Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Eight teenage riders killed in horrifying Malaysian tragedy, and the war on bike riders continues

Heartbreaking news from the other side of the world, where eight Malaysian teenagers participating in a late night bike ride were killed and eight injured, two critically, when a 22-year old driver plowed into them, claiming she just couldn’t stop in time.

However, one of the survivors said they were stopped at the side of the road at the time of the crash, and that the driver had been speeding and using her mobile phone. Despite that, she was out on bail within hours of the crash, while police threated action against the victim’s parents.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation said it was up to parents to ensure their kids ride safely, while other voices condemned the parents for allowing their children to be out on the streets at 3 am.

The prime minister expressed his condolences, while a member of parliament urged past and present leaders not to politicize the tragedy. The state education department promised to look into the group of riders like the one involved in the crash, but a government minister said they’d known about the problem for ten years, but hadn’t come up with a solution to the late night rides.

The state government will give the equivalent of $225 to the families of the eight injured riders.

Meanwhile, an editorial calls on the government not to stifle the creativity of students who modify their bikes to express their individuality, and accommodate them by closing certain roads late at night to give them a safe place to ride.

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The war on cars may be mythical, but the war on bike riders goes on.

San Jose police are investigating a pair of blow gun attacks, including one man who was struck as he was riding his bike.

Someone stretched plastic wrap across an Omaha NE trail in an apparent attempt to injure bike riders.

A British rider was pushed off his bike by a car passenger and beaten with a bat.

A British man was fined the equivalent of just $261 for punching a bike rider in the face after the rider pulled out in front of his girlfriend’s car.

A group Britain’s top riders say they were attacked by a driver they recognized as the co-owner of a Taiwanese wheelmaker, who allegedly brake checked one rider and deliberately swerved into the group of riders two times, striking one man.

Two South African cyclists believe they were deliberately targeted by a driver who crashed into them, then may have hit a third rider just a few minutes later.

A 74-year old Australian man was shot six times while riding on bike trail; he survived the shooting in serious, but stable condition.

But no, really, let’s talk about how bike lanes take away a few parking spaces.

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Retired Luxemburg pro Andy Schleck ties the knot, walking out with his new wife under a canopy of handheld bike wheels; Schleck backed into the 2010 Tour de France title when Alberto Contador was stripped of his win for doping.

Speaking of doping, legal or otherwise, former Team Sky pro Michael Barry discusses what he calls the team’s unethical use of the painkiller Tramadol.

Britain’s Cyclist Magazine looks at the 12 toughest men in cycling history, including America’s first Giro winner, Andy Hampsten. Except they left off Greg LeMond, who twice won the Tour de France with a body full of buckshot.

Pro cyclists are complaining that competitors are drafting behind race motorcycles.

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Local

A photo blogger reports on last week’s CD1 debate, which did not appear to go well for anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

CiclaValley reports there’s an open house this Wednesday for the Lankershim Great Street. This is your chance to correct the mistakes made when former Councilmember Tom LaBonge killed the bike lanes planned for the street, in an apparent attempt to keep it dangerous for everyone.

The Bikerowave bike co-op is hosting a movie night this Friday, showing Adaptation.

There’s just one week left to nominate someone for the LACBC’s Diversity Program for this year’s Climate Ride.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re hosting a feeder ride to the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event on March 5th.

The Irwindale Lions Club is hosting a 75-mile Rooting for Kids Along Route 66 fundraising ride on March 11th.

Santa Clarita wants to know if you want a bikeshare system in the city. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

 

State

North San Diego County cities are working to make PCH safer and more welcoming for people on bikes, despite the inevitable auto-centric bikelash.

In an effort to cut traffic, Moreno Valley is buying ebikes for city employees to use for short errands instead of driving.

Exploring Ventura’s waterfront by bike.

A Fresno letter writer tells bike riders to stay in the city and keep off foothill roads with no bike lanes. Apparently local motorists are incapable of slowing down and driving safely on winding roads.

The battle over bike access in Marin County goes on, as the executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says mountain biking is here to stay, and saying no to every potential legal trail just won’t work any more.

A Sacramento bike rider is expected to survive after riding in front of a light rail train. Yet another reminder to always wait until the lights stop flashing before attempting to cross the tracks.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says the best thing about commuting by bike is the chance to go full caveman by screaming at offending drivers and righteously riding away. Um, no. Let’s hope this was intended as satire.

A heartless jerk faces a felony hit-and-run count for hitting a teenage bike rider in Las Vegas, then driving for two and a half miles with the bicycle still stuck under his truck before tossing it into a trash bin.

A Denver website looks back at the successful efforts of a local bike club to bring the national championships to town. In 1894.

A Texas writer discusses what it takes to ride 200 miles without stopping as he prepares for a RAAM qualifier.

A Minnesota man upcycles old bicycles by turning parts in jewelry and art.

The bicycle belonging to the late bike-riding fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has been donated to a New York historical society, along with his books and other items.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A North Carolina man killed a woman riding her bike, despite having his license permanently revoked ten years earlier. Clearly, taking away a license — even permanently — isn’t enough; we’ve got to find a way to keep the most dangerous drivers out of their cars and off the streets before they kill someone.

 

International

London’s new bike czar insists the city is safe for cyclists, allowing his own children to ride on the streets.

A new study from the UK shows that the earlier you teach your kids to ride a bike, the more likely they are to keep riding.

A unlicensed British driver gets five years for killing a 71-year old bicyclist while high on crack and fleeing from police.

Caught on video: UK readers blame a cyclist for slamming into a trailer when the driver cut him off, because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane that was blocked by parked cars. And never mind that the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Brit riders compete in the annual Penny Farthing championships.

A moving story from Liberia, where a 12-year old boy wants a bicycle. But first he had to get a new leg to replace the one he lost when he was shot as a baby.

South African police offer good advice for riders everywhere — keep an eye on your bike if you stop for something to eat or drink after your ride.

A former Kiwi criminal is helping young gang members turn their lives around by taking up mountain bike racing.

A Japanese teenager faces charges for taking a stolen bicycle on a 560-mile joy ride.

