Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Zero vision instead of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, and bike riders really do make better lovers

So much for Vision Zero being a priority in Los Angeles anytime soon.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that the new budget the city council will vote on later this week won’t include dedicated funding for the campaign to end traffic deaths in Los Angeles.

Even though the council’s Transportation Committee had voted to devote 60% of Measure M return funds to stop killing bicyclists and pedestrians.

And even though LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds estimated it would take $80 million to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% this year. Let alone ending them by 2025.

And even though the mayor’s own budget had included a woefully inadequate $16.7 million for Vision Zero.

Instead, the council’s Budget Committee voted to zero out funding for Vision Zero, while saying it was no one’s intention to zero out funding for Vision Zero. They promised to circle back at a later date to consider giving some unspecified piece of the pie to improve safety, while channeling much of the funding to repaving streets.

And we’ve learned from experience what their promises are worth.

As Linton wrote,

Despite LADOT having submitted a Vision Zero work plan with costs (see budget memos 130 and 131), Krekorian and Englander both asserted that directing monies to LADOT for Vision Zero was – in Krekorian’s words “buying a pig in a poke” – paying for an unknown quantity lacking “specific expenditures.” The Bureau of Street Services has not submitted an expenditure plan, but can pour money into its perpetually backlogged repaving programs, which divide expenditures by 15 for the 15 council districts….

In an interview with Streetsblog this morning, Bonin expressed frustration that his colleagues were praising the city budget for its no-kill animal shelters, while not yet dedicating any money to no-kill sidewalks. Bonin said that it didn’t make any sense for the council to put off Vision Zero funding that would prevent deaths and save lives. Bonin further stated that he is continuing to push for a genuine city commitment to Vision Zero.

So for now, at least, it’s exactly what so many of us have feared.

LA may have a Vision Zero plan. But zero commitment to follow through.

………

Forget those reports from a few years ago that bicycling can cause erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.

Because a new study shows no significant negative impacts for men or women; in fact, cyclists scored higher in sexual function than non-riders.

But we already knew that, right? And so did our undoubtedly very pleased significant others.

And you can stop riding those cut-out and cutoff saddles, because bike seats didn’t matter, either.

………

Metrolink will be hosting a Bike Week Twitter Party this evening.

………

As a public service, no more news about today’s elections in CD7, and especially, CD1 until we have actual results, and can kiss this seemingly endless election cycle goodbye.

You’re welcome.

………

Cycling Weekly takes advantage of a rest day at the Giro to catch up with who’s out of the race. America’s best hope took a hit as Tejay van Garderen cracked on Sunday’s stage, dropping four minutes behind the leader.

Monday’s stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California featured a long breakaway, a dramatic finish, and snakes. And Kiwis.

Latvia’s Toms Skujins was pulled from the race by his Cannondale-Drapac team despite somehow managing to get back on his bike following a particularly nasty solo fall during Monday’s race.

Team Sky’s Ian Bosewell wants to rebuild fans’ trust in American cycling by showing the new generation of riders can succeed without doping; he’s going to participate in a bike giveaway at the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club the day after the race’s Pasadena finish.

The AToC will roll along the Central Coast in today’s stage 3, finishing in Morro Bay.

………

Local

KNBC-4 wishes you a happy Bike Week.

The Daily News says business owners are struggling to deal with the increasing homeless encampment along the Orange Line bike path in Van Nuys, with open drug dealing and prostitution, as well as people turning the bikeway in an open air toilet. I’ve heard from several riders who no longer feel safe riding the bikeway, and asked an LAPD officer to look into it; he reported that they couldn’t be legally removed because they’re on private property.

The LACBC reports Culver City will get a Metro Bike Hub next year.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to proceed with the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network at today’s meeting.

 

State

Coronado suffered a rash of bike thefts, averaging nearly one stolen bike a day over an 11 day period.

The long-planned CV-Link multi-use pathway around the Coachella Valley gets final approval, after excluding Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells from the route. Which they will regret once it’s built and the bizarre resistance to the pathway fades away.

Nearly 300 chefs from around the US will depart from Santa Barbara on their bikes today, riding 300 miles to raise $2 million to help end child hunger; you can donate or sponsor a rider here.

It’s time for the four-day Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles next week.

Santa Paula police bust the bike-riding suspect who allegedly set a man on fire as he slept on a bench; the victim is being treated Los Angeles with burns over 50% of his body.

Writing in the Fresno Bee, a conservation advocate seems to believe the prospect of allowing bicycles in American wilderness areas will crack the final seal holding back the two-wheeled apocalypse.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a bike rider was killed in a crash on Mount Hamilton near San Jose. And a 15-year old boy was killed by a train while crossing a bridge in Manteca in the Central Valley.

Once again, San Francisco bike advocates form a human barrier to create a temporary protected bike lane.

 

National

Police departments across the US are going undercover to catch drivers texting behind the wheel. Except in Southern California, of course.

A Oregon paper asks readers whether there should be a tax on bicycles. And gets a response saying bicycles take up more room than cars do. No, really.

A 62-year old legally blind Idaho man has regained his freedom now that he can safely ride a bike on a Boise bikeway.

A Colorado man has been cited for careless driving after the tandem bike he was piloting veered onto the wrong side of the road and sideswiped an SUV, injuring two children on the bike.

The DIY toilet plunger protected bike lane movement has now spread to Omaha NE.

The former Governator took advantage of Houston’s bikeshare system while he was in town to give a commencement address.

A Michigan woman gets six months in jail for a fatal collision with a bicyclist because she had THC in her blood, even though she had the right-of-way and, according to her lawyer, police concluded there was nothing she could have done to avoid the crash.

