Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: More fallout from fatal Gardena police shooting; Lance calls the Froome kettle black

The LA Times reports on a deposition from the Gardena police sergeant who should have been in charge when officers fatally shot Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, but apparently wasn’t, as he explained his mindset and what led up to the shooting.

The unarmed victim was shot as he tried to explain that it was his brother’s bicycle that was stolen. And that the two men police had detained weren’t armed robbers, but just friends trying to help find the missing bike.

The officer had an audio recorder, but didn’t bother to turn it on because pushing that little button would have distracted him. And he admitted under oath that he had never seen a robbery suspect jog towards police, as Diaz-Zeferino did before they blew him away, and that he never saw a weapon, in the victim’s hands or anywhere else.

It should also be noted that the officers were all allowed to review the video before they gave their statements.

Meanwhile, the Times says a debate raged on social media over whether the shooting was justified, as the victim’s family calls for a federal probe of the department and their actions in the case.

………

NPR looks at the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France, on the first-ever African-based team. Previously, only beige Africans had competed in the race.

Starting today, Lance Armstrong will ride two Tour routes in advance of the race to raise money for charity; race leader Chris Froome calls Lance’s return a non-event.

Meanwhile, Froome is accused of cheating when he and his teammates look too fresh after crushing the competition on Tuesday’s final climb; his performance data may have been hacked, as well. And Lance, who should know, speculates that Froome and his Team Sky are too strong to be clean.

Francesco Reda faces a lifetime ban after testing positive for an EPO derivative at the Italian Championships last month; an Irish website accuses him of being a compulsive cheater.

Good news from Ivan Basso, who says everything’s fine after surgeons remove a testicle because of a possibly cancerous tumor. Now he has something else in common with Lance, besides a doping ban.

Newsmax absurdly asks if bicycling causes testicular cancer.

Caught on video: While the riders in the Tour de France may ride up the Alpe d’Huez, others are busy racing down it. And not on the roads.

………

Local

CiclaValley rides the rest of the Compton Creek bike path.

Santa Monica police announce more bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations later this month.

Times readers react to their recent story about proposed safety improvements to deadly PCH in the ‘Bu.

Pasadena is in the running for a $2.7 million Metro grant for a cycle track on Union Street.

 

State

A Palm Springs resident suggests breaking up the proposed 50-mile bikeway linking cities in the Coachella Valley. Which would pretty much make the whole thing useless.

A teenage Port Hueneme bike rider was seriously injured when he was hit by a van while riding in a crosswalk. Those seem to be dangerous places for people on bikes lately.

When you’re carrying heroin and already high on some controlled substance, don’t try to steal a bike from a Santa Clara college campus. And don’t try to avoid cops by suddenly riding in the opposite direction, which isn’t suspicious at all.

Family and friends pay final respects to the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver as he and his son rode in a Sacramento bike lane. Something that may happen more often, as cell phone use by California drivers is on the rise.

 

National

Twenty-nine states don’t have any laws prohibiting bicycling under the influence; California isn’t one of them.

A writer for Deadspin takes a long and painful journey learning to ride a bike as an adult.

Investigators concluded that a Spokane bicyclist just happened to fatally fall in the vicinity of a speeding patrol car — even though the victim’s DNA was found on the car’s bumper.

Once again, the Orangetheory Fitness chain is shocked to learn that some people think their promotional orange bikes mock ghost bikes, this time in Spokane. Oddly, they appeared to be just as shocked in every other city they’ve pulled the same stunt in.

A rider in my hometown spots someone else riding his stolen bike; police help him recover it. But seriously, if you spot someone riding your bike, don’t threaten to slit his throat with a pocketknife.

A Chicago cyclist was wearing headphones when he tried to ride around railroad crossing barriers, with tragically predictable results.

Black cycling clubs from across the county gather in Minneapolis to ride bikes and talk equity.

An Indianapolis driver flees the scene after running over a bike rider’s arm.

The Brooklyn borough president calls for safer streets in the wake of a bicycling fatality.

U2 front man Bono says he’s getting there after being injured riding his bike in New York’s Central Park, but still can’t play guitar due to nerve damage.

Bike riders face challenges on DC’s Capital Hill. A cyclist got a speeding ticket after colliding with a car that cut her off; the officer explained that she would have been able to stop otherwise. Sure, let’s go with that.

New Orleans experiences growing pains as it goes from a whopping five miles of bike lanes before Katrina to over 100 today. Meanwhile, the widow of an Atlanta firefighter killed in the Crescent City while training for a triathlon is outraged to learn the driver is back on the streets after just 14 months behind bars.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says protests by city councilors against the city’s proposed bike and pedestrian plan are way out of proportion.

A Brit cyclist who hit a little girl and dragged her down the sidewalk denies riding dangerously.

UK Parliament members grill the Prime Minister over bike safety.

Cyclists aren’t the only ones behaving badly on the streets of Dublin.

Melbourne’s mayor wants to ban bikes from certain roads in the central business district. For our own good, of course.

A Kiwi man is ticketed for dangerous driving after trying to chase down the bike rider who robbed him.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: An Ohio rider hands a truck passenger back a cigarette he tossed out into the street, something I *cough* may have done once or twice myself, albeit with less positive results. Here in LA, we have to dodge distracted drivers; in Mexico, bike riders have to duck low-flying UFOs.

And the capital of North Korea apparently has more separated bike lanes than we do. And sharrows, too, confirming that they really are a commie plot.

 

Guest Post: Beeline Bikes Expands Fleet of Mobile Bike Shops to SoCal, Offering a New Path for Mechanics.

Recently, I heard from Peter Small of Beeline Bikes about their new mobile bike repair service coming to SoCal, offering franchise opportunities for local bike mechanics.

It seemed like an interesting idea, so I offered Small the opportunity to write a guest post for this site.

……..

Beeline Bikes’ Mobile Bike Shop model enables mechanics to own their own business, deliver expert service, and do what they love.



A few years ago, Beeline Bikes Co-Founder Pete Buhl found it nearly impossible to get his bike serviced after visiting a shop that only serviced bikes they sold…another that refused to work on his brand…and two other shops had wait times of two to three weeks. It was at that moment he recognized a need that had yet to be served and so he built a business model focused on empowering mechanics, customer service, and enabling more people to ride bikes.

ExteriorSan Carlos, California-based Beeline Bikes thus began in 2013 and the company has been growing ever since. After servicing thousands of customers at their homes and 100+ corporate locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Beeline recently announced plans to franchise nationwide.

Beeline’s approach satisfies a customer’s need for convenience. Customers can visit beelinebikes.com, see real-time availability, and quickly schedule an appointment at the location of their choice – work or home. A shop on wheels then arrives equipped with the tools and parts to perform the service, along with a full complement of accessories. And the scheduling algorithm in place ensures mechanics arrive to each appointment on time.

InteriorAs for mechanics, the technology platform plays an important role too. Appointment management, customer communication, bike history, and routing are all accessible from mobile phones or Wi-Fi enabled laptops as they travel onboard the Mobile Bike Shop. Beyond that, Beeline has built an integrated supply chain with 80+ distributors and brands to ensure reliable component and accessory availability.

Beeline Bikes is a departure from the traditional bike shop and places mechanics central to the business. It’s exciting to see mechanics develop an ongoing relationship with customers, and benefit from their knowledge and expertise. This is an opportunity for mechanics to build a long career in the bike industry.

Beeline has seen a strong response to its franchise expansion plans from all over the country and will initially focus on West Coast markets, including Los Angeles.

To learn more visit https://beelinebikes.com/franchise or email franchise@beelinebikes.com.

 

Morning Links: Judge may release Gardena police video, BOLO alert for Ford pickup in Montebello hit-and-run

The LA Times reports that a federal judge says he’s inclined to release the dashcam video of the shooting of an unarmed man in Gardena.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was coming to the aid of two friends helping to look for his brother’s stolen bike when he was shot and killed by Gardena police last year.

The judge agreed there was a clear public interest in releasing the video, as requested by the Times and other media companies, noting that it’s hard to argue that the shooting was legal after the city agreed to a $4.7 million settlement to be funded by taxpayers.

Maybe he should tell that to the LA County DA’s office.

A final ruling on releasing the video could come as soon as today.

………

Montebello police are looking for a Ford pickup in the hit-and-run death of 24-year old Steven Garcia as he was riding his bike home from work last week. Anyone with information is urged to call Montebello police Cpl. J. Dresser at 323/887-1212, ex. 353 or Cpl. R. Yap, ex. 337.

Although they could have offered a little better description of the suspect vehicle. There are a lot of Ford trucks out there.

………

KCBS-2 picks up yesterday’s lead story about the CHP officer dangerously buzzing two cyclists on Glendora Mountain Road.

I’m told the CHP’s Southern Division HQ is looking into the video, so something may actually be done about it for a change.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

VeloNews looks at the highs and lows of the first full week of racing in the Tour de France. A TV station reports on the day’s happenings on the Tour’s first rest day, while Teejay van Garderen makes it the Fab Five.

Sadly, Ivan Basso was forced to drop out after he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor; there’s a high probability it’s cancerous, but more tests are needed to be sure. His withdrawal could adversely affect teammate Alberto Contador’s chances, but what really matters is his full and fast recovery.

A Billings MT cyclist endures rain, hail, snow, calf-deep mud and hallucinations to compete in the 2,745-mile off-road Tour Divide; another rider says the hardest part is knowing when to quit.

………

Local

It’s been a busy day for the Times, as they look at the PCH safety study recently approved by the Malibu city council; the study lists 120 proposed improvements to the roadway, including bike lanes on part of the highway, along with another 30 recommendations for Caltrans.

KPCC’s Air Talk program discusses the Times’ report on the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections.

CiclaValley appears on the Bike Talk internet/radio program.

