Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: 63-year old bike rider killed in Pomona drive-by, Culver City bike petition, and free bike tourism doc

Tragic news from Pomona, where a 63-year old man riding a bike was killed in a drive-by shooting early Thursday morning.

Pomona resident Robert Arthur Fausto was shot at 12:49 am by the occupants of a small blue car, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Shootings like this usually turn out to be gang related, although the victim’s age might argue against that in this case.

Either way, he’s one more needless victim of violence. And one death too many.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

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LACBC neighborhood chapter Bike Culver City wants your signature on a petition calling on the city to stand by its ten-year old promise to complete a bike network and build infrastructure by the end of next year.

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J. Patrick Lynch forwards a new documentary from a Pittsburgh public TV station, as they take a 335-mile ride along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath from Pittsburgh to DC.

Or as he put it, “Lots of interesting places and people, pared with some stunning scenery.”

The video is available free until the end of this month.

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Local

US News & World Report — yes, it’s still around — questions why Los Angeles is so dangerous for bike riders. Then fails to answer the question, and digs about as deep into the subject as scraping your fingernail through the dust.

You’re invited to help form a “ginormous” human bike sculpture at the Rose Bowl next month.

The Santa Monica Mirror credits LACBC neighborhood chapter Santa Monica Spoke for working with the city to improve safety for pedestrians as well as bicyclists through Leading Pedestrian Intervals.

A new 47-unit housing complex rising in Long Beach will have just 40 parking spaces, along with bike storage and a bike lounge where residents can work on their bicycles.

State

Just what the world needs. A $7,000, 45 mph ped-assist e-mountain bike made by a California company that would qualify as an electric motorcycle under state law, and requires a license, license plate and helmet. And isn’t likely to be allowed on any public trails.

La Jolla has unveiled new artistic bike racks as part of a redesign of the Children’s Pool Plaza. Thanks to Robert Leone for the links.

Santa Barbara is starting a weekly series of Cycling Without Age rides to help older people experience the joys of bicycling.

Palo Alto will take another crack at bikeshare, after last year’s pilot program failed due to staffing problems.

San Francisco settled for an undisclosed amount with a bike rider who was injured when a cop pulled his car into the bike lane he was riding in.

A Bay Area writer hopped on an e-scooter, and rode as far from civilization as he could before the battery gave out. Or until it locked up when it didn’t show up in the app anymore.

After months of discussion, Marin County finally approves allowing ebikes on paved bike paths and multiuse trails in county parks.

National

Bicycling talks with the person behind a parody instagram account that pillories sexist cycling ads.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s no such thing as just one bike you’ll love riding for the rest of your life.

A new children’s book examines the perils of bicycle face and riding while female.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an 87-year old Texas man’s customized adult e-tricycle; it was his his only form of transportation after his eyesight started to fail.

A Queens NY newspaper says bike riders should stay in their lane, and not speculate about how a fatal bike crash happened or say bad things about the driver. Which might be valid if the NYPD didn’t have a long established bias against bicyclists, and a history of wrongly blaming bike riders for crashes. Which inevitably leads people to question their conclusions.

If you’re going to honor a fallen Philly pastry chef, a dessert-themed scavenger ride and bike rodeo makes sense. And calling it the ProfiteROLL, a stroke of genius.

A Virginia couple will ride across the US to raise funds to fight preeclampsia in honor of their son, who died just days after being born prematurely; they’ve raised over $5,000 of the $9,000 goal.

Charlotte NC plans to trade a traffic lane for the city’s first protected bike lane.

International

A new foldout bar end bike mirror is designed to give you a rear view when you need it and fold away when you don’t.

Good question. A Canadian paper asks what good is a dedicated bike lane if drivers park in it?

A bike rider says breaking his arm in a fall restored his faith in his fellow Londoners, and convinced him the world hadn’t gotten as mean as it seems.

Bicyclists in Manchester, England could soon get a winding, snake-style bike and pedestrian bridge as part of a $180 million bicycling and walking transportation plan.

Ebikes are boosting bike sales in Germany, with sales up 36% in the last year; one out of every four bikes sold in the country is electric.

Competitive Cycling

After finally getting around to banning Tramadol from the pro peloton, pro cycling’s governing body is looking to ban all corticosteroids next year; some — such as the asthma spray that raised questions about Chris Froome — have been allowed under a therapeutic use exemption, or TUE.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera will wear the stars and stripes as she competes in Europe this year, after winning the US national championship last summer.

The Highland Community New says there was plenty of great racing at this year’s Redlands Classic; too bad almost no one showed up to watch.

Finally…

When riding the 1,600-mile Baja Divide on two wheels is one wheel too many. And the bike-riding wizarding world of fire investigation.

Morning Links: DA bargains away drunk driving charge against actor, and a Silver Lake bike theft in reverse

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An actor on the Showtime series Ray Donovan walked with just three years probation and a six month license suspension after the LA District Attorney’s office bargained down his drunk driving and child endangerment charges.

Marion “Pooch” Hall was arrested in Burbank last year after crashing into a parked car with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Yes, three times.

And with his two-year old son on his lap, no less.

In fact, witnesses reported the child was holding the wheel as Hall weaved in and out of traffic.

So Hall gets to keep his license. And in six months, he’ll be back on the streets. Hopefully sober this time.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

And next time, someone else could pay the price.

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Call it a reverse bike theft.

Someone broke into a Silver Lake studio while the owners were away, and instead of taking anything, just left a nice folding bike behind.

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Local

Just one week after Pasadena reconfigured the Rose Bowl ride and bicyclists warned someone would get hurt, that prophecy came true when a rider went over his handlebars after rolling over the base of a warning cone.

An 18-year old mountain biker was rescued from the hills above Altadena after he fell off his bike and attempted to hike out.

KCBS-2 catches up with the proposal from Hilda Solis’ to build more protected bike lanes in LA County.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on Monday. Usual protocol applies; ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

State

Del Mar has approved a one-year pilot bikeshare program; reading between the lines, it sounds like a mix of dockless bicycles and ebikes.

