Tag Archive for bike helmets

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

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

But the answer was just the opposite. 

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

This is how I responded.

………

That’s a complicated question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that’s a big if.

………

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

………

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

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

………

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

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

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

………

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

It’s an important, if difficult, piece.

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

We’ll wait.

………

Local

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

Nashville gives Bird the bird.

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

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

Looks like the Onion has some serious competition.

Thanks to Harv for the link.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medium considers how New York bike lanes actually get made.

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

And the other concludes this way —

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

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

………

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

Now they’re having their official unveiling this afternoon.

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

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

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

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

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

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

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

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

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

Which is how Vision Zero becomes meaningless.

………

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

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

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

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

Let alone end them.

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

A Chicago writer bikes the backroads of Cuba.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

But even that isn’t true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it should always be your choice.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Chinese bikeshare bikes go to die.

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

 

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

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

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

The only things missing were the lights and a Garmin.

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

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

………

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

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

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

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

……….

Today’s common theme is bikeshare.

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

……….

Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And these guys give bike cops a whole new meaning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

baton-rouge-bike-license

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

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

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

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

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

And chances are, it ain’t gonna happen.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

Patriotic Brit cycling fans need to buy more lottery tickets.

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

 

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.

………

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

No, really.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

……….

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

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

……..

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.

……..

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

……..

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

……..

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.

 

%d bloggers like this: