Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Morning Links: High-end bikes stolen in Irvine, escape from a bike-crushing bus, and LA River meeting tomorrow

Irvine bike thieves are caught on a security camera as they make off with a trio of high-end Pinarello bikes.

Keep your eyes open in case they show up for sale somewhere. You can find a full description of the bikes on the East West Bikes Facebook page.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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David Wolfberg forwards video of an Indian woman barely escaping in time as a bus driver runs over the bicycle she’s walking — directly in front of a cop.

And soon, an angry mob.

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Don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to discuss safety on the LA River bike path in Elysian Valley.

Thanks to Terence Heuston for the reminder.

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Local

Damien Newton talks about the new bike park under construction in El Monte with David Diaz of Day One and Bike SGV.

 

State

Placentia plans to revitalize the Old Town area by developing Complete Streets through downtown.

San Diego makes the wrong choice, paying $235,000 in damages to an injured cyclist instead of fixing the potholes on Torrey Pines Road that led to her injuries; several other bike riders have filed complaints and lawsuits as result of the same section of roadway.

Opponents and supporters voice their opinions about a planned road diet and protected bike lanes on San Diego’s dangerous Pershing Drive. Doesn’t anyone ever bother to explain that even though a roadway may lose a lane, it usually improves traffic flow — and can actually reduce congestion?

As long as we’re on the subject of San Diego, the San Diego Bicycle Club is hosting its 29th annual Light Up A Life Holiday Toy Ride tomorrow.

Safety improvements are coming to a Hayward freeway interchange, too late for a 26-year old bike rider.

 

National

Bicycle manufacturing is making a comeback in the US, rising to half a million bicycles after bottoming out last year.

The inimitable Elly Blue offers motorists advice on how to safely drive around bicyclists.

The photographer behind the Radavist blog tells the story behind his most striking bike images from this year.

A Portland driver will stay in jail after a judge refused to reduce his bail on a manslaughter charge in the death of a cyclist; he was charged in the death because his SUV was not in safe drivable condition.

A Colorado bicycle trade-in program is looking for bike shops to expand nationwide; submitting just two photos of your bike will get you a firm trade-in valuation at a participating bike shop.

Homeowners in a Texas town complain about new signs for a bicycle boulevard, saying they’re too big and will drive down property values. Never mind that bike boulevards usually increase property values.

Detroit police release video of a bike rider suspected of fatally shooting a police officer.

After originally allowing the state police to investigate the case, the Detroit Police Department has taken over the investigation of collision in which one of their own officers killed a bike rider; naturally, they conclude the victim was at fault.

The new North Star Bicycle Route is designed to carry riders from St. Paul MN to the Canadian border. Just in case you were thinking of leaving.

A Virginia columnist says compassion and forgiveness are wonderful things, but that doesn’t mean a driver who killed a bicyclist shouldn’t be in jail.

A Raleigh NC letter writer thanks a cyclist for giving up his bike, saying people like him shouldn’t have to drive in fear of those damn bike riders, and suggests bicyclists should stick to bike paths so people like him can have the roads to themselves.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian says killer drivers are the real stranger danger, and when distracted drivers kill, they should face up to life in prison.

London’s Bike Project plans to give nearly 1,000 bicycles to refugees seeking asylum as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

A British bike group calls for a change in the law requiring drivers to yield to bicyclists at intersections to avoid the equivalent of a right hook; naturally, a trucking organization says it will cause, rather than prevent, collisions.

A 16-year old British boy was the victim of a brutal strong-arm robbery as he was knocked off his bicycle, beaten with a rubber mallet and threatened with a machete before giving up his bike, cellphone and other belongings.

A UK website says mindfulness can make you a better bike rider.

Bicycling shows a slight decline in the UK, even though more women are active than ever before.

A trio of Rwandan cyclists have been nominated for the best African cyclist of the year, recognizing the rider — or in this case, riders — who contributed most to African cycling.

An Aussie writer notes there is no war between cyclists and drivers, and it just takes a little consideration for everyone to get along.

 

Finally…

It’s not just a bus bike rack, it’s a step ladder naked people. No, you can’t power your house by riding a bike.

If you’re going to ride your bike to steal packages off people’s porches, don’t take just any crappy box. No, literally.

And nothing to do with bikes; just wax royals and sweater-wrapped Corgis.

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Morning Links: Come play dead in PVE next Tuesday, and talk Rail to River with Metro in Bell tonight

Keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

December 13th is a good day to die on Palos Verdes Estates.

Just not literally.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson calls for bike riders to participate in a die-in next Tuesday to protest the wealthy enclave’s inexplicable reluctance to post signs saying Bikes May Use Full Lane.

That shouldn’t be the least bit controversial. Because that’s the law in California, which allows bicyclists to use the full lane on any traffic lane that’s too narrow for a bicycle and motor vehicle to safely share, while still allowing a three-foot passing distance.

Which is most, if not all, of the traffic lanes in PVE.

So what exactly is the problem?

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Glenn Bailey, chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee, forwards news from Metro about tonight’s meetings in the City of Bell to discuss the planned Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project, which is in desperate need of a catchier name.

Community meetings for Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project to be held today

Metro is hosting two community meetings in the City of Bell as part of the Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project. Both meetings will be held at the Bell Community Center, 6250 Pine Avenue, Bell, on Thursday, Dec. 8. The first meeting will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bell Community Center. The evening meeting will also be streamed live online here.

For more information contact the project helpline at 213.922.9228. Para información en español, llame al 213.922.9228.

Metro is conducting the Alternatives Analysis (AA) for segment B of the Rail to Rail/River ATC Project. As part of the AA process, the community is invited to attend to get an update on the project and also to provide input on the evaluation process for a set of alternatives to connect the Metro Blue Line Slauson Station to the Los Angeles River.

The Rail to Rail/River ATC Project consists of one corridor that will be built in two phases. Segment A is the Rail to Rail component and Segment B is the Rail to River component. Together they form one route, stretching from South Los Angeles to the Los Angeles River.

Segment A

  • The “Rail to Rail” segment extends 6.4 miles between the future Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Fairview Heights Station to Santa Fe Avenue.

Segment B

  • The “Rail to River” segment extends 2.8 to 4.3 miles between Santa Fe Avenue to a future connection with the Los Angeles River.

It is anticipated that the environmental clearance work on segment A will be completed in June 2017 while the AA work on segment B will be completed in March 2017.

Once constructed, the project will increase transit options, provide access for bicyclists and pedestrians to surrounding neighborhoods and improve regional bicycle connections. The active transportation facilities will connect residents and workers to transit, jobs, schools, shopping districts and parks.

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Local

It’s been three years since music executive Milt Olin was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy while riding on Mulholland Highway. His wife channeled her grief into creating the Milt Olin Foundation, which is dedicated to confronting the dangers distracted driving through its #HandsOff campaign; a Go Fund Me page to support the campaign has raised over $31,600 of the $35,000 goal. Lets see if we can help that go over the top.

You’re invited to help former pro Phil Gaimon and the LACBC clean up Mulholland once again this Saturday.

Pure Cycles invites you to join them for a fast-paced hour discussing bicycling issues and advocacy on January 19th. And yes, there will be beer. Although it can’t be that fast paced if the hour discussion is scheduled for two hours.

 

State

Sunday’s annual Palm Springs Tinsel Triathlon will honor a police officer killed in an October shooting; the course skirts the school where she had been a student.

An Oceano driver has pled not guilty to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide in the death of a world class triathlete as she rode her bike earlier this year.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks why bicyclists’ injuries aren’t enough to get safer streets.

A nearly incoherent Chico letter writer complains about the costs of bike paths he — or she — says are just trashed drug shooting galleries for the homeless, while scofflaw cyclists run rampant on the city’s streets.

 

National

Bust out the EPO. Strava says American men are just the fourth fastest country on our bikes; American women do slightly better, checking in at number three.

Bicycling Magazine discusses how to ride your bike to a badass life of leisure. I’ve got the leisure part down, willingly or otherwise; just need to figure out the badass part.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske talks bike lights.

Cyclelicious looks at the role of bike messengers in delivering news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago — including a Japanese-American messenger who rode through falling bombs to deliver news of the impending attack to the general in charge of the base, just a tad too late.

UPS is now making deliveries in Portland via e-cargo bike.

Despite the common complaint that bike riders ignore stop signs, a new video shows 64% of drivers rolled a four-way Chicago stop. Which raises the question of who really poses the greatest risk when they treat stop signs as yields?

Milwaukee hosts a massive pre-holiday bike bazaar featuring 60 vendors and 600 buyers. LA used to have something like that until declining interest and rising costs for convention center space put an end to it. Thanks to Opus the Unkillable Poet for the heads-up.

Charges have been dropped against the original suspect in the fatal shooting of a Detroit university police officer. Even though police say he is no longer a suspect, they still believe the shooter was riding a bicycle when the officer attempted to stop him.

A Pittsburgh area man has lost 106 pounds, in part by riding a bicycle each weekday as he trains to tackle a 12 summit hill climb on his leisure bike.

Nice story from Florida, as two homeless families now have new clothes and bicycles, a job, and a roof over their heads, thanks to a kindhearted deputy; it all began with a broken bike chain.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh suggests older cyclists may have more balance issues than younger riders.

No bias here, as Edmonton, Canada police call scofflaw sidewalk cyclists “undesirables.” Never mind that few people, desirable or not, would ride on the sidewalk if they felt safe on the street.

A Russian émigré discusses life in London, as well as her blog devoted to stylish cycling in the British capital.

Three London teenagers have been convicted of manslaughter for fatally stabbing a 17-year rapper in a fight over a stolen bicycle.

A five-year old English boy tells bike thieves “please don’t steal things that aren’t yours” after they make off with his father’s bike and the bike trailer he rode in.

A British expert calls on private companies to help with the costs of improving cycling infrastructure to boost employee health.

Police in the UK are complaining about a dangerous new trend in which teenagers ride their bicycles in and out of vehicular traffic. Although apparently, it’s not just a British problem.

A German website says making bicyclists wear helmets could do more harm than good, and calls for better infrastructure instead.

Reuters looks at the women of Afghanistan’s first freestyle cycling club.

An Aussie magazine determines that cyclists using ear buds can hear traffic noise better than drivers with their windows rolled up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can pretend you’re a Top Gun pilot while you ride. Yes, it’s possible to cross the Donner Pass by bicycle without having to eat anyone.

And don’t let anyone say cyclists don’t make good mannequins.

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Sadly, we don’t have anyone to thank for contributing to BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. Please donate today to help keep this site coming to you every morning, so we can put your name here tomorrow.

 

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while riding his bike on Washington Blvd; driver arrested in Glendale

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After three weeks without bicycling fatality in Southern California, a man lost his life riding his bicycle in South Los Angeles, just below the Arts District.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding in the right lane on eastbound Washington Blvd just east of Central Ave moments after 11 am when he was struck from behind, flipping over the car and landing in the left lane.

The man, identified only as 35 to 40 years old, was taken to County-USC where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 pm.

The driver slowed as if he was going to stop, then gunned it to flee the scene.

A witness followed his car and gave the license number to police; the 28-year old driver was arrested in a Glendale parking lot as he was wiping debris off his car. He was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call Central Traffic detectives at 213/833-3713.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 11th in the City of Los Angeles.

Three of those deaths in the city have been hit-and-runs, with seven in the county.

Morning Links: Court rules police can’t search your belongings on traffic stops, ‘tis the season, and sex before racing

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

Keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

The California Supreme Court has just affirmed your right not to be searched by police in a simple traffic stop.

In a case involving a man on a bicycle, Torrance police stopped the man after he rolled through a stop sign, and found evidence of child pornography after searching his phone.

But the court ruled that police can’t conduct a search following a traffic stop unless there’s probable cause that an actual crime had been committed.

In other words, unless there’s reason to believe you just robbed a liquor store or whacked a road raging driver with your water bottle, police don’t have the right to search you, your bike or your belongings without your permission. And especially not to rifle through all the personal data stored on your phone.

Even if it means letting a bike-riding scumbag off the hook.

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‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Chargers pick up the tab for 150 new bicycles for elementary school kids.

And a Florida TV station collects 863 bicycles for children as part of its annual Bikes or Bust event.

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Eighty cyclists competed in Peru’s most extreme bike race, the three day, poetically named Challenge of the Condor through the country’s desert.

Thirteen men’s and four women’s teams competed in a ten day stage race to celebrate Ethiopia’s Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day.

Then there’s the breathtaking world of artistic cycling, described as a cross between gymnastics and fixies.

And new studies conclude that there’s no evidence having sex the night before a race will negatively impact performance, and may actually help by relieving pain, especially for women cyclists. No, they aren’t looking for volunteers.

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Local

Metro appears to have abandoned the Westside and South LA when it comes to new bikeshare locations.

Twenty bicyclists took part in the first Elysian Valley Slow Roll on the LA River bike path over the weekend to call for better safety and consideration for pedestrians on the shared use path.

Richard Risemberg calls on everyone fighting for better safety on North Figueroa to attend Thursday’s meeting with the LACBC’s Tamika Butler to discuss bicycling issues in Northeast LA. Although he seems to have forgotten that quite a few people have been working to keep North Fig from being forgotten.

A bike rider was uninjured when a suspected DUI driver struck the back wheel of his bicycle while fleeing from police in Van Nuys Tuesday night.

Bike SGV is hosting a free City Cycling Class this Saturday to help you learn the rules of the road and get more comfortable riding on city streets.

Hawthorne police will step up bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement on Thursday. You know the drill; for one day at least, ride to the letter of the law within the city limits to ensure you’re not the one ticketed.

A 41-year old transient pled guilty to riding his bicycle up to a AAA mechanic as he changed a car battery in Pico Rivera, stabbing him for no apparent reason, then calmly riding away.

Kylie Jenner may or may not actually be one of us, but that lowrider bike is seriously cool.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the start of construction on a new segment of what will eventually be the city’s 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway.

Residents of San Diego’s City Heights complain that a planned bikeway is just a conduit to funnel riders through their neighborhood, and that parking spaces must be kept because no one would actually ride a bike to the market. Unlike the experience in, say, virtually every other city.

San Diego’s 2nd annual Recovery Ride will roll next month to benefit drug and alcohol recovery and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs.

A San Francisco writer asks if he was in the wrong to walk facing traffic on a Berkeley bike path. Short answer, yes; both cyclists and pedestrians should stay to the right in the direction they’re going, except to pass.

 

National

Your new winter bike gloves could have built-in turn signals.

Now that’s more like it. An Oregon man faces charges including felony assault, DUI and reckless endangerment for severely injuring a passing bike rider when he crashed into a power pole, knocking the lines down onto the woman.

A Portland university receives a five-year, $15 million grant to find ways cities can redesign their streets to make bicycle transportation more accessible and integrate bicycle transportation into a smart city framework.

After doubling in size last year, the Des Moines, Iowa bikeshare system is looking to double again.

The Chicago Reader says it’s time to stop blaming pedestrians and cyclists, and hold drivers accountable when they kill someone.

The New Orleans paper talks with the founder of the city’s bike co-op, whose goal is to make it possible for anyone who needs a bike to have one.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on winter riding. All of which actually apply here in LA, for a change.

A writer in the UK describes what it’s like to not remember who he is after suffering a traumatic brain injury when someone backed a van into his bicycle without looking.

British police stop 50 bicyclists riding without lights on one road in a single night.

Brit TV presenter Guy Martin will attempt to ride 4,802 miles around the British coast in just 20 days, an average of 240 miles a day.

A Welsh track cycling champ had her $7,600 Cervelo P3 stolen from her car after she left it there overnight.

Amsterdam is trying, so far without success, to ban beer bikes in the city center.

Bicycling Magazine talks with Shannon Galpin, who tells you how to fight the good fight based on her experience working for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists will get a new ramp leading up to the Harbour Bridge in four years, replacing the 55 steps they currently have to trudge up with their bikes.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can enjoy all the fun of the hour record on your ride to work. No, they’re not actually cycling across the sea unless the pedals somehow power the boat.

And no, valet parking a bicycle is not the most LA thing ever.

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A special thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous contribution to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your contributions will help fund this site for the next year.

 

Morning Links: Early signs of bike life in Hollywood, and protected bike lanes could be coming to Lankershim in 2017

Maybe things are finally starting to happen around here.

A walk down Sunset Boulevard over the weekend confirmed that Hollywood is the city’s second district where bicyclists are allowed to lock their bikes to specific parking meters where racks have been attached; Westwood Village was the first.

SAMSUNG

Racks are spaced one per block

Hopefully it will soon spread to other parts of the city, where it is still illegal to lock a bike to a parking meter, though the law is seldom enforced.

