Tag Archive for Peter Flax

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Traffic throttling bike net neutrality protest, Peter Flax interviewed on podcast, and when animals attack

Call it a brilliant metaphor for net neutrality.

Or maybe just another way to get drivers pissed off at people on bikes.

A video director protested the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality by deliberately throttling traffic.

Rob Bliss made his point by slowly riding his bicycle in front of lines of backed-up drivers outside the DC offices of the Federal Communications Commission.

Then giving drivers the opportunity to go around him.

For $5.

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Red Kite Prayer’s The Paceline Tandem podcast talks with LA bike scribe and beachfront bike commuter Peter Flax.

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Local

The Daily News asks what’s next for LA’s Vision Zero, after traffic deaths fell well short of the city’s goal of a 20% reduction by 2017. Then again, meeting that goal was never realistic, especially when the city didn’t even do anything until last year — then ripped out the lane reductions in Playa del Rey when drivers went berserk.

Speaking of Vision Zero, KPCC looks at the changes currently underway on Spring Street in DTLA, and how the improvements — including a left-side protected bike lane — could help cut traffic deaths. Especially if LA drivers and business owners start to realize a bike lane isn’t the end of the world, so they can go in more places.

A Burbank bike advocate is fighting the ban on bikes on the Mariposa Street over the LA River — and a citation for violating it — calling it unenforceable. It’s also ridiculous and unfair, put in place at the urging of equestrians who said bicyclists couldn’t be trusted to walk their bikes around horses.

 

State

Your next Bay Area Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels, for that matter.

A Marin columnist is back at it, complaining that sharing the road means drivers should get 100% of a new bridge at peak hours. And bike riders and pedestrians can have their own lane, but only once the people in cars are done with it.

 

National

Writing for CyclingTips, James Huang says maybe the bike industry would do a little better if it marketed itself based on how much fun road cycling is, rather than focusing on the joys of suffering.

Washington state is considering adopting the same ebike regulations that were pioneered in California.

A missing link in a Seattle bikeway receives environmental clearance, although opponents threaten to sue to stop it for the third time.

A Wyoming task force calls on the state to spend $10 million a year to create more walkable main streets, community pathways and rural bicycling routes in the sparsely populated state.

Bicycling offers six things you can learn from Fargo ND bicyclists who ride in sub-zero temperatures. Like maybe that even the worst LA winters aren’t so bad.

No, a New Orleans pedestrian wasn’t robbed by a group of cyclists; he was robbed by a group of teenagers who happened to be riding bicycles.

 

International

One more trip to add to your bicycle bucket list — bicycling the volcanic craters and tropical forests of the Azores. Unless maybe you’d rather ride through the French Alps.

A letter writer in the Guardian says riding an ebike isn’t cheating.

A Bristol, England newspaper begs to differ with a city councilor who says replacing a footbridge with a bike crossing is “a scandalous waste of public money” and “pandering to the cycling lobby.”

The war on bikes goes on, as a road raging British driver nearly runs a bike rider off the road, then blocks his way by driving in slow motion.

Nearly 200 bike riders were injured on Edinburg tram tracks in a seven year period; authorities say many never got back on their bikes again.

Aussie bike riders are urged to use bike cams to record dangerous drivers, though a motoring group says it’s likely to inflame tensions. Actually, it’s a good idea for everyone, regardless of where you ride; I use a helmet cam every time I ride in traffic. And no, it’s never enraged anyone, though it has caused a few angry drivers to back down once they realized they were on candid camera.

Brisbane, Australia considers a trial suspension of the city’s mandatory bike helmet law for the city’s bikeshare system. Although one city councilmember says he’d rather have separated bike lanes to get riders out of the way of cars and pedestrians.

An Australian driver claims it’s not his fault he killed a bike rider because he was totally zoned out behind the wheel, and doesn’t remember hitting anyone, possibly because of his diabetes or sleep apnea or something. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Kiwi bike rider is knocked off his bike braving the waves along a beachside street during a king tide.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twelve cyclists competing in the Tour of Costa Rica have tested positive for EPO, including the race winner. But sure, the era of doping is over, right? 

Retired pro cyclist Thomas Voeckler says it wouldn’t surprise him if Lance had motor doped. And he’s sure other cyclists did in the past, but that new tests have stamped it out. Just like they’ve put an end to every other form of cheating.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride on the handlebars all by yourself. Apparently, crashing your bike into a car can lead to a career in fashion.

