Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: Flax calls out road diet bullies, PCH bike/ped safety grant, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Yes, we were bullied.

An Op-Ed by Peter Flax offers a good look at what he describes as the histrionics and fake news that have corrupted the road diet debate in the wake of the Playa del Rey debacle.

He describes the one-sided videos and unsupported accusations that the lane reductions were harming businesses in Playa and Mar Vista. And that it was Mayor Garcetti who pulled the plug in Playa del Rey.

One unpublicized meeting spelled the end of the task force and the Playa del Rey road diet. In league with outside forces, lower Playa business owners — among them prominent members of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, already applying public pressure — demanded an audience with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. People familiar with the proceedings tell me the group confronted Garcetti with a narrative that the road diet was destroying local businesses and made explicit threats to undermine the mayor’s political ambitions. These strong arm tactics set off a chain of events that led to the near-complete reversal of traffic-calming measures on Culver, Jefferson and Pershing…

This was a savvy move: Everyone cares about the health of small businesses in the community. As an advocate for pedestrian and cyclist safety, I will admit that I’m comfortable if peoples’ commutes get a few minutes longer if it makes our streets less dangerous, but I don’t want local merchants to suffer. Nobody does, and a perception that road diets harm local businesses could shift public opinion in a major way. Dozens of studies conducted in major U.S. cities have concluded that traffic calming efforts ultimately boost business, but that certainly hasn’t stopped opponents from arguing that these dynamics don’t apply in L.A.

He also points the finger where it belongs — at the mayor and city departments that have failed to lead and to stand up in support of their own programs.

The absence of facts is a defining problem in the public conversation about our roads. This cannot simply be blamed on one side of this dispute. Part of the problem is how poorly our politicians and transportation officials as well as the city’s dominant news outlets have communicated incontestable facts to people who live and drive in L.A. The mayor has been painfully silent.

This has created a void that allows a free-for-all on Facebook and Nextdoor, where people on both sides can essentially make up their own facts — about travel times, accident rates, business impacts, the laws governing speeding and jaywalking, the scientific underpinning of Vision Zero, and so on. Rather than form opinions about what to do on Venice Boulevard based on substantiated traffic or accident data, published studies on road diets, or an unbiased analysis of business impacts, the public has wound up getting informed and misinformed by social media, where people who are angry about traffic freely dismiss INRIX and LADOT data as #fakenews and then create memes with data they prefer.

It’s worth reading the full piece. Because this is the fight we’re all in if we want safer streets in the City of Angels, whether we like it or not.

And yes, I’ve felt a lot of that bullying myself, usually after something I’ve written has been mentioned on Nextdoor, a site I avoid like the plague.

Although nowhere near as much as Flax, who has been subject to more abuse and attempts at character assignation than anyone should have to tolerate.

All for the sake of safer and more livable streets, and a more vibrant community.

There is a sickness within our society right now, where what should be civil, fact-based debates too often degenerate into name calling and outright lies.

Not to mention the death threats I reported to the police earlier this year.

This is our city and these are our streets. They don’t belong to cars or the people in them.

They belong to all of us.

And we all have a right to live — and survive — on them.

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A $15,000 state grant will be used to improve bike and pedestrian safety along PCH through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, including better enforcement and education on bike laws.

Although they should start by educating the sheriff’s department, which frequently misinterprets CVC 21202 to ticket people for riding abreast or in the traffic lane, both of which are legal in most cases.

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‘Tis the season.

The parents of a fallen soldier have purchased 70 bicycles for kids at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood.

A Virginia Walmart has stepped in to supply 460 of the 600 bicycles needed for a kids’ bike giveaway, after the original order was screwed up.

One thousand volunteers turned out in Tampa FL to build 800 bicycles to give to needy children.

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This is day seven of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And thanks to J Patrick L, Michael Y, Jeffrey F, Mark J, Joel S, Ellen S and Evan B for their generous donations to help support this site. And a belated thanks to Robs M for being the first to donate using Zelle, which apparently doesn’t let me know when someone uses it.

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Local

Spin is the latest dockless bikeshare company to invade LA, setting up office with a pilot program in Koreatown; Streetsblog asks if privately owned dockless bikeshare will prove to be a blessing or curse.

The LA Daily News looks at Metro’s plans to address the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Downtown LA — although construction won’t start for at least another five years. Good thing they weren’t planning to use it for the road cycling course in the 2028 Olympics.

UCLA’s student newspaper say’s Elon Musk’s tunnels won’t solve LA’s traffic problems, and represents the same old thinking that got Angelenos stuck in this mess. Although the point of the tunnels isn’t to solve traffic problems, but just to let wealthy drivers avoid them.

A Monrovia letter writer can’t seem to grasp the concept that sharrows mean that’s where bikes are supposed to be, bike riders don’t have to get the way out of impatient drivers, and drivers are supposed to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

 

State

Southern California officials say cuts in the proposed GOP tax bill could result in an increase in traffic, including the loss of a $20 benefit for people who bike to work.

The OC Sheriff’s Department is looking for the owners of the 1,000 presumably stolen bicycles that were recovered near a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River; if you think your bike might be one of them, send a description of the bike and the serial and police report numbers to [email protected].

A 19-year old Watsonville man will face a vehicular homicide charge in the September death of a bike rider after police concluded he was speeding. And even though the victim ran a red light.

A new short documentary profiles a bike-riding, tai chi-practicing, tennis-playing San Franciscan octogenarian artist.

Once again, opponents attempt to use California’s CEQA anti-pollution laws to stop construction of bike and pedestrian paths in San Francisco, which is exactly what the revised rules are supposed to prevent. Update: J. Patrick Lynch forwards word that the San Francisco Supervisors shot that attempt down

You’ll soon need a reservation to visit the popular Muir Woods National Monument near Sausalito, unless you’re riding a bicycle or entering on foot.

A Sacramento cyclist is using a new form of inhaled insulin to control his Type 1 diabetes.

 

National

A new bike trailer can carry as much as a minivan while doubling as a fork lift — although you might need an ebike to pull the full 400 pound load.

Phoenix parents hop in their car and chase down a thief who stole their son’s bike.

A Colorado letter writer addresses the hatred expressed by some people towards the people on bikes who have the audacity to slow them down for a few seconds. Proving that it’s not just a SoCal phenomenon after all.

Caught on video: A pair of mountain bikers make the first-ever bike descent of a famed black diamond ski run at Jackson Hole WY.

Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until he killed someone. A Houston woman calls for changes in DUI laws after her bike-riding husband was killed by an alleged drunk driver who was already facing a previous drunk driving charge. Anyone arrested for DUI should automatically have their license suspended and the car they were driving impounded until the case is resolved.

A Texas TV station steps in after a bike rider gets the runaround when his bike was damaged by an uninsured Lyft driver.

Heartbreaking story from Minnesota, where a restaurant worker was the victim of two crashes in three weeks while riding his bike. And may not survive the second one, after the driver fled the scene.