And work is ongoing to open the long promised Bike Hub in the W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine, just around the corner from the Red Line Metro Station. Although with just 72 secure bike parking spaces, demand could quickly outstrip supply.

SAMSUNG

Now if they could just do something about providing people with safe places to ride their bikes, as called for in the hard-fought 2010 bike plan, now part of the LA Mobility Plan 2035. Virtually none of which exist today.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-12-40-33-am

And which will be desperately needed when bikeshare comes to Hollywood in a few years, as promised.

Unless maybe those are just pretty lines on a map, and more of the empty promises we’ve long been used to.

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports North Hollywood’s Lankershim Blvd could finally be getting protected bike lanes next year, after they had previously been blocked by former councilmember Tom LaBonge.

He also says plans are underway for a protected bike lane on Chandler Blvd, which could result in the city’s first protected intersection where they meet.

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

Donate to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way bright and early every morning.

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Nothing suspicious here. An Italian Strava king is looking to turn pro at 38, an age at which most pros have long since retired; his father is a notorious dope doctor associated with a number of banned cyclists.

USA Cycling wants you to buy a license to participate in Gran Fondos and gravel rides. But at least they’ll come fix your flats if you do.

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Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department gets a $1.9 million grant to reduce traffic fatalities, including a six-year rise in bike and pedestrian fatalities in the state.

Los Cerritos News proclaims itself LA’s best investigative newspaper, but apparently can’t be bothered to investigate which streets recently received $89,900 in bikeway improvements.

CiclaValley posts his favorite video of the year, as he catches up to a father and his young daughter bombing down Nichols Canyon at 30 mph on an ebike.

Ryan Seacrest is one of us, going for a ride on the beachfront bike path through Venice Beach with his apparent past and future girlfriend.

Former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore is one of us too, as he describes what he calls the worst day of his life, when he suffered a broken leg after he was hit by a car while riding his bike in LA seven years ago.

 

State

Orange Coast College bike groups are distributing coupons on campus for free U-locks, after raising $1,000 for 42 locks.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a bicyclist near Mission Bay Park.

Community members in San Francisco discuss whether to ban cars from Golden Gate Park.

Marin hikers and pedestrians worry that approving access for mountain bikers on a short connecting trail will make it unsafe for everyone else.

A Sacramento man loses 75 pounds after buying an $800 dollar bike.

Great idea. The Davis Bike Club fights bike theft by giving out free Tile GPS-tracking anti-theft devices.

 

National

Bicycling interviews the founder of Portland’s first transgender cycling club.

An Iowa mountain bike group is building a 2.3 mile “roller coaster” off-road trail through 20 acres of wooded hills.

A Texas driver walks after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card when police determine the sun was in her eyes when she killed a state cyclocross champion.

A 68-year old Wisconsin man rides 1,900 miles across the US to his winter home in Texas, raising $6,000 for a local school along the way.

A Philly website offers advice on winter riding, which oddly doesn’t include moving to Los Angeles.

A Yonkers NY bike rider receives a $625,000 settlement after he was knocked off his bike by a speed bump.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system is under pressure to expand into less affluent areas.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Virginia driver won’t spend a day in jail, despite being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a bike-riding college student — and despite a number of previous violations, including two hit-and-run charges.

 

International

London’s mayor proposes investing £770 million — the equivalent of nearly one billion dollars — in new bicycling initiatives to make cycling a “safe and obvious choice” for residents of the city; that works out to an impressive 5.5% of transportation spending.

A British coroner blames a bike rider for causing her own death by wearing headphones; never mind the big scary truck that may have frightened her into falling off her bike, even if it didn’t hit her.

A group of Brit cyclists ride the full length of Britain, covering over 1,000 miles in just six days.

The train station in a Norwegian commuter town now has a 400 space bike hotel, allowing people to securely drop off their bikes while they’re away at work.

Iraqi women defy cultural expectations by getting out on their bicycles, flooding Bagdad streets in response to a social media campaign.

A DHL delivery truck took out five Aussie cyclists over the weekend, fortunately, just two of the riders were seriously injured

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized bicycle and a prosthetic arm attachment from an Aussie amputee.

Caught on video: An out-of-control Chinese truck smashes through traffic at a red light, mowing down everything in its path, including people on bikes, before blowing up in a burst of flames. Warning, this one may be particularly hard to watch.

A Singapore bicyclist received a $8.65 million settlement for PTSD caused when she was struck by a bundle of cables at a construction site.

 

Finally…

A little dehydration could make you a better climber. And don’t call 911 when you can’t unlock your bike — even if they do respond with sirens blaring.

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Special thanks to Steve Herbert for his generous contribution to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Donate today to help keep SoCal’s leading source for the freshest bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

 

Morning Links: LA bike path meeting Saturday, bike licensing is a bad idea, and ‘tis the season for giving bikes

If you ride the LA River bike path, make plans to be at a meeting to discuss safety on the popular shared-use pathway this Saturday.

la-river-meeting

There have been calls ban bikes or force riders to dismount from the pathway in Elysian Valley after a woman was critically injured in a collision with a bicyclist. Although it should be noted that the rider did remain at the scene and try to help.

The people opposed to bicycles will undoubtedly be out in force, so it’s vital that the other side be heard, as well.

Meanwhile, there will be meetings tomorrow and the following Tuesday to discuss extending the pathway into the San Fernando Valley.

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

It’s Week Two of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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Returning to the bike licensing discussion we had last week, a Canadian website says licensing bikes is just a bad idea.

The article correctly points out that the purpose of licensing, whether it’s drivers or businesses, is to regulate them, not raise revenue — despite licensing proponents claims that bike riders need to pay for the lanes we use.

It also makes the point that the cost of licensing bikes, and/or riders, would outweigh any revenue it might raise.

And that it takes 810,000 people riding bicycles to do as much damage to the streets as one person driving an SUV.

So maybe it’s not the bicycles that should be regulated off the roads.

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That image of Shaq and Amanda Sykes on a tandem bike that circulated last week came from an American Express small business ad, filmed in part at a Berkeley bike shop.

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‘Tis the season of giving.

Dublin CA high school students partner with the local Rotary Club to build bicycles for needy children.

The Lodi Rotary Club donates 100 bicycles for underprivileged children.

A Chattanooga church is hosting a 36-hour holiday bike drive to get bikes for economically disadvantaged children.

Volunteers in Tampa FL build nearly 800 bicycles to donate to underprivileged kids.

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Pro cycling’s top level WorldTour is headed back to China, courtesy of the world’s richest man. Although some people are complaining that it’s not clear what the WorldTour is anymore.

And yes, even para-cyclists dope.

But no, really, the doping era is over, right?

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Local

A community meeting will be held this Thursday to discuss the proposed Rail-to-River shared pathway, as a route through Huntington Park and Bell emerges as the favorite.

LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler will host a meeting to discuss bike advocacy in Northeast LA on Thursday, including the status of the long-delayed road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls out NIMBYs for opposing reduced parking requirements for granny flats, including replacing car parking with bike parking.

A bicyclist in his 20s was critically injured in a collision with a motorcyclist near the entrance to Granada Park in Alhambra Saturday afternoon.

The Canyon News looks at this past weekend’s Electric Bike Expo in Santa Monica.

 

State

The keyboardist for the band Faith No More has written a new opera about the annual San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS ride.

San Diego begins work on a 2.25-mile stretch of what will eventually be a 24-mile loop around the San Diego Bay.

Sad news from Cayucos, as a 47-year old San Luis Obispo man was killed when a driver crossed double yellow lines to pass another vehicle, and hit his bicycle head-on; oddly, no arrest has been made despite the illegal pass.

San Franciscans are divided on plan to remove a traffic lane on two streets in the city’s panhandle to install protected bike lanes.

Police are looking for the driver who ran down a San Francisco cyclist and left her lying in the street last week; fortunately, she’s recovering from her injuries.

 

National

A long read from the former science editor for National Geographic says mountain bikers are saving the world by mapping it.

The Bureau of Land Management is looking for whoever dismantled a Colorado mountain bike trail less than two hours after it was repaired.

A New Mexico man calls his own actions reckless and irresponsible as he’s sentenced to four and a half years for killing a cyclist while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

The rich get richer. Missouri officials open a new 47.5-mile link in the 238-mile Katy Trail crossing the state; meanwhile, a 74-year old woman rides the full length of the trail on her $89 Walmart bike.

Famed law professor Alan Dershowitz calls on New York bike riders to stop at red lights after ten close calls while crossing the street. Meanwhile, the invariably hysterical New York Post posits a citywide conspiracy to jam up traffic and force people to leave their cars at home and take bikes or transit.

It takes a world class jerk to pretend to call the police after hitting a teenage North Carolina bike rider.

Retired boxing champ Floyd Mayweather is one of us, riding his fat bike around Miami with his friends.

After a Florida bicyclist breaks his leg in a collision with a car, he asks the driver to take him to the hospital to avoid paying for an ambulance ride.

A Florida woman gets seven years in the DUI death of a teenage bike rider.

 

International

A Calgary columnist complains that a network of downtown cycle tracks is about to be approved by the city council even though only a small majority of drivers like them. And makes it very clear that the opinion of anyone who doesn’t drive doesn’t matter.

A London bike advocacy group is crowdfunding a campaign to fight the damage done by taxi drivers, anti-bike groups and NIMBYs.

London’s Telegraph blames bike riders and people on cell phones for turning the country’s canal towpaths into crowded collision zones.

In a dramatic move to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, London plans to ban vehicular traffic from a dangerous junction during daylight hours.

Bike theft isn’t just an American problem; nearly 82,000 bicycles were stolen in England and Wales over a 12-month period.

Great Britain is getting tough on traffic crimes; dangerous drivers who kill could now face up to life in prison.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. A Brit man has been convicted of drunk driving ten times, along with 61 — yes, you read that right — convictions for driving with a suspended license. And keeps driving anyway, despite being jailed four times this year alone.

Evidently, some bike thieves actually have a heart. Thieves returned a mountain bike they’d stolen from a Northern Irish boy just before the anniversary of his father’s death, following an appeal from the boy’s mother; the bike was his father’s last gift to him before his sudden death.

A Dutch study shows it’s five times more efficient to evacuate a city by bicycle than by motor vehicle. Something that will be worth remembering when it’s time to flee Los Angeles. And it will be, sooner or later.

A new Spanish study says even a five-foot passing distance is not enough, depending on the vehicle type and speed.

A “speeding” Aussie cyclist gets all the blame for running over and killing a small dog, even though the owner admits letting her dog stray onto the wrong side of a pathway next to a blind curve. You should always ride carefully around any living thing, especially kids and animals, who can be impulsive and unpredictable. But the people responsible for those kids and dogs need to be exactly that, as well.

The parable of the Good Samaritan comes to life when a Singaporean bike rider falls hard after his chain breaks; the locals leave him lying injured in the street, while it takes a group of migrant construction workers come to his aid.

 

Finally…

Yes, you may be a big important government official, but you can’t ride your bike anymore. Organizing a bike race is more fun when you don’t end up in jail.

And yes, you can carry a refrigerator on your bicycle.

