Tag Archive for bike helmets

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

Morning Links: Riding from LAX to DTLA, bike helmets may be bad for jaws, and biking through blobs

I know it’s just Monday. And a short, holiday week at that.

But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover here. So grab the beverage of your choice, and let’s get started.

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Gary Cziko offers bike cam video proof that it is possible to ride from LAX to DTLA without dying.

No, really.

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Your helmet may protect your skull, but your jaw is another matter. A new research study shows that bike helmets can significantly increase the risk of mandibular fractures (pdf).

In other science news, silkworms fed graphene and carbon nanotubes produce a new fiber that is super strong, lightweight and conducts electricity, opening the door for a whole new class of high performance clothing that could prevent road rash or light up on its own.

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Seattle advocates placed 240 white silhouettes on the streets to remember victims of traffic violence on Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance; members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition did the same in Boston.

New York bike advocates ride to honor fallen cyclists and call for better safety.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, an Ohio Marine sergeant died last month from wounds he suffered eleven years earlier in Iraq; after his return he learned to ride a bike, despite being paralyzed and unable to speak.

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Who’s faster? The mountain biker or the dog?

Then again, that depends on the mountain biker. And the dog.

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Peloton tells the story of American Davis Phinney’s first stage win in the Tour de France in 1986.

A smashed face at last year’s Paris-Roubaix classic isn’t enough to keep Aussie cyclist Mitch Docker from trying again next year.

Evidently, quitting pro cycling is harder than it seems, as Ireland’s Martyn Irvine un-retires to compete again.

Nice gesture from Team Novo Nordisk’s Phil Sutherland by reaching out to a 12-year old Japanese boy with type 1 diabetes and riding with him the day before the all-diabetic team competed in the Japanese Cup.

Transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden took the women’s title at El Tour de Tucson, where the world’s fastest woman competed, as well.

Santa Cruz cyclists are excited to find Dutch pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam has moved to town, and turns out to be a regular, if somewhat superhuman, guy.

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Local

Los Angeles will hold meetings on December 6th and 13th to discuss plans for the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion project, to fill in the missing 12.5 miles of the LA bike path in the San Fernando Valley between Vanalden Ave and Forest Lawn/Zoo Drive.

KPCC reports on the LACBC bike count showing a jump in bicycling on streets with new bike lanes, but an overall decline as the city has largely halted bike lane expansion.

Writing for Streetsblog, Jonathan Weiss says CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is quick to take credit for the Expo Line, but blames its problems on everyone else, including the needless one-mile gap in the Expo Line bikeway through Cheviot Hills.

CiclaValley writes about placing the ghost bike for 15-year old Saul Lopez in Pacoima last week.

 

State

Calbike petitions Caltrans to live up to changes in state law to eliminate Level of Service guidelines and make it easier to build better streets.

It was a bad weekend for cyclists in Central California; a bike rider was killed in Bakersfield when he allegedly rode into the side of a car, and a Santa Barbara rider was found dead after apparently suffering a medical emergency.

A Palo Alto man was arrested for using a circular saw to cut through a pair of Kryptonite bike locks to steal a bike from a train station in broad daylight.

Family members of traffic victims form a new Bay Area traffic safety group.

Sacramento tames a high speed, auto-centric street with a road diet, turning it into a more human-focused Complete Street.

 

National

It looks like conservative Fox News is getting on the road safety bandwagon, reporting that cyclists are at higher risk when intersections aren’t at right angles.

A Portland bike rider has started a petition to require all bikeshare users in the city to wear a helmet. Even though only one bikeshare rider has ever been killed in the US. And even though cities like Seattle, and Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, that require helmet use have failing bikeshare systems.

A New Mexico father finally gets justice six years after his son was killed while riding his bicycle on a tribal reservation, as he was traveling across country to raise money for breast cancer research.

A new study shows bicycling contributes $1.6 billion to the Colorado economy, while nearly half of the state’s residents rode a bicycle last year. Which is a hell of a lot more than the highly touted revenue the state generates from legalizing dope.

Kindhearted Texas TV viewers pitch in to buy a disabled vet a new and better three-wheeled ebike after his was stolen last week.

Once again, a bike rider comes to the rescue, spotting a Wisconsin driver passed out on coke and Fentanyl with her four-year old in the car.

A Chicago alderman was seriously injured when debris got caught in his bike wheel and threw him over his handlebars. Correction: Make that a squirrel

A very forgiving Minneapolis bike rider feels sorry for the suicidal driver who ran him down after attempting to hang a toddler at a daycare center.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette checks in with Danny Chew, the city’s iconic cyclist who’s dream of riding one million miles came to an abrupt end when he was paralyzed from the waste down in a solo fall.

It’s not just LA. A New York Daily News editorial says that city is suffering from a hit-and-run epidemic, too.

A writer for the Washington Post says Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan is a trap.

 

International

How to ride on dirt and gravel.

A writer for Bike Radar says the world is a mess, but it’s also a beautiful place to explore on a bike.

London’s Telegraph takes a surprisingly even-handed look at how to improve bicycle safety.

No bias here. A British paper reports a bike rider rode up out of the blue to verbally abuse a driver and pound on her car for no apparent reason. Violence is never justified, except in self-defense. But chances are, the driver may have had something to do with the rider’s anger, valid or not.

A UK cyclist may admit to riding through red lights, but swears he won’t ride without lights at night.

Caught on video: a Brit thief lurks in the shadows before snatching a 14-year old paperboy’s bike.

Life is cheap in Scotland, where the death of a bike rider at the hands of a careless driver who claimed he didn’t even see the victim only merits the equivalent of an $800 fine — and not even the loss of his license. Saying you didn’t see the victim should be a confession, not an excuse.

