Tag Archive for the war on bikes

Morning Links: People Protected LA recruiting, mistaking bike path for a freeway, and ducking a flying deer

People Protected LA — the group behind LA’s first people protected bike lane — is continuing to organize, and inviting everyone to sign up for future events.

If you’re as angry as I am about the failed state of bicycling and Vision Zero in Los Angeles, it’s definitely worth a few moments of your time to support a group that’s finally bringing bike activism back to the City of Angels.

Photo from People Protected LA Twitter account.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An Ohio semi driver somehow mistook a bike path for a freeway onramp.

https://twitter.com/ColumbusPolice/status/1047845350550241283

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I’ve been bitten by a deer fly, and it didn’t look anything like that. A North Carolina driver hit a deer, nearly knocking it into a group of bicyclists headed in the other direction.

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

A Dublin cab driver chases down a bike rider, cutting into the bike lane and climbing a sidewalk trying to run him down.

Which led to this heartbreaking and infuriating statement from a local advocacy group.

That is absolutely outrageous. Driver needs to go to jail and should never be able to drive a public service vehicle again.

This is where the anti-cyclist media narrative is leading us. Many drivers now consider cyclists subhuman.

We’ve been dehumanized. We’re vermin.

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Local

The LACBC will take a haunting pre-Halloween Sunday Funday ride this weekend.

How to navigate LA’s ever-increasing transportation options.

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is hosting a panel discussion on bike law with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass on October 18th.

Santa Monica-based Bird gets serious about advocacy, hiring the executive director of New York’s groundbreaking Transportation Alternatives to be its new director of safety policy and advocacy.

If you didn’t get enough open streets at last week’s CicLAvia — or just want a calmer experience — Santa Monica’s annual COAST open streets event will take place this Sunday, closing over two miles of city streets to motor vehicles. And opening them up for everyone else.

 

State

No surprise here. The CHP reports men are eight times more likely to die in a bicycling collision than women. In part simply because there are more men on bikes, and they’re more likely to ride riskier roads.

Plans for a road diet on the Coast Highway through Leucadia are headed to the Coastal Commission for approval, despite opposition from angry homeowners.

San Francisco bike advocates take a tour of safety improvements which promise to tame a deadly street.

A 20-year old Sonoma County man was sentenced to three-years probation and ordered to stay away from the bike path where he randomly punched a man riding his bike past a homeless camp.

Lodi officials decided not to buy an abandoned railroad bridge that could have served as the basis for a rail-to-trail conversion, saying there are better and cheaper options available.

Tragic news from Chico, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike after allegedly crossing traffic and failing to yield to an oncoming vehicle.

 

National

High priced titanium water bottle cages for weight weenies.

Bicycling explains how to ship your bike in three easy steps.

Outside looks at seven quirky, under-the-radar races worth the entry fee, including Folsom’s Rodeocross.

A writer from my hometown university says if you want to enjoy the benefits of a bike-friendly campus, you gotta obey the rules.

A candidate for Denver mayor blames the city’s traffic problems on bike lanes. Someone should tell him Denver’s traffic sucked when I lived their 30 years ago, before there were any.

A Colorado letter writer basically says, “I’m not biased against bikes. Just the people who ride them.”

Streetsblog says the reason Crain’s Business owner and anti-bike crank Ken Crane and others are so angry about Detroit’s new bike lanes is because they’re used to speeding through the city from their suburban commutes. Sort of like the angry Manhattan Beach commuters who forced the removal of the Playa del Rey road diets and bike lanes.

No, a New York court didn’t side with a fallen bicyclist, they convicted the driver. That’s not how criminal cases work.

A Philadelphia public radio station examines the bureaucratic nightmare of building a bike network.

It just gets worse and worse. An Op-Ed by the editor of a far-right Maryland website starts by calling the decision of the mayor of Annapolis to install a contraflow bike lane “reckless and an abuse of the authority bestowed upon him.” Then devolves into a diatribe against bike lanes and bicyclists in general.

 

International

A Calgary roundtable discusses why other people are jerks on the road.

A ten-year old English girl raised the equivalent of over $500 for a cancer charity by riding her bike 10 miles around town.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has left Bike Biz, the bike industry publication he founded 22 years ago; he’ll now be covering the transportation beat for Forbes.

Edinburgh is installing Quonset hut-style bike lockers throughout the city to provide secure bike parking, but charging users more than drivers pay to park in outlying areas. We could use some of those here in Los Angeles. Without the stiff user fees.

Now that’s more like it. Paris has installed over 900 security cameras to catch motorists who drive or park in bike lanes and paths. We could use some of those, too.

Talk about blaming the victim. After an Israeli ebike rider was killed in a hit-and-run, police try to shift the blame to the friend whose bike he was sharing — even though the driver, a professional soccer player, was five times over the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested a short time later.

A New Zealand study suggests the country should be more like the United States than the United Kingdom when it comes to setting speed limits for ebikes, setting speeds at 20 mph rather than the European limit of 15 mph.

New Zealand officials urge a hit-and-run bicyclist to turn himself in after crashing into a toddler while riding on the sidewalk, breaking the boy’s leg in two places. Seriously, bike riders who crash into someone have as much responsibility to stop as drivers do. Not to mention a moral obligation not to be a total schmuck.

A three-year old Japanese strider bike rider gives a lesson sportsmanship.

