Tag Archive for bikelash

Morning Links: LA area bikelash spreads, free Bike Hub memberships, and SUVs are built to kill

In the fight for safe streets, the streets are fighting back.

Or at least, the people trying to keep them dangerous are.

According to City Lab, the bikelash against redesigning streets to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians is spreading nationwide.

And Pasadena and Los Angeles are prime bad examples.

For several hours, opponents voiced their objections into the auditorium’s sound system. Shedding lanes, one said, would be an “unmitigated traffic disaster.” Not only would residents who live along the road never again be able to back out of their driveways, bicycle accidents would increase (because the new lanes would attract more riders). At one point, a city councilmember decided to hold a “voice vote” on the issue. Though several dozen shouted their support for the reconfiguration, their cries were drowned out by hundreds who bellowed their opposition.

The next day, the City of Pasadena announced that a second scheduled meeting on the issue was cancelled. And so ended the road diet of Orange Grove Boulevard.

And then there’s this from the City of Angels.

John Russo, one of Keep LA Moving’s organizers, bristles at this safety argument. “It makes me laugh when people say we’re anti-safety. You’d have to be a psychopath to be anti-safety,” he said. “We’re here to remind the city how most Angelenos use the road. Overall, we don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a step back and think long and hard about how Vision Zero is being implemented in Los Angeles…”

In addition to these kinds of grassroots efforts, UCLA’s Brozen is looking for more assertive leadership from the city’s political class. And so far, she’s not seeing it. “There’s a little bit of a void in the pro-transportation change space in L.A., and it seems like this anti-change backlash is filling that void,” she said. “There’s a lack of understanding as to why these projects are needed. Without that understanding, it gets really personal and very nasty very quickly.”

That is why I’m crashing city hall on May 18th to demand safer streets.

Far too often, our elected leaders listen to traffic safety deniers like Russo, and forget that some of their constituents are drivers. But all of them are people, everyone of whom use the streets in some way.

And it’s long past time we prioritized the needs and safety of people before cars, to create a safe, livable and prosperous city that benefits everyone.

I hope you’ll join me as we crash the 10 am city council meeting one week from tomorrow, and ask our elected officials to have the courage to do the right thing.

Because they already know what that is. We just have to make them to do it.

Photo from FHWA.

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If you can’t join me on the 18th — or even if you can — feel free to send a letter demanding for safer streets for you, me and everyone else. Just email your letter by Wednesday, May 16th to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor, containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips if you plan to write a letter.

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter. I’ll be happy to put it on here as a guest post leading up to Friday’s meeting.

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Now here’s a great deal.

To celebrate Bike Month, Metro is offering free one-year Bike Hub memberships through the end of this month.

It’s worth signing up if only to have a safe, free place to lock your bike when you take transit or ride to DTLA, Hollywood or El Monte.

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More fallout from the Insurance Institute study we mentioned yesterday, which blames SUV design, as well as bad road design, for the dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths.

The study suggests that the high, flat grills on most SUVs strike a person higher, with greater force and trauma than most cars would.

In other words, those massive SUVs we share the road with are just as deadly as you thought they were.

Never mind the distracted drivers in them.

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Speaking of Bike Month, there’s no better way to celebrate than watching the start of the Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach this Sunday.

Except for getting out and riding your own bike there, of course.

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Local

13th CD Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is hosting a community conference this Saturday, which will discuss pedestrian safety among other issues. Apparently he forgot to include a workshop on bike safety; maybe you should go and remind him. And tell him that cancelling the Temple Street road diet hurts everyone.

LA’s Jewish Journal asks if the Giro’s Jerusalem start makes Israelis the People of the Bike.

Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem invites everyone to come out and enjoy Bike Month on the city’s 63 miles of trails.

A Streetsblog Op-Ed says that Santa Monica officials and employees have to start paying for parking if the city is serious about using it to discourage driving.

 

State

Today is Bike to Work Day by the Bay, as NorCal celebrates a week earlier than we do.

San Franciscans will now be able to rent ebikes through the Ford Go Bikes docked bikeshare. Let’s hope LA’s Metro Bike catches up soon.

San Francisco’s effort to allow people to report traffic and parking violations through a 311 app turns out to be a disappointment. We tried to get a similar program going here in LA several years ago, but couldn’t get approval from the LAPD and city attorney.

Larkspur is using eminent domain to close a gap in a bike path and make the “path to nowhere” actually go somewhere.

No surprise that San Raphael bike riders and business owners are split over a pilot protected bike lane, since business people usually seem to prefer parking spaces to customers. Although I’ve never heard anyone say “Why do we need a road here, since there’s another one just a block over.”

A Stockton ministry is using bicycles to help people find jobs and housing.

 

National

Ebikes are now free to roam county trails surrounding Aspen CO.

More on the two German bike riders who were run down from behind on a Kansas highway; authorities are still trying to inform their next of kin. There’s something seriously wrong when people can’t visit this country without being sent back home in a box, just because they chose to ride a bicycle.

You have to give this Michigan letter writer credit. It takes skill to turn a proposed $10 annual fee on kayaks and canoes into an attack on bicycles.

Apparently not understanding how westerns work, Nashville tells Bird scooters they’ve got 15 days to get out of town, Although some people want to save the Birds. Any fan of cowboy movies could tell you they’re supposed get out of town by sunset.

A small New Jersey town has restricted access to a number of its streets during rush hour to keep New York-bound Waze users off them. Although a better solution would be to install traffic diverters and convert the streets to bike boulevards, which would eliminate cut-through traffic while preserving local access.

Curbed features a one-week diary from a multi-modal Boston city councilor and mom. Show that to the next person who tells you every mom needs a minivan.

 

International

Nice piece from Singletrack, as a writer uses elderly neighbor as an example to make the point that planners should talk about walking, bicycling and driving, rather than pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, because each is a choice that should be an option for everyone, rather than who we are.

Bike Radar examines the six great mysteries of cycling, including why do bicyclists litter — which I’ve often wondered myself — and is it all just a cover for cake addicts?

My favorite story of the day: Costa Rica’s new president rides to his inauguration in a hydrogen powered bus, escorted by people on bicycles, including the new head of the national assembly. And with another bike on the bus rack for good measure.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Montreal mother pleads for drivers to show a little patience, be polite and take responsibility for their actions, as spokeswoman for the city’s Ride of Silence just seven months after her teenage son was killed in a collision with a U-turning driver. Needless to say, the driver wasn’t charged.

HuffPo UK says bicycling can improve mental health. Which anyone who has ever started a bike ride in a bad mood can probably attest to.

London’s hugely successful Mini Holland bikeway has been shortlisted for a people’s choice civil engineering award, even if opponents consider the recognition a joke.

Glasgow is planning to turn a fashionable district into the city’s first bicycle village.

So much for being bike friendly. A bike-riding Indian actor is turned away from six out of seven luxury hotels in Mumbai, which evidently didn’t want bicycles besmirching their parking.

After a two-year trial period, violations of the 1.5 meter passing law in Australia’s New South Wales state — the equivalent of a 3-foot passing law in the US — will now result in a $330 fine and two points off a driver’s license. That compares to just $35 in California, although that rises to $235 once all the court and admin fees are tacked on.

You can now rent an ebike all over Tokyo, as well as reserve maps, guidebooks and helmets in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was Italian day in the Giro d’Italia.

The Giro remembered Wouter Weylandt on Wednesday’s stage of the race, seven years after he was killed in a tragic crash.

Lance says cycling shouldn’t try so hard to stop doping, because it isn’t working. Problem is, he’s probably right; while pro cycling brags about ending the doping era, it’s more likely teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t go swimming with the dolphins, try riding with the emus. When a bike helmet turns into an attack ad.

And doesn’t everyone warm up for a WorldTour race by hosting a gravel gran fondo?

 

Morning Links: Flax calls out road diet bullies, PCH bike/ped safety grant, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Yes, we were bullied.

An Op-Ed by Peter Flax offers a good look at what he describes as the histrionics and fake news that have corrupted the road diet debate in the wake of the Playa del Rey debacle.

He describes the one-sided videos and unsupported accusations that the lane reductions were harming businesses in Playa and Mar Vista. And that it was Mayor Garcetti who pulled the plug in Playa del Rey.

One unpublicized meeting spelled the end of the task force and the Playa del Rey road diet. In league with outside forces, lower Playa business owners — among them prominent members of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, already applying public pressure — demanded an audience with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. People familiar with the proceedings tell me the group confronted Garcetti with a narrative that the road diet was destroying local businesses and made explicit threats to undermine the mayor’s political ambitions. These strong arm tactics set off a chain of events that led to the near-complete reversal of traffic-calming measures on Culver, Jefferson and Pershing…

This was a savvy move: Everyone cares about the health of small businesses in the community. As an advocate for pedestrian and cyclist safety, I will admit that I’m comfortable if peoples’ commutes get a few minutes longer if it makes our streets less dangerous, but I don’t want local merchants to suffer. Nobody does, and a perception that road diets harm local businesses could shift public opinion in a major way. Dozens of studies conducted in major U.S. cities have concluded that traffic calming efforts ultimately boost business, but that certainly hasn’t stopped opponents from arguing that these dynamics don’t apply in L.A.

