Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: New bike lanes go nowhere in Echo Park, and Laura Chick endorses Joe Bray-Ali in CD1

The more I think about it, the madder I get.

Los Angeles took what appears to be a small step forward by installing bike lanes on dangerous Glendale Blvd in Echo Park as part of a repaving project over the weekend.

Three whole blocks, that is. With no plans to extend them in any direction.

In other words, yet another in LA’s dystopian non-network of disconnected bike lanes that don’t go anywhere or connect to anything.

They just are. Which may be very Zen. But it’s also just this side of worthless.

More troubling is why.

Why not extend bike lanes further south on Glendale to Downtown and north to Silver Lake? Apparently that would involve far more than restriping the road.

“Extending bike lanes north would require Caltrans involvement as [Glendale Boulevard] becomes a State Highway (Route 2) north of Berkeley,” Fremaux explained. “On either end, the existing width would not allow for the extension without removing lanes and/or parking. Exploring such an effort is not in our near-term workplan.”

Let that sink in.

They’re more than happy to install a bike lane as part of a repaving project, but only as long as it doesn’t inconvenience anyone.

As far as the city is concerned, your life and safety are less important than a parking space. Let alone your comfort and convenience on the road.

Which is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

And the opposite of what cities like New York, Portland and Vancouver are doing by narrowing roads and removing parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. And resulting in not just better safety, but improved traffic flow, increased livability and better sales figures for businesses along the routes.

We expected better from Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. But until they’re willing to make the hard choices and stand up to local opposition and sometimes recalcitrant councilmembers, we’re not going to get it.

So we’ll have to settle for a disconnected non-network of three-block long bike lanes that don’t go anywhere.

Or protect anyone.

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Former city controller Laura Chick becomes the latest to endorse Joe Bray-Ali, saying “It’s important to have ethical and responsible leadership.”

Meanwhile, Jesse Creed offers lessons learned in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Paul Koretz in CD5.

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San Diego’s Jennifer Valente won her second world championship as part of the first place US team in the four-member women’s team pursuit.

Britain’s Team Sky is being investigated for violating the “no needles” rule, accused of injecting riders with an amino acid that aids muscle recovery.

A spectator may have deliberately tried to bring down Czech cyclist Zdenek Stybar at last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Here’s your chance to get a spot on a pro cycling team. But only if you can beat another amateur rider in a head-to-head TV show competition.

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Local

USC removes bike racks and impounds eighty bicycles in preparation for next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; students can get them back at no charge.

Brompton and Just Ride LA will hold a bike scavenger hunt in DTLA on the 30th.

June’s CicLAvia will roll through Glendale and Atwater Village.

CiclaValley says trucks are being banished from parking on Riverside Drive, which should make room for bicycles.

A writer for the Glendale News Press says the bicycle is man’s best inanimate friend. Meanwhile, financial writer Richard Reis calls it the ultimate money-saving device.

There’s an election in Pasadena next Tuesday for the last remaining seat on the city council between incumbent Andy Wilson, who supports the new Union Street cycle track and the coming bikeshare system, and challenger Phil Hosp, who complains about being stuck in traffic caused by the Gold Line.

Megan Lynch tweetstorms the story of nearly getting run over by a cyclist barreling down a South Pasadena sidewalk.

 

State

Cycling Weekly offers six reasons you should go cycling in California. Although the best one is it’s just outside your door.

A Santa Barbara paper looks at the success to Stinner Frameworks, which has grown from a local bikemaker to an internationally recognized brand.

It was a case of instant karma in Santa Rosa, when a driver who circled around to harass a bicyclist lost control of his car and crashed into a parked truck. Although someone should ask the Press Democrat what the hell difference it makes whether the bike rider was a transient.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when a driver ran down his allegedly lightless bicycle from behind.

Tesla is paying employees to bike to work to deal with chronic parking overcrowding at their Palo Alto headquarters.

 

National

More Americans now work from home than bike and walk to work combined. Which is good for removing cars from the road, not so good for public health.

Ten things to do if you’re injured in a bike crash.

A new solar powered bike lock offers a double locking mechanism making it twice as hard to pick, and will notify you by Bluetooth if someone tries to break it.

A Montana paper says a state senator’s anti-bike campaign isn’t funny, and has already done damage to the state’s reputation.

Arkansas is the latest state to pass ebike legislation based on the California model.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where killing a member of the Triathlon Hall of Fame as she was riding her bike is only worth a lousy $3,000 fine.

A New York bike rider is asking a judge for a default judgment against the city’s former mayor after 89-year old David Dinkins refuses to sit for a deposition in the hit-and-run case.

A DC man has been charged with disobeying a traffic signal for killing a Kiplinger’s editor as she was crossing the street when he crashed his bike into her. He’ll be lucky if he avoids more serious, and possibly deserved, charges in the case.

New Orleans thinks twice after starting to remove a guerilla ghost bike sculpture installed on a median.

The last of Miami’s cocaine cowboys is one of us, too; Gustavo Falcon was busted while riding with his wife near Disney World after 26 years on the run.

 

International

Costa Rica’s state-owned bank is encouraging employees to bike to work, offering a bike parking area, lockers, and dressing rooms with showers.

A British man gets death threats after posting video of kids popping wheelies and riding with no hands, but at least one finger.

A new online tool shows how various factors can be changed to increase bicycling rates throughout the UK.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine talks with London’s former cycling commissioner, who says the vast majority of road space is given to the least efficient users of it.

A new Singapore bikeshare company is offering a system that will award or deduct points based on rider behavior, which will determine how much they pay for their next ride.

 

Finally…

Actually, most elephants do look good in Lycra. It will be Lady Pippa next time she Races Across America.

And no, a mall is not a BMX track.

 

Morning Links: Drunk cyclists and pedestrians, bike lanes benefit public health, and support bikes in Hollywood

More victim blaming from the governors.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says one-third of pedestrians killed in 2014 traffic collisions, and 20% of bike riders, were legally drunk at the time of the crash.

Which, like most of their reports, sounds damning but lacks any real context.

Like whether the victims’ intoxicated state had anything whatsoever to do with the crashes that killed them.

The report implies pedestrians stumbling drunk into the path of oncoming motor vehicles, or weaving bike riders blowing red lights to meet their demise.

Yet it’s just as likely that a drunk pedestrian could have been hit while walking legally in a crosswalk, or that a bike rider may have been rear-ended while riding in a bike lane, despite having a couple beers.

As LAPD officers have repeatedly drilled into my head, intoxication is never the proximate cause of a collision. A driver may run a red light or veer onto the wrong side of the road because she’s drunk, but the cause of the crash is the traffic violation, not the DUI, which is considered a separate offense.

And never mind that a drunken bike rider or pedestrian is a danger to him or herself, while drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone around them.

So yes, the public should be made aware that walking or riding a bike after drinking can put you at serious risk. And taking transit or ordering a Lyft may be a better idea if you’ve had too much.

But seriously, everyone will be better off if you do anything except get behind the wheel.

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Another new study shows building bike lanes compares extremely well to other interventions designed to protect health, resulting in significant health cost savings and benefits to society at minimal expense.

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The LACBC is asking you to turn out next Tuesday to support bike lanes in Hollywood, which currently has none.

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee will be discussing transportation issues including cycling. A public show of support for bike infrastructure is needed so that the committee will prioritize bike safety issues. In particular it would be helpful if cyclists were able to speak about The Hollywood Boulevard commercial district/corridor, Vine Street, Cahuenga Blvd, and/or Highland Avenue as they are all heavily trafficked and precarious for daily cyclists.

When: 6 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Where: Hollywood Methodist Church located at 6817 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90028

Parking: Plenty at the church itself

Closest Metro Stop: Hollywood/Highland

Please RSVP at if you plan to attend.

As someone who lives and rides in the area, I can attest to the need for major changes, since there’s currently no safe way in or out of Hollywood in any direction.

Let alone that we’ll be throwing tourists to the wolves once Metro’s bikeshare comes here in the next few years.

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Mark Cavendish’s plans to catch the Cannibal’s record for Tour de France stage wins suffers a setback as he’s sidelined with infectious mononucleosis.

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Local

The Daily News says any public sign of friction on the LA City Council is a good thing, such as CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s endorsement of challenger Joe Bray-Ali in CD1 over incumbent Gil Cedillo.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman talks about the LACBC’s Tamika Butler talking about bikes, equity, and tokenization on the Bike Nerds Podcast.

An Alhambra man was critically injured when he was hit by a car while walking his bicycle across the street; for a change, the driver stayed at the scene.

The 61-year old self-proclaimed UniGeezer spends six days a week mountain unicycling along off-road trails in Agoura Hills, Simi Valley and Santa Barbara.

 

State

Oceanside puts a planned crosswalk on hold as the city questions plans to install a road diet that would protect the lives of kids walking and biking to school.

The second phase of San Diego’s Torrey Pines Corridor project will begin this fall, including buffered bike lanes on both sides.

Professional BMX riders take an anti-bullying message to a Rancho Bernardo high school.

The Big Bear Grizzly says it’s time to ride bikes in Big Bear. I assume that’s the local newspaper, rather than, you know, an actual bear.

A San Francisco bike shop will take your old car in trade for a new ebike. Throw in a sidecar for the Corgi, and I’m in.

 

National

The new Copenhagen Wheel, which promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike, is finally available for purchase. With starting price of $1499, it costs more than most bikes it might be used on.

Denver paramedics are training to ride their bikes to the rescue. Meanwhile, a coalition of bike and safety groups is calling on the city to dedicate $40 million a year for sidewalks, bikeways and access to transit.

Bryan Dotson forwards word that BikeHouston, which just helped guide approval of the city’s ambitious new bike plan, is looking for a new advocacy director. On the plus side, you’ll get to help reshape one of the country’s most notoriously auto-centric cities. On the other hand, you’ll have to live in Texas.

Caught on video: An Ohio driver appears to target one of three kids riding their bikes, running over his bicycle and up onto a lawn as the victim jumps out of the way.

A Massachusetts town votes to remove two whole parking spaces to sort of make way for a bike lane, because removing the four spaces that were actually needed was just too much to ask.

The drunken hit-and-run Baltimore bishop who left a bike rider to die in the street is now eligible for parole, despite serving just 18 months of her seven-year sentence, because Maryland doesn’t consider vehicular manslaughter a violent offense. I’m sure her victim would beg to differ.

A Georgia driver faces multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault and hit-and-run, for turning around and intentionally clipping a cyclist after honking and yelling at the group of riders as he passed moments earlier.

 

International

Caught on video too: The BBC’s Jeremy Vine is once again the victim of a near miss as he rides his bike through the streets of London.

London bike commuters want more showers. And someplace to dry their sweaty clothes.

Dublin’s lord mayor says he doesn’t know anyone who takes bags of shopping home on their bicycles. Maybe he needs to expand his circle of acquaintances since countless people do just that every day.

Irish police sergeants and inspectors say the country’s streets are too dangerous, so they call for making helmets and hi-viz mandatory for bike riders instead of making the streets safer. At least wiser heads prevailed on a plan to force pedestrians to wear fluorescent clothing.

Not even Copenhagen gets bike infrastructure right all the time.

Shanghai tries to halt China’s bike boom, banning bicycles — ridden or parked — from certain downtown districts, as well as a number of roads without bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bicycle, inside a police station is probably not the best place to start. Or at least wait until the rider gets off.

And if you’re going to jump your bike across a pond, try stay on until you hit the ramp, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Calbike hosts bike traffic school webinar, and celebrating history’s first two-wheeled acid trip

The California Bicycle Coalition will hold a webinar tomorrow morning to discuss how to set up a bike traffic school, similar to the traffic schools that allow drivers to take classes in lieu of paying fines.

