Tag Archive for bighearted people

Morning Links: Progress on yesterday’s fading East LA bike blvd, and kind-hearted people give bikes for kids

Just a quick update on yesterday’s photo of the badly faded barrio bike boulevard markings at Hubbard and Simmons in East LA.

According to Aurelio Jose Barrera, who took the photo, he got a response from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office that the report is being passed on to the LA County Department of Public Works.

Hopefully we’ll have some good news soon.

And I’m told you can report any problems on county roads yourself using LA County’s The Work’s app.

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More there are still some bighearted people in the world.

A group of San Diego-area kids donated 23 bicycles for disadvantaged children in Haiti.

The Ashley Furniture company donated 42 bicycles, helmets and locks for kids in Wisconsin.

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Local

Way to bury the lead. DTLA bike shop pop-up Tokyobike now has a permanent location in the former American Apparel building in the Fashion District.

Santa Monica passes an e-scooter and ebike sharing pilot program, without the hard caps on the number of bikes and scooters that was originally proposed, although it retains the $20,000 annual fee and a charge of $130 per device.

Somehow we missed this one earlier in the week, as Gary Kavanagh write on Medium that e-scooters are good, and we should cap the number of cars in Santa Monica instead.

Curbed looks at the SaMo e-scooter debate, and says it’s time cities learned the value of the curb.

CiclaValley once again proves the value of a bike, as he rides through the downfall and leaves all the cars far behind.

 

State

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies busted three bike burglars who stole $30,000 worth of bicycles from a Newbury Park bike shop.

No bias here. The local paper says Palo Alto residents criticize a new roundabout and plans for a bicycle boulevard. Then mention that half the people who spoke at a meeting opposed it — which suggests that half didn’t.

Just like everywhere else, the debate over bike lanes on a Los Altos street comes down to safety versus the convenience of motorists.

San Francisco is open to closing JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to cars. Which means opening it up to everyone else.

The City by the Bay adopts a litter of “adorable” little protected bike lane sweepers.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer has teamed with the Russian River Brewing Co to raise $400,000 to replace homes destroyed in last year’s fires.

Yosemite re-opens the fabled Mariposa Grove after a three-year ecological restoration. But don’t try to ride your bike there; bicycles are banned from the road in favor of the much more ecological, smog-spewing tour buses. Sarcasm intended.

Much respect to a pair of Nevada City kids, who responded to the racial harassment they receive while riding their bikes by organizing a Ride Against Racism this weekend.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss continues his transition from pundit to hard-hitting advocate, as he says bikeshare can save our cities if we let it.

Fortune looks back at how we got to peak e-scooter mania. Something tells me we’re nowhere near peak anything yet, mania or otherwise.

Bicycling suggests eight hills you have to ride before you die, one of which is in California. Which apparently means that if you only ride seven, you’ll live forever.

Your next carbon-fiber bike could be 3D printed. And cheaper.

Thanks to Ford, your next bike jacket could tell you where to go. And tell everyone else that you are.

If you have to break in and steal a couple of bikes, maybe it’s not the best idea to take them from a Hawaiian police station.

Bike riders Glenwood Springs CO are noticing a wave of driver courtesy and safe driving. Unlike, say, virtually everywhere else.

A Denver weekly maps the best bike routes through the biggest neighborhoods.

A Michigan man is leaving Friday on a 2,500-mile ride along Route 66 to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer in honor of his son, who died five years ago after battling pediatric cancer and neuroblastoma.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a Boston bike lane with thumbtacks arranged point up. How about sentencing the perp to work with the victims of bike crashes caused by assholes like him — or her?

The NYPD is on the lookout for a bike-riding bandit who swoops in to snatch cellphones from unsuspecting New Yorkers.

 

International

An Ontario driver solves the problem of masses of bicyclists clogging the highways on group rides — just send them off in packs of ten, riding single file, ten minutes apart. Which means it would take about one and a half days just to start a typical 2,000 rider charity ride. Let alone finish.

Ottawa commuters are furious over parking tickets they got when they drove partway to work, parked all day in a local park, then biked the rest of the way.

Toronto’s former chief planner says it’s time to declare a state of emergency, as bike and pedestrian deaths continue to climb in the city, despite the two-year old Vision Zero. Advocates respond by demanding a reduction in speed limits.

