Tag Archive for silly bike lanes

Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

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Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

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My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

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bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

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April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

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Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in LA, meet a real American hero, win a free book and ride a tiny new bike lane

It’s Bike Week in LA.

I’m not going to list all the events here; many others already beat me to it. Which is a big — and welcome — change from years past.

CiclaValley offers a look at the scheduled events for the week, including my personal favorite, the Blessing of the Bicycles. Other highlights include today’s panel discussion on whether bikes are in your future, and Friday’s Bike Night at Union Station. Not to mention Thursday’s Bike to Work Day, with bike trains and pit stops all over the county.

KCRW says bike events are going to be all over the county this week; case in point, Santa Clarita celebrates the Tour of California and Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. KNBC-4 looks at Bike Week activities in Pasadena, while Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a 15% discount all week.

The LA Daily News provides a preview of the week’s events, though someone should explain to them that the point of bicycling is to keep the rubber side down.

And Performance Bike in Santa Monica, which recently moved into the old Wilshire Theater, is appropriately hosting a series of movies at 7 pm each Tuesday throughout May’s Bike Month.

  • 5/5 – Breaking Away
  • 5/12 – American Flyers
  • 5/19 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • 5/26 – The Bicycle Thief

Admission is free; bring a chair to sit on. Thanks to Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

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One more semi-Bike Week event this week.

This Friday, there will be fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank from 3 pm to 9 pm. The event is being held by 14-year old Michelle Morlock to raise $3000 in donations to the organization; the donation will allow her to ride 400 miles with wounded vets from West Point to Annapolis.

If you’re not familiar with Ride 2 Recovery, the group uses bicycling to help veterans, many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, heal from their wounds and come all the way home from the trauma of war.

The highlight of the event will be a chance to meet 94-year old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most legendary military units of World War II. He will be available for photos and autographs in the parking lot; a donation jar will be available, and if you present the flyer inside, Bob’s Big Boy will donate 15% of your meal ticket to Ride 2 Recovery.

The Airmen not only fought the Nazis, but had to fight discrimination in the army to defend a country where they were treated as second-class citizens. They arguably did as much as anyone to integrate the military and end legal discrimination in America, by proving that African Americans could not only be as good as any other flyers, but were among the best to fight on either side.

My father, who was in his 40’s when I was born, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. He often said he wanted to meet one of the Tuskegee Airmen just to shake his hand and thank him for what they did.

On Friday, I hope to do it for him.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve held a contest on here. So in honor of Bike Week, let’s do something about that right now.

Pilgrim Wheels - front coverLast week, I received a press release announcing a new book by Colorado author Neil Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

An inspirational story of journey, discovery, and place, Pilgrim Wheels describes Neil Hanson’s 2011 journey by bicycle across the United States. His bicycle ride becomes the canvas for an incredible adventure: a pilgrimage of wonder as he explores the people he meets along the path, the obstacles he faces, the pain he endures, and the boundless joy he achieves as he completes the first half of his journey to the humid farmland east of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. A beautifully written and reflective memoir, Pilgrim Wheels provides a glimpse into the sweetness of physical achievement, the inspired awe that comes from the sheer beauty of our country’s majestic back roads, and the warmth and love shared by the people who welcome Hanson into their lives along the way.

You can read more about the book and the author on his website.

Hanson has generously offered to give a copy of the book to a lucky BikinginLA reader. All you have to do is click the link below and enter with your Facebook account or email address by end of day Friday.

Win a copy of Pilgrim Wheels!

Good luck!

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Westwood has been famous in recent years for the ridiculous 275 foot long bike lane on Galey Avenue in Westwood.

Now Richard Rosenthal sends photographic evidence of an even more absurd bike lane on Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.

The lane channels bike riders to the left of right turning cars for a whopping 50 yards, if that, before throwing them back into traffic on the busy, high speed thoroughfare.

Sepulvrda Bike Lane

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The Amgen Tour of California is underway, as Mark Cavendish wins the first stage; allergies knocked California’s Andrew Talansky out of the race.

The LA Times says New Jersey native Carter Jones is excited to be back in the US racing on American soil. Before the race even started, though, a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros out on a training ride, including Peter Sagan.

The Sacramento Bee says pro cycling could use a showman or two, while anti-doping agencies team up to keep the race clean.

Sadly, the women’s race is over just as the men are getting started, after just three stages, although there will be a invitational time trial in Big Bear on Friday.

Lauren Komanski led the women’s race after two stages, but dropped to third as Trixi Worrack took the overall title; Leah Kirchman won the final stage to finish second. Meanwhile, a member of British royalty rode in the peloton after competing in the Paralympics.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Simon Gerrans looks pretty in pink after winning the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia. And don’t try this at home, kids — a fixie riding race fan gets the blame for crashing into the peloton at the end of the second stage of the.

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Somehow I missed this one from last week.

A Georgia father of three was killed when the driver of a pickup crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve to illegally pass another truck, slamming into a group of riders. The driver faces charges of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

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Local

A counter-press conference will be held at 8 am tomorrow at Red Car River Park to protest plans to rebuild the Hyperion bridge without a sidewalk. Everyone who supports Option 3 to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge is urged to attend.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Valencia.

About 3,000 riders turn out for the Tour of Long Beach, raising $350,000 for juvenile cancer research.

 

State

A Riverside county supervisor defends the troubled plan for a 50-mile bike and pedestrian path from Desert Hot Springs to the Salton Sea.

Hats off to tiny Guadalupe (population 7225), which closed down three miles of streets for the town’s first ciclovía.

The bike riding managing editor of the Stockton Record says we all need to share the road; a windshield-addled commenter says why not share railroad tracks and airport runways, too.

A San Francisco college instructor says a road raging driver repeatedly tried to run him down as he rode his bike; the final assault was captured on video.

 

National

Tucson cyclists get a new two-way separated bike lane. For one whole block, before dumping riders into traffic on the left side of a three lane one-way street.

The Colorado Rockies radio announcer will take a sabbatical to compete in RAAM as part of a two-person team to raise funds for a Haitian orphanage.

Remarkably, cyclists have no legal right-of-way when riding through Nebraska intersections; state lawmakers vote to keep it that way.

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at the state’s Complete Streets law by removing the requirement to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, claiming it’s merely an attempt to remove a regulatory burden. Right.

A bike path sparked a $200 million redevelopment in Minneapolis. Yes, a bike path; let’s hope Wisconsin’s governor is listening.

Ohio could require children up to 16 to wear helmets.

Sad news from Philadelphia, as a local filmmaker is killed while riding his bike. Note to Philly.com: There is nothing inevitable about traffic collisions; they can actually be avoided if people care enough to pay attention and obey the law.

Nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers ride from New York’s Ground Zero to Washington DC to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty; 300 cops from Southern California took part.

A Virginia cyclist reportedly swerved into the path of a driver who had safely moved over to pass. Sure, let’s go with that. Note to WYDaily.com: A bike rider is a human being, not an “it.”

 

International

A new Australian electric bicycle professes to fix what’s wrong with other e-bikes.

Evidently, requiring helmets hasn’t done enough to force riders off the road, so an unworkable requirement is in the works as an Aussie state considers yet another step to stifle the growth in bicycling by requiring bikes to be licensed to curb “lunatic” cyclists.

Thai cyclists say drunk drivers who kill should be charged with premeditated murder instead of reckless driving. Couldn’t agree more; drunks who merely injure or maim someone should be charged with attempted murder.

Another good idea from Thailand — drivers on shared lanes should be limited to 30 kmh, the equivalent of just 18 mph.

 

Finally…

A writer for London’s Telegraph can’t seem to grasp that different people enjoy different styles of bike riding — including, yes, riding in Lycra. Another new study from the University of Duh says it’s pretty much useless to ride with a hangover.

And more proof bike riders are tough, as a San Diego man rides to a friend’s house for help after being stabbed at a 7-11.

 

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