Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: 54-year old salmon cyclist killed in Perris collision

Sad news from Perris, as a bike rider was killed in a wrong-way collision on Wednesday.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim, identified only as a 54-year old man, was riding against traffic on the 300 block of Fourth Street when he was struck by a work truck around 4:43 pm.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died sometime later.

No other information is available at this time.

street view shows a wide four lane roadway with a center turn lane, with sidewalks and a wide concrete gutter on either side. No word on why he would have been riding on the wrong side of the roadway, rather than with traffic or on the sidewalk.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/210-1000.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County; it’s also the fourth bicycling fatality in Perris in less than three years.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports the victim has been identified as Perris resident Roger Villegas. He died at Menifee Valley Medical Center before 5:30 pm, roughly 45 minutes after the collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roger Villegas and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Malibu, May’s Ride of Silence, and an in-depth Irish look at cycling

Bad news from the ‘Bu.

I had received reports of a cyclist down on PCH, but hadn’t been able to get any information over the weekend.

Tuesday, the answer came in the form of a gofundme account asking for donations to help defray the medical expenses for Steve Striver, who was hit by a car while riding in Malibu on Saturday.

Here’s what Edie Raff Pratt, author of the page, had to say.

After being airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery to begin to repair the damage. The surgery went well however Steve remains in critical condition in the Neuro ICU unit at the hospital.

Steve’s injuries are extensive and severe. Trauma and bleeding in his head, a bruised heart, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, left wrist fracture, right hip fracture, pelvis fracture, left femur fracture, scapula fracture, lower broken back, extensive wounds on his body and face from road rash.  Honestly, there is hardly an unbroken or contusion free area on his body.

Once Steve gets past the initial hurdles in the hospital, he will have extensive and challenging rehabilitation and a long road for recovery ahead.  We appreciate any prayers of healing you can provide for Steve as well as prayers of comfort for his wife Marianne and their four children Claire, Tim, Sam and Jeffrey.

Steve Shriver is a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, artist, musician, cyclist, surfer, gentle soul and one of the best people to ever know.

As you can imagine, the medical bills ahead will be mounting.  This page and fundraiser is set up by friends of Steve & Marianne Shriver and family, so that we may raise money for the medical bills and expenses related to them. All monies will go directly to the Shriver family.

As of this writing, the fund has raised a little more that $15,000 of the $250,000 goal in the first 18 hours.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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We’re less than one month away from the annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders who’ve lost their lives in the past year.

This year’s ride will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, the evening before LA’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena ride around the Rose Bowl will be held as usual, while CiclaValley writes that he will be leading a first-time Ride of Silence through the San Fernando Valley.

And for the fifth year in a row, the Anthony Martinez Jr. Memorial Bike Ride will be held in Oxnard to remember victims of traffic violence. The ride is named for a six-year old boy who was tragically killed while riding his bike on Thanksgiving Day in 2011; his father is now a tireless advocate for bike safety.

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The Irish Times goes all in on bicycling, with a series of stories looking at riding from almost every conceivable angle.

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As long as we’re doing bullet points, let’s keep it going with a look at bikes in the news.

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Local

Not only will we be getting a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, it will also be LA’s first curb-protected bike lane. Maybe that will actually be enough to keep the LAPD from parking their patrol cars in it. We can hope, right?

Taylor Swift may be one of us, as she keeps what looks like a three-wheeled pedicab stashed outside her Beverly Hills home.

Santa Clarita is hosting an open house tonight to discuss the future of pedestrian and bicycle trails between Saugus and the Santa Clara River trail.

Long Beach photographer John Montich opens a new exhibit looking at unrideable bicycles.

Unbelievable. The multiple cities in southeast LA County that make up the Gateway Council of Governments propose spending exactly zero on active transportation projects if the planned transportation sales tax measure passes. Yes, nothing.

You’re invited to a costumed Tour de Phat People bike ride visiting some of their favorite Highland Park watering holes this Saturday.

 

State

So much for equity on our streets. Two bills in the California legislature calling for equity in transportation funding and accessibility for low-income communities die lonely deaths for lack of support.