Caught on video: An impatient Brit driver gets out of her car to accuse a bike rider of hogging the road after she drives over a traffic island. Although judging by the dents in her car, she’s just a crappy driver.

Sorry Pashley-riding English posties, you’ll have to show your support for The Three Lions on your own time.

Fred Davis forwards news of a German pedal-powered knitting machine that can make a knit hat while you wait.

Scotland is investing the equivalent of nearly $2 million dollars to provide interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to ebike buyers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax relates the story of the first family of American cycling. And no, probably it’s not who you think it is.

Deadspin says the great Marco Pantini may have been the victim of a doctored blood test when he got kicked out of the ’99 Giro, and began the downward spiral that cost him his life. Even though he probably raced his entire career on EPO, like most of the peloton in those days.

Forget doping. The real scandal in pro cycling is sock length.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want a wet bike ride, maybe you shouldn’t call it the Water Carnival. Put those playing cards back in your spokes.

And no, ringing your bell doesn’t give you the right-of-way.

 

Morning Links: Anti-bike bile from a Tucson radio host, a bike-riding Prince in LA, and still more big bike hearts

The great thing about our society is that even people who don’t have a clue can get their own radio talk show.

Take this bike-hating Tucson “news personality.”

Please.

I do not like bikers. I’m not talking about real bikers, like Harley riders. I’m talking about bicyclists, the privileged weekend riders of Southern Arizona… the real 1%-ers of Pima County.

That’s how KQTH’s James T. Harris starts out a typically uninformed rant on the station’s website.

Never mind that many of those 1% ride a bike because it’s their only form of transportation. And that compared to cars, bikes receive an infinitesimal amount of funding and an even smaller amount of real estate.

So who’s the real privileged ones?

It takes a special kind of asshat arrogance to be a rider in Tucson. I almost killed a few on Hwy 83 a few weeks ago.

Note that he says that without the slightest touch of irony.

Bikers don’t care. Bikers own the road. Deal with it (it’s called enabling…)!

Maybe he’s right. Maybe Tucson is the one place in North America where bike riders outnumber motor vehicles, and those poor unfortunate drivers are rudely shunned off the road by arrogant, entitled cyclists.

It could happen, right?

So what’s got our friendly news personality’s panties in such a twist?

Pavement.

To wit, smooth new pavement where a bike path crosses a street, while the poor unfortunate drivers must content with crappy asphalt.

Look at this “intersection” at Overton between La Cholla and La Canada. Look at how smooth that path is where bikes cross to ensure a smooth ride…
No potholes. No buckles, chips or peeling asphalt. Just smooooooth.

Note to the unintelligent, unimaginative and uncomprehending: Any new pavement is going to be smooth.

Granted, they could make the crossing rough and potholed when they pour it, if that makes him feel better. But it will get that way soon enough in the Arizona heat.

But what’s really driving — and I use the term advisedly — his online apoplexy?

The reason why I have disdain for cyclists in this town is not because they are engaged in a healthy activity. It’s because they are being catered to on the taxpayers’ dime!

Naturally.

Because as we all know, people who ride bicycles don’t pay taxes. There’s actually a box you can check on your 1040 Form that indicates you ride a bike, and therefore get back every penny of your withholding.

And when we make a purchase, all we have to do is whisper “bicycle” to the clerk, and the sales tax magically disappears.

No, really.

Then there’s the undisputed fact that no one who owns a car would ever dream of getting out on two wheels. So bike riders never pay the same registration fees and gas taxes that everyone else does.

Rants like this seem like just so much hot air and clickbait.

Except they can do real damage when equally uninformed people nod their heads in agreement, and take out their anger on the very people trying to make the streets safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Or worse, on those who have the misfortune of sharing the roads with them.

As Arizona resident Brendan Lyons, who tipped me to Harris’ bike-hating bile, put it —

This is the stark reality so many law-abiding, vulnerable road-users (cyclists) face on a daily basis. He fails to recognize the tragic consequences of the distracted motorist. He fails to comprehend the families who are left-behind, forced to pick up the pieces. He fails to recognize that beyond the lycra-clad cyclist briefly impeding his commute- is the law enforcement deputy who serves & protects, the firefighter who responds to his emergency, the soldier defending his country, the teacher educating his child, the scientist fighting to cure cancer, or simply his neighbor (a father, mother, son, or daughter) who want to get home safely to their family.

