Tag Archive for New Zealand

Morning Links: A deep dive into fake bikes, Ford says share the Euro roads, and kid beaten by cops for no helmet

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in wishing a safe and happy journey to my oldest brother, who switched from Iditarod sled dog racing to dreaming of riding RAAM. And who is setting out today for a month-long bike tour through the Colorado and Wyoming high country.

No, really.

I’m only a lot jealous.

Photo by Eric Rogers, before he left the wilds of Alaska for the slightly more civilized confines of Colorado’s West Slope.

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Bike Biz takes a deep dive into the world of fake bike gear, with a 20-part series on the wide world of bicycle counterfeiting.

Here’s just a few of the highlights.

Knockoffs are nearly as old as the first bicycle.

People buy Foakleys — aka fake Oakleys — because they feel like they’re being ripped off. And not by the fakes.

Specialized’s fake fighter in chief has been running down counterfeit Specialized parts for the past 10 years, earning the Mandarin nickname “Tiger watching the Tigers.” Meanwhile, lawyers fighting Chinese fakes are just playing whack-a-mole.

How to tell which fakes are safe to use, and which will give out on you.

Your new Pinarello could be spelled a little differently.

You don’t want to count on a counterfeit when your skull is at risk.

And you really don’t want to take on the organized crime triads behind the fakes. But bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid did anyway.

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Ford says it’s time to share the roads, and see them from someone else’s perspective. At least in Europe.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

New Zealand police tackle and punch a 13-year old boy for the crime of riding a bicycle in a park without a helmet.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

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A painful read from women’s pro Molly Weaver, who confronts the depression brought on by a series of collisions with drivers, resulting in numerous broken bones and concussions, as she decides to take her leave from the sport.

At the end of the day, the reality is that the majority of us as female cyclists are riding on passion and love for the sport alone. We don’t earn anywhere near a minimum wage, and so once the joy is lost there’s not much else to carry on for.

It’s not an easy read. But it’s worth it for a rare view into the struggles of women’s cyclists.

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Let’s catch up on a few post-holiday events.

BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass will join with members of the Santa Monica Police Department to answer your questions about road safety, equity and the rights of bicyclists tomorrow night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility and Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program are hosting a ride this Saturday to mark Pride Month and remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting this Saturday.

Bike SGV and Women on Wheels are holding a Dam(sel) Ride along the San Gabriel River to the Cogswell Dam on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, LA’s most popular fund raising ride rolls with the LACBC’s 18th annual River Ride along the LA River Bike Path; all the proceeds go to supporting their efforts to bring you a more bikeable LA.

Whatever you do, get out and celebrate World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

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Local

The Western Avenue Great Streets Project could be expanding in scope based on public feedback, including powder-coated bike racks. But still no safe way to get to them.

The area surrounding UCLA and Westwood Village voted to split off into a separate neighborhood council, which should provide more support for bicycling and other long-stymied activities in the area.

Metro votes to cut prices for the Metro Bike bikeshare and expand the system into Silver Lake, Koreatown and Expo Park, as well as Culver City, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey. But again, without providing safe streets to ride them on.

Streetsblog looks at the new one-block long sort-of protected bike lane on 7th Street in DTLA, which has already proven popular with Uber drivers.

Now that’s impressive. A group of cyclists somehow managed to raise $100,000 by riding 1,000 miles from Watts to Oxnard and back. Especially since the two communities are a little more than 50 miles apart.

 

State

San Francisco walking advocates call for installing a raised intersection to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Francisco writer says the new litmus test for when you’re too old isn’t how loud the music is, but your tolerance for dockless bikeshare bikes leaned up against trees.

The Oakland bike community is in mourning over the death of the man known to most as Tall Paul, who spent decades building custom bikes and giving them away to kids with good report cards. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than $1,800 of the $8,500 goal to pay for his funeral.

Where to ride on your next trip up to Sacramento and Stockton.

 

National

A new documentary tells the story of a 22-year old American who rode his bike around the world — including a 10,000 mile journey across the Arctic.

Nothing to worry about here. The self-driving Uber car that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, spotted her before the crash but didn’t hit the brakes because the company disconnected the car’s automatic braking system.

An Arizona writer considers why some drivers hate us for no apparent reason. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Here’s your chance to ride Colorado’s famed Tour of the Moon course, made famous in the movie American Flyers and the legendary Coors Classic stage race.

Thieves are cutting locks and stealing bicycles in downtown Denver. Which makes it pretty much like every other downtown in the US. And why you need to register your bike now

A sports columnist discovers the camaraderie inherent with any bike club, but specifically a Tulsa OK riding club where women turn to deal with health problems and other issues.

