Tag Archive for angry drivers

Morning Links: Upcoming Ballona Creek closure, LA fixed on Sports Center, and a descending nun

Culver City has announced that a section of the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closing down for maintenance work next month.

Upcoming Ballona Creek Bike Path Closures

On August 7 to August 11, the Culver City Public Works Department will be performing maintenance on the Ballona Creek Bike Path between Duquesne and National. Work will include pavement repairs, graffiti abatement, and vegetation trimming.

During this work, the bike path will be closed upstream of Duquesne from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Consider using Lucerne or Jefferson as alternatives during the closure.

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ESPN’s Sports Center takes a look at the SoCal Fixed Series fixie racing competition.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember who sent me this link, but thank you, anyway.

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The only reason I’m linking to this story about an abandoned Scottish hotel is the amazingly cool photo of an ancient bike leaning next to a window.

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Of course, the only thing better than that would be a nun in full habit descending a hill on her bike.

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The war on bikes goes on.

A Canadian driver faces charges after being recorded beating the crap out of a 74-year old man with a club, as the victim’s bike lay in the roadway in front of his truck.

The attack only stopped when a woman intervened, telling the driver she was recording it.

The driver’s only response was “I tried to walk away.”

Which was meaningless since he had to get out of his truck to confront the other man. Then walk back to his truck to get the club before returning to attack him.

Not exactly walking away. Or driving, for that matter.

Let’s hope he gets the time he deserves.

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If you don’t know who won this year’s Tour de France, you haven’t been paying attention. Although the real winner may have been French rider Cyril Gautier, who proposed to his girlfriend during the final stage.

Taylor Phinney survived his long-delayed debut Tour. Alberto Contador points next month’s Vuelta after a disappointing Tour.

Cycling Tips provides a photographic wrap-up of the just finished race.

Irish sportswriter and former cyclist Paul Kimmage, who helped bring down Lance Armstrong, says cycling’s omerta still rules the peloton, 50 years after Tom Simpson died near the summit of Mont Ventoux during the ’67 Tour de France.

The Guardian looks at how Irishman Stephen Roche ruled cycling for one year in 1987.

A sports website examines why Americans have disappeared from the podium at the Tour; Bicycling says there’s a new crop of Yanks waiting to step up.

The head of cycling’s governing organization pinkie swears the organization is working towards equal payouts for women and men.

The UK’s version of GQ asks if British cycling is sexist. Seriously, if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. And not just British cycling.

Great article from Quartz on Eritrea’s love of cycling, and the rising success of the country’s young cyclists.

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Local

LA’s neighborhood councils were born during a bike ride.

Streetsblog says, despite Metro’s comments, Vision Zero traffic calming is not the cause of their declining bus speeds.

The LA Weekly ranks bike lanes #4 on the list of things that drive NIMBYs crazy in the City of Angels.

The Pomona Fairplex is trying out on employee bikeshare workers can use to ride to distant areas on the site. Although that description sounds more like the bikes are employee vehicles than an actual bikeshare.

A quadriplegic man completed a 1,200-mile ride from Oregon to the Santa Monica pier with his family to raise money for people who need wheelchairs.

 

State

A new California/Dutch study says don’t waste time trying to talk people into bicycling; make it safe and convenient, and they’ll figure it out for themselves.

Maybe the DMV should read their own statutes before tweeting. Their advice to ride as near to the right edge of the roadway as possible directly contradicts CVC 21202, while riding on the sidewalk is legal in many cities, if not advisable. Thanks to Brent for the heads-up.

A 33-year old woman was injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Camarillo.

The host of the Bay Area’s People Behaving Badly segment says bike lanes are not for parking, even for a little while.

Pleasanton police are looking for a thief who took an $8,400 bicycle out for a test ride from a local shop and never came back.

A local paper approves of the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare at Lake Tahoe. Let’s hope they have a better experience than some other places.

Sad news from Chico, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Friday evening.

 

National

Merriam-Webster lists ten words every true cyclist should know.

Bike Snob discusses his love of genuine, brick and mortar bike shops.

Your next ebike could look like the skeletal version of a 1920’s racing motorcycle.

A Seattle website questions whether the city’s DOT is trying to kill bikeshare again by limiting the two new dockless bikeshare suppliers to just 500 bicycles in the entire city.

Park City UT has launched the nation’s first e-bikeshare system. Unfortunately, the bikes don’t look like 1920’s racing motorcycles, though.

No bias here. After a pair of bike riders were hit by cars, Fargo ND authorities offer several safety tips for bicyclists, including to wear a helmet. But their only advice to drivers is to give bicyclists a three feet passing distance.

No victim blaming here. A San Antonio driver won’t face charges for a head-on collision with a teenage bike rider because victim wasn’t wearing a helmet.

The Department of DIY comes to Dallas, where a protected bike lane made from two-by-fours and PVC pipes lasted three days before the authorities took it down.

Minneapolis authorities have found the bike rider who apparently witnessed, and may have filmed, the police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.

A Detroit bike rider was the innocent victim of a car-to-car shootout.

Former All-Star catcher and Cleveland 1st base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is one of us, riding in a charity ride before heading to the ballpark on Sunday.

 

International

Road.cc offers a one-word analysis of whether homeopathic remedies will make you a fitter, faster, healthier cyclist.

Canadian pickup drivers come to the rescue of a touring cyclist about to be a bear’s lunch.

A Canadian woman says she’s ashamed to be a “cycling enthusiast” after watching a bike rider run a stop sign. She must really be ashamed to be a driver, then.

Riding salmon in a bike lane is illegal in Canada, too. But some people do it anyway.

