People are unpredictable.
Mike Wilkinson sends a video reminder of that, as he barely avoided a pedestrian who turned into him without warning on the San Gabriel River Trail.
I’ve been there countless times myself; I still carry a scar from a piece of Velcro that got embedded in my hip when someone turned into me on the beach bike path.
The obvious solution is to give pedestrians and slower cyclists as much room as possible when you ride by. Mike was able to avoid the woman only because he was riding the center line on the trail, which was as far left as he could go with riders coming in the opposite direction; I usually cross over to the other side when it’s safe to do so.
And using a bike bell or calling it out when you’re about to pass usually helps, though even that can confuse or startle some people. Which is why I usually save it for when I can’t give the person I’m passing at least the same three-foot distance I’d expect from a driver.
The best answer is to always ride defensively and expect the unexpected, even when you’re in a supposedly safe environment.
The Feds finally recognize that the lives of people on bikes and on foot matter, too, by issuing their first safety performance standards for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Including a typical Sunday in the Park.
A man in his 30s survived being shot multiple times while riding his bike South LA Sunday night; police say the victim of the drive-by was not a gang member. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean the people who shot him weren’t.
Robert Gottlieb, founder and former director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, discusses the possibilities of a post-car, or at least car lite, Los Angeles.
Flying Pigeon captures a shot of the new bollard-protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.
CiclaValley offers video evidence of why the southbound Magnolia ramp off the 170 Freeway is dangerous by design.
KPCC looks at the new bikeshare system in Long Beach, and discusses the lack of compatibility with the coming system planned for Los Angeles. Maybe the operators of both systems should attend the Better Bike Share Conference to work out their differences.
Palm Desert residents will get a chance to try out a planned road diet, including bike lanes and wider sidewalks, with a pop-up event in May.
A Santa Barbara paper provides tips on where to ride your bike on your next trip to town.
Sacramento is the latest California city to consider adopting a Vision Zero plan. As the story notes, education and engineering are important. But we’ll never come close to eliminating traffic deaths until we change the culture that places the convenience of drivers over the safety of humans and the livability of our cities.
A writer for Next City says it’s time for American cities to ban right turns on red lights if we’re going to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.
The great Seattle bikeshare battle is over, and the good guys won. The city council voted Monday to buy and expand the troubled bikeshare system.
A London cyclist only made it three days into a planned 5,500 mile ride from Vancouver to Panama before he was hit by a Washington driver.
A new study finds a third of all Boston cyclists ride distracted — if you consider earbuds and headphones distractions, that is; otherwise it drops to just 12.5%. And none of them pose anywhere near the danger to others that a single distracted driver does.
A Maryland website says bicyclists and motorists must learn to share the road safely, because people seem determined to ride their bikes despite the risks. Although it’s entirely possible that bicycling is actually safer than other modes of travel, since they failed to put it in context with the risk to people walking or driving.
There is a special place in hell — and hopefully, prison, and for a very long time — for whoever walked up and shot a six-year old Georgia boy as he rode his bike; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.
Calgary university students now have their own bikeshare system. Which is really more of a bike library, but why be picky?
New children’s bike maker and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins says bike riders need to mind their Ps and Qs on the streets; his comments raise the question of who exactly is a cyclist? As far as I’m concerned, a cyclist is anyone who rides a bike, just as a driver is anyone who operates a motor vehicle.
The Belgian cyclocross rider at the heart of cycling’s first confirmed motor doping scandal has decided to retire at age 19 rather than defend herself.
Let’s all go fat tire biking down the snow-covered Italian Dolomites.
After an 86-year old man plowed through a group of cyclists, a Spanish news site feels obligated to point out that some cyclists break the law sometimes. Which has absolutely nothing to do with what happened.
Just three drivers have been held accountable for violating the equivalent of a three-foot passing law in the six weeks since it went into effect in Australia’s New South Wales. But they don’t seem to have any problem citing cyclists.
Australia’s NSW government isn’t the only ones who appear to hate bikes Down Under, as a Gran Fondo is halted when a saboteur strews tacks and nails across the roadway.
Not surprisingly, a Kiwi driver appears to have taken down an expletive-laden video showing her swearing a blue streak as she was stuck following a group of cyclists for a whole 53 seconds. The only question is why the hell would she have posted it in the first place.
And if you still haven’t gotten enough bike news for one day, check out the massive list of links in this week’s Sadik-Khan — with and without the hyphen — themed bike blog roundup from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.
A special thanks to Margaret W. and Todd Rowell for their generous contributions to support this site. Margaret considers it her annual subscription to BikinginLA, while Boston-based Todd says it should be the start of a Rides of March fundraiser.