Santa Barbara will install reverse angled parking on Cabrillo Drive as part of a road diet to improve safety and make room for bike lanes in each direction.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode his bike up to a Turlock 7th grader and yelled racial slurs before flashing a knife at her.

San Francisco has responded to the demands of bicyclists for safer streets by announcing plans to extend the protected bike lanes on Howard Street to the waterfront, after a woman was killed riding on an unprotected section of the roadway.

Speaking of San Francisco, the city is considering plans to make more streets carfree to improve safety; plans are already underway to remove cars from iconic Market Street. Make a fist and count your fingers; that’s how many carfree streets you’ll find in Los Angeles.

Oakland bike riders are getting impatient with the city’s still unfulfilled plans to fix the streets, in part due to a number of vacancies in the city’s Department of Transportation.

The Sacramento Bee says two recent deaths in San Diego and Santa Monica show just how dangerous e-scooters are. But fails to mention that the Santa Monica victim was killed by a hit-and-run driver after falling off his scooter.

Sacramento residents are upset that someone who apparently doesn’t get the concept locked a pair of Jump dockless ebikes to a fire hydrant, and no one’s done anything about it. Seriously, the point of dockless bikeshare is that you don’t have to lock them up, you just leave them when you’re done — hopefully out of the way and not on the sidewalk. And never blocking a fire hydrant.

National

Gear Patrol says your brain should thank Trek for its new WaveCel bike helmets, designed to help prevent concussions as well as protect your skull.

If you have a Stromer ST5 ebike, it may be recalled due to a risk of the stem breaking.

Wyoming says yes to ebikes, adopting the same regulations pioneered by California.

Looks like it will stay against the law to ride a bike or a horse under the influence in North Dakota, after the state Senate killed a bill that would have changed that.

The Department of DIY is back, with permission this time. A Montana advocacy group installed its own temporary traffic circle to calm traffic, along with cameras to measure how effective it is.

New York bike advocates are calling for a temporary, weekend-only bike lane on the iconic Verrazano Bridge this summer. And say if it turns out a weekend-only bike lane causes too many problems, just make it permanent.

The New York Post says the city has hated bicycles for 200 years.

New York will install speed cameras around every public school in the city, after cameras previously installed at some schools cut speeding 60% and resulted in a 50% drop in fatalities. Yet another reminder that speed cameras save lives. And that they’re still illegal in California.

A Boston group is auctioning a $10,000 Boston Strong-themed bicycle commemorating the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that was ridden in the 2015 Amgen Tour of California; the money will benefit a man suffering from ALS.

A Massachusetts town is “torn,” and “a town in crisis,” by a state proposal to install a rail-to-trail conversion. Seriously, if that’s the biggest problem they have, they should let go of each other’s throats and throw a party to count their blessings.

New Orleans officials travelled to Seville, Spain for ideas on how to improve bike infrastructure and safety in the Crescent City.

A New Orleans man will spend 33 years behind bars for a long string of crimes, including a half-dozen robberies and the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car.

International

Now that’s what I call a beautiful ebike.

Horrifying case from the UK, where a 14-year old boy riding on a pathway with friends was beaten, kicked in the face and doused with beer — after the attackers stole his bike.

Bike riders formed a people protected bike lane in a British city.

No surprise here, as US bike companies are finding ways to work around Trump’s China tariffs.

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re already wanted for kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon and accessory to a felony, don’t ride salmon. If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, nearly 7 grams of meth and a thousand bucks, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you’re carrying meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, try not to get hit by the mayor.

Morning Links: Incycle bike thieves busted, elected officials in Hollywood, and finally a better bike helmet

Good news.

Chino police have busted three people accused of running over an Incycle bike shop manager after stealing a $10,000 bike.

Incycle store manager Megan Rodriguez ran into the parking lot in an attempt to stop them after they walked out with the bike, and slipped under the truck’s wheels when they refused to stop.

Fortunately, she’s been released after being hospitalized with critical injuries. A crowdfunding page raised over $35,000 for her medical care.

Kern County residents Ronald Wolfe, Kyle Stewart and Nichole Stewart were booked on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and attempted murder for the Incycle heist. Police say they may have conducted similar crimes — without running over anyone else — throughout Southern California.

Let’s hope authorities take this case as seriously as those potential charges suggest.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Here’s a great opportunity to advocate for bikes and safer streets. Or maybe just give officials a piece of your mind.

Representatives for city, county, state and federal elected officials will be gathered under one roof at the Will & Ariel Durant Library in Hollywood from 3 pm to 6 pm today.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it, even though the library is just walking distance from my home. Or would be, if I could actually walk these days.

So feel free to show up in my place, and demand some serious action on improving street safety in Hollywood, and throughout the LA area.

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Big news on the bike helmet front, as Trek’s Bontrager division introduces what they claim is the safest helmet ever made.

According to the company, the new WaveCel design is 48 times more effective at preventing concussions than tradition foam helmets, without adding much weight.

And it offers significantly greater protection than MIPS helmets, which had been the gold standard for preventing concussions.

The downside is, it will cost you at least $150. But if you’re a helmet user, it could be worth it.

Speaking for myself, after spending time in the ICU when my helmet failed to prevent a serious concussion in the infamous beachfront bee incident, I may be the first in line to get one once I can ride again.

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Somehow, we missed this one last year.

But if you’ve got eleven minutes to kill, you could do worse than watching pro mountain bikers shred on tiny bikes.

Or spend just half the time taking in this Streetfilm of bike advocates sharing the most ridiculous comments they’ve heard in opposition to bike lanes.

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Local

Streetsblog LA announces the honorees for their May 9th fundraiser; the list now includes Active SGV, Jason Islas, Asm. Laura Friedman, Justice for Woon, and the David Bohnett Foundation. You can get tickets here.

After pulling the plug on its WeHo Pedals bikeshare, West Hollywood will go forward with an 18-month pilot program for dockless ebike bikeshare, though with strict limits on where they can be parked — which kind of defeats the purpose of dockless systems. And still no e-scooters will be allowed in the city.

Seriously, the former Governator riding his e-fat bike to the gym just isn’t news anymore.

State

A proposed bill in the state legislature would double the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run from four to eight years; the bill will move forward after emotional testimony from the widow of the hit-and-run victim it’s named after.

San Diego has finally thrown in the towel and given their long-suffering docked bikeshare provider the boot; the city is looking to dockless bikeshare to take up the slack.

Berkeley pulls a page from LA’s former playbook and continues to let the city’s streets deteriorate, saying they would cost $120 million to fix, and another $50 million to transform them into Complete Streets. Which is probably cheaper than the legal settlements they’ll pay out for not fixing them. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

San Francisco bicyclists rally to demand more protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, a San Francisco city supervisor’s call for lowering speed limits butts into the deadly 85th Percentile Law. Maybe if San Francisco joins LA in demanding changes, we might actually get somewhere.

Gear Patrol reveals the winners from last weekend’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.

National

A website from the American Society of Landscape Architects recounts the recent National Bike Summit to examine why bicycling has flatlined in the US.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says confronting the driver who almost killed you is never worth it. As someone who’s done exactly that for most of my riding career, I’ve had some very positive conversations with drivers who’ve unintentionally threatened my safety. But the bad outweighed the good by a significant margin.

Schwinn is introducing a 28 mph gravel ebike, which would require a helmet in California. And you’ll have to be over 16 to ride it.

Bicyclits say a popular Portland bike path is virtually unridable due to homeless encampments and piled up trash.

Interesting idea. A Boulder CO bike shop is offering a certified pre-owned program for bikes, including a pre-defined trade-in or buyback schedule to encourage buyers to trade their bikes back in ever 18 months.

Iowa City, Iowa is conducting a road diet on a major street, stressing that it’s being done to improve safety and that the extra space for bike lanes is just an added benefit. No word on whether the locals will revolt like West LA’s entitled drivers.

A Houston congresswoman has proposed federal legislation to improve bike safety by adding it to driver’s license exams, improving street signage, and leveraging funds to build bike lanes.

Now there’s some honesty for a change. The mayor of Philadelphia says the streets of the city suck when it comes to safety. And used exactly that word.

A North Carolina bill would require bike owners to license their bicycles for a $10 annual fee, with the funds going to support bike safety projects. Except studies have shown that it would cost more to license bikes than a program like that would bring in. And result in more bikes rusting in the garage once the registration expires.

Atlanta drivers who stop or park in a bike lane will now be subject to a $100 fine. If it’s actually enforced, which is usually the problem.

No surprise here. The drunk driver who slammed into several bike riders at a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, killing two innocent people, was over twice the legal limit; police estimate his BAC was around .215 at the time of the crash. Also no surprise that he’s asking for a reduction in his half-million dollar bail.

Heartbreaking news from Mississippi, where a 12-year old boy is in an induced coma and facing multiple surgeries after he was badly mauled by a pack of dogs, who knocked him off his bike and dragged him into a ditch. The dogs were put down, but owner won’t face any charges because there are no regulations for dogs in the county.

The Juice is no longer loose. Orlando, Florida’s Juice docked bikeshare is shutting down after two years in the face of competition from dockless bikeshare; the city hopes to bring it back in a dockless form.

International

Specialized’s new MIMIC saddle line promises to provide greater comfort for women with a design specifically made for a woman’s body.

Mexico City’s famed Paseo de la Reforma now has its own all-woman bike cop squad.

Great Britain’s Royal Mail is trying out eight e-trikes in an attempt to help clean up London’s dirty air. Maybe they need to bring back Pashley-riding posties.

Britain considers lifting a ban on e-scooters that dates back nearly two centuries before they were invented.

We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers. But at least we hardly ever have to worry about getting live cobras stuck in our wheels like these Indian bike riders.

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s dominant Team Sky will now be known as Team Ineos, as Britain’s richest man assumes sponsorship.

Finally…

If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, take the front end of your car with you. Pedaling with pornstars.

And seriously, if you’re wanted on a murder charge, wear a damn helmet when you ride a bike if that’s what the law requires.


Morning Links: Scooter rider killed in SaMo, others injured; dangerous drivers; and Marathon Crash is back

It’s been a rough few days in Santa Monica.

Starting with the death of a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood Friday night.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding a privately owned e-scooter headed south on the 2700 block of Third Street, when he apparently fell off and was struck by the driver’s car.

The driver initially stopped but fled the scene before police and paramedics arrived.

That was followed by another crash in front of the Santa Monica Public Library on Sunday afternoon.

A teenaged girl described as an experienced bicyclist suffered a broken jaw when she was struck by the driver of a Metro bus while riding in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

David Drexler came upon the scene shortly after the crash, and took photos of the scene.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better on Monday.

Evan Burbridge came across the aftermath of another scooter rider who struck by a driver.

I just saw the aftermath of a woman hit by a car here in Santa Monica.  She was riding north on 14th across Olympic and the car was turning left onto Olympic.  My coworkers actually saw the incident, and she apparently went onto the driver’s windshield and broke it.  By the time I got there, all I saw was the ambulance driving her away and the mangled scooter on the center median.  

The frustrating thing is the conversations I had with people after the incident.  A woman at Tacos Por Favor who saw the accident said we should ban all scooters.  I informed her that it sounded like it was the car’s fault, and that cars cause hundreds of deaths every day in America.  Then, my coworkers used the classic victim-blaming argument, “she should have been wearing a helmet.”  

I try my best to explain the facts to people, and point out their biased perspective on the incident, but it’s so deep seeded that I don’t think people will ever let it go.

Then again, things weren’t much better in Los Angeles, where Josh Steich, aka Kierkegaarden Cop, reported seeing the aftermath of a crash involving a bike rider on his commute through Eagle Rock Friday evening.

