Tag Archive for dangerous drivers

Morning Links: New hope for Temple Street, more dangerous drivers, and Bird & SoCal cities sued over scooters

There may be hope for Temple Street yet.

Eight months after Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell pulled the plug on the long planned and badly needed Complete Streets makeover of Temple in the wake of the Playa del Rey disaster — and even longer after anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo killed his part of the project — local residents haven’t given up the fight.

A pair of meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow to discuss what can be done on the dangerous arterial. And possibly even resurrect the Temple Street Compete Streets project.

If you live, work, ride or walk anywhere near Temple, you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of them.

Cedillo may be a lost cause, but it could still be possible to convince O’Farrel to change his mind if we make enough noise.

Thanks to Derrick Paul for the heads-up and the photo.

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What the hell is wrong with people?

Just a day after Claremont’s Leslie Pray was allegedly murdered by a driver who internationally ran into her, a road raging San Antonio TX driver tried to do the same thing, using his car as a weapon in an attempt to run down three bike riders he’d been arguing with.

Fortunately, he only hit a fire hydrant.

But now faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And a long vacation in a Texas prison.

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Apparently, it’s not enough for some people to just run down one bike rider.

Florida residents want speed limits lowered and a traffic signal installed on the street where four bicyclists were critically injured by a 91-year old driver; two victims remain in serious to critical condition.

And a South African hit-and-run driver crashed into one bike rider on a club ride, sending him falling into the others and ended up injuring five bicyclists.

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Australia’s bike community is in morning after a leading bike advocate was killed in a collision with an SUV driver.

Cam Frewer had helped introduce Queensland’s equivalent of the three-foot passing law and fought for the rights of riders.

Frewer had been the subject of numerous death threats for his advocacy work raises a question of whether the crash was an accident.

Meanwhile, an anti-bike drivers group says it’s not their fault if some bike rider gets himself killed.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the tip.

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More e-scooters in the news.

First Bird sued Beverly Hills for banning scooters, now a wheelchair-bound woman is suing Bird, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Santa Monica in a proposed class action, claiming the scooters block sidewalks and endanger handicapped people — even though they can’t be legally used in Beverly Hills.

There’s no love for scooters in the City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia gives Lime and Bird the bird after discovering motorized scooters are not street legal in Pennsylvania.

Last but not least, Greensboro SC gets on the scooter banning bandwagon.

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Local

Forget the Olympics; Los Angeles beat out Budapest as host of the first ever World Urban Games next September, with events including BMX freestyle cycling; if the city doesn’t fall on its face, LA could host the 2021 games, as well.

An Op-Ed in the LA Times says what’s lacking on Los Angeles streets is manners. Thanks to Chris Giza for the link.

Over 100 people turned out for the ghost bike ceremony honoring alleged murder victim Leslie Pray in Claremont last night; her partner called Pray the kindest and most gentle person she’d ever known.

CiclaValley rides with around 50 other cyclists in honor of bicyclist Dedrick Kon, who died recently of complications from a car crash while driving at the beginning of the year.

 

State

Hard-hitting piece from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who says maybe the death of Costa Mesa fire fighter Mike Kreza will serve as a wakeup call to end SoCal’s culture of distracted driving. Although there’s been no report that the allegedly stoned driver was distracted, as well.

Work has begun to close a gap in the Bay Area’s Bay Trail between Berkeley and Albany; when completed, the trail will extend 350 mile around the San Francisco Bay, with another 150 miles to go. Nothing like that exists in SoCal; the closest thing would be the LA River bike path, which will extend 57 miles when and if it’s ever finished; San Diego is finishing work on a 27-mile path around the bay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

A GM fan site belatedly discovers that bike riders weren’t great fans of the recent GMC truck commercial suggesting bike riders should get a real truck.

A Mesa AZ driver says he nearly killed someone on a bike because the rider didn’t have any lights or reflectors.

A new bike lane was designed to keep bike riders and drivers from crossing paths on a busy Chicago street. But doesn’t work because drivers won’t stop driving in the bike lane and bicyclists won’t stop for the stop sign. Yet another reminder that traffic planners need to keep human nature in mind when designing anything — which is the very definition of Vision Zero.

A Chicago weekly offers advice for men on how not to be a total jerk to women walking, biking or using transit.

New Hampshire residents say a new bollard-protected bike lane has made a once-safe street more dangerous. As well as heartbreakingly unaesthetic, according to one woman.

New York’s refusal to install a long-sought protected bike lane on one street leads some people to call plans for a painted bike lane a death trap.

 

International

Tech Radar looks at the next generation of bike tech.

According to an Ottawa, Canada defense lawyer, his dump truck driver client wasn’t negligent, even though he failed to signal before fatally right-hooking a woman on a bike.

A new film follows a Montreal DJ who bought a bike on a whim, and set off on an attempt to set a new world record for the longest continuous fixie ride, over 11,000 miles through the Canadian arctic.

Life is cheap and getting cheaper in the UK, where a driver saw his sentence for slamming into three bike riders cut from 45 months to just three years.

A five-day Israeli fundraising ride brought in a record $3.5 million for a pediatric children’s hospital; Madonna, Cher, Michael Bublé and Kathleen Turner saw the riders off, one third of whom came from the US.

South African bicyclists ride in honor of a 68-year old rider who was robbed and fatally stabbed by thieves who took his bike and cellphone. Proof that dangerous drivers aren’t the only risk that riders face in some places.

An Aukland, New Zealand bike advocate says the city is turning into a bicycling city, and riders need a seat at the top table.

A group of Australian riders are retracing the route of a bike-riding Aussie infantry troop across Europe’s Western Front during World War 1.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard takes a bikepacking tour from Phnom Penh to Laos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Alejandro Valverde insists he never tested positive for doping, despite serving a two-year ban for his connections to the Spain’s Operation Puerto investigation.

Bradley Wiggins says he would have had more rights if he was on trial for murder, instead of under investigation for suspected doping before being cleared.

A Saskatoon, Canada cyclist smashed the record for the 24 Hour World Time Trial Championships held in the California desert by riding 456 miles, beating the existing record by nearly 25 miles; she said afterwards she didn’t know how far she could go.

 

Finally…

Traffic calming beats deploying your middle finger. Mountain biking while very high in Kathmandu.

And few things go better with bicycling than LA’s best donuts.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And no, sharrows don’t count.

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

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

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

It’s cold comfort.

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

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

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

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Right.

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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 this Sunday!

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

Morning Links: South Figueroa Complete Street project opens next week, and updates on OC court cases

The long awaited My Figueroa Complete Streets project will finally open a week from tomorrow.

City officials will open the long-delayed makeover of the iconic South Figueroa corridor with an official ribbon cutting, as well as walking and biking tours.

Although not everyone is happy with the unprotected, cab-blocked bike lanes by Staples Center, the pedestrian beg buttons required to cross the street, and the interminable bicycle red lights that give drivers clear priority over people on bikes on a street that’s supposed to serve everyone.

LADOT has promised they’re still fine-tuning the street, but I’m hearing complaints that too many compromises were made to get everyone to sign off on the My Figueroa project.

Let’s hope they get it fixed before Angeleno bike riders write off the remade Figueroa as just another incomplete, auto-centric LA street.

Meanwhile, nothing has been done at all on North Figueroa, which remains just as deadly as ever.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous OC correspondent, who checks in today with a number of updates on outstanding court cases.

Along with a little justified criticism of yours truly.

Hi, here’s a few overdue updates on OC cases, along with some typical ranting.

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(Alleged) murderer Justin Scott German was released from custody on August 10th on $1mil bond. His preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for September 17th. No surprise that this bartender was on probation for DUI at the time of the killing.