A new Replace Your Ride program will give you transit vouchers up to $4,500 if you turn in your gas-guzzling car. But not a penny if you trade it for a bike, damn it; thanks to Day One for the link.

Black Kids on Bikes and the Ride On! Bike co-op bring the Leimert Park community together with an open air tune-up session.

The 12-year old daughter of a space shuttle astronaut was found riding her bike in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area after being missing for 24 hours.

 

State

It took a bike-riding tourist to save the life of a 37-year old woman who collapsed from a massive heart attack while jogging in Carlsbad last year.

The wife of the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver while riding his bike in Sacramento feels lost without him; the family arrived in the US just a few weeks ago, after the electrical engineer risked his life by aiding US forces in Afghanistan. His 8-year old son also suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 36-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on the coast highway near Fort Bragg in NorCal.

 

National

California’s retiring Senator Barbara Boxer wins support for bike lanes and sidewalks in the new federal transportation bill.

Good news and bad news, as a new bikeshare study says yes, it provides economic and health benefits and encourages new cyclists, but there’s no proof that bike-sharing programs reduces congestion, gets people out of their cars or helps the environment.

The New York Times looks at the national trend of bike training classes for bicycling-challenged adults.

Not everyone supports Boulder CO’s removal of traffic lanes to make way for wider bike lanes. Shocking, I know.

An Illinois cyclist is nominated for ESPN’s ESPYAward, 20 years after losing his right arm in a construction accident.

Don’t try this at home. A 46-year old Pennsylvania man was killed trying to jump a homemade bike ramp on a children’s bike. Actually, it was probably a BMX bike, which most police departments don’t seem to be familiar with.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian looks at the impact bicycles have had on modern society.

A New Orleans man faces manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a bike-riding artist last week.

The Florida bike rider who crashed hard after slipping in the remains of a dead alligator on the roadway is making a slow recovery, with new titanium plates in his cheeks, forehead and clavicle; his wife calls him Titanium Tim. Now all he needs is a new Ti bike when he gets back to riding.

 

International

Toronto police bust a man for stealing a $19,000 custom made racing bike. Of course, that’s only $14,800 US.

Brazil’s Pan Am cycling team is escorted off a major highway by police after taking a very wrong turn.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A BMX rider lands the first quadruple backflip. A Pasadena motorist is caught on video playing acid jazz on a recorder while driving with no hands in moving traffic — and right next to a patrol car, no less.

And speaking of distracted driving, a Brit woman rear-ended a van, apparently because she was pleasuring herself with a vibrator while driving.

Then again, I once encountered something similar, myself.

 

Morning Links: Glendora cyclists buzzed by CHP officer; LA Times maps the most dangerous intersection

I received the following email from cyclist Ken Adams Sunday night, relating a dangerous encounter with a CHP officer who buzzed their bikes, then came back to argue his apparent misunderstanding of California bike law.

Re: Encounter with Maniac CHP Officer While Cycling on Glendora Mountain Road / Glendora Ridge Road

I’m trying to spread the word of my experience yesterday as far and wide as possible, because it was quite unbelievable and extremely dangerous.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the roads I mentioned, but they are very popular cycling routes, especially for Saturday morning rides.  I was riding with a friend, starting from his house in Glendora.  There was another training ride with about 9 people starting from a coffee shop in Glendora that I was aware of because of an event invite on Facebook.

We started our ride just after 8 am.  We started the climb on GMR at about 8:15. At approximately 8:30, about 2-3 miles North of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV passed us dangerously close – probably about 2 feet away. Neither of us gave the incident much thought, as it happens frequently, although it is unexpected from law enforcement.  A few miles later, the same CHP vehicle was stopped and the officer had exited the vehicle.  He was standing on the shoulder and commented something to the effect “watch out, there are cars coming up”.  We turned and looked, but saw nothing.  We assumed he was referring to some type of event that was occurring, so we were extra vigilant.  We never saw any unusual vehicle traffic – in fact, traffic was unusually light for a weekend.

We continued riding, past East Fork road, where GMR becomes GRR.  Approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, this time much more closely.  He was no more than 1 – 1.5 feet from us.  At that point, the road was straight, there were clear sight lines for at least ½ mile, no oncoming traffic and we were riding single file on the white line.  There are also no lane demarcation lines painted on the road, as the road is less than 2 lanes wide at that point.

We both raised our arms as he passed in a “what the heck” gesture.  The officer continued down the road, but we could see that in the distance he was turning around.  My friend started recording as he returned.  I raised my arm again in a “what the heck” gesture and the officer slowed and started lowering his window.  We stopped our bikes and an animated conversation ensued.  I have included a link to that video on my FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/ken.adams.9484/videos/1116460408367279/

Subsequent to this incident, we continued our ride.  We encountered additional riders and described our experience with the CHP SUV.  Incredibly, they told us they had experienced the same thing.  When I returned home, I went to the FB event page I mentioned earlier and posted about my experience, asking if anyone else on that ride had experienced an issue with a CHP SUV.  I got a number of responses from cyclists who had either witnessed or experienced brushes from this same CHP officer.

It is my opinion that this officer had some type of agenda yesterday.  He either has some type of antipathy towards cyclists, was trying to prove a point, or was trying to provoke a confrontation that he hoped would escalate to the use of force.  Even in a best case scenario, as you can ascertain from viewing the video, he is woefully misinformed about cycling laws and vehicle interactions with cyclists.  Most troubling to me was his cavalier attitude about endangering my life and the life of my friend.  He seemed completely unconcerned, not to mention excessively arrogant.

I filed a complaint on the CHP website yesterday, but I hardly trust the CHP to police themselves with this matter.  In case you’d like to read the content of that complaint, here is what I wrote:

I was riding my bicycle on Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road on the morning of 7/11/2015. At approximately 8:30 am, on Glendora Mountain Road, about 2 miles north of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV with license plate number 1365395 passed me and the cyclist with whom I was riding with significantly less than 3 feet (I’d estimate about 2 feet). We continued riding and at approximately 9:55 am, on Glendora Ridge Road, approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, barely missing us, by approximately 1 foot. The officer continued on for some time, then turned around and returned. We flagged him down and had a conversation with him. We have a video of this interaction, which I would be happy to share with you. I would like to point out that Glendora Ridge Road is a very desolate spot with minimal vehicular traffic. The road is less than 2 lanes wide and has no lane demarcation lines painted on the road. At the point we were passed by the CHP vehicle, there was no oncoming traffic, the road was straight with clear sight lines for at least 1/4 – 1/2 mile and we were riding single file on the white line. During our conversation, the officer claimed that he must drive on the right half of the road and that he “cannot violate a law to follow a law” when asked about California’s 3-foot cycling law. He seemed completely unconcerned when I pointed out that he had just needlessly endangered my life. In the course of the rest of my ride and subsequently via social media, I learned that this same officer passed numerous other cyclists dangerously close during this same time period on the same stretch of road.

This officer endangered my life twice, the life of the person I was cycling with twice, at least 4 other cyclists that I’ve been in contact with and who knows how many others. I suspect this type of aggressive and unsafe driving behavior is not what you expect from your officers. This incident has significantly affected my trust in the professionalism of the CHP as an organization. Cycling on California’s roads is sufficiently dangerous without our law enforcement officers adding to the danger. I sincerely hope that this officer receives some additional training on correct and safe vehicular interaction with cyclists, because it is clear that he currently is lacking in this area.

I would very much like to get the dash cam video from his tour yesterday, as I’m sure it clearly shows his two assaults on us, as well as the numerous other assaults on other cyclists.

This officer is a menace to cyclists and needs to be dealt with, swiftly and harshly IMO.  It is bad enough when Joe Citizen behaves this way.  It is completely unacceptable when law enforcement does.

………

The LA Times crunches the numbers, and identifies LA County’s most dangerous intersections.

According to the story, just 1% of intersections account for 25% of pedestrian collisions; chances are, those same intersections are just as dangerous for people on bicycles. And bike lanes could be part of the solution, along with other traffic calming efforts.

They also report LA Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce a Vision Zero plan next month to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city within 10 years.

The question is whether the city is really willing to make the hard choices necessary to get there.

After all, they can’t even get bike lanes promised in the unanimously approved 2010 bike plan installed on Westwood, Lankershim and North Figueroa, thanks to roadblocks thrown up by a few councilmembers.

………

Chris Froome keeps the lead in the Tour de France, as his Team Sky finishes just one second behind BMC in the team time trial; the injury riddled Orica-GreenEdge team tanks it. Cycling Weekly offers five talking points following Sunday’s ninth stage.

Chris Froome continues to lead, but Teejay van Garderen is just 12 seconds behind.

The New York Times looks at the unexpected success of Eritrean riders at the Tour, while WaPo explains why it matters.

Mayuko Hagiwara becomes the first Japanese woman to win a stage at the Giro Rosa. Meanwhile, it looks like the Tour de France’s La Course stiffed some of the women competing in last years race out of their already ridiculously low prize money.

And US women sweep the bronze mountain biking medals in the Pan Am Games. Am I the only one who didn’t know the Pan Am Games were even going on right now?

………

Local

A teenage boy was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Florence neighborhood of South LA. Something that’s happening far too frequently these days.

Bike Metro posts a photo of what looks like secure bike parking at the Beverly Connection shopping center on La Cienega.

 

State

Another bike rider has been hit by a car in Newport Beach; fortunately, he’s in stable condition. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition urges you to sign a petition to preserve plans for a Class 1 bike trail through Peters Canyon.

CSU Fullerton police recover three stolen bikes off campus.

A San Diego cyclist’s life was changed forever by the alleged stoned driver who plowed into a group of riders on Fiesta Island last year.

Oceanside’s Strand will be widened, including a shoulder for cyclists and pedestrians, only 35 years after it was damaged in a storm.

San Francisco’s Sunday Streets visits some of the city’s sketchier neighborhoods in the Tenderloin.

A Sacramento bike advocate says the city is lagging behind in planning for bicycles.

A distracted driver killed a Sacramento father and critically injured his eight-year old son as they rode their bikes; the 25-year old driver was reading a text message when he drove into the bike lane they were in. Tragically, the victims were refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, and had only been in the city for a few weeks.

No Trespassing signs go up on a Modesto bike and pedestrian trail, presumably by mistake.

 

National

Redbook suggests riding a bike together could make you fall in love all over again.

My hometown considers joining other Colorado city’s in embracing bikeshare; the city already enjoys a successful bike lending library.

Someone apparently deliberately rigged a truck to crash into an Oklahoma bike shop.

Tragic news from Minnesota, as a small town ambulance crew responds to a bicycling collision, and finds their own boss fatally injured.

Fifteen-hundred cyclists ride 160 miles across the state of Indiana.

Connecticut bike riders no longer have to ride as far to the right as practicable, only as far to the right as they deem safe. We so need that wording change here.

New York is working to improve safety by reducing left turns. Banning left turns on busy streets would improve safety in LA, while allowing the near-ubiquitous center turn lanes to be reconfigured to make space for bike lanes. And yes, it is possible to avoid a left turn and still get where you’re going by just driving around the block.

The NYPD has issued a BOLO Alert for the hit-and-run bike rider who critically injured pedestrian last month.

 

International

A Winnipeg paper calls for approval of the city’s proposed bike and walking plan, despite the overt objections of some city councilors.

Londoners react to the latest subway strike by doubling usage of the city’s bikeshare system.

A new Brit bike satnav system attaches to your handlebars and lights up to indicate where to turn.

Once again, UK police stop a “silly cyclist” from riding on a major highway.

A British soldier tracks down the thief selling his stolen bike on Ebay, and finds the trail leads to a fellow soldier in his own barracks. Oops.

No offense, but who would confront 25 angry teenagers to stop a bike-jacking? Props to this British man for trying, but seriously, when you’re outnumbered 25 to three, just let the damn bike go, already.

Copenhagen may be a bicycling paradise, but it’s also a popular spot for bike thieves; a bike shop owner was arrested after being caught with hundreds of hot bikes.

Israel will construct a nearly 100 mile bicycling network, including 10 cycling expressways.

A writer for the New York Times gets busted for borrowing a bike from Japan’s unofficial bikeshare.

Bangkok officials clean up the streets to prepare for a bike event in honor of the queen’s birthday.

 

Finally…

Talk about crappy customer service; a Utah bike shop employee decks a deer that wandered into the shop. You can get Audi’s new limited edition racing bike, as long as you’re willing to travel to Dubai. And not a deer, presumably.

And a Kiwi website offers advice on how to deal with the bike haters on social media.

 

Weekend Links: Unconfirmed report of fatal Montebello hit-and-run; the tragic fall of the Godfather of BMX

Still waiting for official confirmation, but it doesn’t look good.

A Gofundme page is raising funds to help pay burial expenses for a bike rider named Steven. The page says he was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike home from work near Whittier Blvd and Bluff Road in Montebello.

A Facebook post identifies him as Steven Garcia, and says a ghost bike dedication and vigil will be held in his honor at 8 pm tonight.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

………

A heatbreaking story in the Desert Sun recounts the rise and tragic fall of Scott Breithaupt, revered as the Godfather of BMX racing. And tells how addiction eventually led to his death under a tent in a vacant lot.

Meanwhile, his mother describes his final months.

………

As expected, Wednesday’s Tour de France leader Tony Martin crashed out with a broken collarbone just before the finish line on Thursday. Then again, Alberto Contador hit the pavement before he even made it to Friday’s starting line, when Mark Cavendish rode to his 26th career Tour win.

Chris Froome inherited the yellow jersey, but didn’t wear it Friday out of respect for Martin; American Tejay van Garderen sits a surprising third. Daniel Teklehaimanot donned the polka dot jersey as the first black African to lead the competition for King of the Mountain.

The doping era still casts a shadow over this year’s TdF, as Italian rider Luca Paolini was bounced from the tour after testing positive for coke. And not the bottled kind.

Legendary photographer Frank Capa turned his lens towards the Tour de France in 1939, while Bicycling continues the tale of the man who punched the great Eddy Merckx in the ’75 Tour. And Business Insider recommends 10 can’t-miss movies to watch when the day’s racing is over, even if you think you don’t care.

Evidently, an apology and a donation to charity is enough to make up for a racist slur uttered by a cyclist “in the heat of battle.” In the US, that would be followed by a stint in rehab.

Checking in on stage six of the Gira Rosa, the only women’s Grand Tour stage race, as American Megan Guarnier still holds the leaders pink jersey; just 14 seconds separate the top three riders. Meanwhile, American time trial specialist Carmen Small had her custom Cervelo stolen, along with other bikes belonging to her teammates.

………

Local

The Times looks at the lawsuit over the single-sidewalk redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Richard Risemberg says a road diet isn’t worth the pavement it’s painted on if the city doesn’t bother to maintain it.

CiclaValley looks at bicycling improvements that may be coming to the Valley as part of Metro’s biennial Call for Projects.

LA Street Services addresses the problem of how to keep protected bike lanes clean with a petite new street sweeper.

Santa Monica police bust a homeless bike thief on Pico Blvd.

Apparently not grasping the irony, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz will officially name the intersection of Westwood Blvd and La Grange Ave for the man who started LA’s leading riding group this Sunday, labeling it as Raymond Fouquet Square in honor of the late Velo Club La Grange founder. Even though, thanks to Koretz, Westwood remains unfriendly to bike riders, officially and otherwise.

Help the East Side Riders Bike Club build bikes for children this Christmas on the 18th.

Also on the 18th, Long Beach is hosting a bike-in screening of the Wizard of Oz; not the least bit ironic since the only bike rider in the movie turns out to be a wicked witch.

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments discusses transportation funding on the 23rd.

 

State

Orange County bike riders get the shaft when NIMBYs pressure a county supervisor and parks staff to unexpectedly oppose a long-planned bike trail in Peters Canyon.

A San Diego Amazon delivery driver is out of a job after being mistaken for a bike thief.

An 18-year old San Diego cyclist is expected to be okay after breaking his lower back in collision. Naturally, the driver claimed she never saw him riding his bike in the crosswalk, and needless to say, no charges have been filed.

A Coronado letter writer complains about visual pollution caused by bike lanes, and suggests that unused bike racks should be removed. Good idea; let’s do the same with excess parking spaces.

Cyclelicious points out some cyclists have opposed separated bikeways since 1898.

A Berkeley-based HuffPo writer says maybe it’s time for bike licenses to curb all that scofflaw riding.

 

National

Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us, too.

A new series of videos will help you improve those mad mountain biking skills.

Caught on video (sort of): A road raging Chicago driver jumps out of his car to pummel a cyclist, after trying to squeeze the rider out of the bike lane to bypass stalled traffic, then punches another rider who tried to intervene.

A Minnesota cyclist offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Although he failed to mention moving out into the traffic lane at intersections to avoid being overtaken and cut off by turning vehicles.

Minneapolis approves plans for 30 miles of new protected bike lanes.

Times are good for Boston’s high-end custom bike makers.

New York’s Citi Bike employees become the nation’s first bikeshare employees protected by a union contract.

Caught on video: A passing bike rider reaches out and snatches a smartphone from the hands of a New York woman crossing the street.

Blocking motor vehicle access around the White House is bad enough; a local pol says blocking bike and pedestrian access has got to stop. Meanwhile, DC cyclists form a human shield to press for a protected bike lane.

New bike racks in Richmond VA would honor Union soldiers held prisoner in the Civil War.

The hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding three-year old Florida boy was only 14-years old and driving a van he borrowed from his mother without permission; a kind-hearted vet bought the victim a new bike.

 

International

Vancouver’s Chris Bruntlett says expecting drivers and cyclists to play by the same rules is like equating shotguns and water pistols.

A Canadian cyclist injured in the First Responders race that took the life of a Brazilian investigator earlier this month has been released from the hospital.

The Guardian looks at the gender imbalance on London streets, and asks if the city can make them safe for everyone.

The Brits threaten to bring back the Road Tax, just as cyclists were finally starting to convince drivers it doesn’t exist; a bike rider says he’d gladly pay if the numbers just added up.

A UK site asks if cyclists should be allowed to jump red lights, saying tests show it reduces collisions, while noting Paris has virtually eliminated cycling fatalities. So yes, it can be done.

A British letter writer says cyclists should rein it in on the Promenade or else ride in the road, rather than people just, you know, reining in their dogs. Another urges cyclists to slow down after her kitten is killed on a pathway by a rider who didn’t stop.

A Brit cyclist thinks he didn’t do anything wrong in spitting at and racially abusing a motorist; the judge disagreed to the tune of £1,500 — the equivalent of $2,300.

A British cyclist’s planned seven-week tour of the UK with his dog is still ongoing a full year later, and he sees no reason to stop now.

Sixteen months and 14,000 miles later, an Irish rider completes his journey around the world to raise attention for suicide prevention; he was the only one of four cyclists who set out on the World Cycle Race last year who actually finished.

In Denmark, even royals ride cargo bikes.

A Malaysian writer questions if cyclist safety is being taken seriously enough, after witnessing the aftermath of a fatal hit-and-run. Even there, some drivers refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

 

Finally…

Cyclists on a San Jose area bike trail will now ride past a mammoth sculpture, and not just in the big sense. Lots of criminals make their getaway by bike these day, although not many flee from New Hampshire to Florida.

