Tag Archive for Peter Flax

Morning Links: Preparing for time change, the great bike helmet debate, and Gordon-Levitt pulls an endo

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.

So when you turn your clock back, make sure you have working lights for your bike, front and rear.

Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, throw a pair of cheap lights in your seat bag, in case a flat or other mechanical problem keeps you out later than you planned.

It beats the hell out of trying to make it home without them.

And remember that the days clocks change are among the most dangerous days for car crashes.

So ride carefully and defensively until drivers adjust to the earlier darkness.

Meanwhile, New York is using it as an opportunity to roll out a new Vision Zero initiative.

Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t.

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets. Or the lack thereof.

Peter Flax explains why he hasn’t worn a bike helmet in five months, despite harassment and trolling from drivers and others, well meaning and otherwise.

An Australian safety expert says a proposal to ease the country’s law requiring bike helmets on sidewalks and offroad trails is “stupid.”

A new Canadian study shows bike helmets reduce the risk of dying in a collision with a motor vehicle by 34%. And that you’re at greater risk of dying if you’re over 35.

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We already knew the star of Premium Rush was one of us. Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is healing after appearing to go head over handlebars on a bikeshare bike while filming in New Orleans.

View this post on Instagram

I have bad luck shooting on bikes 🤕

A post shared by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitrecordjoe) on

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A road raging Portland driver cools down before things go too far — despite a punishment pass and leaping out of his truck to confront a bike rider who was forced into traffic when wet leaves blocked the bike lane.

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Local

Mark your calendar. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting an open house on November 15th to discuss a planned boulevard improvement project on Reseda Blvd. The improvements include better bike lanes and closing the gap in the bike lanes between Vanowen and Valerio Streets.

The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly program to hand out free bike lights to riders without them will kickoff this Monday in San Pedro.

Officials from Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach met to discuss “making beach city streets multimodal, safer, more pleasant and effective.” But they drew the line at a proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of Aviation Blvd, comparing it to the short-lived road diet on Vista del Mar. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

Outside lists the 50 best places to work. Unfortunately, you have to get to number 40 before finding one in the LA area; San Diego’s SportRX — who made the best glasses I’ve ever owned — checked in at 24.

 

National

VeloNews talks with a physician specializing in treating bicyclists about how to avoid the most common bicycling injuries. Step one, don’t fall off your bike. Step two, don’t get hit by cars.

Bicycling suggests that ebikes won’t necessarily cost you your hard-earned fitness, and aren’t really cheating.

HuffPo says Uber and Lyft are helping to cause the congestion they claim to be fixing.

The Houston Chronicle takes an in-depth look at the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face in the notoriously auto-centric city, where everyone blames someone else for the deadly divide between drivers, bike riders and people on foot.

A Chicago design museum is kicking off an exhibit on the cultural history of bicycling in the Windy City.

A Minnesota letter writer says the “the main difference of the ‘stupid’ cyclist’ and the ‘ignorant’ driver” is that only one is traveling at killing speeds.

Louisville KY is investing $140 million for a six-mile Complete Streets makeover of an overly wide main street, including possibly converting part of the extra wide sidewalks into bike lanes.

WaPo questions whether DC’s plan to ban some right turns on red lights will really save lives.

Things aren’t so great for bike riders and pedestrians in Charleston SC, either. But authorities can’t do much to fix it because most roads are controlled by the state.

 

International

A writer for Quartz says one way to make urban cycling safer is fewer angry dudes. But what she really seems to be saying is that we need more women and children, not fewer men, angry or otherwise.

An eco business website asks if dockless bikeshare represents a green revolution or parasites making a profit off the public space. Unlike Uber and Lyft, taxis, private buses and limos, evidently. Not to mention billboards, and other businesses that make money using public spaces.

Like the outdoor Vision Zero ad campaign we mentioned the other day, Toronto is using items that belonged to people killed in traffic collisions to create a hard-hitting safe streets art exhibit.

London business owners are calling for a crackdown on pedicab operators, who have a reputation for riding on the sidewalk and ripping off tourists, deserved or not.

A British study shows 26% of people believe the roads are too dangerous to commute by bike. That number would probably be a lot higher here in Los Angeles.

Maybe you want to add bicycling in Montenegro to your bike bucket list.

Tel Aviv cracks down on scofflaw ebike riders.

Norway’s ambassador rides in Canberra, Australia to share his country’s bicycling culture with the less than bike friendly country.

This is who we share the roads with. Over 20% of Aussie drivers admit to directing road rage towards people on bicycles.  Apparently, the other 80% just don’t admit to it.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer says if you think e-scooters are a safety menace, just wait until you hear about cars. Not to mention the people in them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling profiles former rising pro Adrien Costa, who’s back on a bike after leaving the pro cycling and losing a leg in a rock climbing accident.

Cycling News talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner and current legal dope meister as he looks for closure, and tries to move past the “disgraced cyclist” label.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to be a former beauty queen to benefit from bicycling. It’s true, women bicyclists deviate more than men.

And those fake painted speed bumps aren’t fooling anyone.

 

Morning Links: Catching up on road raging drivers, e-scooters news, older bicyclists and self-driving cars

We’ve got a lot to catch up on this morning. 

So pour yourself a big cuppa joe, settle in for awhile, and let’s get right to it. 

Photo by Kevin Menajang via Pexels.com

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging British driver got two years for punching a bike rider who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, knocking him into the path of oncoming traffic.

Caught on video: A road raging Aussie driver slammed the side of his SUV into a bike rider, knocking him off the roadway, then got out of his car and tossed the victim’s bike into the bushes.

It also goes the other way. A Portland man claims that after he cut off a bike rider while pulling into a parking garage, the road raging rider tracked him down, went to his home and slashed all his car’s tires, leaving a note on his windshield reading, “You were so easy to find, Mark. You should drive more carefully.” A commenter says that’s more evidence that entitled cyclists are real, and not helpful.

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Once again, e-scooters are in the news.

The LA Times gets it, with an even-handed editorial saying e-scooters could be an invaluable addition to the transportation system, but providers need to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

A New Zealand newspaper says let’s not be too quick to slap regulations on e-scooters.

And Peter Flax writes that instead of seeing e-scooter riders as the enemy, bike riders should welcome them as allies in the fight for safer streets.

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Speaking of Flax, he hit the trifecta in today’s news, with a second piece noting that painted bike lanes offer little physical protection — and virtually no legal protection. I’ve long argued that bike riders should enjoy the same unquestioned right-of-way in bike lanes that pedestrians are supposed to enjoy in crosswalks, but too often don’t.

And finishing out today’s Peter Flax news, an Akron OH columnist takes offense at a bike rider from Los Angeles — or anywhere else — poking his nose in the city’s business, even if it’s to defend the concept of road diets from someone who doesn’t quite seem to get it.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

An 85-year old bike rider remains a pillar of the Waco TX bicycling community, after nearly 30 national championships and several state and world titles.

The incomparable French cyclist Robert Marchand came out of retirement to take a lap on the country’s national velodrome at the ripe old age of 106.

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Then there are the driverless vehicles of our near future, which should be an improvement on the distracted driver ones we currently have.

Or maybe not.

A Berkeley-based urban planner says self-driving cars ain’t gonna solve our transportation problems.

And a team from MIT crowdsources the tough question of who self-driving cars should kill; you may not want to be an old criminal in the autonomous future. Or a cat.

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No bias here. A writer for the Sacramento Business Journal apparently thinks he’s writing a witty little satiric piece on how to be a successful Sacramento pedestrian.