While the schools were approved by the state legislature in concept in 2015, they have been slow to catch on with the courts in the state. Hopefully this will help change that.

Sign up here. And maybe you’ll learn how to set up that topless comedy bike traffic school you’ve always dreamed of.

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It turns out Bicycle Day is less about honoring bicycles than the trips taken on them. Or rather, one in particular, inadvertently taken by LSD inventor Albert Hoffman.

So how are you going to celebrate next Wednesday’s anniversary of the first two-wheeled acid trip?

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Evidently, it’s been online for awhile. But I just discovered I’m officially part of the history of the LA bike movement.

Albeit a very small part. And appropriately so.

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Once again, British Cycling postpones release of a report on bullying of the county’s top cyclists — especially women racers — that’s widely expected to paint an extremely unflattering picture of the organization; it’s working on a new code of conduct to avoid future problems.

The new head of the Australian cycling team promises a compassionate approach that puts riders first.

The Outer Line looks at the future of women’s cycling, and says female riders must form their own union and move to take control of the sport.

The Twenty20 bike team lost nine high-end racing bikes valued at a combined $60,000 when someone broke into their storage trailer in Corte Madera; a team sponsor is offering a $10,000 reward.

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A fellow competitor remembers Mike Hall, the endurance cyclist killed near the finish of Australia’s 3,400-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race, calling him the man who inspired a world of cyclists.

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Roscoe Blvd gets a road diet and LA’s first pavement-embedded crossing lights in West Hills, at an intersection where two women were killed, along with their dog, crossing the street last year. Now if they could just figure out how to do it before someone gets killed.

Riding across the US from Los Angeles to New York on a heavy single speed bike, chained to the frame on a bet by silent film star Fatty Arbuckle. And back. And back again.

An Aussie bike magazine compares a bike coffee shop in Melbourne with our own Arts District favorite The Wheelhouse. Speaking of which, The Wheelhouse will sponsor the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on May 7th.

 

State

A meeting will be held tonight to discuss plans to renovate the Mariner’s Mile along the Coast Highway in Newport Beach, including possible bike lanes.

Overstating the obvious, the Coronado newspaper says there’s not much chance the $210 million bike and pedestrian tube under the Coronado Bay Bridge will actually be built. Although citing induced demand creating bike and pedestrian congestion as a argument against it seems pretty ridiculous.

A Santa Barbara writer says if you think the proposed Idaho Stop law unfairly favors bicyclists, get out on your bike to add some data points to your thinking.

Around 750 cyclist from 40 different countries turned out on vintage bikes for last weekend’s Eroica in Paso Robles.

A group of up to ten teenagers swarmed and pepper sprayed a San Francisco man as he was unlocking his bicycle, taking it along with his cell phone.

 

National

Bicycling says go ahead and patch that tube again. And again.

Here’s your tutorial on simple mountain bike tricks anyone can do. Assuming you have a mountain bike, that is.

Turn any bicycle into an ebike with a conversion kit.

A bighearted Las Vegas cop buys a new bicycle for an eight-year old boy after his was stolen about six weeks ago; the kid had to get up early to walk to school since he couldn’t ride there anymore after his bike was taken.

BYU students create a special adaptive pedal allowing a boy with one leg longer than the other to ride his bike using both legs for the first time.

Bikeshare is moving into middle America, as Wichita KS votes to install a 20-station system in the downtown area.

Now living in New York, Amsterdam’s bike mayor says the city has possibilities for bicycling if it would build more infrastructure and fix the holes in the street.

A New York ebike shop owner employs the lessons he learned riding a bike towards running his business.

Famke Janssen is one of us, riding in New York with her boyfriend and dog.

An NYC councilmember calls for safety improvements when a bicyclist is critically injured at the same intersection where another rider was killed less than two weeks earlier.

A Virginia man riding his bike to Canada faces a murder charge for allegedly beating a Pennsylvania man to death with a shovel after breaking into his home to steal $8.75 and some canned goods, telling the judge he was starving and just trying to survive. He could get three meals a day now, for the next 40 years to life.

 

International

Vancouver considers investing a quarter of a million dollars to jumpstart a pair of community bike rides expected to draw 10,000 people each.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is still one of us, going shopping in London fashionably dressed on her city bike, complete with wicker basket.

Cambridge, England residents are up in arms over floating bus stops, saying they may protect bike riders but put older people at risk; one person says people who ride a bike on the sidewalk should be fined for possessing an offensive weapon.

I want to be like him when I grow up. The 85-year old head of a British bike club stars in a commercial promoting TV coverage of the Tour of Yorkshire.

A British man was swarmed and attacked by a group of teens who stabbed him in the head with the frame of his own bike.

Two Dutch companies are talking merger to create the world’s largest bicycle company, combining Cervelo, Gazelle, Union, Santa Cruz, Diamondback, Raleigh, Redline, XLC and Lapierre under one roof.

A Ugandan cycling club trains for the Olympics 2020 doing double duty as a Kampala bicycle courier service.

So much for atoning for his sins. The head of an African faith group is asking for his conviction to be overturned for fatally running down a Zimbabwean bike rider while speeding and driving negligently.

If you really want to see Eastern Taiwan, you need to go by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Before you show kids how to ride a bike down a flight of stairs, make sure you can ride a bike down a flight of stairs. Ride 20 miles on Friday, 20 miles on Saturday, and drive a few hundred miles around a big oval on Sunday.

And if you’re going to take an illegal ride in a tunnel to deliver a pizza, at least take the damn lane.

 

Morning Links: Times talks bike tours, reward for bike-riding Koreatown killer, and more stupid criminal tricks

The LA Times Travel section went heavy on the bikes this week, following up on yesterday’s story on charity bike rides in the West.

The paper asked “bicycling enthusiasts” for their favorite rides, which ranged from LA’s Ballona Creek north to Washington, and east to the Mississippi. But somehow managed to place Iowa’s RAGBRAI in Missouri.

