Tag Archive for safe passing

Morning Links: Safe bicyclist injured anyway, a big thumbs up for a safe pass, and our absurd surrender to cars

One quick note before we get started.

Yesterday, a friend and long-time supporter of this site texted me to say she was in the back of an ambulance on the way to the emergency room after getting hit by a driver.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, and was sent home with a large hematoma and assorted scrapes and bruises.

She’s one of the safest and most conservative bike riders I know, and someone who always rides with a helmet and hi-viz. Yesterday the helmet came in handy; the hi-viz, apparently not so much.

I don’t have any details yet.

But this is just one more reminder about the dangers of LA streets. And that it’s already long past time to do something about it.

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Undoubtedly the cutest thing you’ll see today, as a four-year old Brit bike rider gives a truck driver a big thumbs up for a safe pass.

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Local

LA’s traffic safety deniers say don’t bike the vote.

It will be a busy day on PCH Saturday, when 2,500 bicyclists come through the ‘Bu on the final day of the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride; this year’s ride raised a record $16.6 million for HIV programs.

 

State

An Orange County writer has been commissioned to write a history of Richard Long and the founding of GT Bicycles.

Bike SD calls on San Diego to save the planned Hancock Street bike lane, as local businesses demand its removal from the community plan in favor of more parking.

San Bernardino’s bus system talks with a man who rejuvenated his life when he got back on his bike in his 40s, and on the bus.

A Santa Cruz work skills program that teaches high school students to work as bike mechanics for class credit is slowly spreading across the US, with programs at schools in Colorado and Minnesota, and throughout California.

Someone should tell the UC Davis school newspaper there’s absolutely nothing funny about kicking people off their bikes. No, seriously.

Sad news from NorCal, where a 70-year old man died of an apparent heart attack while participating in a gravel race at Lake Davis.

 

National

Treehugger says people who walk, bike or ride scooters aren’t fighting over a cookie, as London’s former cycling chief said, we’re fighting over crumbs.

Another great piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says our surrender to the automobile is absurd and deadly, yet people still prefer a handful of cars to hordes on bikes coming to spend money at local businesses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Strong Towns looks at how bike lanes benefit businesses, saying that in city after city, business owners see more foot traffic and higher sales when streets are redesigned to be more bike and walk friendly.

Once again, a cross-country cyclist has his bike and all his gear stolen, this time in Eugene OR. And once again, the local community pitches in to help out.

Colorado tells bicyclists and pedestrians that safety starts with all of us. On the other hand, it usually ends on the bumper of a car.

Come to the US for a summer work program, go home in a box thanks to a Texas drunk driver who plowed into a group of five bike riders, injuring one rider and killing a 23-year old man from Columbia who had only been in this country for three weeks. Somehow, I suspect the tears on the cheek of the driver in her booking photo are nothing compared to those of the victim’s family. But maybe that’s just me.

A St. Paul MN man has pled guilty to vehicular homicide for fleeing the scene after killing a bicyclist; he claimed he ran a red light to get away from a road rage altercation and hit something, but didn’t stop to see who or what he hit. His mother is also charged with aiding him in the coverup.

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is called a secret mountain biking mecca.

An Ohio family is understandably outraged that no charges will be filed in the death of a 12-year old boy, even though the driver admitted he was reaching for a phone just before the crash; police incorrectly blamed the victim for riding his bike in the traffic lane, rather than as close to the edge as possible.

A Boston bus and bike lane has been returned to its previous life as a parking lane, despite a successful one-month pilot project.

New York bicyclists will form a human-protected bike lane tomorrow to demand safer streets where a man was killed while riding home from work last year. Maybe that’s what we need to do here to finally get a little attention.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks to bespoke bike builders to determine the trends in women’s bikes, beyond the mass market bike makers’ usual approach of shrink it and pink it.

A Canadian news site talks with the Toronto mountain biker who cut up his arms crashing into barbed wire that had been strung at chest height across a popular trail. Stunts like this aren’t pranks, they’re acts of terror — deliberate attempts to injure or kill people on bicycles. And the jerks responsible should be charged accordingly.

A Toronto man gets a $1,200 bikeshare bill despite insisting he returned the bike, then proving it.

Ikea’s Sladda bike has been done in by a belt, as the company permanently recalls all of the build-it-yourself bike-in-a-boxes.

London tells “irresponsible” cyclists to slow down and be considerate.

Two armed, masked men on bikes stole a $25,000 TV camera from an Australian news crew reporting from the UK.

A British university professor says ebikes could be core to sustainable mobility — if the government stops marginalizing bikes in favor of low-emission motor vehicles.

An Indian planning professor says he wishes he could ride to work, if only the country would invest in safe streets and bikeways.

Mumbai considers plans to build dedicated bike paths near the city’s transit stations.

 

Competitive Cycling

Third place finisher — and last year’s winner — Alison Tetrick offers a first hand view of this year’s 200-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Forget Peter Sagan’s legs, check out his core workout.

Cycling Weekly offers tips on how to nail your first bike race, saying “racing is a landmark moment in the life of any competitive-minded rider.” Funny, I took up bicycling because I was too competitive, and it offered me a chance to ride just for the sheer joy of it.

Joe Lindsey offers up five ways to liven up the Tour de France. My favorite is his suggestion to make the riders shotgun a beer before a mass start.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to sue the government over injuries caused by a pothole you didn’t even hit. Seriously, slow down, watch for cars and don’t run into light poles.

And when you get hit by cars twice in nine days, it’s either incredibly bad luck, or bad streets and crappy drivers.

Or maybe all of the above.

 

Seriously, don’t be a two-wheeled Jerry Browning jerk, and your Morning Links

It’s bad enough when drivers pass far to close.

It’s another thing entirely when the danger comes from being buzzed by other bike riders who really should know better. Especially when there’s no damn reason for it.

In the first case captured in the above video, a rider blew by with no warning whatsoever, apparently  because he couldn’t be bothered to squeeze his brakes long enough to announce his presence and make a safe pass. Had I moved more than a few inches off my line — which would have happened as soon as I thought it was safe to pass the rider ahead — we would have collided.

And probably ended up beneath the cars to our left.

The second rider evidently felt the need to risk my safety by remaining firmly inside the frequently ignored solid yellow no-passing line, brushing by as close as humanly possible without making actual physical contact.

If I had even turned my head to look behind me, she would have hit me. She must have recognized my obvious skill and was confident in my ability to hold my line.

Right.

So let’s get this straight.

What passes in the peloton doesn’t play on the street. Or the bike path, for that matter, which tends to be over populated with the least skilled riders and pedestrians,.

If you’re going pass another human being — on a bike or otherwise — give them at least an arms-length passing distance, if not the full three feet you’d expect from a motorist.

If for any reason you can’t give sufficient passing distance or if there’s any danger of conflict, call if out before you pass. A simple “On your left” can avoid most problems, and is often, though not always, greeted with a thank you and a move to the right.

Which is exactly what I would have done if the woman on the bike path had just announced her damn presence.

And if the guy on the street had yelled it out before blowing by, at least I would have known not to move left, which I was about to do.

While I’m no fan of bike bells, even that helps by offering a friendly announcement that you’re there, if not where you’re going.

And lets everyone know an angel just got it’s wings.

Always pass on the left whenever possible, and never undercut a rider by passing in the door zone he or she is carefully avoiding. If a car door happens to swing open, it could knock you into them, and you could both end up under passing traffic.

Or better yet, just treat other riders the same way you want drivers to treat you. And simply don’t pass until it’s safe to do so.

Better to lose a few seconds off your Strava time than spend a few hours in the ER.

Or force someone else to.

Update: In the comments below, Chuck questioned whether the first rider was really as close as he seemed, noting he passed the rider in front of me at over an arms length.

While he goes by far too fast in the video to tell just how close he is, this still should give a better idea. Clearly, not as close as the near-shoulder brushing rider on the bike path, but still too close for safety, let alone comfort.

Especially at that speed.

Way too close for comfort.

Way too close for comfort.

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Nice.

Some walking — or in this case, rolling — human scum used sleeping homeless people as props for BMX stunts in Downtown’s Skid Row.

I don’t care how much of a self-absorbed jackass you may be, show some respect for other human beings. Especially those less fortunate than you.

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Abbott Kinney gets a pair of surprise bike corrals; LADOT Bike Blog offers full details on the design and construction, while Streetsblog says the city is taking applications for more. I expect rioting from parking-challenged Venice motorists over the loss of two spaces.

Even so, Flying Pigeon suffers from infrastructure envy.

Meanwhile, the needlessly embattled MyFigueroa project is gaining key support from neighborhood councils, and is due back before the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee any day. Hopefully, we’ll get some advance notice of the hearing so supporters can actually show up.

At least one candidate for Glendale city council supports bicycling.

Bike Long Beach invites you to join them for a low-speed Sunday morning bike ride to remember city leader and bike advocate Mark Bixby, killed in a plane crash three years ago Sunday. A more permanent memorial to Bixby is the city he helped transform, where a downtown cycle track has boosted bicycling 33% while reducing bike-involved collisions 80%.

Outgoing County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky looks at Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable; has it really been four years since so many cyclists showed up for the first one?

If you need inspiration, you’ll find it here, as the Orange County Register talks to a recumbent-riding Wounded Warrior who’s not letting cancer kick her ass. Thanks to the Register for sharing this one.

Riverside’s long-debated Brockton Ave road diet and bike lanes finally gets a final approval.

Five-foot wide bike lanes are coming to Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, while green bike lanes are coming to a deadly intersection in Goleta.

More evidence that Caltrans is hopelessly locked in the auto-centric past as they propose widening Highway 1 to six lanes in Pacifica to possibly save 5 minutes drive time 20 years from now. But at least they did include bike-friendly 10-foot wide shoulders in the plan.

Does San Francisco’s MTA spend more on Post Its than bike projects?

More on the unanimous committee approval of AB 1532, which would suspend licenses and create minimum sentences for any hit-and-run.

Two Utah bike commuters were killed by a driver who apparently didn’t see them. No one will ever be safe on our roads until that’s an admission of guilt instead of a Get Out of Jail Free card.

An off-duty Chicago cop who drove away after hitting a cyclist gets one whole year probation and 30 days community service.

New York firefighters will ride 18-days from Ground Zero to the Navy Seal Museum in Florida, towing an I-beam from the World Trade Center.

Very cool bike murals from Buenos Aires. I wonder if I could fit an entire wall in my carry on? Then again, I have not idea how I’d get to Argentina to begin with.

An Ontario Canada triathlete gets $75,000 restitution for taking a beating from a road raging driver, yet, as usual, no jail time for his attacker.

Lots of people swear at cyclists, but this guy may have been going for the record as a road raging Brit driver is caught on video swearing at a cyclist 25 times in just 35 seconds.

Finally, stealing a bike is nothing unusual. Stealing a penny-farthing for a drunken Christmas Day ride home, on the other hand, is.

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