Tag Archive for bike lanes

Morning Links: City Atty says scrap Griffith Park Blvd bike lanes, and bike riders victim of London terrorist attack

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has recommended removing the bike lanes on Griffith Park Blvd due to the crappy condition of the aging concrete pavement.

His recommendation comes after paying out a total of $700,000 following lawsuits from a pair of bike riders — only one of whom was actually injured on the section of Griffith Park that has bike lanes.

And even though it would increase the city’s liability the next time someone gets injured where the lanes used to be. Which is a given considering the condition of the street.

The obvious solution is to actually fix the crumbling pavement on Griffith Park, as the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee voted to recommend, which would solve the real problem.

That’s something we thought was in progress after the $200,000 settlement with Patrick Pascal, who was injured on the street beyond where the Griffith Park bike lanes end near Los Feliz Blvd, before they actually enter Griffith Park.

But they only fixed the section that took him down. And only after the city settled with him, despite countless calls to fix it prior to his injury.

Which is how it usually seems to work in the City of Angels.

In the photo, LA’s Bureau of Street Services repairs the section of pavement on Griffith Park Blvd where Patrick Pascal was injured. 

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Once again, bike riders were the victims of a terrorist attack.

Last time it was New York, this time in London, where a man in his late 20s was arrested after driving into a group of bicyclists and pedestrians in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack outside the British Houses of Parliament, though at least two people were injured, and a number of bikes mangled — a surprisingly good outcome considering the suspect drove an estimated 50 mph along the sidewalk for at least 130 feet.

And in typical British fashion, a bicyclist who chased the suspect until police intervened said “you just have a cup of tea and a biscuit and you carry on.”

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Local

LAist offers a refresher on how to drive safely around kids headed back to school, including advice to watch for bicycles. And presumably, their riders. Speaking of which, remember that bike riders are required to stop for school buses, just like drivers, to avoid collisions with kids running across the road — or getting on or off the bus, if riders try to pass on the right. And yes, I’ve seen that.

The James Beard award-winning celebrity chef behind DTLA’s NoMad Hotel is one of us; Daniel Humm was a professional mountain biker before he won his first Michelin star at 24.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz wrote a letter to the LA Times explaining his call for a temporary ban on e-scooters in the name of pedestrian safety, something he never seemed to give a damn about before. A Streetsblog reader kindly fixed it for him to focus on the real threat.

Lime and Bird scooters were shut down yesterday in Santa Monica in advance of a protest that reportedly drew hundreds to SaMo city hall to call for the e-scooter providers to be allowed to remain in the city; a proposal under consideration would boot both in favor of new scooters from Uber and Lyft. You have two more days to voice your opinion before the city cuts off the comment period.

 

State

Police data reveals the most dangerous intersections in Mountain View.

San Francisco’s Masonic Ave remains a work in progress as safety measures are unveiled by the city, with the city’s new mayor promising protected bike lanes are on the way.

Bay Area bike advocates are calling on San Francisco to lift the restrictive caps that are preventing bikeshare from growing in the city. Meanwhile, the city apparently has no idea what to do about e-scooters, which are banned in the City by the Bay until it figures it out.

A Eureka physician displays a remarkable amount of windshield bias, saying bike riders don’t need to use a particular bike path if the wind blows because there are several others, even it they don’t go the same way. And that there are no reproducible studies showing bicycling prolongs life, or that road diets work (hint: there are, on both counts). The remarkable thing is how he can still treat patients when he can’t seem to see past his own dashboard.

A group of bicyclists stop in Humboldt County on a ride from Seattle to San Diego to promote the Dream Act.

 

National

A post on Bike Portland says sidewalk cycling can be a savior for family biking.

Public tips led to the arrest of a Washington man who left a grandmother dying in a ditch next to her crumpled bicycle.

A Boise ID woman says a speeding, spandexed bicyclist sent her to the hospital to have a one-pound blood clot removed after crashing into her on a park pathway.

As we mentioned yesterday, the driver who killed two German bike tourist in Kansas earlier this year won’t face charges; the county attorney explains that it’s because she wasn’t under the influence or otherwise operating the vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. Although you’d think running over two people directly in front of you would be prima facie evidence of the latter.

Caught on video: Onboard cameras catch an Austin TX bus driver sideswiping a bicyclist — and nearly running him over — as he rode in a bike lane. It’s hard to watch, so be sure you really want to see it before clicking on the link. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Two air conditioned teepees await bike tourists in an Arkansas city, as long as you’re willing to pay the price of a regular hotel room.

Chicago police double down on claims that a crackdown on bike riders in predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods is an effective tool to prevent violence.

A New York councilmember responds to the death of a bike-riding Australian tourist by calling for a two-way protected bike lane on Central Park West. Meanwhile, a New York radio station asks listeners to imagine safer streets where bike riders are protected from things like that.

A Baltimore firefighter has been sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to an off-duty assault on a bike advocate at a community meeting to discuss bike lanes. At least we can be grateful that the bikelash over LA bike lanes haven’t turned violent. Yet.

A writer for the Washington Post tries, and fails, to understand the rights of bicyclists through his decidedly windshield perspective, before concluding that maybe bikes just don’t belong on the road.

 

International

A Canadian university professor says it’s odd that Toronto officials espouse the same 100-year old approach to bike and pedestrian safety that failed so spectacularly in the past.

The shooter who killed four people in Fredericton, New Brunswick last Friday is also one of us.

France’s first lady is one of us, too.

Now that’s bike friendly. A vote in Switzerland next month could enshrine bicycling in the nation’s constitution, committing the country to promoting bike transport and building suitable infrastructure.

