Tag Archive for distracted driving

Morning Links: Rapley death leads to effort to catch texting drivers, and more holiday bike giveaways

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The death of an Australian tourist on an LA roadway has led to safety improvements Down Under. 

James Rapley was riding on Temescal Canyon while on an extended layover at LAX on his way back home for the holidays five years ago when he was run down by a stoned and distracted driver who drifted into the bike lane.

Now one of his best friends has developed a camera system designed to catch distracted drivers, and keep anyone else from dying needlessly. 

The system, from a company called Acusensus, works like a red light camera, capturing photos of distracted drivers and mailing them tickets. 

While no tickets have been issued yet, a four week test of the technology this past October captured an average of 11,000 drivers a day using their phones illegally

Something like that would probably require a law change here. But it might finally get California drivers to put down their damn phones and pay attention to the road ahead of them. 

And possibly avoid thousands of needless deaths and injuries every year. 

Then maybe Rapley’s death won’t have been in vain.

On a related note, I worked with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and LADOT to push for a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley was killed. 

However, the plan LADOT developed for a road diet on Temescal with a protected bike lane on the uphill side and a separated bike lane on the downhill side met local opposition from Palisades homeowners in its only public presentation.

And was quietly shelved following the tumult over the Playa del Rey road diets in Bonin’s district. 

Let’s hope sanity returns someday, and the plan can be revived before anyone else gets killed. 

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‘Tis the season. 

couple dozen Idaho kids got new bikes, along with free helmets, air pumps and water bottles in a holiday giveaway. 

Hundreds of Detroit kids got free refurbished bikes and helmets from Free Bikes 4 Kids

A Roman Catholic priest, one of 700 selected by Pope Francis to travel the world doing good deeds, gave every 2nd grader in a Kentucky school a new bike and helmet from Trek.   

A London neighborhood sees over 500 cycling Santas turn out on BMX bikes

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Horrifying security video captures the moment an Australian bicyclist was run down from behind by a driver high on meth, who then continues on to hit a pedestrian and another car. 

No word on whether the victim was injured, or how badly. 

But fair warning, before you push play, be sure this is something you really want to see. The video is graphic and disturbing, and you can’t unsee it. 

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run while riding on La Tuna Canyon with his adult son last year, Los Angeles officials unveiled a new separated bike lane and other safety improvements along the dangerous roadway

This is the cost of traffic violence. Two nine-year old girls are battling for their lives after suffering “massive” head trauma in a street racing crash; one driver was arrested, while the other fled the scene. 

Bird briefly flocked to Redondo Beach on Thursday, only to have its wings clipped and unceremoniously ordered to get the flock out of town by Sunday. 

State

Seriously, don’t kill the newtsThanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up

San Diego’s Holiday Joy Ride shines a light on safety improvements in the city, with many new projects set to be unveiled in the coming year.

North San Diego County bicyclists rode to honor bike and pedestrian safety advocate Roberta Walker, who was critically injured in a crash while riding her bike recently. 

After a bike rider was killed by a speeding driver on Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage, local bicyclists express their concerns about the dangerous roadway. And the local TV station offers tips on how bicyclists can stay safe, without a single word on how drivers should slow down and avoid killing people. 

An Oakland news site operated by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a video report on the latest plan to complete the bike path on the Bay Bridge.

National

In yet another blow to alternative transportation, the Trump administration is converting the popular TIGER grantsthat helped build bike and walkways across the US into a highway building program. 

That energy drink could mess with your blood flow

A Seattle judge sends the city back to the drawing board, ruling in favor of a coalition of maritime and industrial businesses who sued to halt the proposed completion of an 18-mile bike path that’s been in the works for over thirty years. 

A local paper says a planned redo of I-70 through Colorado’s Vail Pass will have to balance the needs of motorists, bicyclists and wildlife; a bike advocate says some sections of the existing bike path through the Rockies are terrifying in places where it runs too close to the freeway. 

Wichita Falls TX bicyclist calls attention to the dangers bike riders face in the city after he was hit from behind with no warning by a drunken motorcyclist. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin state senator praises the country’s longest serving state legislator, who she calls the dean of the senate — and who rode nearly 3,000 spandex-clad miles this year at 91-years old.  

Connecticut Public Radio discusses the origin of bicycles, and how bikes paved the way for the women’s movement over a century ago

After a New York ebike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, the NYPD trips over itself to blame the victim and exonerate the missing driver.  

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times says urban areas around the world are getting the message that cities are for people, not carsMaybe Los Angeles will finally figure that out someday

An op-ed in the Washington Post says traffic laws are universally ignored, and safety will never improve until drivers have to pay for breaking the law

An Orlando FL plastic surgeon says bike riders have to be taught traffic laws, and the laws have to be enforced to improve safety. In other words, he’s blaming the people on bikes for getting hit by cars, and not the people who hit them.  

International

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are calling for a permanent memorial where a bike rider was killed by a cab driver earlier this month, saying the death can’t be swept under the rug. 

Life is cheap in London, where a dump truck driver walked with a suspended sentence in the death of a pregnant woman as she rode her bike. 

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton gets back on her bike for the first time since giving birth in October. 

Troubling piece from a gay couple who biked along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as Brexit throws the border into question, and find gay people hidden deeply in the closet and a revival of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants waiting just under the surface.

A new competition-winning Dutch app enables employers to track bike commuters to pay them for riding to work

Thousands of people in Kathmandu continue to ride their bikes, despite the dangers and chaotic traffic — including missing manhole covers exposing open sewers. 

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist says it’s okay if he hates on bikeways as a ridiculous waste of money, because he rides a bike himself. Sure, let’s go with that

Competitive Cycling

Normally, Stephen Hyde’s third consecutive US national cyclocross championship would be damned impressive. Except the incomparable Katie Compton just won her 15th in a rowYes, fifteen

The former long-time coach of the late, lamented Jelly Belly team has found a new sponsor, allowing him to continue fielding a Continental-level cycling team

Sad news from the UK, where a court heard a cyclist died of a heroin overdose, driven in part by a crippling fear of urinating in public, which prevented him from turning pro over his fears of being forced to take drug tests in front of a witness. 

