Tag Archive for scofflaw drivers

Morning Links: TAP your way to Metro Bike, comparing bike & car violations, and the war on bikes goes on

One bit of news we neglected to mention yesterday.

On Sunday, LA Metro announced that in addition to recently reduced rates, you can now use your TAP card to rent a Metro Bike bikeshare bike.

However, you still need to enroll with Metro Bike using your credit or debit card, which poses a significant barrier for lower income people who may not have either one.

It’s not clear from the announcement if TAP cards can be used for one-time walkup rentals.

TAP card photo from Metro email

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Another good piece by Bike Snob’s Even Weiss, who says it’s time to stop comparing cycling and driving violations.

Then proceeds to do just that, to demonstrate that bicyclists and drivers both break the law, but not in equivalent ways.

And only one poses a significant risk to others.

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

A British Columbia bicyclist captures a punishment pass on his bike cam, as a pickup driver tries to force him into the back of a parked car.

For a change, though, a cop saw the whole thing and immediately pulled the driver over.

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We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth mentioning again.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers tend to overestimate the safety technology in their cars.

Especially when it comes to automatically detecting and braking for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Maybe because virtually every other car ad on TV implies that newer cars can do exactly that. Even though current systems have trouble actually spotting either one.

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Local

Los Angeles is considering extending the bike lanes on Winnetka Ave to fill a one-mile gap connecting with the Orange Line, the LA River and Pierce College, after Ignacio Sanchez Navarro was killed in a hit-and-run as he rode his bike home from work last year. Naturally, local homeowners opposed the idea, with one even saying the bike lanes would lead to scooter riders on the sidewalk. Which is exactly where they are now, because of the lack of safe bike lanes. Thanks to Councilmember Bob Blumenfield for the proposal, which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin explains the new law allowing e-scooter user without a helmet, and how they can help expand student mobility.

Streetsblog offers a look back at Sunday’s CicLAvia, while Curbed looks at the “whimsical” improvements on Western that made it more inviting to the walkers and riders passing by.

CiclaValley says it will be interesting to see how the attendees at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) convention perceive Los Angeles while they’re here. Maybe they can talk some sense into our recalcitrant city council. And give our presidential candidate mayor a good swift kick in the ambition while they’re at it.

 

State

San Francisco proves that a city can take a notoriously dangerous section of street, and turn it into a safe and comfortable place to ride a bike.

Curbed considers how to get around San Francisco without a car, calling it one of the best cities for bicycling.

 

National

A Denver scooter rider got slapped by an angry pedestrian for riding on the sidewalk, even though that’s where state law requires them to be. That’s just the opposite of California, where scooter users are required to ride in the streets — but banned from streets with speed limits over 35 mph, unless they have bike lanes.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating a ciclovia this past weekend, as San Antonio TX drew an estimated 65,000 people to their open streets event.

Can’t see the traffic for the cars. Several older people in Massachusetts say that scofflaw bike riders are a bigger worry than drivers, even after an 80-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Hoping to inspire others through art and history, a Massachusetts artist paints a mural of a local bikemaker, decades after his factory was shuttered.

New York is improving safety for bicyclists by redesigning the city’s intersections, where 89% of bike collisions occur. Meanwhile, a New York councilwoman calls for maintaining bike lanes around construction zones. That would improve safety for LA bike riders, as well, who frequently find their commutes interrupted by roadside construction sites, or forced into unforgiving rush hour traffic.

The bus driver responsible for the second bikeshare death in the US faces just 30 days behind bars after being found guilty of a misdemeanor right-of-way violation for killing a man riding a New York Citi Bike; authorities had falsely blamed the victim for swerving into the bus at first. Correction: I originally wrote that this was the first bikeshare death in the US. It was actually the second, following the death of a woman using bikeshare in Chicago. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

After a Temple University student was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike, her brother invented a new kind of folding bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap “created by Space X engineers.” And raised over nine times his original $50,000 goal on a crowdfunding site.

DC’s mayor considers lowering the speed limit to 15 mph in parts of the city to improve safety, while raising fines for speeding.

