Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: Recapping the biking year that was, New Year’s bike resolutions, and one last ’tis the season

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

We have a lot of ground to catch up on after taking the holidays off, so grab your coffee and strap yourself in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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‘Tis the season for a long list of annual recaps.

People for Bikes lists their ten best ebike stories of the last year.

Bicycling offers the year’s most viral bike moments, while Pink Bike contents itself with the best mountain bike fails.

Bicycling also lists the 101 best products they tested over the past year. If you have time to click through all 100-plus pages, that is. Once you finish reading this, of course.

Road.cc remembers the ten most bizarre bicycling stories of 2018, from a hero Romanian dog to a hero British actor. And Kanye.

A Minnesota paper says goodbye to the year in labored verse.

CiclaValley looks back on his favorite Instagram moments of 2018.

And LA Bike Dad remembers 2018 as the year his bike got run over by a bus.

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‘Tis the season for resolutions, too.

Vancouver’s former chief planner offers some timely suggestions on how you can resolve to make your city better this year.

A British website offers 15 suggestions to improve bicycling in the country in the year to come.

If your New Year’s resolution was to ride your bike more, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has 45 good reasons to back that up — including a longer, healthier life.

And not only is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis one of us, she’s resolving to ride her bike more.

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‘Twas the season, too.

A North Carolina program gave away 773 bikes to kids on Christmas morning, for their 22nd straight year of bike donations.

Volunteers pitched in to build 200 bicycles donated by Trek for victims of November’s Woolsey Fire in the Malibu Hills, courtesy of the Westlake Village Trek store.

San Diego, uh, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon worked with Rally Cycling to give 100 inner city Gardena kids new bikes, helmets and locks.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson continued his annual tradition by giving away over 1,000 bicycles to kids in South LA.

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Lots of healthy bike news to report, as well.

A new study shows bicycling can help you live longer, even if you can only ride of weekends.

A writer for Bike Biz says bicycling could provide the antidote to childhood obesity.

Just six months of bicycling can improve thinking stills in older adults with cognitive impairments.

Egypt’s president gets on his bike to set an example after calling his countrymen and women fat. And gets ridiculed in response.

And forget the energy drinks, have a chocolate bar.

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Phil Gaimon continues to ruin a good retirement, this time going for KOMs on a pair of the South Bay’s favorite rides.

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Local

Get ready for the next round in Pasadena’s battle over unsafe streets, as the city holds a meeting next Tuesday to discuss a lane reduction and Complete Streets proposal for Cordova Street. If previous meetings are any indication, the city’s traffic safety deniers are likely to turn out in force to halt any hint of progress.

State

As of yesterday, you can legally leave your helmet at home when you ride a scooter. And you can be charged with hit-and-run if you ride off following a crash with another person on a bike path.

The good news is, a new law will require California drunk drivers to install interlock devices on their cars after a DUI conviction. The bad news is, they’ll be able to keep their licenses as a result. And don’t forget that Breathalyzers only detect alcohol use, and do nothing to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

Santa Ana builds Orange County’s first curb-protected, separated bike lane.

San Diego has started work on a 9.3 mile cycle track connecting the city’s downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. But those protected bike lanes aren’t protected yet, so needless to say, they’re being used as parking and traffic lanes.

A San Diego firefighter is riding across the US to honor his friend, who was killed fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in 2017.

It’s a San Diego trifecta, as letter writers respond to a letter in the Union-Tribune to insist that roads were built for us, too.

San Jose’s mayor is recovering from being hit by a driver on New Years Day, suffering a broken collarbone and chest bone, as well as injuries to his back and neck. Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

San Francisco struggles to find answers after hit-and-run deaths spike in 2018; Vision Zero deaths blamed on fleeing drivers more than doubled over the previous two years. Actually, finding solutions isn’t the problem; finding the political will to actually do something is.

So what did you do to celebrate your high school graduation? Chances are, it wasn’t a 4,200-mile ride across the US like this 18-year old Santa Rosa man.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

The New York Times says the West Coast is kicking the East Coast’s collective butt when it comes to transportation. And yes, they include Los Angeles in that.

Heidi Klum is one of us. So are her fiancé and kids.

The top bike city in Oregon probably isn’t the one you think.

To prevent doorings, Illinois residents will now be required to learn the Dutch reach to get a driver’s license.

Great story. After a Massachusetts man is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he dedicates whatever time he has left to putting underprivileged kids on bikes.

No bias here. A conservative Boston newspaper says the state’s new bike plan should take a hike, calling bikes a Victorian-era solution to 21st century problems.

It’s a New York trifecta, too, as Streetsblog says it should come as news that cars are the problem with our cities. And always were.

Vision Zero is working in New York, with traffic fatalities down for the fifth straight year, to the lowest level in 100 years.

Tragic news from the city, however, as a New York ebike rider was killed when he was doored by a cab driver, knocking him into the path of a car headed in the opposite direction. Doorings are among the most common types of bicycle crashes, but are seldom fatal.

In an editorial that could have been written in any city in the US — and most cities out of it — the Washington Post says too many people died in DC traffic collisions last year.

We may have problems getting bike lanes built in LA, but at least we don’t have to deal with Congress.

Writing in the Washington Post, a self-described occasional bike rider says he knows bicyclists don’t have all the answers on bike safety, because he was hit by one while he was walking in a park. And he wants bike riders to be required to have insurance and a license — or at least turn signals on their bikes, which wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest since he was hit from behind.

Normally it’s just drivers who are a pain in the ass. A South Carolina man may be riding his bike gingerly for awhile after a passing bicyclist shot him in the butt for no apparent reason.

International

The BBC explains how not to die on a bike.

An engineering website challenges any takers to improve on the design of the traditional diamond bike frame.

Bike Biz asks if ebikes could save the bicycling industry.

Bike culture is growing in Sonora, Mexico.

Fifteen years after breaking three ribs while working as a bike messenger, a Toronto woman is working to make sure other messengers have the financial help she didn’t.

Toronto’s mayor says the city’s Vision Zero program just isn’t working, despite investing $100 million in making changes over the past five years; advocates says it’s because the city hasn’t made the right changes. Los Angeles tried the opposite approach; don’t fund Vision Zero and don’t make any major changes, and just hope deaths go down.

It’s a Toronto trifecta, as well, as a driver writes that society is over governed, so people on bicycles should be, too. And drivers should be required to learn all those silly little traffic laws that they’re already required to know.

If you want to be invisible, ride a bike. A drone-flying couple disrupted thousands of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas, making their getaway in plain sight on bicycles. And while wearing hi-viz.

With the city’s transportation systems shut down for Christmas Day, Londoner’s take to bikeshare.

London-based Simon Cowell is one of us now. Whether we want him or not.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a reckless bike rider was fined the equivalent of less than $560 for crashing into a pedestrian, leaving the victim with life-changing brain injuries.