Better news from Malaysia, where one city is setting up a free bikeshare program; bikes can be checked out for 24 hours using a card issued by city hall.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want to get hit by a driver while riding your bike, don’t steal his truck. Sometimes it takes Mother Nature to build a protected bike lane.

And who says you can’t carry heavy things on a bike? Like an 82 pound stolen safe, for instance.

 

Morning Links: Tell ‘em what you really think, and remembering recent victims of traffic violence

PeopleForBikes wants to know what you think about biking in Los Angeles, or wherever you ride.

They’re asking everyone to complete a brief, 10 minute survey with the goal of ranking every city in the US in terms of how safe and pleasant it is to ride.

Which means LA is bound to be one of the top rated cities, right?

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

You’re welcome to answer anonymously, or you can provide your name and email, and be entered for a chance to win a $1,500 Trek bike.

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Today’s common theme is a sad one.

Friends and family members remember Agustin Rodriguez, Jr., who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Whittier last month. The woman who so needlessly took his life with her erratic and aggressive driving remains at large, though police say they do have some leads.

San Juan Capistrano father of five Steve Schenkenberger remains in a coma, ten days after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; a crowdfunding site to help pay his medical expenses has raised nearly $86,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Friends remember Laguna Nigel school teacher and triathlete Scott Clark, who died two weeks after he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers as he was crossing a street in a crosswalk; he was the second pedestrian killed in the city since the start of the year, along with the collision that critically injured Schenkenberger.

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The pro cyclists union is trying to stop the current disk brake trial over safety concerns.

British racing great Chris Hoy says the future is bright, despite cycling’s “challenged’ reputation.

Cycling’s golden couple find a clever way to announce they’re expecting their first child, posting a photo of a kids bike next to theirs. He or she should have some good bike racing genes, since Laura and Jason Kenny have 10 Olympic gold medals between them.

A rider with the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk tells children with the disease that it doesn’t have to mean career death for elite athletes.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine says the long-delayed MyFigueroa Complete Streets project offers a glimpse into LA’s transportation future. Let’s hope that’s a glimpse at what our streets can be, not how long it will take.

626 Golden Streets lists the activities at the eight hubs along the 26-mile route through the San Gabriel Valley for the March 5th open streets event.

Laura Friedman, who represents La Cañada Flintridge in the state legislature, says collaboration is key to transportation projects, but fails to mention any form of alternative transportation.

Santa Monica will host Parks Day, Come Play! on the 25th of this month, featuring the grand opening or dedication of several parks, along with a bike ride with the mayor.

 

State

Apparently San Diego’s Bikeway Village project is hostile to hostels, as the Coastal Commission votes to go with a brewery on the site instead.

The bike-riding buddy of the San Bernardino terrorists will plead guilty to charges he illegally provided them with a pair of rifles.

More controversy over the inexplicably controversial plan to build a 50-mile bike path around the Coachella Valley, as residents of a seniors community express concerns that bike riders will peer into their bedrooms and break into their homes. Because peeping Toms and burglars never come by car.

Ventura police bust a bike-riding burglar.

It’s legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Cupertino, as long as you have child under 13 with you.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike; a CHP spokesman said he died because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. No, he died because he was hit by a car.

 

National

Self Magazine considers what cycling, including the indoor kind, is doing to your vagina. For those who have one, of course.

Lifehacker offers advice on what to look for when you’re buying a used bike. First thing to look for: make sure it’s not stolen.

North Dakota voted down the bill that would have allowed drivers to run down anyone who was intentionally blocking traffic, without fear of prosecution. Which could have included cyclists taking the lane, if police concluded they didn’t belong there.

A bike-riding Houston editor says there’s no one simple answer to safer streets, and the city needs to put the same energy and ambition they demonstrated in hosting the Super Bowl behind making the city safer for everyone.

Kentucky considers a mandate for kids to wear bike helmets, but only if they’re 12 or younger. They’re also moving forward with a three-foot passing law that, unlike California, allows drivers to briefly cross a yellow line to pass a bike rider.

 

International

The Toronto paper explains right-of-way rules for bike lanes, stressing that drivers turning right have to yield to bicyclists.

An Ontario man was lucky to avoid jail for his third DUI offense. On an ebike. On the other hand, everyone who has to share the road with him, not so much.

British dog owners are looking for the man crashed into a small dog with his bike, then kept on going; the three-year old dog lost all but two of its teeth as a result. Seriously, it takes a heartless jerk to keep riding after injuring any animal; but it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep their dogs safe and out of harms way.

A new study shows the world’s most dangerously polluted cities, where the health risks of riding a bike outweigh the benefits, include Zabol, Iran, Allahabad and Gwalior, India, and Doha, Qatar.

A group of Tasmanian cycling legends in their 60s and 70s ride together every week; an 85-year old rider is still one of the fastest and fittest members of the group.

Now that’s performance art. A Zimbabwean history professor will be riding around Cape Town on a bicycle with bull horns and speakers, delivering lectures and spinning records.

 

Finally…

So what do you call the person who sits on the bottom of a bamboo tandem? Even government ministers get their bikes stolen.

And a man was fired for not pushing his bike across a plaza instead of riding it; then again, it’s hard to push a bike when you don’t have any arms.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

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LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

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Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

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As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

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VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

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Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

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Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Political news and endorsements, Caltrans feints at engagement, and how to lose bike vote

Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.

Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.

First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.

While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.

And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.

Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.

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Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.

In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.

That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.

Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.

But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.

After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.

Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.

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That’s one way to lose the bike vote.

A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.

Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.

However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.

When they cast their ballot for his opponent.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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People on bikes are heroes once again.

Or make that twice.

A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.

And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.

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They’re one of us, too.

Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.

New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.

And Lily Allen doesn’t just sing about riding her bike through London, she actually does it.

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Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.

Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.

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Local

The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.

Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.

This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.

 

State

AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?

An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.

Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.

Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.

Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.

An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.

Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.

Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.

Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.

 

National

Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.

Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.

Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.

Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.

A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.

A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.

 

International

A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.

Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.

A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.

Hundreds of Londoners stage yet another die-in to protest the dangers bike riders face on the city’s streets.

London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.

A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.

FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.

A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.

British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.

After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.