See if you can find even a modicum of wit here, because I certainly can’t.

2. See if you can intimidate someone riding one of those ubiquitous arrest-me-red bicycles into either running into you or sloppily avoiding you, thereby wobbling out of the designated bike lane and into the path of a car.

You see, bicyclists don’t believe they’re on a two-wheeled deathtrap, which, if it collided with a German shepherd, would see the dog emerge triumphant (though not happy about it). Instead, bicyclists believe they’re pedaling in a bubble, a challenge even to fans of physics. They believe they can control their scrawny vehicle, not knowing that lithe pedestrians can usually flee the scene of an accident more easily than bicyclists can — unless the bicyclists are more motivated than the pedestrian to do so, possibly due to their having a record of DUI arrests, which also would account for why they’re riding bicycles, not driving their recently totaled automobiles.

 

All I see is someone who doesn’t seem to understand what he’s writing about, and apparently doesn’t care enough to ask anyone.

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Megan Lynch forwards a reminder that there are many kinds of distracted driving. Some cuter than others.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine explains the meaning of every proposition on the November 6th ballot.

Los Angeles Walks invites you to honor the victims of traffic violence at the LA observance of the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18th at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

LA is still trying to deal with the problem of cut-through traffic caused by Waze, which road diets and bike lanes unfairly get blamed.

Nice story from Long Beach, where bighearted police dispatchers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 14-year old boy after his was stolen.

The rebuilt Broadway corridor Complete Streets project in Long Beach should be finished by the end of the year.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has received a $75,000 grant to provide bicycle-skills training and bike and pedestrian safety.

A Redlands paper looks at the projects which would be lost if Prop 6 passes and the gas tax increase is repealed.

Over 200 bike riders turned out for the annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour.

Sad news from Santa Clara, where a 49-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by a bus driver while riding in a bike lane.

In a pilot project, San Francisco will install a new protected bike lane on dangerous Valencia Street next year, as quickly as possible using existing materials; the idea is to speed up implementation of Vision Zero projects. On the other hand, new protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero appear to be on the slow track.

San Francisco Streetsblog offers a roundup of what Bay Area advocacy groups have to say on Props 6 and 10, as well as local propositions.

Bike riders in San Francisco’s famed Castro District donned high heels and wigs to protest Prop 6, along with a congressional candidate’s comments that “people would be forced to bike and take trains, and that wouldn’t work for her because of her ‘hair and heels.'”

Sad news from Pittsburgh, where a bike rider was killed in a collision on Friday.

A local paper offers a survival guide to biking in not-so-bike-friendly Santa Rosa. Meanwhile, a Santa Rosa writer says yes, bicyclists pay their own way.

 

National

People for Bikes has developed free tools to help calculate the economic benefits of bicycling to communities.

A former bike racer writes about the relatively new, mostly urban phenomenon of rideout culture, in which teenage bike riders swarm the streets, while performing stunts and darting in and out of traffic — a practice guaranteed to leave drivers and city officials frightened and apoplectic.

A new device raising funds on Indiegogo promises to end bike theft by installing a GPS tracker on your bike to alert you if anyone moves it.

Portland community members investigate a bike chop shop in a homeless camp, and discover a young girl’s bike that was registered with Bike Index.

UPS is testing out cargo ebikes for deliveries in Seattle, with the help of the University of Washington.

The LA Times says now that it’s cooled off, the new bikeshare system in Las Vegas is the perfect way to see the city.

North Texas bike riders give up on the Dallas area’s congested streets, and turn their hopes to an unbuilt network of offroad bike trails.

A grieving mother biked the entire length of the Mississippi River to honor her 22-year old son, who drowned there.

That’s one way to get attention. After an Indianapolis bike rider was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver, he somehow managed to make it up to the governor’s mansion get get help.

DC promises to double the amount protected bike lanes in city over the next six years by building another ten miles of protected lanes — which works out to a measly 1.67 miles per year.

A Navy pilot in Virginia used his bike to overcome the depression that that nearly claimed his life.

Atlanta plans to stitch a network of old freight rail lines into a 22-mile walking, cycling and light rail beltway surrounding the central city.

Bicycles are changing the way people in New Orleans get around, as the city has worked to build out an effective bike network. Seriously, if they can boost bicycling in New Orleans, with its high heat, bugs and humidity, just imagine what we could do with LA’s much gentler climate.

 

International

A “lifelong, avid cyclist” says the new bike lanes in Victoria, British Columbia are nothing more than an expensive vanity project that inconveniences motorists, while sitting empty most of the day. Pretty much like most streets, which are packed at rush hour, and far overbuilt the rest of the day.

A Canadian man who’s losing his vision due to a progressive eye disease turns to bicycling to stay mobile and keep in shape.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says what we really need is safe infrastructure, not a bunch of bike helmet scolds.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where an Uber driver faces a maximum $2,000 fine in the death of a bike rider.

London continues to show the US how it’s done, with plans to pedestrianize half the streets in the historic city core, while reducing speeds to 15 mph and expanding protected bike lanes and the city’s cycle superhighways.

A smile-inducing London-based pedicab company is attempting to crowdfund the equivalent of nearly $200,000 to expand their ped-assist taxi service throughout the city.

A Welsh website considers the bizarre death of bicyclist and MI-6 spy Gareth Williams, whose death was originally ruled an accident — even though his naked body was found padlocked inside a suitcase.

Bike riding is going upscale in India.

Here’s your guide to riding a bike on your next trip to the United Arab Emirates — including a spin around the Abu Dhabi F1 track. Making race car noises while you ride is optional.

Three Kenyan students have developed a solar powered, all-wheel drive, all terrain ebike that can also produce enough energy to power a home for three days.

And you thought your potholes were bad. A Kathmandu bike rider was killed when his bike fell through an open manhole cover.

This is who we share the roads with. A New Zealand driver plows through a family of ducks crossing the road, despite the best efforts of a bystander to protect them. The video is graphic, heartbreaking and sickening, so be advised before you decide to click on the link.

The ancient Vietnamese city of Hội An is planning to increase the number of non-motor vehicle zones, and boost bicycling for both locals and tourists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France route has been officially unveiled; Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas kind of like it, especially the climbs.

Elite cyclist Evelyn Sifton discusses finding acceptance in fixed gear racing after coming out as trans.

 

Finally…

Next time you encounter a polite driver, give ’em a big palm smile. When you have 4,999 bike riders, and still can’t get in the Guinness book.

And bikes are perfect for the coming zombie apocalypse and other disasters, natural and otherwise.

 

Morning Links: LA wins best bike cities race to bottom, the beauty of bicycling, and update on SaMo bike crash

Bicycling is out with their bi-annual ranking of the best bike cities in America.

Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t win.

Our bayside neighbor to the north is second, the same position San Francisco held last time.

My hometown slid up to third, while Seattle was a surprising choice for the top pick among America’s best bike cities after ranking fifth in 2016.

Then there’s LA.

The City of Angels, which ranked 24th on the best bike cities list last time around, didn’t come in quite so high this time.

In fact, LA didn’t make the list at all.

Then again, simply not making the list would have been an improvement for a city that was rated as the worst bike city in America.

That’s right, we’re number one on Bicycling’s list of America’s best bike cities. From the bottom.

An honor, if you want to use the term, that is well-deserved as city leaders have seriously backslid in their support for bicycling in Los Angeles.

Let alone safe streets.

This is what Peter Flax had to say on the subject, after he was asked to write the story for Bicycling.

Los Angeles should be heaven for cyclists. The weather is beyond dreamy—downtown L.A. has gotten less than four inches of rain so far this year. The city is an enormous, mostly flat grid of wide boulevards with plenty of room for smartly placed bike infrastructure. The traffic is literally the worst in the world, making it all the more reasonable to cover shorter trips by bike. The metro area boasts postcard-perfect oceanfront riding and spectacular climbing in legendary spots like the Malibu hills, Palos Verdes, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Every day, I see hundreds of people pedaling around town with smile on their faces, despite the challenges the city throws at them.

That’s the good news.

It all sounds quite lovely until you start to contemplate all of the cyclists who have been killed—and ask yourself why. In the past five years alone, more than 180 riders in the metropolitan area have been killed by people driving motor vehicles. During the last three years that national crash data has been compiled (2014-2016), only three U.S. states have seen more cyclist fatalities than just L.A. County—Florida, New York, and California as a whole.

The roads themselves are a disaster. The cruelest irony is that the city is spending money on them. But instead of investing in the quality infrastructure, millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay out civil lawsuits brought by severely injured cyclists or the families of killed riders. The sad truth is that in L.A., it’s more politically expedient to pay seven-figure civil damages than to fix all the crappy roads and build the infrastructure that keeps people from getting hurt or killed.

 

There’s more, sadly. A lot more.

Looking to sustain L.A.’s broken and ineffective transportation system are a cadre of well-funded organizations like Keep L.A. Moving, who are fighting any safety project that might remove a single driving lane from the urban grid. In their minds, one or two cyclist fatalities a month are acceptable collateral damage to keep a big car-centric city properly lubricated…

This angry populist rebellion resonated far beyond the borders of Playa del Rey. L.A. City Council members saw the political might wielded by angry motorists. So did Mayor Garcetti, who has aspirations for national office and wants to shy away from unpopular controversies. And since the bike lanes in Playa del Rey got ripped out, the already glacial pace of making streets safer practically came to a stop in L.A.

It’s not exactly pleasant to read.

But it’s worth your time, because Flax nails it, accurately calling out the multitude of problems we face. And the shameful lack of political support for making the changes we so desperately need.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call for our bad publicity-shy public leaders. Or maybe embarrass them just enough to actually do something.

At least enough to get us back onto the list. Even if we have to settle for the 50th spot, as America’s worst best bike city.

Which would be a hell of an improvement over where we are now.

Meanwhile, Long Beach did make the list, checking in at 27th, up one from their previous ranking.

Here’s the methodology Bicycling used to determine the rankings.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

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It was a busy day for Peter Flax; if the last story left you feeling down, take a few minutes to read his take on everything that’s beautiful about bicycling.

Trust me, you’ll feel better.

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Sort of good news.

In answer to yesterday’s request for more information about a bike crash at 23rd and Navy in Santa Monica, City Manager Rick Cole responded that the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.”

Not exactly good news, but better than we had feared.

Let’s keep out fingers crossed for a full and fast recovery.

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Speaking of bad news, I somehow missed the news that an unidentified bike rider was killed in Stanton on Monday. The driver initially fled the scene, but returned a short time later.

I’ll try to catch up with the story later today.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department offers a video profile of LAFD’s bike-riding paramedics at LAX, who use their bicycles to respond to emergencies faster than they could by motor vehicle.

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Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the best way Angelenos can support climate action is to stop driving so much. And support improved transportation and density.

Streetsblog says California needs more bike diversion programs, after Bike SGV’s Andrew Yip helped a poor immigrant get into one when he faced a choice between a $240 fine or jail for riding on the sidewalk.

 

State

A writer for Medium says today’s hipsters have a long way to go to match San Francisco’s mustachioed high wheeled cycling fanatics of the 1890s.

 

National

The good news is bicycling fatalities in the US declined 8.1% last year. The bad news is they’re still too damn high, with an average of over two deaths a day, every day.

Lucky us. A new study shows, on average, every 13th driver that passes you on your bike is driving distracted.

Forbes says shared mobility data offers an opportunity to reshape cities.

Cycling Industry News refutes ten bike fit myths. I can personally testify to #4; bicycling is the only thing that held my balky right knee together as long as it did. Even now that I’ll need to get it replaced in the coming weeks, I can still ride with minimal pain, which is more than I can say about walking. Or sitting.

Speaking of that best bike cities list, Portland received its worst ranking ever, coming in at number five. Which is still 19 spots higher than LA ever has.

A Grand Junction CO newspaper urges donations to a Colorado high school marching band that was stiffed by an annual bike tour. If you’ve got a few extra buck lying around, there are worse things you could do with it.

A Chicago bike rider and a pedestrian were injured when a teenage boy hopped behind the wheel of an unlocked car and speed off, crashing into several parked cars in the process.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider complains about private parks security racing down a multi-use path in an SUV to chase riders around tight corners — especially when the ones being chased can simply turn around to get away.

A Massachusetts city has removed their requirement for bicyclists to hug the curb, allowing bike riders full use of the lane, like other city’s in the state.

A long list of drivers are still allowed in New York’s Central Park, months after they were supposedly banished.

 

International

Cities around the world are facing the question of how to adapt to an aging population, and what an age-friendly city would look like — including safer streets, improved transit and making bicycling accessible to older people.

A new foam liner from Vittoria and Tannus promises to replace your tubes and make your tires puncture proof.

A “secret” cyclocross fondo through the British Columbia countryside is gaining in popularity, despite being unannounced and not having any maps.

Putting the “mounted” back in Mounted Police, Canada’s famed Mounties are learning that patrolling by bicycle helps officers improve community relations and stop street crime.

An annual London charity ride takes you up to 90 miles from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust. The perfect royal ride for the Anglophile in your life.

File this under you’ve got to be kidding. Just riding a bicycle through a chain of outdoor malls in the UK could result in prison time, thanks to a recent court ruling.

Understanding your Emotional Quotient can improve your performance on your bike, according to a British lecturer.

CityLab says Paris could be a model for how cities can combat climate change, as the city works to reduce motor vehicle use.

Dutch phrases you need to know to ride a bike in the Netherlands.

No bias here. A Reuters story says Africa is locked in traffic as the “poor man’s transport,” aka the bicycle, is ignored. Which feeds into the narrative that people only ride bikes because they can’t afford to drive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nebraska resident and new US cycling team member Ashton Lambie has gone from riding Kansas backroads to setting a world record in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit.

French cyclist Sylvain Chavanel reveals what he learned in 19 years in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Who needs an SUV when you can have a Sports Utility (e)Bike? That feeling when the city steals your bike to replace the rack.

And keep an eye on Craigslist; someone stole Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy.

Morning Links: Long list of bike events, a moving tale of a cross-country rider, and what the hell is Metro on?

We’ve got a long list of bike events to catch up on.

Explore the new MyFigueroa Complete Streets project this afternoon with the Bike on Fig Ride, hosted by BikeSafe USC and MyFigueroa.

Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program is teaming with People for Mobility Justice and the Ride On! bike co-op to host the People Street Bike Rodeo in Leimert Park starting at 6 pm tonight.

Culver City, Go Human and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) are sponsoring Experience Elenda on Elenda Street in Culver City tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, BikeSGV and Metro BEST are holding the Sriracha Slow Roll through Duarte and Irwindale to the famed Sriracha factory, riding along a little-known off-road greenway.

Party for a good cause tomorrow night at the Pure Cycles HQ in Burbank, benefitting the Pablove Foundation to fight childhood cancer.

Metro is hosting the Pride of the Valley open streets event in Baldwin Park and Irwindale from 9 am to 2 pm this Sunday.

The LACBC and the Metro Best Program are hosting the BEST Ride: Forgotten History of Venice this Sunday.

Beverly Hills is hosting the formal dedication and ribbon cutting for the reconstructed Santa Monica Blvd at 1:30 pm this Monday, including the new green bike lanes. Maybe it’s also time to formally retire their designation as the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Go Human is sponsoring Connecting Chino on September 22nd to demonstrate temporary street improvements around the Chino Community Building.

Go Human and City of San Jacinto are sponsoring Envision San Jacinto on the 29th.

Wrapping up our events for this month, CicLAvia celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the massive Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia from DTLA to Hollywood. Which will also feature the first ever public appearance of the Militant Angeleno as he leads his first epic CicLAvia Tour.

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Today The Beauty of Cycling lives up to its name.

In a beautifully moving piece from Peter Flax, an Illinois college student describes his ride across the US, just 17 months after he barely survived what could have been a fatal car crash.

Seriously, if you can make it through this piece without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

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The San Francisco Chronicle ran a series of stories about bike tourism on Thursday, including —

Speaking of bike tourism, my brother is nearing the end of the first week of what has so far been a soggy ride through the Pacific Northwest, forwarding these photos from the Washington coast.

He also notes that on just the second day of his ride, a total stranger insisted on giving him $20 to buy lunch.

Another reminder that there’s real kindness in this world, if we stop arguing long enough to let it surface.

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Someone needs to find out who is slipping acid into the water coolers in Metro’s marketing department.

And mind your manners with your bike, or get banished to a distant planet.

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Local

Fast Company gets the story half right, saying Los Angeles is making a massive push towards zero emissions transportation, calling for 45% of cars and trucks to be electric within ten years. On the other hand, the city is backing away from its commitment to safer streets for bikes, ebikes, scooters and other forms of personal zero emissions vehicles.

LADOT has opened the semi-annual window to apply for speed humps. Which should be installed on every street until LA drivers learn how to take their foot off the gas pedal.

 

State

Governor Brown has signed an executive order requiring California to be carbon neutral by 2045, a goal the state is unlikely to meet without a dramatic drop in driving.

The San Francisco Business Journal says Prop 6, which would reverse California’s new gas tax, is a road back to the past that shouldn’t be taken.

E-scooters and app-based dockless bikeshare are behind San Diego’s plan to create a new Mobility Board focused on improving safety and re-thinking road and sidewalk designs

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 78-year old retired physician still rides 100 miles a week around his Carlsbad neighborhood. After which he returns his bike to his garage where he keeps his other 21 bicycles — down from the 50 he used to own.

Nice story from La Quinta, where police officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bike for a 6th grade girl after hers was stolen. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Nearly 100 bike riders opened the new on-road Peninsula Bikeway, providing a connection between Redwood City and Mountain View.

Streetsblog says San Francisco may be hosting the Global Climate Action Summit, but the city falls short on bicycling, walking and transit policies.

Bay Area bike riders call for change after the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black; black bike riders are six times more likely to be ticketed than white riders in Oakland.

 

National

The US House has passed the Every Kid Outdoors Act, which would provide every fourth grader with a free pass to enter US public lands by foot or bike, accompanied by up to three adults.

Reno warns drivers to watch out for more bikes on the road as Interbike comes to town.

This is who we share the roads with. After nearly running a bicyclist off the road, a Washington driver says he was taught that bike riders were supposed to yield to people in cars, and have an obligation to get the hell out of his way.

Wired considers what they call the “exquisite, intricate insanity” of Denise Mueller-Korenek’s attempt to set a new two-wheeled human-propelled speed record this weekend at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

A Minneapolis columnist wonders where bikes fit into the city’s updated transportation plan, while a city councilmember looks to the Netherlands for inspiration.

A Philadelphia trash company has settled with the family of a fallen bike rider for $6 million, as well as an agreement to improve driver training and fund local traffic safety organizations.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Louisiana, as a New Orleans driver gets 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

 

International

The United Nations is struggling to come up with crash avoidance strategies to keep autonomous cars from running over bicyclists.

Bike Radar offers a lucky 13 reasons to be a roadie.

Toronto bicyclists want to know why nothing has been done to fix death traps on the city’s west side.

A British writer tests Brompton’s new folding ebike, with an engine developed by an F1 team, to see if it’s worth the $4,000 price tag.

A team from Britain’s University of Liverpool has set new handcycle land speed records for both men and women, topping out at 51.86 and 41.86 mph, respectively.

After surviving a brutal hit-and-run, a bike rider says drivers in the UK show little respect for people on bicycles. Kind of like drivers everywhere else.

An Irish driver pens a letter to bike riders, insisting he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but if he does, it will be their fault for not wearing hi-viz and putting lights on their bikes. He’s right about the lights, but you shouldn’t have to dress like a clown just to ride a bike. You have an obligation to be seeable, while drivers have an obligation to see you.

A town in the Netherlands has opened a new 100-foot long bike path made of recycle plastic.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Fabio Aru apologized to famed bikemaker Ernesto Colnago for his comments after crashing when the derailleur locked up on his bike during the Vuelta; cameras picked him up yelling “cazzo di bici!”, which translates to “shit bike.”

Phillippe Gilbert unexpectedly returns to racing, two months after finishing a stage in the Tour de France with a broken kneecap.

Pro surfing is now offering equal prize money for men and women, but pro cycling has a long way to go, despite a few bright spots.

Former world track cycling champ Kristina Vogel says she’s ready to start her new life as a paraplegic after she was paralyzed in a training crash earlier this year; she hasn’t heard from the Dutch rider she collided with or the country’s cycling federation.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when 500 cyclists hit the wall. And if Google’s founder had his way, you could have been shot through a 35-mile tube at high speed, propelled from behind by a mixture of helium and oxygen.

Um, I don’t think so.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

 

Morning Links: Counterfeit bike parts, new weed-based recovery powder, and a photo link to make you smile

David forwards a warning not to buy bike helmets over the internet, after a Kentucky man was convicted of selling counterfeit high-end helmets on eBay.

I would modify that to say only buy online from a company you, with a good reputation for quality.

And be careful of buying any bike parts online. Because every part than can be faked has been — including entire counterfeit bikes.

But you’re always better off buying anything from your local bike shop. And so are they.

………

I usually don’t share press releases for new products, but this one seemed interesting.

Floyd’s of Leadville, the medical marijuana product maker founded by erstwhile Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, is introducing a CBD-based protein recovery powder.

Available in Chocolate and Vanilla, each bag provides 10 servings, with 25mg of CBD, 27 grams of high quality protein, essential amino acids, only 5 grams of sugar and 150 calories.

“In addition to the softgels, tincture, and transdermal cream that we offer, we’re excited to bring to market these great tasting Recovery Protein powders,” states Floyd Landis, Founder and CEO of Floyd’s of Leadville. “It mixes easily with water or milk, and really provides a smooth flow of nutrients to maximize recovery after exercise, and even to start your day off the right way with a protein drink.”

Each 500 gram bag retails for $39.95, and will be available to Retailers and on the Floyd’s website within the next few weeks.

Go to floydsofleadville.com for more information and call 970.445.3209 with any questions!

For the uninitiated — like I was before my doctors put me on the stuff — CBD is the marijuana component that has a calming and soothing effect. And won’t get you high, like THC does.

Personally, I find that CBD helps stop the muscle spasms from my neuropathy, while a combination of CBD and THC is necessary for pain relief.

But that’s just me.

Your experience may completely different.

………

Great photo from Peter Flax, who dares you not to smile when you see it.

And I double dog dare you.

………

Local

Bike friendly DTLA councilmember Jose Huizar has called for a vote this Friday to install bike lanes on Fifth and Sixth Streets in LA’s Skid Row, in response to a request from local community members.

Streetsblog reports that the long-delayed My Figueroa project is finally nearing completion, with fresh green paint and newly installed bicycle traffic signals.

Just like Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, LAPD bike cops are going electric; they’ll soon be zipping down the streets on specially designed ped-assist ebikes capable of doing 28 mph.

CiclaValley unleashes part one of his CicLAvia Preview for Sunday’s San Fernando Valley open streets event.

The newly revived Long Beach Post talks with a Georgia transplant who found a home with the city’s cycling community.

 

State

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a distracted driver walks without a single day of jail time for killing a world champion triathlete when she “drifted” off the road and rear-ended the victim’s bike.

 

National

Inhabit considers how to make American cities bike friendly.

Now you can show your support for the man who believes slavery was a choice, with your own specially customized and basically useless Yeezy bicycling shoes with built-in mountain bike cleats.

Seriously? Bicycling reviews the best yoga mats for bicyclists. Which would pretty much be the same as for anyone else, since hardly anyone practices yoga while they’re riding.

The first six months of Seattle’s dockless bikeshare experiment show diverse ridership using the bikes primarily for transportation, rather than recreation. And head injuries haven’t increased, despite a low rate of helmet use in violation of the city’s mandatory helmet law.

Texas bicyclists are calling for safer roads in the oil boomtowns of the Permian Basin.

A Chicago weekly maps out the city’s lowest-stress bicycling routes.

Now that’s more like it. Buses and bikes get priority on a Minneapolis street as lanes are closed for highway construction, and drivers wait in backed-up traffic.

No, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, if the victims were riding bicycles, they weren’t pedestrians.

A Detroit writer does a great job of slicing, dicing and refuting the recent anti-bike “get off my lawn” screed from Crain’s scion Keith Crain, arguing that he’s writing for a dwindling audience of angry old businessmen. And that he wasn’t out of town when the city’s bike plan was adopted, just out of touch.

Apparently, when a man whose head is literally covered in racist tattoos crashes into an Asian bike deliveryman in New York, it’s just another accident.

 

International

A Costa Rican website looks at the time-honored tradition of bicycling in the country’s Guanacaste province.

Red Bull lists eight international cities that are “incredible” for active commuting. San Francisco made the list; needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

Canadian Cycling Magazine explains why bicycling leads to lifelong friendships.

Cycling Weekly explains how you, too, can have monster legs.

Road.cc offers advice on how to safely pass a horse, after a group of overly aggressive triathletes didn’t over the weekend.

Montreal motorists are rising up to complain about the mayor’s decision to block cut-through traffic over the city’s eponymous mountain to create a more livable, human park space.

A Toronto columnist says Vision Zero isn’t working, so it needs a little rebranding — like calling it Zero Vision, or a Vision 2089 commitment to have just 2,089 traffic deaths in the city in 2089.

Another Toronto columnist says the city’s streets will be safer once they are slower. Any chance we could get him to move to LA and write that for the Times?

We already know Katy Perry is one of us, so keep your eyes open for a woman on a bike shooting lasers out of her bra as she stops in the UK.

A pair of British cycling champs — and new mothers — offer advice on bicycling during pregnancy.

A British coroner has ruled that record-setting endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt took his own life after texting a friend to say goodbye. Fancourt, who set the record for the fastest crossing of Europe, was found in his own car surrounded by cocaine and drug paraphernalia this past January.

A Portuguese soccer fan biked nearly 3,200 miles in 45 days to see his team play at the World Cup.

The founder of an Indian bikeshare company explains how dockless bikeshare is reshaping the country’s urban areas.

A Chinese website says Shanghai can do a lot more to be bicycle friendly; the city will host the second annual Tour de France Shanghai this fall.

Yes, you really can buy a hi-tech ebike for around $261; you just have to move to China first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside says a new novel captures truths about the Tour de France, doping, and cyclists’ obsessive nature.

 

Finally…

Riding 135 mph on a 3D printed bike. No need to stop pedaling just because you run out of solid ground.

And that feeling when you want to ban bikes entirely, and blame commies on the city council for bouncing you from the bike lane committee.

No, seriously.

 

Morning Links: Arrest announced in Frazier hit-and-run, the healing power of bikes, and invasion of the e-scooters

For once, there may be justice in not one, but two South LA hit-and-runs.

According to KTLA-5, the driver of a Mercedes SUV who ran down and killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier on April 10th has been arrested; details will be announced at a press conference this afternoon.

However, 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks had already been booked on $72,500 bail after turning herself in last month, so it’s unclear just what police will be announcing.

Banks is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 am tomorrow at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center at 210 W. Temple Street in DTLA.

Meanwhile, the station reports police have arrested the driver who appeared to intentionally run into Quatrell Stallings as he rode his bike at a street protest over Frazier’s death, the day after Frazier was killed at Manchester and Normandie.

She had gotten out of her car to argue with some of the protesters, before slamming into Stallings and fleeing the scene.

Hopefully, details on that arrest will be announced at the press conference, as well.

Photo of Frederick Frazier’s ghost bike installation by Matt Tinoco.

………

A powerful and painful piece from Peter Flax, as he writes about the healing power of an Arizona bike tour when his wife suffered a miscarriage after just a year of marriage.

It’s definitely worth reading. Just make sure you have a tissue or two.

Or maybe the whole box.

………

A San Francisco writer warns in semi-apocalyptic tones about the invasion of the e-scooters.

On the other hand, a writer for the New York Times says they’re not urban menace or a harbinger of the apocalypse, they’re actually pretty great.

………

Local

Streetsblog LA is holding its Summer Fund Drive; a donation will enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of Donald Shoup’s new book Parking and the City. Seriously, give what you can to help support LA’s most important source for transpiration news.

The Agoura Hills Acorn reports on the nearly $12 million settlement in the death of cyclist and entertainment lawyer Milt Olin; a local resident says rather than being punished, the LASD deputy responsible for Olin’s death was rewarded with a transfer.

 

State

Streetsblog offers a roundup of Tuesday’s California primary election. My sincere apologies to Eban Lehrer, who tried to submit a contrary view to my endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, but for some reason, his comment wouldn’t go through. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the former LA mayor fell several hundred thousand votes short of qualifying for the runoff.

Two participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were injured in separate solo crashes as the ride rolled through San Luis Obispo County yesterday; one rider had to be transported by helicopter.

A San Francisco bicyclist alleges he was deliberately run down by Lyft driver after yelling at her for talking on a cell phone while stopped in a bike lane; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, though his bike got pretty mangled.

 

National

Advice on how to look fly on two wheels, on any budget. For once, all the bikes they recommend are under a grand, although I could do without one that would look like a ghost bike if it wasn’t for the red seat and handlebars.

Tom Vanderbilt gets author and runner Malcom Gladwell on a bike, while accepting a challenge to train for a marathon.

Denver bike riders now have an app to report cars, trucks and other objects blocking bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll export it to other cities desperately in need of one, like maybe Los Angeles.

Dallas is attempting to tame the wild west mentality, and reign in the city’s dockless bikeshare companies.

A permanent memorial has been installed in Kalamazoo MI in honor of the five bike riders killed by a stoned driver two years ago.

An Illinois bike advocacy group unveils a bike safety campaign meant to humanize bike riders. For a change, it’s actually pretty good.

A Vermont ebike owner gets a lesson in how to ride safely. Because even in America’s second least populated state, traffic scares people off their bikes.

New York State considers legalizing ebikes, which are currently banned under state law.

A New York Democratic congressman goes full NIMBY in decrying plans for a protected bike lane on a deadly Gotham street, apparently preferring preserving parking over protecting the lives of his constituents.

 

International

Pink Bike gives five men’s summer mountain biking kits the test.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says we’re not MAMILS, we’re DICS.

No, Cambridge News, a vandalized Ofo dockless bikeshare bike didn’t desecrate the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens; the jerks who destroyed it and left it there did.

An off-road rider in the UK sets out to see if he can spend the night riding in the hills and still make it to work the next day.

A British man gets a well-deserved seven years for a drug-fueled rampage that began when he deliberately smashed his van into a man on a bike, then got out and threatened people with an axe, hijacking one car and using the axe to hack a bike lock.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer takes in the view from his neighborhood coffee shop, noting that if the people he sees riding bikes to work drove instead, traffic would get a lot worse. And if more people rode their bikes, traffic would get a lot better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly boldly addresses the burning question of the day, explaining how cyclists pee during a race. And noting that it’s a lot easier for men.

 

Finally…

Note to Trek: If you don’t want to get sued, don’t name your fat bike after a dead celeb. And the world may see a cute kid, but all Time can see is a truck.

………

Thanks to David N for his kind words and generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: Bike auction to benefit BikeMS, why drivers don’t face murder charges, and Venice ain’t Bird’s fault

It’s getting closer. 

Just two more days before we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and ask LA city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

Something that has been seriously lacking in the past year.

You still have time to send in your letter if you can’t make the 10 am city council meeting. 

You can find all the information here

And come back this afternoon when we’ll post another open letter to the LA city council, this time from Sean Meredith. 

………

It’s not every day you can get a deal on great bike, and support a good cause at the same time.

The CBS2/KCAL9 Cycling Team is auctioning off the new men’s Giant Defy 1 Disc Brake bicycle show above to raise funds for BikeMS.

The bike, which was donated by the Newbury Park Bike Shop in Newbury Park, has a retail value of $1,500. It’s still in the box, ready to be picked up from the shop or shipped anywhere in the US.

And every penny raised by the auction will go to BikeMS to support people living with muscular sclerosis.

The 15-member CBS2/KCAL9 team has already raised over $10,000, and is one of the top fundraising teams leading into the June 3rd ride.

………

Another good, but challenging, read from Peter Flax.

He examines the death of fallen cyclist Mark Kristofferson in this year’s Tour of Palms Springs, who was killed at the hands of a drunk and stoned driver doing 100 mph, with a suspended license and a long history of traffic violations.

And wonders why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murder. Let alone actually get a conviction.

The easiest way to kill someone and get away with a slap on the wrist is to make sure your weapon is a car. But there has been some recent progress in how fatal crashes play out in the legal system as the problem gets greater attention from judges, state legislators, and police departments. “Ten years ago, it was really rare to get a felony conviction if a driver killed a cyclist,” (bike lawyer Peter) Wilborn says, noting that his own brother was killed in 1998 while riding a bike after an underage driver ran a red light. “Now I’d say that in cases that involve death or catastrophic injury, close to 50 percent of the time we get felony charges. I see a system that isn’t perfect, but also one that’s caring more than it ever did before.”

Wilborn asserts that it’s a logical fallacy to call the majority of these crashes murder. “I’ve been at this every day for many years and see the negligence and its impact,” he says. “I have seen the surge of distracted driving, and I know how a six-inch deviation in a car’s line can lead to a cyclist dying. We have a public-health crisis that needs to be solved, but it’s also true that very few motorists are using a car as an intentional weapon. So it’s only in extreme cases that the charge is murder.”

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

In one of the most bizarrely wrong-headed Op-Eds in recent memory, a former player for the Denver Broncos now living in Venice blames Bird scooters for allowing tech bros to avert their eyes from the homeless lining the streets as they zoom by.

Except people have been ignoring homeless people for years, if not decades. And it’s even easier to ignore them while zooming past in your hermetically sealed automobile, with the windows rolled up to block out the sounds and smells.

The real problem is a lack of caring at worst; a feeling of helplessness to do anything about it at best.

It has nothing to do with a mode of transportation. Even if you do need a smartphone and a credit card to use it.

Meanwhile, Bird scooters are getting the blame for a Nashville hit-and-run that injured two women, instead of the coward who fled the scene after hitting them.

………

Pasadena Now looks at Bike Week in the Rose City, including tonight’s Women’s Bike Night.

And don’t forget tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, which is basically like trick or treat for adult bike commuters.

You can find a map of most, if not all, of the morning pit stops on the Metro website.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan hospital, including a way too cute photo of little tricyclists getting blessed.

Santa Monica could get the area’s first protected intersection near the Santa Monica College stop on the Expo Line. Although at a cost of 94 parking spaces, which could be enough to make the traffic safety deniers get out the pitchforks and torches.

A planning website talks with LADOT General Manager Selena Reynolds, who says she wants people to have a “symphony” of transportation choices, with driving alone being the last resort. Except that will never happen as long as LA councilmembers live in constant fear of angry drivers, and have the power to cancel projects on their own, for any reason. Which is one more reason to #CrashCityHall

Culver City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks forward to tonight’s Rides of Silence throughout the state.

A San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when his bike was struck by a 33-year old driver after allegedly riding into oncoming traffic.

Bicycling collisions are up in San Diego, rising nearly 30% in the first four months of the year. Maybe injuries are up because an increase in bikeways in the city is getting more people out on bikes, rather than due to dockless bikeshare, as the story implies.

A Ventura museum is hosting an exhibit on the artistic beauty and love of bicycles.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time to get rid of the right turn on red lights, which may be more convenient for drivers, but increases the risk for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Treehugger aptly observes that the problem with Bike to Work Week is that it requires the infrastructure to enable people to ride to work all year.

A Phoenix weekly offers tips on using dockless bikeshare, most of which involve where not to leave it.

Former pro cyclist Mara Abbott bemoans the slow death of her hometown Boulder CO newspaper at the hands of its hedge fund owner, after the editor was fired for pointing out what was going on.

A Denver writer demands more and wider roads, making it clear he’s never heard of induced demand. Or global warming.

Maintaining a spectacular Vermont bikeway that crosses four miles of Lake Champlain could prove more difficult than building it, after it’s battered by wind-driven waves.

BikeBiz talks with the co-creator of the Boston-based lighted Lumos bike helmet.

New Yorkers will be racing through the city on bikeshare bikes this weekend.

A columnist for the Philadelphia Enquirer says a protected bike lane would have saved the life of a bike courier who was killed in a crash last weekend.

A 22-mile bike path currently under construction in Florida could open the way for bicycle agritourism. And no, I never heard of agritourism, either.

A Florida bike rider says please stop killing my friends.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where killing a bicyclist while driving without “due care” results in just an $1,800 fine and a one-year drivers license suspension.

The Guardian offers up five scenic backcountry bike rides in England’s West Country to add to your bike bucket list.

Britain’s Road Safety Week will tell bicyclists and motorcyclists to Bike Smart. Of course, it might help more if the message was Drive Smart, for truck drivers and everyone else.

A UK website suggests bicycling your way to a healthier and wealthier future.

It looks like Zwift is getting a Romanian competitor for the world of virtual cycling.

Bikeshare comes to North Korea in bike-friendly Pyongyang.

 

Competitive Cycling

A look at Monday’s Stage Two of the Amgen Tour of California by a local Santa Barbara site.

VeloNews says 20-year old American cyclist Brandon McNulty came of age on Monday’s climb up Gibraltar.

Crowds turned out for the start in King City and the finish at the famed Laguna Seca race track for Stage Three, which was won by a cyclist breaking from the pack to seize the victory in today’s spoiler-free update.

In a reflection of the sad financial state of pro cycling, two of the teams competing in the AToC are racing for sponsors, as well as stage wins.

Cyclocross legend Katie Compton switches sports to compete in the Women’s Amgen Tour of California, riding as a domestique for teammate Megan Guarnier. The four stage women’s race starts tomorrow — and no, you can’t see it on TV.

Ella Cycling Tips talks with 22-year old former Aussie world juniors champ Macey Stewart, who will be rebooting her racing career for the second time when she starts at the Tour of California on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there’s still a men’s race going on in Italy.

Outside profiles Marianne Vos, calling her the world’s best cyclist and a fighter against gender inequality.

 

Finally…

When the drunk who runs you down is a cop. Forget riding, just take a hot bath.

And a $24,000 fine for running a traffic signal may sound extreme, until you realize that works out to less than 200 American dollars.

On the other hand, ten days behind bars works out the same no matter what country your in.

Morning Links: LA transit and biking termed a “utopian fantasy,” and riding a bike to shed emotional weight

One quick note: Come back after 11 am today for a guest post from CSUN staffer and Bikecar 101 co-founder Mike Kaiser about the Englander motion to stop LA dockless bikeshare in its tracks.

………

No bias here.

Evidently, making alternative transportation practical in LA is just a “utopian fantasy.”

And relying on transit — or riding a bike, or walking to work, for that matter — will only drive Angelenos into poverty.

Apparently, your bike commute is making you broke, and no one will ever do it if it takes longer than driving.

Because it’s so much cheaper and more pleasant to own, drive and maintain a car. Right?

………

Great piece from Peter Flax, describing how a single bike ride can help shed emotional weight as he struggled with the loss of friends and a loved one.

But the reality is that despite all the shit weighing me down, I already had shed quite a bit of ballast. I had just spent an hour in a place where I could grapple with my demons, where I could turn the pedals and truly think. I felt this very real sense of peace to be on a bike, suffering a little bit and tending to myself in the best way I know how.

It’s a feeling I know well.

I remember waking up to the news that a plane had struck New York’s World Trade Center on 9/11, just in time to watch as the second one hit. And sat there transfixed before my TV until I couldn’t take another word.

I finally grabbed my helmet, got on my bike, and just started riding, ending up in Santa Monica where someone had tied ribbons around every tree in sight.

Nothing had changed when I got back. Yet somehow, the grief and despair of that day seemed a little easier to take.

………

Absolutely horrifying story from South Africa, where a top triathlete was severely injured when attackers tried to cut off his legs with a chainsaw.

According to the LA Times, Mhlengi Gwala was riding to a morning training session when the men attacked, refusing offers of his bicycle, cellphone and wallet.

Several attackers pulled Gwala off his bicycle as he cycled up a steep hill and sawed into his right calf, damaging muscle, nerves and bone, according to Jackson, who spoke by phone to the triathlete about the ordeal. They missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg, Jackson said.

The attackers also started sawing into Gwala’s left leg before fleeing, enabling the athlete to crawl to a road and flag down a passing car to take him to a hospital

………

Local

A Pasadena columnist gets to experience a punishment pass, as well as angry drivers, in the debate over whether to make Orange Grove Blvd safer for everyone.

 

State

Milestone Rides offers their take on SoCal’s top five overnight bike trips.

 

National

Treehugger says Vision Zero is a lovely, but meaningless response to tragedy, and calls for an American Stop de Kindermoort movement.

Transportation professionals are asked to weigh-in on how speed limits should be set.

Good question. Santa Fe NM bicyclists want to know why the local sheriff’s department only gave a traffic citation to a road-raging driver who slammed on his brakes, then allegedly backed up into a group of cyclists on a senior citizens ride, sending one to the hospital — and won’t even reveal what that ticket was for.

Chicago bicyclists call for fair enforcement after reports that black riders were far more likely to be ticketed than white bicyclists. A black transportation equity advocate delivered a manifesto to city hall calling for a halt to racially biased ticketing.

A University of Cincinnati student newspaper says the city must become bike friendly.

The Kentucky legislature moved forward with a three-foot passing law.

Boston truckers are worried about the addition of 1,200 bikeshare bikes in the city. Apparently, they’re concerned that they aren’t capable of driving safely.

The New York Times offers a belated obituary for Lillias Campbell Davidson, a remarkable woman who founded the first women’s bicycling organization.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A New York driver suffering from seizures has her license suspended, one day too late for the two little kids she killed.

Thanks more like it. A Virginia woman was sentenced to five years behind bars for the drunken crash that seriously injured two young women who were riding their bikes.

 

International

A British man is facing sexual assault charges after using his home bicycle shop to lure young boys. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Los Angeles is far from the only city where potholes and crappy streets threaten the safety of people on bikes. Nearly 400 bicyclists were seriously injured in the UK over the past decade due to bad roads, and four others killed; the country’s auto club calls for fast fixes.

Yes, please. Paris will offer the equivalent of up to $744 towards the purchase of ebikes, and an equal amount for anyone willing to give up their car.

Swiss politicians call for higher fines for “renegade” cyclists. They want the penalties for people on bikes to match the fines for driving infractions, even though lawbreaking bike riders pose far less danger to others.

Mumbai bicyclists are demanding safer storm grates that won’t trap bike wheels and send their riders tumbling. LA only addressed that problem in the last decade, though there still may be a few dangerous grates left behind in the streets.

A Kiwi stroke survivor is riding the length of New Zealand to call attention to the disabling condition and give hope to others.

A new Aussie study confirms once again that women are less likely to commute by bike if they consider it unsafe.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body calls for an investigation into whether Britain’s Team Sky broke any doping rules. Which at this point, seems about like asking if the Russians interfered in the last election or if sea levels are rising.

Organizers of the Tour of Britain have lived up to their promise to give women riders equal prize money to the male cyclists. About damn time. Now let’s see the other races not only match the money, but the competitive opportunities provided to men, as well.

Speaking of potholes, as we were earlier, Britain’s Mark Cavendish was hospitalized with a head injury after apparently getting his back wheel caught in one during an Italian time trial.

Cycling Tips talks with 106-year old world record-holding cyclist Robert Marchand.

 

Finally…

Does it still count as green for St. Paddy’s Day if you smoke it instead of wearing it? Drink your way through America’s 49th state.

And as we face the prospect of a soggy weekend, remember it could be a lot worse.

………

Thanks to Margaret W for her generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Contributions of any size, for any reason, are always appreciated

Morning Links: $19 billion tab for LA traffic congestion, and the stupidest things people have said about cyclists

Somehow we missed this one last week.

CityLab reports that traffic congestion cost Los Angeles $19.2 billion — yes, with a b — in 2016. Which works out to an average cost of $2,828 per driver.

So sure.

Let’s just follow the lead of LA’s traffic safety deniers and do nothing to provide viable alternatives to driving, while dumping tens of thousands of new cars on the city streets every year.

That will somehow magically make everything better.

Right?

………

Another great piece from Peter Flax, as he builds an Anti-Bike-Crank Hall of Fame based on the 10 stupidest things people have said about cyclists.

………

Local

A UCLA professor will take part in a three-week, 1,000-mile bike ride along the California coast to talk climate change.

Curbed looks at how Los Angeles walking advocate Jessica Meaney gets around. Hint: It’s not by driving.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who examines whether you should consider getting a bakfiets, aka cargo bike. To answer the unasked question, you pronounce bakfiets like what I have to wipe off after the Corgi goes out in the rain, along with her front fiets.

 

State

LimeBike is bringing their dockless bikeshare to San Diego, undoubtedly to the chagrin of the beachfront bike rental owners who just got the city’s bikeshare docks removed from near their stores. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Streetsblog talks with a bike-riding San Francisco firefighter about Vision Zero and his department’s windshield perspective.

A Marin man has been ordered to stand trial on four felony hit-and-run charges for ramming four cyclists in last year’s Jensie Gran Fondo, apparently intentionally. Although he should also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, with potential jail time of a lot more than just five years.

 

National

Despite improvements in automotive safety, US traffic deaths remained over 40,000 for the second year in a row.

Bicycling lists the commuter cycling gear you need this year. Apparently oblivious to the fact that many people seem to get to and from work just fine without any of it.

Seattle proves that it is in fact possible to add jobs while dramatically cutting traffic. Your move, Los Angeles.

If Utah adopts a version of the Idaho Stop law, it will be just the third state in the US to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields. Which means there’s just 47 more to go.

Colorado lawmakers block an attempt to ban red light and speed cameras in the state. Speed cameras are currently illegal in California, while red light cameras are prohibited in Los Angeles. Which makes the Rocky Mountain State smarter, and safer, than either one of them.

Laredo TX opened a new bike and ride plaza to allow people to safely store their bicycles when they take the bus.

Kansas and Missouri are working to have sections of the famed Route 66 designated as a US Bicycle Route.

A Memphis newspaper looks at the city’s plans to build out their existing bicycle network, six year’s after they were named America’s most improved bike city.

People in Charlotte NC love the dockless bikeshares that have appeared in the city under a trial program. Or hate them.

 

International

Your next bike mechanic could have an international certification.

The Economist says to improve cities, we need to focus on the 95% of the time when cars aren’t being used.

British Columbia bicyclists cheer plans to replace an 81-year old bridge, which has a shared bike and pedestrian lane so narrow that bikes coming from opposite directions can’t pass one another.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides end-to-end across Britain.

Caught on video: A British van driver inexplicably decides to hover next to a pair of bicyclists, less than an arm’s distance away.

A New Zealand man lost 220 pounds after his doctor gave him a bicycle; now he fixes bikes and gives them away to encourage others to ride. If more doctors would prescribe bicycling to their patients, we might have a much healthier and happy population.

Indian cyclists are giving up their desk jobs to open high-end bike shops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Turns out The Big Lebowski helped inspire ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ unlikely comeback as a purveyor of fine medical dope products.

A Morgan Hill columnist is getting hyped for the city’s turn to host a stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

No, pro cyclists are not welcoming Chris Froome back with open arms while a doping cloud hangs over his head, despite what he says.

 

Finally…

Upcycling classic bicycles is one thing; buying a second-hand Penny Farthing is another. Apparently, all the good bikes under three grand are on the radar.

And forget motor doping, mountain ebike racing will now be a thing.

 

Morning Links: The backstory of a bike giveaway, a possible bike lane in the ‘Bu, and entitled bike path drivers

Every year, we mention the countless bike giveaways held across the US during the holiday season.

But we usually never learn the backstory.

Like how the people behind the giveaway came to get involved. And what struggles they had to overcome to see those smiles on children’s faces.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Peter Flax looked into the story of one bike giveaway involving mountain biker Amanda Batty and a Bay Area ebike maker that put 208 needy children on two wheels in Albuquerque NM.

The holiday’s may be long over.

But this story that could put that smile back on your face.

Photo taken from the Cycling Tips story.

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A much-needed bike lane may finally be coming to the eastern part of Malibu on PCH.

Or not.

A Malibu radio station reports that a Caltrans press release announced that they will begin striping a bike lane from the tunnel to the Malibu Civic Center next week.

Which came as a surprise to city officials, who understood that they would merely restripe the fog line.

So evidently, we’ll all find out once the paint dries.

Thanks to Warren Bowman for the heads-up.

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When Chicago drivers wanted to avoid a traffic backup due to a highway crash, they turned an offroad bike path into a roadway.

But sure, let’s talk about those entitled cyclists again.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

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Local

The author of a new Rapha-sponsored book on bicycling in the Los Angeles area offers three practical tips on riding in the city.

UCLA says the reason Metro ridership is down is because more Angelenos are buying cars. When they should obviously be buying more bicycles instead.

New rules for establishing neighborhood councils could keep UCLA students from splitting with the bike-unfriendly Westwood NC.

CiclaValley captures some great photos of the popular Nichols Canyon Ride.

A new La Colombe coffee shop is opening in Frogtown within sight of the LA River bike path. Because few things go together as well as coffee and bikes.

Claremont looks forward to the year’s first CicLAvia on April’s Earth Day.

The LACBC visits LA’s Little Ethiopia on their popular monthly Sunday Funday Ride this weekend.

 

State

Bike advocacy group BikeVentura teamed with Newbury Park’s Giant Bicycles to donate 120 bicycles to victims of the Thomas Fire, with 80 more left to give away.

Somehow we missed this tragic story earlier in the week, as a Kern County man was killed in a hit-and-run as he was walking alongside a roadway, just a week after surviving another hit-and-run as he was riding his bicycle.

If you live in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to ride with the mayor of Mountain View.

 

National

Bicycling considers everything you always wanted to know about you bike but were afraid to ask, and myths about women’s cycling that need to die.

Two years after an Idaho woman was paralyzed from the waist down, and her riding partner killed, when they were hit by a driver while riding to the Oregon coast with Bike & Build, she plans to finish the 780-mile ride using a handcycle.

A writer complains about the fears elderly New Yorkers have of being run down by bike delivery people on ebikes, while contending that bike riders have a “sense of superiority about being bicyclers.”

Two different unlicensed truck drivers, two tragic crashes involving Brooklyn bicyclists, two different legal outcomes. And neither one beginning approach the severity of the crimes.

The LA Times looks at the success of Vision Zero in New York. Which should be a model for Los Angeles, but won’t be without the political backing their department of transportation has enjoyed.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles have helped the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, and whether they will continue riding after the island gets back on its feet.

 

International

Britain’s Cyclist reviews the new documentary MAMIL — Middle Aged Man In Lycra, which features the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa. And which will have its US premier in Alhambra later this month.

A West London borough will try lowering the speed limit to 20 mph following the death of a bike rider in a traffic collision. Compare that to Los Angeles, where speed limits of 45 mph or more aren’t unusual. And then ask why traffic fatalities are so high here.

A British contraflow bike lane ends without warning, unceremoniously dumping riders into parked cars or in front of oncoming traffic.

An Aussie bicyclist got off with a suspended sentence for plowing into a pedestrian crossing the road, leaving her with severe head injuries.

New blue bike lanes in Kuala Lumpur have turned into de facto parking lanes thanks to a lack of enforcement.

A Singaporean writer says he has the solution to abandoned bikeshare bikes.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blaming bike riders for individual stupidity is very un-conservative. Three days before the kickoff, the New England Patriots lead the Philadelphia Eagles three bicyclists to one.

And yell at the train that nearly killed you all you want, it’s probably not going to hear you.

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Thanks to Karen K for her generous donation to help support this site. Our annual holiday fund drive may be long over, but contributions of any size are alway welcome.

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