Tag Archive for bike helmets

Morning Links: Preparing for time change, the great bike helmet debate, and Gordon-Levitt pulls an endo

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.

So when you turn your clock back, make sure you have working lights for your bike, front and rear.

Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, throw a pair of cheap lights in your seat bag, in case a flat or other mechanical problem keeps you out later than you planned.

It beats the hell out of trying to make it home without them.

And remember that the days clocks change are among the most dangerous days for car crashes.

So ride carefully and defensively until drivers adjust to the earlier darkness.

Meanwhile, New York is using it as an opportunity to roll out a new Vision Zero initiative.

Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t.

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets. Or the lack thereof.

Peter Flax explains why he hasn’t worn a bike helmet in five months, despite harassment and trolling from drivers and others, well meaning and otherwise.

An Australian safety expert says a proposal to ease the country’s law requiring bike helmets on sidewalks and offroad trails is “stupid.”

A new Canadian study shows bike helmets reduce the risk of dying in a collision with a motor vehicle by 34%. And that you’re at greater risk of dying if you’re over 35.

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We already knew the star of Premium Rush was one of us. Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is healing after appearing to go head over handlebars on a bikeshare bike while filming in New Orleans.

View this post on Instagram

I have bad luck shooting on bikes 🤕

A post shared by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitrecordjoe) on

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A road raging Portland driver cools down before things go too far — despite a punishment pass and leaping out of his truck to confront a bike rider who was forced into traffic when wet leaves blocked the bike lane.

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Local

Mark your calendar. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting an open house on November 15th to discuss a planned boulevard improvement project on Reseda Blvd. The improvements include better bike lanes and closing the gap in the bike lanes between Vanowen and Valerio Streets.

The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly program to hand out free bike lights to riders without them will kickoff this Monday in San Pedro.

Officials from Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach met to discuss “making beach city streets multimodal, safer, more pleasant and effective.” But they drew the line at a proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of Aviation Blvd, comparing it to the short-lived road diet on Vista del Mar. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

Outside lists the 50 best places to work. Unfortunately, you have to get to number 40 before finding one in the LA area; San Diego’s SportRX — who made the best glasses I’ve ever owned — checked in at 24.

 

National

VeloNews talks with a physician specializing in treating bicyclists about how to avoid the most common bicycling injuries. Step one, don’t fall off your bike. Step two, don’t get hit by cars.

Bicycling suggests that ebikes won’t necessarily cost you your hard-earned fitness, and aren’t really cheating.

HuffPo says Uber and Lyft are helping to cause the congestion they claim to be fixing.

The Houston Chronicle takes an in-depth look at the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face in the notoriously auto-centric city, where everyone blames someone else for the deadly divide between drivers, bike riders and people on foot.

A Chicago design museum is kicking off an exhibit on the cultural history of bicycling in the Windy City.

A Minnesota letter writer says the “the main difference of the ‘stupid’ cyclist’ and the ‘ignorant’ driver” is that only one is traveling at killing speeds.

Louisville KY is investing $140 million for a six-mile Complete Streets makeover of an overly wide main street, including possibly converting part of the extra wide sidewalks into bike lanes.

WaPo questions whether DC’s plan to ban some right turns on red lights will really save lives.

Things aren’t so great for bike riders and pedestrians in Charleston SC, either. But authorities can’t do much to fix it because most roads are controlled by the state.

 

International

A writer for Quartz says one way to make urban cycling safer is fewer angry dudes. But what she really seems to be saying is that we need more women and children, not fewer men, angry or otherwise.

An eco business website asks if dockless bikeshare represents a green revolution or parasites making a profit off the public space. Unlike Uber and Lyft, taxis, private buses and limos, evidently. Not to mention billboards, and other businesses that make money using public spaces.

Like the outdoor Vision Zero ad campaign we mentioned the other day, Toronto is using items that belonged to people killed in traffic collisions to create a hard-hitting safe streets art exhibit.

London business owners are calling for a crackdown on pedicab operators, who have a reputation for riding on the sidewalk and ripping off tourists, deserved or not.

A British study shows 26% of people believe the roads are too dangerous to commute by bike. That number would probably be a lot higher here in Los Angeles.

Maybe you want to add bicycling in Montenegro to your bike bucket list.

Tel Aviv cracks down on scofflaw ebike riders.

Norway’s ambassador rides in Canberra, Australia to share his country’s bicycling culture with the less than bike friendly country.

This is who we share the roads with. Over 20% of Aussie drivers admit to directing road rage towards people on bicycles.  Apparently, the other 80% just don’t admit to it.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer says if you think e-scooters are a safety menace, just wait until you hear about cars. Not to mention the people in them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling profiles former rising pro Adrien Costa, who’s back on a bike after leaving the pro cycling and losing a leg in a rock climbing accident.

Cycling News talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner and current legal dope meister as he looks for closure, and tries to move past the “disgraced cyclist” label.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to be a former beauty queen to benefit from bicycling. It’s true, women bicyclists deviate more than men.

And those fake painted speed bumps aren’t fooling anyone.

 

Morning Links: More on the great bike helmet debate, and LA Times sort of says we’re dangerous

Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Just a day after British bike scribe and new Forbes transportation writer Carlton Reid says he doesn’t wear a helmet when he rides, a couple others chimed in on the subject.

A Montreal writer says the problem with that is that bike helmets are proven to save lives. Which is true, as long as you don’t look at the studies that contradict them.

And pro cyclist Alex Dowsett says helmets “should be compulsory for all cyclists, everywhere, all of the time,” after crediting his with saving his head during yesterday’s stage of China’s Tour of Guangxi.

As regular readers of this site may know, I always wear a helmet when I ride.

But I realize that they’re not magic talismans that protect you from any injury. Except for the new MIPS helmets, they don’t protect against concussions, and they don’t protect any other part of the body.

They’re also only designed to protect against impacts up to 13.5 mph. Which means bike helmets are better in a slow speed fall than a high speed crash.

So yes, they can offer some protection, and may even save your life under certain circumstances.

But they should always be seen as the last line of defense. Not the first.

It’s better to avoid a crash in the first place than count on your helmet to save you.

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Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for alerting the world to the dangers of this site in yesterday’s daily email blast.

Although I prefer to write it as one word.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up. 

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Local

The LA Times offers their endorsements for next month’s election, including a no on Prop 6, which would repeal the recent gas tax increase to fund road repair.

 

State

A new class-action lawsuit against Lime and Bird calls for banning e-scooters in California, with three plaintiffs alleging they were injured by defective and unsafe scooters; the suit also alleges the companies created a public nuisance and abetted assault. On the other hand, they love them in Portland, and are replacing car trips.

