Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: Sharing the road with flying cars, and maybe bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

They drive among us.

Maybe you somehow managed to miss the multitude of new stories over the weekend about the allegedly stoned driver who managed to plant his car on the second floor of a dental shop in Santa Ana.

No, really.

According to reports, the driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, hit a center median with enough force to launch his car into the air, across three lanes of traffic, and embed it into the wall of the shop while still gaining altitude.

The inevitable question of how fast he had to be traveling to launch his car with such force is only partially answered by security camera footage.

As well as the view from an oncoming bus that was nearly taken out by the airborne ballistic automobile.

Lets hope he loses his license.

Permanently.

And it’s not just LA.

A Denver motorist literally drove into a Catholic church, finally stopping inside the vestibule with shards of stained glass scattered around.

But at least that one seems to have stuck to the ground.

Top photo from Orange County Fire Authority. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Wes Salmon for the heads-up.

………

Pot, meet kettle.

It’s long been common knowledge, among drivers at least, that people who ride bicycles are a bunch of reckless scofflaws who pay no attention to the law.

And anyone who has argued to the contrary, by pointing to studies showing most bike riders actually do stop for red lights and stop signs, or that countless drivers treat speed limits and stop signs as mere suggestions, is usually shouted down.

Often by people on both sides.

Never mind that even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

That should have changed a few years ago, when a study from the University of Colorado showed that drivers and bike riders broke the law at nearly the same rate — 8% to 9% for drivers, and 7% to 8% for bicyclists.

As well as a follow-up study that showed when drivers broke the law, they did it for convenience, while people on bikes did it out of concern for their own safety.

Except that the both studies were greeted with crickets by the mainstream media.

Let alone the motoring public.

Now another study has shown virtually the same thing.

Writing for Outside, Peter Flax has taken a look at the recent Florida study that showed drivers broke the law at a slightly higher rate than the bike riders participating in the study.

In the end, the results indicated that cyclists were compliant with the law 88 percent of the time during the day and 87 percent of the time after dark. The same study determined that drivers who interacted with the study subjects complied with the law 85 percent of the time. In other words, drivers were slightly naughtier than the cyclists—even without measuring speeding or distracted driving.

In a conversation with three of the researchers who conducted the study, I asked if they had any insight into why the findings vary so significantly from public perceptions about scofflaw cyclist behavior. “Many drivers simply don’t know the rules that concern people on bikes,” says Cong Chen. “About how much space to give cyclists, for instance, or when riders should get the right of way.”

The study also offers suggestions on how to improve safety.

In any case, based on the study findings, the researchers offered a number of recommendations to help mitigate the frighteningly high rate of close calls. For infrastructure improvements, they suggested wider and protected bike lanes; reflective green markings on bike lanes; improved lighting on roadways that see significant bicycle traffic; and so-called “through lanes,” which reduce conflicts between bicyclists and turning vehicles at intersections by letting riders be safely positioned before cars turn. “Based on what we saw and measured, we recommend measures that promote separating more than sharing,” says Kourtellis. “We think creating buffers between cars and bikes is smart.”

But once again, don’t bother trying to find any mention of the study in the mainstream media.

Evidently, dispelling a widely held misperception too often used to demonize people on bicycles just isn’t news.

………

Speaking of demonizing bicyclists, one Aussie rider caught skitching — holding onto a moving vehicle to hitch a ride — is used to attack everyone who rides a bike for wanting “extra rights” on the road.

Never mind that most bicyclists haven’t done that, and never will.

And the only extra right we want is the right to ride a bike, and get home in one piece.

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Local

LADOT laid down the new Hollywood-approved green paint on the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista over the weekend.

Speaking of Mar Vista, Bikerowave is hosting a bike swap on Sunday the 28th; coffee and donuts will be available if you get there early enough.

Los Angeles County’s outgoing Health Services director says he didn’t expect to fall in love with LA after moving here from San Francisco, but riding his bike to work from Hancock Park to DTLA certainly didn’t hurt. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Repaving started this past weekend on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax to prepare it for the half-measure safety improvements pushed through by Councilmember David Ryu, against the wishes of local residents who were fighting for a road diet. Any hope that the road diet might go through died following the fiasco in Playa del Rey, where recently installed road diets were yanked out after an outcry from motorists.

The latest Bike Talk podcast features John Russo and Karla Mendelson of Keep LA Moving, who successfully fought to have the Playa del Rey road diets removed, and want to halt any future lane reductions in the city.

Walk Eagle Rock shows that it’s possible to do more with less space on narrow streets.

The long discussed new section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail through South Pasadena is scheduled to open late next month.

The LA Times examines Chinese counterfeiting of small San Marino bikewear maker Team Dream.

Claremont is moving closer to a $16 million makeover of Foothill Blvd, including median divided bike lanes.

Long Beach surpasses its mobility goals for last year, with over 1.1 million bike riders and pedestrians passing a counter near the pier.

 

State

The co-founder of PayPal is one of us.

A Santa Ana cyclist was injured in an apparent gang shooting.

Tehachapi opens a new class 1 bike path along Tehachapi Blvd.

You never know what you might find while riding your bike. Like a boa constrictor with a broken jaw on the side of a Bay Area highway. The good news is, the snake has fully recovered.

The bike-friendly new Oakland bridge will be at least two years late and $6 million over budget.

Sad news from Paradise, where a bike rider was killed when she was rear-ended by one driver, then knocked into the path of another.

 

National

An ebike pioneer argues that an ebike charged using fossil fuels is actually greener than a regular bicycle when you consider the extra food needed to fuel the rider. Because everyone loads up on food before they ride to the corner market, right?

Meanwhile, TreeHugger says there’s an ebike revolution coming, and bikes and ebikes will eat cars.

An Oregon town posts a sign telling drivers not to text and drive, in honor of a 16-year old boy who was killed by a texting driver while riding his bike. Which will undoubtedly cause every driver to put down their phones. If they even bother to read it.

A Montana newspaper looks at the benefit bike tourism can have on small towns.

An Austin TX paper asks if an ordinary guy can ride 10,000 miles in two years. Considering that’s less than 100 miles a week, sure.

Kay Perry may be one of us, but she still takes Dallas to task over abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

The Chicago Tribune supports bringing bikeshare to the city’s transit deserts.

Bike registration rears its ugly head in Vermont, where a new bill would impose a $28 annual fee to ride a bicycle on public streets. Which is fine if your goal is to discourage bicycling, and keep people from taking ever down those unused bikes hanging in the garage.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Enquirer considers how to make the city a safer place to ride a bike.

 

International

If you can’t ride your bike on a Manitoba highway because of the ice, get out your hockey skates. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

A Toronto Op-Ed says lowering speed limits throughout the city would save lives.

The Guardian offers a photo essay of a custom framebuilder in the UK.

Just a year after finishing a seven year, 43,000 mile around-the-world bike tour, an English man is planning to set a new record by riding across Europe in less than 20 days.

A Scottish woman is looking for homes for two stray dogs she rescued in Brazil while riding around the world.

A British father shares gruesome photos of his son after the boy crashed face-first into a brick wall, saying it’s a reminder to always wear a helmet. Which might have actually helped, but only if he’d worn it over his face.

An Aussie woman says she deserves a reduced sentence because the bike rider she left bleeding on the side of the road while driving high on ice didn’t die, but merely suffered permanent, life changing injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Australian driver was fined for throwing a cup filled with ice that hit a bicyclist in the head. By the EPA. For littering.

An Aussie cyclist walks with probation for bike rage tirade against a distracted driver who cut him off in traffic, after arguing that “fuck” is not obscene.

Seriously, don’t be this guy. A bicyclist in Australia cuts directly in front of a driver, then flips the motorist off for good measure.

After an Australian man loses his driver’s license for six months, he discovers he feels better, weighs less and actually likes riding a bike. Even if he doesn’t take responsibility for those speeding tickets.

A New Zealand bicyclist is shocked to discover an 18-inch wide bike lane that’s narrower than her handlebars.

A bike shop in Yangon, Myanmar leads a weekly nighttime bike ride in the city, where bicycles are banned by tradition, if not law.

A distracted ebike rider in Singapore got a $2,000 fine for colliding with a bicyclist when his mobile phone rang.

A Chinese man rode nearly 10,000 miles from Benin back to his hometown to raise funds to help install solar power stations and water wells in the African country.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary Katie Compton won her 14th consecutive national cyclocross championship, while the recently unretired Meredith Miller took the singlespeed title.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where BMX star Jelle Van Gorkom is in a coma after a training accident, with no word on when he might awaken.

The Guardian looks at the tenuous finances of lower tier pro cycling teams.

Cycling Weekly talks with recently retired British track cyclist Becky James about the importance of finding a balance between work, training and family life.

South African cyclist Louis Meintjes learned the hard way to put on sunscreen under his mesh jersey. I once ended up with the Canari logo tanned onto my back after wearing my favorite jersey a little too often.

A self-trained Kenyan cyclist will compete in the grueling Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race, despite having a bullet lodged in his stomach from a shooting that killed his father when he was 15.

A Kiwi cyclist wins New Zealand’s U-23 cycling championship just one year after taking up the sport.

 

Finally…

Nothing like using a fat bike to make a really fat snow bike. Apparently, bottling a bicyclist is a thing.

And if you’re going to ride stoned, leave the illegal prescription meds, butterfly knife and counterfeit bills at home.

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Thanks to John H for his generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: SoCal bike deaths drop, green bike lanes coming to Mar Vista, and cycling won’t make you limp

Sixty-two.

That’s the number of people who died riding their bikes in Southern California last year.

Which is an improvement in some ways, because it represents a significant drop from the 73 people killed in the seven-county area last year. And an even bigger drop from the 86 people killed in 2014.

But it’s still 62 too many.

LA Curbed examines last year’s deaths, including the 26 people who died in Los Angeles County last year, including my fears of what’s behind the decline.

And be forewarned before you venture into the comments there, or on Reddit.

………

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin forwards word that the protected bike lanes that were installed on Venice Blvd as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets project will be getting green paint to make them more obvious to some of the more oblivious drivers and bike riders.

As we’ve noted here before, these bike lanes were installed as a one-year pilot project, with adjustments made as needed when issues arise, or opportunities for improvements become evident.

This sounds like a little of both.

………

Relax, guys.

A new study from UC San Francisco says riding a bike does not cause erectile dysfunction or infertility.

In fact, the study showed that not only does cycling not affect men’s sexual or urinary health, but that men who rode over 25 miles a day actually had better erectile function.

So you can spend all the time you want in the saddle and still get it up have kids.

………

Local

You can’t ride on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, but you may be able to ride in a park over it someday.

A West Hollywood study suggests a number of safety improvements that could reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes on Fountain Ave by 25% to 55%. However, bike lanes don’t appear to be among the recommendations; the street currently has sharrows despite the heavy, often high-speed traffic.

 

State

The bicyclist who posted video of the massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail now wishes he’d been a little more sensitive.

Ebike maker Haibike is moving to Simi Valley after relocating to Denver just a year ago.

Santa Maria considers a makeover of its downtown to create a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Although they may discover that a $300,000 grant doesn’t go very far.

Bike Bakersfield has a new executive director.

The mayor of Mountain View is one of us, riding his bike around town and taking his helmet with him into meetings.

An armored truck hit a tree in San Francisco after driving down a separated bike lane instead of the traffic lane.

It’s always polite to fist-bump the cop who manages to chase you down on your bike before busting you for possession.

 

National

Bicycling profiles Ben Serotta as he returns to framebuilding, and examines what fear does to your body when some jerk nearly runs you off the road.

HuffPo considers how bicyclists got screwed out of their measly $20 a month bike commuting benefit in the new GOP tax bill, while drivers got to keep a $255 monthly deduction.

The people who work behind the scenes keeping dockless bikeshare working are getting screwed by the outsourcing gig economy. Or at least the ones working for Ofo.

An Idaho self-help author turns his attention advising drivers on how to coexist with bicyclists, with surprisingly good results.

Talk about a bad business deal. A Montana man is busted after buying an $1,800 stolen bicycle for $600, then pawning it for $200 three days later.

A Minneapolis paper discovers the lack of women working in bike shops — which also leads to a lack of women shopping in them.

A New York advocacy group says congestion pricing is the only way to reach zero traffic fatalities in the city, by getting more cars off the street. Something that hasn’t even been discussed in Los Angeles, where drivers would probably riot if anyone actually tried to pry them out of their cars.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. A DC-area county will build protected bike lanes for bicyclists who won’t be able to use a popular bike path during construction for a light rail line.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from Florida’s Jack the Bike Man, who gives thousands of refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. After Calgary built out a complete protected bike lane network in the downtown area, the percentage of women riders rose to 25%. Which is still far too low, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.

A Montreal writer pens an ode to orphan bikes, which are forced to spend the winter cold, alone and unloved.

A London art exhibit features miniature landscapes of bike routes the artist has traveled.

A woman in the UK writes about how she fell in love with riding a bike after getting on one for the first time in 40 years.

A Brit writer relates how he failed four basic safety lessons on his first day as an amateur bike rider. Which somehow implies the rest of us are getting paid for it.

British police are looking for a bike rider who pushed a 17-year old girl over as she was walking in a bike lane. Don’t do that. Ever. Period.

After an Aussie cyclist barely avoids getting sucked under a semi, she’s victimized again by abusive online comments.

The “menace” of joyriding Malaysian stunt bicyclists is spreading across the country, despite a crash last year that killed eight teenage riders, and another that killed two others last week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new French book suggests that Lance was doping his bike as well as his blood.

USA Today looks at the debate over testosterone testing of transgender women, two of whom are hoping to make the US Olympic cycling team, on opposite sides of the debate.

Belgian cyclist Tim Wellens says inhaler use is wrong, despite pulling out of last year’s Tour de France with breathing problems.

Sad news from the UK, where a man who had been battling depression hung himself four days after he failed to finish a 24-hour bike race.

 

Finally…

How to pedal without ever leaving home or having to deal with other humans. Seriously, how big a bike pump will it take to inflate that thing?

And this is why you stop traffic before putting up the finish gate.

Morning Links: A growing list of bike ride events, and NYC and SF show what Vision Zero can and should be

Let’s catch up with a growing list of upcoming bike ride events.

A bike ride will be held on Saturday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Alhambra Avenue street improvement project, including bike lanes, crosswalk and new sidewalks; the ride will travel 5.5 miles from Highland Park to El Sereno.

Bike SGV and Metro Bike invite you to learn how to knit your own seat cover this Saturday, or the following Saturday.

The very busy Bike SGV is offering a free, three-part city cycling course over the next three Saturdays.

Santa Monica Spoke and Santa Monica Planning invite you to join them for a ride with the city’s mayor on January 20th; the ride will also feature Calbike board members, as well as Jeffrey Tanenhaus, who rode a Citi Bike bikeshare bike cross-country from New York to Santa Monica in 2016.

El Sereno is a popular location this month, as the Eastside Bike Club will host an El Sereno Family Bike Ride on the 21st.

San Diego’s annual Recovery Ride rolls on the 21st, benefitting a pair of local nonprofits.

The LACBC has rescheduled their third annual Mulholland clean-up, hosted by former pro cyclist, author and cookie monster Phil Gaimon for January 27th.

Bike SGV’s first bike train of the year will ride up to the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights for a vegetarian brunch on January 28th.

Stan’s Bike Shop and the Eastside Bike Club are hosting the US premier of MAMIL “Middle Aged Men In Lycra” on February 21st; part of the film was shot at the bike shop and features several members of the bike club.

………

San Francisco and New York are bucking national trends with record low traffic fatalities, even as deaths are on the increase throughout the US.

Which shows what can happen when cities take Vision Zero seriously, build bike lanes and pedestrian facilities, and actually stand up to the inevitable backlash.

Let’s hope LA is taking notes.

………

Local

USC is welcoming the URB-E e-scooter sharing system to campus, even as the school still struggles to accommodate students and faculty on bicycles.

 

State

More bad news from the California legislature, where a senate committee gutted a Complete Streets measure that would have required Caltrans to consider the needs of all road users.

Maybe Rep. Darrel Issa is quitting his Orange/San Diego County congressional seat because he didn’t want to have to campaign by bicycle again this year.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, has spent roughly $15 million a mile so far to build just four miles of high-priority bikeways.

Caught on video: A Fresno BMX rider snatched a woman’s purse as she sat on a bench by a parking lot.

For every 15 donations to the Stanford blood bank in Palo Alto, a local bike shop will donate a bicycle to a child in foster care or a single-parent shelter, and the blood bank will make a donation to the bike shop.

JUMP Bikes gets the permit to be San Francisco’s first dockless e-bikeshare system.

Streetsblog says the dismissal of charges against a road raging Marin driver after he completed an anger management class is proof that we need a statewide cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

A Placerville bike rider says he doesn’t care if the city if bike friendly because he doesn’t need bike lanes; all he cares about is making it safer for pedestrians.

 

National

Bicyclists in Steamboat Springs CO may lose a new bike lane if drivers can’t figure out how to back into reverse-angle parking spaces.

Michigan lawmakers gut a proposed five-foot passing law, replacing the minimum passing distance with a vague requirement to pass at an unspecified “safe distance.”

Wired looks at the success of high-end underground clothing line Outlier, which was born out of a desire for clothes that could look cool and still be tough enough for New York cyclists.

The Atlantic offers a moving video look at the ghost bikes of New York; every image represents a life taken too soon, for no reason.

A New York community group is suing the city in an effort to force the removal of a bike lane they blame for increasing traffic collisions.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a coroner concludes a 16-year old time trial specialist was killed when he signaled to an oncoming driver that he was going to make a U-turn, and the driver misread it as a signal to overtake him.

Britain’s Daily Mail kind of misses the point, saying a cyclist sparked a road rage confrontation with an angry driver by yelling at him and flipping him off — never mind the unsafe pass that the rider was responding to.

Just what we all need. A seemingly innocuous intersection in the UK can actually make bicyclists and drivers invisible to one another until the last second, despite a lack of obvious barriers. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Welsh residents use blankets, tea and hot water bottles to keep a man in his 60s from going into hypothermia after he suffered several broken bones falling off his bike; it took more than four hours for an ambulance to finally arrive.

An Irish bicyclist has gone missing in the desert of southern Israel for seven weeks; his wallet, keys and tablet computer were found on a trail in late December.

Parisians are seeing red over the absence of the popular grey Vélib’ bikeshare bikes from the streets, as a switch to a new operator runs aground.

Add one more trip to your bicycling bucket list — a 435-mile, 14-day trip across the Czech Republic.

Jump a red light in Saudi Arabia, and get the equivalent of an $800 fine.

Good piece from an Aussie writer, who says bicycling is legal; death threats — whether online or on the streets — aren’t.

This is who we share the roads with. A killer Australian driver with 16 previous traffic convictions bizarrely blames the media for all his problems, after getting caught riding a stolen motorbike 12 days after his license was suspended for driving stoned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Kiwi road cycling champion Jason Christie is under fire for apparently flipping off his competitors as he crossed the finish line, although the head of the national cycling council said it looks like more than one finger to him. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t seem to play in this country, but that looks like a single middle finger on each hand to me.

No, you can’t run red lights and make the equivalent of an illegal left turn, even if you’re the world’s leading cycling team.

Chris Froome could be banned from the world championships if his doping investigation isn’t resolved soon, while the head of British Cycling says leaking his failed test harmed cycling. Sure, leaking the test results hurt cycling, but failing the test itself was just fine.

Australia’s Tour Down Under is still benefitting from participation by the World’s Most Famous Doper, though Lance swears he was clean the three years he took part in the race.

 

Finally…

At least pro cycling isn’t as boring as snooker. If you’re going to steal a pair of high-end carbon track cycling shoes, make sure they’re your size first.

And you know you’ve made it when the pope agrees to baptize your kid.

 

Morning Links: Legislature kills Idaho Stop law, bike hit-and-run law goes on, and Culver City council endorsements

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

A bi-partisan bill that would have partially legalized the Idaho Stop in California, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, was killed in the state legislature.