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Baby-faced rager Pratiti Mehta is facing a slew of charges: unsafe right turn, unsafe lane change, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle causing injury, hit and run causing injury, and oh yeah, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON with an enhancement for great bodily injury. And since her fleeing ass provided false information to the investigating officers, there’s another charge.

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The Rita Faye McLaughlin case drags on and on and on. Last fall, I skipped a “pretrial” hearing. Turns out, it wasn’t yet another pretrial. It was the victim impact hearing. The victim’s siblings and daughter were there, and Rita Faye was supposed to plead. But she changed her mind. The jury trial was scheduled to begin on the 16th, but has been delayed again.

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Jason Roy Rocha‘s case is also dragging. There will be no good outcome; he needs extensive mental health maintenance and he needs to be permanently banned from operating a motor vehicle, but neither of these things will happen.

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Taylor Russell Evans pleaded guilty in June and is currently serving 364 days in County. His prelim on June 11th was canceled because he accepted a plea bargain, and sentencing was the following week (I skipped both because I had that gimongous facial hematoma)*. He’ll probably be out by Thanksgiving, and his victim will probably still be dead.

*(Editor’s note: Our correspondent was hit by a driver while riding, suffering what the police consider minor injuries.)

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Not bike collisions, but Bani Duarte, who was interrupted by officers as she was packing her suitcase to flee the country, will be allowed out if she raises $4mil bail.

And imagine if Garrett James McKinnon injured 12 people in two separate firearms incidents, instead of using a car.

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Can you stop lauding the OCDA sooo highly? I remind you that killer Becki Lee James was acquitted after she ran down a cyclist, from behind, in broad daylight, inside a 23′ lane, even though her victim was riding in the door zone. The deputy DA at the trial sprawled out in his seat like Dwight the Surly Teen and was clearly irritated to be in the courtroom. The DA absolutely failed to provide the level of prosecution the case deserved, and James is still out there driving around.

Young Dylan Rand-Luby served his 90 days in the cushy pay-to-stay section of Santa Ana’s jail, and is going on about his life.

I was sooo hopeful that the OCDA’s Vehicular Homicide Team would be be brave enough to set some precedent and prosecute on murder/DUI-marijuana charges, but they’ve decided not to go for murder, and so far there are no charges at all.

There’s more, but we’ll save it for another day.

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BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen offers a good explanation of California’s comparative liability law, which could cut the amount you receive in any settlement if a jury finds you’re partly at fault in a crash.

On the other hand, it could also allow you to receive something, even if you’re the one who screwed up.

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Local

The Los Angeles Public Library has a bouncing baby bakfiets book bike, which was donated to the Baldwin Hills branch by the LACBC.

LADOT and CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield are hosting a public workshop to discuss street improvements for Winnetka Ave between Vanowen St and Victory Blvd next Wednesday.

Bloomberg says forget vaporware tech promises, and just build a decent sidewalk that would allow fans to walk to Dodger Stadium.

A bill just signed by Governor Brown will allow the County of Los Angeles to develop a program to get employers to encourage their workers to use alternative forms of transportation, including bicycling.

 

State

No surprise here, as the San Francisco driver who allegedly admitted he was drunk after running down and killing a bike rider has pled not guilty, with his attorney calling it just a “tragic accident.” He faces a murder count due to two previous DUI convictions, which led to a warning under state law that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while under the influence.

San Francisco bike advocates want to end the city’s cap on bikeshare ebikes.

Police in Elk Grove turned to Facebook to find the owner of a Colnago Extreme C racing bike after busting a burglar. Seriously, register your bikes, already. It doesn’t cost anything, and will give police a much easier way to find you if something like this happens.

 

National

The national Vision Zero Network says it will focus on managing and reducing speeds, while defending the program against cities that treat it like a tag line or a PR campaign. Like Los Angeles, for instance.

Bicycling says bicycling — lower case — is the best way to banish the blues. Unless, of course, you’re sad because you can’t ride for some reason, in which case you’re screwed.

A writer for Bicycling says keep your feet out of our bike lanes.

DIY advice on how to wall mount your bike.

Portland’s Community Cycling Center is looking for a new Director of Equity, Engagement and People.

A Utah man suffered cuts and bruises, and broken glasses, when he was assaulted by a bike rider who objected to the man’s dogs being off-leash on a shared use trail. Seriously, just… don’t. No matter how justified you may think your anger is, violence is never the answer.

No bias here. A Colorado music professor is being blamed for a fatal suicide swerve into the side of a passing tanker truck. A more likely explanation is the truck driver passed too close at too high a speed, in violation of the state’s three-foot passing law, and the victim got sucked into the truck’s slipstream.

The subway apocalypse predicted for New York when the L-train shuts down for 15 months of maintenance next year could be a boon for buses and bicycling in the city.

A group of DC Eagle Scouts just earned their bicycling across the US merit badge.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. DC is fixing a bike lane and intersection where a bike rider was killed earlier this summer.

Arlington VA is conducting a trial next month to see how well bicycling volunteers can deliver emergency supplies and messages following a disaster. But oddly, they’re charging people to participate.

A North Carolina newspaper says if the city is bike friendly, where are the bike lanes?

 

International

The Guardian says urban walking could save humanity.

Bike riding is growing in Toronto, even as the BBC calls it the worst city in the world for bicycling.

London’s Scotland Yard has developed a “shocking” 360° virtual reality film to show the dangers of riding a bike near large trucks.

A member of the British Parliament accepted an invitation to ride with a bicyclist after his Conservative party sent out a since-deleted tweet promising a crackdown on dangerous bicycling. Many, if not most, of LA’s elected officials agreed to meet and ride with bicyclists when they filled out candidate questionnaires from the LACBC, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever held them to that. Maybe we should change that.

Seriously? A UK study shows Millennials are spending more on hobbies, including bicycling, than their elders, because they have to have the latest fashionable gear and most up-to-date equipment. Which is the exact opposite of most bike riding Millennials I know, but sounds like a lot of older riders.

A pair of British men now officially own the world record for circumnavigating the globe by tandem, riding over 18,000 miles in a little more than 290 days. Speaking of which, tandems are in again.

This is why you have to ride carefully around horses. A woman in the UK suffered a punctured lung when a bike rider tried to pass between her horse and the curb without announcing his presence. Seriously, equestrians can be self-righteous jerks when it comes to demanding exclusive rights to trails and bridges, but both rider and mount can be seriously injured if the horse gets frightened.

The London driver caught on video deliberately swerving at a group of bike riders wasn’t lying when he said the car was stolen; he faces multiple charges for car theft and driving without a license.

A new British government program will spend the equivalent of $645,000 to train driving instructors to teach bicycle awareness to their students.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Continental Jelly Belly-Maxxis team could be on its way out after 18 years, after Jelly Belly announces it’s pulling out at the end of this year.

An Indiana mountain biker is still winning races after 25 years.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you ride like a moose. An injured goose’s goose isn’t  cooked, thanks to a pair of bike riders.

And evidently, there were no major advances in road bikes before 1948.

 

Morning Links: Koretz proposes ban on e-scooters in Los Angeles, and keeping drivers on the road until it’s too late

In a move that probably shouldn’t have surprised anyone, LA’s self-proclaimed environmentalist councilmember has called for a temporary ban on dockless e-scooters.

Yes, Paul Koretz, the councilmember who singlehandedly blocked desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd — as well as on other major corridors throughout the Westside — has taken action to force people of their e-scooters and back into their cars, rather than allowing a viable first mile/last mile solution to take root.

This is the same councilman who has called for a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department. Yet can’t seem to see the logical disconnect in fighting alternative forms of transportation while paying lip service to climate change.

Then again, he doesn’t seem to see any problem with blocking increased density, either.

Evidently, he’s all for emergency action to address climate change, as long as it’s in someone else’s district.

Never mind that, as someone else pointed out, blocking bike lanes is just climate change denial in action.

Then there’s this disconnect, from the report by KFI radio.

“When we had a hearing in our Transportation Committee, at the time I had seen about three of them and I thought it wasn’t a big deal,” Koretz said. “I’ve probably seen a thousand since just on Beverly Boulevard where I live, and 100 percent have no helmet usage. … I’ve seen probably 20 go by with double on the scooter, which is very dangerous. On the commercial streets, everyone is illegally on the sidewalk.”

Which was followed by,

As for the public’s reaction, Koretz said he believed most residents want the scooters off the streets. He said his office has receive hundreds of complaints about them in recent weeks.

Yes, that is the scientific way to gauge public opinion, especially since people who support the scooters aren’t likely to call to say so without some compelling reason.

Like a stupid proposal to ban them, for instance.

And how is it that “hundreds of complaints” somehow outweighs thousands of users — by his own observation?

As for Koretz’ “better safe than sorry” concerns, there’s this from the Hollywood Reporter’s overview of the response, legal and otherwise, to e-scooters in the LA area.

Scooters have shown to pose safety hazards while operational and parked. According to injury attorney Catherine Lerer of L.A.’s McGee Lerer & Associates, who has written extensively about electric scooters, the top two seen in her office are people hurt when a scooter malfunctions — when a brake line is cut by disgruntled L.A. residents, for instance, or the scooter’s main post collapses — and pedestrians tripping over the scooters. “I’ve gotten calls from elderly people exiting businesses…people leave them right outside the front door,” Lerer notes.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a disaster in the making. Especially when one of the leading causes of injuries is sabotage by scooter-hating NIMBY terrorists.

The proposal was seconded by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, who has also proposed a ban on dockless bikeshare until the city can work out a permitting process.

This follows the misguided bans on e-scooters in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills; the latter banning even riding bikeshare bikes or e-scooters through the city, which most likely violates state law.

Of course, this kind of hysteria about a new form of transportation is nothing new.

And something tells me Koretz would have been one of the first to call for a ban on bicycles had he lived in the 1890s. Although he probably would have been fine with the Model T chasing everyone else off the roads.

Of course, Los Angeles could take a more rational approach, like working with Lime and Bird to address any issues while they work the bugs out, as Culver City and Long Beach are doing.

But that would make too much sense.

Especially for an environmentalist who seems determined to keep Angelenos in their smog and greenhouse gas-belching cars.

https://twitter.com/LAMetroBlueLine/status/1024492126694866944

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As long as we’re talking about e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, let’s look at a few more stories on the subject.

Curbed offers everything you need to know about renting e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in Los Angeles. While you still can, that is.

When a Portland-area website went fishing for complaints about e-scooters, what they got were complaints about cars.

And a St. Louis website gives Lime scooters a test ride, and comes back with 13 things they learned. Including that they’re fun as, well, you get the idea.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a driver gets just 45 days behind bars for killing a van driver while speeding, tailgating and driving recklessly — despite receiving 40 tickets over the last 20 years.

And a Tuskegee University football player will never play the game again, after his leg was severed when a friend’s car he was helping to jump was hit by a driver with a “criminal history dating to 1989 (that) ‘shows a pattern of driving offenses and felony arrests.'”

Just two more examples of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

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More on the American couple killed in a terrorist attack in Tajikistan on Sunday, who had quit their jobs to bike around the world.

The couple from Washington, DC had written about their trip on a blog that sadly will never be finished.

And authorities blamed the attack on members of the blacklisted Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

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Local

As we noted last week, fresh green bike lanes are finally going down on Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which had fought the lanes for nearly a decade before surprisingly embracing them last year.

Today Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave their jurisdiction.

 

State

A Cambrian man accidentally became the first bike rider to travel Highway 1 in Big Sur after it reopened last month.

San Francisco approves plans for a curb-protected bike lane the promises to be the safest in the city.

Sad news from Del Norte County, where the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a woman as she rode her bike; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and still hasn’t been identified. One more reminder to always carry some form of identification when you ride; I never leave home without my RoadID, which doubles as a medic alert bracelet.

 

National

A writer for Forbes says cities must take advantage of the opportunities presented by bikeshare.

Bloomberg says Uber and Lyft may not be the solution to traffic congestion, but they’re probably not the cause, either.

Bicycling profiles BMX star Nigel Sylvester, saying the “rebellious superstar is breaking all the rules,” and doesn’t need your permission, thank you.

A writer for Fox News blames “big-spending liberals” for pushing Seattle bike lane and streetcar projects that have been plagued with cost overruns.

A Washington writer gets a detailed education in why many bicyclists prefer to ride on the highway, when there’s a perfectly good bike path nearby. Which should be required reading for planners before they’re allowed to design any offroad path.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where councilmembers have the power to block bike lanes. A Chicago bike rider was killed when he was doored on a street that was supposed to have a protected bike lane, which was halted by the local alderman.

After Ofo pulled out of White Plains NY, they donated over 100 bike for use by low income families.

An Albany NY TV station raises concerns about the structural integrity of an old railroad bridge that now used by over “200,000 bike riders, joggers and dog walkers” every year.

Charlotte NC is planning its first two-way, protected cycle track.

 

International

Curbed looks at 14 gorgeous carfree cities around the world. Anyone one of which I’m just about ready to move to. Although bike riding on the Venice canals might be a bit of a challenge.

No surprise here, as a study shows the noxious fumes in London’s air disappeared during the annual carfree Ride London event.

A British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole suggests revising the country’s traffic laws, including requiring all bike riders to pass a proficiency test, and have their bicycles inspected annually for safety violations (aka an MoT, or Ministry of Transport exam).

Talk about lessons not learned. Bike Biz reprints a speech in the British parliament that calls for a revival of bicycling in the national interest — which was given sixty years ago. And clearly not acted on.

Egyptians are being encouraged to leave their cars behind in an effort to spread bicycle culture throughout the country.

Shimano has apparently overcome the losses from the factory fire in Japan earlier this year, with sales up 6.8%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes calls bicycle racing the best sport to combine spectating and active participation.

A French newspaper calls for a budget cap for pro cycling teams following Team Sky’s dominating performance in the Tour de France; the president of cycling’s governing body calls for limiting teams to a maximum of six riders instead.

After successful surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae suffered during the Tour, Vincenzo Nibali hopes to return in time for the Vuelta a España later this month.

VeloNews talks with a sports psychologist about whether the abuse Team Sky riders suffered from fans during the Tour had any effect. Apparently not, since they led most of the way and placed two riders on the podium; cutting back on salbutamol probably had a bigger effect on Chris Froome.

Speaking of VeloNews, the magazine also talks with the head of the Dimension Data team about his efforts to build an African team; while several African riders have competed on the WorldTour with the team, no black African has yet won a stage at the highest levels.

And completing our VeloNews trilogy, the magazine offers a beautiful photo essay of the Tour de France from the Pyrenees to Paris.

A 60-year old Australian woman won the masters mountain bike world championships just one day after suffering a major crash.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the more bikes change, the more they look the same. Doing the Tour de France without a bicycle.

And sometimes, doing the right thing gets rewarded.

Morning Links: Crosswalk running parking cop, talking bike theft on Bike Talk, and Blessing of the Bicycles set

Curbed says city officials think Angelenos don’t understand how dangerous our streets really are, while bike and pedestrian advocates just wish they’d commit to fixing them.

On the other hand, our streets might be safer if LADOT’s parking enforcement officers stopped for people in crosswalks, too.

………

The latest edition of Bike Talk feature’s Bryan Hance of Bike Index talking bike theft and prevention with yours truly and Carlos Morales of Stan’s Bike Shop.

………

My favorite event of the annual LA Bike Week is set for May 15th, with the nondenominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Sam Hospital.

This year they’ll be honoring Metro with the Golden Spoke Award.

Here’s the spoke card for the event.