Business Insider takes a video look at how Copenhagen got its 7,500 miles of cycle tracks.

Oslo, Norway says it’s time to stop planning cities for cars and start planning for people, by banning cars from the city center.

An Indian entrepreneur says a little reflective tape could have prevented over 20,000 bicycling deaths in the country. Um, probably not.

A month after a married Indian man went missing on a solo cross-country bike tour and was presumed drowned, he was found safe and sound in a Mumbai motel. With his girlfriend.

NPR goes for a bike ride with a group of Pakistani women to see firsthand the abuse they suffer just trying to ride their bikes through a conservative Karachi slum.

Two new Aussie studies confirm what you already know — some drivers just don’t like people on bicycles, and won’t move over or slow down, regardless of what the law says.

In a desperate attempt to go viral, a Singaporean teen turns himself into a human crash test dummy, jumping off at the last second as he deliberately crashes a dockless bikeshare bike into a wall. If he really wanted to go viral, he should have stayed on the bike.

A foreign policy website considers the rise and fall of China’s dockless bikeshare companies. And asks what the hell happened.

Competitive Cycling

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Cycling Weekly ranks the ten best performances of the 2018 road cycling season, while Road.cc lists the ten biggest stories in the pro peloton, and Cycling News offers the ten biggest stories in pro cycling last year.

Chris Froome is planning to skip the Giro this year to focus on the Tour de France in an effort to tie the record for most victories. As long as you don’t count Lance, that is.

Finally…

If you’re going to build a track bike to honor one of history’s greatest cyclists of any color, try to get the date of his first championship right. If you’re going to steal a bike, maybe you should pick one that isn’t locked up in front of the police station.

And if you’re going to get drunk on the job, try not to ride your delivery bike into a cop.

Seriously.

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Thanks to Passion Beauty Inc and Terence H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

With your help, we raised nearly $2,100 to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And let’s all give a special thanks to Todd Rowell for his exceptionally generous donation of a new laptop keep BikinginLA online and, at long last, put an end to nearly a year of dead and dying laptop misery.  

Last chance to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy

Okay, that’s not true.

You’re more than welcome to make a donation to this site anytime.

But it’s the final weekend of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

The last two days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy during our one and only fundraising campaign of the year.

And the only time we’ll come right out and ask for your support.

Or beg, even.

It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small, to help keep this site coming your way every day. And ensure the Corgi has a little kibble under her tree Christmas morning.

So what are you waiting for, already?

Thanks to Evan B, Robert H and Karen K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: Bonin declares Mar Vista a Great Streets success, and LAPD gets it wrong with hi-viz for jaywalkers

It’s the last three days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

We’ll even take the change under your sofa cushions. Or whatever you have left once your holiday shopping is over.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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It looks like the traffic safety deniers were wrong. And the Mar Vista Great Streets project is here to stay.

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin released a four-minute video yesterday touting the success of the lane reductions and bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Despite the claims of opponents, who seemed to be operating from their own set of alternative facts, the newly configured road has resulted in far fewer serious crashes, while carrying just as much traffic, just as quickly, as it did prior to the new design.

In fact, peak travel times are only 30 seconds slower than before.

But while bicycle counts dropped 16 percent, the number of people walking on the street jumped by a full third over the year before. And Mar Vista business is booming.

So much for the specious claim that no one goes there anymore.

This is what one reader, who forwarded the video to me, had to say.

I’m sure you saw this, but Bonin just sent out a pretty encouraging video on Mar Vista Great Streets.

The 1-year LADOT report is apparently favorable on safety, bike/ped/scooter volumes, and (even) car travel times. (Not sure if the report is out yet.) Seleta Reynolds is recommending that the street configuration (i.e., bike lanes, I think) be made permanent, with Bonin recommending that as well.

They had some big numbers about business activity & business openings being *way* up year-on-year. (My take is this probably has more to do with the macroeconomy than the bike lanes, but it at least proves that bike lanes haven’t “killed” Mar Vista)…

Bonin also announced a bunch of traffic changes to reduce cut-through traffic on the side streets around Venice/Centinela, including some protected left turns and longer right-turn pockets on the arterials, as well as more stop signs on Victoria & Charnock.

I was hoping it’d be an announcement about more protected bike lanes, but after the last couple years, anything that’s not moving backward feels (alas) like a victory.

Unfortunately, the report hasn’t been released, and no word yet on when it will come out. Correction: The report was released the same day as the video; you can read it here. Thanks to Eric B for the heads-up.

And I’m sure whenever it does, opponents will once again deny virtually everything in it, just as they’ve done for the last year since the project was installed. Note: The traffic safety deniers are already hard at work in the comments to the YouTube video.

But maybe, just maybe, we can finally get city officials to start making decisions based on actual facts and real world experience, instead of just listening to whoever screams the loudest.

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An op-ed in the LA Times ridicules the LAPD’s program to give jaywalkers a reflective vest and clip-on lights in lieu of a ticket.

And justifiably so.

It goes on to say defensive walking is not the antidote for the city’s high rate of pedestrian deaths.

Or bike deaths, for that matter. 

Because, while we all need to take practical steps to protect ourselves, the real problem is cars, and the distracted and overly aggressive people in them.

And dressing up like a glow-in-the-dark clown isn’t the answer.

It should also be pointed out that every corner has crosswalk in every direction, painted or not, unless crossing is specifically prohibited with posted signage.

And jaywalking isn’t against the law unless there’s a signalized intersection on both ends of the block.

Too bad the LAPD doesn’t seem to think any of that is worth mentioning.

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Don’t make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today.

Local

Mashable promotes sale prices on a pair of bikes from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

The LA Times examines the practicality of Elon’s Folly, the underground tunnel system he promises will whisk cars at high speeds underneath Los Angeles. Although I’m in favor of anything that would get more cars off the streets, even if that means sending them down into the bowels of the earth.

State

No more $2 bus tours of Camp Pendleton any more, but you can still visit the Marine base by bike — if you plan ahead and apply for a permit in person, in advance.

San Francisco debunks the common argument that protected bike lanes will interfere with fire trucks. And moves forward with another protected lane as a result.

It’s been a deadly year in San Jose.

A Marin newspaper says Mill Valley’s new designation as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community is well-deserved.

National

The Seattle Times asks if Seattle’s new transportation director can build detente with the the city’s sparing drivers, bike riders, pedestrians and transit users, like he did in DC.

The former sex change capital of the world — and the halfway point by rail between Los Angeles and Chicago — will host the first Southwest Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival next May, combining a “love of the outdoors, bicycle fetishism and the obligatory live entertainment-and-partying.”

In a battle of letter writers, a Colorado Springs CO bike rider says he doesn’t want the bike lanes the city is forcing on residents, while another rider correctly notes that people on bikes are subsidizing the people in cars (2nd and 3rd letters).