And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan needs work, LA could miss out on speed cams, and SPPD finds a Felt

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s presentation of the proposed Vision Zero Action Plan to the city council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Linton, the plan “takes a lot of words and charts to say very little” and rather than listing specific actions to be taken, merely lists “40 key corridors where something unspecified might happen.”

Evidently, committee chair Mike Bonin agreed, pressing LADOT and LAPD to come back in 60 days to report on implantation, citations for the five leading violations that contribute to traffic fatalities, and a “no profiling” pledge.

………

Speaking of Vision Zero, page 38 of the Action Plan says the city will “consider” legislation to allow automated speed enforcement.

Something that is already being considered in the state legislature. But only for San Francisco and San Jose, which have been pushing for legalized speed cameras for some time.

If LA is serious about eliminating traffic deaths, which seems questionable given the lack of specificity in the plan, they will work with SoCal representatives in the state legislature to ensure that Los Angeles is included in any pilot program.

The city can’t afford to hire enough cops to provide round-the-clock patrols of all 6,500 miles of streets within its jurisdiction. And without adequate speed enforcement, Vision Zero will fail.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the link.

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If this is your Felt, the South Pasadena Police Department may have some good news for you.

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The former head of the US Postal team says Greg LeMond is obsessed with Lance Armstrong, which is why he’s so focused on possible motor doping. Maybe so, but he was right about Lance’s doping when no one else wanted to believe it, myself included.

Former Tour de France champ Federico Bahamontes says race radios are ruining pro cycling, and racing should go back to being more about attacks and less about tactics. Meanwhile, USA Cycling decides to expand their use instead.

A dozen pro cyclists anonymously discuss their experiences with sexism and abuse in women’s cycling. Clearly, there’s a major problem here that has to be addressed.

………

Local

CHP officers in Santa Monica fatally shot a Simi Valley man who fled on a bicycle after stabbing his roommate last week; investigators said it appeared to be a case of suicide by cop.

A large mixed-use project in Santa Monica would include a 1,700-foot Bike Center, if it gets built; opponents are pushing for a park at the site instead.

The rich get richer, as Long Beach votes to update its pedestrian and bicycle master plans to make the bike-friendly city even more welcoming for people on foot and bikes, by focusing on low-income communities that have largely been left out up to this point.

 

State

Caltrans is looking for comments on its first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, with a goal of making it safe, convenient and comfortable for anyone to walk or ride a bike by 2040. Which is a long damn time off.

China Daily says Chinese app-based bikeshare company Bluegogo is now seeking permits from city leaders to operate in San Francisco, while an Op-Ed in the Examiner accuses them of bringing chaos to the city’s public spaces.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Wednesday morning.

A Bay Area cyclist writes about the struggle to find a balance between bicycling and an eating disorder.

A Fairfield driver faces felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run for allegedly intentionally crashing into a woman riding her bike after his passenger yelled insults at her out the window.

 

National

A writer for Bike Portland asks if the city’s lack of gated communities has contributed to its success as a bicycling community. On the other hand, LA’s relative lack of gated communities hasn’t exactly made it a bicyclist’s paradise.

A trio of Colorado counties are about to finalize a 670 acre land swap with the US Bureau of Land Management to open up more land for mountain biking.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 78-year old great-grandmother from Montana has been bicycling across Europe and North America for the last 14 years, traveling an estimated 10,000 miles so far.

A Chicago weekly questions why a drunk driver got off with just ten days in jail for killing a man on a bike, comparing the sentence to the Brock Turner rape case at Stanford.

The New York Times offers lessons on aging well gleaned from 105-year old French cycling champ Robert Marchand.

A writer for a DC paper explains why it’s so hard to get a driver charged for running down a bike rider.

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who shot an unarmed bike rider in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and resulting to a $22 million judgment, is now in charge of security at the Palm Beach airport whenever President Trump flies into town. No, seriously. What could possibly go wrong?

 

International

A writer for Torontoist offers a great response to the city’s bike-hating columnist, with tongue planted so firmly in cheek it may pop out the other side.

A British soccer star is under investigation for a crash that injured a cyclist; he says the rider darted in front of him on a green light.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A British bus company responsible for killing a bike rider earlier this week had been the subject of numerous complaints, yet the company director insists cyclists have to take responsibility for collisions. Because you can’t actually expect drivers to operate their buses safely. Right?

Caught on video: A British driver just misses a bike rider in a painfully close pass, rather than step on the brakes, slow down and pass safely.

Caught on video too: A Brit cyclist unleashes a foul mouthed tirade at a bus driver following a far too close pass to avoid a pedestrian. Considering the language I’ve directed towards various motorists over the years — all well-deserved, of course — I’m the last one to judge anyone’s choice of words.

Four childhood friends are riding a pair of tandems 420 miles from Wales to Scotland, despite never riding one before. Or riding much, period.

An Australian website discusses the problem with Strava, saying it still has a way to go before it becomes a valuable tool for all bike riders

 

Finally…

What to wear when you’re riding your bike, but still want to hide from the paparazzi. Whatever you do, don’t take your bike on Air Canada.

And apparently, motorists abhor a vacuum.

 

Morning Links: An open letter on LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and OC hit-and-run victim needs your help

The Vision Zero Alliance has written an open letter to the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, which will consider the city’s proposed Vision Zero Action Plan at today’s meeting.

While they support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths, the Alliance, described as “a coalition of over 20 community organizations dedicated to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles,” takes issue with some parts of the plan.

The Action Plan serves as a critical step to ensuring that the Vision Zero initiative remains grounded in transparency, accountability, and evaluation. It also represents the City’s commitment to protecting the safety of all road users. The Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance applauds LADOT for its efforts in completing the Action Plan, which reflects extensive coordination among multiple agencies and organizations. We particularly appreciate the department’s ongoing commitment to engaging with and being accessible to the Vision Zero Alliance throughout the development of the Action Plan.

However, we remain unsatisfied with a number of elements of the plan. Our primary concerns relate to enforcement, data transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, we are worried by the lack of attention paid to speed and to the weak commitment in funding.

I’m particularly glad they share some of the concerns I’ve expressed, which are reflected in that last sentence.