………

It was a bad day for a bike-riding refugee kid in Texas, and stroller-riding kids in New York.

The Netherlands became safer when they got tired of burying children killed by cars. But you have to wonder if America’s kindermord moment will ever come, if it hasn’t already.

Then again, we don’t seem to place much value on kids killed by guns, either.

………

Local

The LAPD is looking for a missing 16-year old girl suffering from autism and depression, who may be riding a bicycle.

The Capital & Main website says Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel could just make things worse for Los Angeles by amplifying existing inequities. And the real solution is to get more cars off the road, not trying to reinvent the subway.

A new ranking of America’s best fondos rates Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Cookie Fondo #8 in the US in just its 3rd year; last weekend’s Malibu GRANFONDO was ranked 13th, and the Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego was 3rd.

Maybe there really will be a Marathon Crash Ride this year after all.

 

State

Officials have broken ground on bike and pedestrian projects in Encinitas designed to provide safe routes under an I-5 overpass.

A Santa Cruz writer says safe and convenient biking and walking can reduce the county’s deep social inequality.

The National Park Service could reopen an off-road trail to give bicyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge a safer route into Sausalito.

An Oakland letter writer says putting in a road diet is an “experiment by the traffic calming industry that is using social engineering and behavior modification” to force people onto bikeshare bikes. They’re onto us, comrades.

A Sacramento paper says dockless bikeshare could reduce traffic and ease commutes on a local highway.

Chico bicyclists ride to remember a man who remained a dedicated bike advocate up to his death five years ago, even after a collision that left him a quadriplegic.

 

National

Hawaii bicyclists are calling for the passage of a three-foot passing law. Twentynine states currently require at least a three-foot distance to pass a bicyclist, including California.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a Las Vegas mom.

Would you want to ride on the Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway?

A road-raging Santa Fe NM driver admits to slamming on his brakes and backing into a senior citizens bike club, sending one rider to the hospital. Of course, in his telling, he’s the innocent victim of the rude and offensive riders who slammed into his car, then wanted to fight him; fortunately, he fled the scene before granny could kick his ass. And needless to say, he got off with a just a traffic ticket. 

Oklahoma City opens a new eight-mile bike path named after the late, great Will Rogers.

In what could be a huge leap in rehabilitation, a man who was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a bike crash was able to feed himself with his own hand and arm at an Ohio University, thanks to electrical brain implants connected to a computer system.

A Charlotte NC business site says developers have to do their part if it’s going to become a bike city.

A North Carolina man gets 28 years behind bars for beating a bike rider to death after the victim complained about a too-close pass — and possibly used racial slurs. The driver’s son, who was 16-years old at the time of the attack, faces charges for joining in the road rage attack.

 

International

Cycling Tips unwraps the mysteries of handlebar tape.

Carlton Reid of Bike Biz says bike mechanics are worth their weight in gold. Seriously, when you find a good wrench, you should treat him or her like your bike’s best friend. Because they are.

Great idea. An English community group is looking for volunteers to help disabled riders go mountain biking on adult tricycles and three-wheeled handcycles.

The Evening Standard offers tips on how to travel with your bike.

Britain’s proposed law banning dangerous cycling could carry a life sentence for fatal crashes; drivers currently face a maximum of 14 years, though that may be raised to match the bike bill.

Unbelievable. An Irish court rules that a driver had no obligation to back out carefully from a walled-off driveway with no view of the sidewalk, after bicyclist crashed into the side of his car.

Even in the Netherlands, you need to know how to ride your bike safely.

The UN is getting into the bikeshare business, opening a system for staff and visitors at their Nairobi office.

Britain’s Daily Mail says an “activist” cycling group in Melbourne, Australia, is fighting to remove fines for not wearing a bike helmet.  Which seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for “activists” to advocate for.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says allegations that he doped are part of a malicious smear campaign. Which is pretty much what everyone who has been caught doping has said.

The Guardian says the evidence of doping around Team Sky cyclists and other pro athletes shows deep corruption and a “culture of studied evasion.”

 

Finally…

If you can’t get a bikeshare bike in Paris, just buy one already. How do you take the lane when you’re riding in boat traffic?

And evidently, you need to put turn signals on your bike. Because those darn hand signals are just so 2017.

 

Morning Links: Three OC bicyclists struck by callous distracted driver, and Russian doping doc wins at Oscars

Last night, I received the following email from Allyson Vought, describing a collision with a distracted driver that sent two bicyclists to the hospital.

But fortunately, could have been much worse.

Almost lost some friends today

Well, it was a close one today for me, and 2 friends were taken to hospital after being struck by a distracted driver. Luckily no death or dismemberments, only (if there is such a thing) a few broken bones, scrapes and bruises, one concussion, and 2 very destroyed bikes.

Here are the details.

There were 6 of us in the group and we were at the end of a 22 mile out and back putt putt. We were riding our usual Brea to Diamond Bar and back easy day cruise. The incident occurred at the corner of Imperial Hwy and Puente, just 1/2 mille from the finish at Linda’s house. We were southbound on Puente and had stopped at Imperial Hwy waiting for our green light. The light changed and I was out first after seeing traffic had stopped to the left and right. Tim was 2nd, Tom was 3rd, Sigrid, Tom’s wife, was 4th then Maralyn, and Linda were the last two.

I was mid-intersection when I heard heavy skidding and I had just a moment to look to my left and saw a Black Toyota Camry (I think) heading for all of us. I pushed it and closed my eyes waiting for the hit. She JUST missed me (I was lucky) and I heard thuds, yells and screams. Witnesses say that she hit Tim on the left corner sending him flying and Tom dead center where he was thrust into the windshield and thrown forward to the pavement about 25 feet. Sigrid hit the side of the car and went down. Linda and Maralyn were able to stop OK.

Lady was on the PHONE it seems and failed to see the traffic stopped in the 2 inside lanes and just proceed through a red light and into our group. We did not see her as she came from behind the stopped cars and was passing them on the outside (fast lane) and there was no way to see her until it was too late to do anything.

Attached  is a picture of the car (see above). You will see the white on the bumper, that was Tim’s destroyed Jelly Belly Focus, and the clean spots on the hood — that was Tom’s doings.

Tim had gotten up and was sitting on the center divider and seemed lucid. There was blood below his left ear and his hand was scrapped and bloody. It may be broken and he had to get 4 stitches to close the open wound on his head. Funny thing was I took his helmet from his head, his gloves, shoes, jacket, and jersey and got him to the ambulance. We were still sorting things out and before I got to the hospital he called me asking what had happened, how was his bike, and where were his things. He was in one of those knocked out but chatty zones it seems. No memory of anything.

Tom was on the ground and in pain. Luckily his wife and Maralyn are both nurses so he was in good hands to be sure until the EMS and the Brea police arrived. They were there in minutes and took great care of our friends. We had pleantly of witnesses and we all gave statements. Kudo’s to all and they were very thorough to be sure.

We were there for about an hour giving statements and I made sure to document the scene with photos. Finished the ride and then headed to the hospital, the Irvine Med Center in Orange. Took a few minutes to find Tim as he was just being checked in and Tom was already ensconced in a room with Sigrid by his side, He was resting after all of the scans and X-rays. Not sure what was broken as the results were not in, but he remembers the whole incident quite clearly.

Tim was brought to the adjacent room about 15 minutes later and still had no clue as to what had occurred. Was not a happy camper when I told him his bike was toast.

So, it was a lucky day in that we all survived.

The older woman driver never got got off the phone — for even one second and made no comments, showed no emotions, nor exhibited any concern to the welfare of our friends. Shock or what I am not sure, but it was sure bizarre. I asked the police if anyone had checked on her and they said they had. I also went so far as to go to her window and asked how she was (on the phone) — no reply — and she did not even look my way. I  told her not to worry as no one was killed thankfully…still no response.