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.  

Finally…

Even the trees are out to get us.  Strava Santa is coming to town

And not everyone wants cycling gear for ChristmasThat’s okay; I’ll gladly take whatever he doesn’t want


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Thanks to James van G and Mitchell D for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

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No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

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A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

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Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

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There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

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Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

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The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

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Morning Links: Arrest in Valbuena hit-and-run, adaptive bikes in the news, and who we share the roads with

Police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Jonathan Valbuena in Torrance last month.

Thirty-seven-year old Thomas Hudson was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes following a two week investigation.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Valbuena, who was described as homeless, was left to die in the street following the 5 am crash at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street.

Let’s hope the DA’s office takes this case seriously, and don’t just write it off because the victim didn’t have a home. Or was on a bicycle.

And that our state legislators finally do something to stop this murderous epidemic.

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Today’s common theme is adaptive riding.

Bicycling profiles handcycle mountain biker Jeremy McGhee, who has developed a rating system for mountain bike trails accessible to adaptive riders. But then they don’t bother to, you know, link to it.

After losing the use of his own legs, a Colorado framebuilder switched his focus to building one-of-a-kind adaptive mountain bikes to bring wheelchair-bound riders back to the trails.

A Pittsburgh paraplegic is preparing to make an attempt to set a new record for the most miles traveled by handcycle in 24 hours.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An allegedly drunk, off-duty Lyft driver takes a wide, fast turn onto Sunset Blvd, and takes out a handful of people standing on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey a Go Go.

Then there’s this guy.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a British driver with eight previous convictions for distracted driving killed a bike rider moments after reading a text. And just weeks after magistrates agreed to let him keep his license.

Maybe those magistrates should be looking for a new line of work.

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Get your zen on with mesmerizing drone footage of bicyclists rounding a roundabout in bike-friendly Davis.

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Women on Wheels rides to brunch in the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

Maybe they’ll bring me back something from Donut Man. Not that I could actually eat it or anything.

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Damn.

This punishment pass from the UK is about the closest I’ve ever seen without actually hitting someone.

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Local

A motion by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield would revoke regulations that have officially taken 374 LA streets off the books, preventing some of them from getting repaved since 1934.

NIMBY pressure group Fix the City settled a lawsuit that had stopped plans for a Frank Geary designed complex on Sunset Blvd; the group had somehow sued to preserve a dangerous right turn slip lane at Sunset and Crescent Heights that puts pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at needless risk.

Lyft is teaming with LADOT to sponsor a promotion to get you out of your car for 30 days. Shouldn’t be a problem; I haven’t driven mine for 285 days, give or take. Although if you’re just going to move to a ride hailing service, it doesn’t accomplish much.

Good news for South Bay bicyclists, as bike-friendly former Long Beach city councilmember Suja Lowenthal has taken over as city manager for Hermosa Beach.

 

State

The Folsom History Museum is offering new exhibits combining bicycles and beer. Or you could just ride your bike to your favorite microbrewery.

 

National

A City Lab Op-Ed proposes the concept of Universal Basic Mobility, based on the idea that everyone has a right to get around — for a price.

A business writer considers the inevitable conflicts between mountain bikers and trail runners as a metaphor for resolving business conflicts. Although from his description, I get the feeling he doesn’t know enough regular bike riders.

Gear Junkie looks at the latest ebikes on display at Reno’s recent Interbike show.

A Colorado letter writer makes the point that even when a bike lane is empty, it’s “reducing congestion and aggravation for transportation users of all kinds.”

Now that’s a ciclovía. Colorado Springs CO is closing the spectacularly beautiful Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark to motor vehicles this Sunday, replacing the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic with people on foot and bikes.

An Idaho man spends a late fall Sunday riding a little too fast past bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone Park.

Boston is working to improve its bike infrastructure, including a new two-way centerline bike lane, protected intersections and bicycle traffic signals.

No bias here. The NYPD continues to target immigrant delivery people riding banned throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than the restaurants they work for, despite the mayor’s promises and in violation of the city’s ordinance governing ebikes.

A bike-riding New York councilmember discusses her proposal to require crews to provide bike lane detours around construction sites. We could really use a similar law here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina bicyclists are warning each other to be careful after a bike rider was hit by an object thrown from a passing car.

A Louisiana parish responds to the collision that killed a bicycling Baton Rouge city councilmember by adopting an anti-bike “bike safety” law requiring bicyclists to wear flouro hi-viz and ride single file in groups of ten or less. None of which would have prevented the crash that killed him. Or likely the next one, for that matter.

 

International

Talk about not getting it. A Montreal letter writer says a ghost bike should be installed in front of city hall to remind politicians to “curb inappropriate cycling behavior to prevent hogging the road.” Which is not exactly what ghost bikes are for.

Bike riders and pedestrians will be included in a small class of vulnerable road users as Nova Scotia updates its traffic regulations for the first time since 1932.

No, removing bike parking from an English train station is not an “improvement.”

Scottish blogger Town Mouse gets a bad case of the speed wobbles.

Paris will now ban cars from the entire city center on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, to improve air quality and share public spaces.

The mayor of an Istanbul neighborhood is doing more than encouraging people to people get out of their cars and bike to work; he gave up his own official car and is using a bike to get to and from appointments.

An Indian cycling club will try to set a new record for the longest line of moving bicyclists; the current record of 1,186 bicyclists is held by Bangladesh.

A Sikh cyclist is challenging an Indian randonneuring ride’s requirement for all riders to wear a helmet, since that would mean removing the turban he’s required to wear by his faith.