Brussels takes the Idaho stop law a step further by allowing cyclists to ride through red and amber lights.

Spend your next vacation bikepacking in Mongolia.

Caught on video: Australians are calling for a car passenger to be prosecuted for smacking a cyclist on the ass. One more reason to have a rear-facing camera on your bike. So to speak.

You know your city sucks when a Tour de France winner in afraid to ride there; Cadel Evans says riding in Sydney, Australia is too intimidating.

A Bloomberg columnist says bikes are back in China due to worsening air pollution and road congestion.

A writer tries one of China’s bikesharing apps for a day, and concludes that people are assholes.

Singapore attempts to improve safety by recruiting 200 bicycle ambassadors to teach safe cycling and bike etiquette in local neighborhoods.

 

Finally…

It’s not usual to encounter obstacles in a time trial; a full-blown police chase on the other hand, not so much. LA drivers are bad enough; but at least we don’t have to worry about emu attacks. Or coyotes, for that matter.

And when there’s a potentially toxic foam spill, the obvious thing is to ride your bike through it.

Morning Links: Study shows bike helmets work, every lane is a car lane, and possible knifepoint bike jacking

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Yet another shot has been fired in the contentious helmet wars.

An Australian meta-analysis study finds that bike helmets reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 50%, a serious head injury 69%, and the risk of a fatal head injury by 65%, without increasing the risk of neck injuries.

However, it seems like quite a stretch to suggest that other studies, which have not found helmets as effective, or that suggest they could cause neck or diffuse axonal brain injuries, are “crazy” junk science.

Or that there is some undefined “silent majority” that wants helmet laws, and only a “small and vocal minority group” oppose them.

And lets not forget that, effective or not, bike helmets should be considered a last resort when all else fails. It’s far better to avoid crashes than to count on your helmet to save you.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar looks at how to identify a concussion and what to do about it.

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CiclaValley posts a bike cam video proving, contrary to Metro’s message, that every lane is a car lane.

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I’ve received an unconfirmed report that a mountain biker had his bike stolen at knifepoint on the popular Fullerton Loop in the City of Fullerton on Monday evening, on the bridge where the train tracks and the trail cross under Harbor Boulevard.

Whether or not that turns out to be accurate, it’s a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, and to take extra caution when riding through dark areas or when out of public view.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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Marvin Davis sends word of the upcoming 2016 Revolution Bike Fest at Orange County’s Irvine Lake November 4th through 6th.

The event is being held at Irvine Lake in the OC. There are several excellent rail accessible bicycle routes that lead to the bike fest. The Serrano Creek trail provides a dirt path through Lake Forest to MTB trails in Whiting Ranch, the Aliso trail provides both paved and dirt trails and there is also a mostly dirt route from San Juan Capistrano. The AMTRAK/MetroLink stations in both Irvine and San Juan Capistrano and also the MetroLink station in Laguna Niguel provide pretty good access to these routes. AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner requires advance reservation (impossible to get on weekends) for bicycles and allows only 6 bikes per train. No reservation required for MetroLink and no specified limit to number of bikes. Or for the more vigorous, just roll from home.

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Local

LADOT released their 2015-16 annual report, including discussions of bikeshare and Vision Zero; the report cites 1,190 miles of bikeways on the city’s 7,500 miles of streets. However, that includes nearly 300 miles of sharrows and bike routes that are of little benefit. And those totals reflect lane miles, which count each direction separately, rather than both directions on a single street as one mile.

LA councilmembers blame distracted drivers — and pedestrians — for traffic fatalities in a debate over whether to accept a half-million dollar grant to promote Vision Zero. CD1 CM Gil Cedillo points the finger at pedestrians wearing headphones and texting in crosswalks, even though those weren’t factors in any of the recent deaths in his district.

A nutritionist writing for the Daily News recommends commuting by bicycling, walking or taking transit, or at least getting out to ride or walk if you have to drive to work.

Kurt Russell used to be one of us; he tells GQ he went into acting as a child star so he could buy bicycles for his sister and himself.

 

State

Sad news from Forestville, as a cyclist was killed after he allegedly clipped a tractor-trailer while splitting lanes and weaving through traffic. He was the second bike rider killed in the Bay Area in 14 hours; another man was killed while riding in Fairfield Tuesday night.

The Department of DIY strikes again in San Francisco, as a group called SFMTrA is marking their own protected bike lanes with orange cones.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee calls a route out of Foresthill one of the best cycling rides in the country, and the best you’ve never done.

 

National

The long legal battle over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes is finally over, as wealthy opponents finally drop their legal battle after five needlessly long years.

Both people were seriously injured when New Jersey bicyclist crashed into a 16-year old boy as he was crossing the road. One more reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as motorists accuse cyclists of being.

A Pittsburg area cyclist is back on his bike, despite being prohibited from riding as he awaits trial on eight criminal charges for riding in the middle of the traffic lane and harassing drivers who try to pass.

Moving piece from a woman in North Carolina, who finished the bike tour her partner had registered for before passing away unexpectedly, and credits training for the ride with saving her life.

A 28-year old Florida woman broke the 78-year old women’s mile record in just four months, averaging over 200 miles a day; a former U-23 racer, she got back on her bike after overcoming both a hole in her heart and a collision that left her with a broken back and a brain injury.

 

International

London cyclists get the blame for putting deer at risk by discarding their empty gel packs while racing in the city’s Richmond Park.

A British bike advocate calls for stronger laws against scofflaw cyclists after she was knocked out in a collision with a sidewalk rider. Seriously, pedestrians should always be given the right-of way on any sidewalk, where it may or may not be legal to ride. And you’re usually safer on the street, anyway.

