities Bicycle Master Plan. Hannon pointed to the installation of sharrows on Hermosa Avenue as a cause Katz pushed for that created immediate benefits.Nice

A memorial ride in Katz honor will leave from the Manhattan Beach Pier at 10 am tomorrow.

You can make a tax deductible donation in Katz honor to support bicycle safety for students at 186th Street Elementary through the South Bay Bicycle Coalition.

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Nice LA-based ad from Rapha says riding is the answer.

Or as Adweek puts it, life is less crappy when you get off your phone and on a bike.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A road raging Sacramento driver did what nearly every bicyclist has wanted do at one time or another, but had the sense not to.

He repeatedly rammed a parked car with his SUV, before getting out and jumping on the roof until police came to take him away.

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Local

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged a carbon-neutral Los Angeles by 2050. Which won’t be possible without a major increase in bicycling and walking, as well as dramatically increased density. But it sounds nice, anyway.

You may still have time to make it to the East Side Riders Annual Appreciation Picnic at Athens Park this morning.

A new bicycling themed coffee shop called Super Domestic has opened across from Sony Studios in Culver City.

Santa Monica proposes a cap of 1,500 e-scooters in the city, eventually rising to 2,250; operators would have to pay a $20,000 annual fee, as well as $130 per scooter.

 

State

Six bicyclists on the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were treated for eye irritation after they were gassed with tear gas that drifted across the road from the federal prison in Lompoc.

Santa Maria has rejected claims filed on behalf of a woman’s husband and her three kids after she was killed by a city bus while riding in a bike lane.

 

National

A fundraiser is being held for a Reno mountain biker who was injured after crashing into a pair of LimeBikes that had been improperly parked in a bike lane.

Bicycling lists nine “totally awesome” charity rides around the US.

GQ tells you everything you need to know before buying a bike for fitness. Best advice: Give your favorite wrench a beer or two.

Men’s Journal reviews the best bike locks.

Good question. Treehugger wants to know why ebikes don’t get the same kind of government support electric cars do.

Salt Lake City has a new bicycle-themed bar for people who like bikes. Or appreciate long, twisty mustaches.

Colorado National Monument puts up signs warning drivers about bikes on the road, as part of a test to see if they’ll actually slow down. The drivers, not the bikes. Or the signs.

They get it. Business owners in Butte MT are pushing for more business from bicyclists.

Wisconsin-based Trek has settled a lawsuit with the family of Chris Farley after the bikemaker named its new fat bike “Farley.”

LA bike riders get Clif Bars for Bike to Work Day; Wisconsin riders get Bacon on the Bike Path.

Chicago police are using bicycle traffic stops to make gun and drug arrests in communities of color. Which is just one reason why City Lab asks if it’s time to reconsider traffic stops.

A memorial has been unveiled for the five victims of the Kalamzoo massacre.

A Dayton, Ohio man was killed when he rode his bike into oncoming traffic while fleeing from police, because he didn’t want to be jailed and miss the birth of his first child. Now he definitely will.

A Maine bike rider spent seven months tracking down the nurse who saved his life after he severed his jugular crashing into a parked car while riding with his head down.

Boston decides to make its bus and bike lane pilot project permanent.

A Queens community council votes to block plans for a protected bike lane where a rider was killed last year.

Unbelievable. An Atlanta bike rider struck by a truck whose driver had been shot in the head, after a man fired warning shots during an argument a block away; fortunately, both victims survived, though the driver is in critical condition.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the best mudguards to keep your backside dry.

Heartbreaking story of an Ontario bike rider on a charity ride who stopped to help a rider who’d fallen after blowing a tire, then was killed when a driver plowed into him and three other people on the side of the road.

Eight Quebec cities to add to your bicycle bucket list.

A writer for the Guardian says the London mayor’s time in office will be a failure if he can’t overcome a vote blocking a proposal to turn the city’s busy Oxford Street into a pedestrian mall.

A London bike rider lets his air horn do the talking when people walk in the bike lane. Seriously, don’t do that.

Sad news from Wales, where a mountain biker was killed crashing into a tree on a trail he designed himself.

The war cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Welsh rider was knocked unconscious after someone tied a string at neck height across a bike trail. And no, it’s not a sick prank; it’s a terrorist attack intended to injure or kill innocent people.

Caught on video: A British driver appears to deliberately swerve into a teenage bike bicyclist who was riding on the wrong side of the road, then threatens the woman who took the video.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 20-year old driver gets off with community service for killing a bicyclist, despite driving on the wrong side of the road with a clear view of the victim for at least 45 seconds prior to the crash.

A Dutch city will get the world’s first bike path paved entirely with recycled plastic.

A new bill under consideration in Australia would compensate bike riders for injuries suffered in a dooring or a collision with a vehicle, whether moving or parked. Better yet, it’s retroactive to 2014.

Thai bicyclists could be fined the equivalent of $15 for riding under the influence. But only if they’re caught on a main road; evidently, riding drunk on secondary road is fine.

 

Competitive Cycling

Awareness of the dangers of concussions is spreading through the pro peloton, but Rouleur argues the testing protocol needs to be made mandatory.

Britain’s most successful women’s mountain biker says her brothers were the ones who convinced her the sport was for girls.

Fallbrook pro cyclist Roger Ainslie has been banned for three and a half years after failing a drug test at the US Track National Championships. But sure, the doping era is over, right?

The Department of Defense — yes, that Department of Defense — writes about the bicycling competition at the recent DoD Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs CO.

Nice profile of Lance Armstrong, post legal settlement with the federal government. If anyone still cares.

 

Finally…

So maybe a no riding zone isn’t the best place for a bikeshare dock. When the new safety signs aren’t.

And when you’re invited to a garden party at Kensington Palace, by all means, ride your bike.

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Thanks to Mike W for his generous donation to help support this site

 

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

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We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

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Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

Morning Links: Arrest announced in Frazier hit-and-run, the healing power of bikes, and invasion of the e-scooters

For once, there may be justice in not one, but two South LA hit-and-runs.

According to KTLA-5, the driver of a Mercedes SUV who ran down and killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier on April 10th has been arrested; details will be announced at a press conference this afternoon.

However, 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks had already been booked on $72,500 bail after turning herself in last month, so it’s unclear just what police will be announcing.