Maybe someone could explain to Harris who the real privileged ones are, on the roads of Arizona, California or Kalamazoo.

But I doubt he’d get it. Or even listen, for that matter.

Nothing affect hearing like a closed mind.

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A nice memory of Prince, as he rode his bike from an LA rehearsal to a grade school to invite a seven-year old girl to perform onstage with him after discovering she was learning one of his songs.

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Evidently, there’s a lot of big hearts out there.

Like the Virginia TV station that teamed with a local bank to replace a boy’s bike after he was tricked out of his by older boys.

And the Michigan bike shop that unwittingly bought a hot $2,500 custom bike, then gave it back to the retired Marine it was stolen from, eating their $800 loss.

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Somehow, bike racing keeps making the news, even this early in the season.

A crash by the great Dutch rider Marianne Vos is caught on video as she hit the barrier while sprinting towards the finish like at the Dwars door Westhoek; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt in what was just her fifth race back after missing all of last season with a hamstring injury.

Former world time trial champ Michael Rogers wisely retires from racing after doctors detect a heart arrhythmia, combined with a previously discovered congenital aortic valve malformation.

American pro Andrew Talansky says a rule preventing top riders from participating in lower level races is hurting cycling in the US, since fans now only get to see the WorldTour riders compete in the Amgen Tour of California.

Peter Sagan can do anything on a bike. Except finish his first mountain bike race in seven years in Austria.

And former Giro winner Danilo Di Luca says he had to dope to finish first, but he has no regrets despite receiving a lifetime ban. Nice to see everyone continues to follow Lance’s lead and blame the sport instead of taking responsibility themselves.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA invites you to attend the debate between candidates for L.A. County Supervisor District 5 tomorrow night at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.

The first ever Los Angeles Bicycle Festival scheduled for May 8th has exceeded its fundraising goal; as funding increases, organizers can donate more free tickets to people who might not otherwise be able to attend.

CiclaValley offers a nice photo-recap of last weekend’s all-too-brief Burbank open streets event.

Work on widening Agoura Road in Conejo Valley, including adding bike lanes, is nearing completion and should be completely finished by August.

 

State

The bicycle industry has raised $60,000 to help promote Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of a “utilitarian” transportation bike. Of course, if would be nice if they’d show the same support for bicycling issues that don’t benefit them directly.

A Turlock letter writer says backpack bans in retail stores discriminate against bike riders, who have to carry their belongings with them.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a woman riding her bike has lost her life in a hit-and-run.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says roof racks may be a great way to transport your bike, but it’s bad for gas mileage.

Elly Blue says placing bike racks outside local businesses is one of the most revolutionary, yet simplest, ways to advance the bike movement.

Next City says as cities invest more in making way for people on bicycles, investing in bike equity must be more than just talk. The LACBC was one of the first organizations to start that conversation on both a local and national level, and continues to lead the way.

USA Today notes where to bike by bikeshare when visiting cities around the US. Except in Southern California, of course.

An Iowa lawyer tries to exclude a TV interview in which his client admitted to driving drunk when he allegedly killed a cyclist, because he didn’t have a lawyer present. Even though Miranda rights only apply to law enforcement, not the news media.

The 18-year old man who shot two people outside a Wisconsin prom over the weekend arrived there by bicycle, armed with a rifle.

Once again, the anti-bike bias of the NYPD rears its ugly head, blaming a fallen cyclist for riding the wrong way, even though a witness riding behind her says she was riding with traffic.

 

International

Strava wants you to log your commuting miles on their Global Bike to Work Day on May 10th, the week before LA’s Bike to Work Day on the 19th.

Rio’s mayor says the bikeway that collapsed and killed three people will be rebuilt in time for the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll build it as if lives depend on it this time. Because they do.

When a London lawyer insists bike lanes will increase pollution by increasing auto congestion, a local councilor correctly notes that cars cause pollution, and asks why she’s not campaigning for restrictions on motorists instead.

Thousands of Budapest cyclists ride to call attention to bicycling and point out the lack of bicycling facilities in the city.

Police in Sydney, Australia crack down on bike riders on the city’s most dangerous street for cyclists. But drivers, not so much.

