Archive for Anti-bike bias

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

………

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.

 

Morning Links: Ask for your $1,100 road rebate, and SGV Bicycle Education Center officially opens

The next time someone says bicyclists need to pay their share of the road, ask them to give you $1,100 instead.

That’s the amount a new report says every household pays to subsidize car ownership, whether or not they drive.

Which means, instead of not paying our share, bike riders are dramatically overpaying. Especially those who don’t own cars.

………

Bike advocacy group Bike SGV officially opened the new San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center on Sunday.

Plans are for the center to offer classes for bike riders of all levels, along with bicycle repair courses.

They also intend to go beyond education by offering bike repairs and rentals of donated bicycles. Along with serving as a central point for bike advocacy in the San Gabriel Valley.

The SGVBEC is open Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm inside El Monte’s Jeff Seymour Family Center, 10900 Mulhall St.

………

A paddle out was held Sunday for Logan Lipton, the 12-year old Oceanside surfer killed in a collision while riding his bike to school on Thursday.

………

In a heartbreaking piece, the tragic and needless death of a local rider makes a Pittsburgh woman examine her own mortality, and the real-world costs of our dangerous streets.

Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

………

Local

A Vancouver website looks at six ways LA is looking beyond the automobile.

A Long Beach cyclist is finishing a seven-month, 3,000-mile trip to the other Long Beach in New York to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.

 

State

The Victorville city council agrees to cover a $274,000 shortfall to construct a key connector in a proposed regional bike path network.

Oxnard police will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety operation Monday afternoon. Someone should tell them that bicyclists aren’t required to wear helmets unless they’re under 18, though.

Police decide a Milpitas high school student was somehow at fault for a minor collision, even though he was in a crosswalk and the driver admitted he didn’t see him.

The US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis is preparing to induct its newest class of honorees next month.

A San Francisco writer insists on pitting Millennials against Baby Boomers, saying the city does not consider the needs of older people, and that it’s hard to ride a bike safely when you get older. Even though countless older people do exactly that every day, and if they can’t manage to pedal uphill, an e-bike provides an effective alternative.

 

National

A Portland bike rider finds a hit-and-run driver who injured another cyclist. This is why police need to release information even on hit-and-runs that don’t qualify for a Yellow Alert; we have a lot more eyes on the street than they do.

Casper WY responded to the death of a bicyclist by creating a new bike master plan calling for over 100 miles of street improvements; the city’s first road diet, with bike lanes on either side, opens this week.

More bighearted people, as community members pitch in to replace a bike stolen from an Ohio special needs girl.

A writer for the Nashville paper takes a six-day, 150-mile bike tour through the Great Allegany Passage.

Negotiations have hung up on acquiring a railroad right-of-way that will be part of a Maine to Massachusetts bikeway, eventually lead to a coastal pathway stretching from Maine to the Florida Keys.

A man was critically injured in a collision with a bike rider on the University of Delaware campus. Ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re the only one more vulnerable on the streets than we are, and less predictable.

 

International

Bikes are making a comeback on the crowded streets of Central America. So is bike-friendly former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa, who was re-elected to the post after 14 years in the politcal wilderness.

The CBC investigates whether cyclists should be required to have licenses. Must have touched a nerve; at last count, there were over 450 comments in less than 24 hours. Although being Canadian, many were excruciatingly polite.

Once again, cyclists are heroes, as an Ottawa man jumps into a river to save the life of an 83-year old man who had fallen in.

Caught on video: A British bike rider captures a helmet-cam view as he’s hit by a right-turning car. Although rather than slowing down as he approaches the intersection, he forces a couple of jaywalking pedestrians to run out of his way. And he probably wouldn’t have been hit by the car if he had waited for them to cross.

A 71-year old English woman has died after going over her handlebars in a collision with another cyclist while riding on a bike path. Another tragic reminder that bike paths can be dangerous places, even if there aren’t any cars.

