Tag Archive for dangerous drivers

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Morning Links: Combo passing pole and clothesline, more CicLAvia photos, and close calls here and abroad

Call it bicycle multi-tasking.

David Wolfberg forwards a photo of bike rider with a pole marking a three-foot passing distance. And using it to keep his dress shirt freshly pressed for work.

And before you ask, yes, Wolfberg says took he the shot while he was safely stopped at a traffic light.

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CicLAvia offers some great photos from Sunday’s Glendale Meets Atwater Village event. Though they somehow appear to have missed the Corgi. And the CicLAvia chicken.

Meanwhile, the Glendale News-Press provides their own photos of the day.

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Now that’s scary as hell. A British bicyclist barely avoids becoming roadkill when a driver darts out in front on him on a roundabout.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley had a too close call of his own, which seems almost tame in comparison.

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A new report says the UK’s phenomenally successful cycling program subjected cyclists to a culture of fear and abuse that was tolerated by leadership.

Hein Verbruggen died in the Netherlands at age 75; the longtime head of the International Cycling Union oversaw the growth pro cycling over the past few decades, as well as accused of being complicit in the doping era.

The inaugural Colorado Classic announces the four stages of the circuit-based August race.

An Italian cycling team has become the latest to be banned after two of its riders tested positive for doping on the eve of the Giro d’Italia. Good thing the doping era is over.

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Local

The Daily News looks at a growing memorial on the Orange Line bike path where a young homeless heroin addict died after hanging himself.

CiclaValley gives a positive review to the recent changes to the Griffith Park Circulation and Traffic Plan.

The NIMBY’s strike back. South Bay drivers have started a crowdfunding campaign to fight the recent road diets on Vista del Mar and Pershing Drive in Playa del Rey, so they can continue to use those beach community roads as their own cut-through commuter highways, safety be damned.

A Whittier man finally receives his high school diploma, 50 years after he shipped off to serve as a medic Vietnam rather than completing high school; in 2004, he joined with seven other cyclists on a ride from Irwindale to DC to successfully call for a designated day to give Vietnam vets the welcome home they never received.

The Long Beach man facing life in prison for throwing his bicycle at a cop who tried to stop him for riding without a license — and was severely beaten as a result — now says he’s a tribal sovereign exempt from American law. Of course he is.

 

State

Cupertino will invest $7 million in six new bicycling infrastructure projects over the next fiscal year.

You’ve got to be kidding. A man sentenced to 35 years in state prison for intentionally crashing into three bicyclists, among other charges, was mistakenly released when an unrelated Sacramento case was dismissed. Which means you might want to hide your bike until they can put him back behind bars where he belongs.

A Sacramento man’s bicycle remains locked to a fence after he was badly beaten while he was sleeping and left for dead on the corner where he worked as a sign twirler.

A man rode his bicycle 1,500 miles from Iowa to Sacramento to be with his sister as she battles cancer.

 

National

A Wyoming writer says yes, mountain bikers can be annoying, but they contribute a lot to the local economy.

Bighearted Omaha NE firefighters give 100 gently used bicycles to local kids, along with new helmets.

Austin TX bicyclists now face an easier commute after the state opens the third in a series of bike bridges over a steep gorge, which also means the shoulder formerly used by cyclists to cross an existing highway bridge can be turned back into a traffic lane. And thus induce additional traffic.

Police in Maine plan an statewide blitz to crack down on dangerous drivers who threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. In other words, what police should be doing everywhere, every day.

A Rhode Island memorial ride is re-envisioned with a new focus on bike safety for everyone.

A 21-year old Mobile AL man faces a number of charges after being arrested for shooting two bicyclists with a pellet gun.

 

International

Bike Radar usually gets it right. And their story on seven practical enhancements to turn your bike into a commuter bike is no exception. Although their use of the term “ultimate” might be debatable.

The Guardian offers five bike commute stories from around the world, ranging from witnessing a killer driver in Nairobi to crossing the border between affluence and poverty in New Orleans. And asks if bicycles and autonomous cars can co-exist by 2035.

Caught on video: A Calgary bike rider captures a rear view of an endo, after he goes over the handlebars when a driver stopped short in front of him.

A British writer says she loves to ride her bike, but drives instead because the roads in Manchester seem designed to wipe cyclists out.

Kindhearted English police repair an abandoned bicycle and give it to a teen when his was stolen after his family struggled to buy it.

A UK website asks if Mallorca, Spain is the ideal cycling location.

Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us; the question is whether he’s just promoting his new movie or his new line of ebikes.

Dreams of making Bangkok the bicycling Copenhagen of the East have been dashed by a new governor with little interest in alternative transportation.

 

Finally…

While settle for patrolling trails on an ebike when you can have a cute little mini cop e-car?

And if you’re going to be in illegal possession of a wild raccoon while riding your bike, at least put a light on it. The bike, not the raccoon.

Although judging by the look on the rider’s mugshot, we can guess where he hid it.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the tip.

Morning Links: Auto-centric Cal Poly becoming bike friendly, and more events to wrap up LA Bike Month

Good news from Cal Poly Pomona, for a change.

CPP professor Boyonabike! provides a wrap-up of Bike Week at the traditionally auto-centric and bike-unfriendly university. And reports that things are finally beginning to change.

The university’s new President, Dr. Soraya Coley, has been supportive of efforts to encourage alternative transportation (the previous campus president once threatened to ban bikes from campus). The campus installed new bus shelters last summer and this year we’ll be getting new bike racks and bike repair stands at several locations on campus.  Even bigger changes may be just around the corner, however.

This year the president created a new campus Transportation Advisory Committee that will take a more holistic approach to mobility, and next year’s update of the Campus Master Plan could provide a blueprint for a more bike- and transit-friendly campus.  Better transit connectivity to campus and discount student transit passes will be a priority, but it is in bike infrastructure that we may see some of the most sweeping changes.  I still can’t believe I’m writing these words, but the President recently approved installation of protected bike lanes on a stretch of Kellogg Drive that is being realigned to accommodate new student housing. Yes, you read that right.  By September 2017 there should be protected bike lanes and improved intersections on a roadway where a cyclist was killed by a distracted driver a few years ago.

That would be the best possible memorial to fallen cyclist Ivan Aguilar, to transform the university he never got to graduate from into one where no one else needs to fear for their lives, however they choose to travel.

My apologies to John Lloyd and everyone at Cal Poly; I meant to include this one last night, but lost it as I struggled to get yesterday’s post online despite a balky, and since replaced, trackpad.

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These are the people we share the roads with.

A drunk, speeding Corvette driver gets six years for running down a 77-year old Oregon man as he rode his bicycle in a bike lane; a lawsuit is proceeding against the six bars that allowed him to achieve a BAC three and a half times the legal limit. A previous DUI (or DUII in Oregon) was dismissed after he completed a diversion program, which obviously didn’t take.

A Michigan woman faces up to five years behind bars for doing coke before running down a bike rider.

And Michigan driver was high on heroin when he fled the scene after killing a 61-year old man riding his bike on the shoulder of the roadway.

Clearly, more has to be done to keep drunk and drugged drivers off the roads. Especially if they’ve already been arrested — not merely convicted — for driving under the influence.

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Pasadena Now recaps the hometown finish of America’s only WorldTour race.

After finishing second in her first road race, a Roseville cyclist serves as a “human shield” — otherwise known as a domestique — in the women’s tour of California.

Cycling Weekly looks at the Cima Coppi, the intense climb up the famed Stelvio — the highest point of the Giro d’Italia — named after one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

Estonian cyclist Tanel Kangert is out for the season after breaking his arm and shoulder after falling in the Giro; he was the leader of the Astana team, which lost Michele Scarponi earlier this year when he was killed in a collision while training.

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Local

The Spoke Bicycle Café along the LA River bike path in Frogtown has re-opened, after re-imagining itself as a full service restaurant.

Make your plans for the final event of LA’s Bike Month, with Metro’s Bike Night at Union Station this Friday.

Black Kids on Bikes will host the BKOB Memorial Ride 2017 this Sunday

Mark your calendar for the LA Mural Ride in Northeast LA on June 3rd.

 

State

Three hundred chefs rode three hundred miles in three days to raise funds for No Kids Hungry.

An Orange County church has built 100 bicycles for needy families.

Coronado will reduce fines for bike riders in hopes of encouraging police to write more tickets; officers sometime are reluctant to ticket bicyclists if they think the high fines aren’t justified by the offense.

An apparent road-raging driver pleads not guilty to murdering a Barstow bike rider after exchanging words with him.

Watsonville holds its first open streets event, hopefully pointing the way to a more bike friendly future.

Sacramento held an open streets event Sunday on what would normally be one of the city’s busiest streets.