I DO hope she is insured.

The callousness of not even getting off the phone, let alone getting out to check on the victims, is just unbelievable. Fortunately, the crash occurred in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime, and distracted driving, seriously.

But please, someone tell me again how dangerous all those entitled cyclists are.

………

The highlight of last night’s Oscar ceremony, at least from a cycling perspective, was the victory of the doping-themed Icarus in the best documentary category.

Oddly, the response from RT, aka Russia Today, to the film that exposed the country’s systematic doping and led to the loss of previous Olympic medals and banishment from last month’s winter Olympics, was something less than positive.

Go figure.

………

USA Today offers an inspiring story about an LA marathoner and cyclist who was paralyzed by a red light-running driver while riding her bike. And shortly afterwards, committed herself to training to compete in a Florida half-marathon as a handcyclist.

Although the story is just a tad late, since the race was run in January; she finished in 1:13:20.

And tragic that stories like this are even necessary.

………

Local

KPCC asks LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds if Vision Zero can really eliminate LA traffic deaths. Meanwhile, the Daily News says a lack of funding is setting Vision Zero up for failure.

Curbed calls for making the Oscar street closures permanent.

No, there won’t be a Marathon Crash Ride before next week’s LA Marathon, for the second straight year.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd; naturally, the traffic safety deniers want to keep the street free-flowing and dangerous.

 

State

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 95-year old man just got his driver’s license renewed until he’s 100 — without even having to take a driver’s test.

Palo Alto residents demand the city halt plans for roundabouts, claiming they make the street more dangerous — even though studies show they reduce serious crashes up to 80%. Another case of traffic safety deniers opposing projects they don’t understand, without giving them time to succeed.

A San Francisco paper looks at the efforts of car advocates to convert a hard-won bike lane on the Richmond Bridge to car use, allowing bike riders to have limited access only when drivers don’t want it, and bizarrely describing that as sharing the road. Maybe someone should tell them about induced demand, let alone complete streets.

 

National

It’s easy to forget that service members from other countries have fought, and been injured, in Afghanistan; two British veterans will ride down the left coast from Oregon to Mexico to raise funs for a charity for injured vets.

A new paper blames vehicular cycling for a 40-year delay in building bike infrastructure in the US.

A writer with the Denver Post says he doesn’t want ebikes on bikeways “already packed with the unaware, the inconsiderate and the distracted.” Then again, he doesn’t want those people on the paths, either.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will allow mountain bikes on a two-mile section of a lakefront bike path for the first time.

A New York counclimember says he feels threatened and intimidated by bicyclists angry that he backed out of his promised support for a protected bike lane.

DC-area bike shops have joined the boycott of Vista Outdoor over their gun and ammunition subsidiaries.

 

International

A Halifax, Canada business association opposes a prospective protected bike lane because it would mean the loss of 55 parking spaces, and would rather locate it on the sidewalk. Never mind that it could bring hundreds more customers on bikes. Or that using sidewalk space for a bike lane would mean a less walkable business district, which would probably have a far greater negative impact than losing a few parking spaces.

A Canadian city is just the latest choose parking over a protected bike lane, disappointing local bicyclists who feel threatened on the streets.

The Guardian talks with the founder of women’s bike brand Liv Cycling, who says shrinking and pinking women’s bikes isn’t good enough.

UK Parliament ministers are prepared to propose a new crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, in response to a recent case where a careless bicyclist killed a pedestrian. The Guardian responds that judging people by their means of transport brings out the worst in everyone.

British running great Roger Bannister was one of us; the first man to break the four-minute mile took up bicycling after he had to stop running in 1975 following a car crash.

A British radio host says stop targeting bicyclists, because they’re the real victims.

Ireland opens a 26-mile crushed gravel rail-to-trail conversion.

A cyclist in Kathmandu, Nepal says he loves riding a bicycle and he’s going to keep on riding, despite the country’s deep reverence for the west and its motor vehicles.

South African police make an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a rugby team manager who was killed while warming up for a bike race.

An Aussie letter writer complains about a presumed liability proposal, saying it would only benefit a whining, arrogant minority of cyclists who don’t pay for the roads, at the expense of those poor, put-upon people in cars. No, really.

A Kuala Lumpur writer can’t believe the city would put in a bike lane, since the only ones who won’t be using it are the ones on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

No, those testosterone patches that showed up on the doorstep of Team Sky in 2011 didn’t get there by accident. But sure, the era of doping is over. Right.

Speaking of Team Sky, a British commission concludes that Bradley Wiggins use of a banned corticosteroid under a therapeutic use exemption contributed to his win in the 2012 Tour de France, accusing the team of crossing an ethical line.

The race director for the Giro d’Italia says the race isn’t getting rid of podium girls, and says dropping them, as the Vuelta has done and the Tour de France is considering, is just a passing trend. In other words, not treating women as a trophy for men to win, and showing respect for them — and women cyclists — is just a fad. Nothing sexist about that.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Saturday’s sloppy but exciting Strade Bianche.; Belgium’s Wout van Aert overcame leg cramps to make the podium.

American Tejay Van Garderen is out after crashing into a team car on the first day of the Paris-Nice stage race; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

Over 1,600 competitors are expected for next weekend’s two-stage Tour of Murrieta.

 

Finally…

When you want to stop a law that benefits bike riders, find one to oppose it. Forget bike polo; it’s time to try unicycle hockey.

And now you can buy your very own stolen dockless bikeshare bike.

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Thanks to George W for his generous contribution to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcome.

 

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

Maybe our broken bike lanes might get fixed after all.

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

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

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

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

And those are just the ones they know about.

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

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

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

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

We can only hope.

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

………

I’m not always a fan of Bike Snob.

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

It did mine, anyway.

………

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

In every sense.

Morning Links: Bike helmet debate, CSUN LimeBike opens today, and why people keep dying on our streets

Doctors and medical groups have long led the push for bike helmets.

So it’s surprising when a leading medical journal questions their usefulness.

But that’s exactly what a pair of letters in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — do.

The first one suggests that the safety in numbers benefit provided by more people using bikeshare outweighs the benefits of bike helmets.

And the other concludes this way —

The key issue in considering the use of helmets is of course the risk. In recent years, more detailed assessment of risk in personal travel in England has been published [4]. This shows that risk varies considerably more by age than by mode of travel. The range of risks experienced in bicycling are in the same range as faced in walking or driving, except possibly for the most elderly bicyclists.

In conclusion, there is no objective reason to consider even the promotion of helmets for bicycling, in the absence of similar measures for all other road users.

………

We mentioned last week that LimeBike had established a dockless bikeshare beachhead on the CSUN campus in Northridge.

Now they’re having their official unveiling this afternoon.

LimeBike Bike Demo and Inaugural Unlocking (1/25) at 1 p.m. PST at CSUN Campus Bookstore

  • When: Thursday (1/25) from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 pm. PST
  • Where: University Bookstore,18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
  • What: An opportunity to learn more about how LimeBike works and hear from the CSUN Director of Energy & Sustainability, LimeBike’s LA Operations Manager, and other CSUN officials on how CSUN is leading the way to revolutionize sustainable transportation.

To celebrate the launch, the company is offering 10 free rides through the end of January by using the code LIMEWITHCSUN.

You can download the app to find and rent the bikes through their website.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The Los Angeles DA’s office decided not to file charges against the alleged hit-and-run driver suspected of killing a popular homeless woman living in Boyle Heights, saying it would be too difficult to get a conviction.

Even though a security camera showed the driver appearing to carefully drive around her body as he left the scene.

And even though a witness claims to have told the driver he’d backed over the victim as she was sweeping the street around her trailer, contradicting the driver’s claims that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone.

So once again, an innocent woman is dead. And no one will ever be held accountable.

Which is how Vision Zero becomes meaningless.

