Tag Archive for bike safety

Morning Links: LA approves memorial signs instead of fixing streets, BAC agenda, and Yerba Buena Road closed

I honestly don’t know what to think about this one.

The LA City Council has approved a plan to replace ghost bikes with semi-permanent memorials to fallen bike riders.

The signs can be requested by the families of fallen bicyclists, memorializing the victim while offering a general nod to bike safety.

They’ll stay in place for five to seven years, after which families can pay to have them replaced.

However, a maximum of just 20 signs will be installed each year, which will barely keep up with the number of riders killed on an annual basis in Los Angeles.

According to LAist,

In an interview withKPCC’s Take Two, (Councilmember Bob) Blumenfield explained how the idea for the signs was borne out of a tragedy in Woodland Hills last April. On Easter Sunday, 15-year-old Sebastian Montero was struck by a car and killedwhile riding his bike on Burbank Boulevard.

Blumenfield was in contact with the boy’s family, as well as local police officers— together, they discussed ways to prevent future tragedies. 

“I’ve been to too many of those ghost bike ceremonies, and they’re heartbreaking,” Blumenfield said.

After one officer, Duke Dao, suggested the idea for the memorial signs, Blumenfield ran with it.

I’m told be someone who worked closely with Blumenfield on the proposal that he’s absolutely sincere in wanting to do something to both remember the victims of traffic violence, and keep it from happening again.

But a simple sign’s not going to do that.

Blumenfield is one of the city’s better councilmembers on traffic issues, and is working to get a bike lane installed where Montero was killed.

But many of his peers have taken active steps to block desperately needed, potentially life-saving bikeways.

Despite the unanimous vote to establish the memorial program, we have to wonder how many of the councilmembers voted for memorials to fallen bicyclists instead of taking active steps to prevent their deaths.

Because it’s a lot easier to put up a small memorial sign than to fix the roads to avoid the need for them.

Among those voting yes,

All voted to approve the memorials, while helping create — or at least not alleviate — conditions likely to require them.

Meanwhile, there’s a reasonable fear that the memorial signs will just blend into the streetscape, no more noticeable than the street signs indicating where police officers have been killed.

And if you haven’t seen those, that’s exactly my point.

Ghost bikes are intrusive and evocative. Granted, many drivers don’t know what they are. But once they do, they notice them every time they pass, and that drives the meaning home.

I’m not sure that will happen with these.

Especially if the limit of just 20 a year stays in place. It should be expanded to include not just those riders killed in the future, but the many riders who have needlessly lost their lives in the past.

And it should include pedestrians, as well, since they die in much greater numbers on LA’s mean streets than we do.

Maybe if hundreds of these memorial signs started to appear every year, blanketing every part of the city, people might finally get it. And realize that too damn many people are getting killed just because they rode a bike or went for a walk.

Then the council might finally do more than put up a sign.

Maybe.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

Note: I’ve been reminded that today is the one year anniversary of Sebastian Montero’s death.

No word on whether the alleged speeding driver who killed him was ever charged.

Photo by Steve S

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its bimonthly meeting this Tuesday. As always, the meetings are open to the public, and you are encouraged to attend.

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Don’t plan on riding Yerba Buena Road anytime soon.

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Fed up with people driving under the influence, Taiwan is considering instituting the death penalty for killing someone while driving drunk or stoned.

I’d like to think that might actually make someone think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking, smoking or downing pills.

But the threat of the death penalty hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from murdering other people.

So there’s that.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

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Local

LAist notes the problems with LA’s troubled Vision Zero program, including a lack of social media presence for the past seven months. What the city doesn’t seem to get is that most of us really, really want to support Vision Zero LA — if they ever get their shit together.

Famed bike rider LeBron James has gone Hollywood, building a production company on the Warner Bros. lot that has made him a major player in the industry. Word has it he also plays a little basketball.

This is who we share the roads with. A 17-year old boy will likely face a vehicular homicide charge — or worse — for killing one person and injuring three others in a violent crash while apparently street racing in Woodland Hills.

Good for him. A chef at the Long Beach Gladstones will be joining this year’s edition of the 300-mile No Kid Hungry ride. You can donate to support his goal of raising $7,500 by next month’s ride, and help ensure every child has enough to eat.

State

What the hell is wrong with some people? An Irvine man will spend the next 50 years behind bars for killing the person he accused of stealing his bicycle, after vowing to do exactly that.

San Diego police are looking for a man who approached a nine-year old girl as she rode her bicycle and offered to take her to a game; fortunately, she knew to ride home and her parents called the police.

The San Francisco Chronicle complains about the mythical war on cars, exemplified by a discussion of congestion pricing. Never mind that congestion pricing is intended to help improve traffic flow, which is hardly anti-driver. Or that nearly 100% of the roads are already dedicated to motorists, and the rest of us are just hoping for a few crumbs.

Sad news from Selma, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bike Saturday night; police believe he was targeted by the killers.

An Oakland man was busted for trying to break into a secured bike storage area.

An Irish writer takes a ride through California’s wine country.

Even in bike-friendly Davis, local residents break out the torches and pitchforks following a road diet to improve traffic safety.

National

ABC New has caught up with what most of us already know — killer hit-and-run drivers seldom face jail time.

Small towns can have bikeshare too, thanks to a startup dedicated to bringing bikeshare to towns the larger providers pass by.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says Trek’s WaveCel claims aside, it’s better to get more asses on bikes than get more heads in helmets. Meanwhile, Bicycling lists the 16 best helmets you can buy right now.

NPR hops on the e-scooter injury and blocked sidewalks bandwagon.

A Tucson writer says a bike resort is a great idea, just not across the street from Saguaro National Park.

A Grand Junction CO shelter is helping to house homeless youths on Colorado’s Western Slope, while a local bike shop is reconditioning unwanted bikes to get them onto two wheels.

Two Kansas men were killed when a driver slammed into their bicycles from behind. No word on why the driver apparently didn’t see a couple grown men on bikes directly in front of him, but I’m sure we could all take a pretty reasonable guess.

An Oklahoma man learned the hard way not to wear a skull mask while carrying meth and weed on his bike. Although his lawyer might want to argue that simply wearing a mask, scary or otherwise, on a public street is not probable cause for a traffic stop. Which makes everything that followed moot.

Slate tells the tale of a bike-riding Ohio teenager who scandalized the nation by wearing bloomers to church.

An Ohio college student discovers you’re never too old to learn how to fall off a bike.

A ti bike from a Schenectady NY builder was the first place winner at the recent National Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.

The upstate New York jerk who wrote a ten-year old boy a letter of non-apology after a judge let him off easy for sideswiping the boy’s bike will now have to perform community service.

A Bronx councilmember loses his perfect ranking from a conservation voters’ group for not supporting ebikes and scooters.

A New York cop resigned after getting caught writing a ticket to a nonexistent bike rider when he was actually still in the precinct. Then billing the city for the overtime he didn’t work.

Taking a cue from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s playbook, Baltimore’s mayor decides to rip out a protected bike lane, and says no way to a planned road diet. Although to be fair, she’s replacing the protected lane with a painted green lane. And she gave it four years, while Garcetti removed the non-protected bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey after just one month of driver complaints.

New Orleans is slowly building a bicycle culture, though in typical Big Easy style.

International

A Vancouver radio station asks if bicyclists and drivers will ever see eye-to-eye. Short answer, not until people are required to ride a bicycle in city traffic before getting a driver’s license.

Vancouver’s former chief planner writes in praise of slow cycling and upright bikes.

Only after he passed away at the ripe old age of 93 on Saturday was it revealed that a Montreal man was the secret “Mr. Bike Man” who gave away over 1,700 bikes, helmets and locks to children in the Montreal area for the past 34 years.

This one’s hard to watch. A Brit bike rider gets hit head-on by a driver cutting a corner at an intersection, despite stopping at a stop sign and using daytime lights.

Britain’s anti-bike Lord Winston is back at it, renewing his call for all bike riders to be licensed and insured after claiming he was attacked by a woman when he reprimanded her for riding on the sidewalk. Except he never bothered to report it to the police and no one can seem to verify his claim.

French drivers are apparently vandalizing speed cameras, costing the country the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars. And it may have contributed to a jump in traffic deaths.

An automotive writer rides a borrowed Peugeot racing bike up France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, and finds it a lot easier to do in a borrowed car.

Amsterdam plans to reduce driving by turning 1,500 parking spaces into trees and bike parking each year for the next six years.

Vitaliy Klitschko, former world heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kyiv — or Kiev, to most non-Ukrainians — is one of us, riding his bike to cast his ballot in this year’s presidential election.

American cycling legend and newly married Indian resident Alexi Grewal says bicycling is seen as a poor person’s vehicle, and that needs to change.

Sydney, Australia residents rise up against what they term a “nonsensical” bicycle superhighway, fearing it would somehow jeopardize pedestrians more than all those cars zooming past. Seriously, why is it that people continue to fight bike lanes that have repeatedly proven to be a net benefit to the surrounding community, regardless of any loss of parking?

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia looks at the all-Type 1 diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, and how they overcome diabetes to ride competitively.

Chris Froome proved he’s comfortable in his domestique role, giving Team Sky leader Egan Bernal a ride back to the bus on his handlebars, after a mechanical forced Bernal to walk across the finish line.

The Australian press is suitably scandalized that Lance was paid $1.5 million in taxpayer funds to compete in the 2009 Tour Down Under, an agreement that was under seal for ten years.

Evidently, it’s considered bad form to toss another racer’s bike off the course after you crash with her, as Italian cyclist Elisa Longo Borghini learned the hard way on Thursday.

Finally…

Next time time you get attacked by a gang of kids, all you really need is a Good Samaritan armed with a bicycle seat. When the bike stencil doesn’t fit in the new bike lanes, it may be just a tad too small.

And taking a cue from Kafka, that angry driver may see you as a cockroach.

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Thanks to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Morning Links: Report on bicycling in LA goes well, even if few will ever see it, and Ride 4 Love rolls tomorrow

Good news and bad news.

The good news is yesterday’s taping of Spectrum News 1’s Inside the Issues went well.

And the finished product offered an effective overview of the good, bad and very ugly of riding a bicycle in the City of Angels.

The bad news, Spectrum doesn’t post their programs online.

Which means there’s nothing we can link to. And anyone who didn’t tune in last night, or who doesn’t subscribe to Spectrum Cable, is out of luck.

That also means that most of the people in Los Angeles who need to see it most will never get the chance.

Hopefully, they’ll put a few segments online, which I’ll try to share with you when they become available.

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One of these days, I hope to actually make it down to South LA for the annual Ride 4 Love, which rolls tomorrow.

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Local

LA-based Swrve makes Bike Radar’s list of the best cycling clothes for rain.

The LACBC is hosting a training ride up Franklin Canyon tomorrow.

Over 500 bicyclists are expected to ride up to 100 miles through the San Gabriel Valley starting and ending at the Rose Bowl in next month’s Bike MS: Los Angeles 2019 ride.

Congratulations to Palmdale, which officially has the longest commutes in the US.

State

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board is riding off into the sunset as the city replaces it with a new Mobility Advisory Board.

The new bridge to UC San Diego over I-5 opens today, bringing a more direct walking and biking route for students and faculty.

A Ramona firefighter returned home after raising $12,000 for charity by riding 2,500 across the US from San Diego to Florida.

Greater equity is coming to Modesto, as the city plans to invest over $6 million in new sidewalks and bike lanes in one of its poorest neighborhoods.

One more reason why drivers shouldn’t be allowed to steal a lane from bicyclists on the double-decker Richmond-San Rafael Bridge — bikes are lighter than cars, as large chunks of concrete fell from the top span onto unsuspecting drivers below.

National

You can kiss the last few Performance Bicycle stores — and the people who work in them — goodbye, as the company plans to close all remaining brick-and-mortar stores within the next month; however, they will continue to do business online. Meanwhile, an industry website considers how bike shops can buck the trend of retail store closures.

That’s more like it. A Bellingham WA housing development will open with 164 units, but just 100 parking spaces, along with spaces for 392 bicycles.

An Arizona driver kindly helped a young girl to the curb after hitting her bicycle, told her the same thing had happened to her as a girl — then drove off, leaving her victim stranded on the curb with a dead cellphone.

A Texas woman has ridden at least 100 miles in every state in the US, finishing last year with a ride through South Dakota.

A gang of bike thieves is breaking into small Chicago bike shops and stealing at least $70,000 worth of high-end bicycles.

A Chicago minibike rider will face well-deserved charges for groping a woman riding a bicycle, then punching out her husband when he chased her assailant down.

Instead of responding to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian death by going after the people in the big, dangerous machines, New York police are cracking down on the people on two wheels, in some cases ticketing bike riders from violations that don’t actually exist.

Meanwhile, an NYPD officer physically assaulted a bike rider, pushing him off his bicycle to issue a simple traffic ticket, just a block from where another rider was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this week; New York advocates plan a massive rally in protest. That’s like grabbing a driver and throwing him out of his car into the street just because he didn’t use a turn signal.

International

A new conversion kit will allow you to turn your existing bicycle into an ebike for about $700.

A Montreal veterinarian makes house calls by cargo bike.

No shit. A Canadian woman says justice wasn’t served in the hit-and-run death of her bike-riding father, after his killer served just one month of an all-ready too lenient six month sentence.

After his father called the police on him, a British man asked if he could change his shirt before being arrested, then trapped the officers in his own living room before escaping on his bicycle.

A man from the UK rode 10,000 miles through 20 countries in memory of his brother, starting in his hometown and ending in China.

The Wall Street Journal offers a video look at Tel Aviv’s unlikely embrace of e-scooters. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A new Australian study claims the country’s mandatory helmet laws have cut bicycling fatalities nearly in half, suggesting 1,332 lives have been saved since the laws were introduced in the 1990s, and finding no evidence that bicycling rates have been reduced as a result of them.

Competitive Cycling

Ex-Tour de France champ and current cannabis purveyor Floyd Landis returns to his Mennonite roots, opening a bike, coffee and CBD shop in Lancaster PA not far from his childhood home.

The good news, former Columbian pro Juan Pablo Valencia Gonzales wasn’t accused of doping. The bad, he was arrested by Italian authorities on drug trafficking charges after he was found in possession of over 60 grams of cocaine he had allegedly transported in the seat tube of his bike.

Finally…

Edinburgh’s bikeshare system is going downhill — literally.

And when you get impatient waiting behind a group of bike riders at traffic light, try not to pull out into a garbage truck.

Morning Links: Florida driver plows into group ride, Bike Shop Day this Saturday, and ebikes are good for you

Welcome back. 

I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday weekend. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get down to business. 

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It’s Day Four of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

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Horrible news from Florida.

A driver plowed into fourteen bicyclists out on a group ride, killing one and injuring six; one of the injured riders was in critical condition with a head injury.

The driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming she was momentarily distracted by something in her car and the sun was in her eyes.

There is Facebook video of the aftermath if you really want to see it. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

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Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

The second annual event takes place this Saturday, which sounds like to perfect day to visit your favorite LBS and buy someone a Christmas or Chanukah gift.

Even if it’s yourself.

So far, just three LA-area bike shops have signed up to participate, along with another in Norco, and none San Diego, Ventura or Orange Counties.

See the map on the above link for more details.

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The LA West website offers details for this Sunday’s final CicLAvia of the year. Meanwhile, CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

Speaking of CicLAvia, the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the CicLAvia route before making a stop at Dry River Brewing for a little discounted liquid refreshment.

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Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

A new systematic review of 17 studies around the world concludes that riding a regular bicycle if better for you than riding an ebike.

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

Meanwhile, Pink Bike says ebikes are breeding the components that bike riders want.

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Now that’s more like it.

Britain considers mandating insurance discounts to drivers who take bicycle awareness courses as part of a program to improve safety.

The country is also in discussions to install cameras on bike lanes, and fine drivers up to the equivalent of $166 for driving in or blocking them.

In addition, the UK is planning to set up a special police unit to tackle road rage and dangerous driving.

Now if we could just get something like that on this side of the Atlantic.

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Clearly, not much has changed in the last 45 years.

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This is what you look like to a driver on a dark road when you ride without lights.

And if you miss the bike rider, that’s kind of the point.

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Local

No windshield perspective here. Business Insider says LA traffic is hell, and in desperate need of a transportation revolution. But fails to even mention any form of active transportation.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy calls out five major Westside hospitals for failing to promote active transportation, despite IRS guidelines that specifically encourage it.

Downtown News examines the $365 million plan to complete the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Speaking the LA River path, the new Spectrum 1 News takes a ride to the Spoke Cafe alongside the bike path. And Peter Flax races a car on an ebike, and comes out with a tie.

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s podcast talks with bike lawyer and Cycling in the South Bay author Seth Davidson.

Glendale opens the second phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk across the LA River from Griffith Park; a planned bike and pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the bike pathway with the LA River bike path. Oddly, the LA Times doesn’t seem to have the article online, so I’m linking to the story on the PressReader site.

The Signal offers an explanation of Santa Clarita’s new pilot program for an app-based traffic signal detection system at three problematic intersections. The project has been championed by the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Encinitas considers adopting Vision Zero in the wake of pedestrian deaths.

A San Luis Obispo man came up with the winning design for a bicycle-themed car license plate.

The LA Times suggests that a road diet on a primary roadway in Paradise contributed to the problems evacuating from the deadly Paradise Fire. Even though the mayor denies it had any impact, and they failed to talk with a single traffic planner or engineer.

 

National

An Oregon man was planning to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in five years, after he saved his own life by spending that time riding 25,000 miles around the world; he set out after nearly taking his own life following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the death of his wife in a traffic collision.

The University of Washington is testing an app-based system to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders at trail crossings.

Albuquerque NM is trashing the useless Share the Road signs in favor of the more instructive Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A New Mexico letter writer (2nd item) wants to make safety “fair and balanced” for everyone by making it less fair for people on bicycles. Unless maybe he also wants drivers to wear helmets at all times, paint their cars hi-viz, and only drive single file and yield to faster vehicles.

Denver adopts a cute little protected bike lane sweeper. Thanks to the Preven Report for the link.

Outside examines the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins, who was shot to death on a singletrack trail outside of Colorado Springs CO, noting that he is believed to be the first mountain biker known to have been slain while riding.

The Daily Beast suggests adding the Tex-Mex border to your bike bucket list, saying hundreds of miles along the border have been turned into a bicycling paradise.

Indianapolis IN bike riders want to know why safety isn’t improving, even as the city is becoming more bike friendly.

St. Petersburg FL discovers that some people will always prefer riding on the sidewalk, even if there’s a bike lane nearby. And even if sidewalk riding only offers an illusion of safety.

A Florida man took up bicycling to avoid having to wear size 50 pants, and lost 150 pounds in just two years.

 

International

Road.cc rounds up the best bike-related TED talksThen again, every time I open my mouth it’s a Ted talk.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker spells out ten ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe. Which is a polite way of saying they scare the crap out of us.

Calgary considers allowing skateboards, scooters and wheelchairs on the city’s cycle tracks.

The Guardian takes a bike tour to discover the real Barbados.

He gets it. An English columnist says it’s time for all of us to get on our bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old man rode the entire length go Great Britain on his Brompton.

Religious leaders in the UK are becoming evangelists for bike riding in an effort to get parishioners to leave their cars at home. And this is the perfect sign to promote it, while keeping the riders’ speed in check.

Ford is using virtual reality to allow British truck drivers to experience the road from a bicyclist’s perspective. Or they could just drop the virtual part, and put them on bicycles next to a big, speeding truck passing a foot off their elbows.

A Scottish columnist says he’s all in favor of bicycling to get people more active and fit, and he’s sure people who ride bikes will be all in favor of his plan to charge riders an annual registration fee and force them to wear numbered bibs similar to license plates. No, really.

They get it, too. An Indian city is installing new red-colored cycle tracks and fixing older ones in preparation for a coming bikeshare program.

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

New Zealand will spend $23 million to get more children on bikes. Which sounds impressive, until you consider it works out to less than $8 million a year.

A New Zealand bike builder discusses making the ebikes used by Israel’s bicycling paramedics.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a remorseful distracted driver will spend just nine months behind bars for killing a man riding his bike. She claims she was only distracted for ten seconds; unfortunately, that’s all it takes.

An Aussie bike rider says making the choice to be a non-driver should be a badge of honor.

A Kiwi writer relates the horrifying tale of taking a fall off his bike, suffering a number of severe facial cuts and broken bones in the process, including breaking his neck in three places. And of the fellow bike-riding tourists who simply turned their backs and rode away when he begged for help — after bizarrely lectured him for ruining their day.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A British Columbia bicyclist forsakes the Great Wall for a bike tour of China’s covered bridges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia remembers Reg Arnold, once one of the world’s greatest six-day cyclists; he passed away this summer at 92-years old.

At age 23, black South African pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini has ridden his bike out of poverty in the ghettoes of Johannesburg to a nomination for the country’s most prestigious sports award, and is considered the next big thing to come out of Africa.

 

Finally…

Apparently Britain banned e-scooters 183 years ago. There’s no shortage of people who can pop a wheelie, but how many can do it from Santa Monica to Cocoa Beach?

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

When there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of it.

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The 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is already off to a great start. Which means we’ve got a long list of people to thanks already.

So let’s all offer a round of thanks to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc, the Muirs, Al W, Douglas M, Plurabelle Books Ltd, Michael Y, Arthur B, Dennis F, Joel S, Mark J, Theodore F, David V and Elizabeth T for opening their hearts and wallets to help keep this site coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Phil Gaimon pens his own obituary, balance bike parking, and Bike the Vote endorsements

Take a few moments, right now, and read this hard-hitting piece from Phil Gaimon, who narrowly avoided being turned into road kill by a salmon driver speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road.

Just like the squirrel he passed several minutes later after he composed himself.

Of course, the squirrel did dart into traffic and he’ll get no mention in the local paper, but if I’d shared his fate I expect that would be the headline for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that this probably is how I’ll die someday and I’m choosing to still do it, but I’d like to set the record straight here. When I die on my bicycle, I didn’t do anything erratic and I didn’t make a mistake. I’m an expert at bike riding, I did it for a living among the best in the world for years, and in my retirement I ride cautiously because I had enough broken bones when it was my job. When I die it’s because of some asshole not paying attention, speeding, texting, or both, on roads where there’s no infrastructure or room for error, and most likely there won’t be much of a punishment. I’m dead, so at least they can get the story right.

I’ve long thought the same thing as Phil Gaimon describes.

Odds are, when I finally meet my maker — which hopefully will be a very long time from now — it will happen on a bike.

Not because bicycling is dangerous, but because I’ve spent far more time on my bike than I have doing anything else. And plan to continue as long as I’m able to remain upright and turn a pedal.

But now that I live it Hollywood, it seems even more likely, thanks to streets filled with aggressive and distracted drivers. Along with a near total lack of bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

Like Gaimon, I fully expect to be blamed if that ever happens.

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

That’s why I use a bike cam when I ride, so I’ll have proof I didn’t run a red light or stop sign, or suddenly suicide swerve out in front of traffic.

It’s cold comfort.

But to will have to do until Los Angeles finally gets serious about Vision Zero.

And finally commits to building the bike plan its already committed to.

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On a happier note, this tweet gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in weeks.

https://twitter.com/asausagehastwo/status/1044233989064708097

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Get ready to bike the vote this November, as Calbike offers its endorsements in the coming election.

Interesting to note that all but one of the legislative candidates they endorse supports using clean transportation financial incentives for bike purchases.

Which translates to giving rebate to encourage people to buy bicycles, ebikes or otherwise. And actually use them to replace car trips.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released their own voter guide for the LA area. Nice to see my own Assembly Member made the list.

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Local

A new study ranks the 20 most congested cities in the US; for a change, Los Angeles wasn’t at the top of the list. In fact, LA ranked seventh, behind Chicago and ahead of Seattle.

It’s a busy bike weekend in DTLA this week, with CicLAvia rolling on Sunday, and the Bike! Bike! conference Thursday through Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park; Bike! Bike! is intended to bring bike owners, bicycle shops and bike groups together to “workshop new ideas and methods to advocate for urban bicyclists.”

Community stakeholders conducted a “slow jam” on Temple Street, where limited safety improvements are underway after Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell combined to kill a desperately needed road diet on the dangerous street. Although the improvements might help people on foot, it’s not a Complete Street unless it safely accommodates people on two wheels, as well.

Streetsblog visits the new purple curb extensions on the Pico Blvd Great Streets project. But how great can it really be without bike lanes?

CiclaValley races his wife from Westwood to the San Fernando Valley, pitting bike against car. You can guess who won.

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Cameron Smyth explains why you should ride in the city, and explains how Santa Clarita’s Heads-Up traffic safety campaign applies to people on bicycles.

 

State

Unsafe routes to schools. A mother and her eight-year old son were lucky to escape with minor injuries when a turning driver struck their tandem bike while they were riding to school. Police said the driver couldn’t see because he had the sun in his eyes, which makes it okay, right?

The Ventura County Star says it’s time to stop the madness, and do what you can to clean the air by car-pooling, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

San Francisco’s new mayor called on the city to speed up Vision Zero safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be nice if LA’s mayor would say the same thing. But don’t hold your breath.

 

National

A new AAA study shows 80% of drivers overestimate the technical capabilities of their car’s safety devices, especially the ability to detect bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because every other car commercial shows them doing exactly that.

Uber has announced a $10 million fund to advocate for congestion pricing and charging stations for dockless ebikes near transit stations.

Bicycling offers 30 bike hacks every bicyclist should know. As long as you’re willing to put up with their annoying click-through format that only shows one item at a time.

Seattle bike commuting is down to its lowest level since 2007; just 2.8% of city residents rode to work last year, down from 3.5% the year before.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Iowa woman faces a 1st degree murder charge for stalking a man who accused her of stealing, and using her car as a weapon to intentionally run him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot, while driving under the influence.

Michigan’s new three-foot passing law goes into effect today.

A road raging Ohio lawyer lost his license to practice for a year — make that six months — after he brake checked a bike rider, and stomped the cellphone of a physician who stopped to record the incident. He also skipped out on the court hearing for the misdemeanor he ended up charged with, leading to his later arrest and conviction.

Seriously? It will now cost DC drivers who park in a bike lane three times as it does to door a bike rider under the city’s new Vision Zero laws; meanwhile, a bicyclist who hits a pedestrian crossing the street will be fined $150, but just $100 for hitting someone walking on a sidewalk.

A DC council member says the city has to do more to protect bike and scooter riders, including building protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, an advocacy site says it’s been just two days since a driver killed someone biking, walking or scooting in DC.

A Tampa FL columnist says a proposed transportation sale tax, which would reserve 12% of funds for bike and pedestrian projects, is a good start to change the city’s ranking as the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders.

 

International

This is the cost of traffic violence. A promising young Canadian ballet student was killed in a collision on Sunday.

No bias here. A deputy mayor on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says requiring bike riders to attach a license plate to their bike or helmets would make the city friendlier to bicyclists. No, really.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard says bicycling must be made safer after decades of half-hearted attempts.

Members of an Oxford, England men’s choir will ride 100 miles to Wales to remember their roots as descendants of Welsh residents who moved to Oxford during the Great Depression.

This is who we share the roads with. A British motorcyclist records a road raging minicab driver running over his parked bike after he got off to confront the man. But the motorcycle rider was no angel, either, kicking and hitting the car after threatening to break the driver’s skull.

An American Vietnam vet with an Ivy League education gave up his life in this county to live as a hermit in Ireland, using his bicycle to get around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines the superstitions and rituals of the pro peloton, and concludes they might give riders a mental edge.

An 18-year old Belgian cyclist insists he’s not the next Eddy Merckx, as he prepares to make the leap from the junior ranks to the WorldTour next year.

Canada’s “starry girl cyclist” of the 1930’s is being inducted into the country’s Cycling Hall of Fame, after a riding career spent leaving fellow riders and stereotypes in her wake.

After years of misfortune, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis claimed the world champ’s rainbow jersey in the event.

 

Finally…

Before you complain online about a bike riding mom and her child, make sure you’re right.

And when a cop right hooks a bike rider, it’s just a “momentary lapse in attention.”

Right.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Pendleton bicycle restrictions take effect, and LA’s not the deadliest place to bike after all

Let’s start off today with a reminder that this is the last weekend you can ride through Camp Pendleton without registering first.

To make matters more complicated, you have to register in person, on base at Camp Pendleton, at an office that’s only open Monday through Friday.

Which is a problem, considering that the popular route through Pendleton is the only way to get from southern Orange County to North San Diego County by bicycle without riding on the 5 Freeway.

One more reason Caltrans needs to create a protected bikeway — if not a separate bike path — through the base.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

A new study from the Wall Street Journal pinpoints the most dangerous place in the US to ride a bike.

And for a change, it’s not Los Angeles. Or even in Southern California, for that matter.

Instead the study, which ranks bicycling deaths per capita, lists the Sacramento area as the nation’s fifth deadliest, after four Florida cities.

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida ranked number one, with an average of seven deaths per 100,000 people.

Previous studies have shown Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest city for people on bicycles. However, those fail to consider that LA is the nation’s second largest metropolitan area.

While even one death is one too many, Los Angeles ranks just ninth on the Journal’s list at 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people, above San Jose and behind Riverside San Bernardino.

So we still suck when it comes to providing safe streets for bicyclists.

We just don’t suck as much as some other places.

Note: You may or may not hit a paywall when trying to access the Journal article; I was blocked trying to access it directly, but was able to get in by clicking the link in the Sacramento pieces.

………

Unbelievable.

A Florida man is under arrest for grabbing a woman’s bicycle and throwing it off a bridge as she was walking across it with a flat tire.

Then he threw her boyfriend off when he tried to intervene.

Fortunately, he only suffered a cut and a bloody eye in the 30 foot drop to the ocean, and was able to swim to a pylon to await rescue.

The whole thing was witnessed by a cop who just happened to be crossing the bridge at the same time, and caught part of the incident on video.

………

Sometimes, showing a little courtesy and respect is appreciated.

And it’s not that hard to do.

………

Local

Good piece from CiclaValley, as he accuses CD4 Councilmember David Ryu of having a one-size solution to traffic on Rowena Ave, and pursuing 20th Century solutions to 21st Century problems.

The Verge looks at LA’s scofflaw underage e-scooter underground. Which is ridiculous, when you consider that a 16-year old can legally operate two tons of high powered glass and steel, but can’t legally ride a 15 mph scooter.

 

State

Abandoned Ofo bikes are still strewn about in San Diego after the dockless bikeshare provider pulled out of the city, but left its bikes behind.

The annual Eroica California ride for classic bicycles will now be based in Cambria.

Marin bike shops are the latest to feel the effects of Trump’s trade war with China.

 

National

A new baseball cap-style bike helmet folds down to the size of a water bottle.

Texas Monthly looks at the cyclist safety that isn’t happening in the Rio Grande Valley, after city commissioners walked out on a 19-year old woman as she spoke passionately about the death of her friend, who was killed in a collision as he was riding.

The Vision Zero program in San Antonio, Texas awarded a $10,000 prize to the city’s safest driver, after an app tracking the winner’s speed, hard braking and distracted driving showed he beat out over 14,000 other participants.

A local paper says that despite what people say, thousands of people bike and walk in Houston; the proof is the number of people hit by cars.

Bizarre tragedy in Chicago, where a motorist chased down a driver who fled after striking a bicyclist — moments after telling another rider in the group that he was going to jail — then was shot and killed by someone in a third vehicle as he argued with the hit-and-run driver. He was facing trial for discharging a weapon in a road rage incident last year, which he claimed was self-defense. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

A blind DC woman now rides a tandem bike once a week, after not riding since she was a girl. And discovers that riding a bike really is just like riding a bike, whether or not you can see.

Instead of demanding safer streets, the Washington Post calls for kicking e-scooters off the sidewalk and requiring helmets for users. Never mind that mandatory helmets are impractical for a device that encourages spur of the moment usage, and could halt their rapid spread; few people just happen to carry a helmet with them everywhere they go on the off chance they might want to ride one.

 

International

Business Insider ranks the best bike lights.

A writer for Bike Radar examines ten things to consider when commuting by bike.

New aero wheel fairings — think hi-tech fenders — claim to cut wind resistance more than aero wheels.

The new VeloGuide website developed by a pair of Calgary men acts like a combination of Tinder and Airbnb for bicyclists, connecting riders with local guides in cities around the world.

Hamilton, Ontario police blame a bike rider for not wearing a helmet and riding on the sidewalk after she swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed into a stone wall, instead of blaming the dangerous street that made her feel safer on the sidewalk.

A Cayman Islands website says danger lurks around every corner for bicyclists, on a daily basis.

A Manchester, England teen pleads guilty to beating a man to steal his bicycle in a daylight attack that that went viral.

An annual program in the UK has given away over 750 refurbished bicycles to Londoners who can’t otherwise afford them.

Strava says it hasn’t seen any verified cases of bicycle theft related to the platform, after a British rider blames the app for leading bike thieves to his home.

This is who we share the roads with. A road raging Brit driver was sentenced to three years behind bars for deliberately running down a bike rider after the victim complained about a dangerous pass.

Great idea. A new website in the UK is designed to help local bike shops compete with internet dealers by allowing bicyclists to shop online from multiple shops across the country, and have their purchases shipped to them or pick them up at the store.

The director of a Scottish sportive has dropped charges against two farmers who allegedly attacked participants with sticks to protest the road closures during harvest time, saying they’ve learned their lesson. And that the decision doesn’t give others a green light to attack bicyclists.

Well organized Dutch bike thieves stole 33 bicycles worth over $117,000 from a single shop.

Bike riders in the Netherlands face a ban on distracted bicycling.

University students in India can now take a short course in bike culture and learning how to use European bikeshare systems.

An Aussie woman says the key to a happy marriage is a spouse who keeps your bike in working order.

Two other drivers report nearly hitting famed enduro cyclist Mike Hall on the morning he was killed while competing in an cross-Australia endurance race, saying he came out of nowhere — even though other drivers said he had front and rear lights, as well as reflective gear.

Hong Kong will lift bicycling bans on 16 bridges and underpasses, while keeping them in place on another 324.

Singapore will deal with the problem of dockless bikeshare bikes blocking sidewalks and private property by charging users $5 for improperly parking bikes; three fines in a single year will result in a 12 month ban.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Bicycling says the cyclocross race between Dutch veteran Marianne Vos and young American Ellen Noble was a battle for the ages. Even though she didn’t actually, you know, see it.

Cycling Tips gives a shout out to the “ageless” six-time cyclocross World Cup winner Katerina Nash, who finished third behind Vos and Noble.

An Emirates website goes behind the scenes with the UAE Team Emirates at the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

No spoiler here; this race ended — tragically — 122 years ago. Why choose between beer and bikes when you can roll out the barrel with a single Octoberfest?

And who wins a fondo when neither rider finishes rubber side down?

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Crowdfunding campaign for Cudahy bike crash victim, and why you don’t pass a school bus

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help pay funeral expenses for Daniel Romero, who was killed in a collision while riding in Cudahy last weekend.

It’s raised over $2,100 of the $10,000 goal in less than 20 hours. And hopefully can reach the rest of the way, as his family struggles to cope with his loss.

Maybe someone who lives or rides in Cudahy can give us some insight on what needs to be done to improve safety in the city, so this doesn’t happen again.

Because one death is one too many.

………

This is why you don’t pass a school bus when its lights are flashing. Even on a bicycle.

………

Local

Bicyclist offers a lesson in bike path etiquette, which mostly concerns not using the Ballona Creek bike path as your personal race track.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses municipal regulation of e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in the wake of Beverly Hills ban on both.

Santa Clarita is painting “Heads Up!” on local bike paths in an effort to get bike riders to pay more attention to their surroundings. Which doesn’t exactly seem like the biggest threat riders face.

 

State

Calbike wants you to tell the state DMV that self-driving cars aren’t ready for the road. Then again, many of the ones with drivers don’t seem to be, either.

La Mesa is working to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to the industrial part of the city. Not to mention the wineries and breweries that have opened there.

Santa Barbara gets $15 million from the state to build a 2.6-mile bike and pedestrian path, while Santa Maria gets $300,000 for a similar project; both would be defunded if the state gas tax increase is repealed in the fall election.

Atherton busts bike riders for rolling through stop signs, issuing eight $238 tickets along with two warnings.

Sad news from Crockett, where a 42-year old bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by a truck driver, who fled the scene.

 

National

A website for gay and bi women lists the top 25 cinematic dykes on bikes — their words — with no distinction between women on bicycles or motorcycles. Or spin classes, for that matter.

In an apparent effort to force everyone back into their cars, the next round of Trump’s China tariffs will target ebikes. Which could kill their growth just as it’s taking off.

A Washington writer says there’s no such thing as being too old or too out of shape to ride a bike.

A road raging New Mexico driver faces up to five years behind bars after being charged with intentionally backing into a group of bicyclists, seriously injuring one of the riders. He denies any responsibility, claiming the victims just ran into his car when he stopped after they flipped him off for no apparent reason.

A Minnesota paper talks with Melody L. Hoffmann, author of Bike Lanes Are White Lanes: Bicycle Advocacy and Urban Planning, about the invisible cyclists and the need for equity in advocacy.

Apparently, Detroit isn’t exactly the safest place to ride a bike after all.

Not satisfied with getting off with a slap on the wrist for killing a woman on a cross-country bike ride, an Ohio woman is asking the court to seal the record of her conviction so she can “heal from this accident.” And apparently not suffer any repercussions, unlike the victim and her family.

Like bike riders virtually everywhere, residents in Atlanta are questioning the lack of bike funding in the city budget.

A North Carolina bike rider was collateral damage in a police chase, losing his leg when the driver of a stolen car slammed into him after fleeing police at speeds up to 100 mph. Warning: This story includes a deeply disturbing bodycam video of the police tending to the victim, who is in extreme pain and in fear for his life. The newspaper showed a severe lack of judgement in posting it. 

Evidently it’s not just Los Angeles. Officials in South Carolina rip out a road diet and bike lanes after complaints from angry drivers. Which leaves the situation just as bad as it was before, if not worse.

A Tampa bike rider says bicyclists don’t ride on the sidewalk because they want to, but because it’s safer. However, studies have repeatedly shown just the opposite, demonstrating that bicyclists are safer on the street than on sidewalks, where multiple driveways and limited sight angles dramatically increase the risk.

 

International

A Vancouver video shows bike riders aren’t the only ones who roll stop signs.

A Montreal cemetery that has been open to the public for the past 166 years is now banning bike riders. Though I’m sure it would welcome any run down on the roads after losing a safe place to ride.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s cycling superhighways, the network remains patchy after five boroughs and other authorities blocked plans for new lanes.

London’s Mirror shares eight secrets to help build your child’s confidence bicycling on the road.

An American man is calling for safety signage after his wife was killed when she crashed her bike into a trailer full of sheep after rounding a sharp turn on an Irish trail; two other American tourists were killed on the same trail recently.

Europe’s high-powered ebikes continue to take a toll, with over 100 ebike riders killed in the Netherlands since 2014.

A New York bike advocate says Millennials are the key to brokering peace between bicyclists and drivers on the streets of Perth, Australia.

Fifteen Taiwanese children from disadvantaged families are riding around the island nation to provide support and comfort to elderly people in nursing homes. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News recounts last weekend’s 57th annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

This is what it looks like when you finish the last 30 miles of a Tour de France stage with a broken kneecap after tumbling over a retaining wall.

Peter Sagan vowed to continue in the Tour after the world champ misjudged a corner and crashed into the forest on Wednesday; fortunately, nothing was broken.

Costa Rican pro cyclist Andrey Amador wants to make history for his country in the Tour.

A book excerpt recounts the shotgun shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, before Greg LeMond came back and won the tour two more times.

The New York Times says American flags are disappearing from the Tour, along with American cyclists.

The Undefeated website recounts the day seven years ago when Guadeloupe native Yohann Gene became the first black cyclist to compete in the Tour de France.

A writer for the Telegraph learns what it’s like to sort-of ride a grand tour.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a new protected bike lane leaves the street too narrow for cars to get through. Note to world: It’s not an annual event until there’s a second one.

And you know you’re having a bad day in the Tour de France when police mistake you for a fan and try to kick you off the course.

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in hit-and-run protest; driver charged with murder in Tour de Palm Springs death

Just one day after Frederick Frazier was killed in a brutal hit-and-run in South LA, another rider was struck in the same intersection.

During a protest over Frazier’s death.

And yes, that driver fled the scene, too.

A group of Frazier’s friends gathered to block the intersection at Manchester and Normandie with their bicycles to call attention to the death and demand justice for their fallen friend.

The protest got out of hand after several people attacked an LAPD SUV when police arrived to break it up, smashing its windows with their bikes.

According to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, the young men were angered after graphic photos of the man they knew as Woon were posted online overnight, showing their friend splayed out on the street as another rider attempted to comfort him in his final moments.

A woman in a tan car, who had previously gotten out to argue with one of the protesters, forced her way through the intersection, running a red light in the process, and deliberately slammed into a rider identified as Quatrell Stallings, throwing him into the air.

She then gunned her engine and fled the scene as Stallings stumbled to the curbed.

He was taken to a local hospital; reports are he was not seriously injured.

Now police are looking for two hit-and-run drivers.

One with a $50,000 bounty on his or her head for leaving Frazier to die in the street; another who could — and should — be facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

A memorial ride will be held for Frazier this Friday.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

………

A Desert Hot Springs man has received a well-deserved murder charge in the death of Washington man participating in this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Twenty-one-year old Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. is accused of driving up to 100 mph while stoned before slamming into 49-year old Mark Kristofferson, killing him almost instantly. He was taken into custody after the arraignment hearing, and held on a $1 million bond.

He’s also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

………

The LAPD’s Van Nuys Division misses the mark with a bike safety awareness flier.

The piece tells bicyclists to “Always ride in single file,” even though there’s nothing in state law that prohibits riding two or more abreast. And riding abreast is often safer in lanes that are too narrow to share with a motor vehicle by increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

The piece also says riders should walk their bikes across busy intersections, which increases the risk by decreasing mobility and exposing riders to careless and distracted drivers for a longer period of time.

And never mind that a bike helmet may be a good idea, but it’s not required for anyone 18 or older.

But if the point is to increase awareness of bike safety, where is the companion piece telling drivers to always watch for bikes, pass with at least a three foot distance, and open doors with your right hand to prevent dooring?

………

Local

Metro released their draft strategic plan for the next ten years, as they transition from a transit provider to focusing on the entire mobility ecosystem.

CiclaValley explains what it’s like getting cut off in the bike lane by a Metro bus driver in DTLA.

A writer in Azusa encounters a 43-year old gang member at his local bike shop, realizing that bikes bring everyone together.

 

State

A pair of UC Santa Barbara graduates are nearing the completion of their self-supported bike tour from California to Columbia.

The bizarre anti-bike hysteria continues in San Luis Obispo, where the city council is accused of dirty tricks after re-affirming plans for a bike boulevard. Meanwhile, older SLO residents are up in arms over plans for an e-bikeshare system with a hub on the coast, worrying about whether they’ll be run off the sidewalk.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares the five best bike rides around Santa Cruz.

Testimony in a preliminary hearing fills in some of the blanks in the death of a San Francisco woman run down in Golden Gate Park last year, one of two people killed in the city by hit-and-run drivers just hours apart.

 

National

Another good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who considers the ethics of breaking traffic laws, noting that obeying the letter of the law isn’t always the safest way to ride.

Wired says Uber’s acquisition of dockless ebike provider Jump means they want to control every way you move, while Bicycling examines dockless bikeshare in the wake of Uber’s entry into the field.

Curbed says cities need to step up to the challenge of controlling streets and sidewalks as bikeshare and shared scooters begin to take over.

Don’t count on glowing infrastructure lighting the streets anytime soon.

A local news site says Honolulu drivers are complaining about the loss of a few hundred parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, somehow blaming that for the traffic congestion in the city.

No bias here. Police in Portland OR ignored a road rage assault on a bike rider that left him with a broken jaw, refusing to even file a report on the case.

A local weekly says Portland’s bike renaissance begins now.

A Lincoln, Nebraska man gets three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a city councilmember from a nearby town lying badly injured in the street.

The Catholic bishop of Davenport, Iowa is one of us; he’ll be riding across the state in this year’s RAGBRAI.

Three Illinois priests are riding across their Diocese to promote religious vocations.

Seriously? A road raging North Carolina man gets a gentle caress on the wrist for punching a bicyclist in an attack caught on video, as he’s sentenced to just three days behind bars. That will certainly send a message — one that says go ahead and attack other people on the roads.

 

International

A British man has been charged in the death of a 91-year old cyclist, who was killed while trying to set a national age record.

A transportation technology project from the University of Melbourne says to improve safety and performance on our streets, we’ll all have to be connected in a single network including cars, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

An Aussie ultracyclist set a new record by riding 555 miles in 24 hours.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body says women cyclists deserve more than they’ve been getting, and he dreams of a Paris-Roubaix Feminine.

An autopsy concludes that Michael Goolaerts suffered a heart attack while riding in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday; there had been speculation that his heart stopped as a result of the fall.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Jonathan Vaughters reminds us that bike racing is a dangerous sport, where tragedy can happen any day.

 

Finally…

Hit a pothole on your bike, and get a bill for breaking it. Your next wheel could weigh ten pounds and make riding easier.

And no, dockless bikes don’t belong in trees.

 

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: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index, LA bike safety sucks less, and new tax bill screws bikes

Another stolen bike has been returned to its owner thanks to Bike Index and the LAPD.

How the bike was recovered: A Good Samaritan searching for a used road bike saw a Craigslist posting for my bike for a suspiciously low price and thought to check for stolen postings online. He came across my posting on Bike Index, contacted me to confirm it was mine, and set up a meeting with the seller. I approached seller with the Los Angeles Police Department and had my bike returned! It was a very good day.

Let this be a reminder to register your bike. It doesn’t cost a dime, but could be the best investment you could make if your bike is ever stolen.

Although it never hurts to make a tax-deductible donation to Bike Index to help support their efforts to bring bikes back home to their owners.

………

Good news for LA bike riders, as Forbes Magazine reveals we’re only the tenth most dangerous city in America for people on bikes.

So we may suck, but not as much as San Jose and San Francisco, which came in fifth and seventh, respectively, or Albuquerque, which claimed the prize for the most dangerous city in the US for bicyclists.

And who knows, the way the city’s Vision Zero plan is going, one day we may move all the way down to eleven. Or maybe even twelve.

That’s something to celebrate, right?

Right?

………

People for Bikes wonders what the US Senate could have been thinking, as the new tax bill eliminates a small monthly benefit for biking to work, while maintaining much larger tax breaks for driving and using transit.

Here’s what they had to say.

Today, the Senate voted to eliminate the $20 per-month tax benefit available for those who bike to work while maintaining both the $255 per-month parking and transit benefit.

“What is the Senate thinking? Why single out a modest incentive that encourages people to bike to work, increasing community health and reducing congestion, while maintaining a significantly larger and more expensive incentive for people to drive?” said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes. “We encourage the conference committee to include this popular and common sense bike tax benefit as the House did in its version of the bill.”

PeopleForBikes spearheaded a letter from bike industry leaders calling on both the Senate and House to maintain the bike tax benefit. You can read the full letter here.

PeopleForBikes also joined a coalition 20 national organizations in support of the tax benefit. You can see the full text of the letter here.

………

‘Tis the season.

Four hundred Portland kids got their first bicycles, thanks to an organization that has given away over 10,000 bikes to lower income families since 1995.

Another 400 kids are expected to get new bicycles from a Boise ID nonprofit.

Employees of a New Jersey insurance company built 26 bicycles for a local toy drive.

On the other hand, the Salvation Army in Akron, Ohio turned Scrooge for the holidays, refusing to accept bikes as gifts for their Angel Tree program because they don’t have any room to store them.

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This is day twelve of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

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

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Christopher M, Tyrone C and Robert K for their generous donations to help support this site.

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Local

LA Magazine suggests the best ways to experience LA without a car, including taking a bike tour.

CiclaValley celebrates a new, if somewhat bee barricaded, drinking fountain in Griffith Park.

 

State

San Diego may be left behind when it comes to dockless bikeshare, thanks to the city’s exclusive contract with docked bikeshare provider DecoBike. Although a little inconvenience like may not stop some of the dockless providers from flooding the city’s streets with their bikes, by following the Uber model of coming in first and asking for permission later.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the winners of their 2017 Golden Gear Awards.

Caught on video: San Francisco advocates once again form a human protected bike lane to call for protected lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Oakland, where a West Oakland bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run collision.

Chico police are looking for a bike-riding transient who may have started a fire that destroyed a local business.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid injuries common to people over 40. And no, staying 39 is not one of the options.

Honolulu joins Orange County and San Francisco in evicting homeless encampments from a separated bike path.

The upscale Robb Report looks at how Denver’s Alchemy Bicycle Company hand builds their bespoke carbon, steel and titanium bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Colorado man faces charges of DUI, vehicular assault, hit-and-run, careless driving causing bodily injury and driving without a valid license for fleeing the scene after hitting a bike rider.

A Michigan man will spend somewhere between 18 months and 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a popular nun as she was riding her bike; he tried to claim he’d hit a deer instead. So he could end up with a slap on the wrist, or some serious time. Or anything in between.

A New York cruiser bike rider complains that he can’t obey the requirement to ride to the right when the bike lanes are on the left side of a service road.

 

International

Treehugger says almost all successful cities are clamping down on private cars and promoting bikes. Which would suggest — or maybe confirm — that Los Angeles isn’t one.

Ontario, Canada is investing $93 million to expand bike infrastructure across the province.

A new report delivered to London’s mayor says the way to improve safety is to reduce speeds to 20 mph, fix potholes and give bike riders priority at intersections.

A London bike rider describes what it was like to be attacked by three muggers who punched him in the face and stole his Brompton, part of a trend of violent bike-jackings in the city.

Maybe there is a war on cars after all. Someone left large bricks and rocks on a UK highway, damaging dozens of cars.

A report from the British transportation agency says meeting the country’s goals for bicycling and walking could prevent 13,000 pollution deaths over the next ten years, and save the equivalent of over $12 billion.

Relatives of a fallen Belfast bike rider were angry that someone stole a bicycle painted in his club colors, which had been installed as a memorial; the bike was recovered after they made an appeal on Facebook.

Speaking of stolen Belfast bikes, a student who posted a noted asking the person who “borrowed” her bicycle to please return it didn’t get it back, but she did get a used bike from a kindhearted stranger.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist barely avoids sliding out into traffic after slipping on a wet sidewalk.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A new Australian campaign examines the ripple effect roadway trauma has on the victim’s families and communities.

Who needs a bike car on a train, when you can have an entire Japanese bike train?

 

Finally…

This is why you don’t blow through red lights. Please don’t throw dockless bikeshare bike in front of an oncoming train.

And how can drivers to avoid bike riders when they can’t even avoid a rock?

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Norm Bradwell for the last link.

 

Morning Links: Governors Highway Safety Assoc. study looks at bike safety — and gets it right for a change

Last week, we mentioned a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicating that bicycling fatalities had spiked 12.2% in 2015.

Now the Governors group has released their full report on bicycle safety.

The new study, A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety, offers an in-depth examination of both the causes and possible solutions to the problems facing bike riders in the US.

And for the most part, seems to get it right.

Starting with a title that establishes our unquestioned right to the road right off the bat.

Admittedly, I haven’t gotten very far into the Governors study yet, making it only through only about a third of the report’s 75 pages.

But unlike some of their previous efforts, the GHSA attempts to put the facts — or at least, more of the facts — in context, noting that the jump in fatalities could be due in part to an increase in ridership.

Why hasn’t the percentage of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways decreased? The simplest explanation may be the lack of protection afforded to bicyclists and the difference in mass when they collide with a motor vehicle. This results in asymmetric risk – bicyclists are likely to sustain a serious injury; the vehicle occupants are not (Ragland as cited in Williams, 2014). Also, noteworthy is the impact weather can have on bicycling. A mild winter, for example, can change bicycling patterns, resulting in increased exposure risk from motor vehicle crashes. Another factor is the economy – more traffic fatalities tend to occur with low unemployment and low gas prices (NHTSA, 2016).