We have additional concerns regarding speed and funding. Despite vehicle speed being a primary predictor of crash severity, the Action Plan lacks a bold and coherent strategy to manage it. We appreciate that the City intends to “consider legislation on automated speed enforcement” in 2017, but would like to see a more comprehensive set of actions to address local control of speed limits and the implementation of engineering projects specifically intended to slow traffic. We are also displeased with the low level of funding allocated to Vision Zero projects this year. A serious commitment to ending deaths and severe injuries on Los Angeles streets demands serious funding. Only with a realistic investment in robust engineering projects, education, engagement, and enforcement will Los Angeles ever realize Vision Zero.

It’s worth reading the full letter.

And demanding that the city adopt a plan that is fair for everyone, and will truly take the steps necessary to end the plague of traffic violence in out city.

………

An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

The Orange County Register reports that Steve Schenkenberger, a father of five from San Juan Capistrano, was struck by a hit-and-run driver near Niguel Road and Ridgeway Avenue on Super Bowl Sunday.

Newport Beach Patch is more specific, placing the time of the crash at around 8:56 pm. There were no reported witnesses, he was found by passersby who called for help. Luckily, one of those was a paramedic and his wife, who cared for him until help arrived; she describes it in heartbreaking detail.

According to a fundraising website, Schenkenberger suffered injuries throughout the left side of his body, along with a severe brain injury resulting in emergency surgery. He’s reportedly improving, but remains unconscious and heavily sedated.

As of this writing, the fund had raised over $34,000 of the $100,000 goal to help pay what are sure to be massive medical expenses, as well as care for his family, for which he is the sole provider.

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

Anyone with information about the crash or driver is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Aliso Viejo.

Thanks to Rod Daryabigi and Lois for the heads-up.

………

Frenchman Roger Walkowiak, the world’s oldest surviving Tour de France winner, passed away Tuesday at 89; the unheralded son of a Polish factory worker won the 1956 Tour with a solo breakaway on the famed Croix de Fer.

Cycling Weekly talks with 19-year old US junior cyclist Adrien Costa, calling him the next Greg LeMond. Sad that they had to go all the way back to the 1980s to find a scandal-free American cycling icon to compare him to.

VeloNews looks at the dangers of Tramadol, a less potent opioid painkiller that’s legal to race on under current doping rules.

………

Local

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC is working on a beautification project to increase capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Trousdale Parkway entrance to the campus.

A sidewalk-raging Santa Clarita transient was arrested on suspicion of vandalism for throwing an object at a driver who had apparently cut him off as he existed a driveway.

 

State

A California sustainable transportation website launches a new series titled Bicyclists Are Human. Something that shouldn’t have to be said, but too often does.

Six California rides make the list of the nation’s 15 top Gran Fondos, including the Malibu Gran Fondo, and the one-year old Phil’s Cookie Fondo hosted by LA’s own former pro and cookie monster Phil Gaimon.

San Diego cyclists hope to repurpose a boarded up 1940s building next to a bike path as a bicycle center.

Ebikes are moving into Santa Cruz. And La Quinta, too.

A 56-year old bike rider in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district faces charges after allegedly punching a 20-year old woman and rifling through her pockets.

A San Francisco bike shop owner is crowdfunding a parklet he wants to build in front of his store.

An injured San Francisco bike rider offers a reminder that rain-filled puddles can disguise hidden dangers.

 

National

Here’s a chance to get technical, as VeloNews explains how differences in bicycle geometry affect how a bike rides and handles.

A British Columbia researcher says bicycle education in the US is in desperate need of an update, questioning whether bicyclists are really safer riding in the traffic lane.

Wired says ride your bike like a kid and make it fun again. Which is a great idea, except they get most of it wrong. Spandex clothing is actually designed to wick away sweat, while reducing wind resistance and chafing; flat pedals only allow you to apply force on the down stroke, reducing efficiency. And the health benefits of riding far outweigh any risk of heart damage from extreme training, which most people will never do anyway.

Colorado cyclists will have to keep stopping for stop signs, as a bill to approve the Idaho Stop Law in the state, legalizing what many bike riders already do, was killed in a legislative committee; a Durango paper blames Senate Republicans.

The Texas Medical Alliance gave away 400 bike helmets to four and five-year olds.

Wisconsin cycling icon Chris Kegel passed away from a rare form of liver cancer; the owner of a regional chain of bike shops had been on the founding boards of PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists.

A bike-riding Illinois reporter is suing the local police department for false arrest after they busted him for filming them. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether the actions of police or anyone else, as long as you don’t interfere with an officer in the conduct of his or her duties. And no, standing across the street recording an arrest is not interfering.

A cyclist in Illinois ask why bikes can’t evolve like cars have. Except pretty much all the improvements he calls for are available in one form or another, from disk brakes and belt drives to automatic gearing.

Bicycling rates continue to climb in New York despite slower growth in the city core, as riders respond to the continued expansion of the city’s bicycle network.

Why is it always Florida? A man in his late teens or early 20s exposed himself to a group of people by going naked from the waist down, then took a public poop before riding away on his bike.

 

International

Two brothers from Mexico are planning to ride the entire west coast of the US from Tijuana to Vancouver, in part to challenge stereotypes of Millennials as apathetic and superficial.

A Canadian city legalizes scofflaw cyclists by designating the raised roadways they’re already riding on as cycling facilities.

Caught on video: A bus driver with the official title of Britain’s Most Hated Cyclist catches a woman FaceTiming behind the wheel.

British police finally capture a bike-riding serial groper who allegedly attacked 24 women.

In yet another attack on bicyclists from London’s bike-hating Daily Mail, a writer asks if anywhere is safe from the Lycra louts. Cycling Weekly responds that it includes every anti-cycling cliché known to the human race, and some new ones, too.

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 77-year old British man will ride the full route of this year’s Giro d’Italia, covering 2,100 miles across Italy.

A British writer rides through the tip of Africa on the first South African Eroica.

A 15-year old junior cyclist finds himself a man without a country after forfeiting his German passport, then getting booted out of a Malaysian school.