Kindhearted Michigan police buy a new bike for a five-year old boy after he got caught in his and had to be cut out.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, where someone spray painted a bike lane on a bridge.

Once again, the tone deaf NYPD responds to the death of bike rider killed by a speeding driver by ticketing people riding bikes.

No surprise here, as the man accused of killing eight people in the New York bike path attack on Halloween has pled not guilty.

Hundreds of Philadelphians form a human-protected bike lane to protest the death of a bike rider killed by the driver of a trash truck while riding in a faded bike lane.

A road raging Pennsylvania man was sentenced to between one to 23 months in prison for attempting to run a bike rider off the road and threatening to kill him; he blamed the victim, as well as medications he was taking for paranoia and bipolar disorders.

A Florida bike rider became the latest victim of a police officer responding to an alarm without lights and sirens.

 

International

Local politicians say more has to be done to protect bicyclists and pedestrians in Victoria, British Columbia. And pretty much everywhere else.

Toronto is considering adopting a bike registration and theft reporting app that has resulted in a 30% drop in bike thefts in Vancouver over the last two years. Can we get that here? Pretty please?

London’s protected cycle superhighways move people five times more efficiently than regular traffic lanes. Meanwhile, the city will ban construction of new parking spaces in large segments of the city to reduce pollution. Which is probably better than LA’s approach of ripping out bike lanes.

A British magazine talks with adventurer Mark Beaumont about his record-setting ride around the world in less than 80 days.

Kashmir bicyclists pedal for democracy to call attention to the upcoming election process.

Caught on video too: After an Aussie driver nearly sideswiped a man riding in a bike lane, the driver accused him of riding outside the lane, which he clearly didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Israel may be paying Chris Froome two million euros — the equivalent of $2.37 million — just to participate in next year’s Giro d’Italia, which is scheduled to start in the country.

A federal judge rules that Lance can use the “everybody else was doing it” defense in the $100 million lawsuit brought against him for allegedly defrauding his government sponsors through systematic doping.

Seven Columbian cyclists and one Bolivian rider failed drug tests at August’s Tour of Columbia, testing positive for a form of EPO. But let’s all pretend the doping era ended when Lance got busted, okay?

 

Finally…

You may able to drink your next Surly. You could be able to ride on, not in, your next Rapha.

And probably not the best idea to interrupt your 25-year ride around the world by getting drunk and assaulting cops just hours after entering a new country.

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Thank you all for the kind words about my wife. It looks like she may be doing a little better, and may be able to avoid additional surgery for now. 

Fingers crossed.

Morning Links: LA Times says stop killing pedestrians, and Metro plans LA River bike path through DTLA

A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to stop killing pedestrians, and calls on the city to invest in smart infrastructure — including road diets — to “protect motorists, cyclists and pedestrians from each other and from themselves.”

Which is exactly what Vision Zero is supposed to be about.

But so far, isn’t.

At least not in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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Metro unveils plans to extend the LA River bike path eight miles through DTLA between Elysian Valley and Vernon.

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LA County will host a community meeting on December 5th to discuss the proposed Complete Streets project for Rosemead Blvd.

The County of Los Angeles is hosting a community meeting for the Rosemead Boulevard Complete Streets Improvement (CSI) Project – Phase I. Stop by any time during the community meeting on December 5 to learn about the proposed complete street enhancements, share your ideas on a vision for Rosemead Bl and talk to Project team members. Spanish interpreters will be available.

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course, 3260 Fairway Dr., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

For more information, contact Martin Reyes, Principal Civil Engineering Assistant, at 844-588-8877. Please visit the webpage for more information at www.dpw.lacounty.gov/go/rosemeadCS.

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As we’ve noted before, the war on cars is a myth. But the war on bikes is all too real.

A San Bernardino driver allegedly used his car to murder a bike-riding acquaintance.

A British driver is charged with slapping a bike rider, then driving up on the sidewalk and confronting him again.

French pro cyclist Yoann Offredo was fined the equivalent of $833 for an altercation with a road raging driver and her passenger, even though he claimed he was just defending himself; they were fined, as well.

A road raging New Zealand driver jumped a curb and drove onto a sidewalk to run down a bike rider, then got out of his car and told the victim his broken leg serves him right; police arrested the driver thanks to the victim’s photo of his license plate.

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Then again, sometimes bike riders are the bad guys.

A Fresno bike rider was caught on video stealing from a donation box.

A road raging San Francisco bicyclist was arrested for allegedly boarding a bus to attack the driver.

And a Wisconsin man is facing charges for a sexual assault spree while riding his bike.

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Don’t make the Corgi beg. Your donation will help keep this site online, and keep her in kibble.

This is day five of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And thanks to Wesley R, Harvey W, Fred D, Patrick M, Guillermo A, Todd R, Bernard B, Elizabeth T, Anne M and Andrew F for their generous donations to help support this site.

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Local

An allegedly drunk driver in North Hills was arrested after plowing into six parked cars and killing a mother as she carried her infant son. Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver with a previous DUI conviction on the roads until he killed someone.

A Mar Vista tattoo artist says the Venice Blvd Great Streets project has caused a drop-off in business, and forced him to ride his bike to work because there’s never any parking. Or as the great Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

A former South Pasadena public works commissioner says it doesn’t matter if a road diet and bike lanes are feasible on Monterey Road, because the public won’t stand for it. Sadly, given the toxic atmosphere in the LA area these days, he’s probably right.

Pasadena plans to install new bike racks in Brookside Park.

Pasadena considers alternatives to the most likely cancelled 710 Freeway extension, including building bike lanes to help mitigate traffic.

 

State

California regulators finally released updated CEQA rules, which will no longer require developers and planners to consider a proposed project’s effects on traffic congestion. Which should make it much easier to build bike lanes by removing a frequent tool used by opponents. That was the basis for one of the lawsuits filed against the Vista del Mar lane reduction, which helped force the removal of the project; hopefully there will be a different result next time.

A San Diego talk radio host has started a petition to repeal California’s recent gas tax hike intended to repair the state’s broken roads. Anyone who signs it should be permanently prohibited from complaining about traffic or bad streets.

 

National

Fast Company considers what it will take to get more women on bicycles.

Bicycling looks at the best bags for bike commuters.

Chicago is working to separate bicyclists and pedestrians along the entire 18-mile length of the popular Lakefront Trail.

People playing Pokémon Go while driving caused two deaths and up to $25 million in damages in one Indiana county alone last year.

New York could be the next city to hop on the dockless bikeshare bandwagon. Unless Houston beats them to it.

A witness says a New York driver ran a red light at a high rate of speed before fatally plowing into a 14-year bike delivery boy. So naturally, the NYPD will give the driver a pass.

Life is cheap in the Big Apple, where an allegedly stoned driver walks without a single day behind bars after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of a bike rider.