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BikinginLA exists because of the generosity of people like you. So if you haven’t already, please take a moment to contribute to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep it coming your way every day.

And a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has given to help support this site.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or sleeping in their own homes.

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

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

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

No, really.

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Local

The LACBC is hiring an Organizing Director.

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that’s what I call a bike locker.

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

 

Morning Links: San Diego bicyclist gravely injured in bike collision, and the absurd impracticality of bike licensing

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

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

Tragic news from San Diego, where a bike rider was gravely injured in a crash with another rider.

According to NBC San Diego, the two riders came in contact when one tried to pass the other in a bike lane.

Both riders fell to the ground, with one suffering severe skull fractures.

Sadly, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, is not expected to survive.

The other rider, an 18-year old man, suffered injuries to his spine and feet.

Neither was wearing a helmet. It should be noted that relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Update: The video report from NBC San Diego shows the riders were in a protected bike lane, separated from the traffic lanes with bollards. 

Michael Muhammad, a former resident of the area, says the the crash occurred on a steep downhill, suggesting one or both people could have been riding at a high rate of speed, which could have contributed to the severity of the crash.

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City Lab looks at the absurdity of bike licensing, which keeps rearing its ugly head in response to the rantings of the anti-bike crowd.

I’ll let them explain why it’s a bad idea.

However, let’s not forget that LA cancelled its licensing requirement after it became a pretext for police to stop bike riders, usually people of color, in certain precincts.

I’ll also point out that I’ve had a license on my Trek ever since I bought it in Baton Rouge, LA, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

baton-rouge-bike-license

You couldn’t read it from more than a few feet away then. And you can’t now, especially since my seat bag usually blocks it anyway.

Which kind of defeats the purpose, since most people who call for bike licensing expect to be able to read it at a glance to report offending riders to the authorities.

And even if they could, unless the rider is suspected of a committing a felony, police aren’t to track them down the offending rider for a simple traffic violation or rude behavior.

In fact, California law prohibits police from ticketing anyone or making a misdemeanor bust unless they actually witness the violation themselves.

Which means that, while the idea of licensing bicycles may have some appeal to those who hold a grudge against scofflaw cyclists, it doesn’t serve a useful purpose.

And chances are, it ain’t gonna happen.

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Local

Investing in Place explains how you can get involved in the implantation of Metro’s Measure M, which promises to remake transit, active transportation and highways. Hopefully in a good way (see 405, failure).

The UCLA-based author of the recent LACBC/LA Walks bike count report offers his thoughts, as well as a link to the full report.

The Santa Monica Daily Press previews this weekend’s Electric Bike Expo on the pier.

The Women’s Cycling Association is hosting a ride to benefit the WCA Foundation Scholarship Fund in Calabasas on December 11th.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who reports he barely survived a Brompton ride on a Texas freeway after Google twice tried to kill him.

 

State

A bighearted Laguna Beach plumber has ridden over 45,000 miles and raised nearly $30,000 to fund scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers.

A traffic improvement program in North San Diego County will include two new separated bike/ped paths, as well as a ten mile addition to the North Coast Bike Trail. Although someone should tell them that adding traffic lanes to reduce congestion doesn’t work.

This is why you don’t try to reclaim your stolen bike yourself. A San Diego bike messenger was slashed with a knife when he tried to get his bike back after spotting a stranger riding it a few weeks after it was stolen.

Bakersfield is conducting a series of workshops and walking audits to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. And yes, I have walked the streets of Bakersfield.

A San Francisco paper says Vision Zero is intuitive, radical and has failed in the city. Meanwhile, the city has approved a moratorium on removing the ghost bikes Vision Zero is supposed to make unnecessary. Clearly, they need to do a lot more, but it’s a little early to call it a failure after just two years.

A Woodland man was acquitted of attempted murder charges but convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for deliberately running down three cyclists with a stolen car during a day-long meth fueled crime spree; his lawyer argued it was because he suffered a psychotic break.

 

National

The usual dispute over bike lanes versus parking rears its ugly head in a Wisconsin town, though this time compromise appears possible as residents agree it might be worth crossing the street to park their cars if it will slow down speeding drivers.

Maybe he doesn’t hate us after all. Donald Trump’s new Deputy US Commerce Secretary is a Chicago bike shop owner.

Safety improves in Boston as better signage and a dramatically increased bike lane network leads to an increase in ridership and a decrease in bicycling injuries.

Cambridge, Massachusetts considers a unique, peanut-shaped mini-roundabout complete with protected bike lanes to keep riders safe on a challenging seven-way intersection.

A trio of University of Connecticut instructors say the recent increase in traffic fatalities in the US is due to low gas prices and unemployment, not distracted driving. And that other developed countries rely on providing safer streets rather than expecting people to drive more safely.

A New York state appeals court rules it doesn’t matter whether a cop hit a bike rider with his police car or the other way around.

A New York man is stuck with the bill after someone stole his jacket, and used his Citi Bike key to steal a $1,200 bikeshare bike.

Safety experts often urge riders to wear hi-viz to improve visibility and avoid collisions. But it didn’t help a New Jersey store full of it.

A Louisiana sheriffs department is looking for donations to give 200 to 300 bicycles to kids that might not otherwise get a gift this year.

 

International

A Vancouver man was the victim of a bizarre reverse theft as someone broke into his truck to steal a bike lock, but left behind a nice mountain bike. And an umbrella.

If you build it, they will come. London’s cycling superhighways have seen up to 55% a jump in ridership, with one route carrying 26 riders per minute.

This is why you always wait until traffic stops before crossing at a red light. A British cyclist wisely waits as a bus driver speeds through the light.