‘Tis the season. A Chicago nonprofit refurbished 50 bicycles for kids in Gary, Indiana, part of the 1,400 bikes they donate in the Chicago area, and up to 8,000 bicycles they send to Latin America and Africa.

Condolences to bicyclists in Adrian MI, who are getting new sharrows and being told it’s infrastructure instead of what they really are, arrows designed to help drivers improve their aim.

Honda is testing a smart intersection system in an Ohio city that warns drivers if a pedestrian or bicyclist — or a red light running driver — is about to cross their path. But only if they have the connected car system installed.

Gothamist says New York bicycling deaths have plunged to a record low as the city built nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes this year. But Streetsblog says no they didn’t, unless you count five miles of lanes without protection as protected.

Frightening and inspiring story from New Jersey, as the long-time lawyer for the state’s governing body for high school sports makes a miraculous recovery from the nearly fatal bike crash that left him paralyzed, after the riders ahead of him went down on a high-speed group ride.

International

Cycling Weekly presents nine Christmas experiences every cyclist will recognize. Unless, of course, like me, you don’t.

Cycling Tips shares their favorite bikes of 2018, sans price tags, unfortunately. On the other hand, you can get a new and improved Oi bike bell for just $36.

No bias here. A British Columbia letter writer says new bike lanes in downtown Victoria have given bike riders a lawbreaking sense of entitlement.

The Evening Standard asks if soaring ebike sales could help London clean the air.

Yes, please. British police plan to use virtual reality to teach dangerous drivers what it feels like to be passed too closely.

BikeBiz says it will take a fresh approach to make the roads safer, as six UK bike and pedestrian advocacy groups band together to get more people riding.

A pair of bike riders are raising funds for charity by biking from London to Tokyo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, riding over 12,000 miles through 26 countries.

Bikes are being stolen from an English train station because the bike racks are merely bolted to the ground, allowing thieves to simply remove the bolts and walk off with the still-locked bicycle. Which is why you should never use a rack unless it’s embedded in the concrete.

A police union official says separate rules for bikes, ebikes, scooters, mini electric cars and hoverboards are turning bike lanes in the Netherlands into a living hell. Raise your hand if you’d gladly trade the streets you ride for Dutch bikeways, hell or otherwise.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands is investing the equivalent of $390 million to build 15 bicycle freeways and an additional 25,000 bicycle parking spaces to get another 200,000 commuters on two wheels — and paying bike commuters 22¢ a mile to ride to work.

A Palestinian writer calls on the UK to cut ties with what he calls Israel’s oppressive regime, saying he’s being sent to prison for riding a bike during a protest.

No bias here. A Hong Kong letter writer asks who needs bicycles when you can use the city’s speedy, efficient transit system — especially when they annoy people like him.

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. The way to get a real — and legal — edge in bike racing is supercomputing.

Finally…

Is that a bikeable alley, or an overly realistic trompe l’oeil painting? When your annual bike ride is like a “naked Christmas episode of Doctor Who.”

And if you haven’t signed a pro cycling contract by the time you’re 11-years old, you’re already falling behind.

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Thanks to John C for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 


Morning Links: Sweating on your bike to improve your health, and Elon Musk’s Tesla Tunnel with a bike rack

Just four days left in the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Time’s running out to support SoCal’s leading source for bike news and advocacy. Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. 

Besides, you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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Let’s start with a pair of medical studies.

Mike Wilkinson forwards news of a new study that shows just six months of walking for bicycling may reverse cognitive decline. Although at that rate, it ma take me a couple years.

And don’t throw away your pills just yet. But a new British study shows working up a good sweat while riding can lower your blood pressure as well as prescription medication can.

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‘Tis the season. The Virginia Beach VA Rotary club teamed with a local Methodist church to collect and refurbish 45 bikes for underprivileged kids.

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Local

Elon Musk unveils his first test tunnel, with plans to solve urban traffic problems using modified Teslas on an underground track. And maybe even put a bike rack on the back. Meanwhile, Streetsblog calls it a bad joke.

State

Trek Bicycle Westlake Village in Thousand Oaks is working with volunteers to donate 200 bicycles to victims of the Woolsey Fire.

National

People for Bikes ranks the top 10 new protected bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles?

Streetsblog asks if e-scooters are unsafe at any speed, as the Centers for Disease Control — aka CDC — prepares to look into it.

Bike Snob says cars and great cities don’t go together, suggesting that to have the latter, we have to ban the former.

Snow biking in the Colorado high country near my hometown.

Chicago opens separate bike and pedestrian pathways along the lake front, as well as a flyover to keep both from having to deal with dangerous intersections.

Boston plans to use a peanut to improve bike and traffic safety.

New York added nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes in 2018, for a total of 45 in the past two years. Meanwhile, Los Angeles only added the semi-protected MyFigueroa.

Jacksonville FL is getting its first two-way cycle track, courtesy of a new road diet.

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes mistakes so you don’t have to.

It’s been a bad year in Trinidad and Tobago, where bicycling fatalities are up 300% over last year.

Cyclist explains why bikes make the perfect Christmas gift for the kids in your life. Grownups, too.

In business news, virtual cycling firm Zwift has raised $120 million to expand into esports; the company already has deals to operate cycling championships in Great Britain and Australia.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare bikes are about to jump to the UK and Ireland.

Police in Punjab, India are “adopting” ebikes in a pilot project.

A New Zealand man invents a detachable taillight assembly to keep your bike and rack from blocking your car’s lights.

The CEO of dockless bikeshare provider Ofo says the company nearly filed bankruptcy after misreading the market, in what would have been the biggest failure of a Chinese startup.

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Tosh van der Sande has been suspended by his Lotto-Soudal team after testing positive in a doping test. Thank goodness the doping era is over though, right?

Floyd’s Pro Cycling, the new Continental-level cycling team started by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner, is attracting top talent by promising riders they’ll get to compete on a variety of surfaces and types of racing.

Following in his dad’s tire tracks, a man sets out to finish the 120-mile, three-pass Colorado road race his father created.

A West Virginia woman uses a sports talent search to make the rare leap from high school wresting and soccer to track cycling Olympic hopeful.

Now you, too, can own the Van Gogh inspired bike that Giant gave Dutch cycling star Tom Dumoulin, for a low, low $22,000. Cutting off your ear to match the bike is optional.

Finally…

Pseudo cycling products for cheapskates. Chances are, those grey-bearded guys could drop you like freshman English.

And so could a 90-year old spin instructor.

Or maybe that’s just me.

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Thanks to James E and Darryl K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 



Morning Links: Bike theft victims wanted, how to use LA micromobility, and your right to take the lane

Just six days left in the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Time’s running out to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world.

Not to mention you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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If you’ve had your bike stolen, the new 24-hour Spectrum 1 News channel wants to talk to you. 

Reporter Jada Montemarano is looking to talk to current and former victims for a possible story on the bike theft epidemic. 