An Indian website recommends riding a bike to pedal your blues away.

New Zealand police conclude that the truck that critically injured a champion triathlete doesn’t exist.

A Malaysian website says riding a bicycle is the healthiest form of urban transport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Santa Rosa native and defending Leadville 100 champ Larissa Connors arrives at this year’s race mourning the damage done to Trabuco Canyon by the devastating Holy Fire.

A writer for The Guardian complains that women’s cyclists will compete on a watered-down road course at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it shows the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” only applies to men. Seriously, we should be long past the days when women were considered the weaker sex, especially in athletic competition.

Vincenzo Nibali says pro cycling has become a circus due to the aggressive behavior of racing fans, following his fan-caused crash in the Tour de France.

America’s most famous ex-Tour de France champ says he’ll do anything in his power to help former rival Jan Ullrich recover from his downward spiral.

 

Finally…

When your GPS may not have your best interests at heart. Evidently, there’s a backspace button for bike corrals.

And biking across the US is no joke, even for a former pro cyclist turned comedian.

And neither is fighting domestic abuse.

 

Morning Links: LA backslides on Spring Street bridge bike lanes, and NY crash shows why blocked bike lanes matter

Once again, the City of Angels is backsliding on commitments to build the bike lanes called for in the mobility plan.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, the Spring Street bridge was widened and rebuilt for the express purpose of installing bike lanes and improving sidewalks.

But now that the $50 million project is finished, the long-promised bike lanes aren’t there.

Instead, there’s a stripped-off area where the bike lanes would normally be, nominally directing riders into the traffic lane, where most riders would have to struggle uphill in front of speeding traffic.

The question of what happened to the missing lanes appears to come in the next to last sentence, where Linton mentions that the councilmember representing the project is our old bike-hating friend, Gil Cedillo.

Yes, the same Cedillo who has singlehandedly halted the much-needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on North Figueroa. As well as cancelling the planned Complete Streets project on Temple Street, in conjunction with neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who should know better.

It was also Cedillo who attempted to remove all the bike lanes in his district from the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, he’s just kept them from getting built.

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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If you’ve ever had someone tell you that blocking a bike lane in no big deal, this is why it matters.

A 23-year old Australian tourist was killed when an livery cab driver swerved into the New York bike lane she was riding in, forcing her out into traffic where she was hit by a dump truck.

It probably didn’t help any that the driver had been drinking.

The New York Times quoted the city’s mayor about the crash —

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw the creation of more than 66 miles of bike lanes last year under his Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities, visited the scene on Friday and said he was disgusted by what happened.

“This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving, and we’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences for anything that happened here that was illegal,” he added. “A 23-year-old, that’s very painful.”

Yet that same Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said that he doesn’t think drivers should be ticketed for blocking bike lanes. And has done it himself more than once.

Maybe he’ll want to rethink that now.

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So-called experts insist bike riders have to wear hi-viz to make sure drivers see us.

On the other hand, 15 people riding side-by-side in the middle lane of a highway should be pretty damn easy to spot. Yet somehow, an Edmonton, Canada driver couldn’t manage that, either, injuring five riders after plowing into them from behind.

Meanwhile, the president of the bike club says don’t blame the victims, because the law requiring cyclists to ride single file doesn’t make sense.

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A new law proposed by the British government could mean that bike riders who kill a pedestrian or other riders could face up to 14 years behind bars.

The bill, which would create the crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, comes in response to the death of a woman earlier this year, when authorities struggled to find a crime to charge the reckless rider with.

On the other hand, it didn’t help when the country’s Conservative Party tweeted that the law would protect the “most vulnerable road users” from dangerous cyclists.

As if bike riders aren’t vulnerable road users themselves.

Or that 445 of the 448 pedestrians killed in the country in 2016 were killed by people in the big, dangerous machines, not the people on two wheels.

Needless to say, bicyclists were not pleased.

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Opponents of bike lanes will inevitably claim that they only benefit fit, able-bodied young people who can ride a bicycle.

Nothing is further from the truth. Especially given the popularity of ebikes, which virtually anyone can ride.

Case in point, Yusuf Çelebi, the head of the department for the disabled in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who had this to say on the subject —

“The disabled also need bicycles, just like everybody else. They’re ideal for avoiding traffic jams and getting exercise,” Çelebi said.

“I ride my bike to show that we stand together with the disabled, not only in the home or office, but in every field.”

 

Its also worth mentioning that the bike he rides is a tandem, which his official driver uses to steer around the city’s traffic problems, since Çelebi is blind.

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Local

That study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu to reconsider the Rowena Ave road diet has finally been released. And as expected, three of the four options involved removing all or part of the bike lanes. Which is not surprising, since that seems to have been the whole point all along.

Lime says LA’s proposed 12 mph speed cap for e-scooters could increase the risk for users, noting that the slower speed could disrupt the flow of traffic in bike lanes. However, at 15 to 20 mph, they vastly overestimate the speed of an average bicyclist, who is more likely to travel at a relatively sedate 10 to 12 mph.

LA-based nonprofit Bikes4Orphans has just delivered four bicycles to an Indian orphanage; the group, which was founded by a high school student, uses bikes to help children get an education and lift themselves out of poverty.

The Long Beach Post looks at adventurous ways to escape the city by bike or on foot.

 

State

At least one person was critically injured when an out-of-control San Clemente pickup driver slammed into a light post, jumped the center divider and smashed into a pedestrian and a pair of bike riders before crashing into four parked cars. Police say it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role, but it’s a safe bet excessive speed did.