 

National

People For Bikes says that connecting bikeway networks is going to be harder now that cities have built the easy “low-hanging fruit,” but worth it. Or you could do it the Los Angeles way and give up, calling the difficult ones merely “aspirational.

A business website considers how Trek became a $1 billion global business.

Once again, the cops just don’t get it, blaming the victim of a right hook for trying undertake a right-turning driver during a Tennessee Ironman race.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Boston bike advocates take safety messaging into their own hands, with an assist from former LA resident Bikeyface — and Matt Damon. Needless to say, the city took the signs down within hours.

A Syracuse NY cycling and speed skating coach has been arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with girl under 15 years old. There’s a special place in hell for people like that. And hopefully, a place behind bars for a very long time.

A DC cycling instructor offers advice on how to navigate city streets with confidence.

The war on bikes continues, as two cyclists participating in an Alabama Gran Fondo were shot at with a pellet gun, injuring one. Meanwhile, the mythical war on cars remains just that.

Once again, kind-hearted cops replace a bicycle for kid after his was stolen, this time in Georgia.

A drunk Florida driver was busted for barreling 62 mph down the road while weaving in and out of a bike path.

 

International

Mexico City becomes the latest city to elect a bike mayor. Meanwhile, Los Angeles doesn’t even have an official bike neighborhood councilmember.

Winnipeg is importing the Netherlands bike culture along with 140 single speed Dutch bikes.

Bike advocates question whether Montreal is doing enough to remain one of North America’s most bike-friendly cities.

A Conservative candidate for Parliament says she wouldn’t feel safe riding in Birmingham, England either.

Riding a bikeshare bike home from the local pub after downing a few pints in Bristol, England could get you a fine up to £2,500 — the equivalent of over $3,200.

City Lab looks at bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid’s efforts to revive Britain’s forgotten bikeway network.

Not surprisingly, a new French study shows drivers who bike are more likely to spot a bicyclist on the roadway — and less likely to run into one.

Both the cycling and motor racing worlds were in mourning today, as word broke that former MotoGP champ Nicky Hayden passed away five days after he was hit by a driver as he rode his bike in Italy. There’s something seriously wrong when a man can race a motorcycle at over 200 mph, but isn’t safe riding a bicycle.

A Philippine graduate student finds deeper meaning in learning to ride a bike for the first time.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who among us hasn’t ridden through the Tuscan countryside with a full security detail?Even Mafiosos ride bikes, though they don’t always make it home, either.

And a Brazilian cyclist gives a whole new meaning to rescuing a kittie.

 

Morning Links: Dramatic fallout from Bray-Ali revelations, Red Nose charity ride, and stupid drunken driver tricks

Call it Morning Links Lite today, as too much breaking news and other obligations pulled me in too many different directions to keep up on Thursday.

………

It’s been an amazingly fast collapse.

Wednesday morning, Joe Bray-Ali’s campaign for city council was riding high, with a strong chance of pulling off a remarkable upset of CD1 incumbent Gil Cedillo. Thursday night, his campaign appeared to be in tatters.

What came in between were revelations that he had trolled a white supremacist website, and left offensive comments disparaging fat people, transgender people and people of color.

Yesterday Bray-Ali apologized. But clearly, it wasn’t enough.

By Thursday morning, he had lost the endorsement of the county’s largest Democratic club, as well as Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the neighboring 13th District.

Then Thursday afternoon, the LA Times took the remarkable step of rescinding their endorsement, which they had reaffirmed just last week.

Even Bike the Vote LA, which had long championed Bray-Ali’s run for the city council, grudgingly withdrew their endorsement Thursday night.

KPCC’s look at the two candidates in the race has been largely bypassed by the rapidly moving events; although they caught up by suggesting that Bray-Ali’s campaign is on the ropes, while noting that a lot can change in the next three weeks.

Not surprisingly, Cedillo called for his opponent to step down, saying “there’s no place in Los Angeles for this type of divisiveness.” Only the kind he has engaged in for the past four years, apparently.

His call was echoed by seven other councilmembers, who issued a joint statement calling on Bray-Ali to drop out of the race; the letter was signed by Council President Herb Wesson, along with Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Joe Buscaino, Mitchell Englander, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez.

Even the LACBC, while legally barred from political activity as a nonprofit organization, toed the line by issuing a statement condemning hateful and divisive language that excludes marginalized communities, without directly naming him or anyone else.

Although at last report, Bray-Ali was intending to stay in the race.

But unless someone manages to catch Cedillo on video taking a bribe or giving a Nazi salute, it looks right now like LA’s worst councilmember will continue to block much needed safety improvements in the district for another five and a half years.

But as KPCC suggested, a lot can happen.

On a personal note, I’ve known and respected Joe Bray-Ali for as long as I’ve been involved in bicycle advocacy. While he is not one to worry about political correctness, I have never seen any sign of racist or sexist attitudes or actions on his part; if I had, I would have shunned him as I have others over the years.

Which leaves me upset and confused over the comments that have come to light in recent days. They do not reflect the man I have come to know, and long considered someone who belongs on the council; in fact, I encouraged him to run years before he began to take the idea seriously.

It is only because of the man I know that I am willing to accept his apology. But I believe he owes us all a better explanation for what he was doing on that site, and for the offensive comments he made.

………

Late notice, I know.

But I just got word about the Ride On for Red Nose Challenge, a four day fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas starting this Sunday, sponsored by Walgreens and People For Bikes.

So far it’s raised over $72,000 of the $200,000 goal.

You may still be able to join in if you’re not doing anything next week, and can raise the minimum $5,000 to help end child poverty.

If not, you can see the riders off from Santa Barbara on Sunday. Actually wearing a red nose appears to be optional.

Sunday, April 30 – 11a.m. – noon

A meet and greet with professional cyclists participating in the Ride On For Red Nose Day road ride, locally impacted Red Nose Day charity partners, and Santa Barbara leaders kicking off Day 1 of the 400-mile journey. Day 1 includes a 48-mile ride through Santa Barbara. Riders will depart at noon. Brief remarks at 11:40 a.m., including a welcome from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

………

A reader in Ventura County forwards a reminder of the kind of people we share the road with, whether on foot, two wheels or four.

A 20-year old man will likely face charges for a 6 am Simi Valley freeway crash in which he was allegedly 1) speeding, 2) driving solo in the carpool lane, 3) texting, 4) drunk, 5) underage, and 6) not wearing a seatbelt.

Other than that, though, he appears to be a model driver.

Except for that thing about losing control, jumping over the concrete center divider and smashing into another car head-on. But nobody’s perfect, right?

My source also found what appears to be the driver’s since edited Twitter profile, which notes his love of alcohol and partying till dawn. Which he appears to have lived up to in this case.

………

A heartbreaking reminder, if we needed one, that bike racing is a dangerous sport. Twenty-one-year old New Hampshire cyclist Chad Young, a member of the Axeon Hagens Berman team, suffered a major head injury falling on a high speed descent at the Tour of the Gila on Sunday; sadly, the team reports he is not expected to recover from his injuries.

Steve Tilford’s website has posted Seth Davidson’s moving eulogy of the late cycling legend.

………

Local

Even high school student planners call for a more bike and pedestrian friendly East LA.

A Burbank letter writer credits the cycling community with boosting turnout in the recent local election by 50% above normal.

Santa Monica approves a radically redesigned Lincoln Blvd, but rather than installing bike lanes, they expect “competent cyclists” to share the extra five feet in a bus lane that will be available all but three hours of the day. Which of course will be the three hours bike riders need them most.

Metro Bike will be coming to San Pedro and Wilmington early this summer.

 

State

Cathedral City has begun work on a section of the surprisingly contentious CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley, even as the debate rages on in other cities.

A look at the state of bicycling in the City by the Bay.

 

National

Former Bicycling editor Peter Flax says he’s put together Ikea beds and TV consoles that were trickier and more time consuming than building the company’s new Sladda bicycle, though the ride left something to be desired.

CNN reports that the next intoxicated driver you encounter on the road is more likely to be stoned than drunk.

A manufacturer of automated speed cameras says 19% of the drivers caught speeding can be clearly seen holding their cell phones to talk or text, suggesting that the cameras could be used to ticket them for that, as well.

 

International

Cuban cyclist Felix Guirola hasn’t given up on his dream of building the world’s tallest rideable bicycle, with the help of current record holder Stoopidtaller’s builder Ritchie Trimble.

A university professor looks at the unbearable whiteness of cycling in the UK, and his own experiences as a black man on a bike.

 

Finally…

Who among us hasn’t pedaled along the Left Coast with a rhino in tow?

 

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

………

Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

………

Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

………

Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

………

An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

………

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

………

The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

………

Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

Morning Links: Traffic violence on our streets, Metro Bike runs red light, and Westwood ignores needs of students

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Keep SoCal’s leading source for all the freshest bike news coming to you every morning. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Today’s common theme is traffic violence, both literal and figurative.

