Archive for Anti-bike bias

Morning Links: Anti-bike bile from a Tucson radio host, a bike-riding Prince in LA, and still more big bike hearts

The great thing about our society is that even people who don’t have a clue can get their own radio talk show.

Take this bike-hating Tucson “news personality.”

Please.

I do not like bikers. I’m not talking about real bikers, like Harley riders. I’m talking about bicyclists, the privileged weekend riders of Southern Arizona… the real 1%-ers of Pima County.

That’s how KQTH’s James T. Harris starts out a typically uninformed rant on the station’s website.

Never mind that many of those 1% ride a bike because it’s their only form of transportation. And that compared to cars, bikes receive an infinitesimal amount of funding and an even smaller amount of real estate.

So who’s the real privileged ones?

It takes a special kind of asshat arrogance to be a rider in Tucson. I almost killed a few on Hwy 83 a few weeks ago.

Note that he says that without the slightest touch of irony.

Bikers don’t care. Bikers own the road. Deal with it (it’s called enabling…)!

Maybe he’s right. Maybe Tucson is the one place in North America where bike riders outnumber motor vehicles, and those poor unfortunate drivers are rudely shunned off the road by arrogant, entitled cyclists.

It could happen, right?

So what’s got our friendly news personality’s panties in such a twist?

Pavement.

To wit, smooth new pavement where a bike path crosses a street, while the poor unfortunate drivers must content with crappy asphalt.

Look at this “intersection” at Overton between La Cholla and La Canada. Look at how smooth that path is where bikes cross to ensure a smooth ride…
No potholes. No buckles, chips or peeling asphalt. Just smooooooth.

Note to the unintelligent, unimaginative and uncomprehending: Any new pavement is going to be smooth.

Granted, they could make the crossing rough and potholed when they pour it, if that makes him feel better. But it will get that way soon enough in the Arizona heat.

But what’s really driving — and I use the term advisedly — his online apoplexy?

The reason why I have disdain for cyclists in this town is not because they are engaged in a healthy activity. It’s because they are being catered to on the taxpayers’ dime!

Naturally.

Because as we all know, people who ride bicycles don’t pay taxes. There’s actually a box you can check on your 1040 Form that indicates you ride a bike, and therefore get back every penny of your withholding.

And when we make a purchase, all we have to do is whisper “bicycle” to the clerk, and the sales tax magically disappears.

No, really.

Then there’s the undisputed fact that no one who owns a car would ever dream of getting out on two wheels. So bike riders never pay the same registration fees and gas taxes that everyone else does.

Rants like this seem like just so much hot air and clickbait.

Except they can do real damage when equally uninformed people nod their heads in agreement, and take out their anger on the very people trying to make the streets safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Or worse, on those who have the misfortune of sharing the roads with them.

As Arizona resident Brendan Lyons, who tipped me to Harris’ bike-hating bile, put it —

This is the stark reality so many law-abiding, vulnerable road-users (cyclists) face on a daily basis. He fails to recognize the tragic consequences of the distracted motorist. He fails to comprehend the families who are left-behind, forced to pick up the pieces. He fails to recognize that beyond the lycra-clad cyclist briefly impeding his commute- is the law enforcement deputy who serves & protects, the firefighter who responds to his emergency, the soldier defending his country, the teacher educating his child, the scientist fighting to cure cancer, or simply his neighbor (a father, mother, son, or daughter) who want to get home safely to their family.

Maybe someone could explain to Harris who the real privileged ones are, on the roads of Arizona, California or Kalamazoo.

But I doubt he’d get it. Or even listen, for that matter.

Nothing affect hearing like a closed mind.

………

A nice memory of Prince, as he rode his bike from an LA rehearsal to a grade school to invite a seven-year old girl to perform onstage with him after discovering she was learning one of his songs.

………

Evidently, there’s a lot of big hearts out there.

Like the Virginia TV station that teamed with a local bank to replace a boy’s bike after he was tricked out of his by older boys.

And the Michigan bike shop that unwittingly bought a hot $2,500 custom bike, then gave it back to the retired Marine it was stolen from, eating their $800 loss.

………

Somehow, bike racing keeps making the news, even this early in the season.

A crash by the great Dutch rider Marianne Vos is caught on video as she hit the barrier while sprinting towards the finish like at the Dwars door Westhoek; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt in what was just her fifth race back after missing all of last season with a hamstring injury.

Former world time trial champ Michael Rogers wisely retires from racing after doctors detect a heart arrhythmia, combined with a previously discovered congenital aortic valve malformation.

American pro Andrew Talansky says a rule preventing top riders from participating in lower level races is hurting cycling in the US, since fans now only get to see the WorldTour riders compete in the Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Sagan can do anything on a bike. Except finish his first mountain bike race in seven years in Austria.

And former Giro winner Danilo Di Luca says he had to dope to finish first, but he has no regrets despite receiving a lifetime ban. Nice to see everyone continues to follow Lance’s lead and blame the sport instead of taking responsibility themselves.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA invites you to attend the debate between candidates for L.A. County Supervisor District 5 tomorrow night at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.

The first ever Los Angeles Bicycle Festival scheduled for May 8th has exceeded its fundraising goal; as funding increases, organizers can donate more free tickets to people who might not otherwise be able to attend.

CiclaValley offers a nice photo-recap of last weekend’s all-too-brief Burbank open streets event.

Work on widening Agoura Road in Conejo Valley, including adding bike lanes, is nearing completion and should be completely finished by August.

 

State

The bicycle industry has raised $60,000 to help promote Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of a “utilitarian” transportation bike. Of course, if would be nice if they’d show the same support for bicycling issues that don’t benefit them directly.

A Turlock letter writer says backpack bans in retail stores discriminate against bike riders, who have to carry their belongings with them.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a woman riding her bike has lost her life in a hit-and-run.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says roof racks may be a great way to transport your bike, but it’s bad for gas mileage.

Elly Blue says placing bike racks outside local businesses is one of the most revolutionary, yet simplest, ways to advance the bike movement.

Next City says as cities invest more in making way for people on bicycles, investing in bike equity must be more than just talk. The LACBC was one of the first organizations to start that conversation on both a local and national level, and continues to lead the way.

USA Today notes where to bike by bikeshare when visiting cities around the US. Except in Southern California, of course.

An Iowa lawyer tries to exclude a TV interview in which his client admitted to driving drunk when he allegedly killed a cyclist, because he didn’t have a lawyer present. Even though Miranda rights only apply to law enforcement, not the news media.

The 18-year old man who shot two people outside a Wisconsin prom over the weekend arrived there by bicycle, armed with a rifle.

Once again, the anti-bike bias of the NYPD rears its ugly head, blaming a fallen cyclist for riding the wrong way, even though a witness riding behind her says she was riding with traffic.

 

International

Strava wants you to log your commuting miles on their Global Bike to Work Day on May 10th, the week before LA’s Bike to Work Day on the 19th.