A retired Alameda County sheriff’s deputy has finished a 68-day ride across the US to honor his partner, who was killed in a shooting in 1998.

An employee-owned San Francisco bike shop was cleaned out by burglars last week, losing 21 bicycles worth $60,000 as the thieves took every bike in the shop.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is demanding changes after a rash of bicycling deaths in recent weeks.

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a bike lane under construction in Seattle with fireworks; a group fighting the lanes denies doing it. Which doesn’t mean their supporters didn’t.

A South Dakota TV station says bike shops and riders could be in the bullseye for Trump’s next round of tariffs, with a proposed 10% increase on most bicycles, parts and accessories, to go along with a 25% tariff on ebikes that just went into effect.

When technology put an end to his bike courier business, a Minneapolis man switched gears to open a bike food delivery service.

Even the recent death of a bike rider doesn’t seem to be enough to get a protected bike lane built on the South Side of Chicago.

A Chicago woman decides not to report a crash to police, after the driver who crashed into her bike begged not to have her deported — which means she can’t collect payment for her injuries. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses.

A writer for Streetsblog captures New York pedestrians running in fear, cyclists blocked, and drivers fuming as they try to funnel into a too-small street near the Holland Tunnel.

This is who we share the streets with. A cab driver is accused of biting another driver in an ongoing Battle Royale that raged down a New York street

Streetsblog looks towards the death of a North Carolina man as a prime example of how lazy reporting obscures the dangers on our streets; the 80-year old victim was accused of running in front of oncoming traffic, and not wearing reflective clothing even though the crash occurred in daylight. Too many news outlets simply retype whatever the police say without question, regardless of whether it makes any sense.

 

International

A psychologist offers advice on how to overcome the fear of getting back on your bike after a crash.

In a bizarre Catch-22, a ban on cars in a Toronto Park is in jeopardy after it made the park more dangerous because too many drivers ignored the ban and drove there anyway.

Road signs intended to slow Toronto drivers down have been removed because they actually worked.

Caught on video: Three thousand young bike riders take over the streets of London to call for an end to knife crime.

A new app confirms that bicycling is the fastest way to get around London.

London’s Metro newspaper vows to be more careful when tweeting from now on, after initially blaming a bike rider who was nearly run over by the driver of a large truck in the British equivalent of a right hook.

A British driver was severely beaten following a dispute with two men on bicycles. No matter what started it, violence is never the answer. The riders can, and should, be prosecuted for the attack.

Edinburgh will celebrate Scotland’s first open streets events, making select streets carfree on the first Sunday of every month.

Five ways to find a bike on your next trip to the Netherlands.

They get it. A Ghanian website asks how safe is it to ride a bike in the country, while saying drivers should direct their anger at the authorities who failed to consider bicycles when designing roadways.

Speaking of the war on bikes, the Australian press has finally discovered the death threats and hate comments and emails that bike riders receive.

Evidently, foreign tourists aren’t any safer in Australia than they are in New York, as a Dutch tourist was killed by a car thief making his getaway as she rode her bike on a busy street; police are looking for the killer, who ran away after crashing into a pair of parked cars, saying he may have been on drugs.

A Malaysian letter writer says something must be done to stop the “mat lajak menace,” groups of reckless teen bicyclists who take over highways to perform stunts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Lars Ullrich continues his recent meltdown, as he was sent to a psychiatric facility after attacking a prostitute in his Berlin hotel room; he suffered a panic attack after he was released following his arrest for investigation for attempted manslaughter. That comes a week after he was arrested for fighting with a neighbor in Mallorca, Spain.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine talks with former world champion Johan Museeuw about his three Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders wins, his comeback from a shattered kneecap that nearly cost him his leg, and confessing to doping after he retired.

Former US mountain bike champ Sepp Kuss dominated last week’s Tour of Utah; the 23-year old rider finished second last year in the same race last year in just his second year as a pro road cyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like catching your mountain bike faceplant on your bike cam. Why push yourself on your bike when you can just shvitz your way to better health?

And this is how you define a Dad of the Year candidate.

 

Morning Links: Santa Monica Blvd green lane, bicyclist survives fatal PCH crash, and keep your hands to yourself

Green bike lanes are finally making an appearance on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Which is trying to reform while turning itself into the Scooter Black Hole.

Given how unlikely it was just a few years ago, this is a huge step forward, even if the lane does seem very cramped, offering just enough space for a single rider, with no room to pass without swerving out into traffic.

And the narrow bike lane means unless you hug the gutter, all those buses on Santa Monica Blvd will buzz by your elbow at far less than the required three foot passing distance.

I’m not sure this will bring many more riders out, but the green paint may make those who already ride Santa Monica Blvd feel more comfortable.

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A bike rider was collateral damage in yet another fatal crash on SoCal’s killer highway in Malibu on Friday.

The driver of a minivan jumped the center divider on PCH near Trancas Canyon Road and struck a pickup head-on, demolishing both vehicles.

Sadly, both drivers were killed; a passenger in one of the vehicles was slightly injured.

The bicyclist, who was not seriously injured, was struck by a wheel that flew off in the violent crash as he rode in the painted bike lane.

Needless to say, authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Another reminder that the deadly road most be tamed. And we’re all at risk until it us.

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Former pro and current author, fondo meister and YouTube star Phil Gaimon kicked over a hornet’s nest with this tweet over the weekend.

While most women agreed with him, some argued that they appreciate the help, especially from someone they know. And many men argued that they were just trying to help. Or something.

So instead of mansplaining, we get manpushing.