Australian bicyclists are angry that two of the most popular riding routes have been bumped off plans for promised bike infrastructure, leaving thousands of bike riders on their own every day.

Australia’s eight-time world BMX champ Caroline Buchanan took time off from training in California to marry boyfriend Barry Nobles at Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Japanese police explain how a wanted man was able to hide in plain sight by posing as a bike tourist in Osaka Prefecture for seven weeks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The barren dirt slopes of Afghanistan are witnessing the birth of an equal opportunity mountain biking movement; 40% of the cyclists in a recent race were women.

Women’s cycling will visit the UK’s north for the first time next year, with the three-day Tour of Scotland.

Hard-hitting piece from Canadian cyclist Devaney Collier, as she explains why she’s still afraid to leave her home for training rides, two years after her teammate Ellen Watters was killed in a collision.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bakfiets when you can just subscribe to one? Your wait for a gold-plated track bike is finally over.

And the best drink mix for every type of ride.

And no, margarita mix isn’t one of them.

 

Morning Links: Gaimon’s new Rules, distracted cop crash, Ofo kisses LA goodbye, and history of the Bike Oven

Before we get started, drop whatever you’re doing and check out today’s must-read piece, as Phil Gaimon rebuts the infamous Velominati Rules.

And completely and totally nails it.

Then again, as far as I’m concerned, he could have quit with Rule #10: “Don’t be a dick.”

Which pretty much covers every other rule. And everything else.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Former pro Phil Gaimon with a very odd bike helmet; photo shamelessly stolen from his website.

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Call it a Peculiar crash, indeed.

A bike rider was the victim of a seriously distracted Peculiar, Missouri cop, who turned into his bike as he was stopped at a three-way intersection.

The officer was suspended with pay after admitting on the video that he was texting at the time of the crash.

Thanks to Todd Munson, Jeff Vaughn, J. Patrick Lynch and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo waves Los Angeles a fond farewell as the overextended company prepares to pull out of North America.

Thanks to Matthew Gomez for forwarding the email.

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A new video tells the story of LA’s groundbreaking Bike Oven.

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If you want to understand why LA City Councilmembers are able to act like little kings in their districts, and why it’s so hard to get anything done in this city, consider that we have the fewest city council districts of any major US city.

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Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an American problem.

Two American bike tourists were killed in Tajikistan when a driver slammed into the group of riders before fleeing the scene; two Dutch bike tourists were also killed, and three others injured.

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Local

Santa Monica’s city manager says SaMo is making progress dealing the the e-scooter phenomenon, calling it both a problem and an opportunity

Long Beach will host the LA area’s first nighttime open streets event with Beach Streets Twilight on August 25th.

 

State

A Bakersfield writer visits local advocacy group Bike Bakersfield, and discovers that bicycles are changing lives in the city.

A team of 11 people riding from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness of sex trafficking pause in Santa Barbara to discuss the problem.

The speeding bicyclist who killed an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco several years ago, bringing scorn and derision on the Strava app, is now launching his own ten-part podcast to give his side of the story.

Sad news from Oakland, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run, which apparently wasn’t deemed newsworthy by the local media.

 

National

When you’re a JetBlue pilot, your mountain bike flies for free.

Who says you can’t put a bike rack on a Vespa?

Forbes says bike-friendly apartments are popular with renters.

Next City says when you imagine who is biking in American cities, you’re probably wrong.

Streetsblog talks with Lime Bike Chief Programs Officer Scott Kubly, who says e-scooters are the next big thing.

The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the extreme cyclists of the Navajo Nation.

A former player for the Arizona Diamondbacks is creating his own cross-country triathlon, starting with a seven-mile swim across the San Francisco Bay, followed by biking 2,344 mile to Chicago, then running the rest of the way to New York.

Houston police say noted cardiac surgeon Dr. Mark Hausknecht was targeted by the bike-riding killer who shot him as he rode his bike.

People can’t seem to figure out why there are stripes in a Texas bike lane. You’d think the local DOT might want to explain that before the paint went down. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Rhode Island residents install their own stop signs on a bike path where a six-year old boy was killed recently, rather than wait months to go through official channels; the state DOT says they can stay for now.

The Boston Globe says dockless ebikes and scooters don’t bite, so relax already.

They get it. A Virginia newspaper says the best way to reduce the severity of bike crashes is for everyone to slow the hell down. Okay, I may have added “the hell” to that, but still.

 

International

Call it urologist humor. A new study shows that a shock absorbing bike seat can help prevent erectile dysfunction in men due to uneven road surfaces, and genital numbness in both men and women. As well as helping make “cycling be less of a pain in the butt.”

The Guardian says road trips are even better by bike, and offers four more to add to your bike bucket list, including our own Route 66. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recommends a bike tour through the “Tuscany of America,” while the Japan Times recommends the island of Kyushu.

Vancouver’s ex-city planner says streets should make people want to stick around. Not, say, drive through as quickly as possible, as with most of Los Angeles.

She gets it. A British Columbia automotive writer says drivers should be grateful that every bike rider takes a car off the road, even if the riders are doing it for their own benefit.

A Yukon mountain biker was lucky to make it back home after a stray bullet fired by a man sighting a rifle barely missed him. At least, we can all hope it was an accident.

Caught on video: After riding erratically, a Winnipeg bike rider crashes into a stopped car while fleeing from police, then takes off on foot. Watch carefully in the background, and you can see a passerby trying to roundup the rider’s stray wheel following the crash.

Montreal bicyclists are angry over getting banned from a historic cemetery due to the actions of a few riders, even though cars, electric scooters, dog walkers and picnickers are still allowed.

So much for the myth of the scofflaw cyclist. A new London study showed only a tiny fraction of bike riders rode faster than 20 mph on the city’s cycle superhighways, and the overwhelming majority obeyed traffic signals.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why London’s Conservative mayoral candidates won’t embrace the city’s bicycle infrastructure, when the free-market case for it is so clear.