The CHP’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project has received a $1 million federal grant, as San Jose becomes the fourth California city to adopt Vision Zero.

Sad news from Sunnyvale, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

 

National

A writer for Business Insider says he can highly recommend REI’s own line of hybrid bikes.

As if anyone still cares, Cosmo updates the world on Britney Spears inner circle 20 years after the release of Baby One More Time. Although if you want to scroll all the way down to #13, Nigel Dick, the director of that video and some of her other hits, is one of us.

A Missouri city administrator explains there are many reasons why he rides a bicycle. But mostly, because it’s fun.

Critical Mass has finally made it to Brattleboro, Vermont, population just below 11,500.

Sure, that’s it. The New York Post’s resident anti-bike crank says local residents are making a last stand to fight a planned bike and pedestrian bridge, arguing that the mere presence of people on bicycles would lower their property values. And that the bridge is just the mayor’s attempt to get even with the governor, whose mother lives nearby. Of course. Who wouldn’t build a multi-million dollar just to get back at your political nemesis?

A WaPo writer says DC pedestrians have to walk at their own risk. And it’s not much better for people on bikes.

Speaking of DC, the district is considering banning right turns on red lights to improve safety for people on bicycles and on foot.

 

International

Most Scots think bicycling is a good thing, but over half say it’s not for them. Meanwhile, a newspaper wonders why so many adults lose the ability to ride a bike when it’s literally child’s play.

A Euro website looks at L’Eroica and the return of vintage steel road bikes.

For the second time in a week, a French mountain biker has been shot by a hunter; the victim was hit in the shoulder by someone who apparently thought he was shooting at a wild boar. Since so many try to escape hunters by bicycle, evidently.

A Kiwi writer says he has seen the future, and it’s dockless bikeshare.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider suffered a broken ankle when he was the victim of sidewalk rage, after a large man brushed against him rather than move over a bit to make room.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews calls the just concluded Tour of Guangxi a success, as it builds a cycling bridge between east and west.

 

Finally…

When protected bike lanes come to Dinkytown. And just in time for Halloween, the bicycling dead.

 

Morning Links: Court sticks LA and Caltrans for $9.1 million in PCH crash, and Brown signs e-scooter helmet bill

In the latest massive court case against the City of Los Angeles, a jury awarded $9.1 million to a man injured while riding his bike on PCH.

The Los Angeles Times reports Robert Jeffrey Watts suffered a severe brain injury four year ago, when he swerved his bike to go around rocks and debris on PCH in Pacific Palisades, and was struck by the wing mirror of a passing truck.

Watts came across a pile of sand and rocks on the pavement, and steered into the travel lane to avoid the debris. He was struck by a truck’s side mirror and lost control of his bicycle, resulting in a crash that left him with a “significant amount of brain damage,” according to a complaint filed in 2015 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Watts was an experienced bicyclist who rode to his office in Culver City for years to keep fit, said his attorney, Boris Treyzon. Watts, who ran a successful freelance camera company, was left unable to work.

The jury split blame for the case, finding Caltrans 40% liable for the crash, with Los Angeles responsible for the rest.

Caltrans, which owns the highway, had hired Los Angeles to sweep the pavement at least once a month and keep it free of debris, but jury testimony and records left it unclear how often the work was performed, Treyzon said.

During the trial, he said, two city street sweepers testified that at the Tramonto slide, “they would simply swing around … and ignore it,” rather than remove the sand, gravel and rocks from the roadway.

No surprise there to anyone who has watched LA City street sweepers in action. Or had to ride through the debris they left behind.

The size of these awards keep climbing. And those payments come out of your taxes.

Money that would be much better spent to fund quality bike infrastructure and safer streets to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting injured.

Instead of paying out massive legal judgements after they do.

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Go ahead and scoot without a skid lid.

To the surprise of some — okay, me — Governor Brown signed AB 2989, allowing adult users of e-scooters to ride without a helmet.

In addition, the law allows scooters on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph; current law limits scooters to streets with speed limits up to 25 mph unless they have bike lanes.

No word on when the law takes effect.

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CiclaValley wants to know whether Decker Canyon or Westlake Blvd offers the scarier descent.

Although Phil Gaiman might vote for Tuna Canyon.

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Cheetahs don’t pedal.

Just saying.

 

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Local

Ride Metro Bike bikeshare free tomorrow for World Car Free Day.

A writer for City Watch takes a miserable walk down Fairfax Blvd, followed by a harrowing bike ride. And says Metro could fund trees, sidewalk improvements and bike lanes on Fairfax, as well as on Wilshire Blvd and all the major streets in the area that connect to Wilshire, for less than $50 million. Let’s hope someone is listening to him.

Downtowners weigh in on plans to remake LA’s Civic Center, calling for protected bike lanes and trails with bike and scooter parking.

Bicycling profiles the founder of LA-based women’s bikewear brand Machines for Freedom.

The third annual Gran Fondo Santa Clarita rolls next Saturday.

 

State

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is nearing completion, following the Truckee River 116 miles from the north shore of Lake Tahoe to Nevada’s Pyramid Lake.

 

National

A writer for Forbes explains in detail why you have a greater right to ride a bicycle than to drive a car, and proposes a Micromobility Bill of Rights giving you the same entitlement on smaller devices like e-scooters.

Bicycling looks at the “newest and coolest gear” from this year’s Interbike show.

Your next bike could be made of Super Magnesium.

No bias here. A Colorado columnist complains about “Bicyclist Entitlement Syndrome,” saying courteous bike riders are so rare you never see them. And the rest park their bikes on handicap ramps and run over kittens.

Omaha police agree to keep patrolling the city’s paved trails in response to bike riders’ concerns about “wrongdoers.”

A Chicago city alderman has proposed requiring bike riders to dismount and walk their bikes on the popular downtown Riverwalk, saying it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

The administrators of the bike-hating Northern Kentucky Facebook group we linked to earlier this week have turned it into a closed group after it got public attention, and changed the name to “Share the Road;” local bicyclists are worried it could incite violence against bike riders.

Police in Knoxville TN are the latest department to use an ultrasonic radar device to enforce the three-foot passing law. The LAPD, not so much.

A pair of Cleveland bike riders were brutally attacked and robbed in separate early morning attacks.

New York is closing a pair of key bike lanes, apparently for security reasons, in preparation for next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting — but leaving open a car tunnel that runs directly underneath.

A DC Twitter bot instantly uncovers the unpaid traffic tickets for any license plate, including one driver with 84 tickets totaling $10,700. Can we get that here in LA? Pretty please?

 

International

The co-founder of Zipcar warns the changes autonomous vehicles will bring could be paradise, or it could be hell.

Bike Radar offers tips on how to take inexperienced bike riders out for their first road ride.

Now that it’s legal north of the border, Canada’s military says don’t drive for 24 hours after you toke.

The Guardian looks at the colorful reinvention of city intersections.

Now that’s more like it. After a driver in the UK tweets that she should have run over a bike rider, police tell her to return her license because she’s clearly not fit to have one.

A British ebike maker says restricting ebikes to 15.5 mph in the UK and European Union is too slow for riders to be safe in traffic.

A Brit bike rider blames Strava for leading thieves to his home, where they stole five bikes worth nearly $16,000.

Heartbreaking news from the Netherlands, where four children were killed when the daycare cargo bike they were riding in was hit by a train.

VeloNews takes a tour of Italian bicycle factories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forty-three-year old Amber Neben continues to defy the calendar as she prepares to compete for her third road world championship.

But maybe you’d rather watch bike racers about 40 years younger.

 

Finally…

Forget bike polo, it’s Cycleball season. Now you can own your very own British bike chain; no, not that kind.

And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think those are bike racks.

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Thanks David D, and everyone who has contributed this week, for their generous donations to help support this site. 

One final reminder, if everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep it going for a full year.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Support injured bike rider with new T-shirt design, and new bill could end CA e-scooter helmet law

Here’s your chance to look good by helping out an injured rider.

Several months ago, a man who goes by the name of Hery reached out to me for help after he was injured by the driver of a car.

I gave him what advice I could; unfortunately, he’s still struggling, as the message below indicates.

Eight months ago while riding my bike to work I was hit by car. I woke up with wiring in my mouth and have been on disability ever since. Recently I was informed my Medi-Cal won’t be covering some medical expenses, and over these last 8 months I’ve also accumulated a lot of debt just trying to get by. So I’ve decided to design T-shirts to raise money for bills and other expenses.

This is what Hery’s bike looked like after he was injured in the crash

It’s a great looking design, and a good cause, helping someone get back on his feet after he was injured in a crash.

And it’s available on anything from T-shirts and hoodies, to stickers and coffee mugs.

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A new bill passed by the state senate on Thursday would remove the ridiculous helmet requirement for dockless e-scooters — and the nearly $200 fines too many users have had to pay for breaking the law.

AB 2989 would also cap scooter speeds at their current 15 mph, while allowing cities to permit their use on more types of streets. Powered scooters are currently restricted to streets with bike lanes or speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The bill needs to return to the assembly before it goes to Governor Brown, where experience tells us it will face an uncertain fate.

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Todd Munson does what I’ve often threatened to do, recording two minutes of scofflaw drivers running the stop sign near his home.

I could do the same thing at either of the intersections closest to our apartment, with the same results.

Yet so many drivers seem to get apoplectic they see bike and scooter riders doing the same things they do every day.

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Los Angeles bike riders have to fight to get a bike corral. Riders in the the Netherlands get this, instead.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the heads-up.

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There was a time when Bike the Vote was more than a slogan, as an academic journal site remembers when bike riders were a political block courted by the GOP. And helped deliver the vote to William McKinley in 1896.

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Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles.

Lincoln, Nebraska residents and bike riders support a lane reduction on major street, while a business association predicts a traffic apocalypse and calls it the first salvo in the war on cars.

In Jacksonville FL, the city wants to remove lanes from a street to improve safety, but local residents insist they like it just the way it is.

And an Edmonton, Canada letter writer says a lane reduction and two-way cycle tracks don’t make any sense, and he can’t understand why bike riders wouldn’t prefer a quieter, tree-lined street. The answer is they probably would, if it went the same places, with no stops and with signalized intersections at major streets, because bike riders need to get where they’re going just like drivers do.

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Local

LA Magazine previews the My Figueroa Complete Streets project, which will be officially unveiled this Thursday.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a wealthy neighborhood gets street repairs on dangerous Griffith Park Blvd where a rider was injured, while a less well off neighborhood gets signs and a recommendation from the city attorney to remove the bike lanes instead of fixing them.

Curb extensions are installed on Pico Blvd to improve safety at Hauser and Curson. Although it clearly could have been the first step to installing protected bike lanes, instead.

 

State

An Oceanside bike rider is lucky to be alive after surviving a crash with a commuter train that left him with minor injuries. Let that be yet another reminder to never try to go around crossing gates, even if it appears to be safe at the time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks if the city is ready to eliminate parking requirements for downtown housing.

Members of Rich City Rides rode to Oakland’s city hall to protest the arrest of founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black.

Sad news from Austria, where beloved Oakland triathlete Alistair Eeckman was killed in a crash with a bus while on a training ride, just one day after finishing sixth in the Powerman Austria; he was just 23. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the news.

 

National

Streetsblog says America’s car culture is literally shortening your life.

Your next Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels. The ride-hailing company’s new CEO sees a shift to ebikes and scooters for short trips.

A Colorado couple literally wrote the book on cycling the Great Divide, with all proceeds going to the Adventure Cycling Association.

Sioux City, Iowa, has made progress when it comes to bicycling, but still has a long way to go.

Tour de France laterne rouge Lawson Craddock returns home to a hero’s welcome at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, after raising what could be as much as $400,000 to rebuild it following last year’s Hurricane Harvey. And announces it will be the site of USA Cycling’s new Olympic development program.

A Texarkana TX newspaper gets it, explaining that the city’s new sharrows don’t actually change anything, since bicyclists already have a legal right to ride in the traffic lane, but simply remind drivers of that fact.

Around a thousand people turned out for a bike ride to honor a Milwaukee bicycling icon who founded a chain of bike shops and created bike paths across the US.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Minnesota man rides his age to celebrate his 90th birthday, breaking it up into six 15 mile rides.

A Tennessee family has developed a device to fit on the handlebar ends on kids bikes, that will hopefully prevent puncture injuries that aren’t as rare as they seem. Something like that should be required for every kid’s bike sold; every year, several children are seriously injured or killed by worn bike parts.

Streetsblog says a single double-parked truck can undermine everything the New York Department of Transportation does to keep streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians, because it all falls apart without enforcement.

A DC bike advocate says our streets don’t have to make us unhappy.

A Florida singletrack rider rescued a baby raccoon by putting him in his backpack, and riding him to safety before the coyotes could get him. It may be cute, but most experts recommend against trying to rescue seemingly abandoned animals; chances are, the mother is hiding somewhere nearby.

 

International

Ottawa bike riders are taking to social media to try to track down their stolen bicycles.

Now that’s a close call. An Ottawa bike rider decides he needs to buy some lights after a driver makes a left turn directly in front of him in the dim twilight. Which he should have had long before this ever happened.