Heartbreaking news from Indiana, where a driver lost control swerving to avoid a bike rider who had fallen while crossing the roadway and collided with a truck, killing an 11-year old girl in the passenger seat.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, who talks about Bike Week and the challenges facing Cincinnati’s growing bicycling community.

Once again, a bike rider has been struck by a cop responding to a call, this time in New York.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler delivered the keynote address at last week’s Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero Cities conference, asking if Vision Zero can work in a racist society.

Eight hundred riders turned out for a South Carolina bike race — including some of NASCAR’s top drivers.

Caught on video: The moment a New Orleans cyclist was shot with a pellet gun was captured on bike cam by one of his fellow riders; fortunately, he’s now out of the hospital.

 

International

Cycling Weekly takes a look at knee pain and what to do about it.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid’s effort to resurrect Great Britain’s forgotten bike highways of the 1930s continues to gain traction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A British army vet with early onset Alzheimer’s is riding across the country to raise funds to fight the disease that killed his father and grandfather in their 40s.

An Irish advocacy group says horses are treated better on the country’s highways than cyclists are.

In a terrifying, yet ultimately harmless crash, a South African cyclist was dragged behind a semi-truck after a hook from the truck got caught on his jacket.

A New Zealand bike advocate is concerned by a plan to let children, as well as older and disabled cyclists, ride on the sidewalk, saying it would put kids at greater risk from cars backing out of driveways. But evidently, running over older bike riders is perfectly okay.

One thousand riders from a dozen countries around the world turned out for a two day Chinese Gran Fondo.

 

Finally…

As long as they’re removing statues of Confederate leaders, New Orleans might want to rename a bikeway or two. Red Bull says tall bikes will save the world.

And don’t steal bikes, dude. Especially from America’s biggest bike race.

 

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

………

KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

………

This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

………

No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

………

Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

………

If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

………

Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Morning Links: The good, bad and ugly in SD, screaming AL truckers busted, and the future belongs to bikes

It’s shaping up to be a video Monday.

Let’s start with a clip from Frank Lehnerz, who offers a first-hand perspective on why San Diego bicyclists are frustrated that starts out good, but gets ugly fast.

………

An Alabama father and son were arrested after turning themselves in for the screaming road rage assault on a charity cyclist that went viral last week.

Then there was this one from the UK, where a British van driver deliberately ran a bicyclist off the road. And was fired as soon as the video became public.

………

The future is ours. A prominent disruptive technologies analyst says bicycles will eventually rule the roads, and cars will be the big losers.

And forget ebikes. Here’s what we’ll all be riding.

………

Nice new ad from Go Human in honor of bike month.

………

With just over a week left in the campaign, CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali has replaced both his campaign manager and communications director with professionals, taking the place of two people described as “essentially neighborhood volunteers.”

Speaking of Bray-Ali, Todd Munson forwards a mailer from incumbent Gil Cedillo that targets the bike-riding challenger directly.

 

………

Former American pro Tyler Hamilton says there’s still doping in the pro peloton. Which should come as a shock to absolutely no one.

It was not a good day for Australia’s Rohan Dennis at the Giro; Geraint Thomas had the legs, but not the luck. Here’s Sunday’s spoiler-free standings.

The Sacramento Bee wants to know why women cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour of California make less money than men when they work just as hard. Why, indeed?

Make your TV watching plans for the AToC. Or be there in person when the race comes to the LA area for the last four stages.

BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz says fans will be surprised by the next generation of cycling talent coming from the US in the next few years; a new group of Canadian riders is on the rise, as well.

ESPN introduces the women of New York’s Red Hook Crit. And for a change, it’s not all glamour pics. Or any, for that matter.

New champions were crowned in the Redlands Bicycle Classic men’s and women’s crits.

………

Before we move on, let’s throw in a quick sponsored post from our friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, Co-Authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Don’t let National Bike Month slip by without adding Where to Bike Los Angeles to your cycling library. It’s by far the best riding guide for LA by far and you can pick it up during the ongoing one-month sale — this May only — for less than twenty bucks a copy directly from the authors’ Amazon store.

………

Local

The LA Times says it’s time to give the Idaho Stop Law a try in California.

The LACBC is hosting a Bicycle Commuting Essentials workshop tonight at Just Ride LA in DTLA to help get you ready for next week’s Bike to Work Day.

Streetsblog checks out the new protected bike lanes on Monterey Road in Northeast LA.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune rides the San Gabriel River Trail and encounters several homeless encampments on the way, including what looks like a bicycle chop shop.

A writer on Facebook says his mother tracked down her stolen bicycle in El Monte, but can’t get police to take it seriously.

 

State

Newport Beach considers a road diet on Bayside Drive to slow speeding drivers, after resistance to plans for a roundabout.

A San Diego city councilmember rides with 100 bicyclists through his Barrio Logan district, while promising money for bicycling.

San Bernardino County accepts a $200,000 SCAG grant to develop an Active Transportation Plan for the High Dessert’s Morongo Basin.

Why blame all those people in cars for causing traffic congestion, when a bike-riding Santa Cruz councilmember and his supporters make such convenient scapegoats?

A Sacramento bike rider was attacked by a pair of pit bulls from a homeless encampment along a riverfront bike path, suffering severe bite wounds on his legs.

 

National

Despite the failure of Seattle’s bikeshare program — largely blamed on the city’s mandatory bike helmet law — two dockless, app-based bikeshare companies have set their sights on the city.

Caught on video: If you’ve ever wondered how bike thieves go about their business, check out this Boise ID security video.

Bighearted members of an Iowa organization provided five special needs kids with adaptive bicycles.

Texas toddlers complete in a strider bike race around the streets of Fort Worth in the cutest story you’ll read today.