Dutch racer Theo Bos expresses his gratitude to the United Arab Emirates woman who not only paid for his medication after a fall, but drove him back to his hotel, and stopped at a restaurant to buy him food on the way; she said any Emirati woman would do the same.

A new video from Australia’s Tasmania state puts the1.5 meter passing distance — the equivalent of a five-foot passing law — into perspective.

A new one meter, or three foot, passing law goes into effect in South Australia, so police naturally warn cyclists instead of drivers. Meanwhile, an Aussie rider tests it out and gives drivers a passing grade.

A Kiwi writer says do like the Dutch and get on your bike, even if it could be safer.

A 28-year old man is riding across India to spread a message of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.

An elderly Chinese man publicly beats and humiliates a bike-riding boy who accidentally ran into him on his way to school.

 

Finally…

Palm Spring seems shocked to see local homeowner Leonardo DiCaprio riding a bike around the city. Probably not the best idea to post a photo of yourself flipping off the cops while standing over a stolen police bike on your Facebook page.

And why bother riding your bike when you can use it to clean up before bed?

 

Morning Links: Coronado bike lane madness hits big time, Rowena redux, and OC deputy gets bike law wrong

The Coronado anti-bike lane madness is now officially the butt of jokes.

In a brilliant monologue, CBS Late Late Show host James Corden rips the rich old white ladies, as he calls them, who claim to get vertigo from the tattoo and graffiti-like white stripes besmirching their streets.

Seriously, watch it.

It could be the best four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your day not spent on a bike.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

……..

Meanwhile, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition responds to the madness in Coronado, asking city leaders to reconsider the decision to cancel the planned bike lanes.

And the insanity extends to the local police, as a Coronado cop refuses to believe the beach bike a sailor bought at the wasn’t stolen.

Because he’s a man, and it was pink.

……..

Maybe there’s something in the water down there by the border.

A new report finds a disconnect between the transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Government and the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan; San Diego calls for 50% of trips to be made by foot, bike or transit, while SANDAG settles for just 15%.

In fact, SANDAG envisions a future with more driving, not less. And one in which an increase in greenhouse gases is perfectly acceptable, as long people can continue to slog through traffic on an ever-increasing mass of freeways.

……..

Then again, it’s not just a West Coast problem.

In a prime example of just not getting it, a Staten Island website complains about bike lane fever gripping city officials.

SI Live argues that the evangelical zeal of bicyclists has transformed into an influential political movement that has found ardent acolytes at city hall, in the absence of “anything approaching broad, let alone overwhelming, public support.”

Odd.

Anywhere else, the 66% of New Yorkers who favor bike lanes would be considered overwhelming, let alone broad, support.

But whatever.

They also question the “dubious claim” that a road diet to add bike lanes serves to calm traffic, never mind that it can actually improve traffic flow.

Sure. As long as you consider a 19% to 47% reduction in overall crashes dubious. And think the Federal Highway Administration is a questionable source for those stats.

As for that other claim that road diets can improve traffic flow, it comes not from bike riders and their political acolytes, but the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Who should know.

And both the FHWA and NACTO also say that bike and pedestrian use tends to soar following a road diet, which is something else the SI Live editorial dismisses.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good uninformed rant?

Of course, there are those who will say the mad rantings of an NYC website don’t matter here on the Left Coast.

Except this is the same sort of misguided and barely informed thinking we see at work in Coronado, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake and on North Figueroa.

……..

Speaking of Silver Lake, Larry Mantle discusses the Rowena road diet with LADOT’s Tim Fremaux, while the Los Feliz Ledger offers a relatively one-sided look at the recent town hall meeting. And KABC-7 asks if the road diet is causing unnecessary traffic headaches.

Meanwhile, EGP News takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the issues surrounding North Figueroa, while KPCC discusses the street as ground zero in the debate over road diets.

……..

Honk my ass.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that newspaper column with such an auto-centric name would get a question about bicycling wrong.

The Honk column in the Orange County Register was asked whether it was legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. And turned to an OC Sheriff’s traffic deputy for the answer.

Bad idea.

The officer responded that under state law, bicycles were forbidden to ride along a sidewalk. Which just goes to show, once again, a cop is the last person you should ask about bike law.

Because section 21206 of the California Vehicle Code leaves it up to the local jurisdictions to decide.

The result is a crazy patchwork of bike laws, where someone can legally ride on the sidewalk in LA, and be ticketed for exactly the same thing after crossing the street into Beverly Hills. And usually with no posted warnings, and often no indication you’ve gone from one city to another.

Down in OC, bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Laguna Hills, and banned in Laguna Beach. And allowed everywhere but the central business district in Laguna Woods and Laguna Nigel.

So the real answer to the question is, it depends on where you happen to be at the moment.

As for why someone would ride on the sidewalk when there’s a perfectly good bike lane on the street right next to it, there can be a lot of reasons.

Especially in Orange County, where bike lanes are routinely found on streets with speed limits of 50 mph or more.

……..

Applications are now open for the bike industry’s 2016 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarships; 16 scholarships will be offered for the first all-female class in professional repair and shop operation.

……..

And one more common theme before we move on.

Urban Adonia questions how Vision Zero will play out in communities of color, raising concerns over racial profiling and the predominance of Eurocentric thinking.

A new study reveals that disadvantaged people are more likely to die in traffic collisions than people who are well-off. And despite a declining rate of traffic fatalities nationwide, death rates are going up for people over 25 without a high school diploma.

Ebony magazine looks at Slow Roll Chicago, described as a community-based organization that uses bicycling to connect with underserved and unappreciated communities.

And the founders of DC’s Black Women Bike and Black Girls Do Bike explain why groups like theirs matter.

……..

Local

Not even bike cops are safe from the epidemic of hit-and-run drivers, as an LAPD officer’s bike was hit by a driver who sped away after the officer tried to flag him down; he was hospitalized in stable condition.

CiclaValley meets the orange-vested mystery man who keeps Mulholland clean.

Bicycling should get a little easier in the Mid-City area, thanks to a Metro grant for a pair of bicycle friendly streets. As long as we manage to wait until 2020, that is, when they’re finally scheduled to be finished.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out the rising rate of bicycling injuries in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. And things are only going to get worse thanks to a decision to not include bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — let alone any kind of accommodation for bikes during the construction phase.

Richard Risemberg suggests imbibing in a strong dose of optimism and see what’s being done in cities around the world at next week’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

 

State

It looks like next year’s Amgen Tour of California will have a Pasadena start.

Chico police are using GPS-enable bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

 

National

Nice piece from a 45+ year old mountain biker, who discusses the women who inspire her to ride. And it’s not the pretty young things with an insatiable Instagram account.

According to Gizmodo, science says driving is the most stressful way to get to work, while commuting by bicycling or walking makes you healthier and happier.

A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a bike lock built into the pedal. The makers promise an alarm will sound if a thief tries to cut what looks like an easily defeated cable. Then again, no one even pays attention to car alarms any more.

Oh please. A Seattle radio personality says the city’s volunteer bike count has already been decided before it even happens, because the local bike club anticipates asking for more funding based on the results. If she really wants to ensure an honest count, maybe she should sign up to help out herself. Or get the city and state to pay for something they should be doing anyway, instead of leaving it to a volunteer advocacy group.

A Boston radio station discusses the nation’s first protected intersection in Salt Lake City.

Boulder CO bicyclists ride to protest the dismantling of a road diet in that city.

A cyclist leads horse mounted state troopers on a wild west wrong way chase through the streets of Austin TX after running a stop sign.

Despite a broken collarbone, a quick thinking Chicago cyclist snapped a photo of the license plate belonging to the driver who fled after running him down, and got a sizable settlement as a result.

A Boston petition calls on the city to “improve safety” by removing all bike lanes and sharrows; it had received 33 signatures as of Tuesday, while a competing petition calling on the city to keep them had over five times as many.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Florida man is planning to ride 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday.

 

International

Mass-produce hydrogen cars are still a long way off. But the first hydrogen-powered e-bike is already here.