You can email her at [email protected] if you’ve got a stolen bike story to tell. 

Maybe shining a little light on bike theft will get the city to actually do something about it. 

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LA Curbed offers everything you need to know to use bikeshare, e-scooters and dockless bikes in the City of Angels, but probably hadn’t thought to ask. 

The field has gotten more crowded in the past weeks, as Jump has dumped both ebikes and e-scooters onto the streets, while Lyft and Razor — yes, that Razor — have jumped into the LA scooter wars. 

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Cycling Savvy has released a new video just for California bike riders spelling out our legal right to take the lane under most circumstances. 

As instructor Gary Cziko explains, 

“The exceptions to the far-to-the-right requirement of CVC 21202 provide clear recognition by the vehicle code that bicycling far to the right often exposes bicyclists to unnecessaryrisk, and makes it legal to avoid this risk by controlling the lane.”

Thanks to Cziko and our old friend Karen Karabell for the heads-up. 

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The LACBC is hosting their last Operation Firefly event to provide free bike lights in Pasadena tonight. 

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‘Tis the season.  

Canadians are taking their Christmas trees home by bike

Thirty Santas, elves and other assorted holiday types turned out for a Santa ride in the unlikely location of Fethiye, Turkey.

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Local 

An op-ed in the LA Times says Los Angeles doesn’t have to be a city of parking lots, in part thanks to bicycles, bike lanes and the growth of micromobility. UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup has said DTLA has more parking per acre than anywhere else on Earth. So why are we wasting valuable curb space to provide car storage at the city’s expense when it could be put to better use?

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the LA Daily News, which takes a look at the safety improvements, including separate bike lanes, along La Tuna Canyon in the San Fernando Valley.  

How the popular Rock Store survived the Woolsey Fire that scorched the section of Mulholland Highway known as The Snake

State

The CHP highlights changes in traffic laws on January 1st, including one that removes any doubt that bike riders are subject to hit-and-run laws on Class 1 bikeways. In addition, bike riders under 18 will now get fix-it tickets if they’re caught riding without a helmet, while adults will no longer need one to ride an e-scooter. But you still can if you want. 

Great offer from the San Diego Bicycle Coalition. They’ll give the first 100 people who donate $50 to the group a free Boomerang CycloTrac GPS anti-theft system

National

A writer for Boing Boing sums up his experience commuting by ebike, calling it a total game changer for non-cyclists. 

Smart Cities Dive gazes deep into its crystal ball to look far into the future, and predicts what’s in store for dockless bikes and scooters in the year to come

A Hawaiian woman celebrates her 40th birthday with a 40-mile uphill ride into the wind from the ocean to the top of Maunakea on the Big Island, finishing in a not-so-speedy eight hours. 

Seattle questions whether the city’s water taxi service should charge extra to bring bicycles onboard

Uber executives were warned in advance that its self-driving cars were too dangerous not long before one hit and killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona. That jackpot sound you hear is her lawyers calculating just how much that bit of information will cost Uber in the inevitable settlement

La Crosse WI will remove bike lane markers along one of the city’s busiest streets to avoid confusion caused by new bulb-outs. Which, of course, will probably cause more confusion

The vice mayor of Cambridge MA calls for lowering speed limits to 20 mph throughout the city, while bike riders would be happy just to get cars out of the bike lanes. 

International

The Conversation says Toronto history proves that induced demand works for bicycles, too. 

A rose by any other name. London will rebrand their cycle superhighways to “detoxify” the image that they’re nothing more than motorways for Lycra louts. 

London announces a five-year plan to triple the amount of protected bike lanes to form a single, unified bike network across the city to get more people onto their bikes. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has its own 25-year bike plan to get more people riding, which is currently on the shelf gathering dust, and likely to stay there for the foreseeable future

A Welsh driver admits to running over the 75-year old mother of British cycling hero Chris Boardman after she fell off her bike in a roundabout. 

British insurers are surprised to learn they’re going to be offering a discount to bicyclists who pass the country’s Bikeability class.  

A Polish radio station is holding an on-air auction today to benefit 72-year old former Olympic cycling medalist Ryszard Szurkowski, who was paralyzed after crashing in a masters race in Germany last June. 

Over 5,000 people have signed up to use the 300 ebikes in New Delhi’s new bikeshare system

Competitive Cycling

The toughest rider in this year’s Tour de France tells his story firsthand for the first time, as American Lawson Craddock describes what it was like to ride the entire race with a broken collarbone.

VeloNews talks with the incredible Katie Compton about her 15th consecutive national cyclocross title. Next year they should just hand her the trophy, and let everyone else fight it out for second place

Finally…

That feeling when your endo goes viral in a friend’s selfie. And the perfect bicycle for when you have an extra ten grand burning a hole in your bike budget.

Or you could just buy five to ten pretty damn good bikes, instead. 

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Thanks to Anne F, Dennis E and George W for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Rapley death leads to effort to catch texting drivers, and more holiday bike giveaways

It’s the last week of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Give today, and join the 37 generous people who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. And help keep this site coming your way every day.

Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world.

Not to mention you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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The death of an Australian tourist on an LA roadway has led to safety improvements Down Under. 

James Rapley was riding on Temescal Canyon while on an extended layover at LAX on his way back home for the holidays five years ago when he was run down by a stoned and distracted driver who drifted into the bike lane.

Now one of his best friends has developed a camera system designed to catch distracted drivers, and keep anyone else from dying needlessly. 

The system, from a company called Acusensus, works like a red light camera, capturing photos of distracted drivers and mailing them tickets. 

While no tickets have been issued yet, a four week test of the technology this past October captured an average of 11,000 drivers a day using their phones illegally

Something like that would probably require a law change here. But it might finally get California drivers to put down their damn phones and pay attention to the road ahead of them. 

And possibly avoid thousands of needless deaths and injuries every year. 

Then maybe Rapley’s death won’t have been in vain.

On a related note, I worked with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and LADOT to push for a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley was killed. 

However, the plan LADOT developed for a road diet on Temescal with a protected bike lane on the uphill side and a separated bike lane on the downhill side met local opposition from Palisades homeowners in its only public presentation.

And was quietly shelved following the tumult over the Playa del Rey road diets in Bonin’s district. 

Let’s hope sanity returns someday, and the plan can be revived before anyone else gets killed. 

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‘Tis the season. 

couple dozen Idaho kids got new bikes, along with free helmets, air pumps and water bottles in a holiday giveaway. 

Hundreds of Detroit kids got free refurbished bikes and helmets from Free Bikes 4 Kids

A Roman Catholic priest, one of 700 selected by Pope Francis to travel the world doing good deeds, gave every 2nd grader in a Kentucky school a new bike and helmet from Trek.   

A London neighborhood sees over 500 cycling Santas turn out on BMX bikes

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Horrifying security video captures the moment an Australian bicyclist was run down from behind by a driver high on meth, who then continues on to hit a pedestrian and another car. 

