Tag Archive for bike helmets

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

In 1986, my sister saved my life 18 months ago

Twenty-three years ago, I was, to paraphrase an early Jimmy Buffet song, God’s own cyclist and a fearless man.

I was living in Denver at the time, and biking was my life. By then, I’d been riding for 6 years and considered myself an expert on all things bike.

I rode a minimum of 50 miles a day, every day, rain or shine. On the rare occasions when something kept me off the bike, I obsessed about it all day, then rode that much harder the next day. Once I even bombed down a mountain pass, passing cars on the shoulder at over 60 miles an hour — without a helmet — well aware that the first mistake I made would be my last.

But then, hardly anyone wore helmets in those days. I certainly didn’t think I needed one, since experienced riders like me just didn’t hit the pavement.

The only risk, in my overly confident mind, was if I was knocked there by a car or another rider. And I’d made a careful study of traffic and defensive riding techniques to make that didn’t happen, priding myself on my ability to read the streets and anticipate the actions of everyone on it.

Pride, as they say, goes before a fall.

This particular day, I was riding fast as I approached a major three-way intersection. To this day, I could still tell you the exact location of every single car as I carved a perfect a turn, leaning hard to the right as my knee barely cleared the pavement.

The only thing I didn’t see was the large puddle of water directly in front of my wheel, left over from a brief thunderstorm earlier in the day.

As soon as my bike hit the water, I hit the pavement, sliding across six lanes of traffic until I hit the curb on the far side with enough force to pancake both wheels.

My clothes were shredded, leaving me no more than a few threads from an indecent exposure charge. Fortunately, one of the drivers who had miraculously avoided me wrapped me in a blanket, secured my bike and drove me to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with a broken bone in my elbow and severe road rash from ankle to chin.

Somehow, my speed and the angle I hit the road kept my head off the pavement, confirming my belief that a helmet was unnecessary.

My sister, though, was not so convinced. The next day, she bought a helmet and made me promise to wear it. Once I was able to get back on the bike, I put it on just to humor her.

And I’ve worn one every time I’ve been on a bike since.

Because as I recuperated, it finally dawned on me that overconfidence is more dangerous than anything I might find on the road. And that every rider hits the pavement sooner or later.

Yet it took two more decades of riding before I used my helmet for more than hair net.

Then in September of 2007, I was riding along the bike path north of Santa Monica, just approaching the new L.A. County Lifeguard headquarters at Will Rogers State Beach, when I encountered a massive swarm of bees.

I’ve told the story before, so I won’t bore you with the details (you can click here if you missed it). But the next thing I knew, I was stretched out on the bike path as a lifeguard pulled an oxygen mask over my face, with no idea how I got there.

The doctors in the ER said I’d suffered a moderate concussion, and the fact that I’d been wearing a helmet had probably saved my life. And as I looked at the cracks veining through its foam lining, I realized they probably were right.

So if someone tells me they started wearing a helmet because of something I said or wrote, it means more to me than they will ever know. Because an accident like that, in a place like that, pretty pretty much confirms that anything can happen, anytime. And anywhere.

I hope they — and you — never need it.

But I can honestly say that my sister’s insistence that I wear one has a lot to do with why I’m still here, and writing this, today.

 

Police in Pasadena are encouraging kids to wear their helmets — something state law requires. A writer in Seattle examines the age-old conflict over where — and if — bikes belong. Bike culture comes to D.C. A cycling Fox News reporter in Milwaukee documents his encounters with dangerous drivers. Introducing the cycling art of schluffing — something I’ve done since I was about 6 years old. Brayj points out the failure of bike planning at UCLA, as well as calling our attention to tomorrow’s county Department of Public Works meeting to explain why they won’t be building the long-promised extension to the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

Use your head.

Let’s talk common sense.

Yes, the Tour de France kicked off on Saturday, but let’s face it — nothing significant is likely to happen until tomorrow’s time trial, at the earliest.  But if you’re just dying to know the latest results, you can check out the official site of Le Tour (U.S. version), as well as the Versus or  Bicycling sites.

So until things heat up a bit, I’m still thinking about a group a bicyclists I saw yesterday.  Three riders in shorts, t-shirts and sneakers, cruising down Olympic Blvd in West L.A. on their single-speed cruisers at about 5 m.p.h.  One of them was even smoking a cigarette as they rode side-by-side, sans helmets, sharing a traffic lane with cars whipping past at over 50 m.p.h.

Yes, the speed limit there is only 35.  But that’s L.A. for you, where most traffic laws are considered mere suggestions.  And yes, they had every legal right to be there, since California ‘s motor vehicle code gives bicycles full access to state’s the roadways.  And Olympic even used to be a posted bike route, until someone in L.A.’s Department of Transportation finally sobered up.

But riding one of the city’s busiest, high-speed streets is idiotic, at best, especially when there are a number of much safer side streets that parallel it on either side.  Doing it on a slow bike, without helmets — and while smoking, for Pete’s sake — is just suicidal.  Even for an experienced rider like me, let alone a bunch of biker’s who clearly have no idea what they’re doing.

Then again, anyone who rides without a helmet is risking their life.  I’m always amazed at how many seemingly experienced riders I see on high-end racing bikes, whipping in and out of traffic with their bare heads blowing in the breeze.

Sure, I know what they’re thinking, since I used to be one of them.  They think they know what they’re doing, and won’t need a helmet, because they won’t have an accident.  But speaking of Le Tour, Fabio Casartelli was a better rider than you or I will ever be.

Let’s face it.  Everyone hit’s the pavement now and then, no matter how good you are.  I did last year, in a freak, solo slow-speed accident on what should have been one of the safest pieces of asphalt in Southern California.  And one thing the ER docs made very clear was, if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, I wouldn’t be typing this now.

So use your head.  Put on helmet on it every time you hop in the saddle.  And maybe you’ll be able to keep using it once you get home.

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