Sweden slashes taxes on repairs of bicycles and other products in an attempt to encourage re-use and bring an end to today’s throw-away society.

A writer for an Aussie paper gets it, saying driving is a privilege and not a right, and that many older drivers are a danger to themselves and others, and shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying heroin in your wallet and have outstanding warrants for drug possession, don’t ride salmon. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about pythons on the side of the road.

And don’t be like this Austin TX councilmember’s alter ego and use bike lanes to get to work.

No, really.

Richard Mason notes that the councilman is a member of the local Tea Party, and once lectured a group of Hispanic Boy Scouts visiting the council about getting jobs and not relying on government handouts.

 

Morning Links: BOLO alert for bicycling Hollywood robber, and celebrate the coming of bikeshare to DTLA on 7/7

The LAPD asks us to be on the lookout for a bike-riding robber victimizing Hollywood parking lot attendants.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Area robbery detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the identification and arrest of an armed suspect that was involved in a series of parking lot robberies.

From June 11, 2016 through June 25, 2016, between the hours of 11:35 A.M. to 10:50 P.M., there have been multiple robberies in the Hollywood area involving parking lot attendants.

The suspect armed with a handgun confronted the victims and demanded money from each of them. The suspect then fled with the victims’ money on a mountain bike. The mountain bike is described red and/or black in color.

The suspect is described as a 40 to 60 year old male Black. He stands approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs between 130-150 pounds. He was seen wearing a ‘Flat Bill’ style baseball hat during the robberies. The suspect is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

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Bikeshare officially comes to Downtown LA on July 7th.

For people who sign up in advance, anyway; walk-up users will have to wait until August to take advantage of the system.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, Metro is teaming up with the LACBC and Multicultural Communities for Mobility on a $100,000 program to make bikeshare services available to low-income riders, making it one of the first systems anywhere accessible to people with limited incomes and no credit cards.

Meanwhile, you’re invited to join Metro for a grand opening celebration and ride-off at Grand Park on the 7th. You can learn more and RSVP here.

Metro-Bike-Share-Launch-Celebration-1

But how long before we see our very own NIMBY bikeshare bikelash?

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Consumer Reports rates bike helmets for adults, including some with the relatively new MIPS technology to help reduce the risk of concussions.

A New York public health professor credits a bike helmet with saving his son’s life, and extrapolates that to mean every bike rider, everywhere, should be required to wear one — even on bikeshare systems, which have yet to experience a single fatality in the US. Of course, by that logic, everyone should wear a bulletproof vest, too.

And a Canadian coroner concludes that a helmet could have saved a cyclist’s life, even though the victim was hit by a car with enough force to throw him over 50 feet through the air. He fails to mention that stopping for the stop sign the rider ran would have done a lot more good.*

*Just a reminder for new readers: I’m a firm believer in bike helmets, and never ride without one. But I also recognize that they are designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed collisions, and should be seen a last resort when everything else fails.

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A bike helmet probably wouldn’t have done a US Forrest Service officer any good, as the 38-year old mountain biker was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear; the victim and his riding companion surprised the bear while riding just outside Glacier National Park.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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The Fresno Bee looks at the contenders for this year’s Tour de France, which starts Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel; the AP says Chris Froome may be on the cusp of greatness. Tejay van Garderen heads the diminished American contingent, as Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky skip the race, while Tyler Farrar and Ben King were left off their team rosters.

The Tour de France isn’t the only major race kicking off this weekend, as the last remaining Grand Tour in women’s racing, the Giro Rosa, starts on Friday.

Canadian pro Mike Woods talks about the journey that brought him to the threshold of the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics, starting when he had to give up his running career due to injuries and took up cycling just four years ago.

LA resident, Olympic medalist and seven-time national champ Dotsie Bausch credits bicycling with saving her life as she recovered from an eating disorder.

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Local

A nitrogen-based draft coffee bike is raising funds on Indiegogo with plans to hit the streets of LA this summer; donate three grand and get your own nitro coffee bike, uh, trike.

Angelyne may drive a pink Corvette, but her assistant is one of us.

The ICanBike program teaches handicapped individuals how to ride a bike in Pomona.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reveals that underneath his curmudgeonly façade, he’s a begrudging optimist when it comes to making Palos Verdes Estates a better, safer, more enjoyable place to ride a bike.

Obey the letter of the law if you ride through Hawthorne today, as they become the latest SoCal city to target violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them.

Long Beach cyclists are asked to try out temporary bike lanes in Bixby Knolls on Friday.

 

State

Shrink it, pink it and charge more for it. The so-called “pink tax” survives a challenge in the state legislature, allowing companies to continue overcharging charging women more for bicycles and other items that are virtually identical to less-expensive men’s models.

Legendary bike maker Masi will host screenings of Breaking Away in Carlsbad this weekend to celebrate its 90th anniversary.

An Arroyo Grande woman with a long history of drug and alcohol convictions gets 15 to life for killing a bike rider while under the influence; she had alcohol, meth and THC in her system, and was wearing an ankle monitor for a previous conviction at the time of the hit-and-run crash.

A San Francisco cyclist questions the safety of a buffered bike lane that resulted from a road diet on Golden Gate Avenue, as people continue to drive in it anyway. Such as the motorcyclist who punched him when told he didn’t belong in a bike lane.

San Francisco cyclists ride to remember the two women bicyclists killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; a witness to one of the wrecks writes a heartbreaking remembrance.

A columnist for the SF Chronicle calls for automated speed cameras, which are currently barred under California law, to improve safety on the streets.

 

National

Three women leave their husbands behind and tour Alaska’s Denali National Park by bicycle.