And evidently, kangaroos aren’t the only animals that have it out for us. Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Sharing the road with flying cars, and maybe bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

They drive among us.

Maybe you somehow managed to miss the multitude of new stories over the weekend about the allegedly stoned driver who managed to plant his car on the second floor of a dental shop in Santa Ana.

No, really.

According to reports, the driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, hit a center median with enough force to launch his car into the air, across three lanes of traffic, and embed it into the wall of the shop while still gaining altitude.

The inevitable question of how fast he had to be traveling to launch his car with such force is only partially answered by security camera footage.

As well as the view from an oncoming bus that was nearly taken out by the airborne ballistic automobile.

Lets hope he loses his license.

Permanently.

And it’s not just LA.

A Denver motorist literally drove into a Catholic church, finally stopping inside the vestibule with shards of stained glass scattered around.

But at least that one seems to have stuck to the ground.

Top photo from Orange County Fire Authority. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Wes Salmon for the heads-up.

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Pot, meet kettle.

It’s long been common knowledge, among drivers at least, that people who ride bicycles are a bunch of reckless scofflaws who pay no attention to the law.

And anyone who has argued to the contrary, by pointing to studies showing most bike riders actually do stop for red lights and stop signs, or that countless drivers treat speed limits and stop signs as mere suggestions, is usually shouted down.

Often by people on both sides.

Never mind that even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

That should have changed a few years ago, when a study from the University of Colorado showed that drivers and bike riders broke the law at nearly the same rate — 8% to 9% for drivers, and 7% to 8% for bicyclists.

As well as a follow-up study that showed when drivers broke the law, they did it for convenience, while people on bikes did it out of concern for their own safety.

Except that the both studies were greeted with crickets by the mainstream media.

Let alone the motoring public.

Now another study has shown virtually the same thing.

Writing for Outside, Peter Flax has taken a look at the recent Florida study that showed drivers broke the law at a slightly higher rate than the bike riders participating in the study.

In the end, the results indicated that cyclists were compliant with the law 88 percent of the time during the day and 87 percent of the time after dark. The same study determined that drivers who interacted with the study subjects complied with the law 85 percent of the time. In other words, drivers were slightly naughtier than the cyclists—even without measuring speeding or distracted driving.

In a conversation with three of the researchers who conducted the study, I asked if they had any insight into why the findings vary so significantly from public perceptions about scofflaw cyclist behavior. “Many drivers simply don’t know the rules that concern people on bikes,” says Cong Chen. “About how much space to give cyclists, for instance, or when riders should get the right of way.”

The study also offers suggestions on how to improve safety.

In any case, based on the study findings, the researchers offered a number of recommendations to help mitigate the frighteningly high rate of close calls. For infrastructure improvements, they suggested wider and protected bike lanes; reflective green markings on bike lanes; improved lighting on roadways that see significant bicycle traffic; and so-called “through lanes,” which reduce conflicts between bicyclists and turning vehicles at intersections by letting riders be safely positioned before cars turn. “Based on what we saw and measured, we recommend measures that promote separating more than sharing,” says Kourtellis. “We think creating buffers between cars and bikes is smart.”

But once again, don’t bother trying to find any mention of the study in the mainstream media.

Evidently, dispelling a widely held misperception too often used to demonize people on bicycles just isn’t news.

………

Speaking of demonizing bicyclists, one Aussie rider caught skitching — holding onto a moving vehicle to hitch a ride — is used to attack everyone who rides a bike for wanting “extra rights” on the road.

Never mind that most bicyclists haven’t done that, and never will.

And the only extra right we want is the right to ride a bike, and get home in one piece.

………

Local

LADOT laid down the new Hollywood-approved green paint on the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista over the weekend.

Speaking of Mar Vista, Bikerowave is hosting a bike swap on Sunday the 28th; coffee and donuts will be available if you get there early enough.

Los Angeles County’s outgoing Health Services director says he didn’t expect to fall in love with LA after moving here from San Francisco, but riding his bike to work from Hancock Park to DTLA certainly didn’t hurt. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Repaving started this past weekend on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax to prepare it for the half-measure safety improvements pushed through by Councilmember David Ryu, against the wishes of local residents who were fighting for a road diet. Any hope that the road diet might go through died following the fiasco in Playa del Rey, where recently installed road diets were yanked out after an outcry from motorists.

The latest Bike Talk podcast features John Russo and Karla Mendelson of Keep LA Moving, who successfully fought to have the Playa del Rey road diets removed, and want to halt any future lane reductions in the city.