He also points the finger where it belongs — at the mayor and city departments that have failed to lead and to stand up in support of their own programs.

The absence of facts is a defining problem in the public conversation about our roads. This cannot simply be blamed on one side of this dispute. Part of the problem is how poorly our politicians and transportation officials as well as the city’s dominant news outlets have communicated incontestable facts to people who live and drive in L.A. The mayor has been painfully silent.

This has created a void that allows a free-for-all on Facebook and Nextdoor, where people on both sides can essentially make up their own facts — about travel times, accident rates, business impacts, the laws governing speeding and jaywalking, the scientific underpinning of Vision Zero, and so on. Rather than form opinions about what to do on Venice Boulevard based on substantiated traffic or accident data, published studies on road diets, or an unbiased analysis of business impacts, the public has wound up getting informed and misinformed by social media, where people who are angry about traffic freely dismiss INRIX and LADOT data as #fakenews and then create memes with data they prefer.

It’s worth reading the full piece. Because this is the fight we’re all in if we want safer streets in the City of Angels, whether we like it or not.

And yes, I’ve felt a lot of that bullying myself, usually after something I’ve written has been mentioned on Nextdoor, a site I avoid like the plague.

Although nowhere near as much as Flax, who has been subject to more abuse and attempts at character assignation than anyone should have to tolerate.

All for the sake of safer and more livable streets, and a more vibrant community.

There is a sickness within our society right now, where what should be civil, fact-based debates too often degenerate into name calling and outright lies.

Not to mention the death threats I reported to the police earlier this year.

This is our city and these are our streets. They don’t belong to cars or the people in them.

They belong to all of us.

And we all have a right to live — and survive — on them.

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A $15,000 state grant will be used to improve bike and pedestrian safety along PCH through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, including better enforcement and education on bike laws.

Although they should start by educating the sheriff’s department, which frequently misinterprets CVC 21202 to ticket people for riding abreast or in the traffic lane, both of which are legal in most cases.

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‘Tis the season.

The parents of a fallen soldier have purchased 70 bicycles for kids at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood.

A Virginia Walmart has stepped in to supply 460 of the 600 bicycles needed for a kids’ bike giveaway, after the original order was screwed up.

One thousand volunteers turned out in Tampa FL to build 800 bicycles to give to needy children.

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

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

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And thanks to J Patrick L, Michael Y, Jeffrey F, Mark J, Joel S, Ellen S and Evan B for their generous donations to help support this site. And a belated thanks to Robs M for being the first to donate using Zelle, which apparently doesn’t let me know when someone uses it.

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Local

Spin is the latest dockless bikeshare company to invade LA, setting up office with a pilot program in Koreatown; Streetsblog asks if privately owned dockless bikeshare will prove to be a blessing or curse.

The LA Daily News looks at Metro’s plans to address the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Downtown LA — although construction won’t start for at least another five years. Good thing they weren’t planning to use it for the road cycling course in the 2028 Olympics.

UCLA’s student newspaper say’s Elon Musk’s tunnels won’t solve LA’s traffic problems, and represents the same old thinking that got Angelenos stuck in this mess. Although the point of the tunnels isn’t to solve traffic problems, but just to let wealthy drivers avoid them.

A Monrovia letter writer can’t seem to grasp the concept that sharrows mean that’s where bikes are supposed to be, bike riders don’t have to get the way out of impatient drivers, and drivers are supposed to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

 

State

Southern California officials say cuts in the proposed GOP tax bill could result in an increase in traffic, including the loss of a $20 benefit for people who bike to work.

The OC Sheriff’s Department is looking for the owners of the 1,000 presumably stolen bicycles that were recovered near a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River; if you think your bike might be one of them, send a description of the bike and the serial and police report numbers to [email protected].

A 19-year old Watsonville man will face a vehicular homicide charge in the September death of a bike rider after police concluded he was speeding. And even though the victim ran a red light.

A new short documentary profiles a bike-riding, tai chi-practicing, tennis-playing San Franciscan octogenarian artist.

Once again, opponents attempt to use California’s CEQA anti-pollution laws to stop construction of bike and pedestrian paths in San Francisco, which is exactly what the revised rules are supposed to prevent. Update: J. Patrick Lynch forwards word that the San Francisco Supervisors shot that attempt down

You’ll soon need a reservation to visit the popular Muir Woods National Monument near Sausalito, unless you’re riding a bicycle or entering on foot.

A Sacramento cyclist is using a new form of inhaled insulin to control his Type 1 diabetes.

 

National

A new bike trailer can carry as much as a minivan while doubling as a fork lift — although you might need an ebike to pull the full 400 pound load.

Phoenix parents hop in their car and chase down a thief who stole their son’s bike.

A Colorado letter writer addresses the hatred expressed by some people towards the people on bikes who have the audacity to slow them down for a few seconds. Proving that it’s not just a SoCal phenomenon after all.

Caught on video: A pair of mountain bikers make the first-ever bike descent of a famed black diamond ski run at Jackson Hole WY.

Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until he killed someone. A Houston woman calls for changes in DUI laws after her bike-riding husband was killed by an alleged drunk driver who was already facing a previous drunk driving charge. Anyone arrested for DUI should automatically have their license suspended and the car they were driving impounded until the case is resolved.

A Texas TV station steps in after a bike rider gets the runaround when his bike was damaged by an uninsured Lyft driver.

Heartbreaking story from Minnesota, where a restaurant worker was the victim of two crashes in three weeks while riding his bike. And may not survive the second one, after the driver fled the scene.

Kindhearted Michigan police buy a new bike for a five-year old boy after he got caught in his and had to be cut out.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, where someone spray painted a bike lane on a bridge.

Once again, the tone deaf NYPD responds to the death of bike rider killed by a speeding driver by ticketing people riding bikes.

No surprise here, as the man accused of killing eight people in the New York bike path attack on Halloween has pled not guilty.

Hundreds of Philadelphians form a human-protected bike lane to protest the death of a bike rider killed by the driver of a trash truck while riding in a faded bike lane.

A road raging Pennsylvania man was sentenced to between one to 23 months in prison for attempting to run a bike rider off the road and threatening to kill him; he blamed the victim, as well as medications he was taking for paranoia and bipolar disorders.

A Florida bike rider became the latest victim of a police officer responding to an alarm without lights and sirens.

 

International

Local politicians say more has to be done to protect bicyclists and pedestrians in Victoria, British Columbia. And pretty much everywhere else.

Toronto is considering adopting a bike registration and theft reporting app that has resulted in a 30% drop in bike thefts in Vancouver over the last two years. Can we get that here? Pretty please?

London’s protected cycle superhighways move people five times more efficiently than regular traffic lanes. Meanwhile, the city will ban construction of new parking spaces in large segments of the city to reduce pollution. Which is probably better than LA’s approach of ripping out bike lanes.

A British magazine talks with adventurer Mark Beaumont about his record-setting ride around the world in less than 80 days.

Kashmir bicyclists pedal for democracy to call attention to the upcoming election process.

Caught on video too: After an Aussie driver nearly sideswiped a man riding in a bike lane, the driver accused him of riding outside the lane, which he clearly didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Israel may be paying Chris Froome two million euros — the equivalent of $2.37 million — just to participate in next year’s Giro d’Italia, which is scheduled to start in the country.

A federal judge rules that Lance can use the “everybody else was doing it” defense in the $100 million lawsuit brought against him for allegedly defrauding his government sponsors through systematic doping.

Seven Columbian cyclists and one Bolivian rider failed drug tests at August’s Tour of Columbia, testing positive for a form of EPO. But let’s all pretend the doping era ended when Lance got busted, okay?

 

Finally…

You may able to drink your next Surly. You could be able to ride on, not in, your next Rapha.

And probably not the best idea to interrupt your 25-year ride around the world by getting drunk and assaulting cops just hours after entering a new country.

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Thank you all for the kind words about my wife. It looks like she may be doing a little better, and may be able to avoid additional surgery for now. 

Fingers crossed.

Morning Links: Second LA River Valley Bikeway meeting tonight, and protesters go nuts over Nazi bike lanes

CiclaValley reminds us about tonight’s public meeting to consider the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway project.

The project, which will link Universal City to Canoga Park along the LA River channel, is a key step in plans for a continuous bikeway along the entire length of the LA River.