USC fans were heartbroken to learn that former running back Joe McKnight was the victim of an apparent road age shooting on the streets of New Orleans; a tragedy made possible, if not inevitable, by a proliferation of short-fused drivers with easy access to guns.

Meanwhile, in an equally, if not more, heartbreaking case, a suspected drunk driver once again proved that no one is safe from the carnage on our streets, as a five-year old South Central boy was killed inside his own apartment. The driver plowed into the building after allegedly being cut off by another driver; inside, investigators found the boy’s letter to Santa asking for a new bicycle.

Which leads us to CiclaValley, who offers a bike cam compendium of drivers behaving badly. And yes, someone could easily compile similar video clips of scofflaw cyclists or pedestrians. But it’s the people in the multi-ton machines who pose the greatest risk to others by their bad behavior.

When cyclists break the law, they generally put themselves at risk. But when drivers break the law, it poses a danger to everyone on the street.

Or sleeping in their own homes.

………

Frequent contributor Erik Griswold notes that at the 30 second mark of its Metro Bike Instructional Video, Metro appears to tacitly encourage users to ride through flashing red lights.

………

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin justifiably takes the Westwood Neighborhood Council to task for favoring policies that ignore the needs of the students who live and study in the area, including last year’s denial of desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The heavy-handed demands of the area’s wealthy homeowners have killed any semblance of vibrancy in Westwood Village, leading to streets filled with empty storefronts, and driving students — and their money — to other parts of the city. Like a scene out of Footloose, the city even prohibits dancing at restaurants and bars within the Village.

No, really.

………

Local

The LACBC is hiring an Organizing Director.

Former pro Phil Gaimon is on a one-man mission to erase convicted doper and dope dealer Nick Brandt-Sorenson’s name from the top of LA area Strava KOMs.

A 6th grade student is on a one-girl mission to provide safer access for bicyclists to the Ballona Creek bike path in Del Rey and Playa Vista.

 

State

About one hundred Laguna Beech mountain bikers rode through the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as part of the second annual Dirt Fondo Challenge, benefitting the Laguna Beach Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team.

For the second time in two days, a San Diego area bike rider has suffered a serious head injury, apparently without a car involved. This time a helmeted rider fell in San Marcos and struck his head on the pavement; fortunately, his injuries are not life-threatening.

Members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offer strategies on how to improve safety in the South of Market district.

San Francisco State University is California’s latest Bicycle Friendly University.

Soon you may be able to make plans for a wine and cannabis bike tour of Sonoma County.

A bike-riding Scrooge stole four citrus trees planted by an Eagle Scout at an Orangevale church to help feed the hungry.

 

National

In typically obtuse government-ese, the US DOT announces it’s forming a 15-member committee to advise the Secretary of Transportation on matters related to transportation equity. Which sounds great until you consider that the incoming administration could dissolve it next month.

A writer for Momentum Magazine considers the value of clipless bike shoes, and concludes they’re worth it.

The Seattle Times recommends taking your own folding bike when you travel.

Grind TV asks if Sedona’s White Line Trail is the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trail. Judging by the videos, it’s definitely not one for anyone with a fear of heights.

Bicycling Magazine profiles an ex-vegetarian New Mexico man who hunts elk by bike, with his miniature poodle at his side.

Des Moines, Iowa makes plans to hire a full-time bicycle coordinator, if it survives the budget process.

A small free library is unveiled as a memorial to a Wisconsin woman who was killed by a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. We can all agree this is a needless tragedy. But instead of fighting for higher fines to stop people from riding on the sidewalk, why not fight for safer streets so no one will feel the need to?

Caught on video: Philadelphia police are looking for a teenager who rode his BMX up to a garage before setting it on fire.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. A New York bike rider died after an apparent fall; however, police have been unable to identify him or notify his next of kin because he wasn’t carrying any identification.

A group of BMX riders recorded the action after sneaking into a Long Island water park; police are looking at the video as evidence of a trespassing violation.

Now that’s what I call a bike locker.

 

International

Cycling Tips considers why two bike brands haven’t moved their production to China.

Police in British Columbia recovered “dozens and dozens” of stolen bicycles and e-scooters when they took down a bike chop shop.

Torontoist makes the case for why delivering food by bicycle is good for neighborhoods.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider barely escapes a pass from a truck and trailer that looks like it would violate a one-foot passing law.

Two percent of Irish commuters go by bike, a figure that hasn’t changed in the last year.