A Philippine website looks at the causes of road rage and what drivers can do about it. Which can apply to those of us on two wheels, too.

 

Finally…

Four words: speed dating on bikes. If you’re going to buy a hacksaw to cut a bike lock, don’t try to return it afterwards — and make sure it’s not a bait bike.

And make sure your damn shoe fits before you get behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: Bray-Ali endorsed by Times in CD1, entitled driver behaving badly, and LA BAC meets tonight

Now this is big.

Former Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali’s candidacy to unseat incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo got a huge boost yesterday when he won the endorsement of the LA Times.

While Cedillo has a huge advantage in fundraising, much of it coming from developers and others seeking to influence City Hall, Bray-Ali’s upstart grassroots campaign has been making waves in the district, as he rides his cargo bike door-to-door to talk with local voters.

And the Times has noticed.

Many people in the district think of Bray-Ali, 37, as just a bike-shop owner and bike activist. Frustration over Cedillo’s part in stalling bike lanes on Figueroa Street propelled Bray-Ali into this race. But though he may be campaigning atop two wheels, he has educated himself way beyond bike and transit issues. In fact, his understanding of land-use policy is impressive for someone who has never worked in City Hall, and his experience running a small business in the city will make him a rare and important voice on the council.

They also seem to have a pretty good read on his opponent.

Cedillo has a reputation among community activists as someone hell-bent on helping developers build market-rate housing while paying little regard for the more prosaic concerns of the neighborhoods. This disinterest in the community is troubling; even more so is his indifference to the displacement of low-income constituents. (He called displacement in his district an “urban myth” in a meeting with the editorial board. The city’s own data show it is not.) Building more housing is a virtue — the city is in a housing crunch, and more market-rate housing means more housing, period. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of a neighborhood’s affordability and quality of life. A councilman’s job is to balance the interests of neighborhoods with those of the population as a whole, and Cedillo doesn’t seem to be interested in that task…

The winner of this race will have an extra long term (the recent change in city elections means the winner will hold office for 5½ years) during a building boom that could fundamentally change the district. It is imperative that the person making the decisions focus on the needs of the community, not just a personal vision. The candidate who is best prepared to do that for Council District 1 is Bray-Ali.

Meanwhile, he also won the endorsement of Joel Epstein, writing for the Huffington Post.

Fact: Joe Bray-Ali has been a tireless advocate for safer streets for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers. A key leader in the safe streets Figueroa for All movement, Joe’s advocacy is helping make North East L.A. a safer place to live and is improving the neighborhood’s connections to Pasadena and the Los Angeles River.

Joe’s vision for CD 1 and the entire city, includes zero deaths and injuries from irresponsible, dangerous drivers. This is just one more reason that Josef Bray-Ali should be CD 1’s next councilmenber.

It’s time that CD 1 was represented by a councilmember who cares about the district. It’s time to elect Joe Bray-Ali.

On a personal note, I’ve been encouraging Joe Bray-Ali to run for city council since I first met him nearly ten years ago.

I’ve never met anyone more passionate about improving safety on our streets — myself included. Or more committed to improving the quality of life for the people who live in Northeast LA.

And few people, in or out of government, are more knowledgeable about the way city government works, and how it can be made to work more efficiently and better serve the people of this city. Not to mention possessing a rare ability to dig through city budgets line by line to determine where the money is actually going, as opposed to where it should be.

Joe has been a longtime advocate for better streets and better government. It’s time that passion and commitment is put to work serving, not just the bicycling community, but all the residents of CD1 and the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

………

If you’re looking for a visual definition of real schmuck, Greg Heining sends us this video of a driver cutting off an elderly woman with a walker as she makes her way across a crosswalk.

Sadly, this sort of thing happens every day, almost everywhere.

And yet, they say bicyclists act entitled.

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 7 pm tonight at Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue.

This is the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, yet three of the seats remain unfilled. If you’re a resident of council districts 9 (Curren Price), 10 (Herb Wesson) or 13 (Mitch O’Farrell), contact them today and politely ask your councilmember to get off his ass and appoint someone.

Then not so politely if they still don’t.

………

Bike racing’s governing body issues new rules for support vehicles to improve safety in the peloton. Even though the only way to really improve safety would be to ban them entirely.

The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition is working to bring back the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.

The U-23 development team run by Axel Merckx is providing talented young British riders with an alternative path to pro cycling.

Former cyclist Bridie O’Donnell discusses the sexual and emotional abuse women riders face in the sport, including the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former coach as a young triathlete.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the recent LA Great Streets Challenge winners, as well as Vision Zero grants.

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is riding to fight MS.

CiclaValley goes riding on the other road closed to motor vehicles in Griffith Park.

Time Out looks at 14 National Parks within driving distance of Los Angeles. Which means they’re in bicycling distance, too.

Long Beach is challenging residents to walk or ride their bikes on the Shoreline Pedestrian/Bicycle Path, as they try to reach one million trips on the path’s Eco-Counter.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition hosted a training session to teach people how to organize grassroots political advocacy efforts for safer, expanded access for bicycles.

In LA, they shut down bike paths to do freeway work; in San Diego County, they shut down freeway lanes, in part to install bike paths.

An alleged drunk driver was arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bakersfield bike rider with multiple broken bones.

Registration is now open for the 104-mile Tehachapi GranFondo, which will evidently take place sometime. Note to Bakersfield Now: One of those famous Five W’s stands for when. Just a hint. Update: Thanks to MTS, who points out the ride rolls on September 16th.

Now that’s more like it. San Francisco police are deploying extra officers to crack down on traffic violations by drivers at locations where bicyclists or pedestrians have been injured.

San Francisco scraps plans for a raised bike lane on Polk Street after concluding that it would also need to be parking protected. So what’s the point of raising the bike lane if it’s already protected?

 

National

Curbed says even with an auto-centric administration in DC, private car ownership could plummet in the US.

PeopleForBikes ignores the game, and watches the Super Bowl to count the number of bikes in the ads.

Redfin lists the best cities for living without a car; San Francisco takes the top spot, while cross-bay neighbor Oakland checks in at number ten. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list.

Lifehacker says there are few things dorkier than putting a bell on your bike, but insists you should do it anyway.