And who knew bikes had steering wheels? Let alone that they could fall off?

 

Guest Post: Provoking, Scaring and Piercing, the (Driver’s) Reptile Brain Part 2

Part one here.

How do we Provoke, Scare and Pierce the (Driver’s) primitive Reptile Brain? How do we stay alive?

We look to nature and the development of the brain in the animal kingdom. Evolutionists (which I am not) have no problem with this concept. Yet, observation leads to irrefutable conclusions. Most all organic organisms in nature, no matter how “primitive/paleo” or presumably “advanced”, share common traits… like all have and share DNA similarities for example…

Even the “simple”, primitive, prehistoric paramecium3 (see link below) are highly sensitive and flee from bright light. And likewise, so too our own human visual cortex, directly wired in the brain; via the Amygdala, Basal Ganglia, and Hypothalamus via the Limbic system (or paleomammalian brain)… These gray, and convoluted features are understood (some say known) to be the deepest and most primitive unconscious areas of our human brain (along with the medulla & cerebellum).

While this isn’t a physiology paper, the point to be made is that the “Fight or Flight” mechanism mentioned much earlier, needs to be completely, totally, and unconditionally activated and profoundly stimulated at a very low and unconscious level; in the vehicle driver’s brain.

It turns out that just like paramecium, and many reptiles, ULTRA BRIGHT FLASHING RED LIGHTS are immediately sensed by humans as “threats”.  As a life form is “threatened”, certain physiochemical responses are unconsciously activated…. the “Fight or Flight involuntary mechanism. Immediately the higher functions of the cerebrum are bypassed, and the visual cortex “reaches down” to the primitive reptile brain and causes/induces FEAR, and the autonomic, unconscious brain triggers the release of some very powerful stimulant hormones. Now; close your eyes; and imagine that you are outside in the dark tall grasses, and you feel and hear the low strong growling of a nearby lion; hear tires squealing, a loud close Bang!, etc… you get an idea of what the driver’s EYES are seeing…

Why flashing lights?…and Not solid? Flashing create and induces the appearance of Motion. Movement is the key to being detected by the Reptile brain. We want and need to be detected and identified, from the greatest possible distance.

Alternatively; waiting for any driver to see and consciously recognize you riding away, in dark clothing from a distance, then comprehend, and avoid you, turns out to be a quick death march for cyclists.

Flashing Bright Light(s)… Our only reliable solution, “defence against the…?”

“Statistics don’t lie”… my college statistics professor often told us, (countless others have made the same statement/observation). What we learned in school is that (in a fair and well designed study) the numbers are what they are, for a reason. It doesn’t matter what that reason is… The (possible) reasons/explanation that the stock market climbs or drops is incidental and unimportant. Using math to measuring the speed and momentum (emotion) of the rise and fall is what is critical. Why do I mention this seemingly unrelated topic?

(Another) Spoiler Alert: The statistics for riding with Flashing Ultra Bright lights is literally breathtaking, from one perspective, and alarming from another. In addition to the 700 KILLED riding a bike in the US every year, there are over 500,000 cycling injuries. Let’s say the 2/3rs mentioned at the beginning of this article, or roughly 5,000 cyclists in the last ten years alone, were hit from behind, and died… The cyclist had no warning or defense to prevent his/her death.   In the other 1/3 of fatal accidents, most often the cyclist either had some visual warning and possible responsibility (steered into traffic, went across a rail road crossing, etc.) in the outcome of the accident, or some warning. Not the case of “hit from behind” fatalities. That again, is where I draw the line.

In now two plus years of research, I have Yet to find a single, confirmed, instance where the killed cyclist was riding with Ultra Bright Lights turned ON at the time of the accident. 500,000 injuries, 7,000+ deaths (without lights) to (so far) ZERO (With Lights)… (EVEN if one or two have been missed, the numbers are far more than compelling.)

Note; as of the week of 6/12/15 there were (2) reported fatalities (bikinginla.com) where it appears the riders did have lights on the rear of their bikes…. See/Read article “Testing to Destruction” for more information… So now the numbers are over: 500,000 : 000002.

The numbers are REAL.   In this singular case, my statistics professor was (dead) wrong. It DOES MATTER why the numbers are the way they are. Important Note; Several times I would/have heard it said; He/she (the victim) was “lit up like a Christmas tree”… but later found out from eye witnesses, their cycling buddies, car cam videos, accident pictures, or the police interviewed, that they had no lights at all. Don’t believe everything (anything) you hear until you have verified it for yourself.

My story: Like many, perhaps most victims, I went on a Crusade; to find “the answer”, “the solution”, to prevent what had happened to me, from happening to others. After being released from the hospital and in time regaining some memory and “normal” lifestyle, I set out on this quest.   As stated, I have found this characteristic is deeply imbedded in the deepest being and recesses of most victims. Every time I hear of a cyclist fatality, I relive my own accident; I literally feel the glass and metal pushing/smashing through my own face, and body…

Utilizing a previous positive relationship with of a couple PD’s and the L.A. County Sheriff’s department, I started my quest. I wanted to see and learn everything I could about fatality accidents. This process is ongoing and will likely last my lifetime.

What I learned (am learning) from adding up and compiling the numbers, is that 2/3 rd’s of fatality accidents fall in the “hit from behind” category. The problem is that the standard Highway Patrol accident report form, used by all law enforcement departments, is inadequate and lacking in a number of areas. I started with the three fatalities in Newport Beach almost following my accident.

I noticed that none of these first few fatality victims’ bikes had any lights at all.   I started to develop a theory. Could it be valid and true? The problem is that the CHP standard traffic collision report form does not have a checkbox for “rear Lights? ON?”

Obtaining reliable information was difficult. What did I do? Reports, Pictures and Questions. Without going into details that would compromise others, I talked directly to officers, or obtained photos of the actual accident scenes. Not just any pics, only those specifically of the bikes, without any people. (I specifically didn’t ask nor want pics with any people in them, and no one offered.)

I continue to search accident reports and witnesses; to see IF the bikes had rear lights, what type, and did anyone know IF the lights were CHARGED and ON at the time of the accident. What time of day was the fatality crash? Where? What were the conditions? Those were/are my questions.

A clear and obvious pattern began to emerge. No fatality accident bikes, had lights at all. Not one. I was also looking for lights that were so cheap/poor as to be worthless, even if they were turned on, but haven’t found any yet.

Time after time, death after death, I found no lights… I knew it was “ game on”…

Then I interviewed drivers, and read the PD reports. As mentioned earlier, what I heard was scarily familiar, ominous, and consistent with every one.“I never saw them”….

Every driver report, and every police interviewed driver, unrelated by age, sex, residence area, or ethnic background… all said the same thing… almost word for word… This clearly wasn’t a coincidence. This was/is a Real phenomena. They had killed a cyclist before they ever knew what had happened. Most of these people would otherwise be considered good citizens. Most (one exception) had no criminal record. Yet Everyone of them had killed another human being. That’s scary.

So why weren’t accidents found with riders using Flashing Ultra Bright lights? That became the burning question. What was mentally, visually and physically happening? I started testing lights, with the help of colleagues and very expensive borrowed equipment from a company that I do business with. Some of the testing was very technical requiring calibrated equipment, and some was done using human subjects in blind (brighter/dimmer) visual studies…

What was true in all light tests, was/is that Brighter is better. (we’re not going to be discussing beam angles, target size, protocols for standardized brightness measurements, etc., in this article, that’s another paper).  For the sake of this article, I’m defining Brightens here in strictly relative visual observations; as the ability to see a Flashing light, in broad daylight, from some distance X. The farther away a Flashing light is able to be clearly seen, the “Brighter” it is defined to be… for this article…(more in light reviews).

“Brighter” means that the car drivers can see you from a farther distance. The greater the distance, the more time the driver has to see, recognize, and react to avoid you. Some of my lights, perfectly acceptable at night, couldn’t even be seen in the daylight from 10 yards, not good.

What was the minimum “brightness” between life and death”? How much recognition and reaction time was necessary to make the difference, to prevent a conflict and dead body?

“I never saw them”… started to haunt me. What IF those same drivers had been alerted to the cyclist from a Geat distance, (30-60 driving seconds away)… instead of finding out, only milliseconds before or just after they heard the crashing, crushing horrible crushing sounds?

Rule # 4   Time and Space: Planning time for Avoidance VS. (0) REACTION TIME…

You Hockey players are familiar with the term “Time and Space”… The imperative life/death question boiled down to this: How to effectively and reliably CREATE “TIME AND SPACE” between US (CYCLISTS) AND DRIVERS?

I bought more lights. Lots of lights. From countless observations, I set “standard” protocols to visually test them during daylight, and at night.

Minimum Acceptable Standard (MAS)… 1/10th of a mile minimum visibility looking almost straight at; only 10 degrees off the 10AM morning summer sun. In other words, the worst possible conditions.

In addition to visual testing with multiple subjects, from professional resources, I borrowed high end equipment (worth $50,000+), utilized the optics testing and light meters at the college I teach at. Then applied standard LED FAA aircraft LED testing protocols … Many lights visually tested to ¼ (.25) mile in daylight. That’s 15 seconds warning, even at highway speeds… a very good start…. Some were clearly seen flashing at ½ (.5) mile away… That gives a driver 30-40 seconds to see, identify, and react…. an ETERNITY relative to the previously reported 0 – milliseconds by fatality drivers.

First Quick “Brightness” rule of thumb. If you can even come close to looking at your light from an arm’s length in bright daylight, it is far too weak to be of any worthwhile use. ALL usable Ultra Bright lights are incredibly blinding, retina searing and burning. Think (DON’T actually do) of trying to stare directly at the sun, into a lighthouse, or at your HID high beams for example.

It was all making sense. The reason that people weren’t/aren’t being hit is that drivers had plenty of time to see, identify, and avoid the problem. There is no possibility of a conflict in time and space IF the driver is two lanes away when they pass you.

This has been born out in my life and those of every cyclist I’ve talked to. My wife and I have not had any more accidents or even close calls since we began putting Ultra Bright Flashing Lights on our bikes. Many many many drivers have stopped me/us to exclaim “…WHAT BRIGHT LIGHTS YOU HAVE”… THANK YOU !!!…”

During daytime; I suggest a minimum of three lights backwards and at least two forward for several reasons.

  1. Three (3) is the minimum number of points in space that a (driver’s) brain needs to immediately determine location, bearing, and speed….without a lot of time consuming and confusing calculations. Remember your geometry? # of points to make a Line and Plane?
  2. Redundancy; you never know when a light is going to fail, and it will usually be at the worst possible time.
  3. Battery life; many lights have variable battery life.
  4. Pattern variability; I like riding with lights that all have different flashing patterns to ensure that someone doesn’t get bored/numb/forgetful that I’m there.
  5. Loaners; knowing that the likelihood of a problem while riding with lights is miniscule (compared to without), I have been known to share a light with those without… especially kids, Boy Scouts, etc…
  6. While hitting someone from the front is statistically less a fatality risk than being hit from behind, it will still ruin your whole foreseeable calendar. Riding Ultra Bright front lights is only slightly less important than the necessity of riding Ultra Bright Rear…. Driver’s running red stop signs ahead of you still need their Reptile Brain stabbed….

And I strongly suggest buying/using only rechargeable lights and/or lights that can use rechargeable batteries. Buying and replacing batteries is a time consuming pain, expensive and time consuming pain, hence they are very EASY to forget…and besides, they often leak acid killing your lights.

Once you get into the daily habit of taking your lights off after each ride and plugging them in, it becomes an easy pattern to fall into.

Rule # 5 Drivers APPRECIATE Your Early Warning System…. Ultra Bright Bright Lights.

Take responsibility for your OWN SAFETY and Welfare… No one else is going to.

No one, at least very very few of us ever want to kill someone. And No one, especially drivers, wants to scared to death and shocked to have a cyclist seemingly “JUMP OUT” of nowhere.

Here’s an interesting topic…. Innate Godly/Human factors;

Rather indescribably; Flashing Lights seemingly “cry out”, “I want to Live!”… Human to Human, animal to animal, this is a very strong emotion/instinct/feeling/perception among many living life forms…. Someone has probably done a study on when/why/how this works…? (Please write me if you know of one)…. I don’t… but taking responsibility for your own welfare, and making yourself Highly Visible and WELL Marked, just works…

Repeating, I can’t tell you how many drivers have THANKED me, consistently, for my lights… Some have driven up onto sidewalks and JUMPED out of their cars! It’s actually very interesting to see how often this happens.

Generally now, most drivers just take a Very WIDE berth around us… Because they have ALREADY SEEN us from well over a Half A MILE Away (1/2 mile)… Another example: I take Boy Scouts out for their merit badge rides, and the trailing dad’s in the SAG car JOYfully exclaimed he could see us from a “mile away” (which was probably an exaggeration), but makes the point.

It is extremely rare that we have any issues, any more…and I have heard the same repeated by countless others than ride with Flashing Ultra Bright lights. In fact, I haven’t heard a negative feedback yet…

So, if you follow this advice, the odds/chances of you being (fatally) hit from the rear will be largely eliminated.

However, to make full disclosure beware, we’re not wholly out of the woods quite yet.   There are other very dangerous types of accidents… even if statistically not fatal most of the time… they will still ruin your day-week-months, your body, and your beautiful bike.

  • Be vigilant and on the alert for the bleached brain (and hair) blonde that tries to changes lanes or makes left hand turns into your path, without looking… like almost happened to me just the other day…
  • Stay far away from parked cars. NEVER get closer than 4-6 FEET from a door that can suddenly open and (door) kill you. You may even have to fight for your space. (A motorcycle officer on PCH, once yelled at me and pointed to move over. I politely (honestly, ask my wife) nodded and responded by slowly opening my hand towards him, and then drawing it back in front of me, inviting him to (by all means) lead the way… he loudly scowled something unrepeatable and raced off).
  • Only cross over to the left, from right hand turn and bikes lanes (you’re going straight) AFTER looking several times first. STOP and WAIT if you have to…LET the cars pass. A few seconds isn’t going to change your life, but it may end it if you don’t.   This is the last fatality to mention. A very well known woman cyclist was riding on PCH (W) near Crystal Cove when she was killed. A group of cars were merging right onto a high-speed “highway onramp” when the last driver didn’t see her. He wasn’t cited either. And she is dead.
  • Like above: Don’t expect a thin, white painted line is going to protect you. ONLY after looking several times first, cross over into LARGE protected (by light poles, etc.)hash marked traffic islands at stop lights….. Often, I choose to just pull over and wait… If others are more brave….?… You know the old joke about the old wagon trail scouts (cycling leaders)? They’re the ones with the arrows in their backs… which really hurts… and can end your day(s)….
  • Keep your ears open, and eyes ahead…sounds so simple doesn’t it?
  • If you aren’t very comfortable with keeping a straight line, while turning around in both directions, to see what’s behind, perhaps consider more practice, before riding on the road with others… Too Many rider-rider cycling accidents and injuries occur when someone changes their “line” without first looking back. Just a thought.

There are a lot of excellent rear and front lights out there now… And you need both.

When Purchasing, Consider:

  • Published “Lumens” is only a start. Take out the lights in the store and check them out at a distance. The relative brightness will be quickly apparent.
  • Flashing pattern variability… or the same mind numbing on/off “beat”
  • Are they rechargeable? Getting into a daily habit of charging your lights is critical
  • Beam Pattern. Some lights are very bright with a narrow beam; others have very wide beam pattern “signatures”, but not apparently as bright. Strongly Suggest you ride with both.
  • Mounting options: Can you mount your lights on the seat tube, seat stay, handlebars? Do they have a clip for your helmet-saddle-saddlebag?
  • Mount orientation: As riding is almost always on the right side of the road (we hope), Rear lights should be slightly directed backward and to the left, towards traffic, not straight backwards. I ride the road with front lights on my handlebars, and both forks… (being a pilot I follow protocol and ride with red on the left)…. Front lights have saved me pain a number of times from left/right turners ahead of me.
  • Cost; good lights are going to run $50-$300…each… and I suggest you want/need five to eight for a lengthy road ride.   Too much? Ask yourself again. How MUCH is Your LIFE and physical well being worth? Any number greater than ZERO is a GOOD START…
  • Battery Life. There is a huge variability in battery life and charging time. Best to cover your bases… Some rides may only be an hour and a half, safe for most lights, others might last 4-7 hours…
  • Be considerate to other riders: While Ultra Bright Lights should ALWAYS BE ON if you’re riding on the street… They are blinding to group riders close behind… IF you’re in a group ride, maybe you can ride last in line if you (should) feel more comfortable with all your Rear lights on… (anywhere in the group with Flashing Headlights… Not the most macho position perhaps, but there are advantages in guarding the rear.

 

3http://discovermagazine.com/1993/jun/thevisionthingma227

4http://jeb.biologists.org/content/134/1/43.full.pdf

5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Bradford_Cannon

 

mark d. goodley

Near Fatality Survivor

Product Design Engineer

USA Cycling Licensed Pro

 

Morning Links: Lawyer disputes unarmed, bike-fixing Hawaiian Gardens man reached for deputy’s gun

The unarmed man who was fatally shot by sheriffs deputies in Hawaiian Gardens Sunday night was allegedly reaching for the officer’s gun when he was shot.

Even though the family’s lawyer says he was 20 feet away.

According to the LA Times, 42-year old Johnny Ray Anderson was working on his bike when deputies arrived in response to a prowler call, as well as an earlier report that gang members were smoking crack in a vacant house.

His wife explained that he ran from the deputies because the couple was living illegally in an abandoned house, and he was on a gang injunction list.

Hopefully, forensics will determine who is telling the truth.

……..

Race leader Tony Martin may have crashed out of the Tour de France on Thursday, as he limped across the finish line with a broken collarbone; no word on the condition of reigning champ Vincenzo Nibali, who was taken down by Martin’s crash.

Wednesday was another wet, crashed-filled day at the Tour, but the leading contenders managed to finish safely, although Australia’s Orica-GreenEdge team is on life support. “Break a leg” means good luck in the theater; in bike racing, not so much, as New Zealand’s Jack Bauer learned the hard way.

A photography website offers advice on how to shoot bike racing events like the Tour de France. Although you evidently need to be there in person, not just watching on TV.

Just in time for the TdF, Cycling Weekly looks at the seven best pro cycling temper tantrums.

And former All-American swimmer Hannah Ross has made a rapid rise in women’s pro cycling.

……..

Local

Downtown News says bikeshare has huge potential in DTLA, though we have reason to be skeptical. Tell me about it.

Flying Pigeon finds a relaxing and semi-historic North East Passage from NELA to Pasadena. Now if I could just find a non-stressful route from Hollywood to the LA River.

Yo! Venice says new city laws targeting the homeless could make it illegal to lock your bike to a city-owned rack.

Santa Monica Spoke is joining Spinlister this Saturday for the 2nd Annual Tour de Slurp, a 10-mile ride with stops at five 7-11s for the company’s Free Slurpee Day.

 

State

Los Alamitos Blvd could get safe bike and pedestrian access in the Mayberry of Orange County.

After a woman riding a handcycle was killed in Indio in January, the company that made her bike donated a new one to a disabled vet; now he’s helping other people with disabilities learn to ride.

Menlo Park installs bike lanes before building sidewalks. Then is somehow surprised by near-collisions between cyclists and pedestrians forced to walk in them.