Rio’s mayor says the bikeway that collapsed and killed three people will be rebuilt in time for the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll build it as if lives depend on it this time. Because they do.

When a London lawyer insists bike lanes will increase pollution by increasing auto congestion, a local councilor correctly notes that cars cause pollution, and asks why she’s not campaigning for restrictions on motorists instead.

Thousands of Budapest cyclists ride to call attention to bicycling and point out the lack of bicycling facilities in the city.

Police in Sydney, Australia crack down on bike riders on the city’s most dangerous street for cyclists. But drivers, not so much.

Shanghai cyclist are ticketed for riding in the roadway instead of a bike lane where they have to dodge pedestrians.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to haul a trailer on your bike to commit a burglary, remember to take them with you when you run away. If you’re riding salmon with drug paraphernalia, pills and three jars of dope in you backpack, just get on the damn sidewalk when the cops tell you to.

And a new bike cam turns on automatically when your heart rate spikes.

Of course, by then it’s probably too late to catch the Arizona news personality that caused it.

 

They drive among us: Letter writer threatens all cyclists for the water-squirting actions of one

I recently received the following letter from an anonymous source.

I’m told the writer, a Hollywood screenwriter, has circulated it among his friends as a joke. Apparently, one of them didn’t think it was funny.

I can’t imagine anyone else would, either. Let’s hope he specializes in horror; if he’s a comedy writer, he’s in the wrong business.

My source also said he may be trying to get the letter published. So I’m going to do him a favor and publish it for him.

Read it for yourself, and we’ll discuss afterwards.

………

An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-1-max

An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-2

An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-3

……..

Let’s answer that last question first.

No one who isn’t a psychopath is likely to accept that invitation.

Now let’s get this out of the way.

The cyclist who squirted his girlfriend was a jerk. By the simple act of squirting her with water, he committed misdemeanor assault, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in county jail.

So let that be your warning.

But it was water. Unless his pretty 20-something girlfriend is a witch, she probably didn’t suffer any lasting injury.

And let’s not forget she was breaking the law by parking in the bike lane, which, despite the perceptions of some people — apparently including our humble letter writer — wasn’t striped on the street to provide a waiting zone or a secondary parking lane.

Under California law, a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycles, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.

And on a busy street like Main, blocking the bike lane can force riders out into traffic, risking their safety in front of drivers who are more focused on finding a parking space than looking for bikes where they don’t expect them.

If the guy on the bike had been hit by a car, she could have been held liable, at least in part, for any injuries he suffered as a result.

Yes, what the guy did was wrong. But so was what the woman in the car did.

And the writer of this letter clearly doesn’t get that.

Then there’s this notion.

Not a Saturday morning goes by that I don’t witness some menace on wheels screaming “Hey watch where you’re going asshole!” at a peaceful and law abiding driver.

Which, unless he encounters an unusual number of mentally unstable people on two wheels, is highly unlikely; few cyclists feel a need to yell at “peaceful and law abiding” drivers.

Unless maybe they’re yelling at him.

Perhaps he just doesn’t understand traffic law well enough to recognize when drivers put people on bikes in needless danger. Like his girlfriend’s parking issues, for instance.

Which leads us to the real problem with this letter, and the person who wrote it.

Back in my starving writer days, the convenience store where I worked nights was robbed by a couple of kids in their early teens. One of whom had to talk his friend out of shooting me to see what it felt like to kill a white guy.

That marked the beginning of a multi-week crime spree that culminated in their arrest for pistol whipping another clerk so badly that he lost an eye.

I could have concluded, as have some I’ve had the misfortune of knowing, that all members of that particular ethnic group, or maybe minorities in general, were somehow to blame.

Even though that would have included my boss, her boss, and the friend-of-a-friend psychologist who volunteered over two hours of his time to talk me through it. Not to mention the woman I was dating at the time.

Yet this writer somehow blames every spandex-wearing person on two wheels for the action of one.

Never mind that some of those who appear to be riding recreationally may actually be riding to work, as part of the group he immediately absolves of collective guilt.

And never mind that some people at the agency that represents him are undoubtedly cyclists themselves. Not to mention at least a few of the studio execs capable of greenlighting his projects.

Which is I’m withholding his name.

It would easy — and admittedly, tempting — to let his own words destroy his career. But rather than grasping just how foolish he was in writing this letter, it would probably just reinforce his belief that we’re the evil creatures he thinks we are.

That brings us to his self-professed life of crime, which ranges from vandalism and simple assault, to criminal stalking and assault with a deadly weapon. Not to mention inciting violence by encouraging others to do the same.

His plan to repeatedly brake-check groups of cyclists — what he calls the “speed up slow down tactic’ — is exactly what got Dr. Christopher Thompson sentenced to four years hard time for slamming on his brakes in front of three riders in Mandeville Canyon.

And we’ll ignore his final chloroform fantasy, which he should take a good whiff of the next time he’s tempted to dash off another letter like this.

So on behalf of recreational bike riders everywhere, I’d like to apologize to his girlfriend, while politely suggesting that she watch where she parks in the future. And maybe reconsider her taste in men.

As for the letter writer, maybe he’d like to join us for a bike ride some time. And see that there’s another way to see the world in which bike riders aren’t the bad guys he thinks we are.

Once he calms down, that is.

……..

Check back this afternoon for today’s Morning Links.

Morning Links: 75-year old cyclist cuffed and ticketed for riding legally on I-15; Specialized says they’re sorry

03-15-2016 Jerry ticket from CHPMaybe the cop didn’t get the memo.

Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.

Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.

Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.

An invalid one, at that.

When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?

As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.

The DMV puts it this way,

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

Exit 129 going North

Exit 129 going North

As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.

I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.

However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.

Exit 138 going South

Exit 138 going South

Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.

Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.

I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.

I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.

Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.

………

Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.

Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.

Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.

The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.

The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.

Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.

 

State

Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.

A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.

 

National

Yes, it is possible to ride cross­-country sans chamois or other bike gear.

BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.

Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.

A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.

CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.

Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?

An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.

 

International

Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.

Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.

Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.

A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.

An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.

A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be grown and printed. Now you really can be replaced by a robot, even on your bike. But does it still have to wear a helmet if it’s under 18?

And any t-shirt that combines Corgis and bicycles can’t be all bad. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: The bi-coastal bikelash goes on, and good news on the medical and track racing fronts

The bikelash goes on.

Sometimes, even from people who profess to be cyclists themselves.

Take this writer from Goleta, just outside Santa Barbara.

Please.

He starts with a suspicion of a grand conspiracy to force drivers out of their cars.

According to him, road diets, bulb-outs and bike lanes are planned, not to improve safety or provide transportation options, but to make driving so miserable that people have no choice but to give up on their cars and take to bikes.

Never mind that if bicycling somehow miraculously reached the level of ridership found in the Netherlands, it would still only amount to 27% of all trips.