The Guardian looks at the recent report that bicyclists now outnumber cars in Copenhagen, where a $145 million investment in bikeways has resulted in a 68% increase in ridership. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

Malta warns visiting EU officials not to cause a diplomatic incident by running red lights or carrying a passenger on their bicycles.

A man in the Southern Africa country of Malawi killed his own half-brother in a dispute over a bicycle.

Cyclists in the Australian state of New South Wales won’t have to carry ID when they ride after all, as the government belatedly realizes that most riders already do anyway.

 

Finally…

Maybe bicycling really is the new golf, especially if your bike is made entirely of golf clubs. It’s not just an ebike, it’s a two-wheeled boom box.

And it takes a hero cyclist to save a drowning panda.

………

A special thanks to Michele Chavez for her generous contribution to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: A close call in WeHo, rider injured in Echo Park, and Complete Streets coming to Mar Vista

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

I nearly saw the thing I fear most on Black Friday.

As my wife and I were walking through West Hollywood on our way back from the market Friday afternoon, I watched in horror as a driver preoccupied with his handheld cellphone made a sudden, and very unsafe, lane change to go around a driver waiting to make a left turn.

Except there was a man on a bike already occupying the space he was trying to cut into.

I’m not sure he ever saw the cyclist as he cut hard to the right, then jerked his wheel back to the left to zip around the stopped car, missing the rear wheel of the bike by less than 18 inches.

The rider kept going, barely reacting to the close call; I don’t know if he even realized just how close it had been.

Which is why a Duke University professor says he’s hanging up his bicycle until drivers hang up their phones.

But at least most drivers only use one phone at a time.

………

Bobby Peppey reports he came across the aftermath of a bike wreck at the intersection of Echo Park Ave and Montana Street in Echo Park on Friday.

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25

 

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25-2

He says the paramedics didn’t appear to be in a hurry to transport the victim, which hopefully is a good sign.

………

Cycling Weekly looks forward to four of next year’s pro road races.

The Guardian looks at the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, saying their use of insulin to compete is a positive application of the therapeutic use exemption.

An Arizona writer examines the recent victory of transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden in a Tucson women’s race, saying it’s not as unfair as it seems.

A Swiss rider has been fined the equivalent of nearly $400,000 for causing the death of another cyclist during an amateur race.

………

Local

Los Angeles reclaims control of Venice Blvd from Caltrans, clearing the way for a Complete Streets project in the Mar Vista area.

Chinese electronics and smart bike maker LeEco is opening a pop-up store at the Grove through December 27th.

A writer for a Bay Area LGBT website advises readers to ditch the car and have fun in Los Angeles, in part by taking advantage of bike tours and bikeshare.

Bighearted Pasadena Rotary Club members assembled 200 bicycles to donate to the Salvation Army for underprivileged kids. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Bike SGV invites you to help build the San Gabriel Valley’s first bike park over the next two weekends. The group is also hosting a holiday-themed Cycling Santas Bike Train on December 17th.

 

State

Newport Beach moves forward with plans to remake Bayshore Drive in an effort to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Orange Coast College students ride their bicycles to feed the hungry in Costa Mesa with leftovers from the campus cafeteria.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying on the street with a head injury and a broken leg on Friday; the victim reportedly ran a stop sign before being hit. The driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences for the collision if he’d just stopped. Now he could face a felony count once they find him.

Streetsblog says the convenience of motorists still trumps the safety of bike riders in south San Francisco. Sort of like almost everywhere else.

 

National

Politics may divide us, but bicycling holds the US together.

A disabled Washington woman argues that banning ebikes from national forest trails violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole Olympic cyclist Mara Abbott’s bike from her Boulder CO garage; Abbott was minutes from medaling in the Rio road race when she was passed by three riders just a few hundred meters from the finish line. Then again, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves, period.

The Walton Family Foundation is funding a study of protected bike lanes near the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville AK to see if they will encourage people to bike for transportation.

A Wisconsin driver passed out in her car after driving several miles on an off-road bike trail while allegedly high on meth.

A writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer is surprised to learn that no one keeps statistics on how many drivers are charged, let alone convicted, of traffic crimes, suggesting car crashes should be investigated with the same seriousness as fatal plane and train crashes.

 

International

Pinarello and Rapha could soon join Rodeo Drive luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Christian Dior and Bulgari.

An Aussie bike writer reminisces about riding in Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death.