 

Competitive Cycling

From disgraced doper to legal dope dealer to team owner. America’s least well known ex-Tour de France winner is forming a new Continental-level cycling team with his share of the money he got from the fed’s settlement with the other one.

Apparently, retired pro Alberto Contador is giving Phil Gaimon a little competition for the worst retirement ever, taking the KOM for a legendary Vuelta climb.

Pro cyclists Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt will turn into bike tourists after Saturday’s Il Lombardia classic, bike packing 600 miles back home to Belgium.

VeloNews profiles lone wolf cyclist Justin Williams, who gave up on the traditional cycling model when his latest team folded last year, and now competes in whatever race and format he damn well pleases, while running a development squad for young black and Hispanic riders from South LA.

Former world champ Peter Sagan was called an idiot after writing that he had repeatedly bashed a competitor’s wheel during Paris-Roubaix in a failed attempt to straighten his handlebars.

 

Finally…

Call it gymnastics on two wheels. When you need a good cuppa joe, you can always head to your local bike shop. Or shoe shop, for that matter.

And a London bicyclist says drivers are right, we really are that bad.

 

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: BikinginLA & Militant Angeleno host epic CicLAvia tour, and the worldwide war on bikes goes on

Okay, so the Militant Angeleno and I may or may not have a small announcement to make.

You may be familiar with the Militant through the Epic CicLAvia Tours he’s prepared for virtually every CicLAvia.

Few, if any, people are more knowledgable about the City of Angels, offering surprising details both large and small.

Yet, he’s never been seen in public.

Until now.

The Militant Angeleno will make his first ever public appearance when we team up to lead The Militant’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia: Celebrate LA! on Sunday, September 30th.

We’ll meet near Disney Hall at 12 noon; just look for the guy dressed head to toe in camo.

That won’t be me.

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Apparently, an ebike really can help you arrive at work feeling fresher.

A new European study shows ebike riders sweat three times less than people riding regular bicycles, and arrived at their destinations with a lower heartbeat and body temperature.

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

Alabama police refuse to do anything after a bike rider is intentionally run down by a driver, who fled the scene afterwards, because the police didn’t want to waste resources since he wasn’t injured or killed or anything.

A British music teacher was lucky to escape with rope burns when someone sabotaged a bikeway by stringing wire across the trail.

A Scotsman was seriously injured when he was deliberately targeted by a car driver following an altercation with a group of men.

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Police are looking for the scumbag — and I use the term advisedly — who fled the scene after running down a pair of San Jose kids on their bikes.

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An elderly Singapore bicyclist gets doored by a cab passenger, who clearly doesn’t give a damn. But at least the driver had the decency to help him up.

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Local

USA Today takes a visit to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, calling it a hidden rural, coastal gem at the end of the beachfront bike path, where bicycling and surfing are the top sports, as any South Bay cyclist can attest.

Zach Rynew, aka CiclaValley, talks bicycling on Bike Talk.

 

State

A bighearted Castro Valley man has a founded a nonprofit he called Bad Business Model Bikes to restore vintage bikes and give them to people in need, for whatever reason.

The San Francisco Chronicle says buses and RVs pose a risk to bike riders on the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo.

 

National

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter wonders why there’s a constant press to make bike helmets mandatory, but no one is pushing for car helmets — even though car crashes are the biggest cause of head injuries.

A seven-year old mountain bike network has helped bring nearly 30,000 riders and an extra $2 million a year to a Minnesota town, helping to make it one of Outside magazine’s best places to live.

A Chicago community leader says he’s the latest victim of the city’s “broken windows” crackdown on bicycling violations in black neighborhoods, after he was ticketed for riding on an otherwise empty sidewalk.

Bowing to pressure from a Congressional representative, New York will take the unprecedented step of ripping out a protected bike lane; business owners didn’t like it because it made it harder to park illegally.

The New Yorker explains what the other bike signals mean.

New York is taking the first steps to legalize e-scooters in the city, despite the lack of safe places to ride them. Jalopnik worries New York will find a way to ruin it, like it ruins everything else.

The New York Times says virtually nothing has changed after a series of shocking hit-and-run deaths in the city five years ago, except for a name change of the police unit assigned to investigate them.

As if hit-and-run drivers aren’t bad enough, police in New York are looking for a group of ATV riders who fled the scene after killing a bike rider in a crash; witnesses report the riders may have intentionally pulled the victim off his bike.

Saving the best of New York for last, the New York Post’s bike hating columnist is back with a racist, sexist rant that insists only spoiled, young, white males ride bikes, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. I’d say his bosses should make him ride a bike in the city to see what it’s really like, but he probably wouldn’t be able to sit on the saddle with his head so far up his own ass.

The same day that column ran, the Post published another story which points out the real problem, saying over 45% of New York drivers speed, and half of those do it while looking at their phones.

New Orleans bike advocates will be constructing their own temporary protected bike lanes pilot projects to test different types of protected lanes, as well as demonstrate how well they work. Maybe if we tried more pilot projects like this in Los Angeles, we might have better luck making them permanent.

 

International

A writer for Vice says he biked the most dangerous road in the world in Bolivia, and lived to tell the tale. Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

London takes the next step in fighting smog and climate change by banning everything but electric cars, the newest hybrids, hydrogen vehicles and bikes or ebikes during morning and evening rush hours on nine streets dubbed “ultra-low emissions zones.”