A three-month temporary bike lane is already peeling off the street in New Orleans’ central business district, just weeks after it was applied.  Even with those problems, it’s an approach Los Angeles should try, instead of holding months of public meetings in front of angry NIMBYs trying to reach a virtually impossible consensus. Far better to share the stats, facts and reactions afterwards, than the fear and anger beforehand.

A Louisiana paper examines why it’s the second most dangerous state for people on bicycles, including one legislator who killed a bike safety bill because he didn’t want a kid to end up in jail for killing one of his bike riding constituents. There’s a good chance that some of his constituents might disagree, however.

 

International

Bike Radar suggests lazy ways to become a better cyclist. I can definitely get behind the recommendations to sleep more, drink a few beers and eat more cake.

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are finding solidarity online after their bikes are stolen. The fear of having your bike stolen — let alone actually happening — is the best way to halt the growth of bicycling.

A Canadian bicyclist insists that his personal study shows half of all bike riders break the law, and he’s willing to wear a license plate so all those darn scofflaw riders can have their bikes taken away.

Writing for Forbes, Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid insists ebikes aren’t cheating.

The BBC offers advice on what to do if you’re in a bike crash, ending with a suggestion to talk with a lawyer. The same advice applies on this side of the Atlantic; I can personally recommend the lawyers you’ll find on the right of this page, and you can find more on the Bike Lawyers page.

British bike riders start an online campaign to call attention to the problem of thieves stripping bike of their parts, or as they call it, half eaten bikes. Meanwhile, a London rider considers giving up bicycling after her bike was stripped for the third time.

Heartbreaking story, as an autistic boy in the UK suffered agonizing burns to his neck when bullies pelted him with “toxic slime” as he rode his bike to school.

Writing for Bike Biz, a woman questions whether the international Fancy Women Bike Ride, which got its start in Turkey, really aids the gender gap; some call it a “’patronizing and condescending’ ride ‘only reinforces stereotypes of how women should behave.’”

An experienced bike rider in Malta has given up bicycling because the roads — and the drivers on them — are becoming increasingly dangerous. And he’s got the video to prove it.

An editorial in an Indian newspaper argues that the country’s roads pose a huge risk to people’s lives, but traffic safety remains a low priorityMore proof that we face the same traffic problems everywhere.

Seriously? An Israeli paper asks how the government can tackle the rising dangers posed by ebikes — even though they’re limited to just 15 mph in the country, which is a fraction of the speed of many non-motorized riders. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for regulating electric bikes after a 17-year old ebike rider was killed by a drunk driver. Although what kind of bike he was riding wouldn’t seem to have a damn thing to do with getting run over by a drunk.

A Melbourne, Australia traffic engineer argues for converting a protected bike lane into a regular painted lane, saying that downhill protected lanes connecting with a number of driveways actually increases the danger for bike riders.

Korea considers repealing an “ineffectual” new bill requiring bike riders to wear helmets, just days after it went into effect.

 

Competitive Cycling

A late-blooming Aussie cyclist has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, despite not riding a bike until she was 24.

A roadie magazine recaps Alejandro Valverde’s victory in Sunday’s world championships, while, a VeloNews roundtable examines how we should feel about Valverde’s win, given his status as a relic of the doping era.

The organizers of Iowa’s Jingle Cross cyclocross race cut ties with the race’s announcer, after a series of sexist remarks directed towards female cyclists over the three-day event. Seriously, referring to competitors as “the wives” and telling them to smile and look like they’re having fun shows a lack of respect that shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, even in jest.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your newfound riding companion turns out to be an even bigger criminal than you. Why sit upright when you can pedal a recumbent bathtub (scroll down)?

And that feeling when Sir Paul McCartney just happens to crash your wedding photos.

Even if you don’t like the Beatles.

 

Morning Links: Support injured bike rider with new T-shirt design, and new bill could end CA e-scooter helmet law

Here’s your chance to look good by helping out an injured rider.

Several months ago, a man who goes by the name of Hery reached out to me for help after he was injured by the driver of a car.

I gave him what advice I could; unfortunately, he’s still struggling, as the message below indicates.