That was followed by another crash involving a pedestrian a few minutes and several block later.

No word on the condition of either victim.

Let’s hope all the victims make a full and fast recovery. And offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim of Friday’s night’s scooter crash.

Photo is of a broken Lime scooter on my block in Hollywood.

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Today’s common theme is justice for dangerous — and too often deadly — drivers.

An unlicensed Colorado driver got six years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; she had a string of traffic violations dating back to 2005.

A drunken, hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years for killing an Indiana bike rider; she was over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

And a Florida drunk driver got a well deserved nine years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. He fled the scene, leaving the victim lying in the street, where he was run over by another driver; it was the second crash that actually killed him.

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The war on bikes continues. Except this time, it’s another bike rider who kicked the victim off his bike, leaving him in critical condition.

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Local

Downtown News looks at the 15 new drop zones for dockless bikes and e-scooters in DTLA.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo continues his one man war against any form of transportation with less than four wheels, as he attempts to ban e-scooters from Chinatown in DTLA, as well as the rest of his district.

LAist wants to hear your complaints about parking in Los Angeles. And yes, that includes parking in bike lanes.

Los Feliz residents are calling for improvements on deadly Hyperion Avenue, two years after they first raised the alarm — and before a woman was killed by an out-of-control driver as she stood on the sidewalk. Needless to say, they’ve never received a response.

The Urbanist talks with LA chief design officer Christopher Hawthorne about the disastrous green bike lane blunder on Spring Street in DTLA.

A spokesman for the twice-weekly Rose Bowl Ride says Pasadena’s recent safety improvements are just an attempt to kill the 60-year old ride, and do nothing to make it safer for pedestrians and casual bicyclists.

Pasadena Now looks forward to this weekend’s Bike MS:Los Angeles, as 500 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual century ride, with a goal of raising $750,000 for research.

It looks like the unofficial LA Marathon Crash Ride is unofficially back this Sunday, after a failed attempt to make it legit. And more expensive.

State

A writer for the San Bernardino Sun explains how people should drive around hoverboard users, which basically boils down to use a little caution and courtesy, and don’t be a dick — on both sides.

San Francisco extended a protected bike lane in record time following the death of a bike rider, making advocates wonder why they can’t do that all the time.

National

I want to be like them when I grow up. A pair of bighearted, 82-year old Tucson bicyclists help refurbish used bikes for kids, as part of a group that gives away over 300 bicycles a year.

Yes, you can still race a Penny Farthing in Texas.

A Wisconsin lawmaker proposes expunging the record of first-time drunk drivers in an apparent attempt to keep dangerous drivers on the road. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

A Chicago area official was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was run down by a teenage driver who didn’t bother to scrape the frost off his windshield, even though he was riding on an eight-foot shoulder; the driver walked with a couple of tickets.

Chicago bike riders share their stories of being attacked fists, fluids and motor vehicles after confronting drivers parked in bike lanes.

New Jersey legalized ebikes and e-scooters, with a maximum speed of 20 mph and 19 mph, respectively.

International

It may be counterintuitive, but docked bikeshare systems and dockless bikeshare can flourish in the same city. Which offers hope for LA’s Metro Bike.

A tech industry analyst says forget bicycling, the micromobility revolution will be motorized.

Forbes highlights five exotic bicycling adventures, from a mountain bike safari from Zululand to Mozambique, to a coast-to-coast crossing of Sri Lanka. If you happen to have an extra several thousand dollars lying around.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker skillfully dismantles the latest misguided proposal to require licenses and liability insurance for bike riders in the UK.

A Scottish woman got her bike back six weeks after it was stolen after she confronted the teenager riding it, with the help of her boyfriend and a security guard.

Turns out the US ambassador to Greece is one of us, too.

A Maltese bike advocate says it’s very clear that whoever wrote the country’s bicycling strategy doesn’t ride a bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again a young cyclist has been killed in collision; 19-year old Stefan Loos died when a race marshal mistakenly sent a group of riders off the course, where they collided with a delivery van.

Finally…

Who needs an ebike when you can power one with compressed air? Your next bike used to be a wine barrel.

And yes, you can be charged with DUI, whether or not you’re on four wheels.

Even if you’re on four hooves.

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

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Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

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Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

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Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

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

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

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Always inspect your bike before a ride.

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Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

……….

Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

………

My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

………

This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

………

Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

………

Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

………

Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

………

And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

………

Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

Morning Links: Lime pulls plug on bikeshare, history of bikes, and Harry and Megan’s unborn kid gets a Trek

This is going to be the last Morning Links for awhile. 

I’ll be having surgery next week to hack out a chunk of my knee, and replace it with a piece of lifeless metal.

Otherwise known as a full knee replacement.

I’m going to need some time to calm my nerves and get ready for the procedure. And once it’s over, I expect to be too drugged out to get any significant work done.

However, I’m planning to put up a guest post or two, and hope to get to a couple of other brief items. And I’ll do my best to keep up with any breaking news while I’m out.

So check back every now and then so you don’t miss anything.

If all goes as expected, I should be back on Monday the 4th with a fresh Morning Links, and knee that actually works for a change.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you soon.

And stay safe out there.

………

The former Lime Bike continues to pull the plug on dockless bikeshare in favor of cheaper and more popular e-scooters, withdrawing with little notice from San Mateo, San Francisco and Burlingame, as well as Seattle, Rockville IL and Starkville, Mississippi. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

An intrepid, trench coated BBC reporter traces the early history of the bicycle firsthand in a video from 1963.

………

Prince Harry and Megan’s new baby hasn’t even been born yet, and the kid’s already got as many bikes as I do.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as some Brit asshole — and I use the term advisedly — pushes a woman off her bike from a moving car.

Let’s hope police find this jerk, and give him a shove into a jail cell.

………

Local

If you’re on a waitlist for a bike locker at a Metro station, you may have to keep waiting. The transit agency has proposed scrapping the program because of break-ins and bike thefts, and replacing it with smartphone controlled docking racks.

Safe Routes to School Los Angeles scored a $33.5 million state grant to improve safety around eight local schools.

A South Pasadena website looks back on the doomed California Cycleway, and the birth of the motorcycle when early SoCal bike riders added engines to their bicycle.

Speaking of South Pas, Gabe the Sasquatch dropped in on the city council meeting to promote May’s 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission open streets event.

Environmentalists are fighting plans to move a line of palm trees to make room for a Long Beach Complete Streets project. Even though palm trees aren’t native plants and are big consumers of scarce SoCal water.

A woman on a bicycle may or may not have been hurt when a Long Beach driver jumped the curb and backed into a building; Patch describes her as a pedestrian, while a tweet from the police says she was a bike rider.

Long Beach is expanding its scooter program from the current 1,800 citywide to as many as 6,000 within six months.

State

A San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a fall, apparently caused by a passing driver. Another reminder that a car doesn’t have to hit you to cause serious damage.

Santa Cruz bike rental shops say Jump’s dockless ebikes have unfairly cut into their business.

Facebook employees keep dumping their free company bikes on Silicon Valley streets. And police keep hassling the kids who pick ’em up and ride ’em.

A San Francisco supervisor joined with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in calling for more bike racks throughout the city.

One of the six cops who fatally shot an unarmed Vallejo rapper who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot last year was involved in the fatal shooting of another unarmed black man earlier in the year, firing his gun into the back of the man’s head during a struggle after stopping him on his bicycle.

National

The Conversation examines the problem of auto-centric urban design that’s literally killing bike riders and pedestrians.

The Bike League says states may forfeit as much as $1 billion in federal funding for sidewalks, bike trails and other safety projects if they don’t use all the money by the end of the year.

The Oregon driver who killed a woman riding a bike while high on 12 different prescription drugs — including her dog’s anxiety meds — was sentenced to a well–deserved 12 years behind bars. That’s one year for each medication; let’s hope she gets the drug treatment she seems to desperately need.

A professional reporter, who is apparently better versed in the 1st Amendment than some police officers, confronted an Arizona marshal who threatened to arrest her for following on her bicycle and filming him. Did I mention that she’s just 12-years old?

Idaho decides that ebikes are bicycles, and should be treated like any other bike.

New Belgium Brewing — based in my hometown and makers of my favorite beer — has teamed with Brooklyn Bicycle Co. to make their eponymous 2019 cruiser bikes.

A judge issued a search warrant for the Austin, Texas bus driver who killed a bike rider on the UT campus last month; police say she appeared to be stoned on prescription medications, oblivious to her surroundings and driving distracted at the time of the crash, while failing to brake and ignoring passengers’ cries to stop. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A Minnesota bicycle columnist calls plans for a coast-to-coast bike path “fanciful but resilient,” saying Adventure Cycling is taking the long view in efforts to complete it. Wake me up when the LA Times — or any other local paper — gets around to hosting a column on bicycling.

Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a driver walked with just a $250 fine, and an order to donate another $250 to a local national park, after killing a bike rider while driving with a fogged-up windshield.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A woman reminisces about a beloved Boston librarian after she was killed by the driver of a cement truck while riding her bicycle.

The jerk who wrote a non-apology to a 10-year old upstate New York boy after sideswiping his bike may avoid a return to court, despite violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the judges order.

Bike Snob addresses New York’s war on bikes, as the NYPD continues its bizarre crackdown on bicyclists in response to the deaths of innocent bike riders at the hands and bumpers of lawbreaking drivers.

International

Seriously? A Vancouver veterans center says plans for a protected bike lane will put them out of business, evidently operating under the mistaken impression that veterans — even wounded vets — don’t ride bicycles.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton’s bike-raging celebrity fitness coach caused the equivalent of $4,800 in damage to a driver’s Mercedes following an altercation and some sort of contact between the car and his bike. He then reached into the car and grabbed the keys, throwing them into a nearby garden before attempting to rip off the door and damaging the upholstery.

A pair of road-raging moped delivery drivers got just under two years behind bars for knocking a British man off his bicycle and viciously beating him with a motorcycle helmet, breaking his arm and jaw — all because he was going faster than they were.

UK police investigating a bike theft from a train station busted a bike thief after discovering whopping 101 stolen bicycles crammed into his home.

A Scottish road safety researcher says lowering speed limits to 20 mph could actually make the streets more deadly by lulling bicyclists and pedestrians into a false sense of security. Which is another way of saying many, if not most, motorists would simply ignore the lower limits and drive as fast as they damn well please. Sort of like they do now.

Paris plans to optimize its beleaguered Vélib’ bikeshare system using artificial intelligence.

Apparently, life in Singapore is too hectic for roadway courtesy.

Competitive Cycling

The 2021 Tour de France will depart from Copenhagen.

American cyclist Peter Stetina says he’s fired up for the coming racing season after nearly retiring last year following struggles with a broken collarbone and the Epstein-Barr virus, as well as almost getting squeezed off the pro tour.

Columbian pro Egan Bernal isn’t feeling any pressure in leading Team Sky in this year’s Giro, saying the team will keep paying him whether he wins or loses.

The Redlands Classic stage race is looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals for this year’s edition.

Finally…

Maybe it’s time to start wearing a striped riding kit to keep the flies away. The best ABS system for your bike is probably a good brake finger.

And who needs wheels for a fast descent when you can ride a wooden ski bike?

Unless maybe you prefer to do your ski bike riding uphill.

………

Thanks to Matthew R and Sameer K for their generous and unexpected donations to support this site — or maybe it was intended to help pay for my new knee.

Either way, it couldn’t be more appreciated.

Morning Links: LA traffic isn’t our fault, OC man on trial for stabbing bicyclist, and LA street & transit meetings

It’s a relatively light news day, so let’s just get right to it.

………

Somehow, I just can’t spot the bike lane causing all this traffic congestion on Robertson Blvd yesterday.