Hundreds of teenage bicyclists descend on a British city, wreaking havoc by surrounding cars and frightening drivers.

The Netherland’s world-standard bikeways are melting under Northern Europe’s unrelenting heatwave.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali is getting animated in a new film.

Abu Dhabi is getting bike friendly, as it nears the halfway mark in its goal of adding 500 bike racks throughout the city.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is one of us; the women’s representative to the Kenyan parliament rode with the Nairobi Critical Mass last week.

Tests show ebikes could save Australian commuters up to $200 a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women are the weaker sex? An international team of women’s cyclists completed the entire 2018 Tour de France route one day ahead of the official Tour to show that women can handle the rigors of a Grand Tour.

Geraint Thomas made history by becoming the first Welsh rider to win the tour, as his TV announcer wife waited for him at the finish line in Paris. Although London’s notorious tabloid press was quick to paint him as a “self-confessed booze-loving party animal.”

Houston’s Lawson Craddock made history by becoming the first American to capture the Lanterne Rouge for finishing last in the Tour de France, and the first to trail the race from start to finish. On the other hand, he rode all but the first few kilometers with a broken shoulder blade, while raising more than twice the $102,100 stretch goal for a Houston velodrome.

Ireland’s Dan Martin beat out Craddock and a handful of better known riders to win the award as the tour’s most competitive rider.

Getty Images wants to introduce you to famed Tour de France superfan El Diablo.

In a great, if somewhat surreal, interview, the Irish writer who blew the whistle on organized doping in pro cycling — and lost his job as a result — talks with ex-Tour de France winner and current cannabis entrepreneur Floyd Landis.

The Conversation asks if pro cycling has a concussion problem.

This week marks the annual Big Bear Cycling Festival and the Tour de Big Bear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike to commit a crime, take it with you when you go. Building a bike to survive the apocalypse.

And some drivers hide their license plates to avoid getting caught on speed cameras; bicyclists can just ride naked.

 

Morning Links: NYT shines national spotlight on LA’s deadly car culture, and open season for open streets

Los Angeles’ hit-and-run car culture and deadly streets takes their bow in the national spotlight.

And the picture isn’t pretty.

The New York Times, in an article by LA-based reporter Jose A. Del Real, examines the problems on our streets and the rising toll among bike riders, through the tragic death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA.

Cyclists have long risked danger in Los Angeles, where a loose and lackluster network of bike lanes means they often ride alongside speeding cars. Today, cyclists draw a special kind of vitriol from drivers in America’s car capital, where traffic congestion is increasingly intolerable as the region’s population grows by an estimated 50,000 people a year.

In poor areas of the city, where people are more likely to depend on walking and cycling as the sole means of transportation, residents complain of a disregard for their well-being by drivers who treat their neighborhood streets like highways. City data shows that the dangers to pedestrians and cyclists are particularly acute in South Los Angeles — where Mr. Frazier was killed — which lags the rest of the city in safety infrastructure.

He note that the mayor has promised to ramp up advertising to fight the carnage on our streets.

That’s right, advertising.

“I am confident that without our efforts, things would be even worse,” Mr. Garcetti said earlier this year. He said the city’s transportation department would ramp up advertising related to road safety.

The purpose of Vision Zero is to remake our streets so that human mistakes don’t result in fatal crashes.

It’s hard to see how even the most hard-hitting ad can equal the life-saving effectiveness of a single road diet.

It’s an important read.

One that even quotes me couple times, along with the newfound advocates who’ve risen in the wake of Woon’s death.

And Del Real did me the favor of not quoting most of the things I said, as he caught me in one of my more pissed off moods at the inaction of city officials in the face of the rising bike and pedestrian deaths and lawlessness on our streets.

Then again, I don’t think they could print most of that in the Times, anyway.

Maybe that national spotlight will embarrass our mayor as he angles for higher office.

And make him realize he has a lot more work to do right here in the City of Angels first. Along with a few city council butts to kick.

We can hope.

………

The streets are officially open.

The Los Angeles Daily News looks at another successful CicLAvia in the North San Fernando Valley, and contrasts it with the dangers riders face on LA streets. KCBS-2 reports from earlier in the day.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating open streets on Sunday, as thousands turned out for the fifth CycLOUvia in Louisville KY.

And just a tad further north, Winnipeg, Canada celebrated its ninth annual Ciclovia.

………

The Ad Council has posted the winners of their annual student film contest focusing on the dangers of texting while driving.

Hopefully they’ll show these to the sheriff’s department.

………

Local

The city council’s Transportation Committee has voted to approve protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in LA’s Skid Row. That should make it almost a done deal, since the full council usually rubber stamps decisions made in committee. Update: Joe Linton informs me that the full council has already approved the motion, voting 11 to 0 on Friday to install the lanes.

The LA Times travel section offers tips on how to choose a car bike rack for your next road trip. Best advice: Whatever rack you choose, make sure your can lock it to your car, then lock the bikes to the rack. And take them inside when you stop for the night or leave your car for any length of time.

Calabasas-based 10 Speed Coffee is opening a new bike-themed outpost in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Juan Capistrano police give a six-year old boy a new bicycle to replace the one he managed to jump off of, saving his own life just before it was crunched by a red light-running driver. However, it’s strange that the driver was booked on a felony hit-and-run charge, which requires serious injuries under California law; otherwise, it should be a misdemeanor.

The new captain of the Chino Hills police department is one of us, and a long-time member of Redland’s Citrus Valley Velo cycling club. 

Cycling legend and commentator Bob Roll takes a low-tech roll through Silicon Valley.

 

National

Trump’s tariff’s as he ramps up a trade war with China could come at the expense of the booming growth of ebikes, most of which are made in the Middle Kingdom.

A new study refutes the myth that more and wider roadways are necessary for regional economic success, showing that the cities that don’t have traffic congestion are the ones that are dying.

Bicycling takes a look at the new old Harley Davidson bicycle, which can be yours for a mere $4,200.

Popular Mechanics rates the best multi-tools, and says every kind of bike is going electric, from motor scooters to cargo bikes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

An Anchorage AK bike shop suffered $75,000 in losses during a late night burglary, as thieves appear to be targeting high-end bicycles in the city.

Taking distracted driving to a new extreme, the backup driver responsible for overseeing the self-driving Uber car — and preventing the crash that took the life of Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bike across a Tempe AZ street — was watching The Voice on Hulu, instead of the road. Police had initially blamed Herzberg, calling the crash unavoidable before realizing it was anything but.

Three Utah bicyclists participating in a charity ride were seriously injured when they were run down from behind by a “drowsy” driver coming home from working a night shift; fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening.

While the rest of the country is just discovering protected bike lanes, Boise ID had them in the ’70s, but let them fade away.

This is why you should always question police investigations following a crash. Colorado police reversed themselves after initially blaming the victim for a serious crash after they were finally able to talk to her in the hospital; she refuted the driver’s claim that she was riding her bike on the shoulder and illegally turned in front of him.

Emotions run high as 18 bike riders return home to Oklahoma after a three-week ride through seven states, retracing the steps of the Cherokee tribe during the infamous Trail of Tears.

LimeBike is threatening to walk away from Chicago’s pilot dockless bikeshare program over a clause that requires bikes to be locked to a stationary object when not in use.

A Massachusetts town celebrates its history as a bicycle factory town by giving new bikes to 19 kids.

An op-ed in the New York Times says if we want to build a sustainable future, cities and people must take priority over cars.

Sad news from Pennsylvania, where a woman was killed riding her bike home from her new job because she didn’t want to bother anyone by asking for a ride; her relatives didn’t even know she owned a bike. Naturally, police blamed her for the rear-end crash for riding in the traffic lane on a 45 mph road, rather than on the shoulder.

 

International

City Journal examines the worldwide problem of vandalism and destruction that’s causing a major retreat by bikeshare providers, docked and otherwise.

Road.cc reviews five of the best foldies, and considers 26 of the best books in bicycling. As if anyone has time to read when you could be out on your bike.

Bike Radar recaps the week’s best new bike gear.

A 29-year old Belgian man stopped in Winnipeg on a 30-month bike trip from the tundra of far northern Canada to the tip of southern Argentina.

Caught on video: A Toronto bike rider catches a crash on a bike cam when he’s hit head-on by a driver making an illegal U-turn, who drove off after giving him a fake name and phone number. Amazingly, police don’t consider it hit-and-run since he didn’t need immediate medical attention.

A commentator on a conservative website says a call for banning right turns on red lights in Toronto is based on junk science, saying that stats showing 13% of crashes occurred when drivers were turning right just means that 87% didn’t, and that drivers aren’t always at fault. By that measure, running red lights should be legal too, since it doesn’t always result in a wreck, either.

A London writer says putting signs on the back of large trucks isn’t enough to protect bike riders and pedestrians from getting killed in their drivers’ blind spots. But ads will stop deadly crashes in Los Angeles, right?

A English minister says he understands the benefits of bicycling, but may get rid of the bikes in his garage because of the dangers posed by motorists. Although he says “militant cyclists” don’t help the cause of bicycling by trying to impose their rights. Which is another way of saying people who want to legally ride their bikes without getting run off the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South African driver’s mother suffered a heart attack and his father has suffered from depression after he was sentenced to ten years for killing two bike riders. Then again, if you think that’s bad, imagine the suffering of his victims’ families.

Nepal paid tribute to the country’s national cycling champion after he was killed falling into a river while competing in Sri Lanka.

Aussie police warn of an “epidemic” of headphone-wearing cyclists and pedestrians killed in traffic collisions. If you can call an average of two a year an epidemic — and if the headphones were actually what caused the crashes. After all, if headphones cause crashes, car sound systems and hermetically sealed, soundproof vehicles should, too. 

Touching story as a Japanese man flew to Taiwan to thank the man who cared for his son when he was fatally injured by falling rocks while mountain biking.

Now you can tour Vietnam and Sri Lanka by ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fourth time is the charm, as SoCal’s Coryn Rivera nips Megan Guarnier to win her first US Pro national road race championship. Tennessee’s Emma White dominated the women’s U-23 races.

An Idaho man was part of an eight-person team that set a new record of just under five days, four hours in the Race Across America.

Bicycling explains how to watch the Tour de France this year. And no, streaming it live on your handlebars while you ride probably isn’t the best idea.

Seriously? Team Sky’s coach says Chris Froome’s safety is at risk after five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault calls Froome a cheat over his failed drug test.

The race of the century — or at least the next few weeks — will roll on July 1st as the grudge match between LA’s own Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara will charge up Switzerland’s Col du Pillon. You can cheer Gaimon on with your own cookie-themed kit.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you miss your train, and end up beating it to your destination. Even Transylvania is becoming bike friendly.

And presenting the Uniform Manual of Traffic Engineer Excuses.

 

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

………

Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

………

Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

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Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

Morning Links: More details on $11.75 million Olin settlement; Venice writer says don’t over-regulate e-scooters

Yesterday’s press conference revealed more details about the nearly $12 million settlement from the County of Los Angeles for the death of bike-riding music executive Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy in December, 2013.

Citing new evidence, Olin’s family is asking the DA’s office to take another look at the case, after the DA had initially declined to file charges.

The DA had said there was no evidence the deputy was actually moving while he texted and used the onboard computer in his patrol car just prior to the crash.

However, new evidence shows Deputy Andrew Wood was traveling at over 40 mph on Mulholland Highway as he typed into his laptop to respond to a message from another deputy at the time of the crash. And had used his personal cell phone to text his wife just 15 seconds earlier.