Morgan Hill ends its experiment with complete streets due to a pending construction project; the city council will decide next month whether to make the bike lanes permanent.

 

National

Momentum Magazine offers six reasons why bikes are good for business and why business owners should support their two-wheeled customers.

Smart idea. A Portland high school is opening a bike co-op to engage at-risk kids to help keep them in school.

Bike Portland looks at what may one day be “the single most important hub of bicycling in the United States.”

My bike-friendly hometown seems to be getting less safe for cyclists; no word on whether the recent increase in fatal bicycling crashes could be due to an increase in ridership, however. Meanwhile, the 18-year old driver who killed a cyclist by swerving into a bike lane to avoid hitting a boat trailer — and possibly dozed off behind the wheel — faces a measly misdemeanor.

It’s not just cities. Even Indiana’s Purdue University will have bikeshare before LA does.

An Ohio man gets three years for killing his bike-riding neighbor with a single punch as the man rode away following a dispute.

Kentucky cyclist Cherokee Schill was ticketed for riding in the traffic lane, while another man may have lost his life because he didn’t.

If you’re planning to participate in Boston’s World Naked Bike Ride, please don’t use one of the city’s bikeshare bikes. I’d kind of hope that would go without saying.

Caught on video: Philadelphia cops give a black bike rider a serious beatdown, tasing him as he cries out for his grandma — apparently for the crime of talking to the wrong people and riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

A college study suggests the reason women are using New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare less than men goes back to not feeling safe on the streets, and that more protected bikeways could be the answer. No wait, a Toronto writer says it’s the sweat, so put pretty pink streamers on the bikes.

 

International

The Mounties may not always get their man, but they did help an Aussie tourist recover his stolen bike.

A group of Winnipeg city councilors take out an ad campaign decrying bike lanes as the end of all that’s good and holy in the city.

A London collision victim is just the latest to have his bike stolen by heartless thieves while he was being treated for his injuries; London bike-jackings are on the rise, as well.

Caught on video: A Welsh bike rider somehow stays upright after being clipped by a driver who undertook him, breaking off the car’s wing mirror in the process. NSFW? The story warns of strong language; however, the rider’s accent makes most of it incomprehensible to American ears, anyway.

Paris now allows bike riders to go through red lights on T-intersections, something that remains common, but illegal, here.

Famed Swiss chef Philippe Rochat died while bicycling with friends, most likely from natural causes; his restaurant had a rare three Michelin star rating for a 15-year period.

A writer for the Guardian struggles with a classic Gran Fondo through Italy’s South Tyrol region, while HuffPo celebrates Christmas in July with a reminiscence about cycling the Appian Way over the holidays.

Fewer cyclists are being ticketed for riding without lights in The Netherlands; not because more riders are using them, but because police have better things to do other priorities.

 

Finally…

When you’ve just stolen a bike while carrying two baggies of coke, maybe you should trying riding it instead of walking. If you’re going to just walk away from a collision after hitting a bike rider, don’t leave your ID behind in the car.

And when you’re an elected official, it’s probably not the best idea to flip off a group of riders after knocking two of them off their bikes.

Just a suggestion.

 

Guest Post: Provoking, Scaring and Piercing the (Driver’s) Reptile Brain Part 1

Cycling shouldn’t and needn’t be a death sentence

A few years ago, Mark Goodley survived a near fatal collision while riding his bike. 

Since then, he’s made it his mission in life to keep others from suffering the same fate. And has put his background as a product design engineer and a licensed pro racing mechanic to use to study how bike collisions happen, and how to prevent them.

He’s written a few previous posts for this site, including a review of ultra-bright bike taillights — one of the most popular posts ever on here — and the recent Testing to Destruction

Now he offers a detailed examination of how and why ultrabright lights can save the lives of cyclists. 

Including yours.

……..

SPOILER-ALERT: The secret is slowly getting out that if you (are smart enough to) ride with Ultra Bright Flashing Lights, (sets that are fully charged and meeting a minimum brightness standard) the odds are ridiculously/infinitesimally small, that you will ever be involved in a “hit from behind” injury/fatality accident.1 Wide experience shows that Drivers will keep a very wide berth, and avoid you like the plague.

Now for the inquiring minds that want to know Why?…

Introduction / Abstract

There are over 500,000 cycling injuries accidents in the US every year. An estimated two-thirds (2/3) of the 700 cycling accident fatalities (35,000/year worldwide) are classified as “hit from behind” accidents; where the cyclist had little to no warning. This article focuses on those accidents where the cyclist was defenseless, and did nothing “wrong” (not those killed running red lights, getting run over by trains, etc.).

Most every interviewed driver who killed a cyclist made almost identical statements… “I never saw them”…  As we will see below, this statement is neither untrue, nor a coincidence.

The how and why answers to the “I never saw them” statements are obviously of Great interest, and will be revealed and illustrated in this article… There are scientific and rational explanations for how these statements, repeated (again) by nearly every single (killer) driver are incredibly, both truthful and accurate.

Most importantly, a reliable, affordable, and easy to execute (potential) solution will provide an escape path to avoiding this critical problem. The only real question you will need to answer (to yourself) is: “How much is my/your life worth?”

Let’s assume first that you’re a sane, normal, brain active, and rational cyclist (as opposed to a helmetless macho-man/woman with superhuman immortal powers, invulnerable Kryptonite and 7,500 pound chunks of fast moving steel?) i.e., “You have studied and learned, that man is mortal.” You realize and fully understand that you are responsible for your own welfare (and can’t/won’t “assume” that others will be more concerned about your health and safety, than yourself.)

We might also agree that nothing on this planet is perfect. There are a given percentage of bad drivers that are always going to exist; Whatever their issue, brain dead, blind, deaf, sleep walking, drugged up, distracted, glue sniffing, mentally fatigued, illegal, bleach brained, comatose, and often defensive arrogant @$$%#@holes….

Let’s make the final argument and supposition that the above generality is and will always be true.

That is to say that No amount of DMV/Caltrans fairy dust, driver education, morning coffee, brain transplants, glasses, or better roads will EVER FULLY, and 100% of the time, eliminate Bad drivers from the roads.

Here’s the really scary part. Many of the fatality accidents were caused by “good” drivers as well.   Just as there will Always be bad drivers…. “And it must follow, as the night the day…” there will also be good drivers whom aren’t perfect 100% of the time either.   How can this be? How can good drivers repeatedly kill cyclists, just like bad drivers? Turns out it’s not too hard… Stay tuned below.

To be clear, I have nothing against improving driver-cyclist education; it’s just not reasonable or sane to expect “education” to be a 100% solution, or even close. We need a reliable, sound strategy against bad, and good drivers alike.

This is our not so trivial task… HOW to protect ourselves and cope with this entirely unacceptable situation?   Is “it” beyond our control? If not, What strategies are available to combat the inherent risk to our cycling time on the road?

There is no amount of training or education, that will break through the fatigued, distracted, brain dead, or blind driver; either good or bad. This is just common sense. How are you going to reach any driver behind the wheel on an intellectual or even conscious level if they’re not there already? The answer is obvious and clear. You can’t. It’s Impossible.

Rule #1: IF someone is going to take responsibility for your own Life and Safety, it had better be YOU…it’s Not going come from anywhere else.

We need another tool. One not dependent upon the relative consciousness, awareness, intelligence, clarity, visual ability, or mental (incapacity) state of a driver.

To Reach, Jolt, and SHAKE/WAKE UP EVERY driver, bad and good alike, to our cycling physical presence and location, 100% of the time, we MUST make a HARD strike on an unconscious level. To hope and believe otherwise you might as well self-check yourself into Patton hospital, right now. (link provided below).

Now we are getting closer to an answer. We have to go much lower in the brain, Much, Much lower… Lower than cognitive cerebral conscious awareness.

We have to STRIKE at the lowest, most primitive, and strongest physiologically processes possible. We need to go “for the throat”… Straight to the core Survival Instincts that predate conscious thought. We have to go directly, to the primordial, primitive, primeval, Reptile brain.

Almost 100 years ago, this unconscious REACTION was termed “Fight or Flight” by a scientist named Walter Canon. We need to INCITE this innate, subconscious, uncontrollable visceral reaction that operates entirely outside consciousness and thought.

Getting back to the “good drivers” for a moment… We have to Fully grasp and realize something that none of us wants to admit. Even “good” drivers can entirely miss seeing us and cause accidents. “WHAT?” “WHAT ARE YOU talking about???” “The driver’s Always Wrong…!!!…”… you say….!

We ALL have inherent human perception weaknesses and frailties, regardless of our state of mind while driving.

We have to review and outline a few topics to illustrate the Full extent of this “invisibility cloak” we road cyclists all wear.