Not surprisingly, the Calgary man who claimed he’d been clotheslined by barbed wire while mountain biking has been arrested on fraud charges.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A British man is celebrating his 70th birthday by riding 70 kilometers a day for 70 days — the equivalent of 43 miles a day, or 3,045 miles total.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a 91-year old cyclist was killed in a collision while trying to set a new age-group speed record; he was just two miles from the finish when he was hit by a van.

The Irish Times visits Groningen in the Netherlands, where bikeways are heated and no cars are allowed in the city center.

A former child bride in Malawi credits a bicycle she received from charity group with helping her graduate from high school after leaving her husband.

Australian cycling great Phil Anderson was hospitalized following a solo crash while riding, saying it could have been caused by a pothole. Or a wallaby.

 

Finally…

Why just be a fan of Pee Wee Herman, when you can build his bike from scratch? Evidently, cycling really is the new golf — literally.

And I’m a little weak on my theology, but I’m pretty sure when a bike gets stolen while the owner is at mass, it’s soul goes straight to heaven.

Or does the thief’s go the other way?

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

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Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

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Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

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The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

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Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Morning Links: Venice NC supports data-based decision, angry Playa del Rey Op-Ed, and war on bikes goes on

Chalk up one small victory for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

John Montgomery attended last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, where a motion to immediately undo the recent lane reduction and installation of a parking protected bike lane was under discussion.

Here’s his report.

The Venice Neighborhood Council Parking and Transportation Committee met at Canal Club in Venice on Wednesday night and most of the evening was spent discussing the Great Streets project in Mar Vista. About 40 people attended, with approximately 15 residents of Venice taking part. Of the 15 Venice residents, at least seven turned out in support of the changes in Mar Vista in addition to several folks outside the area from various non-profits focused on pedestrian concerns. The rest were from Mar Vista, with some from the Playa area.

All-in-all the meeting was well run and controlled — and there was very little ugliness that often occurs at meetings where attendees are passionate about their views. I give committee chair Jim Murez credit for this — he was very quick to keep people focused and in line. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I do appreciate his effort to try to make it a positive meeting. Having served time on the Venice Neighborhood Committee, I know how difficult his job is.

The main discussion was a resolution apparently passed by the Mar Vista Transportation & Infrastructure Committee towards the end of June, which is very different from the motion listed in the Agenda (which is filed before the meeting). The very last paragraph of the motion demands that the changes be immediately reversed back to the previous three lanes in each direction.

Attendees discussed concerns about gridlock (20 to 30 minute travel times through the corridor), poor response times from first responders, the “incredibly unsafe” changes (such as not being able to see cyclists behind the cars in the buffer zone), and the fact that this “came out of nowhere.” The advocates, to a person, worked to dispel some of the myths that were brought up, focusing on the positive aspects about making a more livable Mar Vista “downtown,” as well as the fact that anecdotal evidence was not a way to make a sensible decision. They also brought up that this process was public since the middle of 2015 and numerous community outreach attempts were made…it was kinda hard to miss IMHO.

In my personal experience, travel times do increase during commute times (never as bad as 20 minutes) but at other points in the day traffic flows safely and normally — and I have GoPro video to document it. Several of us pointed out that the type of street changes implemented have almost unequivocally shown to increase safety when implemented in other areas, states, and countries. It is true that there is a learning curve with this type of implementation, but after the initial period the changes do end up being safer for everyone.

I was really impressed with the eloquence and thoughts of the cycling advocates (though I’m admittedly biased), who were incredibly positive about the changes while expressing empathy with some of the opponents’ perspective.  A main focus of advocates was to let this trial period play out and use actual data to back up decisions. LADOT’s Nat Gale spoke about all the data that was being collected, and that by the end of this week there would be a LADOT website about the project and the data being collected. He also announced that there would be an open house on Saturday, July 22nd (time and location to be determined) where the initial information would be shared and could be discussed with LADOT employees.

The only really ugly part of the night came when one of the residents opposed to the Great Streets project make a joke about a pedestrian being injured…which drew laughs/chuckles from a few in the audience. I’m sorry, but nothing is amusing about that. At all.

On the positive side, thanks to the advocates who turned out, the committee removed the last paragraph and instead replaced it with one requesting that the data be examined, that a meeting be held in Venice with Councilman Bonin, and that it not have a negative impact on the Venice community. The committee very much agreed that actual data should be used in such a decision and not simply anecdotal evidence.

I spoke with the committee after the meeting and thanked them — reminding them that almost half of the people who took the time to show up from Venice were in favor of the changes. After all, the committee is “Parking and Transportation,” so the deck is somewhat stacked against cycling advocates with the focus on parking. It was heartening to see my fellow Venice resident cyclists take the time out of their evening to show up and support a cause which I feel will benefit the community of Mar Vista. I especially appreciate their ability to separate the hype and anecdotes from fact.

Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting at the Canal Club; photos by John Montgomery

Venice residents who came out to support the Great Streets project

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Meanwhile, a trio of angry drivers take aim at Councilmember Mike Bonin over the safety improvements in an Op-Ed in The Argonaut.

Think the same sort of sputtering anger you hear from a road raging driver, but in print.

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin justified his newly implemented “road diets” with an insulting diatribe about rich commuters from outside of our communities using our residential streets as highways. The truth is that Bonin’s “road diets” are wildly unpopular with his constituents and he refuses to admit it. He is replacing arterial lanes with bike lanes and parking on the premise that safety and commute times are mutually exclusive. Rather than objectively looking at facts, data and the numerous solutions that can truly make our streets safer, Bonin is misrepresenting details and using divisive rhetoric to force his personal ideals on us.

Note to angry Op-Ed writers: No need to put “road diet” in quotation marks; that’s what they’re called.