Two Canadian men are fined for building an illegal bike trail in a provincial park.

Now that she’s on top of the cycling world, 24-year old British World Cup and world road racing champ Lizzie Armistead is thinking about retiring after next year’s Rio Olympics.

An arrest has been made in the brutal, unprovoked attack on a 54-year old Edinburgh bicyclist as he rode on a bike path.

So much for helping those in need. Norway says Syrian refugees who used a legal loophole to bike across the border from Russia will now be sent back. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A rampaging magpie swoops down at an Aussie cyclist mutiple times, leaving him with a bloodied ear.

 

Finally…

Seriously? Even Costco is getting into the argument over whether bike riders should pay registration or user fees. Caught on video: Two French cyclists ride the word’s smallest velodrome.

And if you’re going to burglarize a couple of homes, make sure the homeowner doesn’t walk in on you. And don’t wear an easily recognizable shirt as you make your getaway by BMX bike.

 

Morning Links: LA Times columnist takes his anger out on us, and a section of LA River path closed for two years

Take a breath, George.

Abraham Lincoln had a habit of writing angry letters to let off steam, then placing them in his desk, unsigned and unsent.

Maybe LA Times Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton should take the hint.

In his Thursday column, Skelton reported that his planned trip to Lake Tahoe with his daughter over the weekend was derailed when they ran into a road closure to accommodate an Ironman triathlon — not a bicycle race, despite how he characterized it. And was so incensed he responded by calling for a tax on all bike riders.

Which is like demanding that joggers and pedestrians pay for the sidewalks and crosswalks they use just because the LA Marathon keeps you from crossing the street, as Keith Pluymers pointed out.

Except they already do.

In fact, we all do. Just as we all pay for the roads Skelton seems to think are exclusively financed by motorists.

Even gas taxes and auto registration fees, which he seems to think bike riders don’t pay — even though the overwhelmingly majority of people who ride bikes also own and drive cars — only cover a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining our streets and highways.

The rest comes out of the same income and sales taxes we all pay, whether we travel on two wheels or four.

Or none.

He also seems to forget about those similarly freeloading electric car drivers, who don’t pay a penny more in gas taxes than bike riders do. And hybrid owners, whose relatively high mileage means they pay a fraction of the taxes other drivers pay when they fill up.

Then there’s the simple matter of why drivers are expected to pay for those roads.

It’s not for the privilege of driving on them, as Skelton seems to presume. It’s because those multi-ton vehicles cause exponential wear and tear on the roadways every time they’re driven on them.

Bicycles don’t. Period.

Even at the peak of my out-of-shape weight following my father-in-law’s stroke, when I packed 220 pounds onto a 15 pound bike, my impact on the road was infinitesimal compared to even the lightest motor vehicles. Never mind the massive SUVs so common in California they should replace the grizzly on the California flag.

It’s true that bike lanes aren’t free.

But striping lanes costs just pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of building a roadway to accommodate cars and trucks. Let alone the more than $1 billion — that’s billion, with a b — it cost to put HOV lanes on the 405 through the Sepulveda pass.

And as anyone who’s driven there lately can attest, that’s barely made a dent in the infamous 405 traffic congestion. If that.

Skelton doesn’t address the question of who would have to register their bikes with the state. Does the toddler on her trike have to pay the same fee as the roadie slicing curves on Mulholland?

What about the immigrant worker who can’t afford a car or public transportation? Do we slap him in leg irons if he rides an unregistered bike on the streets of our fair state?

Finally, there’s the question of who would administer the fees he calls for.

The DMV has already said they don’t want the job. The sort of small fees he suggests — such as the $3 licensing fee charged in Long Beach — wouldn’t begin to cover the millions required to administer and enforce a program to register every single bicycle in the late, great Golden State.

And any fee high enough to cover the costs would only serve as yet another barrier to bicycling, at time when we should be lowering those barriers to encourage more people to bike to improve their health, and the health of the cities they live in.

Let alone removing a few more cars from our overly congested streets.