First; Human visual Perception and Atmospheric Physics…

  • Lack of our relative movement and perspective; between traffic and the driver. Humans, like most every member of the animal kingdom, detect and identify movement far easier and faster than identifying the source/nature of that movement.  If you’re moving at the same relative speed as the surrounding traffic “pattern”, and or in the same direction, there is every likelihood you will “blend in” and go completely unnoticed; “inside” the driver’s mind, even IF you are clearly in the line of sight and “visible”…
  • Bright, cloudless days, and very dark shadows. Do you know what I’m talking about? No clouds means no diffracted light, no gray areas; only distinct very dark and bright light borders. Do you know the average time it takes for a human eye to fully adapt (Adaptation) from bright light to the dark? Astronomers would knowingly answer 20-30 MINUTES ! So what chance do (any) drivers eyes (the rods) have of making the physiological/chemically time dependent change while driving from a bright daylight area, into a dark shadowed area? The answer is very little, in fact almost none… I rode to the scene of a fatality accident not long ago at the exact time of the accident, two days later. Tall trees on the east, created shadows across ALMOST the whole road. On a cloudless day, like the day of her death, the bright light was blinding, and the shadows, very dark… Seeing into the darkened bike lane line, never mind identifying a cyclist wearing black clothing, was difficult for me. And I was prepared for the physiological/perception drawbacks. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Now imagine the shadows cast by buildings, trucks, cars, etc… and you can “see” the problem.
  • Low blinding sun on the horizon. Most all of us have experienced these phenomena. The eyes become overexposed (and overwhelmed) by direct penetrating sunlight that is much brighter in the early morning and late afternoon (due to the reduced atmosphere and scattering). The windshield with inherent flaws creates bright and dark rays making it very, very difficult to see through.
  • Black and dark clothing against black roads… need more be said
  • Dirty or wet windshields and windows – “What is this rusty, dusty, dirty-looking thing over your window? Enough said.
  • Dark tunnels and shadows/overpasses on clear, cloudless, bright days… (see 20-30 minute Eye Adaptation time above). (Remember a decent US Pro cyclist that rode into a dark tunnel,,, without a helmet OR Lights…?… look at how well that turned out…
  • Higher “priority” distractions that forces and takes attention away from road outside (texting/email/phone), sirens, stopping traffic, lane changing trucks, peds, etc.. We will talk about this one in a bit.
  • You photographers/videographers already know where I’m going with this. Our eyes/brains process information pathetically slowly. A VERY SLOW incoming 24 frames per second is fast enough to completely fool our turtle slow brains. Adding to this problem is the ironic placement of our visual cortex at the very rear/back of our brain, the farthest possible position away from our eyes… We (read; drivers included) weren’t designed or meant for quick or efficient processing of visual information.
  • Our minds generally process less than 5% of what the eyes actually see. Again, pathetic but true… Most of the world around us is seen by our eyes, but unnoticed and unprocessed by our minds. I’m not just talking about the ease with which any skilled magician can fool our minds, but in everyday life observations. How much of what is in front of you, do you actually process and remember…? Very little it turns out…. So also for human drivers. Most people are completely (blissfully) unware of the complexity or enormity of the vision comprehension problem.

***

From Discover magazine2:

Vision, of course, is more than recording what meets the eye: it’s the ability to understand, almost instantaneously, what we see. And that happens in the brain. The brain, explains neurobiologist Semir Zeki of the University of London, has to actively construct or invent our visual world. Confronted with an overwhelming barrage of visual information, it must sort out relevant features and make snap judgments about what they mean. It has to guess at the true nature of reality by interpreting a series of clues written in visual shorthand; these clues help distinguish near from far, objects from background, motion in the outside world from motion created by the turn of the head. Assumptions are built into the clues–for example, that near things loom larger, or that lighting comes from above.

The brain must process an immense amount of information as fast as it can, using any shortcuts it can, says Anstis. It has to find a minimum hypothesis to cover a maximum amount of data. So it’s got to use any trick it can. His experiment reveals one of those tricks: We think the brain is programmed to use brightness the way it is in the world. That means shadows are always darker, and light comes from above.

***

Rule #2. While cycling, like it or not, admit it or not, believe it or not… WE ARE often LITERALLY invisible, to bad and good drivers alike, no matter how alert and conscious they may be. Our presence often just doesn’t register in a driver’s mind. Why not?… is the question, this article seeks to answer.

Rule #3. We MUST find a way to unconsciously BE perceived as a THREAT by the driver to be NOTICED within the subconscious REPTILE brain.

The Reptile brain, first and foremost, identifies threats. We must create Relative Movement and/or change our perspective (frame of reference) relative to the driver. For reasons you are probably already aware, but that will soon be explained.

How can we completely bypass the conscious, perceptual, senses which are too often just plain blind, or dozing off asleep at the switch anyway?…

Let’s get back to the interviewed (killer) drivers’ statements. “I never saw them”. (Where I might also add “… until it was too late”)

The police have a very difficult legal problem here assigning fault to the driver. As I learned from personal experience with the police in my own near murder, a driver not “seeing” a cyclist IS (unbelievably) a valid, legal and very frustrating (for cyclists) defense.

Even though every interviewed driver repeated nearly identical statements, it is impossible for anyone to determine whether this was some mental defense mechanism, (a human rationalization/justification, as many have postulated) or in fact, was visually true. In this case, legally it doesn’t matter. And more importantly, in practice it doesn’t matter either. Dead is Dead.

Let’s get to the core of this legal problem. Wouldn’t it be great for cyclists if this invisibility “defense” variable was taken completely out of the equation?!?   It would seem unlikely, and seemingly extremely difficult to make the “invisible” case/claim when blinding lights are flashing from the bike.

Less than a year after my own near death experience, I mentioned that there were three cyclists that were killed in Newport Beach.   Together, they outline and illustrate each of the issues.

One of them a well-known doctor, was riding with her husband on Newport Coast, in dark morning tree shadows, at the wrong time. One of them, a young woman, had made a right hand turn onto Bayside Dr. from PCH (S). A following gardening stake bed truck ran her over. What is dangerous about this corner is that the turn is largely blind due to a wall and large tree. The driver, like all the others claimed to police, “I never saw her”… which may have been true… The police had no legal choice but to accept his statement, and not cite him. But what if the driver had clearly seen her, and been warned of her presence a minute, and half a mile earlier, Before she ever made the turn?… and undeniably reinforced it, after he made his turn behind her? Would the outcome have been different? Statistics say Yes, absolutely.

Most of you have been tracking where I’m going with this… and some are saying to yourself, “No, it’s too much trouble”… or “NO, it’s too expensive”, or “No, I shouldn’t have to worry about something that is clearly the driver’s fault/problem?”…

OK; good enough…. I only have two questions for you, to Ask yourself.

  1. How much is my (your) life worth? Yes, I‘m absolutely serious. How Much is YOUR LIFE WORTH?… to you, your family, your wife, husband, children, parents…? How MUCH? How much is your time worth? IF you’re hit, at the very least, you Will Very likely be missing work, paying medical bills, bike repair bills, be in a LOT of pain, etc… Isn’t it waaay better (AND A LOT CHEAPER) to avoid problems in the first place, than pay for the resulting outcome?
  2. If you lie BLEEDING in the street, dead or seriously injured, does it really matter who was/is right or wrong?… I’d like to ask every, single, dead, fatality victim, OR their family members, IF they REALLY care who was right or wrong?

Having been there myself, I can tell you definitively the short, quick, two lettered variety answer, for a FACT.

So; now that we have a better understanding of the “perception” issues and problems, for you H. Potter fans; What IS our “defense against the dark arts…”(DADA)… “Unconscious” and blind?

 

 

1Roughly 500,000:000002/10 years (about the same as getting hit by lighting)

2http://www.dsh.ca.gov/patton/

 

mark d. goodley

Near Fatality Survivor

Product Design Engineer

USA Cycling Licensed Pro Race Mechanic #325244

………

Part 2 here.

 

Guest Post: The Benefits of a Bicycle for Urban Transport

Every now and then — okay, nearly every day — I get a request to write a guest post for this site.

Most turn out to be from marketers hoping to slip in a link to their client’s website. Which are promptly ignored.

But this week, we’ll feature three new guest posts; two from a long-time contributor, and one from a new one.

The first comes from Nik Donovic, who describes himself as a lifelong, if casual, cyclist and new-found fixie enthusiast with a passion for road safety — especially after a driver hit his dad a few months ago.

And yes, before you ask, his father is okay, though it was scary for both of them.

This may be preaching to the choir on here. But it’s worth reading.

……..

Remember your first bike and how exhilarated you felt when you were finally freed from the confines of the wobbly training wheels? Your first bike is memorable. The polished chrome that was almost blinding in the sun, the smooth curve of the banana seat, and the streamers that whipped around from the end of your handlebars as you rode fast and without a care in the world. Your bike was your main source of transportation from trips to the park, to school, and to your best friend’s house. Jump ahead 20 years and you consider yourself lucky if you’re able to hop on your bicycle to ride to the neighborhood coffee shop on a Saturday morning. Part-time bicycle riders are full of excuses as to why they “don’t have time” to ride: I’ve got groceries to pick up. I don’t have proper riding gear. I’m too tired. I can’t ride THAT far. It’s not safe. I would, but…

 

Are There Any Valid Excuses Not to Ride?

The reasons seems endless, but what’s the point of owning a bicycle if you aren’t going to ride? Sure, bicycling requires a time commitment, but so does sitting in your car while commuting to and from work. While a substantial amount of bicyclists are hitting the streets, more than a decade ago, the majority remains to be strictly recreational riders.

In a 2014 U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report, commissioned by PeopleForBikes, 16,193 adults were surveyed on their bicycle usage. The results revealed that 54% of adults believe that bicycling is a convenient form of transportation, but 48% of adults don’t have access to a bicycle at home and 52% of adults fear being struck by vehicles. 46% of surveyed adults would ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated. Finally, 70% of bicyclists only ride for recreation or leisure while 46% ride to travel to and from school or work.

Although the concerns are reasonable, bicycling is safer and more accessible than people may think. While it’s true that sharing the road with motorists can be dangerous (and a little scary), bicycling is often safer than driving. The National Safety Council reports that for every million cyclists in the US, about 16.5 die each year in comparison to the 19.9 motorist deaths each year.

In regards to the not having access to a bicycle at home, there are several great public bike sharing systems throughout the U.S. in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco. Don’t have a bike share system in your town? Check out a local bike shop. You don’t need a top of the line, multiple geared bicycle to get from place to place. So, no more excuses. Just ride.

 

Urban Cycling Leads to Better Health

Maybe you’re only a “weekend rider” because you feel too tired or out of shape to ride a bicycle on a regular basis and maybe the “out of practice” aches and pains keep you from riding more regularly. However, like other forms of exercise, your body gets stronger and healthier with consistent movement. Sure, a sore rear end and tired legs may persist after your first few rides, but over time, you will forget that riding was ever a struggle. Unlike running and other sports, bicycling is a gentle form of exercise, putting less stress on your body and making it accessible to people of all ages and abilities. All the times that you ride, remember how good it feels after you hop off your bike? Your blood is pumping, your endorphins are high, and you might even say, “I can’t wait to ride again.” Don’t make bicycling an “every now and then”, but rather remember how good it feels to ride and use that as your motivation. From heart to lungs, there are so many health benefits related to bicycling.

In addition to all the physical and mental health benefits, a 2012 study conducted in Iowa revealed that bicycling can save a significant amount of money typically allocated to health care. When looking at statistics surrounding the cost of diabetes, breast/colorectal cancers, heart disease and stroke related treatments, recreational and commuter cyclists saved money by simply being more healthy. For instance, in Des Moines, savings from commuter cyclists includes $254,797 and in Johnson County, cyclists are estimated to save $1,018,347 in health care costs each year.

 

Don’t Add to the Urban Congestion

As a recreational bicyclist, you may stick to areas within your cities that have trails and other areas designated for bicyclists. While such areas provide a great opportunity to be “one with nature”, get exercise, and keep cyclists off the road, they aren’t as practical for commuting cyclists. As a commuter, you often need to ride side by side with other vehicles which can feel overwhelming, a little dangerous, and far from “taking your mind off of stress”.

Still, being a commuter cyclist doesn’t need to be stressful. A lot depends on space allocated for cyclists. As a commuter cyclist, you’re doing your part to reduce urban congestion, but you’re only really making a difference if there are bike lanes in place. In “bicycle friendly” cities like Minneapolis, traffic volume increased but was less congested when bicycles had separate lanes.

Here’s an example of bike lanes working correctly: in San Francisco, on busy Valencia Street, vehicle lanes were reduced from four to two and a center lane and two bike lanes were added. As a result, pedestrians were not only 36% safer, but there was a significant increase of bicycle riders by 140%. In the same report released by Smart Growth America, pedestrians and bicyclists combined (about half and half) have reduced congestion by about 30% in the nation’s 100 most congested cities. If bicycle lanes continue to pop up, we can expect the congestion to keep dropping.

 

Human and Physical Infrastructure for Cyclists

From Minneapolis, MN to Austin, TX, big cities are becoming more bicycle friendly, recognizing the importance of less traffic and better health, but most cities can’t be truly bicycle friendly without infrastructures.

 

Physical Infrastructure for Safety and Economic Gain

Biking trails, bicycle lanes, and non-motorized vehicle overpasses are essential for bicycle safety and ease of travel; they make up the physical infrastructure. This infrastructure can help avoid drivers hitting cyclists as opposed to urban roads with no infrastructure. Many cyclists may not realize that the presence of physical infrastructures benefit the economy as well. In cities like Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., home values increased the closer they were located to infrastructures like bike pathways. Additionally, businesses located in an area with physical infrastructures for cyclists (such as bike pathways and widened sidewalks) typically see a boost in business. In the study of Valencia Street in San Francisco (as mentioned earlier), businesses on the street saw a significant increase (about 66%) of patronage due to better physical infrastructure for cyclists.

 

No Physical Infrastructure Without Human Infrastructure

Despite the overwhelming need for physical infrastructure, it wouldn’t exist without human infrastructure. Such infrastructure can include biking advocates, bike shop owners, and bicycle riding groups. Without bike shops, to purchase and repair bicycles, the future of the “urban bicyclist” would be limited. By supporting a local bike shop, not only are you supporting the local economy, but you are supporting some of your biggest advocates. Bicycle shop owners and employees have a passion for bicycling. They commute by bicycle, they encourage others to ride, and they have valuable feedback when it comes to planning physical infrastructure. If you want to see an increase of physical infrastructure for cyclists, find a group of bicycle advocates and enthusiasts to join.

In cities across America, we’ve witnessed the increase of urban bicyclists who can ride the city streets more safely thanks to the passions of fellow riders who fought for a better riding environment.

 

Morning Links: DUI driver in Palos Verdes rampage gets three years; scofflaw cyclists no worse than drivers

The Torrance man who went on a drunken rampage through the Palos Verdes Peninsula won’t be driving anywhere anytime soon.

William Thomas Kelly was sentenced to three years in jail Monday after pleading no contest to felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence causing injury.

Kelly had a BAC of .11 when he crashed into numerous cars, moving and otherwise, in September of 2013. Not to mention nearly hitting a pedestrian, and intentionally forcing a bicyclist off the road and into some bushes before repeatedly running over his bike.

According to the Daily Breeze, the rider, Doug Castile, was in the courtroom for the sentencing, hoping to see some sign of remorse from the man who tried to run him down. But didn’t get a single hit of it.

Maybe Kelly will finally show a little when he gets out in a few years

And hopefully, he’ll have to walk or bike anywhere he goes for the rest of his life.

……..

Interesting interview from Science Friday, as a professor from the University of Colorado Denver says despite perceptions, bike riders break the law at about the same rate as drivers do. But we do it for perceived safety reasons, rather than convenience or time savings, like drivers do.

As if to emphasize the point, a Napa resident complains about those darn scofflaw, semi-suicidal cyclists ruining her drive. And a New York editorial says cyclists have to get on board with the city’s safety plans.

Funny how motorists can see bike riders breaking the law, but never seem to notice the far more dangerous law-breaking drivers they share the road with.

……..

Fabian Cancellara crashed out of the Tour de France with two fractured vertebrae in his first day in the yellow jersey as part of Monday’s massive multi-rider pile-up. Remarkably, he managed to finish the stage, in what must have been incredible pain, before abandoning the race.

The Sacramento Bee offers a timeline of Monday’s third stage.

After being embarrassed when several riders went through a railroad crossing barricade in this year’s Paris-Roubaix race, French authorities have ordered the military to guard crossings during the tour to prevent bike racing rascals from trying it again.

You can support the first African team in the Tour de France by donating a bike for an African child as part of their #BicyclesChangeLives campaign. And yes, they do.

Meanwhile, mountain bikers were busy as well, as two Americans saw the podium in a World Cup race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

……..

Local

There’s no excuse for not learning how to ride a bike safely this summer, as Metro and the LACBC sponsor bike safety classes throughout LA County, including Long Beach and the San Gabriel Valley.

LADOT opens a new bike corral complete with repair stand outside Peddler’s Creamery near Fifth and Main in DTLA.

Bicycling looks at long-time bike advocate — and Calbike board VP — Charlie Gandy and his famed three-hour tour of Long Beach bike infrastructure.

 

State

KPCC looks at the state’s proposed hit-and-run alert legislation, which would notify the public to be on the lookout following particularly egregious hit-and-runs.

San Diego invests $74 million in fixing 300 miles of bad roads, which is especially good news for those on two wheels. Let’s hope they put in safe bike lanes while they’re at it.

A planned bike freeway promises to change the way Fresno residents live.

A Eureka cyclist crosses the 100,000 mile mark in his 40-year riding career. That’s a mark I left behind a long time ago.

 

National

A history professor from my hometown makes a full recovery from the gran mal seizure that caused her to crash during a bike race, suffering a concussion and fracturing her spine in five places; the benign golf ball-sized tumor that caused her seizure was successfully removed, as well.

Big hearted donors raise $5,000 for travel and funeral expenses for a Ukrainian woman killed while riding her bike home from work in Iowa.

Houston regulations will now require narrower traffic lanes, as well as taking all users into account, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a custom-made bike from a Wisconsin girl with spinal bifida — let alone just before her 12th birthday.

A Minneapolis cyclist offers a harrowing first-hand account of what it’s like to see her best friend left lying in the street by a hit-and-run driver.

Beverly Hills is holding their annual bicycling classic crit. No, not the bike-unfriendly one on LA’s Westside. The one in Chicago.

Speaking of Chicago, they plan to turn a large patch of industrial wasteland into a world class 278-acre bike park.

A Cincinnati man is riding 2,000 miles to Yellowstone to remember his late wife who struggled with depression, while raising funds for mood disorder research.

A Michigan study shows apartments rent for 28% more in walkable areas, while home prices are 58% higher than non-walkable areas. Seems to hold true for bikeable areas, too.

A Connecticut driver is arrested on drug and DUI charges after nearly hitting a bicyclist; he admitted drinking four or five beers, and was found with three controlled substances prescribed to someone else, vodka, Bud Light and a straw that had been used to snort a prescription drug. And was then released on a whopping $100 bail.

 

International

A texting British driver gets 21 months for killing a hi-viz-wearing cyclist; he was busy flirting with a woman he met online instead of watching the road. Other drivers clearly saw the victim, but evidently, that would have required looking up from his phone.

A Brit woman is justifiably outraged that the drunk driver who killed her bike-riding husband while traveling at twice the speed limit will only serve six months behind bars.

As biking continues to grow in popularity, the UK government and local councils are urged to make riding safer; 55% of people surveyed said bicycling should be a higher government priority.

The Irish Independent says walking and biking aren’t just part of a green, hippy, sandal-wearing lifestyle.

Cape Town, South Africa’s new green bike lanes are declared a failure since motorists can’t resist parking in them.

An Aussie website looks at the bike tools every cyclist should own. Although most bike riders can get away with just a fraction of those, and a good mechanic.

 

Finally…

Don’t be too impressed with your bike riding skills; turns out even a Raccoon can do it. GoPro unveils a new lighter, more aero cam, as long as you’re willing to fork out nearly $400 bucks.

And what do you tip your waiter when he returns your stolen bike along with your latte?

 

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