Tag Archive for Bicycling Magazine

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

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Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

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The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

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In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

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The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

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Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

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Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

Bicycling says we’re sort of bike-friendly; Better Bike’s Mark Elliot bounces off a Beverly Hills SUV

Let’s make it a Tuesday news day.

So settle back with your favorite libation and catch up on all the bike news that fits.

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Bicycling magazine names their top 50 American bike-friendly cities.

And in a very surprising development, L.A. makes the list at 32, just ahead of Thousand Oaks at 38, and behind Long Beach at 19. Not surprisingly, Portland leads the list at number one, followed by Minneapolis, Boulder and newly bike-friendly Washington DC; New York City comes in just before San Francisco at seven and eight, respectively, while my hometown just misses the top 10 at number 11.

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Best wishes to Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who was hit by an SUV in Beverly Hills on Saturday, just days after getting screwed by the city’s auto-centric Traffic and Parking Commission. Fortunately, Mark says he’s okay. But warns ominously that it might be you next time.

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Robert Gesink wins the Amgen Tour of California just eight months after breaking his leg in four places in a training accident. Will Campbell shows just how fast the Amgen riders passed by. Aussie cyclist Robbie McEwen retires at the end of the Tour of California. LACBC offers photos of the final stage, which began in the biking black hole where Mark Elliot nearly got his ass run over. And once again, a feared carmageddon fails to materialize.

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If you’re only going to click on one link today, make it this one, as a writer explains how not to kill a cyclist. And then forward it to every driver — and cyclist — you know.

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Flying Pigeon needs help moving to their new location on Tuesday and Wednesday. An Eastside bicyclist was injured after falling through a manhole after thieves stole the cover. Adonia Lugo and Allison Mannos question whether the urban poor and communities of color are being left behind by eco developments. Riding from Watts to Long Beach on a Friday night. Mayoral candidate and current CD13 Council Member Eric Garcetti has a new website. A UCLA study says excessive cycling could interfere with male reproductive health — and give you man boobs; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up. New signage and pavement markings on the Santa Monica section of the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path could ease conflicts between cyclists and beach-going pedestrians. Long Beach urban planner Sean Warner says rational arguments supporting biking infrastructure may not be enough.

Two Fontana teenagers are being sought for shoving two children off their bikes and stealing them — the bikes, not the children. A Redlands rider is shot while on his bike Saturday night. Los Olivos hosted the California State High School Mountain Bike Championships over the weekend. A 54-year old Campbell cyclist is injured when a 17-year old unlicensed driver attempts to defy the laws of physics by occupying the same space she was in at the same time. Nearly 1,200 Tahoe cyclists attempt to set a record for single-file riding; almost three times that many are expected for the area’s 21st annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride on June 3rd.

The Bike League is now tracking bicycling fatalities on a national level, just as I’ve been doing in SoCal; preliminary results show over a third of all bike-related collisions were hit-from behinds, followed by failure to yield (18% drivers, 10% cyclists). Riding a bike to work could cut your tax bill, as well. The bike writer for my hometown paper says education is more important than more bike lanes. A Lafayette LA cyclist disappears riding home from a night out. Bollards are almost always a failure of good bikeway design — especially when they go in for no apparent reason. Charleston SC proposes a 32 mile bikeway crossing eight bridges. Dave Moulton says it’s time to opt out of the culture of speed.

A Halifax writer says cyclists deserve more respect and better infrastructure. A UK writer asks if adults are mature enough to share the road with children; good question. A British publication asks if the war between motorists and cyclists will ever end — or if it really exists. Free bicycles help keep Indian girls in school. A Singapore cyclist is found dead of unnatural causes along a trail.

Finally, an Aussie writer has had it up to here with people saying cycling is being spoiled by anyone on a sports bike. And a rider in Mississippi is reunited with his dog after three months in a coma following a collision.

Open Source bike mapping; ranking the top US and UK bike-friendly cities

Following up on last week’s post on mapping whether the L.A. areas bikeways actually exist in ridable condition, Tony writes in with a suggestion on how we could accomplish that on a DIY basis.

Have you thought of using the OpenStreetMap based OpenCycleMap and getting everyone to contribute their local data to build a map collectively as a community project? It looks like someone has already put in a few cycle paths and lanes for LA. (Ed. note: enter Los Angeles CA in the search window at lower left to get a usable map)

Scoot the map over to the UK to see what a cycling community working together can produce.

You can even make route planners from it such as this one from the Cambridge Cycling Campaign

I have to admit, that London map looks pretty damned impressive. And while I haven’t tried it yet, the route planner couldn’t work any worse than Google’s new bike route feature does right now.

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Bicycling Magazine names its Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities; the only SoCal city to make the list is Long Beach, at #23. Oddly, Portland is only #2, behind Minneapolis. The rest of the top 10 include Boulder CO at #3, followed by Seattle, Eugene OR, San Francisco, Madison WI, Janette Sadik-Khan’s New York, Tucson AZ, and Chicago.

Meanwhile, Bristol tops the UK’s list of top 20 bike-friendly cities, while Belfast lags behind at #12. London, which has recently seen a rash of biking deaths, lags even farther behind at #17, but at least they beat Glascow.

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GOOD says well done whoever you are, for L.A.’s latest DIY bike signs. L.A. can’t seem to keep a dangerous pothole on the proposed 4th Street Bike Boulevard paved despite several crashes. LADOT says where you park your bike and what you lock it to matters. A Palm Desert driver says local cyclists area a danger to themselves; oddly, most cyclists tend to think that cars and trucks are the real danger.

Green LA Girl visits the newly bike and pedestrian – friendly plazas on New York’s Great White Way. A Washington city suggests a $25 per car fee to pay for sidewalks and bike lanes. A fire hydrant in the middle of a bike path seems like a problem. On a twist on bike sharing, low-income Minneapolis residents will soon be able to borrow a bike on long-term loan. A 17-year old Albany cyclist suffers minor injuries in an apparently intentional vehicular assault. This Wednesday marks the beginning of Circle Zydeco, a four-day tour through the Cajun food, music and bayous of Louisiana’s Acadiana region. Is the new belt-drive Trek District Carbon the ultimate road-going singlespeed?

Fabian Cancellara leaves Boonen — and Lance — in his wake to win the Tour of Flanders. Riding through parts of Cape Town is like driving through a war zone. Cardiff, Wales explains why they spent the equivalent of $3,000 to paint an 8 foot bike lane. A London newspaper catches a fourth Conservative politician breaking bike laws. In a rare attack of common sense following the death of a cyclist, a British county considers banning the large trucks that can kill people, rather than their potential victims bikes, who don’t. An Irish cyclist is killed by his own stalled car in a bizarre collision as he rode back to restart it. An Aussie cyclist rescues the driver of a sinking car from drowning. An Australian woman is seriously injured in an intentional assault after two men push her off her bike from a passing car, while a Chamber of Commerce group pushes for cyclist licensing and registration; frankly, it doesn’t sound like the riders are the problem.

Finally, a cyclist riding home from work through Boyle Heights witnesses the Crucifixion. Yes, that one.

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