Tag Archive for LAX

Morning Links: Riding from LAX to DTLA, bike helmets may be bad for jaws, and biking through blobs

I know it’s just Monday. And a short, holiday week at that.

But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover here. So grab the beverage of your choice, and let’s get started.

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Gary Cziko offers bike cam video proof that it is possible to ride from LAX to DTLA without dying.

No, really.

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Your helmet may protect your skull, but your jaw is another matter. A new research study shows that bike helmets can significantly increase the risk of mandibular fractures (pdf).

In other science news, silkworms fed graphene and carbon nanotubes produce a new fiber that is super strong, lightweight and conducts electricity, opening the door for a whole new class of high performance clothing that could prevent road rash or light up on its own.

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Seattle advocates placed 240 white silhouettes on the streets to remember victims of traffic violence on Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance; members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition did the same in Boston.

New York bike advocates ride to honor fallen cyclists and call for better safety.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, an Ohio Marine sergeant died last month from wounds he suffered eleven years earlier in Iraq; after his return he learned to ride a bike, despite being paralyzed and unable to speak.

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Who’s faster? The mountain biker or the dog?

Then again, that depends on the mountain biker. And the dog.

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Peloton tells the story of American Davis Phinney’s first stage win in the Tour de France in 1986.

A smashed face at last year’s Paris-Roubaix classic isn’t enough to keep Aussie cyclist Mitch Docker from trying again next year.

Evidently, quitting pro cycling is harder than it seems, as Ireland’s Martyn Irvine un-retires to compete again.

Nice gesture from Team Novo Nordisk’s Phil Sutherland by reaching out to a 12-year old Japanese boy with type 1 diabetes and riding with him the day before the all-diabetic team competed in the Japanese Cup.

Transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden took the women’s title at El Tour de Tucson, where the world’s fastest woman competed, as well.

Santa Cruz cyclists are excited to find Dutch pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam has moved to town, and turns out to be a regular, if somewhat superhuman, guy.

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Local

Los Angeles will hold meetings on December 6th and 13th to discuss plans for the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion project, to fill in the missing 12.5 miles of the LA bike path in the San Fernando Valley between Vanalden Ave and Forest Lawn/Zoo Drive.

KPCC reports on the LACBC bike count showing a jump in bicycling on streets with new bike lanes, but an overall decline as the city has largely halted bike lane expansion.

Writing for Streetsblog, Jonathan Weiss says CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is quick to take credit for the Expo Line, but blames its problems on everyone else, including the needless one-mile gap in the Expo Line bikeway through Cheviot Hills.

CiclaValley writes about placing the ghost bike for 15-year old Saul Lopez in Pacoima last week.

 

State

Calbike petitions Caltrans to live up to changes in state law to eliminate Level of Service guidelines and make it easier to build better streets.

It was a bad weekend for cyclists in Central California; a bike rider was killed in Bakersfield when he allegedly rode into the side of a car, and a Santa Barbara rider was found dead after apparently suffering a medical emergency.

A Palo Alto man was arrested for using a circular saw to cut through a pair of Kryptonite bike locks to steal a bike from a train station in broad daylight.

Family members of traffic victims form a new Bay Area traffic safety group.

Sacramento tames a high speed, auto-centric street with a road diet, turning it into a more human-focused Complete Street.

 

National

It looks like conservative Fox News is getting on the road safety bandwagon, reporting that cyclists are at higher risk when intersections aren’t at right angles.

A Portland bike rider has started a petition to require all bikeshare users in the city to wear a helmet. Even though only one bikeshare rider has ever been killed in the US. And even though cities like Seattle, and Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, that require helmet use have failing bikeshare systems.

A New Mexico father finally gets justice six years after his son was killed while riding his bicycle on a tribal reservation, as he was traveling across country to raise money for breast cancer research.

A new study shows bicycling contributes $1.6 billion to the Colorado economy, while nearly half of the state’s residents rode a bicycle last year. Which is a hell of a lot more than the highly touted revenue the state generates from legalizing dope.