A Boulder CO drunk driver faces charges after fleeing from a fatal cycling collision; despite a witness’ assertion that she was laughing hysterically following the collision, she was actually hysterically freaking out. Or so her lawyer says, anyway.

Instead of bikeshare, Golden CO opens a bike library offering two styles of American-made Jamis bikes in various sizes for adults and children.

A Michigan driver tries riding a bike to get a better perspective on what cyclists experience, and gain some insight into how to avoid more tragedies.

A bighearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputy replaces a pair of stolen bicycles that were taken from two little kids in the same family.

 

International

A determined Toronto area mom rode her bicycle through two barriers of police tape to get to her daughter following a house explosion that killed one person.

A cranky Ottawa, Canada writer pens the bicycling equivalent of “get off my lawn,” while somehow concluding that cyclists are responsible for avoiding collisions, even when drivers are at fault.

A Canadian writer offers drivers advice on how to pass a bike without killing anyone or being a dick.

A man in the UK put in the winning bid on a bicycle listed on eBay. Then gave the seller’s address to the police, since it was his stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Russian cyclist looks away for a few seconds, and looks up just in time to plow into a pedestrian.

Police in Chennai, India are going back to bicycle patrols, which allows them to sneak up on miscreants at night.

Tragic news, as a South African cycling champ who finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics was tied up and shot in a home invasion robbery.

 

Finally…

Before you celebrate your victory, make sure the race is actually over. If you think roads are crappy now, wait until they pave them with pig shit.

And it is possible to ride a $180 Walmart Huffy down a double black diamond mountain bike trail. But barely.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

Morning Links: Glendale legislator wants to mandate helmets and hi-viz; help Finish the Ride fight hit-and-run

Forget riding in regular clothes. Or going out for a quick ride without your helmet.

Or even building a successful bike share program.

All those are likely to be tossed out the window if Glendale State Senator Carol Liu has her way.

Not that she’s anti-bike. In fact, I’m told that she’s a regular supporter of bike initiatives.

But on Wednesday, Liu surprised everyone by introducing a proposed law that would require all bike riders, even those over 18, to wear a bike helmet every time they ride. Along with reflectorized hi-visibility clothing anytime they — that is, you — ride after dark.

And by surprised, I mean blindsided. Even people who regularly work with the senator on bike issues had no idea this bill was in the works.

The reaction was almost instantaneous. And universally negative.

Cyclelicious calls it the “Remove Cyclists From California Roads Law of 2015″ or, alternatively, the “Harass Minorities On Bikes Law of 2015,” both of which have been the result of misguided attempts to impose and enforce helmet laws elsewhere.

Longbeachize cites stats and studies to support the argument that the choice to wear a helmet should remain just that.

And Streetsblog points out it doesn’t address the actual dangers on our streets, like distracted driving and speeding.

Let’s ignore the fact that while requiring bike helmets has been shown to reduce the level of head injuries in other countries, it’s done so by reducing the level of bike riding. Fewer cyclists on the road mean fewer riders getting hurt.

And that helmet laws for riders under 18 in this country have been blamed in part for the dramatic drop-off in bike ridership by America’s youth.

Never mind that Australia’s restrictive helmet law has been blamed for the failure of bike share programs in that country, since no one can legally rent one without donning a helmet.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are not the magic safety devices many people wish they were.

Bike helmets are only designed to provide protection in impacts up to 12.5 mph. In other words, a relatively slow fall off your bike, not a collision with a speeding car.

Yes, they can offer some degree of protection in a wreck. But thinking of them as the bicycle equivalent of a seat belt or air bag is dramatically off base.

And while they can help prevent head trauma, they aren’t designed to prevent concussions. Or to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Which is something Senator Liu should understand, since her own nephew was wearing a helmet when he was killed, and his girlfriend paralyzed, in a collision with a drunk driver in 2004.

Yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never count on it to save my life.

A bike helmet should always be seen as a last line of defense if all else fails, not the first. It’s far better to avoid collisions and falls in the first place.

And like the requirement to wear hi-viz after dark, it puts the responsibility for safety on cyclists, rather than on government officials, road planners and yes, drivers to ensure our roads are safe.

Just like those ridiculous flags pedestrians are expected to wave as they cross the street. And in a marked crosswalk, no less.

It leaves it up to us not to get hit, rather than up to drivers not to hit us.

A far better alternative would be to encourage, rather than attempt to force, helmet use allowing bike riders to discount the cost of a helmet on their taxes. And encouraging federal officials to raise the safety standards for bike helmets to do more good in real world situations.

Along with taking steps to educate both cyclists and drivers, and improve out streets to prevent collisions in the first place.

Let’s hope this wannabe law dies a quick and quiet death in the legislature. Before it ends up killing the bike boom we’re currently experiencing.

Thanks to Bill Davidson for the heads-up.

……..

Davidson also points out that other ridiculous proposed bike law, which would have required bikes to have a blinking white tail light after dark has been amended to require a blinking red light instead.

Probably because as originally written, it would have gone against traffic safety regulations for virtually every country around the world, which require white lights in the front and red lights on the rear of virtually every vehicle.

On the other hand, many cyclists are currently breaking the law by using a red tail light, rather than the red reflector our outdated laws currently require.

Bike riders should have the option to use a red light, blinking or steady, in place of a reflector. And to use lights, ankle straps or other means of signaling their presence in place of the wheel and pedal reflectors currently required.

The point should be to maximize visibility and safety.

Not adhere to obsolete regulations that do neither.

……..

Damian Kevitt’s Finish the Ride foundation is preparing to post their first billboards to fight the epidemic of hit-and-run.

But they need your help to raise the funds needed to put them up.