Banks is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 am tomorrow at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center at 210 W. Temple Street in DTLA.

Meanwhile, the station reports police have arrested the driver who appeared to intentionally run into Quatrell Stallings as he rode his bike at a street protest over Frazier’s death, the day after Frazier was killed at Manchester and Normandie.

She had gotten out of her car to argue with some of the protesters, before slamming into Stallings and fleeing the scene.

Hopefully, details on that arrest will be announced at the press conference, as well.

Photo of Frederick Frazier’s ghost bike installation by Matt Tinoco.

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A powerful and painful piece from Peter Flax, as he writes about the healing power of an Arizona bike tour when his wife suffered a miscarriage after just a year of marriage.

It’s definitely worth reading. Just make sure you have a tissue or two.

Or maybe the whole box.

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A San Francisco writer warns in semi-apocalyptic tones about the invasion of the e-scooters.

On the other hand, a writer for the New York Times says they’re not urban menace or a harbinger of the apocalypse, they’re actually pretty great.

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Local

Streetsblog LA is holding its Summer Fund Drive; a donation will enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of Donald Shoup’s new book Parking and the City. Seriously, give what you can to help support LA’s most important source for transpiration news.

The Agoura Hills Acorn reports on the nearly $12 million settlement in the death of cyclist and entertainment lawyer Milt Olin; a local resident says rather than being punished, the LASD deputy responsible for Olin’s death was rewarded with a transfer.

 

State

Streetsblog offers a roundup of Tuesday’s California primary election. My sincere apologies to Eban Lehrer, who tried to submit a contrary view to my endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, but for some reason, his comment wouldn’t go through. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the former LA mayor fell several hundred thousand votes short of qualifying for the runoff.

Two participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were injured in separate solo crashes as the ride rolled through San Luis Obispo County yesterday; one rider had to be transported by helicopter.

A San Francisco bicyclist alleges he was deliberately run down by Lyft driver after yelling at her for talking on a cell phone while stopped in a bike lane; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, though his bike got pretty mangled.

 

National

Advice on how to look fly on two wheels, on any budget. For once, all the bikes they recommend are under a grand, although I could do without one that would look like a ghost bike if it wasn’t for the red seat and handlebars.

Tom Vanderbilt gets author and runner Malcom Gladwell on a bike, while accepting a challenge to train for a marathon.

Denver bike riders now have an app to report cars, trucks and other objects blocking bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll export it to other cities desperately in need of one, like maybe Los Angeles.

Dallas is attempting to tame the wild west mentality, and reign in the city’s dockless bikeshare companies.

A permanent memorial has been installed in Kalamazoo MI in honor of the five bike riders killed by a stoned driver two years ago.

An Illinois bike advocacy group unveils a bike safety campaign meant to humanize bike riders. For a change, it’s actually pretty good.

A Vermont ebike owner gets a lesson in how to ride safely. Because even in America’s second least populated state, traffic scares people off their bikes.

New York State considers legalizing ebikes, which are currently banned under state law.

A New York Democratic congressman goes full NIMBY in decrying plans for a protected bike lane on a deadly Gotham street, apparently preferring preserving parking over protecting the lives of his constituents.

 

International

Pink Bike gives five men’s summer mountain biking kits the test.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says we’re not MAMILS, we’re DICS.

No, Cambridge News, a vandalized Ofo dockless bikeshare bike didn’t desecrate the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens; the jerks who destroyed it and left it there did.

An off-road rider in the UK sets out to see if he can spend the night riding in the hills and still make it to work the next day.

A British man gets a well-deserved seven years for a drug-fueled rampage that began when he deliberately smashed his van into a man on a bike, then got out and threatened people with an axe, hijacking one car and using the axe to hack a bike lock.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer takes in the view from his neighborhood coffee shop, noting that if the people he sees riding bikes to work drove instead, traffic would get a lot worse. And if more people rode their bikes, traffic would get a lot better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly boldly addresses the burning question of the day, explaining how cyclists pee during a race. And noting that it’s a lot easier for men.

 

Finally…

Note to Trek: If you don’t want to get sued, don’t name your fat bike after a dead celeb. And the world may see a cute kid, but all Time can see is a truck.

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Thanks to David N for his kind words and generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: Safe bicyclist injured anyway, a big thumbs up for a safe pass, and our absurd surrender to cars

One quick note before we get started.

Yesterday, a friend and long-time supporter of this site texted me to say she was in the back of an ambulance on the way to the emergency room after getting hit by a driver.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, and was sent home with a large hematoma and assorted scrapes and bruises.

She’s one of the safest and most conservative bike riders I know, and someone who always rides with a helmet and hi-viz. Yesterday the helmet came in handy; the hi-viz, apparently not so much.

I don’t have any details yet.

But this is just one more reminder about the dangers of LA streets. And that it’s already long past time to do something about it.

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Undoubtedly the cutest thing you’ll see today, as a four-year old Brit bike rider gives a truck driver a big thumbs up for a safe pass.

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Local

LA’s traffic safety deniers say don’t bike the vote.

It will be a busy day on PCH Saturday, when 2,500 bicyclists come through the ‘Bu on the final day of the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride; this year’s ride raised a record $16.6 million for HIV programs.

 

State

An Orange County writer has been commissioned to write a history of Richard Long and the founding of GT Bicycles.

Bike SD calls on San Diego to save the planned Hancock Street bike lane, as local businesses demand its removal from the community plan in favor of more parking.

San Bernardino’s bus system talks with a man who rejuvenated his life when he got back on his bike in his 40s, and on the bus.

A Santa Cruz work skills program that teaches high school students to work as bike mechanics for class credit is slowly spreading across the US, with programs at schools in Colorado and Minnesota, and throughout California.

Someone should tell the UC Davis school newspaper there’s absolutely nothing funny about kicking people off their bikes. No, seriously.

Sad news from NorCal, where a 70-year old man died of an apparent heart attack while participating in a gravel race at Lake Davis.

 

National

Treehugger says people who walk, bike or ride scooters aren’t fighting over a cookie, as London’s former cycling chief said, we’re fighting over crumbs.

Another great piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says our surrender to the automobile is absurd and deadly, yet people still prefer a handful of cars to hordes on bikes coming to spend money at local businesses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Strong Towns looks at how bike lanes benefit businesses, saying that in city after city, business owners see more foot traffic and higher sales when streets are redesigned to be more bike and walk friendly.