He insists that those behind it are those damn progressive politicians and traffic department bureaucrats, environmental advocates, and the “well-funded, politically powerful Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.”

Which would no doubt come as a surprise to the SBBC. And make it one of the few well-funded bike advocacy groups anywhere.

Or maybe the only one.

Then he pivots to the standard complaint that bicyclists don’t pay for the lanes they ride on. Which is based on the false assumption that drivers do, rather than being the most heavily publicly subsidized form of transportation.

The obvious solution, in his mind, anyway, is licensing cyclists.

Even though the money raised by licensing is unlikely to bring in enough to even cover its own operating costs. And even though bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads through their own taxes.

Naturally, he also complains that bike riders break the law. Except for him, of course.

And unlike motorists, who would never, ever dream of speeding, driving distracted or making an unsafe lane change in a vehicle capable of doing far more harm than even the worst scofflaw cyclist.

So the law needs to crack down on cyclists, he insists. And we all need to carry liability insurance, because maybe someday, in the bike utopian world he so fears, a distracted cyclist could cause a massive bike pileup that forces a poor, innocent driver off the road.

No, really.

It’s worth the read if you need a good laugh.

Unlike the New York Post’s latest attack on former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

In what passes for an exceptionally auto-centric, yet pedestrian review of her acclaimed new book, a writer for the paper goes on the attack, less for what she wrote than what she wrought.

He complains about “her ruinous tampering with historic traffic patterns” as she sought to turn the city into one of the world’s great bicycling cities, “everyone else be damned.”

Even though surveys consistently show most New Yorkers support the city’s bike lanes and the changes she helped make, and traffic fatalities have reached historic lows.

He goes on to complain that public plazas around Times Square are so crowded and overrun with tourists and hucksters that New Yorkers “assiduously” avoid it. Sort of like Yogi Berra’s famous proclamation that “No one goes there’s anymore. It’s too crowded.”

And in his eyes, moving parked cars away from the curb to form protected bike lanes makes the streets look like parking lots. Unlike before, when the same cars were far more attractively parked on the same streets.

Somehow, those cars also make it harder to see what’s on the other side of the street. Because they were apparently transparent before being moved a few feet to the left.

He tops it off with the assertion that the city’s bike lanes are only used by food delivery people most times of the day.

Never mind that bike commuting doubled in just five years, and more people are riding that ever before. Let alone those 22 million Citi Bike riders, who have to be riding somewhere.

He ends by complaining that the damage done by Sadik-Khan’s reign is with us to stay.

For which most New Yorkers are undoubtedly grateful.

And the rest of us can only envy.

………

If you haven’t already, take a few moments to sign the petition asking for all new or used cars sold in California to leave the lot with a temporary license plate.

It doesn’t take much effort watching traffic to realize that too many cars are on the streets with no front plates — or any license plates at all — making them virtually impossible to identify in the event of a hit-and-run or other traffic crime.

And enforcing the law requiring front and back plates on every vehicle seems to be a very low priority.

………

Exciting news on the medical front, as stunt cyclist Martyn Ashton takes his first mechanically assisted steps with a new hi-tech walker, three years after he was paralyzed from the waist down.

And after an injection of neural cells taken from his nose, a Polish firefighter can now ride an adaptive tricycle, four years after he was paralyzed from the chest down after a stabbing.

………

US women win their first-ever gold in team pursuit at the track cycling world championships; Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the winning team, and qualified for the Rio Olympics in another event.

………

Road raging drivers are one thing. Getting chased by an ostrich is another.

And he really needs to learn to hold his line.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Amy Wong of Women on Wheels.

Russell Crowe goes mountain biking on Sunset Blvd, while the Brit press goes gaga over his biceps.

Burbank residents beg for safety improvements on Edison Blvd, including a proposal to install bike lanes to tame traffic.

A Pacoima man was shot to death Thursday night, apparently while riding his bicycle.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride with roll this Sunday, with a pre-St. Patrick’s Day themed ride through DTLA led by board member Patrick Pascal.

 

State

It’s been over 49 days since the Marines impounded a number of mountain bikes after their riders strayed onto the Miramar Marine base in San Diego, with no resolution in sight.

A Silicon Valley bike commuter creates a website to provide consumers with more information about insurance companies in an effort to force them to improve their customer service.

 

National

Here’s your chance to work in bike advocacy, as the Bike League is hiring a new Education Director and a Member Services Coordinator.

The Tucson truck driver who plowed into a group of cyclists while allegedly high on meth is being held on $1.5 million bond. Which somehow seems too low.

Two-thirds of Iowans support proposed legislation that would require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders. Although someone there clearly doesn’t like cyclists, as a popular Des Moines bikeway is sabotaged with tacks.

Chicago is building three curb-protected bike lanes, with an eventual goal of 50 miles of low-stress bikeways.

The Washington Post argue that the federal government should not reclassify bikeshare as mass transit programs, which would qualify it for Fed transit funding.

 

International

The new Audi A4 has lights on the doors to warn drivers if a bike is coming to help avoid doorings. Because actually looking before you open the door is just too hard.

A Vancouver business site says instead of investing $5 million in bikeshare, the city could have bought bicycles for about 200,000 children in low-income households. Which kind of misses the point.

A Toronto lawyer says cars are becoming the weapon of choice, yet drivers who use them to attack others still get their licenses back.

Nice piece on bicycling in Victorian England, which suggests that the bike-riding men of the day were the original hipsters.

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche is just 19 years old, and facing a lifetime ban for motor doping.

An Aussie writer says the only thing the country’s mandatory bike helmet law protects you against is fines. Meanwhile, an Australian news network does its best to whip up a panic over e-bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Kiwi cyclist refuses to let a collision with a trailer keep him off his bike.

 

Finally…

The next driver who runs you off the road could have two left feet; no, literally. Ford wants to save you from those embarrassing moments when you can’t unclip from your pedals.

And I think we can all agree BikinginLA deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So who has an extra $30,000 lying around?

 

Weekend Links: More on the ongoing Camp Pendleton saga, and the most asinine anti-bike bill yet

In the ongoing story of the pending Camp Pendleton restrictions on bicycle access, attorney Edward M. Rubinstein forwards this email from the Marines Public Relations Office.

Update: Cycling Through Camp Pendleton

Currently cyclists are permitted to ride through Camp Pendleton, going to and from Oceanside, upon presenting proper IDs. This is about to change. The new policy as presented by the Camp’s Public Affairs Office follows:

Camp Pendleton wanted to give you an update on our visitor access policy. We value the great relationship we have with the area cycling community and wanted to develop a process allowing bicyclists’ continued access to Camp Pendleton.  By March 1, bicyclists will be required to register in order to have access to the base.  An online process will be complete mid-February and base access will be good for one year.  Bicyclists will need to re-register every year.  Until the registration process is finalized, bicyclists will still be able to enter the base with their U.S. or State government issued identification card just like now.  After March 1, all bicyclists will need to be registered and show their U.S. or State identification when entering the base.  Once the registration process is up and running in a few weeks, we will share the link.  Our goal is to maintain a great relationship with area riders but also balance that with security and protection for our Marines, Sailors, civilian employees and families.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Speaking of Pendleton, Alan Thompson sends the following notice from the Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA.