Speaking of close calls, a British bike rider was nearly sideswiped by a trailer pulled by a van in a near-miss caught on bike cam.

Pamplona has running with the bulls; Birmingham, England has wheelie-popping teens riding with the buses.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says bike helmets should be made mandatory in the UK, adding “I’ve put on a helmet more times than I’ve buckled a seatbelt.” Then tries to walk it back the next day.

A New Zealand Op-Ed says there’s no need for a war between bicyclists and motorists; just slow traffic and build some decent infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A reminder of the dangers of amateur racing, as 30 riders went down in a mass crash in a Wisconsin race, sending four people to the  hospital, and leaving a number of others with minor injuries.

Three years ago, Staci Nash was a two-time NCAA Division II track champ — the running kind, not cycling. Today, she’s a two-time national mountain biking champ.

Ritchie Porte says I beg your pardon, I never promised you I was going for the general classification in the Vuelta.

Speaking of the Vuelta, Deadspin calls it the strangest, hardest stage race of the cycling season, and predicts this year’s race will kick ass. Meanwhile, Cycling News says it’s the last chance for ten riders.

Great long read from Peter Flax, who recounts the strange happenings 70 years ago as two legendary racers faced off in the 1948 world championships, which neither one won.

 

Finally…

Sometimes riding down a freeway in rush hour traffic calls for nothing more than a g-string. Yes, you can still take a Sunday drive — as long as it’s on a bike.

And when you hear hoofbeats, stop and say hi.

 

Morning Links: Why LA bike riders keep dying, Caltrans gets bike friendly, and Forsyth Cup rolls tomorrow

Yesterday morning, a reporter from outside of LA emailed me with a single, very simple question. 

But the answer was just the opposite. 

She wanted to why Los Angeles continues to be one of the nation’s deadliest cities for bicyclists. 

This is how I responded.

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That’s a complicated question.

There are a number of factors involved, but let’s start with the most obvious. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, so ignoring any other factors, we could be expected to have one of the highest traffic fatality rates.

We also have roughly 6,500 miles of surface streets, the most in the US. And due to the city’s mistaken obsession with LOS (Level of Service) until recent years, virtually all of those streets have been over-engineered to move as many vehicles as fast as possible, with little or no regard for safety.

That’s complicated by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot. So you have streets that have been designed like highways, despite their original speed limits.

As a result, drivers naturally speed, which results in a continual raising of the speed limit until some LA streets have speed limits of 50 mph or more. And on those that don’t, drivers routinely exceed the limit by 10 to 15 mph — and complain in the rare instances that they get pulled over, because everyone else is doing it.

Add to that the smallest police force of any major city, resulting in just a few hundred officers patrolling the streets at any given time, most of whom are too busy dealing with major crimes to bother pulling anyone over for an illegal U-turn or weaving in and out of traffic. And until recently, police couldn’t enforce speed limits on most of the city’s streets, because LA failed to conduct the speed surveys required by the 85th Percentile law.

So is it any wonder that LA has what may be world’s most entitled drivers, who seem to feel they have a God-given right to do anything they want, with little or no fear of consequences?

Then there’s the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure in the city. While the city made great gains under the previous mayor, who committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes a year, that has trickled to a crawl under the current administration, resulting in less than 10 lanes miles a year. We have just a handful of parking protected bike lanes, no curb-protected lanes — the first is expected to open this summer on South Figueroa — and a few of what are questionably called protected lanes, guarded only by thin plastic flex posts, which are easy to drive over with no damage to your car.

To complicate matters, there is nothing even resembling a bikeway network in Los Angeles. With the exception of Downtown LA, it is virtually impossible to plan a safe route from one part of the city to another. Bike lanes start and stop at random, and usually don’t connect to anything, forcing riders to contend with high speed traffic and aggressive drivers.

As a result, a disproportionate number of LA riders use sidewalks instead of riding in the street, putting them at significant risk when they have to cross a side street or driveway. In addition, LA has a large immigrant population, many of whom ride bikes as their only form of transportation. And many of whom learned to ride against traffic in their home countries, and continue the practice here; in some neighborhoods, salmon cyclists make up most, if not all, of the bicycling victims according to the LAPD.

Do I even need to mention that there is no bicycle eduction in most California cities? Some of the local advocacy groups offer adult bike education, but that reaches only a handful of people each year. And usually not the ones who need it most.

Finally, Los Angeles has a weak mayor political system which gives the mayor limited authority, while placing most of the power in the hands of individual councilmembers. As a result, while the mayor has set some bike friendly policies, such as Vision Zero, actual implementation falls on each councilmember to approve or deny safety improvements in their own districts.

A fear of angry drivers — and voters — has resulted in the cancellation of shovel-ready road diets and bike lanes throughout the city, virtually halting any real progress on Vision Zero, let alone providing any alternative to driving for most people. And famously led to the reversal of several road diets installed in Playa del Rey last year when pass-through drivers, mostly from outside the city, rose up in revolt.

Los Angeles has great potential for bicycling. If the city actually builds out its Mobility Plan 2035, and the bike plan within it — which seems highly unlikely at this point — it will transform itself from the nation’s most traffic and smog-choked city into one of the safest and most livable communities anywhere.

But that’s a big if.

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Caltrans celebrates the last day of Bike Month by discussing the role bikes can play as a legitimate form of transportation in reducing greenhouse gasses.

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If you’re looking for some serious bike action this weekend, check out Saturday’s second edition of the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup under the afternoon skies at the Encino Velodrome.

And enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos while you watch some of LA’s best track cyclists, hosted by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

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The Guardian offers a video explaining why forcing bicyclists to wear helmets won’t save lives.

Just to be clear, I’m a firm believer in using helmets on American roads, and always wear a one when I ride. But they should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

We’ll save a lot more lives by taming traffic and building better bikeways than by making everyone wear a helmet for every ride.

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Speaking of the Guardian, the paper picked up Peter Flax’s story about the death of bicyclist  Mark Kristofferson at this year’s Tour of Palm Springs, and asking why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murdering cyclists.

It’s an important, if difficult, piece.

So if you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes and give it a read.

We’ll wait.

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Local

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler reminisces about Bike Month — and feeling excluded by members of the bike community.

 

State

Congratulations to San Diego for being named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; newly bike friendly Las Vegas got promoted from Bronze to Silver. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains on the list at the Bronze level, for no apparent reason.

Two participants in next week’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride discuss why they’re riding 450 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic really wants to hate e-scooters, but can’t.

Bicycling lists their take on the best bicycling apps, including the Red Cross’ free First Aid app, for reasons that should be obvious. And lists the 25 best American companies for bicyclists. But you have to have the patience to click through 25 times.