Shanghai cyclist are ticketed for riding in the roadway instead of a bike lane where they have to dodge pedestrians.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to haul a trailer on your bike to commit a burglary, remember to take them with you when you run away. If you’re riding salmon with drug paraphernalia, pills and three jars of dope in you backpack, just get on the damn sidewalk when the cops tell you to.

And a new bike cam turns on automatically when your heart rate spikes.

Of course, by then it’s probably too late to catch the Arizona news personality that caused it.

 

Morning Links: Still more big hearts for the holiday season, and driverless cars won’t solve LA’s traffic problems

Don’t forget to tell us what it’s like to ride your bike, wherever you ride, for our new Describe Your Ride feature — good, bad, or anything in between.

It can be anything from a few sentences to a detailed description, a rant, a rave, a bike cam view or your latest bike-related music video, here in LA or anywhere else. Just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page.

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‘Tis the season.

A Yucaipa teen with Cerebral Palsy will receive a special adaptive bike to give him more independence.

Over two dozen bike riders take part in a combination scavenger hunt and alley cat race to gather contributions to a Santa Barbara food bank.

A group of Sacramento businesses and charities give 4,000 bikes, along with 4,000 toys and helmets to needy children.

An Ohio bike shop owner is still collecting donations to give bikes to kids despite being burglarized twice this year; last year he gave away nearly 900 bicycles.

UK community members pitch in to buy a specialized bike for a four-year old girl who can’t walk or speak, raising the equivalent of over $15,000.

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Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

Every time you give to BikinginLA, an angel gets its wings.

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Local

An Aljazeera OpEd says driverless cars won’t save Los Angeles, and they’re no substitute for bikeable, walkable streets.

Richard Risemberg says Santa Monica is batting a thousand when it comes to bikes and mobility.

Any Redondo Beach bike rental shop that has a Corgi — not Corgy, thank you — can’t be all bad.

 

State

Civic leaders are working to improve safety for bike riders in Orange County, where an average of four riders were injured or killed every day in 2012.

San Diego service members remember an Army vet who was killed in Texas last month, while on a cross country ride to call attention to the plight of homeless veterans.

Coronado holds Safe Routes to School workshops to make biking and walking safer. Maybe it wouldn’t be the state’s deadliest city of its size for cyclists if the residents weren’t so hysterical about banning bike lanes.

San Franciscans are in a heated debate over the proposed Idaho stop law, with the city council still two votes short of a veto-proof majority.

 

National

The first legally blind musher to compete in the Iditarod gives up her dream of competing as a tandem cyclist in next years Paralympics to become a mom.

In a truly bizarre tragedy, a Minnesota bike rider is killed in a collision with a train, at the same station where he had survived a similar collision just four months earlier.

Columbus, Ohio drivers and cyclists are confused by the city’s first protected bike lane. Actually, the description does actually sound pretty confusing.

Former Victoria’s Secret and current L’Oreal Paris model Karlie Kloss is one of us, as she rides a Citi Bike through the streets of New York.

A Baltimore to DC train finally gets bike cars, but only on weekends.

 

International

Advice for riding at night this winter.

Business are being asked to support the expansion of a London cycle track in the face of heavy opposition from taxi drivers.

Malta is accused of having an institutional bias against bicyclists.

Controversial Russian cycling team owner Oleg Tinkoff vows to leave the sport after next year’s racing season; a Canadian site says the man who compared Obama to a monkey won’t be missed at all.

Bangladeshi women are turning to bicycles and motorbikes to escape harassment on public transit.

Dubai continues to get safer for cyclists, adding the equivalent of 35 miles of residential-area cycle tracks to the city’s existing 110 miles of bike lanes.

A 14-year old Australian girl is planning to ride over 600 miles on a tandem to raise funds for a charity camp.

A New Zealand cyclist sets a new record for riding around the world in just 125 days, although he’s disappointed it only raised the equivalent of just over $2500 for charity.

Kiwi mountain bikers vow to ignore attempts to close illegal bike trails.

Five hundred Filipinos ride for cleaner air and call more action to help sustain the environment.

Caught on video: Twenty passers-by save the life of a Beijing bicyclist by teaming up to lift a car off her. Warning: Even knowing the positive outcome, the first part of this video is very hard to watch.

 

Finally…

Why bother checking the statutes when you can just ask Twitter whether sidewalk cyclists should be fined. An e-car driver wants permission to politely honk to tell bike riders to get the hell out of his way.