 

International

Thieves stole 27 test bikes, as well as high-end wheels, worth the equivalent of nearly $200,000 from British bike magazine Cycling Weekly; the gear was on hand to be photographed for the magazine’s Editor’s Choice awards. Speaking of the magazine, it was included in the $2.8 billion sale of Time Magazine and other publications to a company partially financed by the conservative Koch brothers.

An English university paper offers seven bike safety tips for students, only three of which actually have anything to do with safety. And apparently they couldn’t come up with a picture of a bike helmet.

A British bicyclist describes a crash last week where a driver plowed into him and three other cyclists, including his wife, as they rode single file; fortunately, none were seriously injured.

An English woman is riding around New Zealand on a DIY bamboo bike to spread an anti-plastic message.

The Guardian writes about the challenges of riding in the winter and how to overcome them. Although Britain’s Cyclist Magazine offers more practical advice for riding in wet weather, much of which even applies here in usually sunny SoCal.

Iran faces the challenge of getting women off bikes, not on them, as the country’s supreme leader issues a fatwa prohibiting women from riding bicycles in public, or in the presence of strangers or non-family members.

Aussie researchers are shocked! shocked! to discover people on bicycles actually ride in the traffic lanes on regular streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Everything you always wanted to know about the Tour de France, but were afraid to ask.

The board of the Polish cycling federation has been asked to resign over charges that cyclists and staff members had been drugged, raped and molested by a high-ranking official.

 

Finally…

Yes, cycling has benefits for fitness, even if they can’t seem to decide which kind they’re talking about. Evidently, you can have satisfying sex with your bike.

And maybe it’s not the best idea to jump from a moving bicycle onto an ATV to make a bust.

Or try to, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Annual Holiday Fund Drive under way, Brits go bike helmet mad, and Mike Bonin recall debate

This is day four of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Today’s common theme is uproar that arose when the Times of London apparently decided to create a controversy, by asking Britain’s transportation minister if the government would consider requiring all bike riders to wear helmets.

Then bizarrely took his non-answer as confirmation that a helmet law was in the offing, when he said nothing of the sort.

Unfortunately, the original story is hidden behind a paywall. Although they did at least change the headline to say the policy was under review.

But even that isn’t true.

It’s a sad decline on the subject for the paper that led the campaign to improve safety for bicyclists just five years earlier.

And it didn’t take long for the rest of the Fleet Street newspapers to jump into the fray.

The Telegraph said bike safety advocates — or campaigners in Brit parlance — warn against mandating helmets, while hiding a column behind a paywall that said helmets and hi-viz would shackle the freedom of bicycling.

The Guardian cites safety campaigners as saying there was no justification in making helmets compulsory, while columnist Peter Walker writes that you don’t make bicycling safe by forcing everyone to dress like urban warriors.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer.

A columnist for the Daily Mail says requiring everyone to wear a helmet will put more lives at risk by discouraging people from riding.

Meanwhile, official stats show that bicycling is about to surpass driving in London. But forcing everyone to wear a helmet could drive them back into their cars.

And an Aussie columnist jumps in, saying nanny state or not, bike helmets save us all. Even though the decline in head injuries after Australia instituted mandatory helmet laws can largely be attributed to a decline in ridership.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear a helmet. I never ride without mine.

But it should always be your choice.

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Local

This week’s Bike Talk features longtime advocate Don Ward debating Mike Bonin recall leader Alexis Edelstein.

Membership in UCLA’s bikeshare program exceeded projections for the first year in just the first two months.

Mark your calendar for LA’s most challenging hill climb race, Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, on December 17th.

South Pasadena asks Metro for funding for bike lanes after parents say it’s too scary to ride a bike with their kids in the city.

Long Beach restaurant owners are already worried about losing business due to the start of the Amgen Tour of California returning to the city for the first time in 11 years.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered a broken shoulder in a crash with another rider on a steep hill; no word on how the crash occurred.

Cyclists call on Moorpark to encourage more bike-friendly businesses, which are currently lacking in the city.

Palo Alto is set to approve construction of a $16 million bike bridge, settling for a simple design after a previous attempt at an iconic crossing turned out to be too expensive.

 

National

Earlier this year, we mentioned the woman who was riding over 4,000 miles across the US to photograph people she met along the way; the Daily Beast shares some of her best photos.

It takes some serious chutzpa — or maybe just stupidity — to steal a police bike from a Cheyenne WY squad car.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin man rides 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday.

A New Hampshire town tears up a multi-use path and tells bicyclists to ride in the street after 91-year old woman was killed in a crash with a bike rider last month.

A Pittsburgh bike rider plans to once again tackle the city’s steepest hills on a 37-pound bikeshare bike after failing to finish the 12-hill competition last year.

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is one of us, riding 17-miles along a DC canal every morning.

In a truly sickening case, a Louisiana man faces multiple charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had to pull the victim’s body out of his windshield before dumping him on the side of the road and driving away.

 

International

A woman writes about riding a bicycle to overcome an eating disorder. And yes, it is possible to live too cleanly.

Caught on video: A Vancouver driver confronts an “aggressive” bike rider who swerves around a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Yes, the rider was a jerk; he should have stopped to wait for the woman to cross the street. But I’m just as concerned about the vigilante driver who felt a need to confront the cyclist himself, then followed the rider for several blocks.

Speaking of Vancouver, the city set an ambitious goal of making 50% of all trips by bike, walking or transit by 2020 — and met it five years early. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Toronto bicyclists push to make drivers at least partially responsible for dooring bike riders, and teach the Dutch Reach on driver’s exams. Meanwhile, a Toronto columnist says it’s time to realize that the killing and maiming on our streets isn’t normal, and the law needs to change when driving in your sleep isn’t considered dangerous.

Caught on video: A rugby coach chases down a London thief riding off with a stolen bike slung over his shoulder.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver deliberately knocked a man off his bike. And will apparently get away with it unless more witnesses come forward.

Britain considers a national code of conduct for dockless bikeshares. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea here, at least on a statewide level.

The UK’s bike-riding Labour Party leader says bike safety is a social justice issue.

Over 1,100 people from 57 countries took part in Qatar’s largest cycling event.

A New Zealand man plans to finish the last 23 miles of a 108-mile bike trip home from boarding school that he abandoned 50 years ago as a teenager.

A Malaysian paper talks with the Swedish ambassador to provide a primer on Vision Zero.

Where Chinese bikeshare bikes go to die.

Now that’s a fat bike ride. British track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy will attempt to ride his bicycle 400 miles across Antarctica in record time.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British woman gave up her career as a veterinarian to train for the country’s cycling team.

 

Finally…

No, delivering food by bike does not mean you get to ignore traffic laws. Seriously, don’t run red lights — and if you do, don’t do it in front of a cop.

And now you can own your very own cycling team bus.

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Thanks to David R, Calla W, Gil S, Terrence H, Theodore F, Penny S and Felicia G for getting the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive off to a roaring start.