Couldn’t agree more. Treehugger says it’s time to stop arguing about helmets, and start building safe infrastructure.

Nashville gives Bird the bird.

The argument over a proposed protected bike lane in New York’s Sunnyside neighborhood boils down to the same old dispute — business owners want parking spaces, while bike riders just want to stay alive.

The New York DOT puts its foot down, and says a protected bike lane is going to be installed on Queens Blvd, whether or not the local community board approves. Which is exactly what needs to happen in Los Angeles, but won’t.

The hotest perk in Gotham real estate — deluxe bike storage rooms.

Neighbors demand bike lanes along a Maryland highway. But as usual, the call for safety comes after it’s too late.

 

International

Bike Biz looks forward to the first ever World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

A writer for the Weekly Standard spent two months riding his bike along both sides of the US – Mexico border, from Tijuana to Brownsville TX. And says the region has much bigger problems than people trying to cross it to find work.

Montreal will invest $15 million over the next year to improve the city’s bicycling network; they expect to have nearly 550 miles of bike paths by next year, connecting 16 boroughs and four cities.

Toronto celebrates Bike Month by promising to clean up its existing bikeways.

A self-described “keen cyclist” in the London’s Waltham Forest borough says bicyclists have turned a local pedestrian plaza into a death trap. Yet he somehow fails to note that no one has actually been killed by bike riders there. Which is not to say riders shouldn’t show extra care and consideration around people on foot.

A severely disabled British woman plans to ride 2018 miles with her service dog in tow to raise money for assistance dog charities.

According to a new study, potholes and trucks keep people from bicycling on UK roadways; 56% of the people surveyed said they would ride more if they felt safer on the streets. Just like pretty much everywhere else outside of Denmark and the Netherlands.

An Australian bike advocacy group says a petition demanding that bicyclists ride single file and banning bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph has no merit. Meanwhile, another bike group cites massive fraud, suggesting the petition is full of false names, while Cycling Tips says we can all learn from the misguided petition.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great interview with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Cycling Tips talks with Greg LeMond about what he’s learned.

 

Finally…

Your next new tires could come with a complete bike attached. Don’t put aero bars on a gravel bike — or do if that’s what you feel like.

And why wait for someone else to fix your pothole, when you can just do it yourself?

 

 

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in Boyle Heights, defusing a suspicious package, and a little bike satire

The LAPD’s Central Traffic Division reports a bike rider was injured in a collision at Mission and Sichel in Boyle Heights.

However, the comment about bike helmets was not well received on Twitter, as a number of commenters took exception.

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No, seriously. It’s probably not the best idea to break through a police cordon on your bike, and defuse a suspicious package yourself.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s hope this one is satire, as Toronto authorities announce the opening of dooring season to cull the existing cyclist population.

Looks like the Onion has some serious competition.

Thanks to Harv for the link.

………

Local

KABC-7 looks at the “controversial” Mar Vista Great Streets road diet on Venice Blvd, where some drivers have no problem finding the supposedly non-existent parking.

LA Street Services has repaired 50,000 square feet of bike lanes on Forrest Lawn Drive. This is great news; more bike riders have complained to me about the condition of the Forrest Lawn bike lanes than any other street in the LA area.

Somehow, Los Angeles manages to fix steep Baxter Street for drivers and homeowners just days after a story appears in the LA Times. But can’t manage to fix the streets where people actually get killed.

Ebike and e-scooter maker GenZe names Los Angeles number five on the list of the top ten ebike cities in the US.

The Arts District just got a little more walkable, if not bikeable.

The Long Beach Post talks with a badass bike courier who’s living her best life on the streets of the city. And highlights the story with some bikie Insta posts.

 

State

Davis gets a new Bicycle Program coordinator for the platinum level bicycle friendly community. Whose main job is probably to just not screw things up.

Speaking of Davis, the UC campus now has dockless e-bikeshare.

 

National

Two Portland bike riders have been injured in right hook collisions at the same intersection in two weeks.

The victim of last weekend’s mountain lion attack in Washington had recently earned a Ph.D in philosophy from Boston College. Personally, I don’t care why the cougar attacked; I’m more concerned with what to do if you run into one.

Colorado’s 46-year old Iron Horse Bicycle Classic covers two high country mountain passes, and draws everyone from serious cyclists to people just out for a little fun.

Congratulations to Kansas for keeping a dangerous drunk on the roads until it was too late, as a 34-year old driver faces charges for critically injuring a woman riding her bike — including a charge for at least his fourth DUI. Seriously, drunk or stoned drivers should face a two strikes and you’re out rule. First DUI conviction and you lose your license for a year; second conviction and you lose it permanently. And every DUI should be a felony.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Iowa, where a Louisiana man has been sentenced to five years for driving over a RAGBRAI participant who was sleeping in his tent.

An allegedly road-raging Wisconsin man is going on trial for knocking two cyclists into a ditch; he claims he was totally innocent and the bike riders hogged the roadway, flipped him off, and then inexplicably swerved into his car. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s not just NASCAR racers who are into bikes, as Bicycling rides the famed Indianapolis Brickyard with three of the top IndyCar drivers.

It takes some major skills to do stunts on a 45-pound New York bikeshare bike.

Medium considers how New York bike lanes actually get made.

A former North Carolina city manager offers advice on how to stay safe on bike, after his own father was killed while bicycling. Although can we please, please, please stop citing that long-discredited figure that bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85%?

An English man is back on his bike, seven months after he was nearly killed while riding in Florida, just 350 miles short of finishing a ride across the US.

 

International

Momentum Magazine profiles the cross-party cycling caucus in the Canadian parliament.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Canadian man is still biking 155 miles to work every week. And yes, I intend to still be working on this site at that age.

A Toronto editorial says the city’s Vision Zero program has has zero impact so far.

An Ottawa columnist says the city needs a full network of connected and segregated bike lanes. Any chance we could get him to move down here and make the same case for LA?

A new British study shows bicycling to work can cut your risk of heart disease by a third.

A writer for the Guardian says it’s time to send the UK government a message about what it would take to get you on your bike.

A British father will bike 300 miles to raise funds for a charity, two years after he was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down in a bicycling collision.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like when a masked man jumps out at you swinging a weapon as you ride on an English pathway, then changes his mind and simply walks away.

Less than 30% of the rush hour trips in Dublin, Ireland are made by car, as most people now commute by public transport, bike or walking. Seriously, if they can do it, Los Angeles can — if we have the political will.

Bengaluru’s first bicycle mayor has been leading the fight for sustainable transport for six years in the city also known as Bangalore.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real, as a Kiwi bicyclist suffered a broken hip when he was repeatedly brake-checked by an angry driver.