A UK lawyer known as “Mr. Loophole” calls for bicyclists to wear identification placards large enough to be read at a distance, and face fines and point penalties just like drivers. Even though bike riders pose just a minute fraction of the risk to others that drivers do.

A British ultracyclist has reset his record for the most countries visited by bike in a seven day period, traveling through 15 European countries in a single week; he had originally set the record last year, only to see someone else break it a month later.

A new study from the UK casts doubt on the benefits of bikeshare, saying they don’t improve health, reduce CO2 emissions, or reduce congestion on the roads. All of which seem highly questionable.

Dublin residents worry that improving safety for people on bicycles with a parking-protected bike lane will mean speeding bicyclists making things worse for people on foot.

When you’re in the mood to suffer in breathtaking surroundings: A bicycling tour through the mountains of Catalunya, Spain.

Life is cheap in Dubai, where a 22-year old civil defense officer has been sentenced to just six months behind bars and the equivalent of a $3,500 fine for running down a woman training for an Emirati cycling team while he was racing another driver; he was also ordered to pay $54,000 to the victim’s family.

A Saudi Arabian professor was surprised to learn all his government benefits were frozen due to a number of unpaid — and apparently secret — tickets for reckless and distracted bike riding, as well as “drifting” while riding his three-wheeled recumbent; the tickets and fines were all dropped after a social media backlash. And thanks to the article, we now know the Saudi term for a ‘bent is “jariya.”

More trouble for Ofo, as the Chinese dockless bikeshare company is being sued by a 120-year old bikemaker for failing to pay for the equivalent of over $10 million worth of bicycles, and cancelling orders for three million more.

 

Competitive Cycling

The newest track US cycling star is an enduro wrench who rose out of the Kansas corn to set a world record in the 4,000 meters. Twice.

Now you can compete on, if not with, Geraint Thomas.

Another cycling team bites the dust, as Britain’s One Pro Cycling is dropping its men’s team to focus on their women’s team. The good news is it speaks volumes about the growth of women’s cycling.

Cycling Weekly considers why there’s been an increase in compression spinal fractures in pro cycling this year.

As if having to dodge race motos isn’t bad enough, now pro cyclists have to dodge helicopters in the Vuelta, as one rider was injured when he was blown off his bike by copter’s downdraft.

 

Finally…

What could be better than combining bicycles, Dickens and gin? When N + 1 equals 140. It’s not the World Naked Bike Ride if you do it alone. No. Just…no.

And that four-year old bike rider who went viral after giving a truck driver a thumbs up for safe pass is now the youngest person to ride the full length of Great Britain.

 

Morning Links: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

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File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

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

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

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Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

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I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

Morning Links: Mostly blank bike guide to SaMo, bike-riding actress hit in Marina, and a road-raging hell spawn

Bike travel site Bikabout offers a bike tourism guide to Santa Monica.

Or maybe not, since most of the site is still appears to be vaporware.

And clicking one beachfront bike path photo just takes you to to the Denver Art Museum.

………

How to tell when someone doesn’t ride a bike.

After actress Maura Tierney was hit by a driver while riding her bicycle in Marina del Rey, a blogger wonders how it could have happened since the street has a bike lane.

Maybe someone could explain it to her.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a Boston-area bike path with razor blades, which slashed a rider’s tire. And could have resulted in serious injuries.

Police in the UK are looking for two men on a motorcycle who tried to push a man off his bicycle.

………

Local

Downtown News says the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project is finally ready to roll. Although as Curbed points out, it still has some major bugs to work out.

CiclaValley urges you to turn out for a public workshop for safety improvements on Winnetka Ave, including a proposal to add a mile of bike lanes that offer genuine connectivity for a change.

Good news for mountain bikers, as the Gabriel National Recreation Trail through the Arroyo Seco canyon reopens this weekend, nine years after it was destroyed by the flooding that followed the Station Fire.

 

State

Nice gesture. A cycling club in Coronado bought pizza for the local fire department in appreciation for the care they gave an injured rider.

A San Luis Obispo woman complains that a group of retired NIMBY homeowners were allowed to dominate a recent planning commission meeting, and urges the city to approve the bikeway they came out to oppose.

Lyft is building a geofence around a pair of San Francisco streets to prevent drivers from stopping in the bike lanes to pickup or drop-off passengers.

Vox explains the sudden proliferation of e-scooters across the US — despite their sudden disappearance from the streets of San Francisco — saying there’s a lot of latent demand for a quick and cheap way to get around.

It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that half of the injuries treated at San Francisco General Hospital result from traffic collisions; bicyclists accounted for 16% of those hospitalization costs, while pedestrians made up 44%.

Bay Area residents are urged to attend a court hearing this Friday to support Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith, who was arrested and jailed for a weekend over what appears to amount to a charge of Biking While Black.

 

National

Volunteers in Austin, Texas are refurbishing hundreds of yellow bikeshare bikes that were donated by Ofo when it pulled out of the city. Although someone might want to explain to Spectrum News that there’s a difference between bikeshare and rideshare.

A Missouri writer points out that bike tourism is a powerful economic driver. Especially when they can keep the people on bikes away from the other kind of drivers.

That didn’t take long. Just two weeks after an Indiana town installed a steel planter-protected cycle track, someone has already vandalized them with spray paint.