And chances are, you’ll never win the Nobel Peace Prize, but your bike might.

Maybe we can all spit the $1.5 million award.

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Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive on behalf of BikeSGV.

Morning Links: Bike traffic up in Santa Monica, and more bighearted people for the season of giving

Today we’re starting a new feature, Describe Your Ride, in which normal, everyday bike riders tell us how and where they ride, good, bad or otherwise.

So come back later this morning, when Santa Monica bike commuter Adra Graves will describe her usually pleasant, and in places, challenging ride to work.

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Big news from Santa Monica, as bike traffic continues to rise, up 4.4% from 2013, while bike crashes are down 10% over last year.

Bicycling now has a 5% mode share, far beyond any other city in the area, even that’s still just one third of the city’s goal of a 15% share by next year.

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‘Tis the season.

For the 20th year in a row, a Portland group gives bicycles to kids, along with a helmet and safety lesson; 300 kids were able to pick out their own bikes this year.

A Billings MT group donates 50 bikes to elementary school children, including 26 unclaimed bikes from the local police department.

Atlanta cyclists will dress up like Santa Claus to raise funds to fight leukemia and get a free beer.

And if anyone needs a stocking stuffer, GoPro has slashed the cost of their ice cube-sized Hero4 Session cam to just $199, less than half the original $399.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a draft regional transportation plan covering the next 24 years; the proposal includes regional greenway and bikeway networks, as well as a plan for continuous trails along the coast.

CiclaValley goes cyclocross racing in Griffith Park.

Santa Monica considers changing vehicular access to the pier, and converting the existing bridge to pedestrian and bike use as an extension of the coming Colorado Esplanade.

Santa Monicans freak out about parklets approved last week for Main Street, fearing that people using them will be sitting ducks for out of control cars. Because that’s been such a problem everywhere else they’ve been installed, right?

Multicultural Communities for Mobility hosts a year-end fundraiser this Friday; the suggested $25 donation includes vegan food and custom brews.

 

State

Just Another Cyclist’s Ross Del Duca expounds on the difference between pedaling and riding.

A Newport Beach bike shop suffered half a million dollars in damages in a Friday fire.

Not surprisingly, the proposed 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley will do little to improve air quality, though it could have lasting health benefits.

San Francisco’s proposed Idaho stop law passes it’s first committee test, even though members of the disability community somehow feel it would adversely affect them. However, the law would be strictly advisory, requesting that the SFPD make bicyclists rolling stops their lowest priority.

Megan Lynch sends word of a planned environmentally friendly grad school building in Berkeley, including 250 bike lockers, as well as showers and dressing rooms.

Caltrans big idea to improve safety for NorCal cyclists will require riders to push a beg button before crossing a narrow Fernbridge bridge, which will then cue flashing lights to warn drivers that there’s a bike on the bridge. How about making drivers get out and push a button before they’re allowed to cross, instead?

 

National

The best thing you can do for the environment is to leave your car at home.

People for Bikes says the latest trend in protected bikeways is getting them done fast. Let’s hope LA lives up to its trendy reputation, then.

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows a positive relationship between exercise and moderate drinking. As W.C. Fields said, “A woman once drove me to drink, and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.” But I will thank Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

Only in Portland. A bike-riding, sweater-wearing hipster Santa with a man bun.

Seriously? After a bike-riding Seattle radio host nearly hits a ninja cyclist while driving to work, he says that drivers have the deck stacked against them and bike riders should have to pay for their share of the roads, just like drivers — except we already do, and drivers actually don’t, as an Austin TX writer patiently explains. Thanks to Steve Katz for the latter link.

Denver advocates form a Vision Zero coalition to help the city live up to its commitment to safer streets.

KC cyclists get a shiny new bike box.

A former critic of New York’s Citi bike bikeshare becomes a frequent-riding convert.

Most bike riders have trouble getting service at drive-through windows; a West Virginia man gets 60 years for robbing a bank on one.

Richmond VA’s person of the year isn’t one, as a local magazine proclaims this the year of the bicycle.

 

International

Must be nice. Bike friendly Vancouver plans for 12 new bike lanes over the next five years, which will require a substantial loss of on-street parking. That would make it a non-starter just about anywhere else.

Caught on video: An angry London motorist drives over a cyclist’s bike during last month’s Critical Mass, apparently on purpose, after honking and shouting abuse.