An Iowa letter writer says requiring bicycles to have lights at night won’t save lives because most of the state’s fatalities occurred during the day. Including the one that killed her boyfriend.

Bikeshare is coming to Roanoke VA, with 50 bike at stations scattered around the city.

 

International

Over 5,000 Costa Rican cyclists rode on Sunday to demand safer streets.

A new short film celebrates the success of Vancouver’s prescient multi-modal street design.

London’s Evening Standard explains why you should join a cycling club, and how to fuel your ride.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would push a 92-year old British woman off her bicycle to steal the equivalent of seven and a half bucks.

Now that’s more like it, too. Large trucks are banned from a narrow British lane where they weren’t supposed to be in the first place after a bike rider was injured in a collision.

The Brit press is up in arms over bicyclists filtering through traffic. Even though it’s legal. And even though it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

A new German project raising funds on Kickstarter promises to deliver a flexible, lightweight bike lock made up of five layers that are saw-resistant, cut-resistant, fire-resistant, waterproof, and dirt-repelling. Because really, who wants a dirty lock?

Today was national Go By Bike Day in New Zealand. Or yesterday, since it’s already tomorrow there.

Chinese app-based bikeshare comes to Singapore to rescue the city from its overly crowded streets.

Caught on video: Dozens of people team up to lift a van off a Chinese bicyclist following a collision; thanks to their efforts, the victim didn’t appear to have suffered any injuries.

 

Finally…

You only have to ride around the block to stay in shape, as long as you do it really, really hard. If you really want to make your point, say it again, and again.

And once again, a bike rider saves the day. Or the dog, as the case may be.

 

Morning Links: Bike berating truck driver, rescheduled Blumenfield ride, and Bray-Ali gets matching funds

This is getting old.

A bike rider in the South Bay gets passed by the road raging driver of a large pickup, who then steps out of his truck to berate him and tell him to get off the fucking road.

LAPD officers have told me that a driver can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his vehicle, since merely exiting the vehicle can be seen as a threat.

………

LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s bike ride along the LA River and through the West Valley has been rescheduled for the 26th of this month.

Considering how some members of the council don’t seem to give a damn about us, you should take advantage of a chance to ride and talk with one who does.

Speaking of which, one of those bike-unfriendly councilmembers has raised nearly 10 times the funds of Josef Bray-Ali, his Bike the Vote-endorsed challenger in CD1, who qualified for matching funds by raising $49,000 in mostly small contributions.

Clearly, Bray-Ali’s route to victory will depend on volunteer efforts and word-of-mouth, rather than trying to outspend his opponent.

Which means we have to do everything we can to get a more bike and safety-friendly voice on the council, in a district that desperately needs it.

………

If your bike flats on Mandeville and you don’t have any tubes left, maybe you can catch a ride with some helpful cops.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson sort of reviews LA-based ex-pro cyclist and cookie lover Phil Gaimon’s new book, and says it’s subversive, insightful, and really, really funny.

………

Apropos of nothing, and nothing to do with bikes, but this totally cracks me up.

………

Pro cyclist Andriy Grivko has been kicked out of the Tour of Dubai after punching race leader Marcel Kittel in the face; a very pissed off Kittel says he deserves a six month ban.

Cycling Weekly highlights the best bike punches caught on camera.

Two Aussie cyclists are riding the exact route of the 1928 Tour de France to honor a four man team from Down Under who competed in the race.

………

Local

Streetsblog says Los Angeles has striped new bike lanes on Heliotrope Drive in what used to be known as the Bicycle District, replacing sharrows that should have been bike lanes to begin with.

The LACBC looks at three things they learned during the recent Ask An Officer panel discussion with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass, including that there aren’t enough cops on the street, and the ones who are too often don’t have enough resources or receive adequate training. Which is something we’ve been pushing for since this site was founded.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy. I’d take it, but I refuse to wear a badge.

Help distribute books to free street libraries on Saturday’s Street Librarians Ride.

A Claremont paper looks at the last, sad days of 82-year old Coates Cyclery.

The mayor of Santa Clarita invites residents to get in shape by using the city’s 115-mile bike network, including 85 miles of natural and paved pathways.

CiclaValley goes bike lane shaming in Solvang and Santa Paula.

 

State

People in San Diego’s La Mesa neighborhood are being frightened by a bike-riding man with a gun. Or maybe not.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old Pauma Valley man plans to ride across Canada with a hundred other bicyclists next summer.

A road improvement project in Victorville will include six miles of new bike lanes.

A Fresno letter writer says the city needs to embrace bicycling to clean the air and defeat asthma.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane through the city’s McLaren Park this Saturday. Plans are also in the works for protected lanes on the Embarcadero, where traffic has reached “brutal” levels.

Marin mountain bikers band together to demand better access to the county’s trails, saying they represent up to 45% of all trail users, but are allowed on only 10% of them.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time to pump up your bike tires and join the city’s Bike Party.

 

National

Outside Magazine asks if gravel bikes are marketing hype or the future of cycling. Short answer, probably neither.

A Chicago paper says the judge missed an opportunity to send a strong message on DUIs when he sentenced a drunk driver to just 10 days in jail for killing a bike rider. Gee, you think?

You can now legally ride your bike in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

Tennessee’s Bike Elf fixes up bikes and gives them to kids who get straight A’s, after signing an agreement to do their best.

A 2002 New York public access TV show offers a look at how bad bicycling was back in the city’s dark ages before Janet Sadik-Khan.

A DC rider creates a simplified, easy-to-read bike map based on transit maps. If someone did that here in LA, all they’d get is a bunch of disconnected lines looking like someone spilled a box of matches. And almost as useful.

Speeding in DC will cost you a cool $500, but running over a bike rider is a relative bargain at just $150.

A new Virginia law would prohibit drivers from using bike lanes to pass stopped cars on the right, while another would create a vulnerable user law.

Sometimes, all it takes to form a band is riding your bike past another New Orleans musician.

 

International

The Canadian driver caught on video forcing his car into a bike rider who was trying to block his path has finally been charged with assault, among other charges, after police falsely claimed the victim didn’t want file charges.

Caught on video: Doesn’t look like much; just a guy riding his bike on the sidewalk. Except it’s a London cop’s official police bike, which he just stole from a rack after cutting the lock.

London’s Heathrow Airport actually wants people to bike there, calling for one of the city’s bicycle superhighways to be extended to the airport to make it easier for passengers to leave their cars at home.

Eight Welsh midwives will ride from London to Paris in hopes of delivering £14,000 — the equivalent of over $17,400 — for women’s cancer research

Stealing one or two bikes is bad enough; taking 22 from an English bike shop is unforgivable.

Irish police investigating a jewelry store heist are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed the crime.

Horrifying story from India, as onlookers filmed a teenage bike rider for 30 minutes after he was hit by a bus, rather than helping him or offering comfort as he lay dying. A newspaper asks if the country needs a “Duty to Help” law.

Caught on video too: A South African website freaks out over footage of a woman happily riding her bike in the middle of a busy highway sans helmet.

A group of Taiwanese and Tibetan cyclists demonstrate in Taipei to call attention to the 60th anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising Day next month.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re going to carry cocaine on your bike, don’t ride salmon — and put some damn reflectors on it. For once, you can count roadkill on the highway, rather than risk being it.

And bicycling doesn’t require a co-pay.

 

Morning Links: Bike the Vote rejects Measure S, self-driving cars can’t see you, and bike-following robots

Like it or not, housing issues affect more than just where you live and how much you pay.

That’s why Bike the Vote LA has come out against Measure S, which would impose a two-year moratorium on most major new housing construction, saying it would only increase sprawl, social inequity and traffic.

The group says it would “have far-reaching negative repercussions for our collective vision of a diverse, livable, affordable, walkable, bikeable city.”

Streetsblog reports that a large coalition of diverse groups opposes the measure, also known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, in next month’s election, calling it a “scorched earth” housing ban.

………

Bad news for all those, like myself, who have been hoping that self-driving cars would mean safer streets for bike riders by taking the wheel away from today’s careless, aggressive, wasted and/or distracted drivers.

It turns out that detecting people on bikes is possibly the biggest problem hurdle developers have to overcome before autonomous cars take over the road.

In other words, they can’t see you. And too often don’t know what to do even if they do.

Which pretty much sounds like the way things are now, anyway.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal and Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Famed cycling photographer Graham Watson calls it a career; VeloNews talked with him late last year, before yesterday’s announcement.

………

The LA Times says Trump’s travel ban isn’t expected to keep international athletes from competing in the US, an important consideration with the world paracycling championships scheduled for the VELO Sports Center in Carson later this month.

Cycling Tips talks with the Master’s racer who held on for dear life after crashing and going over a retaining wall.

A Pasadena site looks at the city’s role as the finish line of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Bicycling takes a motor-doped bike out for a spin. Hopefully we won’t see any of those at the paracycling worlds or the ATOC.

………

Local

Nice piece on Eric Bryan of the UCLA cycling team, as he continues his racing dreams as a third year student at the university.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is hosting a maintenance workshop tonight.

Most college students only have to worry about bad drivers as they bike to campus; bike-riding Pepperdine students have to watch out for mountain lions once they get there.

Santa Clarita is asking for input to gauge support for a bikeshare system.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition will hold its next meeting on Tuesday.

 

State

A San Diego advocacy group calls on the city to fix 15 deadly intersections.

Residents of La Jolla are uniting to keep San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare systems from besmirching their exclusive city.

A Menlo Park police chase leads to the arrest of a trio of bike thieves; police found numerous bicycles in one woman’s residence, along with other stolen items, but only three of the bikes had been reported stolen. Another reminder to register your bike, and report it the police if it gets stolen; too often they recover bikes that they can’t return to the owners because they have no idea who they belong to. And they can’t press charges if they can’t prove a bike is stolen.

A San Francisco Chronicle reader concludes that if it serves 100 riders a day, a $25 million bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge works out to $171 per ride over the four-year trial period. Except that bridges last a lot longer than four years, it could end up serving a lot more than 100 riders a day, and most bike commuters ride both ways, doubling the number of trips. But other than that…

A Castro Valley lawyer collects bicycles in reverse, buying and rebuilding bikes only to give them away to people in need.

 

National

PeopleForBikes discusses the prospects for bicycling under the Trump administration.

Bicycling Magazine wants to know how safe you feel when you ride.

Outside Magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary with their list of the 40 most iconic places on the planet, including mountain bike mecca Slickrock in Moab, Utah, the Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez, and the Festina car which lead to discovery of pro cycling’s doping problems. Although the latter is more a thing than a place.

The National Bike Registry has merged with the Project 529 bicycle registration service, creating a 400,000 combined database; anyone already registered with NBR will automatically be upgraded to a free lifetime membership with Project 529. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

City Lab conducts an autopsy on Seattle’s failed bikeshare system.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 78-year old New Mexico bicyclist has travelled around 90,000 miles since he took up bicycling in 2004, despite losing a year of riding due to aortic surgery. I mean about the riding at his age, not the aorta problems. Just to be clear.

Bighearted Oklahoma police buy a new bike for an 11-year old boy whose bike was destroyed when he was unexpectedly hit by a car. As opposed to all those people who leave home expecting to crash.

 

International

The UK’s Cyclist magazine calls on Londoners to avoid the inevitable traffic nightmare caused by next week’s tube strike by joining the city’s 170,000 bike commuters.

The road-raging driver who was filmed threatening BBC personality Jeremy Vine has been convicted of threatening behavior and driving “without reasonable consideration.”

A British bicyclist navigates what he calls the nonsensical cycling scene in Cambridge, saying even if everyone behaved perfectly, there’s just not enough space for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists in the medieval city.

Caught on video: An English driver just backs up, turns his lights off and drives away after hitting a bike rider; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

Oslo, Norway is fighting pollution and traffic congestion by giving residents a $1,200 credit towards the purchase of an ebike. If California ever gets serious about fighting climate change and doing something about our crowded streets, a program like that could be cost-effective if it actually succeeds in getting people out of their cars.