But as he points out, some of the sections are a little problematic, to say the least. And as always, there are those who oppose any sort of bikeway, anywhere.

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In what has to be the most absurd bikelash story of the decade, twenty people and a dog turned out to protest bike lanes in Minneapolis, calling them Nazi lanes and Mafia lanes.

Seriously?

A little white stripe of paint on the side of the roadway is somehow comparable to the hate-based regime that murdered millions of innocent men, women and children?

It makes a little more sense you consider that the protest began as a hoax before sucking in the kind of people who apparently believe everything they read online, including a pair of city council candidates.

Although something tells me the dog wasn’t there by choice.

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After that, let’s take just a moment to regain our sanity and consider the thoughts of a professional truck driver from the UK regarding those of us on two wheels.

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Local

Evidently, once cars can drive themselves, traffic congestion will cease to exist.

LADOT proposes the latest round of speed limit adjustments mandated by the deadly 85th percentile law; surprisingly, there are a number of decreases, as well as the expected increases.

A writer in the LA Times relates the challenges of dating with a carfree lifestyle.

Caltrans and LA County consider reopening Highway 39 through San Gabriel Canyon, which has been closed since it was shut down by a rock slide in 1978.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system has begun installing sensors to help avoid collisions with bike riders.

Cycling in the South Bay reveals the winners of Saturday’s 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

 

State

Transit has languished in San Diego as driving mode share increases; bike commuting has decreased by a third since 1990.

A couple were both stabbed as they searched for a stolen bicycle in Coachella early Saturday; fortunately, they should recover.

Johnny Cash’s daughter Cindy officially opened Folsom’s new Johnny Cash Trail.

A San Francisco columnist goes undercover to discover if cyclists really are jerks like some drivers think we are. And discovers happy, healthy people, without a single jerk in the bunch.

We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth repeating for anyone who missed it, as a Santa Rosa woman escaped the Sonoma County wildfires by bicycle, with her 70-pound dog in a duffel bag. Thanks to Doug Moore for the reminder.

 

National

If you’re in the market for a new job, VeloNews is looking for a pro cycling reporter with limitless energy and an inquisitive mind. Both of which count me out.

Bicycling explores the reasons people started riding their bikes, including thank you letters to Greg LeMond, and Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law comes with a $260 fine for a first offense, rising to $435 for a second offense or one causing a crash, and up to six months in jail for a third. That compares to California, which has a measly $20 fine for the first offense, and $50 for each additional offense, thanks to Jerry Brown’s veto of a bill that would have increased the absurdly low penalties.

Phoenix installs its first protected bike lane. If you consider a few flimsy plastic posts protection.

A Colorado man rode and biked to the summit of each of the state’s 100 highest peaks in just 60 days.

An Idaho baby visited ten states by bike before she’s even a year old.

A Milwaukee writer says his problem with a proposed bike boulevard is that it isn’t about bikes, it’s about a mindset that historically favors people on four wheels.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d intentionally shoot a 12-year old Chicago boy as he was riding his bike.

A Chicago-area writer says bicycling to work in the suburbs requires more risk and effort, but it’s worth it. Meanwhile, the Washington Post says bike commuting means better health and a longer life. But you already knew that, right?

A Michigan man faces up to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of a nun riding her bicycle; he claimed he had hit a deer.

A former Tennessee hall of fame basketball player is riding nearly 1,100 miles to honor her late coach, and raise money to fight Alzheimer’s.

Police in a Massachusetts town plan a crackdown on packs of teen bicyclists who swarm cars and block traffic.

Don’t blame a van for trying to strike a South Carolina bike rider twice, it was the effing jerk behind the wheel.

A group of Atlanta lawyers formed an organization called Cycling for Good to deliver food, toiletry and personal items to areas frequented by homeless people.

 

International

You’d think cops would know enough not to door someone, but evidently, you would be mistaken, as Toronto police officers hit a passing bicyclist with the door of their cruiser.

Also in Toronto, the debate over bike lanes goes on, as a writer says we got used to traffic lanes for motor vehicles, and we’ll get used to bike lanes, too. Meanwhile, another writer says enough with the data, we already know bike lanes work. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

In celebrity news, Ed Sheeran broke his arm when he was hit by a car while riding his bike in London. And Taylor Swift is one of us, riding a bike on London’s Millennium Bridge as she films her latest video.

An Op-Ed in the Guardian says we need fewer cars, not cleaner ones.

Caught on video: A British bike rider learns the dangers of riding salmon around a blind curve the hard way.

A British writer asks why some people hate cyclists, concluding that the solution lies in less pontificating and more mutual understanding.

Killer drivers in England and Wales could face life in prison under a proposed new law, however, it would not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Copenhagen’s bike boom hits a speed bump, as bike commuting rates have dropped 4% since 2014.

A French website says Lance brought dishonor to the Legion of Honor; he was removed, while Mussolini and Vladimir Putin — and so far, Harvey Weinstein — remain on the list.

In a photo that’s gone viral around the world, the new prime minister of the Netherlands locks his bicycle up on his way to meet the king; a Pakistan website seems to like the idea. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A South African website asks if violent attacks on bicyclists are increasing in the country.

A change in the law allowing bicyclists to share footpaths in Australia has not resulted in any additional problems, although one paper looks at the same stats and sees a lack of enforcement.

An Aussie pro cyclist tells Viennese border guards to Google him after a visa mix-up leaves him in danger of deportation.

 

Finally…

LA bicyclists hardly ever have to worry about kangaroo crashes. If you’re going to steal a bike, it’s only polite to leave another one in its place.

And if you insist on running down the jerk who stole your bicycle, try not to hit a pedestrian and ruin your own bike in the process.

 

Morning Links: Angry drivers and bikelash in Playa del Mar, sinkhole on Angeles Crest, and Bike Life in DTLA

A little bikelash and road diet rage were to be expected.

This is LA, after all.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that drivers are angry they can no longer speed on deadly Vista del Mar, or use the beachfront street as a virtual highway on their cut-through commutes from South Bay cities.

Streetsblog examines Monday’s angry backlash over the changes designed to slow speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety in Playa del Rey — including one bighearted person who shouted that people killed crossing the deadly street had it coming.

Just in case you wondered what kind of person would oppose desperately needed traffic safety improvements.

After all, who really cares about saving the lives of a few total strangers if it means your commute gets a few minutes longer? Although one person says traffic on his Vista del Mar commute is actually lighter than usual.

Once again, there are dueling petitions both opposing and supporting the changes. And once again, the nays are winning in a landslide.

Meanwhile, The Argonaut considers the resistance of some drivers to the road diet and bike lanes just completed on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, where over 48 bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured since 2011.

Including one truly bizarre statement that it took someone 45 minutes to drive the half mile from Beethoven to Centinela. Which would only seem possible if s/he stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. And had to wait while they made them.

Because really, why wait a few weeks to see if the changes will actually work when you can just demand they rip ‘em out before the paint is even dry?

And yet people wonder why it’s so hard to change anything in LA.

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If you were planning to ride Angeles Crest this weekend, start making other plans. Caltrans reports the highway is closed until further notice between Grassy Hollow and SR-39 due to a sinkhole in the roadway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Since you can’t ride Angeles Crest, head over to Grand Park this Saturday for a one-hour beer and taco-free gathering of the LA bicycling community.

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Once again, a cyclist competing in an open course time trial has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle; this time the victim was a 69-year old man in the UK.

More bad news, as a French cyclist was killed in a car crash, and another injured, shortly after taking first and third in a criterium last Thursday; both riders were veterans of the popular Red Hook Crit series.

The New York Times looks at the rise of Columbian cyclists, saying some compete for their county, and some in spite of it.

The Des Moines Register profiles a competitor in next week’s RAAM, saying don’t call her Wonder Woman.

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Local

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian celebrates how a chain reaction hit-and-run crash brought an unlikely group of Angelenos together. And a bike rider walked away thanks to the falling skills he learned riding a skateboard.

Helen’s Cycles will host their monthly mountain bike ride this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, learn how to advocate for Complete Streets at The Tripping Point, a free conference sponsored by Investing in Place, AARP California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Pacoima Beautiful and Tree People.

 

State

Anticipating an increase in funding, the California Active Transportation Program is looking for shovel-ready bike and pedestrian projects. Like LA’s North Figueroa and Lankershim Blvd road diets, and the bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, for instance. Oh, wait.

Newport Beach police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement this month, with extra officers on duty June 14th and 26th. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Riverside will host the Santa Ana River Trail Bike Ride & Festival this Sunday.

The Pleasanton city council votes unanimously to adopt a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

San Mateo plans to double the size of its bikeshare program, the only one in the Bay Area not part of Ford’s 7,000 bike system.