Once again, a cross-country cyclist has his bike and all his gear stolen, this time in Eugene OR. And once again, the local community pitches in to help out.

Colorado tells bicyclists and pedestrians that safety starts with all of us. On the other hand, it usually ends on the bumper of a car.

Come to the US for a summer work program, go home in a box thanks to a Texas drunk driver who plowed into a group of five bike riders, injuring one rider and killing a 23-year old man from Columbia who had only been in this country for three weeks. Somehow, I suspect the tears on the cheek of the driver in her booking photo are nothing compared to those of the victim’s family. But maybe that’s just me.

A St. Paul MN man has pled guilty to vehicular homicide for fleeing the scene after killing a bicyclist; he claimed he ran a red light to get away from a road rage altercation and hit something, but didn’t stop to see who or what he hit. His mother is also charged with aiding him in the coverup.

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is called a secret mountain biking mecca.

An Ohio family is understandably outraged that no charges will be filed in the death of a 12-year old boy, even though the driver admitted he was reaching for a phone just before the crash; police incorrectly blamed the victim for riding his bike in the traffic lane, rather than as close to the edge as possible.

A Boston bus and bike lane has been returned to its previous life as a parking lane, despite a successful one-month pilot project.

New York bicyclists will form a human-protected bike lane tomorrow to demand safer streets where a man was killed while riding home from work last year. Maybe that’s what we need to do here to finally get a little attention.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks to bespoke bike builders to determine the trends in women’s bikes, beyond the mass market bike makers’ usual approach of shrink it and pink it.

A Canadian news site talks with the Toronto mountain biker who cut up his arms crashing into barbed wire that had been strung at chest height across a popular trail. Stunts like this aren’t pranks, they’re acts of terror — deliberate attempts to injure or kill people on bicycles. And the jerks responsible should be charged accordingly.

A Toronto man gets a $1,200 bikeshare bill despite insisting he returned the bike, then proving it.

Ikea’s Sladda bike has been done in by a belt, as the company permanently recalls all of the build-it-yourself bike-in-a-boxes.

London tells “irresponsible” cyclists to slow down and be considerate.

Two armed, masked men on bikes stole a $25,000 TV camera from an Australian news crew reporting from the UK.

A British university professor says ebikes could be core to sustainable mobility — if the government stops marginalizing bikes in favor of low-emission motor vehicles.

An Indian planning professor says he wishes he could ride to work, if only the country would invest in safe streets and bikeways.

Mumbai considers plans to build dedicated bike paths near the city’s transit stations.

 

Competitive Cycling

Third place finisher — and last year’s winner — Alison Tetrick offers a first hand view of this year’s 200-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Forget Peter Sagan’s legs, check out his core workout.

Cycling Weekly offers tips on how to nail your first bike race, saying “racing is a landmark moment in the life of any competitive-minded rider.” Funny, I took up bicycling because I was too competitive, and it offered me a chance to ride just for the sheer joy of it.

Joe Lindsey offers up five ways to liven up the Tour de France. My favorite is his suggestion to make the riders shotgun a beer before a mass start.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to sue the government over injuries caused by a pothole you didn’t even hit. Seriously, slow down, watch for cars and don’t run into light poles.

And when you get hit by cars twice in nine days, it’s either incredibly bad luck, or bad streets and crappy drivers.

Or maybe all of the above.

 

San Bernardino man killed while riding bike, innocent victim of road rage argument between two drivers

This morning, we mentioned a report that a man had been killed in a road rage dispute between a pair of San Bernardino drivers.

Sadly, that new has been confirmed.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that the victim was struck as he was crossing Fifth Street near Ramona Ave around 7 pm, collateral damage in a dispute between two drivers.

According to the paper, 32-year old Rosendo Ortiz and 28-year old Karina Saucedo, both from San Bernardino, became involved in a road rage incident as they headed east on Fifth near Meridian Ave.

They were still arguing as they approached Ramona, nearly two miles from where the incident started.

Ortiz crashed into the victim, identified as 45-year old San Bernardino resident Efrain Garcia. Saucedo, who was following slightly behind, crashed into a parked car to avoid them.

Garcia died at the scene; both drivers were reportedly cooperating with police.

Remarkably, no arrests were made at the scene. Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Police Det. Peck at 909/384-5664.

If Garcia’s death really is the result of road rage, both drivers should face murder charges. But probably won’t.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Efrain Garcia and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Road rage death in San Bernardino, Hernandez hit-and-run trial starts, and Bahati races RAAM

It’s election day in California. So stop what you’re doing, and get out and bike the vote already.

We’ll wait.

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KNBC-4 reported last night that a bike rider was killed in San Bernardino as collateral damage in a possible road rage dispute between two drivers.

Unfortunately, the story does not appear to be online as of this writing.

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Testimony has started in the trial of Ventura tow truck driver Hermin Martin Henderson, accused of running over 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez, then fleeing the scene without stopping.

Hernandez was seen on security video running the red light while riding without lights, so Henderson wouldn’t have been at fault if he had simply stopped as the law and basic human decency requires.

Hernandez was riding to a friend’s house when he was killed; he was reportedly troubled after joining his family to mark his sister’s birthday, who had died of leukemia a few months earlier.

He was struck by second driver as he lay in the road after getting hit by Henderson’s tow truck; that driver was never found.

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South LA has a stake in this year’s RAAM.

Compton’s own ten-time National Crit Champ Rahsaan Bahati will compete in the 3,000-mile Race Across America, one of the world’s toughest ultra-endurance races. He’ll be riding to raise funds for his own nonprofit Bahati Foundation, as well as the Jessie Rees Foundation and Augie’s Quest.

The race starts a week from today in Oceanside, California and will finish in Annapolis, Maryland roughly eight days later.

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Local

Councilmember Mitch Englander is calling for an emergency moratorium on dockless bikeshares and greater regulation, after complaining about bikes being haphazardly strewn about. Because it’s just so darn hard to pick up a bike and move it if it’s in the way. And he couldn’t be more wrong about the “failure” of dockless bikeshare in China, where its overwhelming success has led to problems of oversupply as competing providers try to capture the market.

Bike SGV has a full slate of events this month.