A German explorer has spent the last ten years traveling the world by bicycle in an attempt to visit every country on Earth.

An Indian cyclist uses his own wedding invitation to promote the importance of bicycling.

A store owner in the Galapagos Islands converts a cargo bike into an animal ambulance to transport his poisoned dog to an animal hospital.

 

Finally…

Just what every bike rider needs: A $10,000 ebike inspired by Tesla. If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, not the gun.

And who needs a cargo bike when you can get your own bike-following robot?

 

Morning Links: Bike commute rates in LA area, Bike the Vote endorses Bray-Ali, and LACBC’s take on Vision Zero

Today is the last day for local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry to get deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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So much of the oft-cited figure that one percent of Angelenos commute by bicycle.

Instead, it clearly depends on where you are.

Bike wonk Dennis Hindman took a deep dive into the latest ACS data released by the Census Bureau last December to examine bike commuting by LA-area zip code.

What he discovered was that the rate of bike commuters ranged from a whopping 10% for DTLA and 9% for the USC area, to a lowly .8% for Wilmington. Meanwhile, bike-friendly Santa Monica checks in at 3.8%, while Culver City comes in at a surprising 2.2%.

He also notes that the heaviest rates of bike commuting follow the route of the Expo Line, which had a wait list for bike lockers a week after the new extension to Santa Monica opened.

And which once again demonstrates the need for safe bike lane connections to the Expo Line, especially on Westwood Blvd leading to the UCLA campus.

You can see his full examination of bike commuters per zip code here.

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To the shock of no one, Bike the Vote LA has endorsed community advocate and former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali for LA’s 1st council district over anti-bike incumbent and professional politician Gil Cedillo.

The only surprise is that a second candidate in the race, Giovany Hernandez, offered some very good responses to their candidate survey, while Jesse Rosas did not.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cedillo evidently decided it was more prudent to simply not respond to the survey, rather than lie about his support for bike lanes like he did last time around.

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The LACBC released their response to LA’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, saying while it’s a positive development, it “lacks a clear vision for making the streets safer for people who ride bicycles.”

The coalition also has concerns about the city’s commitment to unbiased policing and equity when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.

You can read their full response here.

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Apparently unhappy with being cut off by someone who actually belonged there while riding illegally in a San Francisco bike lane, a motorcyclist attempts to intimidate a bicyclist. And discovers he should work on his own riding skills first.

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More on the 60 Minutes motor doping report. Team Sky stands accused of having heavier bikes than normal during Tour de France time trials, which could be evidence of hidden motors. Or not.

A British sprinter won a race in Mallorca on Sunday, but was unable to avoid a photographer at the finish line who refused to get out of the way.

A Cat 3 rider in a Santa Barbara road race was lucky to avoid serious injury when he flipped over a retaining wall, and had to hang on for dear life to keep from slipping down a 30-foot drop; his bike was not so lucky. Thanks to CiclaValley for the video.

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Local

The new Riverside Drive Bridge officially opened today, with a protected bike lane offering a vital connection to the LA River bike path, as well as the city’s first modern roundabout. However, not everyone approves, particularly regarding the lost opportunity to use the old bridge as a High Line-style park.

The LAPD is looking for a Los Angeles man who allegedly stabbed a Sylmar man to death before fleeing on a bicycle.

Construction finally kicks off on the long-awaited My Figueroa project, with work starting on 11th Street next month, and moving to Figueroa itself in March.

No, this is not recommended bike behavior. A homeless man on a bicycle attacked a car with a machete at a Pasadena intersection. Seriously, there’s been times I’ve wanted to, but still. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who got a hearty “eff you, asshole” from the driver who gave him a dangerous punishment pass, telling him he belonged on the side of the road.

Nice move from Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club, as they gave new adaptive tricycles to 14 special needs kids.

 

State

Anaheim is looking to add nine acres to the Anaheim Coves, including a new mile-long bike path.

The 62-year old victim of a Simi Valley hit-and-run last month remains bedridden following a coma, numerous injuries and three weeks in intensive care, but is gradually becoming more aware of her surroundings; the stoned driver faces felony DUI and hit-and-run charges.

The editor of San Francisco Streetsblog decides to take his own advice and put a camera on his bike.

Oakland’s parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lanes are a success, reducing speeding and cutting crashes overall crashes by 40% in the first year, even though bicycling is up 78% and walking has doubled.

A NorCal cyclist climbed one million feet in total elevation last year, according to his Strava records.

 

National

Wired discusses how to not screw up Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. But doesn’t even mention bikeways until the last paragraph.

Bicycling offers advice on how to survive group ride mishaps.

A Boston bike rider says winter bicycling in like boiling a frog; if you ease into it slowly, you don’t notice how cold and wet you are until you’re in the middle of it.

Talk about a lack of perspective. An investigative story by a New York TV station reports that at least 2,330 Manhattan parking spaces have been taken away to make room for bike lanes and bikeshare stations. Except New York added nearly 10,000 spaces from 2006 to 2010, for a net gain — not loss — of over 7,000 spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the 3.4 to 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in the city.

A Philadelphia bike advocate makes the case against mandatory helmet laws.

A bike-riding Florida man faces kidnapping charges after demanding that a mother hand over her toddler.

 

International

Canada considers a National Cycling Strategy that would fund a nationwide expansion of bicycling infrastructure and support the bike industry, although not everyone seems happy about it.

Caught on video: A Brit teen driver on a five hour reckless driving rampage slams into a man on a bicycle, flipping him over the car. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, while the driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars and an eight and a half year ban on driving. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Not surprisingly, a new German study says people are more accepting of bicycling under the influence than drunk driving.

A Canadian newspaper says bicycling through Cambodia offers an experience like no other.

Bike Shop Hub offers a fascinating history of how the bicycle won the Vietnam war.

 

Finally…

Bad enough we have to deal with LA drivers, at least we don’t have to worry about a ‘roo to the head; then again, we don’t have to worry about loose bulls on a bike path, either. Really, who doesn’t go for a bike ride carrying brass knuckles, bolt cutters, syringes and yes, bear spray?

And Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch goes for a Skittles bike ride in the other Houston. The one in Scotland.

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