 

Morning Links: Unidentified bike rider in Mission Hills hospital; minor changes made to Foothills Blvd bike lanes

Today marks the first day of the third annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Or nearly every day, the way this year has gone.

As usual, you can donate with just a few clicks using PayPal.

Or now you can also donate in just seconds using the Zelle app — which is probably already in the banking app on your phone — by sending your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com;* you can download the app for iOS or Android if you don’t already have it.

Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

*Remove the spaces and format as a standard email address.

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Officials at a Mission Hills hospital are attempting to identify a bike rider who was injured in a crash in Van Nuys last Saturday.

The victim is described as a Latino man who appears to be in his early 30s, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and 173 pounds. He has brown eyes and short black hair, a short mustache and beard, with Maritza tattooed on his ring finger and Jade on his right forearm.

Anyone with information is urged to call Providence Holy Cross Medical Center at 818/365-8051 and ask for the nurse supervisors’ office.

Let this be yet another reminder to always have some form of ID with you when you ride.

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After residents made questionable claims about traffic chaos and emergency vehicles unable to get through on Foothill Blvd during the recent La Tuna fire, the city agreed to make changes.

But unlike Playa del Rey, the bike lanes will remain on the road.

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Local

KCET profiles a day in the life of carfree, single-speed bike-riding chef Will Marquardt, Chef de Cuisine at Petit Trois, regarded as one of America’s best restaurants. Although someone might want to explain the difference between Hollywood and West Hollywood to them.

LA Weekly looks at a bike-riding guerrilla street artist who turns discarded furniture into sad clown faces.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies arrested two bike riders on drug and DUI charges.

 

State

Orange County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the owners of the 1,000 bikes they recovered after clearing out a homeless camp, even though most have been stripped and are considered beyond repair.

A San Luis Obispo columnist says the city is engaged in social engineering in an attempt to force people to ride bicycles. Never mind that every decision made by government at any level is a form of social engineering. Including past policies that have lead us to this auto-centric dystopia.

Next City looks at San Francisco’s Vision Zero rapid response teams. As opposed to Los Angeles, where they usually get around to doing something about dangerous streets eventually. Or not.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run as he was riding home with food to make his family’s Thanksgiving meal.

 

National

Maybe driverless cars won’t run over us after all; Apple claims to have made a major breakthrough in detecting bike riders and pedestrians on the road.

Wired says if you want to see the future of cities, you need to keep an eye on the curb.

A young man connects with his Cherokee heritage through the annual Remember the Removal Memorial Bike Ride.

Austin TX has doubled the rate it’s building bikeways by employing three key steps, including finishing designs onsite.

A New Hampshire woman was shot by a hunter aiming for deer as she rode her bike near a park; naturally, no charges were filed.

A Queens deli owner says a new bike lane is murdering his business. Change is inevitable, for any business. You can waste your time trying to fight it, or embrace it and flourish.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a five-year old Florida girl’s bicycle and scooter right in front of her.

 

International

Ontario cyclists vow to return after authorities bulldoze an illegal mountain bike course.

A new Canadian study says bike commuting could be damaging your hearing.

Caught on video: A British bike rider captures the hit-and-run collision that knocked him off his bike on a roundabout.

The UK doesn’t require license plates for bicycles, so a school decided to do it themselves.

A Belfast newspaper says it’s time to invest in moving people through the city, rather than cars. Which is a lesson Los Angeles desperately needs to learn, but clearly hasn’t yet.

A Limerick, Ireland bike rider was busted for riding salmon with no hands; he ended up paying the equivalent of $142 in fines.

Evidently, the US isn’t the only country that doesn’t adequately instruct cops in bike law, as an Irish police chief gets the law wrong on riding abreast.

BMW envisions a world where ebike riders get their own sun-protected double-decker roads. Just not here in the US.

Italy’s Pinarello apologizes for the bike industry’s latest tone deaf ad.

A sports website looks at how bicycling has worked in conjunction with language to shape Italian culture.

A South African letter writer says greater tolerance would stop the cycle of cyclist abuse.

Caught on video too: An Aussie truck driver appears to be trying to see just how close he can pass a bike rider without actually hitting him.

In a bizarre crash, a Chinese boy had to be rescued after the brake handle on his bike somehow ended up jammed up his nose.

 

Competitive Cycling

Starting in January, pro cyclists will be able to use marijuana products, as long as they don’t contain any THC. Which is odd, since no one would say Snoop Dog or Willie Nelson would have an unfair advantage. Except maybe in an eating contest.

The new head of pro cycling’s governing body says maybe it’s time for a salary cap on cycling teams to improve competitiveness.

Nice story from the LA Times about a 16-year old Columbian rider who returned to cycling after his family struggled to buy him the bike he needed to compete.

 

Finally…

Seriously, anyone can do cyclocross on a cross bike. Go ahead and have that extra cup of coffee after your next ride.

And nothing like teaching your kids to steal bikes at an early age.

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Don’t forget to support your local bike shop today on Black Friday, and especially tomorrow on Small Business Saturday. Just stop in and buy something, anything.

And take a moment to read a pair of guest posts we featured last year from bike shop owners explaining what that matters.  

Morning Links: Crowdfunding campaign for injured cyclist, and a pre-Thanksgiving bike video trifecta

Before we get started, let me offer my apologies to anyone who sent me links to the stories below.

With all that’s been going on, I’m afraid I’ve lost any record of who sent me what. So please accept my thanks in advance; I am truly grateful to everyone who forwards bike stories for this site, today or any other day.

Photo of Fred Mackey taken from his GoFundMe page; see below.

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Sometimes I wish the people fighting traffic safety projects in Los Angeles could see the damage done by careless — and too often, cowardly — drivers.

Case in point, this crowdfunding page for yet another bike rider who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver while crossing La Brea Ave.

The campaign to help Fred Mackey pay the medical expenses his insurance won’t cover has raised a little over $3,000 of the $25,000 goal after four days.

I sort of met Fred while he was in the hospital; after learning about his crash, I popped in to say hi since he was on the same floor as my wife. Unfortunately, he was busy with his doctors at the time, and by the time I could make it back a few days later, his bed was occupied by an Asian woman who was wondering what the hell I was doing there.

And yes, there’s something seriously wrong with a country where people have to go online to beg for money to pay their medical bills.

………

CiclaValley offers what amounts to a painful Gravel Mob gag reel.

He follows that up with a compendium of bad drivers he encountered while riding to work.

Then again, looking for bad drivers in Los Angeles is like looking for ice in Greenland.

Except the bad drivers aren’t going anywhere.

………

A foul-mouthed excuse for a comedian seems to think running bike riders off the road is amusing, and that share the road means bike riders have to get the hell out of his way.

………

As long as we’re watching videos, let’s make the short leap from the seriously unfunny to a serious whackjob convinced LA is intentionally creating traffic jams to force drivers out of their cars and onto bikes and transit.