Santa Clarita will be reviving its “Heads Up” safety campaign this summer in an attempt to educate bicyclists and motorists to improve safety. Although all the advice appears to be aimed at the people on two wheels.

 

State

An Op-Ed in The Daily Pilot says more people in Costa Mesa would bike or walk if they felt safer on the streets. In other words, pretty much like everywhere else.

A new online Bakersfield bike map hopes to pinpoint dangerous areas where riders feel unsafe on their bikes.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 73-year old Los Altos woman is writing a book, and spending the next week riding down the coast on the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

As San Francisco struggles to decide whether to allow e-scooters, Wired says don’t ban them, redesign the streets to make room for them. And save the city in the process.

Sad news from Nevada City, where a 68-year old cyclist was killed in an apparent fall while riding in Bosnia with his wife and another couple.

 

National

A 57-year old widow trades her bicycle for a Harley.

A woman on an around-the-world bike ride says you have to tackle America’s greatest road trip, riding down the Left Coast on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route.

At 106 miles, Utah now has the longest continuous bike trail west of the Mississippi.

Colorado officials plan to confront a rising bicyclist and pedestrian death toll with a social media campaign saying “Safety Starts with All of Us” on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, that will work.

This is the cost of traffic violence, as a Texas family cries out for justice, and wonders how anyone could be so cruel that they could leave a bike rider dying in the street. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A St. Louis sports reporter traded his car for a bike, and doesn’t regret it a bit despite the Missouri winters.

Two years after she was paralysed from the waist down by a distracted driver on a Bike & Build ride, and her riding companion killed, a Michigan woman is planning to use a handcycle finish the ride she never completed. The driver who hit them got just two months behind bars.

Milwaukee officials say they need more bike riders on the streets.

A Manhattan congressman is the definition of windshield bias as he blames bike lanes for traffic problems, and not the illegally parked SUVs. Seriously, some people just can’t see the traffic for the cars.

Don’t do this. A New York cyclist traveling with a group of around 12 riders crashed into a woman and a child as they were crossing the street, although it’s not clear from the article who had the right-of-way.

If you’re going to observe the annual World Naked Bike Ride — in any sense — New Orleans is probably the best place to do it.

 

International

That runny nose when you ride could be a sign of Exercise Induced Rhinitis, or EIR. Or it could be a sign that it’s time to give up that coke habit.

A lifelong Winnipeg bike rider is working to get more indigenous youth on bicycles.

The war on bike continues, as a Toronto mountain biker suffered cuts on both arms when he crashed into barbed wire that had been strong across a trail.

Toronto bike advocates worry that progress has stalled on a key bikeway, despite a city council vote to make it permanent.

A London driver observed World Bicycle Day by abandoning his car and running away after crashing into a bike rider on a designated Quietway, leaving the victim to die in the street.

London’s former cycling commissioner says bicycling improvements are sure vote winners, in the UK or the US. Maybe someone should tell that to the LA city council.

First it was a bike rider in the UK threatening a driver with a knife, now a man with a knife threatened a pair of bike riders.

A British bike advocate says their local Parliament member is wrong; it’s drivers who pose a risk to pedestrians, not people on bicycles.

For the first time, an all-women’s bike ride is rolling across the kingdom of Bahrain, complete with a sag wagon for rest and security.

A Nigerian government official marked World Bicycle Day by saying that encouraging more people to ride bicycles is one of the surest ways to minimise traffic congestion.

A Moroccan man has ridden over 13,000 miles across the African continent, only to have his bike stolen ten minutes after he locked it up outside a mosque in South Africa.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist can thank a driver for his quick action in avoiding a crash, after the rider slipped when he hit a patch of gumnuts and fell in front of the oncoming car. And no, I didn’t know what they were, either.

Another bike race, another crash with a race moto. But at least this time, no one was seriously hurt.

Electric bicycles have shed their mamachari image in Japan, as “sporting ebikes” have suddenly developed a cool factor.

Tragic news from Singapore, where a 60-year old woman is on life support after a 17-year old bike rider allegedly crashed into her from behind on a shared-use path.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nearly two dozen cyclists were treated for injuries when bad pavement caused a mass crash in a Maryland bike race.

Once again, a pro cyclist has been sidelined by a collision, as Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton suffers a broken arm when he’s struck by a driver while training in Colorado.

Amgen Tour of California winner Egan Bernal is preparing to make his Tour de France debut riding in support of Chris Froome. Assuming the doping cloud over Froome’s head doesn’t come down on him, that is.

A Cycling Weekly writer says he’d like to see a little more silliness on the pro tour.

A Wisconsin paper profiles 33-year old ultra-cyclist Brett Stepanik, the first rider to finish the 750-mile Arizona Trail Race, the 2,732-mile Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race and the 580-mile Colorado Trail Race on a single-speed bike in a single year.

 

Finally…

This story seems to be saying if you’re going to ride drunk, wear a helmet. If you ride naked with a group, it’s the World Naked Bike Ride; if you ride naked by yourself, you’re just a perv.

And no, we don’t have to accept that cars will kill anyone, with or without a driver.

 

Morning Links: Two endorsements for Villaraigosa, Great Streets Strategic Plan, and insurance bike value rip-offs

Writing for an automotive website, a third-generation Californian endorses former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for governor in tomorrow’s primary election, in part because of his support for bicycling, CicLAvia and transit.

He’s got my vote, as well, for many of the reasons listed in the article.

As well as pushing through LA County’s Measure R that increased sales taxes half a cent to fund transportation projects. Then Villaraigosa got the federal government to adopt the America Fast Forward program that has allowed Metro to expand rapidly.

Besides, Antonio Villaraigosa is the only gubernatorial candidate — or LA mayor — I’ve actually ridden and chatted with at CicLAvia.

But no matter who you support, get out there and Bike the Vote tomorrow.

I’m happy to report that my brother and his kitty litter panniers have finished the first leg of his trip, from Grand Junction CO to Denver, with a brief stop at the Continental Divide.

………

Los Angeles released its new Great Streets Strategic Plan.

I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but it doesn’t seem to include anything about the mayor actually showing up to defend any of the beleaguered projects already in place.

………

Must read piece from bike lawyer Bob Mionske, on how insurance companies are undervaluing bicycles damaged in crashes to avoid paying the full value. And more importantly, how you can fight back.