So it must be a scooter.

Right?

Or maybe it’s just more LA drivers who can’t see the traffic for the cars.

………

Local

Los Angeles will host a series of public workshops to help create proposals for the city’s Great Streets Challenge Grants, beginning tonight in Van Nuys.

Metro will hold a series of committee meetings to discuss congestion pricing to help reduce traffic, and a report on secure bike parking at Metro stations today and tomorrow.

Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the links.

State

San Diego continues to face a lawsuit claiming dockless e-scooters discriminate against people with disabilities, at the same time the city is finalizing regulations for them.

Great reporting job here. An apparently ageless and nameless El Centro child was injured when he was struck by an apparently driverless truck on his way to his apparently nameless school.

A tip of the hat to the Palm Springs Police Department for busting two bike thieves, and recovering a pair of bikes worth $12,000 that had been stolen from a locked rack on the victim’s car.

Oxnard police are looking for a BMX-riding attacker who assaulted a school employee.

National

The new owners of the parent company of the late, lamented Performance Bicycle say they’re back in business, shipping Fuji, Kestrel, Breezer, SE Bikes and other brands owned by the company to dealers. But Performance itself is dead as a physical presence.

Even Pink’s two-year old son is one of us.

Montana considers clarifying the right-of-way rules regarding bicycles, requiring drivers to move to the left lane or cross the center line to pass bicyclists, even when they’re riding on the shoulder, and to yield to bike traffic traveling in the same direction before turning.

Bike riders are warned to use lights and reflective gear to improve safety. But that wasn’t enough to keep an Austin TX man from getting run down by a possibly stoned bus driver earlier this month.

Even enhanced security wasn’t enough to keep thieves from hitting a Chicago bike shop for the second time this month, making off with $20,000 worth of bicycles.

A Concord NH woman faces a vehicular assault charge for running down a man on his bike from behind while driving without a license; prosecutors contend she was following the victim too closely, even though he was in a bike lane. Although the charges are just misdemeanors and traffic violations, so let’s hope survives that vicious slap on the wrist.

New York Mayor de Blasio defends the NYPD’s bizarre crackdown on bike riders — including using physical force and ticketing riders for breaking nonexistent laws — which followed the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. Even though the victim wasn’t breaking the law, and even though police still haven’t arrested that driver, or any of the other drivers in recent hit-and-runs.

A New Orleans attorney offers tips on riding your bike to Mardi Gras, including advice to avoid riding drunk. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Carnival Season.

A well-deserved hate crime charge has been filed against a Florida driver who threatened a group of young black bike riders with a gun while shouting racial epithets, after one of the teenagers allegedly ran over his wife’s foot.

It’s a sad comment when even someone riding on the sidewalk isn’t safe from drivers on the street, as a New York man visiting Florida was collateral damage in a crash between two motorists.

International

Four men completed an eight day, 372-mile frozen fat bike journey on Canada’s Ice Road in temperatures dipping down to 40 degrees below zero. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the heads-up.

An official police watchdog group has recommended charges against Vancouver police officers for the death of a bike rider, who was somehow killed during a traffic stop because he didn’t have a helmet, lights or reflectors. None of which would normally call for the death penalty.

London blames good weather for a dramatic increase in bicycling and pedestrian fatalities last year, and not just bad drivers and poorly designed trucks.

There’s a special place in hell for the bicycle-riding bandit who injured an 85-year old woman as he made off with his purse; police eventually used dogs to chase him down and take him into custody.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to be punched by a road raging driver, for the crime of riding on the correct side of the road as the British van driver sped towards him on the wrong side.

Copenhagen residents say Dublin, Ireland’s bike lanes really aren’t.

Caught on video too: A South African bike rider gets ambushed by a man who pushed him off his bicycle to steal his cellphone.

Bicycling Australia says it’s a battlefield out there, offering five tips to improve bicycle safety.

Competitive Cycling

The La Cañada Valley Sun fondly recalls when the 2009 Amgen Tour of California rolled through town on its way to Pasadena; the Peloton included both of America’s future ex-Tour de France winners, as well as eventual winner Levi Leipheimer.

The BBC examines cycling’s obsession with suffering.

Bicycling visits the first-ever Ice Cycle Crit, held on a frozen Massachusetts pond. And examines three current and former pro cyclists to see if there really is a bicycling gene, including cycling scion Taylor Phinney and LA’s own Phil Gaimon.

Cycling Tip’s Neal Rogers writes that he used to be a not-very-good bike racer, with emphasis on the past tense.

Finally…

Put your indoor cycling time to better use baking bread. You can carry anything on a bike — even a basketful of stolen copper pipes.

And most of us can’t walk on water, but at least you can ride on it.

Morning Links: LA as West Coast e-scooter capital, vehicular murder slap on wrist, and CiclaValley takes a spill

Assistant Director of LA Bureau of Street Services Greg Spotts says Los Angeles could become the shared mobility capital of the West Coast.

Spotts notes that 11 companies have applied to provide a total of 37,000 e-scooters, dockless bikes and ebikes to the mean streets of LA.

The city has a series of community meetings coming up to discuss dockless mobility, starting with one in DTLA on the 26th.

Putting 37,000 alternatives to driving on the street is a good thing. But key to the success of any dockless mobility program is providing safe places to ride and park them.

Hopefully, this will spur development of the city bike plan, as city leaders finally recognize the need for safety. And drivers are more willing to sacrifice a few feet of roadway to get scooters out of their way.

It could happen.

The city also needs to provide on-street parking facilities — ideally converting one parking space per block for e-scooter and bike parking.

We should also require every e-scooter to be equipped with a low-volume beeping device to warn pedestrians when one is approaching. And let people with limited sight know when one is parked in their way.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

Yesterday we linked to a Kansas story about a teen driver getting a reduced sentence for killing a bike rider in a hit-and-run, but criticized the paper for leaving out just how long he would be behind bars.

Apparently, they left a lot more than that out.

Like actual length of the sentence, which turned out to be just two years — far less than the 16 years the prosecution requested.

Not to mention the fact that the crash was intentional.

A passenger in his car told police the driver passed the man as he was riding in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to deliberately run him down from behind before fleeing the scene.

And never mind that the victim was Latino and the driver was white, giving a racial tint to both the murder and the lack of justice. .

Amazingly, the judge excused the driver’s behavior because of his young age, clean record and that he had accepted responsibility. Although that came long after he had abandoned the car and gone home to play video games, later calling the police to report his car had been stolen.

Sure sounds like taking responsibility to me.

But no matter how sorry he might claim to be, there is no way to justify just two years behind bars for murder.

If he had used any other choice of weapon, from a gun or knife, to a rock or broken beer bottle, it would undoubtedly have been taken more seriously.

Or maybe the problem was just a victim on two wheels, with a Hispanic name.

………

A conservative columnist goes out of his way to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with America’s political divide, saying it’s time for liberals to get the hell out.

And they should use “public transportation or ride your ridiculous bikes in your ridiculous bike shorts to your shriveled hearts’ content!” somewhere else, while all those “normal” Americans keep gleefully destroying the planet with their massive SUVs.

Except by repeatedly plugging his books makes it all come off as a shameless effort just to sell a few more.

I don’t care whether you’re conservative, liberal or anything else. Or whether you walk, bike, ride transit or drive.

We’re all need to stop demonizing one another, and work together to make this country succeed.

Period.

And the same goes for our cities and states.

Because the alternative isn’t pretty.

………

CiclaValley offers a firsthand view of what it’s like to blow a tire during a descent.

And to have members of one university cycling team help you up while their rival school just rides on by.

Fortunately, he escaped relatively unscathed, walking away with a few bruises and a banged up wheel.

………

I want to be like them when I grow up.

A 73-year old Cherokee elder in Oklahoma overcame excessive weight and crippling diets by taking up bicycling in his 60s; now he’s off insulin, and rides across the reservation when he’s not competing in races around the world.

A 77-year old Chicago woman is biking across the US with a group of other older riders.

………

Local

You still can’t legally ride an e-scooter in Torrance. The city is slow-walking approving e-scooters, even as other South Bay cities are moving forward with legalizing them.

Speaking of the South Bay, a Kiwi writer raves about his visit to the beachside cities, including an extensive description of a guided bike tour along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Long Beach is planning a $1 million project to add bike lanes along Edwards Blvd to connect the quarter-mile street with the beach. Correction: Wrong Long Beach, dammit; this one’s in New York. Thanks to Chris Buonomo and James for the correction.

Long Beach police use fake bullets to apprehend a bike rider with a fake gun.

State

The Mercury News comes to the not-so-shocking conclusion that some people don’t like Complete Streets or improving safety if it means they’re going to be slightly inconvenienced.

At least one city is making progress in fighting bike theft, as the crime drops 25% in San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, Uber-owned Jump dockless ebikes are cutting into Uber’s own car-hailing business in the Bay Area. And the company says they couldn’t be happier.

National

The Atlantic says Washington’s Birthday used to be celebrated by taking your bike for a spin, instead of countless car and mattress sales.

Traditionally libertarian Nevada is considering a proposal to require anyone under 18 to wear a bike helmet when they ride.

The Colorado legislature is considering following LA’s bad example by banning red light cameras in an apparent attempt to keep the streets dangerous.

A bighearted Michigan man founded a program to give bicycles to local kids, refurbishing and buying 150 bicycles in its first year.

Cambridge MA is making progress in its goal of reducing car ownership, but is only halfway towards its goal of a 15% reduction by next year.

Residents in a Louisiana city vow to fight a plan for an offroad bike path that could require removing trees and roadside signs.

Kindhearted Florida cops dug into their own wallets to buy a new bike for a man in his 80s after his was stolen.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a man was killed in a crash while riding his bike, the same day searchers fund the body of his missing daughter in a swamp; relatives don’t believe he had learned about her death before he was killed.

International

Ella Cycling Tips examines the studies, and concludes that what you wear or what sex you are may affect how closely drivers pass you. Or maybe not.

Cycling Weekly examines how much protein bicyclists really need in their diet.

Bike Radar considers what they consider the five most confusing topics in bicycling.

You may be out of luck if your bike gets stolen in London, as a special police bike theft unit is redeployed to fight youth knife crime.

A British woman got three years for crash that left a bike rider with serious brain damage; she was still high on coke from the night before when she ran him down in the early afternoon crash — 16 times the legal limit, in fact.

A polite Brit bike thief returned a purloined two-wheeler with a note of apology, saying he borrowed it to avoid a three-mile walk home at three in the morning.

A new Irish TV series explores the lack of bike lanes in the Emerald Isle compared to the rest of Europe. If you can’t imagine a TV show like that in the US, let alone a series, there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, which must be getting kind of long by now — a mountain biking trek through the South Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Unless maybe you’d rather experience India’s tropical state of Goa.

Officials say road safety must be improved in Zambia, where bicyclists and pedestrians make up 70% of traffic deaths.

Competitive Cycling

No ego here. The legendary Eddy Merckx says yes, Peter Sagan is complete cyclist, but he was better.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas insists he is definitely not riding in the Giro this year.

A Canadian cyclist rode 5249 laps around a velodrome in 24 hours — the equivalent of 457 miles — to raise funds for much needed repairs; he brought in over $59,000, more than doubling the original $25,000 goal.

Finally…

Nothing goes together like bikes and booze. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a monitor lizard stuck in our spokes.

And why shovel the stuff when you can just ride your own bicycle snow plow?

Morning Links: Help fund prize money for women cyclists, no Redhook Crit, and getting Vision Zero wrong

The USC Cycling Team needs your help to do the right thing.

The cycling team is hosting its first bike race in six years, and wants to offer equal prize money to both men and women.

Which is the way every race should be run. But usually isn’t.