Unfortunately, though, he’s not the only one who believes this crap; you’ll find similar comments on almost any news story about or bike lanes or road diets.

………

Local

Maybe LA is finally getting the message that it’s cheaper to fix broken bike lanes than pay out multi-million dollar settlements to injured bike riders, since they repaved bike lanes in Lincoln Heights and Eagle Rock last week.

The Daily Breeze looks at the arrival of the LimeBike dockless bikeshares in Watts, San Pedro and Wilmington.

As we mentioned before, Pasadena is threatening to put a stop to the popular Rose Bowl Loop rides by installing a number of stop signs around the route. Something tells me they’ll also park a patrol car next to each one to enforce it, too.

Glendora and South Pasadena are establishing Bicycle Friendly Business Districts, as The Source confirms something we’ve said many times — that bikes are good for business.

Cities in the western San Gabriel Valley are developing a $1 billion wish list for projects they want to install with funding originally set aside for the cancelled 710-N freeway tunnel.

Sad news from Santa Clarita, where a coach for the SCV Mountain Bike Team was killed in a car collision Monday night.

Long Beach is beginning work on reconfiguring Bellflower Blvd to remove parking spaces and add bike lanes.

 

State

Dockless bikeshare is being held up in San Diego due to the city’s exclusive contract with the under-performing DecoBike bikeshare.

San Diego is moving forward with plans for a $140 million replacement for a Mission Bay bridge; the new bridges will include bike lanes and space for walking.

Continuing our all San Diego theme, a kindhearted stranger donated a new bike to an Imperial Beach man after the one he used as his only means of transportation was stolen.

 

National

The US is now an outlier when it comes to traffic safety, with some of the deadliest roads in the industrialized world.

Chances are, you already know making carbon bikes isn’t an environmentally friendly process, but Outside is here to remind you that your carbon mountain bike ain’t exactly green.

Bicycling offers tips on how to deal with road raging drivers. In my experience, the best move is to remove yourself from the roadway; pull up onto the sidewalk if possible, preferably in a public place. And make a public display of taking a photo of the driver and his or her license plate.

Forbes looks at the best holiday gifts for women cyclists.

Bike Snob asks if riding with headphones is really such a big deal.

This may be LA’s future, as a Seattle paper looks at some of the strange places people have left dockless bikeshare bikes in the city.

A Colorado bike shop is teaching life skills to low-income kids and people with disabilities, while providing them with low-cost or free bikes.

Seriously, who the hell would steal St. Paul MN’s egg-shaped, solar-powered literary arts ebike and trailer?

Detroit is about to get a spanking new world-class velodrome.

The parents of one of the victims of the New York bike path terrorist attack are suing the city for not installing safety barriers until after the attack. Meanwhile, prosecutors have filed 22 charges against the attacker, including eight possible death penalty charges.

The Pennsylvania bike rider who served 20 months behind bars for obstructing traffic has filed an appeal, claiming the judge in the case was biased and didn’t understand the law.

Now that’s more like it. An unlicensed Florida driver got 12 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after getting his girlfriend to claim she was behind the wheel. Note to women: If your boyfriend, husband and/or significant other wants you to take the fall for his crimes, get a new one.

 

International

A road raging Canadian bike rider is facing weapons charges after threatening a couple in a car with a knife.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a handicapped British boy’s specialized adaptive bike.

An English man gets nine and a half years for plowing into a bike rider during a Jack Daniels-fueled rampage, after telling his girlfriend he was cheating on her, followed by carjacking a woman’s car.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walks after seriously injuring a bike rider, despite his admission that he was “avoidably distracted.”

drunk driver who was high on coke got three and a half years for the death of a British bike rider in a head-on crash while he was speeding to get another drink. Although that’s still just a fraction of what it should have been.

American cities can’t even get Vision Zero right, yet Sweden is already Moving Beyond Vision Zero to encourage safe bicycling and walking while designing roadways to make fatal collisions impossible.

A Norwegian researcher concludes ebikes are good exercise, while a Swedish retail company predicts they will be the country’s Christmas gift of the year.

Paris vows to reimburse customers as the city’s famed Velib bikeshare system grinds to a halt due to a series of strikes.

Once again, a bike maker is determined to demonstrate just how sexist the industry is, as Italian brand Pinarello’s new ads for their forthcoming ebike fall flat. To put it mildly.

Don’t sexually harass a woman on the street while riding by on your bike like this Aussie jerk, especially if she has her camera on. Or, better yet, just don’t do it. Period.

 

Competitive Cycling

No, you didn’t win that pro cycling contract by pedaling inside; a young New Zealand cyclist won the Zwift competition to join the Team Dimension Data under 23 team.

In the best news of the day, Italian cyclist Claudi Cretti is back on her bike, just four months after she suffered major head injuries in a crash at the Giro Rosa.

 

Finally…

If you lose your cellphone while stealing a bike, probably not the best idea to walk into the police station to ask if they’d found it. Who needs headphones when you can ride with your own piano?

And sometimes a dog’s best defense is just being too fat to attack anyone.

………

On a personal note, let me offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has expressed their best wishes for my wife’s recovery from her recent surgery; it’s helped get us through a difficult few days.

And if you’re riding this weekend, remember that drivers will be far more focused on shopping and finding a finding parking space than watching out for you. So ride safely and defensively; I want to see you all back here next week.

 

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

………

A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

………

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

………

A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

………

An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

………

Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: Stumbling on a Compton bike crash, bike events, and fixing a bike path with duct tape

Mike Wilkinson forwards a reminder to always ride safely.

About 10:30 Thursday morning my wife saw the aftermath of a crash involving a bicyclist near Alameda and Alondra in Compton. Such a scene would be hard for most people to stomach, but it was especially tough for her, because we are both avid riders.

The bike was broken in half, which may indicate the force of the collision, but what really got to my wife was the rider’s screams as the first responders tried to help him. The whole scene is going to haunt her for a while.

Despite her shock, she felt it was important to note that most riders she sees in this area ride terribly. They run stop lights, ride on the wrong side of the road, cross from one side to the other in the middle of the block and worse. That makes it hard for even careful drivers like her to avoid collisions. It’s a reminder that following the rules of the road at least means that you are more likely to be where drivers expect you to be.

Be careful out there!

It’s important to note that there is nothing to suggest that the victim in this crash broke the law or rode recklessly in any way.

But it’s valid to say that our safety as bicyclists depends on riding in such a way that drivers know what to expect. Which means riding with traffic, observing traffic signals, and signaling turns. Even if they don’t.

In other words, ride like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

………

This weekend marks the World Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of traffic violence.

Finish the Ride is marking the occasion with a memorial ride in honor of Jeff Knopp this Saturday; Knopp was killed while riding on Foothill Blvd in Sunland last November. Meanwhile, Streetsblog talks with Finish the Ride and S.A.F.E. founder Damian Kevitt.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, SoCal Families for Safe Streets, Day One, Streets are For Everyone, and Los Angeles Walks will hold a late afternoon ceremony at Pasadena city hall on Sunday.