Temporary Bikeway Closure: January 25 – 29

Due to military operations, the US Marine Corps plans a temporary closure of bikeway access through Camp Pendleton between Las Pulgas Road and Basilone Road for construction on Interstate 5.

Please call the Caltrans shuttle at (619) 385-3267 for transfers during the closure.

Click here to download a PDF version of the map.

bikeway_closure_cp

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Congratulations to South Dakota for proposing the most asinine anti-bike bill yet.

The legislation would require bicyclists to dismount and move off the road to allow faster vehicles to pass if they’re riding in a no-passing zone without an adequate shoulder.

So does that mean that other slow moving vehicles would have to do the same? Can we now expect farmers to get off their tractors and push them off the roadway so speeding cars and trucks can zoom on by?

Looks like some SD legislators need to find a new line of work.

………

On a personal note, it’s now Me 2, Skin Cancer 0.

I’m rehabbing from my second skin cancer surgery, on my calf this time, a product of years of riding back in the days when the sun was supposed to be good for you, and sunscreen was something you hung over the window for more shade.

So let this be a painful reminder to slather it on before you head out for a ride.

………

Local

Streetsblog asks if you would vote for Metro’s proposed sales tax increase to fund transportation projects if it doesn’t contain dedicated funding for bicycling and pedestrian projects. We fought for dedicated funding in Measure R, and lost; I won’t support another one without a significant set aside for active transportation.

A report from KPCC says you can ride in the rain if you plan ahead. And it can even be fun, if a tad damp.

The LACBC is looking for a new Development Director.

If you hurry, you may still have time to catch bike-friendly LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s bike ride in the San Fernando Valley if it doesn’t rain this morning; CiclaValley may or may not be there.

A community workshop will be held later today to discuss the Inglewood Active Transportation Plan at the Inglewood City Hall Community Room.

Mark your calendar for the first ever Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on May 7th; Momentum Magazine calls the $10 in advance festival a “two-wheeled Bicycle Disneyland.”

 

State

San Diego Magazine cites the city’s move away from auto-dependency — including bikeshare, a bike-riding mayor and a $200 million bike plan — as just one reason to love the city.

More madness from Coronado, as the mayor suggests 1960s street planning as a solution to a dangerous street, apparently because he’s afraid of proliferating traffic signals.

Sad news from Porterville, as a bike rider was killed trying to illegally cross a four lane divided highway. Note to Porterville: if people are getting killed trying to cross there instead of the overpass a quarter mile away, maybe your crossing is in the wrong place.

A 79-year old San Jose man has been charged with murder in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he allegedly knew the man he hit with his truck, then intentionally backed over again before fleeing the scene.

A Bay Area broadcaster looks at bicyclists behaving badly by rolling stops in spite of the mayor’s veto of the Idaho stop law. Maybe he should take a look at how few drivers actually come to a stop in my neighborhood.

Nothing like living in a tourist town like Sausalito and then complaining about all the tourists, including those on bikes.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to use pepper spray to defend yourself while riding your bike. And says you’re probably overinflating your tires, especially the front one.

People for Bikes provides a sneak peak at NACTO’s new transit guide that shows how protected bike lanes can work in conjunction with transit projects.

A Seattle driver rants about the cyclist who spit on her windshield — apparently unprovoked, of course — after rudely riding in the middle of the lane. Something tells me there’s another side to that story. But please, keep your phlegm to yourself.

Evidently, bikes break down a lot in Idaho, as residents of the state Google the term “bike repair” more than any other state, while Massachusetts Googles “bike courier.” On the other hand, California Googles “lion tamer” for reasons that escape me.

Boulder County CO hosts a Winter Bike Week next week. Funny how a cold weather county encourages winter time riding, and a warm weather one like LA doesn’t.

Texas Ranger pitcher and Bakersfield resident Colby Lewis is now 25 pounds lighter after taking up bicycling to rehab his surgically repaired knee.

Bicycling looks at what New York got right with Vision Zero, and how it can be improved.

 

International

Rampaging bikers tear up a town, just like in the Wild One. Except in Canada. And on bicycles. In 1897. Hey Johnnie, what are you rebelling against?

Life is cheap in Ontario — no, the one in Canada — where a hit-and-run driver got just nine months for the death of a cyclist; even the judge apologized for the light sentence.

When is a Toronto bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s also a parking lane.

London’s Brothers on Bikes program works to get mostly male members of minority groups out on bikes.

A UK driver keeps going after knocking a cyclist off his bike, but it’s the victim who faces charges after catching up to the car and smashing the passenger window with his U-lock when the driver refused to give his insurance information. I’ve said it before — just take down the license number and let the police deal with it; retaliating only gets you in trouble.

Botswana bicyclists demand protection from the country’s dangerous roads and the drivers on them.

There’s a new women’s hour record holder, as Australia’s Birdie O’Donnell rides 46.882 km — 29.131 miles — in one hour.

 

Finally…

When you’re already high and riding your bike with meth, morphine and dope in your backpack, put a damn light on it. You can’t escape windshield bias, even in trust planning.

And it looks like my new riding kit is being recalled.

 

Morning Links: They Drive Among Us part deux, and Marina del Rey rider stopped for biking while black

How disappointing.

Last week we looked at the angry anti-bike rants of a self-described former Disney executive, as he vented his spleen over the cyclists who ruined his three week motorized trip through the late, great Golden State.

And how what he termed “nasty, radical bike Nazis” and “selfish bicycle jackasses” were ruining it for everyone with their war on cars.

Never mind that if there really is such a war, the cars are winning.

I was actually looking forward to the promised second part of Greg Crosby’s rant, the same way some people used to pay to see train wrecks.

Sadly, though, he reveals himself to be just another conspiracy nut, convinced there’s a secret plot to use bicycles to turn America into a third world country.

As proof, he offers the bios of the staff of the California Bicycle Coalition, who are well respected in Sacramento. But not, sadly, by our esteemed Mr. Crosby, who faults them all as “proud radicals” and “social justice activists.”

And what do those crazed radicals want? To triple the amount of bicycling by building bikeways — paid for, in his estimation, with your hard-earned gas taxes and registration fees.

Never mind that most bicyclists also drive and pay those same taxes and fees. Or that the general public subsidizes the roads he drives, since those fees cover only a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining the roads.

And never mind the free on-street parking that most drivers seem to feel is a God-given right.

He goes on to complain about being unable to pass cyclists with at least three feet distance, as the law now requires, as if the requirement to pass a bike rider safely was something new. Drivers were always expected to pass at a safe distance; the three foot law merely codifies what that distance is, unlike the six inches some motorists seem to find acceptable.