Two New Zealand bicyclists have been killed on the same deadly roadway just five weeks apart, as bike riders say the road should have been fixed years ago. Unfortunately, dangerous situations like this and the one in Portland usually get fixed only after it’s too late. If then.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former pro Tyler Hamilton says he may have been a doper, but motor doping is going too far, even if he thinks some in the pro peloton are doing it.

Speaking of motors, the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at the coming grudge match between LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara. Which sadly won’t be available on TV, even though I’d gladly pay to see that one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride salmon on a freeway. Introducing cross-bikes you ride along, not on.

And first it was cougars, now we have to deal with road raging moose.

 

Morning Links: Bike helmet debate, CSUN LimeBike opens today, and why people keep dying on our streets

Doctors and medical groups have long led the push for bike helmets.

So it’s surprising when a leading medical journal questions their usefulness.

But that’s exactly what a pair of letters in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — do.

The first one suggests that the safety in numbers benefit provided by more people using bikeshare outweighs the benefits of bike helmets.

And the other concludes this way —

The key issue in considering the use of helmets is of course the risk. In recent years, more detailed assessment of risk in personal travel in England has been published [4]. This shows that risk varies considerably more by age than by mode of travel. The range of risks experienced in bicycling are in the same range as faced in walking or driving, except possibly for the most elderly bicyclists.

In conclusion, there is no objective reason to consider even the promotion of helmets for bicycling, in the absence of similar measures for all other road users.

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We mentioned last week that LimeBike had established a dockless bikeshare beachhead on the CSUN campus in Northridge.

Now they’re having their official unveiling this afternoon.

LimeBike Bike Demo and Inaugural Unlocking (1/25) at 1 p.m. PST at CSUN Campus Bookstore

  • When: Thursday (1/25) from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 pm. PST
  • Where: University Bookstore,18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
  • What: An opportunity to learn more about how LimeBike works and hear from the CSUN Director of Energy & Sustainability, LimeBike’s LA Operations Manager, and other CSUN officials on how CSUN is leading the way to revolutionize sustainable transportation.

To celebrate the launch, the company is offering 10 free rides through the end of January by using the code LIMEWITHCSUN.

You can download the app to find and rent the bikes through their website.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The Los Angeles DA’s office decided not to file charges against the alleged hit-and-run driver suspected of killing a popular homeless woman living in Boyle Heights, saying it would be too difficult to get a conviction.

Even though a security camera showed the driver appearing to carefully drive around her body as he left the scene.

And even though a witness claims to have told the driver he’d backed over the victim as she was sweeping the street around her trailer, contradicting the driver’s claims that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone.

So once again, an innocent woman is dead. And no one will ever be held accountable.

Which is how Vision Zero becomes meaningless.

………

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez wrote about a father who became an activist against illegal immigration after his son was killed in a crash with an unlicensed man from Honduras.

While story focused on immigration, J. Patrick Lynch thinks Lopez missed the point.

The real takeaway of this article should have been how easy it is for people to get behind a machine that can easily kill . Whether it be an illegal immigrant, a driver with a suspended license for traffic violations, or someone who’s had their license revoked for multiple DUIs or has even killed someone already, if you want to drive, there’s really little stopping you.

Which is something else that has to change if we’re ever going to reduce traffic fatalities.

Let alone end them.

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Local

Work has started on the Main & Spring Forward Complete Streets project in DTLA, including converting the buffered bike lanes on Main and Spring Streets to protected bike lanes. Thanks to 14th District Councilmember JosĂ© Huizar for having the courage to move forward with the project, despite LA’s recent anti-bike lane hysteria.

A Caltech researcher creates art by pushing 800 bicycles until they fall over to better understand how we keep them upright.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, broke ground the two-mile Rose Creek Bikeway, part of the planned 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail between Oceanside and downtown San Diego.

The San Diego Reader says mountain bikers don’t want illegal trails, either.

Ventura County has received $3.8 million to fund three bike projects in Ventura, Fillmore and Thousand Oaks, including $1.8 million for a three-mile bike lane on Potrero Road.

LimeBike and Ofo are complaining about San Francisco’s opaque licensing requirements after they were denied permits to operate dockless bikeshare systems in the city.

Too scary. A San Francisco man was busted for bashing another man with a hammer and stealing his bicycle; the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The family of a Napa Valley man is suing Caltrans after he was killed when he caught a wheel in a railroad track crossing a highway.

 

National

Nice piece on the current demonization of distracted pedestrians, which is just more of the usual victim blaming while ignoring the real danger on our roads.

The Guardian looks at Seattle’s efforts to install bike racks to keep homeless people from sleeping on the street.

One of the NFL’s top prospects is sort of one of us — as in a unicycle-riding tight end from South Dakota State.

Streetsblog accuses the ACLU of having a dangerous windshield bias for their opposition to traffic safety cameras in Iowa.

Nice story. An Arkansas girl born without a hand can ride a bike for the first time after her elementary school classmates designed and built a handlebar attachment using a 3D printer.

A Wisconsin writer says winter cycling is dumb, but in a good way.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is suing a father and son in a Minnesota court for cybersquatting on at least 66 web addresses that infringe on the LeMond trademark; the father’s defense is that someone must have stolen his ID and registered the sites in his name. Sure, let’s go with that.

Minneapolis MN will get a temporary fat tire bikeshare service for next month’s Super Bowl. Hopefully it will work well enough they’ll make it permanent.

A Minnesota man was busted for possession of meth and driving with a revoked license while appealing his five-year sentence for killing a bicyclist; he’s also facing charges for hiring an underage prostitute.

Forbes profiles former Livestrong CEO, bicyclist and three-time cancer survivor Doug Ulman, CEO of Columbus OH-based Pelotonia.

Boston bike riders are demanding a change in the city’s auto-centric culture after authorities refuse to prosecute a truck driver who fatally right hooked a physician as she rode to work.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in NY, where the widow of a 9/11 victim walked away with five-year’s probation for killing a bike rider while she was high on dope.

A DC writer suggests that there’s hidden racism in many complaints about dockless bikeshare in the city, which is popular with black youths.

After a hit-and-run driver put a bicyclist in the hospital, Florida Reddit users figured out the make, model and year of the car before the police could.

 

International

A Chicago writer bikes the backroads of Cuba.

They get it. A Canadian website points out why bike lanes are good for everyone, even drivers and business owners. Which should be required reading for anyone who questions the value of bikeways.

A Victoria, British Columbia chef is taking advantage of new bike lanes by opening a restaurant with a bike-through window. Which is a perfect example of how businesses can take advantage of the opportunity presented by bike-friendly streets, rather than fighting them tooth-and-nail.

A writer for Singletrack looks at the real reasons women bike less than men in the wake of a BBC report.

A British bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries after he was hit by a student driver, who carried him nearly 200 feet on the hood of his car.

Bicycling suggests a cycling vacation in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where you can ride where the pros train. If you can keep up.

Australia’s most notorious driver finally had his license revoked after 11 suspensions in 12 years, not that a little thing like that ever stopped him from driving; he also killed a ten-year old girl who was riding her bike in 2003, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Merchants in an Australian town are fighting plans to remove parking on one side of a street to make room for bike lanes, over fears that it will kill their business. Proving once again that anti-bike lane bias is the same all over the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Like father like sons. Twenty-three-year old Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas Jr was banned for four years for doping, 15 years after his dad received a one-year ban for using EPO at the 2003 Giro d’Italia; sadly, his brother died last year under suspicious circumstances that may have been linked to doping, as well.

Former pro — and yes, doper — Alexandre Vinokourov pranked the members of his Astana pro team by disguising himself as an old man, then dropping them on a steep climb.

Speaking of doping, the Netflix documentary that blew the top off Russia’s state-sponsored doping program could win an Oscar, thanks to the nomination of Icarus for Best Documentary Feature.

Last year’s winner of the Amgen Tour of California has been ordered to stop touching fans to protect his health.

When you’re three-time world champ Peter Sagan, you get an audience with the pope. And when you’re the pope, you get a monogrammed bike in the papal colors from Peter Sagan.

 

Finally…

Stick a candle in your next energy gel. There’s nothing more French than eating foie gras on toast while watching a video while driving; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

And polite bike riders always share their water. Especially with a cute little koala.

 

 

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.

………

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: Stolen bicycle recovered, raw video of Koreatown incident, and bikeshare news

Let’s start with good news, for a change.

Last night I received word that the bicycle stolen at gunpoint from Ulises Melgar, which we discussed yesterday, has been recovered after being spotted in Hollenbeck Park.

The only things missing were the lights and a Garmin.

As a result, the crowdfunding campaign to replace Melgar’s bicycle has been frozen, and anyone who gave will be contacted about their donation.

No word on whether any progress has been made in apprehending the violent jerks who stole it.

………

News service LoudLabs posted raw video of the recent Koreatown incident.

As you may recall, several people pulled an aggressive driver out of his car after he hit a bike rider while plowing through a group ride that was corking an intersection, and held him down until police arrived.

The additional footage includes the full interview with a witness, as well as showing extensive damage to the car.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

……….

Today’s common theme is bikeshare.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare took a beating in its first month, with bikes stolen, tires slashed and a bike dumped in a lake.

Dueling dockless bikeshare companies are spreading throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento and Santa Cruz.

A Seattle writer watches as a homeless person tries, and fails, to steal one of the city’s dockless bikeshare bikes.

Baltimore’s bikeshare is contending with the problem of stolen bikes; the Baltimore Sun reported less than a third of the 200 bikes were available for use when they checked.

And a real estate writer says developers now consider proximity to a bikeshare dock an amenity.

………

A new short movie examines the effects of Australia’s mandatory bike helmet law, while stressing that being against forcing people to wear helmets isn’t the same as being opposed to them.

………

Welsh cyclist Luke Rowe will be out of action for awhile, since it’s hard to ride with a broken leg; he was injured while whitewater rafting during his brother’s bachelor party.

An Aussie new site asks if Alberto Contador is a cycling legend, flawed genius or forever tainted. Short answer, yes.

……….

Local

The Washington Post looks at the overwhelming success of the Expo Line, while noting that opposition to building the line centered on race and class, as well as cost. I recall someone from the Westside’s upscale Rancho Park, who said no one from that neighborhood would ever take the train, which would only be used by maids and gardeners. And that same opposition was successful in derailing plans for the Expo Line bike path through the neighborhood, resulting in the infamous Trousdale gap.

The latest edition of Bike Talk discusses Vision Zero, Road Diets, and the Backlash Against Safe Streets.

A free three-mile ride sponsored by CICLE and Metro will take you on a tour of LA’s best Filipino restaurants along Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown on the 24th; reservations are required.

Several Santa Clarita firefighters are competing bicycling events in this week’s World Police and Fire Games.

 

State

If you ride the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano, prepare for some extensive detours over the next few years.

The annual Bike the Bay is your chance to ride San Diego’s Coronado Bay Bridge at the end of the month, even without a $210 million bike tube.

A San Diego man is posting satirical YouTube videos exposing the mythical war on cars.

This is who we share the roads with. After a Jurupa Valley motorcycle rider is nearly sideswiped by a driver, he records the man plowing into two stopped cars, then fleeing the scene — and follows him to Moreno Valley at speeds up to 90 mph.

 

National

Now you, too, can make your very own scraper bike with a “badass” sound system.

A Hawaii man says it felt like he was hit by a truck when he was struck by a bicyclist, after spending three nights in the ICU with two broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding.

Alaska Air is now officially the cheapest airline to fly with your bike.

No overreaction here. Police in Evanston IL arrested two 12-year old kids for the crime of running a red light while riding on the handlebars and rear pegs of a BMX bike while someone else pedaled. Yes, they were arrested for a traffic infraction. Or maybe just riding while black.

In a field where women are seriously under represented, a Michigan woman has been repairing bicycles for 33 years; she started a mobile bike repair business after closing her bike shop in 2004.

Bighearted New Jersey cops buy a ten-year old boy a new bike after they were impressed with his positive attitude when he was injured in a collision.

Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell is one of us; Markell just finished a 3,600-mile ride across the US to raise money for kids in the state.

A Pittsburgh-area cyclist finally gets his day in court, after spending the last year in jail awaiting trial on charges of riding his bicycle in the middle of the lane, just like riders are taught to do. Apparently able to read minds, the ADA handling the case alleges David Smith’s intent was to disrupt traffic, rather than ride safely.

A Louisiana engineer makes a persuasive argument over why and how bikes should be included in the traffic plan for the state capital.

A Good Samaritan alerts Florida officials to a reckless, and likely stoned, driver, allowing deputies to arrive less than a minute after he struck a bike rider.

 

International

The UK’s version of HuffPo lists the best apps for bicycling. Not all apply for US riders, however.

Road rage is on the rise, even among those obsessively polite Canadian drivers.

A 17-year old British man was apparently sprayed with acid while riding his bike near London’s Kensington Palace. Authorities referred to it as “an unknown substance;” however, the attack follows a spate of acid attacks on the city’s streets in recent weeks.