Patriotic Brit cycling fans need to buy more lottery tickets.

An Aussie paper says bicycling is a vital part of Sidney’s transportation system, but it seems to have taken a wrong turn.

Chinese ebikes could face a European anti-dumping surcharge of up to 30%.

 

Finally…

Evidently, cyclists are considered a nuisance even if they never go anywhere. As if bike riders didn’t have enough to worry about, now turtles are out to get us.

And how exactly does one ride a bike in a suspicious manner?

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A special thanks to Wesley Reutimann, Felicia Garcia, Richard Neill, Mark Jones, and Plurabelle Books Ltd for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: Lankershim Great Streets Pop Up, Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge, and ebike with Nelson Vails

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

It’s Day 6 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Let’s start with a couple of upcoming events.

First up, this Saturday’s Lankershim Community Pop Up will demonstrate what the boulevard could be if it’s reimagined as a Complete Street — complete with protected bike lanes — as part of the city’s Great Streets program.

Lankershim was scheduled to have bike lanes installed several years ago, but the plans were halted by then-Councilmember Tom LaBonge as part of his successful campaign to keep LA streets dangerous. Now that he’s been termed out of office, there may be hope for progress on the dangerously auto-centric street.

The LACBC will be hosting a #RideLankershim community bike ride as part of the event.

lankershim-pop-up

And a week from Sunday, Finish the Ride will host a Ride, Run, Walk ‘n Roll + Cyclocross Holiday Challenge at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, in conjunction with SoCal Cross and SAFE.

dec-finish-the-ride

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Local

Shinola has opened their latest Los Angeles location in the Arts District in DTLA (scroll down).

Bella Thorne is one of us, as the 19-year old actress and singer rode the streets of LA in her hoodie and ripped jeans.

Bike SGV invites bike riders to join them in tomorrow’s Monrovia Holiday Parade.

CiclaValley says riding the Cogswell Dam trail offers the solitude of getting away without much hassle.

You’re invited to ride a pedal-assist ebike with 1984 LA Olympian Nelson Vails at Saturday’s Electric Bike Expo in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will ride to the city’s December Nights celebration in Balboa Park Friday night to highlight bikes as transportation and a way to fight climate change. Meanwhile, the city is making the temporary Bicycle Advisory Committee permanent as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

A Corona bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when his bicycle was clipped by a train as he walked it along the railroad tracks.

Pedego is opening a shop in Palm Springs.

San Luis Obispo’s Bike SLO County is working to help put low-income, homeless and at-risk children and adults back on bicycles; they’ve given refurbished bikes to 17 people so far.

 

National

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is starting a new program to help bike shops rent bicycles.

An Oregon woman rode solo on a 5,350 mile journey across the US by following Adventure Cycling’s northern tier route.

Houston plans to double the size of the city’s bikeshare system.

Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare system celebrates the season with a fully reflective, candy cane stripped bike.

Streetsblog Chicago calls it a waste of police resources to ticket bicyclists who cross the street during a leading pedestrian interval crosswalk signal.

A Detroit non-profit wants to spread bicycling to every neighborhood in the city, giving away hundreds of used bikes to make sure every kid can have a bicycle.

It takes a real jerk to steal a ghost bike for a fallen Kentucky rider.

Despite the mayor’s upbeat pronouncements, New York’s Vision Zero is headed in the wrong direction, as more pedestrians and bike riders have lost their lives in the two years the program has been in effect.

The NYPD has released a near-real time map tracking traffic collisions in the city, including crashes with bicyclists and pedestrians. Which is something Los Angeles can and should be doing as part of Vision Zero. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

Philadelphia women describe the harassment they experience working as bike messengers on the city’s streets.

 

International

A new study shows exercise really does lower your risk of death. Although bicycling drops your overall risk 15%, but oddly, doesn’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

Bike Radar says you don’t need an expensive bike to enjoy mountain biking, but it helps.

British police are looking for the bike rider who collided with a 71-year old woman, who later died of her injuries; the rider did stop and provide assistance until the woman was airlifted for treatment, but left without providing his contact information. Yet another reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, especially the elderly. And yes, you need to provide your ID and insurance information, just like drivers do.

Caught on video: A Brit driver barrel rolls into a ditch after hitting a bike that fell off the roof rack of another car at 70 mph. Always make sure to mount your bike securely. And double check it before you hit the road.

Britain’s Prince Charles was one of us, reporting that he was lucky to survive being hit by a bus while riding his bike as a youth.

An Indian rider describes the experience of riding the country’s first cycle superhighway.

A UNICEF program has donated 150 bamboo bikes to help girls in Ghana stay in school by providing the means to get there.

Caught on video too: A road raging Australian cyclist boarded a Brisbane bus and repeatedly punched the driver in the face before getting back on his bike and riding away. Once again, no matter what the driver may have done, violence is not the answer; take down the time, location and number of the bus and file a formal complaint instead. Preferably with bike cam video to back it up.

An Aussie website examines the history of bikewear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to scam someone out of a bike by dressing like fake cop and saying it’s stolen, at least make sure it’s worth stealing; no, this wasn’t him.

And if you’re going to sell your used bike, at least make sure the wheels face the right way.

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If you missed it yesterday, take a few minutes to read David Kooi’s insightful guest post explaining why you should support your local bike shop.

Guest post: Looking for a Bike? Shop Local and Shop Small. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

Last week, I asked if any bike shop owners or employees wanted to explain why you should do business with your local bike shop this holiday season.

First to respond was Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, who explained the importance of buying your ebike locally.

Today we hear from David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, one of the city’s most popular shops for road and off-road riders alike.