Olin should have been visible to Wood for 21 seconds as the deputy drove down Mulholland — or would have been if he hadn’t been distracted. Wood initially said that Olin swerved in front of him before investigators placed the point of impact squarely in the bike lane.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website, which was founded after his death to combat distracted driving.

………

A Venice-based writer for The Atlantic dons his best Raymond Chandler-esque prose to say e-scooters could ease traffic. But only if cities can avoid over-regulating them.

If Bird comes to your city, its detractors will cry foul.

They’ll lash out as if every Silicon Beach scheme to make some scratch is zero sum, call the code-enforcement coppers on anything without a business license, insist on “a comprehensive regulatory scheme” as if mere scooters require one, and remain so beholden to status-quo bias that they’ll hold Birds to standards they’ve never applied to Firebirds, Skylarks, Falcons, Cygnets, or Roadrunners.

Before throwing in with the skeptics, at least take a ride.

It’s a good read, and worth a few minutes of your day.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches a bike thief in action and gives chase, before losing the scoundrel in Griffith Park.

City Lab talks with UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup.

Beverly Hills will hold a Complete Streets Walk Audit on Saturday, June 9th to get input on the city’s Complete Streets process.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Studies show that dockless bikeshare works best when it’s seen as an extension of the transit system. And that both dockless and traditional bikeshare can succeed in the same city.

Bicycling lists celebrities who ride bikes, from Pippa Middleton to George Clooney. If you have the patience to click through all 25 pages.

People for Bikes is looking for a part-time writer. And the best part is, it’s not an onsite position, so you can work wherever you are now.

A Seattle bicyclist got his stolen bike and tools back after online commenters pitched in with a description and location of the thief’s truck.

Three months after becoming the first woman finisher in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race, a Norwegian woman gets her $3,000 stolen carbon-fiber bike back after it was spotted in an Anchorage homeless camp.

A Pittsburgh public radio station considers what happens when construction work closes a bike lane or bike path; city policy requires developers to provide an alternate route. Unlike Los Angeles, where bike lanes are closed for construction work or movie shoots with no detour on a regular basis.

A New York man says he hasn’t bought a bicycle since the 1990s, even though he’s ridden all over the world. Then proves it by suggesting racing bikes cost just $600 these days.

The war on bikes goes on, as a New York man was attacked for the crime of riding his bike in a bike lane that was overflowing with pedestrians forced off a narrow, overcrowded sidewalk.

Boing Boing looks back on the bikelash panic that preceded the introduction of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare five years ago, none of which came to pass.

In the spirit of that earlier bikeshare panic, a Brooklyn paper says dockless bikeshare will bring chaos to Coney Island.

 

International

This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign. A Canadian man had his bike stolen when thieves unbolted the sign and slid then lock off. Then again, they also stole his next bike, even though it was locked to an iron railing.

No surprise here. The driver who plowed into four Canadian cyclists on a charity ride was under the influence at the time of the crash.

A writer for the Guardian says the problem in London isn’t a lack of diversity on bikes, it’s the lack of safe streets that keeps women and children from riding. Although a writer says the real problem on her bike commute is MAMILS.

The Guardian also examines the rise of ultra-cyclists, in advance of a 258-mile ride from London to Wales and back.

A British woman expects to become the first disabled woman to ride unsupported around the entire coast of Great Britain when she completes her journey today.

The Melbourne, Australia city council concludes that safety fears and a lack of decent bike lanes discourage many people from riding bikes. Meanwhile, a cycling commentator says policies that encourage more Melbourne commuters to bike to work will be a win for everyone.

Western Australia’s Road Safety Minister says there are no plans to require bicyclists to ride single file, there or anywhere else in the country, despite a petition from angry drivers.

A new Tokyo bar is designed for, and staffed by, road cyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Canadian track cyclist says the five-month break she was forced to endure following a massive blood clot caused by a crash in the Rio Olympics has left her more grounded and focused on the Tokyo Games.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera is bouncing back after a challenging classics season, winning two stages of Germany’s Internationale Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.

Chris Froome is confident about repeating as Tour de France champ this summer, after bouncing back from his “brutal” Giro win. If he doesn’t get a belated ban for a failed drug test at last year’s Vuelta, that is.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride your classic Schwinn cruiser inside. Or maybe ride outside to celebrate legal marijuana.

And we may have to deal with rude drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rude ‘roos.

 

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

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

But fortunately, could have been much worse.

Almost lost some friends today

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

Here are the details.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I DO hope she is insured.

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

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

………

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

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

Go figure.

………

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

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

And tragic that stories like this are even necessary.

………

Local

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

Curbed calls for making the Oscar street closures permanent.

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

 

Morning Links: Support Lankershim bike lanes, new buffered lanes in Sunland, and killer driver warns others

The LACBC is asking for people to come out on Wednesday to support plans to install bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd between Magnolia Blvd and Vanowen Street.

The meeting of the Mid-Town NoHo Neighborhood Council starts at 7 PM, at the Senior Citizen Center at 5301 Tujunga Blvd. RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend.

These are the same bike lanes former Councilmember Tom LaBonge blocked while he was in office; now that he’s gone, maybe we can finally make the street a little safer for everyone.

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Maybe there really is hope.

Michael Sullivan forwards photos of new buffered bike lanes going in on Foothill Blvd in Sunland, where Jeffrey Knopp was killed when his bike was struck from behind while riding on the narrow shoulder.

Looking west from Foothill and Riderwood towards Wentworth

Looking east from the same spot towards Sunland, next to the barriers that previously trapped riders next to fast-moving traffic

The road diet should slow traffic, while giving people on bicycles a safer and more comfortable piece of the roadway. Sullivan calls it a very welcome change on a street he regularly rides as part of his commute.

My understanding is that these plans were in the works long before Knopp’s death. But it’s good to see a dangerous road made a little safer.