Never mind that most bicyclists — and drivers, for that matter — already do that anyway.

And never mind that it has improved safety in Idaho since being adopted 35 years ago, and was approved in Delaware last year.

The idea that bikes aren’t cars just seems to be too much for the state’s motoring organizations to comprehend, including AAA.

Which is why I haven’t been a member for years.

Meanwhile, AB1755, a bill that AAA could undoubtedly support, continues to move forward.

The bill, which comes in response to a well-known Sacramento runner who was injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, would explicitly extend the hit-and-run statutes to apply to Class 1 bike paths.

Which seems like a law in search of a problem.

While the Sacramento DA couldn’t seem to figure out if the existing hit-and-run laws applied to a bike that, there is nothing in the statute to suggest that it doesn’t.

And CVC21200 clearly states that bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists. Which would include stopping following a crash.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the AB1755 heads-up.

………

Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the upcoming Culver City council elections, as the city transitions from its auto-centric past to a livable streets future.

The group has endorsed Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch to help continue that transition.

Evidently, council candidate Marcus Tiggs doesn’t want the bike vote, since he didn’t bother to respond to their questionnaire.

………

LA’s road diet critics must have been comparing notes.

Just a week after “science-based” advice columnist Amy Alkon complained about being bullied by bicycling zealots, dermatologist and self-appointed urban planner Kenneth S. Alpern trotted out the phrase to describe those who happen to disagree with him.

Furthermore, even Portland has barely reached a 7% bicycle commute rate), and it is to be noted that those of us trying to compromise and encourage bicycle commuting that safely and conveniently works with cars and buses are met with NASTY anger in return from bicyclist zealots who DO NOT represent all bicyclists and DO NOT want compromise.

If nasty anger means not going along with their demands to undo the Venice Blvd road diet and Great Streets project, and comprise means turning every inch of pavement back over to motor vehicles, he’s right.

………

Today’s common theme is bikeshare. And e-bikeshare. And even e-scootershare.

Santa Monica says not so fast to an e-scooter sharing startup.

Pasadena is hoping Metro Bikeshare will help it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 83%.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare system will be adding 250 ebikes to their system.

Dockless e-bikeshare is coming to San Francisco, soon to be followed by LimeBike dockless ebikes, which should be coming to Los Angeles as well.

Spin is adding dockless ebikes to their bikeshare offerings.

Dockless bikeshare is helping to increase bicycling diversity in DC by drawing riders from the African-American community.

A Charlotte SC writer says dockless bikeshare is littering the city.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is entering the bikesharing market through its partial stake in Ofo and the recently bankrupt Bluegogo. Maybe it can merge them and call it Ofogogo.

………

Local

Maybe LA’s auto-centric anti-Vision Zero drivers suffer from Dissociative Commuter Disorder.

CiclaValley reviews 2017 in pictures.

Burbank Realtors team with Bike Angels to refurbish and donate 117 bicycles to local kids.

A meeting is being held tonight to discuss options to replace the Santa Monica pier bridge, including one that would turn the existing bridge into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

State

A pair of San Diego letter writers are up in arms that a mother would dare to ride outside a bike lane with her child. Or maybe not. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the links.

 

National

Get on your bike. New research shows bicycling can reverse age-related heart damage.

Trek is working with Ford on a system that will enable driverless cars to recognize people on bicycles, in hopes of developing an industry standard. Some sort of standard is necessary, since so many companies are working on their own systems; otherwise, bike riders will have to wear 20 different sensors just to avoid getting run over.

On a related note, some sort of sensor can’t some soon enough, since a new study shows that we really are invisible to some drivers, even when they look right at us.

Red Bull offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle. A couple they missed, however: Check it against the Bike Index stolen bike listings, and always meet the seller in a public place — preferably the lobby of the local police precinct. And register it as soon as you complete the purchase.

Maybe you can get that bespoke Serrotta you always wanted after all, if you have a spare $7,600 to $15,000 laying around.

An Oregon woman was convicted of hit-and-run after she sideswiped a bicyclist, then demanded $200 for damage to her car.

Kindhearted Tucson sheriff’s deputies buy a new bicycle for an 11-year old girl after the one she got for Christmas was destroyed in a fire.

While LA drivers fight Vision Zero, New York is busy saving lives, with a 28% drop in traffic fatalities since 2013 — and a 45% reduction in pedestrian deaths.

This is why you don’t lock you bike to street signs. A New Orleans man lost his bike in less than two minutes when a thief unbolted the sign and made off with the bicycle.

 

International

Bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid discovers the best way to get fit from fast foods is to deliver it by bike.

A photographer catches the moment a Brit bike rider and his dog are soaked by a huge wave as they ride on a breakwater, but somehow manage to stay upright.

Invest the equivalent of $1,900 in a Brit bike startup, and you’ll not only get a piece of the company, you could buy a new ebike foldie for just thirteen bucks and change.

That’s one way to test a marriage. An English couple is touring the world by tandem bike, covering over 62,000 miles over the last four-and-a-half months. Note: As Mike Wilkinson observes below, that mileage figure is just this side of impossible, requiring them to travel nearly 460 miles a day. It’s possible that the paper may have added a zero to the 100,000 km figure they cited.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider is run down from behind by a driver who claimed to have the sun in his eyes. And the internet blames the victim for being in the road and accuses him of being a drama queen.

A yarn-bombed bike left outside the prime minister’s residence to celebrate marriage equality in Australia is headed for the country’s National Museum.

 

Competitive Cycling

Members of Britain’s Team Sky were stopped by police in Adelaide, Australia and lectured on how to ride safely.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride your bike in the winter, or concerned motorists may report you to the police. If you’re going to carry meth on your bike after midnight, put a damn light on it.

And record-setting French cyclist Robert Marchand retired from competitive cycling.

At 106.

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

 

Morning Links: Bike Snob takes down Venice science writer, and bike shop ticketed for city-owned bike racks

Last weekend, it seemed like every bike rider in Los Angeles had the privilege of being muted by self-described “science-based advice columnist & radio host” Amy Alkon.

Or at all the ones on Twitter.

Myself included.

Not content to merely be part of the crowd calling for the removal of the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, Alkon upped the ante by calling parents, and soon-to-be moms, who rode bikes on the street with their kids “assholes” who should have their children taken away for child endangerment.

And anyone who disagreed with her, no matter rudely or politely, was seen by her as part of a mob of “cycling ideologues” — or worse — who were attempting to bully her into silence. And then summarily muted before they could contradict her.

Once again, myself included.

Never mind that I can’t recall a single instance of a child being killed while riding with a parent anywhere in the LA area in the six years I’ve been keeping track.

Neither, apparently, can Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, writing about it in Outside Magazine.

