Tag Archive for anti-bike hysteria

Morning Links: LA rider intentionally doored, and Montana politician tries to ban bikes from state roadways

Now this one’s scary.

An LA bike rider was harassed by the road raging occupants of a car, and intentionally doored by a passenger in the back seat.

Even though the door never made contact with him or his bike, this is a clear case of assault, since the passenger obviously intended to threaten, if not injure, the victim. As such, any case like this can and should be reported to the police — especially when there’s video evidence.

And yes, the cops do want to know about cases like this.

Even if the authorities aren’t able to press charges, it could establish a pattern of behavior if the driver or passengers do something like this again.

The video also provides strong evidence to make a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which entitles victims to $1000 or actual damages, whichever is higher, plus triple damages. As well as reimbursement for any legal fees.

It’s not easy to make a case under the law, since you have to have witnesses and/or corroborating evidence to prove the harassment occurred.

But with a video like this, it should do the trick.

………

After blocking a three-foot passing law in the state legislature, Montana Senate Leader Scott Sales plans to introduce legislation to ban bike riders from many state highways.

Sales’ legislation would prohibit bicycles from any two lane roadway with less than a three-foot shoulder, and require riders to place reflectors on their bodies as well as their bikes. And he’d require bicyclists to pay a special tax to ride on state roadways that they already pay for with their tax dollars.

Never mind that, as Bicycling points out, his proposal would kill the state’s burgeoning bike tourism industry.

His apparent distaste for bicycles and the people who ride them stems from his observation that bike riders are “some of the rudest and most self-centered people [he’s] ever encountered.”

Evidently, he’s never looked in the mirror, since he freely admits to blaring his horn at riders who have the audacity to get in his way. Or encountered many of the motorists he shares the roadways with, for that matter.

Meanwhile, a massive new study says bike riders aren’t really rude, we’re just trying to stay alive.

………

The state issued another $56 million in grants to fund 25 active transportation and Safe Routes to Schools projects in six SoCal Counties, including $15 million for bike lanes in the Arts District in DTLA, bike lane connections at Cal State Long Beach, and a bike track in Santa Ana.

………

Scandal-plagued British Cycling could now risk losing the equivalent of over $21 million in funding for grassroots programs due to concerns over governance of the organization.

A former rider for Team Sky says he broke cycling’s no needles rule to inject himself with vitamins leading up to the Vuelta. Vitamins, sure. Let’s go with that.

A new crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise $10,000 to make a movie about the legendary Major Taylor, America’s first great bicycling champ, and a groundbreaking African-America athlete.

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Local

No one was hurt, but a bicycle was mangled when a 45 foot shipping container fell off a big rig. No word on whether someone was riding the bike and jumped off, or if it had been parked.

A writer for City Watch calls CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali a ray of hope, saying “If Mr. Smith rode his bike to Washington, he’d look and sound a lot like Joe Bray-Ali.” We could find out today if Bray-Ali will be in a runoff with incumbent Gil Cedillo, when the latest vote counts are released.

The formerly anti-bike LA Weekly looks at seven group rides for cyclists new to LA streets, starting with next week’s CicLAvia.

The LACBC is hosting a Green on the Ground bike ride at noon today in Downtown LA.

DASH bus service to the Griffith Observatory will begin next week, part of a so-far successful effort to keep Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park from being opened to motor vehicles.

Travis Stork, host of The Doctors, is one of us, keeping his three bikes on the walls of his Hancock Park apartment, including a $10,000 Specialized Roubaix.

Santa Monica is considering new plans to make it safer for students who walk or bike to school at the city’s Edison Language Academy.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, sheriff’s deputies arrested a homeless man for riding his bike at night without lights, then says he was issued a citation. Something is seriously wrong if he was actually arrested, since riding without lights is a simple traffic violation, not a misdemeanor or felony offense subject to arrest. He should have been stopped, cited and sent on his way; let’s hope that’s what really happened. And someone please tell them it’s not that homeless people refuse to disclose their occupation; they usually just don’t have one.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will take a two-day, 90 mile tour of the coastline this weekend in honor of a beloved local bike advocate and cycling instructor who was killed in Oregon in 2014 near the beginning of a planned ride from Canada to Mexico.

A pitcher for the Padres has been on the bench since he pulled an endo last weekend when the front tire of his bicycle blew and he went over the handlebars.

The Inland Empire region receives a $13 million state grant for active transportation, including bike projects in Highland, Redlands and the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Tulare, where a 69-year old bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light. As always, the question is whether anyone other that the driver involved witnessed the crash and saw whether the light was red or green.

Berkeley police say it wasn’t excessive speed or impairment that was responsible for the collision that killed a 78-year old bike rider last month, blaming poor lighting, rain and a wet roadway. Yet that would suggest a violation of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Or is that only used as an excuse the ticket bike riders these days?

More bad news, this time from Sacramento, where yet another bike rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; police are looking for the owner of a two-tone utility truck.

Caltrans plans to install center rumble strips on a 30-mile segment of Highway 1 in Marin County, while widening the shoulders to improve safety for bicyclists.

 

National

People for Bikes makes clear what many of us had feared — Trump’s proposed new budget will be bad for bikes.

Apple applies for a patent for a new way to calculate a cyclist’s performance from wind resistance and other factors, suggesting they may develop a new form of power meter.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could turn your bicycle into an ebike just by swapping out your front wheel, for less than half the price of the Copenhagen Wheel.

Judging by the headline, Texas police apparently arrested a self-driving car for hit-and-run; or maybe someone was actually driving it, after all.

A Missouri mother is organizing a non-profit to aid the victims of hit-and-runs. Great idea, but sad that it’s even necessary.

A Chicago crash shows the difficulty bike riders face in getting justice following a hit-and-run.

Witnesses report the suspect in the shooting of two Detroit cops had been seen riding a bicycle similar to the one used by the person who killed a Wayne State University cop last year.

Defense attorneys argue that second degree murder charges should be dropped against the — allegedly — stoned driver who killed five Kalamazoo MI bicyclists because prosecutors failed to show that a combination of amphetamine, meth, hydrocodone and tramadol would have affected his ability to drive. On the other hand, they certainly didn’t improve it.

Now that’s what I call a bike tour. The owner of a Rhode Island bar plans to ride across the US sampling microbrews along the way to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

The rich get richer. New York cyclists can look forward to a new two-way protected bike lane leading eight miles up to the Brooklyn Bridge. And actually resulting in more parking spaces for a change.

A local news site asks if South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is doing enough to keep bicyclists safe; the only gold-level bicycle friendly community in the Southeast, it ranks just 17th out of 20 in terms of safety.

Friends have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Florida bike advocate and bicycle writer Alan Snel, who was injured in a collision last week; it has raised nearly $6,400 of the $10,000 goal as of Thursday night.

 

International

A globe trotting guide to bicycling through the wine country, from Napa to Tuscany.

A one-woman Canadian performance illustrates the role bicycles played in the emancipation of women, starting with the story of Annie Londonderry, the first woman who biked around the world.

A new study of London bicycling shows bike riders experience an average of one close call at intersections every two weeks.

A man takes one of London’s bikeshare bikes on a tour of seven cities on three continents, and returns it with a £300 late fee — the equivalent of $371.

Caught on video: Passersby confront a masked Brit bike thief, but back off when he brandishes an axe.

The British man who put up his own No Cycling signs on a pathway where bicycling is allowed says he can’t be anti-cycling since he rides a bike himself.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. A UK van driver was given a suspended sentence for running over a doored bicyclist who fell into his path — even though he fled the scene and was three times over the legal limit for drunk driving. His lawyer claimed he only started drinking after the wreck, though he was still drunk from the previous day. Seriously, that’s an excuse?

After elite German police shoot a man on a bike who was carrying a horror mask, the press speculates he may be a terrorism suspect.

In the latest criminal scandal from Down Under, cyclists are breaking the law by removing bells and horns from their bicycles, making them subject to fines as high as $775 — around $600 US — if they fight the ticket in court.

Chinese app-based bikeshare company Ofo has decided the way to get users to take better care of their bikes is to flood the streets with even more, so they know another bike will be readily available. Um, probably not.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who doesn’t need an environmentally friendly bamboo ebike? Nothing like riding with a Jack Russell on your back.

And clearly, stunt cycling is nothing new; check out this performance on a golden fixie from1965.

Morning Links: More LA bike events, and columnist calls for confining those irresponsible cyclists to bike lanes

Let’s catch up on coming events.

Assemblymember Anthony Rendon and Supervisor Hilda Solis will host a bike ride and run to promote revitalization of the LA River this Saturday. Link courtesy of Streetsblog.

The Tour de Laemmle that was postponed due to smoke from the Sand fire earlier this summer has been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Walk Bike Burbank’s second annual Midnight Ramble Ride rolls Saturday night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a goodbye event for board member Maria Sipin on Sunday as she prepares to move to Portland. In just a few short years, Sipin has grown from a quiet volunteer to one of SoCal’s leading bike advocates, and will be very missed.

Speaking of Burbank, fixie-maker Pure Cycles is holding a pop-up sale at their headquarters in the city on the 27th.

Here’s your chance to get to know CD5 city council candidate Jesse Creed with a meet and greet in Century City on the 31st, as he prepares to take on incumbent Paul “No bike lanes on Westwood Blvd” Koretz.

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If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could spend all day just shooting holes in the arguments made by this Boston columnist, who says the city should make bike lane use mandatory.

Since they’ve paid to build them and all, while apparently stealing precious roadway from those poor, deprived drivers who never, ever do anything wrong.

No, in her fantasy world, every one of the 400 Boston bike riders hit by cars each year evidently has it coming, as she calls them the most irresponsible group on the road.

And they could be damn near impervious to injury if they’d just strap on a damn bike helmet, which she mistakenly equates to seat belts, while trotting out the long discredited claim that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.

They don’t.

Most objective studies show bike helmets offer some protection, though just how much is debatable.

While it’s true that some bike riders blow through stop lights and weave in and out of traffic, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the greatest risk to those around them. Especially when they can’t manage to put down their phones or take their foot off the gas.

And before she talks about confining cyclists to bike lanes, maybe she should insist that drivers stop parking in them and using them as a way to bypass stalled traffic.

Let alone that the city install barriers to protect the people using them. Or that they should actually go somewhere, and connect with others to form a real bike network.

It’s easy to dismiss her comments and say it doesn’t matter since she’s on the opposite coast.

But there are thousands of people who think just like her in every city and town in the US.

And we’ve got more than our share right here in LA.

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Temecula’s Sarah Hammer claims her second silver of the Rio Olympics with a second-place finish in the omnium.

The mountain bike course at the Rio Olympics is threatened by a wildfire which could affect practices scheduled to start today. However, officials say the course is currently unaffected by the fire; unanswered is the question of air quality. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan says no one knows what the hell to expect in this weekend’s competition.

NPR says Kristin Armstrong’s victory in the Olympic time trial shows that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower.

A writer for the New Yorker looks at the magic of track cycling, while Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze says her heart hurts more than her wounds after crashing out in the keirin.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish says he feels awful about crashing into a South Korean rider during the omnium, but apparently not enough to give back the silver medal he won. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling calls the event more complicated than Quidditch.

Despite their dominance in Rio, there were innovations to shave a off few seconds that the Brits didn’t think of.

Romantically involved Brit cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott really are a golden couple, as they share ten gold medals between them.

And in non-Rio news, a number of pro cyclists tried, and failed, to win the famed Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Saturday.

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Local

CiclaValley offers a video reminder to not drive in the bike lane on the first day of school. Or any day, for that matter.

Pasadena met Tuesday night to discuss cycle tracks planned for Union Street.

 

State

Encinitas police are looking for the heartless hit-and-run driver who left a seriously injured bicyclist lying in the street Sunday morning. Tom Scott, who says he rides that road himself, forwards the Reddit post from a friend of the victim reporting he suffered multiple broken bones and has gone through a number of surgeries already.

A Simi Valley woman was pulled off her bicycle and stabbed repeatedly by another woman; no word on whether the victim knew her attacker or if it was a random attack.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time for the city to take off the training wheels and approve an updated bike plan.

Calbike wins a reversal, if not retraction, of the CHP’s victim blaming in a Sacramento-area bicycling crash.

Yolo County gets its own book bike.

 

National

An Arizona medical school professor rode his bicycle across the US, from DC to Seattle, to listen to Americans’ attitudes about Obamacare.

Colorado authorities throw the book at a 20-year old former star athlete who killed an eight year old girl riding her bicycle, with nine counts including vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield.

The Denver Post talks with ex-Tour de France winner, former doper and current medicinal dope peddler Floyd Landis about his new line of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products designed for discrete athletic use.

A bike rider says the man who shot and killed a New York imam and his friend was acting crazed and out-of-control as he fled the scene before driving past the cyclist once, then turning around and plowing into him.

A Philly columnist feels vindicated when a local TV station shows “arrogant” bike riders breaking the law. Never mind all those arrogant drivers who speed, fail to signal, don’t look and routinely violate right-of-way laws. But sure, let’s focus on the ones on bicycles.

That disgruntled Georgia bicyclist who stole a series of pedestrian safety signs says he’s not, and offers to pay for them, insisting he only took the signs because they were blocking the trail.

 

International

A Toronto hit-and-run has been ruled a homicide after the driver appeared to deliberately drive up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist, then back over him in a possible dispute over drugs.

A columnist calls a promised study of a new Toronto bike corridor just window dressing for another attempt to ram active transportation down the throats of drivers.

London’s mayor is urged to appoint a full-time walking and cycling commissioner.

Good Samaritans form a human chain around a London cyclist to protect him from traffic after he was injured in a collision.

Ebike prices are dropping; the new Danish MATE folding ebike retails for just $599.

Caught on video: When an Estonian BMXer insists on riding in an off-limits area, a security guard confiscates his bike. And busts some mad moves himself.

Bikeshare comes to Mumbai with a trial program offering just 20 bikes at five docking stations. Which is just enough to virtually guarantee failure.

A Cape Town ward councilor blames a six-year old girl for crashing into his extended cab pickup, never considering that he might have cut her off as he sped out of his gated office driveway.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist riding on a separated bikeway is nearly nailed in a left cross by a driver who crossed over two lanes to make the turn.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding you bike after dark with burglary tools and a half-dozen outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it — and get your ass out of the bushes, while you’re at it. Forget the pandering conviction, tell us more about that bicycle modified to be a sex toy.

And no one says you need a saddle to win a bike race.

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Note: I was originally going to end with an item about Harvard Medical School’s bizarre advice to don a helmet and sweat-wicking spandex to ride a beach cruiser or adult tricycle with a cushioned saddle and no pedal clips, but only on a bike path, and not on the street.

Unfortunately, they’ve since hidden the article behind a paywall. Perhaps they were unprepared for the unbridled ridicule they knew was coming.

Update: Courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch, we now have a PDF of the Harvard Med School article. So feel free to ridicule at will. 

Morning Links: Anti-bike bile from a Tucson radio host, a bike-riding Prince in LA, and still more big bike hearts

The great thing about our society is that even people who don’t have a clue can get their own radio talk show.

Take this bike-hating Tucson “news personality.”

Please.

I do not like bikers. I’m not talking about real bikers, like Harley riders. I’m talking about bicyclists, the privileged weekend riders of Southern Arizona… the real 1%-ers of Pima County.

That’s how KQTH’s James T. Harris starts out a typically uninformed rant on the station’s website.

Never mind that many of those 1% ride a bike because it’s their only form of transportation. And that compared to cars, bikes receive an infinitesimal amount of funding and an even smaller amount of real estate.

So who’s the real privileged ones?

It takes a special kind of asshat arrogance to be a rider in Tucson. I almost killed a few on Hwy 83 a few weeks ago.

Note that he says that without the slightest touch of irony.

Bikers don’t care. Bikers own the road. Deal with it (it’s called enabling…)!

Maybe he’s right. Maybe Tucson is the one place in North America where bike riders outnumber motor vehicles, and those poor unfortunate drivers are rudely shunned off the road by arrogant, entitled cyclists.

It could happen, right?

So what’s got our friendly news personality’s panties in such a twist?

Pavement.

To wit, smooth new pavement where a bike path crosses a street, while the poor unfortunate drivers must content with crappy asphalt.

Look at this “intersection” at Overton between La Cholla and La Canada. Look at how smooth that path is where bikes cross to ensure a smooth ride…
No potholes. No buckles, chips or peeling asphalt. Just smooooooth.

Note to the unintelligent, unimaginative and uncomprehending: Any new pavement is going to be smooth.

Granted, they could make the crossing rough and potholed when they pour it, if that makes him feel better. But it will get that way soon enough in the Arizona heat.

But what’s really driving — and I use the term advisedly — his online apoplexy?

The reason why I have disdain for cyclists in this town is not because they are engaged in a healthy activity. It’s because they are being catered to on the taxpayers’ dime!

Naturally.

Because as we all know, people who ride bicycles don’t pay taxes. There’s actually a box you can check on your 1040 Form that indicates you ride a bike, and therefore get back every penny of your withholding.

And when we make a purchase, all we have to do is whisper “bicycle” to the clerk, and the sales tax magically disappears.

No, really.

Then there’s the undisputed fact that no one who owns a car would ever dream of getting out on two wheels. So bike riders never pay the same registration fees and gas taxes that everyone else does.

Rants like this seem like just so much hot air and clickbait.

Except they can do real damage when equally uninformed people nod their heads in agreement, and take out their anger on the very people trying to make the streets safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Or worse, on those who have the misfortune of sharing the roads with them.

As Arizona resident Brendan Lyons, who tipped me to Harris’ bike-hating bile, put it —

This is the stark reality so many law-abiding, vulnerable road-users (cyclists) face on a daily basis. He fails to recognize the tragic consequences of the distracted motorist. He fails to comprehend the families who are left-behind, forced to pick up the pieces. He fails to recognize that beyond the lycra-clad cyclist briefly impeding his commute- is the law enforcement deputy who serves & protects, the firefighter who responds to his emergency, the soldier defending his country, the teacher educating his child, the scientist fighting to cure cancer, or simply his neighbor (a father, mother, son, or daughter) who want to get home safely to their family.

Maybe someone could explain to Harris who the real privileged ones are, on the roads of Arizona, California or Kalamazoo.

But I doubt he’d get it. Or even listen, for that matter.

Nothing affect hearing like a closed mind.

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A nice memory of Prince, as he rode his bike from an LA rehearsal to a grade school to invite a seven-year old girl to perform onstage with him after discovering she was learning one of his songs.

………

Evidently, there’s a lot of big hearts out there.

Like the Virginia TV station that teamed with a local bank to replace a boy’s bike after he was tricked out of his by older boys.

And the Michigan bike shop that unwittingly bought a hot $2,500 custom bike, then gave it back to the retired Marine it was stolen from, eating their $800 loss.

………

Somehow, bike racing keeps making the news, even this early in the season.