 

National

NACTO is sponsoring a year-long initiative to identify problems that “slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” I can save them the trouble: blame NIMBYs who value parking spaces and faster commutes over lives and livability.

Streetsblog says algorithms to improve dangerous intersections are great, but we already know what needs to be done to improve safety.

A new study shows even regular coffee drinkers can get a performance boost from caffeine.

Not surprisingly, Oregon bike retailers are trying to stop plans for a tax on bicycles over $500.

An online travel service ranks Denver the tenth most bike-friendly city for tourists. Not surprisingly, Minneapolis ranks number one; more surprising is Los Angeles getting a nod on the Most Improved list.

Texas finally gets around to banning texting while driving, six years after then governor and now US Energy Secretary Rick Perry vetoed it.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops take the time to help a kid fix his bike.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 16-year old bike rider walks with nothing but probation following a plea deal. Seriously, whoever agreed to this should be ashamed.

After a Chicago boy’s bike was stolen while he was at work, his friends mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances to buy him a new one.

Michigan Live offers a complete wrap-up of their extensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre.

Indiana police are looking for a road-raging bike rider, though they won’t say what happened or why.

Baltimore’s mayor pledges to look into charges from some residents that bike lanes would make some streets too narrow for fire equipment. Even though parking spaces already do.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers 15 reasons why you should ride your bike this summer. Or maybe ten, they’re not really sure.

A London advocacy group calls on the city to modify safety barriers that have been placed in bike lanes on three of the city’s bridges.

A Scottish newspaper says the silence was deafening during a minute of quiet to protest the death of a young woman on her bike.

A new Dublin study shows enormous health benefits to bicycling, while noting that the risk to male riders between 20 to 29 increases with every mile, and may outweigh the benefits for some.

Coke is turning to e-cargo bikes to make deliveries. In the Netherlands, naturally.

A cyclist on a French river cruise takes a bicycling tour of the historic city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

An Aussie judge calls a driver a moronic bogan — the rough equivalent of trailer trash in the US — after the man pled guilty to beating and demanding an apology from the bike rider he’d just crashed into. But still let him off with just a fine.

 

Finally…

Training bike cops for the coming zombie apocalypse. If you really want to encourage bike commuting, free donuts and bacon should do the trick.

And nothing like a phalanx of school kids on unicycles unexpectedly rolling past your window.

Morning Links: Fanning the fires of bike hate, LB hit-and-run suspect busted, and bike smash seen round the world

My apologies for the continued problems with email notifications for subscriber to this site. We’re still working on getting it fixed.

………

It doesn’t take much to bring out the bike hate.

Especially when people are allowed to post their comments anonymously.

Yesterday’s LA Times featured a well-reasoned Op-Ed from Tom Babin, author of “Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling,” and the bike blog Shifter.

In it, Babin argued that the laws governing traffic weren’t written with bicycles in mind, and don’t always work effectively for people on two wheels.

It’s true that Los Angeles is finally taking its first serious steps toward making the city more bike-friendly. But the focus is on building bike-dedicated infrastructure, which can be slow and expensive to build.

The Idaho stop law shows there are other ways for municipalities to encourage cycling while their infrastructure catches up. Cities around the world are demonstrating that simply changing the rules in favor of cyclists can make roads more welcoming.

He continues,

Yet streets are already governed by different rules for different users, such as laws that require slower speed limits for big trucks, or that mandate school buses to stop at uncontrolled railway crossings. Rather than demonize cyclists for their inability to conform to rules designed for cars, laws should recognize that riding a bike is different than driving.

All in all, a reasonable request to simply acknowledge that bikes are different that cars, yet bicyclists are forced to act like motor vehicles, regardless of whether it makes sense.

Yet based on some of the comments, you’d think he declared war on anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.

Like this from OptimisticOrgan, for instance. (Unfortunately, the Times makes it impossible to link to any one comment.)

Stop sign being a yield is fine by me. Cycling culture needs to change, though. Too many jerks are going 15 in a 45 in the middle of the lane. Then they act like yr the bad guy for being annoyed by the fact they’re impeding traffic flow. It’s like “I’m sorry brother, trying to stay far enough behind you,” but the cyclist is still pissed that your car is faster than his bike and projects ill will toward you.

Many commenters went great pains to point out that Los Angeles isn’t Idaho, with many times the population, in case we had somehow missed that point. Apparently failing to notice where he pointed out that the Idaho Stop Law is now in effect in auto-clogged Paris, with it’s 2.24 million population, and a reputation for roadway rudeness that makes our streets seem downright polite.

Other, such as feaco11, apparently couldn’t grasp Babin’s key point that bikes and cars are different.

Better yet, let’s change the law so that motorists can treat a stop sign as a yield sign. Just think of the gas that will be saved if our cars do not have to lose momentum going through an intersection. Maybe the same could be applied to red lights. It would certainly free up the court system because there would be less tickets written.

Then there’s this confession to illegal harassment from boneme8978.

i would not consider riding a bike on a suburban street . but i love the people that do . keeps me laughing all the time . you should see them jump when i blast them with my train horn ! the 300 i spent at ‘summit racing ‘ to buy that bad boy was worth every penny !

And it goes on and on, ad nauseum, just like on any other pro bike piece that appears online, filled with constant reminders of that one time a bike rider broke the law, which somehow projects onto every person on a bicycle who ever lived.

Damnable scofflaws, all.

It’s a reminder of who we share the road with. As well as the Internet.

Protected by layers of glass and steel on one, anonymous pseudonyms on the other.

Spelling and punctuation challenged though they might be.

………

Long Beach police arrested a hit-and-run suspect at gunpoint after he was found hiding under a car. Witnesses said the speeding driver hit a bike rider after running a red light, then drove erratically, running red lights and nearly striking pedestrians as he attempted to escape.

Both the victim and the driver were transported to a local hospital; no word on their conditions.

………

Turns out the bicycle smashed in two by an angry rider in Milan’s Red Hook Crit wasn’t even his.

Deadspin calls it the pinnacle of human rage, though anyone who has dealt with a road raging motorist — or an angry online commenter — would probably disagree.

Meanwhile, VeloNews puts it in the context of other great bike throws in recent years.

………

Local

Bicycling finally gets around to posting last year’s profile of LACBC executive director Tamika Butler online.

LAist calls the coming My Figueroa project the city’s first truly protected bike lane.

Bike the Vote LA offers a guide to the candidates in November’s Santa Monica city council election.

In the latest round of anti-developmentism, Redondo Beach residents could vote on whether to cancel ambitious plans to redevelop the city’s aging waterfront, including plans for an improved bike path through the area.

 

State

New tests from Stanford conclude the unnamed Hövding airbag helmet actually works. And reduces impact up to six times over conventional bike helmets.

A Chico couple propose to replace their daughter’s ghost bike with a sign memorializing her, along with the phrases “How to save a life? Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Share the Road, Drive with Care,” pending approval from Caltrans. Which is not likely, unfortunately.

 

National

A Portland Op-Ed writer complains about car-hating social engineering, while completely missing the point of Vision Zero.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a Nebraska man takes up bicycling and a better diet, and loses 75 pounds while bringing his illness under control.

An Arkansas paper takes a look at bikepacking.

A road raging DC driver gets offended when a cyclist slapped the back of his car after he deliberately tried to run her off the road, then gets out and repeatedly slaps her before stealing her phone when she tried to call 911.

 

International

A body found near a Halifax trail could be a missing mountain biker who disappeared without a trace two years earlier.

A Scottish parliament member says even a small increase in bicycling could lead to an improvement in air quality, while calling for a decrease in speed limits around schools and residential areas.

At least it’s a creative protest. A Scottish man shows his objection to a new separated bike lane by rowing in it.

Any writer who uses the tired cliché that bike safety is a two-way street should receive a six-month sentence in journalist jail.

A San Francisco rider joins 400 other cyclists in the Haute Route timed cycling event in the Pyrenees; a US event is planned for the Rocky Mountains next year.

Glamour admires the glamorous Iranian women defying the religious edict against bicycling in public.

A South African provincial transport minister says bicycling must be seen as a form of mobility, disputing plans by the mayor of Johannesburg to halt bike lane construction in the city.

 

Finally…

You can’t compete in your first pro race if you’re stuck in traffic. If you’re fleeing police on your bike, you really just need two legs.

And your next helmet could give a whole new meaning to helmet hair.

Or you could let your kid steer you like a bike.

 

Morning Links: More LA bike events, and columnist calls for confining those irresponsible cyclists to bike lanes

Let’s catch up on coming events.

Assemblymember Anthony Rendon and Supervisor Hilda Solis will host a bike ride and run to promote revitalization of the LA River this Saturday. Link courtesy of Streetsblog.