Bro country star Luke Bryan is one of us, doing 35 – 40 mile rides with former pro Robbie Ventura and America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

A Pitt University student reminds drivers that bike lanes are for bicyclists, which should be obvious. But obviously isn’t.

A New York driver claims squatter’s rights, claiming he has the right to park in a parking-protected bike lane because he was parking there before the lane was striped.

Unbelievable. A Philadelphia driver won’t be charged with killing an 11-year old bike rider after rolling a stop because he didn’t actually hit the victim, who crashed into the side of the car after he was cut off.

Baltimore conducts a road diet to build a bike lane through a park to connect two hard-to-reach neighborhoods; one bike advocate describes it as taking away a lane of traffic and giving the space back to the neighborhood.

Speaking of Baltimore, the Maryland city may be a trendsetter, shutting down its troubled bikeshare system in favor of dockless bikeshare and scooters. It’s hard to imagine how most bikeshare systems will survive without significant sponsorship revenues when dockless options offer greater convenience at a significantly lower price.

A Mississippi city is about to get the state’s first two-way bike lane, which will pick up where an existing bike path leaves off.

A three-day Mississippi bike tour helps a group of older Florida riders discover that bicycling is the fountain of youth.

Already on trial for intentionally running down and killing a Florida father as he rode on a bike path, the driver repeatedly interrupted the judge to confess to killing another rider in a crash authorities say never happened.

Residents of a Florida town say they’d rather have wider bike lanes than sidewalks along a 50 mph coastal highway. Except state law won’t let them do that.

 

International

Wonder Woman is one of us, too.

A writer for Bicycle Times tells his tale of riding 6,500 miles across South America.

More support for the safety in numbers theory, as a London study concludes roads with the most bike riders are 13% safer.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A wealthy British woman was found dead from a heroin overdose, after she was unable to get over killing a 17-year old bike rider eight years earlier.

A 30-something working mom shares what she learned by biking 500 miles across France.

A bike advocacy group met with civic leaders in Prague for the first time, after the courts threw out a ban on bicycles in the city center.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a distracted driver gets a suspended sentence for killing a 77-year old bike rider, despite having her smartphone in one hand and a drink in the other at the time of the crash.

They get it. A Vietnamese website calls for separate roads for bicyclists and pedestrians to ease traffic in increasingly congested cities.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers our first spoiler-free report from the Vuelta, while Vincenzo Nibali says he just hasn’t got it this time after fracturing his back in the Tour de France.

An Indian cyclist describes what he went through to become the first rider from his country to finish the over 5,600 mile Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme ultra-stage race.

Another Continental team folds after losing its sponsor.

 

Finally…

It’s hard to be number one when you have to stop for number two. When you want to go vegan on your bike, because you’re so tired of strapping on those leather arm warmers and that bacon bike bell.

And maybe he really is the spawn of hell. At least when it comes to people on bikes.

 

Morning Links: Philharmonic CicLAvia, fixing parking problems on MyFig, and the war on bikes moves mostly online

It’s official.

CicLAvia has released the route of September’s Disney Hall to Hollywood Bowl open streets event, which should be epic in every sense, with dozens of performances along the way.

Curbed offers a preview of the CicLAvia event, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, culminating in a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

………

CiclaValley provides a 45-second update on the parking problems on the new MyFigueroa bike lane.

CiclaValley also reminds us about this Nike ad, with new LA Laker LeBron James playing a bike-born Pied Piper to kids in Miami.

And no, it’s not the least bit confusing to go from typing CicLAvia to CiclaValley and back.

No, really.

………

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

A Tennessee man assumes he’s an expert on bike safety because he rode his into the side of a truck as a child, and criticizes a recumbent rider for riding in the center of a traffic lane — even though he clearly doesn’t know that word.

Apparently speaking from beyond the grave after being run over by bike riders three times, a New Jersey letter writer says his town shouldn’t encourage more bicycling because of the “mayhem” caused by “psycho” cyclists, even though he swears he rides one himself.

No windshield bias here. A DC writer complains about five types of “smug-ass” people who need to “cut the shit.” Needless to say, bike riders are number one on his list, for the apparently unforgivable crime of acting like bikes are cars, which is exactly what bike riders are supposed to do; number two are pedestrians in crosswalks who don’t get the hell out of his way fast enough.

A Saskatoon cyclist records a confrontation with an angry driver who followed him honking, then wanted to fight when the rider tried to explain his right to the road. Meanwhile, Saskatoon police say yes, bikes have a right to the road, but don’t try to educate the driver who harassed you, because that could be demeaning.

……..

A video from Slate’s Spokes Man says it’s fine to slap a car while riding.

Then again, he also seems to be okay with undertaking a semi while it’s making a right turn, which should tell you something.

I confess to slapping a few fenders when drivers drifted into my lane, or right hooked me without appearing to even know I was there.

But I stopped several years ago, after a driver got out of his car and beat a pianist to death in Hollywood when the victim slapped the hood of his car for encroaching on the crosswalk.

……..

Local

LAist gets it. A piece by KPCC’s Meghan McCarthy Carino says nothing can fix LA traffic, so deal with it. The simple fact is, traffic in Los Angeles right now is as good as it will ever be; the only option is to provide safe, efficient alternatives to convince people to leave their cars at home.