A crash by the great Dutch rider Marianne Vos is caught on video as she hit the barrier while sprinting towards the finish like at the Dwars door Westhoek; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt in what was just her fifth race back after missing all of last season with a hamstring injury.

Former world time trial champ Michael Rogers wisely retires from racing after doctors detect a heart arrhythmia, combined with a previously discovered congenital aortic valve malformation.

American pro Andrew Talansky says a rule preventing top riders from participating in lower level races is hurting cycling in the US, since fans now only get to see the WorldTour riders compete in the Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Sagan can do anything on a bike. Except finish his first mountain bike race in seven years in Austria.

And former Giro winner Danilo Di Luca says he had to dope to finish first, but he has no regrets despite receiving a lifetime ban. Nice to see everyone continues to follow Lance’s lead and blame the sport instead of taking responsibility themselves.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA invites you to attend the debate between candidates for L.A. County Supervisor District 5 tomorrow night at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.

The first ever Los Angeles Bicycle Festival scheduled for May 8th has exceeded its fundraising goal; as funding increases, organizers can donate more free tickets to people who might not otherwise be able to attend.

CiclaValley offers a nice photo-recap of last weekend’s all-too-brief Burbank open streets event.

Work on widening Agoura Road in Conejo Valley, including adding bike lanes, is nearing completion and should be completely finished by August.

 

State

The bicycle industry has raised $60,000 to help promote Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of a “utilitarian” transportation bike. Of course, if would be nice if they’d show the same support for bicycling issues that don’t benefit them directly.

A Turlock letter writer says backpack bans in retail stores discriminate against bike riders, who have to carry their belongings with them.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a woman riding her bike has lost her life in a hit-and-run.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says roof racks may be a great way to transport your bike, but it’s bad for gas mileage.

Elly Blue says placing bike racks outside local businesses is one of the most revolutionary, yet simplest, ways to advance the bike movement.

Next City says as cities invest more in making way for people on bicycles, investing in bike equity must be more than just talk. The LACBC was one of the first organizations to start that conversation on both a local and national level, and continues to lead the way.

USA Today notes where to bike by bikeshare when visiting cities around the US. Except in Southern California, of course.

An Iowa lawyer tries to exclude a TV interview in which his client admitted to driving drunk when he allegedly killed a cyclist, because he didn’t have a lawyer present. Even though Miranda rights only apply to law enforcement, not the news media.

The 18-year old man who shot two people outside a Wisconsin prom over the weekend arrived there by bicycle, armed with a rifle.

Once again, the anti-bike bias of the NYPD rears its ugly head, blaming a fallen cyclist for riding the wrong way, even though a witness riding behind her says she was riding with traffic.

 

International

Strava wants you to log your commuting miles on their Global Bike to Work Day on May 10th, the week before LA’s Bike to Work Day on the 19th.

Rio’s mayor says the bikeway that collapsed and killed three people will be rebuilt in time for the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll build it as if lives depend on it this time. Because they do.

When a London lawyer insists bike lanes will increase pollution by increasing auto congestion, a local councilor correctly notes that cars cause pollution, and asks why she’s not campaigning for restrictions on motorists instead.

Thousands of Budapest cyclists ride to call attention to bicycling and point out the lack of bicycling facilities in the city.

Police in Sydney, Australia crack down on bike riders on the city’s most dangerous street for cyclists. But drivers, not so much.

Shanghai cyclist are ticketed for riding in the roadway instead of a bike lane where they have to dodge pedestrians.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to haul a trailer on your bike to commit a burglary, remember to take them with you when you run away. If you’re riding salmon with drug paraphernalia, pills and three jars of dope in you backpack, just get on the damn sidewalk when the cops tell you to.

And a new bike cam turns on automatically when your heart rate spikes.

Of course, by then it’s probably too late to catch the Arizona news personality that caused it.

 

Morning Links: Coronado bike lane madness hits big time, Rowena redux, and OC deputy gets bike law wrong

The Coronado anti-bike lane madness is now officially the butt of jokes.

