Tag Archive for dockless bikeshare

Not everyone loves CSUN LimeBikes, Melissa Balmer talks bikes, and bike riders swarm convenience store

Apparently, the new LimeBikes at Cal State Northridge aren’t popular with everyone.

Steve S forwarded this flyer he received from someone on the campus, where the dockless bikeshare was officially introduced last week.

He notes that LimeBikes have already been abandoned in the middle of busy Lassen and Nordhoff Streets.

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This week’s ShiftUp Podcast talks about The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America with Long Beach’s Melissa Balmer, founder of PedalLove.org.

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Local

A large group of bike riders swarmed a Pico Union convenience store on Sunday, stealing up to $3,000 worth of merchandise.

CiclaValley offers advice on choosing the right bike cam, saying having one — or more — on your bike is as necessary as carrying an extra tube.

Pasadena approves a wish list to submit to Metro in the wake of the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, including free bus passes for high school and college students, and a number of bicycling projects.

State

A new feature film focuses on the life of San Diego, and former Glasgow, resident and BMX star John Buultjens.

An architect, planner and former Davis resident says San Luis Obispo’s plans for a two-way cycle track gets it all wrong. Meanwhile, a frequent bikeway opponent uses LA as an example of what not to do, installing bikeways only to rip them out later in the face of public opposition.

A San Francisco paper looks at why male bike riders outnumber women two to one on the city’s streets, suggesting more protected bike lanes could be the solution.

Bicyclingoffers a moving photo essay on the efforts of the bicycling community to rebuild after last year’s Sonoma County fires.

 

National

A Dallas writer says its too soon to clamp down on the chaotic dockless bikeshare in the city, saying the problems reveal the lack of bicycling infrastructure and the flaws in human nature.

An Orlando FL magazine takes an in-depth look at the question of whether bikes and cars can ever share the road in harmony.

After walking across the US with his then 10-year old son to raise awareness of diabetes, a Florida man is biking back from Santa Monica to Savannah GA to continue the discussion.

International

A bike and pedestrian safety advocate in Luxembourg says safety campaigns are deflecting the blame, and it’s not the victim’s fault if they get hit by a car crossing the street.

New bike wheel lights designed by a Siberian physician promise to light your entire wheel, starting and stopping automatically as you ride, with no wires or batteries.

Despite the horror stories of abandoned bikes, dockless bikeshare has helped double bicycling rates in China.

Competitive Cycling

When you retire from Olympic track cycling, you have time to get married and open a cake baking company.

What the well-dressed WorldTour cycling teams will be wearing this year.

When Chris Froome posts a 168 mile ride to Strava, averaging over 28 mph despite a 3,500 foot elevation gain, other Strava users call BS.

Finally…

Pedal up in spandex with a backpack full of sex toys, and leave in handcuffs. Now you can own your very own Dutch-style bike maker.

And when the ‘roo jumps, duck.

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

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

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

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

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

And the other concludes this way —

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

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

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

Now they’re having their official unveiling this afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

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

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

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

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

Which is how Vision Zero becomes meaningless.

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

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

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

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

Let alone end them.

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

A Chicago writer bikes the backroads of Cuba.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

 

Morning Links: Dockless bikeshare comes to CSUN, and bikeshare systems explore interoperability on Westside

bikeshare

For a few short hours, we seemed to have a real scoop.

This morning, Steve S forwarded a photo showing hundreds of LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes massed on the Cal State Northridge campus, apparently being readied for distribution.

While we speculated on just what they were doing there, I scrambled to figure out what council district they were in, assuming one of the San Fernando Valley’s councilmembers had made a deal with LimeBike for a pilot bikeshare program, like Joe Buscaino had in the Southside’s 15th District.

But before I could get a response, it turned out the bikes were on the CSUN campus because that was their destination.

According to an article in the school’s CSUN Today, the university is rolling out 400 of the app-based bikes to be spread out across the campus, and available to check out from any existing bike rack.

The bikes’ GPS system will also be used to track where they are used to determine the best routes for new bike lanes on the campus.

But unlike shopping carts, the wheels don’t lock when they reach the edge of the university. So it will be interesting to see where the bikes actually end up.

Maybe they’ll go far enough off campus to spur approval of dockless bikeshare throughout the Valley.

And maybe even encourage more and better bikeways for students, and the rest of us, as well.

Thanks to Steve for the photo and his help with the developing story.