Good piece from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton looking at the lessons learned from the failed attempt to recall LA Councilmember Mike Bonin over the equally failed Playa del Rey road diets. And the stifling effect it’s had on street safety projects.

For everyone who missed out on Metro’s free Bike Hub membership during Bike Month, the LACBC is offering a second chance at a free one-year Bike Hub membership through the end of the month.

The Santa Monica Daily Press complains about e-scooters on the beachfront bike path, saying users are scooting through a loophole in the law.

 

State

A Bakersfield mother and bike advocate makes the case for why you should wear a helmet.

San Jose business owners become just the latest to fight a proposed bikeway, fearing it will be bad for business. Even though study after study shows just the opposite.

A San Mateo doctor is suing the other participants in a regular fast group ride for $1 million for injuries he received when another rider crashed into him. Something tells me he may not be welcome on the next one.

Sad news from Concord, where a 60-year old man was killed when his bicycle was rear-ended by a driver.

 

National

Your next power meter could fit on a valve stem.

An ebike helps a woman get back on a bicycle for the first time since she was eleven.

A Spokane writer suggests putting sharrows on a freeway, with bike pool lanes for two or more people on a bike. And no, he’s not serious.

Nevada’s indigenous tribes are welcoming Lime dockless bikeshare to their community to provide a transportation option that improves health and protects the environment.

A Montana man loses nearly half his 500 pound weight after taking up bicycling.

An Omaha bike co-op saved an eight-year old boy from a life of crime on the streets; ten years later he’s a high school graduate with a scholarship from Adventure Cycling.

A Minneapolis bike columnist says it’s time to take a pledge of civility.

A New Jersey woman — and the daughter of Holocaust survivors — discovers riding her bicycle in the recent ride from Auschwitz to Krakow, Poland is cleansing for the soul.

Friends pitch in to rebuild a custom bike belonging to a New Jersey Lakers fan — and Wilt Chamberlain’s second cousin — painting it in the colors of the LA Lakers.

 

International

Designing better ultra-aerodynamic bicycles through artificial intelligence.

That bike bucket list just keeps getting longer, as Forbes recommends five bicycling vacations around the world.

A writer for the Guardian considers the best books on bicycling.

A British Columbia bike rider is using shadows on a straight, flat highway in Saskatchewan to prove the Earth isn’t flat. Because one more proof should be enough to convince all the flat Earthers, even though all the many others haven’t done the job yet.

Caught on video: A British bus driver passes a bicyclist way too close for comfort, coming so close it looks like it may have brushed the rider.

More proof life is cheap in the UK, where a woman gets a year behind bars for running down a bike rider while high on coke and driving without her glasses — with her kids in the car.

A Welsh judge has ordered a new trial in the death of British Olympic hero Chris Boardman’s bike-riding mother; in addition to the crash, the driver and his wife are accused of deleting cellphone data to cover up their actions.

Don’t count on seeing Irish band Glass Animals anytime soon, after the band’s drummer was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck while riding in Dublin.

A Dublin teenager has been jailed for one year for terrorizing bike riders on a canal pathway; he was part of a group that chased riders and strung rope across the trail in an effort to knock people off their bikes.

Helsinki, Finland is using artificial intelligence to position and manage their bikeshare system.

Mobility Lab says Danes bike for the same reason Americans drive — because they’re lazy and it’s easy.

Rome residents are painting potholes to warn bike riders and hopefully shame the city into fixing them.

The Prague, Czechoslovakia bike ban goes into effect at the end of this month; bike riders will be prohibited from pedestrian areas in the city center.

India’s Hero Cycles is reviving 110-year old British Viking bikes after a 40-year absence. So doesn’t that mean it’s really a 70-year old brand?

An Aussie man is attempting to record and preserve all the surviving bikes made by custom bikemaker Milton “Spike” Jones.

Dockless bikeshare company Obike has abandoned thousands of bikes across Europe after filing bankruptcy in Singapore.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wednesday was a good day for the world champ, and Thursday was good for Ireland and Team UAE Emirates at the Tour de France, even though broken spokes set a couple of riders back.

An Aussie writer says Sunday’s cobbled stage will be hell on wheels.

No, it probably wasn’t good taste to hope that a Croatian rider’s crash in the Tour boded well for England’s failed World Cup bid.

It takes a team effort to keep injured cyclist Lawson “Crash” Craddock riding in the Tour de France; by continuing in the race, he’s already raised over three times his original $21,000 goal to support a Texas Velodrome.

Virtually ignored in all the attention gained by the Tour de France, the women’s Gira Rosa stage race goes on, with Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott team threatening to break the recent dominance of Dutch teams.

A new study shows riding in the back of a peloton is even easier than previously thought; riders in the right position face 95% less wind resistance than riders up front.

 

Finally…

Touring the Rockies by bike, and playing the rocks along the way.  When your bike is stolen by the police so Meghan and Harry can have lunch.

And no, telling a woman you want to be her bike saddle is not a compliment.

And not cool. Period.

Morning Links: The online war on bikes goes on, fallen rider’s bike recovered, and spotting the good guys in the TdF

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

Especially online

A British Columbia sports editor gets it, having the misfortune to moderate the online battle on Facebook and Twitter.

