Tag Archive for bike registration

Morning Links: Possible LA bike registry, who we share the roads with, and a powerful call for traffic safety

The Los Angeles city council voted to reinvent the wheel on Friday.

Despite several free, nationwide bike registry programs — including Bike Index, which this site links to — the council voted to explore creating its own registry program.

Never mind that the cost of administering such a program would likely exceed the amount it would bring in.

Or that the city council cancelled LA’s existing bike registry nearly ten years ago after it was almost universally ignored, and nearly impossible to use.

And that police officers too often used it as an excuse to pull over and search bike riders of color.

Then there’s the problem that all thieves had to do to escape discovery was take stolen bikes to one of the 87 other communities in LA County, where the LA bike registry wasn’t used.

What’s really needed is voluntary, countywide — if not statewide — registry.

Until that happens, Los Angeles is a lot better off partnering with one of the existing free bike registries.

And promoting the hell out of it.

Full disclosure: Neither this site, or I personally, receive any compensation for hosting the Bike Index bike registration program here. I just effing hate bike thieves, and want every stolen bike to find its way back home.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A road raging Denver driver fatally shot a 13 year old boy, and injured three other members of the boy’s family after following them to a parking lot and briefly arguing with the boy’s mother. Then told police he has mental health issues after admitting to the shooting.

So why was he allowed to own a gun — let alone drive a car?

Meanwhile, a Toronto bicyclist was tailgated through a narrow alley by a driver who kept honking his horn, and yelling “Looks like another dead cyclist.”

And commenters fall over themselves congratulating an Indiana state trooper after he tweets about ticketing a driver for not speeding in the left lane. Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

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Powerful piece from a Toronto columnist, who says we know how to make roads safer, we just have to do it.

He writes that New York eliminated fatalities on Queens Blvd, aka the notorious Boulevard of Death, where 186 people were killed between 1990 and 2014.

How did they do it? As summarized by the Times, they narrowed and removed some car traffic lanes, and decreased speed limits by five miles per hour. They increased the amount of time given to pedestrians to cross the street and increased the number of pedestrian crossings. They redesigned sidewalks at intersections to narrow the crossing in some places. They introduced bike lanes and larger medians protected by barriers to the road. They added cameras with photo radar near schools.

If you want to make roads safer, you can. How to do it is not a mystery. Slow traffic down through laws, enforcement and — especially, crucially — design improvements. Put infrastructure on the street to protect cyclists and pedestrians. Pay close attention to intersection design. Voila.

He goes on to add that Stockholm, Sweden, the birthplace of Vision Zero, has a fatality rate just one third of New York or Toronto.

Stockholm didn’t cut its fatality rate dramatically by educating people and more strictly enforcing laws. The Swedes did it by slowing urban traffic and by re-engineering their roads to reduce serious injuries and fatalities. “Most of the people in the safety community had invested in the idea that safety work is about changing human behaviour,” Matts-Ake Belin, one of the architects of the program, told CityLab in 2014. “Vision Zero says instead that people make mistakes … let’s create a system for the humans instead of trying to adjust the humans to the system.”

Lower speeds, better protections, designs that discourage collisions and encourage safety.

We know what works. We can see its success even on the so-called Boulevard of Death. The obstacle to ending our own killing streets is not knowledge. It’s caring enough to bother applying it.The

Maybe some day, Los Angeles will care enough, too.

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Organizers of a British triathlon threaten to permanently ban racers who were responsible of undertaking a woman riding a horse on a trail, crashing into the side of the horse in their rush to pass unsafely.

And yes, both the horse and its rider were wearing hi-viz.

Seriously, it takes a special kind of schmuck to pull something like this on a public right-of-way, race or not.

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Local

Metro is teaming with the Mid City West Neighborhood Council to offer a free class on how to ride safely on city streets; participants will also receive a free helmet and bike lights.

The executive director of Los Angeles Walks calls for dedicating one or two parking spaces per block for shared bikes and scooters, rather than parking them on sidewalks.

Yo! Venice reports bike theft is on the rise in the seaside community, which is already one of the city’s hotspots for bike theft. And recommends registering your bike to help get it back if it’s stolen.

 

State

A Fresno bike shop’s troubled spring took a turn for the worse when one of their customers collapsed and died on one of the store’s group rides; a fundraising page has raised over $1,700 of the $2,500 goal for his family.

A San Francisco bike rider is suing the city and county, as well as a construction company, after she broke her wrist falling on debris in a construction zone.

Caltrans will widen shoulders and install bike turnouts along Highway 1 in Marin County to improve bike safety, as well as installing “mumble” strips along the center line, which are quieter than rumble strips.

 

National

GeekWire tries out one of Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare ebikes as they begin moving into Seattle. The bikes are already available in the Bay Area, but haven’t begun a southward migration yet.

A retired Kentucky journalist discovers that he lives just off a US bike route, and stumbles onto a cross-country Bike MS ride.

Milwaukee bike advocates have declared 100 Days of Biking to celebrate the trails, rides, events and people that make the region special.

The son of the founder of Crain’s Detroit creates a lot of pro-bike blowback after his myopic, windshield-biased screed complaining that city planners are “discriminating against cars in favor of two-wheeled transport.”

An eight-year old New York program extends the joy of bicycling to people with visual or physical disabilities by pairing them with a partner on a tandem bike.

Despite needing a number of improvements, bicycle traffic often exceeds motor vehicle traffic during rush hour on New York’s Chrystie Street, where a protected bike lane was installed two years ago.

 

International

A stuntman offers advice on how to crash your bike while keeping your body and dignity mostly intact. I offer my own hard-earned lessons on how to crash on the Survival Tactics page above.

A Vancouver TV station says ebikes are revolutionizing people’s commutes.

While Vancouver residents prepared to celebrate a pair of Car Free Day open streets events, a local TV station can only see through the prism of their own windshield bias, warning of a traffic hell for motorists.

Saying “this is why we can’t have nice things,” organizers threaten to pull the plug on a popular Windsor, Ontario bike ride because of the behavior of a handful of riders.

The Montreal Gazette examines how to coax commuters out of their cars and onto bikes.

Toronto condo owners are being warned not to trust locked bike rooms in their buildings, which are being targeted by thieves. Which is fair warning for bike riders anywhere — don’t trust bike rooms or garages without extra security of your own.

A 13-year old boy was arrested in the death of a Toronto bike rider who was intentionally run down, then kicked, beaten and stabbed by the occupants of the car.

A UK bike rider says the country’s mental health services have failed him, as he’s suffered from PTSD after finding the body of a suicide victim while biking to work two years ago.

A British reporter discovers first hand the abuse and harassment women on bikes experience on a daily basis.

A researcher calls for a mandatory helmet law in Norway, after a meta-analysis shows helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 60%. Even though the experience in other countries shows that helmet laws reduce the injury rate by reducing the number of people riding.

A riot broke out at an Eritrean cycling festival after opponents of the country’s president barged in throwing bottles, food and beer kegs; nine people were injured, including children.

Another ride to add to your bike bucket list — experiencing the unique biology of Madagascar by bike. And as long as you have your bucket list out, here’s eight more epic cycling tours around the world.

In a major turnaround, two-thirds of Aukland, New Zealand residents now believe bike lanes are good for the city and would welcome them in their own communities. This should be a lesson for Los Angeles; the opposition to bike lanes disappeared as more were built and people began using them.

An Aussie columnist says it’s time to end the bad blood between drivers and people on two wheels. Funny how it’s only the ones who ride bikes who call for a truce on the streets; it’s almost as if most drivers don’t even know there’s a problem.

Caught on video: A Perth, Australia bicyclist was lucky to escape with a case of ‘roo road rash after becoming the latest victim of a jay-jumping kangaroo.

A Japanese newspaper says the best way to explore Okinawa is on two wheels.

Seoul, Korea was expecting 5,000 bicyclists for a 13-mile annual bike parade on Saturday.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Scottish cyclist broke the 97-year old hour British hour record — on a Penny Farthing.

 

Finally…

Now your bike can have its own little house, just like the dog. If you’re going to ride on the freeway, at least take the lane.

And I’d be pretty pissed if bike riders whizzed near me, too.

Morning Links: Bike Index partners with VerifiR embedded chip maker; theft victim buys his own bike back

Let’s digress for a moment.

Although whether you can digress before you start might be questionable.

Veterinarians and animal rescue groups have long recommended having a small microchip embedded under the skin of your pet to identify it if it ever gets lost of stolen.

And there’s no shortage of stories about dogs and cats who’ve found their way back home after months, or even years, when a simple scan by a vet or shelter revealed where they belonged.

The Corgi has one.

As a rescue, she came with a chip in her shoulder, courtesy of her original owners. As well as one on her shoulder, after being unceremoniously booted from the only home she’d ever known.

Now your bike can have one, too.

Because Bike Index announced yesterday that they are partnering with VerifiR to add an extra level of security to their free bike registration program.

According to their press release,

VerifiR’s groundbreaking security tags let anyone with a smart phone quickly ‘scan’ a bike to check origin and verify ownership. Once molded into a bike’s frame or concealed under paint during manufacture, VerifiR’s technology is nearly impossible to remove or deface and much easier to scan than a traditional bicycle serial number.

Bike Index – the world’s largest and most successful bike registration and recovery system – will add VerifiR-protected bikes into its database of over 115,000 bicycles when the purchaser of a participating brand registers the bike through a scan. Stolen bikes embedded with VerifiR tags will also cross-list into the Bike Index upon theft, making the bike’s information immediately available to the thousands of partners who identify and recover stolen bikes every day.

Which means that your next bike could come with a VerifiR tag embedded in it. Or maybe you already have one, if you’ve purchased a new bike recently.

And you can add that information to any new or existing Bike Index registration to help ensure that your bike, like a lost puppy, can find its way back home.

Now let’s hope they’ll develop an aftermarket tag we can all add to our current bikes.

Full disclosure: While this site hosts the Bike Index bike registration and stolen bike reports, as well as a listing of bikes reported stolen in the LA area, neither it or its operators receive any form of compensation from Bike Index. Bicycle registration and reporting is offered as a free service to BikinginLA readers because we effing hate bike thieves, and look forward to the day when they have to find another line of work.

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Speaking of Bike Index, I was forwarded this good news/bad news online posting.

Good news, because they helped the owner get his bike back. Bad news, because the owner couldn’t get the time of day from the LAPD.

And frankly, we all deserve better than that.*

(Note: I’ve remove the name of the person who posted this since I haven’t been able to contact him.)

*Pro tip: When you report a stolen bike, include the value of everything you’ve added to it, including wheels, tires, racks, locks or bike computers. The higher the value, the more likely the police are to take it seriously — especially if the total exceeds the $1,000 threshold for felony theft.

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A new book remembers British cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

Love strikes out, as the Belgian cyclist who asked his dream date out by writing it on his chest at the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia time trial ends up in the dreaded friend zone.

A nationally ranked junior cyclist from Philadelphia is fighting back after surviving a rare form of bone cancer, discovered when he walked with a limp after finishing 18th at last year’s junior nationals.

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Local

KNBC-4 looks forward to this Sunday’s Glendale Meets Atwater Village CicLAvia. But it wouldn’t be a CicLAvia without the Militant’s guide.

If there’s more pressure on Long Beach bike thieves these days, it’s because they stole a city councilwoman’s bike.

A Long Beach letter writer says forget the bollards, because she seldom sees anyone using the green bike lanes they protect. Which is kind of like saying stop building sidewalks because there’s no one walking on them when you drive by.

 

State

A California bike rider waiting for X-rays describes being harassed and chased by a driver, while the driver ends up getting arrested.

A 69-year old Laguna Woods resident rode across the US this spring as part of a group ride, because he finds it relaxing. Bicycling has always been a form of moving meditation for me. Except when bad drivers intrude.

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree bike co-op will reopen in a new location this weekend.

Santa Barbara bicyclists can look forward to smoother riding in a couple weeks.

A San Francisco reporter says no, bikes aren’t express lanes for drivers trying to get around backed-up traffic — even if you’re driving a bus.

San Francisco approves parking protected bike lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Siskiyou County, where a 61-year old woman died after she lost control of her bike on a descent and crashed into a tree.

 

National

Mobility Lab says businesses can’t afford to ignore customers on two wheels.

Curbed writes that ebikes could be the key to getting drivers out of their cars.

Streetsblog suggests male cyclists need to stop the “macho nonsense” directed at female riders.

Plan your vacation around where to ride through this summer’s total solar eclipse. And no, we won’t see it here in LA, dammit.

Bicycling offers quotes about cycling they think every rider should know. Although there’s a lot more where that came from.

For the second time this week, a woman riding a bike in Chicago’s South Loop district has been attacked by someone trying to steal her bag.

A memorial mass and ride will be held today to honor the victims of the Kalamazoo crash, a year after an alleged drugged driver killed five cyclists and injured four others. The woman who led that ride says she can’t let evil take her joy away.

Five Cleveland bike riders were injured when they were struck by a car this past weekend; the driver was arrested on the scene for aggravated vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence.

A Boston survey says there are racial and cultural differences in how people see bikeways that should be taken into account in designing them.

A Connecticut town threatens to confiscate the bikes of scofflaw middle school students who have been terrorizing — or perhaps just infuriating — the populace.

 

International

An Op-Ed in the Toronto paper says unlike other disasters, traffic deaths have become normalized, with grave consequences.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour candidate for British prime minister in this week’s election, says owning more than one bicycle is extravagant.

Once again, a bike rider is hero. A London doctor was riding his bike home from work when he saw emergency vehicles rushing towards London Bridge, so he turned around and rode back to the Royal London Hospital, where he operated through the night trying to save 12 victims.

Statistically speaking, Britain’s roads are as safe today as they were a decade ago, despite a 23% increase in miles traveled by bicycle.

A writer for the Guardian says there’s something to be said for taking your time riding around the world.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding with coke and a concealed gun on your bike, stay off the damn sidewalk, and don’t make any illegal turns. Nothing like stealing own daughter’s bicycle, then recording her frantic search for it.

And was he blocked because he criticized the president, or because he rides a bike?

 

Morning Links: Bike-friendly Davis breaks the law a little, and something’s rotten in SoCal bike racing

Someone you know needs a new bicycle. Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net

And come back later today when another rider uses video to describe his ride.

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It looks like bike-friendly Davis is breaking the law. But only a little.

The platinum level Sacramento-area college town is reminding bike riders to renew their licenses, since any two-year bike license issued in 2013 has now expired.

Just two small problems with that.

First, they suggest that bicycles are registered with the state of California, which doesn’t license bikes. Instead, CVC 39002 allows local jurisdictions to license bikes at their discretion. Meanwhile, CVC 39003 (same link) makes it clear that the licenses must be issued by the city, county or some other agency they designate.

Not the state.

Second, they charge a modest $10 for a new two-year license, and just $5 to renew an existing license.

But both of those amounts are illegal and excessive.

According to CVC 39004 (ditto), those same jurisdictions are allowed to charge no more than $4 per year for a new license, and $2 a year for a renewal.

Which means Davis is overcharging bicyclists by a whopping 25%. Or a measly $1 or 50¢ a year, respectively, depending on how you want to look at it. Although that’s no small amount when multiplied by the tens of thousands of bikes in the city.

Either way, the program is in clear violation of state law.

Something to remember if your city or county has a bike licensing program, or is considering one.

On the other hand, the registration program is helping a number of UC Davis students get their bikes back, after Dixon police bust a pair of thieves with 31 hot bikes.

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Streetsblog LA named the winners of their annual Streetsie Awards, including LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino as Elected Official of the Year, Caltrans’ Dale Benson as Civil Servant of the Year, and the LACBC’s Tamika Butler and Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice in a tie for the Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Meanwhile, California Streetsblog names Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom as Legislator of the Year.

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I’m not really tuned into the SoCal bike racing scene. But if David Huntsman and Seth Davidson both say there’s something wrong with the sport’s local governing body, then something is definitely rotten in our cycling state of Denmark.

Besides, if you can’t trust a couple of bike riding lawyers, who can you trust?

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Following up on yesterday’s tech news, Sony ups the ante to take on GoPro in the action cam market, while Nikon introduces a cam offering 360° views. Of course, the only way to make that work is to mount it on the outside of your handlebars or the very top of your helmet. And then sit up very straight.

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Local

CiclaValley offers tips for riding in the rain. Rick Risemberg recommends lights, capes, wool clothing and fenders, while Ciclelicious asks which fender. I’d suggest this one, but I doubt it would help.

Not surprisingly, the LA River bike path is closed due to the rains, along with most, if not all, of the other creek and riverside bikeways in the county. Meanwhile, plans are underway to improve the lower portion of the river.

Glendale will host a public meeting on Saturday to get input on a planned redesign of Ocean View Blvd, including bulb-outs and bike lanes.

 

State

Campbell cyclists raise $20,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in a post-Christmas ride.

Beaver fever strikes on a Merced bike path.

Cupertino’s De Anza college adds three new e-bikes to their fleet of 56 bikes available to students free of charge for a full quarter.

 

National

Conspiracy theorists are still opposing bike and transit projects throughout the US, even though the Agenda 21 Chimera that fueled it is gone.

Bicycling lists seven people — okay, 219 — who could really use a good bike ride.

Next City says it’s time to bury the sharrow for good.

The newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of us.

Outside offers a profile on Ned Overend, who’s still kicking fat bike ass at age 60 — 26 years after his mountain bike world championship.

An interesting study from the University of Washington finds neighborhood density is the primary factor that encourages low and middle income residents to walk or bike; for wealthier people, the attractiveness of their neighborhood is key.

Seattle bike cops recover a $4,000 stolen bike using the Bike Index website. You can register your bike, report a stolen bike or check to see if a bike has been stolen using Bike Index right here on this site. And unlike the Davis program, it’s free.

It takes a real jerk to steal a motorized recumbent from an Iowa man battling stomach cancer who used it as his only form of transportation.

A Florida paper shows what a difference it can make when the press calls attention to bicycle safety instead of trolling bike riders.

Nothing like starting young. A pair of Florida boys, just seven and eight years old, are under arrest for an attempted strong-arm bike jacking. No one hates bike thieves more than I do, but handcuffing a seven-year old seems a tad extreme.

 

International

Bike Radar offers some good advice on buying a used bike online.

A Canadian writer offers lessons learned from 100,000 kilometers — 62,137 miles — on the seat of a bike.

A British site offers advice on how to make your bike commute more like the Tour de France, while Road.cc pipes in with some additional suggestions. Although getting someone to hurl abuse at you is no challenge in LA traffic.

A new study shows London bike riders are six times fitter than other commuters.

It takes a major jerk to punch a 62-year old British woman after shoving his bike into her, regardless of what she may have said to him.

Retiring former world track champ Martyn Irvine says he shamed dopers by beating them fair and square.

Drain a Paris canal built by Napoleon, and what do you find? Bicycles, naturally.

Bike riders are braving Delhi’s infamous traffic, despite conditions that make LA seem like a breeze; meanwhile an ad for an Indian hospital sums up the health benefits of bicycling.

A 24-year old biology student works to become the first professional cyclist from Burkina Faso. If there are any bike makers reading this, send this guy a new racing bike. Now.

An Australian chief traffic cop questions whether older drivers belong on the road. It’s a tough call; some older people retain the vision and reflexes they need to drive safely into their nineties, while others should have their keys taken away.

Toyota’s new robotics expert was inspired to build crash-proof cars by seeing the aftermath of a bicycling crash as a child.

An Aussie expat living in Ho Chi Minh City has set out to ride every road connecting north and south Vietnam.

 

Finally…

Nothing like banning a doper after he stops racing. It doesn’t do a lot of good to sue the Forest Service for failing to maintain an illegal bike trail.

And evidently, the fastest way to improve bike safety is to get the damn bike riders off the road.

 

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