Bike Magazine asks if mountain bike tourism could aid in Nepal’s recovery from a devastating earthquake.

Manila reopens a limited bikeshare program, with just 40 mountain bikes that can only be used along established bike lanes.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, as a bike rider was killed just hours before his surprise 60th birthday party.

Aussie multi-hyphen actor-director-producer-screenwriter Joel Edgerton is one of us, going for a ride with his baseball cap and silver Schwinn.

An Aussie cyclist is riding 2,300 miles across the county to raise funds to fight motor neuron disease.

New Zealand opens a world class, magenta-hued bikeway along the Auckland coast through the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Just like most cyclists, GPS often exaggerates how far you ride. If you’re going to wave at the speed camera, maybe you should keep one hand on your handlebars, just in case.

And if you’re wondering how to park in a bike lane, don’t.

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Thanks to Alice Strong for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And a semi-belated Happy Hanukkah to all.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

A single donation could put you on Santa’s Good List, and keep the Krampus from your door this holiday season.

Morning Links: Bikeshare success stories, turning the other cheek and Metro Active Transpo workshops

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2

Give a little to help support LA’s best bike news site this holiday season.

Today’s common theme is the bikeshare boom.

Just three weeks after its official launch, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare already has over 2,100 members who’ve traveled a total of nearly 18,000 miles.

After two and a half years, there hasn’t been a single fatality while using New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system. Although stolen bikes with bad paint jobs are another matter.

And a new study shows bikeshare really does help get people out of their cars, while taking pressure off over-crowded transit systems.

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Great story from South Dakota.

A couple of 10 and 14-year old kids vandalized a South Dakota car dealership recently, causing $25,000 in damage.

But instead of prosecuting the boys, the owner talked to their parents. And once he learned how impoverished the families were, he dropped the charges, and dipped into his own pocket to find a better home for the older boy’s family, as well as buying him a bus pass and a bicycle to get to school.

The kid responded buy volunteering to help out at the dealership after school and on weekends on his own accord, without being asked.

If there’s a better example of how to make a difference in a child’s life, I don’t know what it is.

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Metro is hosting a series of workshops to develop their Active Transportation Strategic Plan, starting tonight in West Hollywood. Thanks to LADOT Bike Program for the heads-up.

Metro workshops

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Local

A writer for the Times says driverless cars have the potential reduce the need for curbside parking spaces, freeing up space for bike lanes and wider sidewalks. As it stands, 14% of LA County land is devoted to parking, although some drivers don’t seem to think that’s enough.

Richard Risemberg writes that civic leaders may or may not be out to get us through their not-so-benign neglect of already deficient bike lanes.

CiclaValley invites you to join pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, the LACBC and Councilmember David Ryu’s office in cleaning up a stretch of Mulholland between Cahuenga and Runyon Canyon on the 12th. Maybe you can talk to Ryu’s people about the need for safe bicycling routes in his K-Town/Hollywood district.

Somehow, West Hollywood sneaks in at number 10 on People for Bike’s list of America’s best city’s for everyday biking. No offense to one of my favorite cities, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time WeHo has been rated for anything related to bicycling, let alone on a national stage.

Pasadena’s updated transit system will have bike racks on the front of their new natural gas buses.

Temple City chose the most complete and safest makeover of Las Tunas Drive in a non-binding straw vote, although the real decision will come in January.

 

State

California scores a 14.5% boost in transportation funds under the new federal transportation bill, including funding for bike and pedestrians projects which some members of the GOP tried to kill.

Three San Diego-area cyclists were injured when an apparently drunk or stoned driver plowed into them from behind while they were riding in a Carlsbad bike lane Wednesday morning. Nothing like being wasted behind the wheel barely after breakfast.

While some call for building walls, a Tijuana businessman is pushing for a transnational bike lane between the US and Mexico.

Chico police are getting in the Grinchly spirit by handing out $78 tickets to anyone who rides a bike on the sidewalk. Before ticketing people for riding on the sidewalk, they should make sure the street is safe for cycling, first.

 

National

US bicycling fatalities declined 2.3% last year, outpacing a miniscule .1% drop in overall traffic fatalities.

Grist offers advice on how to be seen at night.

Grand Junction CO reverses field and votes to host the start of next year’s USA Pro Challenge after all.