But there’s an easy solution to the problem. Just ask first. If a woman — or a man, for that matter — wants your help they’ll tell you.

And if they don’t, just nod politely and go on your way.

The same thing goes for offering advice.

Always ask for permission before you start spouting cycling tips; the other person may not want them, or may be following another program.

Although personally, I prefer to be a well, not a fountain. Most people will usually ask advice if they really want it.

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A New York bike rider shows what it’s like to ride in Gotham bike lanes. Which many LA bicyclists can relate to, as well.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the link.

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Heartwarming story from Dayton OH, where someone left a pair of Target gift cards attached to a new bike helmet and riding gloves in a Target store, along with this message —

The note read, “Hi! Please enjoy this small, random act of kindness in honor of my father-in-law, Jeff-an avid cyclist, a lover of the outdoors, and an all-around awesome dude. The only thing that I ask is that you always wear a helmet when riding your bike, and that you send any spare good vibes and healing thoughts out his way to the Pacific Northwest.”

The woman who found it said she felt like it was meant for her, since she’d just started bicycling again after several years.

Let’s hope this sort of thing catches on.

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Local

LADOT has released a summary of the recent open house to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path, which resulted when local Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the bike path when the Expo Line was built.

We haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay for awhile, as Seth Davidson says thanks to a long list of people for their help with the first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards taking place this Sunday.

 

State

Southern California athletes are gearing up for the 10th Annual Gay Games, which started in Paris on Saturday, with events ranging from cycling and track and field, to dance sports and table tennis.

Bakersfield applies for funding for three safety projects, including a proposed six-mile, $8.2 million bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal.

A San Jose columnist says the road up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo is too narrow and winding for full-size buses, after video shows a bike rider nearly hit head-on as a bus rounds a blind curve on the wrong side of the road.

Plans to expand San Francisco’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare across the city are on hold, as city supervisors complain about process, and residents say they’d rather have the parking spaces.

Oakland is planning major safety improvements to five intersections around the Lake Merit BART station, including protected intersections.

Sad news from Pleasant Hill, where a man was killed in a collision with a big rig truck while taking a bike ride on his lunch break; local residents insist something like this was bound to happen.

 

National

Bike Snob says he’s been ensnared in Strava’s seductive web. And he likes it.

An Aspen, Colorado woman says if dirt bikes aren’t allowed to use the roads, bicycles shouldn’t either. So there. Note to world: Bike riders are expected to obey traffic signals and crosswalks, even if some don’t.

A Boulder CO newspaper profiles Spencer Powlison, the 34-year old mountain biker who plans to compete in the Leadville 100 on 1983 Stumpjumper that’s older than he is.

One more to add to your bike bucket list. A Wyoming writer sings the praises of the packed gravel Medicine Bow Trail west of Laramie, where you’re likely to see moose, elk and mule deer, and possibly a bear or two. Or maybe you’d prefer a tour of Spain’s Basque Country.

Kansas City gets its first parking protected bike lane.

A colorful Des Moines IA lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes have reduced collisions by 2%, while dropping injury collisions a whopping 58%. And contradicting claims by anti-road diet forces everywhere, it has shaved 30 seconds off response times by the fire department.

Oklahoma City’s weekly Donut Ride has been going strong since the mid-1970s, still led by the same, now 90-year old ‘bent rider.

Plans to build five miles of mountain bike trails in a Minnesota park could be on hold after the discovery of an endangered bumblebee.

Instead of just talking about homeless people, Detroit bicyclists are holding a ride to call attention to the problem and raise funds for a homeless recovery service.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Cleveland man is in critical condition, and a woman injured, after they were both shot when they confronted two teens they accused of stealing their children’s bicycles. If you think you’ve found your stolen bike, call the police and let them deal with it; no bike is worth your life.

In a perfect example of automotive entitlement, a DC driver says she blocked a bike lane — and so what?

 

International

No bias here. The notoriously anti-bike owner of a Vancouver driving school says bike commuters are law-abiding, while daytime riders are a bunch of irresponsible scofflaws.

No bias here, either. A Vancouver mayoral candidate promises to rip out the city’s hugely successful bike lanes if she gets elected, and sic half the city’s parking enforcement officers on lawless bike riders and pedestrians.

No bias here, either. An Ottawa, Canada columnist says that instead of building bikeways, the city should crack down on bike riders and require riders be licensed, carry insurance and have license plates, to name a few on his long list of demands that he says would make bicyclists disappear. Which he thinks would be a good thing.

There’s a first. After an English driver buzzed a bicyclist, he stopped a little further down the road, got out and apologized. And the rider got the whole thing on video.

A Belgian bicyclist rode 7,500 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on a solar powered ebike to win the first edition of a race intended to promote renewable energy.

A French mayor is warning about the dangers of illegally modified ebikes that can travel up to 30 mph, twice the country’s legal speed limit for ebikes.

Now that’s a bike ride. An annual night bicycle parade in Moscow drew an estimated 20,000 riders to call for better bike infrastructure, twice as many as last year.

Australia’s version of AAA says the country’s road safety strategy is failing and bicyclists are most at risk, as bicycling fatalities rise a frightening 80% in the past year.

He gets it. An Australian professor — and former UCSD prof — says it’s time to consider the needs of people above cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for VeloNews says Mexican cycling is failing at developing homegrown talent.

An elite Texas cyclist was airlifted to a Colton medical center after he was seriously injured after hitting a rock in the Tour de Big Bear; fortunately, he’ll be okay, though he’ll have to tend to an arm injury and some broken ribs.

Popular young Team Sky cyclist Egan Bernal suffered serious facial injuries in a crash with several other riders in Spain’s Clasica San Sebastian; he was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. Movistar’s Mikel Landa went to the hospital with a back injury as a result of the same crash.

The new six-part Amazon TV series Eat. Race. Win. follows Australia’s Orica-Scot team and the chefs who feed them as they compete in the Tour de France. The cyclists, that is, not the chefs.

Evidently, winning the Tour isn’t enough for newly famous Geraint Thomas, who wants to take on Eminem in an epic rap battle.

 

Finally…

If you want to see the pope, leave your car at home — but take your bike. We have to worry about crashing into cars parked in bike lanes; Colorado bike riders try to avoid crashing into mountain goats.

And you shoulda been in Bangalore in the ’70s and ’80, when bicycling was bliss.

Morning Links: Battle over LA streets, bike events, e-scooter legislation, and new bike lanes in Beverly Hills

The battle for LA’s streets made it into the pages of Los Angeles Magazine.

Writer Andy Hermann examines the fight over road diets, or what traffic safety deniers describe as “lane theft.”

“It’s just created havoc,” says John Russo of KeepLAMoving, an organization that sued the city to remove the Playa del Rey bike lanes. That Venice Boulevard already had a bike lane (albeit an unprotected one) and hadn’t seen a cyclist death since 2010 has only added to the outrage. “I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a good explanation as for why Venice Boulevard needed a road diet,” says Selena Inouye of Restore Venice Blvd., a neighborhood group opposed to what it calls the L.A. Department of Transportation’s “lane theft.”

Which suggest that drivers do, in fact, own the roads. Or at least think they do.

However, there is another side to the argument.

In a region with the world’s worst traffic congestion (for six years running, according to transportation analytics firm INRIX), it’s hard to fault people who would rather drive than bike for being impatient. But it’s also hard to blame people who opt out of driving and choose to pedal. “Our streets are already built out,” says Rogers. “There’s no room to expand them. So the only way to guarantee the failure of our streets is to do nothing. If you keep doing exactly what we’re doing now, we will reach a dystopian future where our streets are so gridlocked that nobody can move at all.”

 

And yes, that’s me he’s quoting there.

It’s worth reading the full piece.

Then maybe get mad, and demand that the lives of human beings start taking priority over the convenience of selfish drivers.

And do something to save our lives, and our city, while we still can.

………

Let’s catch up with a few upcoming events to add to your calendar.

Pure Cycles is hosting a Bike Metro Back to Basics bicycle education class at their Burbank headquarters tomorrow.

Also on Saturday, Metro Bike Share is hosting Pedals and Pitstops — Back to the Beach along the Venice canals and the Artists & Fleas LA on Abbot Kinney.

On Sunday, join with the Street Librarians Ride to replenish little street libraries in Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Metro presents the Pride of the Valley open streets event on September 16th in Baldwin Park and Irwindale.

The ultimate CicLAvia rolls on September 30th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the LA Phil with a massive, eight-mile street party connecting Walt Disney Hall in DTLA with the Hollywood Bowl.

BikeSGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash on December 1st.

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A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature could make it considerably easier to use an e-scooter.

AB 2989 would still require a driver’s license to use a motorized scooter, but it would eliminate the requirement for a helmet for anyone over 18.

It would also allow scooters to be legally used on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph, or on higher limit streets that have bike lanes.

They’re currently limited to streets with bike lanes, or a speed limit of just 25 mph.

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It’s official. Hell has frozen over.

………

A new study says not so fast on the bike helmets.

According to the study, four times as many drivers and five times as many pedestrians died of head injuries, compared to bike riders.

While head injuries accounted for 46% of bicycle deaths, 25% of drivers killed in traffic collisions died of head injuries, as did 42% of pedestrians.

Yes, studies have shown that bike helmets are effective in reducing the risk of head injuries.

But no one suggests that pedestrians should wear them, let alone people in cars, where they could theoretically save far more lives.

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Local

The East Side Bike Club is raising funds to provide bicycle safety eduction to kids in South LA.

Former LA pro Phil Gaiman offers his insights on seventeen pieces of awesome summer cycling gear in the latest Men’s Journal.

A 10-year old junior Jonathan Gold reviews Culver City’s new bike themed Super Domestic Coffee.

Pasadena bought new Complete Streets software to identify gaps in the street networks, and design solutions while keeping the public involved, in hopes of avoiding more disastrous meetings like the one that killed plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd.

Long Beach gets nearly $1 million dollars in Caltrans grants to make zoning changes and create complete streets on the city’s north side.

 

State

After this year, you can be charged with hit-and-run if you leave the scene of a crash on an off-road bike path. Governor Brown signed AB 1755 last week, which removes any question of whether hit-and-run laws apply to bike riders on trails; the law takes effect Jan 1st.

CiclaValley explores California’s Central Coast by bike.

A 28-year old woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Crockett on Tuesday.

If you live or ride in the East Bay Area, take a few minutes to sign a petition calling for the Major Taylor Bike Park and Velodrome in Richmond.

 

National

A new study that should surprise absolutely no one shows UberPool and Lyft Line are making traffic congestion worse, and helping to creat a hostile environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Portland’s famed Velo Cult bike shop is closing its doors, six years after moving from San Diego. The shop, which was unable to keep up with requirements to maintain it’s license to serve beer, will now focus exclusively on e-commerce, which does not require a local liquor license. Thanks to brer bear for the heads-up.

Nevada has its first official US Bicycle Route.

A Flagstaff AZ public radio reporter goes for a ride with a pair of experienced women’s mountain bikers who are mentoring the next generation of riders.

Houston PD is the latest big city police department to use an electronic device to measure precisely when drivers come too close to people on bicycles. Meanwhile, the LAPD doesn’t.

A 77-year old Texas man has put together his own guide on how bicyclists and motorists can share the road. Although it would help if you can read upside down if you want to know what it says.

Once again, a state department of transportation does the right thing once it’s too late, as Rhode Island officials study the lack of effective safety measures on a bike path after a six-year old boy was killed in a collision.

A bike path around DC’s National Zoo is closed for the next year after heavy rains cause the pathway to crumble and tumble into a creek.

If you know a diocese that’s looking for a killer bishop with a drinking problem — who apparently still refuses to take responsibility for her actions — former Baltimore Episcopal bishop Heather Cook has applied for work release from her well-deserved sentence for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014.

This month’s Miami Critical Mass will be dedicated to Miami native Patrick Wanninkhof, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on an Oklahoma highway in 2015; his childhood friend Janna Belle says her latest music video was inspired by the crash.

 

International

Police in Hamilton, Ontario are looking for witnesses in a five year old murder case, where someone in a pickup chased down a bike rider before running him over.

Montreal bikeshare bikes will soon come equipped with lasers that project an image of a bicycle on the pavement ahead.

London announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2041, after already reducing fatalities 50% over the past decade.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British rider was clotheslined by a rope strung across a bike path at chest level.

Police in the UK are looking for two young mountain bikers who punched a driver after blocking his car. As usual, no word on what the driver might have done to encourage the assault. Which does not make it right in any way.

British schools are starting to prohibit parents from using motor vehicles to drop their kids off at school in the name of safety. Doing that here would not only improve safety, but the health of the students, while dramatically reducing morning traffic congestion and improving air quality.

An English woman was rescued by four strangers who lifted a car off her after the driver hit her bike.

The UK’s growth in cycling is being driven by experienced bicyclists riding more and further, rather than more people taking it up.

Never mind that ban on bicycles in Prague’s city center; a city court has overturned a law prohibiting bike riding in pedestrian zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling discusses what it’s like to drive a race moto in the Tour de France. Hopefully without putting any more cyclists in the hospital.

What it’s like to have someone grab your arm while leading the Tour.

Pro cyclists debate whether the super tuck position on descents should be banned.

The New York Times considers the Tour de France’s continued insistence on maintaining the sexist and outdated tradition of having podium girls.

 

Finally…

Canadians love separated bike lanes, as long as they’re in someone else’s neighborhood. And Lance wants your love.

 

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

………

To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: Hollywood Hills West NC considers call to reject bike lanes in proposed community plan tomorrow

This is what we’re up against.

In an interview on KABC radio — which doesn’t appear to be online, unfortunately — Anastasia Mann, President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, said road diets create safety problems. And people in favor of them need a reality check.

Then she added this.

The bicyclists are supposed to follow the same rules of the road that the rest of us are. I’ve had near misses, where bicyclists turn right in front of me, turn against the lights, run stop signs…. nothing against bicyclists, God help me if I have to say anything that sounds like that, but it’s just impractical. You’re going to have safety issues because you cannot get emergency vehicles through.

Got to give her credit for squeezing in virtually every anti-bike lane cliche in a few sentences.

But this is the windshield-perspective attitude Hollywood bike riders have had to face in one of LA’s busiest and fastest growing neighborhoods, with no safe way in or out by bike.

Or across, for that matter.

The matter will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s meeting of Mann’s neighborhood council, which will take up the proposed Hollywood Community Plan. As well as their proposed response to it, also written by Mann, and a more detailed addendum.

Along with calls to take most, if not all, of the bike lanes out of it.

Infeasible, is the term they use, echoing the original draft of the 2010 LA bike plan. Which the city planning commission wisely rejected after bicyclists rose up to oppose it, demanding the safer, and more detailed, hard-fought plan we eventually won.

That’s from a letter written from the Outpost Estates Homeowner’s group (scroll down), which seems to be far more concerned about the problems faced by the privileged few in the hills than the multitudes who live and work and travel down below.

The meeting is at 6 pm Wednesday, at the Will and Ariel Durant Library Branch, 7174 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area, you need to be there. To once again defend the bike lanes we fought for, before they ever even hit the pavement.

Just be prepared to listen to people who live in multi-million dollar homes complain about traffic and density until you’re ready to poke your ears out.

………

Local

Boyonabike offers good advice for would-be bike commuters.

A 74-year old man was critically injured when he was hit by a driver in a left cross while riding his bike in San Gabriel on Sunday. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Monica votes to continue their annual COAST open streets festival on the same route through 2020. Unbelievably, though, the story talks about LA County holding open street events “more often than any other place in the country,” without ever even mentioning CicLAvia.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

If you have a Specialized Allez, your bike may be subject to a recall due to a defective fork crown that could affect safety.

Wired says the dockless bikeshare wars are heating up after an infusion of funding. Thanks to Allan Margolin for the link.

Minneapolis approves a proposal to build protected bike lanes around the University of Minnesota campus. Which should also be done at both USC and UCLA. Not to mention every other university campus.

A writer for the Washington Post says yes, you can park your dockless bikeshare bike anywhere, but you shouldn’t.

The homeless man who fatally stabbed a man riding his bike from Connecticut to Florida to propose to his girlfriend was once again ruled incompetent to stand trial.

