Tag Archive for climate change

Morning Links: Bikeways the best way to fight climate change, and buy a steel bike to cut CO2 emissions

Want to fight climate change?

Build more and better bikeways.

According to a new British study, the single most cost-effective way to reduce the CO2 emissions causing climate change is to build more bicycle infrastructure.

In fact, if bicycling rose to just 7.5% of urban bike trips globally, it would keep 2.3 gigatons of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere.

Increase bike modal share to 10%, and that rises to a savings of 11 gigatons of CO2.

And the cost of all that new climate change fighting infrastructure?

Just over $2 billion worldwide. Minus $2 billion, that is.

Which means that bike infrastructure more than pays for itself.

Tell that to the traffic safety deniers. And to LA city councilmembers like Paul Koretz, who profess to fighting climate change while blocking bike lanes in their districts.

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Another way to cut carbon emissions is to buy a steel frame bike, instead of ti, carbon or aluminum. And patch your tubes instead of throwing them away.

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My former Iditarod Sled Dog-driving brother Eric is off on another unsupported solo bike tour.

This time he’s following a route that will take him 2,400 miles from Portland Oregon to Grand Junction, Colorado, hitting five national parks along the way.

And likely riding through some serious winter weather before he makes it home late next month.

Then again, after mushing through the wilderness on the way to Nome in the middle of winter, he should be used to it.

And yes, I’m jealous as hell.

I’ll try to provide updates along the way.

Eric’s bike loaded down with his kitty litter panniers as he sets out on the first day.

Not a bad view for the first night of the tour, as he settles in for the night at Tillamook Bay.

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Local

CiclaValley catches a driver continually weaving in and out of a bike lane to bypass backed up traffic.

 

State

Bad news from Escondido, where a 14-year old boy suffered life-threatening burns when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, and was trapped underneath the car; police were quick to blame the victim for not having lights on his bike or wearing “safety gear.” Bike riders in California are required to have lights and reflectors after dark, and riders under 18 must wear helmets — even though that would have done nothing to prevent the victim’s burns in this case.

Police in San Luis Obispo are stopping bicyclists and pedestrians for traffic violations, and asking them to post to social media why they were stopped in lieu of receiving a ticket. Although it would be nice if they did the same for drivers, instead of just blaming and shaming potential victims.

 

National

City Lab offers an explainer on how induced demand works. Someone tried to argue last week that induced demand was a myth, based solely on the fact that he chose not to believe it.

Writing for a tech website, an “avid cyclist” calls e-scooters one of the season’s most ridiculous and unnecessary fads, and hopes they die before they kill someone. He seems to see the streets from a windshield perspective, despite having spent a “not-so-small fortune” on bicycles, kits, helmets and gloves.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where a driver was acquitted of murder charges for fatally shooting drunken bike rider following a fight that began because the victim was weaving in and out of traffic.

Heavy rains have forced Madison WI bike riders to find alternative routes, as bike paths in the bike-friendly city have been taken over by ducks and kayaks.

Chicago Streetsblog says buffered bike lanes offer an inexpensive way to prevent doorings.

A Columbus, Ohio writer says the current panic over scooters is nothing new; the arrival of bicycles sparked the same fears over 120 years ago.

A beginning Ohio bike commuter offers advice based on what’s he’s learned.

Four hundred fifty bicyclists are making their way 325 miles across the state of Maine in the sixth annual BikeMaine tour.

An Op-Ed from a Boston bike rider describes the day he was assaulted by a road raging driver while riding in a bike lane — which wouldn’t have happened if the city had built the protected bike lane bicyclists had asked for

A real estate website has identified New York’s most blocked bike lane. LA’s would probably be the new MyFig bike lane across from Staples Center, with nearby 7th Street a close second. But that’s just a guess.

The New York Post’s bike-hating columnist gets exactly what he was after when his latest screed stirs up an angry response, concluding that the people who called him racist for ignoring anyone other than young, white bicyclists are the real racists. Sure, let’s go with that. Nothing like tossing a molotov cocktail into a crowd, then acting innocent when people get upset.

An Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun says it’s time to stop caving into the bike lobby, citing the $850 million in federal TAP funds, and the paltry $3 million spent by the Bike League and People for Bikes to lobby the federal government. Even though TAP funds go for a lot more than just bike lanes. And wait until he finds out how much the feds, states and local governments spend to subsidize motor vehicle traffic. Let alone how much car makers, oil companies and construction firms pay to lobby them.