British Columbia will employ ATV and bike riding paramedics to fight an epidemic of drug overdoses.

The prospect of bike licensing once again rears its ugly head in Canada, as Hamilton councilmembers consider whether the city has the authority to license riders to raise funds for bike lanes. Never mind that it would likely cost more to set up the program than it would bring in.

A bike hating Toronto columnist says the east part of the city is being cut off by the “plague” of bike lanes being built for the “handful of kooks who bike in December.”

LA doesn’t have a monopoly on hit-and-runs, as over 900 London bicyclists were injured by fleeing drivers last year.

Someone clearly doesn’t like a helmet cam-wearing Brit bike rider, threatening to kill his neighbor’s pets if they don’t shun him.

A Welsh mother lost her life while descending a steep French roadway when she missed a turn in heavy fog and rode off a cliff.

Three out of four mountain bikers surveyed in the UK believe right-of-way laws are archaic and aren’t suitable for off-road riding.

A new study from the India branch of the University of Duh shows that speed humps in the roadway are more uncomfortable for bike riders than people in cars.

India opens a new 128 mile long cycle superhighway leading to the front gates of the Taj Mahal.

More Adelaide, Australia bicyclists are riding without helmets to protest the country’s mandatory bike helmet law, resulting in fines averaging $1,000 a day.

A Kiwi columnist says both local bicyclists and visitors are being put at risk by an outdated bike safety plan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a gun with a homemade silencer, don’t ride reluctantly. If you’re using your bike as a burglary getaway vehicle, don’t bite the cop that tries to bust you.

And anyone can ride forward to promote world peace.

………

A special thanks to William Clare, Pedego 101, Joel Steinberg, Jeffrey Fylling, Russell Smeall and Elizabeth Trautmann for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive this past weekend.

 

Morning Links: Bike lanes get blame in West Hills, East Side Riders profiled, and Bev Hills goes auto autonomous

Somehow bikes always seem to get the blame.

Even when they’re nowhere around.

In yet another horrible sacrifice to LA’s car culture, a woman and her adult daughter were killed, along with their dog, while attempting to cross Roscoe Blvd in West Hills Monday night.

Yet instead of blaming the dangerous drivers who residents say speed through the intersection, the Daily News points the finger at a recent road diet, saying westbound Roscoe was narrowed to provide a buffer for cyclists.

Except it wasn’t.

That road diet, like every other road diet, was done to slow those speeding drivers and improve safety for everyone. Bike lanes are just a tool to accomplish that; providing a buffer for people on bikes is just an added benefit.

Which means the problem isn’t the bike lanes.

It’s the culture that says it’s okay to drive 10 miles, or 20, or even 30, above the 40 mph speed limit, then cut over at the last second when the roadway narrows.

Police say the driver wasn’t intoxicated, and wasn’t talking on his cell phone. So the question is how fast was he going, why didn’t he see the two women and their Labrador retriever in a zebra crosswalk, and why he couldn’t stop in time.

And why in God’s name is a 40 mph speed limit allowed in a residential neighborhood to begin with.

There may be a lot of factors that led up to this tragedy.

But bike lanes isn’t one of them.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Bicycling Magazine offers a great interview with John Jones III, founder of the East Side Riders bike club, who is using bikes to change Watts for the better.

We have this thing we implemented with the police, the sheriff’s office, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, called Life Lanes. Basically, it means gang members know not to bother folks on bikes around Watts. We went out and talked to gang members and told them, “You’re gonna see people who don’t look like us riding through here, people from different ethnic groups—don’t mess with them.” And we told law enforcement, “You’re gonna see people from outside the community riding through here—protect them.” And everybody listened! …

Now we ride through some of the projects, and folks don’t bother us. Some of the people in our club are in gangs, but when we’re on bikes, they get a pass from other gangs because they know we’re doing something good for the community.

Nice to see one of LA’s unsung bike heroes get the attention he deserves.

………

Beverly Hills, which fought the Purple Line subway extension tooth-and-nail, is now planning an autonomous vehicle program to solve the first mile/last mile problem with a fleet of self-driving cars once it opens in 2026.

Never mind that they could solve a lot of that by just putting bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

Thanks to John Dammon for the link.

………

Cannondale pro cycling team leader Jonathan Vaughters discusses the future of pro cycling in the US.

CNN offers an extensive profile of Lance Armstrong and the movie The Program, calling him a tragic hero.

And see the grueling Paris-Roubaix from the cyclists’ perspective.