In fact, a recent study showed that every mile traveled by bike results in a net economic gain of 42 cents to society, while every mile traveled by car results in a net loss of 20 cents.

Which means we should be getting a rebate, not charged extra taxes on top of those we already pay.

Skelton should have known better.

And probably would have if he’d just taken long enough to cool off; even a few minutes with Google could have corrected his misassumptions before they ever got into print.

Instead, a respected reporter who usually offers valuable insights into the inner workings of our state government apparently let his anger get the better of him.

And instead of taking it out on the Ironman sponsors, Caltrans or the local governments who permitted the race, he chose to take it out on you and me.

This is one column that should have been placed in his desk drawer. And left there.

Permanently.

Thanks to Noel Smith for the heads-up.

………

Just in case you needed a reminder — which is highly unlikely if you ride LA streets — this is what a too-close pass looks like, courtesy of On My Bike in LA.

………

LA area cyclists are about to lose one of the few safe places we have to ride thanks to the never-ending drive to increase capacity for cars.

A one-mile section of the La River bike path will be closed for two full years between Riverside Drive and the 134 Freeway.

Yes, two years.

All because Caltrans is adding carpool lanes to a section of the 5 Freeway. The construction will impact a section of the bike path that runs nearby, and the closure is for our own safety, according to the notice.

Thanks for looking out for us. No, really.

Bike riders will be diverted onto Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way, near where Finish the Ride founder Damien Kevitt was struck by a hit-and-run driver who dragged him onto the 5, nearly taking his life.

So if anyone happens to get hit by a car while bypassing the construction zone for the next two years, I’d suggest getting a good lawyer who can reach into the deep pockets at Caltrans.

And yes, I can recommend a few.

………

Mike Wilkinson forwards advice on what to do if you’re the first on the scene following an injury collision. It’s written from a motorcyclist’s perspective, but the advice holds true for non-motorized riders.

………

Welcome to the US. An unidentified cyclist training for the world championships was hit by a car that was somehow allowed to cross the course; fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt.

Bicycling talks with U23 silver medalist Emma White; the 18-year old is the first American woman to podium in the world junior time trial since 2007.

School students get days off for snow days, teacher training days, religious holidays, and now, UCI world championships race days.

Alberto Contador makes plans to exit stage left after the Rio Olympics next year. Bike racing’s governing body announced next year’s women’s WorldTour with a 60% increase in competition days. Women continue to ride in the back of the bus, though, and there’s still no women’s equivalent to the men’s Grand Tours.

Taylor Phinney discusses the pain of time trials versus the pain that comes from a devastating injury, while the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay offers perhaps the best Taylor Phinney profile yet. And a gofundme account has raised $80 to buy Phinney a muffin.

Yes, a muffin.

………

Local

South LA cyclists demand the Central Avenue bike lanes promised in the mobility plan. And rightfully so.

Bike Portland talks with our own transportation maven Seleta Reynolds.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton is a talk with new CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

A man is under arrest for murder after shooting another man near West 6th and Lafayette Park, then stealing a bicycle at gunpoint before being captured by police.

Los Angeles Magazine offers five tools to make shopping by bike easier. Although they somehow forgot messenger bags, which were developed by bike messengers for a reason.

 

State

An anonymous tip has led San Diego police to the car used in a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman riding her bike last week; it was found at a repair shop, apparently getting fixed to hide the damage. Although the local NBC station seems to think the car was acting on its own.

Trial began on Thursday for the wrong-way, allegedly high driver who slammed into 10 riders on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, leaving one permanently disabled.

The San Diego Union-Tribune puts the Coronado anti-bike hysteria in context, saying it’s part of a backlash against increased tourism on the penisula. Maybe tourists should respond by taking their money somewhere else.

Palm Springs cyclists get a new mobile bike repair truck.

Bittersweet story from Camarillo, as a woman is spending her final days touring California by bike with her boyfriend; she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer shortly after kicking a two decade addiction to meth. Camarillo’s US Bike Company gave them new bicycles after theirs were stolen in Big Sur.