In other events,

LACBC is hosting a ride marshal orientation on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Walk ‘n Rollers is kicking off their Fall Fundraising campaign with their first CycleGiving ride in Culver City.

Bike SGV is leading an SGV Greenways bike train ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting a number of rides over the next three days.

Los Angeles Bike Rebels is (are?) hosting a solo art show by Carolin Keweer on the 25th.

And CicLAvia returns to Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

………

It’s often said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it ain’t broken.

Which is amply demonstrated by this video, where people in the Dutch city of Nijmegen fixed a dangerous intersection on a bike path with a simple application of the aforementioned adhesive.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

An Irish pundit loses it on a live TV show, accusing bike riders of being actual brown shirt-wearing Nazis, and giving the Nazi salute to drive the point home.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind a paywall. However, British bike scribe Carlton Reid comes through with the full stomach-turning story.

………

Local

A Mar Vista restaurant owner says the road diet implemented as part of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project put him out of business. If reducing a six lane street down to four lanes, with no loss of parking, is enough to kill your business, your problems go a lot deeper than that.

Speaking of Mar Vista, a dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member says Vision Zero is a great idea, but the Venice Blvd road diet was rammed down their throats and won’t save a single life. Because everyone knows that dermatologists are experts in traffic safety, unlike the people who actually get paid to do it. Never mind that it was the result of a two-year, community-driven process, and wasn’t rammed up or down any part of anyone’s anatomy. 

Emmy-winning Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us; you have to respect someone who rides her bike to an interview with the LA Times. Colin Farrell’s kid is now one of us, too.

Maybe things will get a little safer in Pasadena, which received $112,000 grant from the state to improve bicycle safety. And the Santa Monica police received a $300,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

 

State

One thousand bikes were found in a hand-built dirt bunker after a homeless camp was evicted from the Santa Ana River. If you had a bike stolen anywhere in the Fountain Valley area, now would be a good time to check in with the OC Sheriff’s Department.

A handful of Thousand Oaks residents object to a proposed road diet, while the majority who attended a meeting apparently didn’t have an opinion.

Amgen does more than just sponsor a bike race. They’re also helping to give new bikes to kids in the Conejo Valley.

A Santa Barbara woman says yes, you can go grocery shopping by bike. Although riding to class at the local university appears to have its issues. Note: As Andy S points out below, the shopping piece is a rerun of an article that appeared earlier this year.

Bakersfield received a $30,000 grant from the state for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs, as well as distributing bike helmets.

Caltrans held a public workshop to discuss their nine-county Bay Area bike plan.

 

National

Trek is getting sued for trademark infringement, accused of stealing the name of the late plus-sized comedian Chris Farley for its popular Farley fat bike. And no, I don’t even want to consider that implication.

Now that you’ve mastered all the other bike skills, learn how to do an upside down flip over an open loop.

Bicycling explains how to survive your next attack by a wild boar or wildebeest. Or an angry dog.

The Aspen CO sheriff has recovered the stolen bike Lance Armstrong gave him, after it was found chained to a tree. Maybe now he’ll have enough sense to lock his bike up like everyone else.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike; fortunately, it was recovered at a Kansas scrap yard.

Can he give it back? A 19-year old Michigan man rode his bike to work every day, regardless of the weather, so his coworkers pitched in to buy him a car for his birthday.

New York officials knew the bike path where eight people were killed recently was vulnerable to a terrorist attack, but did nothing to prevent it. Just like LA officials know the risk of a similar attack on Hollywood Blvd, but haven’t done anything about it.

WaPo invites six triathletes to race DC’s bikeshare bikes.

A Virginia Navy vet plans to ride a stationary bike until he’s raised enough money to buy 100 bikes and helmets for local kids.

 

International

Rouleur takes a look at the concept collaborations between bike and auto makers.

A Toronto cyclist says bike lanes aren’t for experienced riders like him; they’re for people who might not otherwise get on a bike.

I want to be like her. An 11-year old girl raised the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for a mental health charity by riding the length of the UK, inspired by a cousin with anorexia.

A bike-riding British purse snatcher is behind bars after grabbing nine purses from elderly women as he rode by, including one theft caught on security cam.

Brit cyclists say software developers and owners of autonomous cars should be held criminally responsible for any crashes.

After a 79-year old English rider was pushed off his bike by a group of teenagers, he refused to press charges because he doesn’t want them to have a criminal record.

A grieving Irish woman says “selfish drivers are oblivious to the huge devastation they could cause,” after losing her entire family in a crash with a suicidal cab driver.

Why bother with water bottles when you can strap a couple half liters of Spanish wine to your bike?

An Indian woman is riding solo across the country to prove that the nation’s roads are safe for women.

Life is cheap in Australia, where the negligent death of a bike-riding doctor isn’t worth a single day in jail.

One of China’s leading bikeshare companies is on the verge of going belly up; Quartz says China’s bikeshare startups will have to merge or die.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now that the Fabian Cancellara motor doping controversy has died down a little, Road.cc reviews Phil Gaimon’s new book Draft Animals.

A British Parliament member says Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling weren’t exonerated by the end of the recent doping investigation.

 

Finally…

Maybe cut back on the meth a bit if you want to outrun a 74-year old man on his stolen bike. Why fly the coop — literally — when you can ride a bike?

And if you’re dismantling a pair of bikes in an alley, while in possession of burglary tools — and already on probation for grand theft — you might want to have an explanation ready in case the cops show up.

Just saying.

 

Morning Links: Don’t take your right-of-way for granted, Union Station Bike Hub opens, and give a bike thief a hug

It’s a pretty light news day. Which means you should be able to read all of today’s post, and still get out to enjoy a ride in this beautiful LA weather.

Unless you live in Northern California, in which case you’re screwed.

Today’s photo shows the WeHo Pedals bikeshare dock outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where I’ve been spending way too much time lately. 

………

Eric Fleetwood forwards this video reminding riders not to take their right-of-way for granted.

Here’s how he describes it,

As I approached the curve to the left, I signaled left to alert the driver of the Mini Cooper, even though I had the right of way and a pulsing amber headlight.  Early in the video it became apparent that he was not going to yield (you can see the back of the Yield sign and the graphic on the pavement), I veered to the right side of the road and let him pass by on my left. It appeared that he might be on a cell phone.

Incidentally, many riders down here feel that San Clemente has the worst drivers in South Orange County. I have many experiences with errant drivers, not all of which are on video. From last year: Picture the letter K with the bike route being the backbone of the K. A driver wanting to go from the right arm to the right leg of the K did so by turning left down the wrong side of the main street and then left onto the leg of the K, looking right at me and my Dinotte 400A pulsing 400 lumen amber light.