They suggest trying a pedal-assist ebike to get a bigger charge out of your trip — no pun intended, I’m sure — and follow up with ten questions to answer before you set out on a bike trip.

And last but not least, they offer a short timeline of the 200-year history of the bicycle, noting that the first recumbents were met with derision.

An attitude that continues today in some circles.

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Local

There’s now a $50,000 reward for the bike-riding man who killed a homeless woman in Koreatown in February.

CiclaValley urges everyone to show up for Wednesday’s meeting for bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd.

CicLAvia is looking for a paid digital engagement intern.

A 36-year old homeless man has been ordered to undergo a psych evaluation after getting busted for throwing an object at a driver’s car when he was apparently cut off while riding his bike on a Santa Clarita sidewalk.

 

State

Welcome back to SoCal, Frank. Former Newport Beach bike advocate Frank Peters is back in Southern California, setting up shop in Santa Barbara after a stint in Portland. And back to his old bike advocacy ways.

Plans are starting to fall into place for a possible 13-mile bike and pedestrian path linking Petaluma and Sebastopol.

The organizer of the Napa County triathlon where over 30 competitors were treated for possible hypothermia after swimming in a freezing lake says it didn’t really happen, and besides, they should have worn a jacket.

 

National

Cyclocross Magazine offers seven pretty good reasons to visit your local auto parts store.

Thankfully, there’s no consensus in the Iowa legislature for a bill that would force bike riders to dress like roadway workers and light their bikes 24/7.

Equestrians carry the anti-bike torch in Wichita KS, partially blocking plans for a bike path through a park.

A Wisconsin bike rider faces charges for allegedly beating a pedestrian after they nearly collided as the victim was crossing the street.

Chicago drivers who ignore No Parking signs and park in a buffered bike lane are blocking more than just people on bicycles.

The driver charged in the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre that killed five bike riders was arrested for a previous DUI in 2011, but his confession that he was stoned on painkillers was tossed because he hadn’t been read his rights.

Winston-Salem NC plans construction of a separated bike path along with a highway project, minimizing costs and disruption; the route is designed to allow riders to avoid a pair of major hills on their way downtown.

Atlanta is putting the finishing touches on a new three mile, 14-foot wide section of the planned Beltline multi-use trail through the city.

 

International

Treehugger reviews the new book by the Guardian’s bicycling writer, Peter Walker.

Montreal makes a smart move by making their bikeshare free on weekends.

After being acquitted in Britain’s first crowd-funded private prosecution, a British driver says it’s horrifying to be responsible for the death of another person, while insisting that she just didn’t see him.

Police are looking for an English cyclist who assaulted a couple in their 60s when they parked their car after passing him. I’d really like to say there’s another side to the story, but there’s no excuse for physically attacking anyone. Ever. Period.

No bias here. A British paper says a bicyclist suffered serious injuries smashing into a windshield. Never mind that she was actually hit by the car, which apparently did not have a driver.

As long as you run the country, you can make them play any damn song you want. The president of Turkmenistan has chosen a song he recorded as the official anthem of the Asian Indoor Games being hosted by his county.

An Indian couple is riding from Mumbai to Bangkok, having covered over 2,100 miles so far.

 

Finally…

A police station probably isn’t the best place to hide after getting off your bike and snatching a woman’s cell phone. Just a suggestion: If you’re going to ride your bike in the Applebee’s parking lot, leave your gun, heroin and prescription drugs at home.

And if you’re going to drop out of a bike race, try not to get picked up by the police for riding on a highway.

 

74-year old man killed in Burbank collision Friday afternoon

Bad news doesn’t always make the news right away. And sometimes, the police point the finger the wrong way.

That appears to be the case here, where a bike rider was killed in Burbank Friday afternoon.

According to the Burbank Leader, 74-year old Jin Soo Oh was riding east on Empire Ave around 2:35 pm when he was hit by a car turning right onto Westbound Empire from southbound Frederick Street.

He was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

The driver, who remained at the scene, was not cited.

Based on the extremely limited description, it appears Oh may have been riding against traffic on the wrong side of the street. It’s also possible that he was actually on the sidewalk and attempting to cross Frederick.

However, instead of blaming the victim for riding the wrong way, or the driver for not seeing him, Burbank police appear to be placing the blame on Oh’s lack of a helmet. Which wouldn’t matter if he hadn’t been hit by a car.

And whether it matters at all depends on whether Oh’s injuries would have been survivable, with or without one.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jin Soo Oh and all his family. 

Morning Links: Support Lankershim bike lanes, new buffered lanes in Sunland, and killer driver warns others

The LACBC is asking for people to come out on Wednesday to support plans to install bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd between Magnolia Blvd and Vanowen Street.

The meeting of the Mid-Town NoHo Neighborhood Council starts at 7 PM, at the Senior Citizen Center at 5301 Tujunga Blvd. RSVP to greatstreets@lacity.org if you plan to attend.

These are the same bike lanes former Councilmember Tom LaBonge blocked while he was in office; now that he’s gone, maybe we can finally make the street a little safer for everyone.

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Maybe there really is hope.

Michael Sullivan forwards photos of new buffered bike lanes going in on Foothill Blvd in Sunland, where Jeffrey Knopp was killed when his bike was struck from behind while riding on the narrow shoulder.

Looking west from Foothill and Riderwood towards Wentworth

Looking east from the same spot towards Sunland, next to the barriers that previously trapped riders next to fast-moving traffic

The road diet should slow traffic, while giving people on bicycles a safer and more comfortable piece of the roadway. Sullivan calls it a very welcome change on a street he regularly rides as part of his commute.

My understanding is that these plans were in the works long before Knopp’s death. But it’s good to see a dangerous road made a little safer.

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The 22-year old driver who killed Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar four years ago is now speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted driving, his probationary penance for what he calls the worst day of his life.

Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar says the appearances mandated as part of his five-year probation have allowed him to help heal himself.

I sincerely hope he’s able to peace, and live with the knowledge that he needlessly destroyed an innocent life.

But I’m far more concerned that Aguilar’s loved ones are able to come to terms with his loss, and the fact that his killer wasn’t sentenced to a single day behind bars.

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Very sad news, as Peter Flax reports the husband of fallen OC cyclist Deborah Gresham — the subject of his moving piece on the creation of a ghost bike — has died unexpectedly, leaving their four kids without a mother or father.

Let’s hope there’s someone to take them in and comfort them. Because that’s just too much tragedy for any child to bear.

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A driver buzzes a bicyclist as he’s filming a trailer for a documentary. And proves once again that too many drivers don’t have a clue when it comes to the rights of cyclists, or how to drive safely around people on bikes.

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Spoiler alert: If you still haven’t seen Sunday’s Paris – Roubaix, skip to the next section. Or watch streaming video of the race courtesy of SoCal Cycling, then come back for the rest.

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Local

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin call for using Measure M return funds to save lives through Vision Zero, noting that New York is spending $174 million on Vision Zero projects this year, while Los Angeles has committed to spending a paltry $3 million.

A writer for The Source notes that she feels safer on a Metro Bike than a regular bike, and that bikeshare has made her feel more comfortable riding around DTLA.

Help clean up the Ballona Creek for Earth Day on the 22nd.

A mountain bike rider had to be evacuated from the Lower Monroe Truck Trail in Angeles Forest following a crash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica is set to unveil the final draft of the city’s Downtown Community Plan on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will include a heavy reliance on bicycling, transit and walking over motor vehicles.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the tale of a cycling wedding.

 

State

The LA Times recommends getting fit and doing good by joining one of several charity bike rides around the state, as well as one in Tucson.

A Huntington Beach event allowed people with disabilities to experience the freedom of handcycling for the first time.

A helmetless La Jolla woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a solo fall after losing control of her bicycle going downhill. Sadly, crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Apparently, it was worth it to a San Diego driver to risk injuring a bicyclist to snag a prime beachside parking space; the rider slammed into the back of her car after she cut him off.

A Riverside driver turned herself in Sunday morning for fleeing the scene after crashing into two bike riders Saturday night. Which would have given her time to sober up if she’d been drinking.

Two Stockton teenagers were killed fleeing from police following a robbery after crashing into a bike rider and several cars; fortunately, the bicyclist and the people in the other cars weren’t seriously injured.

Seven months later, Sebastopol authorities still can’t prove — or disprove — that a fatal crash between two cyclists on an organized ride was caused by a careless driver.

Over 30 triathletes suffered hypothermia after swimming in a Napa County lake before getting on their bikes.

 

National

A new book from a Colorado woman describes her victory in the frozen 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race.

The Montana bill that included a tax on out-of-state bicyclists — which sponsors later said was a joke — passed out of committee without the provision attached.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a hit-and-run driver gets a whole 18 months in prison for killing a bike rider, then claiming he hit a deer.

The New York Post questions why the city should spend $12 million to expand the Citi Bank bikeshare to outlying areas, when the coming dockless, app-based bikeshare systems could do it for them.

A writer for the Guardian describes his single week as an Uber courier, which ended when he discovered the hard way that Uber doesn’t ensure couriers’ bicycles against theft.

The World Cycling League will team with a Reading PA college to build a world-class, $20 million velodrome.

A kindhearted friend of a Virginia McDonald’s customer bought a new bicycle for one of the store’s employees after learning he was walking 10 miles each way to get to and from his job after his old bicycle gave out. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The Tampa Bay Times offers a strongly worded editorial calling for better safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, saying it’s time to stop accepting injuries and deaths as “collateral damage in a culture focused on cars.”

 

International

Here’s video of the Cuban cyclist stopped by police in his attempt to set a record for the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder; builder Félix Ramón Guirola Cepero says he’s going to try it again. Got to hand it to Trimble; it’s a total class act to help the guy trying to beat your own record.

An 82-year old Brit man had the chutzpa to apply for a new driver’s license, just days after knocking a man off his bike, then driving over him at 3 mph.

The UK is about to be invaded by Chinese app-based bikeshare providers, extending their battle from the Middle Kingdom to foreign shores.

Caught on video: A British driver tweets that a bike rider should be prosecuted for riding through a red light when there was no traffic coming in any direction.

A Bollywood filmmaker plans several additional rides after finishing a 1,500 mile ride across India to promote mental health; he has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Australian police are closing in on a suspect in the 15-year old cold case murder of a man who was gunned down in his home weeks after finishing an eight-month tour of the country that ended when his bike was stolen.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, try not to drop the cash you just stole. Your next bike helmet could fit in a water bottle, not that it would do a lot of good there.

And your latest bicycling jam comes courtesy of Frank Ocean, with an assist from Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator.

………

Chag Sameach!

 

Morning Links: Trade your bike or bag at Timbuk2, O’Farrell endorses Bray-Ali, and Montana bike tax an unfunny joke

Here’s your chance to get a new bike or bike bag and support a good cause at the same time, as Timbuk2 and Pure Cycles host a special trade-in event this weekend at the Timbuk2 store on Abbott Kinney in Venice.

During store hours, visitors will have the chance to bring in any worn bag or bike in exchange for a 30% off discount on any Timbuk2 product or Pure Cycles Bike. On top of that, all donated items will go to Bikerowave, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that will be on-site to discuss with donators on how their contributions will help the community of Los Angeles.

………

Big news in the CD1 race, as 13th District Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has endorsed challenger Joe Bray-Ali over incumbent Gil Cedillo. According to the LA Times,

“Joe Bray-Ali understands the issues facing Los Angeles and demonstrates a sense of urgency in addressing the affordable housing crises, safety in our neighborhoods, and responsiveness to constituent needs,” O’Farrell said in a prepared statement. “His positive grassroots campaign has motivated more people to participate in the democratic process at the local level and become engaged in the pressing issues that affect Angelenos. This city faces daunting challenges and we need someone like Joe to bring a fresh perspective, new ideas, and an open mind to decision making for our city.”