Caught on video: The San Francisco police captain who ordered a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists rolls a stop himself while on his bike. Maybe he was just trying to fit in.

Evidently, San Francisco cyclists will be on the Critical Mass to Hell this weekend.

Sad news from Shingletown, near Redding, as a bike rider was killed Thursday evening when a 17-year old driver drifted onto the shoulder where she was riding.

 

National

The National Bike Challenge hit 35 million miles 10 days before the scheduled end of the program, a whopping 50% increase over last year.

You can now ping your bell to tell you where you parked your bike. Although if you can’t find where you parked your bike, it’s usually a sign it may not be there anymore.

The Portland paper road tests the city’s new bikeshare bikes.

The standard controversy erupts over a road diet in my hometown, with drivers complaining about traffic backups and unused buffered bike lanes, which riders avoid because they don’t connect to anything and dump them back into traffic with no warning.

Denver tries on a protected bike lane for size; for a change, local merchants joined safety advocates in pushing for changes on the busy street.

That’s one way to steal a bike. A woman walked into an Ohio Wal-Mart, set a rack of pajamas on fire, and walked out with a new bike.

Some schmuck stole a 1980 Schwinn 12-speed from a 92-year old WWII vet in Troy NY; he only rode it twice before hanging it up in his garage.

Now those are some serious choppers. A New York bike thief imitates the city’s infamous rats and uses his teeth to gnaw through a bike lock. Yes, his teeth.

A Philadelphia website says the pending papal visit is the perfect opportunity for drivers to experience a Road to Damascus conversion to bike commuting.

That Delaware DuPont exec on trial for killing a man on a bicycle in a hit-and-run last year claimed he thought he hit some tree branches. And yet his young sons saw the bike spinning away and asked if he’d just killed a cyclist. Schmuck.

All Washington DC students will now learn to ride a bike in the second grade. This should set the standard for every city, including LA.

Atlanta officials sign off on 31 miles of new bike lanes.

By his account, a 70-year old Georgia driver was doing everything right when those crazy bike riders started yelling at him, and he accidently ran into one trying to get away. Sure, that sounds credible.

FL police blame a teenage bike rider for not riding in the crosswalk after he’s injured in a collision. Of course, if he had been in the crosswalk, they would have blamed him for that.

 

International

Now those damn Canadians are trying to take credit for the Popebike.

No bias here. The CBC apparently thinks the value of a victim’s bike has something to do with why a left turning driver ran him down in the bike lane and fled the scene.

Serious injuries among British bike riders are going up three times faster than the increase in miles ridden.

Brit bike couriers protest to demand a living wage.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the key to success as a champion lumberjack is riding a bike. Regardless of what the Standard thinks, a combination breathalyzer/bike lock is not a blow to bike-riding boozers as long as its use remains voluntary.

And this gnome-lookalike perv should be locked away until he’s 87. But you’ve got to admire his bike handling skills.

 

Morning Links: San Diego police blame bike mob; unconfirmed report of bicycling fatality on PCH in Malibu

No bias here.

Not from the press. And certainly not from the San Diego Police Department.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a female driver called 911 to report a “mob” of nine or ten bicyclists had chased her down and smashed her car window.

It must have seemed frightening to the people huddled at home watching the broadcast.

But the real story is hidden in the details.

The bike riders were using the sharrows in the city’s Normal Heights neighborhood when the driver came up behind them and began harassing them by honking nonstop, which is a violation of California law. Even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be.

She then broke the law again by passing too close, striking one of the bikes; fortunately, the rider was able to jump off just in time to avoid serious injury.

The riders then chased down the hit-and-run driver as she dragged the bike for several blocks, banging on her window in an attempt to get her attention and keep her from fleeing the scene.

Pedestrians and other motorists are often called heroes when they stop a fleeing driver under similar circumstances.

Instead, these riders were portrayed as a crazed mob, and threatened with prosecution on vandalism charges for punching and kicking the car.