Good idea. The father of a fallen British bicyclist says children should be taught the Dutch Reach in school.

Caught on video: An English van driver intentionally swerves into a bike rider to keep him from passing. Skip ahead to the 2:50 mark; evidently, they don’t have video editing software in the UK.

The Guardian imagines what the perfect bicycling city would look like if it could be built from the ground up for bikes.

A Portuguese company shows how a relatively flat bike network can be designed, even for a hilly city.

The 14th and final stage of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race finishes in Vladivostok, Russia today; organizers are working on how to get more women to enter the 5,700-mile race across Russia, and how to keep them in the race longer.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have the lines of a 1920s motorcycle. Ten irredeemably uncool bike things guaranteed to piss off just about everyone.

And these guys give bike cops a whole new meaning.

Morning Links: San Diego bicyclist gravely injured in bike collision, and the absurd impracticality of bike licensing

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a bike rider was gravely injured in a crash with another rider.

According to NBC San Diego, the two riders came in contact when one tried to pass the other in a bike lane.

Both riders fell to the ground, with one suffering severe skull fractures.

Sadly, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, is not expected to survive.

The other rider, an 18-year old man, suffered injuries to his spine and feet.

Neither was wearing a helmet. It should be noted that relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Update: The video report from NBC San Diego shows the riders were in a protected bike lane, separated from the traffic lanes with bollards. 

Michael Muhammad, a former resident of the area, says the the crash occurred on a steep downhill, suggesting one or both people could have been riding at a high rate of speed, which could have contributed to the severity of the crash.

………

City Lab looks at the absurdity of bike licensing, which keeps rearing its ugly head in response to the rantings of the anti-bike crowd.

I’ll let them explain why it’s a bad idea.

However, let’s not forget that LA cancelled its licensing requirement after it became a pretext for police to stop bike riders, usually people of color, in certain precincts.

I’ll also point out that I’ve had a license on my Trek ever since I bought it in Baton Rouge, LA, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

baton-rouge-bike-license

You couldn’t read it from more than a few feet away then. And you can’t now, especially since my seat bag usually blocks it anyway.

Which kind of defeats the purpose, since most people who call for bike licensing expect to be able to read it at a glance to report offending riders to the authorities.

And even if they could, unless the rider is suspected of a committing a felony, police aren’t to track them down the offending rider for a simple traffic violation or rude behavior.

In fact, California law prohibits police from ticketing anyone or making a misdemeanor bust unless they actually witness the violation themselves.

Which means that, while the idea of licensing bicycles may have some appeal to those who hold a grudge against scofflaw cyclists, it doesn’t serve a useful purpose.

And chances are, it ain’t gonna happen.

………

Local

Investing in Place explains how you can get involved in the implantation of Metro’s Measure M, which promises to remake transit, active transportation and highways. Hopefully in a good way (see 405, failure).

The UCLA-based author of the recent LACBC/LA Walks bike count report offers his thoughts, as well as a link to the full report.

The Santa Monica Daily Press previews this weekend’s Electric Bike Expo on the pier.

The Women’s Cycling Association is hosting a ride to benefit the WCA Foundation Scholarship Fund in Calabasas on December 11th.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who reports he barely survived a Brompton ride on a Texas freeway after Google twice tried to kill him.

 

State

A bighearted Laguna Beach plumber has ridden over 45,000 miles and raised nearly $30,000 to fund scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers.

A traffic improvement program in North San Diego County will include two new separated bike/ped paths, as well as a ten mile addition to the North Coast Bike Trail. Although someone should tell them that adding traffic lanes to reduce congestion doesn’t work.

This is why you don’t try to reclaim your stolen bike yourself. A San Diego bike messenger was slashed with a knife when he tried to get his bike back after spotting a stranger riding it a few weeks after it was stolen.

Bakersfield is conducting a series of workshops and walking audits to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. And yes, I have walked the streets of Bakersfield.

A San Francisco paper says Vision Zero is intuitive, radical and has failed in the city. Meanwhile, the city has approved a moratorium on removing the ghost bikes Vision Zero is supposed to make unnecessary. Clearly, they need to do a lot more, but it’s a little early to call it a failure after just two years.

A Woodland man was acquitted of attempted murder charges but convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for deliberately running down three cyclists with a stolen car during a day-long meth fueled crime spree; his lawyer argued it was because he suffered a psychotic break.

 

National

The usual dispute over bike lanes versus parking rears its ugly head in a Wisconsin town, though this time compromise appears possible as residents agree it might be worth crossing the street to park their cars if it will slow down speeding drivers.

Maybe he doesn’t hate us after all. Donald Trump’s new Deputy US Commerce Secretary is a Chicago bike shop owner.

Safety improves in Boston as better signage and a dramatically increased bike lane network leads to an increase in ridership and a decrease in bicycling injuries.

Cambridge, Massachusetts considers a unique, peanut-shaped mini-roundabout complete with protected bike lanes to keep riders safe on a challenging seven-way intersection.

A trio of University of Connecticut instructors say the recent increase in traffic fatalities in the US is due to low gas prices and unemployment, not distracted driving. And that other developed countries rely on providing safer streets rather than expecting people to drive more safely.

A New York state appeals court rules it doesn’t matter whether a cop hit a bike rider with his police car or the other way around.

A New York man is stuck with the bill after someone stole his jacket, and used his Citi Bike key to steal a $1,200 bikeshare bike.

Safety experts often urge riders to wear hi-viz to improve visibility and avoid collisions. But it didn’t help a New Jersey store full of it.

A Louisiana sheriffs department is looking for donations to give 200 to 300 bicycles to kids that might not otherwise get a gift this year.

 

International

A Vancouver man was the victim of a bizarre reverse theft as someone broke into his truck to steal a bike lock, but left behind a nice mountain bike. And an umbrella.

If you build it, they will come. London’s cycling superhighways have seen up to 55% a jump in ridership, with one route carrying 26 riders per minute.

This is why you always wait until traffic stops before crossing at a red light. A British cyclist wisely waits as a bus driver speeds through the light.

Patriotic Brit cycling fans need to buy more lottery tickets.

An Aussie paper says bicycling is a vital part of Sidney’s transportation system, but it seems to have taken a wrong turn.

Chinese ebikes could face a European anti-dumping surcharge of up to 30%.

 

Finally…

Evidently, cyclists are considered a nuisance even if they never go anywhere. As if bike riders didn’t have enough to worry about, now turtles are out to get us.

And how exactly does one ride a bike in a suspicious manner?

………

A special thanks to Wesley Reutimann, Felicia Garcia, Richard Neill, Mark Jones, and Plurabelle Books Ltd for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

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