And he closes with a hint at conspiracy, noting that cities like Burbank have been narrowing streets by building center islands and extending sidewalks. Not to improve safety, in his apparent estimation, but just to frustrate drivers like himself by making it impossible to pass a cyclist.

Oh, the humanity!

Just imagine, all those drivers forced to endlessly idle behind slow-moving bikes, unable to ever get home to their families because of a vast leftwing conspiracy to bring America to its knees.

In all, his rumblings were a disappointment.

Just the self-deluded babble of an angry, indignorant* man so desperate to find someone to blame he creates an enemy in his own mind, rather than taking a few moments to try to understand the world from someone else’s perspective.

How sad.

Then again, he may have relatives overseas, as one British Lord blames bike lanes for London’s traffic congestion, which evidently didn’t exist before they were put in. And another suggests cycling has done more harm to the city than anything since the Germans relentlessly bombed the city.

*Indignorant, an expression coined by my friend Will Campbell to describe someone who is both indignant and ignorant, usually willfully so.

………

A celebrity chef is justifiably outraged after he was pulled over by police — most likely sheriff’s deputies — in Marina del Rey for biking while black.

According to his video statement, he was stopped for “going too fast,” and asked if he was running from something; the officer also implied that his pale blue t-shirt might be some sort of gang attire.

Just to be clear, unless he was riding faster than the posted speed limit, or somehow going too fast for conditions, which was highly unlikely, he wasn’t going to fast.

Period.

We should be long past this sort of harassment. Let’s hope he got a badge number and files a complaint.

And that someone in the department actually cares.

………

Sometimes zoning and planning regulations can seem a little arcane, at best. But this PSA from Ottawa, Canada clearly explains in just 90 seconds the harm minimum parking requirements can do, and how getting rid of them can make room for bike lanes and transit.

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Call it Strickland’s Law.

Bicycling Magazine’s Editor in Chief Bill Strickland nails it when it comes to any discussion involving bike helmets:

“Anything written or shown anywhere about cycling with or without a helmet can devolve into a helmet debate — and with enough time all will.”

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Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you this holiday season.

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Local

CapoVelo looks at South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club and the work they do to keep kids out of gangs and off drugs.

The LACBC looks at last weekend’s effort to Clean Up Mulholland with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Bike Walk Glendale invites you to light up your bike for the holidays with a Holiday Bike Ride this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club — not to be mistaken with the East Side Riders — hosts their annual Christmas Bike Ride to Downtown LA next Tuesday.

 

State

The Fresno Bee asks if a $150 million allocation will solve California’s transportation woes.

Merced may have to abandon plans to extend a bike path because the route infringes on raptor habitat.

It was a bad day in the Bay Area. A 26-year old man is under arrest for allegedly killing a cyclist while speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road. And a San Jose woman was killed while riding her bike near a park at eight in the morning.

A Chico woman will spend her summer riding across the US to build affordable housing with Bike and Build.

 

National

The president of the American Public Works Assoc says the new $305 billion federal transportation bill lacks “targeted funding for bike and pedestrian projects that promote physical and social health, decrease emissions, and ease congestion.”

Now that’s what I call an e-bike.

A Portland cyclist was killed by an allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver at a spot where a writer had warned of danger just the day before.

A writer in my hometown offers 10 reasons why cars are in decline. None of which Mr. Crosby would probably agree with.

A writer for the Louisville KY paper calls for a three-foot passing law in the bike-unfriendly state, which is rated 49th out of the 50 states.

The entire bicycle committee of Salem MA resigned at once to protest their concerns being ignored. Good for them; let’s hope the city takes the hint.

Nice gesture, as Buffalo NY police give a new bike to the family of a four-year old boy who survived on milk and maple syrup for two days after his mother died unexpectedly.

Under the first 10 months of New York’s Vision Zero plan, crashes are up 1%, while traffic fatalities are down 12, and injuries have decreased 2.5% — even if some drivers don’t like the new lower speed limits.

 

International

The Calgary paper says it takes a special kind of creep to steal a bike from a special needs kid. No argument here.

A London cyclist urges people to look out for each other on the roads, after surviving a crash with a stoned driver.

A British driver who deliberately slammed into a cyclist last June has confessed to murder most foul.

A London bike advocate discovers the loudest voices aren’t always the majority, as most local residents support a plan to turn their neighborhood into a bike-friendly Mini Holland.

Former Lance Armstrong team sponsor Discovery Channel could be the new owner of the Giro d’Italia.

A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates is encouraging cyclists to participate in the paper’s own ride to work day next month.

An Aussie woman’s post went viral after saying she wanted to give a bike to someone whose kids really needed it, not someone “who wastes money on cigarettes;” she finally settled on a family whose daughter spent six weeks in the hospital after nearly drowning.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want a ticket, make sure you understand the local dialect. Evidently, one of the best states for bicycling in Australia is France.

And go ahead and proudly wear that bike cap, even if it makes you look like a dork.

 

They drive among us…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you don’t give, the angry anti-bike cranks win.

My apologies for no Morning Links today.

Attending a Wednesday night meeting meant putting off my meds in order to remain at least semi-functional until I got home. Which inevitably means paying the price later.

And I am.

So instead, let me leave you with this piece from the Tolucan Times, in which a self described former Disney Exec takes a break from telling the kids to get off his lawn, and goes on a rather remarkable rant against “nasty, radical bike Nazis.”

No, really.

It’s people like this we share the roads with, in case you wondered what the impatient, angry driver who just buzzed you or laid on his horn was thinking.

Feel free to offer your comments. I’d offer my own thoughts, but the meds are finally kicking in, and I’m going to go curl up in a ball for awhile.

Can’t wait to see part two next week.

War on cars (Part I)

BY GREG CROSBY ON DECEMBER 4, 2015

We’ve had the war on poverty, the war on drugs and the war on women. Politicians and their marketing consultants for purely selfish political interests have invented every single one of these “wars.” None of these so-called “wars” can ever be won because they are bogus.

The poverty and drug “wars” have had billions in federal funds poured into slogans, ad campaigns and bureaucratic committees and programs for decades.

The “war on women” is totally made up, invented by the Democrats as a way of rallying their base by vilifying Republicans as the party who hate women and want to keep them down.

But we have a new political “war” quietly going on across our country and this one is for real. I call it the “war on cars.” This war is being waged by a coalition of liberal opportunistic politicians and radical environmentalists. To borrow the Obama phrase, they want to “fundamentally transform the United States” from a car-centric nation to a country dependent on public transportation, bicycles and walking.

The difference between those other bogus political wars and this one is that this is one they are winning.