A Virginia letter writer says expecting bike riders to give a verbal warning is outdated, and they should be required to use a bike bell, instead.

 

International

Bike Radar discusses the “essential pieces of cycling clothing and kit you need” to ride a bike. I can’t begin to say how much I hate stories like this; all you need to ride a bike is pants or shorts, and some sort of shoes. Everything else is optional to a greater or lesser degree.

A Toronto physician’s group calling itself Doctors for Safe Cycling says lowering speed limits and building more protected bike lanes is the prescription for road safety.

Now that’s something to be proud of. A 20-year old British woman became the first blind rider to independently ride a 30-mile trail.

The Guardian says Great Britain needs a boost from ebikes.

An English driver will spend nearly four years behind bars after smashing into a group of randonneurs a year ago, leaving one rider paralyzed and two others injured — then simply driving home despite acknowledging he’d hit “something.

Do we really want to get into the great bike helmet debate again? Not when it’s as lightweight as this piece from the UK.

Even in the Netherlands, school drop-off points are dangerous places, as a government minister urges parents not to drive, and to walk or bike their kids to school instead.

A century old Kiev, Ukraine velodrome might be the coolest cycling track in Europe.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Australian city puts a series of bike safety signs on hold over fears they could increase liability by acknowledging the streets are dangerous. So apparently, the solution is just to keep them that way.

 

Competitive Cycling

Heartbreaking news, as 27-year old German Olympic and world track sprint cycling champion Kristina Vogel announced her legs are paralyzed, following a crash with another cyclist while training earlier this year that resulted in a severed spinal chord. Yet another reminder that bicycling is a dangerous sport, especially at the highest levels.

Ending a 17-year drought, 22-year old Kate Courtney became the first American since 2001 to win the mountain bike world championship; Denmark’s Annika Langvad finished second, followed by Canadian Emily Batty.

The leader’s jersey change hands once again at the Vuelta a España, where the top four riders are separated by just 47 seconds.

Twenty-three-year old American former mountain biker Sepp Kuss is making an impact at the Vuelta in his first year on the WorldTour, after winning this year’s Tour of Utah.

We probably don’t need to worry about spoilers with the Tour of Britain, where France’s Julian Alaphilippe won the title.

The Dimension Data pro cycling team will reduce the number of African riders as it struggles to maintain its WorldTour status; the team has focused on developing black African riders.

Sad news from Canada, where a 20-year old Edmonton track cyclist is in intensive care after crashing at around 40 mph in a Mexican velodrome.

 

Finally…

Most people usually don’t drink while they’re on their bike. It’s not a tandem bike, it’s an argument machine.

And once again, an Aussie rider is the victim of a rude ‘roo. Or two.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

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.

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L’Shana Tova to all marking Rosh Hashanah today!

Morning Links: Koretz calls for climate change mobilization but still no bike lanes, and Bikes4Orphans BBQ ride

No hypocrisy here.

Bike lane-blocking LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz joined with author Naomi Klein to call for a World War II style mobilization to fight climate change.

Los Angeles took on the needs of the entire United States and much of the world during World War II by embracing wartime mobilization. Its existing population and hundreds of thousands of new residents not only contributed massively to aircraft and ship manufacturing, they also volunteered to aid the Red Cross by the tens of thousands. I’m calling on all Angelenos to mobilize once again.  We need a World War II-scale mobilization in order to keep our City safe and our planet habitable and resilient. And we need to ensure that we do it in a way that honors frontline communities, ensures equity, and protects workers.  I’m asking the creative minds of Los Angeles to join with the grassroots activists in creating the City of the future, not some fictional Tomorrowland, but here, on the ground, in the City of Angels we all love.

Of course, one of the single best steps LA could take to fight climate change would be to get people out of their cars, and onto non-polluting sources of transportation.

Like bicycles, for instance.

But that would mean building the kind of on-street bikeways on arterial streets that Koretz has actively opposed since being elected to the LA City Council, after being termed out of the state legislature.

Let alone calling for an outright bike ban on the boulevard.

So we can only assume that Koretz has had a change of heart, and will now approve the shovel-ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other Westside streets.

Or maybe he’s not serious about that WWII-style mobilization — or fighting climate change — after all.

Thanks to David Wolfburg for the heads-up.