A Memphis cop has joined past and current officers from the LAPD on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers.

Several hundred New York riders take part in the annual Blessing of the Bicycles. LA’s Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital a week from tomorrow.

New York riders says a perpetually clogged Williamsburg bike lane is a fatal crash waiting to happen.

Evidently, Aziz Ansari is one of us, riding his bicycle to promote an upcoming show at New York’s Paley Center. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Twenty-six riders stopped in Philadelphia on their way to DC on a 400-mile ride from Newton, Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

No surprise here. Bicyclists in Maryland oppose the release of the drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore bishop; if you live in Maryland, you’re urged to sign the petition to keep Heather Cook behind bars.

A Virginia writer says everything he knows about bicycling he learned from his father, and hopes to pass it on to his own kids one day.

Kindhearted cops in Georgia help 17 kids build their own bicycles donated by a food company.

 

International

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers conclude that the success of bikeshare programs depends on safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bike Radar offers six essential roadie skills, along with nine things you can do on a bike, but probably shouldn’t do off one.

Calgary police recover a stolen bicycle and return it to the owner 18 years after it was taken.

Despite support for cycling from Parliament, the UK’s Cyclist Magazine worries that cycling will get squeezed out of political party manifestos in the rush to the country’s new election.

A writer for the Guardian considers the lesson he learned from his dad about how to be a good father, courtesy of a used purple chopper bike.

Popular five-year old British bikewear maker Vulpine has gone belly-up.

An award-winning inventor in the UK has developed an incredible shrinking bike helmet designed to fit into a small pouch.

A five-year old girl will be tackling the full length of a 55-mile Welsh trail, along with her father and seven-year old brother. At that age, I was happy when my parents let me ride around the block. On the sidewalk.

Sad news from Spain, where a drunk and stoned driver — at 8:30 on Sunday morning — plowed into six members of a triathlon team on a training ride, killing two and seriously injuring three others.

Melbourne, Australia authorities clear a bike rider in the death of an elderly man who stepped in front of him as he rode in a bike lane.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, don’t ride salmon. Unless headline is missing a comma, this could be the most popular bikeway in the state.

And the next time you’re struggling to make it up a hill, just &%$^! the #&O%! out of it.

………

Thanks to Danila Oder for her generous donation to support BikinginLA, and help keep Southern California’s best bike news coming your way every day.

………

And another post comes to  close, as the support staff has petered out after hard day fetching all the latest news.

Morning Links: LA Weekly profiles bike stars, ongoing Bray-Ali saga, and help a 15-year old girl with Ride 2 Recovery

The LA Weekly has released their 2017 People Issue, including profiles of CicLAvia chief strategist Tafari Bayne, and bike-punk band leader and lowrider bike builder Gnarly Charly.

And apparently, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend actress Rachel Bloom is a magnet for drunk bike riders.

………

More in the ongoing Joe Bray-Ali story, as he vows to stay in the race despite a call from the LA Democratic Party, which was already supporting incumbent Gil Cedillo, to drop out of the race.

KCRW talks with Bray-Ali about his comments and campaign, while KPCC says the skeletons that are no longer in his closet aren’t likely to help his campaign.

And a veterans group also calls for him to step down, after an old post in which he opposes a constitution amendment to ban flag burning was taken out of context.

………

Help 15-year old Michelle Morlock support injured vets and raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery with a fundraising dinner at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank on Friday. Or you can click here to donate directly to her fundraising efforts.

………

The organizers of the Giro d’Italia have backed off on plans for a new descent competition that riders called life-threatening. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali will be riding the Giro on a gold-inlaid bike.

A former British soccer star will lead a team of cyclists riding the routes of all three Grand Tours — the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana — one day ahead of the pros, covering over 6,500 miles in 63 days.

………

Local

An editorial in the LA Times calls on city officials to fight for more access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, not less.

Fast Company says LA’s Vision Zero map shows you what streets to avoid on your bike commute.

CiclaValley recommends coming out to the BMX Bike Show and Swap Meet at the Valley Relics Museum this Sunday.

Culver City gets its first green turn lane for bicycles.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are looking for the owner of a red and white Bianchi Via Nirone. But not the one in the picture, evidently.

Long Beach will celebrate Bike Month throughout May, including a new lower fare structure for the city’s bikeshare program.

 

State

A writer for the Orange County Register says be mindful when riding on the Aliso and Wood Canyon wilderness park trails. And if you see a snake, stay away from it.

Your next ride on the Santa Ana River trail through Colton could be a little burnt.

The proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path gets a lot of love from the Palm Springs city council, except for the mayor.

A local man has started a bike drive for Conejo Valley High School students, some of whom walk over three miles to get to class.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run early Wednesday morning.

The carnage continues in NorCal, as a 16-year old San Lorenzo honor student was killed by a train while riding to school.

San Francisco votes to move forward with a protected bike lane on Market Street, despite concerns from the fire department that it will make it harder to respond to calls.

Cupertino is moving forward with plans to build a number of bicycle boulevards throughout the city. Unlike Los Angeles, which has apparently abandoned plans to build the network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the all but forgotten bike plan.

Berkeley adopts a “visionary” $62.5 million bike plan connecting the entire city.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says BMX bikes are getting kids back on two wheels, even if that means popping wheelies and riding on freeways.

An Anchorage AK program to get 7th grade girls bicycling suffers a serious setback when half of their bikes are stolen.

The Colorado legislature has voted to ban truck drivers from rolling coal. Which was already illegal under federal law, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

AAA will now come to your rescue if you have a problem with your bike in Wisconsin and Georgia. SoCal, not so much.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from an 11-year old Ohio boy at knifepoint.

