Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Yours truly gets profiled, Danny Gamboa & Ghost Bikes LA, and LA bike crashes dropping

That’s what happens when you get mad during an interview.

You get labeled as a pissed off bicyclist.

That’s how I was described, accurately enough, in this profile by Jennifer Velez for the LA Taco website.

As I was being interviewed, I felt my anger rising as I described the efforts of Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Curren Price and Paul Koretz to block much needed bike lanes in their districts. Along with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s failure to back his own Vision Zero and Great Streets initiatives.

So I quickly apologized, calmed down and went on with the interview.

Then I later mentioned that I started this site because I was angry about the sorry state of bicycling infrastructure in the City of Angels. Even if I didn’t know it was called infrastructure back then.

Which only confirmed my pissed off status.

Anyway, it’s worth a read if you want to know who I am and why I do what I do.

If not, then read on.

………

It’s not every day I get mentioned in two separate news stories, but I unexpectedly found myself playing a small supporting role in the LA Weekly’s nice piece on Danny Gamboa, the co-founder Ghost Bikes L.A.

And yes, it’s definitely worth a read, as Gamboa has gone from installing ghost bikes to fighting for safer streets so they won’t be needed any more.

I can personally vouch for him as one of the true heroes of Southern California bike advocacy.

………

Bike statistician Ed Ryder has been examining the CHP’s SWITRS bike crash data for California and Southern California, which we’ll be taking a look at as the week goes on.

But here’s an interesting chart to get us started, showing a surprising decline in injury bike crashes in Los Angeles County after peaking in 2012; stats for last December are only partial figures, but still suggest a decline from the previous year.

The question is whether the streets are getting safer, or if fewer people are willing to risk riding on them.

………

Long Beach police shot a man they originally attempted to pull over for unnamed bicycle traffic violations after he tried to flee, then allegedly fought with an officer and attempted to grab his gun.

………

Local

West Hollywood will host a meeting tonight to discuss plans to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on deadly Fountain Ave, although a road diet requested by some residents appears to be off the table.

Patton Oswalt is one of us, as he bikes along the LA River with his kids to the Spoke Bicycle Café.

Long Beach business people are worried that the May 13th start of the Amgen Tour of California will destroy their business on Mother’s Day. Seriously, if you can’t figure out a way to make money off an event that draws an additional 10,000 or so race fans — male and female — to your street, maybe the event isn’t the problem.

 

State

Homeless people living along the Santa Ana River Trail wonder where they’ll go as Orange County finishes clearing out the massive homeless encampment. Unfortunately, there’s not enough housing and supportive services to take them in, which means the problem, for them and the community, will just move somewhere else.

A San Diego bike rider suffered a compound leg fracture when he was hit by an alleged red light-running driver.

Coronado’s mass infrastructure insanity clearly hasn’t improved, as a handful of residents come out to rail against a proposed median that would improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, including fears that transients would sit on it. This is the same community that blocked proposed bike lanes that residents complained induced dizziness and was like tattooing their daughters.

Victorville approves plans for a 4-mile class 1 bike path, as well as 7.1 miles of bike lanes.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light in Oildale.

A Santa Cruz-area driver shows his deep concern for the safety of bicyclists by complaining about two bike riders drifting in and out of a bike lane, forcing drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic to pass them, and saying there should be a law against riding two abreast. Never mind that riding two or more abreast is perfectly legal under most circumstance, as well as “drifting” in and out of a bike lane for any number of reasons. Or that it’s also perfectly legal for drivers to slow down and wait until it’s safe to pass bike riders. In fact, it’s required, whether or not they’re in a bike lane.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Bay Area man has ridden up 3,849-foot Mt. Diablo for 500 weeks in a row.

A mufti-clad pseudo Petaluma bike cop pulled over a motorist and demanded personal information and cash for on the spot to pay the fine for the alleged offense. A real bike cop will have a uniform and badge, and will never ask for payment on the spot. Unless he’s asking for a bribe, which is a different matter entirely.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed riding across a highway to get to a bike path.

 

National

A former mountain biker turned distance runner recommends micro-dosing with dope to reduce pain and improve performance. Which is now more or less legal in California, as long as you don’t tell the feds.

Bicycling says sharrows don’t actually suck if used correctly, and lists 25 milestones most new cyclists can’t wait to reach. Many of which countless new and old bicyclists have never done, nor wanted to. Myself included.

El Paso, Texas and Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez are in discussions for North America’s first international bikeshare system crossing the Rio Grande.

A Dallas paper questions whether leaving dockless bikeshare bikes on the sidewalk is more than an inconvenience to handicapped people, possibly violating the American’s with Disabilities Act. Good question. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Missouri couple are facing manslaughter charges after their dogs fatally mauled an 83-year old neighbor as he was riding his bicycle.

A Minnesota paper looks at ghost bikes in the Twin Cities, which are technically illegal in the state.

St. Paul MN takes a pass on a dockless bikeshare system being installed by its twin city.

Detroit is unveiling a new indoor velodrome with an inflatable roof today; just one of three in the US, including the VELO Sports Center at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Winter fat bike riding is increasing in popularity in Maine.

Nice piece in the New York Times, as a documentary filmmaker describes how getting back on her bicycle saved her life as she went through a separation, then a divorce.

Proof bike riders are tough. A New Orleans man rode several blocks for help before collapsing after he was shot several times.

 

International

Here’s what happens when city officials don’t back down on bike lanes, as opposition to Vancouver bike lanes has died away, and bikeways are no longer seen as a campaign issue.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail says we can’t assume streets are for cars if we want pedestrians to be safe.

The BBC asks what’s keeping women off bicycles, then points the finger at sexist and rude comments from drivers and male cyclists.

What’s more impressive? That a London management consultant quit his job to fish plastic out of the Thames, or that he built his own DIY floating bike to do it?

UK endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt passed away last week, apparently of natural causes, at just 40-years old; he held the record for the fastest crossing of Europe, traveling 4,300 miles in less than 22 days.

A British man uncovers a 199-year old hobby horse in an abandoned barn; the forerunner of the bicycle was one of just 320 built in 1819, and just one of 12 know to survive.

Former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher is one of us, too. Although it looks like he could raise his seat a tad.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a judge said he saw no point in sending a killer driver to jail.

Caught on video: A Dutch bike rider struggles against an intense headwind during last week’s storm. Been there, done that; I’ve actually been pushed backwards by a strong wind, as well as knocked off my bike by a sudden gust.

Alas, poor Yorick! Take a bike tour along the “Danish Riviera” to Hamlet’s castle.

City Lab looks at the long transformation of Paris into a more livable city, cutting driving mode share 45% since 1990, as traffic fatalities have fallen 40%. And if formerly traffic-choked Paris can do it...

Dubai continues to build cycle tracks, with 323 miles planned by 2021.

Caught on video too: An Australian cyclist captures a horrifying first person perspective as he gets stabbed by a road raging driver, after complaining a dangerous pass. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Singapore hasn’t been spared by the scourge of abandoned — and sometimes submerged — dockless bikeshare bikes.

A Scottish writer goes bicycling through the cars and cows and hens and fumes of Kathmandu, feeling like a medieval soldier hacking his way through enemy ranks.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African cyclist Daryl Impey won Australia’s Tour Down Under; he was tied with Richie Porte after Saturday’s penultimate stage, but was declared the leader after a tie-breaking countback of stage placings, and managed to stay out of trouble on Sunday’s final stage.

Women competing in the Tour Down Under got prize money parity with the men after the South Australian state government pitched in an additional $90,000; Australia’s Amanda Spratt took the general classification as well as Queen of the Mountain.

Pressure is increasing on Team Sky to suspend Chris Froome over his failed doping test for overuse of an asthma drug. Meanwhile, researchers say it’s time to scrap the Therapeutic Use Exemptions that were employed by Froome and Team Sky, for the short and long-term health of the cyclists.

 

Finally…

Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a fat-tired, handlebar-equipped, gyroscopic e-unicycle? Don’t wear a mask when you ride, or you may frighten schoolgirls and start a police investigation.

And more proof bike riders are tough. A 12-year old Aussie boy broke his back in eight places riding his bike off a cliff into a lake, then rode home after being dragged back to shore.

 

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

………

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

………

Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

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Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

………

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

………

CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

………

As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

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Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

Morning Links: Dockless bikeshare comes to CSUN, and bikeshare systems explore interoperability on Westside

bikeshare

For a few short hours, we seemed to have a real scoop.

This morning, Steve S forwarded a photo showing hundreds of LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes massed on the Cal State Northridge campus, apparently being readied for distribution.

While we speculated on just what they were doing there, I scrambled to figure out what council district they were in, assuming one of the San Fernando Valley’s councilmembers had made a deal with LimeBike for a pilot bikeshare program, like Joe Buscaino had in the Southside’s 15th District.

But before I could get a response, it turned out the bikes were on the CSUN campus because that was their destination.

According to an article in the school’s CSUN Today, the university is rolling out 400 of the app-based bikes to be spread out across the campus, and available to check out from any existing bike rack.

The bikes’ GPS system will also be used to track where they are used to determine the best routes for new bike lanes on the campus.

But unlike shopping carts, the wheels don’t lock when they reach the edge of the university. So it will be interesting to see where the bikes actually end up.

Maybe they’ll go far enough off campus to spur approval of dockless bikeshare throughout the Valley.

And maybe even encourage more and better bikeways for students, and the rest of us, as well.

Thanks to Steve for the photo and his help with the developing story.

………

Big bikeshare news in West Hollywood, too, where the city’s WeHo Pedals will soon be interoperable with other Westside bikeshares — and could one day be free.

Meanwhile, the bikeshare program has been losing money in its first year of operation, bringing in only 19% of projections.

Which begs the question of how they intend to pay for the possible free usage for city residents.

………

And as long as we’re on the subject,

The majority of low-income bikeshare users in the Bay Area are in San Francisco.

Social Bicycles has changed its name to Jump Bikes, and raised $10 million dollars to bring dockless pedal-assist e-bikeshare to San Francisco.

China’s Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to Prague; however, British police say the company can pick up their own damn dumped and vandalized bikes.

A Japanese bikeshare company hopes to bring tourists back to the country’s Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

Chinese dockless bikeshare companies are teaming with Japanese tech firms to solve the problem of abandoned and vandalized bikes.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Saturday’s groundbreaking for the Alhambra Blvd street improvements in El Sereno, including a road diet and bike lanes to tame the dangerous street. Nice to see that at least one councilmember isn’t afraid of angry LA drivers demanding a halt to road diets.

A bike rider reportedly suffered “significant” injuries in a hit-and-run crash in Azusa Monday evening. But instead of asking for the public’s help, the police withheld any details of the suspect vehicle to avoid compromising the investigation. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Actress and author Jenifer Lewis is one of us, too.

The LACBC is hosting their first Team LACBC training ride for this year’s Climate Ride on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the League of Women Voters is holding a discussion on the Future of Transportation in Los Angeles with Move LA’s Denny Zane. As opposed to Keep LA Moving, which seems to want the opposite.

State

Berkeley considers changing the law to make it easier to install stop signs.

No bias here. A Marin County supervisor is calling for the removal of a protected bike and pedestrian lane on the San Raphael Bridge, and converting it to a third lane for motor vehicles — before it’s even built.

Speaking of Marin, mountain bikers will be blocked from ten of the county’s open space trails during owl breeding season for the next five years.

There’s something hypnotic about watching a fatbike rider with studded tires on frozen Caples Lake in Kirkwood.

 

National

Pittsburgh streets may be clear, but the bike lanes remain covered in snow and ice.

New York plans to add raised bike lanes along the center divider on a street crossing the border between Brooklyn and Queens, while banning left turns to eliminate dangerous conflict points inherent in a center bikeway.

NBC News looks at New York’s ludicrous ban on ebikes, which harms the city’s low-income food delivery workers. It also hurts disabled people, as well as others for whom a pedal-assist bike could provide an invaluable mobility tool.

A Florida letter writer says no, it wasn’t the sun’s glare that resulted in a bike-riding politician’s death, it was someone who decided to keep driving when he couldn’t see where he was going.

International

Caught on video: Pro-Brexit protesters outside London’s No. 10 Downing Street rip a European Union flag out of the hands of a bike rider.

A British driver gets a well-deserved six years for the high-speed hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider.

A writer for Bike Radar says anti-bike stories in London are poisoning the streets for riders in the rest of the UK.

A British man says bicyclists should be banned from riding on pavements — aka sidewalks — even though it’s already illegal.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Kiwi driver won’t face charges for intentionally ramming a bike rider after first rear-ending him, then becoming impatient when it took too long to dislodge the bike’s wheel from under the car’s bumper. Even though police called the driver’s actions “completely unacceptable.”

After frightening readers with horror stories about the abuse bike riders face on the roads in Auckland, New Zealand, a local news site says the real problems are the condition of the streets themselves.

A Singapore delivery cyclist is facing charges for killing a 73-year old pedestrian after running a red light; while the paper says he was riding a bike with a faulty coaster brake, it sounds more like he was riding a brakeless fixie.

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will start in Brussels in honor of the 50th anniversary of The Cannibal’s first Tour win.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome’s failed drug test will be the end of Team Sky.

Jeremy Powers and Stephen Hyde discuss their epic battle in this year’s US men’s cyclocross national championships.

USA Cycling named the national team for next month’s World Cyclocross Championships in the Netherlands, including 14-time defending US champ Katie Compton.

Belgian pro Philippe Gilbert says the legendary Paris-Roubaix really ain’t that hard.

Finally…

Forget pedaling, your next bike could be hydrogen powered. Who knew bicycling is a guy-rich environment in which to meet Mr. Right?

And apparently, the way to get rich in haute couture is to rip the chamois out of bike shorts, and sell them for $400 a pair.

Morning Links: Sharing the road with flying cars, and maybe bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

They drive among us.

Maybe you somehow managed to miss the multitude of new stories over the weekend about the allegedly stoned driver who managed to plant his car on the second floor of a dental shop in Santa Ana.

No, really.

According to reports, the driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, hit a center median with enough force to launch his car into the air, across three lanes of traffic, and embed it into the wall of the shop while still gaining altitude.

The inevitable question of how fast he had to be traveling to launch his car with such force is only partially answered by security camera footage.

As well as the view from an oncoming bus that was nearly taken out by the airborne ballistic automobile.

Lets hope he loses his license.

Permanently.

And it’s not just LA.

A Denver motorist literally drove into a Catholic church, finally stopping inside the vestibule with shards of stained glass scattered around.

But at least that one seems to have stuck to the ground.

Top photo from Orange County Fire Authority. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Wes Salmon for the heads-up.

………

Pot, meet kettle.

It’s long been common knowledge, among drivers at least, that people who ride bicycles are a bunch of reckless scofflaws who pay no attention to the law.

And anyone who has argued to the contrary, by pointing to studies showing most bike riders actually do stop for red lights and stop signs, or that countless drivers treat speed limits and stop signs as mere suggestions, is usually shouted down.

Often by people on both sides.

Never mind that even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

That should have changed a few years ago, when a study from the University of Colorado showed that drivers and bike riders broke the law at nearly the same rate — 8% to 9% for drivers, and 7% to 8% for bicyclists.

As well as a follow-up study that showed when drivers broke the law, they did it for convenience, while people on bikes did it out of concern for their own safety.

Except that the both studies were greeted with crickets by the mainstream media.

Let alone the motoring public.

Now another study has shown virtually the same thing.

Writing for Outside, Peter Flax has taken a look at the recent Florida study that showed drivers broke the law at a slightly higher rate than the bike riders participating in the study.

In the end, the results indicated that cyclists were compliant with the law 88 percent of the time during the day and 87 percent of the time after dark. The same study determined that drivers who interacted with the study subjects complied with the law 85 percent of the time. In other words, drivers were slightly naughtier than the cyclists—even without measuring speeding or distracted driving.

In a conversation with three of the researchers who conducted the study, I asked if they had any insight into why the findings vary so significantly from public perceptions about scofflaw cyclist behavior. “Many drivers simply don’t know the rules that concern people on bikes,” says Cong Chen. “About how much space to give cyclists, for instance, or when riders should get the right of way.”

The study also offers suggestions on how to improve safety.

In any case, based on the study findings, the researchers offered a number of recommendations to help mitigate the frighteningly high rate of close calls. For infrastructure improvements, they suggested wider and protected bike lanes; reflective green markings on bike lanes; improved lighting on roadways that see significant bicycle traffic; and so-called “through lanes,” which reduce conflicts between bicyclists and turning vehicles at intersections by letting riders be safely positioned before cars turn. “Based on what we saw and measured, we recommend measures that promote separating more than sharing,” says Kourtellis. “We think creating buffers between cars and bikes is smart.”

But once again, don’t bother trying to find any mention of the study in the mainstream media.

Evidently, dispelling a widely held misperception too often used to demonize people on bicycles just isn’t news.

………

Speaking of demonizing bicyclists, one Aussie rider caught skitching — holding onto a moving vehicle to hitch a ride — is used to attack everyone who rides a bike for wanting “extra rights” on the road.

Never mind that most bicyclists haven’t done that, and never will.

And the only extra right we want is the right to ride a bike, and get home in one piece.

………

Local

LADOT laid down the new Hollywood-approved green paint on the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista over the weekend.

Speaking of Mar Vista, Bikerowave is hosting a bike swap on Sunday the 28th; coffee and donuts will be available if you get there early enough.

Los Angeles County’s outgoing Health Services director says he didn’t expect to fall in love with LA after moving here from San Francisco, but riding his bike to work from Hancock Park to DTLA certainly didn’t hurt. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Repaving started this past weekend on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax to prepare it for the half-measure safety improvements pushed through by Councilmember David Ryu, against the wishes of local residents who were fighting for a road diet. Any hope that the road diet might go through died following the fiasco in Playa del Rey, where recently installed road diets were yanked out after an outcry from motorists.

The latest Bike Talk podcast features John Russo and Karla Mendelson of Keep LA Moving, who successfully fought to have the Playa del Rey road diets removed, and want to halt any future lane reductions in the city.

Walk Eagle Rock shows that it’s possible to do more with less space on narrow streets.

The long discussed new section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail through South Pasadena is scheduled to open late next month.

The LA Times examines Chinese counterfeiting of small San Marino bikewear maker Team Dream.

Claremont is moving closer to a $16 million makeover of Foothill Blvd, including median divided bike lanes.

Long Beach surpasses its mobility goals for last year, with over 1.1 million bike riders and pedestrians passing a counter near the pier.

 

State

The co-founder of PayPal is one of us.

A Santa Ana cyclist was injured in an apparent gang shooting.

Tehachapi opens a new class 1 bike path along Tehachapi Blvd.

You never know what you might find while riding your bike. Like a boa constrictor with a broken jaw on the side of a Bay Area highway. The good news is, the snake has fully recovered.

The bike-friendly new Oakland bridge will be at least two years late and $6 million over budget.

Sad news from Paradise, where a bike rider was killed when she was rear-ended by one driver, then knocked into the path of another.

 

National

An ebike pioneer argues that an ebike charged using fossil fuels is actually greener than a regular bicycle when you consider the extra food needed to fuel the rider. Because everyone loads up on food before they ride to the corner market, right?

Meanwhile, TreeHugger says there’s an ebike revolution coming, and bikes and ebikes will eat cars.

An Oregon town posts a sign telling drivers not to text and drive, in honor of a 16-year old boy who was killed by a texting driver while riding his bike. Which will undoubtedly cause every driver to put down their phones. If they even bother to read it.

A Montana newspaper looks at the benefit bike tourism can have on small towns.

An Austin TX paper asks if an ordinary guy can ride 10,000 miles in two years. Considering that’s less than 100 miles a week, sure.

Kay Perry may be one of us, but she still takes Dallas to task over abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

The Chicago Tribune supports bringing bikeshare to the city’s transit deserts.

Bike registration rears its ugly head in Vermont, where a new bill would impose a $28 annual fee to ride a bicycle on public streets. Which is fine if your goal is to discourage bicycling, and keep people from taking ever down those unused bikes hanging in the garage.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Enquirer considers how to make the city a safer place to ride a bike.

 

International

If you can’t ride your bike on a Manitoba highway because of the ice, get out your hockey skates. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

A Toronto Op-Ed says lowering speed limits throughout the city would save lives.

The Guardian offers a photo essay of a custom framebuilder in the UK.

Just a year after finishing a seven year, 43,000 mile around-the-world bike tour, an English man is planning to set a new record by riding across Europe in less than 20 days.

A Scottish woman is looking for homes for two stray dogs she rescued in Brazil while riding around the world.

A British father shares gruesome photos of his son after the boy crashed face-first into a brick wall, saying it’s a reminder to always wear a helmet. Which might have actually helped, but only if he’d worn it over his face.

An Aussie woman says she deserves a reduced sentence because the bike rider she left bleeding on the side of the road while driving high on ice didn’t die, but merely suffered permanent, life changing injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Australian driver was fined for throwing a cup filled with ice that hit a bicyclist in the head. By the EPA. For littering.

An Aussie cyclist walks with probation for bike rage tirade against a distracted driver who cut him off in traffic, after arguing that “fuck” is not obscene.

Seriously, don’t be this guy. A bicyclist in Australia cuts directly in front of a driver, then flips the motorist off for good measure.

After an Australian man loses his driver’s license for six months, he discovers he feels better, weighs less and actually likes riding a bike. Even if he doesn’t take responsibility for those speeding tickets.

A New Zealand bicyclist is shocked to discover an 18-inch wide bike lane that’s narrower than her handlebars.

A bike shop in Yangon, Myanmar leads a weekly nighttime bike ride in the city, where bicycles are banned by tradition, if not law.

A distracted ebike rider in Singapore got a $2,000 fine for colliding with a bicyclist when his mobile phone rang.

A Chinese man rode nearly 10,000 miles from Benin back to his hometown to raise funds to help install solar power stations and water wells in the African country.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary Katie Compton won her 14th consecutive national cyclocross championship, while the recently unretired Meredith Miller took the singlespeed title.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where BMX star Jelle Van Gorkom is in a coma after a training accident, with no word on when he might awaken.

The Guardian looks at the tenuous finances of lower tier pro cycling teams.

Cycling Weekly talks with recently retired British track cyclist Becky James about the importance of finding a balance between work, training and family life.

South African cyclist Louis Meintjes learned the hard way to put on sunscreen under his mesh jersey. I once ended up with the Canari logo tanned onto my back after wearing my favorite jersey a little too often.

A self-trained Kenyan cyclist will compete in the grueling Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race, despite having a bullet lodged in his stomach from a shooting that killed his father when he was 15.

A Kiwi cyclist wins New Zealand’s U-23 cycling championship just one year after taking up the sport.

 

Finally…

Nothing like using a fat bike to make a really fat snow bike. Apparently, bottling a bicyclist is a thing.

And if you’re going to ride stoned, leave the illegal prescription meds, butterfly knife and counterfeit bills at home.

………

Thanks to John H for his generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: SoCal bike deaths drop, green bike lanes coming to Mar Vista, and cycling won’t make you limp

Sixty-two.

That’s the number of people who died riding their bikes in Southern California last year.

Which is an improvement in some ways, because it represents a significant drop from the 73 people killed in the seven-county area last year. And an even bigger drop from the 86 people killed in 2014.

But it’s still 62 too many.

LA Curbed examines last year’s deaths, including the 26 people who died in Los Angeles County last year, including my fears of what’s behind the decline.

And be forewarned before you venture into the comments there, or on Reddit.

………

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin forwards word that the protected bike lanes that were installed on Venice Blvd as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets project will be getting green paint to make them more obvious to some of the more oblivious drivers and bike riders.

As we’ve noted here before, these bike lanes were installed as a one-year pilot project, with adjustments made as needed when issues arise, or opportunities for improvements become evident.

This sounds like a little of both.

………

Relax, guys.

A new study from UC San Francisco says riding a bike does not cause erectile dysfunction or infertility.

In fact, the study showed that not only does cycling not affect men’s sexual or urinary health, but that men who rode over 25 miles a day actually had better erectile function.

So you can spend all the time you want in the saddle and still get it up have kids.

………

Local

You can’t ride on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, but you may be able to ride in a park over it someday.

A West Hollywood study suggests a number of safety improvements that could reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes on Fountain Ave by 25% to 55%. However, bike lanes don’t appear to be among the recommendations; the street currently has sharrows despite the heavy, often high-speed traffic.

 

State

The bicyclist who posted video of the massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail now wishes he’d been a little more sensitive.

Ebike maker Haibike is moving to Simi Valley after relocating to Denver just a year ago.

Santa Maria considers a makeover of its downtown to create a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Although they may discover that a $300,000 grant doesn’t go very far.

Bike Bakersfield has a new executive director.

The mayor of Mountain View is one of us, riding his bike around town and taking his helmet with him into meetings.

An armored truck hit a tree in San Francisco after driving down a separated bike lane instead of the traffic lane.

It’s always polite to fist-bump the cop who manages to chase you down on your bike before busting you for possession.

 

National

Bicycling profiles Ben Serotta as he returns to framebuilding, and examines what fear does to your body when some jerk nearly runs you off the road.

HuffPo considers how bicyclists got screwed out of their measly $20 a month bike commuting benefit in the new GOP tax bill, while drivers got to keep a $255 monthly deduction.

The people who work behind the scenes keeping dockless bikeshare working are getting screwed by the outsourcing gig economy. Or at least the ones working for Ofo.

An Idaho self-help author turns his attention advising drivers on how to coexist with bicyclists, with surprisingly good results.

Talk about a bad business deal. A Montana man is busted after buying an $1,800 stolen bicycle for $600, then pawning it for $200 three days later.

A Minneapolis paper discovers the lack of women working in bike shops — which also leads to a lack of women shopping in them.

A New York advocacy group says congestion pricing is the only way to reach zero traffic fatalities in the city, by getting more cars off the street. Something that hasn’t even been discussed in Los Angeles, where drivers would probably riot if anyone actually tried to pry them out of their cars.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. A DC-area county will build protected bike lanes for bicyclists who won’t be able to use a popular bike path during construction for a light rail line.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from Florida’s Jack the Bike Man, who gives thousands of refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. After Calgary built out a complete protected bike lane network in the downtown area, the percentage of women riders rose to 25%. Which is still far too low, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.

A Montreal writer pens an ode to orphan bikes, which are forced to spend the winter cold, alone and unloved.

A London art exhibit features miniature landscapes of bike routes the artist has traveled.

A woman in the UK writes about how she fell in love with riding a bike after getting on one for the first time in 40 years.

A Brit writer relates how he failed four basic safety lessons on his first day as an amateur bike rider. Which somehow implies the rest of us are getting paid for it.

British police are looking for a bike rider who pushed a 17-year old girl over as she was walking in a bike lane. Don’t do that. Ever. Period.

After an Aussie cyclist barely avoids getting sucked under a semi, she’s victimized again by abusive online comments.

The “menace” of joyriding Malaysian stunt bicyclists is spreading across the country, despite a crash last year that killed eight teenage riders, and another that killed two others last week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new French book suggests that Lance was doping his bike as well as his blood.

USA Today looks at the debate over testosterone testing of transgender women, two of whom are hoping to make the US Olympic cycling team, on opposite sides of the debate.

Belgian cyclist Tim Wellens says inhaler use is wrong, despite pulling out of last year’s Tour de France with breathing problems.

Sad news from the UK, where a man who had been battling depression hung himself four days after he failed to finish a 24-hour bike race.

 

Finally…

How to pedal without ever leaving home or having to deal with other humans. Seriously, how big a bike pump will it take to inflate that thing?

And this is why you stop traffic before putting up the finish gate.

Morning Links: A growing list of bike ride events, and NYC and SF show what Vision Zero can and should be

Let’s catch up with a growing list of upcoming bike ride events.

A bike ride will be held on Saturday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Alhambra Avenue street improvement project, including bike lanes, crosswalk and new sidewalks; the ride will travel 5.5 miles from Highland Park to El Sereno.

Bike SGV and Metro Bike invite you to learn how to knit your own seat cover this Saturday, or the following Saturday.

The very busy Bike SGV is offering a free, three-part city cycling course over the next three Saturdays.

Santa Monica Spoke and Santa Monica Planning invite you to join them for a ride with the city’s mayor on January 20th; the ride will also feature Calbike board members, as well as Jeffrey Tanenhaus, who rode a Citi Bike bikeshare bike cross-country from New York to Santa Monica in 2016.

El Sereno is a popular location this month, as the Eastside Bike Club will host an El Sereno Family Bike Ride on the 21st.

San Diego’s annual Recovery Ride rolls on the 21st, benefitting a pair of local nonprofits.

The LACBC has rescheduled their third annual Mulholland clean-up, hosted by former pro cyclist, author and cookie monster Phil Gaimon for January 27th.

Bike SGV’s first bike train of the year will ride up to the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights for a vegetarian brunch on January 28th.

Stan’s Bike Shop and the Eastside Bike Club are hosting the US premier of MAMIL “Middle Aged Men In Lycra” on February 21st; part of the film was shot at the bike shop and features several members of the bike club.

………

San Francisco and New York are bucking national trends with record low traffic fatalities, even as deaths are on the increase throughout the US.

Which shows what can happen when cities take Vision Zero seriously, build bike lanes and pedestrian facilities, and actually stand up to the inevitable backlash.

Let’s hope LA is taking notes.

………

Local

USC is welcoming the URB-E e-scooter sharing system to campus, even as the school still struggles to accommodate students and faculty on bicycles.

 

State

More bad news from the California legislature, where a senate committee gutted a Complete Streets measure that would have required Caltrans to consider the needs of all road users.

Maybe Rep. Darrel Issa is quitting his Orange/San Diego County congressional seat because he didn’t want to have to campaign by bicycle again this year.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, has spent roughly $15 million a mile so far to build just four miles of high-priority bikeways.

Caught on video: A Fresno BMX rider snatched a woman’s purse as she sat on a bench by a parking lot.

For every 15 donations to the Stanford blood bank in Palo Alto, a local bike shop will donate a bicycle to a child in foster care or a single-parent shelter, and the blood bank will make a donation to the bike shop.

JUMP Bikes gets the permit to be San Francisco’s first dockless e-bikeshare system.

Streetsblog says the dismissal of charges against a road raging Marin driver after he completed an anger management class is proof that we need a statewide cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

A Placerville bike rider says he doesn’t care if the city if bike friendly because he doesn’t need bike lanes; all he cares about is making it safer for pedestrians.

 

National

Bicyclists in Steamboat Springs CO may lose a new bike lane if drivers can’t figure out how to back into reverse-angle parking spaces.

Michigan lawmakers gut a proposed five-foot passing law, replacing the minimum passing distance with a vague requirement to pass at an unspecified “safe distance.”

Wired looks at the success of high-end underground clothing line Outlier, which was born out of a desire for clothes that could look cool and still be tough enough for New York cyclists.

The Atlantic offers a moving video look at the ghost bikes of New York; every image represents a life taken too soon, for no reason.

A New York community group is suing the city in an effort to force the removal of a bike lane they blame for increasing traffic collisions.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a coroner concludes a 16-year old time trial specialist was killed when he signaled to an oncoming driver that he was going to make a U-turn, and the driver misread it as a signal to overtake him.

Britain’s Daily Mail kind of misses the point, saying a cyclist sparked a road rage confrontation with an angry driver by yelling at him and flipping him off — never mind the unsafe pass that the rider was responding to.

Just what we all need. A seemingly innocuous intersection in the UK can actually make bicyclists and drivers invisible to one another until the last second, despite a lack of obvious barriers. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Welsh residents use blankets, tea and hot water bottles to keep a man in his 60s from going into hypothermia after he suffered several broken bones falling off his bike; it took more than four hours for an ambulance to finally arrive.

An Irish bicyclist has gone missing in the desert of southern Israel for seven weeks; his wallet, keys and tablet computer were found on a trail in late December.

Parisians are seeing red over the absence of the popular grey Vélib’ bikeshare bikes from the streets, as a switch to a new operator runs aground.

Add one more trip to your bicycling bucket list — a 435-mile, 14-day trip across the Czech Republic.

Jump a red light in Saudi Arabia, and get the equivalent of an $800 fine.

Good piece from an Aussie writer, who says bicycling is legal; death threats — whether online or on the streets — aren’t.

This is who we share the roads with. A killer Australian driver with 16 previous traffic convictions bizarrely blames the media for all his problems, after getting caught riding a stolen motorbike 12 days after his license was suspended for driving stoned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Kiwi road cycling champion Jason Christie is under fire for apparently flipping off his competitors as he crossed the finish line, although the head of the national cycling council said it looks like more than one finger to him. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t seem to play in this country, but that looks like a single middle finger on each hand to me.

No, you can’t run red lights and make the equivalent of an illegal left turn, even if you’re the world’s leading cycling team.

Chris Froome could be banned from the world championships if his doping investigation isn’t resolved soon, while the head of British Cycling says leaking his failed test harmed cycling. Sure, leaking the test results hurt cycling, but failing the test itself was just fine.

Australia’s Tour Down Under is still benefitting from participation by the World’s Most Famous Doper, though Lance swears he was clean the three years he took part in the race.

 

Finally…

At least pro cycling isn’t as boring as snooker. If you’re going to steal a pair of high-end carbon track cycling shoes, make sure they’re your size first.

And you know you’ve made it when the pope agrees to baptize your kid.

 

Morning Links: Legislature kills Idaho Stop law, bike hit-and-run law goes on, and Culver City council endorsements

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

A bi-partisan bill that would have partially legalized the Idaho Stop in California, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, was killed in the state legislature.

Never mind that most bicyclists — and drivers, for that matter — already do that anyway.

And never mind that it has improved safety in Idaho since being adopted 35 years ago, and was approved in Delaware last year.

The idea that bikes aren’t cars just seems to be too much for the state’s motoring organizations to comprehend, including AAA.

Which is why I haven’t been a member for years.

Meanwhile, AB1755, a bill that AAA could undoubtedly support, continues to move forward.

The bill, which comes in response to a well-known Sacramento runner who was injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, would explicitly extend the hit-and-run statutes to apply to Class 1 bike paths.

Which seems like a law in search of a problem.

While the Sacramento DA couldn’t seem to figure out if the existing hit-and-run laws applied to a bike that, there is nothing in the statute to suggest that it doesn’t.

And CVC21200 clearly states that bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists. Which would include stopping following a crash.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the AB1755 heads-up.

………

Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the upcoming Culver City council elections, as the city transitions from its auto-centric past to a livable streets future.

The group has endorsed Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch to help continue that transition.

Evidently, council candidate Marcus Tiggs doesn’t want the bike vote, since he didn’t bother to respond to their questionnaire.

………

LA’s road diet critics must have been comparing notes.

Just a week after “science-based” advice columnist Amy Alkon complained about being bullied by bicycling zealots, dermatologist and self-appointed urban planner Kenneth S. Alpern trotted out the phrase to describe those who happen to disagree with him.

Furthermore, even Portland has barely reached a 7% bicycle commute rate), and it is to be noted that those of us trying to compromise and encourage bicycle commuting that safely and conveniently works with cars and buses are met with NASTY anger in return from bicyclist zealots who DO NOT represent all bicyclists and DO NOT want compromise.

If nasty anger means not going along with their demands to undo the Venice Blvd road diet and Great Streets project, and comprise means turning every inch of pavement back over to motor vehicles, he’s right.

………

Today’s common theme is bikeshare. And e-bikeshare. And even e-scootershare.

Santa Monica says not so fast to an e-scooter sharing startup.

Pasadena is hoping Metro Bikeshare will help it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 83%.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare system will be adding 250 ebikes to their system.

Dockless e-bikeshare is coming to San Francisco, soon to be followed by LimeBike dockless ebikes, which should be coming to Los Angeles as well.

Spin is adding dockless ebikes to their bikeshare offerings.

Dockless bikeshare is helping to increase bicycling diversity in DC by drawing riders from the African-American community.

A Charlotte SC writer says dockless bikeshare is littering the city.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is entering the bikesharing market through its partial stake in Ofo and the recently bankrupt Bluegogo. Maybe it can merge them and call it Ofogogo.

………

Local

Maybe LA’s auto-centric anti-Vision Zero drivers suffer from Dissociative Commuter Disorder.

CiclaValley reviews 2017 in pictures.

Burbank Realtors team with Bike Angels to refurbish and donate 117 bicycles to local kids.

A meeting is being held tonight to discuss options to replace the Santa Monica pier bridge, including one that would turn the existing bridge into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

State

A pair of San Diego letter writers are up in arms that a mother would dare to ride outside a bike lane with her child. Or maybe not. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the links.

 

National

Get on your bike. New research shows bicycling can reverse age-related heart damage.

Trek is working with Ford on a system that will enable driverless cars to recognize people on bicycles, in hopes of developing an industry standard. Some sort of standard is necessary, since so many companies are working on their own systems; otherwise, bike riders will have to wear 20 different sensors just to avoid getting run over.

On a related note, some sort of sensor can’t some soon enough, since a new study shows that we really are invisible to some drivers, even when they look right at us.

Red Bull offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle. A couple they missed, however: Check it against the Bike Index stolen bike listings, and always meet the seller in a public place — preferably the lobby of the local police precinct. And register it as soon as you complete the purchase.

Maybe you can get that bespoke Serrotta you always wanted after all, if you have a spare $7,600 to $15,000 laying around.

An Oregon woman was convicted of hit-and-run after she sideswiped a bicyclist, then demanded $200 for damage to her car.

Kindhearted Tucson sheriff’s deputies buy a new bicycle for an 11-year old girl after the one she got for Christmas was destroyed in a fire.

While LA drivers fight Vision Zero, New York is busy saving lives, with a 28% drop in traffic fatalities since 2013 — and a 45% reduction in pedestrian deaths.

This is why you don’t lock you bike to street signs. A New Orleans man lost his bike in less than two minutes when a thief unbolted the sign and made off with the bicycle.

 

International

Bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid discovers the best way to get fit from fast foods is to deliver it by bike.

A photographer catches the moment a Brit bike rider and his dog are soaked by a huge wave as they ride on a breakwater, but somehow manage to stay upright.

Invest the equivalent of $1,900 in a Brit bike startup, and you’ll not only get a piece of the company, you could buy a new ebike foldie for just thirteen bucks and change.

That’s one way to test a marriage. An English couple is touring the world by tandem bike, covering over 62,000 miles over the last four-and-a-half months. Note: As Mike Wilkinson observes below, that mileage figure is just this side of impossible, requiring them to travel nearly 460 miles a day. It’s possible that the paper may have added a zero to the 100,000 km figure they cited.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider is run down from behind by a driver who claimed to have the sun in his eyes. And the internet blames the victim for being in the road and accuses him of being a drama queen.

A yarn-bombed bike left outside the prime minister’s residence to celebrate marriage equality in Australia is headed for the country’s National Museum.

 

Competitive Cycling

Members of Britain’s Team Sky were stopped by police in Adelaide, Australia and lectured on how to ride safely.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride your bike in the winter, or concerned motorists may report you to the police. If you’re going to carry meth on your bike after midnight, put a damn light on it.

And record-setting French cyclist Robert Marchand retired from competitive cycling.

At 106.

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

 

Morning Links: Bike Snob takes down Venice science writer, and bike shop ticketed for city-owned bike racks

Last weekend, it seemed like every bike rider in Los Angeles had the privilege of being muted by self-described “science-based advice columnist & radio host” Amy Alkon.

Or at all the ones on Twitter.

Myself included.

Not content to merely be part of the crowd calling for the removal of the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, Alkon upped the ante by calling parents, and soon-to-be moms, who rode bikes on the street with their kids “assholes” who should have their children taken away for child endangerment.

And anyone who disagreed with her, no matter rudely or politely, was seen by her as part of a mob of “cycling ideologues” — or worse — who were attempting to bully her into silence. And then summarily muted before they could contradict her.

Once again, myself included.

Never mind that I can’t recall a single instance of a child being killed while riding with a parent anywhere in the LA area in the six years I’ve been keeping track.

Neither, apparently, can Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, writing about it in Outside Magazine.

Can carrying a kid on a bike be dangerous? Sure. I’d imagine hillbombing in San Francisco on a brakeless fixie with junior in tow could end pretty badly. Then again, so would doing the same thing with a Bugaboo, and it’s a virtual certainty you’re not going to be attempting either. The bottom line is that, despite drivers’ best efforts to hit us, cycling itself just isn’t that dangerous (you can even argue it’s the safest form of transport)—and the conservative approach any halfway sensible parent takes to riding with a kid onboard is even safer.

On the other hand, if your goal is to endanger your children in transit, then you can’t do any better than using a car. Setting aside the thousands of children who die in collisions every year, an average of 37 kids are killed annually due to being left in hot cars, and even more suffer “backover deaths,” which are exactly what they sound like.

It’s a good read, and more than worth a few minutes of your morning.

Because these are the people we have to deal with on a daily basis, whether fighting for safer streets or just trying to ride down them in peace.

And like Alkon, too many refuse to listen to reason.

Or anything else.

………

By far the best story of the day.

A Florida bike shop was cited for installing a pair of spiral bike racks on the sidewalk without the proper permits or inspections.

Except they had actually been installed by the city two weeks earlier.

Oops.

………

Local

Brace yourself for wet riding, with heavy rains predicted for the LA area over the next few days.

Voting is open for Streetsblog’s Civil Servant of the Year.

A letter in the LA Times says a proposed bill wouldn’t automatically open wilderness areas to mountain bikers, but leave it up to local administrators instead.

The New Yorker takes a walking tour of sites used by Nazis, fascists and the spies who fought them in the City of Angels in the years leading up to WWII, which you could undoubtedly do by bike, as well.

Planning is moving forward for a 1.7 mile Complete Streets project on Broadway in Long Beach.

 

State

Ventura police bust a bike thief using a bait bike. Something that’s still not being used here in Los Angeles.

Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to attract bike tourists with a 160-mile grand loop though the both counties.

Google is losing up to 250 of their company bikes every week, as some residents of Mountain View see them as a community asset, and others see bike snatching as an act of retribution.

Sad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike went off the road on a descent.

A Marin County driver got his road rage case tossed after completing an anger management course. Never mind that he was caught on video threatening to get a shotgun and shoot a bike rider’s head off.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling talks about falling in love with bikepacking.

Your next bike could be a weird-looking DIY front-wheel drive cross between a bicycle and a unicycle.

Even in cold and windy Laramie WY, it’s possible to ride a bike year-round. And yet people still think you can’t ride through the winter in sunny Southern California.

A Dallas TX suburb decides the solution to dockless bikeshare bikes being left in inconvenient places is to ban them entirely; although this might have something to do with it.

Bicycling is now the official exercise of Illinois. Unlike California, where the official exercise appears to be complaining about bike lanes and the people who use them.

I think I’ve found my new career. A Philadelphia man is riding around the city with his dogs on his bike, charging people to take their picture.

 

International

A Canadian letter writer says a bike path extension was a waste of money because it doesn’t get plowed after it snows. Which seems to be a better argument for clearing the path so it can be used all year.

London will roll out e-cargo bike deliveries in the historic city center in an effort to cut pollution, following a successful trial over the holidays.

A UK paper writes about a 13-year old boy whose bike was stolen shortly after Christmas. Then illustrates the story with a photo of a kid’s balance bike.

Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist nearly gets nailed by a driver who rolls through an intersection onto the wrong side of the road.

A British business site talks with the CEO of Brompton, who says the secret of the folding bike’s success is to focus on the product, stick to what you know and obsess about it.

Get your very own semi-bespoke British bike for the equivalent of $2,400.

After a UK parliament member loses his license for distracted driving, people in his district start a pointed crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bicycle.

A pair of Indian bicyclists are riding nearly 12,500 miles across the country to raise awareness of polio, health and hygiene.

More proof that bicyclists everywhere face the same problems. An Australian writer says ordinary bike riders are afraid of drivers — especially the ones who honk, shout and hurl profanities.

Speaking of profanities, an Aussie bicyclist was caught on video screaming obscenities at a woman and smashing the side mirror on her car after she apparently cut him off. Don’t do that. Period.

A Kiwi writer asks New Zealanders to imagine a country where everyone rides ebikes and public transit.

A Japanese train just for bicycles and their riders rolls out of Tokyo every weekend, headed from the prime bike riding routes of Chiba Prefecture.

Singapore opens an automated bike parking garage that can hold over 500 bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Head up to Lake Tahoe for the Cyclocross National Championships starting this Wednesday.

Atlanta music teacher Ayesha McGowan is on a mission to become the first African American female pro cyclist. It seems ridiculous that there haven’t already been many, let alone one.

American pro Tejay van Garderen has traded Aspen for Girona, Spain.

Pro cyclist Mia Manganello qualifies for the US Olympic team on her return to speed skating after a five-year break.

 

Finally…

Note to self: If you see something that looks like a hand grenade while riding your bike, leave it alone. Anyone can ride around the world sober; the challenge is to do it stoned.

And nothing like turning a city into your personal Strava doodle pad.

Or Labra-doodle pad, in this case.

 

Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

………

Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

………

Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

………

Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

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