Horrible reminder that hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as bike rider was found dead along a Texas highway, the apparent victim of a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A new exhibit at a Wisconsin art museum considers the art of designing Trek bicycles. Maybe they have a special section in the exhibit on the art of intimidating anyone who — correctly, as it turns out — accused Lance of doping.

Speaking of Wisconsin, if you want to get drunk and ride your bike, move there or one of the other 28 states that don’t have a BUI law on the books. One of which is not California.

Tragic news from Indianapolis, where a man on a bicycle was killed in a crash with a trio of motorcyclists, one of whom also died as a result; witnesses said the motorcycle riders were speeding and popping wheelies before crashing into the bicycle rider.

New York officials knew a bike path was easily accessible to drivers before last year’s Halloween terrorist attack, but did nothing to stop it until it was too late; it’s unclear what permanent changes will be made to protect riders.

Smart. Instead of ticketing kids for performing stunts on their bikes, the Patterson NJ police department hosted a Wheelie Race and Stunts competition.

I know you are but what am I? Someone hacked road signs along a North Carolina triathlon route to call bicyclists idiots and assholes on bikes.

 

International

A writer for Digital Trends says e-mountain bikes straddle the line between extravagance and necessity, while allowing riders to hit the trails without the skill to do it successfully.

The Weather Channel offers advice on how to ride in the Canadian heat. All of which applies here where it gets a lot hotter.

Another reminder to always ride carefully in a group, as an Ontario, Canada cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with two other riders in a newly formed bike club.

You don’t need insurance to ride a bicycle in Europe, but you will to ride an ebike if it can go over 15 mph.

London’s walking and bicycling chief says the city’s cyclists are too white, too middle class and too male, with people who don’t match that description making up just 15% of London bike riders. On the other hand, at least they have a walking and bicycling chief, unlike some SoCal metropolises I could name.

Madrid will ban cars from the city center this fall, with the exception of people who actually live there and zero-emission cabs and trucks.

Rihanna is teaming with Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo to give bikes to girls in Malawi to help make education more accessible.

A South African driver gets ten years for killing two bike riders in a 5am crash as he was leaving a nightclub; the wreck reportedly scared several riders off their bikes.

New stickers applied directly to the pavement tell Seoul, Korea cyclists to get off their bikes when using crosswalks.

Great idea. Public bikeshare riders in Taipei, Taiwan will now be automatically insured whenever they rent a bike.

Beijing is about to begin work on a four-mile bicycle highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s no spoiler to say Chris Froome won the Giro with a spectacular solo breakaway on Thursday, becoming one of a handful of cyclists to win all three grand tours.

However, Peter Flax complains that Froome should never have competed under the cloud of a failed drug test, and stirs controversy in the comments by questioning what fueled that ride.

Now Froome turns his attention to winning a record-tying fifth Tour de France, unless that doping cloud turns into a storm. And yes, Lance won seven, but we’re all pretending that never happened.

 

Finally…

Park in a bike path, get a yellow card. Your old bike tires could end up under Canadian horse hooves.

And forget a helmet; be sure to wear your app-controlled brain stimulator.

 

A Hi-Viz approach to blaming — and trying to save — the victims

Growing up in Colorado, I quickly learned to wear my brightest attire when venturing into the woods during hunting season, lest someone mistake me for Bambi’s mother.

Not that we look the least bit alike.

But still, there was always the risk that some armed fool might sense movement, raise and fire without first determining just what the hell he was shooting at.

Even riding my bike, I had to worry about hunters mistakenly assuming that deer tend to travel at relatively high speeds on paved roads wearing spandex. And have spoked wheels instead of legs.

Things that should be readily apparent at a glance to even the most sleep deprived, drunken and/or inexperienced idiot with a high-powered hunting rifle. And it never ceases to amaze me just how many of those we’re willing to arm and send out into the world.

But every year, it seemed like one or more people would get shot just because they ventured out into the woods when the beer and blood lust was running high.

And almost without exception, it would be written off as just an accident.

After all, the shooter didn’t mean to kill anyone. Even if the victim would still be alive if the person with the gun had taken just a few more seconds to verify what he was shooting at before pulling the trigger.

Instead, the authorities would inevitably blame the victim for venturing out without high-visibility clothing, even though the hunters themselves were usually in camouflage gear.* Or just being outdoors in the relative wilderness, when anyone with a salt-lick of sense would know they just didn’t belong there.

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.

Despite the requirement for a license, and a proliferation of hunter safety classes, it was still up to everyone else to stay the hell out of the hunters’ way, rather than on hunters not to shoot those on two legs instead of four.

After all, they’d suggest, you should know there are people with guns out there. And it’s up to you to stay the hell out of their way.

Or at least make sure they see you if you do.

Sort of like cyclists and pedestrians are expected to do everything short of setting off a thermonuclear device to get a driver’s attention.

No, seriously.

Don’t require drivers to pay attention to what’s in the road directly in front of them. Or improve infrastructure to help keep everyone safe.

No, the standard solution is to put the blame squarely on the potential victim, rather than on the ones capable of causing harm.

Or as former competitive cyclist and current OC attorney David Huntsman put it, it’s like handing out longer skirts to prevent sexual harassment.

It was David who forwarded me a link to a New Zealand story praising a local trucking company for handing out hi-vis vests to cyclists.

The article quotes Tony Gare, general manager of Icon Logistics, discussing a collision one of his drivers had with a dark-attired cyclist, who fortunately was only slightly injured.

“If he had been wearing high-visibility clothing instead, the crash might not have happened.”

There were many cyclists in Dunedin who did not wear the visibility gear, he said.

So Mr Gare bought several hundred high-visibility vests, at a cost of about $50 each, to give away to cyclists.

“If, at the end of the day, it’s going to save someone’s life, it will be worth it.”

Clearly, his heart is in the right place.

Even if his efforts could, perhaps, be better directed by improving training for his drivers, rather than getting local cyclists to dress like people hiking through a high-fire hunting zone.

Huntsman, however, is clearly not one to let a matter such as this lie. So he sent the following email to Mr. Gare.

Mr. Tony Gare
Icon Logistics

 Mr. Gare,

The referenced article came across in my alerts this morning here in California.

First I want to say that the purchase of those reflective vests is a nice gesture.

However, as a logistics firm, isn’t your organization better suited to assess and address the education and habits (and any deficiencies) of truck drivers?  I’m curious to know if your firm has taken any steps in that direction.

Of course it would be helpful if all cyclists and pedestrians dressed in day-glo.  But focusing on that aspect of accident prevention distracts from the other side of the equation – the motorists’ side.

Regards,

David Huntsman

Remarkably, the response came just a few minutes later.

Dear David

Thank you for your email regarding the Hi Vis Vests.

As a company Icon Logistics Ltd  is very proactive in its driver training and all safety matters whether it be on road or off. We have regular Training,  Health and Safety sessions, including those with the local enforcement agencies to keep our staff aware of their responsibilities in operating heavy vehicles.

On this occasion our most senior driver, plus the truck turning into the freight yard failed to see the cyclist because he was indistinguishable from the parked vehicles. This accident occurred on a heavy traffic bypass and an industrial area and as a result of this many of the business in the area have asked for changes in where people can park so turning vehicles have better visibility. While we can’t direct people where to ride, they also must take a degree of responsibility to ensure they can be seen and the choice of roads that they use.

Our General Manger, Tony, has kept in touch with the cyclist, to ensure he has had no further health issues, has replaced his bike and ensured he has the proper reflective clothing.

Regards

Glenda

 Glenda Kempton
Administration Officer

And a few hours later, this came in from Mr. Gare himself.

Hi David

Thanks for your e-mail but as far as training goes in this situation the cyclist was in a heavy transport area with-out any hi-viz and the driver concerned and all of our drivers to this point are well trained and equipped in all aspects of the heavy transport industry

Many Thanks for your response

Kind Regards

Tony Gare
General Manager
Icon Logistics Ltd

Evidently, there’s a punctuation shortage down there in Kiwi land.

But don’t get me wrong.

Like David Huntsman, I appreciate the gesture. Even more when it’s done on a more personal basis, simply because someone cares.

I’m also a firm believer in being as visible as practical, if not as possible. I make a point of riding where I can be seen by everyone else on the road, and lighting myself up like a Christmas tree after dark.

And I’ve learned over the years that what I wear makes a big difference in how well drivers see me. Bright reds, yellows and whites seem to result in far fewer close calls, while an otherwise good bright blue jersey seems to mean dodging cars all day.

I call it my cloak of invisibility because it somehow seems to make me disappear from drivers’ view.

But I draw the line at wearing fluorescent vests to ensure that those who should see me anyway actually do. Let alone that we don’t blend in with parked cars, not one of which I have ever seen that looked even remotely like a bike rider.

There is a point at which drivers must be held accountable for seeing other road users and operating their vehicles safely, without cyclists having to light themselves up with neon signs to point out their position on the road.

Just as hunters have an obligation not to pull the trigger until they know what the hell they’re shooting at.

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One quick suggestion for anyone who still hasn’t finished their holiday shopping.

L.A.’s own Pure Fix Cycles offers this very cool $1000 table made with their own Pure Fix Urban Forks and custom wheels, in your choice of frame and wheel colors. Or maybe you’d prefer one of their single speed/fixed gear bikes, starting at just $300 — each of which comes standard with front brakes, as well as optional rear brakes.

After all, if comes down to a choice of brakes or wearing a Hi-Viz vest, I’d rather err on the side of stopping.

*Whenever I see someone dressed in camo, I have to resist the urge to run up and say “I can totally see you, you know.”

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