He’s also looking for input on which of the two alternative concepts you prefer. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure he sees them.

H&R Billboard 1

H&R Billboard 2

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Must read piece by Stephen Corwin on LA’s disastrous addiction to cars, which he compares to cancer. And says driving less won’t fix it.

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Good advice from CABO on how to fight a bad bike traffic ticket.

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A webinar will be held on Friday, February 27th to discuss how stress level analysis can result in more effective bike network planning.

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Local

Flying Pigeon says South Pasadena officials deserve to be sued for blocking LA bike lanes from connecting with their equivalent on the other side of a dangerous bridge.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department recommends registering your bike to keep it from being a target for thieves.

CICLE is looking for Web Developer/SEO Engineer.

Santa Monica’s upcoming bike share program is officially named Breeze. Which will inevitably lead to comments like “Breeze blows” the any time a problem develops.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride rolls this Saturday.

The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles will host a ride with the LACBC this Sunday to the Pointe Vincente Lighthouse.

Malibu is hosting a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the PCH Public Safety Study. If you ride the notoriously dangerous highway, make plans to be there.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says the city has done a lot in response to recent bicycling fatalities, but there’s more to be done. However, sharing a bike lane with pedestrians is never a good idea.

A Riverside cyclist is severely injured in yet another hit-and-run.

Safety is the top priority for this weekend’s Tour de Palm Springs after Lavonne Koester was killed during last year’s ride.

Bike advocates say San Francisco isn’t doing enough to fulfill its commitment to Vision Zero. On the other hand, they’re doing more than LA is.

Bike racks sprout in downtown Merced.

 

National

CityLab takes an in-depth look at road rage, and says the solution may lie in better street design and road planning. Meanwhile a Seattle writer says middle fingers won’t solve anything.

An Arizona hit-and-run driver admits to smoking dope on a daily basis, but blames his eight-year old victim anyway.

My hometown newspaper concludes their devastating look at a local hit-and-run by asking if justice was done. Also a must read.

A Pennsylvania man rides his bike every day. And has for 32 years.

Now that’s more like it. A severely drunk Louisiana driver faces up to 30 year in prison for killing one cyclist and severely injuring another; the driver’s BAC was nearly four times the legal limit.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Which should be very easy to do here in LA.

Just in time for Valentines Day, Vancouver gets heart-shaped bike racks. Then again, so does London.

After a Canadian bike rider is seriously injured in a collision, he gets a $6,000 bill from the driver’s insurance company for damage to the SUV that laid him up for three months.

Twitter helps a London cyclist get his bike back four months after it was stolen and taken to Spain, while another Brit can’t seem to get rid of one.

Plans for that London bike superhighway hits a snag when British officials decide they don’t want bike lanes besmirching Buckingham Palace. But all those traffic lanes in front of the palace are perfectly okay.

Evidently, it’s a universal problem. After Egypt installs bike lanes, they turn into parking lots.

An Aussie website compares underground bike racing to the Fast & Furious, and uses LA’s bike scene as the prime example.

 

Finally…

You’re not a MAMIL, you’re a grown man on bike. A Montana lawmaker’s proposed legislation would ban yoga pants, among other “provocative” garments, in response to Missoula’s equivalent of the World Naked Bike Ride is appropriately laughed out of committee.

And when you buy this $52,000 bike basket they’ll throw in the bike for free.

 

Yet another bike rider dies on SoCal streets, as a 57-year old cyclist is killed riding in Carson

I could just scream.

For the fifth time in the last seven days, a bike rider has been killed on the mean streets of Southern California,.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 57-year old man was killed in a collision with a passenger van around 5 pm at the intersection of Avalon Blvd and Gardena Blvd in Carson. The victim, who is believed to be a resident of the city, was declared dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the scene following the collision; no other details are available at this time.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, a horrifying half of which have occurred in L.A. County – which compares with 23 cycling deaths in L.A. County for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

………

Meanwhile, despite the lack of any information, KCBS-2 seems to think it’s important to question whether or not the victim in this case was wearing a helmet — without any details on how the collision occurred or whether a helmet would have made any difference.

Or, evidently, if the victim even suffered a head injury.

Despite popular opinion, bike helmets are not magic devices that can ward off serious injuries or death for the wearer.

While they are designed to protect against catastrophic head injuries in slow speed collisions, they offer little protection in high speed crashes, little or no protection against concussions, and no protection for any other part of the body.

I never ride my bike without one.

But it is simply irresponsible for any journalist to bring up the question of whether the victim was wearing one with no information to support it.

………

The Fontana Herald News offers a look at the life of 18-year old Carlos Morales Guzman, the bike rider killed by a train in Fontana last Saturday.

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The green bike lanes on Spring Street, popular with everyone but Hollywood filmmakers, will see a significant reduction in paint coverage — and possibly safety — thanks to an unpopular compromise passed today in a unanimous vote of the L.A. City Council.

You can read my report here on LA Streetsblog.

………

Finally, a Santa Monica cyclist pleads guilty to a charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon after running a red light at the Third Street Promenade and seriously injuring a pedestrian.

I’ve never heard of a motorist facing a similar charge after running a red light, though, even if someone is killed as a result. And to the best of my knowledge, a charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon requires intent to cause harm, which would seem highly unlikely in a traffic collision — and which the police say was not present in this case.

Yes, cyclists who cause harm by breaking the law can and should be prosecuted, just as drivers are. Or should be, anyway.

But at first glance, this would seem to have been a significant overreach by prosecutors. Even if they did get away with it.

And don’t get me started on the promise by the Santa Monica police to focus on bicycling violations this summer, which sounds a lot like selective enforcement. Let alone the opposite of the bike-friendly city that SaMo aspires to be.