Can carrying a kid on a bike be dangerous? Sure. I’d imagine hillbombing in San Francisco on a brakeless fixie with junior in tow could end pretty badly. Then again, so would doing the same thing with a Bugaboo, and it’s a virtual certainty you’re not going to be attempting either. The bottom line is that, despite drivers’ best efforts to hit us, cycling itself just isn’t that dangerous (you can even argue it’s the safest form of transport)—and the conservative approach any halfway sensible parent takes to riding with a kid onboard is even safer.

On the other hand, if your goal is to endanger your children in transit, then you can’t do any better than using a car. Setting aside the thousands of children who die in collisions every year, an average of 37 kids are killed annually due to being left in hot cars, and even more suffer “backover deaths,” which are exactly what they sound like.

It’s a good read, and more than worth a few minutes of your morning.

Because these are the people we have to deal with on a daily basis, whether fighting for safer streets or just trying to ride down them in peace.

And like Alkon, too many refuse to listen to reason.

Or anything else.

………

By far the best story of the day.

A Florida bike shop was cited for installing a pair of spiral bike racks on the sidewalk without the proper permits or inspections.

Except they had actually been installed by the city two weeks earlier.

Oops.

………

Local

Brace yourself for wet riding, with heavy rains predicted for the LA area over the next few days.

Voting is open for Streetsblog’s Civil Servant of the Year.

A letter in the LA Times says a proposed bill wouldn’t automatically open wilderness areas to mountain bikers, but leave it up to local administrators instead.

The New Yorker takes a walking tour of sites used by Nazis, fascists and the spies who fought them in the City of Angels in the years leading up to WWII, which you could undoubtedly do by bike, as well.

Planning is moving forward for a 1.7 mile Complete Streets project on Broadway in Long Beach.

 

State

Ventura police bust a bike thief using a bait bike. Something that’s still not being used here in Los Angeles.

Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to attract bike tourists with a 160-mile grand loop though the both counties.

Google is losing up to 250 of their company bikes every week, as some residents of Mountain View see them as a community asset, and others see bike snatching as an act of retribution.

Sad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike went off the road on a descent.

A Marin County driver got his road rage case tossed after completing an anger management course. Never mind that he was caught on video threatening to get a shotgun and shoot a bike rider’s head off.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling talks about falling in love with bikepacking.

Your next bike could be a weird-looking DIY front-wheel drive cross between a bicycle and a unicycle.

Even in cold and windy Laramie WY, it’s possible to ride a bike year-round. And yet people still think you can’t ride through the winter in sunny Southern California.

A Dallas TX suburb decides the solution to dockless bikeshare bikes being left in inconvenient places is to ban them entirely; although this might have something to do with it.

Bicycling is now the official exercise of Illinois. Unlike California, where the official exercise appears to be complaining about bike lanes and the people who use them.

I think I’ve found my new career. A Philadelphia man is riding around the city with his dogs on his bike, charging people to take their picture.

 

International

A Canadian letter writer says a bike path extension was a waste of money because it doesn’t get plowed after it snows. Which seems to be a better argument for clearing the path so it can be used all year.

London will roll out e-cargo bike deliveries in the historic city center in an effort to cut pollution, following a successful trial over the holidays.

A UK paper writes about a 13-year old boy whose bike was stolen shortly after Christmas. Then illustrates the story with a photo of a kid’s balance bike.

Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist nearly gets nailed by a driver who rolls through an intersection onto the wrong side of the road.

A British business site talks with the CEO of Brompton, who says the secret of the folding bike’s success is to focus on the product, stick to what you know and obsess about it.

Get your very own semi-bespoke British bike for the equivalent of $2,400.

After a UK parliament member loses his license for distracted driving, people in his district start a pointed crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bicycle.

A pair of Indian bicyclists are riding nearly 12,500 miles across the country to raise awareness of polio, health and hygiene.

More proof that bicyclists everywhere face the same problems. An Australian writer says ordinary bike riders are afraid of drivers — especially the ones who honk, shout and hurl profanities.

Speaking of profanities, an Aussie bicyclist was caught on video screaming obscenities at a woman and smashing the side mirror on her car after she apparently cut him off. Don’t do that. Period.

A Kiwi writer asks New Zealanders to imagine a country where everyone rides ebikes and public transit.

A Japanese train just for bicycles and their riders rolls out of Tokyo every weekend, headed from the prime bike riding routes of Chiba Prefecture.

Singapore opens an automated bike parking garage that can hold over 500 bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Head up to Lake Tahoe for the Cyclocross National Championships starting this Wednesday.

Atlanta music teacher Ayesha McGowan is on a mission to become the first African American female pro cyclist. It seems ridiculous that there haven’t already been many, let alone one.

American pro Tejay van Garderen has traded Aspen for Girona, Spain.

Pro cyclist Mia Manganello qualifies for the US Olympic team on her return to speed skating after a five-year break.

 

Finally…

Note to self: If you see something that looks like a hand grenade while riding your bike, leave it alone. Anyone can ride around the world sober; the challenge is to do it stoned.

And nothing like turning a city into your personal Strava doodle pad.

Or Labra-doodle pad, in this case.

 

Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

………

Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

………

Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

………

Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

Morning Links: Bonin recall effort suspended, and a Florida study shows bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

Maybe there aren’t so many angry voters after all.

The effort to recall CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin over last year’s Playa del Rey road diet fiasco has hit a snag, as organizers say they need another $300,000 because they can’t afford to hire enough minimum wage signature gatherers to circulate the necessary petitions.

As a result, the recall effort has been put on hold until at least November.

If it happens at all.

Organizers claim to have raised nearly $100,000 for the recall effort, but somehow spent all but $20,000 — including a $6,000 consulting fee to co-chair Alexis Edelstein.

This comes after a bungled press event in which organizers attempted to file the necessary forms to begin the recall process, but left out a required signed affidavit. Then somehow never managed to make it back with the right forms.

But what it really boils down to is a lack of support to recall the popular councilmember, who won re-election just last year with 71% of the vote.

Not to mention a distrust of the people behind the campaign, including Edelstein himself.

Something tells me Bonin will sleep easy tonight.

But the fight will go on. Because the real reason behind the failed recall effort, aside from furthering Edelstein’s political career, was to intimidate city officials into halting any more road diets in the city.

And as CD4 Councilmember David Ryu’s recent rejection of the planned 6th Street road diet shows — one that local resident had fought for — in that, they’ve been very successful.

Above, a typical complaint about the since-removed road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey.

………

If you read the comments to virtually any news story about bicycles — which I wouldn’t recommend — you’ll quickly find most accuse bike riders of being lawbreaking scofflaws who flaunt traffic regulations every chance we get.

Evidently, they’re wrong.

According to a new Florida study, bicyclists rode in compliance with traffic laws 88% of the time during daylight hours, and 87% after dark.

Meanwhile, drivers obeyed the law just 85% of the time.