Walk Eagle Rock shows that it’s possible to do more with less space on narrow streets.

The long discussed new section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail through South Pasadena is scheduled to open late next month.

The LA Times examines Chinese counterfeiting of small San Marino bikewear maker Team Dream.

Claremont is moving closer to a $16 million makeover of Foothill Blvd, including median divided bike lanes.

Long Beach surpasses its mobility goals for last year, with over 1.1 million bike riders and pedestrians passing a counter near the pier.

 

State

The co-founder of PayPal is one of us.

A Santa Ana cyclist was injured in an apparent gang shooting.

Tehachapi opens a new class 1 bike path along Tehachapi Blvd.

You never know what you might find while riding your bike. Like a boa constrictor with a broken jaw on the side of a Bay Area highway. The good news is, the snake has fully recovered.

The bike-friendly new Oakland bridge will be at least two years late and $6 million over budget.

Sad news from Paradise, where a bike rider was killed when she was rear-ended by one driver, then knocked into the path of another.

 

National

An ebike pioneer argues that an ebike charged using fossil fuels is actually greener than a regular bicycle when you consider the extra food needed to fuel the rider. Because everyone loads up on food before they ride to the corner market, right?

Meanwhile, TreeHugger says there’s an ebike revolution coming, and bikes and ebikes will eat cars.

An Oregon town posts a sign telling drivers not to text and drive, in honor of a 16-year old boy who was killed by a texting driver while riding his bike. Which will undoubtedly cause every driver to put down their phones. If they even bother to read it.

A Montana newspaper looks at the benefit bike tourism can have on small towns.

An Austin TX paper asks if an ordinary guy can ride 10,000 miles in two years. Considering that’s less than 100 miles a week, sure.

Kay Perry may be one of us, but she still takes Dallas to task over abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

The Chicago Tribune supports bringing bikeshare to the city’s transit deserts.

Bike registration rears its ugly head in Vermont, where a new bill would impose a $28 annual fee to ride a bicycle on public streets. Which is fine if your goal is to discourage bicycling, and keep people from taking ever down those unused bikes hanging in the garage.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Enquirer considers how to make the city a safer place to ride a bike.

 

International

If you can’t ride your bike on a Manitoba highway because of the ice, get out your hockey skates. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

A Toronto Op-Ed says lowering speed limits throughout the city would save lives.

The Guardian offers a photo essay of a custom framebuilder in the UK.

Just a year after finishing a seven year, 43,000 mile around-the-world bike tour, an English man is planning to set a new record by riding across Europe in less than 20 days.

A Scottish woman is looking for homes for two stray dogs she rescued in Brazil while riding around the world.

A British father shares gruesome photos of his son after the boy crashed face-first into a brick wall, saying it’s a reminder to always wear a helmet. Which might have actually helped, but only if he’d worn it over his face.

An Aussie woman says she deserves a reduced sentence because the bike rider she left bleeding on the side of the road while driving high on ice didn’t die, but merely suffered permanent, life changing injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Australian driver was fined for throwing a cup filled with ice that hit a bicyclist in the head. By the EPA. For littering.

An Aussie cyclist walks with probation for bike rage tirade against a distracted driver who cut him off in traffic, after arguing that “fuck” is not obscene.

Seriously, don’t be this guy. A bicyclist in Australia cuts directly in front of a driver, then flips the motorist off for good measure.

After an Australian man loses his driver’s license for six months, he discovers he feels better, weighs less and actually likes riding a bike. Even if he doesn’t take responsibility for those speeding tickets.

A New Zealand bicyclist is shocked to discover an 18-inch wide bike lane that’s narrower than her handlebars.

A bike shop in Yangon, Myanmar leads a weekly nighttime bike ride in the city, where bicycles are banned by tradition, if not law.

A distracted ebike rider in Singapore got a $2,000 fine for colliding with a bicyclist when his mobile phone rang.

A Chinese man rode nearly 10,000 miles from Benin back to his hometown to raise funds to help install solar power stations and water wells in the African country.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary Katie Compton won her 14th consecutive national cyclocross championship, while the recently unretired Meredith Miller took the singlespeed title.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where BMX star Jelle Van Gorkom is in a coma after a training accident, with no word on when he might awaken.

The Guardian looks at the tenuous finances of lower tier pro cycling teams.

Cycling Weekly talks with recently retired British track cyclist Becky James about the importance of finding a balance between work, training and family life.