It’s almost unheard of for a sitting councilmember to endorse a challenger, especially one in the adjoining district.

Although, as several people reminded me today, Cedillo endorsed termed-out county Supervisor Gloria Molina over Jose Huizar just two years ago. In other words, LA’s most anti-bike councilmember was opposing one of the city’s best in the district next door.

It will be interesting to see if Huizar returns the favor.

………

The City of Vernon wants your input on filling a major gap in the LA River bike path through the city.

And Metro wants your input on three proposed Long Beach bike paths within the I-710 corridor.

………

It turns out that proposal to charge a $25 fee for out-of-state bike riders using Montana roadways was just a very big, and very bad, April Fools joke.

I’m glad they think it was funny, even though it brought an incredible amount of bad publicity to the state, and caused bike riders around the world to rethink their plans to visit there.

………

More remembrances of the late great Steve Tilford, who was killed in a Utah car crash early Wednesday morning:

Meanwhile, VeloNews offers a guide to the cobbles of this weekend’s Paris – Roubaix. And Cycling Weekly says you don’t need a rule book for cycling, because you should just know all this stuff already.

………

Local

Horrible news from Firestone Park in unincorporated South LA County, where the occupants of a car got out and swarmed a man on a bike before stabbing him several times; he died at a nearby hospital.

Former Glendale state Assembly Member Mike Gatto is one of us, penning a great Op-Ed in the Times about the carfree lifestyle he’s maintained since 2012.

Los Angeles Magazine’s Neal Broverman calls out four LA area streets in desperate need of a pedestrian-friendly makeover. What’s good for pedestrians is usually good for bike riders, too.

Metro is now offering discounted Metro Bike memberships to businesses to encourage their employees to use the bikeshare service, in hopes of doubling its ridership rates by the end of next year.

Bike SGV takes issue with a recent story that blamed a Glendale bike rider for a crash.

We already knew chef Gordon Ramsay was one of us, getting up at 4 am every Sunday to put in 112 miles on his bike.

 

State

Calbike still has concerns following the passage of the state transportation bill that would double spending on active transportation projects, while significantly boosting funding for public transportation.

Streetsblog looks back favorably on last weekend’s successful Garden Grove open streets event.

San Diego’s Campagnolo GranFondo rolls this Sunday.

There’s something seriously wrong when a bike path becomes the most divisive issue in a community, as the proposed and long argued CV Link through the Coachella Valley appears to have become.

A Santa Barbara man is recovering from serious injuries after his bike was hit head-on while descending the famed Gibralter climb.

Bakersfield police recommend DUI and hit-and-run charges against a member of a prominent local family in the death of a bike rider earlier this year, even though he could have been charged with second degree murder due to a pervious DUI conviction.

A San Luis Obispo elementary school has been named the most bike friendly school in the US by the League of American Bicyclists.

 

National

While the rest of the country envies bike friendly Portland, Portland bicyclists push for more safety improvements.

Las Vegas police are looking for a suspect who rode his bicycle up to man outside a liquor store and shot him twice in the chest before riding away.

Colorado becomes the fourth state to pass a law classifying ebikes used on the roadways; California led the way by creating three classes of ebikes, based on their maximum speed, that took effect in 2016.

Family members have filed suit against the Ohio man accused of murdering a 20-year old college student after she went for a bike ride.

Arkansas rejects a bill that would have allowed children to play outside — and ride their bikes — without the supervision of a parent or guardian. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Shreveport LA promises cyclists they’re getting a real bike plan, but gives them sharrows instead.

New Orleans delays consideration of an ordinance that would update existing bike laws, some of which haven’t been changed since the 1950s; the delay is so they can add penalties to the prohibition against drivers harassing bicyclists. Most of the changes make sense, except for a requirement that every bike have a bell; apparently there’s a backlog of Angels in need of wings.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition offers to help drivers hack their commutes by taking to bicycles following the collapse of the I-85 freeway through the city.

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan tells an appreciative Charlotte NC audience it’s time the city stopped focusing on cars.

There’s a new world record for the most miles ridden in a single year, as 24-year old Florida resident Amanda Coker shattered the old record of 76,076 with over five weeks left to go, averaging over 288 miles a day on her bike.

 

International

The Cuban cyclist attempting to build the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder, has his attempt halted by the police. Literally.

London’s former cycling commissioner is keeping tabs on his successor, and doesn’t seem too happy about the lack of progress.

It only took a London jury 17 minutes to acquit a driver who killed a 70-year old man on a bicycle in Britain’s first crowdfunded private prosecution. So maybe there was a reason why the police declined to file, after all.

A Malaysian newspaper calls for providing safe places for kids to ride their bikes, and emulating a program from a neighboring state that guided teenagers away from illegally modified bikes and onto regular bicycles, while providing the training to become professional cyclists.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least know why you did it.

And apparently, a British driver really didn’t want to know his brake light wasn’t working.

Morning Links: CD1 race gets dirtier, bike rider assaulted on LA River path, and fixing streets is Vision Zero, too

As predicted, incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo is getting down and dirty as he fights to retain his seat in the face of a strong challenge from outsider Joe Bray-Ali.

Today’s attack from the city’s most anti-bike councilmember comes in the form of repeated accusations that Bray-Ali is just a Republican in Democrat clothing. And that he only switched parties to run for office — fighting words in the strongly Democratic and independent district.

Except he isn’t. And didn’t.

Bray-Ali is the first to admit he was, briefly, registered as a Republican several years ago as he searched for his place in the political landscape, before landing in the Democratic party after equally brief stints as a Green and an independent.

And never mind that Los Angeles local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, so whatever the hell party he belongs to shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

More amusing is Cedillo’s claim that he’s running a grassroots campaign.