No word on whether the victim was injured, or how badly. 

But fair warning, before you push play, be sure this is something you really want to see. The video is graphic and disturbing, and you can’t unsee it. 

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run while riding on La Tuna Canyon with his adult son last year, Los Angeles officials unveiled a new separated bike lane and other safety improvements along the dangerous roadway

This is the cost of traffic violence. Two nine-year old girls are battling for their lives after suffering “massive” head trauma in a street racing crash; one driver was arrested, while the other fled the scene. 

Bird briefly flocked to Redondo Beach on Thursday, only to have its wings clipped and unceremoniously ordered to get the flock out of town by Sunday. 

State

Seriously, don’t kill the newtsThanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up

San Diego’s Holiday Joy Ride shines a light on safety improvements in the city, with many new projects set to be unveiled in the coming year.

North San Diego County bicyclists rode to honor bike and pedestrian safety advocate Roberta Walker, who was critically injured in a crash while riding her bike recently. 

After a bike rider was killed by a speeding driver on Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage, local bicyclists express their concerns about the dangerous roadway. And the local TV station offers tips on how bicyclists can stay safe, without a single word on how drivers should slow down and avoid killing people. 

An Oakland news site operated by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a video report on the latest plan to complete the bike path on the Bay Bridge.

National

In yet another blow to alternative transportation, the Trump administration is converting the popular TIGER grantsthat helped build bike and walkways across the US into a highway building program. 

That energy drink could mess with your blood flow

A Seattle judge sends the city back to the drawing board, ruling in favor of a coalition of maritime and industrial businesses who sued to halt the proposed completion of an 18-mile bike path that’s been in the works for over thirty years. 

A local paper says a planned redo of I-70 through Colorado’s Vail Pass will have to balance the needs of motorists, bicyclists and wildlife; a bike advocate says some sections of the existing bike path through the Rockies are terrifying in places where it runs too close to the freeway. 

Wichita Falls TX bicyclist calls attention to the dangers bike riders face in the city after he was hit from behind with no warning by a drunken motorcyclist. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin state senator praises the country’s longest serving state legislator, who she calls the dean of the senate — and who rode nearly 3,000 spandex-clad miles this year at 91-years old.  

Connecticut Public Radio discusses the origin of bicycles, and how bikes paved the way for the women’s movement over a century ago

After a New York ebike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, the NYPD trips over itself to blame the victim and exonerate the missing driver.  

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times says urban areas around the world are getting the message that cities are for people, not carsMaybe Los Angeles will finally figure that out someday

An op-ed in the Washington Post says traffic laws are universally ignored, and safety will never improve until drivers have to pay for breaking the law

An Orlando FL plastic surgeon says bike riders have to be taught traffic laws, and the laws have to be enforced to improve safety. In other words, he’s blaming the people on bikes for getting hit by cars, and not the people who hit them.  

International

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are calling for a permanent memorial where a bike rider was killed by a cab driver earlier this month, saying the death can’t be swept under the rug. 

Life is cheap in London, where a dump truck driver walked with a suspended sentence in the death of a pregnant woman as she rode her bike. 

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton gets back on her bike for the first time since giving birth in October. 

Troubling piece from a gay couple who biked along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as Brexit throws the border into question, and find gay people hidden deeply in the closet and a revival of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants waiting just under the surface.

A new competition-winning Dutch app enables employers to track bike commuters to pay them for riding to work

Thousands of people in Kathmandu continue to ride their bikes, despite the dangers and chaotic traffic — including missing manhole covers exposing open sewers. 

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist says it’s okay if he hates on bikeways as a ridiculous waste of money, because he rides a bike himself. Sure, let’s go with that

Competitive Cycling

Normally, Stephen Hyde’s third consecutive US national cyclocross championship would be damned impressive. Except the incomparable Katie Compton just won her 15th in a rowYes, fifteen

The former long-time coach of the late, lamented Jelly Belly team has found a new sponsor, allowing him to continue fielding a Continental-level cycling team

Sad news from the UK, where a court heard a cyclist died of a heroin overdose, driven in part by a crippling fear of urinating in public, which prevented him from turning pro over his fears of being forced to take drug tests in front of a witness. 

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.  

Finally…

Even the trees are out to get us.  Strava Santa is coming to town

And not everyone wants cycling gear for ChristmasThat’s okay; I’ll gladly take whatever he doesn’t want


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Thanks to James van G and Mitchell D for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Lime wins LA approvals, other cities fight climate change while LA does nothing, and snipping Ottolock

Lime has become the second company to win official approval to deploy scooters in the City of Los Angeles. 

The company follows Uber-owned JUMP, which received its permit a month ago

However, the hopes of many Angelenos that Lime would bring its dockless ebikes to the streets of LA may remain unfulfilled, at least for now. 

This is the press release Lime sent out yesterday announcing the approval

Scooter photo from Lime website.

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Leave it to Minnesotans to show LA’s supposedly progressive leaders how to deal with traffic and climate change.  

As part of the city’s new housing and transportation plan, Minneapolis is eliminating parking minimums throughout the city

But that’s just the beginning. 

The plan calls for discouraging new surface parking lots, and prohibits new gas stations and drive-throughs. It also bans auto-oriented land use, such as auto repair shops, near transit stations, along with even stricter parking restrictions.

And in a move that would send Los Angeles NIMBYs running to their lawyers, it calls for increased density near traffic, and allows triplex apartments in every neighborhood — even those currently zoned for single family homes. 

The goal is to — wait for it — cut the number of local driving trips by 40%, while reducing emissions 80% in the next 30 years.

Compare that to the current Los Angeles policy, which is to hope that self-driving electric cars will somehow magically save us from having to make any tough choices. 

Good luck with that. 

These are all actions LA should take as quickly as possible, since California is already failing to meet its climate change goals.

And would, if the actions of our “progressive” leaders equalled their pro-environment, anti-climate change words. 

Instead, they’ll continue to fiddle while Rome burns in fear of further aggravating already angry drivers, and the dwindling number of homeowners who can actually afford a million-dollar single family starter home. 

Never mind making the hard choices the city, and our world, demand. 

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A little closer to home, Sacramento followed the Minneapolis model by voting to ban new gas stations, drive-through restaurants and auto repair shops within a quarter mile of light rail stations, while requiring a conditional use permit with a half mile. 

The city will also eliminate off-street parking requirements within a quarter mile, and loosen restrictions in a half-mile radius around transit stations. 

Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, 

<crickets>

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Evidently, the popular Kickstarter sensation the Ottolock may be pretty and convenient, but may not protect your bike from thieves

In fact, it can apparently be cut through in just seconds. 

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It may not be the Twelve Days of Christmas yet.

But it is first day of the last 12 days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, as we begin the final countdown on our year-end fundraiser!

Please take a few moments to join the 34 others who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, and help keep this site coming your way every day.

You can donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. Then write off the full cost on your taxes next year!

………

Local

LA County approved 58 miles of multi-use, hiking, mountain-biking and equestrian trails in the Santa Susana Mountains near Santa Clarita. 

Bicycling looks at the international manhunt that belatedly brought Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes to justice in the hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez, Jr. as he rode to work in Whittier nearly two years ago. 

CiclaValley continues his tale of ‘cross crashes and victory

State

San Diego bike advocates cautiously support the creation of a new mobility board that combines the previous bicycle advisory and parking advisory boards. Yes, parking.  

The planned Complete Streets makeover of San Francisco’s Market Street gets a $15 million infusion from the feds

Marin residents debate whether to allow ebikes on the trails recognized as the birthplace of mountain biking, as bike riders explain how the bikes allowed them to return to the activity they love, despite advancing age, illness and injuries. The local paper sort ofendorses approving ebikes, while saying safety is paramount

Napa bicyclists are giving back with their time and money to help maintain the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

National

People For Bikes calls for mobility for all

Steve Carell is one of us, describing his “fun fan encounter” with the woman who ran him down from behind on his bike. Eighty-eight-year old Gene Hackman is one of us, too.

Clean Technica says urban planners should ignore the reactionary anti-ebike steps taken by Israel and New York, because ebikes offer strong benefits to cities and counties

Pink Bike considers the future of bike industry trade shows in a wake of Interbike’s announcement it won’t hold a show in 2019. Or maybe ever. 

No surprise here. Oregon’s $15 tax on the sale of all new bicycles over $200 is bringing in far less revenue than expected, collecting less than half of the projected $2.1 million

This is why people continue to die on our streets. After a 92-year old holocaust survivor was killed by an Oregon motorist, the local police rushed to blame the victim and exonerate the driver.

The Seattle Times endorses plans to complete the missing link in a 20-mile bike trail with a protected bike lane in the public right-of-way, despite alternative facts from area business owners. 

A Washington man who helped preserve the area’s last undeveloped natural space will be honored with a permanent memorial where he died after suffering an aneurism while mountain biking. 

The usual debate over bike lanes and road diets rears its ugly head in Colorado Springs CO, as supporters and opponents confront the topic at a city council meeting

‘Tis the season. Residents at a Wisconsin retirement home received two three-wheeled pedicabs from the Cycling Without Age program as an early holiday present. 

Boston bike riders want to city to cancel plans to remove flex posts that mark a protected bike lane on a bridge over the Charles River; the city plans to take them out to make it easier to salt and plow the bridge for motorists. 

The usual battle over who owns the streets is heating up in Harrisburg PA, as the city installs a number of projects intended to slow traffic and give more space back to local residents, bicyclists and pedestrians. 

International

A lawyer and former paramedic describes what it’s like to be on the receiving end of emergency treatment after experiencing the dreaded death wobble while descending on his bike at 40 mph. 

Not only did the authors of Vancouver’s Modacity bring their own Christmas tree home by bicycle, they’re collecting photos of other people around the world doing the same thing

Victoria, British Columbia asks the court to dismiss a lawsuit from the Canadian Federation of the Blind alleging that the design of the city’s protected bike lanes violate the human rights of sightless people. 

London plans to remove parking to make room for the first of the city’s cycle superhighways in South London.  

No bias here. A British paper automatically concludes a bike rider was at fault in a road rage dispute with a London cab driver who accused him of riding off after crashing into a pedestrian. From what I can see, they both come off as a pair of total jerks

The UK’s Cycling magazine offersa reminder that booze and bicycling don’t mix

Oslo crowdsources traffic data using children biking and walking to school. And discovers it works better than expected. 

Bikeshare comes to the streets of Tehran

Syrian social movement has gotten over 4,000 women on bicycles, despite harassing catcalls and a country disrupted by civil war. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. The curator of South Africa’s world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden died after he was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this month. 

A pair of ill-prepared roadies take part in The Pioneer trail race in New Zealand, part of the grueling Cape Series. 

No shit. The widow of an Australian bicyclist complains about the inadequate charges against a road raging driver who caused his death after getting out of his car to confront him; he faces a maximum of a lousy two years for three traffic offenses. 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprise announcement, British broadcaster Sky is pulling the plug on its sponsorship of Team Sky after next season, leaving the future of the cycling’s most dominant team up in the air.  Meanwhile, the BBC asks why now and what’s next?

As Sky leaves, McLaren moves in. The English Formula One giant will become half owner of Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team.

Rouleur continues its interview with cycling great Bernard Hinault

Finally…

Forget Rapha; now you can wear Peter Sagan.  Bicycling’s most WTF moments of 2018.

And now you’ll be able to get a safety warning from the driverless car that’s about to run you down. 

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Thanks to Michael W for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep this site coming to your screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

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Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

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Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

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It’s Day 20 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

If you haven’t donated yet to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, please give today to BikinginLA coming your screen every morning.

You can donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, and the email address on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

………

Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

Morning Links: Rampart Village NC considers Mobility Bill of Rights and banning Vision Zero tonight

It’s Day 19 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle using the banking app that’s already on your phone.

………

Call it the good, and the really, really ugly. 

The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal at tonight’s meeting to embrace a revival of the moribund Cyclists Bill of Rights, now dubbed the Mobility Bill of Rights.  Which was sort-of adopted by the LA city council ten years ago at the behest of the late Bill Rosendahl, then promptly forgotten. 

“10. Discussion and possible Action on – the recommendation from the President to take a position on the Bike Writer’s Coalition (BWC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council claims & asserts the aspirational document known as “The Mobility Bill of Rights”; RVNC embraces the public space of our community & the City at-large by proclaiming that “Streets are for People!” “

That’s the good. 

The ugly is the following motion to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures — the few that have actually been installed, anyway — and return Los Angeles to its deadly, exclusively auto-centric recent past. 

“11. Discussion and/or Possible Action on – the recommendation from the Executive Committee to take a position on the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council demands that the city enforce the laws & within 30 days of our demand to start the process to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures, including but, not limited to the controversial road diets.”

Let’s hope enough people show up to halt this misleading and dangerous motion put forward by the traffic safety deniers behind groups like Keep LA Moving

Thanks to Stephen Box for the heads-up

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David Drexler forwards a photo of a menorah bike, captured at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade on the next to last might of Chanukah. 

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Local

Midnight Ridazz host their annual All City Toy Ride this Friday

An LA Times op-ed says yes, you can have free public transit and traffic-free roads, thanks to the miracle of congestion pricing. 