In a brilliant monologue, CBS Late Late Show host James Corden rips the rich old white ladies, as he calls them, who claim to get vertigo from the tattoo and graffiti-like white stripes besmirching their streets.

Seriously, watch it.

It could be the best four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your day not spent on a bike.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

……..

Meanwhile, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition responds to the madness in Coronado, asking city leaders to reconsider the decision to cancel the planned bike lanes.

And the insanity extends to the local police, as a Coronado cop refuses to believe the beach bike a sailor bought at the wasn’t stolen.

Because he’s a man, and it was pink.

……..

Maybe there’s something in the water down there by the border.

A new report finds a disconnect between the transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Government and the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan; San Diego calls for 50% of trips to be made by foot, bike or transit, while SANDAG settles for just 15%.

In fact, SANDAG envisions a future with more driving, not less. And one in which an increase in greenhouse gases is perfectly acceptable, as long people can continue to slog through traffic on an ever-increasing mass of freeways.

……..

Then again, it’s not just a West Coast problem.

In a prime example of just not getting it, a Staten Island website complains about bike lane fever gripping city officials.

SI Live argues that the evangelical zeal of bicyclists has transformed into an influential political movement that has found ardent acolytes at city hall, in the absence of “anything approaching broad, let alone overwhelming, public support.”

Odd.

Anywhere else, the 66% of New Yorkers who favor bike lanes would be considered overwhelming, let alone broad, support.

But whatever.

They also question the “dubious claim” that a road diet to add bike lanes serves to calm traffic, never mind that it can actually improve traffic flow.

Sure. As long as you consider a 19% to 47% reduction in overall crashes dubious. And think the Federal Highway Administration is a questionable source for those stats.

As for that other claim that road diets can improve traffic flow, it comes not from bike riders and their political acolytes, but the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Who should know.

And both the FHWA and NACTO also say that bike and pedestrian use tends to soar following a road diet, which is something else the SI Live editorial dismisses.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good uninformed rant?

Of course, there are those who will say the mad rantings of an NYC website don’t matter here on the Left Coast.

Except this is the same sort of misguided and barely informed thinking we see at work in Coronado, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake and on North Figueroa.

……..

Speaking of Silver Lake, Larry Mantle discusses the Rowena road diet with LADOT’s Tim Fremaux, while the Los Feliz Ledger offers a relatively one-sided look at the recent town hall meeting. And KABC-7 asks if the road diet is causing unnecessary traffic headaches.

Meanwhile, EGP News takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the issues surrounding North Figueroa, while KPCC discusses the street as ground zero in the debate over road diets.

……..

Honk my ass.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that newspaper column with such an auto-centric name would get a question about bicycling wrong.

The Honk column in the Orange County Register was asked whether it was legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. And turned to an OC Sheriff’s traffic deputy for the answer.

Bad idea.

The officer responded that under state law, bicycles were forbidden to ride along a sidewalk. Which just goes to show, once again, a cop is the last person you should ask about bike law.

Because section 21206 of the California Vehicle Code leaves it up to the local jurisdictions to decide.

The result is a crazy patchwork of bike laws, where someone can legally ride on the sidewalk in LA, and be ticketed for exactly the same thing after crossing the street into Beverly Hills. And usually with no posted warnings, and often no indication you’ve gone from one city to another.

Down in OC, bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Laguna Hills, and banned in Laguna Beach. And allowed everywhere but the central business district in Laguna Woods and Laguna Nigel.

So the real answer to the question is, it depends on where you happen to be at the moment.

As for why someone would ride on the sidewalk when there’s a perfectly good bike lane on the street right next to it, there can be a lot of reasons.

Especially in Orange County, where bike lanes are routinely found on streets with speed limits of 50 mph or more.

……..

Applications are now open for the bike industry’s 2016 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarships; 16 scholarships will be offered for the first all-female class in professional repair and shop operation.

……..