So it’s okay for the driver to mangle a bike after running down the rider. But not for riders to break a window, apparently inadvertently, in an effort to make her stop.

Got it.

Police refused to even ticket, let alone arrest, the woman, despite obvious violations for

  1. harassing the cyclists
  2. breaking state law governing the use of a horn
  3. violating the three-foot passing law
  4. destruction of property
  5. failing to stop and exchange information following a collision

And yet somehow, she’s portrayed as the victim, with the people on bikes her attackers.

It’s sadly reminiscent of a case that marked the first stirrings of the bicycle rights movement here in Los Angeles.

Andres Tena was riding with a group of friends in the spring of 2009 when they were confronted by an impatient Hummer driver, who attempted to flee the scene after striking Tena’s bike and injuring him enough to require hospitalization. The other riders chased the driver down and blocked his way; in response, they were threatened with an unseen gun before the driver ran over their bikes in an effort to escape.

When police arrived, they somehow concluded that Tena had crashed into the side of the Hummer — which would have required backing into it at a high rate of speed, since he was thrown forward by the impact and suffered significant damage to the rear of his bike.

And that the driver was justified in attempting to flee, because he was frightened by all those scary bike riders, despite being safely ensconced within his multi-ton urban assault vehicle.

The cop on the scene took it a step further, saying if the cyclists had surrounded him like that, he would have done the same thing the Hummer driver did.

In fact, the only criminal prosecution that was even contemplated was a misdemeanor charge against a cyclist for “throwing his bike at the Hummer.”

Funny how some things never change.

It took years of sometimes difficult negotiations, but now LA’s bicycling community has a much better relationship with the LAPD than we did back in the dark days of just six short years ago.

But clearly, San Diego police haven’t gotten the memo.

And as this case clearly shows, they have a long way to go before cyclists can feel like they have the same support from law enforcement that drivers have come to expect, and are considered equal road users rather than two-wheeled pirates.

None of us are safe on the streets if we can’t count on the police to be there when we need them. And to do it fairly, without an obvious — and repugnant — windshield bias.

According to a tweet from BikeSD, they’re working with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to arrange legal representation for the bike riders.

They may need it.

And sadly, the angry hit-and-run driver who started it all won’t.

………

The publisher of the Malibu Times mentioned Tuesday that a bike rider had been killed on PCH near Busch Drive, but didn’t have any details.

However, the report cannot be confirmed at this time.

There have been no other reports in the press, and repeated web searches have turned up empty. And there has been no response yet to a request for information from the CHP.

Meanwhile, he goes on to criticize cyclists for riding with inadequate lighting on their bikes. While he has a point, it is irresponsible to bring it up in response to the unconfirmed report of the bicycling fatality without knowing if a lack of lights had anything to do with it.

Or if it even happened.

It’s no better than if someone went off on a rant against speeding, texting drivers after hearing about a traffic collision without knowing if those were contributing factors in the wreck.

Yes, we should all ensure that we are visible to those we share the road with, especially after dark or in the late dusk or early morning hours when it can be most difficult to see.

But it’s wrong to imply, intentionally or not, that it may have had anything to do with a wreck that can’t even be confirmed.

………

I don’t even know what to think about this.

TMZ reports the DA’s office is unlikely to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner for a fatal collision on PCH last February, since they wouldn’t even file charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin while using his onboard computer.

………

Just like anyone else, Alejandro Valverde used Google to plan his route to victory in stage four of the Vuelta.

And after the Feds drop fraud charges against the other disgraced former Tour de France champ, Floyd Landis — remember him? — still has to repay nearly half a million dollars to the 1,700 people who donated to his defense fund when he was still pretending he hadn’t doped.

………

Local

A Texas study says LA has the second worst traffic in the US, costing commuters 80 hours a year lost to traffic delays. To which bike commuters respond, “So?”.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Vision Zero with LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds in the latest #DamienTalks podcast.

For those who read español, a nice profile of Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club; Morales saved his own life by losing 250 pounds riding a bike, and now works to spread the gospel of bikes and health to others. For those who don’t, Google Translate offers a passable translation.