………

Local

More bad news from South LA, where a man was shot and killed in a drive-by as he rode his bike on the 200 block of East 95th Street shortly after midnight Sunday morning.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has proposed mostly cosmetic upgrades for Hollywood Boulevard. Let’s demand that they include protected bike lanes, and a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland, in any makeover.

A new bike boulevard is under construction in Los Angeles. That’s LA County, not the city.

 

State

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, San Diego is replacing a 1950’s era four lane bridge in Mission Bay with two separate bridges with three lanes each. But at least they’re adding protected bike lanes in each direction.

Streetsblog says Caltrans’ Chief of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety has made great strides in just two years, but clearly has a long way to go to change the state DOT’s car-centric culture.

A San Francisco writer says the city doesn’t have an e-scooter problem, it has a car problem.

Frightening news from San Francisco, where a man was beaten with a metal pipe by a thief who stole his bicycle, then threatened a second man to steal his bike, as well.

Sad news from the Oakland Hills, where a bicycle tour guide for Backroads was killed in a head-on collision with the driver of an SUV.

 

National

Carshare company Lyft is buying bikeshare provider Motivate, the parent company of bikeshare systems in New York, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.

Viva, Las Vegas, which may be the least likely candidate to make the Bicycle Friendly Community list.

Complete Streets volunteers in Phoenix resign en masse to protest inaction at city hall.

Inspiring story from my hometown, as a young man fights back to graduate from high school after he was paralyzed by a sleeping driver as he was walking in a bike lane.

A Tulsa OK writer says the shop manager and wrench for a local bikemaker could be the luckiest man in town because he’s the most content in his work.

A Wisconsin letter writer says the real problem is bike riders refuse to share the road with drivers, even though he owns one himself. A bike, that is, not a bike rider.

Detroit names a bike and pedestrian bridge after the father of Michigan’s rails-to-trails movement.

Infuriating story from Kentucky, where a woman recounts being left lying alone in the street with a broken back as she watched the driver who slammed into her bike just drive away without stopping.

Russian pianist and composer Daniil Trifonov is one of us, which may not have been the best thing in this case. He was forced to cancel his upcoming tour to premier his latest work, after injuring his ankle in a New York bike crash.

A native New Yorker says channel your bike rage into something more productive, like attending community board meetings to demand more bike lanes.

Maryland mountain bikers ride to honor a bike-riding Baltimore cop who was killed in a collision while responding to a call.

Florida bicyclists ride to remember a young mother and daughter who were killed by a street racing teenager doing 102 mph on a surface street.

 

International

After Quebec quadrupled traffic fines for bicyclists, one rider received $381 worth of tickets for bad brakes and not having front and rear reflectors, even though he had red taillight.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Canadian careless driver says he’s now haunted by death after killing a bicyclist, and has ruined countless lives — including his own.

A Toronto insurance company says drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians all break the rules.

Montreal responds to the death of a bike rider last year by banning cars from a mountain road through the city, even if drivers don’t like it.

The London Standard recommended celebrating yesterday’s World Bicycle Day by exploring unusual parts of city. Seriously, there’s no better way to get to know any city — whether your own or anywhere else.

London’s Telegraph says hotel hopping by bicycle may be the next big travel trend.

A London nonprofit is rebuilding old bikes to give refugees a new lease on life.

A writer for the Guardian says requiring ebike riders to carry insurance, like the European Union recently ordered, will slow the growth of ebiking when we should be encouraging it.

Caught on video: A British bike rider just barely avoids getting doored by the passenger of a moving car.

A Malta newspaper says poorly designed roads are putting bicyclists in danger. Pretty much like everywhere in the US.

Mumbai bike riders celebrate World Bicycle Day with a two-wheeled flash mob, while India’s vice president calls bicycling the best and cheapest form of exercise.

Auto-centric cities are the main barrier to promoting bicycling in Iran. Pretty much like everywhere else.

A Kiwi radio host apologizes to the motorist who ran over him on his bike, calling himself a moron for not paying attention to the traffic light because his mind was on the book he read the night before.

An Australian pro-driving extremist group is targeting bike riders with doctored photos and death threats both online and on the road; naturally, police in New South Wales have responded by ticketing bike riders for not wearing a helmet.

The Korea Times looks back at the introduction of bicycling in the country; the first bike on record in Korea was a Penny Farthing ridden by an American naval officer in 1884, though the bicycling craze soon spread to the country’s royal family.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nearly two dozen cyclists were treated for injuries when bad pavement caused a mass crash in a Maryland bike race.

Once again, a pro cyclist has been sidelined by a collision, as Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton suffers a broken arm when he’s struck by a driver while training in Colorado.

 

Finally…

Don’t bring a knife to a car fight. Nothing like getting rescued by Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up on both stories.

And maybe it’s not just drivers who drive us crazy.

 

Morning Links: Why LA bike riders keep dying, Caltrans gets bike friendly, and Forsyth Cup rolls tomorrow

Yesterday morning, a reporter from outside of LA emailed me with a single, very simple question. 

But the answer was just the opposite. 

She wanted to why Los Angeles continues to be one of the nation’s deadliest cities for bicyclists. 

This is how I responded.

………

That’s a complicated question.

There are a number of factors involved, but let’s start with the most obvious. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, so ignoring any other factors, we could be expected to have one of the highest traffic fatality rates.

We also have roughly 6,500 miles of surface streets, the most in the US. And due to the city’s mistaken obsession with LOS (Level of Service) until recent years, virtually all of those streets have been over-engineered to move as many vehicles as fast as possible, with little or no regard for safety.

That’s complicated by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot. So you have streets that have been designed like highways, despite their original speed limits.

As a result, drivers naturally speed, which results in a continual raising of the speed limit until some LA streets have speed limits of 50 mph or more. And on those that don’t, drivers routinely exceed the limit by 10 to 15 mph — and complain in the rare instances that they get pulled over, because everyone else is doing it.

Add to that the smallest police force of any major city, resulting in just a few hundred officers patrolling the streets at any given time, most of whom are too busy dealing with major crimes to bother pulling anyone over for an illegal U-turn or weaving in and out of traffic. And until recently, police couldn’t enforce speed limits on most of the city’s streets, because LA failed to conduct the speed surveys required by the 85th Percentile law.