South African cyclist Louis Meintjes learned the hard way to put on sunscreen under his mesh jersey. I once ended up with the Canari logo tanned onto my back after wearing my favorite jersey a little too often.

A self-trained Kenyan cyclist will compete in the grueling Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race, despite having a bullet lodged in his stomach from a shooting that killed his father when he was 15.

A Kiwi cyclist wins New Zealand’s U-23 cycling championship just one year after taking up the sport.

 

Finally…

Nothing like using a fat bike to make a really fat snow bike. Apparently, bottling a bicyclist is a thing.

And if you’re going to ride stoned, leave the illegal prescription meds, butterfly knife and counterfeit bills at home.

………

Thanks to John H for his generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: Flax calls out road diet bullies, PCH bike/ped safety grant, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Yes, we were bullied.

An Op-Ed by Peter Flax offers a good look at what he describes as the histrionics and fake news that have corrupted the road diet debate in the wake of the Playa del Rey debacle.

He describes the one-sided videos and unsupported accusations that the lane reductions were harming businesses in Playa and Mar Vista. And that it was Mayor Garcetti who pulled the plug in Playa del Rey.

One unpublicized meeting spelled the end of the task force and the Playa del Rey road diet. In league with outside forces, lower Playa business owners — among them prominent members of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, already applying public pressure — demanded an audience with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. People familiar with the proceedings tell me the group confronted Garcetti with a narrative that the road diet was destroying local businesses and made explicit threats to undermine the mayor’s political ambitions. These strong arm tactics set off a chain of events that led to the near-complete reversal of traffic-calming measures on Culver, Jefferson and Pershing…

This was a savvy move: Everyone cares about the health of small businesses in the community. As an advocate for pedestrian and cyclist safety, I will admit that I’m comfortable if peoples’ commutes get a few minutes longer if it makes our streets less dangerous, but I don’t want local merchants to suffer. Nobody does, and a perception that road diets harm local businesses could shift public opinion in a major way. Dozens of studies conducted in major U.S. cities have concluded that traffic calming efforts ultimately boost business, but that certainly hasn’t stopped opponents from arguing that these dynamics don’t apply in L.A.

He also points the finger where it belongs — at the mayor and city departments that have failed to lead and to stand up in support of their own programs.

The absence of facts is a defining problem in the public conversation about our roads. This cannot simply be blamed on one side of this dispute. Part of the problem is how poorly our politicians and transportation officials as well as the city’s dominant news outlets have communicated incontestable facts to people who live and drive in L.A. The mayor has been painfully silent.

This has created a void that allows a free-for-all on Facebook and Nextdoor, where people on both sides can essentially make up their own facts — about travel times, accident rates, business impacts, the laws governing speeding and jaywalking, the scientific underpinning of Vision Zero, and so on. Rather than form opinions about what to do on Venice Boulevard based on substantiated traffic or accident data, published studies on road diets, or an unbiased analysis of business impacts, the public has wound up getting informed and misinformed by social media, where people who are angry about traffic freely dismiss INRIX and LADOT data as #fakenews and then create memes with data they prefer.

It’s worth reading the full piece. Because this is the fight we’re all in if we want safer streets in the City of Angels, whether we like it or not.

And yes, I’ve felt a lot of that bullying myself, usually after something I’ve written has been mentioned on Nextdoor, a site I avoid like the plague.

Although nowhere near as much as Flax, who has been subject to more abuse and attempts at character assignation than anyone should have to tolerate.

All for the sake of safer and more livable streets, and a more vibrant community.

There is a sickness within our society right now, where what should be civil, fact-based debates too often degenerate into name calling and outright lies.

Not to mention the death threats I reported to the police earlier this year.

This is our city and these are our streets. They don’t belong to cars or the people in them.

They belong to all of us.

And we all have a right to live — and survive — on them.

………

A $15,000 state grant will be used to improve bike and pedestrian safety along PCH through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, including better enforcement and education on bike laws.

Although they should start by educating the sheriff’s department, which frequently misinterprets CVC 21202 to ticket people for riding abreast or in the traffic lane, both of which are legal in most cases.

………

‘Tis the season.

The parents of a fallen soldier have purchased 70 bicycles for kids at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood.

A Virginia Walmart has stepped in to supply 460 of the 600 bicycles needed for a kids’ bike giveaway, after the original order was screwed up.

One thousand volunteers turned out in Tampa FL to build 800 bicycles to give to needy children.

………

This is day seven of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And thanks to J Patrick L, Michael Y, Jeffrey F, Mark J, Joel S, Ellen S and Evan B for their generous donations to help support this site. And a belated thanks to Robs M for being the first to donate using Zelle, which apparently doesn’t let me know when someone uses it.

………

Local

Spin is the latest dockless bikeshare company to invade LA, setting up office with a pilot program in Koreatown; Streetsblog asks if privately owned dockless bikeshare will prove to be a blessing or curse.

The LA Daily News looks at Metro’s plans to address the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Downtown LA — although construction won’t start for at least another five years. Good thing they weren’t planning to use it for the road cycling course in the 2028 Olympics.

UCLA’s student newspaper say’s Elon Musk’s tunnels won’t solve LA’s traffic problems, and represents the same old thinking that got Angelenos stuck in this mess. Although the point of the tunnels isn’t to solve traffic problems, but just to let wealthy drivers avoid them.

A Monrovia letter writer can’t seem to grasp the concept that sharrows mean that’s where bikes are supposed to be, bike riders don’t have to get the way out of impatient drivers, and drivers are supposed to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

 

State

Southern California officials say cuts in the proposed GOP tax bill could result in an increase in traffic, including the loss of a $20 benefit for people who bike to work.

The OC Sheriff’s Department is looking for the owners of the 1,000 presumably stolen bicycles that were recovered near a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River; if you think your bike might be one of them, send a description of the bike and the serial and police report numbers to [email protected].

A 19-year old Watsonville man will face a vehicular homicide charge in the September death of a bike rider after police concluded he was speeding. And even though the victim ran a red light.

A new short documentary profiles a bike-riding, tai chi-practicing, tennis-playing San Franciscan octogenarian artist.

Once again, opponents attempt to use California’s CEQA anti-pollution laws to stop construction of bike and pedestrian paths in San Francisco, which is exactly what the revised rules are supposed to prevent. Update: J. Patrick Lynch forwards word that the San Francisco Supervisors shot that attempt down

You’ll soon need a reservation to visit the popular Muir Woods National Monument near Sausalito, unless you’re riding a bicycle or entering on foot.

A Sacramento cyclist is using a new form of inhaled insulin to control his Type 1 diabetes.

 

National

A new bike trailer can carry as much as a minivan while doubling as a fork lift — although you might need an ebike to pull the full 400 pound load.

Phoenix parents hop in their car and chase down a thief who stole their son’s bike.

A Colorado letter writer addresses the hatred expressed by some people towards the people on bikes who have the audacity to slow them down for a few seconds. Proving that it’s not just a SoCal phenomenon after all.

Caught on video: A pair of mountain bikers make the first-ever bike descent of a famed black diamond ski run at Jackson Hole WY.

Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until he killed someone. A Houston woman calls for changes in DUI laws after her bike-riding husband was killed by an alleged drunk driver who was already facing a previous drunk driving charge. Anyone arrested for DUI should automatically have their license suspended and the car they were driving impounded until the case is resolved.

A Texas TV station steps in after a bike rider gets the runaround when his bike was damaged by an uninsured Lyft driver.

Heartbreaking story from Minnesota, where a restaurant worker was the victim of two crashes in three weeks while riding his bike. And may not survive the second one, after the driver fled the scene.

Kindhearted Michigan police buy a new bike for a five-year old boy after he got caught in his and had to be cut out.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, where someone spray painted a bike lane on a bridge.

Once again, the tone deaf NYPD responds to the death of bike rider killed by a speeding driver by ticketing people riding bikes.

No surprise here, as the man accused of killing eight people in the New York bike path attack on Halloween has pled not guilty.

Hundreds of Philadelphians form a human-protected bike lane to protest the death of a bike rider killed by the driver of a trash truck while riding in a faded bike lane.

A road raging Pennsylvania man was sentenced to between one to 23 months in prison for attempting to run a bike rider off the road and threatening to kill him; he blamed the victim, as well as medications he was taking for paranoia and bipolar disorders.

A Florida bike rider became the latest victim of a police officer responding to an alarm without lights and sirens.

 

International

Local politicians say more has to be done to protect bicyclists and pedestrians in Victoria, British Columbia. And pretty much everywhere else.

Toronto is considering adopting a bike registration and theft reporting app that has resulted in a 30% drop in bike thefts in Vancouver over the last two years. Can we get that here? Pretty please?

London’s protected cycle superhighways move people five times more efficiently than regular traffic lanes. Meanwhile, the city will ban construction of new parking spaces in large segments of the city to reduce pollution. Which is probably better than LA’s approach of ripping out bike lanes.

A British magazine talks with adventurer Mark Beaumont about his record-setting ride around the world in less than 80 days.

Kashmir bicyclists pedal for democracy to call attention to the upcoming election process.

Caught on video too: After an Aussie driver nearly sideswiped a man riding in a bike lane, the driver accused him of riding outside the lane, which he clearly didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Israel may be paying Chris Froome two million euros — the equivalent of $2.37 million — just to participate in next year’s Giro d’Italia, which is scheduled to start in the country.

A federal judge rules that Lance can use the “everybody else was doing it” defense in the $100 million lawsuit brought against him for allegedly defrauding his government sponsors through systematic doping.

Seven Columbian cyclists and one Bolivian rider failed drug tests at August’s Tour of Columbia, testing positive for a form of EPO. But let’s all pretend the doping era ended when Lance got busted, okay?

 

Finally…

You may able to drink your next Surly. You could be able to ride on, not in, your next Rapha.

And probably not the best idea to interrupt your 25-year ride around the world by getting drunk and assaulting cops just hours after entering a new country.

………

Thank you all for the kind words about my wife. It looks like she may be doing a little better, and may be able to avoid additional surgery for now. 

Fingers crossed.

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

………

A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

………

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

………

A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

………

An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

………

Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, SoCal cyclist in ICU following crash, and riding across the US at 25

Let’s start by catching up with the upcoming bike events.

Santa Monica is hosting a Halloween Kidical Mass tomorrow.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event tomorrow has a Halloween theme.

Meet the founder of Cycling Without Age in Manhattan Beach tomorrow afternoon.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting four separate rides across the LA area this weekend.

San Diego is hosting its CicloSDias open streets event on Sunday.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is celebrating its second anniversary on November 4th.

Also on the 4th, the new Cub House in San Marino is holding a bike show, bicycle swap meet and ride.

The LACBC is co-hosting their monthly Sunday Funday ride with AARP as they explore LA history along the Expo Line on the 5th.

Join Bike SGV to bike to the Taste of South Pasadena on November 9th.

CICLE is hosting BEST Ride: Flower Power Ride to visit the LA Flower Market on the 11th.

The San Diego Padres are hosting their 5th annual Padres Pedal the Cause across the Coronado Bridge November 11th and 12th.

Bike SGV and Metro invite you to ride to the Taste of Glendora on the 18th.

………

Jim Lyle forwards the sad news that Dan Martin, a member of the popular Big Orange Cycling was hit by a motorist while riding home from a club ride on Sunday. He’s currently in the ICU suffering from a broken neck, and faces a long recovery.

A crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses has raised over $13,000 in just over 24 hours.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for a full and fast recovery.

………

Another beautiful piece from Peter Flax, as he reminisces about riding across the continent with his best friend half a lifetime ago.

………

Next year’s Amgen Tour of California will kick off in Long Beach before moving to Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Pro cyclist Ben King credits God with saving him from an eating disorder as a teenager.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers suggestions on how Councilmembers Englander and Krekorian could respond to injuries to bike riders, instead of their motion to remove bike lanes — including supporting Vision Zero and reading the 2010 bike plan, which includes an unimplemented requirement to inspect and maintain bike lanes. Only two of six lawsuits recently settled by the city actually occurred on streets with any kind of bicycling facilities.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility offers a video discussing bikeshare equity.

A San Luis Obispo writer goes biking in Venice.

The fire chief in Manhattan Beach is retiring after 40 years, and plans to go back to college and ride his bike to class.

 

State

A Santa Ana bicyclist was seriously injured after allegedly riding into oncoming traffic.

Kindhearted Redlands cops replace the bike a five-year old girl got for her birthday after thieves ransacked her parent’s home.

Caught on video: There’s a special place in hell for whoever mugged an autistic Visalia teenager and stole his bicycle.

No wonder drivers don’t take hit-and-run seriously. A 77-year old Napa County woman is expected to be sentenced to just three years probation after copping a plea in the hit-and-run death of a well-known bike commuter. At least her license has been permanently revoked, which should happen to any driver who can’t manage to stop after a crash.

A San Jose columnist says road diets are spreading across the state, even if parents ignore them near schools, and LA is busy ripping them out.

Ride a Ford GoBikes bikeshare bike in the Bay Area, and you could earn miles on Alaska Airlines. Whether you could earn enough to actually go anywhere is another matter.

A San Francisco reporter looks into who is responsible if you get hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, getting Lyft to pay up after blowing off a bike rider who wanted his damaged bicycle replaced.

Marin cyclists swarm the preliminary hearing for the 21-year old driver who allegedly ran down four bicyclists on purpose; his bail was quadrupled to $200,000, even though he has only been charged with hit-and-run.

 

National

Buy a new $65 Balance Cycle Wear jersey, and $25 will go to hurricane relief.

Hurry and you may still be able to get a basic GoPro for just $63.

Several states have forfeited a total of $28 million in federal funding intended for bicycling and walking projects. Fortunately, California was not one of them.

A governing website examines why AARP supports bicycling infrastructure.

If a proposed fee increase passes, it could cost you $30 just to ride your bike into a National Park.

A Portland garbage company blames the victim after one of their drivers fatally left-crossed a woman riding her bike; the company said she didn’t have a front light on her bike, wasn’t wearing hi-viz, and was riding under the influence.

People for Bikes talks with a Seattle community leader about the power of private dockless bikeshare to transform road design.

Boulder County CO is testing a pair of road signs that tell drivers to give three feet to pass a bicyclist, or instructing them to change lanes to pass a bike.

A Michigan man hit the road on his recumbent following his divorce, spending the last three years traveling the country and living on his modified bike, which, counting him and a trailer, now weighs 600 pounds.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 91-year old woman was killed in a collision with a bicyclist as she walked near her retirement home.

Harvard Med School offers tips on how to teach your kid to ride a bike.

A Georgia bike shop replaces the bike a man used as his only form of transportation after it was stolen.

 

International

Caught on video: A London TV newsman uses bolt cutters to free his bicycle after someone chained a child’s bike to it, then bought a new chain to replace the one he cut. However, it’s a common bike theft technique for thieves to chain a cheap bicycle to one they want to steal, then come back for it later when there are fewer witnesses.

A British letter writer says the country must avoid the domination of the car, unlike Los Angeles.

Cycling rates are climbing steadly in most major English cities, with the exception of Birmingham and Manchester.

Over half of all trips are now taken by bicycle in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and nearly half in Amsterdam.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, as he goes for a ride with his dog on the streets of Prague.

Residents of Johannesburg, South Africa, are now riding to work thanks to an innovative private bicycle rental company.

Caught on video: An Aussie driver confronts a group of cyclists who were riding at the speed limit on the road ahead of him; it took him less than a minute to get around them.

A Korean writer discusses the country’s bike boom from a windshield perspective, after comparing bicyclists to road kill.

 

Finally…

Yes, it often feels like you’re invisible on a bike; no, it won’t help you elude the police. Maybe long bike rides cause babies.

And Nissan’s new Electric car prototype will sing to you as it runs you down.

 

Morning Links: Person behind fake advocacy group outed, and SCAG takes a deep dive into traffic safety data

Once again, Peter Flax has written a great piece, as he investigates the fake, Twitter-based advocacy group LA Westside Walkers.

And outs the person behind it as a Playa del Rey music video and documentary director Justin Purser, who lives steps from the initial Vista del Mar road diet.

Purser admits to being the person who started the account, although he bizarrely contends that he handed it off to a group of people he refuses to name after it was mentioned on this site, following his equally bizarre claim to have co-founded BikinginLA.

You can probably count the number of people who actually believe that on a closed fist, however.

Flax digs into the account, which continues its misleading, false-flag form of fake advocacy.

All the while, the barrage of strange tweets from the Westside Walkers account continues, a maddening mélange of dubious facts and falsely earnest advocacy, leveraging a completely faked identity to convince unsuspecting readers that measures meant to save lives are not working. It’s a total cesspool of bullshit distracting people from an actual life-and-death issue.

Meanwhile, someone from Playa del Rey forwarded screenshots in the upper left corner and below, showing comment by Purser from around the time the Westside Walkers account was started.

His point seems to be that the real goal of people who supported the road diets was to make the streets more dangerous, not less.

If that’s supposed to be a joke, it’s in very poor taste.

And says a lot more about the person who made it than it does anyone else.

Let’s hope his attitude really has changed, as Flax’s article suggests.

………

The Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, has prepared an in-depth look at traffic safety conditions for the six-county region, as well as each of the individual counties.

Needless to say, it’s not a pretty picture.

A few graphic highlights —

 

………

As we mentioned yesterday, Bike SGV is hosting their BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tonight. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow in La Puente and Montebello, respectively, to provide input on the SGV Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (scroll down).

The October Slow Ride: Revive Gateway Park! will be held tomorrow, hosted by the Elysian Valley Slow Ride.

AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides beginning at Balboa Park this Saturday to start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast.

The South Bay Cycling Awards will be held in Torrance tomorrow; you can see a list of nominees here.

Bike SGV will hold a memorial ride on Sunday to honor staff member Brian Velez, who recently passed away unexpectedly.

Helen’s Cycles will hold a number of rides this weekend, as well as a women’s bike maintenance clinic this coming Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the LACBC will host a City Cycling Class to develop urban riding skills.

Helen’s Cycles in Arcadia is sponsoring a No Drop Group Ride next Saturday, October 21st.

Also on the 21st, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house to discuss much needed safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

West Hollywood will be holding a WeHo Pedals Bike Share Basics workshop on October 26th.

Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share is celebrating its second birthday with a ride with the mayor on November 4th.

CicLAvia will hold their 2nd annual Play Day in LA fundraiser om November 5th.

The very busy Bike SGV will hold their annual “Noche de las Luminarias” awards ceremony on December 2nd.

And CicLAvia returns to iconic Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

………

Local

Long Beach bike advocates met with former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michele Mowery, now the city’s new mobility and healthy living programs officer.

The seven-day Pablove Across American fundraising ride will end in Malibu tomorrow; the ride raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Calabasas unveils a new and improved Las Virgenes Road, complete with two lanes in each direction, bike lanes and continuous sidewalks.

 

State

The bike lanes on El Toro Road will be closed for construction work Monday between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 tollway.

Joshua Tree residents complain that new bike lanes installed by Caltrans in the downtown area don’t go anywhere.

Half Moon Bay drops plans for a bike bridge and pathways after giving up on funding from Caltrans.

After getting caught in a traffic jam caused by people escaping the Sonoma County wildfires, a Santa Rosa woman went back home and got her bicycle, carrying her 70-pound dog to safety in a duffel bag.

A drunk hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to five years for killing a Suisun City cyclist; he fled the scene on foot, abandoning his car after he crashed again while fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycling offers five GoPro hacks to make your videos worth watching. Most important: Install some editing software and learn how to use it. No one wants sit through five minutes of video to get to the 30 seconds where something actually happens.

Caught on video: A Seattle bicyclist was the victim of a punishment pass for having the audacity to ride outside the bike lane to pass another rider; the city’s former mayor calls it assault, even if the police don’t.

A writer for a Colorado company asks if employers should pay workers to leave their cars at home. California has a parking cash-out program designed to compensate employees who give up their parking spaces to bike, walk or take transit to work, but the program is so narrowly drawn it only applies to three percent of the state’s workers.

A Colorado writer says he’s never seen a bicyclist display animosity towards a motorist that wasn’t in response to the driver’s actions. And that drivers need to check their “vehicular privilege” at the door to their vehicle.

A New York man says getting run over by a dump truck while riding his bike was the last straw, and he’s officially done with the city. Getting run over by anything can have that effect on you.

Lobbyists descend on DC to convince lawmakers that bikeshare is bipartisan.

Baltimore’s bikeshare returns with a reduced fleet of bikes, now equipped with GPS, after it was shut down due to excessive thefts and maintenance backups.

 

International

A 72-year old writer says what cyclists over 60 really want is protected bike parking. Oddly, that’s exactly what cyclists under 60 want, too.

Caught on video too: A British driver has been fined the equivalent of $932 and lost his license for six months for forcing a bike rider off the road.

Caught on video three: A Scottish newspaper sees an out-of-control, brakeless bike rider barrel into a toddler; others may see a toddler suddenly dart in front of the bicyclist.

A Scottish writer wonders what can be done to get more women on bicycles, and concludes that better safety matters more than sweaty clothes or helmet hair.

Paris moves to ban all gas and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2030.

A new Swiss conversion kit promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike.

A Cape Town, South African cyclist was robbed of his bicycle, just days after armed thieves stole three bikes from a group of riders on the same roadway.

A 77-year old Australian man needed over a dozen stiches after he was the victim of a random attack by a man who stepped out from behind a tree, and beat the vicim’s face with a bottle as he was riding with his wife.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could run on strings. Nothing like getting your stolen bike back, and getting it stolen again on the way home.

And apparently, Metro really doesn’t want your bike blocking the aisles.

Although I’m still waiting to see a superhero zap the people blocking the bike area so you don’t have to block the aisle with your bike.

 

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