Another Times op-ed takes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to task for talking the talk on climate change, but failing to walk the walk by failing to acknowledge, let alone address, climbing driving rates. Yet oddly, the authors fail to even mention bicycling

Environmental groups complain about Metro’s exclusively auto-focused plans to mitigate traffic caused by the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, with bike and transit improvements left for discussion some unspecified time in the future. Or not

feeder ride will roll out from the Spoke Bicycle Café on Saturday in support of the March for Public Education at LA City Hall. 

date has been set for the next 626 Golden Streets open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley; the new route will pass through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel on May 19th. 

State

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist was nearly run down by a police officer using the bike lane he was in as a passing lane to zoom by slower traffic, sans lights and siren. 

This is who we share the roads with. Palo Alto police are looking for a driver who exposed himself to a woman as she rode her bike, masturbating behind the wheel as he stared at her. Let’s hope they find the jerk and lock him away for a long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link

Davis considers making changes to its “Claw” curbside trash pickup, which can result in bike lanes blocked with trash when homeowners put it out incorrectly.  

National

A writer for Men’s Health attempts to jump starts his brain to see if it will make him a better cyclist

Pink Bike writes an obituary for the loved and hated Interbike trade show.

NBC News suggests better clothes for active commuters

A Portland paper takes a deep dive into Oregon bike crashes, and ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bicyclists; bike-friendly Portland is number two. 

four-lane Chicago-area highway could go on a diet to make room for bicycles. 

Chicago’s dwindling bike messengers want the same access to commercial buildings that food delivery riders enjoy

Here’s one problem LA bike riders don’t have. Boston will remove flex posts separating a bike lane from car traffic to make it easier to salt and plow snow and ice on the bridge they’re on.

New York startup is placing expandable pods on a Manhattan street to provide bike riders with a safe and convenient place to park on a subscription basis. 

The New York Times discusses the lack of bikeshare options for people with disabilities; ebikes can help some would-be riders, but even those are in short supply. And adaptive bikes are virtually nonexistent. 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips discovers firsthand what it takes to ride a solo double century

A new report details the problem of police profiling in Toronto, including a black man who was arbitrarily stopped while riding in a bike lane.

UK bike writer Laura Laker questions whether cracking down on bicyclists will really improve safety, concluding that as long as the government listens to the most hysterical voices, rather than the evidence, nothing will change. 

Bighearted British bike riders deliver hundreds of teddy bears to the ICU unit of a local hospital. 

A Spanish carmaker most of us have never heard of promises their new radar system will detect the “telltale signature of bicycles travelling in the same direction” so their cars won’t run you over. 

An education news site looks at the growth of bicycling in BerlinAlthough the story appears to be so badly translated that it might be easier to read in the original German

Here’s a list of roads to avoid if your travels happen to take you to Dubai on Friday. Unless, of course, you plan to participate in what organizers call the biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East.

No bias here. The political editor of a New Zealand newspaper complains about spending tax money to build bikeways he says no one wants and few will ever ride. And that the need for safety for people on bikes pales in comparison to improving safety for the people in cars. No, really.

It’s time for more women to start riding, because Australia’s MAMILs are lonely. 

The King of Thailand led several thousand people in a nationwide Bike for Love and Warmth to celebrate the opening of a month-long fair. 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers an obituary of the late bicycling broadcaster Paul Sherwen; a childhood in Kenya made him the only cyclist in the 70s pro peloton who could speak Swahili. 

Finally…

Riding the famous Chisholm Trail; no, the one in the UK. Maybe you can’t drive safely while on your phone after all. 

And you have a serious problem when your alibi for DUI is claiming you were merely texting, instead.

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Thanks to Lisa G for her generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Morning Links: Raising funds for Woon’s baby, the Onion satirizes LA bike lanes, and taps for WeHo Pedals

And we’re back!

Let’s start with a special thanks to Steve S for debugging the new WordPress upgrade to get us back online in time for today’s post. 

Now grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for awhile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing Friday’s post. 

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It’s Day 18 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your screen every morning.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make this a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Let’s start with a small ray of hope this holiday season. 

A baby sized ray, in fact. 

Last April, Frederick “Woon” Frazier was run down by a heartless hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA. 

Now his infant son is just days from being born, eight months after Woon was killed. A tiny miracle bringing hope and joy to a family so desperately in need of it. 

Even if he will have to grow up and spend his entire life without a father. And without a father’s emotional or financial support. 

But you can help with the last part, anyway. 

crowdfunding campaign is raising money for his son to help cover medical costs related to the birth, and help him get off to the best possible start in life. 

Meanwhile, his killer has still not been charged, despite turning herself in a month later as police were closing in. And after painting her white SUV black in an attempt to cover up the crime

His mother, who has been outspoken in her calls for justice, is asking everyone to turn out for a candlelight Christmas vigil this Wednesday at the site where Woon was killed. Both to remember her son, and to renew the call to prosecute his killer. 

Thanks to Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up

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The Onion discovers the nation’s worst bike city, writing with satirical tongue planted firmly in cheek that LA will add a buffer lane for bike riders to recover after they’re hit by a car

 “L.A. has fallen short of bike-friendly places like Portland and Philadelphia for years, which is why the City Council voted today in a landslide 11-0 decision to finally create a bright green pathway where you can get doored and safely roll around, clutching your knee and writhing in unbearable agony,” said mayor Eric Garcetti… “Countless accidents occur every day because of our poor cycling infrastructure, reckless motorists, and many other factors within our control, but luckily Central L.A. will soon have miles of road fully dedicated to letting riders regain consciousness from these collisions. Never again will you be side-swiped, rear-ended, or cut off by a distracted Uber driver without having a place to tend to your wounds.”

Maybe a little open ridicule will be enough to get city officials off their metaphorical asses and actually do something non-satirical to improve safety. 

We can dream, can’t we?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the tip. 

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That music you hear isn’t Jingle Bells. It’s the sound of Taps for West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare program. 

The city is pulling the plug on its docked bikeshare system after two years of low ridership and mounting financial losses, and considering opening the door to dockless bikeshare providers as a replacement

Although oddly, not reconsidering their ill-conceived ban on e-scooters.

Much of the blame falls on WeHo’s lack of bike lanes, as well as a sparsity of docking locations in much of the city. And the lack of ebikes didn’t help users navigate the steep hills leading up to Sunset Blvd. 

Unfortunately, the closure will leave a large gap in the planned Westside bikeshare system, which was intended to link Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, UCLA and West Hollywood in a single, interoperable network. 

It’s questionable how long the others will be able to survive without private sponsorship, and as dockless ebikes and scooters dominate the bikeshare landscape. 

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Bad news from North San Diego County. 

Community leader and bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker was critically injured when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Encinitas around 6 am Saturday. 

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Walker was riding on North Coast Highway 101 near Phoebe Street when she was run down, resulting in serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. 

In a tragic irony, she was hit while riding on a section of the Coast Highway where she had advocated for significant safety improvements, including roundabouts and bike lanes, as part of the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project.