The Tour de Laemmle that was postponed due to smoke from the Sand fire earlier this summer has been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Walk Bike Burbank’s second annual Midnight Ramble Ride rolls Saturday night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a goodbye event for board member Maria Sipin on Sunday as she prepares to move to Portland. In just a few short years, Sipin has grown from a quiet volunteer to one of SoCal’s leading bike advocates, and will be very missed.

Speaking of Burbank, fixie-maker Pure Cycles is holding a pop-up sale at their headquarters in the city on the 27th.

Here’s your chance to get to know CD5 city council candidate Jesse Creed with a meet and greet in Century City on the 31st, as he prepares to take on incumbent Paul “No bike lanes on Westwood Blvd” Koretz.

………

If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could spend all day just shooting holes in the arguments made by this Boston columnist, who says the city should make bike lane use mandatory.

Since they’ve paid to build them and all, while apparently stealing precious roadway from those poor, deprived drivers who never, ever do anything wrong.

No, in her fantasy world, every one of the 400 Boston bike riders hit by cars each year evidently has it coming, as she calls them the most irresponsible group on the road.

And they could be damn near impervious to injury if they’d just strap on a damn bike helmet, which she mistakenly equates to seat belts, while trotting out the long discredited claim that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.

They don’t.

Most objective studies show bike helmets offer some protection, though just how much is debatable.

While it’s true that some bike riders blow through stop lights and weave in and out of traffic, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the greatest risk to those around them. Especially when they can’t manage to put down their phones or take their foot off the gas.

And before she talks about confining cyclists to bike lanes, maybe she should insist that drivers stop parking in them and using them as a way to bypass stalled traffic.

Let alone that the city install barriers to protect the people using them. Or that they should actually go somewhere, and connect with others to form a real bike network.

It’s easy to dismiss her comments and say it doesn’t matter since she’s on the opposite coast.

But there are thousands of people who think just like her in every city and town in the US.

And we’ve got more than our share right here in LA.

………

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer claims her second silver of the Rio Olympics with a second-place finish in the omnium.

The mountain bike course at the Rio Olympics is threatened by a wildfire which could affect practices scheduled to start today. However, officials say the course is currently unaffected by the fire; unanswered is the question of air quality. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan says no one knows what the hell to expect in this weekend’s competition.

NPR says Kristin Armstrong’s victory in the Olympic time trial shows that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower.

A writer for the New Yorker looks at the magic of track cycling, while Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze says her heart hurts more than her wounds after crashing out in the keirin.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish says he feels awful about crashing into a South Korean rider during the omnium, but apparently not enough to give back the silver medal he won. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling calls the event more complicated than Quidditch.

Despite their dominance in Rio, there were innovations to shave a off few seconds that the Brits didn’t think of.

Romantically involved Brit cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott really are a golden couple, as they share ten gold medals between them.

And in non-Rio news, a number of pro cyclists tried, and failed, to win the famed Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Saturday.

………

Local

CiclaValley offers a video reminder to not drive in the bike lane on the first day of school. Or any day, for that matter.

Pasadena met Tuesday night to discuss cycle tracks planned for Union Street.

 

State

Encinitas police are looking for the heartless hit-and-run driver who left a seriously injured bicyclist lying in the street Sunday morning. Tom Scott, who says he rides that road himself, forwards the Reddit post from a friend of the victim reporting he suffered multiple broken bones and has gone through a number of surgeries already.

A Simi Valley woman was pulled off her bicycle and stabbed repeatedly by another woman; no word on whether the victim knew her attacker or if it was a random attack.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time for the city to take off the training wheels and approve an updated bike plan.

Calbike wins a reversal, if not retraction, of the CHP’s victim blaming in a Sacramento-area bicycling crash.

Yolo County gets its own book bike.

 

National

An Arizona medical school professor rode his bicycle across the US, from DC to Seattle, to listen to Americans’ attitudes about Obamacare.

Colorado authorities throw the book at a 20-year old former star athlete who killed an eight year old girl riding her bicycle, with nine counts including vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield.

The Denver Post talks with ex-Tour de France winner, former doper and current medicinal dope peddler Floyd Landis about his new line of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products designed for discrete athletic use.

A bike rider says the man who shot and killed a New York imam and his friend was acting crazed and out-of-control as he fled the scene before driving past the cyclist once, then turning around and plowing into him.

A Philly columnist feels vindicated when a local TV station shows “arrogant” bike riders breaking the law. Never mind all those arrogant drivers who speed, fail to signal, don’t look and routinely violate right-of-way laws. But sure, let’s focus on the ones on bicycles.

That disgruntled Georgia bicyclist who stole a series of pedestrian safety signs says he’s not, and offers to pay for them, insisting he only took the signs because they were blocking the trail.

 

International

A Toronto hit-and-run has been ruled a homicide after the driver appeared to deliberately drive up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist, then back over him in a possible dispute over drugs.

A columnist calls a promised study of a new Toronto bike corridor just window dressing for another attempt to ram active transportation down the throats of drivers.

London’s mayor is urged to appoint a full-time walking and cycling commissioner.

Good Samaritans form a human chain around a London cyclist to protect him from traffic after he was injured in a collision.

Ebike prices are dropping; the new Danish MATE folding ebike retails for just $599.

Caught on video: When an Estonian BMXer insists on riding in an off-limits area, a security guard confiscates his bike. And busts some mad moves himself.

Bikeshare comes to Mumbai with a trial program offering just 20 bikes at five docking stations. Which is just enough to virtually guarantee failure.

A Cape Town ward councilor blames a six-year old girl for crashing into his extended cab pickup, never considering that he might have cut her off as he sped out of his gated office driveway.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist riding on a separated bikeway is nearly nailed in a left cross by a driver who crossed over two lanes to make the turn.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding you bike after dark with burglary tools and a half-dozen outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it — and get your ass out of the bushes, while you’re at it. Forget the pandering conviction, tell us more about that bicycle modified to be a sex toy.

And no one says you need a saddle to win a bike race.

………

Note: I was originally going to end with an item about Harvard Medical School’s bizarre advice to don a helmet and sweat-wicking spandex to ride a beach cruiser or adult tricycle with a cushioned saddle and no pedal clips, but only on a bike path, and not on the street.

Unfortunately, they’ve since hidden the article behind a paywall. Perhaps they were unprepared for the unbridled ridicule they knew was coming.

Update: Courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch, we now have a PDF of the Harvard Med School article. So feel free to ridicule at will. 

Morning Links: Bike race-inspired wallpaper, and bikelash begins to newly bike friendly Caltrans

Just in time for today’s start of Italy’s Giro Rosa and tomorrow’s Tour de France kickoff, a Brit company wants to paper your walls with Tour de France-inspired images.

Great Britain’s Murals Wallpaper offers images of classic bicycles with the headings Grand Tour, Vélo and Peloton.

All that’s missing is Le Doping. Motor and otherwise.

Tour-De-France-Grand-Tour-Web

Tour-De-France-Pelaton-Web

Tour-De-France-Velo-Web

Seriously, if I still had an office, one or more of these would go up as soon as I could have them shipped overseas.

………

Now that Caltrans has finally embraced bicycling and walking, the inevitable bikelash has begun.

A writer for the Spectator calls the agency’s 2040 transportation plan more of a social-engineering than transportation-engineering document, complaining that we need to fix the “roads, freeways, and bridges that most of us actually rely on to get places” instead of building bike lanes.

………

The Santa Monica Spoke says your voice is needed to get the Feds to count bikes when determining performance measures for our national transportation system.

………

Mark your calendar for Bike With Your Dog Day on July 10th.

Seriously, the Corgi would flip my bike the first time she saw a squirrel or motorcycle. Let alone a sandwich lying in the street.

………

On the eve of the Tour de France, the Wall Street Journal calls Peter Sagan the rock star of cycling.

French rider Nacer Bouhanni will miss the tour after injuring his hand punching out some loud drunks in the next hotel room.

Nineteen-year old Roseville CA cyclist Neilson Powless is being compared favorably to Lance and LeMond as the future of American cycling. Hopefully more like the drug-free latter than the former.

American BMX rider Amanda Carr will be competing in the Rio Olympics. Just not for the US.

And Cycling Tips remembers a time when Donald Trump didn’t ridicule government officials for riding a bike, but actually sponsored a bike race back when he still had hair.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine provides an in-depth profile of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti; unfortunately, it barely touches on transportation, let alone bicycling.

Los Angeles offers a $50,000 reward for the person who mistakenly shot a ten-year old girl in the head while aiming for a man on a bicycle in Boyle Heights last month.

LAist wants to know if you live car-free in LA.

Discover Los Angeles rides from Playa del Rey to Torrance Beach along the beachfront Marvin Bruade bike path.