………

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez wrote about a father who became an activist against illegal immigration after his son was killed in a crash with an unlicensed man from Honduras.

While story focused on immigration, J. Patrick Lynch thinks Lopez missed the point.

The real takeaway of this article should have been how easy it is for people to get behind a machine that can easily kill . Whether it be an illegal immigrant, a driver with a suspended license for traffic violations, or someone who’s had their license revoked for multiple DUIs or has even killed someone already, if you want to drive, there’s really little stopping you.

Which is something else that has to change if we’re ever going to reduce traffic fatalities.

Let alone end them.

………

Local

Work has started on the Main & Spring Forward Complete Streets project in DTLA, including converting the buffered bike lanes on Main and Spring Streets to protected bike lanes. Thanks to 14th District Councilmember José Huizar for having the courage to move forward with the project, despite LA’s recent anti-bike lane hysteria.

A Caltech researcher creates art by pushing 800 bicycles until they fall over to better understand how we keep them upright.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, broke ground the two-mile Rose Creek Bikeway, part of the planned 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail between Oceanside and downtown San Diego.

The San Diego Reader says mountain bikers don’t want illegal trails, either.

Ventura County has received $3.8 million to fund three bike projects in Ventura, Fillmore and Thousand Oaks, including $1.8 million for a three-mile bike lane on Potrero Road.

LimeBike and Ofo are complaining about San Francisco’s opaque licensing requirements after they were denied permits to operate dockless bikeshare systems in the city.

Too scary. A San Francisco man was busted for bashing another man with a hammer and stealing his bicycle; the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The family of a Napa Valley man is suing Caltrans after he was killed when he caught a wheel in a railroad track crossing a highway.

 

National

Nice piece on the current demonization of distracted pedestrians, which is just more of the usual victim blaming while ignoring the real danger on our roads.

The Guardian looks at Seattle’s efforts to install bike racks to keep homeless people from sleeping on the street.

One of the NFL’s top prospects is sort of one of us — as in a unicycle-riding tight end from South Dakota State.

Streetsblog accuses the ACLU of having a dangerous windshield bias for their opposition to traffic safety cameras in Iowa.

Nice story. An Arkansas girl born without a hand can ride a bike for the first time after her elementary school classmates designed and built a handlebar attachment using a 3D printer.

A Wisconsin writer says winter cycling is dumb, but in a good way.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is suing a father and son in a Minnesota court for cybersquatting on at least 66 web addresses that infringe on the LeMond trademark; the father’s defense is that someone must have stolen his ID and registered the sites in his name. Sure, let’s go with that.

Minneapolis MN will get a temporary fat tire bikeshare service for next month’s Super Bowl. Hopefully it will work well enough they’ll make it permanent.

A Minnesota man was busted for possession of meth and driving with a revoked license while appealing his five-year sentence for killing a bicyclist; he’s also facing charges for hiring an underage prostitute.

Forbes profiles former Livestrong CEO, bicyclist and three-time cancer survivor Doug Ulman, CEO of Columbus OH-based Pelotonia.

Boston bike riders are demanding a change in the city’s auto-centric culture after authorities refuse to prosecute a truck driver who fatally right hooked a physician as she rode to work.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in NY, where the widow of a 9/11 victim walked away with five-year’s probation for killing a bike rider while she was high on dope.

A DC writer suggests that there’s hidden racism in many complaints about dockless bikeshare in the city, which is popular with black youths.

After a hit-and-run driver put a bicyclist in the hospital, Florida Reddit users figured out the make, model and year of the car before the police could.

 

International

A Chicago writer bikes the backroads of Cuba.

They get it. A Canadian website points out why bike lanes are good for everyone, even drivers and business owners. Which should be required reading for anyone who questions the value of bikeways.

A Victoria, British Columbia chef is taking advantage of new bike lanes by opening a restaurant with a bike-through window. Which is a perfect example of how businesses can take advantage of the opportunity presented by bike-friendly streets, rather than fighting them tooth-and-nail.

A writer for Singletrack looks at the real reasons women bike less than men in the wake of a BBC report.

A British bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries after he was hit by a student driver, who carried him nearly 200 feet on the hood of his car.

Bicycling suggests a cycling vacation in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where you can ride where the pros train. If you can keep up.

Australia’s most notorious driver finally had his license revoked after 11 suspensions in 12 years, not that a little thing like that ever stopped him from driving; he also killed a ten-year old girl who was riding her bike in 2003, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Merchants in an Australian town are fighting plans to remove parking on one side of a street to make room for bike lanes, over fears that it will kill their business. Proving once again that anti-bike lane bias is the same all over the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Like father like sons. Twenty-three-year old Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas Jr was banned for four years for doping, 15 years after his dad received a one-year ban for using EPO at the 2003 Giro d’Italia; sadly, his brother died last year under suspicious circumstances that may have been linked to doping, as well.

Former pro — and yes, doper — Alexandre Vinokourov pranked the members of his Astana pro team by disguising himself as an old man, then dropping them on a steep climb.

Speaking of doping, the Netflix documentary that blew the top off Russia’s state-sponsored doping program could win an Oscar, thanks to the nomination of Icarus for Best Documentary Feature.

Last year’s winner of the Amgen Tour of California has been ordered to stop touching fans to protect his health.

When you’re three-time world champ Peter Sagan, you get an audience with the pope. And when you’re the pope, you get a monogrammed bike in the papal colors from Peter Sagan.

 

Finally…

Stick a candle in your next energy gel. There’s nothing more French than eating foie gras on toast while watching a video while driving; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

And polite bike riders always share their water. Especially with a cute little koala.

 

 

Morning Links: Blaming pedestrians in the name of safety, and free bike for helping catch Burbank bike thief

If you’re reading this, I assume you survived the three-day weekend in one piece.

So welcome back, and lets get started.

………

A column by Steve Scauzillo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune correctly notes that roads aren’t just for cars, and that pedestrians are paying too high a price just to cross the street.

And he describes the dangers of speeding traffic, and having to wave his arms to alert drivers who speed through intersections or aren’t paying attention.

But instead of urging drivers to slow down, or reminding them of the dangers their vehicles pose to others, he offers four suggestions to improve safety — three of which are aimed at people on foot.

1. Put down the cell phone when crossing a street.

2. It goes without saying that drivers should never be looking at or talking into a cellphone (except with the aid of a hands-free device).

3. Pedestrians should stop jaywalking.

4. Be alert in crosswalks — they are not impenetrable.

Like bicyclists, pedestrians have to look out for their own safety, because too many drivers aren’t looking out for either of us.

But the problems on our streets aren’t caused by careless pedestrians. Or bike riders.

They’re caused by a driving public that has forgotten that they’re operating big, dangerous machines that can kill in a moment of carelessness.

Or just don’t care.

………

Burbank’s H&S Bicycles is offering a free bike worth up to $1000 for anyone who can help find the burglar who has robbed the store three times this year.

The latest theft involved the 2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude A50 Large seen below.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend. But thank you anyway.

………

Speaking of careless drivers, a Jimmy Johns bike delivery rider was hit by a distracted Miami cop while he was riding in a crosswalk.

And he was the one who went to jail.

The rider was so angry when he was struck by the woman driver as she spoke on her handheld cellphone that he failed to notice it was an unmarked police vehicle. And threw his bike against the car, causing $500 damage.

He was arrested for criminal mischief and ticketed for failing to yield. Even though it was at least the third time the same officer had been seen using her phone behind the wheel.

………

Irish UFC fighter Connor McGregor is one of us, riding his bike to train for his recent bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Then again, so is the Philadelphia bike cop with the Nazi tattoo. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Thirty-year old Canadian cyclist Michael Woods is turning heads in the Vuelta in just his second Grand Tour, starting today’s stage in eighth place. Meanwhile, Russian cyclist Ilnur Zakarin has slowly worked himself up to a podium position.