After having returned from a three-week road trip all over California I can honestly say that our highways and streets are being taken over by bicyclists (not sweet little families happily jingling their bicycle bells as they peddle their Schwinns around the Leave It to Beaver neighborhood, I’m talking nasty, radical bike Nazis). These bicyclists with major attitudes and an elite sense of entitlement purposely ride two and three abreast and do anything they can to frustrate motorists, like riding in the middle of a lane on a mountain road where there’s no place to go around them.

Everywhere we drove we encountered these selfish bicycle jackasses in their spandex outfits and European-style alien helmets.  They look like giant skinny mantis insects on wheels. We drove on all kinds of roads and it seemed no matter where we went, we would run into them (not literally, but sometimes it came close). They were on country roads, narrow high mountain roads, city streets, and get this—ON STATE HIGHWAYS. That’s right; California Highway 101 is now open to bicyclists.

I’m not taking about some quiet parts of sleepy little coast Highway 1 along the beach, (although the bike people are there too). No, I’m referring to a major four-lane each way, 80 mile an hour, truck route freeway. Highway 101 is a major, congested freeway and now the idiots that run the state of California are allowing bicycles on it.

They are not simply “letting” this happen, they ENCOURAGE it.

The official road signs are posted all along our highways and city streets now: “SHARE THE ROAD.” Some have images of bicycles and pedestrians on them.  Other signs demand that autos “SHARE THE LANE” because now bike riders have as much right to use ALL LANES in the streets as do the cars and trucks.

The California Bicycle Coalition website says: “Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21202.”

You can see there is lots of wiggle room for the bike riders.  While it is true that the California law states “bicycles may not be ridden on freeways and expressways,” they’ve added a loophole.  The law goes on to state, “where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities.” So when the state has posted signs that say, “SHARE THE ROAD” on these busy highways, it sends the message that it’s okay for bikes to use them.

More on this next week.

It gets better.

Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.

Thanks to Mike Kim and Todd Munson for the links.

Morning Links: Curmudgeonly SaMo writers, LABAC meets tonight, and giving on Giving Tuesday

Apparently tired of telling kids to get off his lawn, a curmudgeonly SaMo writer complains about a whopping four — yes, four — Main Street parking spaces that are being converted into parklets, which will evidently prevent anyone from parking anywhere in the neighborhood ever again; he similarly bemoans the parklets and loss of traffic lanes on Broadway in DTLA.

As an aside, the story mentions that the Santa Monica Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday to consider the city’s bike and pedestrian plans, which he’s clearly not in favor of, either.

………

Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Cahn forwards this letter copied from the Santa Monica Observer, in which a driver is offended when his attempt to educate and/or enforce bike traffic laws from behind the wheel of his car is met with a predictable response.

TaylorLetterSMObserver

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LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets tonight in the LAPD Hollywood Division Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

BAC-Agenda

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The story of popular Silver Lake Trader Joe’s parking lot attendant Egee Mabolis is picked up by LAist and the Eastsider, following the bicycling injury that left him with no feeling in his arms and legs.

A gofundme account to help defray his medical costs has raised 3/5 of the $25,000 goal.

After all, it is Giving Tuesday.

………

Speaking of Giving Tuesday, you can bid on a Silca SuperPista Ultimate Bicycle Pump hand-painted by cycling scion Taylor Phinney, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the Davis Phinney Foundation to fight Parkinson’s Disease. Phinney — Taylor, not Davis — is putting off additional surgery on his badly injured left knee in hopes of competing in next year’s Rio Olympics.

And with a little luck, a $10 donation to the (RED) campaign to fight HIV/AIDS could get you ice cream and ride through Central Park with U2’s Bono.

………

Take a few minutes out of your day for this must-read piece from CiclaValley, in which he surprises a driver by saying he was lucky he got in a collision, even with his kids in the car, and even if the red light-running driver who hit him seemed to think it was no big deal.

………

Next City offers a much better take on the documentary Bikes vs. Cars than yesterday’s Daily Beast hatchet job; the film opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7 this Friday.

………

Local

Bicycling takes a very brief look at LA artist cycling tour guide and bike salesman Adam K. Masters, and how he got hooked on track racing.

Former DC and Chicago DOT chief and current author Gabe Klein calls for creative solutions like protected bike lanes and bikeshare stations to improve transportation in LA, along with a switch to self-driving cars.

A new video from Metro explains how to use the Metro Bike Hub at El Monte Station, which promises to be just the first of several throughout the LA area.

Temple City will consider a proposed redesign of Las Tunas Drive into a more vibrant, safe and people-friendly business district at tonight’s city council meeting; supporters of a more livable, walkable and bikeable street are urged to attend to counter expected opposition.

 

State

Good read from a cyclist who offers seven lessons he learned from riding 673 miles from San Francisco to San Diego with no idea what he was doing.

Oceanside residents are calling for safety improvements to the city’s main drag following the death of 12-year old Logan Lipton while he was riding his bike to school last month.

The Coronado bike lane madness goes on, as a letter writer says the town doesn’t need bike lanes because they didn’t slow traffic on a street where average speeds were only 28 mph to begin with.

Two local businesses come to the rescue after a burglar steals 26 bikes from a San Francisco middle school.

A San Francisco bike deliveryman comes to the rescue after a women gives birth to a premature baby on the sidewalk.

Stockton is holding a number of public workshops to update their Bicycle Master Plan. Let’s hope they don’t have to deal with lawsuits and recalcitrant councilmembers trying to overturn the public process, like some cities we could name.

 

National

The Pew Charitable Trusts says bike tourism means business, as cities and states are warming to the economic benefits of bicycling.

Seriously? Oahu residents suggest ticketing bike rental shops when their customers break the law. Which makes no more sense than holding car rental firms accountable when their customers speed or run red lights.

Indianapolis drivers are apparently confused by the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

City Lab says laws prohibiting bicyclists from wearing headphones, like one under consideration in Massachusetts, miss the point. Several writers, including frequent contributor Megan Lynch, beg to differ.

Brooklyn bike riders call for a statewide Idaho stop law.

The Wall Street Journal belatedly discovers that retirees are getting on their bikes. Note to the Journal: 50 ain’t exactly old.

A Philadelphia conference calls for Vision Zero to protect the lives of bicyclists and pedestrians; Toronto discusses the idea, as well.

A Delaware driver faces up to seven years for killing his bike-riding friend in a drunken hit-and-run.

Interesting idea from Florida, as a proposed law would require in-ground safety lights where bike paths cross roadways to alert drivers to the presence of bicycles.

Bighearted Tampa police officers chip in to buy a five-year old a new tricycle after his brand-new birthday bike was stolen in a car burglary.

 

International

Vancouver, which has made a massive investment in protected bike lanes, is rated Canada’s safest major city in which to ride a bike.

The Yukon tourism board wants you to explore the Great White North by fat-tire bike.

Brit bike riders are being offered a better deal on car insurance because they’re better drivers. Thanks to joninsocal for the link.

‘Tis the season. A bighearted four-year old British girl donates her new birthday bike so someone else can wake up to a new bike Christmas morning.

UK cyclists are being criticized for excessive speeds after single rider is clocked on Strava approaching 30 mph.

It’s a dream come true. Bike riders in one Danish town can outfit their bikes with special RFID tags that turn traffic lights green as they approach so they never have to stop for red lights.

Aljazeera says carless cities are the future of Europe. Maybe the idea will cross over to this country before we’re all old and grey.

A South African cyclist says the way to deal with dangerous roads is to stay off them when you can, and ride facing traffic when you can’t. Which is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Life is cheap in Melbourne, as an Aussie driver is fined a lousy grand for a fatal dooring.

‘Tis the season, too. An Australian town responds to complaints that it has the world’s worst Christmas tree by creating one made out of bicycles.

 

Finally…

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2If you’re trying to make your getaway by bike with a meth pipe and stolen guitar, make sure you can ride with it first. Or if you’re going to steal a bike, make sure the owner isn’t still attached to it.

And here’s your chance to ensure the Star Wars fan in your life ride gets to ride with his or her very own R2D2 bike helmet.

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Thanks to Todd Munson for supporting this site by contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: Daily News spins bike news badly, not getting it San Pedro, and a local bike rider needs your help

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Sometimes, good news is bad news, depending on how you spin it.

The LA Daily News looks at the LA city council’s re-adoption of the new Mobility Plan last week, and the promise to consider proposed amendments after the first of the year.

Except they give it a very negative spin.

The story focuses on the possibility that bike lanes could be removed from the plan, likely or not. Along opposition to the plan from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and, disappointingly, David Ryu.

Koretz focuses his opposition to removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd in and near Westwood Village, just outside the UCLA campus, claiming it’s too dangerous for bike riders. Yet somehow, refuses to consider any plans to make it safer or propose any viable alternative.

His only solution is to keep it dangerous, while his search for a long-promised alternative route is seeming more and more like OJ’s search for the real killer.

Meanwhile Ryu, who promised to reconsider the decisions made by his predecessor Tom LaBonge, instead appears to be following in his anti-bike footsteps.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says at least the city isn’t stabbing us in the back anymore.

They’re aiming their knives directly at us.

………

Apparently, parking causes less congestion than bike lanes.

A San Pedro letter writer complains that replacing parking spaces with bike lanes on Western Avenue would increase congestion and make it harder for emergency vehicles to get through.

Which seems highly unlikely, unless cars are currently able to pass through parked vehicles, which would appear to violate the laws of physics. And emergency vehicles usually find it easier to drive through bike lanes than parked cars.

He also complains that the Measure R funds that would be used to pay for the lanes weren’t supposed to be used for bike lanes, suggesting they should instead be funded by supporters of Calbike and CABO, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with them. And that funds should be raised by registering and taxing bicyclists, and imposing fines on law-breaking cyclists.

The first of which is impractical for many reasons, and the latter already happens, despite his protestations. And those fines go to the state, just like the fines paid by scofflaw drivers.

Never mind that bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads we ride.

Then again, that letter has nothing on this absurdly auto-centric writer from Santa Barbara.

Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a good cause this holiday season, you can’t do much better than World Bicycle Relief, which is using donated bicycles to change lives in less developed countries.

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Another good cause a lot closer to home.

Popular cyclist Egee Mabolis was badly injured during the monthly Ride With No Name, leaving him with no feeling in his arms and legs. A gofundme account established to help cover his medical costs has raised nearly $11,000 of the $25,000 goal — even though that won’t begin to cover the cost of his hospital care and rehabilitation, since he doesn’t have insurance.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Mabolis was profiled by the LA Weekly last year for his work taming the notorious Trader Joe’s parking lot in Silver Lake.

………

Film fans take note.

The first film from famed British director Ridley Scott, the auteur responsible for Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was about a boy and bicycle, starring his late brother and future Top Gun director Tony.

The 27-minute student film is now available online.

While we’re on the subject of films, a writer for the Daily Beast kind of misses the point of the new documentary Bikes vs. Cars, which doesn’t really call for replacing all cars with bicycles, as tempting as that may seem at times.

If you want to see for yourself, Bikes vs. Cars opens this Friday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

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Local

CicLAvia staffer and LADOT commissioner Tafarai Bayne discusses what it’s like to grow up carless in LA and the perils of biking while black.

A cyclist in his 40s suffered moderate injuries when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy in Carson Thursday night.

Just one problem with LA’s 2024 Olympic bid: The BMX and mountain biking events projected for Griffith Park could be illegal.

Evidently, people really do walk in LA and Pasadena. And ride bikes, too.

 

State

An Escondido cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when she was the victim of a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Toyota Corolla.

A local hiking group voices their support for the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway around the Coachella Valley.

San Francisco follows an all-too-familiar pattern of fixing dangerous streets only after it’s too late. But at least they fix them, unlike some LA council districts we could name.

A transportation expert from UC Davis will make a presentation at this week’s Paris climate change conference touting the benefits of bicycling as a climate-friendly measure.

Family members and witnesses question the CHP’s investigation of a cyclist killed by a Sacramento judge, leading them to wonder if it’s just sloppy work or a cover-up.

 

National

America may not have hit peak car after all. Or maybe it did.

HuffPo says bikeshare is having a positive impact on city life throughout the US.

Life is cheap in Portland, where a truck driver faces a maximum $260 fine for dangerous left turn that took the life of a bike rider.

A Detroit man raised $15,000 to buy a new car for a man who rode a bike to work every day to save money to care for his sick wife.

The bike-hating New York Post blames scofflaw cyclists for the 4,463 bicyclists injured in the city last year, not the people in the big dangerous machines. And insists an Idaho stop law will only make things worse.

 

International

England’s last Plantagenet king is helping to lead the reclamation of Leicester from automobiles, over 500 years after Richard III famously failed to trade his kingdom for a horse.

British bike thieves get 12 years apiece for stabbing a man who was trying to reclaim his stolen bike.

Police in an English town are on the lookout for a cyclist — to thank her for lending them her hi-viz jacket so they could direct traffic.

A British man rides 400 miles to honor his late bike-riding mother.

Brit riders hold their third annual die-in to call for a stop to killing cyclists.

Caught on video: Apparently, being pregnant and wearing glasses is the latest excuse for left-hooking a British cyclist.

An injured cyclist says Maltese authorities are always on the driver’s side, concluding that his recent collision somehow broke the laws of physics.

Vogue says stylish cyclists are taking over Moscow.

Selling bikes by Bollywood.

A gold medal-winning Thai-American BMX rider is just as happy working in the rice paddy as competing against Asia’s best. No, really, that’s what it says.

 

Finally…

The beauty of a bicycle is its simplicity, until designers get their hands on it. Why clutter your home with bikes when you can park them on the ceiling? Evidently, the color of his bike is enough to make a man a suspect in the UK — accurately, as it turned out.