 

State

Congratulations to the newly announced Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Southern California, including Santa Monica ad agency Ruben Postaer and Assoc, Giant Santa Monica bike shop, and the San Diego Association of Governments.

San Diego police bust a bike-riding bank robber. Or maybe they just assume everyone on a bike is a criminal.

Apparently, not everyone in Coronado opposes a bike path along the beach. Nice to see a rational, non-NIMBY response for a change.

The El Cerrito Planning Commission approves an Active Transportation Plan, including bike boulevards, traffic calming on narrow streets and a bike route providing access to the Bay Trail surrounding the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to avoid helmet hair, as well as advice on meditating to get more out of bicycling. Meditation will also improve your health. And life. Trust me.

A Utah man is ordered to pay a whopping $8,000 restitution for intentionally running down a man on a bike over a property dispute. Twice.

Turns out that despite vocal opposition, 57% of Boulder CO residents support the right-sizing of a city street to make room for protected bike lanes; bike traffic is up 38% in just the first three weeks, while average vehicle speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 37 mph — in a 30 mph zone.

Colorado transportation officials plan to improve bicycle safety on a major street by turning it into a high speed virtual freeway and forcing bikes off it. Memo to Colorado DOT: The auto-centric ‘70s are over.

In a bizarre assault, a Boise man who was driving erratically shouted at a bike rider at an intersection, then made a U-turn, drove up on the sidewalk and punched the rider in the face before driving over his bicycle.

A Wisconsin driver faces charges for running over a bike and a child’s bicycle attachment following a dispute after passing a father and his two kids too closely; the driver claims the father threw his $2,000 bike in front of the truck’s wheels. Sure, that’s credible.

No bias here, either. Two people were killed and eleven injured in seven separate Chicago shootings, yet the headline only mentions the one involving a bike.

It’s bicycle back to school time. Indiana’s Purdue university opens its own bikeshare system, while the University of Florida is offering to rent students a bike, helmet and lock.

Pittsburgh’s transit system will open its third bike garage, which will hold up to 80 bikes on pneumatic, spring-loaded double-decker racks.

Over 800 Philadelphia bike riders are planning to participate in a PopeRide when the city’s downtown streets will be shut down for the papal visit.

A Staten Island website questions whether bikes, recreational or otherwise, should ply the island’s narrow colonial-era streets. Never mind that bikes are better suited for narrow streets than cars and SUVs, or that they could provide an alternative to heavy traffic.

The mayor of an Alabama town lost his bid for a fifth term two weeks after he was bopped in the head with a baseball bat for schtupping the wife of a bike riding attorney.

 

International

A Quebec cop is charged with killing a bike rider last September; he faces charges of reckless driving and criminal negligence, even though witnesses say he backed into the victim’s bike on purpose.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old British man still rides every day on the 1939 Triumph bicycle he got for his 14th birthday.

People get killed or injured by being passed too close, and some post video of those dangerous passes online. Evidently, a group of British filmmakers who posted a YouTube style parody online think that’s funny.

Caught on video: A Brit bike thief makes off with a bicycle in less than a minute after casually joking with the staff at a gym, where the owner had gone in to take a shower.

A writer from the UK says she belongs on the road as much as any man, and despite the harassment she faces, the freedom of bicycling more than makes up for it. All cyclists are subject to harassment, but the added sexual component woman face is one of the factors that helps keep bicycling a predominately male form of transportation.

The Smithsonian recommends touring Kaohsiung City, Taiwan by bike, calling it one of Asia’s best cycling cities, with a world-class bikeshare program.

 

Finally…

Painting eyes over a bike rack helps prevent thefts, although the thieves just seem to go somewhere else. If you’re going to “borrow” a bike to get to work, make sure it’s not a cop’s patrol bike first.

And a Baltimore writer finishes dead last on what the Smithsonian calls the world’s “most difficult feat in uphill cycling.” But he finished.

Then again, they probably never heard of LA’s own Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

 

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