Cycling Pub offers a wrap-up of the second week of the Vuelta.

Caught on video: Once again, a race vehicle has knocked down a cyclist, this time a team car in the Tour of Britain; fortunately, Polish rider Karol Domagalski was not seriously injured. More proof that motorized race vehicles don’t belong in the peloton, whether two-wheeled or four.

CNN profiles the great Miguel Indurain, the only cyclist to win the Tour de France in five consecutive years who hasn’t been stripped of his title.

Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador calls for a salary cap for pro cycling teams to help keep teams afloat and competitive.

A new report says current tests can’t discover the latest generation of hidden motors used for motor doping; naturally, cycling’s governing body begs to differ.

Aussie rider Carol Cooke has successfully defended her titles in the road race and time trial at the world Para-Cycling championships; she’s a three-time winner in road cycling, and four-time in the time trial.

Former race car driver Alex Zanardi successfully defended his world Para-Cycling time trial championship, and finished half a wheel behind the winner in the road race; he lost his legs in a horrific IndyCar crash in 2001.

……….

Local

A 43-year old bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Rosemead just after midnight Sunday.

Santa Monica is installing a state-of-the-art sensor system on some of its buses to detect bicyclists and pedestrians in time to avoid a collision.

Metro Bike comes to Venice this Thursday, with 165 bikeshare bikes at 15 docking stations.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Orange County Register says the Santa Ana River Trail belongs to the taxpayers, and the homeless camps alongside it have to go.

Two hundred San Diego bicyclists rode to honor fallen cyclist Paul Cornish; the 70-year old bike rider, who once set a record for riding from LA to New York, was killed last week by a driver with a suspended license in a stolen car.

A 16-year old Hemet pedestrian is in critical condition, and his salmon cycling companion injured, because a driver had a sneezing fit.

A Los Banos burglar learns the hard way that if he’s going to carry two loaded guns, a meth pipe, $137 in cash and several coins on the bike he just stole, to put a damn light on it.

A Bakersfield writer says the city has wide streets that can accommodate everyone, and needs to build safe infrastructure to improve bikeability and walkability.

The San Jose Mercury News takes an ebike trip to Big Sur.

Not surprisingly, bicyclists support a new lane reduction project in San Jose.

A local paper profiles the policy and planning director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, who’s working to make Petaluma more bikeable.

 

National

City Lab looks at the nationwide trend of using human bollards to create protected bike lanes and call attention to the need to improve safety for bicyclists.

Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont is three-quarters the way around the world as he attempts to circumnavigate the world by bike in just 80 days; he’s currently riding through the US.

A Santa Fe truck driver got ten and a half years behind bars for the meth-fueled crash that killed two people when he plowed into a group of five bike riders.

A Boulder CO couple has spent the last 14 months driving around the US to ride their bikes all over the country.

A San Antonio TX bike non-profit is fighting childhood obesity by allowing children to earn bicycles, requiring 12 hours of work to get the bike they want.

The mayor of an Iowa town says building bike trails is good public policy.

Minneapolis police remind bike riders that we need to stop for stop signs for our own safety, but get it wrong when a rider takes the lane. I couldn’t care less if you decide to roll a stop when there’s no one else around. But in the name of all that’s holy, observe the damn right-of-way and stop for stop signs if there’s conflicting traffic.

Authorities say changing the design of a bike trail on a massive DC area highway widening project could jeopardize the entire thing; bike advocates want the trail moved from next to the highway to the other side of a sound wall, which would violate an agreement with homeowners.

Coral Gables FL is planning to use planters and green space to create protected bike lanes.

 

International

Now that’s a ciclovía. Bolivia banned cars from city streets throughout the entire country for one day, dropping pollution levels up to 70%.

Manchester, England police are accused of victim shaming after tweeting that cyclists shouldn’t weave in and out of traffic, after two young women are killed in separate bike crashes that had absolutely nothing to do with that.

The Guardian looks at the maker of The Laserlight, which projects an image of a bicycle onto the street 16 feet ahead of your bike.

Britain’s Cycling Weekly is facing a boycott from women after labeling a woman in a photo of a racing club as a “token attractive woman.”

A British sports site offers their ten favorite inspirational quotes about bicycling.

An Irish father is riding through all 32 Irish counties in just eight days to raise funds in honor of his 16-year old daughter, who died of a brain tumor.

An 18-year old Saudi Arabian woman is using social media to get other young woman riding.

Nigerian soldiers ambushed a group of suspected bike-riding Boko Haram terrorists, recovering 18 bicycles, seven swords and a pair of slippers.

A Malawi cyclist plans to raise funds to send two needy students to school by riding over six miles uphill while standing up on his bike.

A New Zealand coroner blames the death of a woman bicyclist on brakes that were too large for her small hands, recommending that every bike rider should have a properly fitted bicycle.

Perth, Australia will invest $129 million to fill in the gaps and dead ends in the city’s network of bike paths.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging Aussie driver intentionally rammed a bike rider; no word on the condition of the victim.

When an ebike rider flees the scene after running down an elderly Shanghai woman, it sparks a debate over whether riders of electric bikes should carry liability insurance.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you ride your girlfriend’s bike to break into an office, try not to steal any cremated remains. If you’re going to steal a $2,000 bicycle from an unlocked garage, leave your $100 beater bike in its place.

And proof that you can ride a bike in a skirt.

Even if you’re a man.

 

Morning Links: The great Playa del Rey street debate, new safe zones at LAPD stations, and LA drivers officially suck

There doesn’t seem to be any letup in the great debate over the Playa del Rey lane reductions.

Or the masses of motorists armed with pitchforks and torches marching on LA City Hall.

Although yesterday injected a little sanity into the discussion, through an LA Times Op-Ed by magazine editor and Manhattan Beach resident Peter Flax, who calls out his fellow South Bay denizens for their hysterical reactions to the changes on LA streets.

All hell has broken out in my adopted hometown of Manhattan Beach. If you believe the hysteria, families are being torn apart, livelihoods are being threatened and businesses are in danger of collapse. All because in early June, Los Angeles slowed traffic on several roadways in Playa del Rey, including removing one lane on each side of Vista del Mar, the thoroughfare that runs along the ocean from El Segundo to Playa.

South Bay commuters are livid that rush hour traffic is worse. They claim workers will permanently lose five hours of family time a week (even though no formal traffic study has been conducted). Silicon Beach tech entrepreneurs and private equity guys are sounding the alarm on Twitter that new traffic jams will harm recruitment. At a town hall with Manhattan Beach’s mayor, real estate agents speculated that home values might sag (in a town where the average home costs $2.2 million). A GoFundMe page was launched to raise money for a lawsuit and the Manhattan Beach City Council unanimously directed city staff to support that effort.

Absent from this heated conversation, however, is honest talk about what is really at stake along Vista del Mar: Preventing people from dying.

He criticizes those angered by the changes to improve safety and livability on LA streets, even while Manhattan Beach has removed lanes from their streets to protect their residents and preserve the beach community feel. Including the south end of Vista del Mar, where it changes names and narrows to two lanes as it enters the wealthy beach community.

And he concludes,

Traffic engineering decisions can’t only be about optimizing a morning commute or maximizing the appeal of working in Silicon Beach. They also have to be about Jack Tarwardy, a beloved 74-year-old shop owner in Playa del Rey who was struck and killed by a car in a crosswalk on Culver Boulevard. And about Michael Lockridge and Bridgette Burdene, killed by hit-and-run drivers on Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard, respectively. And about Naomi Larsen, the 16-year-old who tried to cross Vista del Mar and never made it.

When cars race through neighborhoods where people live, shop and play, speed kills. Taking steps that force us to slow down isn’t an outrage or a conspiracy, it’s making L.A. a better place to live.