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Bikes4Orphans will hold a fundraising BBQ ride on August 20th; the Pasadena-based non-profit sends bicycles to children around the world to help them stay in school.

 

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VeloNews looks at how the leader in the Tour de France gets a yellow bike to match his yellow jersey. Or not.

Britain’s Chris Froome is the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Tour, which starts on Saturday in Dusseldorf.

A rider on Alberto Contador’s Trek-Segafredo team has been replaced for the Tour after testing positive for EPO. It’s refreshing to still see old school blood doping in this modern age of motor and poop doping.

Bicycling offers tips on how to watch the Tour de France without cable TV. The magazine also talks with newly crowned national champ Amber Neben about how she reclaimed the title at 42 years old.

Iowa’s Sarah Cooper talks with a local TV station following her RAAM victory.

A lawsuit against British Cycling seeks to have the country’s Olympic athletes declared employees before a claim of discrimination can be heard; they aren’t currently considered employees, despite signing a contract and receiving a monthly salary.

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Local

The innocent victim killed in a drive-by shooting as he rode his bike past people arguing after a traffic collision in South LA has been identified as a 17-year old Los Angeles man; a GoFundMe page set up to pay his funeral expenses has raised less than $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton points out the irony that the anti-safety group looking to reverse the lane reductions in Playa del Rey is stealing the Open Streets name from the popular carfree ciclovías spreading across the US. Also note in the comments that the changes to Vista del Mar have proven as unpopular with some cyclists as they have with drivers.

Los Angeles pledges $1 million to improve safety on the LA River bike path.

You know there’s something positive going on when a reporter for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune can ride his bike to a music festival next to the Rose Bowl.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will come to Culver City next year, with 600 bikes at stations throughout the city, as well as in Palms, Mar Vista, Del Rey and Playa Vista. However, the bikes will be incompatible with the bikeshare in neighboring Beverly Hills.

You can beat the traffic to Santa Monica’s free Twilight Concerts on the pier with a free bike valet or the city’s Breeze bikeshare. However, that’s “or”, not “and,” since the bike valet does not accept the bikeshare bikes.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist and former sheriff’s sergeant is fighting a severe form of brain cancer; a fund to help defray medical expenses has raised just under $35,000.

It might be the most dangerous intersection on San Diego’s El Cajon Blvd, but apparently, it’s not dangerous enough to fix.

Ford has pulled a controversial 24-hour pass for its new Bay Area bikeshare over fears it would destroy the local bike rental industry. However, they were beaten to the punch by a new dockless — and unpermitted — bikeshare that dropped 100 ebikes on the streets of San Francisco.

San Francisco Streetsblog questions why more isn’t done to protect bike riders during construction projects. Here in LA, riders are usually just thrown to the wolves during construction.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist documents the difficulty riding through the homeless camps that have taken over a popular bikeway.

 

National

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner has won again, getting a temporary restraining order against a pair of professional cybersquatters.

A Minneapolis paper looks at the 200-year history of the bicycle, noting it’s gone from being considered risky to healthy.

Detroit continues to be in the news, as a bike shop is closed until next week after an incident in which a black customer berated a black mechanic at the store using derogatory racial terms, then claimed on Facebook that he’d been jumped by the employees when they ask him to leave.

An 11-year old Ohio boy is rewarded with a new bicycle and helmet after using his own money to help pay for his great-grandmother’s funeral.

A Brooklyn man could face more serious charges for sucker punching a man as he rode past on his bicycle; his victim is still in a coma three weeks later.

Baltimore bike advocates reach a settlement with the city to keep a protected bike lane in place, after filing suit when the mayor threatened to rip it out.

 

International

A Toronto columnist says it’s crazy to suggest that lower speed limits could make the city’s streets more dangerous by increasing driver frustration and aggression. Although taking away a traffic lane certainly seems to push them over the edge.

A new play about the death of a London woman on her bike is crowdfunding money to stage a premier this fall.

A change in British law to give priority — aka right-of-way — to people going straight over people turning at intersections could improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing delays up to 38%. That’s also the law here, though it’s often ignored.

 

Finally…

How can it be a bicycle café if there aren’t any bicycles? It’s stretching it to call something that can do 60 mph an ebike — even if they make you promise not to go that fast on the street.

And no, don’t grab a tow from a backhoe.

 

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