And shirtless cyclist and actor Russell Crowe goes riding with his mates in the “middle of f**king nowhere.”

 

Weekend Links: Free Breeze bikeshare pass, unfair bike traffic ticket, and anti-bike lane — and anti-bike — madness

As we’ve discussed before, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off with a grand opening ceremony this Thursday.

What we haven’t mentioned is that it’s free that day; just register online for a free one-day trial membership.

Breeze Email-ad-Final

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Saw this post on Facebook from endurance cyclist, vegan nutritionist and organizer of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, Matt Ruscigno,

So I’m splitting lanes in heavy traffic on Melrose Blvd and I time a red light so I enter the intersection as soon as it turns green while maintaining my speed.

[police sirens]

LAPD: I’m pulling you over because you ran that red light.

Me: No I didn’t, I timed it perfectly.

LAPD: YOU RAN IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Me: I may have rolled into the crosswalk but I had it timed. I watched. 
[takes ID, writes me a ticket]

LAPD: And you have to ride as far to the right as possible.

Me: I was passing, I’m allowed to do that.

LAPD: YOU MUST RIDE AS FAR TO THE RIGHT AS POSSIBLE.

Me: I was going around the cars in the right lane, safely.

LAPD: Don’t talk to me about safety- you shouldn’t have been doing that.

Me: Oh so I’m getting a ticket because you didn’t like I was splitting lanes and timed the light?

LAPD: I’M NOT ARGUING WITH YOU. YOU DON’T KNOW THE LAW.

Me: Actually, I do. And I was riding safely.

LAPD: You’re lucky I’m not giving you two tickets!

Me: I can pass right?

LAPD: Yes.

Me: [Ride away, splitting lanes, with a $400 ticket in my pocket]

Sad that some cops still don’t get it.

………

Today’s common theme is attacks on bike lanes and the people who ride them.

More anti-bike insanity from Coronado, as a writer says bike advocates need to learn from animal advocates. Except she thinks bicyclists a sense of entitlement rather than a legal right to the road, she doesn’t get that police don’t always get bike law right (see above), and she doesn’t have a clue how traffic safety works.

A British Columbia writer says bike lanes are a waste of money and bikes belong on the sidewalk. Oh, and bicyclists don’t pay for roads, taxes or insurance, either.

Apparently desperate for click bait, a UK paper offers one story saying cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads, and another saying motorists should ask for more bikes on the road instead of complaining about them. Meanwhile, a writer for Cycling Weekly deconstructs the former, calling it the most ridiculous anti-cycling column yet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

The vitriol isn’t limited to road bikes, either. In a piece that reads like it belongs in The Onion, a Berkeley Ph.D. suggests we’re corrupting the youth of America through high school off-road racing, saying introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Speaking of criminal, his hatred of mountain biking goes back to at least 1997; he was arrested in 2010, tried and convicted of assaulting a pair of riders with a hacksaw and slicing one on the chest. And his previous posts to a mountain bike forum were replaced with a Seussian Ode to a Usenet Kook (scroll to the bottom for the final entry). Thanks to Mark Ganzer and Patrick Traughber for the heads-up.

………

Local

The Amgen Tour of California will make a stop in South Pasadena on its way north.

CiclaValley discusses not riding Oat Mountain, the highest peak in the Santa Susana Mountains north of the San Fernando Valley, but his teammate Cameron Bond did.

Build traffic skills with a family friendly ride to Trader Joes followed by a picnic in Silver Lake Meadow on Sunday.

Find out where recently elected CD4 City Councilmember David Ryu stands on transportation issues when he discusses the LA Mobility Plan with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds at the Autry Museum this Monday. Be sure to ask him why one of his first acts on the council was an attempt to exempt some streets in his district, including the long-promised 4th Street bike boulevard, from the plan.

This Thursday, Metro Chief Planning Officer Martha Welborne will discuss Metro’s regional planning vision at the the Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting, by registration only.

Santa Monica will host a free, full-day family bike festival on Sunday the 17th.

 

State

Seriously? Monterey’s annual Sea Otter classic will now offer e-bike races.

SFist says there’s a plague of bike thefts at San Francisco State University and college officials don’t seem to care.

Here’s a dream job for any bike advocate who doesn’t mind moving to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time Campaigns Director to “manage and direct the 44-year-old organization’s organizing, policy and political campaigns.” Then again, you probably can’t afford to live there, and you might have to become a Giants fan, which could be a deal breaker.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A suspected drunk driver is arrested after a high-speed chase in Santa Rosa, despite having already lost his license after five previous DUI convictions and 12 license suspensions. Taking away the license doesn’t keep some of the most dangerous drivers off the roads; we’ve got to find another way to keep them from driving.

Despite appearances, that Redding cyclist who suffered major injuries when he was hit by an 88-year old driver wasn’t a transient; he was collecting recyclables to donate to his church. And friends say he wasn’t one to just turn in front of a car.

 

National

A new online bike marketplace promises that you won’t encourage bike theft by buying a stolen bike.

A new website maps out every one of the 373,377 traffic fatalities in the US from 2004 to 2013

Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence in the US. Which is probably a good thing, since there seems to be so little of the real thing on our streets.

Seattle residents vote to tax themselves to build a 50-mile protected bike lane network, along with a 60-mile network of neighborhood greenways.

Disappointing, but not surprising, as popular Colorado-based pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s B sample comes back positive for an anabolic steroid.

A Wyoming cyclist won’t face charges for killing a decorated former military dog; he claimed he shot the dog with the handgun he keeps strapped to his bike after it attacked him.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Houston man accuses another man of intentionally running him down as he rode his bike following a dispute, then jumping him and attempting to drown him.

A Cleveland cyclist was shot in the chest after being asked for a cigarette at 3 am.

A New York cyclist captures photos of law breaking drivers, while admitting that he doesn’t always follow the law himself; meanwhile, a barely recognizable Katy Perry takes a spin around the city on her Trek.

Good read from the New Yorker, which blames the seemingly never-ending conflict between bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on old-fashioned egocentricity.

 

International

Bloomberg looks at the next generation of bespoke bike builders.

A cyclist from Colorado has been found safe after being missing from a three day stage race across Costa Rica.

Canadian authorities are looking for a driver who drove over a cyclist’s leg, asked if he was okay, then just drove away.

A British road safety advocate calls for a left-handed equivalent to the Idaho stop law.

It’s three years in jail for the Brit mom of six who deliberately ran down an autistic bike rider following a dispute. With her kids in the car, no less.

A writer considers the lessons learned from a family bike tour in France, where he was accepted by more experienced riders with open handlebars. His term, not mine.

An Indian professor says bike riders are normalizing bicycling as a way of life, and recreational cycling in Mumbai should not be seen through the lens of class conflict.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Nothing like reading a newspaper while driving. Nothing brings peace between cyclists and pedestrians like miso fries.

And meet the Cuban equivalent of LA’s Stupidtall bike.

 

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