Of course, they then go on to compound their hyperbole with an un-objective look at the facts, data and solutions, reacting as only angry drivers can when they lose some of their precious road space in the name of safety.

Other than confusing the average of six collisions annually that result in serious injury or death with the 13 fender benders they site, they offer a collection of anecdotes with a complete and total lack of data to back it up.

And never mind that LADOT will study the results of the road diets, just as in the Mar Vista project cited above, and report back with actual stats and data on their effectiveness before any decision is made on whether to make them permanent.

It’s going to be a very long, angry summer.

You can show your support by signing the petition to keep Playa del Rey streets safe.

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Today’s common theme is the war on bikes, which rages on.

A Seattle woman was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car while riding home with her husband. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Chicago man is under arrest for pulling a load gun on Critical Mass riders after some idiot sat on the hood of his car.

A FedEx driver in upstate New York faces a felony theft charge for taking a bicyclist’s phone after he tried to take photos of the driver during a dispute.

A Florida woman is accused of using her SUV to intentionally run down a bike rider she knew, then coming back to attack her again.

A road-raging Winnipeg, Canada driver repeatedly bumped a woman’s bike and shouted homophobic slurs, apparently for the crime of being in his way when he wanted to turn right at a red light.

A British bike rider was knocked off his bike, gouged in the eye and dragged by his dreadlocks after confronting a man over rumors he’d been insulting him.

Caught on video: A British truck driver drifts into a cyclist, who barely manages to stay upright after the truck sideswipes him and forces him off the road, then jumps out and starts screaming that the rider was at fault. Which he wasn’t, unless being in the same space the driver wanted to occupy is a crime.

On the other hand, police in the UK are looking for an “aggressive” cyclist accused of shouting abuse at parents as they pick up and drop off their kids at school. My guess is he’s just fed up with drivers cutting him off and blocking the roadway. Or maybe I’m just projecting from my own experiences with school-bound parents.

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In today’s relatively spoiler-free racing news, the yellow jersey switched hands in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, while Italian champ Fabio Aru sent a message to the peloton. And American Andrew Talansky is off to an uneventful start in the Tour.

The debate over whether Peter Sagan should have been elbowed out of the Tour goes on, with almost universal disagreement with the decision; one track cyclist points the finger at Cavendish, instead.

Meanwhile, Ella Cycling Tips offers an update on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about comforting an injured woman who was hit by a driver, saying we don’t appreciate the vulnerability of pedestrians until it’s too late.

A Marina del Rey teenager raised $12,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation by riding from Mar Vista to Del Mar, stopping at several fire stations along the way.

 

State

An off-road rider was rescued by authorities above Ojai after apparently suffering heat exhaustion. A reminder to be careful riding in the extreme heat predicted for this weekend; bring plenty of water, and avoid riding in the heat of the day, if possible.

A moving new Salinas mural honors a fallen cyclist next to his ghost bike, three years after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was never caught.

San Jose will be installing several road diets and bike lanes over the summer. Which means San Jose bike advocates will get to have the same sort of fun we’re having with drivers enraged over losing a small amount of road space.

The San Jose Mercury News reviews Andy Samberg’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy, which airs this weekend on HBO.

Caught on video: A San Francisco driver gets out of his car to argue with a bike rider following a punishment pass. While the story correctly notes that police have to actually witness an infraction to write a ticket or make a misdemeanor arrest, the driver could have been charged with assault simply for getting out of his car to confront the rider. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the link.

Sacramento is building a three-quarter-mile long bike path along the American River, part of a planned bikeway leading to the Cal State Sacramento campus.

 

National

A new study examines the reasons people don’t use bikeshare; no surprise that the leading reason for all demographic groups was fear of traffic.

Another new study examines driver’s attitudes towards bicyclists, suggesting that the roadway is a battleground for social domination, rather than just a competition for space. Which explains the outrage over road diets.

An Op-Ed in a bicycle trade publication questions the lack of women in the bike industry, while noting the situation is poised to change.

Seattle is ready to make its third attempt at bikeshare, with as many as ten dockless bikeshare companies looking to enter the market; however, users are still required to have helmets, which may doom them all.

The massive Outdoor Retailer trade shows will be moving to Denver, in response to Utah officials support for downsizing the Bears Ears National Monument.

A Colorado man writes that he was hit by a speeding car while riding his bike, but instead of ticketing the driver, the cop lectured him about the wisdom of riding a skinny-tired bike on the street.

Nebraska will change the way it installs rumble strips to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

London’s former cycling czar accuses the new mayor of subverting plans for cycle superhighways, and maintaining capacity for motor vehicles even if it causes conflicts with cyclists.

An 18-year old British man has been sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a middle-aged man by scissor kicking him as he was riding his bike while walking his dog. Violence is never the answer, though the victim had provoked his attacker by repeatedly insulting him using racist terms.

Someone posted a handwritten sign urging drivers to slow down at an English intersection where a bike-riding father was killed, adding that it’s frightening to be passed by drivers going too fast and too close. And it is.

Caught on video: A bike-riding couple in the UK got dangerously buzzed by a speeding motorcyclist.

Better buy that $7,800 graphene-infused bike now; high-end British bike maker Dassi Limited was threatened with insolvency for failing to file required paperwork.

NPR looks at Copenhagen’s efforts to use technology to avoid bicycle traffic jams.

Get your bicycle tuned up. Hanoi, Vietnam has announced plans to ban motorcycles by 2030, the leading form of transportation in a country where few can afford cars.

 

Finally…

Looks like you can keep taking that EPO after all. Proof that there’s more than one way to lockup a bike; thanks again to Megan Lynch.

And some things are just too cute not to share.

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Thanks to Joni Yung for today’s featured image of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Morning Links: 4th of July bike tips, racist jerk driver in Sunnyvale, and San Marino man riding across US

Riding your bike is the best way to beat traffic to get to your 4th of July celebrations.

Just remember to ride defensively. Independence day drivers are more likely to be looking for parking than for you on the way there, and focused on cutting through traffic on the way back.

If you find yourself riding during the 4th of July fireworks shows, consider that drivers will probably be looking up at the pretty lights in the sky, not the bike directly ahead of them. So be sure to light yourself up, and make your bike as conspicuous as possible.

And don’t get me started on holiday drunks.

Standard protocols apply — just assume that any driver you encounter on the road after noon tomorrow has probably been drinking.

And any driver you meet before that may still be stoned from the night before.

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A racist jerk was caught on video harassing a woman riding her bicycle with her daughter in Sunnyvale.

The man, later identified as an Apple employee, called her a bitch and a Cambodian n**gger as they waited to make a legal left turn. Even though she’s from the Philippines.

Not that he’d probably give a damn.

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A San Marino man is riding 3,000 miles across the US to raise funds to fight leukemia.

Just ten days into a planned 27-day trip, Steve Gilmore has raised $30,000 out of a half-million dollar goal.

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The LA Times provides a heartbreaking look at the bike-riding victim of last week’s Florence-Firestone shooting.

Seventeen-year old Johnny Salas appears to have been collateral damage in a drive-by shooting as he rode home from the dentist.

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The Tour de France is as prepared as it can be for terrorist attacks, but the race director says it’s important to carry on living in the face of fear.

Sunday was a day of contrasts at the Tour de France.

Just three years after being told he’d never run again, let alone ride a bike, when a race motorcycle sent him into a guard rail at 60 mph, Taylor Phinney sealed his miraculous comeback; Phinney rode in a breakaway Sunday with his “friend for life.” VeloNews explains his challenging journey to a long overdue Tour debut, while the New York Times offers a nice piece relating Phinney’s literally torturous comeback.

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde had surgery on his broken kneecap after crashing out during Saturday’s time trial at the Tour; Kiwi cyclist George Bennett didn’t fare much better on the rain s oaked streets.

Lance promises brutally frank commentary on his new Tour de France podcast.

There’s actually another major stage race going on right now, as women cyclists are competing in the Giro Rosa, aka the women’s Giro d’Italia.

Last week’s death of a cyclist in a Kansas City crit has been blamed on crashing into sharp-edged crowd control barriers, which had not been properly secured.

Sports Illustrated discovers Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever, as he travels the country seeking Strava KOMs on the most difficult climbs. Officially making him more famous as an retired cyclist than he was as a pro.

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Local

KPCC considers how bike lanes are seen as symbols of gentrification in some LA communities.

The Santa Monica Observer looks at the Playa del Rey road diets, even if they can’t quite figure out what neighborhood they’re in. And implies that there were no traffic backups on traffic clogged Lincoln Blvd before they went in.

Needless to say, South Bay drivers think reversing the road diet and keeping speeds up on Vista del Mar will keep everyone safer. After all, it’s worked so well already, right?

Over 500 children are expected to turn out for tomorrow’s kid’s bike parade in Long Beach.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists get a new bike path, finally providing a safer route through Mission Valley.

This is why you don’t trust drivers who try to waive you forward. A Los Banos driver waved a teenage bike rider to go across the street, then plowed into him as he rode in the crosswalk; she fled the scene after stopping briefly to ask if he was okay. No word on whether the driver was careless, or if the act was intentional.

A San Francisco writer says the city’s residents are the victims of the mythical war on cars, especially one that favors ride-hailing services.

 

National

Good piece in the Daily Beast, as a writer says not all bicyclists are rich or poor, and many people in between use their bikes as transportation.

An Austin TX bicyclist says give bike commuters time to adjust their routes before judging whether a new bike bridge is working.

A Michigan public radio station offers a great examination of the right of bike riders to be on the road, as the state considers adopting a five foot — yes, five — passing law.

New York police arrest the bike-riding suspect who allegedly shot four people on Memorial Day weekend.

A new study from Clemson University suggests the best way to increase your visibility on you bike is to put lights on your ankle so people notice the movement when you pedal; meanwhile, another study show front and rear daytime lights can cut crashes up to 19%.

 

International

Caught on video: Toronto police would like to charge a wheelie-popping cyclist who posted video of himself weaving dangerously in and out of traffic, except they can’t pin down the date and time of the violations.

Former Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman Shaun Ryder is one of us, saying bicycling all day got him off drugs.

Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian is one of us, too, as he goes on a honeymoon bike ride with his new wife.

The Guardian says making room for bikes in parking garages — or eliminating car parking almost entirely — could encourage more people to ride to work. Another story says the key question planners should be asked is whether they would let their own kids bike there.

Two people were injured, and a third died of a heart attack, after a Romanian driver plowed into a trio of bike-riding British tourists.

Start making plans for your next mountain biking vacation Lapland, where 90 miles of trails were just added to a 556-mile trail network.

A South African mountain biker is in intensive care after she was attacked by two robbers who stole her bike and cell phone — while she was competing in a race.

A bike-hating Aussie motorcyclist gets eight years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist; he told people in a pub right after the crash that “the cunt deserved it.” He should consider himself lucky, though; he had faced up to 25 years.

This is where abandoned Chinese bikeshare bikes go to die.

 

Finally…

Next time you crash, you could be wheeled off on a unicycle. If you’re going to mug someone and steal their cellphone, try not to ride through a red light and get hit by a car trying to make your getaway.

And now you can have bike dreams delivered directly to your doorstep.

 

Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Rey, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

………

This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

………

Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: Angry drivers and bikelash in Playa del Mar, sinkhole on Angeles Crest, and Bike Life in DTLA

A little bikelash and road diet rage were to be expected.

This is LA, after all.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that drivers are angry they can no longer speed on deadly Vista del Mar, or use the beachfront street as a virtual highway on their cut-through commutes from South Bay cities.

Streetsblog examines Monday’s angry backlash over the changes designed to slow speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety in Playa del Rey — including one bighearted person who shouted that people killed crossing the deadly street had it coming.

Just in case you wondered what kind of person would oppose desperately needed traffic safety improvements.

After all, who really cares about saving the lives of a few total strangers if it means your commute gets a few minutes longer? Although one person says traffic on his Vista del Mar commute is actually lighter than usual.

Once again, there are dueling petitions both opposing and supporting the changes. And once again, the nays are winning in a landslide.

Meanwhile, The Argonaut considers the resistance of some drivers to the road diet and bike lanes just completed on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, where over 48 bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured since 2011.

Including one truly bizarre statement that it took someone 45 minutes to drive the half mile from Beethoven to Centinela. Which would only seem possible if s/he stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. And had to wait while they made them.

Because really, why wait a few weeks to see if the changes will actually work when you can just demand they rip ‘em out before the paint is even dry?

And yet people wonder why it’s so hard to change anything in LA.

………

If you were planning to ride Angeles Crest this weekend, start making other plans. Caltrans reports the highway is closed until further notice between Grassy Hollow and SR-39 due to a sinkhole in the roadway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Since you can’t ride Angeles Crest, head over to Grand Park this Saturday for a one-hour beer and taco-free gathering of the LA bicycling community.

………

Once again, a cyclist competing in an open course time trial has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle; this time the victim was a 69-year old man in the UK.

More bad news, as a French cyclist was killed in a car crash, and another injured, shortly after taking first and third in a criterium last Thursday; both riders were veterans of the popular Red Hook Crit series.

The New York Times looks at the rise of Columbian cyclists, saying some compete for their county, and some in spite of it.

The Des Moines Register profiles a competitor in next week’s RAAM, saying don’t call her Wonder Woman.

………

Local

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian celebrates how a chain reaction hit-and-run crash brought an unlikely group of Angelenos together. And a bike rider walked away thanks to the falling skills he learned riding a skateboard.

Helen’s Cycles will host their monthly mountain bike ride this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, learn how to advocate for Complete Streets at The Tripping Point, a free conference sponsored by Investing in Place, AARP California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Pacoima Beautiful and Tree People.

 

State

Anticipating an increase in funding, the California Active Transportation Program is looking for shovel-ready bike and pedestrian projects. Like LA’s North Figueroa and Lankershim Blvd road diets, and the bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, for instance. Oh, wait.

Newport Beach police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement this month, with extra officers on duty June 14th and 26th. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Riverside will host the Santa Ana River Trail Bike Ride & Festival this Sunday.

The Pleasanton city council votes unanimously to adopt a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

San Mateo plans to double the size of its bikeshare program, the only one in the Bay Area not part of Ford’s 7,000 bike system.

 

National

NACTO is sponsoring a year-long initiative to identify problems that “slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” I can save them the trouble: blame NIMBYs who value parking spaces and faster commutes over lives and livability.

Streetsblog says algorithms to improve dangerous intersections are great, but we already know what needs to be done to improve safety.

A new study shows even regular coffee drinkers can get a performance boost from caffeine.

Not surprisingly, Oregon bike retailers are trying to stop plans for a tax on bicycles over $500.

An online travel service ranks Denver the tenth most bike-friendly city for tourists. Not surprisingly, Minneapolis ranks number one; more surprising is Los Angeles getting a nod on the Most Improved list.

Texas finally gets around to banning texting while driving, six years after then governor and now US Energy Secretary Rick Perry vetoed it.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops take the time to help a kid fix his bike.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 16-year old bike rider walks with nothing but probation following a plea deal. Seriously, whoever agreed to this should be ashamed.

After a Chicago boy’s bike was stolen while he was at work, his friends mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances to buy him a new one.

Michigan Live offers a complete wrap-up of their extensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre.

Indiana police are looking for a road-raging bike rider, though they won’t say what happened or why.

Baltimore’s mayor pledges to look into charges from some residents that bike lanes would make some streets too narrow for fire equipment. Even though parking spaces already do.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers 15 reasons why you should ride your bike this summer. Or maybe ten, they’re not really sure.

A London advocacy group calls on the city to modify safety barriers that have been placed in bike lanes on three of the city’s bridges.

A Scottish newspaper says the silence was deafening during a minute of quiet to protest the death of a young woman on her bike.

A new Dublin study shows enormous health benefits to bicycling, while noting that the risk to male riders between 20 to 29 increases with every mile, and may outweigh the benefits for some.

Coke is turning to e-cargo bikes to make deliveries. In the Netherlands, naturally.

A cyclist on a French river cruise takes a bicycling tour of the historic city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

An Aussie judge calls a driver a moronic bogan — the rough equivalent of trailer trash in the US — after the man pled guilty to beating and demanding an apology from the bike rider he’d just crashed into. But still let him off with just a fine.

 

Finally…

Training bike cops for the coming zombie apocalypse. If you really want to encourage bike commuting, free donuts and bacon should do the trick.

And nothing like a phalanx of school kids on unicycles unexpectedly rolling past your window.

Guest Post: Why do motorists hate bicyclists (a rant)

I want to share something that was sent to me recently. The author asked to remain anonymous, but trust me, he knows what he’s talking about.

………

Why do so many drivers hate bicyclists? Bicyclists force drivers out of their normal stupor, making them pay attention to the road around them. Drivers recognize, if only subconsciously that they have to change their behavior or risk killing someone. How does one react when being told to change their behavior. I find my 5 year old nephew’s reaction is likely the same for many adults. Denial, Anger, Projection, depression and acceptance.

Denial. The first reaction is naturally defensive; I did nothing wrong! The cyclist appeared out of nowhere, as if they were transported off the Starship Enterprise. Or the mixture of lights, reflectors and bright colored clothing just happened to blend into the color of the asphalt while the sun completely blinded me going 40 mph when I couldn’t see a thing because I was texting on the cell phone, yet decided to speed anyway. See. Not my fault. A freak act of god (small g).

Anger/projection. Because they remain in denial, the anger is often projected outward towards the cyclist. This “fault” ends up being they are all lawbreakers. If they see another motorist run a stop sign, the first thought is that the motorist must also be a cyclist.

Lycra is the new symbol for a bike riding street gang on the same level as some nationwide criminal gangs, threatening you with taunts such as “Hey buddy, nice car. It would be a shame if it got my blood all over it.” The driver then races off in fear, peeling rubber as the bicyclist chases after them at a dangerous 12-15 mile per hour pace. Yes, they remember reading “The Tortoise and the Hare” and it didn’t end well at all for the hare.

Worse are the confrontations that happen at this stage. Adrenaline abounds on all sides after a near collision.

Bargaining. This is actually when recovery really starts, as the motorist is now thinking of solutions, albeit clouded by denial and anger so solutions must benefit the driver and punish cyclists. When they think about how they can resolve the issue, they offer such non solutions as registration fees, gas tax equivalents. Somehow, if bicyclists would only pay the $3/year for registration, drivers would welcome them onto the streets, pass safely, offer free donuts at stop lights and offering the occasional come hither look (hey, a cyclist can dream right?).

Depression. As much as I would enjoy the schadenfreude, being called out on his poor behavior that a driver would, like my five year old nephew, fling and then bury himself into the back seat of the car, crying and kicking.

Wait, let’s just pause for one moment to visualize that, (sigh) ok, moving on.

Depression is a good thing. Drivers are now noticing bicyclists on the road, and while peppered with anger and frustration at the occasional lawbreaker, they are noticing bicyclists and watching out for them, seeing how the rhythm of bicycle/motor vehicle occurs.  Perhaps they are noticing where the road could be designed a little better to get cyclists out of their way. (I admit, I often perform mental bike audits when I am driving)

Acceptance. This is where the motorists truly recognizes the right of the bicyclist to be on the road, anticipate bicyclist behavior and act accordingly. Allow me to digress slightly to make my point. Years ago, when I first started taking transit, I would sit in the front row of the bus (to watch my bike on the rack), and I would gasp, hiss and cringe every time a car cut the bus off, or the driver had to hit the brakes quickly. Recognizing my frustration (and being annoyed by it), when we stopped at a light, he turned back towards me and said, “relax. I’ve got this.”

I call this the Tau of the Bus Rider. You can’t control everything so you must put your faith in other people to do the right thing. Bicyclists need to be predictable. Motorists need to pay enough attention to be able to predict what bikes are going to do and react accordingly.

In summary, motorists should pay more attention while driving, quit whining and just accept bicyclists as normal roadway users. but until that time, expect a lot of juvenile behavior.

They drive among us…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you don’t give, the angry anti-bike cranks win.

My apologies for no Morning Links today.

Attending a Wednesday night meeting meant putting off my meds in order to remain at least semi-functional until I got home. Which inevitably means paying the price later.

And I am.

So instead, let me leave you with this piece from the Tolucan Times, in which a self described former Disney Exec takes a break from telling the kids to get off his lawn, and goes on a rather remarkable rant against “nasty, radical bike Nazis.”

No, really.

It’s people like this we share the roads with, in case you wondered what the impatient, angry driver who just buzzed you or laid on his horn was thinking.

Feel free to offer your comments. I’d offer my own thoughts, but the meds are finally kicking in, and I’m going to go curl up in a ball for awhile.

Can’t wait to see part two next week.

War on cars (Part I)

BY GREG CROSBY ON DECEMBER 4, 2015

We’ve had the war on poverty, the war on drugs and the war on women. Politicians and their marketing consultants for purely selfish political interests have invented every single one of these “wars.” None of these so-called “wars” can ever be won because they are bogus.

The poverty and drug “wars” have had billions in federal funds poured into slogans, ad campaigns and bureaucratic committees and programs for decades.

The “war on women” is totally made up, invented by the Democrats as a way of rallying their base by vilifying Republicans as the party who hate women and want to keep them down.

But we have a new political “war” quietly going on across our country and this one is for real. I call it the “war on cars.” This war is being waged by a coalition of liberal opportunistic politicians and radical environmentalists. To borrow the Obama phrase, they want to “fundamentally transform the United States” from a car-centric nation to a country dependent on public transportation, bicycles and walking.

The difference between those other bogus political wars and this one is that this is one they are winning.

After having returned from a three-week road trip all over California I can honestly say that our highways and streets are being taken over by bicyclists (not sweet little families happily jingling their bicycle bells as they peddle their Schwinns around the Leave It to Beaver neighborhood, I’m talking nasty, radical bike Nazis). These bicyclists with major attitudes and an elite sense of entitlement purposely ride two and three abreast and do anything they can to frustrate motorists, like riding in the middle of a lane on a mountain road where there’s no place to go around them.

Everywhere we drove we encountered these selfish bicycle jackasses in their spandex outfits and European-style alien helmets.  They look like giant skinny mantis insects on wheels. We drove on all kinds of roads and it seemed no matter where we went, we would run into them (not literally, but sometimes it came close). They were on country roads, narrow high mountain roads, city streets, and get this—ON STATE HIGHWAYS. That’s right; California Highway 101 is now open to bicyclists.

I’m not taking about some quiet parts of sleepy little coast Highway 1 along the beach, (although the bike people are there too). No, I’m referring to a major four-lane each way, 80 mile an hour, truck route freeway. Highway 101 is a major, congested freeway and now the idiots that run the state of California are allowing bicycles on it.

They are not simply “letting” this happen, they ENCOURAGE it.

The official road signs are posted all along our highways and city streets now: “SHARE THE ROAD.” Some have images of bicycles and pedestrians on them.  Other signs demand that autos “SHARE THE LANE” because now bike riders have as much right to use ALL LANES in the streets as do the cars and trucks.

The California Bicycle Coalition website says: “Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21202.”

You can see there is lots of wiggle room for the bike riders.  While it is true that the California law states “bicycles may not be ridden on freeways and expressways,” they’ve added a loophole.  The law goes on to state, “where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities.” So when the state has posted signs that say, “SHARE THE ROAD” on these busy highways, it sends the message that it’s okay for bikes to use them.

More on this next week.

It gets better.

Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.

Thanks to Mike Kim and Todd Munson for the links.

Morning Links: Don’t confront angry drivers, salmon cyclist injured in Boyle Heights, near miss in OC, and CicLAvia!

Some stories are just too outrageous for words.

That was the case with yesterday’s murder of a bicyclist by a road-raging SUV driver who fled the scene after running down the victim near Expo Park following an argument.

We won’t rehash the whole story here.

But it serves as a tragic reminder that you never know who you’re dealing with on the roads. And if you encounter an angry driver, it’s better not to engage if possible.

Just pull over, and let them go on their way. A lesson I learned the hard way, after bouncing off the bumper of a road raging driver when I made the mistake of responding to her anger with a single raised finger.

Rule #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.

If they come after you, try to ride to a public place. Take your bike into a store if you need to.

Make a public display of calling 911, or ask witnesses to call the police.

I’ve also found that taking a photo of the driver and the license of the vehicle with your smartphone will diffuse most situations. Although pointing out that you’re recording everything on your helmet cam seems to have the opposite effect.

Try to speak calmly. Don’t yell or get into a shouting match. Just find a way to get out of the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

I don’t mean to preach.

That advice is a reminder for me as much as it is for you or anyone else.

I’ve got a long history of standing my ground and fighting for my right to the road through words and gestures. Even going so far as to block offending drivers with my bike and body, and shoving car doors closed to keep drivers or passengers from getting out and kicking my ass.

I’ve somehow managed to get away it. Except for that one time.

But as that case and this one make clear, it’s just not worth the risk.

………

A salmon cyclist suffered major injuries in a head-on collision in Boyle Heights Monday night.

………

A drunk driver lost control of his car and went off PCH in Huntington Beach, coming to rest in the sand; the driver and a passenger were arrested trying to flee on foot.

A friend reports she would have been passing through that exact spot at the time of the crash as she rode her bike home along the beach, if she hadn’t stopped to watch the lightening display and ended up talking with a driver who’d pulled over to watch, as well.

It’s funny how often little things like that can make all the difference in getting home safely.

………

CicLAvia returns to the scene of the crime for the fifth anniversary of the original Heart of Downtown event.

Speaking of which, the Militant Angeleno is back with his epic guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia route. Seriously, you need to memorize this, print it or download it to your phone before you head out on Sunday.

And there will be a feeder ride to CicLAvia from Culver City.

………

In pro cycling, the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team is now just Tinkoff, as the team lost Saxo Bank after eight years of sponsorship.

And it’s not just the riders facing a doping ban anymore, as USA Cycling extends a zero tolerance policy to its staff and contractors.

………

Local

The Alliance for Community Transit is hiring an Organizing Coordinator, and a Campaign and Communications Coordinator. And they’ll be hosting a community event in Grand Park on Monday to discuss what a sustainable, transit-rich LA could look like.

Jimmy Kimmel gives a non-bicycling staff writer a bike riding lesson behind his Hollywood studio.

Great news from the Valley, as design work begins for another 12 miles of bike paths along the LA River. Although the story doesn’t say if it will connect with the existing LA River bike path.

CiclaValley says Metro has plans for a bigger, bolder, and hopefully more bikeable NoHo. Let’s hope those plans include the long promised Lankershim bike lanes that were squashed by the unlamented Tom LaBonge.

It’s official. South Pasadena will host the second stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Long Beach needs volunteers for its eighth annual bike count on Sunday, which unfortunately takes place the same time as CicLAvia.

 

State

A Huntington Beach bicyclist suffered critical injuries when he was rear-ended while riding in the bike lane on Warner Ave.

Newly bike friendly San Diego is ranked as the 12th greenest city in the US.

A Santa Cruz writer plays Miss Manners for mountain bikers for a day.

San Francisco cyclists have an interesting new transportation option, as they can now lease a $2000 e-bike for $79 a month, including a lock, theft insurance and unlimited maintenance.

A Rancho Cordova cyclist is lucky to survive a collision with a light rail train.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Granite Bay man celebrated his 90th birthday by riding his 200,000th mile on his bike. By my calculations, I only have somewhere around 18,000 miles and a few more decades to go.

 

National

Microsoft is working on predictive intelligence to prevent bicycle collisions before they happen. Except when they have to reboot the system, download and install upgrades or fight off a virus, that is.

CNET looks at the growing popularity and expanding choices in e-bikes.

Next City offers eight images and videos it says will make you fall more in love with bikeshare.

A new Portland apartment building is only 80% leased, but the bike parking is already overflowing.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who plowed into a jogger after calling “on your left,” then not doing it.

The driver who nearly killed a Denver bike cop who was protecting protesting high school students faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular assault; he lied about an existing medical condition when he applied for a drivers license.

An Arkansas county sobriety court has started their own bikeshare program — actually more of a bike library — to provide transportation for drivers who’ve had their licenses suspended for DUI.

The Minneapolis StarTribune talks with Stephen Clark, the bicycle-friendly community program specialist for the League of American Bicyclists.

Evidently, not everyone loves Detroit’s Slow Roll Bike Rides.

A New York truck driver was high on coke when he killed a cyclist in an apparent right hook.

The NYPD doesn’t just think bike lanes are for parking, they’re also a dump for precinct garbage.

A Brooklyn paper offers a by the numbers look at bicycling in the borough.

City Lab says that DC church’s claimed opposition to bike lanes for religious freedom is really all about free parking. Oddly, I don’t recall Jesus saying anything about being able to park right in front of a house of worship.

 

International

City and state governments around the world are finally using data to harness the benefits of the bicycling boom.

Two Winnipeg men are under arrest for attacking a car after the right-turning driver had hit a bike rider as she came off the sidewalk.

A Toronto writer reflects on the intersection of bicycling and jazz, including a hair-raising ride from Hollywood to attend a recording session in Studio City with the great Lee Ritenour, aka Captain Fingers. I’ve often thought riding through traffic felt like a jazz improvisation, as you slide in and out of ever expanding and collapsing spaces, speeding up and slowing down with the flow around you.

The UK’s Cycling Weekly offers advice on winter riding, some of which actually applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Horrifying crime from Austria, as four masked men push a bike rider to the ground and carve a swastika into his forehead.

A commuter in Malta tried five different forms of transportation before concluding that riding a bike was the most efficient way to get to work.

A Singapore judge suggests cracking down on rash cycling with jail time or a fine up to the equivalent of $1800.

Aussie cops take the country’s mandatory helmet law to a ridiculous extreme by fining a helmet-wearing woman $70 because her strap wasn’t tight enough.

Only in Japan would separated bike lanes be intended to protect cyclists from pedestrians instead of cars.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a knife, sawed-off shotgun, drugs and trafficking paraphernalia, don’t ride on the sidewalk and put a damn bell on your bike. If you’re hiding a meth pipe on your bike, maybe it’s better not to ride with a .22-caliber rifle strapped to it.

And it may be smart, it may be electric, it may be a foldie, but if it doesn’t have pedals, it’s a freaking scooter, not a bike.

 

A new video — and change of heart — from the formerly bike-hating former reserve Santa Paula police officer

Now she gets it.

Maybe you remember a couple weeks ago when the internet blew up over a bike-hating video from a woman who was quickly identified as a reserve Santa Paula police officer.

Even though, as it turned out, Laura Weintraub was only peripherally associated with the department, helping out around the office a few hours a week. She was never a patrol officer, and never in a position to enforce the law, fairly or otherwise.

And the bike-friendly department she barely worked for got an undeserved black eye based on the comments of someone who should have known better.

It wasn’t like the anger we all felt wasn’t justified.

Weintraub’s failed attempt at humor fell into a long list of shock jocks, newspaper columnists, comedians, online commenters and just plain anti-social jerks who can’t seem to understand that bike riders have as much a right to the road as they do.

And that we’re all just people trying to get from here to there in one piece.

They somehow seem to think the idea of running us over or off the road is outrageously funny. And fail to grasp the concept that a simple tap that would be nothing more than a fender bender between cars could result in serious injury — or worse — if it was with a cyclist, instead.

I was as outraged as anyone.

Yet somehow felt that in our anger, we were missing out on a teachable moment. One that could allow us to reach out to the Santa Paula police, and maybe even drivers like Weintraub herself, to educate them on our rights and how to drive safely around us. And why.

Turns out, a lot of people read that piece.

Including Laura Weintraub.

So I was surprised when I opened my inbox a few days later to find an email from the alleged bike hater herself, asking if we could talk.

When we spoke on the phone a few days later, I found a very caring and contrite young woman who realized she’d made the biggest mistake of her life. And had listened to the angry comments directed her way, and truly got just how and why she was so wrong, and why we were all so upset with her.

A typical motorist, she had never seen us from anything other than a windshield perspective, unaware of our right to the road and the dangers we face on a daily basis from drivers just like her.

She’d never put herself in our position, literally or figuratively, she said.

But she wanted to.

So I agreed to meet with her, and take her on a ride through the relatively quiet streets of Santa Monica and Venice, unwilling to throw a neophyte rider into the deep end on more challenging streets.

Even that brief tour through tame traffic scared her. But somehow, she held her own, remembering the riding tips she’d gotten from me, as well as cycling instructor Stanley Appleman the day before.

She also picked my brain in an attempt to truly understand the dangers we face, and what we can do to make peace on the roads with people like her.

Or at least, like the way she’d been a few weeks before.

She’s changed. She truly gets it.

She’s doing her best to make amends. Not to improve her badly tarnished reputation, but to fix the mistake she made.

And talk to the people out there who might have found the humor in her previously video, and explain to them and other like-minded drivers that we’re all just people, on two wheels or four.

But don’t take my word for it.

Take a look at her latest video, and decide for yourself.

And let’s stop the death threats. Against her or anyone else, no matter how deserved you think they may be.

Just like her earlier video, it’s not funny.

And never appropriate.

 

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