The LACBC is hosting a pre-4th of July Sunday Funday Ride through the Westside this weekend.

Palos Verdes Estates officials promise they’re already working on plans to improve safety for cyclists in the community.

 

State

Bike-friendly Newport Beach city councilmember Tony Petros will step down at the end of his first term.

KPBS asks how blocking bike lanes is good for the environment, as plans for San Diego’s North Park neighborhood call for widening roads to alleviate congestion.

Celebrate the 4th with a little Mammoth Mountain downhill, on skis and two wheels.

An off-duty Santa Barbara cop interrupts his bike ride home from work to stop a racially charged knife attack on a homeless man.

A Fresno bike shop relocates to nearby Hanford after the owner gets fed up with break-ins at the former downtown location.

No bias here, as a San Jose paper says Atherton is about to be invaded by hundreds of bike riders.

San Francisco cyclists call for safer streets at a meeting of the city’s Vision Zero committee, after two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; one of the victims was remembered as a rising star in the tech world.

In the wake of the deaths, San Francisco’s mayor announces 57 new high priority Vision Zero projects.

CamelBak teams with local groups to give away 80 kid’s bikes and helmets in Petaluma.

 

National

People for Bikes is taking applications for a new program to double or triple bike ridership in select city neighborhoods while reducing crashes. I’d like to nominate Hollywood, thank you. That leaves nine others.

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington DC, still have contributory negligence laws that keep cyclists from recovering any damages in a crash if they’re found just one percent responsible.

Portland’s bikeshare system will offer adaptive bikes for disabled riders starting next year.

A Washington appeals court rules that bicycles are an integral part of the state’s multimodal transportation plan, so cities must make streets safe for bike riders. Now if we can only get California courts to follow their precedence.

More bighearted cops, as Fairbanks AK police replace an autistic man’s stolen bike.

Colorado authorities widen the shoulder of a highway after a cyclist was critically injured while riding on the fog line; fortunately, the victim is slowly recovering.

A 15-year old Nebraska boy tows his lawn mowing business in a trailer behind his bike.

San Antonio TX is facing a lawsuit for diverting funds from a transportation sales tax to build sidewalks and bikeways.

Good news from Kalamazoo, as the most seriously injured survivor of the hit-and-run DUI wreck that killed five riders and injured four others is released from the hospital.

The Boston Globe looks at the ritual of installing ghost bike memorials. Which are needed far too often, there and here.

Caught on video: New York’s 8th Street bike lane is consistently filled with everything and everyone but bike riders.

Pastors of Black churches in DC’s Shaw neighborhood continue to fight plans for bike lanes. Evidently, African Americans must not ride bikes to church in DC. Then again, they might if they had a safe way to get there.

A CNN reporter samples the coffee-infused business bikewear from the Ministry of Supply.

Santa Monica’s CycleHop is one of three companies still in the running to build the planned New Orleans bikeshare system.

 

International

This is why you have to lock up a ghost bike. A Canadian man simply walks off with one, claiming he didn’t know its significance. On the other hand, he probably did know it didn’t belong to him.

Windsor, Ontario’s mayor enjoys his first bike ride to work so much he promises to keep riding over the summer.

Former Brit pro David Millar ranks the world’s ten best places for a bicycling vacation. Surprisingly, he puts Boulder and Aspen CO number two, ahead of Tuscany and anywhere in France, while Maui checks in at number ten.

UK fashion designer Paul Smith discusses his lifelong love of cycling, as well as his new line of bikewear.

Bike riders aren’t always the good guys. A BBC presenter is the victim of a racist attack after she intervenes with a bicyclist who was telling an Asian man to go home. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the UK these days?

Vice offers photos of Berlin’s brutal Bike Wars competition, which one of the founders describes as a destruction derby with bicycles.

The Guardian asks if inter-city bikeways like Germany’s coming bicycle autobahn could revolutionize our daily commute. I’d settle for a decent bikeway connecting Los Angeles with itself. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Aussie woman is in critical condition after colliding with a bicyclist.

 

Finally…

Maybe if you didn’t call it the Loop of Doom it might go better next time. Probably not the best idea to throw a knife at — let alone try to shoot — the bike-riding acquaintance you owe money to.

And whatever you do, don’t slap a fireman if he tells you to stop your bike.

Just… don’t.

Thanks to Helper for the link.

 

Morning Links: The bi-coastal bikelash goes on, and good news on the medical and track racing fronts

The bikelash goes on.

Sometimes, even from people who profess to be cyclists themselves.

Take this writer from Goleta, just outside Santa Barbara.

Please.

He starts with a suspicion of a grand conspiracy to force drivers out of their cars.

According to him, road diets, bulb-outs and bike lanes are planned, not to improve safety or provide transportation options, but to make driving so miserable that people have no choice but to give up on their cars and take to bikes.

Never mind that if bicycling somehow miraculously reached the level of ridership found in the Netherlands, it would still only amount to 27% of all trips.

He insists that those behind it are those damn progressive politicians and traffic department bureaucrats, environmental advocates, and the “well-funded, politically powerful Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.”

Which would no doubt come as a surprise to the SBBC. And make it one of the few well-funded bike advocacy groups anywhere.

Or maybe the only one.

Then he pivots to the standard complaint that bicyclists don’t pay for the lanes they ride on. Which is based on the false assumption that drivers do, rather than being the most heavily publicly subsidized form of transportation.

The obvious solution, in his mind, anyway, is licensing cyclists.

Even though the money raised by licensing is unlikely to bring in enough to even cover its own operating costs. And even though bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads through their own taxes.

Naturally, he also complains that bike riders break the law. Except for him, of course.

And unlike motorists, who would never, ever dream of speeding, driving distracted or making an unsafe lane change in a vehicle capable of doing far more harm than even the worst scofflaw cyclist.

So the law needs to crack down on cyclists, he insists. And we all need to carry liability insurance, because maybe someday, in the bike utopian world he so fears, a distracted cyclist could cause a massive bike pileup that forces a poor, innocent driver off the road.

No, really.

It’s worth the read if you need a good laugh.

Unlike the New York Post’s latest attack on former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

In what passes for an exceptionally auto-centric, yet pedestrian review of her acclaimed new book, a writer for the paper goes on the attack, less for what she wrote than what she wrought.

He complains about “her ruinous tampering with historic traffic patterns” as she sought to turn the city into one of the world’s great bicycling cities, “everyone else be damned.”

Even though surveys consistently show most New Yorkers support the city’s bike lanes and the changes she helped make, and traffic fatalities have reached historic lows.

He goes on to complain that public plazas around Times Square are so crowded and overrun with tourists and hucksters that New Yorkers “assiduously” avoid it. Sort of like Yogi Berra’s famous proclamation that “No one goes there’s anymore. It’s too crowded.”

And in his eyes, moving parked cars away from the curb to form protected bike lanes makes the streets look like parking lots. Unlike before, when the same cars were far more attractively parked on the same streets.

Somehow, those cars also make it harder to see what’s on the other side of the street. Because they were apparently transparent before being moved a few feet to the left.

He tops it off with the assertion that the city’s bike lanes are only used by food delivery people most times of the day.

Never mind that bike commuting doubled in just five years, and more people are riding that ever before. Let alone those 22 million Citi Bike riders, who have to be riding somewhere.

He ends by complaining that the damage done by Sadik-Khan’s reign is with us to stay.

For which most New Yorkers are undoubtedly grateful.

And the rest of us can only envy.

………

If you haven’t already, take a few moments to sign the petition asking for all new or used cars sold in California to leave the lot with a temporary license plate.

It doesn’t take much effort watching traffic to realize that too many cars are on the streets with no front plates — or any license plates at all — making them virtually impossible to identify in the event of a hit-and-run or other traffic crime.

And enforcing the law requiring front and back plates on every vehicle seems to be a very low priority.

………

Exciting news on the medical front, as stunt cyclist Martyn Ashton takes his first mechanically assisted steps with a new hi-tech walker, three years after he was paralyzed from the waist down.

And after an injection of neural cells taken from his nose, a Polish firefighter can now ride an adaptive tricycle, four years after he was paralyzed from the chest down after a stabbing.

………

US women win their first-ever gold in team pursuit at the track cycling world championships; Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the winning team, and qualified for the Rio Olympics in another event.

………

Road raging drivers are one thing. Getting chased by an ostrich is another.

And he really needs to learn to hold his line.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Amy Wong of Women on Wheels.

Russell Crowe goes mountain biking on Sunset Blvd, while the Brit press goes gaga over his biceps.

Burbank residents beg for safety improvements on Edison Blvd, including a proposal to install bike lanes to tame traffic.

A Pacoima man was shot to death Thursday night, apparently while riding his bicycle.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride with roll this Sunday, with a pre-St. Patrick’s Day themed ride through DTLA led by board member Patrick Pascal.