I’ll be writing about this for Streetsblog on Friday. If you have any inside knowledge of this case, or you’re a lawyer or police officer who can offer insight into the matter — on or off the record — email me at bikinginla at hotmail dot com.

Evidence-hiding father Stephen Rush already out of jail; trade in your car for a bike in Woodland Hills

Dj Wheels offers a few legal updates, which I’ll try to catch up on in the next few days.

But one thing sure to get a lot of cyclists’ blood boiling is the news that Steven Rush, sentenced to a wrist-caressing 10 days in jail for helping his daughter Dominique hide evidence in the heartless hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero, is already out from behind bars.

According to Wheels, Rush was taken into custody around noon on March 6th, the day he and Dominique were both sentenced. And released less than two days later, at 6 am on March 8th.

Forty-two hours.

A virtually consequence-free Lindsey Lohan-ish spin through the judicial system.

Yeah, that will certainly send a message to anyone else considering hiding evidence of a crime.

As in go ahead. It’s no big deal. Just another dead cyclist lying in the road.

Shameful.

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I love this photo from UK bike blogger Karl McCracken, aka KarlOnSea, clearly demonstrating the harmful environmental effects of bicycling.

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Gas prices have you thinking about trading your car for a bike? Now you can.

Literally.

In a brilliant bit of guerilla marketing, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery is partnering with a nearby car dealer to let you trade your car for a new bike. Just pick out your bike, and go across the street to have your vehicle evaluated for its trade-in value. Then pop back to the bike shop to finish the transaction and ride off on your new bike.

The offer is good next week, starting Monday the 18th and running through Sunday the 25th.

It will be interesting to see if anyone takes advantage of it. And if any of those are new to bicycling.

But either way, the shop deserves credit for using current market conditions to put their name on the map in a big way.

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Santa Monica Spoke reminds us of tonight’s Bikes – Ballads – Beers benefit for fellow LACBC affiliate chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition at Little Bar. I won’t be able to make it, but it sounds like a damn fun — and very affordable — bike night.

……..

The USC Cycling Team invites you to join them for a benefit ride on Sunday, March 25th, offering your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty, all starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. The suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

Meanwhile, bike-friendly KCET looks at this weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race.

……..

American Cyclist offers a remarkably one-sided look at helmet use, relying on a largely discredited study citing an 85% reduction in head injuries for riders wearing helmets.

While I am a firm believer in helmet use, they are not magic devices that will miraculously protect the wearer against all harm. They’re most effective for relatively slow speed collisions, since their design standards only dictate protection at impact speeds up to 12.5 mph. And even the best helmet will do nothing to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Don’t get me wrong.

In over 30 years of riding, I’ve only needed my helmet once. And in that case, I’m damn glad I had it.

But let’s be honest about their limitations, and not pretend they can perform miracles.

……..

The great VC debate continues, as former advocate for Vehicular Cycling Rick Risemberg says cyclists should at least operate like vehicles around other riders. The Department of DIY strikes again, as Except Bikes placards suddenly appear on No Parking signs. Gary Kavanagh becomes an official Streetblogger. LADOT offers initial results on wayfinding input, and wants your take on biking through the Sepulveda tunnel under LAX; personally, I don’t even like driving through it. A pink bike may be the key to a murder investigation. Beverly Hills moves forward with a bike route pilot program with no discussion, at least not yet. Cal State Northridge police bust a pair of juvenile bike thieves; they must have really sucked at it to even get noticed. Lincoln Heights bike shop owners consider building a Velodrome for Eastside fixie riders. Altadena gets a five-mile bike boulevard in the new county bike plan. Women on Bikes SoCal interviews Steven Rea, author of Hollywood Rides a Bike. Long Beach will celebrate April Fools Day with a bike scavenger hunt; the city also offers the nation’s largest city-wide discount program for cyclists. Happy 104th birthday to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduno, who may be the worlds oldest living cyclist. Claremont Cyclist looks at last weekend’s Bonelli Park Pro Triple Crown, the U.S. Cup of mountain bike racing. The popular San Gabriel River bike path is getting an upgrade.

Newport Beach police with celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a crackdown on bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicle operators to promote bike safety, followed by another on the 24th; I have no problem with it as long as they focus on all violators, and not just cyclists; thanks to David Huntsman for the tip. San Diego gets a new Bayshore Bikeway, and SD riders are encouraged to help rebuild a beloved children’s bike park. The first leg of the 2012 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will take place next week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic; nice to see women riders finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. Work has begun on a new bike path to connect North and South Camarillo under the 101 Freeway. San Francisco police ignore witnesses and insist a cyclist intentionally crashed into the back of a road raging driver, evidently believing we bike riders are so insane we often crash into cars to get the driver in trouble; maybe this is how they see us. The field is announced for this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Atlantic Cities asks if the bikers’ rights movement is gaining momentum, quoting both L.A. attorney Ross Hirsch and former LADOT Bike Blogger Christopher Kidd. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske compares the lack of cycling support among U.S. officials with the newly found backing from UK MPs. Will Levi’s still be in the bikewear business in two years? A Scottsdale cyclist does everything right, and still gets killed by a possibly inattentive driver. Oregon loses a bike-friendly Republican legislator. Idaho considers a three-foot passing law, while banning two-abreast riding. The hazards of biking in the Chicago suburbs. Sports Illustrated looks at rising BMG cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

After a Canadian cyclist is apparently right hooked, police blame the rider for travelling too fast on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet; good thing drivers don’t have to take any responsibility in the Great White North. An 85-year old cyclist is critically injured by an unmarked police cruiser in bike-unfriendly Toronto; any guess how long they will take to place all the blame on the rider? A 93-year old Scot driver is charged with killing a cyclist celebrating her first anniversary. Scottish cyclists plan a mass ride on Parliament April 28th. UK rabbis declare this the Big Green Jewish Year of the Bicycle, and in an ecumenical gesture, drop in on the Archbishop of Canterbury to say hi. The Guardian asks if British bikes are worth buying — aside from Bromptons and Pashleys, of course; thanks to Evan G for the heads-up. A British solicitor says the common drivers’ excuse that a cyclist came out of nowhere is unacceptable. Surprisingly even-handed advice on how to make the road safer for Australian cyclists. Proposed stickers would warn Aussie drivers to look out for cyclists when opening their doors.

Finally, Volvo introduces a new outside airbag to protect cyclists and pedestrians; it won’t stop a distracted driver from hitting you, but it may hurt a little less. Then again, it will probably only be the most careful drivers who buy it, anyway.

Fed bike funding — and your right to the road — in danger; an argument against mandatory helmet laws

Bend over.

The new Federal highway spending bill proposed by our own Sen. Barbara Boxer and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe is out. And if it passes, we’re all going to get screwed.

The new bill not only cuts the amount of funding available for bike and pedestrian projects, it forces bike projects to compete with Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to Schools, and other non-bike and pedestrian projects for funding. Which means the smaller pool will be cut even further before anything bike-related ever gets funded.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking offers a good comparison between the current and the proposed bill.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it also includes a clause that will forbid you from using any Federally funded roadway if there is a bike path within 100 yards. It doesn’t matter if that bike path is a slow, winding recreational path in crumbling condition that meanders far from where you want to go, you’ll have to ride it.

And you’ll lose the right to the road you’re currently guaranteed under the law.  Evidently, because you could, conceivably, get in the way of what our elected leaders clearly seem to think are more important road users.

And this comes from our supposedly liberal junior senator, who has inexplicably decided to do the work of the radical right for them.

No one thought is would be easy to protect bike funding in the current environment.

But I don’t think we expected to be the victims of friendly fire.

……..

The owner of Santa Monica’s Bike Effect writes movingly, and heartbreakingly, about the death of Robert Hyndman on the Rapha ride they sponsored last Saturday.

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Dave Moulton, former maker of some of the best bikes built in my lifetime, offers a thoughtful argument against mandatory helmet laws, “saying mandatory helmet laws do not make cyclists wear helmets, they make some people stop riding bikes.”

I wear a helmet when I ride my bike, not because I believe it will save me from serious head injury, but because I believe the little protection it does give can’t hurt.

Another big incentive for me is, in the event I am hit by a car and injured; when I make a claim with the car driver’s auto insurance, they cannot say I was negligent and contributed to the seriousness of my injures by not wearing a helmet.

Insurance companies are notorious for finding ways to pay less or not pay at all on a claim; why give them the opportunity to deny a claim by not wearing a helmet? Apart from that I believe this little piece of lightweight Styrofoam I wear on my head offers only a token amount of protection.

These are my personal views; I would not tell anyone they should or should not wear a helmet when riding a bike. I strongly believe that helmet use should be an individual choice.

It’s a good read, and makes the argument for helmet use — and against mandating them — in a clear, concise and rational manner.

And it should be noted that both of the SoCal cyclists who died this past weekend were wearing helmets.

I can’t stress enough that bike helmets are designed to offer full protection at impact speeds only up to 14 mph; they offer little or no protection in high speed falls, and none whatsoever to any other part of the body.

They’re designed to protect against slow speed falls, such as tumbling off your bike under normal riding conditions, or impacts at relatively slow speeds.

Mandating their use is more about making non-cyclists feel better about sharing the road with us than it is about protecting riders.

Evidently, Britain’s Parliament gets it.

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L.A. launches a virtual town hall to discuss mobility in the city. The York Street bike corral is back in action. Once again, Los Angeles considers ways to change the law that allows biking on sidewalks. Mayor Villaraigosa, Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch Englander decide that car dealers shouldn’t be taxed; no word on when bike shops will get a similar tax break. Meanwhile, Councilmember Rosendahl proposes a motion to keep Mandeville Canyon speed bump free; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. The Times’ George Skelton concludes bike trails are budget pork. Last weekend’s Free the Streets brings a dose of bike culture to South L.A. Streetsblog plans an end-of-the-year party on Thursday, December 8th. Santa Monica’s proposed Bike Action Plan gets a hearing before the city’s Planning Commission Wednesday night, while the new Bike Centers open on November 18th. Get a gift card when you make a purchase over $250 at Cynergy. A new Long Beach-based website celebrates the beauty and benefits of bicycling for women. Long Beach’s biking expat Russ Roca says losing his car saved his life.

A ghost bike has been installed for Mark Leones, killed last month is a solo bike wreck, while Claremont Cyclist catches up with the long, sad list of ghost bikes throughout Southern California, and looks at Sunday’s Long Beach Cyclocross. The Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee needs more time than their one year term to complete their work; the only question is why they thought they could solve all the city’s bike problems in a single year. Monterey riders will have a chance to bike the famed Laguna Seca racetrack. Palo Alto gets a new bike plan; the city calls it ambitious, but what do local cyclists think? Martha Stewart parks in a San Francisco bike lane. SF Gate asks if it’s safe to ride while pregnant. If you’re looking for a serious challenge, consider next April’s Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic, an epic timed challenge offering up to 101 miles with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Bikes Belong and SRAM partner on a new campaign to fast-track separated bike lanes. How to bunny hop — and how not to. The Reno Rambler looks at bike lane pushback, and concludes the vehicular cycling model won’t broaden the spectrum of riders. A look at 12 bike calendars for 2012. Tribal justice means no justice for a cross-country cyclist killed on a New Mexico reservation. A Colorado cyclist steals her bike back from the person who stole it from her. Now that’s bike parking. A Boston cyclist “accidently” rides a local freeway. Boston businesses decry a loss of 71 parking spaces to make room for a bike lane; maybe someone should point out that cyclists spend money, too — and are more likely to stop and shop. What to do with abandoned bikes in Gotham bike rooms. The New York Times architecture critic gets back on his bike to review the city’s bike lanes. A New York woman confesses she was high when she ran down and killed a cyclist, and gets rewarded with a reduced sentence. Someone somehow manages to massively crush a street full of cars. New technology could soon help keep drunk drivers off the road. Louisiana cyclists ride to raise awareness after three cyclists are killed in one week. After a cyclist is killed, Mississippi decides it’s finally time to enforce their three-foot passing law. For the first time, a Florida judge permits punitive damages in the case of a cyclist killed by a texting driver.

Toronto proposes to ban bike parking over 24 hours anywhere except bike racks; I assume that means the city is saturated with safe and secure bike parking, right? Bike-friendly Bogota mayor Enrique Penalosa loses his bid for re-election. The London Mail tours Pashley. David Hembrow argues that training riders rather than fixing the roads has failed UK cyclists. Campy unveils its new 11-speed electronic shifting system; it seems like this is an expensive solution in search of a problem, since the beauty of a bicycle has always been it’s simplicity. There will be no 2nd annual Tour of South Africa, after all.

Finally, from the Department of WFT, a driver corrects a cyclist for not riding in the non-existent bike lane, then tells him to break the law by riding on the sidewalk. And a bike riding child is injured in an apparent hit-and-run before being transported by ambulance.

On a Playmobil toy box. Seriously, what were they thinking?

Thanks to Dave Schneider for the Playmobil link.

A tragedy in Colorado; and a reminder that helmets don’t always make a difference

Former U.S. Cycling Team member Allison Kellagher died days after colliding with a pedestrian in a Boulder, CO crosswalk.

Kellagher, who counseled others after overcoming addiction, was riding with her husband Saturday night when another couple activated the crosswalk warning lights and stepped out into the street. Reports indicate that she failed to see the flashing lights and clipped a man, causing her to lose control and crash into the roadway; the pedestrian suffered only minor injuries.

And yes, she was wearing a helmet.

Those cracks may look small, but without the helmet, they might have been in my head.

Too many people — cyclists and non-riders alike — assume that helmets are the key to bike safety, but a helmet alone can’t keep you safe. Even the most expensive bike helmets are designed to provide full protection against impacts up to 12 mph, and partial protection up to 20 mph. Above that, it’s nothing more than a fancy hat.

While the standards refer to the force with which your head hits the ground or some other object, that does have a strong correlation to your speed and the speed of the any vehicle you might collide with.

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself riding at well over 20 mph — and don’t know many motorists who drive slower than that.

At the same time, mandatory helmet laws may do more harm than good; statistics suggest that Sweden’s helmet law is discouraging children from riding.

Don’t get me wrong. I would never suggest that you shouldn’t wear a helmet.

In fact, I’ve often credited my helmet with saving my life during the infamous beachfront bee encounter a few years ago. But that’s exactly what helmets are designed for — the kind of relatively slow speed impact that’s most likely to occur when you fall or collide with a slow moving vehicle.

It will not protect you at higher speeds, and it will not prevent trauma to any other part of the body.

In other words, a helmet may help, but it’s not your best protection as a rider.

Staying safe means remaining alert and vigilant at all times, riding defensively and improving your skills in order to avoid collisions in the first place.

And never forgetting that even the most skilled and experienced riders can make mistakes.

………

The newly formed League of Bicycling Voters LA will have its first organizational meeting at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 15th, in room 1347 of the UCLA Law School building. Anyone who bikes and is eligible to vote in the County of Los Angeles is encouraged to attend.

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SCAG plans improvements to La Cienega Blvd through Baldwin Hills, but evidently doesn’t consider bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. Green LA Girl is giving away free tickets to the Long Beach Bike Film Festival if you comment today. Not every woman rider needs help crossing the street. More on the successful Hollywood e-bike rental program. Sharrows, bike lanes and landscaping, oh my. U.S. Airways destroys a RAAM competitor’s $9000 carbon bike. America’s leading chronicler of biking collisions and how to avoid them has his hand-made custom bike stolen; fingers crossed that you’ll get it back soon, Opus. Just 3.9% of road stimulus spending went towards non-motorized transportation.  Lance’s new Team RadioShack and Trek join up to ride for cancer survivors. High school team bike racing takes root in the U.S. Is the bike man’s greatest invention, or does it only seem that way sometimes? A Boulder County Sheriff’s Deputy gets a ticket after hitting a cyclist in the bike lane. U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood says hands-free devices don’t make safer drivers. NYC bike policy is clearly working as ridership rises and injuries drop. Florida cyclists urge the governor to veto a new bill that includes mandatory bike lane use and opens bike paths to motorized vehicles. Cyclists should be allowed to pay registration fees if it comes with insurance coverage. Bike events around the world; personally, I’m looking forward to next month’s World Naked Bike Ride. A Brit driver loses his license for a whole year for carelessly killing a cyclist. A pedestrian is injured after stepping in front of a cyclist on a controversial English cycling path.

Finally, for those who may have missed it, Yehuda Moon — the bike world’s own online daily comic strip — is back after a brief break, effectively chronicling the cycling community’s newest hero. And this one is a classic. Seriously.

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