A Florida sheriff takes the blame for damaging three vehicles when his bike fell off his car on an Interstate highway.

 

International

Cycling Weekly asks if technology helps cycling or gets in the way of enjoyment. Yes.

A Brazilian man’s effort to set a new world record for the longest bike journey has been put on hold after his bike was stolen while he took a nap in Veracruz, Mexico; he was just 6,200 miles short of his 310,000 mile goal after being on the road for the last 18 years.

A Brit radio host says arguing against bicycling is arguing in favor of death from health problems, adding that cycling will make London a “cleaner, greener, more pleasant place.”

British multiple gold medal winning Paralympian Sarah Storey relishes her new role as a bike policy advocate because she wants her children to be able to ride safely when they grow up.

English drivers are warned that the bicyclist they pass on the road could be a cop filming them for passing too close.

A nearly 500-mile Middle East Peace Tour will take amateur riders through Jordon, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-five year old Kiwi cyclist Peter Grandiek is still setting records at the World Master Games.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: In case you were wondering why some drivers hate us. Now you, too, can have a heads-up display just like a jet pilot.

And no, spin class is not the same as riding outside.

Oh, hell no.

………

Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous donation to support this site

Morning Links: People for Bikes touts illegal ebike route, MyFig happening, and Bike the Vote says no on C

That ebike ride could end up putting you behind bars.

Jimmy Mac forwards word that People For Bikes recommends riding your ebike on the 21.5-mile Big Topanga Loop in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The only problem is that ebikes have been banned on the loop for nearly a year. Which means following their suggestion could get you up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He reports he’s been in contact with the organization, and been promised that it would be removed from their site. But as if this weekend, it’s still there.

Let’s hope they have a good attorney on retainer for anyone who follows their suggestion.

………

Doug Moore sends word that concrete changes are finally starting to take place with the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa. (As opposed to the long-delayed Figueroa for All project on North Figueroa.)

Just a heads up that there’s been less talk and more action regarding the MyFig project, especially between USC from the south to Olympic to the north.

The far right lane in each direction has changed: no parking. At all. Now it’s just a regular driving lane.  For cyclists – this is sort of worse than it was before, but will get better once they get to the part of the project that includes installation of the bike lanes.

I cycle this section several times a week to get to my office on campus, and wow, the drivers are not used to getting stuck behind cyclists. I seem to be pissing off a lot of motorists since this change.

The other thing is new paint/striping/lines on the north bound side. Now, it’s one lane for cars. One. Wow, are motorists really pissed now. All the other lane space has been re-striped for the upcoming bus stop islands.

So it’s a little tense out there until everybody gets used to this new flow.

………

Bike the Vote LA takes a stand on Measure C in the May 16 General Election, urging a no vote on the measure that would actually reduce accountability for police officers under the guise of increasing civilian oversight.

………

More fallout in the ongoing tribulations of bike-friendly CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali, who tries to get ahead of any further news links by revealing that he’s had affairs, and owes $48,000 in back taxes for his Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.

But he vows to press on in his bid to defeat incumbent Gil Cedillo, who must be twirling his imaginary mustache like Snidely Whiplash.

………

Sad news, as 21-year old pro cyclist Chad Young died from injuries he received falling on a steep descent in the Tour of Gila last Sunday. VeloNews talks to people who remember the young rider; even before his death, the pro peloton struggled with news of his injuries.

Irish pro Nicholas Roche considers the recent deaths of Young and Michele Scarponi, noting that riders have just a helmet and a thin layer of Lycra to protect them, and sometimes that’s not enough.

Sunday marked the 11th annual Dana Point Grand Prix.

The Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race will kick off this Wednesday.

A British paper tells the story of Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to race in the Giro d’Italia.

………

Local

A book website talks with LA’s bike-riding librarian.

The West Hollywood city council will consider the city’s new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan at tonight’s meeting. Hopefully, they won’t approve it, then ignore it like most cities seem to do.

A Pasadena man was whacked in the head with an electrical box as he tried to ride away following a dispute with a man in a hardware store.

No bias here. My News LA says Pomona police are planning to celebrate Bike Month by cracking down on scofflaw cyclists. Except that’s not what the story from City News Service actually says, or what the police will be doing.

The Long Beach Report offers photos from Saturday’s Beach Streets University, where they estimate 10,000 people turned out for the open streets event. Note to LBR: It’s ciclovías, not “cylovias.”

A bike train by any other name. Manhattan Beach kids will be encouraged to join a “cycling school bus” as part of the city’s Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

 

State

Streetsblog asks how we can get Orange County’s many progressive transportation plans off the shelf and onto the streets.

Newport Beach wants you to be a roll model during May’s Bike Month.

Chula Vista held its first open streets event on Sunday.

Oddly, a Ramona hit-and-run driver doesn’t appear to have been arrested yet, even though witnesses followed the driver home after s/he hit a cyclist, and watched as the garage door was closed.

A Palm Springs city councilman says the planned CV Link bike path will be an asset for the Coachella Valley, and that cities that have pulled out of the project will come to regret it.

A Big Bear paper calls Big Bear Lake the cycling capital of Southern California. To which virtually every other cycling hotspot would beg to differ.

A Victorville bike rider was collateral damage when a driver stopped to let him cross the road and was rear-ended by another car, knocking it into him.

The Walgreens/People for Bikes Ride for Red Nose kicked off from Santa Barbara yesterday.

Sad news from Half Moon Bay, where a trail of debris led police to a driver who fled after killing a bike rider, dragging the bike underneath his car to a house a mile away.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge finally opens to bike riders and pedestrians seven days a week, as long as they’re willing to settle for going just halfway across.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. San Francisco reconsiders plans for a protected bike lane after a massive public outcry. No, to keep it.