 

State

It’s been over 49 days since the Marines impounded a number of mountain bikes after their riders strayed onto the Miramar Marine base in San Diego, with no resolution in sight.

A Silicon Valley bike commuter creates a website to provide consumers with more information about insurance companies in an effort to force them to improve their customer service.

 

National

Here’s your chance to work in bike advocacy, as the Bike League is hiring a new Education Director and a Member Services Coordinator.

The Tucson truck driver who plowed into a group of cyclists while allegedly high on meth is being held on $1.5 million bond. Which somehow seems too low.

Two-thirds of Iowans support proposed legislation that would require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders. Although someone there clearly doesn’t like cyclists, as a popular Des Moines bikeway is sabotaged with tacks.

Chicago is building three curb-protected bike lanes, with an eventual goal of 50 miles of low-stress bikeways.

The Washington Post argue that the federal government should not reclassify bikeshare as mass transit programs, which would qualify it for Fed transit funding.

 

International

The new Audi A4 has lights on the doors to warn drivers if a bike is coming to help avoid doorings. Because actually looking before you open the door is just too hard.

A Vancouver business site says instead of investing $5 million in bikeshare, the city could have bought bicycles for about 200,000 children in low-income households. Which kind of misses the point.

A Toronto lawyer says cars are becoming the weapon of choice, yet drivers who use them to attack others still get their licenses back.

Nice piece on bicycling in Victorian England, which suggests that the bike-riding men of the day were the original hipsters.

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche is just 19 years old, and facing a lifetime ban for motor doping.

An Aussie writer says the only thing the country’s mandatory bike helmet law protects you against is fines. Meanwhile, an Australian news network does its best to whip up a panic over e-bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Kiwi cyclist refuses to let a collision with a trailer keep him off his bike.

 

Finally…

The next driver who runs you off the road could have two left feet; no, literally. Ford wants to save you from those embarrassing moments when you can’t unclip from your pedals.

And I think we can all agree BikinginLA deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So who has an extra $30,000 lying around?

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan bikelash has begun, and I go off on an unintended rant

The bikelash has officially begun.

In an OpEd for the LA Times, the owner of a Santa Monica luxury gift business says the city’s plan for road diets on some streets is a terrible idea.

Bruce Feldman suggests that what works in Stockholm, where the “Swedes are smart and good looking,” won’t work in LA. Where evidently, the residents aren’t.

Instead, he suggests banning all parking along major thoroughfares to make more room for cars, and yes, bikes, while providing parking lots on every block in business areas — apparently, tearing down some of those businesses to make room for idle cars.

He also trots out the failed proposal made by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, before he fell off his bike and saw the light, to transform Olympic and Pico Blvds into parallel one-way streets. An idea so bad it was one of the few things that could unite virtually everyone who lived, worked, shopped or owned a business anywhere near those streets in opposition.

And says that people move to LA to live in tidy sundrenched bungalows far from work and shopping. Which certainly explains why DTLA — and even Downtown Santa Monica — are thriving.

Meanwhile, LA Times’ readers say the death of a pedestrian on Rowena Ave is just an anomaly, and doesn’t justify changes to the roadway to improve safety if it means a slower drive. This is what we’re up against; people are so used to traffic violence that it’s accepted as the cost of driving.

All of this stems from the city’s remarkable failure to control the narrative surrounding the passage of the Mobility Plan.

Virtually every single news story and talk radio program both before and after the plan was passed focused on bike lanes, and the possibility of removing some traffic lanes to make room for them.

Even my own 15-minute interview with a local news station, in which I discussed the nuances of the Mobility Plan and the importance of Vision Zero, was edited down to “Bike lanes are great!”

Which is not what the plan is about.

It’s about improving safety for everyone, with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities within the city by 2035. Not just for cyclists and pedestrians, but for all those who travel by any means.

It’s about improving traffic flow by creating a true multi-modal transportation network, where people can get from here to there conveniently — and yes, safely — by bus, train, car, bike or feet. Wherever here and there may be. And reducing congestion by allowing those who prefer not to drive to travel by other means, making more room on the streets for those who do.

It’s about increasing the livability of our city by creating more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods where people choose to live and work, and where businesses thrive, while reducing the blight caused by inducing drivers to blow through neighborhoods at excess speeds without stopping. Or even noticing what’s on the other side of the curb right next them.

It’s not about bike lanes. Or forcing anyone out of their cars.

In other words, what we have here, as the movie says, is a failure to communicate.

One that starts at the top, with a mayor who was missing in action when the plan was being debated in the city council. And missed his opportunity, not only to support the plan in the face of opposition from some councilmembers, but to properly position it in the minds of the public after it was passed.

Maybe we can discuss that with him on Monday.

And extending down through LADOT, whose spokesperson could only defend it meekly as “aspirational,” suggesting that much of it would never be built in the face of community opposition, rather than explaining why it needs to be.

In fact, the best explanation of the Mobility Plan came from the LACBC’s Tamika Butler, as KPCC’s Larry Mantle kept trying to switch the conversation back to bike lanes.

The new Mobility Plan is a sweeping roadmap to a far better City of Angels to come.

But one that is doomed to failure if the city leaves it to people like us to explain.

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Better Bike offers their own response to Feldman’s OpEd, asking why would you double down on yesterday’s failed planning paradigm.

And the LACBC sends word the Highland Park Neighborhood Council will consider a motion to support the Mobility Plan as is at tonight’s meeting, opposing efforts by a handful of councilmembers to gut the plan.

Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council

Regular Meeting and Agenda

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Highland Park Senior Center 6152 N. Figueroa St.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Item #16 (15 mins): Motion to file a community impact statement (CF #15-0719) in support of “Mobility 2035” as proposed, and opposing all amendments to the plan as proposed by Councilmember Cedillo, Councilmember Koretz, and Councilmember Price. – H. Slater.

**The item will be discussed in the second half of the meeting.**

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Sad news today, as Deb Hubsmith, founder of Safe Routes to Schools, passed away from acute myeloid leukemia.

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Two days into the USA Pro Challenge, the BMC team has taken control behind stage 2 winner Brent Bookwalter and Rohan Dennis.*

It took an act of Congress to allow the second stage of the Pro Challenge to finish on Forrest Service land. A Denver TV station looks at the nine — or maybe eleven — types of cycling fans you’ll see at the Pro Challenge.

And this year’s race includes the first Israeli team to race in the US.

*Yes, stage 3 is already in the books, but the news stories seem to be running a day behind this year.

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Local

A lawyer in the San Fernando Valley discusses the need for children to wear bike helmets. But neglects to mention they’re required for anyone under 18.

The Santa Monica police department is cracking down on violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety today and Saturday. Enforcement is targeted at any traffic violations, regardless of mode of travel, so stick to the letter of the law if you ride through the city.

South Pas rejects bike safety in favor of parking.

Richard Risemberg discovers the rumors of a Redondo Beach cycletrack really are true, and finds it much to his liking.

There’s a fundraiser tonight for Great Streets projects in South LA, Boyle Heights and Pacoima.

More free bike safety classes this weekend in West Covina, East Los Angeles, Cudahy, South Los Angeles and DTLA, courtesy of Metro and the LACBC.

Santa Monica is offering free bike repair, as well as fixing other items, this Saturday.

 

State

Pedal Love offers a podcast explaining Vision Zero with Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the Vision Zero Network for North America.

San Diego’s City Beat questions the city’s partnership with Miami-based DecoBike to provide bikeshare service.

BikeSD is planning to Bike to the Border on September 19th.

San Raphael opens a new multi-use pathway connecting downtown with a coming SMART Transit Center. Meanwhile, we can’t even get a bike lane connecting Westwood with the coming Expo Line.

A San Jose letter writer really doesn’t get it, complaining about a new road diet, despite years of reporting collisions on the street. As noted above, road diets aren’t done to install bike lanes; they’re done to slow speeding traffic and improve safety. And bike lanes are just one of the tools used to do that.

A Cottonwood bike rider suffered major injuries in a hit-and-run collision with a motorcyclist. Even in a small NorCal town, motorists don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a wreck.

 

National

The CDC suggests treating traffic violence like a public health issue, with the cure consisting of slowing drivers and building better bike infrastructure. Sort of like LA’s new Mobility Plan.

A writer for Care2 offers up eight ways to make our cities bike-friendly. Never mind that by making cities more inviting for bike riders, they can also reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone.

A cyclist on a cross-country tour has his bike and gummy bears stolen in Portland.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a teenage driver gets a whopping one year and 10 days for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist while driving drunk and on drugs.

Three months later, still no arrest in the apparently random shooting of a bicyclist near my Colorado hometown.

A “normal, decent guy” goes for a bike ride in Minnesota. And is surprised to learn bikes aren’t allowed to take the lane on a busy interstate highway.

