Tag Archive for distracted drivers

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

Welcome back. 

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

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

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

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

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Horrible news from Florida.

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

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

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

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

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Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

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

Even if it’s yourself.

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

See the map on the above link for more details.

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

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

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Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

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

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

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

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Now that’s more like it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

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

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

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

Morning Links: 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: 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.

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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

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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