Kindhearted Texas TV viewers pitch in to buy a disabled vet a new and better three-wheeled ebike after his was stolen last week.

Once again, a bike rider comes to the rescue, spotting a Wisconsin driver passed out on coke and Fentanyl with her four-year old in the car.

A Chicago alderman was seriously injured when debris got caught in his bike wheel and threw him over his handlebars. Correction: Make that a squirrel

A very forgiving Minneapolis bike rider feels sorry for the suicidal driver who ran him down after attempting to hang a toddler at a daycare center.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette checks in with Danny Chew, the city’s iconic cyclist who’s dream of riding one million miles came to an abrupt end when he was paralyzed from the waste down in a solo fall.

It’s not just LA. A New York Daily News editorial says that city is suffering from a hit-and-run epidemic, too.

A writer for the Washington Post says Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan is a trap.

 

International

How to ride on dirt and gravel.

A writer for Bike Radar says the world is a mess, but it’s also a beautiful place to explore on a bike.

London’s Telegraph takes a surprisingly even-handed look at how to improve bicycle safety.

No bias here. A British paper reports a bike rider rode up out of the blue to verbally abuse a driver and pound on her car for no apparent reason. Violence is never justified, except in self-defense. But chances are, the driver may have had something to do with the rider’s anger, valid or not.

A UK cyclist may admit to riding through red lights, but swears he won’t ride without lights at night.

Caught on video: a Brit thief lurks in the shadows before snatching a 14-year old paperboy’s bike.

Life is cheap in Scotland, where the death of a bike rider at the hands of a careless driver who claimed he didn’t even see the victim only merits the equivalent of an $800 fine — and not even the loss of his license. Saying you didn’t see the victim should be a confession, not an excuse.

Brussels takes the Idaho stop law a step further by allowing cyclists to ride through red and amber lights.

Spend your next vacation bikepacking in Mongolia.

Caught on video: Australians are calling for a car passenger to be prosecuted for smacking a cyclist on the ass. One more reason to have a rear-facing camera on your bike. So to speak.

You know your city sucks when a Tour de France winner in afraid to ride there; Cadel Evans says riding in Sydney, Australia is too intimidating.

A Bloomberg columnist says bikes are back in China due to worsening air pollution and road congestion.

A writer tries one of China’s bikesharing apps for a day, and concludes that people are assholes.

Singapore attempts to improve safety by recruiting 200 bicycle ambassadors to teach safe cycling and bike etiquette in local neighborhoods.

 

Finally…

It’s not usual to encounter obstacles in a time trial; a full-blown police chase on the other hand, not so much. LA drivers are bad enough; but at least we don’t have to worry about emu attacks. Or coyotes, for that matter.

And when there’s a potentially toxic foam spill, the obvious thing is to ride your bike through it.

Morning Links: Reader gets Long Beach to warn cyclists about jet blast; and a handful of upcoming bike events

Recently, we discussed the case of a cyclist who was literally blown away when he was caught in the engine blast from a plane taking off at LAX.

And wondered why there wasn’t a sign warning cyclists using the Aviation Blvd bike lanes to beware.

Now there is.

Except it’s not at LAX.

A reader who prefers to be anonymous was inspired to reach out to the staff of the Long Beach Airport to ask that signs be installed there.

The result was newly installed signs warning of jet blast just off Cover Street, and Lakewood Blvd. And at her insistence, with a self-explanatory graphic for non-English speakers.

LB Jet Blast

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The nationally recognized Tour de Taco hosted by Stan’s Bike Shop and the Eastside Bike Club rolls this Saturday, with stops promised at six taco stands on the 25-mile social ride.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition will host a bike ride and community meeting on the 19th, and a bike-in movie on the 30th.

The third annual Tour de Laemmle rolls on July 24th, as you’re invited to ride with chain president Greg Laemmle to visit all the Laemmle Theaters in a single day.

Join the Los Angeles Public Library’s Book Bike for a community bike ride in San Pedro at the end of this month.

The Eastside Bike Club will hold a Menudo Breakfast Ride on August 6th. No, not that Menudo.

Get in some high elevation riding with the annual Tour de Big Bear, offering rides from 25 to 100 miles, also on August 6th.

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The owner of Britain’s Team Sky does not take kindly to questions about possible motor doping by team leader Chris Froome at the Tour de France.

Evidently, Aussie rider Michael Matthews isn’t jinxed anymore. Alberto Contador, on the other hand, may be, as it’s announced that his injuries from the Tour will keep him out of the Rio Olympics.

The Feds call Lance a “doper, dealer and liar” in legal papers. So tell us something we don’t know.

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Local

An Op-Ed in the LA Times says the vehicular cycling philosophy that pitted drivers against cyclists for 40 years is finally giving way to separated bike lanes.

The first Los Angeles roundabout in modern times is coming to Northeast LA where the Riverside Bridge intersects with North Figueroa and San Fernando Road. We still can’t seem to get a bike lane on North Fig, though.

The LACBC is hiring a full-time development director.

KPCC looks at attempts by car markers to muscle in on the bicycle business, concluding their bikes are more of an automotive fanboy thing.

The Daily Breeze says yes, it’s illegal to get buzzed and ride your bike.

A Long Beach teenager will ride 525 miles from San Francisco to LA this fall to raise funds to fight juvenile arthritis, after overcoming the disease herself.

Long Beach will install diagonal parking — but not, evidently, back-in parking — on Ocean Blvd to slow traffic and make room for a bike lane.

 

State

Newport Beach becomes the latest SoCal city to crack down on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians today. So ride safely and obey the law.

Huntington Beach police identify the barbeque and bike thief caught on video; now they want your help finding him.

A North San Diego County columnist calls for five communities along the coast highway to band together for a more complete Complete Streets plan.

Clovis police are waiting for an expert witness to review the evidence in a fatal bicycling collision before deciding whether to file charges; the police chief says the rider was struck even though he didn’t do anything wrong. I’ll be happy to review the case for them. Trust me.

 

National

A woman with just one hand will ride around Oahu 12 times to raise $180,000 to buy 12 service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

The Denver area driver who killed the Good Samaritan that stopped to help another driver retrieve a bicycle that had fallen off his car will face charges of vehicular homicide and DUI.

Clearly, not everyone who visits Copenhagen gets it, as the editor of the Denver Business Journal calls on the Mile High City to ditch plans for bike lanes, shortly after returning from the bike-friendly Danish capital.

Drivers in Cedar Rapids IA can’t seem to stop blocking a diagonal-parking-protected bike lane, which relies on drivers not to pull too far forward.

Boston’s city council president says bicycling fatalities can, and should, be prevented with protected bike lanes.

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in New York, as a road raging driver chases a pair of bicyclists through a protected bike lane in an attempt to run them down. But good luck getting the NYPD to do anything about it.

Spider-man is one of us, as the web-slinging wall-crawler appears to stop a thief and ride off on his bike during filming of the new movie in Atlanta.

 

International

A Canadian man is riding across the country to call attention to opioid abuse after recovering from his own addiction.

Toronto considers catering to the anti-bike crowd by charging riders for bicycle licenses to pay for bike lanes. Even though everyone else who has studied the idea has concluded it would cost more to license bicyclists than the program would bring in.

A British writer points out what should be obvious, saying we bicyclists aren’t all in this together, despite the perceptions of many drivers. Something I considered myself awhile back.

A new Danish study shows bicycling can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. It didn’t work for me, but hopefully you’ll have better luck.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with road raging drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about being chased by rapid groundhogs. Then again, we could be dodging baby alligators on Minnesota bike paths.

And how better to end today’s update than with a bike-riding raccoon?

Then again, anyone could ride with training wheels. And did anyone check his bike for motor doping?

 

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

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If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

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As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

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After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

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Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

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Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

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