A San Diego cyclist is injured in a collision with a homemade three-wheeled “Star Trike” motorcycle; the driver naturally puts all the blame on the bicyclist, even while an on-screen graphic notes the trike — and presumably, the man riding it — has been involved in eight previous wrecks.

Murrieta police bust three transients and recover several stolen bicycles after responding to a burglary at a bike shop and spotting a man ghost riding another bike.

Santa Barbara planners approve plans for a 2.6 mile bike path. Or maybe it’s a bike lane; the story isn’t clear.

A 19-year old Napa man is busted after being spotted riding a $9,000 stolen bike.

 

National

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes can actually reduce the cost of building new roadways by lowering the cost to manage storm runoff.

Chicago cyclists can finally take their bikes on commuter trains, though few turn out to take advantage of it.

Streetsblog says everyone loses in the ridiculous bikeshare fight between Hoboken and Jersey City.

Caught on video: A New York cyclist offers a high-speed look at his ride to work, catching nine traffic violations by motorists on a single 12-minute commute.

Aussie model Elyse Taylor is one of us, as she rides her retro-style bike through the streets of Gotham in her high-waisted jeans.

A DC church is hosting a bicycle blessing next month to try to mend fences between cyclists and churches that fought over bike lanes.

 

International

Turns out pro cycling’s Dr. Dope was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal, hiding over $1 million in offshore accounts.

The Oxford Mail asks if we’re all riding the wrong bike, except for maybe for roadies, closet and otherwise.

The Telegraph asks why British courts show remarkable leniency to drivers who kill bike riders.

A new British study says nearly half of all hit-and-run drivers wouldn’t have fled if they only knew it was illegal. To which I politely respond, bullshit.

Caught on video 2: A pair of Brit thugs wrench a bike from the arms of a 13-year old special needs kid the day before his bar mitzvah.

Caught on video 3: An Edinburgh cyclist posts video of the taxi driver who attacked him last year after they exchanged words following a too-close pass; the driver was fined after pleading guilty to careless driving and assault.

A new photo book captures the agony and the ecstasy of the Tour de France dating back to 1939; one of the photographers involved calls Lance an arrogant prick.

Former heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kiev is now one of us as he rides his folding bike to work, to the ambivalent reactions of his constituents.

Ride your ebike on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv, and face a $70 fine.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build a better bicycling body by eating nothing but pizza every two hours. Not even the Dawgfather can block a planned bike lane whose time has come.

And if you put a statue of Johnny Cash next to a bike trail named for the late singer, tourists will park in your driveway.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Drunk hit-and-run driver encourages safer cycling, and an in-depth look at counterfeit bikes

Nothing like encouraging responsibility on the roads.

An English driver was so concerned about the safety of others, she started a petition calling for all bicyclists to be required to wear a helmet and fluorescent clothing, mentioning in passing that she’d been involved in a collision with a cyclist who died.

Of course, she failed to mention that she was drunk at the time. Or that she fled the scene, leaving her critically injured victim lying alone in the street.

But sure, let’s blame the victims.

Maybe a better petition would require drivers to put fluorescent lights on their cars to warn us if they’ve been drinking, since we can’t seem to keep drunks off the roads.

Or get them to take responsibility for their own actions.

Link courtesy of Matthew Hardy.

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Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes an in-depth look at the problem of counterfeit bikes and parts, with chapters including:

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Caught on video: Italian cyclist Fabio Felline pulls an endo just seconds after the start of Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, suffering a broken nose and fractured skull; Enrico Gasparotto took the victory in the Dutch race.

Motor doping may be more common than we might think, as the European press use a heat detector to discover what appears to be seven hidden motors in two different races.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old man crossed the finish line in this year’s Tour de Yorkshire on an assisted bicycle, 63 years after he founded a British bike club.

And Wolfpack Hustles’ annual Short Line Crit is less than three weeks away.

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Local

Van Nuys MeetingA Tuesday meeting in Pacoima will discuss a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of Van Nuys Blvd in a bid to improve safety on one of the city’s more dangerous streets.

One of the best things about bicycling is the people you meet. CiclaValley encounters a Korean couple taking a break in LA on their 10-year journey around the world.