A Texas soldier uses cycling to help her fellow soldiers recover from injuries suffered in battle.

Blame for a ban on protected bike lanes on state roads in Chicago rests with the deputy chief of staff for the former governor, apparently for political reasons. Isn’t it always, though?

An Indiana newspaper remembers native son Major Taylor, America’s first African-American cycling champ and the fastest rider of his time.

A Bloomington IN traffic study shows sidewalks are among the most dangerous places to ride a bike.

New York’s city council will consider a number of bike-related bills, including one to create a possibly needless bike safety committee, and another that would consider bikes abandoned and subject to removal after just 36 hours. Which means riders could risk seizure unless they move their bikes every day and a half.

A Staten Island website doesn’t get it, saying New York’s Vision Zero is just an excuse for ticketing motorists, while claiming that driving an extra five to ten miles over the speed limit won’t hurt anyone. Unless, of course, they happen to hit someone at that speed.

Heartbreaking story about a former North Carolina football player who slipped into mental illness, chemical dependency and homelessness before ending his life riding his bike the wrong way into oncoming traffic on a busy highway. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

 

International

While bicycling has boomed in Western countries in recent years, ridership has dropped 50% worldwide in the past three decades.

Here’s an update on those two Polish brothers pedaling their way down the full length of the Amazon. No, not next to the Amazon, on the Amazon.

Evidently, Canadian bike paths welcome riders of all types, human or otherwise.

Caught on video: A verbal dispute turns violent as a Brit van driver gets out of his cab to take on a bike rider in a two round non-title bout.

Caught on video 2: After a British cyclist is dangerously buzzed by a passing bus, the company says he had plenty of room. You might want to turn down the volume to avoid offending your kids or coworkers with the perfectly understandable, but nonetheless NSFW language.

Talk about trading up. A UK bike thief rides off on a $6,000 mountain bike after putting the equivalent of a $75 deposit on a children’s bike.

A Scottish letter writer opposes irrational calls to reign in cyclists, pointing out that drivers have killed over 45,000 people in the UK so far this century, while bike riders have been responsible for less than ten deaths. Although that’s still ten too many.

There once were some bike thieves in Limerick. No, really, Irish police busted a gang exporting hot bikes to Europe.

A South African writer says maybe the country’s president could improve his image if he rode a bike like the Dutch queen instead of riding in a motorized cavalcade.

A Kiwi writer calls on his fellow New Zealanders to get on their bikes after it’s named the most regressive country at the Paris climate talks.

Singapore police have given out over 50,000 free U-locks over the past four years to fight bike theft.

 

Finally…

If it doesn’t have pedals or wheels, it may fly, but it’s not a bicycle. If you’re going to plow into a group of pedestrians while riding under the influence, make sure one of them isn’t a cop.

And thanks to Los Angeles BAC member David Wolfberg for forwarding a steampunk ‘bent rider’s dream come true.

 

Morning Links: Good news for Silver Lake TraJoe’s cyclist, LACBC Open House, and more bighearted people

Finally, a little good news about Egee Marbolis, the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s parking lot manager severely injured on the Ride With No Name last month.

According to the LA Weekly, the fork on his bike bent backwards when he tried to brake, causing the wheel to lock up and flip his bike, throwing Marbolis straight up into the air. He came back down feet up, landing directly on his head.

A witness says there was no blood and he looked okay. He even said he was good afterwards, but had no feeling when another rider squeezed his hand.

He’s reportedly regained some movement in his hands and feet following spinal surgery, and friends say he will eventually walk again, though rehab will take years.

As of last night, the gofundme account to help defray his medical expenses had raised nearly $20,000, while the goal had been increased to $45,000.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Magazine focuses on Marbolis’ popularity and his cool temperament under pressure at the lot.

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Don’t miss the LACBC’s annual Open House tomorrow night; admission is free for members, which is a good incentive to join at the door.

Open-House-15

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‘Tis the season for bighearted people.

A Syracuse NY funeral director plans to give away 2,500 bikes to area kids and teens; his organization has donated an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 bicycles to children over the past 20 years.

Bighearted English kids pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a fellow student after he loses his new birthday bike in a fire.

And Palms Springs Life tells the story of how Frank Sinatra once bought a bike for boy on welfare, then disguised himself to delivered it in person along with a bag of groceries, as well as other examples of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ anonymous generosity.

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Local

More than 600 people of all ages attended Santa Monica’s recent Family Bike Festival.

A Long Beach family is raising funds to pay funeral expenses after two men related by marriage die just days apart; one from natural causes and one killed while riding on the Vincent Thomas Bridge last month.

The man accused of being the bike-riding Western Bandit, who terrorized LA’s Western Avenue over a three-year period, pleads not guilty to 53 felony charges, including two counts of murder and 26 counts of attempted murder.

Good idea. Cycling in the South Bay recommends adding MedPay to your auto insurance coverage, in addition to the uninsured motorist coverage we’ve discussed before, so they pay directly if you’re injured while riding, regardless of fault.

 

State

San Diego-area police are on the lookout for yet another hit-and-run driver after a cyclist suffers minor injuries in a National City collision.

A Carlsbad woman reunites with the hero bike rider who saved her life, a year after she collapsed with a heart attack while jogging along the beach.

Palm Springs police bust three bike thieves in two separate incidents.

Fillmore police will hold a bike and skateboard safety rodeo on the 9th.

Turmoil by the Bay? The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition faces a contested board election just weeks after the unexpected resignation of their new Executive Director; SFist offers more information than you’d want to know about the situation.

A last-minute agreement promises to save a bike and pedestrian project promised when voters approved a construction of a commuter rail line.

 

National

Streetsblog says bad street design kills.

Arizona police recover and return a three-wheeled recumbent bike that was stolen from a partially paralyzed teenager.

A writer for the Grand Junction CO paper says hosting the first stage of next years USA Pro Challenge is marketing, not economic development.

Progress is slow in improving safety for Houston cyclists; one candidate to replace the current mayor want to get bikes off the streets instead of making them safer.

Life is cheap in Chicago, as a drunk driver gets a whopping 100 days for killing a cyclist. On the other hand, a Michigan driver faces 15 years for allegedly killing a three-year old kid out riding his bike while she was high on coke.

Pittsburgh is the latest city to consider adopting a Complete Streets policy.

A Boston writer takes a test ride on a prototype bike that promises to be virtually indestructible and theft proof. Full disclosure: I turned down a sponsorship to promote that bike through social media; if I mention it — or anything else — on here, it’s because it’s worth discussing, not because I’m getting something for it.

No bias here. Boston-area police blame a bike rider for a collision because a driver apparently didn’t see his signal for a left turn.

New York considers forming a bike safety task force, as a councilwoman’s office naturally focuses on seniors’ complaints about scofflaw cyclists instead of keeping riders safe from cars.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A little girl will grow up without a father after political pundit Mary Katharine Ham gave birth this weekend, two months after her husband, a technology advisor to the White House, was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A DC-area study shows neighborhoods with access to bikeways have higher property values than those without, using two neighboring communities as examples. Of course, it could be a case of a chicken/egg conundrum, since more desirable communities may get bikeways first, rather than the other way around.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to deal with those embarrassing problems on a bike, from smelly feet to big boobs. However, they fail to offer advice on what to do when you get dropped by the neighborhood kid fresh off his training wheels.

Mounties bust a British Columbia bike thief after he jumped in a frigid harbor to avoid capture; he was taken into custody after a hot shower for hypothermia.

You know it’s a small Canadian town when ticketing a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk makes the news.

A deadly UK truck driver loses his commercial license for 10 years for running down a pair of cyclists two years ago, in addition to the eight and a half year sentence he received last year. Since those run concurrently, he’s really just banned for two and a half years after he gets out of prison, since he’s not likely to do a lot of driving before that.

A Chinese company is fined £63,000 by a UK court because their hi-viz jackets weren’t; they were found to be 97.6% less reflective than they should have been.

The Guardian considers how bicycling could significantly cut emissions and help the Paris climate talks change the world.

Even in the Netherlands, the government is criticized for not paying enough attention to cycling policies, especially for e-bikes.

A cyclist offers five lessons gained from riding in Pakistan.

 

Finally…

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Lock your bike up to the wrong signpost, and get slimed. We all hate bike thieves, but hacking one with a rusted machete is not the answer.

And throwing your bike out the window is probably not the best way to deal with the situation, whatever it may be.

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Thanks to Serena Liu for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And a special thanks for her note saying my worked helped inspire her to get involved in bike advocacy; that made my day.

Or maybe even my month.

 

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