Which is absurd coming from a career politician who gets the overwhelming majority of his donations from outside the district. And who has been in bed with mega donors like Chevron and Walmart for years, leading to questions whether their donations have influenced his votes.

After Saturday’s bizarre Lyin’ Joe episode, and today’s overblown tweetstorm attacks, it’s starting to look like Gil has been studying at Trump U.

And learning all the wrong lessons about how to conduct a campaign.

………

A bike rider reports he was the victim of an assault on the LA River bike path at the Los Feliz overpass when he was punched by one of two men partially blocking the pathway.

Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of his bike, and didn’t stick around to find out what they wanted.

While incidents like this are relatively rare, it’s a reminder to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings when you ride, especially on bike paths or anywhere else out of direct public view. He did the smart thing by getting out of harms way as quickly as possible before stopping to call the police.

He doesn’t give the date or time of the attack, but it makes me wonder if that’s why I saw a CHP cruiser turn onto the bike path as I passed by on Los Feliz Monday afternoon.

LA bicyclists have long called for regular police patrols on the bike paths in the city and county, to little effect; incidents like this sometimes result in an increase in patrols, which die down after awhile as other hotspots take precedence.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

………

I may not have made myself clear the other day.

While I am a strong believer in the need to fund Vision Zero projects in Los Angeles, and feel that it should take precedence over repaving streets and filling potholes, that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important, as well.

As yesterday’s tragic news reminded us, bad roads can be an expensive annoyance to people on four wheels. But they can be deadly to those of us on two.

Vision Zero should not attempt to improve safety at the expense of our streets, but in conjunction with repaving efforts to ensure a safe riding, driving and walking environment for everyone. We have to somehow find room in the budget to pay for both.

Because it doesn’t matter whether our streets are dangerous because of aggressive drivers, bad road design or crumbling street surfaces. The results are the same.

And human lives are at stake.

………

This is seriously one of the scariest close passes I’ve ever seen, as a driver for a British market buzzes within inches of a cyclist. But says it’s okay since he didn’t cross into the extremely narrow bike lane.

Just as scary is the response from the company, which was basically “We didn’t hit him, so who cares?”

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

I’ve never had a lot of heroes.

Willie Mays when I was younger, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King as I got older, though both were gone before I reached my teens. But there are a lot of people I’ve admired; a few I’ve tried to emulate.

And one of the best and brightest of those was killed in crash early Wednesday morning.

Steve Tilford was everything I wanted to be as a young rider. A passionate cyclist who was among the first wave of American riders to storm Europe and show that we could compete on equal terms with the best names in the sport, he made it all seem effortless, competing on the road and winning in mountain biking and cyclocross.

According to various press reports, Tilford was driving on I-70 just west of the Colorado – Utah border when his van crashed into an overturned semi. He and his passenger were standing outside of the van, injured but okay, when a second semi plowed into the overturned truck, striking Tilford.

He died a few hours later at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.

His passenger, Vincent Davis, was injured, and the driver of the second truck was killed as well.

VeloNews sums up the reaction in the cycling world, while the BMC Racing Team’s Jim Ochowicz remembers him and offers his condolences to Tilford’s partner Trudi Rebsamen, a soigneur with the team.

And Bicycling revives a 1998 profile of Tilford, saying he is why we ride.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

 

………

Another of those young riders from the 80s, American cycling great Andy Hampsten, is happy to share his love of cycling with young riders in Sonoma County.

Scientists are trying to take the hell of riding cobbles out of the Hell of the North.

………

Local

The jury’s still out on the 2024 Olympics, but LA will be hosting the 2017 Police & Fire Games.

Sunday marks the return of the Brompton Urban Bike Challenge scavenger hunt in DTLA.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the opening of the Jeff Seymour Family Center on Monday.

Topanga Canyon Blvd will be closed this weekend to repair storm damage and remove that big rock blocking the roadway.

Speaking of big rocks, CiclaValley discovers Big Rock Canyon.

 

State

The OC Breeze estimates that 15,000 people attended Saturday’s Garden Grove open streets event.

San Clemente plans to provide a safer route to an elementary school by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Avenida del Presidente.

Indio is looking for public input on plans to install sidewalks and bike lanes. That’s easy. Yes. Please.

Sad news from the San Joaquin Valley, as a man was killed riding his bike in Southeast Bakersfield.

A Visalia man is scheduled to spend the next 34 years behind bars for shooting a bike rider from his moving car.

Bay Area bike riders will finally be able to ride halfway across the Bay Bridge on weekdays. Then turn around and ride back, since it will be several years before the bikeway goes all the way across, if then.

A UC Berkeley architecture professor wants you to bike along the big, not-so-beautiful wall already standing on the Mexico border with the US.

Folsom is planning to complete the Johnny Cash Trail near the prison where he recorded the best selling live album of all time.

Chico police bust an ebike thief who broke in from the shop next door to steal a $3,000 bike from a local dealer.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says bike helmet laws do more harm than good, and the idea that they improve overall safety for cyclists isn’t backed up by the evidence.

Someone vandalized over 200 of Portland’s 1,000 bikeshare bikes.

Great read. When a reader asks why bicyclists don’t have to carry insurance, an Oregon columnist responds “don’t be that guy.”

Alaskan fat bike riders are risking their lives by riding through railroad tunnels to get to a near-wilderness area that’s closed for the winter.

Prosecutors offer an undisclosed plea deal to a road raging Arizona driver who allegedly murdered a bike rider earlier this year; he faces up to 25 years if he’s convicted.

Someone walked out with $8,000 worth of bike clothes from a trio of Dallas bike shops.

A bike-riding Florida cop struggles to find answers in the wake of a recent tragedy, saying ultimately we must learn to care about others on the road, and encourage them to care about us.

 

International

Caught on video: A Canadian thief demonstrates just how fast a poorly secured bike can be stolen.