The Kentucky State Fair is encouraging visitors to ride there instead of driving, but evidently can’t be bothered to provide secure bike parking.

An upstate New York letter writer says killing a cyclist should have consequences. Amend that to killing a human being, regardless of mode of travel, and I’m onboard.

Now that former mayor Michael Bloomberg is gone, New York cyclists are questioning Gotham’s commitment to improving bike safety.

A former Rockette discusses bicycling sans spandex in NYC, and that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to ride a bike.

 

International

Bicycling discusses how bikes are changing lives around the world — and in some cases, saving them.

An Ontario — no, the one further north — cyclist says we’re all just people, so drive like it around bicyclists.

A Quebec cop faces charges in the death of a salmon cyclist last year; the officer was trying to intercept him when he collided with the rider.

London’s black cab drivers are trying to scuttle the city’s plans for an East-West Cycle Superhighway, even though construction has already begun.

Sometimes you just can’t win. A Brit bike rider was clubbed over the head by a road raging driver when he slowed for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Too often drivers blame us when we break the law, then get pissed off when we don’t.

Welsh cyclists petition to save a key bikeway from closure due to budget cuts.

Italian stunt cyclist Vittorio Brumotti was brutally attacked by three men while riding.

An Aussie woman still traumatized by her previous experiences says it’s time to toughen up and join her family on two wheels.

 

Finally…

No matter what kind of gesture a taxi driver makes your way, don’t get off your bike and jump on the hood of his cab. Then again, don’t make a double-handed rude gesture after nearly knocking a cyclist off his bike if you want to keep your bus driving job.

And don’t Silly String a cyclist.

Period.

 

(Late) Morning Links: The OC Register says hell no to Give Me 3, and the New York bikelash beat goes on

Leave it to the Orange County Register to get it wrong.

The historically conservative paper has been, if not a supporter of bicycling, a fair voice in reporting on bicycling issues behind the Orange Curtain. And they’ve largely lifted their paywall when it comes to reporting on bicycling collisions, allowing subscribers and casual readers alike to get the details we need to stay safe and informed.

But evidently, AB 1371, the state’s new three-foot law, went about a yard beyond their comfort zone.

In a remarkably knee-jerk auto-centric editorial, the paper can’t conceive of how any driver could manage to give a rider a three-foot buffer without creating a calamitous situation.

Never mind that the Orange County is famous — some might say notorious — for its wide, highway-like streets that leave plenty of room to pass without even slowing down.

Or that drivers have always been required to pass cyclists at a safe distance. Which they evidently would define as anything that does not actually cause contact with the bike or its rider.

Sort of like a lot of drivers in the county, from what I’m told.

And instead of expecting drivers to operate their vehicles safely and simply change lanes to pass a bike rider, they trot out the usual tired clichés about scofflaw cyclists — as if the bad behavior of a few riders justifies driving dangerously around them or anyone else.

Nor can they conceive of bikes as a solution to the area’s transportation ills. Even though many riders — undoubtedly including a number of their readers — already ride to work, school and shopping on a regular basis.

To them, bicycling is simply a recreational activity that interferes with the region’s vital transportation needs.

“Drivers will figure it out,” editorialized the Los Angeles Times, but drivers shouldn’t have to choose between following the law and using the roads for the purpose for which they were intended.

The LA Times gets it.

The Register, on the other hand, could use a boost into the current century. And a lesson in exactly who and what our roads are intended for — which is moving people, goods and services.

Not cars.

Thanks to Frank Peters for the heads-up.

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HPimage001-650

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Meanwhile, OC cyclist Matt Kelley offers his own response to the Register’s misguided editorial.

Editor:  I agree that AB 1371 is a poorly written law. It is unenforceable; and vague, unenforceable laws create a societal ignorance and apathy toward the law. 

And I can’t excuse poor cycling behavior by my fellow cyclists. But, an honest observer must also acknowledge the reasons for some of the behaviors that cyclists exhibit. Riding on the sidewalk is legal in California; except when specifically prohibited – which doesn’t excuse operating a bicycle in a dangerous fashion to pedestrians. Many cyclists ride on sidewalks because it is a rational response to the great many carelessly incompetent motorists that endanger cyclists. Cyclists riding on streets with on-street parking are directed to ride outside of the “door zone” in order to avoid dangerous accidents with careless motorists opening doors without checking for oncoming traffic.

While we’ve all seen examples of inconsiderate cycling, how many examples do we see from motorists?

As for the recreational nature of cycling – does the Editor then assert that all of the cars driving down PCH or Santiago Canyon Rd. on Saturday are engaged in “vital transportation?”

Laws like AB1371 are unnecessary if all road users are acknowledged as being legitimate users of a roadway – and in fact that is the crucial question; who are the roads for?  And if the answer is for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, why is our infrastructure designed and built in so many cases only for the safe use by cars?

……..

 

The East Coast bikelash beat goes on in the wake of last week’s Central Park collision that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

A writer for the New Yorker bemoans the self-righteousness of the city’s overly aggressive scofflaw cyclists — except for him, of course — while recalling that time he was hit by a bike.

In 2003.

And in what may or may not be satire, a DC writer calls for bikes to be banned entirely, claiming they maim, maul and kill countless innocent people. Although it does contain the following extremely cutting line:

All my bikes combined have killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy’s car.

Meanwhile, a more rational writer says bad bicyclist behavior may be memorable, in part because it’s rare.

The biker who flips the bird is held up as an example; the queue waiting at the light is not.

……..

Polaroid jumps into the action cam market with a cute little cube. It may not offer the picture quality of a GoPro, but at $99, it opens the door to capturing their rides for many more people. And offers the insurance every rider needs against anti-bike bias to prove what really happened in any collision or traffic dispute.

……..

Local

Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s staff presents their alternative (pdf) to the planned, approved and funded road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa at the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council’s Ad Hoc Transportation Committee on Thursday.

Streetsblog examines the latest census data on bike commuting in Los Angeles, which has a 1.2% mode share — a 33% increase over 2010. I’m not a fan of census data, though, as it fails to count the many people who use their bikes for transportation, but not riding to work; for instance, I work at home, but regularly ride my bike to meetings and errands.

Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next follow up on their interview with Sheila Kuehl by talking to her competition for County Supervisor, Bobby Shriver, who says he’s a bicyclist himself.

 

State

The US Department of Transportation will issue their own manual on how to build protected bikeways; unfortunately, a narrowly written new law permitting protected bikeways in California will prohibit its use unless it’s adopted by Caltrans or NACTO.

Turns out Beyoncé isn’t the only performer who bikes to her shows, as Katy Perry tweets that she rode 22 miles from Palo Alto to last night’s performance in San Jose.

Caught on video: A cyclist takes to San Francisco’s heavily trafficked Bay Bridge. And yes, bikes are banned from the bridge, other than a separated bikeway that only goes part way.

 

National

REI becomes the exclusive US retailer for the German Ghost bicycle brand — neglecting that ghost bikes mean something very different here. And good luck defending that copyright.

Grist offers advice on what to do if you’re hit by a car; you can find my advice here.

Adventure Cycling lists this year’s favorite bicycle touring blogs.

A new study says users of active transportation — aka bicyclists and pedestrians — are the happiest commuters. But you knew that, right?

A major flap in the world of bike journalism, as the Bikerumor website is accused of plagiarism. And not for the first time.

The five best fall bike rides in Colorado; I’ve done both the Cache la Poudre and Peak to Peak rides many times, back in the days when a motorist was more likely to give you a friendly wave than run you off the road.

American cycling legend Dale Stetina is still struggling to recover from the near collision that almost killed him, as the Colorado driver responsible enters a guilty plea.

Once again, we send a bike riding visitor to the US back to his home country to recover; this time it’s a deaf and blind cyclist from Norway who was injured in a collision while riding tandem in Iowa.

Bicycling looks at the world’s first underground mountain bike park in Louisville, KY.

 

International

Around the world in 365 days and 11,200 miles by bike.

Even stunt bike star Danny MacAskill is the victim of a bike thief when his is stolen in Glasgow.

Shimano agrees to work for bike advocacy in Europe; every bike company should support advocacy efforts wherever they do business.

A week after Jens Voigt set a new hour record, Bradley Wiggins announced plans to go after it as well.

 

Finally…

A poster for a class on how to steal bikes actually leads to a vasectomy clinic; no, I don’t get it either. Following up on a recent item, the Bieb has reportedly given up drinking and partying for bicycling, tennis and clean living. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

And Budweiser offers a surprisingly subtle, but hard-hitting call to avoid drunk driving.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for his generous contribution to support BikinginLA; his gift came as a very pleasant birthday surprise. 

L’shanah tovah!

 

 

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