Eight months ago while riding my bike to work I was hit by car. I woke up with wiring in my mouth and have been on disability ever since. Recently I was informed my Medi-Cal won’t be covering some medical expenses, and over these last 8 months I’ve also accumulated a lot of debt just trying to get by. So I’ve decided to design T-shirts to raise money for bills and other expenses.

This is what Hery’s bike looked like after he was injured in the crash

It’s a great looking design, and a good cause, helping someone get back on his feet after he was injured in a crash.

And it’s available on anything from T-shirts and hoodies, to stickers and coffee mugs.

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A new bill passed by the state senate on Thursday would remove the ridiculous helmet requirement for dockless e-scooters — and the nearly $200 fines too many users have had to pay for breaking the law.

AB 2989 would also cap scooter speeds at their current 15 mph, while allowing cities to permit their use on more types of streets. Powered scooters are currently restricted to streets with bike lanes or speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The bill needs to return to the assembly before it goes to Governor Brown, where experience tells us it will face an uncertain fate.

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Todd Munson does what I’ve often threatened to do, recording two minutes of scofflaw drivers running the stop sign near his home.

I could do the same thing at either of the intersections closest to our apartment, with the same results.

Yet so many drivers seem to get apoplectic they see bike and scooter riders doing the same things they do every day.

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Los Angeles bike riders have to fight to get a bike corral. Riders in the the Netherlands get this, instead.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the heads-up.

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There was a time when Bike the Vote was more than a slogan, as an academic journal site remembers when bike riders were a political block courted by the GOP. And helped deliver the vote to William McKinley in 1896.

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Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles.

Lincoln, Nebraska residents and bike riders support a lane reduction on major street, while a business association predicts a traffic apocalypse and calls it the first salvo in the war on cars.

In Jacksonville FL, the city wants to remove lanes from a street to improve safety, but local residents insist they like it just the way it is.

And an Edmonton, Canada letter writer says a lane reduction and two-way cycle tracks don’t make any sense, and he can’t understand why bike riders wouldn’t prefer a quieter, tree-lined street. The answer is they probably would, if it went the same places, with no stops and with signalized intersections at major streets, because bike riders need to get where they’re going just like drivers do.

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Local

LA Magazine previews the My Figueroa Complete Streets project, which will be officially unveiled this Thursday.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a wealthy neighborhood gets street repairs on dangerous Griffith Park Blvd where a rider was injured, while a less well off neighborhood gets signs and a recommendation from the city attorney to remove the bike lanes instead of fixing them.

Curb extensions are installed on Pico Blvd to improve safety at Hauser and Curson. Although it clearly could have been the first step to installing protected bike lanes, instead.

 

State

An Oceanside bike rider is lucky to be alive after surviving a crash with a commuter train that left him with minor injuries. Let that be yet another reminder to never try to go around crossing gates, even if it appears to be safe at the time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks if the city is ready to eliminate parking requirements for downtown housing.

Members of Rich City Rides rode to Oakland’s city hall to protest the arrest of founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black.

Sad news from Austria, where beloved Oakland triathlete Alistair Eeckman was killed in a crash with a bus while on a training ride, just one day after finishing sixth in the Powerman Austria; he was just 23. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the news.

 

National

Streetsblog says America’s car culture is literally shortening your life.

Your next Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels. The ride-hailing company’s new CEO sees a shift to ebikes and scooters for short trips.

A Colorado couple literally wrote the book on cycling the Great Divide, with all proceeds going to the Adventure Cycling Association.

Sioux City, Iowa, has made progress when it comes to bicycling, but still has a long way to go.

Tour de France laterne rouge Lawson Craddock returns home to a hero’s welcome at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, after raising what could be as much as $400,000 to rebuild it following last year’s Hurricane Harvey. And announces it will be the site of USA Cycling’s new Olympic development program.

A Texarkana TX newspaper gets it, explaining that the city’s new sharrows don’t actually change anything, since bicyclists already have a legal right to ride in the traffic lane, but simply remind drivers of that fact.

Around a thousand people turned out for a bike ride to honor a Milwaukee bicycling icon who founded a chain of bike shops and created bike paths across the US.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Minnesota man rides his age to celebrate his 90th birthday, breaking it up into six 15 mile rides.

A Tennessee family has developed a device to fit on the handlebar ends on kids bikes, that will hopefully prevent puncture injuries that aren’t as rare as they seem. Something like that should be required for every kid’s bike sold; every year, several children are seriously injured or killed by worn bike parts.

Streetsblog says a single double-parked truck can undermine everything the New York Department of Transportation does to keep streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians, because it all falls apart without enforcement.

A DC bike advocate says our streets don’t have to make us unhappy.

A Florida singletrack rider rescued a baby raccoon by putting him in his backpack, and riding him to safety before the coyotes could get him. It may be cute, but most experts recommend against trying to rescue seemingly abandoned animals; chances are, the mother is hiding somewhere nearby.

 

International

Ottawa bike riders are taking to social media to try to track down their stolen bicycles.

Now that’s a close call. An Ottawa bike rider decides he needs to buy some lights after a driver makes a left turn directly in front of him in the dim twilight. Which he should have had long before this ever happened.

Speaking of close calls, a British bike rider was nearly sideswiped by a trailer pulled by a van in a near-miss caught on bike cam.

Pamplona has running with the bulls; Birmingham, England has wheelie-popping teens riding with the buses.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says bike helmets should be made mandatory in the UK, adding “I’ve put on a helmet more times than I’ve buckled a seatbelt.” Then tries to walk it back the next day.

A New Zealand Op-Ed says there’s no need for a war between bicyclists and motorists; just slow traffic and build some decent infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A reminder of the dangers of amateur racing, as 30 riders went down in a mass crash in a Wisconsin race, sending four people to the  hospital, and leaving a number of others with minor injuries.

Three years ago, Staci Nash was a two-time NCAA Division II track champ — the running kind, not cycling. Today, she’s a two-time national mountain biking champ.

Ritchie Porte says I beg your pardon, I never promised you I was going for the general classification in the Vuelta.

Speaking of the Vuelta, Deadspin calls it the strangest, hardest stage race of the cycling season, and predicts this year’s race will kick ass. Meanwhile, Cycling News says it’s the last chance for ten riders.

Great long read from Peter Flax, who recounts the strange happenings 70 years ago as two legendary racers faced off in the 1948 world championships, which neither one won.

 

Finally…

Sometimes riding down a freeway in rush hour traffic calls for nothing more than a g-string. Yes, you can still take a Sunday drive — as long as it’s on a bike.

And when you hear hoofbeats, stop and say hi.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Morning Links: Bonin recall effort suspended, and a Florida study shows bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

Maybe there aren’t so many angry voters after all.

The effort to recall CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin over last year’s Playa del Rey road diet fiasco has hit a snag, as organizers say they need another $300,000 because they can’t afford to hire enough minimum wage signature gatherers to circulate the necessary petitions.

As a result, the recall effort has been put on hold until at least November.

If it happens at all.

Organizers claim to have raised nearly $100,000 for the recall effort, but somehow spent all but $20,000 — including a $6,000 consulting fee to co-chair Alexis Edelstein.

This comes after a bungled press event in which organizers attempted to file the necessary forms to begin the recall process, but left out a required signed affidavit. Then somehow never managed to make it back with the right forms.

But what it really boils down to is a lack of support to recall the popular councilmember, who won re-election just last year with 71% of the vote.

Not to mention a distrust of the people behind the campaign, including Edelstein himself.

Something tells me Bonin will sleep easy tonight.

But the fight will go on. Because the real reason behind the failed recall effort, aside from furthering Edelstein’s political career, was to intimidate city officials into halting any more road diets in the city.

And as CD4 Councilmember David Ryu’s recent rejection of the planned 6th Street road diet shows — one that local resident had fought for — in that, they’ve been very successful.

Above, a typical complaint about the since-removed road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey.

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If you read the comments to virtually any news story about bicycles — which I wouldn’t recommend — you’ll quickly find most accuse bike riders of being lawbreaking scofflaws who flaunt traffic regulations every chance we get.

Evidently, they’re wrong.

According to a new Florida study, bicyclists rode in compliance with traffic laws 88% of the time during daylight hours, and 87% after dark.

Meanwhile, drivers obeyed the law just 85% of the time.

And of the three near collisions and one actual collision involving bicyclists during the study, drivers were blamed in three of the incidents, along with a lack of infrastructure.

Show that to the next person who says we all break the law.

And tell ‘em to shove it.

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Let’s call it a tie for today’s best bike news.

Costa Mesa police and The Cyclist bike shop teamed up to give a new adult tricycle to a man who’s suffering from stage four cancer, after his $400 trike was stolen just before Christmas.

And a nice follow-up story from New Zealand, where a couple is still riding together after 44 years of marriage even though she has Parkinson’s; her husband modified a three-wheeled e-cargo bike to hold her wheel chair in front of the handlebars.

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Local

The LA Times says keep mountain bikes out of federal wilderness areas, despite a bill that would legalize their use.

If you can find one of the Ofo dockless bikeshare bikes around Griffith Park, they should be free to use for the remainder of this month, if a North Carolina story is correct.

Walk Bike Long Beach released a report on their efforts to make the city a better place to do both.

 

State

San Francisco’s Patrick Traughber is tracking all bicycling fatalities in the city, as well as calculating how many years of life was lost with each crash.

A San Francisco electric scooter-sharing company will be adding ebikes to their dockless rental fleet.

Officials are letting a curb-protected San Francisco bike lane fall into disrepair, despite repaving the traffic lanes next to it.

It’s bad enough that a firebug may be setting fires across Berkeley, but setting a bike on fire crosses the line.

 

National

Bike Snob says maybe you only need one bike after all.

Advice for aging Baby Boomers: Forget the car and get on a bike.

Women’s Health offers tips to get more out of your bicycling work out. Or you could just enjoy riding your bike, and let the workout take care of itself.

Oregon drivers face the horror of having to pump their own gas. This time, read the comments.

Nevada follows a pattern seen around the US, as traffic deaths decline for people in motor vehicles, but increase for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The war on bikes goes on. An Arizona cyclist is recovering after he was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car.

New York finally bans cars from Prospect Park after 50 years of trying. Maybe LA could take a page from their book, and at least start reducing motor vehicle access to Griffith Park.

A DC website offers advice on how to bike safely and comfortably in terrible weather. Which comes just in time for Angeleno bike riders, who actually saw clouds yesterday.

 

International

A Niagara Falls man was busted for trying to sell a $10,000 BMC bike that was stolen from a tourist’s car six months ago. Of course, that’s Canadian dollars; it was just an $8,000 bike in US dollars.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker offers advice for new bike commuters, including that the occasional soaking rain or buffeting wind is part of the joy of riding to work. Meanwhile, Cyclist magazine offers tips on how to become a better bicyclist this year.

After a British boy’s bike was stolen, he responded by organizing a bike safety and awareness workshop to keep others from suffering the same fate.

The real news isn’t that a UK paperboy’s bike was stolen, but that they still have paperboys in the UK.

Caught on video: An Irish food delivery cyclist plows through flood waters from a massive storm to get a meal to its destination.

Five must-sees on your next bike tour of France.

An Aussie rapper is under arrest after leading police on a car chase, nearly crashing into a bike rider in the process.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a delivery driver was sentenced to 15 months for killing a bike rider after taking medications to induce sleep and driving anyway; he was so out of it he didn’t even know he hit anyone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling is putting the disc brakes on.

No irony here. Lance will host a reception for the Netflix doping documentary Icarus that was partly inspired by his own fall from grace, calling it “incredible work.”

 

Finally…

Don’t fake a mountain bike crash just to steal someone’s backpack. Maybe taking on a downhill mountain bike course on a Walmart bike isn’t the best idea.

And cars are attracted to bikes like tornados are to mobile homes.

Whether or not we’re on them at the time.

 

Morning Links: Turns out most bike riders don’t run red lights after all, and TdF winner LeMond fixes le flat

The next time someone tells you all bike riders run red lights, show them this.

According to a new study from Portland State University, an overwhelming 94% of bicyclists in four Oregon cities — not just bike-friendly Portland — stopped for red lights. And 89% were observed obeying the rules perfectly, while 4% jumped the light just before it changed.

Only a paltry 6% actually blew the lights.

The study was based on a review of over 2,000 videos from intersection crossing cameras. Which means there was no observational bias from researchers at the scene, or riders acting on their best behavior because they knew they were being watched.

As Bike Portland’s Michael Anderson notes, that compares to an estimated 36% to 77% of drivers who break the speed limit.

Which makes you wonder just who the real scofflaws are.

Interestingly, the study also notes that nearly four times as many helmetless riders ran their lights than helmet-clad riders.

Make of that what you will.

……..

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner responds to that recent video of Lance Armstrong fixing a flat with one of his own. And proves he’s a real blowhard in the best possible sense.

And speaking of TdF winners, the first women’s winner in recent years will be crowned with one-day circuit race before the men arrive on the Champs-Elysees on the final day.

……..

Local

Looks like there will be 10 of those new LA bike repair stations in the initial rollout.

NELA’s anti-bike Boulevard Sentinel accuses bicyclists of successfully hijacking this past weekend’s Neighborhood Council elections; a better description might be democracy in action.

BikeSGV is looking for bike count volunteers starting this weekend.

Long Beach ranks third on a list of the country’s 20 most bicycle-friendly cities behind San Francisco and Austin; Portland ranks a surprisingly low 15th.

The Long Beach Post looks at Stylish by Bike, part of the city’s annual Bike Fest this Saturday.

 

State

Bicycling suggests a few classic rides to create your own tour of California.

A Newport Beach city council member says improve safety on the Back Bay, rather than restricting usage as some have called for.

Bike share is coming to La Jolla and the rest of the San Diego area this June. Meanwhile, LA’s bike share program is scheduled to open a week from who the hell knows.

Riverside cyclists can look forward to a Cinco de Mayo ride next Monday.

The Times offers more details on that 17-year old Sacramento County driver who deliberately chased down a 10-year old boy after someone threw a water bottle at her SUV. The victim was riding bikes with his brother when the girl attacked him, dragging him 10 feet beneath her vehicle; according to a CHP spokesperson, she was non-remorseful and didn’t seem to care that she’d just committed assault with a deadly weapon.

 

National

Forget hockey — if you really want organized violence, try bike polo. But do we need yet another story saying cycling is the new golf?

Utah police can’t explain how a collision that took the life of two bike riders happened, but somehow conclude the driver wasn’t at fault.

Denver cyclist with early-onset Alzheimer’s plans to ride 100 miles to fight the disease.

Dallas considers repealing its rarely enforced helmet law to encourage bicycling and allow a successful bike share program.

America’s most famous college bike race — and the setting for Breaking Away — took place with another successful Little 500 last weekend.

The NYPD cracks down on Critical Mass while ignoring speeding drivers. So which one poses the greater threat to the public, I wonder?

 

International

Sadly, a British adventurer on a round-the-world bike tour is killed in a Bolivian collision.

People for Bikes offers three lessons from Calgary’s great bike leap forward.

Bike racing’s governing body establishes a commission to promote non-competitive events. Despite what the article suggests, there is no governing body for riding your bike down the street.

Caught on video: A Brit driver deliberately runs down a bike rider from behind, then backs up and flees the scene.

Evidently, Aussie women go out of their way not to commute by bike.

 

Finally…

There’s a new poster child for drunk driving, as an intoxicated motorist drove onto an off-road trail — and plowed into a marathon raising funds to fight drug and alcohol abuse.

And I don’t even know what to say about this one, as a Santa Rosa woman assaults customers and staff in a Dollar Store, steals not one but two bikes, and is finally arrested with Vicodin, a meth pipe and some things she stole from the store.

 

Heading for a bike press conference, and dodging red light running drivers in MDR

Okay, so I owe you all an update.

And I promise to get right on that, as soon as I can stay in one place long enough to write one. Too many meetings and other obligations have kept me on the run the past couple days.

And tomorrow doesn’t promise to be any easier, thanks to a morning press conference when I’m usually still checking the news, petting the Corgi — and no, that’s not a metaphor, even if it does sound vaguely dirty —  and working on my second cup.

Then again, if you’re not busy Thursday morning, you might want to head to the 7th Street side of MacArthur Park at 9:30 am when the mayor will be hosting a press conference to announce something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

And yes, it’s good news.

And no, I can’t tell you. Even if others have been leaking the news everyone was supposed to keep quiet.

I promise to fill you in later. In the meantime, if you can’t wait, check out L.A. Streetsblog after 9:30 am when Damien will break his paternity leave long enough to spread the good news. And maybe even quote yours truly if he can make heads or tales out of that rambling statement I gave him.

Meanwhile, here’s a perfect example of the benefits of defensive riding.

I often see cyclists run the red light where the Marina bike path crosses Admiralty Way, for no apparent reason. Especially since there’s seldom a long wait there.

Then again, it’s not unusual to see drivers run it, as well.

Most go through just after the light has changed. Which is why I make it a policy to wait an extra second or two to be sure that everyone is going to stop before I cross.

Then there’s this jerk, who blew through without slowing down, several seconds after the light had changed, and while I was already crossing the street.

If I hadn’t taken those few extra seconds, I might have been right in front of him. Not that I think that would mattered to the driver, who seemed to be a hit-and-run waiting to happen.

Motorists behaving badly — casually cutting off cyclists for no apparent reason

It never ceases to amaze me.

Cyclists are constantly criticized for cutting off drivers. And yes, some of it is justified.

On the other hand, many drivers don’t think twice about cutting off a cyclist, casually pulling out in front of a rider with the right-of-way, as if we don’t have any right to the road.

Or aren’t even there.

A recent ride last week seems to illustrate that perfectly.

In the course of a few short hours, I was cut off by four separate drivers in four separate incidents. And none seemed to think it was any big deal.

None drove aggressively. None seemed in a particular hurry, or even seemed to take much notice of my presence on the road.

No big deal, evidently.

First up was a driver who made a left turn across my path, without ever looking in my direction. And at the base of a hill where I usually reach 25 mph; fortunately, I began feathering my brakes as soon as I saw him, just in case he did something stupid.

Like not even noticing me until he was passing me.

Then exactly one block later, I was about to cross Westwood Blvd when one driver turned left in front of me, with plenty of time to clear the intersection before I entered.

Unlike the driver behind him, who casually followed the first through the intersection, even though I was already crossing it.

And this one definitely saw me.

You can see me point at her in an attempt to get her to wait; what you can’t see is the driver sarcastically pointing back at me.

In other words, she knew I was there. And just didn’t care.

An hour or so later, I was waiting on the light at Washington and Pacific, with cars in the lane behind me, and others lined up in the right turn lane next to me.

Yet when the light changed, the driver attempted to make a left directly in front of me. Or more precisely, through me, since I foolishly assumed I had the right-of-way once the light changed.

I have no idea whether he actually saw me before he turned directly towards me. But he had to have seen the cars behind me, and known it wasn’t his turn.

Or smart, for that matter.

Finally, there was the driver on Montana in Brentwood who passed me, then casually cut in front of me to wait for a parking space.

Never mind that I was riding at the edge of the traffic lane, just outside the door zone.

She clearly knew I was there, having just passed me. And clearly, my presence didn’t seem to make any impression on her.

Frankly, I don’t know which is worse.

The drivers who cut you off because they don’t see you. Or the ones who do, and do it anyway.

………

Then again, the other major complaint against cyclists is how casually we run stop signs.

………

While New York continues to crack down on scofflaw cyclists, a study shows 60% of cyclists and pedestrians killed in the city over a 15 year period resulted from motorists breaking traffic laws — most of which weren’t prosecuted.

………

Pasadena-based bicycle attorney Thomas Forsyth — you’ll find him over there on the right — has developed a new iPhone and Android app to help walk you through the steps to follow if you’re ever in a collision.

It wouldn’t hurt to download it just in case.

I’m not much of an app user myself; I still suffer from that antiquated notion that phones are annoying devices best used for making and receiving calls. But if anyone would like to try it out and write a review, I’ll be happy to post it on here.

………

Metro is sponsoring a free family bike ride on Saturday, September 8th. Don’t miss next week’s meeting to discuss a possible CicLAvia to the Sea. B.I.K.A.S. deconstructs the new US bicycling postage stamps. Flying Pigeon hosts the Spoke(n) Art Ride this Saturday. L.A.’s soon-to-be bike share provider now has a new blog; thanks to LADOT Bike Blog for the link. Better Bike takes a detailed look at Beverly Hills bike collisions. A Santa Monica cyclist is challenged to fight by a group of men who cut him off in a car, then steal his bike when he calls 911; if you know the victim, I know a lawyer who wants to help. KPCC looks at the non-Olympic sport of bike polo, and offers video of Wolfpack Hustle’s recent midnight drag race. Advice on riding in hot weather; my suggestion is to buy insulated water bottles, and put them in the freezer before you ride. Long Beach’s bicycling expats, who seem to have taken up at least semi-permanent residence in Portland, have published The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide, available as an ebook. Upcoming Calabasas bike-centric restaurant and coffee roaster Pedalers Fork introduces their new team kit.

OC bike advocate Frank Peters is interviewed for an online radio show, while Mrs. cdmcyclist walks away — or rather rides — from a tumble. Del Mar residents will vote on whether to make their downtown more livable, or keep it a gridlocked mess. An annual, but unofficial, bike ride gridlocks Santa Barbara when over 1,000 riders show up. A Corona teacher plans to give away 155 bikes to disadvantaged children. Cyclist survives a 40 mph hit-from-behind collision when a driver removed his shirt while driving to wipe sweat from his eyes; no, really, that’s what it says. Riverside County discusses a multi-use trail from Temecula to Idyllwild, featuring a 4,000 foot elevation gain. The Imperial Valley Press profiles the weekly Mexicali ride in Calexico, and a 78-year old cyclist who’s still going strong.

How to transport a small mammal by bike. As others have pointed out, roads were not built for cars; evidently, railroad tracks weren’t, either. Bicycling says coffee can help you bounce back from a hard ride, if you drink enough of it. A publication on governing says cities need to protect cyclists and pedestrians. A tossed beer can reminds the publisher of Tucson Velo just how vulnerable cyclists are. Chicago cyclists will get 34 miles of protected bike lanes before the end of the year; as far as I know, L.A. cyclists still don’t have any. A Minneapolis driver admits to running over a cyclist and fleeing the scene. A Vermont rider is injured in a left cross collision when a driver turns in front of four — yes, four — cyclists, but claims he never saw any of them. A writer for Reuters says the recent ethical case for running red lights is morally indefensible, while the Atlantic Cities looks at why riders do it. A volunteer Brooklyn bike patrol escorts women safely to their homes. New York bike thieves are stripping ghost bikes for parts. If this is all you have to say about ghost bikes, why bother? Chattanooga-based LiteSpeed Bicycles helped build the new Mars rover. A Virginia driver is indicted for felony hit-and-run in the death of cyclist last week; the driver claims he thought he hit a deer, though he has at least a dozen other moving violations over the last 10 years — so why did he still have a license? The Virginia Bicycling Federation looks at proper lane positioning; I like the way the LAPD puts it — ride where it’s right, not to the right. A Florida man is charged with two counts of first degree murder for running down two cyclists while trying to escape from police; his alleged accomplice has also been arrested.

The World Anti-Doping Agency tells the UCI to back off in the Lance Armstrong case; the current cat fight between doping agencies is more interesting than the case itself. It’s all about the bike in the UK right now, as the Royal Mail honors the country’s many, many gold metal winning cyclists. Evidently, cycling really is dangerous, as a superfan dies while watching track cycling at the Olympic velodrome. The UK’s Southampton Cycling Campaign calls for strict liability for drivers who hit cyclists. The Guardian calls for bicycling proficiency to be required to get a drivers license; best idea I’ve heard in a long time. A new book traces a mythical bike race through the streets of London in highly detailed illustrations. South Africa considers banning bike trailers for no apparent reason.

Finally, after a cyclist runs a stop sign, a road raging driver chases him down to yell at him, then uses her car as a weapon to cut him off. And brags about it online. Of course, it’s not the first time the bike-hating writer had taken all cyclists to task for the actions of a few. Or one.

And a London rider watches as a truck driver forces a cyclist off the road, then admits to doing it on purpose.

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