In most instances, though, “traffic” is not caused by bicycles. When I’m stuck in traffic, there’s nothing I want more than to be on a bicycle. That’s one of the reasons I find the hysterical rhetoric of the bike debate so strange. Cyclists, for the most part, are just trying to get around quickly, efficiently, cheaply and healthily. They aren’t the problem…

Sure, bikes can be infuriating but you just have to let it go if you’re in a car. The power difference is too great. Yes, bikers do stupid things, but so do drivers. And when it goes wrong between them, cyclists always lose.

Meanwhile, a Sonoma County columnist wonders why there’s so much misplaced hatred at bicyclists any time a bike story appears online. Or in real life, for that matter.

And yes, your car is 4,000 pounds and my bike is 20 pounds. But because something is bigger, stronger and faster does not give a driver of a vehicle ownership or priority on a public road. Might does not make right. It makes a bully.

Not every driver is a jerk. Not every cyclist is an angel. But let’s not lose sight of our individual humanity, however we choose to get around this beautiful county we call home.

And a Philadelphia-area paper says bicycles — and bike lanes — benefit everyone.

Biking may not be for everyone, but the health benefits to children, environmental benefits to leaving the car at home, and the economic benefit that gives those in poverty a way to get to work are reasons enough.

Share the road. We’ll all be better for it.

………

One bit of good news in a very hot LA weekend, as KTLA-5 reports the bicycle belonging to falling bike rider Sebastian Montero has been recovered, five months after it was stolen.

Montero was riding a friend’s borrowed bike this past Easter Sunday when he was killed by an alleged speeding driver at Burbank and De Soto.

His own bike had been stolen two months earlier, and his mother had begged for its return to remember him.

………

Sometimes it’s not hard to spot the good guys.

American Lawson Craddock went down with a bloodied eye and a broken scapula in Stage 1 of the Tour de France. And not only finished the stage, but challenged himself to finish the race.

And Compton’s own Rahsaan Bahati offered to match the amount.

……..

Local

LA has posted information about proposals to close the absurd Northvale Gap in the Expo bike path. Which exists only because NIMBY homeowners in the area successfully fought construction of the bike path when the Expo Line was built, after failing to halt construction of the train line itself.

The LA Times‘ Robin Abcarian decides that e-scooters are fun, but too damn dangerous after falling off one when she collided with a bike rider on the Venice bike path, and patched up another woman who skinned her knees. Both of which could have happened if they were on roller skates instead of scooters.

A Los Angeles writer says the car still reigns supreme in Southern California, where “Much of the region’s built environment is designed to accommodate the presence of private vehicles and to punish their absence.”

Pomona plans to build a Class I shared use trail along San Jose Creek; the 14-foot bikeway would provide safe access to Cal Poly Pomona, as well as four schools and a similar number of parks.

 

State

San Diego plans to install hundreds of bike racks throughout the city.

The fight over bikeshare in Santa Cruz is nearly settled, as the docked Jump ebikes are becoming ubiquitous in town, despite the objections of some residents.

 

National

Streetsblog says no, drunk walking isn’t behind the rise in pedestrian deaths, despite last week’s incredibly misguided and one-sided PBS report.

Bicycling offers eleven great bike paths to add to your bike bucket list, two of which are in California. And one of which — Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road — my brother just rode last month on his bike tour of the state.

Denver Streetsblog profiles former Boston bike advocate and bicycle rabble rouser Jonathan Fertig, who recently moved to the city.

A Dallas publication points out that some people actually make a living off all those dockless bikes and scooters. Not to mention the invaluable data being generated by them.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A five-year old Michigan boy was killed when he was struck by a food delivery driver while on his first ride without training wheels.

The FBI has gotten involved in the hit-and-run death of a Michigan woman as she rode her bike home from hearing her husband’s band perform in 2013; the bureau is offering a $25,000 reward, to go along with a $50,000 reward offered by a private group. It would be interesting to know the basis for the FBI’s involvement, since hit-and-run, fatal or otherwise, is a state crime.

No surprise here, as the bicyclist who was run down by a drunk hit-and-run driver on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway — allegedly intentionally — has filed suit for nearly $2.5 million. Driver Marshall Grant Neely will remain in rehab until he’s sentenced after violating his probation by getting drunk every day.

Now that’s more like it. A Connecticut car dealer will give you a loaner when you have your vehicle serviced. But it will have two less wheels than the one you brought in.

A New York website looks at the city’s fight over ebikes through the eyes of two bike riders on opposite sides of the issue.

The Vision Zero Network looks at the efforts to end traffic fatalities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

International

The CBC offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Moving left and taking the right lane just before an intersection greatly reduces the risk, but some idiots may still try to go around; I’ve been right-hooked by drivers turning from the left lane.

A new European study shows bicycling is great for reducing obesity — unless you ride an ebike. Of course, the question is whether the study was based on ped-assist bikes, which still require the rider to pedal, or throttle-controlled bikes, which don’t.

A London man develops a friendship with the bike-riding woman who comforted him after he was struck by a truck driver as part of last year’s terrorist attack on the Westminster Bridge.

Vice infiltrates a London ride out to see what it’s like to pop wheelies in traffic with hundreds of mostly teenage riders.

Caught on video: A pair of Irish bicyclists get left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by a cab driver while riding in a narrow bike lane; remarkably, both men were unhurt.

A Change.org petition calls on Google and Apple to do more to fight cellphone addiction after an Australian man is left a paraplegic by a crash with a distracted driver while riding his bike.

The former Thai Navy SEAL who died during the attempt to rescue a teen soccer team trapped in an underground cave was one of us; 38-year old Samarn Kunan’s Instagram account reportedly contained several pictures of him mountain biking

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish writer mourns the death of anti-doping after four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is exonerated in his asthma inhaler doping case. Froome was soundly booed by spectators at the start of the Tour’s second stage.

Speaking of Froome, he started the Tour by riding off the road and losing 51 seconds. Which inspired a look back at the unwritten rules of crashing in the race.

Cycling Tips recaps stage 1, while Peter Sagan had to take of his rainbow jersey and slip into yellow after stage 2.

A writer for Outside says yes, there are cheaters in pro cycling, but we should watch it anyway to support the ones who don’t. The problem with that is we have no way of knowing who they are. Or aren’t.

Ten books to feed your Tour de France fever when you’re done watching the day’s stage.

Lest we forget, there’s another top-level WorldTour stage race going on, with the women’s Giro Rosa.

Phil Gaimon has posted video of his grudge match victory over Fabian Cancellara.

Very sad news from Kansas, where 64-year old John Egbers died three weeks after he was hit by a car while competing in the 4,300-mile Trans Am Bike Race. A second rider struck in a separate collision remains hospitalized.

 

Finally…

Riders in the Tour de France hardly ever get attacked by elephants. Maybe you should put your helmet over your kidneys if you ride indoors.

And your next Pashley could be a Morgan.

Just in case anyone gets me on their secret Santa list this year.

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia goes to the Heart of the Foothills on April 22nd, and the war on bikes goes on

One quick note before we move on to today’s big CicLAvia news.

My email is down this week after running an update, so my apologies if anyone has reached out to me and I haven’t responded. I’ll try to catch up once I get it working again.

………

CicLAvia officially unveiled the route for their next open streets event, taking a first-time journey through the Heart of the Foothills, from Claremont to San Dimas, next Earth Day.

………

Once again, while the war on cars is mythical, the all-too-real war on bikes goes on.

A road raging driver threatened a Massachusetts bike rider with a baseball bat, for the crime of riding in the left traffic lane because the right lane was blocked with snow; needless to say, the driver hasn’t been charged.

A Florida nurse was shot in the leg with a pellet gun in a drive-by while riding her bicycle.

………

Local

Streetsblog congratulates the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

The Press-Telegram offers more information about Saturday’s police shooting of a Long Beach bike rider, including that the officer who fired did not have a body cam.

 

State

A bicyclist from India stops in Fresno on his round-the-world tour to raise awareness for climate change and global peace.

Apple is providing 1,000 “minimalist” bicycles for employees, so they don’t get too tired or bored on the ten minute walk from the parking garage to the company’s new campus.

A 70-year old man who lives in his car faces a host of charges, including DUI, hit-and-run and attempted murder, for allegedly intentionally driving down a San Francisco sidewalk, though he claimed it was due to faulty brakes.

A Sonoma County group gave away 25 donated bicycles to victims of the 2015 Valley Fire; it was their sixth bike giveaway for fire victims.

Take a four day bike tour of the Northern California wine country for $2,299 a person. Or just grab your bike and a sleeping bag, and do it for free.

Sacramento considers an ordinance that would give dockless bikeshare companies just two hours to collect stray bikes after they’re notified to retrieve them. Meanwhile, the city is planning a road diet and parking protected bike lanes along a popular downtown street, much to the chagrin of some.

 

National

A sports site talks with NASCAR racer and SoCal native Jimmie Johnson about sparking the “cycling craze” in his fellow drivers.

Washington’s new budget includes several million dollars to fund bike trails throughout the state.

Iowa goes the wrong way on traffic safety, moving forward with a bill that would ban automated traffic cameras in the state’s largest cities.

The jump in bikepacking is driving demand for bike frame bags made by Minnesota’s Cedaero.

Duluth MN business owners complain about plans for bike lanes that would eliminate parking on one side of the street; one businessman uses it as free storage for his auto shop, while another evidently didn’t consider how bike lanes could reduce the need for more spaces in his overflowing parking lot.

A New York woman says Queens’ infamous Boulevard of Death is still dangerous despite recent safety improvements, after her father was nearly hit by a driver while crossing the street; her calls for increased safety at a recent meeting were drowned out by people complaining about the bike lanes.

 

International

Vancouver’s Modacity offers eight rules of effective bike marketing.

No bias here. A sidewalk-riding Canadian bicyclist receives a trio of tickets after getting right hooked by the driver of a semi.

City Lab looks at the recent study that showed expanding European bike networks could prevent 10,000 premature deaths each year. So just imagine what it could do here in the US, with just a fraction of the bike networks Europe already has in place.

After a British bike rider posts video complaining that an ambulance nearly hit him, the ambulance service responds that he should have pulled over and let them pass. Seriously, bike riders have exactly the same obligation motorists do to get the hell out of the way of emergency vehicles, even if LA drivers seem to forget that.

An Irish father gets a suspended sentence for assaulting a 17-year old boy who was riding his son’s stolen bicycle; no word on why the boy had the bike that had been stolen earlier that day.

Bicycling cafés are gaining in popularity across France.

An Australian driver says leave your phone alone while you’re driving, after nearly running down a bike rider while simply changing songs on her mobile phone.

Uber’s chief rival in Southeast Asia is getting into the bikeshare business, as well.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to complain about cyclists breaking the law, make sure they actually are first — and don’t use your phone while you’re driving.

And you know a new car is dangerous when even an automotive website says it should be banned from the streets.

 

Morning Links: More frontline news from the war on bikes, and more heartwarming holiday bike giveaways

It’s a light bike news day today, which is no surprise as the world starts gearing down for the holidays.

But you can make up for it by checking out yesterday’s massive 2,600+ word missive, which we finally got online and working Wednesday afternoon.

Although you may need to take the rest of the day off to make it through both of these.

Hopefully the tech problems that knocked us offline for the first part of the week are finally behind us.

Fingers crossed.

And be careful riding out there. These next few days will be jammed with office Christmas parties and people stopping off for a few holiday drinks on their way home.

So use the standard protocol — ride defensively, and assume every driver on the road has already had a few too many.

And be especially careful around malls and shopping districts where drivers are likely to be more focused on looking for a parking spot — and their cellphones — than watching for you.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bike riders is all too real.

An English driver intentionally swerves into a bicyclist he says made a gesture at him; fortunately, the rider wasn’t seriously injured.

A passenger in a passing car got out and punched a New Zealand bicyclist who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, breaking his nose.

………

‘Tis the season.

Two kids from LA’s Harbor City earned new bikes donated by Full Factory.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated 30 bikes and 15 skateboards to be distributed to local kids.

A seven-year old Florida girl shows her holiday spirit after she received a new bicycle from a toy ride, and gives it to another girl since she already had one.

………

Just three days left in the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way 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).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

Damien Newton talks with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and Wes Reutimann of Bike SGV in the final SGV Connect podcast of the year.

West Hollywood is installing speed feedback signs along sharrow-tattooed Fountain Ave in an effort to slow down speeding drivers. I have a hard time believing they actually do any good, but Wired insists they worked in Garden Grove; thanks to Brad Milison for the last link.

 

State

A local paper talks with Folsom Prison Inmate Mauricio Argueta, who spent the past year refurbishing 250 bicycles to donate to kids this Christmas. Too often, prisons just warehouse people until they’re released; it’s nice to see someone using his time behind bars constructively to help others.

Sad news from Sacramento, as chef and former Cat 2 cyclist Christopher Davis-Murai, owner of The Bicycle Chef restaurant, has passed away at age 51 after collapsing in his home.

 

National

People for Bikes ranks America’s ten best new bikeways this year, none of which are anywhere near Los Angeles.

Cyclocross Magazine offers ten maintenance tips before you put your bike away for the winter. Or you could just keep riding all year, especially if you live here in SoCal.

A new video looks at Seattle’s Bike Batman, who has used Bike Index to help return over 40 stolen bikes to their rightful owners.

Santa Fe cyclists will now have a tunnel under the rail yards to improve safety.

Caught on video: LA bike riders have to dodge cars, Tennessee bike riders have to dodge dogs.

A Louisville KY paper looks at the massive cave holding the world’s largest underground bike park, which is drawing tourists from around the world.

Philadelphia’s mayor says he wants to provide protected bike lanes to improve safety, but paying for schools and trash and police are more important; Next City says there’s no simple formula for when to roll out new bike lanes.

Speaking of Philadelphia, a 52-year old father was killed by a street racing hit-and-run driver as he rode his bike to work.

The rich get richer, as New York adds another 25 miles of protected bike lanes; the city is racing to provide safe alternatives before a subway line is shut down for reconstruction.

 

International

Halifax, Nova Scotia bicyclists hope the city’s new networked bike plan will mean no bike lanes to nowhere. Which is exactly what LA bicyclists were hoping for with the 2010 bike plan; let’s hope Halifax riders have better luck with it.

The London School of Economics considers what the rest of the world can learn from Mexico City’s bikeshare system, which has cut private car use by 5%.

No disconnect here. A British member of Parliament says bicyclists must use bikeways to improve safety — at the same time he’s trying to cut the budget for them. Bike advocates call his comments “unhelpful,” but he insists he was just misunderstood.

Sort of caught on video: A Bristol, England bike cop pulls over a Bentley when he sees the driver talking on her cellphone. And spent 30 seconds staring at her through the window before she noticed him.

A Dublin, Ireland advocacy group is warning that someone will get killed from getting a bike wheel caught on tracks for a new light rail line, as a local paper maps where riders are turning up with nasty injuries. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike rider gets hit by a cab while blowing a red light.

London’s Telegraph calls Croatia’s Istria peninsula Europe’s most beautiful but unexpected bicycling destination.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the new advocacy organization formed to fight for living wages for women pro cyclists. About damn time; let’s hope the people running pro cycling take them seriously.

The other shoe may not have dropped yet, as French authorities investigate an alleged motor doping conspiracy involving “very notable riders” with “links between international teams, private companies and cycling’s highest authorities.”

A new study shows that the opioid pain killer Tramadol, which is widely used in the pro peloton, may improve performance, but at the risk of reduced concentration and increased falls. Can’t speak for anyone else, but it definitely affects my performance; I won’t even take it if I have to drive anywhere.

 

Finally…

Now you can pedal and purify water at the same time. When two people appear to become one on a bike.

And now you can make your very own protein-packed, sexless gingerbread people.

  

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

………

In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

………

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

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

………

‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

………

It’s Day 14 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way 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).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

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Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

………

On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

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