 

International

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine told a London government committee he sees 30 to 40 traffic violations by drivers every day as he rides his bike to and from work, and that roads have to be redesigned to “prevent ‘angry, dangerous drivers’ harming cyclists.” Which is a sentiment most bike riders would probably concur with.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is caught in the equivalent of a right hook by a driver turning into a police station. Hard to tell from the video, but it’s possible that the driver may have passed the rider just before left-hooking him. And it’s also possible the rider may have undertaken the turning vehicle after it stopped and signaled.

A Glasgow bicyclist says pedestrians have an obligation to help prevent crashes with bike riders, too.

Perth, Australia puts the law of unintended consequences to test by installing speed bumps on a shared pathway to slow speeding bicyclists. Never mind that even expected bumps can knock bike riders off balance — especially when riding fast — resulting in falls and crashes into other people on the pathway. And lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits.

Brisbane bike riders say it would be a big mistake to ban bikes from a new pedestrian bridge.

 

Competitive Cycling

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) will conduct a two-year study to determine if high school mountain biking is more dangerous than other sports, such as football

Tragic news, as four teenage members of a Saudi Arabian cycling were killed in a horrific crash when a driver lost control and slammed into them during a training ride; six others were injured.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a stupidly hard gravel race through somebody’s house. If bored teenagers are causing problems, just offer to fix their bicycles for them.

And the war on bikes cost West Australian insurers $60 million.

The mythical war on cars, not so much.

 

Morning Links: Motions to inspect broken bike lanes move forward, and keeping dangerous drivers off streets

Maybe our broken bike lanes might get fixed after all.

Streetsblog is reporting the approval of both of motions calling for the inspection and maintenance of LA’s bike lanes and bike paths at Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee.

However, assuming the motion passes the full council, there’s still a long way to go, as Joe Linton points out.

Greg Spotts spoke on BSS’s (Bureau of Street Services) efforts to address issues keeping street pavement in good repair. The city faces a reported $3-4 billion backlog in street maintenance. With some recent street repaving monies from the S.B. 1 gas tax and Measure M, BSS is stepping up its efforts to inspect and maintain streets, and now has dedicated staff working to inspect and repair asphalt on city bike lanes.

Spotts noted that BSS has identified 300 bike network locations that need “large asphalt repair.” BSS crews are currently working their way through these sites, having completed 19 repairs to date.

And those are just the ones they know about.

But at least the city has hired six new people to fix and maintain bike lanes.

Meanwhile, there may be hope for LA’s crumbling streets.

Councilmembers Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino say at current rates, streets and sidewalks in Los Angeles won’t be repaired in time for the 2028 Olympics — missing the games by a mere 20 years or so.

But money from Measure M and the new state gas tax increase could provide a source of funding that would allow the city to speed up those repairs.

We can only hope.

Of course, if the proposition calling for the repeal of the gas tax qualifies for the ballot, and California voters decide they’d prefer crappy streets and lower gas prices, all bets are off.

………

I’m not always a fan of Bike Snob.

But he nails it this time, saying our current system of licensing drivers and motor vehicles is “woefully ineffectual and does little to keep dangerous drivers off the streets.”

Meanwhile, a Canadian writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke?

It’s like Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it — a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes a deep dive into the subject of sidewalks, and comes to the conclusion that they’re not even necessary.

Yes, the CEO of Ford, the company that essentially put automobiles on U.S. streets, is calling for a “complete disruption and redesign of the surface transportation system.”

What Ford is preparing for—and championing through its bike share and microtransit shuttle services—is the fact that streets will no longer be planned around this binary use of cars versus everyone else. And the place for new modes to mix is not a narrow broken sidewalk: It’s the safe, shared, slow, well-maintained street that has walking at its core.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all equation of lane widths calculated to move cars quickly, with pedestrians pushed off to the side, the definition of a city street will change based on what people need, neighborhood by neighborhood, says Greg Lindsay, director of strategy for the urban mobility festival LACoMotion.

It’s a great read. And may challenge your concept of what a street should be.

It did mine, anyway.

………

Great idea. A new youth racing program at the LA Velodrome aims to develop at least one track cyclist for the US Olympic Team at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

………

Local

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a fast, 25 – 30 mile woman-led ride tonight, and every Thursday. The co-op is also hosting a moderate paced ride to the East LA Art Walk this Sunday.

Sant Monica Spoke and the Santa Monica Planning department are hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.

 

State

San Luis Obispo decides to move forward with a modified version of the bikeway that’s been drawing all the bike-hating NIMBYs out of the woodwork. Proof that not all NIMBYs live in Los Angeles. It only seems that way.

A new bike and pedestrian trail project would connect downtown Redding to the Sacramento River Trail.

 

National

Streetsblog questions whether the dockless bikeshare revolution is just a mirage.

A former pro explains how he learned to love wearing a helmet mirror.

The new chairman of the Federal Reserve is one of us, as he struggles to convince his security detail to let him keep up his eight-mile bike commute to DC.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune offers tips on how to ride your bike at Mardi Gras, for those lucky enough to go. Pro tip: Avoid Mardi Gras Day, when it’s too crowded move, and go the weekend before when the crowds are smaller and it’s more fun.

 

International

How to roll the dents out of your steel frame bike.

Canadian bicyclists are urged to bike commute tomorrow as part of the international Winter Bike to Work Day. Try not to suffer too much under LA’s sunny skies and 80° temperatures.

Here are ten beautiful places in the UK to add to your bicycling bucket list.

British advocacy groups are “deeply concerned” about plans to ban bikes from a highway that’s a popular time trial route.

In a win for the gig economy, bicycle couriers for Britain’s National Health Service win full employment rights, after their employer had argued that they were self-employed contractors.

That gold-inlaid custom bike built for Irish mixed martial arts champ Connor McGregor cost the equivalent of nearly $21,000.

More proof that bike riders face the same problems everywhere. An Aussie bicyclist complains about pedestrians and dog walkers making a beachfront pathway a nightmare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s 3,500-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled following the death of pioneering ultra-distance rider Mike Hall in a collision during last year’s race.

A French design firm reimagines the dreaded broom wagon. Although they somehow think riders in the Tour de France will be able to hop on board to catch a rest, then rejoin the race when they’re feeling better.

 

Finally…

Why should ‘bent riders miss out on all the fat bike fun? Anyone can race a dual snow slalom on skis; try it on a bicycle instead.

And when a dockless bikeshare company fails, it becomes the UK’s cheapest bicycle.

In every sense.

Morning Links: LA Council committee considers bikeway pavement, and including everyone in Complete Streets

Maybe it’s good news. Or maybe not.

The LA City Council’s bizarrely combined Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will take up two motions regarding the safety and maintenance of bike lane pavement this Wednesday.

The first, #17-1142-S1, would require the city to inspect and repair the pavement on any existing bike lanes, and certify that the pavement is in good condition before any new bike lanes are installed.

The second, #15-0719-S17, requires city inspectors to examine the pavement on every mile of bike paths and bike lanes in the city, and develop a plan to bring them up to appropriate safety standards.

Which is something that should have been done a long time ago.

However, it appears to be a significant change from the original version of this motion, which would have prohibited installing any new bike lanes on streets with anything less than an A grade. And required the removal of existing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade lower than that.

Which would require ripping out most bike lanes in the city. Even though most of the crashes involving bad pavement that inspired these motions didn’t happen in bike lanes to begin with.

So let’s be clear.

Inspecting bike lanes and bike paths is a good thing. Fixing the pavement is even better.

But using bad pavement as an excuse to block or remove bike lanes could bring what little progress Los Angeles has made towards safer streets crashing to a halt.

Which means it could be worth your time to show up for the committee meeting tomorrow at 1p at City Hall if you can make it.

………

Our old friend Karen Karabell forwards this piece by longtime bike commuter and League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Martin Pion, arguing that real Complete Streets would accommodate inexperienced riders, as well as more experienced vehicular cyclists.

You won’t get any argument from me.

I’m a strong supporter of safe bike lanes and Complete Streets that can be safely used by anyone from 8 to 80, and get more people out on bikes.

But I also support the repeal of restrictive ride-to-the-right and must-use laws that are too often misinterpreted to require riders to hug the curb or use unsafe bikeways.

People should be able to ride wherever and however they feel safest, whether thats a protected bike lane or mixing with motor vehicles in the traffic lane.

………

Local

No, a coastal ferry will not solve the Westside’s traffic problems, but it could provide a way to get your bike from Santa Monica to Malibu without having to ride PCH.

Mobile bike repair shop Beeline Bikes is expanding to Los Angeles.

A letter writer in the LA Times says if London and Copenhagen can get people out of their cars, Los Angeles can, too.

The San Gabriel Vally Tribune offers a nice profile of Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the stars of the new documentary MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), which premiers on the 21st. He’s also one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet.

 

State

Bay Area bicyclists complain that plans for new Caltrain bike cars that separate riders from their bikes is an invitation to theft.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 69-year old man was killed when he rode his bicycle into a parked car.

A Sonoma paper says the market is surging for folding and electric bikes — and folding ebikes — in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Streetsblog says the Marin Independent Journal is continuing to push to convert plans for a new bike and pedestrian pathway on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle use, in the mistaken belief it will somehow solve their traffic problems. Apparently, they’ve never heard of induced demand.

 

National

Treehugger writes in praise of riding slowly through the city.

No, you don’t need a fat bike to ride on snow, as long as you’re willing to go downhill.

Forbes says belt-drive Priority Bicycles are being ridden by the cool kids all across New York City.

Former 1984 Olympic cycling gold medalist Alexi Grewal, who recently married a woman from Punjab, India, says Punjabi youths could shine in international cycling with enough institutional support from the government.

 

International

Four Canadian men are riding over 600 miles around Lake Ontario in the dead of winter to raise funds for charity and to encourage young people to be more active. Then again, they’ve already ridden to the North and South Poles.

A new British group is pushing to get the Labour Party to commit to more bike-friendly policies.

Bike advocacy groups in the UK criticize members of the House of Lords for insisting that bike lanes cause congestion and increase pollution, without having any evidence to back it up.

Britain won’t develop any new standards for dockless bikeshare because it’s too busy trying to kiss Europe goodbye.

A local website looks at the state of eco-friendly bicycling in Bangshal, Bangladesh, where newly married couples used to be given bicycles, until Hondas became more popular.

A letter writer in Islamabad complains that ebike riders don’t get any health benefits, apparently unaware that ped-assist ebikes help the rider, but don’t do all the work.

Demand for ebikes is still high in Japan, 25 years after Yamaha introduced the first one.

A 19-year old Singaporean fixie rider gets nine weeks behind bars for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a collision while riding brakeless.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will compete in the five-day Ruta del Sol in Andalucia, Spain, despite the doping cloud hanging over his head.

Mark Cavendish wants to go faster, while sticking to two wheels.

 

Finally…

Why just sell bikes, when you can steal them, too? Now this is how you promote a bike race.

And who says there’s no such thing as fixie rap?

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

………

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

………

Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

………

Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

………

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

………

CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

………

As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

………

Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

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