So is it any wonder that LA has what may be world’s most entitled drivers, who seem to feel they have a God-given right to do anything they want, with little or no fear of consequences?

Then there’s the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure in the city. While the city made great gains under the previous mayor, who committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes a year, that has trickled to a crawl under the current administration, resulting in less than 10 lanes miles a year. We have just a handful of parking protected bike lanes, no curb-protected lanes — the first is expected to open this summer on South Figueroa — and a few of what are questionably called protected lanes, guarded only by thin plastic flex posts, which are easy to drive over with no damage to your car.

To complicate matters, there is nothing even resembling a bikeway network in Los Angeles. With the exception of Downtown LA, it is virtually impossible to plan a safe route from one part of the city to another. Bike lanes start and stop at random, and usually don’t connect to anything, forcing riders to contend with high speed traffic and aggressive drivers.

As a result, a disproportionate number of LA riders use sidewalks instead of riding in the street, putting them at significant risk when they have to cross a side street or driveway. In addition, LA has a large immigrant population, many of whom ride bikes as their only form of transportation. And many of whom learned to ride against traffic in their home countries, and continue the practice here; in some neighborhoods, salmon cyclists make up most, if not all, of the bicycling victims according to the LAPD.

Do I even need to mention that there is no bicycle eduction in most California cities? Some of the local advocacy groups offer adult bike education, but that reaches only a handful of people each year. And usually not the ones who need it most.

Finally, Los Angeles has a weak mayor political system which gives the mayor limited authority, while placing most of the power in the hands of individual councilmembers. As a result, while the mayor has set some bike friendly policies, such as Vision Zero, actual implementation falls on each councilmember to approve or deny safety improvements in their own districts.

A fear of angry drivers — and voters — has resulted in the cancellation of shovel-ready road diets and bike lanes throughout the city, virtually halting any real progress on Vision Zero, let alone providing any alternative to driving for most people. And famously led to the reversal of several road diets installed in Playa del Rey last year when pass-through drivers, mostly from outside the city, rose up in revolt.

Los Angeles has great potential for bicycling. If the city actually builds out its Mobility Plan 2035, and the bike plan within it — which seems highly unlikely at this point — it will transform itself from the nation’s most traffic and smog-choked city into one of the safest and most livable communities anywhere.

But that’s a big if.

………

Caltrans celebrates the last day of Bike Month by discussing the role bikes can play as a legitimate form of transportation in reducing greenhouse gasses.

………

If you’re looking for some serious bike action this weekend, check out Saturday’s second edition of the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup under the afternoon skies at the Encino Velodrome.

And enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos while you watch some of LA’s best track cyclists, hosted by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

………

The Guardian offers a video explaining why forcing bicyclists to wear helmets won’t save lives.

Just to be clear, I’m a firm believer in using helmets on American roads, and always wear a one when I ride. But they should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

We’ll save a lot more lives by taming traffic and building better bikeways than by making everyone wear a helmet for every ride.

………

Speaking of the Guardian, the paper picked up Peter Flax’s story about the death of bicyclist  Mark Kristofferson at this year’s Tour of Palm Springs, and asking why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murdering cyclists.

It’s an important, if difficult, piece.

So if you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes and give it a read.

We’ll wait.

………

Local

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler reminisces about Bike Month — and feeling excluded by members of the bike community.

 

State

Congratulations to San Diego for being named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; newly bike friendly Las Vegas got promoted from Bronze to Silver. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains on the list at the Bronze level, for no apparent reason.

Two participants in next week’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride discuss why they’re riding 450 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic really wants to hate e-scooters, but can’t.

Bicycling lists their take on the best bicycling apps, including the Red Cross’ free First Aid app, for reasons that should be obvious. And lists the 25 best American companies for bicyclists. But you have to have the patience to click through 25 times.

Couldn’t agree more. Treehugger says it’s time to stop arguing about helmets, and start building safe infrastructure.

Nashville gives Bird the bird.

The argument over a proposed protected bike lane in New York’s Sunnyside neighborhood boils down to the same old dispute — business owners want parking spaces, while bike riders just want to stay alive.

The New York DOT puts its foot down, and says a protected bike lane is going to be installed on Queens Blvd, whether or not the local community board approves. Which is exactly what needs to happen in Los Angeles, but won’t.

The hotest perk in Gotham real estate — deluxe bike storage rooms.

Neighbors demand bike lanes along a Maryland highway. But as usual, the call for safety comes after it’s too late.

 

International

Bike Biz looks forward to the first ever World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

A writer for the Weekly Standard spent two months riding his bike along both sides of the US – Mexico border, from Tijuana to Brownsville TX. And says the region has much bigger problems than people trying to cross it to find work.

Montreal will invest $15 million over the next year to improve the city’s bicycling network; they expect to have nearly 550 miles of bike paths by next year, connecting 16 boroughs and four cities.

Toronto celebrates Bike Month by promising to clean up its existing bikeways.

A self-described “keen cyclist” in the London’s Waltham Forest borough says bicyclists have turned a local pedestrian plaza into a death trap. Yet he somehow fails to note that no one has actually been killed by bike riders there. Which is not to say riders shouldn’t show extra care and consideration around people on foot.

A severely disabled British woman plans to ride 2018 miles with her service dog in tow to raise money for assistance dog charities.

According to a new study, potholes and trucks keep people from bicycling on UK roadways; 56% of the people surveyed said they would ride more if they felt safer on the streets. Just like pretty much everywhere else outside of Denmark and the Netherlands.

An Australian bike advocacy group says a petition demanding that bicyclists ride single file and banning bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph has no merit. Meanwhile, another bike group cites massive fraud, suggesting the petition is full of false names, while Cycling Tips says we can all learn from the misguided petition.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great interview with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Cycling Tips talks with Greg LeMond about what he’s learned.

 

Finally…

Your next new tires could come with a complete bike attached. Don’t put aero bars on a gravel bike — or do if that’s what you feel like.

And why wait for someone else to fix your pothole, when you can just do it yourself?

 

 

Morning Links: More details on $11.75 million Olin settlement; Venice writer says don’t over-regulate e-scooters

Yesterday’s press conference revealed more details about the nearly $12 million settlement from the County of Los Angeles for the death of bike-riding music executive Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy in December, 2013.

Citing new evidence, Olin’s family is asking the DA’s office to take another look at the case, after the DA had initially declined to file charges.