Changes in exposure may also be due to the increase in popularity of bicycling because of its health and environmental benefits. It is estimated that 34 percent of Americans (103.7 million) three years of age and older rode a bicycle in the past year (Breakaway Research Group, 2015). While most rode for recreational purposes, bicycle commuting is also increasing, although the U.S. continues to lag behind other countries in the percentage of people who commute by bike (McKenzie as cited in Williams, 2014). Even so, according to the latest U.S. bicycling and walking benchmarking report, the percentage of adults biking to work has increased from 0.4% in 2005 to in 0.6% in 2013. The increase is more significant in large cities, which saw commuting by bicycle increase from 0.7% to 1.2% during this same time period (Alliance for Biking & Walking [ABW], 2016).

Bike share programs are also helping to spur the growth in U.S. cycling, as the number of systems has increased from four in 2010 to 55 in 2016, with users logging 88 million trips over the past six years. In 2016 alone, bike share riders took over 28 million trips; that is equivalent to Amtrak’s annual ridership and tops visits in a single year to Walt Disney World (National Association of City Transportation Officials [NACTO], 2016a). Despite this unprecedented growth, it is important to note that there have been only two deaths associated with bike share programs.

Although I once again have to object to their lack of nuance regarding helmet use, which fails to take into account the limitations of bike helmets, or whether collisions that resulted in head injuries could have been survivable with one.

Or that the best way to protect yourself is to avoid crashes and falls to begin with.*

The value of wearing a bicycle helmet cannot be overstated, since in a majority of bicyclist deaths the most serious injuries are head- related (Sacks et al., as cited in IIHS, 2016). Helmets are estimated to reduce the risk of head injury by 50 percent, and head, face or neck injury by slightly more than 33 percent (Sacks et. al, as cited in IIHS, 2016). However, a 2012 national survey of adults found that slightly more than half reported never wearing a helmet (Schroeder & Wilbur, 2013).

It’s also surprisingly progressive in places, like this section on where to ride.

Where a bicyclist may ride has been debated by roadway users and elected officials for decades. Where to ride laws generally tell bicyclists where they should position themselves on the road, which in most states is typically as far to the right as practicable.

The challenge comes with defining practicable, which likely means different things to a cyclist, a motorist and a law enforcement official. The LAB notes that “what is practicable is often context sensitive based upon road and traffic conditions” and therefore “recommends that cyclists ride in the right third of the lane with traffic” (2017).

Safety should be the primary focus when it comes to where a bicyclist rides in the roadway. To that end, Colorado’s law states that a bicyclist should ride “far enough to the right as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of…overtaking vehicles” (LAB, 2017). The language strikes a balance between a cyclist’s safety and the efficient movement of traffic.

That progressiveness continues into their their recommended action steps for state officials, ranging from educating policy makers about Complete Streets to developing ebike policies and legalizing speed and red light cameras.

We could all benefit if most, if not all, of the Governors recommendations are carried out. Whether you choose to travel by two feet, two wheels or four.

Let’s just hope the people responsible for making those decisions read it, too.

*Just to be clear, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But they should always be considered the last line of defense when all else fails.

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Once again, the rain in Spain failed to remain on the plain, as riders slogged through the 11th stage of the Vuelta; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights of the race.

How to change your shoe mid-race.

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Local

KCRW’s Design and Architecture program discusses the over-the-top rage over the lane reductions in Playa del Rey, while saying they only saw three bicyclists using the bike lanes over a one hour period. However, it would have been nice if someone had pointed out that the lanes were removed to slow traffic, not make room for bike lanes; it shouldn’t be up to us to make LADOT’s arguments for them.

Bike SGV will be providing a free bike valet at UCLA’s season opener at the Rose Bowl this weekend.

The recently closed Coates Cyclery in Pomona is officially no more, as its landmark sign was replaced with one for the pet hotel that’s taken its place. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Clarita deputies ticketed 45 drivers in Wednesday’s bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation; no bicyclists or pedestrians received tickets.

After a decade of discussion, Long Beach is moving forward with planes for a 9.5 mile bicycle boulevard connecting North Long Beach with downtown and the shore.

 

State

Caltrans hired Jeanie Ward Waller, the former Calbike policy director, to head its new Sustainability Program. Which seems like a contradiction in terms for the department responsible for California’s unsustainable highway system.

A new bike and pedestrian safety project designed to improve safety for San Clemente students promises to make things a lot worse before they get better.

San Diego opened a one-mile protected bike lane connecting the Mission Valley and Mid-City neighborhoods.

Police in San Diego are looking for a bank robber who fled the scene by bicycle.

A Thousand Oaks resident says wait just a minute to plans for a bike lane through Potrero Valley, insisting it’s too high a cost for something that will only be used by recreational cyclists. Which is a common argument against bike lanes, based on nothing more than the writer’s own groundless prejudices.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 22-year old student at Cal Poly was killed in a hit-and-run while riding near his home; a 17-year old girl was arrested later, admitting to police she’d been drinking before the crash.

The hit-and-run driver accused of killing the top lawyer for UC Berkeley as he paused on a bike ride has a reputation for public drunkenness, though too much time had passed before his arrest to test him following the crash.

 

National

Slate says security bollards are the best defense against using motor vehicles as weapons, while helping to make cities more livable; an Op-Ed in the New York Times says expanded, smartly designed pedestrian areas will help reduce the danger, as well. Both could help improve safety on Hollywood Blvd and the area around the Chinese Theater and the Hollywood & Highland shopping plaza, which remain dangerously vulnerable to an automotive terrorist attack.

Good question. Streetsblog asks why automakers are allowed to sell cars that can go faster than 100 mph, exceeding the speed limit anywhere in the US. Judging by their ads, car makers go far beyond enabling speeding to actually encouraging dangerously aggressive driving.

A Bicycle Times Op-Ed says don’t be part of the problem by breaking the law on your bike, because everyone is watching. And judging.

A HuffPo writer heads to her local bike shop to ride a bicycle for the first time in 55 years.

Portland residents hang banners and signs urging drivers to slow down after a woman was killed riding her bike. Meanwhile, Portland’s bikeshare system now offers $3 a month memberships for anyone with a food stamp card.

A Bloomberg editorial in an Idaho paper says speed cameras save lives, and we need them everywhere. Nowhere more than California, where speed limits are mere suggestions, and speed cameras are currently illegal.

Montana residents will get their wish and get their parking back, after the Missoula city council votes to remove bike lanes that people continued to park in anyway.

Denver Streetsblog says glowing balloons aren’t the answer to keeping people safe on the city’s streets.

A teenaged Rhode Island bike rider escaped serious injury when he was collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers who chased each other around a Burger King parking lot.

The company behind New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is developing a dockless bikeshare bike that would also be compatible with existing docks.

New York City is installing free bike pumps in a trio of popular riding locations.

Philadelphia’s bikeshare bikes will sport fine art from Van Gogh and other artists.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers advice on how to keep riding once you have kids.

A British boy gets his bike back after it was stolen while he helped rescue a two-year old who had fallen into a pond, albeit much worse for wear.

Irish bike riders have been fined 1,660 times since on-the-spot fees for bicycling violations took effect two years ago; bike advocates just wish drivers would receive the same treatment.

French bike couriers say not so fast to plans from the country’s new president to relax labor laws.

A road raging Aussie bike rider has turned himself in for punching a bus driver after confronting him at a nearby bus depot. Note to Daily Mail: Of course he was still in his riding gear; was he supposed to strip naked first?

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bikeshare idea whose time has come 40 years later. Don’t believe everything your GPS tells you.

And you know you’ve got a problem when the people being paid to build a bikeway aren’t allowed ride their bikes, on or off it.

 

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