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Big bikeshare news in West Hollywood, too, where the city’s WeHo Pedals will soon be interoperable with other Westside bikeshares — and could one day be free.

Meanwhile, the bikeshare program has been losing money in its first year of operation, bringing in only 19% of projections.

Which begs the question of how they intend to pay for the possible free usage for city residents.

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And as long as we’re on the subject,

The majority of low-income bikeshare users in the Bay Area are in San Francisco.

Social Bicycles has changed its name to Jump Bikes, and raised $10 million dollars to bring dockless pedal-assist e-bikeshare to San Francisco.

China’s Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to Prague; however, British police say the company can pick up their own damn dumped and vandalized bikes.

A Japanese bikeshare company hopes to bring tourists back to the country’s Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

Chinese dockless bikeshare companies are teaming with Japanese tech firms to solve the problem of abandoned and vandalized bikes.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on Saturday’s groundbreaking for the Alhambra Blvd street improvements in El Sereno, including a road diet and bike lanes to tame the dangerous street. Nice to see that at least one councilmember isn’t afraid of angry LA drivers demanding a halt to road diets.

A bike rider reportedly suffered “significant” injuries in a hit-and-run crash in Azusa Monday evening. But instead of asking for the public’s help, the police withheld any details of the suspect vehicle to avoid compromising the investigation. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Actress and author Jenifer Lewis is one of us, too.

The LACBC is hosting their first Team LACBC training ride for this year’s Climate Ride on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the League of Women Voters is holding a discussion on the Future of Transportation in Los Angeles with Move LA’s Denny Zane. As opposed to Keep LA Moving, which seems to want the opposite.

State

Berkeley considers changing the law to make it easier to install stop signs.

No bias here. A Marin County supervisor is calling for the removal of a protected bike and pedestrian lane on the San Raphael Bridge, and converting it to a third lane for motor vehicles — before it’s even built.

Speaking of Marin, mountain bikers will be blocked from ten of the county’s open space trails during owl breeding season for the next five years.

There’s something hypnotic about watching a fatbike rider with studded tires on frozen Caples Lake in Kirkwood.

 

National

Pittsburgh streets may be clear, but the bike lanes remain covered in snow and ice.

New York plans to add raised bike lanes along the center divider on a street crossing the border between Brooklyn and Queens, while banning left turns to eliminate dangerous conflict points inherent in a center bikeway.

NBC News looks at New York’s ludicrous ban on ebikes, which harms the city’s low-income food delivery workers. It also hurts disabled people, as well as others for whom a pedal-assist bike could provide an invaluable mobility tool.

A Florida letter writer says no, it wasn’t the sun’s glare that resulted in a bike-riding politician’s death, it was someone who decided to keep driving when he couldn’t see where he was going.

International

Caught on video: Pro-Brexit protesters outside London’s No. 10 Downing Street rip a European Union flag out of the hands of a bike rider.

A British driver gets a well-deserved six years for the high-speed hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider.

A writer for Bike Radar says anti-bike stories in London are poisoning the streets for riders in the rest of the UK.

A British man says bicyclists should be banned from riding on pavements — aka sidewalks — even though it’s already illegal.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Kiwi driver won’t face charges for intentionally ramming a bike rider after first rear-ending him, then becoming impatient when it took too long to dislodge the bike’s wheel from under the car’s bumper. Even though police called the driver’s actions “completely unacceptable.”

After frightening readers with horror stories about the abuse bike riders face on the roads in Auckland, New Zealand, a local news site says the real problems are the condition of the streets themselves.

A Singapore delivery cyclist is facing charges for killing a 73-year old pedestrian after running a red light; while the paper says he was riding a bike with a faulty coaster brake, it sounds more like he was riding a brakeless fixie.

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will start in Brussels in honor of the 50th anniversary of The Cannibal’s first Tour win.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome’s failed drug test will be the end of Team Sky.

Jeremy Powers and Stephen Hyde discuss their epic battle in this year’s US men’s cyclocross national championships.

USA Cycling named the national team for next month’s World Cyclocross Championships in the Netherlands, including 14-time defending US champ Katie Compton.

Belgian pro Philippe Gilbert says the legendary Paris-Roubaix really ain’t that hard.

Finally…

Forget pedaling, your next bike could be hydrogen powered. Who knew bicycling is a guy-rich environment in which to meet Mr. Right?

And apparently, the way to get rich in haute couture is to rip the chamois out of bike shorts, and sell them for $400 a pair.

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