And of the three near collisions and one actual collision involving bicyclists during the study, drivers were blamed in three of the incidents, along with a lack of infrastructure.

Show that to the next person who says we all break the law.

And tell ‘em to shove it.

………

Let’s call it a tie for today’s best bike news.

Costa Mesa police and The Cyclist bike shop teamed up to give a new adult tricycle to a man who’s suffering from stage four cancer, after his $400 trike was stolen just before Christmas.

And a nice follow-up story from New Zealand, where a couple is still riding together after 44 years of marriage even though she has Parkinson’s; her husband modified a three-wheeled e-cargo bike to hold her wheel chair in front of the handlebars.

………

Local

The LA Times says keep mountain bikes out of federal wilderness areas, despite a bill that would legalize their use.

If you can find one of the Ofo dockless bikeshare bikes around Griffith Park, they should be free to use for the remainder of this month, if a North Carolina story is correct.

Walk Bike Long Beach released a report on their efforts to make the city a better place to do both.

 

State

San Francisco’s Patrick Traughber is tracking all bicycling fatalities in the city, as well as calculating how many years of life was lost with each crash.

A San Francisco electric scooter-sharing company will be adding ebikes to their dockless rental fleet.

Officials are letting a curb-protected San Francisco bike lane fall into disrepair, despite repaving the traffic lanes next to it.

It’s bad enough that a firebug may be setting fires across Berkeley, but setting a bike on fire crosses the line.

 

National

Bike Snob says maybe you only need one bike after all.

Advice for aging Baby Boomers: Forget the car and get on a bike.

Women’s Health offers tips to get more out of your bicycling work out. Or you could just enjoy riding your bike, and let the workout take care of itself.

Oregon drivers face the horror of having to pump their own gas. This time, read the comments.

Nevada follows a pattern seen around the US, as traffic deaths decline for people in motor vehicles, but increase for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The war on bikes goes on. An Arizona cyclist is recovering after he was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car.

New York finally bans cars from Prospect Park after 50 years of trying. Maybe LA could take a page from their book, and at least start reducing motor vehicle access to Griffith Park.

A DC website offers advice on how to bike safely and comfortably in terrible weather. Which comes just in time for Angeleno bike riders, who actually saw clouds yesterday.

 

International

A Niagara Falls man was busted for trying to sell a $10,000 BMC bike that was stolen from a tourist’s car six months ago. Of course, that’s Canadian dollars; it was just an $8,000 bike in US dollars.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker offers advice for new bike commuters, including that the occasional soaking rain or buffeting wind is part of the joy of riding to work. Meanwhile, Cyclist magazine offers tips on how to become a better bicyclist this year.

After a British boy’s bike was stolen, he responded by organizing a bike safety and awareness workshop to keep others from suffering the same fate.

The real news isn’t that a UK paperboy’s bike was stolen, but that they still have paperboys in the UK.

Caught on video: An Irish food delivery cyclist plows through flood waters from a massive storm to get a meal to its destination.

Five must-sees on your next bike tour of France.

An Aussie rapper is under arrest after leading police on a car chase, nearly crashing into a bike rider in the process.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a delivery driver was sentenced to 15 months for killing a bike rider after taking medications to induce sleep and driving anyway; he was so out of it he didn’t even know he hit anyone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling is putting the disc brakes on.

No irony here. Lance will host a reception for the Netflix doping documentary Icarus that was partly inspired by his own fall from grace, calling it “incredible work.”

 

Finally…

Don’t fake a mountain bike crash just to steal someone’s backpack. Maybe taking on a downhill mountain bike course on a Walmart bike isn’t the best idea.

And cars are attracted to bikes like tornados are to mobile homes.

Whether or not we’re on them at the time.

 

Morning Links: Formerly paralyzed BMX champ dances at his wedding, and bicycling as a mobility tool

In today’s best news story, 26-year old Australian BMX champ Sam Willoughby danced with his new wife at their wedding in San Diego, just 15 months after he was paralyzed from the neck down in a training accident.

………

Important piece in the Guardian, which notes that riding a bicycle is easier than walking for most disabled people, and that many disabled commuters travel by bicycle.

Which make bike lanes an important mobility tool, rather than an obstacle for the disabled as bike lane opponents commonly accuse.

………

This is what happens when a professional BMX racer misjudges his jump over a fence. And is lucky to avoid getting impaled.

………

Local

Disappointing news from DTLA, as Arts District coffee shop/bike shop The Wheelhouse closed unexpectedly at the end of the year, though the owners promise to make a comeback somewhere, in some form. Meanwhile, Calabasas-based 10-Speed Coffee, run by the owners of the bike-themed Pedaler’s Fork restaurant, will be opening a new location in Santa Monica this April.

Megan Lynch forwards a South Pasadena news story about the Rose Parade, including photos of bike riders accompanying a bicycle-themed float.

A look back at what could have been, on the 118th anniversary of the famed California Cycleway, an elevated wooden bikeway that was supposed to link Pasadena with Downtown Los Angeles but was never finished.

 

State

Seriously? The new mayor of Solana Beach in North San Diego County says she doesn’t support efforts to get more people on bikes, because she can’t show real estate using a bicycle. Maybe she should try a little harder. Or not judge everyone else by what she isn’t willing to do.

 

National

Less than a year after taking up riding, newly retired NASCAR favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. vows to ride his bike 50 to 100 miles a week, even with a new baby on the way. Anyone who has a new baby is probably thinking “Good luck with that.”

A bicyclist is riding from New York to the CES show in Las Vegas in just 10 days to promote the Elektron Gen 2 e-assist wheel with a beta version of the new Google Assist installed. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Sounds like fun. Arizona bike riders welcomed 2018 with a New Year’s ride through the desert under the supermoon.

Utah may consider adopting the full Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs. And potentially go one step further than California, which is set to consider a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stops as yields, but still have to stop for red lights.  Thanks to Eric Rogers for the heads-up.

Dockless bikeshare finally has Dallas TX residents talking about bikes.

The head of a Wisconsin bike nonprofit says every kid who wants a bike should have one. Not to mention a safe place to ride it.

It’s now officially legal for drivers to pass bicyclists in a no passing zone in Illinois, and for cyclists to ride on the shoulder of a roadway. Even if they may have to wait for the state to thaw out first. It would be legal for drivers to briefly cross the yellow line to pass bicyclists in California if Governor Jerry Brown hadn’t vetoed an earlier version of the three-foot passing law that contained that provision.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where the life of a bicyclist killed by a drunk driver is only worth a lousy nine months in jail.

Auto-centric Michigan is finally getting around to updating the laws to protect people on bicycles, including a five-foot passing law and banning distracted driving. Although based on the previous story, it sounds like tougher penalties for DUI and fatal crashes might be a good idea, too.