As a result, they need your help to crowdfund just $1,500 to make up the difference in purses mandated by the sport’s arcane rules.

Here’s how they explain it.

Why are the women paid less? That is an existential question plaguing professional cycling, and it trickles down to amateur and collegiate cycling. There are fewer female riders, fewer female teams and promoters are less likely to provide big money for a race that can potentially only draw 12 women. At most races, if the number of registrants surpasses a given threshold, then the prize money doubles. This is how we first modeled our prize structure.

However, this traditional model misses the point. If women knew that equal prize money were up for grabs, teams would show up in full force.  But many racers, both men and women, often wait until the week before a race to register, especially if they are local and don’t have to plan travel. So, women are checking the registration page in the days leading up to a race, weighing the costs of registering against the possibility of their winnings. Field-contingent prize money holds many back from registering.

The event takes place the first weekend in March, with the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race for collegiate cycling teams on Saturday, March 2nd, and the first ever USC Brackett Grand Prix on Sunday the 3rd.

As of this writing, they’ve raised $271 of the modest $1,500 goal, leaving a gap of just over $1,200.

Which we should be able to help them raise without breaking a sweat. Or maybe someone with slightly deeper pockets would like to sponsor the women’s races.

Because frankly, they race just as hard as the men do.

And deserve every bit as much.

Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would require sporting events that take place on state-owned land to provide equal prize money for men and women.

About damn time.

………

You can cancel those plans for New York this year.

In a surprising announcement, the Red Hook Criterium has been cancelled for 2019 due to rising costs and insufficient sponsorship funding.

Organizers promise the popular fixed-gear race will be back next year after they reorganize.

Although past experience tells us not to hold our breath, as races that are cancelled over funding too often don’t come back.

Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

………

Huh?

An Alexandria, Virginia woman says Vision Zero isn’t working in the US because people are choosing cars over public transportation.

Which has little, if anything, to do with reducing traffic deaths.

She cites as proof the factually incorrect, traffic safety-denying Wall Street Journal op-ed recently penned by a Los Angeles lawyer.

And dissected and discredited right here.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of op-eds and letters to the editor on the subject is starting to raise questions over whether this is concerted effort to spread misinformation about Vision Zero and road diets across the US.

And we can probably guess who’s behind it.

………

Local

Watts-based Grammy award winning rapper Jay Rock is one of us, saying he was supposed to perform on the awards show three years ago, but couldn’t because he was laid up in the hospital following a bike crash.

Long Beach says e-scooters are here to stay, as they decide to expand the pilot program while imposing new fees and regulations on scooter companies.

State

The Voice of San Diego says the city can’t meet its state transportation goals without an entirely new vision dictating major changes in transportation. The same goes for Los Angeles, which will have to make wholesale changes in how people get around as part of its LA version of a Green New Deal. But don’t count on it anytime soon.

That’s more like it. Encinitas voted to lower the speed limit on the northern section of the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders.

A 32-mile Santa Cruz rail-to-trail conversion that’s been in the works for decades finally got underway with work to widen a railway trestle to make room for a bikeway.

The victim of Sunday’s fatal bike crash in Stockton is described as a talented sushi chef who was riding his bike to work after loaning his car to a friend with a new baby; sadly, he never got there.

National

We already knew NASCAR favorite Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he says he loves the suffering that’s part of long runs and bike rides.

Bicycling tells the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost her fiancé when he was killed in 2015 competing in just his fifth mountain bike race. And restarted her life by moving to the Colorado town where he died, founding a company to help first responders deal with backcountry bike crashes like the one that took his life.

Riding a tandem can make your riding and your relationship stronger. Or it could end it. Or so I’m told.

More ridiculous jurisdictional issues in Colorado, where the state brings ebike classifications up to the national standards established in California, but leaves the actual regulations up to each community. Which one again means what’s legal in one city could be illegal across the street — without riders ever knowing that they had crossed into a different community, let alone one with different rules.

Common sense wins the day in North Dakota, where legislators overwhelmingly defeated a bill to require bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night. Not that wearing reflective gear is a bad idea, but mandating it is.

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists shows Oklahoma City is the deadliest city in the US for bike commuters.

Lime continues its retrenchment on bikeshare, turning what used to be a fleet of dockless bike into a pile of trash after pulling out of St. Louis.

A Michigan man confessed to the 70 mph, hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after police found his damaged car hidden in a field under a tarp and a sheet of snow.

Nashville is close to approving an ordinance that would lower speed limits from 30 to 25 mph.

A federal judge ruled that Trump’s call to execute the driver who killed eight people in a terrorist attack on a New York bike path did not taint the case, leaving the driver eligible for the death penalty.

DC considers building a three mile bike and pedestrian path along the Potomac.

A DC policy site considers how bikeshare can be made more family friendly.

International

The LA Times says love is in the air when you ride a bicycle in Santiago, Chile.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers the pros and cons of traveling with your bike as opposed to renting one once you get there.

Nice guy. A Toronto letter writer says if you can afford a bicycle, you can afford to buy a license for it. And if you can’t, you can just walk.

Advocates call for more tolerance between Kiwi bicyclists and drivers; one rider says “just chill out and relax.”

The former world leader in dockless bikeshare continues its rapid decline, as Ofo gets the boot from Singapore after its license was suspended.

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay joins in on a fat tire race through the snowy Rockies in Crested Butte CO, complete with a brief video. As always, the Journal’s usual paywall issues apply.

A top Scottish mountain biker was none too pleased when she had to borrow a bike to compete in Spain, blasting British Airways for losing hers.

Cycling Weekly looks back at the rollercoaster career of the late, great Marco Pantani.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won’t be prosecuted on corruption charges by Belgian authorities — not because he didn’t do it, but because the statute of limitations has expired.

Finally…

Finding true love, if not your stolen bikes. Your next ebike could come from General Motors — but only if you live in Europe.

And your next dockless bikeshare bike could have lasers.

But not the kind that will let you singe distracted, angry or aggressive drivers.

Damn it.

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