The Napa Valley paper says it’s Bike Month, so let’s get out there and ride.

 

National

A new US study shows walking significantly increases blood flow to the brain, to a greater degree than bicycling. That does not, however, mean that walking is better for your overall health than bicycling, despite the breathless headline.

An economics website gives a wrongheaded nod to the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows speeding drivers to set their own speed limits, while failing to mention that higher speeds might be safer for drivers in some cases, but increases the danger for everyone else on or near the roads.

The LA Times looks at Portland’s efforts to make their bikeshare more accessible for handicapped users. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An eight-year old boy born without most of his right arm is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a team of students from the University of Iowa who built a special prosthetic arm and socket attached to his handlebars.

Once again, business owners shoot themselves in the foot by opposing protected bike lanes in Minneapolis, even though studies show added business from bike riders and pedestrians usually more than makes up for the loss of parking spaces.

Someone placed a memorial plaque on the site where a very much alive Ohio cyclist pulled an endo after hitting a squirrel, leading to a mystery as local officials tried to figure out what the heck happened there.

In a massive clusterfuck, a New York judge a) bases his judgment for a killer driver on an inaccurate preliminary report, b) apologizes to the driver, and c) rudely berates the victim’s mother when she tried to point out the mistake. Needless to say, d) the cop assigned to the case who promised to show up, didn’t.

New York police respond to killer drivers by cracking down on bike riders who dare venture outside the bike lanes.

Delaware’s former governor plans to ride across the US to benefit state organizations serving local youth, and encourage citizens of the state to be more active.

An education website profiles the South Carolina teacher who raised funds to buy every kid in her school a new bicycle.

A Florida woman hopes it will send a message to other drivers after she’s awarded $4 million in the death of her husband as he rode his bike in 2012.

 

International

A British Columbia driver gets eight well-deserved years for the drunken crash that killed two bicyclists, as well as the passenger in his own car.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls a new bike and pedestrian bridge a game changer that will dramatically improve safety.

Once again, a British lord blames London’s bike lanes for causing pollution. Not all those big, dangerous machines that spew smog out their butts, or the people who insist on driving them.

A “keen cyclist” won’t be riding again anytime soon after his wife got tired of UK thieves stealing his bike for the third time in six months. Although you’d think after the second time he’d stop leaving it in the garage.

More proof that people are the same everywhere, as Beirut drivers are already parking on the city’s one-week old bike lane. Meanwhile, bikeshare has opened in the city, even though users have to compete with aggressive motorists for road space.

 

Finally…

Evidently, when you’re a big star, you get stuck with the crappiest bike. As if watching out for trucks on the streets wasn’t bad enough, now we have to worry about them falling from the sky.

And who knew Earth Day was a leftist scam conducted by “self-appointed shamans” of “alleged ethnicity?”

They’re on to us, comrades. And our alleged ethnicities.

 

Morning Links: Dramatic fallout from Bray-Ali revelations, Red Nose charity ride, and stupid drunken driver tricks

Call it Morning Links Lite today, as too much breaking news and other obligations pulled me in too many different directions to keep up on Thursday.

………

It’s been an amazingly fast collapse.

Wednesday morning, Joe Bray-Ali’s campaign for city council was riding high, with a strong chance of pulling off a remarkable upset of CD1 incumbent Gil Cedillo. Thursday night, his campaign appeared to be in tatters.

What came in between were revelations that he had trolled a white supremacist website, and left offensive comments disparaging fat people, transgender people and people of color.

Yesterday Bray-Ali apologized. But clearly, it wasn’t enough.

By Thursday morning, he had lost the endorsement of the county’s largest Democratic club, as well as Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the neighboring 13th District.

Then Thursday afternoon, the LA Times took the remarkable step of rescinding their endorsement, which they had reaffirmed just last week.

Even Bike the Vote LA, which had long championed Bray-Ali’s run for the city council, grudgingly withdrew their endorsement Thursday night.

KPCC’s look at the two candidates in the race has been largely bypassed by the rapidly moving events; although they caught up by suggesting that Bray-Ali’s campaign is on the ropes, while noting that a lot can change in the next three weeks.

Not surprisingly, Cedillo called for his opponent to step down, saying “there’s no place in Los Angeles for this type of divisiveness.” Only the kind he has engaged in for the past four years, apparently.

His call was echoed by seven other councilmembers, who issued a joint statement calling on Bray-Ali to drop out of the race; the letter was signed by Council President Herb Wesson, along with Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Joe Buscaino, Mitchell Englander, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez.

Even the LACBC, while legally barred from political activity as a nonprofit organization, toed the line by issuing a statement condemning hateful and divisive language that excludes marginalized communities, without directly naming him or anyone else.

Although at last report, Bray-Ali was intending to stay in the race.

But unless someone manages to catch Cedillo on video taking a bribe or giving a Nazi salute, it looks right now like LA’s worst councilmember will continue to block much needed safety improvements in the district for another five and a half years.

But as KPCC suggested, a lot can happen.

On a personal note, I’ve known and respected Joe Bray-Ali for as long as I’ve been involved in bicycle advocacy. While he is not one to worry about political correctness, I have never seen any sign of racist or sexist attitudes or actions on his part; if I had, I would have shunned him as I have others over the years.

Which leaves me upset and confused over the comments that have come to light in recent days. They do not reflect the man I have come to know, and long considered someone who belongs on the council; in fact, I encouraged him to run years before he began to take the idea seriously.

It is only because of the man I know that I am willing to accept his apology. But I believe he owes us all a better explanation for what he was doing on that site, and for the offensive comments he made.