Baltimore drivers are complaining about protected bike lanes, saying the streets are too narrow to accommodate a buffered bike lane, a parking lane and two travel lanes. Although it sounds like what they really want is to get their parking spaces back.

A kindhearted Florida woman crowdsourced funds to buy an 80-year old man a three-wheeled ebike after learning he walked eight miles each way to get to his job.

 

International

Lawrence Solomon, head of a climate-change denying Canadian think tank, is back with yet another bike-hating diatribe, urging cities to rip out bike lanes “before more innocent people get hurt.” Never mind that studies have shown that bike lanes — and especially protected bike lanes — improve safety for all road users.

A British bike advocacy group says a biased online survey of that found drivers want bike riders to have insurance and wear hi-viz is, well, biased. Meanwhile, the head of that advocacy group was stunned to get his stolen Brompton back after someone found it abandoned at a train station.

Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist is nearly squeezed off the road in a punishment pass by a bus driver. And he responds with the same language I’ve used under similar circumstances, which is why I usually post my videos with the sound off.

The husband of an English woman killed in a crash with a bicyclist calls for a new law banning dangerous or careless cycling that results in injury or death. Even though the rider who hit his wife was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, which is more than most drivers get.

A man in the UK is looking for the Good Samaritans who helped him when he broke his arm after his bike was crowded off the road by a passing driver.

A bighearted stranger bought a British boy a new bike after the one he got for Christmas was stolen at knifepoint in a bike-jacking.

The deputy director of Zimbabwe’s national intelligence agency was posthumously named a national hero after he was killed in a traffic collision, despite killing a bike rider in a crash 16 years earlier.

This is why you should always carry ID when you ride. Australian authorities are trying to identify a man who collapsed while riding his bike. I wear my Road ID whenever I leave home, whether or not I’m riding; it doubles as my medical alert bracelet.

A travel writer calls Taiwan a bicycling paradise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eight-time world BMX and mountain bike champ Caroline Buchanan is expected to make a full recovery after she was critically injured in a one-car crash in Australia’s New South Wales state over the weekend.

Pro cyclist Kristian Sbaragli learned the hard way not to leave his team bike unattended when he stops for coffee after a training ride.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle, at least show a little respect and rob something better than a dollar store. Don’t extort money from the driver that hit you.

And seriously, don’t wear your headphone turned up so loud you can’t hear an oncoming train.

 

Morning Links: Road raging New York mobster, LA transforming to city of the future, and a kindhearted bike gift

These are the people we share the roads with.

An 82-year old New York mobster skated on charges that he participated in the legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist that inspired the movie Goodfellas.

But now he’ll spend the next eight years behind bars after using a law enforcement database to track down a driver who cut him off on a freeway, and setting the man’s car on fire.

Evidently, road rage is dish best served cold.

Unless you get caught.

………

Nice KCRW interview with UCLA urban planning professor Bryan Taylor, who says LA’s traffic problems are the result of the city transforming from a “bucolic Southern California bungalow environment” to an “urban global city of the future.”

And one in which people will walk, bike and take transit in denser communities — and where the 30-mile commute is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

I think that the idea that we should build a system that allows someone to live 30 miles from where they work is ridiculous. If you went that far in Tokyo, you’d cover an area that has most of the population for California. The expectation that someone should be able to get in their car and drive through one of the largest cities in the world unimpeded from one end of the metropolitan area to the other is an expectation that could have existed when L.A. wasn’t a global city of that scale. We now have 17 million people. It’s just not going to be possible for them to live in in Pasadena and drive to Santa Monica and feel like they can do that comfortably. Those days are over.

Which is a point I’ve been trying to make with drivers and reporters for some time, with limited success.

As in none.

………

This is by far the best news story of the day.

After an Indiana woman’s bike broke down on her way to work Christmas Eve, a kindhearted stranger stopped to help. And ended up giving her a bicycle she’d bought for her grandchild’s Christmas present.

………

Local

Metro Bike is planning to expand into the San Gabriel Valley, Culver City and around USC, while it struggles to meet ridership projections in the face of competition from dockless bikeshare.

Curbed offers 18 things to look forward to this year, including the opening of the long-delayed My Figueroa Complete Streets project on South Figueroa, and September’s Disney Hall to Hollywood Bowl CicLAvia.

You have until noon tomorrow to vote for Streetsblog’s annual Streetsie Awards for Elected Official, Civil Servant, Media/Journalism, Individual Advocacy, and Advocacy Group of the year.

The latest episode of Bike Talk interviews prolific bike writer Peter Flax, one of the journalists nominated for a Streetsie this year.

South Bay bike riders can now go to bicycle traffic school instead of paying a fine for traffic tickets. Los Angeles has been talking about doing that, but so far, it doesn’t appear to have moved beyond talk at this point.

A man on a bicycle shot a Norwalk man in the hand after talking with him briefly; police suspect it may have been gang-related.

 

State

San Diego opens the new bicycle-themed Bikeway Village along the bayfront bike path in Imperial Beach.

An Aussie BMX champ vowed to walk down the aisle to marry his fiancé on New Year’s Eve in San Diego, where he’s in rehab for a training accident that left him paralyzed for awhile.

A couple hundred Bakersfield riders get the new year started right with an early morning ride. Although that doesn’t compare to riding with a wind chill factor of 12 below.

Things are getting better for bicyclists on the Bay Area’s Mount Diablo after a number of safety improvements designed to reduce conflicts with motorists.

Sad news from San Raphael, where a bike rider died after hitting an object on a paved trail.

 

National

Motor vehicles are now the leading source of CO2 emissions in the US, as what now passes for the EPA is busy dismantling regulations intended to protect us.

Oregon’s new $15 tax on new bicycles over $200 went into effect yesterday.

A Tucson woman is looking for the beloved bike belonging to her late brother, which was stolen shortly after he died of pancreatic cancer.

Life is cheap in New Mexico, where a man convicted of careless driving in a crash that severely injured a woman riding her bike walks with just 90 days probation, and a whopping $156 court fee that the judge may have waived.

Engineering students at the University of Colorado build an adaptive bike for a girl with autism and limited motor skills.

A Denver paper says ebikes could help reduce traffic congestion, but questions whether they belong on singletrack trails.

While some Los Angeles residents are demanding that the city rip out bike lanes, residents of Amarillo TX are begging the city to put bike lanes in their neighborhood to slow speeding traffic.

A San Antonio man is finally under arrest, seven months after he fatally ran down a bike rider while struggling with a couple of passengers trying to stop his out-of-control driving.

A recovering addict from Missouri rode 3,300 miles across the US to promote recovery.

 

International

A new book tells the story of four young Canadian women who took off on a 400-mile bike ride in the middle of WWII.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old man rode 4,300 miles across Canada. So much for all those people who say older people can’t ride bikes.

Young Toronto residents are passing on getting a driver’s license, and choosing to live in complete communities where walking, biking and transit take precedence.