Not to mention the shop that created one of the bike world’s most brilliant marketing efforts by partnering with the car dealership across the street to allow people to trade in their car for a new bicycle a few years ago.

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By David Kooi

Are you looking for a bike? Here are some reasons why you should visit your local bike shop.

Personal Attention and Friendly Expert Advice

Choosing the right bike isn’t always easy. These days, there is a different bike for just about every type of riding and terrain. A good local bike shop is staffed with friendly, helpful experts. Go in and talk to them about the kind of riding you would like to do. They will help you make the right decision. Choosing the right bike will ensure that you’ll get the most from your purchase. If you pick the right bike, you’ll enjoy riding it. And, if you enjoy riding it, you’ll ride it more often. If you pick the wrong bike, it might languish, covered in dust, in your garage. And nobody wants that.

cute-kid-on-a-bike

Quality Products

The bikes you’ll find at your local specialty shop are usually better quality bikes than you’ll find online, at department stores, or at big box retailers. Why? Most of the best bike manufacturers only sell their bikes through local, independent shops. Why would they do that when they might be able to sell so many more bikes online or at Wal-Mart and Costco? It’s because they recognize the importance of dedicated specialty shops. They count on these shops to educate their customers on the value and features of their bikes. And they trust these shops to build, fit, and service those bikes properly and professionally.

A Professional Bike Build

When a bike arrives at a shop or at your local Target, it’s in a box full of parts. Some of it is partially assembled in a far-away factory, but it needs a good amount of work and fine-tuning to get it ready to ride. Whom do you trust to build your bike? At a good local bike shop, your bike will be assembled by an experienced professional mechanic and test-ridden for safety. When you go out for your first ride, you can be confident that the bike is safe.

Fitting

Bikes come in difference sizes. Then, within each size, the bike needs to be adjusted to the individual rider. If you buy the wrong size or don’t get a proper fit, you probably won’t be happy with your bike. When the bike is set up perfectly for you, you’ll be comfortable and happy – and you’ll ride it a lot more. And, if you’re a rider for whom speed matters, a properly fit bike will make you faster. When you buy your bike from a local shop, the bike fit is often included with the purchase of your bike. Further, if you need additional guidance on how to use the bike, most shops are happy to teach you about how to use the shifting, the brakes, and other essential features.

group-cruiser-ride

Maintenance

Bikes, much like cars, need maintenance. Some maintenance can be performed at home, like keeping the right amount of air in the tires, cleaning the bike, and lubing the chain. Your neighborhood shop can teach you how to do those things. More complex repairs and maintenance should be performed by experienced mechanics. A good local bike shop is home to such people. Furthermore, some amount of maintenance is typically included with your purchase when you buy from a local shop.

Accessories

When you get a new bike, you’ll likely need some other items to maximize your enjoyment of that bike. The friendly, knowledgeable experts at your local bike shop can help. The right pair of gloves can help with numb fingers. The right pair of shorts can literally save your butt. A good set of lights and a properly fitting helmet could save your life. A well-stocked flat/repair kit could save you from an Uber ride home. Or maybe you just want some flashy, fancy socks to match your new ride? Whatever you need, a good local bike shop will have the expertise and the selection to help you.

david-with-local-school-kids

Community

Your neighborhood shop is often a hub for the local cycling community. They can tell you about where to ride, about local events, and about local clubs and teams. They also might host clinics and classes about bike safety, bike handling, bike repair, and bike maintenance.

A good local bike shop also gives back to your community. At my shop, we work with local elementary schools to help get more kids on bikes. We teach local Boy Scout troops about bike safety. We donate bikes to the local Boys & Girls Club for kids in need. We sponsor a mountain bike team at a local high school. And we’re always looking for opportunities to do more. That’s how communities work.

boys-and-girls-club

You can also get to know the people who work at your local shop. Most employees are passionate about cycling and excited to talk about it with anyone. Employees don’t turn over at the same high rate as the big box retailers. You can get to you know them. They’ll recognize you when you come in the door. In these days of the Internet and Big Box domination, you might find it nice to have a small, welcoming place to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. At most shops, you are welcome to stop by and say hello and check out the newest gear – even when you don’t have any plans to buy anything new. Or, imagine you find yourself out riding and want to refill a water bottle. Someday, a drone sent by Amazon.com will fly up to you to refill it for you, but in the meantime, feel free to stop by a shop along your route.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

A Vibrant Local Economy

Do you want to make a difference in the local economy and in the lives of your neighbors? When you spend $500 at a small local business, you change their day. You get noticed. You get remembered. When you shop local and shop small, your money matters. The money you spend helps to pay the rent. Your money keeps the lights on. Your money pays the salaries of people working there. Those people, in turn, use that money to shop locally and the cycle continues. They pay for tuition. They buy stuff for their kids. They go out to eat at local restaurants. Your money keeps storefronts occupied, keeps your streets and sidewalks clean, and helps sustain a vibrant community. When you shop local, you make a difference.

When you spend $500 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, you won’t move their quarterly earnings per share one tenth of one penny. You’re just a tiny part of a larger demographic.

Price

Don’t assume that you’ll get the better deal online. Give your local shop a chance. You might be surprised to discover that your local shop is competitive with online prices, especially when you factor in the value of the products they are selling and other services provided. And, in the end, maybe you’ll find yourself willing to spend a few extra bucks for the friendly, expert service, the quality products, and to contribute to your community and local economy.

storefront

About the Author

David Kooi is the owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, California.

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, 21526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

david@smmcyclery.com

818-456-4105

www.smmcyclery.com

www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-mountains-cyclery-woodland-hills

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If any other bike shop owners or employees want to weigh in on the subject, just email me at the address on the About page.

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

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

 

 

 

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