It’s a good, and important read. One that deserves your full attention all the way through.

And needless to say, he takes a beating in the comments from self-appointed traffic planners who seem to think they understand traffic flow and safety far better than the people who get paid to do it for a living.

Not to mention the innumerable personal attacks accusing him of bias because he rides a bike. Though no one seems to notice the irony coming from those who suffer from a windshield bias.

I particularly like this one, from someone who blames bike lanes for a backup stemming from the 210 Freeway.

No, really.

 

And to address Mr. — or is it Ms? — bigred’s point, most studies show road diets not only don’t result in longer commute times, they can actually improve traffic flow, while at the same time reducing crashes up to 47%.

Although I must admit, I have never “stode” on a traffic island and watched the “enevedable” happen.

Meanwhile, a letter writer in the Times says Vision Zero is more like zero vision. Evidently, by his account, we’re supposed to keep letting people die on LA streets until Metro provides a viable alternate route to LAX in 2047.

After all, with an average of a little more than one person killed on Vista del Mar each year, that’s only another 30 or so dead mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers.

No big deal, right?

Then there are these comments, which were forwarded by someone who wisely wants to keep his name out of all this.

Because as we all know, nothing improves traffic safety more than taking a photo while driving.

Although maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see any traffic backup at all in that photo. And only one lonely person on a bike.

 

And yes, I think we can assume Mr. Beall does kiss his mother with that mouth.

So maybe this is a good time to let the unfairly reviled Councilmember Mike Bonin remind us why he approved this roadwork to begin with.

You can show your support — for Bonin, for the lane reductions, or even for Peter Flax — when the LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey this Sunday.

………

Great idea.

The LAPD has opened safe exchange zones for online buyers and sellers at nine police stations and nearly a dozen Ralphs stores.

Which means you can feel a little safer the next time you try to sell your bike, or buy parts off Craigslist or other online services.

It might also cut down on bike chop shops, since it would take major chutzpah to walk into a police station with a stolen bike or parts.

Then again, no one ever said bike thieves are the sharpest tools in the shed.

Just tools.

………

In news that should surprise no one who’s ever ridden a bicycle in Los Angeles, Los Angeles officially has some of the worst drivers in the US.

In fact, Allstate Insurance ranked the city 193rd out of 200, coming in just a few spots above bottom-ranked Boston.

And wipe that smile off your face, Glendale. Your drivers suck even more than LA.

………

UCI introduces several safety improvements on the eve of the Tour de France, but still allows race motos in the peloton.

Britain’s Simon Yates will be back at this year’s Tour after serving a four month suspension for doping because his team screwed up his paperwork for an asthma inhaler.

LA’s Phil Gaimon criticizes former teammate Andre Cardoso following the latter’s suspension for doping, saying “…it just comes off like he doesn’t give a shit, which is frustrating.”

Fifty-five year old Cambria resident Sheri Baldwin took three medals at the masters national road championships.

………

Local

The LA Weekly offers 20 suggestions on how to fix Los Angeles, most of which make a surprising amount of sense. Including turning LA’s existing bike lanes into protected lanes.

KPCC looks at Vision Zero from a South LA perspective, as Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson promotes safety amid fears of gentrification and increased policing.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is hosting their annual Eastside Mural Ride this Saturday.

The URB-E electric scooter maker is sponsoring a new mobility hub near USC to help students beat traffic. Although from the description, it sounds more like a glorified scooter showroom.

The board of directors for Santa Monica’s Sunset Beach neighborhood says enough with all those bike and pedestrian plans, what the city really needs is a car plan for all those poor, neglected drivers. The best response came from a councilmember, who said “The reason we don’t have a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan’ is that for close to a hundred years, transportation in Southern California has BEEN a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan.”

The Daily Breeze looks forward to August’s CicLAvia in San Pedro and Wilmington, part of a busy summer in the harbor area. No, Daily Breeze, CicLAvia is a local, not global, movement, though it is a part of the global Open Streets movement, aka ciclovías.

 

State

La Jolla bike advocates call for riders to use bright lights, day or night. Credit Mark Goodley with starting that campaign with a series of posts on here, starting in 2012 after he barely survived a crash in Corona del Mar. Thanks to his efforts, I now ride with an ultra bright headlight and taillights even during the day — and it’s dramatically reduced the number of close calls I experience.

Fontana introduces a draft plan to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

Palo Alto approves plans for new bicycle boulevards, along with extending the bike network throughout the city.

San Francisco pulls the plug on funding the expansion of the Ford bikeshare system over fears of unfair competition with established bike rental companies, but the company goes forward with its official opening anyway; the expansion is part of Ford’s shift from building cars to providing mobility.

The intersection where a San Francisco bike rider was killed last week was on a list of the most dangerous ones in the city, but nothing had been done to improve it.

The kindhearted folks at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition refurbished 20 bikes to give to disadvantaged kids, then took them for a community ride.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, where a bike rider is fighting for his life after getting hit by driver when he allegedly rode through a red light. As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who hit him that saw what color the light was at the time of the crash.

Call it a national park ciclovía, as Yosemite’s Tioga Road opens for bikes and pedestrians a day before it opens to motor vehicles.

Someone slashed the tires of a bicycle parked at a Davis mosque; police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, after a torn-up Quran was tossed from a moving car the night before.

 

National

Try not to breathe on your next ride. Even “safe” levels of air pollution can shorten your life.

The ebike expansion goes on, with the introduction of a new $3,000, three-wheeled e-‘bent, and a new sub-$1,000 e-urban bike.

Interesting new study from Portland shows whether you ride a bike — and how you ride — affects how much empathy you have towards people on bikes. Evidently, those Manhattan Beach commuters must not ride at all.

A three-year old Las Vegas special needs boy has a new adaptive bike, courtesy of a local man who designs and builds them for free.

Denver may not be the most bikeable city, but evidently, it ain’t bad. Although you know we’re making progress when even cowboy-centric Cheyenne, Wyoming has a Bike Week.

You’ve got to be effing kidding. Life is dirt cheap in Idaho, where killing one bike rider and paralyzing another is only worth a lousy 60 days in jail — with work release, no less.

A Texas man calls for a bike safety plan after his cyclist son was killed in a collision; the driver faces charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, suggesting either intent or an extreme degree of carelessness.

Great idea. The recent Pedaler’s Jamboree is a 30-mile long music festival along Missouri’s Katy Trail bike path.

Massachusetts considers a ban on handheld cellphones while driving. What’s really needed is a law requiring phone makers to block all interactive services except 911 and GPS navigation in moving cars, since studies show the distraction from handheld mobile phones is as dangerous as drunk driving. And hands-free use is no better.

If you build it, they will come. Macon GA saw an 800% increase in cycling after striping a network of temporary bike lanes.

A South Florida writer suggests the area’s bike lanes are designed to kill and sharrows are just madness.

 

International

An Indian website questions whether the country’s prime minister will ever be able to ride the bicycle he received as a gift from the Dutch government, given how dangerous India’s roads are.

A Kiwi cyclist on a 2,400-mile journey through Australia’s New South Wales on his wife’s borrowed bike says forget wild animals, the biggest danger he encountered on his journey was from other humans — particularly the ones in motor vehicles.

A Kiwi driver gets off the hook for running down a woman on a bike after buying her a new one for $3,414, the equivalent of $2,500 US.

A Malaysian deli entrepreneur correctly calls bicycling a balm for the soul, and says people from the country should take it up. Cycling really must be the new golf, since that’s what he gave up to start riding.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying dope on your bike, put a light on it — and don’t tell the cop you were eating green Skittles after shoving it all in your mouth. Take a five week bicycling pub crawl through Europe, for the low, low price of just $9,427.

And yes, your new Porsche mountain bike is just like a racing 911.

Except for the engine, transmission, wheels, cockpit, and all that other car stuff.

 

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