Bike advocates are fighting plans to block an abandoned British rail tunnel, hoping it can be converted to the country’s longest underground bikeway instead.

No bias here. A non-scientific survey of Brit drivers shows 73% want to force cyclists to wear hi-viz, and 80% want bike riders to carry mandatory liability insurance.

A UK letter writer says bikes were here first and it’s not the fault of bicyclists that roads are getting more dangerous, while another letter writer reminds motorists that cars are dangerous machines, and says drivers who kill should be banned for life.

Finland plans to become a bicycling mecca by 2050, with most commuters riding company-supplied ebikes. But why wait another three decades?

Sweden is now offering a 25% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, as research shows electric bicycles often replace cars.

Caught on video: A Polish mountain biker completes the world’s first backflip in the Superman position.

A 19-year old Indian woman will attempt to set a new record for being the youngest and fastest woman to complete an unsupported, 18,000-mile ride around the world.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist is caught in a left hook crash, the Down Under equivalent of our right hook, as the writer says the driver was legally at fault but the victim shares the blame.

Caught on video three: A trio of Australian bike riders were lucky to stay upright when they were passed way too close and too fast by the driver of a massive truck.

After two Australian cyclists were sideswiped by the driver of a rental camper van, all the driver had to say was “Big mirror. Sorry.”

Nothing like having to dodge a car thief speeding down an Australian bike path.

Britain’s Sky News says abandoned dockless rental bikes have turned into a social menace in China. Meanwhile, CNN says Chinese dockless bikeshare has turned into a bubble.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a purple, bike-riding octopus. Go for a New Year’s swim, come up with a new bike.

And don’t steal a bike from a pack of Santas.

………

Thanks to Gil S for his generous donation to help support this site. While the annual holiday fund drive may be over, contributions are always welcome.

And on a personal note, today is the first day my wife has been back at work in nearly two months. So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who have offered so many kind words and support over the past several weeks.

 

Morning Links: LA’s woeful bike lanes, Calbike supports Idaho Stop law, and risky riding with Hugh Jackman

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year. May the coming year bring you 12 months of safe roads and enjoyable rides.

………

Local

A former Los Angeles City planner takes a bike ride to the beach with his wife, and discovers the woeful state of the city’s bicycle infrastructure. And says it’s no secret how to build successful grade-separated bike lanes. Other than getting LA’s entitled drivers to make room for them, of course.

A La Mirada man is riding to eradicate polio in honor of his father, who contracted the disease as a child and suffered from its effects the rest of his life. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica will hold a public meeting on January 10th to discuss plans for a new bridge leading to the pier, including one that would replace the current bridge with a bike and pedestrian bridge. Unfortunately, none of the options include removing cars from the pier and making more room for people.

CICLE and Metro’s BEST program are hosting a free tacos and churros ride in Lincoln Heights tomorrow.

This should be fun. Former pro Phil Gaimon, author of Draft Animals, will talk with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Pages bookstore in Manhattan Beach next Friday.

 

State

Calbike is collecting signatures in support of the Idaho Stop law, which will be before the state legislature next year.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a three-wheeled bike from a Costa Mesa man suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is offering $30 million in competitive grants for projects that will increase walking, biking and transit use.

Simi Valley police bust a bike thief who stole four bikes worth $10,000 from a truck belonging to an evacuee from the Thomas fire. But at least the victim had the sense to rescue his bikes from the fire first.

If you’re going to burglarize an Oxnard bike store, try to come up with a better escape plan than riding them away one at a time.

San Jose improves safety near a high school, including adding bollards to separate an existing bike lane.

Redding police are working with the National Bike Registry to register bicycles and help reduce bike theft. You can register your bike for free right here with Bike Index. But whatever service you choose to use, do it now — before it’s too late.

 

National

Momentum Magazine discusses the scientifically confirmed health benefits of urban bicycling, and even Dr. Oz says make time to ride a bike.

A new Kickstarter campaign promises to replace your current brake pads with brake lights that work without batteries, wires or friction generators.

LimeBike is working to solve the problem of irresponsible parking of their dockless bikeshare bikes in Seattle. I saw my first LimeBike, parked responsibly, at a coffee shop in DTLA yesterday, a long ride up from their home in LA’s port cities.

No, riding 350 miles from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas in five days is not a “mammoth cycling challenge,” even if it is for a good cause.

A new movie looks at the “whack jobs” who fat bike the snow covered Michigan backcountry in the dead of winter.

A Harvard Business School student is hoping to improve bike safety with a $24 neon yellow T-shirt reading Bikes May Use Full Lane, Change Lanes to Pass.

New York will try out a bike valet parking program near three transit hubs in the city.

 

International

A Toronto writer blames a popular bike lane for driving stores out of business, insisting that no one is using the path in the winter. Seriously, if your business can’t survive something like that, your problems go a lot deeper than a bike lane. And there’s a major lack of imagination on display if a bookstore owner can’t figure out how to make money off people who ride bikes.

Zac Efron is one of us, as is Hugh Jackman, while the latter nearly gets the former run over by a double decker bus in London traffic.

The Guardian looks at how tech is hopefully, but probably not, improving bicycling.

A British letter writer says cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads to weed out bad riders. After all, it works so well with drivers, right?

Scottish police are still looking for a man who disappeared without a trace while trying to ride his bike home in September.

One-third of Scottish children don’t receive bicycle safety training in school. That compares to nearly three-thirds in the US.

Former Indian Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi is one of us, too.

An Aussie driver gets a $500 fine and a three-month license suspension for driving with meth and THC in his system; remarkably, it was considered his first offense since he’d just gotten a new driver’s license after losing his previous license following seven — count ‘em, seven — previous DUI convictions, and eight convictions for driving without a license, as well as killing a 10-year old girl in 2003. Another example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. Some people simply shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Ever.

Caught on video: Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Chinese man jumps off his bike to save the life of an elderly woman who had fallen into a frozen river, breaking the ice with his bare hands to bring her to safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ella Cycling Tips recounts the most memorable moments of women’s cycling over the past year.

You’ve got to be kidding. Banned cyclist Riccardo Riccò swears he’ll once again be part of the pro peloton when his 12-year doping ban finally expires, and insists he’ll still be competitive when he returns at age 40. And that doping with drugs is better than motor doping.

Speaking of dopers, former pro Thomas Dekker’s tell-all book is now available in English.

Now that’s a real hero. A 26-year old Spanish man with cerebral palsy is planning to compete in a six day bike race across the Sahara Desert, despite being paralyzed in 76% of his body.

 

Finally…

No, repeatedly slamming a dockless bikeshare bike into the ground is not among the recommended uses for it. On the other hand, flooding someone’s yard with them may be.

And now you can get in on the cryptocurrency craze just by riding a bike.

Although you might have to move to Singapore first.

 

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