Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: E-scooters on fire, free bikeshare and scooter rides on Election Day, and no good guys in Aussie video

Are we tired of talking about e-scooters yet?

That Bird or Lime e-scooter you rode — or maybe dodged? That was a Segway.

Never mind falling off, Lime is pulling some of their e-scooters from Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe because the batteries could catch fire.

………

Speaking of Lime, the company will be offering free e-scooters and dockless bikeshare rentals on Election Day next week. Thanks to Baz for the link.

And you can Bike the Vote with Metro, as Metro Bike will join bikeshare operators around the US in offering free rides on Tuesday, as well as free bus and train rides.

Meanwhile, Metro Bike is offering a chance to win a free $200 gift card for participating in their annual survey.

………

Sometimes there aren’t any good guys.

After a video went viral showing a driver sideswipe an Aussie bicyclist, then get out of his car and toss his bike into the bushes, both men ended up in front of a judge.

The guy on the bike got probation and a letter of apology after admitting he keyed the driver’s car before the crash shown in the video.

Not to mention doxing him by posting his name, address and phone number online.

The driver, who was already on probation, had four other charges dismissed after copping a plea to recklessly causing injury, and got off with a $1,000 fine and court costs.

Still unanswered is what the hell the driver did to piss the bicyclist off in the first place.

Because people on bikes hardly ever just key cars at random.

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Local

Just weeks after writing about the dangers of biking in Los Angeles, and on Spring Street in particular, KPCC and LAist journalist Leo Duran nearly got hit by a red light running driver while attempting to cross on the new bike signal.

Los Angeles plans to use eminent domain to acquire the land needed for a pedestrian bridge over the LA River connecting Cypress Park and Frogtown after reaching an impasse with a developer who wants to build on the land, even though it’s in the flood plain.

Another bike event is scheduled for this weekend, as CICLE and Metro are hosting a BEST Ride to tour Scott Froschaur’s The Word on the Street public art project.

A police website profiles Pasadena’s newly reformed Neighborhood Action Team bike cop unit; officers weren’t required to know how to ride a bike when they joined, but had to learn how to fall.

 

State

The CHP is asking for donations of bike lights and reflective gear to distribute to people in Modesto who can’t afford to get their own. Although it would be nice if they didn’t blame bicyclists and pedestrians for causing most crashes.

Formerly Scotts Valley-based Fox Factory will say hasta la vista to California by moving their HQ to Georgia, and transferring the bike products division to Reno.

Good story from a Redwood City high school newspaper about the city’s new protected bike lane, and how it could encourage more people to ride. Seriously, someone should tell the kid who wrote it that he’s got a great future in the news business.

A Bay Area man describes the day his heart short-circuited while he was riding, pedaling up to the ER with his pulse pounding at 215 beats a minute. Meanwhile, VeloNews examines the effect endurance sports has on your heart.

 

National

Outside considers those vital beer and candy pairings for your leftover Halloween treats.

Bike Snob wants to make the roads safer by making driving dangerous again.

Bicycling offers five recovery tips.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver was taken into custody for purposely driving into protesters outside the county courthouse.

This is who we share the roads with, part 2. A pair of Portland business owners apparently think it’s okay to run over people with their cars. Or maybe funny, which is worse.

Tacoma WA is finishing the final link on a 15-mile bike path that will give riders a safe crosstown route for the first time. Which is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. And for which there are no current plans.

A writer for a Texas A&M university paper describes a series of wildcat Midnight Crits in San Antonio, saying it’s only for the daring.

Dallas will open up 20 miles of streets on Saturday for their second annual open streets event.

They get it. The prestigious Mayo Clinic is installing 200 bike racks around Rochester, Minnesota in an effort to get more people riding.

Tragic news from Indiana, where a nine-year old girl and her six-year old brothers were killed when a pickup driver ignored the stop sign and warning lights on the bus, and slammed into them as they crossed the street; the girl had stepped in front of her brothers in a vain effort to protect them. The 24-year old woman behind the wheel now faces three counts of negligent homicide. Seriously, this is why drivers are supposed to stop for a school bus, but often don’t. And yes, bike riders are supposed to stop, too.

Baltimore’s new Complete Streets ordinance is attempting to build racial equity into the law.

Forget the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s tests on bike helmets. If you really want to know if a helmet will protect you in a crash, look to studies from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which go far beyond CPSC standards to see how they hold up under tests that simulate real world conditions.

 

International

Clean Technica blames physics for the rising rate of injuries and fatalities involving ebikes — but fails to take their increasing popularity into account. Never mind that they fail to differentiate between high speed throttle-controlled bikes, and the more common — and significantly slower — ped-assist bikes.

This is who we share the roads with, part three. Prosecutors argued that an Ottawa driver was at best “willfully unaware” that he hit and killed a bike rider after driving home from his brother’s wedding at 4:30 am, and having been awake for 22 hours. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bike rider is lucky to avoid a crash as a delivery driver swerves directly into her.

Australia’s largest bike advocacy group is calling for a repeal of the country’s law requiring bike helmets, at least for riders on sidewalks and offroad paths.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Olympic track cyclist decides to ride the Leadville 100 after retiring, and discovers that nothing had prepared him for what he faced.

Lance rides again, taking part in a Costa Rican mountain bike race despite a lifetime cycling ban; the race is held outside of UCI and WADA jurisdiction, which allows him to compete.

The newly crowned women’s masters track cycling champ defends her victory, saying it’s okay for trans women to compete — and win — in women’s sports.

 

Finally…

A man writing as a woman offers advice on how she’s more comfortable riding men’s bikes instead of women’s, which makes sense since she evidently isn’t one. Zwift goes virtually cycling in a virtually scary Halloween world.

And Taipei’s mayor is one of us, and he raps.

More or less.

Morning Links: Keeping our streets deadly, biking to a surf record, and hard-hitting non-LA Vision Zero ads

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

San Gabriel police arrested a man for the hit-and-run death of a grandmother and her one-year old granddaughter as they walked in a crosswalk last week.

The suspect, who was taken into custody leaving a local hospital, has three previous arrests on DUI charges. Yet was still driving, and posing a risk to everyone on the road around him.

So once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it was too late.

And another innocent family had to pay the price.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……….

Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira combined running and riding intervals on her bike to get back in shape, five years after she was nearly crushed to death by a monster wave.

The result was a new world record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman.

 

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A hard-hitting public service campaign uses actual broken bicycles, helmets and personal possessions belonging to people who were killed on Toronto’s streets to drive home the message of the city’s Vision Zero campaign.

These definitely succeed at cutting through the usual ad clutter, and eliciting a strong visceral response.

The question is whether it’s enough to convince people to drive more carefully. Or just convince people that riding and walking are too dangerous, as Marc argues in this Twitter thread.

I’m not sure just where I come down on that debate.

But I do know they’re a hell of a lot more effective and impactful than this embarrassing effort from LA’s Vision Zero program.

………

Let’s catch up with a few coming events.

SoCalCross is hosting a weekend of cyclocross racing at Lake Casitas this weekend, including a Halloween-themed Spooky Cross.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride will roll from the Spoke Bicycle Cafe to the free 2nd Annual Griffith Park Harvest Fest this Sunday.

Bike SGV reports Arcadia is hosting what may be its first ever public meeting on November 7th to discuss bicycle improvement projects throughout the city.

The East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice will host their annual LA River Bike Toxic Tour on November 18th. And no, I don’t know what that means.

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Local

After losing at City Hall, LA’s overly litigious, self-appointed NIMBY watchdogs have filed suit against the City of Los Angeles to halt the recently approved plans allowing for greater density near Expo Line stations.

 

State

Life is cheap in San Diego, where a 20-year old woman will serve just four months of a one-year sentence for killing a Fallbrook man as he was riding just minutes from his home, while she was under the influence of antidepressants.