A writer for the Gazettes takes a free adult cycling class as part of the efforts of Danny Gamboa and Empact Communities to make Long Beach safer for cyclists.

Lawndale will host its first, albeit very brief, open streets event from 8 am to 10 am this Saturday, followed by a kids ride from 10 am to 12:30 pm.

 

State

A San Diego man receives a life sentence for fatally shooting a bike-riding 46-year old father of six for no apparent reason last year.

Now that the Chargers plan to abandoned their stadium in Mission Valley one way or another, a San Diego city council candidate calls for building a bike path along the river.

San Bernardino police are looking for a driver who allegedly intentionally ran down a cyclist, circling around him before reversing and pinning him to a wall.

A Fresno letter writer says parents should be charged with child abuse for allowing their teenage children to ride their bikes on a busy street. I think he means child endangerment, which is still an absurdly myopic windshield perspective.

Bicycling is booming by the Bay, with an 8.5% increase in San Francisco bike trips in the last year, and an increase of 184% since 2006.

A Monterey CHP officer calls on drivers to share the road with cyclists during this past weekend’s Sea Otter Classic. But mistakenly says bike riders can be cited for impeding traffic for riding too slowly or failing to move over so cars can pass; the latter only applies on two lane roadways when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Unfortunately, the CHP frequently misinterprets this law, as well as the requirement that cyclists ride as far right as practicable. Which puts cyclists at risk of underserved tickets, and retaliation from angry drivers who’ve been misinformed about the law.

A Sacramento artist finds new life for old bike chains, turning them into dog sculptures. Meanwhile, both major candidates for mayor of Sacramento pledge to make the city a vibrant place people can safely navigate without a car.

 

National

NACTO’s new Transit Street Design Guide offers a blueprint for how to incorporate transit and protected bikeways on city streets. Let’s hope LA officials read it.

Wired says putting down temporary bike lanes is the best first step to eventually getting permanent protected lanes in place.

Utah could see a future with free transit, along with a bike superhighway on the I-15 corridor.

The Purple One is one of us, as Prince rides his bike just one day after his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois so he could be hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.

Boston boosts funding for their Vision Zero program, budgeting more than $12 million over the next three years.

Federal authorities question whether Baton Rouge LA officials misspent $2.2 million, including $400,000 used to build a bike path along the Mississippi River.

 

International

Caught on video 2: A road raging British driver repeatedly brake checks and swerves at a cyclist, apparently incensed that the bike rider had filtered past a line of cars at a red light.

Seriously? The Guardian says don’t wear your bike shorts in public, especially not in front of children. So presumably, you’ll need to throw on a pair of pants or a skirt before you dismount.

The grammatically challenged Telegraph asks what cycling tribe are you? Because evidently, it’s not possible to just ride a bike without being some sort of stereotype. Or to get that whole singular/plural thing right.

Apparently, life is cheap in Britain, where an 80-year old British man gets a suspended prison sentence and lifetime driving ban for killing a cyclist. Not that it will likely keep him off the road, since he was already driving without a license — and his glasses — after failing previous eye tests.

In the US, drivers are allowed to turn right on most red lights; in Denmark, bike riders just got approval to do the same at 33 intersections.

The United Arab Emirates considers locking dangerous drivers up for 24 hours; that’s in addition to a fine, 12 points on their license, and having their cars impounded for 30 days. Nice to see someone take traffic crime seriously, anyway.

A New Zealand railroad tunnel is repurposed as the Southern Hemisphere’s longest bicycle tunnel after lying dormant for over 60 years.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a scary mug shot. Apparently, James Joyce’s Ulysses was about bicycling.

And it turns out there’s science behind spitting instead of swallowing.

Sports drinks, of course.

Why, what did you think I meant?

Update: Bicyclist killed riding in carpool lane of the 10 Freeway in Alhambra

Some crashes just don’t make any sense.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed riding his bike on a freeway in Alhambra this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, was inexplicably riding in the carpool lane of the eastbound 10 Freeway just west of Garfield Ave at 4:30 am when he was run down from behind by a Metro bus.

He was pronounced dead at the scene; the LA Times reports the impact knocked him onto the train tracks in the center divider. The speed limit there is 65 mph, so there was virtually no chance of survival.

Bicycles are banned from most freeways, and the 10 through Los Angeles County is no exception. Even where it is allowed, bikes are not permitted in the traffic lane, let alone in the far left lane.

There’s no word on why he was there, or where he may of entered the highway. Or whether he had lights on his bike at that hour.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California, and ninth in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Eduardo Castillo, who is described only as a transient. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eduardo Castillo and his loved ones.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

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

I recently received the following letter from an anonymous source.

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

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

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

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

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Let’s answer that last question first.

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

Now let’s get this out of the way.

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

So let that be your warning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there’s this notion.

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

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

Unless maybe they’re yelling at him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is I’m withholding his name.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once he calms down, that is.

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Check back this afternoon for today’s Morning Links.

82-year old retired CA Bar judge dies two weeks after bicycling collision in Palos Verdes Estates

More sad news today.

Two weeks ago, we linked to a story saying an 82-year old man was hit by a car while riding in Palos Verdes Estates.

Today the Daily Breeze reported the victim has died.

Marina del Rey resident Peter Krichman was riding on the 100 block of Palos Verdes Drive West on Friday, March 18th when he was hit by a car at 11:45 am.

He was unresponsive following the wreck, and was taken to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he passed away on April 2nd without regaining consciousness.

No word on how the collision occurred, or if the driver was cited.

A street view shows what appears to be a busy residential street with on lane headed north, and two lanes south once you pass an initial divider.

According to the Daily News, Krichman was a retired judge with the California State Bar, who was scheduled to be one of the first residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s upcoming Fountainview at Gonda Westside.

In fact, he is featured on the website of the new retirement community, which pictures him in his riding gear, and says he typically rode at least 100 miles a week.

The Facebook page for BikinginLA sponsor Pocrass and De Los Reyes says the firm had represented Krichman after he was injured hitting a pothole while riding in the Marina two years ago. Yet even at 80, he was back on his bike as soon as he recovered.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the Daily News piece by reporter Larry Altman; every fallen rider should be treated with that much respect.

Following today’s death in Studio City, this the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County. That compares with just 12 deaths in the seven-county SoCal region this time last year, and five in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Krichman and all his family.

Thanks to Jim Lyle and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Studio City collision

Multiple sources are reporting that a bike rider has been killed in a collision in Studio City this morning.

The male victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a truck while riding on the 12000 block of Ventura Place around 7:45 am.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

Ventura Place is a short, four-lane commercial street running diagonally between Ventura and Laurel Canyon Boulevards.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; it’s the first fatality in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out that a photo on the KABC-7 website shows the covered victim’s body resting near the crosswalk on southbound Redford Ave, at the entrance to Ventura Place off westbound Ventura Blvd.

Update 2: The Daily News has identified the victim as 42-year old North Hollywood resident Cario Joseph Castaneda. The paper says he was riding west when he was struck by a private trash truck as he entered the intersection.

Other reports indicated the driver was traveling in the same direction, suggesting Castaneda may have been right hooked, possibly as he came off the sidewalk. 

A comment from Alberto identifies Castaneda as his nephew, and says he was riding to work as he did every morning. 

Meanwhile, CiclaValley writes movingly about the impact of a death that stuck so close to home.

Update 3: Castaneda’s family is attempting to raise funds to pay his funeral expenses; so far they’ve raised $5,600 of the $20,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

Morning Links: AP gives a little on crash not accident, and headphones don’t cause distracted riding

The AP finally gives a little on calling crashes accidents.

The latest edition of the press network’s new stylebook will advise reporters not to use the term when “negligence is claimed or proven,” since it could be interpreted as exonerating the person responsible.

Now we just have get them to flip that, and tell reporters and editors to never call a crash an accident unless it’s proven that no one’s at fault.

But it’s a start.

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Britain’s equivalent of AAA is the latest to blame distracted walkers and cyclists for collisions, calling them smombies, or smartphone zombies.

Yet like so many others, they also throw headphone-wearing bike riders into the distracted riding mix. Even though headphones only affect hearing, rather than focus.

Here in California, it’s legal to wear headphones or earpieces in one ear, illegal to use them in both.

But blaming them for distracting riders is like saying drivers are distracted when they have their windows rolled up and the radio on. It may keep them from hearing the fire truck blaring its siren next to them, but it doesn’t significantly distract their focus from the road.

Just as riders don’t suddenly lose their ability to concentrate on the road ahead of them when they plug the second earpiece in.

It may not be legal. And it may not always be smart.

But it’s time to stop the ridiculous narrative that equates it to distracted driving.

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The LA Weekly looks at the man who is using the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to fund his personal LA anti-growth campaign, while an OpEd in the Times says increasing density is more effective in fighting global warming than raising fuel economy standards.

Meanwhile, chapter four of former NYDOT Commissioner Sam Schwartz’ new book Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars offers the best explanation I’ve seen of why density makes sense.

And why’s it’s necessary for healthy cities, and to make walking and bicycling viable options for most people.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says Metro wants to know how you’d slice the proposed $120 billion for transportation funding in LA County. Let’s start by not wasting it on widening any more freeways.

CiclaValley offers much-needed advice on taking your bike on the subway. Or any other Metro train, for that matter.

The Long Beach Grand Prix course is all yours for a whopping 75 minutes around noon today, as long as you’re biking, walking, skating or using some other form of non-motorized transport.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man is building an oversized mountain bike for taller people.

Sad news from Central California, as a 92-year old bike rider died in a collision with a 91-year old driver.

Northern California’s Caltrain is adding an additional bike car to their trains, increasing bike capacity from 48 to 72.

Tiburon residents worry that a new bike and pedestrian plan designed to improve accessibility could encourage more bike traffic. Which is kind of the point, isn’t it?

A Vacaville man faces a hit-and-run charge for a violent collision with a cyclist last August. Once again proving the inadequacy of current laws, as he faces a max of just four years for a needless wreck caused by overly aggressive driving that left a rider in a coma for two and a half weeks.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to deal with a little — or a lot — of rain, and how to keep your knees from hurting when you ride.

Who says bikeshare bikes are slow? A Hawaiian man riding one beats an experienced triathlete runner in a four mile uphill time trial. By four minutes, no less.

A Portland university is working to develop standards for safe intersections.

Caught on video: A Seattle bike rider narrowly avoids a collision with an SUV by turning hard to the left, though his momentum nearly throw him under the vehicle.

Caught on video 2: An Indianapolis bike cop challenges a couple of kids to a race.

New York cyclists can get a little divine protection at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at the end of this month; LA’s very ecumenical Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 17th. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A Charlotte NC newspaper wisely warns drivers to expect bicyclists to do the unexpected and give them room on the road.

South Carolina officials close off a lane on a busy bridge for two months as a test to see if they can make room for a bike and pedestrian lane.

Police in St. Petersburg FL are cracking down on bicyclists and pedestrians to improve traffic safety. Probably because it’s easier than attempting to tame the people in the big, dangerous machines.

A Florida paper says it’s time for the state legislature to actually do something about bills to protect cyclists and pedestrians; one would require drivers to allow a bike rider to clear an intersection before turning.

 

International

Vancouver joins the Vision Zero club.

London bike couriers fight for a minimum wage, holidays and sick pay.

It’s been a rough few days for dogs in the UK, as one pup barely survives a collision with a bike rider, while another was repeatedly kicked following an argument between its owner and a man on a bike. Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are at the owner, don’t take it out on the dog. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A business in the UK warns that cyclists who ride under the influence are ten times more likely to be injured than sober riders — then makes a blatant pitch for their roadside breathalyzer.

A South African man goes from stealing bikes to running his own bikeshare company. Let’s just hope he bought the bikes he’s using now.

 

Finally…

Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t blow your tax return on a new bike. Don’t try to lowball a bike seller, or you could end up at a brothel.

And try solving a Rubik’s Cube while riding on one wheel. Then do 116 more.

 

Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

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Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

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My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

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bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

………

April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

………

Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

Morning Links: Non-April Fools edition — Punishment pass in Venice, and a designer bike pop-up on Third Street

Welcome to today’s hopefully April Fools-free Morning Links. I’ve done my best to sort out the fake news, but my apologies in advance if something manages to slip through.

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Nothing like a self-appointed expert on bike law to ruin your ride.

John Montgomery actually collided with a driver making an apparent punishment pass as he rode in Venice, who blamed him for the minor collision, and proceeded to chastise him for riding in the traffic lane instead of hugging the curb.

Then stopped a little further down the street and got out of the car, with a generous offer to kick Montgomery’s ass.

As police officers have explained to me, a motorist can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his car to confront someone.

Never mind the obvious harassment and violation of the three-foot passing law.

………

New York designer Lorenzo Martone will open a pop-up shop for his monochrome bicycles, as well as accessories and his favorite active wear brands near Third and Orlando for the month of April.

………

Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

CiclaValley previews this weekend’s San Dimas Stage Race.

Santa Clarita’s Golden Valley Road bridge over Hwy 14 is in the midst of a widening project that will add two lanes, a pedestrian walkway and a bike path.

BikeSGV invites you to ride with them along Pasadena’s proposed bike-friendly, traffic-calmed street to visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens this May as part of Metro’s bike month; admission is free, but limited to just 30 riders.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says put bikeshare kiosks everywhere to help solve the city’s traffic problems, and complete the city plan that calls for a bike and pedestrian friendly downtown while they’re at it.

A Fresno bike thief is busted shortly after threatening the victim by saying “It’s not worth dying over” as the man tried to get his bike back.

Police bust a San Jose bike thief the easy way, after discovering a $3,000 bike they impounded was stolen and the thief already in custody on other charges; he and his partner allegedly took four high-end bikes from an apartment complex.

Marin County sheriff’s deputies will use radar guns to monitor the speed of bicyclists; riders on unpaved trails are limited to a maximum speed of 15 mph, and must slow to 5 mph when passing. So, how do you pass a rider doing 10 mph if you have to slow down 5 mph to do it?

 

National

Anchorage AK becomes the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

Gambler and Instagram celeb Dan Bilzerian wins his $1.2 million bet to ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 48 hours without dying in the process.

My hometown becomes the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles; the new 13-station system kicks off today.

It’s a virtual ciclovía in Yellowstone for the next two weeks, as bike riders are allowed into the national park before cars are let in on the 15th. But if there isn’t anyone else on the road, why are cyclists required to ride single file? It’s not like the bears and bison care.

Wisconsin tries to reduce hit-and-run by requiring drivers who hit anything to stop and investigate, eliminating the all-too-common excuse that they thought they hit a log or a deer, or something else non-human.

A Pennsylvania conference looks at the possibility of installing speed cameras to combat speeding drivers. That’s something we desperately need here in California, where speed limits are merely suggestions. Not to mention the risk speeding motorists pose to anyone not wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass.

Baltimore police are looking for a cyclist who collided with a four-year old child despite ringing his bike bell. He rode on after stopping to ask if the girl was okay; unfortunately, the child was seriously injured and is now in a body cast.

 

International

The Guardian offers practical advice on how to conquer hills.

Evidently, London’s Daily Mail has never heard swearing before, as they are astonished at the very brief four-letter tirade unleashed by a cyclist when he has to swerve to avoid a car. Then again, their windshield perspective is pretty obvious; someone should tell them it’s not a dashcam video if the user isn’t in a car.

Despite the popularity of London’s new bikeways, opponents call them a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Meanwhile, a high-level panel discusses how to get more people riding in the city.

Britain’s prime minister is caught riding a bike with his daughter while on vacation, both sans helmet, after he pinky swore not to do that again.

A British driver is found not guilty of attempting to run down the cyclist who ended up on his hood, saying he was just trying to get away after the group of riders harassed him.

Crowdfunding for a $3,100 Chinese smartbike raises $690,000 in just eight days.

 

Finally…

When carrying a massive load of boxes on your three-wheeled e-cargo bike, be sure to leave a tunnel you can see through. Shockingly, bike racers tend to bang into other riders while they race.

And what are bike lanes for? Street racing at speeds up to 85 mph before crashing into a house, evidently.

 

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