The DA had said there was no evidence the deputy was actually moving while he texted and used the onboard computer in his patrol car just prior to the crash.

However, new evidence shows Deputy Andrew Wood was traveling at over 40 mph on Mulholland Highway as he typed into his laptop to respond to a message from another deputy at the time of the crash. And had used his personal cell phone to text his wife just 15 seconds earlier.

Olin should have been visible to Wood for 21 seconds as the deputy drove down Mulholland — or would have been if he hadn’t been distracted. Wood initially said that Olin swerved in front of him before investigators placed the point of impact squarely in the bike lane.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website, which was founded after his death to combat distracted driving.

………

A Venice-based writer for The Atlantic dons his best Raymond Chandler-esque prose to say e-scooters could ease traffic. But only if cities can avoid over-regulating them.

If Bird comes to your city, its detractors will cry foul.

They’ll lash out as if every Silicon Beach scheme to make some scratch is zero sum, call the code-enforcement coppers on anything without a business license, insist on “a comprehensive regulatory scheme” as if mere scooters require one, and remain so beholden to status-quo bias that they’ll hold Birds to standards they’ve never applied to Firebirds, Skylarks, Falcons, Cygnets, or Roadrunners.

Before throwing in with the skeptics, at least take a ride.

It’s a good read, and worth a few minutes of your day.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches a bike thief in action and gives chase, before losing the scoundrel in Griffith Park.

City Lab talks with UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup.

Beverly Hills will hold a Complete Streets Walk Audit on Saturday, June 9th to get input on the city’s Complete Streets process.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Studies show that dockless bikeshare works best when it’s seen as an extension of the transit system. And that both dockless and traditional bikeshare can succeed in the same city.

Bicycling lists celebrities who ride bikes, from Pippa Middleton to George Clooney. If you have the patience to click through all 25 pages.

People for Bikes is looking for a part-time writer. And the best part is, it’s not an onsite position, so you can work wherever you are now.

A Seattle bicyclist got his stolen bike and tools back after online commenters pitched in with a description and location of the thief’s truck.

Three months after becoming the first woman finisher in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race, a Norwegian woman gets her $3,000 stolen carbon-fiber bike back after it was spotted in an Anchorage homeless camp.

A Pittsburgh public radio station considers what happens when construction work closes a bike lane or bike path; city policy requires developers to provide an alternate route. Unlike Los Angeles, where bike lanes are closed for construction work or movie shoots with no detour on a regular basis.

A New York man says he hasn’t bought a bicycle since the 1990s, even though he’s ridden all over the world. Then proves it by suggesting racing bikes cost just $600 these days.

The war on bikes goes on, as a New York man was attacked for the crime of riding his bike in a bike lane that was overflowing with pedestrians forced off a narrow, overcrowded sidewalk.

Boing Boing looks back on the bikelash panic that preceded the introduction of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare five years ago, none of which came to pass.

In the spirit of that earlier bikeshare panic, a Brooklyn paper says dockless bikeshare will bring chaos to Coney Island.

 

International

This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign. A Canadian man had his bike stolen when thieves unbolted the sign and slid then lock off. Then again, they also stole his next bike, even though it was locked to an iron railing.

No surprise here. The driver who plowed into four Canadian cyclists on a charity ride was under the influence at the time of the crash.

A writer for the Guardian says the problem in London isn’t a lack of diversity on bikes, it’s the lack of safe streets that keeps women and children from riding. Although a writer says the real problem on her bike commute is MAMILS.

The Guardian also examines the rise of ultra-cyclists, in advance of a 258-mile ride from London to Wales and back.

A British woman expects to become the first disabled woman to ride unsupported around the entire coast of Great Britain when she completes her journey today.

The Melbourne, Australia city council concludes that safety fears and a lack of decent bike lanes discourage many people from riding bikes. Meanwhile, a cycling commentator says policies that encourage more Melbourne commuters to bike to work will be a win for everyone.

Western Australia’s Road Safety Minister says there are no plans to require bicyclists to ride single file, there or anywhere else in the country, despite a petition from angry drivers.

A new Tokyo bar is designed for, and staffed by, road cyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Canadian track cyclist says the five-month break she was forced to endure following a massive blood clot caused by a crash in the Rio Olympics has left her more grounded and focused on the Tokyo Games.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera is bouncing back after a challenging classics season, winning two stages of Germany’s Internationale Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.

Chris Froome is confident about repeating as Tour de France champ this summer, after bouncing back from his “brutal” Giro win. If he doesn’t get a belated ban for a failed drug test at last year’s Vuelta, that is.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride your classic Schwinn cruiser inside. Or maybe ride outside to celebrate legal marijuana.

And we may have to deal with rude drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rude ‘roos.

 

Morning Links: LA County settles Milt Olin case for $11.75 million, and sheriff’s deputies get it wrong on PCH. Again.

Five and a half years after music executive Milt Olin was killed by a distracted LA County sheriff’s deputy, his family has finally received some justice.

About $11.75 million worth.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Olin family will receive that amount in a settlement from the county.

Which is just slightly more than the $80,000 requested in their original lawsuit.

But possibly less than a jury would have given them if the case had gone to trial.

Olin was riding in a bike lane on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas when the deputy ran him down from behind while responding to a message from another officer on his onboard computer.

That came just moments after the deputy had been texting with his wife while driving. Which, remarkably, is legal for emergency personnel in California, even if the text has nothing to do with official business.

The LA County District Attorney refused to file charges in the case, or to hold the sheriff’s department accountable in any way for a policy that allowed deputies to use the onboard computer while driving, with predictable results.

That policy was changed as a result of Olin’s death.

Which, in the long run, may be worth much more than his family will receive in this case.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website.

………

It’s a never-ending story.

Every few years, Malibu sheriff’s deputies insist on harassing and ticketing bicyclists who are doing absolutely nothing wrong, based on a flawed interpretation of California law.

And after various bicyclists, bike advocates and organizations explain the law to them, they back off. Until the deputies are transferred out, and new ones come in to take their place.

Then the cycle starts all over again.

Like it did this past weekend, when members of the Major Motion Cycling Club were harassed by a sheriff’s deputy, who used his loud speaker to insist that they ride single file in a non-existent bike lane.

So let’s go through this one more time.

CVC 21202 allows bicyclists to ride in the roadway, using the full lane when necessary.

Bike riders can, at their own discretion, ride on the shoulder of a roadway. However, nothing to the right of the limit line is legally considered part of the road, and bicyclists can’t be required to ride there.

And just because there’s a stripe on the side of the road, that doesn’t make it a bike lane.

It’s true that CVC 21202 requires anyone using a bicycle to ride as far to the right as practicable — not as far as possible, as it’s frequently misinterpreted.

However, it contains a number of exceptions when the ride-to-the-right rule does not apply, including in a substandard traffic lane. That means any lane that is too narrow to safely share with a bicycle and a motor vehicle, while allowing for a three-foot passing distance.

Like the lane shown in the video, which is clearly too narrow for a bike and a car to safely travel side-by-side. And like most of the other right hand traffic lanes in the LA area.

There is also absolutely nothing in California law requiring bicyclists to ride single file.

The CHP and LASD have often attempted to misapply the ride-to-the-right rule in CVC 21202 to say that anyone riding abreast is not riding as far to the right as practicable. However, as we noted, that requirement does not apply on a substandard lane.

It is actually safer to ride abreast under those conditions, because it increases the visibility of the riders and allows them to control the full lane, forcing drivers to change lanes to go around them.

And it makes the riders easier to pass by bunching closer together in a small group, rather than stretching out in a long line.

Finally, it’s impossible to obstruct traffic on a roadway with two or more lanes in each direction, where drivers can simply change lanes to go around.

But don’t take my word for it.

Below is the video the LAPD prepared to train its own officers in bike law and the rights of bicyclists.

Which should be required viewing at the Malibu/Los Hills sheriff station.

Thanks to Martin Blount for the video.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An aggressive, road raging California driver flips off a bike rider and makes a punishment pass for no apparent reason.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Local

Los Angeles police solved just 8% of hit-and-runs in the city last year. Which means 92% of hit-and-run drivers committed a crime and got away with it. But sure, let’s keep pretending it’s not a crisis.

The SGV Connect podcast discusses how to support people who bike at the University of La Verne.

Registration is open for this summer’s Tour de Laemmle, the annual 135-mile ride along with Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle as he visits all of the theater chain’s nine LA area venues.

 

State

No surprise here. San Diego drivers are taking advantage of a new bike lane in Mission Valley for prime parking space, forcing riders out into high speed traffic; police are ticketing the cars even though No Parking signs haven’t been installed yet.

A San Francisco woman asks if bike riders are really welcome in Paso Robles after a road raging driver threatens to run her and her husband down unless they ride single file. Which they were.

A San Francisco supervisor follows through on threats to remove a bike lane to make room for more free parking.

Don’t ride your e-scooter on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Or any other freeway.

 

National

Distracted driving gets the blame for a 13.5% jump in traffic fatalities in the US; the United States was one of just five nations to see an increase in traffic deaths over a five year period.

Streetsblog says fire departments are now embracing safer street designs, rather than fighting much needed safety improvements.

An Oregon letter writer says bicyclists should be held to the same standard as drivers. So feel free to roll stop signs, ride through intersections after the light has changed, never signal, and ride ten miles over the speed limit while texting, just like the people in cars do.

A retired Los Angeles man says he’s given up on bicycling in the city, driven off the streets by road raging drivers, and moving to Tucson to take advantage of the city’s 131-mile off-road bike and pedestrian loop. Someone should send that to every member of the city council so they can see what we have to deal with on a daily basis.

A group of Ukrainian cyclists is passing through New Mexico on a ride across the US to promote adoptions.

Iowa bicyclists call for a law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles, and increased penalties for driving distracted.

A Chicago bike rider somehow assumes that bad bicyclist behavior is responsible for a dramatic increase in bicycling fatalities, and calls on his fellow citizens to yell at the miscreant riders.

Doctors in New York were able to save the leg of a nationally ranked junior cyclist after he developed an aggressive form of bone cancer, saving his dreams of competing in the Olympics.

A marathon runner is suing New York for $2 million after he broke his arm in a collision with a bike rider on the George Washington Bridge, claiming there’s not enough room for people on bikes and on foot on the bridge.

A Pennsylvania newspaper reminds drivers about the state’s four-foot passing law, and says there’s no excuse for disobeying a perfectly sound law.

The Voice of America looks at DC’s monthly Bike Party.

Apparently having solved the problem of distracted driving, Miami considers a campaign to reduce distracted bicycling, skateboard and moped riding. No, really.

 

International

Horrifying story from Ontario, Canada, where a man is fighting for his life, and a woman seriously injured, after a driver slammed head-on into four bicyclists on a charity ride; the driver was attempting to pass a slower vehicle, and reportedly never braked before hitting the riders.

A Canadian city is taking bikeshare to the next level by offering a free bike lending program, allowing users to check a bike out for a day.

In a bizarre comment, the head of London’s department of transportation apologized to drivers for the city’s hugely successful cycle superhighways, saying they were poorly thought out and rushed through under the previous mayor. Although he may have been talking about the construction delays, not the bikeways themselves.

London’s Independent recommends six of the coolest cycling destinations around the world to add to your bike bucket list.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it can convert to other uses at different times of day, thanks to a new concept from a London design engineering firm.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes continues. Someone reportedly sabotaged a UK mountain bike trail by stringing wire across it, as well as placing logs and other obstructions on the trail.

Bike advocates in Malta complain about a limited and disconnected bike lane that doesn’t meet European standards. Proving once again that bicyclists face the same problems all over the world.

Over 82,000 people in Australia have signed a petition to require bicyclists to ride single file when in a group, and ban bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

A member of the US Paralympic Cycling Team credits riding with lifting him out of a decade-long depression that began when he suffered a stroke as a teenager.

Britain announces a new campaign to stop doping and ensure public faith in cycling. Maybe they could start by taking a closer look at Team Sky. I’m just saying.

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault doesn’t hold back, saying Team Sky star and Giro champ Chris Froome doesn’t belong with the legends of cycling, and shouldn’t be allowed to compete until his doping case is resolved.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to bike through the drive-through for a Portland burger. Putting school parking — and senior pranks — to better bikeshare use; thanks to Campoy for the link.

And we’re not in danger of being replaced until these little guys learn to hold their line.

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