And one more common theme before we move on.

Urban Adonia questions how Vision Zero will play out in communities of color, raising concerns over racial profiling and the predominance of Eurocentric thinking.

A new study reveals that disadvantaged people are more likely to die in traffic collisions than people who are well-off. And despite a declining rate of traffic fatalities nationwide, death rates are going up for people over 25 without a high school diploma.

Ebony magazine looks at Slow Roll Chicago, described as a community-based organization that uses bicycling to connect with underserved and unappreciated communities.

And the founders of DC’s Black Women Bike and Black Girls Do Bike explain why groups like theirs matter.

……..

Local

Not even bike cops are safe from the epidemic of hit-and-run drivers, as an LAPD officer’s bike was hit by a driver who sped away after the officer tried to flag him down; he was hospitalized in stable condition.

CiclaValley meets the orange-vested mystery man who keeps Mulholland clean.

Bicycling should get a little easier in the Mid-City area, thanks to a Metro grant for a pair of bicycle friendly streets. As long as we manage to wait until 2020, that is, when they’re finally scheduled to be finished.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out the rising rate of bicycling injuries in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. And things are only going to get worse thanks to a decision to not include bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — let alone any kind of accommodation for bikes during the construction phase.

Richard Risemberg suggests imbibing in a strong dose of optimism and see what’s being done in cities around the world at next week’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

 

State

It looks like next year’s Amgen Tour of California will have a Pasadena start.

Chico police are using GPS-enable bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

 

National

Nice piece from a 45+ year old mountain biker, who discusses the women who inspire her to ride. And it’s not the pretty young things with an insatiable Instagram account.

According to Gizmodo, science says driving is the most stressful way to get to work, while commuting by bicycling or walking makes you healthier and happier.

A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a bike lock built into the pedal. The makers promise an alarm will sound if a thief tries to cut what looks like an easily defeated cable. Then again, no one even pays attention to car alarms any more.

Oh please. A Seattle radio personality says the city’s volunteer bike count has already been decided before it even happens, because the local bike club anticipates asking for more funding based on the results. If she really wants to ensure an honest count, maybe she should sign up to help out herself. Or get the city and state to pay for something they should be doing anyway, instead of leaving it to a volunteer advocacy group.

A Boston radio station discusses the nation’s first protected intersection in Salt Lake City.

Boulder CO bicyclists ride to protest the dismantling of a road diet in that city.

A cyclist leads horse mounted state troopers on a wild west wrong way chase through the streets of Austin TX after running a stop sign.

Despite a broken collarbone, a quick thinking Chicago cyclist snapped a photo of the license plate belonging to the driver who fled after running him down, and got a sizable settlement as a result.

A Boston petition calls on the city to “improve safety” by removing all bike lanes and sharrows; it had received 33 signatures as of Tuesday, while a competing petition calling on the city to keep them had over five times as many.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Florida man is planning to ride 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday.

 

International

Mass-produce hydrogen cars are still a long way off. But the first hydrogen-powered e-bike is already here.

Two Canadian men are fined for building an illegal bike trail in a provincial park.

Now that she’s on top of the cycling world, 24-year old British World Cup and world road racing champ Lizzie Armistead is thinking about retiring after next year’s Rio Olympics.

An arrest has been made in the brutal, unprovoked attack on a 54-year old Edinburgh bicyclist as he rode on a bike path.

So much for helping those in need. Norway says Syrian refugees who used a legal loophole to bike across the border from Russia will now be sent back. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A rampaging magpie swoops down at an Aussie cyclist mutiple times, leaving him with a bloodied ear.

 

Finally…

Seriously? Even Costco is getting into the argument over whether bike riders should pay registration or user fees. Caught on video: Two French cyclists ride the word’s smallest velodrome.

And if you’re going to burglarize a couple of homes, make sure the homeowner doesn’t walk in on you. And don’t wear an easily recognizable shirt as you make your getaway by BMX bike.

 

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