………

Local

Streetsblog says Metro bikeshare really is coming to DTLA. Meanwhile, West Hollywood wants to know where you’d put stations for their coming system.

Downtown News looks at plans for protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in Downtown LA.

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is one of us, as she tweets about how she loves riding her bike along the beach.

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is hosting their 21st annual Walk/Bike-A-Thon on Sunday the 24th, including a 10 mile ride along the beach to raise funds for Meals for Wheels. Maybe you’ll see Shay Mitchell there. Or maybe not.

 

State

Concern for equity reaches the state level, as bills in the state legislature would shift priority for transportation funding to disadvantaged communities to ensure everyone has access to safe walking, biking and transit infrastructure.

Streetsblog looks at how the San Diego Association of Governments falsely sold a package of highway expansions under the promise of improving the environment, while kicking bike and walking projects down the road.

The Voice of San Diego says a recent road diet on the Coast Highway in Oceanside marks the end of the road for the car-only highway. We can only hope.

A gofundme account has been established for a Bakersfield 6th grader who was seriously injured in a collision while riding to school on Monday.

Classic bicycle fans from 29 countries took part in last weekend’s three-day Eroica California bike fest in Paso Robles.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks if new paint and phased traffic signals are enough to keep bike riders safe on a dangerous intersection.

A Bay Area website recommends five stunning destinations you can ride to from San Francisco.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a part-time graphic designer.

 

National

The Atlantic says the absurd primacy of the automobile in American life is insane.

A new study from the University of Duh discovers drunk bike riders are more likely to be injured than sober ones. No, really, they needed a study to figure that out.

The next time you head to Ikea for a bookshelf, you can pick up a unisex, belt-drive bicycle, too. No word on whether you have to assemble it yourself.

Seattle’s Transit Blog tells drivers to relax about cyclists blowing through red lights.

Robin Leach, of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous fame, calls gambler Dan Bilzerian’s successful $1.2 million bet a “dangerous and nearly impossible ride” through the brutal Mojave desert. Even though countless other cyclists have done it for free.

A Chicago couple quit their jobs to travel 4,000 miles across the US on just $6,000.

Charleston cyclists call for a trial bike and pedestrian lane over a bridge to be made permanent since it’s the only safe and, so far, legal route over the river; the local paper says so far, so good.

Louisiana considers a vulnerable user law with real teeth, establishing a $2,000 fine and three months in jail for injuring a bicyclist, pedestrian or motorcyclist, and up to $5,000 and five years in prison for killing someone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

 

International

The Times recommends a three-day mountain bike, llama and rafting tour of Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Modacity’s Chris Bruntlett writes in praise of the upright bike.

A Toronto bike blog imagines how treating traffic collisions like we do aircraft or marine disasters, where human life has absolute priority, would change our driving culture. Thanks to Chuck Castillo for the tip.

A British opposition MP says there’s a real gap between the government’s words and their actual support for cycling.

A Brit woman says she was just driving alone minding her own business, giving a man walking his bike plenty of passing room, when he just randomly picked up his bike and threw it at her car for no apparent reason. Sure, that seems credible. Let’s go with that.

Now that’s refreshing. After a London cellist hits a woman riding her bike while on his way to rehearsal — in front of an Aussie actor and recording star, no less — he takes full responsibility and tells other drivers to slow down.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, this time stringing fishing line at neck level on a pathway popular with children.

A Brit bike rider says today’s focus on sportives, carbon frames and Rapha kits is sucking the life out of cycling.

All the world is a bikeway, and all the men and women merely cyclists marking the 400th anniversary of the Bards’ death.

A Malaysian writer says it’s hard to grow cycling in the country if there aren’t any races and little or no support at the club level.

An Aussie driver says the equivalent of a three-foot passing law wouldn’t be necessary if they weren’t such a bunch of Neanderthals behind the wheel. Maybe they should pass a law protecting cyclists from kangaroos, too.

A Chinese man is under arrest for allegedly riding his bike up to a car, taking his clothes off, and lying under it to pretend he’d been hit by the driver and demanding compensation. But can someone please tell me what being naked has to do with it?

The 82-year old founder of the world’s biggest bicycle maker is now the poster boy for Taiwanese bicycling; oddly, he didn’t take up bicycling himself until he was 73.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can draw a bike from memory, but you probably can’t ride it. If you’re going to ride off with an $11,400 bike from a bike shop, make sure it has pedals on it first.

And you’re not a bike rider, you’re a member of the Federali terrorist group.

 

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