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The 22-year old driver who killed Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar four years ago is now speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted driving, his probationary penance for what he calls the worst day of his life.

Gonzalo Aranguiz Salazar says the appearances mandated as part of his five-year probation have allowed him to help heal himself.

I sincerely hope he’s able to peace, and live with the knowledge that he needlessly destroyed an innocent life.

But I’m far more concerned that Aguilar’s loved ones are able to come to terms with his loss, and the fact that his killer wasn’t sentenced to a single day behind bars.

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Very sad news, as Peter Flax reports the husband of fallen OC cyclist Deborah Gresham — the subject of his moving piece on the creation of a ghost bike — has died unexpectedly, leaving their four kids without a mother or father.

Let’s hope there’s someone to take them in and comfort them. Because that’s just too much tragedy for any child to bear.

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A driver buzzes a bicyclist as he’s filming a trailer for a documentary. And proves once again that too many drivers don’t have a clue when it comes to the rights of cyclists, or how to drive safely around people on bikes.

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Spoiler alert: If you still haven’t seen Sunday’s Paris – Roubaix, skip to the next section. Or watch streaming video of the race courtesy of SoCal Cycling, then come back for the rest.

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Local

Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin call for using Measure M return funds to save lives through Vision Zero, noting that New York is spending $174 million on Vision Zero projects this year, while Los Angeles has committed to spending a paltry $3 million.

A writer for The Source notes that she feels safer on a Metro Bike than a regular bike, and that bikeshare has made her feel more comfortable riding around DTLA.

Help clean up the Ballona Creek for Earth Day on the 22nd.

A mountain bike rider had to be evacuated from the Lower Monroe Truck Trail in Angeles Forest following a crash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica is set to unveil the final draft of the city’s Downtown Community Plan on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will include a heavy reliance on bicycling, transit and walking over motor vehicles.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the tale of a cycling wedding.

 

State

The LA Times recommends getting fit and doing good by joining one of several charity bike rides around the state, as well as one in Tucson.

A Huntington Beach event allowed people with disabilities to experience the freedom of handcycling for the first time.

A helmetless La Jolla woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a solo fall after losing control of her bicycle going downhill. Sadly, crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Apparently, it was worth it to a San Diego driver to risk injuring a bicyclist to snag a prime beachside parking space; the rider slammed into the back of her car after she cut him off.

A Riverside driver turned herself in Sunday morning for fleeing the scene after crashing into two bike riders Saturday night. Which would have given her time to sober up if she’d been drinking.

Two Stockton teenagers were killed fleeing from police following a robbery after crashing into a bike rider and several cars; fortunately, the bicyclist and the people in the other cars weren’t seriously injured.

Seven months later, Sebastopol authorities still can’t prove — or disprove — that a fatal crash between two cyclists on an organized ride was caused by a careless driver.

Over 30 triathletes suffered hypothermia after swimming in a Napa County lake before getting on their bikes.

 

National

A new book from a Colorado woman describes her victory in the frozen 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race.

The Montana bill that included a tax on out-of-state bicyclists — which sponsors later said was a joke — passed out of committee without the provision attached.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a hit-and-run driver gets a whole 18 months in prison for killing a bike rider, then claiming he hit a deer.

The New York Post questions why the city should spend $12 million to expand the Citi Bank bikeshare to outlying areas, when the coming dockless, app-based bikeshare systems could do it for them.

A writer for the Guardian describes his single week as an Uber courier, which ended when he discovered the hard way that Uber doesn’t ensure couriers’ bicycles against theft.

The World Cycling League will team with a Reading PA college to build a world-class, $20 million velodrome.

A kindhearted friend of a Virginia McDonald’s customer bought a new bicycle for one of the store’s employees after learning he was walking 10 miles each way to get to and from his job after his old bicycle gave out. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The Tampa Bay Times offers a strongly worded editorial calling for better safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, saying it’s time to stop accepting injuries and deaths as “collateral damage in a culture focused on cars.”

 

International

Here’s video of the Cuban cyclist stopped by police in his attempt to set a record for the world’s tallest ridable bike with the help of LA’s Ritchie Trimble, builder of the current record holder; builder Félix Ramón Guirola Cepero says he’s going to try it again. Got to hand it to Trimble; it’s a total class act to help the guy trying to beat your own record.

An 82-year old Brit man had the chutzpa to apply for a new driver’s license, just days after knocking a man off his bike, then driving over him at 3 mph.

The UK is about to be invaded by Chinese app-based bikeshare providers, extending their battle from the Middle Kingdom to foreign shores.

Caught on video: A British driver tweets that a bike rider should be prosecuted for riding through a red light when there was no traffic coming in any direction.

A Bollywood filmmaker plans several additional rides after finishing a 1,500 mile ride across India to promote mental health; he has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Australian police are closing in on a suspect in the 15-year old cold case murder of a man who was gunned down in his home weeks after finishing an eight-month tour of the country that ended when his bike was stolen.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, try not to drop the cash you just stole. Your next bike helmet could fit in a water bottle, not that it would do a lot of good there.

And your latest bicycling jam comes courtesy of Frank Ocean, with an assist from Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator.

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Chag Sameach!

 

Morning Links: Hands-free cellphones are as dangerous as handheld phones, and bike news from East LA County

Give so snark can live. Support the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — but which would probably shock most people, if they actually put their phones down long enough to pay attention — Australian researchers conclude hands-free cellphones are just as dangerous as handheld phones.

Researchers in Queensland tested driver reactions using a traffic simulator, and found that any cellphone use — hands-free or otherwise — increased reaction times by 40 per cent, or one full second.

Which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it adds an additional 33 feet of stopping distance to a car going just 25 mph. As if anyone drives 25 miles per hour anymore.

The study also found that less experienced drivers were likely to be twice as impaired by mobile phone conversations.

So make that 66 feet, instead.

Then multiply by the speeds drivers actually travel.

However, researchers did not study the dangers posed by texting, which distracts drivers both mentally and visually, while also taking one or both hands off the wheel.

The obvious conclusion is that any cellphone use while driving is dangerous, to the people in the vehicle as well as anyone around them.

Which is frightening considering the proliferation of cellphones in our society, and the willingness of drivers to ignore current laws limiting their use. And terrifying in an age when WiFi and hands-free connectivity are being built into many motor vehicles.

Something that makes no more sense than installing a bar in every dashboard.

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It’s been far too long since we’ve checked in with Michael Wagner at CLR Effect, who sends word of recent happenings in East LA County.

Hello Ted, it has been a little while since I have seen you out on the eastern edge of the county, and I wanted to update you, and the readers of BikinginLA, with some recent news.

Though it has been pretty quiet lately in my own hometown (Claremont), next door LaVerne has been busy with the approval process for their Active Transportation Plan; a couple weeks ago it moved through committee, and next week will go before the City Council.

This past weekend local club, SC Velo donated a bike repair station, which was installed and dedicated at Oak Mesa Park before a great turn out of cyclists.

Both these events are helping the city shed their reputation of being less-than-friendly to bikes, and have riders in the greater Pomona Valley area pretty excited. Cheers, appreciate all you do to keep us informed.

I hope to make a few improvements to this site in the near future that will make it easier for me, and everyone else, to keep up Michael’s excellent site, and many of the other great blogs that have slipped through the cracks here lately.

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‘Tis the season.

Long Beach’s Velo Allegro bike club teams with the YMCA to give over 130 bicycles to 3rd graders from low income families. Thanks to Anthony for the heads-up.

A pair of San Diego Chargers host a Holiday Bike Build, donating 52 bicycles to children of service members stationed at the San Diego naval base.

For the past 20 years, inmates at Folsom Prison have spent their days restoring bicycles to like-new condition to donate to children in El Dorado County; this year 200 bicycles will be distributed by high school kids in cooperation with the local Rotary Club.

The family of a former Colorado police officer who died while participating in an organized bike ride carry on his love of bikes by donating 29 bicycles to be given to local children.

Cincinnati Bengals players present nearly 300 bicycles to elementary school children.

A 71-year old New Haven CT man operates a one-man bike program, giving away 80 to 100 bicycles a year by going door to door asking for donations, as well as dipping into his own pocket.

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Great news, as Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx has emerged from a six-month coma following a collision with a race moto, and begun saying simple words and recognizing family and fellow riders. But don’t get me started on whether race vehicles belong anywhere near the peloton.

Cycling News calls out five successes and five failures in pro cycling this year.

A French pro cyclist is the latest to say UCI is handling WorldTour reforms very badly.

A 30-year old Kiwi Olympic gold medal-winning rower is attempting to switch to cycling, riding in a pair of elite New Zealand races to determine what future he has in the sport.

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Local

An LA County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a bike rider who was allegedly armed with a handgun when the man got off his bike and ran after refusing to pull over for a traffic stop.

Richard Risemberg calls on Metro to place bikeshare docks in residential neighborhoods to encourage people to leave their cars at home, and says Santa Monica is doing it right. Speaking of which, SaMo begins installation of the area’s first bike counter. Or rather, the second.

Don ye now your gay apparel, as Bike SGV is hosting a Cycling Santas Bike Train this Saturday.

The LACBC is partnering with neighborhood chapter Bike Walk Glendale for the 6th annual Holiday Ride this Sunday.

Roughly 30 cyclists participated in Tuesday’s die-in to call for Bikes May Use Full Lane signs in Palos Verdes Estates. No word yet on whether anyone in the insular burg was actually paying attention.

 

State

A new Stanford study hopes to determine if the new generation of bicycle seats reduces the risk of sexual dysfunction.

A 70-year old San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode his bike through a red light and was struck by a driver existing a freeway. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver in question witnessed him go through the light.

Bike friendly Davis plans to develop two additional protected intersections, following the success of one that opened last year, which claims to be the first in the US.

Redding receives $8 million in grants to build sidewalks and buffered bike lanes along a major street.

 

National

Bicycling profiles an Anchorage AK native who founded two bike brands before he was 25.

Portland’s bike-powered coffee roaster failed because the single bike couldn’t turn out enough coffee to support the business, as well as support over 20 orphans in the Philippines.

A Wisconsin man facing charges of hit-and-run and reckless homicide in the death of a bike rider earlier this year now faces 12 additional charges for pawning landscaping equipment belonging to his employer.

The Reading PA paper endorses plans for a new $15 million indoor velodrome.

Buffalo NY is bucking the trend for more human spaces, slowly introducing cars back onto a failed pedestrian mall in an attempt to revitalize the downtown area.

An Op-Ed in the Savannah GA paper says protected bike lanes benefit everyone.

 

International

LA may or may not be the hit-and-run capital, but it’s clearly a worldwide problem as shown by this tragic wreck in Jamaica.

The rich get richer, as London’s mayor announces plans for two new curb-separated bicycle superhighways.

A British driver blames everyone but himself when a bike rider unexpectedly ended up on the hood of his car as he turned across a separated bike lane, saying the bikeway was nearly impossible to see and the bicyclist wasn’t wearing hi-viz. Evidently, looking both ways before making a turn is passé in the UK.

Edinburgh residents square off over plans for the city’s first cycle superhighway.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can carry a Christmas tree home on a bikeshare bike — even in Paris. Italy, where the graphene meets the road.

And they should know what happens when you leave a bicycle out in the elements, even in a Bike Tree.

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A special thanks to Dennis Eckhart and Joseph Rozier for this week’s first donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Writing and maintaining this site is a full-time job. Your support, and that of our sponsors, enables us to keep bringing the freshest bike news to you every day, from LA and around the world.

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