………

Late notice, I know.

But I just got word about the Ride On for Red Nose Challenge, a four day fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas starting this Sunday, sponsored by Walgreens and People For Bikes.

So far it’s raised over $72,000 of the $200,000 goal.

You may still be able to join in if you’re not doing anything next week, and can raise the minimum $5,000 to help end child poverty.

If not, you can see the riders off from Santa Barbara on Sunday. Actually wearing a red nose appears to be optional.

Sunday, April 30 – 11a.m. – noon

A meet and greet with professional cyclists participating in the Ride On For Red Nose Day road ride, locally impacted Red Nose Day charity partners, and Santa Barbara leaders kicking off Day 1 of the 400-mile journey. Day 1 includes a 48-mile ride through Santa Barbara. Riders will depart at noon. Brief remarks at 11:40 a.m., including a welcome from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

………

A reader in Ventura County forwards a reminder of the kind of people we share the road with, whether on foot, two wheels or four.

A 20-year old man will likely face charges for a 6 am Simi Valley freeway crash in which he was allegedly 1) speeding, 2) driving solo in the carpool lane, 3) texting, 4) drunk, 5) underage, and 6) not wearing a seatbelt.

Other than that, though, he appears to be a model driver.

Except for that thing about losing control, jumping over the concrete center divider and smashing into another car head-on. But nobody’s perfect, right?

My source also found what appears to be the driver’s since edited Twitter profile, which notes his love of alcohol and partying till dawn. Which he appears to have lived up to in this case.

………

A heartbreaking reminder, if we needed one, that bike racing is a dangerous sport. Twenty-one-year old New Hampshire cyclist Chad Young, a member of the Axeon Hagens Berman team, suffered a major head injury falling on a high speed descent at the Tour of the Gila on Sunday; sadly, the team reports he is not expected to recover from his injuries.

Steve Tilford’s website has posted Seth Davidson’s moving eulogy of the late cycling legend.

………

Local

Even high school student planners call for a more bike and pedestrian friendly East LA.

A Burbank letter writer credits the cycling community with boosting turnout in the recent local election by 50% above normal.

Santa Monica approves a radically redesigned Lincoln Blvd, but rather than installing bike lanes, they expect “competent cyclists” to share the extra five feet in a bus lane that will be available all but three hours of the day. Which of course will be the three hours bike riders need them most.

Metro Bike will be coming to San Pedro and Wilmington early this summer.

 

State

Cathedral City has begun work on a section of the surprisingly contentious CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley, even as the debate rages on in other cities.

A look at the state of bicycling in the City by the Bay.

 

National

Former Bicycling editor Peter Flax says he’s put together Ikea beds and TV consoles that were trickier and more time consuming than building the company’s new Sladda bicycle, though the ride left something to be desired.

CNN reports that the next intoxicated driver you encounter on the road is more likely to be stoned than drunk.

A manufacturer of automated speed cameras says 19% of the drivers caught speeding can be clearly seen holding their cell phones to talk or text, suggesting that the cameras could be used to ticket them for that, as well.

 

International

Cuban cyclist Felix Guirola hasn’t given up on his dream of building the world’s tallest rideable bicycle, with the help of current record holder Stoopidtaller’s builder Ritchie Trimble.

A university professor looks at the unbearable whiteness of cycling in the UK, and his own experiences as a black man on a bike.

 

Finally…

Who among us hasn’t pedaled along the Left Coast with a rhino in tow?

 

Morning Links: LA cyclist mugged by transient, CHP endorses speeding drivers, and CD1 race gets dirtier

Regular bike commuter Lou Karlin forwards word that he was attacked by a transient while riding in LA’s Pico-Robertson neighborhood Tuesday evening.

I was going west on Whitworth at Crescent Heights at approximately 6:10 p.m.  A male transient was pushing a shopping cart northbound across the intersection.  He passed me just as my light turned green.  As I began to pedal, he turned back, entered the intersection and punched me in the jaw, knocking me off my bike.  The driver behind me stopped and came to my aid.  The transient, apparently deranged, accused me of having attacked him first and then threatened to hurt the driver.  We let him go on his malevolent way, northbound on Crescent Heights.

I wasn’t badly hurt, just a sore jaw and ribs.  I called 911 to report the incident, and was told to wait for officers.  Unfortunately, it took 60 minutes and repeated calls before two officers arrived–so the transient had disappeared long ago.  In retrospect, I wish I had followed him.

It might be worth a heads up to those who commute on Whitworth — the transient is white with a stocky build, in his 50’s, has a beard, and wore baggy jeans and a light-colored, short-sleeved shirt.

………

Speed cameras work.

A Maryland news report says that no pedestrians have been killed on a roadway near the University of Maryland since a speed camera was installed in 2014; three people were killed on the street in the six months before it was put in place.

And a New York report from 2015 showed that speed cameras in school zones have been a resounding success, resulting in a 58% decline in speeding tickets in just four months.

Unfortunately, though, a bill that would allow a pilot project in San Jose and San Francisco has been put on hold due to opposition from law enforcement groups.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Maguire, representing the CHP’s rank-and-file union, challenged the notion that speed cameras would help improve street safety.

In his 21-year career patrolling the East Bay, Maguire said, “I have never investigated or assisted in an investigation that involved a vehicle and a pedestrian or a vehicle and a bicycle that resulted in a fatality where speed was the primary collision factor. Never.”

Which ignores the fact that while collisions may be caused by other factors, excessive speed can contribute or exacerbate that primary collision factor — such as a speeding driver blowing through a red light or making unsafe lane changes — and significantly increases the risk that a crash will result in death or serious injury.

Things he should be well acquainted with in his 21 years of patrolling.

In fact, it seem disingenuous, to use the polite term, to suggest that speed is never a factor in a collision, let alone the determining factor in whether someone lives or dies following a wreck.

And the CHP should, and undoubtedly does, know better.

So the question becomes, not whether speed cameras save lives, but why the union representing CHP officers is willing to stand in the way of safety, and continue to let people die on our streets as the victims of speeding drivers.

You’d think they’d be in favor of reducing speeds, obeying the speed limit and saving lives.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

………

We all knew this was coming.

The only question was what it would be, and when.

LAist posted a story yesterday that dug deep into CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali’s online history, and found a handful of comments posted to an alt-right website that can be described as insensitive, at best. And that appear to have the fingerprints of the Cedillo campaign.

Bray-Ali explains in a video posted on Facebook that he was, in effect, trolling the users of the site. But apologizes repeatedly for his mistake in judgment.

He also apologizes for remarks about gender reassignment surgery, noting that he’s changed his views after getting to know a number of trans people during the campaign.

So let’s be clear.

Virtually every political campaign conducts opposition research on the opposing candidate to dig up whatever dirt they can find. Most campaigns have to common sense and decency not to use it.

Evidently, Gil Cedillo’s doesn’t.

While they will undoubtedly deny having anything to do with it at today’s press conference to denounce Bray-Ali’s comments, there can be little doubt that this came directly from Cedillo’s campaign — and undoubtedly with his direct approval — and was given to the writer for LAist.

I’ve personally been involved in a number of campaigns where someone uncovered damning information about the opposing candidate. The decision on whether to use it was left to the campaign manager, but it always run past the candidate before releasing it.

And in every case, the decision was made not to use it. Sometimes by the campaign manager, sometimes by the candidate. But always because it was the right thing to do.

But clearly, not all politicians are so ethically enlightened.

I am deeply disappointed by Joe Bray-Ali’s comments, and the lack of judgment shown in posting to sites like that, for whatever reason. His only defense is that he was posting as a private citizen, before he chose to run for office.

But he should have known better.

On the other hand, I am disgusted that Gil Cedillo would stoop so low to hold onto a seat he clearly doesn’t deserve. Whether or not he wins the election, his credibility is shattered.

And we should all see him as the dirty politician he has proven himself to be.

………

Samsung is introducing an app that will automatically reply for you if you get a call or message while you’re driving or riding your bike.

Unfortunately, installing and using the app is voluntary.

Which means it’s not the solution to distracted driving, but it’s a start.

………

The Colorado Classic has announced the twelve women’s teams that will compete in the inaugural edition later this year.

Iran’s former national champ just got a seven and a half year ban for doping, his second offense in less than 12 months. Good thing the doping era is over.

………

Local

Bike SGV forwards news that South Pasadena is considering bike lanes on Mission Street and protected bikeways on Fair Oaks; you can weigh in with your thoughts to help shape the future of South Pasadena.

Credit Bike SGV with passing on the news that Pasadena’s bike-friendly city council candidate Andy Wilson eked out a victory in last week’s runoff election.

The Press-Telegram presents your playlist for the fourth Beach Streets open streets event this Saturday.

 

State

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune says an eight-year old girl hit the front of a truck with her bicycle, even though they explain that the truck actually crashed into her after she allegedly rode out in front of it.

Officers taking part in the Hollywood Memorial Ride from Hollywood to DC to honor fallen law enforcement officers stopped in Palm Springs Tuesday night.

Kids in a small, impoverished Kern County town are now riding bicycles abandoned by people at Burning Man, after they were stripped of fur and psychedelic tape, and repaired by a Bakersfield nonprofit.

A Sacramento news site warns that Vision Zero may be an elusive goal, while noting that countywide figures show bicyclists were at fault in 71% of crashes, and riding salmon in 61%. Both of those numbers seem highly questionable; if so many people are really riding on the wrong side of the street, something is seriously wrong. And they need to find out why.

 

National

You’ve got to be kidding. A Hawaii judge reduced the bail of a man charged with attempted murder for allegedly driving up onto a sidewalk to intentionally run down a bicyclist — even though he has no permanent address and at least one previous conviction for failing to appear.

A Portland writer says the city has spent 40 years building itself around pedestrians, trains and bicycles, so it’s time to just give up on driving altogether.

Employees of a Denver-based company built and donated 750 bicycles for local kids in an effort to set a new Guinness world record.

If you plan on riding the Montana backcountry this spring and summer, watch out for bears.

Four Texas cops are riding across the state to honor the five officers killed in last year’s Dallas ambush.

Researchers at the famed Cleveland Clinic have discovered that bicycling may be the best medicine for Parkinson’s Disease. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A California man with Type 1 diabetes will ride 800 miles through what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider America’s Diabetes Belt, from Chicago to Atlanta, to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.

A Vermont letter writer says replacing parking spaces with bike lanes is discrimination against disabled, elderly and rural people. Because as we all know, none of them ever ride bicycles.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist warns his fellow riders not to ride the nearly finished Trans National Trail, saying it’s not safe because much of the trail runs on the shoulders of high speed highways.

An Ottawa city councilor pulls his support for a bike lane in the face of public opposition to the loss of 97 parking spaces.

New legislation would commit the United Kingdom — which may become the Untied Kingdom post-Brexit — to a specific plan for funding bicycling and pedestrian projects, with the equivalent of up to $1.54 billion in spending by 2020/21.

A new British study shows how road pollution can pass through your lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke; the risk is greater for people who already suffer from coronary heart disease. However, the benefits of bicycling still outweigh the risk posed by air pollution.