Four of London’s most dangerous intersections are scheduled to get bike and pedestrian friendly improvements. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

The Guardian asks if London’s cycling czar is tough enough to take on critics and bike-haters. On the other hand, at least they have one, unlike some cities I could name.

Sometimes they do come home. Australian police recover an American man’s bicycle two years after it was stolen from a laundromat.

Designer and cyclist Paul Smith is creating cycling jerseys for a bike race to help raise funds to rebuild a Japanese town devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Abandoned bikeshare bikes are crowding out humans in a Shenzhen, China park.

 

Finally…

No, popsicle bike is not a thing, but it should be. No, throwing your bike at an ex-friend who owes you money is not the correct way to use it.

And which of these things are you doing wrong in your cycling class?

That’s easy. Not riding a real bicycle outside, to start.

 

Update: Popular cyclist dies nearly three weeks after hitting a pothole during weekly Montrose Ride

Last week, the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee debated whether to patch potholes or fund Vision Zero projects, ultimately deciding in favor of safety over street repair.

Today, we got a painful reminder that sometimes it’s the same thing.

Word broke on Facebook today that Edgar Lim passed away last week, nearly three weeks after he suffered catastrophic injuries hitting a pothole.

According to a post by Freddie Arellano, Lim died at 8:35 pm last Wednesday, after being injured while riding on March 11th.

A post by Steven W Hansen indicates Lim was participating in the weekly 8 am Montrose Ride when he hit what Hansen describes as a huge, unavoidable pothole near 1510 Huntington Dr in Alhambra during the first few miles of the ride.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

Hansen reports the pothole had been patched a week later, too late to save the very popular rider.

This is the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County.

Update: I’ve received second-hand reports from people who were on the March 11th ride that Lim may have lost control to avoid hitting the pothole, striking his head on the curb. However, even if that is the case, the pothole would have been the proximate cause of the crash, since he would not have swerved if it hadn’t been there. 

As Albert Lakes points out below, though, we don’t have all the facts at this point; all we can do is consider the limited information that is available and draw our own conclusions.

My deepest sympathy and prayers Edgar Lim and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Gilbert skips Hell of the North, fight to save USC bike shop, and don’t come back as Chinese bikeshare

It was a relatively quiet day in the bike world. So let’s get right to it.

………

So much for all that talk of Philippe Gilbert sweeping the Five Monuments; he’ll be skipping the famed Hell of the North this weekend, which makes it kind of hard to win.

Lance’s favorite dope doctor is convicted in an Italian court. And walks with an 18-month suspended sentence.

Cycling’s international governing body shifts focus and pledges to support all forms of bicycling, not just racing.

………

Local

FOX-11 reports the petition to save Lil Bill’s bike shop on the USC campus now has over 5,000 signatures. As of this writing, it’s reached nearly six times the original goal of 1,000 signatures.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s blocked by construction signs.

Parklets are finally coming to Santa Monica, even if some residents don’t get it.

Malibu city officials discuss the proposals in the city’s PCH parking study, which is designed to improve safety for everyone by addressing the problems caused by haphazard parking on the coast highway.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who crashed the marathon with kid in tow. And decries the lack of human space on our streets.

 

State

A San Diego man faces charges for a campaign of attacks on homeless people, including hitting two men in the back of their head while riding his bicycle.

A driver in San Luis Obispo was blinded by the sun as he tried to make a left turn, but did it anyway, oblivious to the bicyclist directly in his path. If you can’t see, don’t go. Is that really so hard to understand?

The third annual L’Eroica vintage bike fest will take place in Paso Robles this weekend.

A bighearted Fresno kid earned a new bike by getting good grades in school. Then immediately gave it to his friend, who didn’t have one.

The Youth Cycling Alliance is working with UC Berkeley to map and assess youth bicycling groups around the country to encourage more young people to ride.

 

National

Something our president and I can agree on: support for the Wounded Warrior Project.

GQ offers advice on how to properly warm up for a bike ride. Or you could just do what most people do, and just get on your bike and start pedaling.

Bicycling looks at the anti-bike Montana state senator and his hare-brained proposal to charge out-of-state bicyclists a $25 fee to ride Montana roadways, while noting he was fined for an ethics violation, and his wife was convicted of embezzling $20,000 from her own mother.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where an allegedly high driver gets off with just 150 days behind bars for killing an eight-year old girl as she rode her bike in a crosswalk with her stepfather.

A Minneapolis website looks at the award-winning Prince tribute bicycle.

New York police are doing their best to discourage bicycling by issuing riders bogus tickets, including for not wearing a helmet. Which isn’t against the law in that state unless you’re under 14.

It’s not just bike riders who are imperiled by trail-sabotaging terrorists. Megan Lynch forwards news that a North Carolina runner’s foot was impaled by a four-inch nail pounded into a tree root back in February, one of 40 found on the trail.

 

International

“Do you know what time it is?” “No.” “Time to steal your bike.” Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d threaten violence to steal a 12-year old Vancouver boy’s bicycle.

Canadian veterans will ride nearly 400 miles through Europe this summer to combat PTSD.

A Canadian cop says bike owners need to take responsibility for protecting their bikes by buying a good lock and recording the serial number of the bike. And register it!

The Telegraph asks if riding along the banks of the Danube is the world’s most relaxing cycling holiday.

The joys of bicycling around the German Bodensee and bathing naked with strangers after dark.

Who needs a battery when your cargo bike has a German-made fuel cell?

An Aussie website says plans for a Melbourne veloway look good, but there’s room for improvement.

Malaysian teenagers “repent” after eight late night bike riders where killed when a driver slammed into them earlier this year, while the story notes that not all “bike gangs” are bad.

 

Finally…

A burglar cleverly disguises himself as a bicyclist by riding a bicycle. The next time you’re reincarnated, don’t come back as a Chinese bikeshare bike.

And a Formula 1 race car driver is busted for speeding.

On a bicycle.

In a triathlon.

 

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