Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Invasion of the dockless electric scooters, and Lincoln Blvd to be widened in Marina del Rey

Evidently, we were one day too soon with yesterday’s photo of a LimeBike electric scooter, since dockless scooters are today’s common theme.

Vanity Fair says San Francisco is being overrun with dockless scooters.

Wired says the invasion of the dockless scooters raises questions of who the streets and sidewalks are for, and which vehicles get priority.

A reviewer for the Washington Post says LimeBike scooters offer a whimsical ride, but he can’t imagine an adult ever using a dockless scooter.

And yet, I see people using them all the time in my neighborhood, and they haven’t even come to Hollywood yet.

In case you missed it. Upper photo from the Bird Scooter Instagram page.

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Local

Caltrans plans to widen a slightly more than half-mile strip of Lincoln Blvd in Marina del Rey to make more room for bike lanes and sidewalks. And more cars, of course.

 

State

Plans are proceeding for what will eventually be a continuous 27-mile bike trail through San Diego’s North County region.

Evidently, Jump ped-assist ebike dockless bikeshare is coming to Davis. Although it would be nice if the story actually said that.

Ukiah’s police chief offers safety tips for pedestrians and bike riders, telling the latter to act like a car. Somehow, I don’t see how guzzling fuel and spewing noxious odors while endangering everyone around you will actually make anyone safer.

 

National

People for Bikes is looking for a new business and political engagement manager.

Honolulu drivers are confused by a new parking protected bike lane.

Bicyclists will get one last chance to ride Seattle’s Alaskan Way viaduct before it’s torn down next year.

A Jackson Hole WY sixth grader has been riding his bike to school all winter, despite the cold and snow.

Pro choice advocates followed San Antonio TX Google employees to work on billboard-bearing cargo bikes to protest false search results.

A Brooklyn paper says overcrowding on the Brooklyn Bridge has reached a breaking point as pedestrians and bike riders were turned away by police.

The Columbia Journalism Review advises reporters not to blame the victims in bike and pedestrian crashes.

The NYPD blocks a raised bike lane through Times Square to provide security for theater patrons, less than two months after previously reopening it.

Philadelphia bike riders call for protected bike lanes, despite city plans to move existing buffered lanes from the right side of a pair of one-way streets to the left, and improve intersection crossings.

The war on bikes continues, as a Virginia father is intentionally struck twice by a road raging driver as he was riding with his kids.

Your next bike helmet could look like an ordinary hat thanks to a pair of Virginia Tech students.

Tampa, Florida decides traffic flow is more important than previously planned lane reduction and bike lanes on a redesigned boulevard, suggesting that bicyclists should just ride on back streets instead.

 

International

An Ottawa city councilor is told “we don’t remove bike lanes” after he suggests removing existing bike lanes when separated bike lanes are installed on a nearby street.

British bike advocates ask that vulnerable road users be exempted from a bill that would make injuries valued at less than the equivalent of $7,000 subject to small claims court.

A Welsh cyclist follows the swallows on a second-hand bike as they migrate 4,000 miles to Africa and back. Although a local paper seems amazed he survived.

Copenhagenize author Mikael Colville-Andersen’s new book discusses how bicycles can save our cities.

A bike helmet maker points out that New Zealand’s rate of bicycling deaths dropped after helmets were made mandatory, but fails to recognize that bicycling rates for children and adults dropped as well.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has been sold for $2.7 billion. Dashing hopes that it would merge with fellow Chinese bikeshare provider Ofo to form a new company called Mofo.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen won the 2018 Scheldeprijs race race through Belgium and the Netherlands, after winds — and a parked car — knocked out many of the favorites.

Peter Flax offers a tongue-in-cheek ranking of the top 40 cycling dopers.

 

Finally…

Come for the KOMs, stay for the porn ads. If you want to drive a bus, you have to ride a bike.

And forget all those photos of abandoned Chinese bikeshare bikes; in America, we abandon cars instead.

 

Morning Links: Dockless bikeshare rules around the world, and Edinburgh bans cars while Prague bans bikes

Today’s common theme is dockless bikeshare around the world.

Chicago develops what they consider best practices for dealing with dockless bikes, including the right to move them and make the providers pay for it. Although to the best of my knowledge, Los Angeles hasn’t approved any official policies for dealing with dockless bikeshare yet, despite what the story says.

Meanwhile, German cities are wary of the potential posed for sidewalk clutter posed by dockless bikes, and fighting back against badly parked bicycles. Now maybe they know how we feel about all those badly parked cars blocking bike lanes.

Speaking of dockless transportation, the Corgi investigates her first LimeBike scooter in West Hollywood. And no, she wasn’t supposed to be in the picture.

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Another common theme is banning means of transportation from urban centers.

Edinburgh, Scotland joins other cities around the world in planning to restrict driving in the city center to make more room for people traveling by bikes or on foot.

On the other hand, in a truly bizarre decision, Prague bans bicycles from the historic city center to protect pedestrians. But evidently, drivers are free to keep running people over.

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Local

LA Planning is hosting a series of workshops around town to teach the basics of urban planning. And in what may come as a shock to many LA residents, there’s more to planning than just saying no to everything.

 

State

San Diego urges residents to ditch their cars and walk, bike or take transit with the city’s first #TransitTuesday.

A Victorville bicyclist is injured when he’s unable to stop in time, and t-bones a passing car. And somehow, the first, and so far only, comment blames new bike lanes.

Sunnyvale become the latest California city to adopt Vision Zero, even if the San Jose paper can’t seem to get the name straight.

 

National

Yamaha introduces its first self-branded bikes for the American market.

Curbed questions whether human beings should be guinea pigs for testing self-driving cars in cities.

A Chicago bike advocate is working to bring bike libraries to underserved parts of the city.

The local paper in Bowling Green KY wholeheartedly approves of plans to designate nearby rural roads as part of the US Bicycle Route system. Especially since it only involves posting a few signs.

Boston-area bike riders are understandably outraged at a decision absolving a truck driver of blame in the death of a bicyclist because the victim was hidden by the truck’s blindspot. As we noted yesterday, if the driver can’t see a human being almost directly in front of him, the damn truck shouldn’t be allowed on the road. Period.

New York plans to finally drop its ridiculous ebike ban, paving the way for ped-assist bikes, but throttles back plans for throttled bikes.

The widow of a fallen South Carolina cyclist advises drivers to pass bike riders like you love them. Which is exactly how we should pass pedestrians.

A Georgia deputy offers a single line of advice to help keep bike riders safe on the road, and gets it exactly wrong. Bike riders are supposed to stay as far right as practicable, not as far as possible. And are often safest when riding in the middle of the lane, rather than hugging the gutter and encouraging drivers to squeeze past.

A Florida man buys a single speed bike and goes carfree for a year. And liked it.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where bicyclists hold a ride to help raise funds to send an 18-year old student’s body back to Egypt, after she was beaten to death on a bus by six other women.

A former Brit bike thief recommends securing your ride with double D-locks.

A new study from the UK shows that bike helmets help prevent facial injuries. Something I learned the hard way when mine helped keep my face intact as I did a faceplant during the incredible beachfront bee incident.

An Irish man bounces back from a massive heart attack and triple bypass surgery to ride 1,000 miles in an upcoming charity ride.

It only took the Cyprus legislature seven years to pass a law that basically says bike riders have to obey traffic laws. And isn’t likely to change anything.

South Africa will now certify businesses as bike friendly.

Sixty-eight percent of Kiwi bicyclists say New Zealand drivers aren’t prepared the share the road.

An Aussie CEO talks bikes, and how riding helps him come up with creative solutions.

 

Finally…

The best bikes for before you’re ready for pedals. Racing your balls off to fight testicular cancer — assuming you have some, of course.

And a University of Nebraska student complains about taking a whole 15 minutes to drive across town, saying it wouldn’t take that long to go five miles in any reputable city.

No, seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for that last link.

 

Morning Links: Montero ghost bike ceremony, and Nashville declares transportation independence

Maybe Los Angeles is finally getting fed up with traffic deaths.

Steve S reports at least 100 people turned out last night for the ghost bike installation honoring 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by an alleged speeding driver in Woodland Hills yesterday.

Montero’s bike was installed on De Soto Ave and Burbank Blvd, across from the entrance to the Kaiser medical center.

Let’s hope the turnout leads to demands for safer streets, so some good can come from this heartbreaking tragedy.

And maybe we won’t have to install another one.

Meanwhile, the GoFundMe account to raise funds for Montero’s funeral expenses has exceeded the original $8,000 goal, and is closing in on the new goal of raising $10,000.

All photos by Steve S.

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Nashville TN has become the first city in the US to declare transportation independence.

Somehow, I can’t imagine today’s LA leadership having the courage to adopt this over the objections of the city’s entitled drivers.

Even though they should.

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Local

CiclaValley shares his photos of Saturday’s San Fernando Street Festival.

You have an hour and a half today to ride, walk, scoot or skate the course of the Long Beach Gran Prix in what amounts to a mini-ciclovía. Although it would be nice if they gave people a little more time to come out and enjoy it.

State

The San Diego Union-Tribuneprofiles a former software engineer who quit his job, gave up his car and now works part-time for the San Diego County Bike Coalition.

National

Scottsdale AZ is providing a pair of free bike tours to view public art in the city.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a drunk driver gets just three and a half years for falling asleep behind the wheel and running down a bike rider before fleeing the scene, leaving the victim on the brink of death for weeks.

An Ohio man is riding up the east coast from Key West to Maine in search of positive people and good vibes.

No bias here. If a Boston truck driver couldn’t even see a bike rider due to the truck’s massive blindspot, why the hell does it matter if the victim didn’t signal? And why the hell are trucks that blind their drivers to human beings in the roadway even allowed on city streets?

New Yorker and former Talking Head David Byrne says riding a bike used to be considered completely uncool, but now bikes are cool in different ways.

Bicycling looks at the New York bicyclist who developed an algorithm to measure how often bike lanes are blocked by motor vehicles. Spoiler alert: 40% of the time, round the clock.

Streetsblog complains about insane overcrowding on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, saying the it could be relieved overnight by repurposing a traffic lane for bike use.

The New York Times says city planners are getting distracted by the bright, shiny objects that are self-driving cars, rather than focusing on proven safety measures.

A Baton Rouge LA advocacy group is close to getting eleven parishes — the Louisiana equivalent of counties — to sign off on a 300-mile US bike route from Texas to Mississippi.

International

Canadian bicyclists oppose a proposed law that would dramatically increase fines for law-breaking bike riders.

A Canadian writer says bicycling can transform your health.

A bike club in London — no, the one in Canada — says don’t waste money bringing bikeshare to the city when it could be spent on safer streets to encourage more people to ride.

An Aussie writer says he hopes California’s ebike regulations will migrate Down Under.

A Dutchman living in Australia explains why he doesn’t support the country’s mandatory bike helmet law, even though he credits his with saving his life.

Time says China’s bike fever has reached the saturation point. Although what they really mean is dockless bikeshare, not bicycling.

Finally…

You may have been illegally overcharged for your silicone gel wristband. Ebike racing is a sign of the apocalypse.

And now you can own your very own slightly used time trial bike for just $25,000.

Credit Peter Flax with finding that one.

Morning Links: LADOT’s new focus on “transportation happiness,” and LA BAC meets tomorrow in Hollywood

LADOT chief and NACTO president Seleta Reynolds explains how Los Angeles is adapting urban mobility for the digital age — including an emphasis on transportation happiness.

To achieve that, she says,

We are currently drafting a Mobility Bill of Rights to identify core principles like reliability, safety, comfort, equity, transparency, and community that should be the foundation of services we provide or allow to serve Los Angeles. Each of these principles has a set of key performance indicators that we will baseline with Angelenos in order to guide improvements to existing service, like taxis and transit, and help us to regulate new services as they come into the city.

Of course, if the city really wants to increase transportation happiness, they’d place a greater emphasis on bike riding and safer streets, since bike riders are the happiest commuters.

Today’s photo show a new bike box next to Hollywood High School.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet this Tuesday at the Hollywood City Hall.

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Local

CiclaValley notes a Baby on Board sticker doesn’t stop a driver from texting.

A Santa Clarita radio station reports on the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition’s introductory bike ride along local trails this Saturday.

Santa Monica is hosting a safe streets open house tomorrow night to consider a makeover of 17th Street.

 

State

Bike riders offered warning about the dangers of self-driving cars before Uber decamped for Arizona to avoid regulation restrictions in California — and before Elaine Herzberg was killed as she walked her bike across a Tempe street.

Australian BMX champ Sam Willoughby continues to make progress at his San Diego home, two years after a crash in competition left him paralyzed from the chest down.

A San Diego Op-Ed says the city has to prioritize bikes and transit if it’s going to have any hope of meeting its climate goals.

Palo Alto is already backpedalling on ambitious plans to install eleven roundabouts, even before the first one opens.

After a news story last week revealed San Leandro police could be breaking the law in their crackdown on teen bike riders, they respond by accusing bicycle flash mobs of disrupting traffic. Which does not justify illegal bike seizures or assaulting kids on bikes.

Bike rentals have begun for the year in Yosemite. Although someone should tell NBC Bay Area to hire a decent proof reader; pretty sure they meant rentable, not rentalable.

 

National

A 1,300-mile bike ride this month will connect all three 9/11 crash sites for the first time.

A Missoula MT letter writer says studies show businesses don’t need wide streets to succeed, and the city can make better use of excess capacity. Which should be mandatory reading for anyone who complains about LA lane reductions.

Bicycling brought $137 million in health and business benefits to Northwest Arkansas last year, after two counties build 163 miles of bike trails over the last ten years.

An Indiana reporter says you don’t have to be a bicyclist to not want to see another ghost bike.

A new US bike route route could be coming to southern Kentucky.

A Connecticut reporter learns the benefits of bikeshare firsthand.

Pedaling in Palm Beach in the 1930, on the first balloon tires, in a bike club founded by the Schwinn founder’s son-in-law.

Streetsblog says instead of the failed pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed several people, why not a complete streets makeover of the entire roadway?

 

International

A proposed Quebec law would dramatically jack up fines for scofflaw bicyclists.

The Guardian reviews MAMIL, the documentary featuring LA’s Eastside Bike Club, and partly filmed at Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa.

A local paper examines why Cambridge is the UK’s leading cycling city.

The family of a popular Welsh chef and triathlete who was killed in a crash while on a training ride last year are opening a school in Fiji in his honor.

A new British survey shows ebikes are a hit with riders over 55, while a Kiwi columnist suggests ebikes will be a passing fad like adult tricycles. Note to world: If anyone ever calls me a “silver cyclist,” I’ll go buy a cane and beat them mercilessly with it.

A Zimbabwean man has died in Belgium, over a decade after he was brought to the country to train as a cyclist as part of a TV show.

Pakistani women ride to protest sexual harassment and fight to reclaim their place in public spaces.

South Korean bike makers struggle as air pollution and a lack of infrastructure discourages people from getting on their bikes in the country.

Singapore learns that a heavy hand is no panacea when it comes to dealing with abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

Hong Kong puts the blame on reckless bike riders for last year’s nearly 2,000 crashes, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutchman Niki Terpstra won this year’s Tour of Flanders in a solo breakaway; countrywoman Anna van der Breggen took the women’s title. A massive crash caused Team Sky’s captain to get DQ’d for riding off the course. SoCal’s Coryn Rivera discusses the emotions she went through after winning last year’s race

Don’t expect any resolution to the Chris Froome doping allegations anytime soon; the case is expected to continue until after this year’s Tour de France.

A Denver Post columnist questions the wisdom of underground bike races on public trails, but doesn’t seem to really mind. Although someone should tell him that LA’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race hasn’t been held for a few years now.

 

Finally…

It may be a bicycling paradise, but you still have to follow the rules. Your next bike seat might look funny, but feel better.

And nothing like skitching at highway speeds, sans helmet.

Not that one would help at those speeds.

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, bike stolen from Fontana victim, and violently anti-bike cops in San Leandro

Let’s start with some upcoming events we haven’t mentioned yet.

A number of Los Angeles-area legislative districts are holding special elections on Tuesday; Bike the Vote LA has rated the candidates in each district.

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a ride to the hapa.me exhibit in Little Tokyo on April 7th.

LACBC is hosting a short ride 5-mile ride to discover the bike paths of Santa Clarita on April 7th, in conjunction with Metro, the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition and the City of Santa Clarita!

Registration opens April 8th for Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Cookie Fondo.

LACBC teams with Bike SGV to host their monthly Sunday Funday ride through the San Gabriel Valley on April 8th.

Culver City goes to the polls on April 10th; Bike the Vote LA offers their guide to the bike-friendly candidates.

Bike SGV is hosting a ride on the Eaton Wash on April 29th as part of their series to explore greenways in the San Gabriel Valley.

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We missed this report earlier this week, as a 65-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was walking her bike across a Fontana Street Tuesday morning.

And then some lowlife scum stole her bicycle before police could collect it as evidence.

Let’s hope it was just a mistake, and someone took the bike to hold it until it could be picked up.

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This one really pisses me off.

Police in bike-unfriendly San Leandro are allegedly confiscating kids’ bicycles for traffic infractions, under the pretext that they might be stolen. And reportedly dooring teenage bike riders on purpose, and holding unarmed children at gunpoint.

To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in the law that allows police to confiscate bicycles based on nothing more than a supposition. Which is no different than impounding a driver’s car simply because he looks suspicious, with nothing to back it up.

Meanwhile, intentionally dooring a bike rider not only violates the vehicle code, it’s assault with a deadly weapon and an illegal use of force.

And don’t even get me started on pulling a weapon on nonviolent children for the crime of simply riding a bicycle.

Let’s hope this story results in a fleet of lawyers descending on the town.

And whoever is responsible for these outrageous policies finding new work as an unarmed security guard at the local mall.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Long Beach Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz offers basic advice on how to ride a bike safely. Although there could have been a mention of road position beside merely riding outside the door zone.

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Local

Los Angeles will make safety improvements to six major streets next year. Of the six, only Avalon Blvd in South LA will get protected bike lanes, while a gap will be closed in the bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

LADOT wants your input to improve their websites; you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card if you complete the 15-minute survey.

Bike SGV wants to profile people who ride their bikes in the San Gabriel Valley.

CiclaValley questions whether wind gusts are scarier than blowouts on a descent, after getting caught in one himself.

 

State

LimeBike’s San Diego general manager swears they haven’t deployed their lime green dockless bikeshare bikes in Ocean Beach yet, even if observers swear otherwise. Meanwhile, Coronado carts off the dockless bikes that have besmirched their fair city.

Point Loma residents reach an agreement to halt the repeated demolition of a DIY pump track by promising to keep their kids off it until the situation can be resolved.

Evidently, traffic safety denying is contagious, as Keep LA Moving’s anti-safety message has spread to Oakland.

Streetsblog talks with the interim director of Bike East Bay, as the Bay Area advocacy group prepares to launch a search for a new executive director.

 

National

Ebikes really are pulling people out of their cars; 28% of people surveyed purchased their ebikes to reduce their reliance on cars, while 76% of ebike trips would have otherwise been made by car.

Canadian musician Rich Aucion is on a 15-city tour of the US, riding from gig to gig by bike in what will eventually be a coast-to-coast ride to raise funds for a mental health organization.

A Utah mountain bike expert offers advice on trail etiquette.

A tech startup is working with Trek to reduce bicycle collisions using artificial intelligence.

Philadelphia’s bike-hating columnist inexplicably says flipping bike lanes from the right to the left side on two one way streets is equivalent to flipping the bird to local residents. And compares the city’s bike advocacy group to the NRA.

A New Orleans suburb installs a temporary, popup separated bike lane to test acceptance before making a commitment.

 

International

Streetsblog visits the bikeways and ciclovía of Lima, Peru.

A new paper from a Canadian university considers how news coverage of fatal collisions dehumanizes victims and absolves drivers.

Bicycling injuries increased 90% in England’s Richmondshire district following the country’s 2014 Tour de France start, due to an increase in ridership on the country roads made famous by the race.

This one bears repeating in case you missed it yesterday. An Italian study shows that making hi-viz mandatory for cyclists does nothing to improve safety.

A disabled polio survivor from Nepal visits Brunei, the 68th country he’s visited on his round-the-world bike tour. Yet another reminder that bikes offer increased mobility for people with disabilities.

Running over an Australian bicyclist was nothing more than a “bump in the road” for one truck driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s bike racing comes to Ontario this Sunday.

A local community paper looks forward to May’s Redlands Bicycle Classic.

A look at five great Malaysian cycling champs. And one really bad mustache.

The war on bikes continues, as a Columbian pro cyclist was attacked by a road raging driver while training in Italy after complaining about an dangerously close pass.

 

Finally…

When you’re ranked dead last, anything is an improvement. Your old bike tires could be haute couture.

And if you’re caught on video trying to steal a bike, come up with a better excuse than alleging that the owner asked you to bust the lock and bring it to him.

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Thanks to Elizabeth T for her generous donation to the unofficial BikinginLA Dead Computer Replacement Fund, which has now reached an unofficial $300.

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Best wishes to all for a very happy Easter weekend and Passover.

Let’s all mark this weekend by taking a moment to share a little kindness with someone in need. 

Morning Links: Pasadena’s Orange Grove complete street on hold, and chill out on dockless bikeshare already

So much for that.

Pasadena has responded to the vocal concerns of drivers and local residents by putting an indefinite hold on plans for a road diet on dangerous Orange Grove Blvd.

Even though that means ignoring the concerns of everyone who wants to live on a quieter, calmer street. Or doesn’t want to get run down by those same drivers.

Which marks yet another victory, albeit hopefully a temporary one, for the people behind the driver activist group Keep LA Moving, which organized the resistance to the bike lane.

As well as opposition to the recently shelved Temple Street road diet, and the failed road diets in Playa del Rey.

So far, only the Mar Vista Great Streets Project on Venice Blvd has survived their traffic safety denier onslaught.

Let’s hope Pasadena can do a better job of communicating the benefits of such projects than LADOT has up to this point. And that the Orange Grove project will come back more successfully at a later date.

Because right now, the people in the black hats and two-ton vehicles are winning.

And needless to say, Keep LA Moving’s allies at KFI radio cheering the decisions.

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A writer for San Diego’s City Beat suggests maybe it’s time to just chill out about dockless bikeshare.

As Matthew T. Hall, San Diego Union-Tribune editorial director, lamented on Twitter about the kits, “What kind of world are we leaving our children?”

Well, for one, apparently one where folks Spin’s age, edging toward 60 and above, think the appearance of bicycles in certain communities amounts to some apocalyptic hellscape of two-wheeling insurgents intent on demolishing mankind as we know it…

Never mind that not everyone can afford to buy a bike, nor the notion that perhaps a significant portion of the bikes that appear in Little Italy—or Mission Hills or Point Loma for that matter—might have actually brought someone to your popular neighborhood. Seems like short-sighted economics to drive that kind of business away…

Is it a perfect system? Hell no, but what is? But for this curmudgeon who this week turned 59, the bikes have offered—at a reasonable price—an opportunity to regain some semblance of a connection with my city and, by some miracle, my youth.

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Horrifying video of a head-on collision as a driver turned directly into a bike rider waiting at a red light.

Needless to say, the driver claims she never saw him. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse.

Note: This video shows exactly what it looks like to get hit head-on from the rider’s perspective. So consider that before deciding if you really want to hit play.

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Bloomberg reports that Uber disconnected the collision avoidance system that comes standard in the Volvo SUV that stuck and killed Elaine Herzberg while she was crossing the street in Tempe Arizona, relying on their own failed self-driving technology instead.

Meanwhile, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says instead of counting on self-driving cars to save us, we should build cities to marginalize motor vehicles.

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Local

Metro wants your input on how to spend their budget for next year. Hint: Shift all the highway funds to build bikeways and sidewalks, instead.

Normally, this would be your warning that upcoming lane closures for a Culver City construction site would mean the closure of the eastbound bike lanes on Venice Blvd. But I’m told they’ve already been closed for weeks.

Bicycling takes a little floatation therapy in Santa Monica.

 

State

Here’s your chance to design a new image for a proposed bicycle-themed California license plate. I’ve already submitted my design, showing an angry driver yelling “Get on the sidewalk!” Thanks to Phil Gaimon for the link

The New York Times looks at California’s SB-827, which would encourage denser housing to reduce reliance on motor vehicles to cut greenhouse gasses.

An Agoura Hills writer says the weather is nice, so it’s time to ride a bike.

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield has developed their own stolen bike bulletin board.

These are the people we share the roads with. A San Francisco driver was arrested for plowing into a group of pedestrians, killing one and injuring four, before fleeing the scene. To make matters worse, the crash appear to have been intentional, coming after he shouted homophobic slurs and threatened the victims with an ax.

Former pro Peter Stetina will host a gran fondo during this year’s Interbike in Reno-Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Business Insider reviews bike helmets, and concludes the best option for most people is a $25 skid lid from Schwinn.

Peer-to-peer bikeshare firm Spinlister has announced they will be closing at the end of next month.

Bike Portland talks with a safe-driving advocate for a BMW magazine, who wants to put the focus for Vision Zero on the people behind the wheel.

For the next three weeks, you can explore Yellowstone National Park by bike, with no cars allowed.

Streetsblog makes the case for why a new bike trail-adjacent Chicago apartment building should only have 36 parking spaces for 124 units.

No bias here. No, Time Out, bicyclists in New York can’t legally run red lights. But they can start riding when pedestrians are legally allowed to go, which is a different matter entirely.

A New York cyclist makes the case for why bicyclists should support congestion pricing.

An American Idol contestant is teaming with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and a Nashville bike/walk advocacy group to discourage texting while driving, two years after he was run down by a distracted driver while riding his bike.

Philadelphia bike riders will honor a pastry chef killed in a bike crash last year with a pastry-filled bike scavenger hunt.

 

International

CNET says increasing regulation could, but probably won’t, stop the global spread of dockless bikeshare.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to get more aero. Which probably won’t help on your cruiser bike.

A Canadian mountie won’t face charges after investigators conclude there isn’t enough evidence to prove he ran over a fleeing bike theft suspect, even though he probably did.

It takes a major schmuck to sue a 10-year old girl for not following the vehicle code to the letter after he crashed into the rear tire of her bicycle while running. Fortunately, the judge dismissed the case.

A new study shows one in four drivers in Australia’s Queensland state pass bicyclists too closely. Which should sound familiar to most bike riders just about anywhere else.

 

 

Finally…

If you’re going to punch the driver who just crashed into your friend’s bike, at least wait until the cops leave.

And yes, you can go mountain biking in Los Angeles.

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Thanks to Zachary R for his generous donation to the unofficial BikinginLA Dead Computer Replacement Fund.

 

Morning Links: Griffith Park Blvd gets new concrete, self-driving Uber fallout, and Twitter justifies its existence

Squeaky wheel, meet grease.

Just seven weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that Patrick Pascal had received a $200,000 settlement from City of LA after he was injured when his bike hit a pothole on Griffith Park Blvd.

Now he reports the city has begun pouring new concrete to patch the crumbling stretch of concrete that took him down.

As usual, despite years of complaints, they only got around to it after it was too late. And after being embarrassed with a front page story.

But at least it should help prevent the next one.

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

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More fallout from the crash of a self-driving Uber car that killed an Arizona woman as she walked her bike across an overly wide street.

Arizona’s governor has suspended testing of self-driving cars in the state, after previously welcoming them with open arms when California installed safety restrictions on them.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has called on the state to pull the plug on driverless cars.

Uber has won’t renew their permit to operate driverless cars in California when it expires at the end of this month.

A Pittsburgh PA bike advocacy group is calling for greater regulation of driverless cars.

No surprise here, as former Uber employees said the crash that killed Elaine Herzberg was entirely foreseeable.

The Smithsonian considers the ethical quandaries self-driving cars will face every day.

And an American historian warns that requiring bike riders to wear beacons to avoid getting run down by autonomous autos could kill bicycling.

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Local

The LA Times looks at the Los Angeles River Greenway Trail bike path-adjacent Frogtown neighborhood.

Speaking of the LA River bike path, it’s about to be shut down once again, this time for construction of a long-planned bike and pedestrian bridge connecting Atwater Village and Griffith Park.

CiclaValley previews Saturday’s San Fernando Street Festival; think of it as a mini-CicLAvia with four streets closed to motor vehicle traffic.

Santa Monica is holding a couple of open houses to discuss safety improvements planned for 17th Street & Michigan Avenue.

 

State

Caltrans has released a biannual report listing their active transportation achievements over the past two years, including SoCal’s Go Human campaign in conjunction with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

San Diego’s Little Italy Association is scooping up dockless bikeshare bikes, and depositing them outside the business district. Which is strange, because these are the same people who fought planned bike lanes, insisting that all their customers come by cars. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Sacramento is removing nearly 200 hi-tech parking meters to make way for a parking-protected bike lane.

 

National

A new study shows ebikes are actually getting people out of their cars. Imagine what they could do if people actually had safe places to ride them.

Blocked bike lanes are becoming a problem in Denver. And everywhere else, for that matter.

How to bike the 75-miles of developed, multi-use trails in San Antonio TX.

A periodic reminder that cars are banned on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. And no, the world didn’t come to an end.

A pilot program will allow New York bicyclists in three boroughs to ride through red lights on the leading pedestrian intervals. Something that is currently illegal in California, but shouldn’t be.

A new documentary play tells the real-life story of a Virginia bike rider who was killed in a collision.

Mobile is about to become more mobile, as LimeBike is poised to bring dockless bikeshare to the Alabama city.

 

International

Cycling Tips rates the best fast, inexpensive chain lubes.

The mayor of Hamilton, Quebec learned about the need for safer streets the hard way, nearly getting hit by a car just seconds into a ride to promote the city’s bike infrastructure.

A proposed Toronto ordinance would prohibited assembling and disassembling bicycles in parks to ban bicycle chop shops.

The British Cycling Federation is due to go on trial, along with a race official and a course marshal, in the death of a mountain bike spectator who had gone to watch her boyfriend compete.

Bike Radar visits Belgium’s Roeselare cycling museum.

A group of “cheeky” urban activists are trying to reclaim car-centric Rotterdam for people.

A Kiwi sociologist says the bikelash over the new bikeways stems from “a sort of initial adjustment stress” from people who are unable to handle the change to the street.

Caught on video: An Australian bike rider demonstrates exactly what you shouldn’t do by weaving through a line of cars while riding against the red light in a crosswalk.

An Aussie research fellow says drivers cause the overwhelming majority of collisions with bike riders, and the law should reflect that.

The Sidney Morning Herald says it’s time to design the streets of Perth for bikes to help increase kids’ independence.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside asks if the Tour de France will really ban reigning champ Chris Froome, who is under investigation for possible doping with an asthma drug.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can live like Lance for a mere $7.5 million. When the new local bike shop blows — no, literally.

And every now and then, Twitter justifies its existence.

 

 

Morning Links: Save money by biking in the nation’s second most expensive city, and bikelash in the Rose City

Los Angeles is the nation’s second most expensive city, and number 14 in the world.

Which is as good a reason as any to ride a bike instead of driving.

It may not make the city any cheaper, but it could save you hundreds of dollars every month.

Or at the very least, you might forget about the pain in your wallet for awhile, and get where you’re going with a smile on your face.

……..

Curbed looks at the inevitable bikelash over plans for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd.

The outrage from local residents has already torpedoed a second public meeting originally scheduled for tomorrow.

Although I’m told that the opposition is being guided by the people behind anti-traffic safety group Keep LA Moving, which has apparently set its sights on halting any lane reduction plan in the greater LA area.

……..

Local

A meeting in Pomona tonight will discuss plans for next month’s Heart of the Foothills CicLAvia through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

It’s Walk to School Week in Long Beach.

 

State

Sad news from Foster City, where a 78-year old bike rider was killed in a collision on Friday.

 

National

No, you can’t ride your ebike on BLM or Forrest Service trails.

The Pew Charitable Trust looks at the possible spread of the Idaho Stop Law, which was considered in a number of states this year — including California, where it failed in part thanks to opposition from AAA, which seems to have confused the solution with the problem.

The family of a Las Vegas surgeon was awarded $18.7 million after he was killed when his bike was sucked under a bus due to an allegedly faulty aerodynamic design.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a killer hit-and-run driver got out of jail 10 months early thanks to a legal loophole; not surprisingly, his lawyer thinks he’s done more than enough time. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

A Chicago weekly says Lima, Peru’s beautiful boulevard bike paths could be a hit in the Windy City.

Outside looks at healthy workplaces, including the new extremely bike-friendly SRAM headquarters in Chicago.

More proof of the intelligence of Harvard students, as a new $50 bicycle subsidy program sells out in the first week; the student government votes to expand the program as a result. Thanks to the Preven Report for the heads-up.

The Wall Street Journal discovers the flood of dockless bikeshare around the US.

Philadelphia is flipping bike lanes from right to left on one way streets to make bicyclists more visible to drivers at intersections.

 

International

A new study shows that requiring bicyclists to wear hi-viz had no impact on collision rates.

Canada’s Cycling Magazine offers advice on what to do, and not to do, when taking your bike to a mechanic this spring. I’ve said it before; treat a good wrench like your best friend, because for your bike, he — or she — is.

This is who we share the roads with. A British Columbia woman insists she wasn’t drunk when she crashed her car, just texting.

Toronto bicyclists stage a die-in on the steps of city hall in advance of a vote for a complete streets redesign a major thoroughfare.

The Guardian offers advice on what to do if your bike hits a pothole. Which is good advice here, too. Especially the part about hiring a lawyer if you’re going to take on city hall. 

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver gets off with just eight months for plowing through traffic lights and into a bike rider while driving with five times the legal level of a cocaine derivative in his system. Seriously, who knew there was a legal level of coke for getting behind the wheel?

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an American problem. Although apparently in the UK, it’s considered hit-and-run if you leave the scene after hitting an animal, unless it’s a cat.

The war on bikes goes on. Someone strung a chain across a trail popular Australian mountain bike trail.

Shimano’s Osaka, Japan manufacturing plant suffered a serious fire on Monday.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sarah Cooper describes how she went from being afraid to ride a bike following a collision to winning last year’s RAAM.

New US Pro Continental Team Holowesko-Citadel managed to find unexpected success in their first European race.

 

Finally…

Fuel your next movie through pedal power. Taking a bikeshare bike down the length of Great Britain.

And go ahead and trick your significant other into liking outdoor activities.

Because nobody objects to being tricked for a good cause, right?

 

Morning Links: Metro approves open streets funds, and Coronado gives the boot to dockless bikeshare

It’s a light news day today, so let’s get right to it.

……..

Local

Metro approves funding for the next two-year cycle of open streets events.

 

State

Encinitas approves plans for bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover of the coast highway through Leucadia.

Coronado says no to dockless bikeshare, but the bikes show up there anyway. And will get impounded by the police.

Good news from Madera County, where bicyclists will now be allowed to cross the San Joaquin River on Highway 41.

 

National

No surprise here. Honolulu police are using a grant intended to improve bicycle safety to crack down on bike riders.

The Portland police department gave away 100 new kids bikes in memory of a bike rider who died nine months after he was paralyzed by an 84-year old red light-running driver.

A Seattle group opposing safety improvements on a local street gets an earful when they tweet that single moms don’t bike. I’m afraid I lost my record of who sent this one to me, but thank you, anyway.

A Boulder CO Op-Ed says it’s time for the city to lower speed limits and implement Vision Zero, as well as eliminating right turn on red.

A long-planned Wisconsin bikeway connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River is at risk after estimates for a bridge over a highway come in higher than expected.

The head of a Wisconsin bike advocacy group thanks the DA’s office for prosecuting a distracted driver who killed a woman riding her bike while he was searching for some papers on his passenger seat, even if the jury disagreed.

Springfield IL is preparing for its first open streets event, patterned after LA’s own CicLAvia.

Ann Arbor MI considers a seven-point plan to improve safety, including lowering speed limits and adopting a Vision Zero task force; Ontario, Canada considers a very similar four-point plan.

The Wall Street Journal asks if ebikes are actually worth it.

The war on bikes continues, as a Virginia SUV passenger is caught on video throwing a full water bottle at a trio of bike riders, hitting one; the occupants of the SUV could be charged with assault and battery.

 

International

A friend of Britain’s Prince Harry rode the length of South America in just over 48 days, shaving ten days off the existing record.

Toronto bike riders will stage a die-in on the steps of city hall to call for safer streets. It’s long past time we did the same thing right here in Los Angeles, if anyone would actually show up.

A London paper complains that driving across the city will soon be slower than riding a bike. Like that’s a bad thing.

As usual, an English town decides to fix a dangerous intersection to make it safer for bicyclists, but only after it’s already too late.

A British writer says shared pathways allowing bikes on one side and pedestrians on the other are just an accident waiting to happen.

A Dublin, Ireland university news site says the city lacks the bicycling infrastructure to keep the growing number of bike riders safe. And that bicyclists shouldn’t have to slide under a bus to stop being swept under the rug.

An Australian writer says bicycling is good for you, so give bikeshare a chance. Meanwhile, an Aussie site says ditching the country’s mandatory helmet law could lead to better overall health.

Singapore went carfree on Sunday, as part of a monthly program to close the streets of the Civic District to motor vehicles on the last Sunday of each month.

 

Competitive Cycling

World champ Peter Sagan has now won nearly four percent of the 80 editions of the Belgian classic Gent-Wevelgem; Italian cyclist Ilia Viviani broke down in tears after being boxed out at the finish, calling it the most disappointing loss of his career.

An Indian bike race ends in chaos after one of the lead riders crashes just before the finish, as riders are forced to share the busy road with cars.

A New Zealand website considers how to fairly accommodate transgender athletes, as a Kiwi woman dominates the women’s elite mountain biking field after formerly competing as an average men’s racer.

Nice to see that at least one of Lance’s friends has stuck by him.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, biking is for the birds. Bicycling helps keep you young, but your bone marrow is getting old.

And gift wrap for — or from — the bike rider in your life.

………

A special thanks to Pedego 101 and J Fylling for their generous donations to help replace my late, lamented laptop, which, after two full months in the repair shop, appears destined for that great recycling facility in the sky.

Morning Links: O’Farrell caves to Temple St. drivers, Mobility Plan under attack, and reward in LB hit-and-run

In a decision that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention lately, yet another LA council member has caved to the demands of the city’s entitled motorists.

This time on Temple Street.

Despite the city’s lip service to Vision Zero, it’s clear, to paraphrase Casablanca, that the deaths of a few innocent people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy town.

The latest example came on the other end of Temple, after Councilmember Gil Cedillo had already killed plans for a lane reduction in his district.

Now neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has joined him, citing a lack of significant, widespread support for the vital safety project.

If that’s going to be the standard, we might as well toss Vision Zero in the scrapheap of Los Angeles history right now. Because we may never get a majority of Angelenos to believe that saving lives trumps saving a few minutes on their commute.

City officials are elected to do the right thing, not the popular thing. And make the difficult choices that they know will prove correct down the road, even if they initially lack “significant, widespread support.”

Like saving lives, for instance.

Instead, O’Farrell became just the latest LA councilmember to back down in the face of organized opposition from angry motoring activists, settling for a number of incremental improvements to the street that may make it a little safer and slightly more pleasant, but likely do nothing to stop speeding drivers from running down more innocent people.

In part, because of attitudes like this from Rachael Luckey, a member of the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council.

A road diet on Temple, Luckey says, would have been too extreme.

“I hate to use the words ‘acceptable loss,’ but we do live in a metropolitan city, and it’s a dangerous world we live in,” she says. “As far as Temple Street is concerned, I don’t know that it is a crisis per-se. If we were seeing 20, 30, 50 people run over, I would be a lot more alarmed.”

A California Highway Patrol collisions database shows that from 2009 to 2017 on the stretch of Temple Street between Beverly and Beaudry, 34 people have been severely injured and five people have died in traffic crashes.

I wonder if she’d still consider it an acceptable loss if one of those victims was a member of her own family.

And once again, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was too busy running for president to weigh in on one of his own signature programs, exchanging pledged commitment to Vision Zero for zero involvement.

When Vision Zero was first announced in Los Angeles, I questioned whether the city’s leaders had the courage to made the tough choices necessary to save lives, and help make this a healthier, more vibrant and livable city.

The answer, sadly, is no.

………

On a related subject, a new journal article from Chapman University assistant law professor Ernesto Hernandez Lopez examines the legal aspects of the LA Mobility Plan.

And the auto-centric bikelash that threatens to derail it.

Here’s how he summarizes the paper, titled Bike Lanes, Not Cars: Mobility and the Legal Fight for Future Los Angeles:

  • Examines LA’s Mobility Plan 2035
  • Summarizes lessons from biking scholarship
  • Uses these lessons to make sense of the litigation on the Mobility Plan 2035
  • Suggests how law and politics can help city bike lane policies and advocacy and policy making for these
  • Relates bike lanes to Vision Zero (safety), “first and last mile” (intermodal), and mobility (de-car)
  • Correlates the litigation and LA experiences with Vehicular Cycling and Automobility theories

………

The family of Cole Micek have called on the public to help identify the two drivers who smashed into him as he rode his bike in Long Beach earlier this month, leaving him to die in the street.

Los Angeles County is now offering a $25,000 reward to help bring his killers to justice.

………

The San Gabriel River trail will be closed at Carson Street in Long Beach today for an emergency repair due to water damage. Riders will be detoured to Town Center Drive.

The path should be reopened on Saturday, unless they run into unexpected problems.

………

By now, you’ve probably seen the dashcam video of the first fatal crash caused by a self-driving car, which occurred earlier this week in Tempe AZ.

If not, take a few minutes to see if you can reconcile what you see with the local police chief’s insistence that the victim, a homeless woman walking her bicycle across the street, darted out of nowhere into the car’s path.

Right.

Then look closely at the interior view, which shows the clearly distracted emergency human driver looking down the whole time, until just before the moment of impact.

The car should have been able to detect the victim; the fact that it didn’t indicates a major flaw in the system. And the woman behind the wheel definitely should have, if she’d been paying the slighted bit of attention.

Correction: The initial stories identified the driver as a man, Raphael Vasquez. However, it appears that Vasquez has been living as woman, Raphaela Vasquez, since being released from prison in 2005. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction

Writing for Outside, Peter Flax says something like this was just a matter of time and shows that autonomous cars aren’t ready for cyclists. Or pedestrians, evidently.

A motoring website insists that Elaine Herzberg’s death isn’t just Uber’s problem, it’s everyone’s.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker observes this is the moment we decide that human lives matter more than cars. If only.

Streetsblog says if self-driving cars aren’t safer than human drivers, they don’t belong on the streets.

According to Treehugger, the fatal crash shows we need to fix our cities, not our cars.

The head of a European bike industry trade group responds that bike riders will have to wear beacons to identify themselves to autonomous vehicles. Why stop there? Why not implant all newborns with transponders so self-driving cars can see them regardless of how they travel, and choose to kill the one person crossing the street rather than the three people in a car.

The Wall Street Journal reports the human behind the wheel — it’s hard to call her the driver — was a convicted felon with a history of traffic violations.

The AP says it raises questions about Uber’s self-driving system. Gee, you think?

Just hours later, another self-driving Uber car was caught running a red light in San Francisco. So apparently, they do operate just like human drivers.

On the other hand, a Florida writer says he’ll worry about autonomous vehicles the first time a robot flips the bird and runs him off the road.

………

Local

Great piece from Peter Flax on the short-lived and sadly lamented Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race, which he calls the most captivating, inclusive and deliciously bat-shit crazy bike race in the history of the sport.

Bike the Vote LA has released their voter guide for next month’s elections in LA County.

A former Los Angeles Times staff writer calls LA streets a contested space where no improvement — such as the Venice Blvd Great Streets project — goes unpunished.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures a red light-running driver who checks most scofflaw motorist boxes.

Another from CiclaValley, as he notices the unwelcome addition of another traffic lane in Griffith Park.

The LA Daily News examines the bikelash against dockless LimeBike bikeshare bikes scattered around the CSUN campus.

Bicycling talks with the founder of LA-based women’s bikewear maker Machines for Freedom.

Monrovia partners with Lyft and dockless bikeshare provider LimeBike to improve mobility options for residents.

Forbes talks with Harvey Mudd College Professor Paul Steinberg about his bike-based course that takes students on a two-wheeled tour of the LA region to explore the challenges of creating bicycle-friendly cities.

 

State

A San Francisco writer describes the bike ride that hooked him for life.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Yolo County, where a garbage truck driver walked in a plea deal in the death of a bike-riding college professor after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter. And was rewarded with a deferred judgement and a lousy 80 hours of community service.

 

National

We missed this one from last week. If you have a Louis Garneau Course helmet, it could be subject to a safety recall.

Writing for Outside, Joe Lindsey says the Vista Outdoors boycott was doomed from the start, despite media attention.

Eugene, OR decides to make a six-block test road diet permanent, concluding it was worth the effort despite initial concerns. Sort of what might happen here if more city officials had the guts to actually try it.

Traffic delays caused by highway construction enticed an El Paso, Texas man to sell his truck and buy a motorized bicycle, improving his health and saving at least $800 a month.

A Milwaukee newspaper reminds us that we’re just a week away from 30 days of cycling.

The Michigan state legislature moves forward with a three-foot passing law.

Another one we missed: A New York professor who doesn’t ride a bike explains why he still supports bike lanes, and why he feels safer on streets with them.

The Wall Street Journal looks at cycling attire that doubles as office wear. If you can get past their paywall.

A tragic story from North Carolina, where a hit-and-run driver left the rider of a motorized bicycle lying in the road, where he was subsequently struck by four other drivers.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers the symptoms, tests and recovery for concussions. Sooner or later, everyone comes off their bike, and chances are, you can’t count on your helmet to protect you from TBIs, because that’s not what most helmets are designed to do.

CNBC examines the increasingly green future of public transportation, including bicycles.

A new reports says 43% of the Ontario, Canada bike riders killed between 2010 and 2015 were struck from behind. And 25% were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Montreal bike riders are about to get their first bike boulevard, aka a velorue. Which LA riders can only look upon with envy from afar.

Wired says London may have reached peak cycling unless they can get more women and non-white men on two wheels.

They get it. A British website says yes, the country’s road rules need to be modernized, but adding offenses for riding a bike is no place to start.

A 30-year old man is bicycling across India to collect stories.

South Korean bike paths are now officially open to ped-assist ebikes, and riders will no longer need a drivers license.

The president of Air Asia has apologized after video of airline employees recklessly damaging bicycles in Kuala Lumpur goes viral; to make up for it, they’re letting bikes fly free next month.

 

Competitive Cycling

After years of denying it was even a problem, cycling’s governing body announced plans to use a mobile X-ray machine to catch motor dopers, who may have a drone hidden inside their bikes.

A young Canadian cyclist looks at the problem of sexism in cycling.

A pharmacist says it’s time to finally ban the pain killer tramadol in cycling. No shit.

 

Finally…

Nothing like putting a few miles on your bike every year. At least we have the socialists on our side.

And a brief look at Toronto, where the Idaho Stop Law already applies to drivers.

Just like LA. And everywhere else.

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