A Scottish transportation group says bicycling instead of driving would amount to an 8% pay raise for the average person, saving the equivalent of over $2,500.

Touring Paris on two wheels.

While the US government scrubs any reference to climate change off government websites, the UN is partnering with a Chinese bikeshare company to raise awareness of global warming.

 

Finally…

That’s one way to prevent bike theft. Your next bike could literally suck smog.

And a writer in Singapore isn’t exactly pleased with her brief bikeshare experience.

 

Morning Links: Jailed for riding a bicycle, CiclaValley makes a gutsy move, and an early lesson in distraction

A Pennsylvania man has now been in jail for over a year awaiting trial on charges of repeatedly obstructing traffic by riding his bicycle on a local highway, and violating a judge’s order prohibiting him from riding his bicycle, on the highway or anywhere else.

Let that sink in.

He’s been jailed for a full year without bail or a trial for a traffic infraction. Something a driver would have gotten a simple ticket for.

Never mind that he has a legal right to take the lane if it’s too narrow to share with a motor vehicle, which is exactly what bike riders are taught to do.

And never mind that the judge may not have legal authority to prohibit him, or anyone else, from riding a bicycle, any more than she would have the authority to ban him from walking.

………

Most bike riders spend less time worrying about avoiding roadkill than becoming it.

And even less about zombie entrails flying through the sky.

But that’s exactly what CiclaValley ran into last week. Literally.

………

Evidently, some habits start early in boys. And distraction is just one of them.

………

The Onion’s take on Vision Zero comments hits a little too close to home.

But they can’t begin to match the real thing.

Like the Pasadena car dealer who says the city should forget about all those bike lanes and trying to be a green city, and just install more parking spaces and make it more convenient to own a car. Because really, you just can’t have enough places to park a car. Or drive one.

Or the San Diego letter writer who’s angry about plans to make it a bicycling city, and wants to know when he gets to vote on taking public roadways away from cars and giving them to a special interest group. Because those poor, put-upon motorists certainly aren’t a special interest subsidized by the general public, right?

And never mind the subtle bias of failing to mention that the ebike involved in a fatal crash with a Missouri deputy actually had a rider until the very last sentence.

………

Local

An LA-area man is reunited with the lifeguards and paramedics who saved his life after he suffered a heart attack while riding his bike on the bike path at Dockweiler State Beach.

LA’s Phil Gaimon continues the Worst Retirement Ever with a ride up Mt. Diablo.

Major streets will be closed this Saturday around Cal State Long Beach for the Beach Streets University open streets event.

Metro wants to know about your Bike Month events. And no, popping a beer in front of the TV while you watch the Tour of California after finishing your ride doesn’t count.

 

State

Caltrans awarded $9.3 million in Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants for 41 projects throughout the state, including a number of projects in Southern California.

Mountain bikers are complaining about efforts to tame trails in Laguna Beach.

San Diego begins work on cleaning up a massive homeless encampment and bicycle chop shop along the San Diego River.

 

National

Ebike maker Faraday Bicycles is suing Tesla wannabe Faraday Future over Faraday trademark infringement.

A Utah county lifts a decade-long ban on students riding their bikes to school after finally realizing they were doing the kids more harm than good.

Denver bike riders will get a new half-mile long protected bike lane to replace a painted lane.

Frightening story from Chicago, as an eight-year old girl escaped an attempted kidnapping when she fought off a man who placed a plastic bag over her head as she rode her bike with a group of other kids.

VeloNews offers a front line report from Indiana’s legendary Little 500.

New York is investing $100 million to complete a 32-mile esplanade trail around Manhattan.

The Village Voice says the way to get away with killing someone in NYC is to use a car, as few drivers ever face charges for killing a pedestrian or a bike rider, despite the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

Hundreds of kids on bicycles take over a Philadelphia expressway; a local newsman was clearly not amused.

Streetsblog points out that the Decatur GA road diet attacked yesterday by a bike-hating Atlanta columnist is supported by 77% of local residents.

Miami could get a network of new solar power-generating bikeways if a city commissioner has his way.

 

International

A British Columbia bike registry app could go belly up if they can’t figure out a revenue stream.

A custom adaptive trike is a dream come true for an eight-year old Syrian refugee, thanks to the generosity of people in her new Winnipeg, Canada home.

Toronto police arrest a transient for a bike-born arson spree.

Life is cheap in Britain, where a careless driver walks with a suspended sentence for killing an 83-year old ebike rider, despite fleeing the scene and coming back to watch the investigation while pretending to be a casual observer.

An English antique shop owner is told to remove the yellow bicycle he puts outside to direct people to his shop because it gives “the wrong image of the town.” But parking a car in front would probably be just fine.

Once again, bikes go where cars can’t, as Israeli researchers developed a bike-based sensor to map ground magnetic field data in sensitive areas where motor vehicles can’t be used.

A Pakistani man is bicycling around the Persian Gulf to promote peace, unity and brotherhood.

Evidently, they start practicing for the World Naked Bike Ride early in New Zealand, as a Kiwi toddler was busted for riding naked on his tricycle.

A Hong Kong writer says the city needs to become more bike friendly after the troubled kickoff of a dockless bikeshare system.

A free public bikeshare system in Hangzhou, China is helping to clear the air in the notoriously polluted country.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your bike on the freeway when you’re drunk and stoned; then again, you probably wouldn’t ride on the freeway if you weren’t drunk and stoned. Once flying cars finally get here, every lane really will be a bike lane.

And Trump hasn’t done a lot of the things he promised for his first 100 days, but at least he hasn’t raced a bicycle.

Or ridden one, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

………

Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

………

Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

………

Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

………

An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

………

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

………

The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

………

Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

%d bloggers like this: