Morning Links: Sneak attack on traffic safety, BAC meets tomorrow, and ebikes benefit people with disabilities

Call it a sneak attack.

Over the weekend, supporters of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving tried — and failed — to get the LA Neighborhood Council Coalition on the record supporting a total ban on road diets.

The factually incorrect motion, which traffic safety supporters found out about less than 24 hours earlier, was tabled until next month after it met overwhelming opposition.

Here’s the full text of the motion, in case you want to mark your calendar for the next meeting.

BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a powerful message opposing the ban.

Today’s photo comes with a wish for a Happy Chanukah to all those celebrating this week.

Chanukah Sameach!

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold their regular bi-monthly meeting tomorrow night in the conference room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

The committee is the only official voice for bicyclists in city government. Even if elected officials usually just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Click to enlarge

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Or more precisely, the way ebikes and other bikes can benefit people with physical limitations.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker calls ebikes a game changer for people who need them.

And makes a point I’ve been making for some time now.

A 2018 study by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities that surveyed 1,800 e-bike riders found that they bike more often, take longer trips, and make different types of trips than they do on pedal bikes. Plus, not only did more respondents feel safer riding an e-bike than they did riding a pedal bike, the percentage of people who felt safer on an e-bike was even greater when the respondents were women, over 55, or had physical limitations.

“E-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle” reads the study, “many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so.”people

There are a number of bicyclists, especially roadies, who think ebikes are cheating.

I know, I used to be one of them.

And there many people who think older people and people with handicaps can’t ride bikes.

They’re both wrong.

Because unless you’re racing, bicycling is not a competition. Whether you’re riding for pleasure or transportation, anything that makes it easier to get on a bike is a good thing.

For the person doing the riding, for their community, and for the environment.

And ebikes make it possible for people who otherwise couldn’t ride a bike — because of age, physical condition, the length of their commutes, or any number of other problems — to get out and ride like anyone else. Going further and more confidently than they otherwise could.

Or at all, for that matter.

There’s another quote from the story that sums it up.

E-bikes are not a substitute for safer infrastructure, but they could help move more riders from “Interested but Concerned” to “Enthused and Confident.

And that’s a good thing. For all of us.

Meanwhile, a Boulder CO newspaper talks with a bike shop owner who says he used to be dismissive of ebikes, until he realized their benefits for people with physical limitations.

A British survey shows 72 percent of disabled bicyclists use their bikes as mobility aids, but half of respondents are afraid of being seen riding them for fear of losing their benefits.

And more than a quarter of the disabled commutes in Cambridge, England are made by bike.

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Speaking of electric mobility devices, apparently they’re a wise choice. And not just limited to humans anymore.

https://twitter.com/therourke/status/1068875942473404422

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Sad news, as longtime Tour de France commentator Paul Sherwen died unexpectedly at his home in Uganda; no cause of death was announced.

He was 62.

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It’s Day 11 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

Thanks to Adrienne G and Alan C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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Local

By all accounts, yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia was another successful event. But it comes just days after the organization was sued by a woman who suffered a brain injury when a careless rider clipped her wheel.

A sports tech website talks with LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon about the tech he uses and life as a YouTube star.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver, who claimed he never saw the victim until he was in front of him. Unfortunately, that’s not too surprising; let’s hope investigators get a warrant for the driver’s phone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a women’s bike, and their recommendations for the best bike in 11 different categories.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Walmart talks about his passion for mountain biking, saying he’s learned some of his best business lessons from the saddle. Something I can relate to; I often did my best work while riding my bike.

It may be a few years since their last basketball title, but the University of Kentucky can celebrate a national championship as the nation’s most Bicycle Friendly University.

A pair of New York bike advocates and engineers say they’ve figured out the exact optimal traffic signal timing to improve safety for everyone and ensure the highest number of green lights for both drivers and people on bikes.

A Virginia landscaper had the truck towed to be repaired and ordered employees to say a worker had hit a deer, instead of the bike rider he’d hit in a work truck and left to die on the side of the road.

 

International

An Op-Ed on Calgary website says traffic laws must reflect the new transport options, including dockless e-bikes. Meanwhile, the Calgary bike boom goes on, even in the winter months, after the city built out a network of protected bike lanes.

Sidewalk riding is a complicated issue, according to an Ontario, Canada letter writer in part because of poorly designed bike lanes and the people who drive in them.

The Guardian looks at who is behind the effort to have one of London’s most popular cycle superhighways ripped out, pointing the finger at a property company, and truck and taxi drivers.

A British man rode 3,200 miles from LA to New York in just 34 days — arriving at the airport half an hour before his flight back home.

A new paper by an English researcher argues that yes, drivers really do pass bicyclists who wear bike helmets closer than they do bare headed riders.

Brit mountain biking legend Hans Rey was the victim of bike thieves, who took eight bicycles, including custom bikes and bikes that aren’t currently available in the country.

Thanks to a new Dutch bike rack design, your bike could power the city.

Madrid bans cars built before 2000, and diesel vehicles built before 2006, from driving in the city center to battle air pollution. Los Angeles will need to do the same for the entire county if we’re going to meet pollution, let alone climate change, goals.

Malta’s prime minister suggests widening the roads to make more room for all road users, while creating preference lanes for bikes, buses and electronic cars.

Tel Aviv is building a 68-mile network of bike trails in an effort to become the Amsterdam of the Mideast.

After the first of the year, you’ll need a special driver’s license to operate an ebike in Israel.

More grist for the climate change mill, as a New Zealand study shows that bike lanes and pathways do, in fact, coax people out of their cars, resulting decreased emissions.

Australian football legend James Hird suffered a broken leg when his bike was hit by a driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

Anyone can win a bike race; the Eurosport website recounts the cycling world’s most spectacular flops of 2018.

Aussie cyclist Mark Renshaw will miss a number of events Down Under after he suffered a fractured pelvis when a driver when through a stop sign.

Cycling Tips talks with women’s cycling legend Marianne Vos about getting her grove back this year.

A roadie discovers he can do more than he thought, completing a 78-mile gravel race despite fears caused by a recent runaway heart rate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding a bike with crack and purple heroin, put a damn light on it, already. Call it Waze for bikes.

And yes, Vladimir Putin is one of us.

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

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Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

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The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

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This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

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A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

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It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: LAPD shames walkers, Mexico City driver’s anti-bike rampage, and former ‘cross star makes music

Apologies for my tardiness.

The hosting service I use went down just as I was getting this ready ready to publish. When it still wasn’t back by 4:30 this morning, I gave up and went to bed. 

Which means they probably got it back online by 4:35. 

Barring any more disruptions, we’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow. 

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The LAPD has already reached a new height — or maybe low — in victim shaming under new chief Michael Moore.

Under a new insurance company-sponsored initiative , the department will distribute 1,200 hi-viz reflective vests and clip-on lights to people stopped for jaywalking.

Because, as we all know, it’s far better to make regular people dress up like clowns than actually expect drivers to slow down like the law requires and look away from their smartphones long enough to see what the hell is in the road in front of them.

Or, you know, actually build an adequate number of safe crosswalks so people don’t have to cross without one, or anything.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

And worldwide.

A road raging driver in Mexico City was injured — along with his intended victim, a restaurant hostess and two diners at an open air cafe — when he used his truck as a weapon in a attempt to run down a bike rider.

After arguing with a man on a bike, he slammed his pickup into reverse, striking the bike rider, then smashed into a parked car. Both vehicles appear to have crashed into the restaurant before coming to rest against a tree.

Let’s hope Mexican authorities charge the driver with four counts of attempted murder. And don’t write this off as just another crash.

Note: If you don’t read Spanish, you’ll have to translate the link, like I did. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Twenty-one year old former junior cyclocross star Gavin Haley is making a name for himself as a musician as he tours the Golden State.

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It’s Day 7 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

LA County is studying how to create harmony between e-scooters, bikeshare bikes, cars and pedestrians in unincorporated communities and county roads.

It looks like a new bike lane is coming to Stewart Street in Santa Monica.

Pomona residents recommend separated bike lanes and a shared bike and pedestrian path to improve access to a proposed Gold Line Metro station — if it’s ever built.

 

State

A Contra Costa County judge has blocked bike access through an East Bay country club, denying riders a long-time bypass route to avoid a dangerous roadway.

New parking protected bike lanes in Sacramento are filling up with wet, slippery leaves that can pose a risk to the riders using them.

The bighearted people at a Nevada County bicycle recycling project have donated 30 rebuilt bikes to victims of Northern California’s Camp Fire.

 

National

CNET says e-scooters could be sending as many as one thousand people to the ER every month, based on figures they apparently just made up.

Colorado’s playground for the rich and famous is trying to get ahead of the curve by writing regulations for e-scooters, even though no one’s offered to put them there yet.

What’s left of a Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the speeding, out-of-control driver who killed their wife and mother as she was participating in a randonneuring event. Naturally, the driver claims the sun was in his eyes. Which doesn’t explain why his foot was on the gas pedal.

When is an ebike not a bicycle? Evidently, when you’re in Ohio’s Amish Country, where people seem to be freaking out about them.

New York food delivery riders are organizing to fight for healthcare after one of the workers died from an untreated ulcer.

After New York councilmembers call for legalizing ebikes and e-scooters, Streetsblog says the city’s mayor, who opposes the measure, is blind to the real dangers on the streets. And it ain’t the people on two wheels, battery powered or otherwise.

Apparently, a New Jersey community has a lot of kindhearted cops. After a Roxbury police officer bought a man a used bike as he watched him commute in all kinds of weather on a rusted bike, he bought him a new one after that one wore out. Only to  learn that the man’s original bike had been a gift from another officer.

Bicycling says a close-knit cycling community is in mourning, following the crash that killed two Florida bike riders.

A 415-pound Puerto Rican man took up bicycling to lose 20 pounds, and ended up riding 27,000 miles and losing 167 pounds. And quit smoking, too.

 

International

Turns out even the best air pollution masks filter out less than half of the particles they’re exposed to. Which doesn’t sound much better than tying a bandana around your face.

Forbes says cargo bikes, not drones, are the future of delivery.

A Quebec letter writer says laws requiring drivers to use snow tires in the winter are ineffective. So we should extend them to bike riders, too.

You just can’t please some people. Montreal-area drivers are complaining that a new separated bike path is impeding traffic on the nearby roadway, even though officials didn’t actually remove any traffic lanes or reduce capacity to make room for it.

No bias here. Over a thousand tickets were issued to London motorists for distracted driving or not having insurance during a two-week crackdown on dangerous driving. Yet somehow, the headline was about the 519 bike riders who got tickets, too.

No bias here, either. A study commissioned by a pressure group dedicated to the removal of one of London’s cycle superhighways has found that it’s costing businesses the equivalent of $6.8 million a year. Even though no other study has found that it even causes traffic congestion, let alone huge loses due to it.

They get it. Over two-thirds of the residents of Perth, Scotland call for improving safety for bicyclists by installing protected bike lanes, even if that means less space for drivers.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a fondo in sunny Saint-Tropez. Unless you’d rather ride on the riverfront bike paths of Taipei.

A new Swiss study shows that switching to an active commute can help you lose weight, but says it isn’t clear if that applies to ebikes, as well. But a Norwegian study shows ebike riders exert almost as much energy as regular bike riders.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a drunk, speeding teenager who was driving without a license got just 25 months for killing a man as he was riding his bicycle.

A former Australian football great was injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African pro cyclist Willie Smit donated the equivalent of over $43,000 in bicycles and equipment to a Cape Town cycling academy dedicated to serving underprivileged kids.

Former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbot tells her own story of how even the best roadies can make the worst mountain bikers.

 

Finally…

Tres shock! Bike riders sometimes look at billboards and pretty people. When in Amsterdam, do like the Dutch and watch out for bikes.

And your next bike helmet could help prevent concussions, and call for help if it doesn’t.

Morning Links: Whittier hit-and-run fugitive captured in Australia, bad guys on bikes, and no justice for killer cops

It’s Day 6 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give today to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

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In a surprising development, Australian police have arrested a woman for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Whittier last year.

The FBI lost the trail of 33-year old fugitive Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes after tracking her to Asia when she fled the country, just five days after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

The father of four died when a driver stopped to let him cross the street on his bike, then was struck by Reyes after she swerved around the stopped car. She dragged Rodriguez and his bicycle the length of two football fields.

Reyes was found living in Adelaide and using 11 different aliases.

She now faces extradition to Los Angeles on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Reyes could spend up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

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Bike riders aren’t always the good guys.

LA County is offering a  $10,000 reward in the racially motivated shooting death of Long Beach resident Fred Taft, hours after he was harassed by a group of white men on bicycles. Long Beach is offering another $20,000.

In the same story, the Long Beach Post reports the county is considering renewing a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Cole Micek last March; Micek was run over by two separate drivers, who both fled the scene.

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Once again, LA’s DA refuses to prosecute a cop, declining to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy responsible for a crash that killed two small children.

The DA’s office also refused to file charges against the distracted sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, along with the trigger-happy Gardena cops who fatally shot the brother of a bike theft victim.

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No irony here.

Thanks to a crappy locking job, this Stolen Brand bike wasn’t. Just mangled and stripped to the bones.

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Local

Alhambra’s city council was scheduled to vote last night on whether to return to the recent auto-centric past by banning bikeshare and e-scooters from the city. Thanks to M for the heads-up; no, not James Bond’s boss in MI6. Probably.

A governing website talks with the policy director of Santa Monica-based Bird about the boom in e-scooters, and what cities should be doing about it.

Speaking of scooters, Long Beach wants your input on the city’s e-scooter program.

 

State

California’s former Governator is one one of us, proclaiming his desire to bicycle all over the world.

Monterey’s hugely popular Sea Otter Classic is exporting itself to sea otter-free Ontario, Canada.

San Francisco is on its way to becoming the first major US city to toss minimum parking restrictions out the window.

A Marin County bicycling organization is pushing for more bike access to Point Reyes National Seashore; as always, a group of equestrians wants to keep them out.

 

National

A Portland-area paper kvetches about streetcar tracks in the bike lane. Which is both dangerous and stupid; the streetcar tracks, not the kvetching. 

A popular Texas bike shop is trying to raise enough funds to stay in business after it was scammed out of $3,000 worth of bikes and accessories.

A longtime Denver talk show host with his head firmly planted up his…uh, in the auto-centric past complains about what he calls the “folly of bike lanes, insisting that no one uses them and they just get in the way of all those poor, put-upon drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on…and on. Bike riders in Boulder CO report finding tacks in their tires after riding on a popular bike route.

Chicago bicyclists faced treacherous conditions after the city failed to clear protected bike lanes after a snowstorm.

Gray-haired New Yorkers are furious over a plan to allow bicyclists to ride through a park they frequent to access a new esplanade on the East River.

New York’s city council is preparing to go to the mattresses over a proposal to legalize ebikes and e-scooters. Although someone should tell them it’s all those cars that make the city’s streets dangerous, not the people on two wheels.

America’s other ex-Tour de France champ is challenging the validity of Trump’s acting attorney general, using his nearly settled lawsuit against Lance as leverage.

Sad news from Florida, where a second bike rider has died after an apparently distracted driver slammed into a group of riders when she was blinded by the sun.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. Halifax, Nova Scotia is paying nearly a quarter million dollars to install side guards on a fleet of privately owned garbage trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from getting trapped underneath.

London’s Scotland Yard releases video showing its officers dealing with lawbreaking moped and motorcycle riders by ramming them with their patrol cars. Which would be assault with a deadly weapon if anyone else tried it.

Three British bicyclists attempted to ride 5,000 miles across Europe to raise money for a charity; only one finished the journey after one rider was hit by a driver, and the other injured a knee.

An Irish bike rider saw his case against the driver who hit him thrown out of court after the judge concludes the pedestrian path he was riding on wasn’t a bikeway, even though it was frequently used as one.

Wine Enthusiast considers the L’Eroica vintage bicycle tours through the sun-drenched wine country of Tuscany.

Ten Indian men set out to ride around the world in the 1920s and 1930s; seven made it.

Cycling legend Gary Fischer talks mountain bikes with an Indian newspaper.

A South African cyclist is riding over 1,200 miles to raise funds to save the rhinos.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist records six dangerous passes and left hooks — the equivalent of our right hook — in a single ride. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, any day that ends in Y.

Tickets for bicycling offenses have dropped dramatically in New Zealand, as police have shifted enforcement towards motorist behaviors that pose a greater risk to others.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says the elite women’s cyclists are saving cyclocross, even as the men’s races are becoming boring.

A Rwandan woman dreams of forming a cycling team, 34 years after she competed in a bike race as the only woman in a field of men; it was five years before she would face other female competitors.

 

Finally…

Look at your phone when you step into the street, and pay $200. A Sketchers ad is officially non-offensive, even if a bike rider crashes while staring at Kelly Brooks in a tight sweater.

And nothing says ’tis the season like Santas on bikes.

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Thanks to William S and Phillipa M for their generous donations to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your gift helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day! Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

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No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

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A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

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Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

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There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

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Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

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The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

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Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Florida driver plows into group ride, Bike Shop Day this Saturday, and ebikes are good for you

Welcome back. 

I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday weekend. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get down to business. 

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It’s Day Four of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

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Horrible news from Florida.

A driver plowed into fourteen bicyclists out on a group ride, killing one and injuring six; one of the injured riders was in critical condition with a head injury.

The driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming she was momentarily distracted by something in her car and the sun was in her eyes.

There is Facebook video of the aftermath if you really want to see it. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

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Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

The second annual event takes place this Saturday, which sounds like to perfect day to visit your favorite LBS and buy someone a Christmas or Chanukah gift.

Even if it’s yourself.

So far, just three LA-area bike shops have signed up to participate, along with another in Norco, and none San Diego, Ventura or Orange Counties.

See the map on the above link for more details.

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The LA West website offers details for this Sunday’s final CicLAvia of the year. Meanwhile, CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

Speaking of CicLAvia, the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the CicLAvia route before making a stop at Dry River Brewing for a little discounted liquid refreshment.

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Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

A new systematic review of 17 studies around the world concludes that riding a regular bicycle if better for you than riding an ebike.

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

Meanwhile, Pink Bike says ebikes are breeding the components that bike riders want.

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Now that’s more like it.

Britain considers mandating insurance discounts to drivers who take bicycle awareness courses as part of a program to improve safety.

The country is also in discussions to install cameras on bike lanes, and fine drivers up to the equivalent of $166 for driving in or blocking them.

In addition, the UK is planning to set up a special police unit to tackle road rage and dangerous driving.

Now if we could just get something like that on this side of the Atlantic.

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Clearly, not much has changed in the last 45 years.

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This is what you look like to a driver on a dark road when you ride without lights.

And if you miss the bike rider, that’s kind of the point.

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Local

No windshield perspective here. Business Insider says LA traffic is hell, and in desperate need of a transportation revolution. But fails to even mention any form of active transportation.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy calls out five major Westside hospitals for failing to promote active transportation, despite IRS guidelines that specifically encourage it.

Downtown News examines the $365 million plan to complete the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Speaking the LA River path, the new Spectrum 1 News takes a ride to the Spoke Cafe alongside the bike path. And Peter Flax races a car on an ebike, and comes out with a tie.

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s podcast talks with bike lawyer and Cycling in the South Bay author Seth Davidson.

Glendale opens the second phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk across the LA River from Griffith Park; a planned bike and pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the bike pathway with the LA River bike path. Oddly, the LA Times doesn’t seem to have the article online, so I’m linking to the story on the PressReader site.

The Signal offers an explanation of Santa Clarita’s new pilot program for an app-based traffic signal detection system at three problematic intersections. The project has been championed by the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Encinitas considers adopting Vision Zero in the wake of pedestrian deaths.

A San Luis Obispo man came up with the winning design for a bicycle-themed car license plate.

The LA Times suggests that a road diet on a primary roadway in Paradise contributed to the problems evacuating from the deadly Paradise Fire. Even though the mayor denies it had any impact, and they failed to talk with a single traffic planner or engineer.

 

National

An Oregon man was planning to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in five years, after he saved his own life by spending that time riding 25,000 miles around the world; he set out after nearly taking his own life following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the death of his wife in a traffic collision.

The University of Washington is testing an app-based system to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders at trail crossings.

Albuquerque NM is trashing the useless Share the Road signs in favor of the more instructive Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A New Mexico letter writer (2nd item) wants to make safety “fair and balanced” for everyone by making it less fair for people on bicycles. Unless maybe he also wants drivers to wear helmets at all times, paint their cars hi-viz, and only drive single file and yield to faster vehicles.

Denver adopts a cute little protected bike lane sweeper. Thanks to the Preven Report for the link.

Outside examines the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins, who was shot to death on a singletrack trail outside of Colorado Springs CO, noting that he is believed to be the first mountain biker known to have been slain while riding.

The Daily Beast suggests adding the Tex-Mex border to your bike bucket list, saying hundreds of miles along the border have been turned into a bicycling paradise.

Indianapolis IN bike riders want to know why safety isn’t improving, even as the city is becoming more bike friendly.

St. Petersburg FL discovers that some people will always prefer riding on the sidewalk, even if there’s a bike lane nearby. And even if sidewalk riding only offers an illusion of safety.

A Florida man took up bicycling to avoid having to wear size 50 pants, and lost 150 pounds in just two years.

 

International

Road.cc rounds up the best bike-related TED talksThen again, every time I open my mouth it’s a Ted talk.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker spells out ten ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe. Which is a polite way of saying they scare the crap out of us.

Calgary considers allowing skateboards, scooters and wheelchairs on the city’s cycle tracks.

The Guardian takes a bike tour to discover the real Barbados.

He gets it. An English columnist says it’s time for all of us to get on our bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old man rode the entire length go Great Britain on his Brompton.

Religious leaders in the UK are becoming evangelists for bike riding in an effort to get parishioners to leave their cars at home. And this is the perfect sign to promote it, while keeping the riders’ speed in check.

Ford is using virtual reality to allow British truck drivers to experience the road from a bicyclist’s perspective. Or they could just drop the virtual part, and put them on bicycles next to a big, speeding truck passing a foot off their elbows.

A Scottish columnist says he’s all in favor of bicycling to get people more active and fit, and he’s sure people who ride bikes will be all in favor of his plan to charge riders an annual registration fee and force them to wear numbered bibs similar to license plates. No, really.

They get it, too. An Indian city is installing new red-colored cycle tracks and fixing older ones in preparation for a coming bikeshare program.

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

New Zealand will spend $23 million to get more children on bikes. Which sounds impressive, until you consider it works out to less than $8 million a year.

A New Zealand bike builder discusses making the ebikes used by Israel’s bicycling paramedics.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a remorseful distracted driver will spend just nine months behind bars for killing a man riding his bike. She claims she was only distracted for ten seconds; unfortunately, that’s all it takes.

An Aussie bike rider says making the choice to be a non-driver should be a badge of honor.

A Kiwi writer relates the horrifying tale of taking a fall off his bike, suffering a number of severe facial cuts and broken bones in the process, including breaking his neck in three places. And of the fellow bike-riding tourists who simply turned their backs and rode away when he begged for help — after bizarrely lectured him for ruining their day.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A British Columbia bicyclist forsakes the Great Wall for a bike tour of China’s covered bridges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia remembers Reg Arnold, once one of the world’s greatest six-day cyclists; he passed away this summer at 92-years old.

At age 23, black South African pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini has ridden his bike out of poverty in the ghettoes of Johannesburg to a nomination for the country’s most prestigious sports award, and is considered the next big thing to come out of Africa.

 

Finally…

Apparently Britain banned e-scooters 183 years ago. There’s no shortage of people who can pop a wheelie, but how many can do it from Santa Monica to Cocoa Beach?

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

When there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of it.

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The 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is already off to a great start. Which means we’ve got a long list of people to thanks already.

So let’s all offer a round of thanks to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc, the Muirs, Al W, Douglas M, Plurabelle Books Ltd, Michael Y, Arthur B, Dennis F, Joel S, Mark J, Theodore F, David V and Elizabeth T for opening their hearts and wallets to help keep this site coming your way every day!

Guest post: Looking for a Bike? Shop Local and Shop Small. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

As you may have noticed by now, I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop.

So in honor of today’s Small Business Saturday, I’m reposting a couple of guest columns from two years ago, by bike shop owners explaining why that matters.

And you can support this site by donating to the Fourth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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Last week, I asked if any bike shop owners or employees wanted to explain why you should do business with your local bike shop this holiday season.

First to respond was Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, who explained the importance of buying your ebike locally.

Today we hear from David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, one of the city’s most popular shops for road and off-road riders alike.

Not to mention the shop that created one of the bike world’s most brilliant marketing efforts by partnering with the car dealership across the street to allow people to trade in their car for a new bicycle a few years ago.

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By David Kooi

Are you looking for a bike? Here are some reasons why you should visit your local bike shop.

Personal Attention and Friendly Expert Advice

Choosing the right bike isn’t always easy. These days, there is a different bike for just about every type of riding and terrain. A good local bike shop is staffed with friendly, helpful experts. Go in and talk to them about the kind of riding you would like to do. They will help you make the right decision. Choosing the right bike will ensure that you’ll get the most from your purchase. If you pick the right bike, you’ll enjoy riding it. And, if you enjoy riding it, you’ll ride it more often. If you pick the wrong bike, it might languish, covered in dust, in your garage. And nobody wants that.

cute-kid-on-a-bike

Quality Products

The bikes you’ll find at your local specialty shop are usually better quality bikes than you’ll find online, at department stores, or at big box retailers. Why? Most of the best bike manufacturers only sell their bikes through local, independent shops. Why would they do that when they might be able to sell so many more bikes online or at Wal-Mart and Costco? It’s because they recognize the importance of dedicated specialty shops. They count on these shops to educate their customers on the value and features of their bikes. And they trust these shops to build, fit, and service those bikes properly and professionally.

A Professional Bike Build

When a bike arrives at a shop or at your local Target, it’s in a box full of parts. Some of it is partially assembled in a far-away factory, but it needs a good amount of work and fine-tuning to get it ready to ride. Whom do you trust to build your bike? At a good local bike shop, your bike will be assembled by an experienced professional mechanic and test-ridden for safety. When you go out for your first ride, you can be confident that the bike is safe.

Fitting

Bikes come in difference sizes. Then, within each size, the bike needs to be adjusted to the individual rider. If you buy the wrong size or don’t get a proper fit, you probably won’t be happy with your bike. When the bike is set up perfectly for you, you’ll be comfortable and happy – and you’ll ride it a lot more. And, if you’re a rider for whom speed matters, a properly fit bike will make you faster. When you buy your bike from a local shop, the bike fit is often included with the purchase of your bike. Further, if you need additional guidance on how to use the bike, most shops are happy to teach you about how to use the shifting, the brakes, and other essential features.

group-cruiser-ride

Maintenance

Bikes, much like cars, need maintenance. Some maintenance can be performed at home, like keeping the right amount of air in the tires, cleaning the bike, and lubing the chain. Your neighborhood shop can teach you how to do those things. More complex repairs and maintenance should be performed by experienced mechanics. A good local bike shop is home to such people. Furthermore, some amount of maintenance is typically included with your purchase when you buy from a local shop.

Accessories

When you get a new bike, you’ll likely need some other items to maximize your enjoyment of that bike. The friendly, knowledgeable experts at your local bike shop can help. The right pair of gloves can help with numb fingers. The right pair of shorts can literally save your butt. A good set of lights and a properly fitting helmet could save your life. A well-stocked flat/repair kit could save you from an Uber ride home. Or maybe you just want some flashy, fancy socks to match your new ride? Whatever you need, a good local bike shop will have the expertise and the selection to help you.

david-with-local-school-kids

Community

Your neighborhood shop is often a hub for the local cycling community. They can tell you about where to ride, about local events, and about local clubs and teams. They also might host clinics and classes about bike safety, bike handling, bike repair, and bike maintenance.

A good local bike shop also gives back to your community. At my shop, we work with local elementary schools to help get more kids on bikes. We teach local Boy Scout troops about bike safety. We donate bikes to the local Boys & Girls Club for kids in need. We sponsor a mountain bike team at a local high school. And we’re always looking for opportunities to do more. That’s how communities work.

boys-and-girls-club

You can also get to know the people who work at your local shop. Most employees are passionate about cycling and excited to talk about it with anyone. Employees don’t turn over at the same high rate as the big box retailers. You can get to you know them. They’ll recognize you when you come in the door. In these days of the Internet and Big Box domination, you might find it nice to have a small, welcoming place to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. At most shops, you are welcome to stop by and say hello and check out the newest gear – even when you don’t have any plans to buy anything new. Or, imagine you find yourself out riding and want to refill a water bottle. Someday, a drone sent by Amazon.com will fly up to you to refill it for you, but in the meantime, feel free to stop by a shop along your route.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

A Vibrant Local Economy

Do you want to make a difference in the local economy and in the lives of your neighbors? When you spend $500 at a small local business, you change their day. You get noticed. You get remembered. When you shop local and shop small, your money matters. The money you spend helps to pay the rent. Your money keeps the lights on. Your money pays the salaries of people working there. Those people, in turn, use that money to shop locally and the cycle continues. They pay for tuition. They buy stuff for their kids. They go out to eat at local restaurants. Your money keeps storefronts occupied, keeps your streets and sidewalks clean, and helps sustain a vibrant community. When you shop local, you make a difference.

When you spend $500 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, you won’t move their quarterly earnings per share one tenth of one penny. You’re just a tiny part of a larger demographic.

Price

Don’t assume that you’ll get the better deal online. Give your local shop a chance. You might be surprised to discover that your local shop is competitive with online prices, especially when you factor in the value of the products they are selling and other services provided. And, in the end, maybe you’ll find yourself willing to spend a few extra bucks for the friendly, expert service, the quality products, and to contribute to your community and local economy.

storefront

About the Author

David Kooi is the owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, California.

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, 21526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

[email protected]

818-456-4105

www.smmcyclery.com

www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-mountains-cyclery-woodland-hills

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If any other bike shop owners or employees want to weigh in on the subject, just email me at the address on the About page.

 

 

Guest post: Support your local ebike dealer or local bike shop on Small Business Saturday

As you may have noticed by now, I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop.

So in honor of today’s Small Business Saturday, I’m reposting a couple of guest columns from two years ago, by bike shop owners explaining why that matters.

And you can support this site by donating to the Fourth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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These days, a lot of people are considering ebikes, for obvious reasons. They’re a great way for beginners to get into bicycling, to ride without fear of hills or going too far, or commute to work without breaking a sweat.

Not to mention they’re a lot of fun.

But where you buy your bike matters, as Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village explains.

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At least once a week we receive a call from someone asking if we can help fix the e-bike they bought online. “It was a really good deal,” they say. “Their website has excellent reviews,” they continue. “But they don’t respond to phone calls or emails now that I have the bike.”

This is exactly why you buy a technologically-advanced machine from a local bike shop, preferably one that specializes in e-bikes. You certainly can’t test-ride a bike online. Many times a customer comes in after doing a lot of Internet research thinking they know exactly what they want but after trying a variety of styles, sizes and power options they often fall in love with something very different.

The staff of your local e-bike shop have likely ridden in the neighborhood. They know how each bike will perform on that monster hill and in the riding conditions that you will encounter. Most local bike shops host group rides and will be happy to give you directions to great ride locations. You may even end up making some new friends!

And of course, when you buy local you meet the actual people who will be there for you in case a problem should arise. Most local shops handle warranty repairs and will get your e-bike set-up just right. They will make sure the accessories you choose will fit and even install them for you.

So support your small and local business owner on Saturday, and every day. It’s good for you and it’s great for the community.

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I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop, because they’re the ones who will take the time to ensure you buy the right bike or gear for the way you ride, and be there to support you long after they take your credit card.

I’m told some shops even accept cash.

So take a few minutes out of your frenzied Black Friday, or tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, to stop by your favorite LBS and buy something. Anything.

They’ll appreciate the business.

And if you’re new there, take the time to introduce yourself and get to know them, so you won’t be a stranger the next time you come in.

Update: 78-year old man dies two days after Huntington Beach crash

The Orange County Register is reporting that a man has died following a crash in Huntington Beach.

According to the paper, 78-year old Huntington Beach resident Charles Kam was riding on an unidentified street in the city when his bike was struck by a vehicle at 8:42 am Sunday.

Kam was taken to a local hospital, where he died Tuesday night.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how or where the crash occurred, or on the identity of the driver. Or if the vehicle that struck Kam even had one, for that matter.

Hopefully the Huntington Beach police will release more information soon. Because frankly, anyone who’s still riding at 78 deserves more than just four sentences in the local paper.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The Daily Pilot places the location of the crash at the intersection of Edwards Street and Varsity Drive.

Kam was riding east on Varsity Drive when he was struck by a 28-year old woman in a Jeep Cherokee; she remained at the scene. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Investigator Tai Huynh at 714/536-5666 or Officer Robert Frahm at 714/536-5663.

Correction: The Register had originally spelled the victim’s name as Cam, rather than Kam. I have changed this story to correct the spelling.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Charles Kam and his loved ones. 

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

 

 

It’s the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

It’s that time of year again.

No, not the season of incessant holiday music, ugly sweaters or bizarre Christmas flavors leaping out of your coffee cup.

Or even palm trees swaddled in red and green lights lining the sidewalk.

It’s time for the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The one time of year when, like your favorite public radio station, I ask you to open your wallets and dig deep to help keep Southern California’s leading source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Except unlike your favorite public radio station, we don’t block most of this site to make you pay up.

It started as a joke four years ago — hence that whole 4th Annual thing. But the funny thing was people actually took it seriously, and wanted to give their hard-earned money to support this site.

Which surprised the hell out of me.

Thanks to donations from people like you — along with the generosity of our sponsors, and a very understanding wife — I’ve been able to turn BikinginLA into a more than full-time job. And devote whatever time I have left in this world to doing whatever I can to make the streets safer for people on bicycles.

Which takes us back to that whole dig deep thing.

You can contribute with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that came with the banking app that’s probably already on your smartphone; just send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated. And will help keep the Corgi in kibble while keeping this site up and running.

If you can’t afford to give anything, or just prefer not to, that’s cool too. You’re more than welcome to keep coming back, and contributing to our online community.

Either way, thanks for taking a moment to consider it. And thanks for visiting this site.

Because it doesn’t matter what I write if you’re not here to read it.

Thank you to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc. and an anonymous donor for their generous contributions to this fund drive even before it officially began.

And let me offer a special thanks to Todd Rowell, who came up with the idea for a holiday fund drive in the first place.

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