Thanks to JMK for the link

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Congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman on being named the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

I’m told he’ll take the helm of the LACBC in January, after moving over from his current position as ED of River LA

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Megan Lynch forwards word of a suspicious looking Craigslist post for a high-end recumbent. She identified the bike as a Haluzak Horizon, and says it’s very unusual for someone selling a bike like that to not know, or at least mention, the make and model. 

So if you know someone who’s had one stolen, give ‘em a heads-up. 

Lynch also says this one looks fishy, with three ‘bents available for sale in Santa Ana, but no brand listed for any of them. 

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After moving from Las Vegas to Reno this year, the Interbike trade show may have gone belly-up. Organizers have canceled the 2019 show, while making vague promises to return in 2020… somewhere. 

Bicycling Retailer says the country’s largest bicycle trade show died a needless death.  

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Before we go on, take a six-minute virtual self-supported mountain bike ride across the beautiful and treacherous volcanic Icelandic landscape.

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Local

We’re not the only ones raising funds this month. Streetsblog LA is holding a fundraiser, hoping to raise $10,000 before the first of the year

Bike Talk features Scott Gamzon and Terrence Heuston of Keep Rowena Safe talking about their efforts to fight attempts to rip out the successful road diet and bike lanes

Metro CEO Phil Washington made what may or may not have been a serious suggestion to implement congestion pricing, and use the money to make transit free

Good Twitter thread from Greg Spotts on where the newly arrived Lyft scooters aren’t welcome to be left or rented on the Westside. 

Forbes profiles Los Angeles-based Kym Perfetto, who’s gone from bike messenger to one of the first SoulCycle instructors to fitness social influencer, riding her bicycle across North and South America, Europe and Japan in the process. 

Riding a bike across the US may be challenging. But it’s nothing compared to a paraplegic Hollywood man rolling across the country in a hand-propelled wheelchair

The LAPD is forming a task force to deal with the rising rate of stolen bikes in the Venice area, as well as a number of open air bike chop shops. 

Curbed dubs Santa Monica the ebike and e-scooter capital of the world

The new Spectrum News 1 channel examines Santa Monica’s efforts to corral dockless bikes and scooters in designated parking areas.

State

Apparently, it takes two years for Cathedral City bicyclists to take off their clothes

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer complains about the county’s bicycle obsession and the money spent on bikeways, saying “bicycles should be registered and pay.” Never mind that dangerous drivers are the only reason we need safe bike lanes and paths. Or that bicycles don’t actually have any money.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city with crumbling pavement. Berkeley’s streets are falling apart, with no plans to pave anything this year

Tragic news from San Francisco, where a surfer died after being revived by paramedics; a passing bicyclist called 911 when he spotted the man floating unconscious in the water. 

A Marin public workshop will consider whether e-bikes should be allowed on the mountain considered the birthplace of mountain biking

National

A new report from American Progress says the dawn of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to redesign the surface transportation system to prioritize the needs of nonautomotive users, calling it a “transportation and urban development imperative.” 

Nice piece from Bicycling about a woman who cured her depression by taking off on cross-country ride with her ‘bent, a dog and a violin, traveling 4,000 miles, 12 miles at time. Then decided to kep going across Canada. And plans on riding the Pan-American Highway to Argentina next year.

Cycling Industry News asks if belt drive bikes are bad for local bike shops

Wired considers how e-scooters could save our cities

Seattle blames historic wet weather for a 20% drop in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, a local magazine makes the case for e-scooters after the city’s mayor call them too dangerous for the streets.

New Mexican bicyclist says he’s throwing in the towel because the cars have won. 

A local writer recommends biking Colorado’s Vail Pass from the top down, while a columnist in nearby Aspen suggests beating the winter blues by riding a bike during ski season

Denver plans to move e-scooters to the bike lanes, allowing users to ride on the sidewalk only when other options aren’t available — and only at 6mph. 

Baltimore has passed a Complete Streets law, requiring all new street construction to have a bike and pedestrian friendly design.  

A North Carolina pastor is bicycling across Africa to bring fresh water to the continent

International

Vancouver bicyclists rode in honor of a 72-year old bike advocate who died after falling off his bike. 

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored when a truck passenger opens a door into him. 

A bighearted 14-year old Yazidi boy who had been an ISIS captive is behind a Winnipeg program to provide his fellow refugee children with bicycles; thanks to a contribution from an American man, he’s been able to distribute 100 bikes so far. 

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has Christmas lunch at the world’s “oldest, poshest and most eccentric” — and exclusively male — Dickensian bike club.

London is the latest international city to get Lime’s e-assist dockless bikes.

A British bike rider is calling for more bike racks at the entrance to a local mall, after counting 200 empty bike racks hidden in the back. American bicyclists would be happy for any bike racks at most malls

Britain’s Cyclist magazine employs a wind tunnel in an attempt to answer what’s the best descending positionIn my case, it’s whichever one keeps me in one piece until I reach the bottom. 

bike-riding serial butt slapper walks with probation for attacking 21 English women after the judge rules he’s too intellectually impaired to cope with life behind bars. And no, there’s not a damn thing funny about that

The idea that won’t go away. A Swedish company is following in Volvo’s footsteps by encouraging bike riders, pedestrians and yes, even pets, to spray themselves head-to-toe with an invisible reflective paint.

In a frightening story, a South African bike rider describes how he used his bike to fend off an attacker armed with a broken bottle until a passing motorist intervened with a Taser. 

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Kiwi bicyclists are still riding competitively in their 80s and 90s, with the youngest racer a spritely 79. 

No bias here, either. A new “pro-car” political party in New Zealand has its sights set on bicycling, calling it a “150-year-old technology that cars have virtually eliminated.”

Or here. An Aussie website says the roads are plagued by coffee-swilling middle-aged men in Lycra, and that cycling will never succeed in the country without an “international embargo on epilepsy-colored activewear and padded undies.”

new tongue-in-cheek study in the Medical Journal of Australia says yes, MAMILs exist, even if they don’t ride to work. 

An Australian website looks at the Melbourne company whose innovative bike bell took Kickstarter by storm

Quietly exploring Hokkaido, Japan by bicycle, where “motorists are ridiculously courteous.” Let’s hope that’s contagious

A new Korean startup hopes to boost bicycling by ending the problem of abandoned and thrown-away bicycles through fixing them up and putting them back on the street. 

Bangkok, Thailand closed down 25 streets on Sunday, as part of a nationwide ciclovia

China’s massive abandoned bikeshare bike dumps caught in pictures. 

Competitive Cycling

Hour record holder Bradley Wiggins says his time at the top will be short-lived, insisting Belgian pro Victor Campenaerts will beat his record next year

Lance Armstrong: venture capitalist

Finally…

How to suck at cycling. How to ride rollers for 24 straight hours without going crazy. If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, you might want to take your license plate with you.

And your next mountain bike could be a Lego

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Thanks to Ralph D, Kirsten B, Glen S and Janice H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

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