Sad news from Marin County, where a popular teacher was killed when her bike was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver.

More bad news, this time from nearby Sonoma County, where a woman was run over by a loaded dump truck as she was riding her bike in a Santa Rosa crosswalk.

 

National

Zwift wants you to ride for a good cause starting next week, including helping pay the medical expenses for former pro Adrien Costa, who lost a leg while rock climbing in Italy, as well as raising funds for African bike charity Qhebeka, among others.

A Michigan charity group is getting into the holiday spirit already, gearing up to distribute 101 bicycles to needy families.

This is who we share the streets with — and who polices them. A Massachusetts police lieutenant is on administrative leave after a series of columns he wrote for a police publication came to light, including calls to “meet violence with violence” while complaining about Lime Bikes, bike lanes and Tour de France wannabes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Gothamist asks if just tossing protective bollards in pedestrian areas and bikeways is enough to protect New Yorkers against another truck terrorist attack.

Baltimore has officially changed the fire code to allow bike lanes on narrower streets, despite the mayor’s failure to sign the bill.

After a North Carolina man was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding on a narrow street, a local resident says bicyclists should ride on the nonexistent sidewalks.

Four experienced Florida bike riders were critically injured when they reportedly changed lanes in front of an oncoming car, and were run down by the 92-year old driver; police blame the victims for an improper lane change. Bicyclists said the popular riding route where they were struck is dangerous, but local residents say bikes belong on the sidewalk instead.

 

International

Here’s another way of looking at Vancouver’s successful bike registration program — it helps return an average of one stolen bike a day to their original owners.

An Ottawa, Canada woman says bike riders should stay off the damn sidewalk already. No matter where we ride, people will complain that we should be somewhere else. Or anywhere else. So just ride safely, legally and courteously, and let it be their problem.

Caught on video: Just moments after safely passing one bike rider, an English bus driver nearly takes out a second bicyclist by cutting in way to close after passing to avoid oncoming traffic.

A British sporting goods company has saved a chain of bike shops from insolvency, while warning that half of the stores may be shut down.

A researcher in the UK finds no evidence that bicyclists pose an elevated risk to disabled people, but says that cars do.

Irish bike riders are posting photos of their bikes outside of polling stations as part of an “I Bike I Vote” campaign. If anyone wants to share photos of how you Bike the Vote next week, I’ll be happy to post them on here.

A New Zealand bicyclist penned an Op-Ed decrying the growing anger on the roads, after an impatient driver posted an irate video showing his group delaying her car for a whole 20 seconds.

Beleaguered Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo appears to be in retreat around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former American national champ Larry Warbasse was back in pro cycling’s WorldTour, just days after his Aqua Blue team unexpectedly folded after he had signed a new two year contract.

Cycling Tips profiles former U-23 national champ Keegan Swirbul, who finds himself without a team at the ripe old age of 23; he may be the only rider to make the leap from parkour to the pro tour.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who doesn’t need a $6,000 sort-of bamboo e-cargo bike?

And why bother with brake levers when you can just brake with your butt?

………

Happy Halloween! Use extra caution if you drive tonight, and watch for kids early and over-indulging revelers late.

And if you ride your bike, ride defensively, because drivers won’t be looking for you tonight.

Morning Links: Captain Kirk is one of us, Long Beach giving bike lanes the shift, and bicycling for masochists

It’s kind of nice to have a relatively light news day after yesterday’s massive post

So let’s jump right in. 

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William Shatner is one of us, too.

Hopefully, he has his ebike wired so Scotty’s voice calls out “I’m giving her all she’s got, Captain!” whenever he accelerates.

And yes, I know he never actually said that. At least not on Star Trek.

But still.

………

Local

Long Beach is moving bike lanes on Third and Broadway to the opposite side of the street to simplify life for people on bikes, and eliminate dangerous crossings.

 

State

San Diego finally moving forward with the bike lanes and sidewalks on Golf Course Drive that local residents have been requesting for the past thirty years. Now they just have to be patient for another three and half years.

Ventura considers stopping the e-scooter scourge before it can start, threatening to ban the scooters before anyone tries to actually introduce them to the city.

Streetsblog looks at Sunday’s anti-Prop 6 rally in San Francisco, where bike riders donned wigs and heels to shoot down a ridiculous argument against the state gas tax increase. And those were just the men.

A Marine Corps vet from Sacramento is riding across the US to get his fellow vets talking about mental health; after making the decision, his first step was to buy a bike and learn to ride it.

 

National

Bicycling sings the praises of balance bikes, suggesting that starting your toddler on one can pay big dividends when they ride a regular bike later.

The Seattle Times examines the new UPS pilot project to make deliveries by ebikes capable of carrying up to 400 pounds of cargo.

Seattle’s Burke-Gilman Trail will use solar powered sensors to warn bike riders and pedestrians about approaching cars at crossings, and vice versa, through an app on their phones. Hopefully that won’t be just be another form of distraction for drivers.

Denver bicyclists and e-scooter riders are learning to share the streets and bike lanes, even though scooters are required to stay on the sidewalk in the Mile High City.

It’s not just LA. Drivers illegally parking their cars in bike lanes remains a problem for Minneapolis bicyclists, despite increased enforcement. Though someone should tell the Southwest Journal that it’s more than just an annoyance for people on bikes.

Treehugger gives a positive review to the new podcast The War on Cars from leading New York bike advocates Sarah Goodyear, Doug Gordon and Aaron Naparstek.

Five first responders are riding from DC to Syracuse NY to honor the victims of Pan Am Flight 103, which was blown up by Libyan terrorists over Lockerbie Scotland 30 years ago.

Cycling Tips gets up close and personal with the latest bikes at last weekend’s Philly Bike Expo.

Georgia bike riders say don’t punish the victims by banning bikes from a highway bypass just because local motorists can’t drive safely.

 

International

Good question. A Canadian driver asks if it would kill you to check for bicyclists before opening a car door after parking.

Faster and heavier ebikes pose a problem for Vancouver bike riders in the city’s bike lanes.

Speaking of Vancouver, the city’s bike registration system is credited with cutting bike theft by 30% in just three years, and has spread to 35 cities across North America.

The UK edition of Runner’s World says BMX riding is the best cross-training workout to improve running. But doesn’t seem to understand that BMX and singletrack aren’t the same thing.

A British writer says making drivers over 70 do the Dutch Reach is ageism because they’re not “bleeding gymnasts.” And fondly recalls the good old days when people drove drunk and streets were even deadlier.

Caught on video: An English website collects video of the town’s “dumbest drivers,” including a pair who evidently couldn’t tell the difference between the roadway and a walking path.

A new book tells the story of former Iranian cyclist Ishbel Rose Holmes, who rescued a stray dog as she rode across Turkey while riding around the world.

Context matters. A New Zealand website says there’s been a 27-fold increase in ebike crashes in the last five years; advocates are quick to point out the increase correlates with a rapid boom in ebike use.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur talks with former world champ and new mother Lizzie Deignan, who kept riding through her pregnancy, stopping just three days before giving birth.

Former British Tour de France champ Sir Bradley Wiggins has a new book out, in which he calls Lance “precisely the sort of winner” race founders had imagined. Aside from all that doping and bullying, that is.

Cycling News discusses five notable cyclists who are retiring from the pro tour this year, including American great Megan Guarnier.

Tragic news from Indonesia, where the passenger list for a downed airline flight included 26-year old former Italian pro Andrea Manfredi; all 189 passengers and crew are presumed dead.

 

Finally…

Annoying the crap out of drivers to fight knife crime. If you want to tell the history of the bicycle, always start with the invention of the wheel.

And the leading cause of death in the US is unintentional injuries.

So masochists, as you were.

 

Morning Links: Catching up on road raging drivers, e-scooters news, older bicyclists and self-driving cars

We’ve got a lot to catch up on this morning. 

So pour yourself a big cuppa joe, settle in for awhile, and let’s get right to it. 

Photo by Kevin Menajang via Pexels.com

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging British driver got two years for punching a bike rider who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, knocking him into the path of oncoming traffic.

Caught on video: A road raging Aussie driver slammed the side of his SUV into a bike rider, knocking him off the roadway, then got out of his car and tossed the victim’s bike into the bushes.

It also goes the other way. A Portland man claims that after he cut off a bike rider while pulling into a parking garage, the road raging rider tracked him down, went to his home and slashed all his car’s tires, leaving a note on his windshield reading, “You were so easy to find, Mark. You should drive more carefully.” A commenter says that’s more evidence that entitled cyclists are real, and not helpful.

………

Once again, e-scooters are in the news.

The LA Times gets it, with an even-handed editorial saying e-scooters could be an invaluable addition to the transportation system, but providers need to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

A New Zealand newspaper says let’s not be too quick to slap regulations on e-scooters.

And Peter Flax writes that instead of seeing e-scooter riders as the enemy, bike riders should welcome them as allies in the fight for safer streets.

………

Speaking of Flax, he hit the trifecta in today’s news, with a second piece noting that painted bike lanes offer little physical protection — and virtually no legal protection. I’ve long argued that bike riders should enjoy the same unquestioned right-of-way in bike lanes that pedestrians are supposed to enjoy in crosswalks, but too often don’t.

And finishing out today’s Peter Flax news, an Akron OH columnist takes offense at a bike rider from Los Angeles — or anywhere else — poking his nose in the city’s business, even if it’s to defend the concept of road diets from someone who doesn’t quite seem to get it.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

An 85-year old bike rider remains a pillar of the Waco TX bicycling community, after nearly 30 national championships and several state and world titles.

The incomparable French cyclist Robert Marchand came out of retirement to take a lap on the country’s national velodrome at the ripe old age of 106.

………

Then there are the driverless vehicles of our near future, which should be an improvement on the distracted driver ones we currently have.

Or maybe not.

A Berkeley-based urban planner says self-driving cars ain’t gonna solve our transportation problems.

And a team from MIT crowdsources the tough question of who self-driving cars should kill; you may not want to be an old criminal in the autonomous future. Or a cat.

………

No bias here. A writer for the Sacramento Business Journal apparently thinks he’s writing a witty little satiric piece on how to be a successful Sacramento pedestrian.

See if you can find even a modicum of wit here, because I certainly can’t.

2. See if you can intimidate someone riding one of those ubiquitous arrest-me-red bicycles into either running into you or sloppily avoiding you, thereby wobbling out of the designated bike lane and into the path of a car.

You see, bicyclists don’t believe they’re on a two-wheeled deathtrap, which, if it collided with a German shepherd, would see the dog emerge triumphant (though not happy about it). Instead, bicyclists believe they’re pedaling in a bubble, a challenge even to fans of physics. They believe they can control their scrawny vehicle, not knowing that lithe pedestrians can usually flee the scene of an accident more easily than bicyclists can — unless the bicyclists are more motivated than the pedestrian to do so, possibly due to their having a record of DUI arrests, which also would account for why they’re riding bicycles, not driving their recently totaled automobiles.

 

All I see is someone who doesn’t seem to understand what he’s writing about, and apparently doesn’t care enough to ask anyone.

………

Megan Lynch forwards a reminder that there are many kinds of distracted driving. Some cuter than others.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine explains the meaning of every proposition on the November 6th ballot.

Los Angeles Walks invites you to honor the victims of traffic violence at the LA observance of the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18th at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

LA is still trying to deal with the problem of cut-through traffic caused by Waze, which road diets and bike lanes unfairly get blamed.

Nice story from Long Beach, where bighearted police dispatchers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 14-year old boy after his was stolen.

The rebuilt Broadway corridor Complete Streets project in Long Beach should be finished by the end of the year.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has received a $75,000 grant to provide bicycle-skills training and bike and pedestrian safety.

A Redlands paper looks at the projects which would be lost if Prop 6 passes and the gas tax increase is repealed.

Over 200 bike riders turned out for the annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour.

Sad news from Santa Clara, where a 49-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by a bus driver while riding in a bike lane.

In a pilot project, San Francisco will install a new protected bike lane on dangerous Valencia Street next year, as quickly as possible using existing materials; the idea is to speed up implementation of Vision Zero projects. On the other hand, new protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero appear to be on the slow track.

San Francisco Streetsblog offers a roundup of what Bay Area advocacy groups have to say on Props 6 and 10, as well as local propositions.

Bike riders in San Francisco’s famed Castro District donned high heels and wigs to protest Prop 6, along with a congressional candidate’s comments that “people would be forced to bike and take trains, and that wouldn’t work for her because of her ‘hair and heels.'”

Sad news from Pittsburgh, where a bike rider was killed in a collision on Friday.

A local paper offers a survival guide to biking in not-so-bike-friendly Santa Rosa. Meanwhile, a Santa Rosa writer says yes, bicyclists pay their own way.

 

National

People for Bikes has developed free tools to help calculate the economic benefits of bicycling to communities.

A former bike racer writes about the relatively new, mostly urban phenomenon of rideout culture, in which teenage bike riders swarm the streets, while performing stunts and darting in and out of traffic — a practice guaranteed to leave drivers and city officials frightened and apoplectic.

A new device raising funds on Indiegogo promises to end bike theft by installing a GPS tracker on your bike to alert you if anyone moves it.

Portland community members investigate a bike chop shop in a homeless camp, and discover a young girl’s bike that was registered with Bike Index.

UPS is testing out cargo ebikes for deliveries in Seattle, with the help of the University of Washington.

The LA Times says now that it’s cooled off, the new bikeshare system in Las Vegas is the perfect way to see the city.

North Texas bike riders give up on the Dallas area’s congested streets, and turn their hopes to an unbuilt network of offroad bike trails.

A grieving mother biked the entire length of the Mississippi River to honor her 22-year old son, who drowned there.

That’s one way to get attention. After an Indianapolis bike rider was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver, he somehow managed to make it up to the governor’s mansion get get help.

DC promises to double the amount protected bike lanes in city over the next six years by building another ten miles of protected lanes — which works out to a measly 1.67 miles per year.

A Navy pilot in Virginia used his bike to overcome the depression that that nearly claimed his life.

Atlanta plans to stitch a network of old freight rail lines into a 22-mile walking, cycling and light rail beltway surrounding the central city.

Bicycles are changing the way people in New Orleans get around, as the city has worked to build out an effective bike network. Seriously, if they can boost bicycling in New Orleans, with its high heat, bugs and humidity, just imagine what we could do with LA’s much gentler climate.

 

International

A “lifelong, avid cyclist” says the new bike lanes in Victoria, British Columbia are nothing more than an expensive vanity project that inconveniences motorists, while sitting empty most of the day. Pretty much like most streets, which are packed at rush hour, and far overbuilt the rest of the day.

A Canadian man who’s losing his vision due to a progressive eye disease turns to bicycling to stay mobile and keep in shape.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says what we really need is safe infrastructure, not a bunch of bike helmet scolds.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where an Uber driver faces a maximum $2,000 fine in the death of a bike rider.

London continues to show the US how it’s done, with plans to pedestrianize half the streets in the historic city core, while reducing speeds to 15 mph and expanding protected bike lanes and the city’s cycle superhighways.

A smile-inducing London-based pedicab company is attempting to crowdfund the equivalent of nearly $200,000 to expand their ped-assist taxi service throughout the city.

A Welsh website considers the bizarre death of bicyclist and MI-6 spy Gareth Williams, whose death was originally ruled an accident — even though his naked body was found padlocked inside a suitcase.

Bike riding is going upscale in India.

Here’s your guide to riding a bike on your next trip to the United Arab Emirates — including a spin around the Abu Dhabi F1 track. Making race car noises while you ride is optional.

Three Kenyan students have developed a solar powered, all-wheel drive, all terrain ebike that can also produce enough energy to power a home for three days.

And you thought your potholes were bad. A Kathmandu bike rider was killed when his bike fell through an open manhole cover.

This is who we share the roads with. A New Zealand driver plows through a family of ducks crossing the road, despite the best efforts of a bystander to protect them. The video is graphic, heartbreaking and sickening, so be advised before you decide to click on the link.

The ancient Vietnamese city of Hội An is planning to increase the number of non-motor vehicle zones, and boost bicycling for both locals and tourists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France route has been officially unveiled; Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas kind of like it, especially the climbs.

Elite cyclist Evelyn Sifton discusses finding acceptance in fixed gear racing after coming out as trans.

 

Finally…

Next time you encounter a polite driver, give ’em a big palm smile. When you have 4,999 bike riders, and still can’t get in the Guinness book.

And bikes are perfect for the coming zombie apocalypse and other disasters, natural and otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Uber scoots into Hollywood, anachronistic bikes, and Nov. closure of San Gabriel River path

So this happened yesterday.

Uber has apparently made the long migration east from their new Santa Monica base to the wilds of Hollywood.

Or maybe someone just took a long ride and left one here on the sidewalk near my home.

The tag on the e-scooter, which you can read by clicking the photo below, promises up to five free one-half hour rides per day through October 28th using the Uber app.

Hopefully, if the Uber scooters really have finally made their long-promised entry into the LA scooter wars, that means Uber’s popular JUMP ebike bikeshare will soon follow.

………

Last Friday, we mentioned the frozen antique bicycle which had unexpectedly emerged from the snowy slopes of the Italian Alps. Not far from where Ötzi, the 5,000-year old frozen caveman, had emerged from his own glacial grave in 1991.

Leading to the obvious and inescapable conclusion that it might be his bike.

If obvious and inescapable can be read to mean ludicrous and anachronistic.

Yet Marvin Davis has forwarded proof, of a sort, that it may be possible after all.

Which leads us to today’s discovery of what happens when you abbreviate the year in a multi-day Google Search.

Only to discover the odd fact that not one story about bicycles was published online on Tuesday or Wednesday’s date in 18 AD.

Go figure.

………

Long Beach Mobility & Healthy Living Programs Officer Michelle Mowery sends word of yet another one-day closure of the San Gabriel River Bike Path next month.

The path will be closed from 8 am to 5 pm on Wednesday, November 14th between 2nd Street and 7th Street (California State Highway 22) for additional work by the LA Department of Public Works.

So mark your calendar, and plan on another route that day.

………

No bias here.

An indignorant writer for a Kiwi website complains about the “massive amounts of taxpayer and ratepayer money” to give supposedly freeloading bike riders “an advantage over motorists who have to pay their own way in life.”

Don’t get me wrong, recreational cycling on purpose-built cycleways, especially out in the country, is an admirable pursuit, but cycling is not a practical means of transport, and the amount of other people’s money thrown at cycling infrastructure is totally disproportionate to the number of cyclists using it.

If the cost of cycleways and special cycle lanes was reflected in a tax on new bicycles each one would cost its purchaser at least $50,000.

Never mind that the total cost of a painted bike lane runs around $50,000 a mile in the US. So evidently, he’s assuming that every bike lane will be used by just one person per mile.

Period.

He goes on to complain about a planned walkway over the Aukland harbor, insisting it will become a death trap for people on foot as spandex-clad bike riders hit speeds of 55 mph on the downhill slope.

Because that’s just what we all do.

………

Local

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery shares a photo of a bike thief who made off with a bike from a Norwalk shop.

 

State

San Francisco bike riders will be wearing wigs and sensible heels this weekend to protest Prop 6. And those are just the men, including State Sen. Scott Wiener.

Modesto is planning a new road diet to calm traffic on one of the city’s most dangerous streets; previous road diets have actually improved traffic flow for drivers. Which is probably why Modesto NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers aren’t rising up in revolt, unlike the privileged drivers in a certain SoCal city we could name.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to dress for cold winter weather, including LA’s frigid 60° temps. And explains how riding a bike can give you a healthier gut.

Meanwhile, the great bike helmet debate goes on, as a writer for Bicycling says it’s okay to not wear a helmet, adding they can help protect against some injuries, but safer streets and drivers help more.

Good idea. A Colorado Springs CO advocacy group is offering classes for people who want to learn how to drive safely around bike riders.

An Estes Park writer suggests bicycling as a practical solution to the Colorado tourist town’s chronic traffic and parking problems.

Anyone can ride across the country. A Texas man is riding in a heart shape through 13 states to show his love for the US, and see for himself how divided the country is.

A Louisville KY woman explains how mansplainers nearly made her quit bicycling, until she gave up on the trails and started riding in the local cemetery. Seriously, when it comes to advice, be a well, not a fountain; if people want advice, they’ll usually ask for it. Although someone should tell her that calling out “on your left” is a courtesy to help avoid confusion and crashes, even if some riders treat it like more of a command. 

Still more from Bicycling, as they explain how a sub-seven-mile Memphis bike lane helped transform the city, which preceded Los Angeles as a two-time loser as America’s worst city for bicycling. So maybe there’s hope for us yet.

A Pittsburgh website profiles a paraplegic rockstar, author and record-setting handcyclist.

At a time when it seems like no one is behind the wheel in Washington, it could soon be literally true.

DC will try slow zones and banning right turns at some red lights to improve safety, as the mayor attempts to reset the city’s Vision Zero; traffic deaths have already exceeded the total for all of last year.

 

International

An automotive website considers when carmakers make bikes. I’ll take the Pashley Morgan, thank you.

Seriously, don’t be that guy. A bike raging London bicyclist caused nearly $2,000 in damage by slamming his bike onto the hood of a chauffeured limo. No matter what a driver might have done, violence is never the answer, tempting though it may be.

No bias here, either. A British radio host takes London’s DOT-equivalent to task for not implementing a harebrained plan to let drivers use one of the city’s cycle superhighways at non-peak hours. It should come as no surprise that his last name is Ferrari.

An English town saw a 200% increase in bicycling after they banned cars from the city center.

The war on cars may be a myth, but but the war on bikes goes on. An Irish farmer was convicted of pushing two men off their bikes, complaining they were passing too close to where he was walking.

NPR considers how a disastrous change in service providers nearly killed the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare.

A new Danish study shows bicycling in your 50s and 60s can cut your risk of early death by 23%. Then again, any death before you’re ready is early.

Switch to biking, walking or taking transit in Bologna, Italy and the city will buy you a beer. Which is why this site may soon be called BikinginBologna.

An advocacy group in Malta is urging employers to fight traffic by buying bicycles for their workers — then taking it out of their salaries.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 71-year old Indian man is on his seventh ride around the world.

An Israeli professional soccer player has been indicted for the drunken hit-and-run that killed an ebike rider.

An Aussie woman is furious that she got stuck behind a group of bicyclists for awhile, complaining that they didn’t move over to let her pass. Never mind that the lane was clearly to narrow to safely share.

A Kiwi writer describes a rainy bike commute to work, which she started doing when her car’s radiator blew up six years ago. And says if someone offered her a new car today, she wouldn’t take it.

He gets it. A New Zealand writer says don’t panic, they’re only scooters.

Brisbane, Australia bike advocates call for a connected bikeway grid in the central business district after bike riders identify a mere 2,850 traffic safety problem areas.

Heartbreaking story from Thailand, where a Philippine randonneur was killed by a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light, just 31 miles from the end of a 1,250-mile race.

A short German-made film examines how Beijing is turning back to bicycles in an attempt to ease traffic and smog in the city of 21 million.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former US Postal team director Johan Bruyneel, who helped Lance win — and lose — a record-setting seven Tour de France titles, has received a well-deserved lifetime ban from cycling.

America’s other ex-Tour de France winner and current CBD peddler says cycling’s post-doping era ain’t so clean, either.

Cycling Tips says the pro cycling calendar is bloated and anti-climactic.

Good news, as 21-year old Californian former pro cyclist Adrien Costa is back on his bike, just three months after losing a leg in a Mono County climbing accident.

 

Finally…

How to not mispronounce common bike brands. Just what every bicyclist needs — $200 cherry red vinyl bike shorts with a bejeweled buckle.

And proof not all distracted drivers are drivers. Even if it was probably staged.

Morning Links: More on the great bike helmet debate, and LA Times sort of says we’re dangerous

Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Just a day after British bike scribe and new Forbes transportation writer Carlton Reid says he doesn’t wear a helmet when he rides, a couple others chimed in on the subject.

A Montreal writer says the problem with that is that bike helmets are proven to save lives. Which is true, as long as you don’t look at the studies that contradict them.

And pro cyclist Alex Dowsett says helmets “should be compulsory for all cyclists, everywhere, all of the time,” after crediting his with saving his head during yesterday’s stage of China’s Tour of Guangxi.

As regular readers of this site may know, I always wear a helmet when I ride.

But I realize that they’re not magic talismans that protect you from any injury. Except for the new MIPS helmets, they don’t protect against concussions, and they don’t protect any other part of the body.

They’re also only designed to protect against impacts up to 13.5 mph. Which means bike helmets are better in a slow speed fall than a high speed crash.

So yes, they can offer some protection, and may even save your life under certain circumstances.

But they should always be seen as the last line of defense. Not the first.

It’s better to avoid a crash in the first place than count on your helmet to save you.

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Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for alerting the world to the dangers of this site in yesterday’s daily email blast.

Although I prefer to write it as one word.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up. 

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Local

The LA Times offers their endorsements for next month’s election, including a no on Prop 6, which would repeal the recent gas tax increase to fund road repair.

 

State

A new class-action lawsuit against Lime and Bird calls for banning e-scooters in California, with three plaintiffs alleging they were injured by defective and unsafe scooters; the suit also alleges the companies created a public nuisance and abetted assault. On the other hand, they love them in Portland, and are replacing car trips.

The CHP’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project has received a $1 million federal grant, as San Jose becomes the fourth California city to adopt Vision Zero.

Sad news from Sunnyvale, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

 

National

A writer for Business Insider says he can highly recommend REI’s own line of hybrid bikes.

As if anyone still cares, Cosmo updates the world on Britney Spears inner circle 20 years after the release of Baby One More Time. Although if you want to scroll all the way down to #13, Nigel Dick, the director of that video and some of her other hits, is one of us.

A Missouri city administrator explains there are many reasons why he rides a bicycle. But mostly, because it’s fun.

Critical Mass has finally made it to Brattleboro, Vermont, population just below 11,500.

Sure, that’s it. The New York Post’s resident anti-bike crank says local residents are making a last stand to fight a planned bike and pedestrian bridge, arguing that the mere presence of people on bicycles would lower their property values. And that the bridge is just the mayor’s attempt to get even with the governor, whose mother lives nearby. Of course. Who wouldn’t build a multi-million dollar just to get back at your political nemesis?

A WaPo writer says DC pedestrians have to walk at their own risk. And it’s not much better for people on bikes.

Speaking of DC, the district is considering banning right turns on red lights to improve safety for people on bicycles and on foot.

 

International

Most Scots think bicycling is a good thing, but over half say it’s not for them. Meanwhile, a newspaper wonders why so many adults lose the ability to ride a bike when it’s literally child’s play.

A Euro website looks at L’Eroica and the return of vintage steel road bikes.

For the second time in a week, a French mountain biker has been shot by a hunter; the victim was hit in the shoulder by someone who apparently thought he was shooting at a wild boar. Since so many try to escape hunters by bicycle, evidently.

A Kiwi writer says he has seen the future, and it’s dockless bikeshare.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider suffered a broken ankle when he was the victim of sidewalk rage, after a large man brushed against him rather than move over a bit to make room.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews calls the just concluded Tour of Guangxi a success, as it builds a cycling bridge between east and west.

 

Finally…

When protected bike lanes come to Dinkytown. And just in time for Halloween, the bicycling dead.

 

Morning Links: Frozen antique bicycle pops out, LA gets climate change nod, and Martha and Eartha are us, too

Forget the frozen caveman.

Scientists may have just discovered his bicycle.

An antique bike was discovered emerging from a glacier in the Ötztal region of the Italian Alps, the same area where Ötzi the frozen caveman was locked in ice a mere 5,000 or so years earlier.

Authorities speculate the bike may have been frozen in the glacier as a result of the bustling smuggling trade in the years following WWII.

Photo from Berghasen Facebook post

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Los Angeles was among the next round of winning cities chosen for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, along with San Diego, San Jose and Portland.

The $70 million program provides resources and access to cutting-edge support to meet or beat its carbon reduction goals.

Which sounds great, but won’t happen until LA finally gets serious about getting more cars off the roads.

The city can do it in a positive manner, by building out safe bike lanes, crosswalks and other options for non-polluting alternative transportation to entice drivers to leave their cars at home. Or in a punitive manner, through congestion pricing or alternate day driving.

But one way or another, they’re going to have to do something. And fast.

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Martha Stewart is one of us.

But more impressive, so was the legendary Eartha Kitt.

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Local

If you didn’t get to hear KPCC’s Leo Duran explain why he thinks Los Angeles earned its ranking as America’s worst city for bicycling, now you can read the full report it on LAist.

The long-delayed Arroyo Seco Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail finally opened on Saturday; the 3/4 mile path links three bikeways to connect Pasadena with DTLA.

 

State

San Diego’s Bike Garage reopens in a new location after nearly going out of business following a devastating fire.

A three-mile section of San Diego’s Ocean Beach went carfree on Sunday, with an open streets event called CiclOBias. Although it’s time to stop torturing the word ciclovia in every way possible in an attempt to copy CicLAvia.

I want to be like them when I grow up. Cambria’s Old Folks Bicycle Club — aka “Old Farts — rides three times a week, with the oldest member in his upper 90s; the story explains how you can join. Hint: 1) ride a bike, and 2) get old.

San Francisco advocates are trying to talk merchants into a couple of block-long carfree zones, saying they could be extended along the entire street if it proves successful.

No bias here. A Ukiah columnist complains that a) no one rides Amtrak, b) a proposal for a bike path paralleling railroad tracks will somehow cost billions, c) your daughter will break her leg and fall off a cliff if she uses this “trail to nowhere,” and d) no one will ride it other than wealthy spandex-clad riders on $9,000 bicycles who don’t spend a dime in road taxes. Evidently because wealthy people who ride bikes don’t own cars or pay taxes.

 

National

Trek rode to the rescue when the University of Vermont’s bikes went up in flames just days before the collegiate mountain bike nationals.

Cycling Tips‘ James Huang takes a gravel ride through Idaho looking for a little inspiration. And finding it.

A new study from the Cleveland Clinic shows that sitting around and not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Bike riders in Cambridge MA place 160 bicycles on the city hall lawn to represent the number of crashes between bicyclists and motorists each year. If we tried that in LA, we’d need a hell of a lot more bikes. Let alone lawn space at city hall.

In a story that should sound familiar to Angelenos, New Orleans business owners insist they’re living through a hell on earth and traffic is gridlocked. All because a bike lane was moved from the door zone to the curb, resulting a two-way parking protected lane.

A three-day, 170-mile Louisiana ride travels from New Orleans to the state penitentiary in Angola to raise funds to help keep inmates connected with their families.

 

International

British bike scribe and new Forbes transportation writer Carlton Reid says he doesn’t wear a helmet when he rides. And that what’s really dangerous is driving a car.

Road.cc takes a detailed deep dive into how to choose a bike light, before offering their recommendations.

NPR looks at Jenny Graham’s record breaking ride around the world.

A Costa Rican website gets into the spirit of the season with a pair of very short tales giving a new meaning to ghost bikes.

A Swiss non-profit has shipped 500 bicycles to St. Lucia to fight diabetes on the Caribbean island.

No bias here, either. London’s Daily Mail shows no reticence in calling a young black man a thug after he gets off his bicycle and pulls a knife to chase off a couple of angry motorists who’d gotten out of their car to argue with bystanders. Let’s be clear — pulling a weapon of any kind is a crime. But so is getting out of your car to threaten others.

An English bike rider explains what it’s like to share the road with people who drive like idiots.

You’ve got to be kidding. A British driver brake-checked a bike rider who complained he passed too close, slamming on his brakes and sending the victim flying through his rear windshield, resulting in multiple hip and knee surgeries. And walks with a lousy six month driving ban, after the judge calls it an accident and says he didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

A British court dismissed a $2.6 million lawsuit in the death of a bike rider, who drowned after he slipped off a pathway into a canal; the judge ruled there was adequate signage warning riders of the danger.

Changes to the UK’s Highway Code explaining how to pass people on bicycles safely and giving bicyclists and pedestrians the right-of-way in all cases are a good start, says the Guardian’s Laura Laker. But much more needs to be done to improve safety.

Friends of an Irish man have raised the equivalent of over $62,000 in just two days to bring him back home after he suffered a serious brain injury when he was hit by a driver in France, as he and his girlfriend neared the end of an epic ride home from China.

Belgium’s federal mobility minister overrules a ruling that would have kept bicycles off the country’s trains at rush hour.

German car rental company Sixt learns the hard way that jokes about running over people on bicycles aren’t funny.

An Aussie bike rider was seriously injured in a crash with a kangaroo.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews has a good talk with ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis about his new Continental level cycling team and the dark side of bike racing.

Speaking of VeloNews, the magazine questions whether reckless fans, controversy and disappointing ratings means the Tour de France is in trouble.

World track masters bronze medalist Jen Wagner-Assali walks back her comments questioning the fairness of transsexual cyclist Dr. Rachel McKinnon’s victory in the race.

 

Finally…

The perfect bikes for when you’re tired of using the elliptical trainer at the gym and not going anywhere. Speaking of not going anywhere, now you can ride the streets of New York from the comfort of your living room.

And why take responsibility when it’s your bike that was reckless?

 

Morning Links: Higher crash rates in states with legal cannabis, and driver gets life for killing LAPD officer

This is who we share the roads with.

A new study shows that crash rates are up six percent in the four states where cannabis is legal, compared to neighboring states.

Which is a good reminder that it can take a full 24 hours or more to metabolize marijuana. And driving under the influence of cannabis is just as illegal as alcohol, if harder to quantify.

Meanwhile, Wednesday marked the first day cannabis was legal in Canada.

And it only took one hour before the first ticket was issued for toking behind the wheel.

Photo by Michael Fisher from Pexels.com.

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A 25-year old driver got life behind bars for intentionally ramming an LAPD patrol car and killing the officer inside, in an attempt to help his friend in another car escape a police chase.

Which couldn’t be more deserved.

But remember that the next time a driver gets a slap on the wrist for deliberately running down someone on a bicycle.

………

And combining the last two themes, Jeffrey Fylling forwards a press release from the Orange County DA’s office announcing that a 24-year old woman will face up to 10 years in prison for killing an 81-year old man while allegedly driving high on cannabis.

Which gives a whole new meaning to the term weed killer.

It would be nice to see prosecutors take it that seriously the next time a California driver kills someone on foot or on a bicycle.

………

CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez is asking for your input in designing a Safe Routes to School program to improve walking and bicycling to Van Nuys Elementary and Panorama City Elementary schools.

A public meeting will be held at each school next Thursday to discuss a Walking Safety Assessment.

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Local

Curbed talks with East Side Rider’s founder John Jones III about the club’s efforts to inspire change in the local South LA community through bicycling. Although I had no idea they had chapters in other cities across the US. And thanks to whoever sent this to me; my apologies for losing track of it. 

CiclaValley previews Monday’s Donut Ride on Reseda Blvd.

Forget the candy this Halloween. Metro Bike is offering a bulk discount on single ride bikeshare passes. Although that doesn’t guarantee you won’t get egged or TPed by kids who’d rather have a sugar high than a free ride.

Helen’s Cycles is hiring a part-time cashier for their Santa Monica store.

 

State

Over 1,000 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual Tour of Upland next month.

About 40 veterans and first responders are making their way down the California coast as part of the eleventh annual Project Hero United Healthcare California Coastal Challenge to highlight the health issues they face, including PTSD.

Chico is updating its bike plan after just five years. So naturally, the local TV station quotes a driver complaining about scofflaw bicyclists. I wonder if they also bring up lawbreaking drivers whenever someone wants to build a new overpass.

 

National

They get it. AARP suggests ten ways bicycle friendly streets are good for people who don’t ride bikes, while offering a reminder that people of all ages like to ride bicycles. Print this one out before your next public meeting, and leave a copy on every seat. Especially since older people tend to be more resistant to bike-friendly changes.

A writer for a travel site says you can participate in adventure travel, even with a hidden disability.

Forbes suggests what you can do in your own neighborhood to slow climate change. Hint: It has pedals and two wheels, and maybe a battery.

Motherboard says e-scooters reveal America’s urban transportation crisis, adding they’re fun, but nobody knows what to do with them yet.

Portland experiments with raised, floating bus platforms to reduce crashes with bike riders. For once, Los Angeles got there first with raised platforms on Los Angeles and Figueroa.

Nebraska tourism officials are told they can bicycle their way to prosperity by hitching a ride on the bike tourism boom.

No bias here. A Chicago writer complains about an “abundance of rude (maybe even psychotic) bicyclists” who ride on the sidewalk, instead of in the “bike lanes that have disrupted and uglified” downtown streets, while adding that police should ticket downtown bike riders instead of sidewalk riders in black neighborhoods. Nothing opposing bike lanes, as well as people who don’t feel safe using them.

Chicago’s Bike Lane Uprising is a crowdsourced civic tech platform designed to make it easier to report drivers blocking bike lanes or other obstructions.

St. Paul MN discovers they can trick drivers into stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

New Orleans bike riders will no longer face a $150 fine for failing to failing to register their bikes; the city revoked its mandatory registration after one rider received nearly $1,000 in tickets for a single traffic stop, including one for failing to register his bike.

The police chief in Tampa FL says his cops stop bike riders mostly because they don’t have lights, run stop signs or ride salmon. It’s just a total coincidence that 80% of the bike riders they stop are black.

A Tampa TV station says a three-foot wide curb bike lane is dangerous by design, putting bicyclists too close to passing cars. Especially since that three feet appears to include the gutter.

 

International

Treehugger says it’s time to face the dangers cement trucks pose to the people around them, and put safer trucks on the roads.

Road.cc lists 18 things they “reckon” every bike rider hates. I hate the word reckon, but I reckon that’s my problem.

A new urban bike promises to be weatherproof and maintenance-free, with airless, puncture-proof tires, a carbon belt drive, and seven speed internal hub. Although the nearly $2,000 price tag could put a dent in your wallet.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not made.

Drivers in the UK could be required to give bicyclists and pedestrians the right-of-way in every situation under a proposed revision to the country’s Highway Code.

A trio of bighearted British kids raised the equivalent of over $6,500 for a hospice for terminally-ill children and adults; two rode 300 miles across England, while the third, who suffers from Cardio Facio Cutaneous Syndrome, rode 30 miles on his adaptive bike.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham has shattered the women’s record for bicycling around the world in just 124 days, beating the existing record by 20 days.

France considers a mandatory bicycle registration program to fight bike theft as part of a 25-point, $401 million plan to boost bicycling — including a proposal to pay people up to $458 a year to bike to work.

Volkswagen’s new smart headlights promise to recognize and highlight people walking or riding bikes in low light. Which the drivers probably won’t notice because they’ll be too busy with their phones.

An Israeli soccer player is expected to be charged with hit-and-run and DUI for a crash that killed a teenage boy illegally sharing a friend’s ebike; the other boy could also face charges for carrying a passenger, swerving into the driver’s path and riding without a helmet.

A legendary Aussie firefighter wants to thank the stranger who tossed his bicycle in the back of his SUV and drove him home after he took a bad fall in traffic, injuring his shoulder.

A Manilla legislator proposes a nearly five-foot passing distance to improve safety for people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at the complicated case of newly crowned women’s masters champ Dr. Rachel McKinnon, saying the debate over the first transgender world champ can’t be solved, but it can be better understood.

Former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins says like it or not, Lance is iconic, and was singled out for doping when he wasn’t the only one doing it.

Surprisingly, the winner of last year’s Zwift indoor cycling competition has thrived in the pro peloton, signing with pro team Canyon-SRAM for a second season.

 

Finally…

When you really want to go retro with your water bottle. If you don’t think drivers hear your warnings, get a grip.

And when your marriage goes downhill as soon as you say your vows.

 

Morning Links: Blocking motorized terrorist attacks, forcing drivers to bike, and sickening accusations from France

We’re not doing enough to fight terrorist attacks.

And much of what we’re doing is wrong.

That’s according to a paper prepared for a New York Vision Zero conference, which says cities have failed to respond to the threat of vehicular terrorist attacks in effective ways to protect the most vulnerable road users.

Cities have so far responded to this new threat in an ad-hoc manner. Many have begun to erect physical barriers between the walkers who define their urban spaces and the multi-ton vehicles whose drivers pose a growing threat.

But while some physical barriers are necessary, government officials need to create and adhere to core principles in protecting their residents, workers, and visitors. Anti-terror infrastructure should ease walking, biking, and public transit use, not impede it. The age of terror by car and truck is an additional challenge for urban planners who still haven’t quite answered a pre-existing question: In dense, historic historic cities with finite space, who gets access to the streets?

I’ve often argued that Los Angeles has failed to do anything to protect the tens of thousands of tourists who visit Hollywood Blvd every day, especially in the area around Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater.

A situation that could be resolved almost overnight by installing a barrier-protected bike lane on Hollywood Blvd, along with a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland.

That would meet the goals spelled out in the paper by improving access for people on bikes and on foot, giving the streets back to the people while hardening them against terrorist actions.

Let’s hope someone finally listens before it’s too late.

Photo shows a typical summer crowd in front of Hollywood & Highland. And needlessly vulnerable to a vehicular terrorist attack due to the inaction of our elected leaders.

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A Prop 6 supporter says you need to vote to repeal California’s recent gas tax increase so she won’t be forced to ride a bike in her heels.

No, really.

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Just sickening.

Marc Sutton, the Welsh restauranteur who was shot and killed by a French hunter while mountain biking last Saturday, was a monster and a rapist.

That’s according to his own mother, who says she’s glad he’s dead.

He served six months behind bars for assaulting a former girlfriend, shattering her cheekbone and damaging her eye socket, while another woman claimed he had raped and beaten her around 100 times.

He is also accused of raping and physically abusing his own sister when she was a child.

His mother charged that Sutton fled to France after she and an alleged victim confronted him.

She told The Sun: “When I heard he had been killed I felt utter relief, it was a massive burden off my back. I was just relieved he couldn’t hurt us or anyone again.

“‘He deserved to be shot like an animal — he was the biggest animal there was.”

A former girlfriend said she had “cried with relief” at this death.

 

His father denies the charges, as does his last girlfriend, a partner in his restaurant, who called the allegations wicked lies.

She added: “His friends know the real Marc. The Marc I knew and loved was a kind, happy, loving man who would do anything for anyone.”

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Local

Three California cities lead the list of the crappiest roads in the US; surprisingly, Los Angeles only ranks third, behind San Francisco and San Jose. Which is just one more reason why Bicycling rated LA as America’s worst bike city. And one more reason to vote no on Prop 6.

Don’t forget the WeHo Bicycle Coalition is hosting a free panel discussion tonight with BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, along with representatives of the sheriff’s department, CHP and the City of West Hollywood.

Santa Monica celebrates a Halloween-themed Kidical Mass on the 27th.

 

State

A new SafeTREC website urges California bicyclists and pedestrians to map out where you experience collisions, near misses and safety hazards, as well as where you feel safe traveling by foot, bicycle or scooter.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Redlands hit-and-run victim we mentioned yesterday was a popular crossing guard credited with touching countless lives; rather than an e-scooter user, as we initially reported, he was actually a longtime moped rider.

Goleta unanimously approves a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan intended to increase the town’s 4% mode share for both bikes and pedestrians.

Sounds like fun. Bakersfield bike riders will enjoy a Halloween full moon ride next Tuesday. That’s almost worth making the long drive through the fog. Almost.

 

National

Cycling Tips talks with a Boulder CO man who refurbishes — and yes, rides — vintage mountain bikes.

An Idaho website calls for a speed limit on ebikes and scooters on the city’s bike path — and charging a license fee for all bikes and scooters to pay for enforcement.

A Dallas writer complains that the former bike-riding editor of the city’s alt weekly now seems to hate bikes, saying that Dallas will never become a city of bicycle commuters.

An Albany NY writer says after a year, he’s still using his bike as his primary means of transportation, although the quality of the road makes a big difference.

Curbed says bicycles are a small, but vital part of New York’s plans to cope with transportation after a subway line is shut down for over a year of maintenance work.

A bike rider says he loves DC, but sometimes, riding in the town sucks. Something most of us can probably relate to, wherever we ride.

No, those all white bikes decorated with bats and jack-o-lanterns and skeletons in a DC suburb aren’t ghost bikes. At least, not that kind.

 

International

Apparently NIMBYs aren’t just an American phenomenon. Calgary residents fought what ended up being a highly popular bike and pedestrian bridge by claiming that if they wanted beauty, they’d travel to Paris. That attitude could explain why Angelenos love to visit walkable cities overseas, but fight them in their own neighborhoods.

No bias here. A British county councilor says bicyclists are dangerous and selfish, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed, as he announces plans to ban bikes from pedestrian areas; he also called delivery riders idiots.

Britain will now add instructions on the Dutch Reach to the country’s driving handbook.

A Dutch website looks at how the country’s status as the world’s leading bicycle nation impacts society.

Ride a thousand miles along the former Iron Curtain from Berlin to Budapest for the low, low price of “just” $8,318.

Bicycling is booming in the capital of Latvia, as riders complain the city hasn’t kept up with the safe infrastructure they were promised. Sounds familiar.

A Palestinian woman says the best way to explore Palestine is by bike, as she works to promote bicycling among women, and change age-old perceptions that they can’t ride bikes.

Jerusalem plans to triple the amount of bike lanes in the city in just five years. Which sounds impressive until you realize they only have 26 miles of bike lanes right now.

Tired of waiting for officials to take action, South African bike riders painted warnings on the streets to alert riders to broken pavement caused by tree roots.

A British teenager may have to give up on an attempt to become the youngest person to bike around the world following the theft of his bike and gear in Australia, after traveling 18,000 miles through 17 countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with Coors Classic mastermind Michael Aisner about how the race shaped the future of bike racing in the US. I was lucky enough to watch the amazing Coors Classic, and its predecessor the Red Zinger Classic, while growing up in Colorado.

Austrian pro Bernhard Eisel says he decided to retire three times as he recovered from surgery for a serious brain injury, before finally deciding to come back again next year.

Cycling Tips talks with the manager of Britain’s longest-running UCI cycling team, who calls it heartbreaking that the Continental level JLT-Condor team is closing down at the end of the year.

 

Finally…

Win the Nobel Prize, get your own bike rack. If you see proof of aliens on the moon, keep it to yourself — or don’t ride a bike years later.

And this is who we share the protected bike lane with.

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I confess, I’ve been pretty out of it this week. So let me thank John L for his generous contribution to support this site. And apologize for not doing it sooner. 

If you’d like to help keep BikinginLA coming your way every day, you can donate through PayPal or by using the Zelle app on your phone

Morning Links: Tagging bike lane blockers, who we share the roads with, and bad biking in the sand

Let’s catch up with a few recent emails.

Chris Buonomo suggests that Los Angeles needs a movement to start tagging cars belonging to drivers who block bike lanes, whether with an #iparkinbikelanes hashtag on social media, or attaching stickers reading the same thing directly on the cars.

Or maybe we just need to invite a few of LA’s more infamous taggers to spray the message on drivers’ cars and trucks who block bike lanes.

That might put a stop to it pretty fast.

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J. Patrick Lynch offers another example of who we share the roads with, as a big rig driver ignores restrictions against oversized trucks, contributing to a slow speed disaster.

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Who out there is old enough to remember the Shangri-Las, and their classic hit, Biking in the Sand?

For the rest of us, here’s the real original.

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This is who we share the roads with, too.

A road raging New York cab driver was caught on video beating an older Hasidic man in a crosswalk, before chasing after a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene.

The incident started when the driver became angry because the victim wasn’t crossing fast enough, and spiraled out of control when the Jewish man tapped on the driver’s window to confront him.

Or maybe it was an anti-semitic hate crime, as the victim alleged, but the police dismissed.

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Finally, Stephen Katz forwards news of a speeding truck driver on trial for the hit-and-run death of an Ottawa, Canada father as he was riding his bike; both the victim and his killer were captured on security cam video just seconds before the crash.

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Local

Turning its back on proven traffic engineering and best practices — as well as anyone who chooses not to drive — Pasadena officially pulls the plug on plans for a road diet and Complete Streets makeover of Orange Grove Blvd, caving in to the demands of an organized auto-centric pressure group modeled on, and organized by, Los Angeles traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving.

Bike SGV is offering one of their infrequent Traffic Skills 101 bike safety courses this Saturday.

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is holding a Halloween party on the 27th.

 

State

Sad news from Redlands, where a 48-year old scooter rider was killed in a hit-and-run; this is at least the fourth fatality involving e-scooters since their recent spread across the US. Update: A reporter for the Souther California News Group has clarified that the victim was on a moped, not an e-scooter.

Santa Maria is finally attempting to get bike friendly, ten years after adopting the city’s bikeway master plan. So maybe there’s hope for Los Angeles and its 2010 bike plan yet.

San Francisco shows what can happen when civic leaders aren’t terrified of angry drivers and business owners, committing to remove lanes from two major downtown arteries to improve safety for everyone. Unlike a few SoCal cities we could name.

Streetsblog questions whether enough scooters have been allowed to return to San Francisco to make it a useful transportation service.

A Dallas writer describes bike touring through the Sonoma wine country, while a self-described Indian Mamil visits nearby Napa Valley by bike.

 

National

Bloomberg says cities will have to find a way to safely accommodate e-scooters, because the “promise of cheap, easily available, motorized personal transportation is too alluring to be legislated out of existence.”

Life is cheap in Oregon, where a FedEx driver was acquitted of a lousy misdemeanor charge for failing to yield to a rider in a bike lane after fatally right-hooking a bike rider, when his lawyer successfully argued that the bike lane didn’t continue across the intersection if it wasn’t actually painted on the street.

According to a local TV station, Seattle says no to e-scooters because they’re too dangerous, while nearby Tacoma says “Wheeeeee!Someone should give that headline writer a raise.

Streetsblog says New York is going backwards — “giving in to a backlash from the city’s car-owning minority” — while cities like Madrid move forward on traffic safety with a sub-20 mph speed limit. Sadly, they’re not the only ones.

New Orleans bicyclists face a long road to justice after being injured by hit-and-run drivers, thanks to a lack of police investigations and a court system that brushes them off. Unbelievably, the city refuses to get involved in hit-and-run cases as long as the driver has adequate insurance. That’s like saying it’s okay to rob a bank as long as you come back later to pay for any damages.

After a University of Alabama student was injured when his bike collided with a golf cart driven by a university employee, the student newspaper reminds everyone that the official policy is to walk your bike in pedestrian areas. Except the golf cart was traveling in a bike lane.

 

International

A 23-year old São Paulo woman is fighting to confront the supremacy of motor vehicles in Brazil’s largest city.

A Toronto paper asks if bike riders are next after drivers mow down the plastic bollards on a protected bike lane. Although it’s hard to call something protected when there’s nothing separating people on bikes from motor vehicles except a thin line of easily knocked down plastic posts.

A new Canadian study shows government subsidies for electric vehicles could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions at the public’s expense.

A study from King’s College London says children living in the first London borough to install a Mini-Holland bicycling network will live an average of six weeks longer as a result.

Heartbreaking news from London, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run on an unprotected street just hours after a tweet calling for more protected bike lanes.

An engineering website says this lightweight, flexible British bike lockavailable through Kickstarter — is the world’s best bike lock. Although it may not be available on this side of the pond.

You’ve got to be kidding. A 17-year old English boy somehow avoids jail, despite being caught on video hitting and kicking a man to steal his bike, and dragging him across the pavement. The judge says they had to dig deep to find any good in him, while his lawyer argued it would be unfair to single him out. Unlike, say, the innocent victim who took a beating trying to hold onto his bike.

The BBC talks with a woman who forgot how to speak English after crashing into another bike rider and suffering a serious injury when she landed head-first on the street.

A Dutch report says ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes, but that older riders are are greater risk using them.

The LA Times recommends a $6,400 bike tour of Turkey’s ancient sites. Or add another $1,200 if you’re traveling alone.

Another one to add to your bike bucket list, as a pair of Indian architects take a bike tour of the Kashmir region. Or maybe you’d rather ride around Hanoi’s largest lake.

A Kenyon banker quit his job to work as a wrench and open his own bike shop.

Yes, bike riders in Queensland, Australia can get a nearly $400 ticket for distracted bike riding. But no, they can’t get points taken off their driver’s licenses.

 

Competitive Cycling

Conservative websites continue to object to transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon’s victory in the 35 to 44 bracket in the recent world masters track championship. A GOP website repeatedly calling her a man, while a Christian site implies it’s unfair for women to have to compete against the “opposite sex.” Even though the third place finisher in the race, who also complained, had beaten her in 11 of 13 previous races.

Phillippe Gilbert says he has no intention of hanging up his cleats, despite breaking his kneecap during the Tour de France.

A young Brit cyclist faces the possible end of his WorldTour career after breaking his collarbone during last weekend’s Il Lombardia; Rouleur says it shows the murky, cutthroat side of the sport.

 

Finally…

Is it a model of mountain bike or a strain of newly legal Canadian weed? Speaking of the latter, it might make you faster.

And honestly, who hasn’t taken a naked selfie next to a busy street in broad daylight?

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