………

Local

Metro has officially opened a $2.5 million, 3,000 square foot Bike Hub at Union Station, providing space for nearly 200 bicycles. Bike SGV offers photos from the event.

Los Angeles Walks is joining with the LA Vision Zero Alliance, and SoCal Families for Safe Streets to remember the victims of traffic violence at City Hall this Friday.

The president of the Eagle Rock Association pens an open letter calling for safety improvements, including bike lanes, on Yosemite Drive. Thanks to Walk Eagle Rock for the heads-up.

 

State

California Streetsblog looks at the recent report The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America, calling it a brief history of recent advocacy gains, with a look at the future.

After a thief rode off on a San Diego man’s bamboo bike, he tracked the thief down, gave him a hug, and took his bike back. And felt so good, he started a crowdfunding campaign to buy bikes for kids whose bicycles were stolen.

San Francisco pledges nearly $150,000 to figure out how to fix a popular bike lane that’s frequently blocked by delivery vehicles.

 

National

Cycliq has updated their popular Fly 6 and Fly 12 bike cam/light combos.

A Chicago weekly asks if dockless bikeshare could disrupt the city.

Good read from a New York cyclist who complains about the chaos on the streets, saying cars — and road-raging drivers — scare the shit out of him.

 

International

A men’s website lists four of the best international cycling trips for foodies.

A Toronto writer says the permanent adoption of a trial bike lane means bicycling is finally getting recognized as a legitimate form of transportation in the city. Even if the photo shows the same sort of wheel-busting crappy pavement we have here.

A columnist rightfully ridicules a proposal to fine pedestrians for distracted walking, noting that all of the pedestrians killed in traffic collisions in the city were killed by crashes with motorists, not texting walkers.

A British car thief gets a well-deserved nine and a half years after smashing into a bicyclist while fleeing from police; fortunately, his victim is recovering.

An Irish schoolgirl left a nice, polite note asking the person who “borrowed” her bike to bring it back.

Celebrity chef Mario Bartali’s Eataly may have just opened in Century City, but it’s just a fraction of the size of the one opening in Bologna, Italy; so big that Bianchi stocked it with adult tricycles just to get around the 20-acre food complex.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson tries riding in ostensibly bike-friendly Vienna, Austria, and finds it not to his liking. At all. And says that does not bode well for Los Angeles.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d try to get away with a hit-and-run by pretending to be a Good Samaritan helping the victim, rather than the heartless driver who ran him down, like this jerk in India.

Caught on video: A Vietnamese boy just barely avoids a far too close call after he topples over on his bike directly in front of a truck.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bradley Wiggins complained about a “malicious witch hunt” after the doping investigation into British Cycling ends with no charges, but without completely clearing Wiggins or anyone else involved.

UCI’s new president says there’s no place in professional cycling for former dopers. Which as Lance and others point out, doesn’t leave too many people with sparkling clean resumes who’ve been around the sport very long.

 

Finally…

Who needs a plot of land when you can have your own bike farm? Don’t bother with traffic when you can just pedal your way down the river.

And prevent bike crashes by just buying a car like a normal person.

Yes, it’s a joke.

But you’ll find the same thoughts in the comment section virtually anytime bicycling gets mentioned online.

………

Thanks to David Veloz for his generous contribution to help support this site, and bring you SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy every morning my laptop is working.

Morning Links: Union Station Bike Hub opens today, and LA wastes millions earmarked to fix crumbling streets

I hope you’ll forgive my unexcused absences for the past few days.

The good news is, my wife is doing well, and should be back home from the hospital before the week is over.

And my beleaguered laptop is up and running again, leaving me somewhat poorer, but back on the job. Let’s hope it stays that way.

We’ll just assume that nothing important happened while we were gone.

Right?

………

LA’s biggest Bike Hub is opening today at Union Station. The new Metro site will offer secure parking for up to 200 bikes for $5 a week, or $60 a year.

Photo by Metro’s Julia Salinas, taken from The Source website.

………

KCET examines the crumbling state of LA’s streets, and the risks it poses to people on two wheels.

Not to mention the needless expense to the city, as the Bureau of Street Services has returned tens of millions of dollars to the city, rather than making desperately needed street repairs, even as the city pays out millions in legal settlements to injured riders.

………

It’s been a heartbreaking few days for elderly bike riders.

A 76-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Bakersfield; John Rous was a well-known and longtime member of the local riding community.

An 80-year old British bike rider was killed in a collision with Tesla, which may or may not have been driving itself.

An 83-year old man in the UK was killed when his bike apparently hit a pothole; new rules could mean that more British potholes won’t get fixed.

An 86-year old Indian man was killed in a collision with a truck as he was riding his bike to an outdoor gym.

………

Rest easy, folks. Ed Sheeran is playing guitar again, and promises he’ll keep riding his bicycle, despite injuring both arm in a recent crash.

………

Let’s catch up with a couple of stories we missed from last week.

Manhattan Beach voted to install sharrows and bike route signs throughout the city. Even though one councilmember is afraid they’ll just embolden cyclists to ride exactly where they’re supposed to.

UCLA students plan to form their own neighborhood council, and split with the “NIMBY and obstructionist” Westwood Neighborhood Council. While the story is about housing, the Westwood NC has also been active in blocking much needed bike lanes in the area.

Mobility advocates gathered in Leimert Park for Untokening California to discuss creating greater equity in transportation.

Next year’s CicLAvias will include a seven-and-a-half-mile route from Disney Hall to the Hollywood Bowl on September 30th, with performances by the LA Philharmonic orchestra along the way. And ending with a free performance by the orchestra at the Bowl.

………

Local

A writer in the UCLA paper calls for an awareness campaign to get students to walk and bike more safely.

Bike SGV names Doug Strange their Community Advocate of the Year; the founder of the reborn La Verne Bicycle Coalition will be honored at their 2017 “Noche de las Luminarias” awards dinner next month.

Pasadena-area Rotarians will meet this weekend to assemble 300 bicycles for underprivileged children.

Santa Monica is moving forward with plans for a “radical” transformation of traffic-choked Lincoln Blvd into a more human-scale Complete Street.

 

State

Newport Beach police are looking for man riding a red cruiser bike who was seen following a San Bernardino County prosecutor before she was severely beaten while jogging in a park this past August.

A Riverside bike rider was shot in the leg as the result of an attempted robbery.

In a bizarre story, a Bakersfield man died in police custody shortly after using a fake gun to threaten a woman riding her horse on a bike path.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a 19-year old North Highlands man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Sacramento State University is now a silver-level BFU. And no, that does not stand for Big Effing University.

A Marysville woman has been arrested in last week’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured; she was taken into custody after calling the police to claim her car was stolen before the crash. An excuse that never seems to work in real life.

 

National

The GOP Senate wants to take away your measly $20 monthly benefit for riding your bike to work; the Bike League has more information on what you may be about to lose.

Architectural Digest examines how the threat of vehicular terrorism will change our cities in the wake of the New York bike path attack.

Bicycling offers tips on how to wash your bike.

A Seattle grandfather is suing after being left a paraplegic when he crashed into an unmarked bollard on a bike trail, which probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

An Iowa bicyclist says no, really, it’s much safer if she doesn’t give you any warning as she glides past on the sidewalk. That is what is technically known as a load of crap.

Evidently, flipping off the president pays. A Virginia woman who was fired from her job after her employers learned she was the bike rider who was photographed flipping off the presidential motorcade will receive at least $77,000 from a crowdfunding campaign. She says she did it because he wouldn’t have heard her through the glass.

 

International

A new crowdfunding campaign promises to turn your bike into an ebike for just $299, with an extra eight pounds of weight.

The Cuban record holder for the world’s tallest tall bike is working in tandem with the previous record holder, LA’s Richie Trimble, on a 20-foot tall tandem.

A Montreal website offers tips on how to stay safe and warm on your bike this winter. Which is especially good advice here in Los Angeles, where it sometimes gets down to a frigid 60 degrees.

Actor Robert Pattinson is one of us, as a gossip site freaks out when he’s spotted riding his bike in London without a helmet. Which is perfectly legal there, just as it is here.

A new UK survey shows 78% of people support protected bike lanes, even if the politicians don’t.

Three people were injured when a French driver with “psychiatric problems” deliberately plowed his car into a group of students.

Lithuanian students illustrate how much space cars take up, and how little bikes need.

A Mumbai website says everyone has a right to be safe when they ride a bike, from milkmen to champion cyclists.

………

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reminisces about the great Bernard Hinault on his birthday.

Cyclist magazine explores why Chris Froome isn’t considered a legend.

Phil Gaimon released a statement about repeating the rumor that Fabian Cancellara was a known motor doper in his new book, after the Swiss rider’s lawyers demand the removal of the book.

 

Finally…

It’s a sad day when a dog has better form on an upright bike than I do — even if he does need training wheels. No matter how threatened you feel by drivers, riding with an AR-15 is probably not the answer; neither is claiming you just found it in the street and were taking it to the police station.

And if you’re going to ride your bike with a stolen Glock in your pants, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is, not the gun.

………

Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous contribution to support this site, as well as his kind wishes for my wife and laptop.

 

Morning Links: 1.3 million mile Breeze, Will Ferrell is one of us, and Gaimon accuses Cancellara of motor doping

Today we’re trying something slightly different by moving news about bike racing and pro cycling into its own section at the bottom, which seems to work better for quiet news days like today.

………

Local

KPCC looks at the LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly bike light distribution program, which kicked off in Van Nuys Tuesday night.

CiclaValley takes part in the annual Mike Nosco Memorial Ride.

In the two years that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare has been in operation, users have taken over 628,000 trips covering more than 1.3 million miles.

Long Beach votes to move forward with a road diet and protected bike lanes on Alamitos Ave to improve bike and pedestrian safety, even though it will increase peak hour traffic times by slightly more than a minute.

The Elks club is hosting a family Bike & Car Black Jack Toy Run for Veterans Children, starting in Burbank and finishing in Santa Clarita this Saturday.

 

State

After a San Diego grand jury called for more bikeshare stations at the beach, the city naturally responds by removing them instead.

Murrieta has plans to build a BMX bike park. Someday.

A Moreno Valley bike rider was critically injured in a collision Wednesday afternoon, after allegedly swerving out of the bike lane into the driver’s path. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Sad news from Porterville, where a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who faces charges for DUI and fleeing the scene.

Will Ferrell is one of us, completing what a Washington news station calls an “amazing” “marathon” bike ride with four friends, going 147 miles down the California coast from Monterey to Santa Barbara over several days. Although the station can’t seem to grasp the concept that he might have done it just because he wanted to.

More on San Francisco’s new, smaller Vision Zero fire trucks designed to fit in reduced traffic lanes.

People for Bikes looks at San Francisco’s plans to use traffic diverters to create a neighborhood bikeway, noting that reducing automobile traffic on one street does not necessarily mean an increase in traffic on surrounding streets. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of similar streets, none of which have been built, or seem likely to at this point.

Volunteers are distributing hundreds of new and refurbished bicycles to kids who lost theirs in the recent fires in Sonoma County. Meanwhile, Specialized is donating 250 bikes to kids affected by the fires.

Some schmuck is leaving anti-Islamic and anti-fraternity/sorority flyers in bike baskets and on bike seats at UC Davis.

 

National

Las Vegas is installing 800 steel bollards to along the Las Vegas strip to protect pedestrians from terrorist attacks, as well as plain, old fashioned careless drivers. Which is exactly what Los Angeles needs to do, but doesn’t seem to have any interest in, along Hollywood Blvd.

A pair of Boise, Idaho brothers design their own plans for a protected bike lane.

A Wisconsin city moves to block a planned bike path; one official calls it a financial boondoggle, even though it’s being funded by the feds.

Chicago bike path users are more worried about reckless drivers than homicidal ones.

Pfizer employees in Michigan are building bicycles as gifts for military families.

Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Eddie Robinson is one of us too, riding roughly 200 miles a week. And dropping 25 to 30 pounds from his playing days in the process.

UPS will now make deliveries in downtown Pittsburgh by ebike.

An Atlanta cyber security expert was killed when his bike was struck by a driver fleeing from the police in a stolen car.

 

International

The case of the disappearing bike racks.

An Ontario, Canadia city hopes a new bike network will convert drivers to bike riders.

A fashion magazine is wowed by royal-in-law Pippa Middleton’s choice of a cardigan for a bike ride, though she seems somewhat displeased at being ambushed by the paparazzi.

A scum bucket British taxi company sues a bike rider for the equivalent of over $6,300 after one of their cabbies ran him down, apparently for getting blood on their cab.

An Irish endurance cyclist set a new record by riding 735 miles up and down the length of the county in less than 49 hours.

The mother of a fallen Australian bike rider says bicyclists just want to feel safe on the streets, while an Adelaide paper says state, federal and local governments need to work together more effectively to counter a 20% drop in bicycling rates over the last six years.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been booby-trapping mountain bike trails in Western Australia.

Australian authorities are blocking the ports to keep a hit-and-run driver from fleeing the country after she left a 13-year old bike-riding girl to die in the street. There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who would drive off and leave another human behind to die, let alone a child.

As LA enters the world of dockless bikeshare, more Chinese cities are saying enough is enough.

………

Competitive Cycling

Former LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon accuses cycling legend Fabian Cancellara of motor doping in Gaimon’s new book.

The brother of fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi makes an impassioned plea for better road safety; the Italian rider was killed in a collision while training in April.

 

Finally…

Car makers love to dabble in bicycle design, so why not a motorcycle maker? Your next Levis jacket could be Android and iOS compatible, for a mere 350 bucks.

And once again, if you’re using your bicycle as a weapon, you’re doing it wrong.

 

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